Saturday, April 11, 2020

We still have choices.

An “ism” is a set of ideas. In fact, it’s a theory. 

Socialists are always criticised for promoting theories and not being practical and pragmatic. Begging the boss for a pay-rise that’s a practical fact, but dicuss the concept of class organization and class struggle is all nonsense.

We are told “Socialism is all right in theory but it just won’t work.” But there’s no such thing as an idea that’s “all right in theory but it won’t work.” Theories are NOT just dreamed up out of thin air. It’s a general truth which has been gained from many real experiences and facts. That’s where the idea of socialism come from.

History is full of tales of misery, exploitation, oppression, barbaric cruelty and repression and the horrors of war. These have not been the exception but the pattern. On the one hand, a tiny minoritylive in luxury and splendour. On the other the rest of us are in a life-long struggle simply to survive.

We are living under a system which is more and more clearly revealed as the enemy of humanity. It has vast productive potential, but only means poverty and oppression for most of us. It imposes draconian austerity cuts in living standards on the already suffering poor. It brings hunger and starvation to the working people in the undeveloped and developing nations of the world. Capitalism is responsible for the thoughtless destruction of the environment, looting and plundering human and natural resources. The profit motive is incompatible with safeguarding the world’s resources. So long as it is profitable, environmental destruction is perfectly ’logical’ under capitalism. Humanity’s problem is not limited resources but the waste of resources which is an essential part of the process of capital accumulation. There is the destruction of indigenous people and their sustainable ways of life; hijacking of fertile land for cash-crops and the clearance of forest for cattle ranching;

 Its armaments industry monopolises most of the world’s research and development and cynically profits from a series of local wars of unparalleled destructiveness. The root cause of all this is capitalism’s guiding principle, the quest for profit, which takes precedence over any human interest. Capitalism as a system threatens the future of humanity. Today more than ever capitalism brings nothing but misery and exploitation. Capitalism is already an obsolete system, and all the productive forces and technology it has created will be turned to the benefit of humanity as socialism, a new social system, is built. Capitalism cannot be reformed. Today the destructive threat of capitalism is so acute that humanity cannot afford the luxury of tinkering with pallaitives. It has undergone many changes in its history, but these have simply meant finding new ways to exploit people. The only solution is to build a new social system.

Worldwide, an upsurge of socialism is bound to come. It is more and more apparent that profit is an absurd principle by which to organise the world’s resources. Our vision of the socialist society of the future draws its strength from the new organisational forms thrown up by the mass movement of workers in struggle who lay the foundations for a new society. Workers strive to make life better, freer, more human.

We in the Socialist Party believe that capitalism is not part of an eternal “natural order” of things, not a consequence of “human nature”. It is a recent arrival in man’s history and its days are numbered. The problems we face – unemployment, poverty, economic crises, are not some abberant ill of capitalism, they are an essential part of how it works. All these evils are the direct result of the private ownership of wealth, and the consequent exploitation by a few of the mass of the population, the workers who produce all wealth – and whose reward is a tiny pittance.

What do we mean by socialism? Not the phoney nationalisation of the Labour Party and its attempts to organise the working class to make capitalism work. Nor the “socialism” of the former USSR which uses pseudo-socialist phrases but where in fact one huge state-capitalist monopoly that exploited the mass of Soviet workers  on behalf of a small ruling elite of Communist Party and government bureaucrat. We are fighting for a working class democracy in which the producers of wealth,  working people will own in common the factories, the land, the hospitals, the schools, etc. and will run them themselves according to the will of the majority,

Why should any worker have confidence in the future of the capitalist system? If he or she has, it shows more confidence than the capitalists themselves who build their luxury bunkers in remote and supposed untouchable parts of the world.

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