The exploiters who squeeze profits out of the workers through the ownership of the means of production – which they innocently name “private enterprise” wish to make us all believe that the exploiting system of capitalism is still progressive and is the best possible social system. Facts will not help them at all. They will misinterpret and misrepresent those in an attempt to do this. What can be greater proof of the bankruptcy of the capitalist system than its recurring crises and recessions. No amount of distortion and deceit will wipe out of existence the sufferings of tens of millions of jobless, destitute people, while the factories and farms able to produce their needs stood idle. Nor can the capitalist system function for the purposes of peace.
Socialists will concede that in its heyday capitalism was progressive. The lure for profits in the unlimited markets of the world stimulated the capitalist class to expand and mechanise the means of production. It encouraged science and technology to make possible the mass production of an abundance of commodities. It is true that in its progressive stage capitalism robbed the workers of the product of its labour, just as it does to day. But then there was historic compensation for the robbery. The means for ultimately abolishing poverty from the face of the earth were being perfected. This reason for putting up with exploitation no longer exists. Poverty stalks the land – but not because of any technological insufficiency. Translated into food, clothing, shelter, education, health, entertainment, it spells the difference between happiness and misery. All this was kept from people by “private enterprise” with its grip upon the means of production and will not let it operate except when there is profit to be made. That is how “progressive” the capitalist system has become. It is the secret of the regressive character of present-day capitalism. Working people are robbed of the product of their labour and so that the capitalist masters may secure a larger share of the world markets in which to dispose of the wealth of which the working class will continue to be robbed. It will take more lying than there is to get the generations growing up in a world of war and poverty to believe that the capitalist system is progressive. They will be asking why the existing means for abolishing poverty are not used for that purpose. The message of the Socialist Party is bound to resonate to them: capitalism must be replaced by SOCIALISM. A socialist society will restore the human family to family homes and allow people to live in harmony and happiness.
But the masses have been known to change cruel and unjust social systems. That is how human progress has come about. For instance, the tyranny of feudalism that for centuries kept people in serfdom was swept away by the suffering people. So the capitalist system of today, which, among its other crimes, breeds modern wars, must be overthrown and replaced by socialism. All the schemes for bolstering the system are, at their best, palliatives that cannot cure – and, at their worst, strictly delusional.
Socialists oppose all wars. Workers must fight THEIR OWN WAR – the class war against the bosses. What is needed for permanent peace is a change of personnel at the controls. This means the death of capitalism and the birth of socialism. Power and profit – the motive force of capitalism – will then perish. The peoples of the world will be able to produce their goods and their resources according to their human needs. THE ONLY WAY OUT FOR THE WORKERS IS THROUGH SOCIALISM. We can no longer afford to take any chances. Socialism holds the only guarantee of the survival of the human race in a civilised society. We believe that capitalism threatens any hope for social justice, peace, and human dignity. We look out on a worldwide crisis of capitalism with mass hunger, disease, environmental destruction, poverty, and economic collapse. Capitalism threatens the survival of all life on this planet. Nothing short of revolution and socialism can end this threat. The challenge is ours to build a better socialist movement. We are Marxists who believe that capitalism—as a system centred on private accumulation and profit—is inherently a system of inequality, injustice, and war. We want a social system where social wealth is not in the hands of a few billionaires, but is controlled by the people. We seek both economic and political democracy. Human needs cannot replace profit as the driving force of society unless the people control their workplaces, their neighbourhoods and communities.