Friday, May 29, 2020

Capitalism is a society of conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic is sickening millions, killing tens of thousands, bringing everyday life to a stand-still. We must choose between saving actual lives and inflicting death. America’s president Dwight D. Eisenhower noted, “The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: … two fine, fully equipped hospitals.” Martin Luther King stated that “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” US Marine Major General J. Smedly Butler explained, “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…

Arms manufacturers have often been accused of causing war but in fact the roots of this scourge are in the basis of capitalist society. The makers and sellers of weapons merely take advantage of conflicts to exploit a market, to realise a profit, to accumulate more capital — just like the makers and sellers of any other type of commodity. People may die in extra abundance through this activity, but of what consequence is that when the overriding priority is to ensure the books balance on the side of profit?

Capitalism — the accumulation of wealth through the exploitation of working-class labour-power  is the inevitable social development of commodity-production to the point where abundance becomes possible; and where only the circumscriptions of the profit-system itself prevent society from freely producing and enjoying wealth.

1. The Socialist Party does not asks to be your would-be leader but wishes you to consider the merits of a serious idea - socialism. While the other parties consider workers too stupid to do their own thinking, we recognise and depend upon, your ability to understand our case. In fact, the Socialist Party asks you not to vote for us unless you are convinced by what we say.

2. The Socialist Party does not speak the same language as our political opponents. They talk about “the balance of payments problem”, the “national debt”, ‘‘the good of the nation”, “law and order”. Theirs is a system in which able workers are thrown on to the scrap-heap when it periodically becomes unprofitable to employ them; in which houses stand empty while homeless families live in misery because they can't afford to pay for a home; in which food is destroyed while millions starve; in which Christian morality is preached while governments store up piles of arms to destroy the world in the quest for markets.

Socialists speak the language of class struggle; that there is a working class who produce the wealth of society in return for wages or salaries, and a capitalist class who reap the profits simply because they own and control the means of producing and distributing wealth. For socialists the important issue is—Who is to own the means of life; the wealth producers or a minority of rich parasites?

3. The Socialist Party does not promise you “higher wages” or “improved welfare facilities” or “greater security”. The sad but indisputable fact is that as long as you go on supporting capitalism, its problems will be with you. A system which produces even the necessities of life for sale on the market at a profit causes poverty and insecurity for the majority alongside luxury and power for the few.

Many workers will agree that everything we’ve said so far is only too true. Yes, the other political parties ARE opportunists; yes, there IS class inequality; yes, the real problem IS capitalism. But what's the alternative?

What Socialism Is
The Socialist Party has as its object the establishment of a social system based upon the ownership by the community of the means of living. We need a majority of our class, desiring it, to bring this about. The only alternative is socialism, a society in which the whole community will own the means of production mid distribution of wealth. Class divisions will cease to exist, because instead of the separation between owners and producers of wealth, everyone will own and produce in common. Authoritarian leadership will give way to genuine democracy in which people will really have a say, because no longer will a minority possess power and privilege. Production for profit will be replaced by production for human needs, whereby goods will be freely available for people to take according to their needs. Work will be carried out on the basis of free co-operation instead of the coercion of the wages system. The division of nations will give way to the unity of one world. Inequality based upon possessions, status, race or sex will vanish as human beings create, for the first time ever, a sane society geared to the fulfilment of human needs. Critics of socialism claim that given free access, people will act irresponsibly. This we dispute. It is perfectly possible for people to act sociably when a socialist majority puts an end to the rat-race. For working people, socialism is the only alternative to the chaos of the profit system. 

The capitalist is the enemy, and, whether he appears as a democrat or a dictator, he can offer nothing but wage slavery to the working class. The ruling class have shown on many occasions that they are past-masters in the art of inducing self-deception among the workers. The Socialist Party  oppose the principles of world socialism to the scheming plans of the ruling class in such a way that the class issue is kept clear and the real aims of the ruling class exposed.

The establishment of the socialist society will result from the efforts of workers who understand not only the class antagonisms of the present system, but also the need for a classless society in which wealth will be produced only for use; the elimination of the class basis will also eliminate the profit motive.

Without this fundamentally class-conscious outlook, capitalist wars, and consequently working class slaughter, will always be a riddle to members of our class whose discontent with the present order of things need socialist understanding to give direction and effectiveness to that discontent. We members of the Socialist Party proceed towards our objective, firstly, by educating ourselves, and, secondly, by passing on that education to our fellow workers in the form of socialist propaganda and thus the greater will be the possibility of making the socialist majority of workers, who, having decided to abolish the private ownership of the means of life, will take hold of the political machinery for that purpose. With political control, this further step will be possible: the armed forces of the capitalist states will become an anachronism in a social system where there are no markets to safeguard and no trade routes to protect. The common ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution will necessitate other activities being found for the members of the derelict armies, navies and air forces of capitalism; activities based upon social utility, rather than wholesale mortality. And that, fellow workers, will be socialism.

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