Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Taking Socialism Seriously

We are socialists because we see capitalism as harmful to the vast majority of the world’s people. This capitalist system we live under grinds the poor and working people. We see capitalism today as a destructive system that hurts, divides and exploits the vast majority of our people for the sake of profits and power for the few. We see in socialism a more just, more cooperative and more peaceful society

The Socialist Party goals of freedom, democracy and equality, and the means of their achievement, are shared jointly by its members. We are uncompromising opponents of capitalism and we seek to replace it completely by a socialist society. We do not seek to “reform” it – slavery is not a condition that is to be reformed but replaced fundamentally by socialist democracy. As democratic socialists, we reject completely as incompatible with our principles and our aims any and all regimes, even if they proclaim themselves as “socialist” or “people’s democracies,” that are in actuality totalitarian and defend the exploitation of the working class. We stand for the traditional socialist conception that the winning of the battle for democracy is the necessary step in the inauguration of a class-free society. We reject the imposition of “socialism” on the working class “for its own good,” against its will or without its freely-arrived-at democratic decision. The road to a socialist society lies only through the ever-greater expansion of democracy. To these propositions the socialist movement is unequivocally committed, for the aim of socialism is nothing but the fullest attainment of democracy. 

A socialist party must be democratic first and foremost in its internal life, so that its membership may be able to arrive freely and fairly at decisions on policy and activity, where the views of the majority prevail at all times with scrupulous assurances that the rights and conscience of minorities are in no way violated. This requires in turn a movement that is broad in its composition, its outlook, its concepts; that avoids iron and sterilising dogmas which it seeks to impose upon all others, including dissenters in its own ranks; that avoids the demand for conformity on all questions and problems that are of interest to it; that rejects all concepts of a “monolithic” party and barrack-room discipline.

Socialists can offer an alternative which can meet basic needs of people and which is based on cooperation. The alternatives are based on hatred or fear. Socialism offers a future free from the fears of poverty, sexism, racism, dog-eat-dog competition and joblessness. We seek to create a society that allows each person to produce according to her or his ability and to obtain what she or he needs. We advocate and work for socialism–that is, social ownership and democratic control of the means of production (factories, fields, utilities, etc.) We want a system where the people build together for the common good. We support the struggles of the working class against the rule of capitalism and its effects – poverty, hunger, unemployment, war, sexism, racism. In a socialist world of plenty, mankind is freed of the dominance of economics, the tyranny of economists. We will for the first time be free to develop the full potentialities and capacities of the human individual, and see the full flowering of humanity’s spirit. This is the only goal worth fighting for today. It is the real freedom. 

We have confidence that in the days ahead that socialism will once again become an effective political movement which resonates with our fellow-workers, that socialism’s influence will spread and reawaken among working people. Our hopes are not dimmed but renewed. Our enthusiasm for the work ahead is not diminished. The hard work will its own reward. We know the task that lies before us before socialism becomes a political power in the land will be hard. But we will help to build up the movement again, and  champion of the socialist cause for all who suffer social oppression and indignity, and bring closer the time of freedom for all mankind.

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