Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Wake Up Fellow-Workers

We have always said that socialism can only be established by a conscious, participating working class organised not only politically to capture and dismantle the State machine but also outside parliament ready to take over and run industry and society generally. The Socialist Party case is that a politically conscious working class must use political means—that is through parliament —to take over the state machine, and convert it to an agent for the establishment of socialism. Once that has been accomplished the coercive state machine will cease to exist; in the words of Engels (Socialism, Utopian and Scientific): “The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direction of the processes of production. The state is not ‘abolished’, it dies out.”

Modern capitalist society is broadly based upon one central fact — the dominance and enslavement of the many by the few. This is the Socialist Party position. Not all of it, but its essence. The reason we have to repeat it many times, is because the bulk of the working class have never heard it, and few are moved into action. At the risk of wearying those who do understand, we have to iterate and reiterate the one central truth that matters. Our task would be easier if those who do understand, in all cases squared their actions with their belief and did the logical thing — joined the Socialist Party. Socialism is essentially a movement of action. Action, and organised intelligent action at that, is vital to its achievement and yet, there must be thousands of workers, perfectly convinced of the desirability, and of the inevitability of socialism, who have never lifted a finger to bring it nearer. None of this is to deny the value of the ballot-box. The right to vote, on the contrary, constitutes a potentially revolutionary instrument which the majority of workers, once they understand where their true interests lie, can use to take over the state, preparatory to the changeover from capitalism to socialism. 

Is it not time the workers awoke and proceeded to inaugurate a social system wherein all the physically fit adults contribute their quota of labour for the social good—where all engaged in healthy work and none were overworked?

The tactics necessary to achieve socialism is the understanding of, and acting in accordance with, the class struggle—the recognition of the fact that in present-day society two classes exist whose interests are diametrically opposed: the employing class and the employed class.

The employing class own all the wealth produced, and as there is a limit to the amount of wealth that can be consumed by wage-earners—a limit imposed by the limits of the purchasing power of their wages—so there is a limit to the amount that the markets demand. The greater the speed of production the sooner this limit will be reached. The employed class produce the wealth, and the individuals who compose this class, by the necessities of their existence, are compelled to compete with each other for jobs, and so keep wages down to a certain average level.

 Our loyalty is to the working class as a whole and not any one section of it or, rather, any organisation offering to provide a service for any one section of it. Capitalism serves capitalists first and foremost.” That’s why recovery from the COVID19 pandemic and the climate crises require changing the economic system to one that puts people and the planet above profits. If there was ever a time to build a different world, that time is now. It is time for economic democracy, an economy that serves the people, not the wealthy. The reformers must recognize how the state will try to co-opt and water down their demands. Change is coming. What it looks like is up to us.

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