Sunday, June 21, 2020

Reform is not Enough

 Don’t just take down the statues - Take down the system

The world is in crisis. Capitalism cannot reform itself; it cannot be reformed. Humanity can be saved only by the socialist revolution. The Socialist Party proposes to “capture” the parliamentary state, to conquer and abolish it. Accordingly, it repudiates the policy of introducing socialism by means of legislative measures. The state is the organ of coercion for the capitalist. How, then, can it introduce socialism since all the political power, the army and the police and the media, are in the hands of the capitalists, whose political control gives them complete domination. Working people must expropriate all these by the conquest of the power of the state, by taking the political power away from the ruling class, before it can begin the task of introducing socialism.

The Socialist Party accordingly, proposes to conquer the power of the state. It proposes to conquer by means of political action — political action in the revolutionary sense, which does not simply mean parliamentarianism, but the class action of the working class in any form having as its objective the conquest of the power of the state. Parliamentary action is necessary. In the parliament, the revolutionary representatives of the proletariat meet capitalism on all general issues in the class struggle. The workers must fight the capitalist class on all fronts, in the process of developing the final action that will conquer the power of the state and overthrow capitalism. Parliamentary action which emphasises class struggle is an indispensable means of agitation. Its task is to expose through political campaigns and the forum of parliament, the class character of the state and the reactionary purposes of capitalism, to meet capitalism on all issues, to rally fellow-workers for the struggle against capitalism.

 Industrial action alone cannot conquer the power of the state. Syndicalism may construct the rudimentary forms of the new society; but only potentially. Industrial unionism may only simply be the starting point of the socialist reconstruction of society. Under the conditions of capitalism, it is impossible to organise the whole working class into workers councils; the concept of organising the working class industrially before the conquest of power is utopian. The revolution may well starts with strikes of protest, developing into mass political strikes and then into revolutionary general strikes for the conquest of the power of the state. But the objective is the capture of political power for the abolition of the state. Breaking the political power of the capitalists is the most important task of the revolution. The political expropriation proceeds simultaneously with the expropriation of the capitalist class economically.

Capitalism, by its method of production, has brought isolated workers together and constituted them as a class in society. Capitalism has made the workers a class in themselves. That is, the workers are a distinct class in society, whether they recognise this fact or not. Historical development calls upon this class to reorganise society completely and establish socialism. To do this, the workers must become a class for themselves. They must acquire a clear understanding of their real position under capitalism, of the nature of capitalist society as a whole, and of their mission in history. They must act consciously for their class interests. They must become conscious of the fact that these class interests lead to a socialist society. When this takes place, the workers are a class for themselves, a class with socialist consciousness. What the workers still lack is a fundamental and thorough understanding of their real position in society and of their historic mission to establish socialism. This lack of a socialist consciousness reduces the effectiveness of their organization, of their struggle, and prevents them from accomplishing their mission in society. To imbue and instill the workers with this rounded-out class consciousness, or socialist consciousness – that is the function of the Socialist Party. It is composed of those workers who already understand the nature of capitalism and the historical task of the working class. Their aim is to develop the same understanding among all fellow-workers, so that they no longer fight blindly without a clear knowledge of who their class enemy is, or what the working class itself really is and of what it can and must do in society. 

The Socialist Party therefore have no interests separate from the interests of the working class as a whole. It makes known to fellow-workers the full meaning of their fight. It points out the political meaning of the economic struggle and how the workers must organise as a class to take political power, and use it to inaugurate socialism. The Socialist Party combats the insidious ideas of capitalism which divides workers so that the working class as a whole may be better positioned against its enemy. It aims to clarify ideas and supply them as essential weapons in the class struggle.

A socialist party is needed to win over the working class to the principles of socialism, to struggle against capitalist exploitations and oppression, and finally for the socialist victory itself. Socialism will never come by itself. Without an organised, conscious, disciplined, active socialist party, the triumph of socialism is impossible.

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