Monday, August 05, 2019

Answering the opposition

It is one of fundamentals of the Socialist Party that capitalist governments represent the interests of capitalism, not the “sentiments” of the citizens. Left-wingers are quick to claim upon seeing state-owned industries that this is socialism. But nationalisation does not lead to establishment of socialism nor gradually advancing towards socialism. This is a huge hoax.

 Nationalisation does not mean social ownership. People are exhorted to tighten their belts and accept hardship in the interest of national wealth -- because this wealth belongs to the nation. And who owns and controls the nation? The emancipation of working people from the capitalist yoke will be impossible to achieve through change of government a thousand times or through attempts to rewrite the law. The only way to achieve emancipation is to gradually build up the united strength of the people through a democratic movement based on sound political lines. There is no other way for emancipation of the people besides this. All other ways entail only wastage of time and self-deception. If you are worker, if you comprehend that your 8 to 16 hours of work represent exploitation without limits, understand that neither you nor society will ever receive the earnings of your labour, if you comprehend that despite all the strikes you will always be exploited, become a socialist. The fear of Wall Street and the City of London is that the people will stop simply demanding higher taxes on the rich, but will demand political and economic power.

One of the most common criticisms used against socialism is the claim that it is against human “nature” and that inequality is “innate” in the human species. Rich and poor have always existed and will always exist. Homo sapiens for hundreds of thousands of years without private ownership of the means of production, without a market economy and without a class-divided society. In fact, private property and classes have probably existed only among a tiny fraction of the time human species has been on the planet. The fact also remains that class-divided society has been challenged repeatedly for thousands of years and the vision of a class-free society projected as an aspiration. History abounds with slave rebellions and peasant revolts. Religious imagery has been employed to reflect the longings of the ordinary people. Even defeated revolutions have been able to influence the course of history, their goals of the vanquished growing resonating with increased popularity, producing egalitarian ideas enriching the oppressed's heritage. 

The fact is that the exploited have rebelled, are rebelling and will rebel against their masters. The duty of every socialist, of every man and woman who loves humanity and seeks liberty, is to fight with our fellow-workers and try and increase to the utmost their lucidity and chances of success. The only alternative would be to tolerate exploitation as a lesser evil to the emancipation efforts of their victims.

Our policy on reforms and reformism is set out briefly here:
  1. We are opposed to reformism, or the futile policy of trying to make capitalism work for the good of all.
  2. We are opposed to political groups which pursue reformist policies.
  3. We are not opposed to all reforms of capitalism.
  4. We do not advocate or propose reforms. .
  5. Reforms will be offered by capitalist governments when the Socialist Party grows stronger.
  6. We urge workers to resist the downward pressures capitalism always exerts on their living standards.
In regards to the last point we appreciate that as long as workers are not socialists, this resistance will often be carried on in a disorganised and ineffective way usually involving support for reformist policies and parties. As long as socialist numbers are small (as now) there is little we can do to remedy this save urging workers to recognise the futility of reformism and to become socialists and wage the class struggle in an organised and conscious way. There is a difference between giving support to the general aim of working class resistance to capitalism and giving endorsement to any and every specific method a non-socialist working class might use. 

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