Sunday, November 10, 2019

Where we stand

A socialist is one who, having investigated the causes of present day social discord, decides that these causes are found in the private ownership of the means of wealth production and who therefore endorses the necessity for co-operative ownership in order to eliminate private or sectional monopoly, and secure the advantages for the whole people.

It is common to find some persons expressing sympathy with socialism and socialists, when all that is intended is a sympathetic altruistic feeling towards the poor, but by no means do they endorse the co-operative ownership and control of the land, mines, minerals, machinery and transport, without which no one can be a socialist. By co-operative ownership is meant common ownership by all the communities within society - the whole people, ie the raw material and machinery of production to become the property of all and is regulated by all.

Once again then, socialism involves the transferring private ownership to common ownership of all those agencies of wealth production necessary for supply of life’s necessaries for the whole people. The root basis of this is found in the fact that private ownership of the means of wealth production fails most lamentably to provide all the people with the requisites of life. Let that fact never he forgotten, private enterprise utterly fails at the present time to provide what is necessary to afford the means of healthy vigourous life for all. There is no possible escape from this so long as private enterprise dominates the system by which all must live. The more the workers contribute towards facilitating production the smaller will be the proportion of their total number in employment.

Socialism does not seek to destroy but to build. Socialism does not aim at making any the slaves of governments, but to get rid of all governments other than the self-government of free citizens. We therefore declare that the present capitalist system is based upon the legalised robbery of the wealth producers.

Socialism is the recognition and adoption of the principle and practice of association as against isolation, of co-operation as against competition, of concerted action in the interests of all, instead of “each for himself and devil take the hindmost.” Socialism saddles upon each of us the responsibility of being our “brother’s keeper.” If a child, woman or man is starving, socialism says there is something wrong in our social system, and upon us all individually and collectively rests the responsibility of righting the wrong. If one street or a dozen streets contain one slum dwelling or a number of such, Socialism says to each of us jointly and severally, “crime exists somewhere or no slum would exist, see to it quickly, root it out, raze the slum to the ground and let air and sunshine operate. If men and women are overworked, and so prevented from fully sharing in the joys of life, socialism bids us to immediately remove the overwork and see to it that every man and every woman shall have a fair share of all that makes life worth living.

There can be no socialism where exploitation exists.  Therefore socialism means the, complete supercession of the present capitalist system, of private ownership and control of land, machinery, and money, necessary for reproductive purposes. Defenders of capitalism who are so lyrical about the technical achievements of modern industry, might try to explain why, after all these years, even the most elementary needs of the working class remain unsatisfied.

Is the Socialist Party opposed to working-class unity? On the contrary, the basis of our position is that socialism will only be established when a majority of the working class unite for that purpose. But that unity must have a sound foundation, based on socialist principles. If you fight an election on a manifesto of reforms, you will get votes, not from workers who desire the abolition of capitalism, but from those who still think that their economic problems can be solved within capitalism. If these reforms are put into operation, capitalism will still continue and the workers will still be wage-slaves. If, on the other hand, the reforms are not effected, then these people will turn away from socialism in disappointment. Once again we repeat the classic slogan, “Workers of the world, unite!” But with the understanding that they must unite for the purpose of stripping the capitalist class of its ownership of the means of production and distribution, making these common property, and thus establishing a class-free society.

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