Socialism is not some pipe-dream. Capitalism has created the economic conditions for socialism. Socialism will bring social ownership of social production. It is the next step in the further evolution of society.
The means of production – the factories, mines, mills, offices, farm fields, transportation system, media, communications, medical facilities, retailers, etc., will be transformed into common property. Private ownership of the means of production will end. The economy will be geared not to the interest of profit, but to serving human needs. This will release the productive capacity of the economy from the limitations of profit maximisation. A great expansion of useful production and the wealth of society will then become possible. Rational economic planning will replace the present anarchistic system. Coordination and planning of production will aim at building an economy that will benefit the people. Because capitalism has already developed an advanced economy, socialism’s task will be to reorient this structure towards social needs. The protection of the environment would be ensured. Socialism will uphold the principles of democratic controlled common ownership, production for the people’s needs, and the elimination of exploitation. The elimination of private ownership of the main means of production will permit a more equitable distribution of social wealth. There will be no billionaires nor paupers.
The capitalist system of production, under which we live, is the production of commodities for profit instead of for use for the private gain of those who own and control the means of production and distribution. Out of this system of production and sale for profit spring all monopolies (arising from and following competition) and out of it, naturally, grow an overwhelming percentage of moral evils, and the entire problem of misery, want, and poverty that, as a deadly menace, now confronts civilisation.
Socialism is human association reduced to a practical program. It recognises that life in society is constantly passing through a process of evolution. It declares that labour is the sole creator of value and that the laborer is entitled to the full social value of the things he produces. It teaches that the only way to attain the just distribution of wealth to those who produce it is through the common ownership, control, and operation of the means of production and distribution, such as lands, mines, factories, transport, communications, etc. It asserts that this production should be for use and not for sale or profit, thus doing away with all private monopoly of the means of subsistence, and all forms of graft, corruption, and extortion in every department of society, and with a vast amount of unproductive labour and an immense number of useless and harmful occupations. Socialism would conserve and not abolish private possessions. Thus homes and all personal belongings not used to produce more wealth would remain individually owned.
The cooperative commonwealth is our goal. In order to be understood socialist philosophy must be studied. If you wish to oppose its ideas, study it. No person has a right to be a socialist or to criticise it without understanding the subject. The problem before us is how are the land and the tools of production to be removed from private ownership to social ownership, while at the same time distribution (at first of the necessaries of life, and later on of the full products of wealth) is secured on an equable basis for all wealth producers?
The Socialist Party aims at the complete emancipation of labour from the yoke of capital. This emancipation can be achieved by the transfer to social ownership of all the means and objects of production, a transfer which will entail:
a) the abolition of the present commodity production (i.e., the purchase and sale of products on the market) and
b) its replacement by a new system of social production according to a previously drawn-up plan with a view to satisfying the requirements both of society as a whole and of each one of its members.
This socialist revolution will give rise to the most radical changes in all social relationships. It will introduce consciousness where there now reigns blind economic necessity by simplifying and giving purpose to all social relationships. it will at the same time provide each citizen with the real economic possibility of participating directly in the discussion and decision of all social matters.
This direct participation of citizens in the management of social affairs presupposes the abolition of the present system of political representation and its replacement by direct popular decision making. The emancipation of the workers must be the matter of the workers themselves, as the interests of labour in general are diametrically opposed to the interests of the exploiters, and as, therefore, the higher classes will always hinder the above described re-organisation of the social relationships, the necessary preliminary condition for this reorganisation is the capture of political power by the working class in each of the countries concerned. Only this temporary domination of the working class can paralyse the efforts of counter-revolution and put an end to the existence of classes and their struggle.