Tuesday, August 20, 2019

By their deeds ye shall know them.

To find an explanation of present social conditions the Socialist Party analyses society and discovers therein two distinct social classes, separated from each other by clearly marked political and economic characteristics. One class, the capitalist class, own and control the means of wealth production, but take no part in the process of producing the wealth. The analysis of the Socialist Party shows that the capitalists, who own an enormous mass of wealth, are able to obtain this wealth by the robbery of the other class in society — the working class.

Having no property in the means of wealth production the members of the working class are compelled to sell their energy to those who own the various tools of production, in order to obtain the wherewithal to live. It is by means of the workers applying this energy to nature given material that the wealth necessary to human existence is produced. But the great bulk of this wealth is appropriated by the capitalists who have control of political power and consequently use that power to legalise their robbery of the working class.

There is little need to stress the fact that, contrary to the wealthy position of the capitalists, the position of the workers is one of poverty and insecurity of existence. In an earlier stage of social development man endured privation through his lack of knowledge of the forces of nature, but in modern society, with man having gained a greater control over natural forces, wealth can be produced in abundance. Starvation or a lack of the means of subsistence, although unavoidable in earlier times, is now quite avoidable. There are ample means at the disposal of modern society for all to live in economic security, free from the yoke of servitude and the exploitation and poverty it entails for the working class. The poverty and the general degradation within society we trace directly to the class ownership of the means of life.

Thus it is in the roots of society itself that the Socialist Party discovers the core of the "social problem”.It is this the method of explanation through natural causes which is striking about the Marxist Materialist Conception of History. Throughout the history of societies composed of classes the various ethical codes have been those best suited to the interest of the particular ruling class, and imposed upon the lower orders as a means of government. The Socialist Party takes our stand upon the firm basis of positive science explaining social conditions, and, in fact, all things within the scope of our knowledge, by purely natural causation. Thus, the materialistic movement of socialism is seen to be utterly opposed to the false idealism and the supernatural. We know that economic evolution and the self- interest of the working class are inevitably preparing the path for that great social change, when the workers of the world will enjoy the fruits of their labour in a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution by and in the interest of the whole community; a system of society known as socialism.

What is the difference between the Socialist Party and other political organisations seeking the support of the workers? It is the difference between reform and revolution: We have but one object, the establishment of socialism, to achieve which we work for the revolutionary political organisation of our class. Reforms are necessary to a rapidly developing society, but granted the carrying through of the whole of the programmes of the reform parties, the fundamental condition of the workers would not be improved. Generations of reforms have been accompanied with a relative worsening of their conditions.

Likewise, to make ridiculous and extravagant “demands” on behalf of the workers while they remain without understanding, merely shows the ignorance or treachery of their would-be “leaders.” Without power to enforce these demands they may save their breath, for when the workers have the power they need no longer formulate demands or claim "rights,” much less beg their oppressors to hear their woeful tale of want. Powerless in ignorance to-day, they will become mighty and formidable in intelligence tomorrow. While the majority are in the former condition they retain the belief inculcated by their rulers’ so-called education, that capitalism is the best and only system possible—hence, at election times they vote for that system and in war time fight for it. There can only be one correct conception of socialism.

Likewise, those accepting by understanding, the principles arising from this conception are the socialists, and all others consciously or otherwise enemies of that cause. What then is this scientific conception? It is briefly summarised in our principles. The present system of society is the result of the development of a previous system, a development in which was generated the conditions for the new society.

Are similar conditions present within the system of today? All the means for prolific wealth production are present to-day, but privately owned by the capitalist class, and socially operated by the working class alone; yet capable of being socially owned and democratically controlled for an output of wealth in whatever quantities required to satisfy the needs of the whole people. There is one obstacle; lack of understanding by a majority of the workers of socialism, the knowledge we seek to impart. To talk of ameliorations and palliatives, alliances and coalitions, demands and rights, is to knowingly or unknowingly play the masters’ game and divert the toilers from correct knowledge and understanding. Disillusioned of their glib eloquent “leaders,” and with disdain for the gradualist, workers will march on without need for "trust” or "belief” or “faith” in anyone other than themselves, knowing through understanding that the power of their principles and policies will realise their emancipation through the establishment of the socialist commonwealth.

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