Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Reforms cannot fix capitalism

Reform means a change from within. Reform skims the surface, and limits itself to external tinkering. Socialism is not a reform, it is a revolution. The Socialist Party is not reformers; we are revolutionists when the instruments of production shall be owned no longer by the minority, but shall be restored as  common wealth. No longer shall people be in poverty nor classes, class distinctions and class rule shall, as they necessarily must, have vanished. By revolutionary socialism we do not mean an appeal to arms. We mean by revolutionary socialism the capture of the political power by the working class as opposed to the capitalist class. This is the essence of revolutionary socialism. Whoever holds this position is a socialist. On the other hand, those who thinks we are to get socialism through any of the old political parties, that person is not a socialist at all.

Our system of production is in the nature of an orchestra. No one man, no one town, no one state, can be said any longer to be independent of the other, every individual therein, is dependent and interdependent upon all the others. The nature of the machinery of production; the subdivision of labour, which aids cooperation and which cooperation fosters, and which is necessary to the production that civilisation requires, compel a harmonious working together of all departments of labour, and thence compel the establishment of a central directing authority, of an orchestral director, so to speak, of the orchestra of the cooperative commonwealth. Today, production is left to anarchy, and only tyranny is organised.

Many organisations and movements have clamoured for the allegiance of the workers during the twentieth century, all claiming some panacea, some new project which would, at long last, make capitalism palatable. The Socialist Party’s aim is for a practical — and ecologically viable — alternative to the market and the state, a new way of living in which we can all give according to our abilities, and take according to our needs. The means to achieve this must be in harmony with the end itself: democratic, peaceful and without leaders trying to run society on our behalf. Not many have heard of us; fewer will know what we stand for.

The fact is present-day society cannot be run in the interest of the great majority. It does not matter what government we choose, they must dance to the tune of capitalism. The problems they grapple with are self-evidently endemic to the system itself. 

Present-day society is massively wasteful and inherently destructive — not just of our environment and resources but of our hopes and aspirations. It is time to organise for a real alternative. Socialism is about improving all aspects of human life. The task of the Socialist Party today is to make more socialists, by reasoned argument and democratic persuasion.

The desire for socialism as a just social system runs deep among workers. The Socialist Party teach that the wage workers and their employers have nothing whatever in common and that there is no community of interest between them. A state of class war is the natural relation between the wage earners and the employers and workers would never be satisfied with the wages they get, but should strike at all opportune times in order to secure whatever wages he can extract from his employer. “Right” and “wrong” are meaningless terms in the wage earner’s war for higher wages. This class war is unremitting and bitter, to be regarded only as a temporary expedient until workers shall eventually, by revolution take over all wealth assumed. The goal of socialism is freedom from hunger and poverty, freedom from war, from meaningless toil, from exploitation, from racial and sexual oppression, freedom to live without the state – these are the real freedom we strive for.

We are opponents of the state. The state is a weapon of class war. The state by its very nature is an instrument of domination and oppression – a means by which one section of the population forcibly holds down another. States cannot be other than institutions of violence. This applies to the so-called workers’ state just as it does to the capitalist state. The capitalist state is an instrument for maintaining the exploitation of the many by the few. The workers’ state similarly is an instrument of the majority for suppressing the minority of exploiters. In the socialist society of the future the state will wither away and marking the disappearance of class society.

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