Sunday, September 29, 2019

Red Dawn

The impressive demonstrations for climate justice continue and we of the Socialist Party are proud of its impact. Not because we invented the environmentalist movement, not because we lead this movement – but because its triumph is our triumph, as it is that of all people who cherish freedom, democracy, and human equality. Every achievement in this fight is, as we see it, a milestone on the road to that complete socialist democracy which is our political goal. Maybe we are not so badly off as it seems.

Our pride is that today and tomorrow, as from the beginning, we have been supporters, firm and without reservation, of a sustainable ecologically balanced and benign society. Without any partisan motives, the Socialist Party never sought to issue “instructions and “directives” to the environment movement. We shun such a leadership role, in the first place. And in the second place, we have little criticism to make of a movement that has achieved the success in mobilising literally millions, in protests all over the world. Millions shared our greatest of all dreams, the dream of a brotherhood of all men and women marching for a planet without hunger, without ignorance, without war. Our hearts are lifted by the thought of so many participating in a fight for this goal. But we have to ask: What next?

We socialists are obliged to be true to ourselves. We are a political organisation. It is our justification for existence. Political action is our means, not direct action. Socialists are seeking a better world founded on common ownership, equality and democracy. Egalitarian ideals have animated the great fighters for human progress throughout the ages, that led men and women to lay down their lives to resist repression and oppression. We continue to hold such ideals and they motivate the members of our party. We are engaged in a struggle for the final abolition of all forms of human slavery. We invite our fellow-workers to participate in that struggle. Socialism, real socialism, is the only alternative to capitalism; and it is worth fighting for.

There is an enormous confusion in the use of the term “socialism.” It is highly suspect yet so respectable that even those ruling parties claim to be “socialist” which do not ever intend to transform corporate property. The former Eastern Europe was labeled “socialist” although the means of production are there nationalised and turned into state property rather than really socialised. Workers remain wage-labourers. They have no say about the organisation and planning; they do not decide about the distribution of the results of their work. 

Their social emancipation requires, therefore, the abolition of both private and state ownership of the means of work; these must be socialised. The socialisation of the means of production is the transformation of private property into common social property. To be common social property means to belong to the society as a whole without anybody’s right to sell it. The fact is there is not much discussion by the Left about "withering away” of the state. Lenin had neither the time nor the inclination to put his ideas from State and Revolution into practice.

Opponents of socialism frequently say as an objection that there are different kinds of socialists and different kinds of socialism. Let them use the following statement as ammunition if they can. There are as many different kinds of "socialists" as there are different socialists. There are also varying expressions of the details of socialism, but they all rest on one fundamental principle, the common ownership and democratic administration of the social tools of production and distribution of wealth. State ownership for instance, is therefore not considered as collectively owned and certainly not democratically administered. 

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