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Socialism - "Associations of free and equal producers."


The Socialist Party declares class-war upon the wages system which cheats and enslaves working people, which makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer. We are the working class. Without us, nothing could happen, be produced, nothing grown or harvested, nothing fixed or invented. We must work for our living or suffer the consequences. As a class, as a community and as a people, we share the same basic needs and basic desires: to live in & be part of a healthy, peaceful and humane society. We must recognise capitalism as the fundamental cause of our social ills, and that the institutions it rests on must be replaced by social democracy where we work and where we live. 

For the first time in decades, dire economic and environmental conditions call into question the old assumptions about capitalism's ability to redeem or 'reform itself' . workers are robbed by the capitalists who buy their labour power for wages and who appropriate the product of their labour. Wages are determined by the price that labour power fetches as a commodity in the market, and this price fluctuates according to supply and demand. In the long run, however, the price of labour power (wages) coincides with its value -- and its value is equal to the amount of labour (measured in labour hours) that is embodied in what workers consume to keep themselves in working condition. In everyday language the worker normally gets a LIVING WAGE. This is the key to the robbery that goes on under capitalism. 

And it is precisely for this reason that the Socialist Party focuses attention on the worker's wage-slave status and the need to alter this status. When, with socialism, the workers cease to be robbed of the major portion of their product they will be enabled to consume in proportion to what they produce, but not until then. If the workers are deluded into thinking they are robbed as consumers they inevitably become victims of reforms and reformers, and the real robbery -- the robbery at the point of production -- goes on unabated. On the other hand, when the workers understand how and where they are robbed, the solution is clearly indicated. It is not reform, but revolution, the complete abolition of capitalism with its wage system and exploitation.

A state-run economic system is not socialism! Karl Marx and Frederick Engels clearly distinguished between state ownership of the means of production and social ownership. They opposed the very existence of the state. State ownership means the continued existence of a governmental power over and above the people themselves; it signifies continued class rule. Social ownership means that the people themselves, collectively and democratically, govern the use of the means of production. Marx and Engels described socialism as a society run by
The Socialist Party declares class-war upon the wages system which cheats and enslaves working people, which makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer. We are the working class. Without us, nothing could happen, be produced, nothing grown or harvested, nothing fixed or invented. We must work for our living or suffer the consequences. As a class, as a community and as a people, we share the same basic needs and basic desires: to live in & be part of a healthy, peaceful and humane society. We must recognize capitalism as the fundamental cause of our social ills, and that the institutions it rests on must be replaced by social democracy where we work and where we live. For the first time in decades, dire economic and environmental conditions call into question the old assumptions about capitalism's ability to redeem or 'reform itself' . workers are robbed by the capitalists who buy their labor power for wages and who appropriate the product of their labor. Wages are determined by the price that labor power fetches as a commodity in the market, and this price fluctuates according to supply and demand. In the long run, however, the price of labour power (wages) coincides with its value -- and its value is equal to the amount of labor (measured in labour hours) that is embodied in what workers consume to keep themselves in working condition. In everyday language the worker normally gets a LIVING WAGE. This is the key to the robbery that goes on under capitalism. And it is precisely for this reason that the Socialist Party focuses attention on the worker's wage-slave status and the need to alter this status. When, with socialism, the workers cease to be robbed of the major portion of their product they will be enabled to consume in proportion to what they produce, but not until then. If the workers are deluded into thinking they are robbed as consumers they inevitably become victims of reforms and reformers, and the real robbery -- the robbery at the point of production -- goes on unabated. On the other hand, when the workers understand how and where they are robbed, the solution is clearly indicated. It is not reform, but revolution, the complete abolition of capitalism with its wage system and exploitation.

A state-run economic system is not socialism! Karl Marx and Frederick Engels clearly distinguished between state ownership of the means of production and social ownership. They opposed the very existence of the state. State ownership means the continued existence of a governmental power over and above the people themselves; it signifies continued class rule. Social ownership means that the people themselves, collectively and democratically, govern the use of the means of production. Marx and Engels described socialism as a society run by "associations of free and equal producers."

Socialism, democratic workers' control of the economy, is an attainable goal. To attain the goal, however, workers must have a greater understanding of society and the social forces with which they must contend, and be better prepared and organised than any other revolutionary class in history. The more thoroughly the working class is already organized around a sound revolutionary program and principles during a revolutionary crisis, the better its chances for success. The crucial question is whether enough workers will organise for the socialist reconstruction of society before capitalism collapses into some more barbaric form of class rule or global warming or a nuclear holocaust destroys us all.

Socialism, democratic workers' control of the economy, is an attainable goal. To attain the goal, however, workers must have a greater understanding of society and the social forces with which they must contend, and be better prepared and organised than any other revolutionary class in history. The more thoroughly the working class is already organised around a sound revolutionary program and principles during a revolutionary crisis, the better its chances for success. The crucial question is whether enough workers will organise for the socialist reconstruction of society before capitalism collapses into some more barbaric form of class rule or global warming or a nuclear holocaust destroys us all. 

Comments

Anonymous said…
"Marx and Engels described socialism as a society run by" ???
ajohnstone said…
I'm not sure what your comment is saying.

Marx employed four words other than socialism and communism to describe future society: associated, socialised, collective and co-operative. All these words convey a similar meaning and bring out the contrast with capitalist society where not only the ownership and control of production but life generally is private, isolated and atomized. Of these the word Marx used most frequently — almost more frequently than communist — was association. Marx wrote of future society as "an association which will exclude classes and their antagonism" and as "an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all" . In Volume III of Capital Marx writes three or four times of production in future society being controlled by the "associated producers".

Association was a word used in working class circles in England to mean a voluntary union of workers to overcome the effects of competition. This was Marx's sense too: in future society the producers would voluntarily co-operate to further their own common interest; they would cease to be "the working class" and become a classless community.

Is your concern about the term "run"? It could be substituted by many other words which denote that society will operate by various forms of administration.

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