Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It's us or them

"The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees; let us rise"

The goal of the Socialist Party is the conversion of the means of production, and distribution into the common property of society in the interests of the entire community. The struggle to secure the common ownership of the means of production—the prerequisite of economic and social prosperity - which can only come about through the political victory of the class without property over the class with property. The basic evil in capitalist society lies in the private ownership of the means of production. This is the root cause for the wasteful unplanned anarchy of capitalism, for its extremes of unnecessary poverty on the one hand and anti-social wealth on the other, for its instability. The plain fact is that a numerically small group of people, the capitalists, who own the machinery of production and the natural resources of the country, have the masses at their mercy. They are industrial serfs. The ownership of industry is the source of the power of the profit-seeking class. It gives them control of the opportunities of the masses to secure the necessities of life. The millions of men and women who are dependent upon the wages they earn for a living are economic serfs. The present industrial system divides the people of this country into two classes. Anyone with a grain of common sense will admit that. There are people who work for wages and those who employ the wage workers. The evils of the present social order — insecurity, low wages, and industrial conflicts — are the product of a system in which the supreme purpose is the taking of profits.

The business of making profits is shrouded in great mystery by the capitalists. They seek to make the workers believe that it is through some occult power that they make the processes of production yield them profits and build up great fortunes for them. There is no mystery about the source of profits. The capitalists do not create wealth out of the aid in juggling with industry. They make profits because they purchase the labour-power of the workers for less than the value of the goods the workers produce, that is, they do not pay the workers the full value of their labour. There is not other way of making profits out of industry. The lower the wages for which the capitalists can purchase the labour-power of the workers and the longer their hours of labour, the greater will be the capitalists’ profits. The industrial conflicts which are part and parcel of the capitalist system are the direct outgrowth of this situation. The workers naturally seek to increase their wages and reduce their hours of labour. They endeavour to secure for themselves more of the wealth they produce and better working conditions. The capitalists resist. They see their profits menaced by the workers’ demands. The workers organize their power and refuse to work unless their demands are granted, and we have a strike

The existing industrial system is a huge profit-making machine, which has no relation to the happiness and well-being of the people. We have solved the problem of production. If working people seek a better world their aim must be the abolition of the profit system. The profit system leads inevitably to the conclusion that it is incompatible with the interests of the people. Common ownership of industry is the remedy for our social problems, the abolition of the rewards of ownership, rent, interest, and profit. The abolition of exploitation through the abolition of rent, interest, and profits will insure to the masses the enjoyment of the wealth produced through our greatly increased productive power and will end the misery and poverty which is such a dark blot upon our civilisation.

We can produce all that is needed to supply the necessities of life as well as some of the comforts of life — education and the opportunity for recreation — to all the people. World socialism will enable us to bring into existence more than enough wealth to give a high standard of living, which means good food, good clothing, good homes, education and recreation, peace and happiness to every family in all the lands. Through the establishment of industrial democracy we can assure through their creative effort that men are not drudges and slaves, but free men and women cooperating together in producing socially useful things.

The struggle of the working class will henceforth be a political struggle for control of the state because it must gain control of the government before it can hope to establish social democracy. For the working class to endeavour to take control of industry while all the repressive power of the class state remained in the hands of the capitalist class would be to invite destruction. The task the workers have to undertake, the way to freedom, is through building a class conscious political movement which will carry on the work of educating the workers to an understanding of the system of exploitation which now exists and the class character of the struggle to wrest control of the government out of the hands of the capitalist class. The Socialist Party is the medium through which this can be done. At the same time it is an essential part of the work of the workers to build up organisations in the industries themselves, having as their goal to supercede the capitalists in the control of industry. In these organisations in the industries are the beginnings of the new industrial order that will expand and grow until they become a huge cooperative organisation of the workers for control and management of the work of production and of all matters pertaining to the common interest of society. 

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