What is the nature of our civilisation? What is the controlling force which is guiding our destinies, and regulating our actions towards our fellow-workers? What is the nature of the system; could it be replaced by a better, or a worse, one. The present system cannot hold for ever. That the present social system has failed must be apparent to all who have studied it. It has rendered the many subservient to the few; it has checked the best human endeavours, and facilitated every method of exploitation; it disinherits the great mass, and foreordains their lifelong misery before they are even born; it makes one dependent upon another’s caprice, instead of making someone dependent on his or her own energies; it is incentive to plunder. It is labour alone which supplies all human wants. It is the labourer alone who carries on civilisation, satisfied all human wants, and keeps the race alive.
The misery of the people is growing and attempts to cover this up, to mesmerise people with via the media haven’t worked. In their vision of the future there are radical reformers who claim capitalism has been able to brainwash people into compulsive consumption, thereby holding down revolt by a glut of goods and high standard of living. Environmentalists argue that people instead of fighting state power and set up working-class urge counter-institutions and counter-communities under capitalism, with communities of cooperatives as their prime example. Some radicals aim at taking power in the city on the basis of radical politics and at radical restructuring of the regional economy. How, exactly, does one take and hold power in one city. Power is not just invested in the local, regional, or state government. There is no such thing as regional economy, a closed system doing without the rest of the world.
Automation and cybernetics has led to an intensification of the class struggle, not its lessening. Under capitalism they are used against the interests of the people. Progressives would have us struggle to break the “work-income connection” (i.e., people should be paid whether they work or not). They call it the “universal basic income”, giving the workers a larger slice of the economic pie will reinforce their support of capitalism. With socialism, automation and cybernation will be advanced and developed. They can serve the people, make life easier for them.
Socialism is the system of society that will carry on production FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS to supply the needs of babies, their mothers and their fathers – and to hell with foreign trade for profits and international wars for foreign trade. Capitalism is based on the robbery of the workers. Those who own industries but do not work in them, pay wages to the workers and keep profits to themselves. But both, profit and wages, are only the product of labour. Wages are part of the total product paid to labour. Profit, generally the biggest part, capitalists appropriate to themselves and call it their “legal share.” Socialists know nothing of “legal share” nor of “reasonable profits,” as all wealth, however little, acquired without labour is robbery. All our political institutions are destructive and reactionary.
The wage system implies the existence of two economic classes. “Fair day's work and fair day's wages” imply a question of right and wrong. How-ever, this is a class society composed and divided in robbers and robbed and each class has its own notion of right and wrong, fair and unfair. At any rate, if labour produces all wealth—what else is a fair day's work except the one the workers will legislate in their union hall stating how many hours to work and that fair payment will be the en-tire products to the producers? Under it the workers suffer, it means no end of strife, therefore from the standpoint of the workers it is Wrong and it is Right to get together as a class and abolish the wage system, and in its place erect the co-operative common-wealth.
The employers well realise that once the workers begin to seriously organise as a class, with class hopes and ideals, and look out for themselves as a class, with interests distinct and opposed to all other classes, that once the spirit of solidarity takes firm hold in the hearts and minds of the workers. We would lose our chains, our miseries, but gain the world for all the workers, a world fit for men and women to live their lives in freedom of love and labour.
The slavery of the workers by the politically-created and politically-fostered monopoly of property, and the robbery of the labourers by rent, interest, profit, and taxation, must be abolished – abolished peacefully, expeditiously, and permanently. We must start from where we now stand, and despite all the disadvantages which surround us, and with all the ignorance, all the bigotry, all the intolerance, and all the debasement and cowardice which characterise the down-trodden millions, we must side by side make our way along the path which so many have found slippery, until we reach the long-cherished goal of labour’s emancipation. We, slaves as we are, have to emancipate ourselves. It can be done. It must be done. It shall be done.