Today the great majority of working people are faced threat of insecure employment and austerity cuts in health, education and other services. The future of working people is less and less certain. Exploitation and oppression gets worse every year. The working class and the ruling class are locked in a bitter struggle. A handful of capitalists make fabulous profits off the labour of working people who are killed in work accidents, or are mutilated for life or dying slowly of industrial diseases. All this misery is created so a small clique of very wealthy individuals can continue to line their pockets. All the major means of production - the factories, the mines, telecommunications and transportation - are concentrated in the hands of a few thousand capitalists who employ millions of workers. Every bit of the capitalists’ property and possessions was stolen from working people. The capitalists get rich by appropriating the fruits of our labour. The capitalists claim this is a fair exchange. But it is highway robbery. In reality, a worker gets paid for only a small part of the value he produced. The rest, the surplus value, goes straight into the boss’s bank balance. The boss class get rich, not because they have “taken risks” or “worked harder,” as they would have us believe. The more they keep wages down and reduce the number of employees with speed-ups, the more they can steal from us and the greater their profits. And if the boss thinks he can make more profit somewhere else, he just closes his factory and throws the workers out on the street. The idea that everyone can get rich under this system is a lie invented by the rich themselves. Under capitalism, the only way to get rich is to trample on someone else. Capitalism is a system based on exploitation. A handful of parasites live off the backs of the workers. This is why workers have only one choice: either submit to this wage slavery or fight it. Only socialism can respond to the just aspirations of the working class.
Working people cannot live according to the rule “all against all”, but only according to those other principles, “everybody with everybody” and “all for all.” For the future of humanity solidarity must prevail.
Our only hope for our collective liberation is a politics of deep social transformation. Too many of our fellow-workers prefer to cling to brutal, unjust and exploitative capitalist economic system. They have not learned the lessons of history and decline to choose a path forward to creating a truly inclusive, egalitarian democracy. We have the resources to remake the World, but it will have to come at the expense of the plutocrats and the plunderers. Over its existence, capitalism has wreaked its unavoidable havoc throughout the world, devastating whole nations with poverty, war and disease. As long as the capitalist social economy remains, its main purpose won’t change.
There are those who condone armed struggle as a means, or the means, of social emancipation. That raises a serious question about the perception of the socialist revolution. Socialism is the complete antithesis of capitalism. In a socialist world private and/or state ownership of society’s means of life will give way to social ownership and production of goods and services solely for use. So goods and services will no longer be produced as commodities for sale and profit. Accordingly there will be no role in socialist society for a means of exchange; hence, the entire, utterly wasteful commercial sinews of capitalism will be obsolete. The class-free, money-free society envisaged in the socialist saying: “From each according to their ability; to each according to their needs” will become a reality. A world free from the corruptive influences of money and power where government of people will give way to a simple administration of things.
Such a society – founded on co-operation instead of competition – could not be established by guns, bombs or violence. It can only be established and only maintained by the conscious democratic action of the majority. Such a majority would be the democratic foundation of a free, socialist world. If the question of counter-revolutionary violence is hypothesised then obviously that violence would have to be eliminated; as socialists have traditionally said “peacefully if we may; forcefully if we must”, but, given the conditions created by a socialist-conscious majority, capitalist reaction would be deprived of nourishment.
This is not a time for destruction; it is a time for construction, for rebuilding society. Too many times working people have placed their faith in left-wing messiahs, ignoring Eugene Debs warning:
“I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.”