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Socialism is the real thing

The capitalist class is the number one enemy of the people. It ruthlessly exploits and oppresses the working class. Capitalism hold the working class in subjection by the strength of its might and power, but capitalism can not do it without the willing consent and acquiescence of that working class. What is the secret of the Socialist Party? The secret lies not in the personality and the ability of orators and writers; it lies in the fact that all the propaganda and teaching of this party was, from the outset, based upon the class struggle – upon a recognition of the fact that the struggle between the Haves and the Have Nots was the controlling factor in politics, and that this fight could only be ended by the working class seizing hold of political power and using this power to transfer the ownership of the means of life, viz, land and machinery of production, from the hands of private individuals to the community, from individual to social or public ownership. This party had against it all the organised forces of society – of a society founded upon robbery, but it had on its side a latent force stronger than them all, the material interests of the working class. The awakened recognition of that material interest has carried us far; it will carry us in triumph to the end.

Political pundits are always telling us that the world has changed — the system has changed and the whole nature of capitalism isn’t what it used to be. The Socialist Party asserts capitalism has not changed. The struggles between rival capitalists, the harsh conflict of interests between workers and capitalists, the blind and wasteful way in which worker is set against his brother worker — these things remain, today. Socialism will be the outcome of a process of social evolution that is going on now. The culmination of this process will be the capture of political power for socialism by the working class and the consequent social revolution from capitalism to socialism. It is capitalism that paves the way for socialism. Capitalism has already brought into being a world-wide productive system that could provide a plenty for all and the people to run this system. What it has yet to bring into being is the desire for socialism on the part of those who work for wages throughout the world. This is the only real barrier to socialism today. If what our correspondent implies at one point is correct — if workers can’t run society without the capitalist class — then the time is not ripe for socialism. Our answer to this is clear and the evidence for it can be easily seen by looking at the world in which we live: the working class do now, as industrial, agricultural, clerical and, yes, managerial workers, run society from top to bottom even if not in their own interest. The capitalist class play no role in production; they are superfluous. On the personal-level few are even '‘skilled technicians”. Let’s get this straight: it is the working class who run the world today without the help-of the capitalist class. We are merely arguing that means of wealth production that are at present socially operated should also be socially owned and controlled, and that the people who run society today can and should — run it in their own interests.

We have no detailed plans for socialism. This is because socialism can only be established by the working class once they have become socialist. It is up to those people around at the time to work out the exact forms of running social affairs in a socialist society. It would be presumptuous and foolish of us today to predict the future. All we can do now is say where we think the general trends we see operating today are leading. When a majority of workers have become socialists they will organise for political power; then use this power to end private property in the means of wealth production, thus ending also their position as wage-slaves. This done, society can set about reorganising itself on a socialist basis, with production for use and free access for all to what has been produced. In such a society the government of people (and all that goes with it like armed forces, police, judges and jailers) will be unnecessary. Parliament as the means for controlling the machinery of government too will be unnecessary. But this does not mean that there will be no means for exercising democratic control over social affairs. The exact form of such democratic social control once again we can’t predict and don’t try to. Complex productive apparatus as exists today can only be controlled democratically by society through such means. If you find difficulty in envisaging world wide organisation and control of production consider that many organisations today are already world wide: General Motors, Shell, World Health Organisation, International Postal Union, to mention a few. Socialist society will allow a great variety of forms of social control from the local to the world-wide. Beyond this we can’t go today.


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