The history of society since classes first developed has been the history of class struggle. The continuing development of society from a lower level to a qualitatively higher one has been accomplished throughout history by the overthrow of one class by another which represents a more advanced form of organisation of production and society as a whole. Thousands of years ago, when the development of the productive forces first made possible the accumulation of a surplus above what people needed to live, and the accumulation of privately owned means of production, the slave-owning class arose and established the slave system. As the productive forces developed, the feudal landlord class arose within the slave system, finally overthrew the slave system and established the feudal system. With the further development of the productive forces, the capitalist class arose within the feudal system, finally overthrew the feudal system and established the capitalist system. And now it is the turn of the proletariat to overthrow the capitalist system and build a completely new kind of society.
Underlying all this progress throughout history has been the struggle of people – struggle to develop production and science and to fight exploitation and oppression under the existing society. But only now, with the development of the proletariat under capitalism, has it become possible for the masses of people to finally take their place as masters of society and smash all social chains enslaving the producers and shackling production itself. The capitalists cannot eliminate the working class - and certainly cannot convert the working class into capitalists – for then whose labour would the capitalists live off. The working class, on the other hand, can run production and all of society much better without any capitalists at all.
The first great step in realising its historic mission is for working people to overthrow the dictatorship of the capitalist class and establish its own rule. It makes possible for the first time real democracy and political power for the masses of people. And its purpose is not to enforce exploitation, to allow one class to live parasitically off another, but to end all exploitation and create the community of working people, without class distinction.
The working class in power will have inherited from capitalism its “division of labour”–division between mental and manual workers, between workers in industry and working people in agriculture, between the city and the countryside, and between workers in different branches of the economy. The working class must break down these divisions and eliminate all aspects of commodity production (production for exchange, rather than production for use controlled by society as a whole), which contains within it the core of the separation of society into classes, based on private ownership of means of production. The working class must also overcome the inequalities that capitalism fosters between men and women and between different nationalities. The working class must revolutionise the political institutions, the culture, educational system and the very philosophy of the people, developing production and organising society according to the principles of cooperation. The working class, the only class which has no stake in the preservation of any aspect of capitalism or its “division of labour,” must struggle against the ruling class and completely transform society. When all of society has been transformed, the many sores left over from capitalism have been eliminated, and the community of workers has been established, then socialism, a completely class-free society, will have been achieved, and humanity will enter a whole new stage of history. There will no longer be the need for the state, since there will no longer be any class to suppress, and the state will be replaced with common administration by all of society. Socialism ends the anarchy of capitalism and its crises, by common ownership of the means of production and collective planning of the economy guided by working people. This removes the tremendous barriers to production that capitalist relations have erected. Unemployment will cease, because socialism will be able to make full use of the labour of everyone in society, while at the same time introducing new technology to expand output. As machines can replace workers, workers will not be thrown into the streets, but transferred to other jobs and the work day for all workers will be reduced. The nature of work itself will change completely, because the labour of the workers will no longer go to enrich capital to further enslave the working class, but to improve life today, while providing for the future, according to the conscious plan of the working class itself. The pride that workers have in their work will be unhindered by any sense that they are working themselves, or someone else, out of a job, or that they are being driven to produce for the private benefit of some moneybags, under the orders of supervisors and the constant threat of being fired. The organisation of work will be overseen by the working class itself. Technology will no longer be weapons in the hands of the capitalists to grind down the working class, and workers will no longer be a mere extension of machinery, as they are under capitalism. Instead technology will become tools in the hands of the working people to make society in harmony with nature. All this will release the stored-up knowledge of the working class, based on its direct experience in production, and inspire workers to make new breakthroughs in improving production. Work itself will become a joy and enrichment of the worker’s life, instead of a miserable means to sustain existence, as it is under capitalism.
With no more State and the ownership of the means of production in its hands, the people discrimination in all areas of society will be wiped out. Nationalism, sexism and racism only serves capitalism.
In capitalist society many individuals are drawn to religion because it represents their hopes and aspirations for a better life – projected, however, into the future and into another realm completely beyond man’s ability to understand. The wealthy promotes religion to convince people that since life is miserable on this Earth – and it cannot be denied that this is so under capitalism–the answer is to hope for a better life “beyond this one.”
Religion serves capitalism by telling people that they are basically helpless before the forces of nature-and the rulers of society–and they should put their faith not in the ability of people to change the world, but in a supreme, supernatural being. And if that isn’t enough, religion can call up the image of fire and brimstone to threaten people. More, those evangelical TV preachers who control many of the churches make huge fortunes while telling the people to wait for “pie in the sky.” These hypocritical leeches live like kings, right here and now, from the sweat and blood, hopes and fears, of the people. These “men of god” and “prophets,” prey on the poor , promising them all kinds of miracles and salvation to ease their misery–for a nice donation, of course. Socialist society will eliminate all need for religions. While at any time there are things nothing in the universe that are not yet known, there is nothing unknowable, there is nothing that is not bound by the laws of nature and society. Once people become conscious of all this, they have no need for belief in supernatural beings or forces of any kind.
Culture, like religion and education, represents the viewpoint of one class or another and is a powerful weapon in the hands of that class for creating “public opinion.” The capitalist class spreads its culture, but through its vast mass media and reflects the outlook of the capitalists. Socialism is not a share-the-wealth programme, but is in reality a method to create and control the wealth.