Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Making socialism real

To arrive at a clear understanding, it is necessary first to grasp the nature of class society, otherwise freedom and democracy, like ideas about rights and justice, remain vague concepts. In our Declaration of Principles, we refer to the enslavement of the working class being a consequence of the ownership of the means of living by the capitalist class. This is the number one fact of life of capitalist society. The only sense in which the working class are free is, as Marx explains in The Communist Manifesto, that they are not tied to land or any individual employers, but being divorced from the means of production are free to sell their working abilities on the labour market to any capitalist willing to hire them. Wage-labour is socially enslaved to the capitalist class as a whole.
The capitalists are not a single group with the same interest, but numerous groups with often conflicting interests. Although they all live on the backs of the workers, they dispute among themselves as to which should have the main burden of taxation for the costs of running their system.  The workers then as now blamed their hardships on leaders and parties rather than the system. The fraud of reformism has become the status quo. The institutional forms taken by the national affairs of the capitalist class, which includes the health, education and welfare of the working class, are put over to the workers as freedom and democracy.
For the dubious privilege of having his children’s heads stuffed with nationalism and religion, while being trained for a life of wage-slavery, and the benefits bestowed by the Welfare/Warfare state to relieve the worst extremes of poverty, the worker is expected to rejoice that he is remembered at election times and invited to vote for the continuation of things as they are. Just as capitalist politicians debated the dangers of teaching workers to read and had no choice but to do so, they also debated the wisdom of universal suffrage. The provision of facilities for lobbying opinion to decide how property interests and profitability can best be served is not the same thing as freedom. There is no provision made for expressing socialist views; these fall outside the province of profit promotion, and have to make their own way. The capitalist conception of freedom can never amount to more than the freedom of the capitalist class to trade, legislate and arm against their rivals. For them, the first freedom must always be the freedom to exploit wage labour. Even the contesting of elections is tightly circumscribed by money, resources and access to the media. political power of capitalism are built upon the ownership of the means of production and distribution by the capitalist class. The prevailing ideology and morality reflect the interests of private property. The non-owning class are fed false information and miseducated to produce attitudes in conformity with the dominance of private property and profits. Attitudes towards money, wages, leadership, housing, inflation, trade and war, are manipulated by the schools, press, radio and t.v. on the basis of the prior assumptions of the capitalist interest. The skilful use of spurious information and a pretence of a debate excludes views which reject those prior assumptions.
Political power of capitalism are built upon the ownership of the means of production and distribution by the capitalist class. The prevailing ideology and morality reflect the interests of private property. The non-owning class are fed false information and miseducated to produce attitudes in conformity with the dominance of private property and profits. Attitudes towards money, wages, leadership, housing, inflation, trade and war, are manipulated by the schools, press, radio and t.v. on the basis of the prior assumptions of the capitalist interest. The skilful use of spurious information and a pretence of a debate excludes views which reject those prior assumptions.
What sustains their continued acceptance of capitalism, is the fact that workers everywhere, are side tracked into struggling for a host of other issues. For socialists, the attainment of freedom means the abolition of classes and democracy is inseparable from socialism.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Arouse, Ye Wage-Slaves!

We socialists know what the matter is: it’s capitalism; and we know what the cure is: it’s socialism. Capitalism is a thing, a system; it’s the organization of society under which we all live. And it’s wrong, fundamentally wrong. It is a system of competition for wealth, for the necessities of human life, and, a survival of the old struggle of the jungle, it forces the individual to . be selfish, and rewards him for beating and abusing his fellow man. Profit is made the aim of all human effort, not use, not service. The competitive system sets man against man. It puts a premium upon hate; and love— the love of a man for his neighbor — is abnormal and all but impossible. The system crucifies the prophets and servants of mankind. It rewards greed the most, honours the ruthless, and advances the unscrupulous.

Our appeal to the workers is do not to vote for ourselves. All we ask is that you think, organize, and go into politics for yourselves. We aren’t contesting elections to win office; not yet. We want a majority of socialists, not of votes. There would be no use getting into power with a people that did not understand. The cooperative commonwealth can come only when the people know enough to want to work together, and when, by working together to win, they have developed a common sense of common service. We ask men and women to sacrifice the present for the future, to ‘throw away their votes’ to mark the rising tide of protest and build up a party that will represent them.

Socialists are the inheritors of a civilisation and all that is good in it — art, music, institutions, architecture, not one of these should be lost. And violence would lose us much. The people haven’t all they need, and yet there’s an abundance, a surplus. The hitch is in distribution. The capitalist, producing, not to supply the demand, but to get his profit. The capitalists can’t govern themselves. They can’t control prices, because they can’t control their own nature, which is bred under the sordid profit system. Socialism will be an entirely different system. It will produce for use, not profit. With socialism, all industry would be intelligently managed and freed from the brutalising temptation of profits. It’s the profit system we want to abolish. We want the producers to get all they produce. The producers are all who labour in any productive way, mentally or physically. We would get rid only of the capitalists, stockholders, and financiers, who rake off fortunes for themselves and leave property in machinery and wage-slaves to keep their children in idleness, or vice, a curse to themselves and a burden on mankind for ever and ever and ever. We take away all incentive to steal and graft and finance and overproduce and shut up the shop sudden. We all would do our work, as most of us do it now, without the incentive of a fortune in prospect. Wouldn’t a fireman save a child’s life if he didn’t get a salary? Men and women are better than we are led to believe; they are less selfish than your ‘economic man.’ We have heroes of altruism under the present system. Socialists don’t propose to substitute altruism for self-interest. The capitalist system levels most men down now? It takes all the individuality, all the courage, self-respect, liberty, and beauty out of the great mass of mankind. There would be emulation after competition is abolished. Men and women would vie in skill and service, and that would produce individuality and character, though of a different sort. We would level up, not down. We would let humanity develop naturally. If we took away the fear of starvation on the one hand and on the other the tremendous rewards for crookedness and exploitation; removed all incentives to base self-seeking, and arranged things so that the good of the individual ran, not counter to, as at present, but parallel with, the good of society, why, then, at last, human beings would stand erect, frank, free, friendly, and happy.

How do socialists account for war, for example, and graft; political corruption, ignorance, child labour, crime, and poverty? Some men prosper off others. We see the majority of men and women working for the few. That’s what we call wage- slavery, and it is slavery. The employer say they might quit work; that the boss will let them go. But the fear of starvation is the boss’s slave-driver. They don’t dare quit. The wage-slaves work in competition, and they produce goods that they need but haven’t enough money to buy. That’s poverty. And the measure thereof is the riches of the exploiters of labour, industry, and finance. And the other cause of poverty is the waste of competition and the artificial halt of production — to keep up prices and profits. Petty and professional crime are a result of poverty; high crime springs from wealth-seeking. The poor aren’t poor because they drank; they drink because they are poor. Child labour is simply the meanest form of the exploitation of human beings by human beings, and, as I showed, is due, not to any inherent cruelty in the employer, but to the system of which he also is a victim — the capitalistic system which puts profits first and children. Take a willing worker, overwork and underpay him, keep him on the verge, and then when he and his kind cannot consume what they produce, discharge him. He leaves his family to hunt a job, and, finding none, tramps or commits a crime. His children suffer, go young to work; they learn that their father is a bum or a crook. They are discouraged. The father drinks; they drink. Their children are, the best of them, perhaps, criminals, and the others, vagrants. It will stop by abolishing the cause — poverty and riches.

Socialism is the cooperative control and the democratic management of the means of production. Socialism is the next natural stage in the evolution of human society; an organisation of all men into an ordered, cooperative commonwealth in which they work together, consciously, for a common purpose: the good of all, not of the few, not of the majority, but of all. With socialism people would exercise their abilities for the common good and their own greater satisfaction. Art and culture will become common. All will have leisure. The schools will teach liberty and the trades, justice and democracy and work, beauty, truth, and the glory of labor, efficient and honourable. The arts will thrive, as they always have, in a free, cultivated democracy. There always will be some work less attractive than other kinds. Machines will do the dirty work.

Socialism does not abolish private property, except in the means of production. We want all men to have all they produce, all; we are for private property; it is capitalism that is against it. Under capitalism only the few can have property. We do not preach hate. We are opposed to classes. We teach the worker not to strive to rise out of his or her class; not to want to be an employer, but to stay with his fellow workers, and by striving all together, industrially,  politically, learn to cooperate for the common good of the working class to the end that some day we may abolish classes and have only workers — all kinds of workers, but all producers. Then we should have no class at all, should we? Only men and women and children. Socialists are only preparing the minds of our fellow-workers for it

Monday, September 28, 2020

 It’s Up to Us!

Socialism will come into being mainly as the result of a conflict of interest between the possessing and the non-possessing classes. Reformists look towards the mutual good understanding and good intentions of the ethical good elements of all classes to recognise the wickedness of the capitalist system to bring about the co-operative commonwealth. Many socialists deny that socialism presupposes any radical change in individual character at all, or that it has anything necessarily to do with what is known as selfishness or unselfishness in the present condition of society. The human qualities with which socialism will be brought about, and upon which it will have to be based upon, we are convinced, is no more represented by the unselfish saint than it is by the ultra-selfish egotist.

 What we contend is that socialism, as primarily an economic transformation, brought about by the class struggle between the working class and the capitalist class, will change the character of all who come under the influence of the new conditions with quite different virtues and vices. The transformation of modern civilisation into the co-operative commonwealth, involving the greatest change known at least to history, must necessarily result in a corresponding change in the content of mankind’s nature. That the ultra-selfish individualist engendered by competitive conditions will speedily disappear in socialism we may fairly take for granted, just as we see no reason to expect that the unselfish saint will become more numerous even under socialism than he or she is at present. It is not the hearts of men and women, but the conditions of society that socialists intend to change. It is the transformation of society we seek and in doing so we want rather enlightened selfishness than unselfishness. The class-conscious worker full of the class war spirit could hardly be described as an unselfish saint identifying ones own interest with that of one’s class. The reorganisation of society in a socialist sense; we must lose no opportunity of proclaiming, does not require for its vindication men and women as paragons of unselfish virtue. It presupposes simply – an ordinary person.

We want the cooperative commonwealth. Our part is to get control of political power, in order to complete the transition to the socialist society peacefully and systematically. In whatever way socialism comes, we must have a majority of the people in favour of it. The Socialist Party does not hold with the small, well-disciplined minority theory assuming command and imposing socialism. It is the work of the Socialist Party to clarify and educate the vast amount of vague, undeveloped socialist sentiment existing today, and crystallize and organise it into something palpable and definite. The somewhat abstruse doctrines of Marxian economics must be popularised and put into such simple form and language. Ways must be devised of getting information and knowledge into the hands and heads of all workers.To institute a global cooperative commonwealth we must have a world organisation.

We must resurrect socialism from surviving on life-support. Restoring the validity of the socialism is not merely an academic project. The  aim of the Socialist Party is to establish socialism and abolish the right of one man to rob another of the fruits of his or her labour. This is what makes our Party different from all others. Nowhere in the world has socialism been established. To make revolution and put an end to capitalism, the proletariat must have a clear strategic orientation, a clear plan. It must determine what the nature of the struggle is, who are its main enemies, and who are its friends. Every day workers pour their sweat into production and experience the life-killing exploitation on which the system is built. 

 Working people build houses and live in hovels; manufacture clothes and wear second-hand garments; generate electricity and freeze; mill flour and starve; make shoes and go barefooted; sell their bodies and boast they’re free; curse effects, don’t see causes; complain about the rich capitalists yet vote for them; eat, sleep, toil, don’t read or think; love capitalism and hate socialism. Low wages and long hours mean a harvest of profits to those who buy labour, and a world of misery to those who must sell their labour to live. Nearly all the laws in existence have been made for the protection of life and property, and as the judges of the courts are the creatures of the capitalist class, they so construe the laws that all of the force of government is used to protect the life and property of the capitalist class.

Socialism is coming. Don’t say it is far off. If you believe in Socialism, vote for it. It will never come any other way. Vote for the platform and candidates of the Socialist Party. That is the party which stands uncompromisingly for socialism. Refuse to vote for the palliatives, the half-way measures of the decoy capitalists political parties. A vote for a capitalist party is a vote for robbery of the working class. Vote for the interests of the working class. Be a class-conscious socialist.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Which Future?


Let us frankly admit we are living in the aftermath of great defeats suffered by the labour and socialist movements internationally. The working class requires revitalisation.  We believe that humanity can develop a healthy society of prosperity and peace. Capitalism is at a loss to reconstruct such a world. Hunger and poverty in the midst of plenty; war and climate change uprooting of millions of people; renewed totalitarianism; diplomatic duplicity – this catalogue of the aspects of capitalist society can be continued indefinitely. Capitalism is beyond redemption, beyond reform. It is sick, moribund and overripe for change. No realistic desirable alternative exists other than a thorough socialist reconstruction if It is not to sink completely into a new era of barbarism.

Class war is the inevitable result of an economic system in which 'anything goes if you're rich enough and winners take most'. The modern class war has been waged between wage-earners (who sell their labour) and their employers (owners of capital and the means of production). These classes have been assigned various names (proletariat, bourgeoisie, capitalists, etc.)

We need a vision of hope, not one of a dystopian future. We need to get beyond "wake-up call". We need to galvanize people to act with the urgency required to pull us back from the brink of oblivion. This process is not about terrifying people with apocalyptic images but explaining the choices before them. Far from gloom and doom, a powerful sense of resistance and a determination for change is what the Socialist Party advocates.  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—that is what is at the heart of understanding how we can survive. We provide a plan for a regenerative sustainable socialism. We want a society not for profit but one of common good.

Capitalism, as we have pointed out on numerous occasions, has been unable to solve any of the contradictions which are tearing apart mankind. It has channelled revolutionary struggles of the masses into the blind alley of nationalism and class collaboration. World capitalism is ripe for socialist transformation.  Capitalism cannot be reformed; it must be abolished and replaced. Do you want a society of abundance, production for use? Then you must fight for socialism. Do you want a future without wars, without terrorist bombing? Then you must fight for socialism. Either chaos and destruction – or socialist reconstruction.  The socialist perspective is more valid, more essential than ever because it alone meets the problems of our times. We unfurl the red banner of socialist revolution; we stand with our comrades throughout the world; we march towards the future.

The Socialist Party is the only international political party in the world. The fundamental principles of modern socialism are essentially the same in all lands. The Socialist Party recognises no national boundary lines. A socialist is a socialist irrespective of nationality, colour, creed, or sex in working-class solidarity for economic freedom. Every worker everywhere is a brother or a sister. Across the borders of all lands socialists clasp hands as comrades. As a socialist party, we pledge our fidelity to the principles of international socialism as embodied in the united thought and action of the socialists of all nations. The socialist movement, therefore, is a world movement. It knows of no conflicts of interests between the workers of one nation and the workers of another. It stands for the freedom of the workers of all nations; and, in so standing, it makes for the full freedom of all humanity

The Socialist Party is the only party that honestly stands for economic justice, which is impossible in a system based upon exploitation. Socialism is the next phase in the social evolution of civilisation. Socialism means that all those things upon which the people in common depend shall by the people in common be owned and administered; that the tools of employment shall belong to their creators and users; that all production shall be for the direct use of the producers; that the making of goods for profit shall come to an end; that we shall all be workers together; and that all opportunities shall be open and equal to all men and women. 

The campaign of the Socialist Party is and will be wholly educational. To arouse the consciousness of the workers to their economic interests as a class, to develop their capacity for clear thinking, to achieve their solidarity industrially and politically is to invest the working class with the inherent power it possesses to abolish the wage system and free itself from every form of servitude, and this is the mighty mission of the world socialist movement. The people, like helpless children, are forever looking for some “great man” and “enlightened leader” to watch over and protect them. Socialists are not looking for some mythical Moses to lead them into a fabled promised land. They have made up their minds to be their own leaders and to save themselves. They know that persons have deceived them and will again, so they put their trust in principles, knowing that these will not betray them.

The Socialist Party is the only party that does not want a vote that is not intelligently cast. The popularity of a candidate is against him rather than for him in the Socialist Party. No vote is wanted on account of the personality of a candidate.  Better united on the solid basis of principle, than ten times that number thrown together on the shifting sands of personality. It is the value of the socialist principle that is taught and emphasised, and if this is not understood and approved the vote is not wanted. In the socialist movement principles are paramount; the candidates are the last and least consideration. The supreme question is, “What are the principles?” Mere disgust with other parties is not accepted by socialists as sufficient reason to encourage the voting of the Socialist ticket. Such votes are unreliable, deceptive and misleading. The men who cast them are apt to desert at the very time they are most needed Any vote that is subject to the influence of personal considerations is so vacillating that it is of no use in the constructive work of a revolutionary political movement.

The Socialist Party addresses itself to the working class and it appeals to the ballot for the realisation of its cooperative commonwealth. One class now owns the machinery while another class uses them. One class is small and rich and the other large and poor. One wants more profit and the other more wages. One consists of capitalists and the other of workers. These two classes are at war. Every day of truce is at the expense of labour. There can be no peace and good will between these two essentially antagonistic economic classes. This class conflict be covered up or smoothed over.

The workers are not all blind to the causes underlying this great struggle. They are beginning to see and to think, and many of them will begin to act. Why should our fellow-workers support the Socialist Party? Because it is the only party that is unequivocally committed to their economic interests, to the abolition of the wage-system and the freedom of the worker from exploitation and every other species of servitude. The Socialist Party does not expect the support of the capitalist class, for it is opposed to their economic interests, and it would be foolish to expect them to abolish themselves. The Socialist Party is the party of the workers, who are on the right side of this worldwide struggle, and, although a minority today, it contains all the elements of self-development and will expand to majority proportions to inaugurate the impending change as certain as the forces of industrial evolution are undermining the present system and making that change inevitable.

The Socialist Party is the party of the present and of the immediate future. It believes that the competitive system has outlived its usefulness, that it has become an obstruction in the path of progress, that, like feudalism, from which it sprang, it must pass away. The Socialist Party stands for the abolition of the wage system, for the economic freedom as well as the political equality of the working class, knowing that without the former the latter is impossible. The Socialist Party stands for the common ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution and the operation of industry in the interest of all. The Socialist Party stands for wealth may be produced for the use of all instead of for the profit of a few , in which every citizen shall have the inalienable right to enjoy all the fruits of society’s collective labour.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Patience and persistence always will prevail

Shall we ever see socialism in our time? Do you think we shall ever live to see it? Our organisation says, socialism is feasible and within reach right now. These are our reasons.

This system of society is called capitalism. Its essential feature is that a great numbers of people around the world co-operate to produce that which humanity needs but the  machinery they use is the property of a comparatively small number of individuals, who, by virtue of such ownership, take the whole of the product, returning to the labourers, on the average, just sufficient of the proceeds to enable them to support life and continue to work. The wealth produced to-day is produced for the market. The continuity of a capitalist concern depends upon its ability to obtain and hold markets. Without markets it dwindles and dies. There is no standing still. It is either going for ward of back. If it goes forward, it carries its own Nemesis with it; for among the products it must export are the very machines that will in turn make the market first self-supporting, and later into a competitor. If it go back, it automatically condemns to idleness, hunger, and possible insurrection the source of its own riches, the workers, without whom the whole of its machinery is so much scrap-iron.

It becomes a question about those who own the social machinery

Consider these facts. During the last ten years probably a hundred millions of people have died as a result of war, famine, and pestilence (coronavirus). Add to these the millions of unemployed in every capitalistic country. Think of the loss in productive capacity of those millions. Think of the loss as consumers. We are told this is a period of bad trade, of recession, of decreased productivity, of poverty-stricken markets. What will it mean when Capitalism gets going again; when trade revives; when  What other than that the present slump will be succeeded by a brief period of feverish bustle of prodigious production, of tremendous effort, and then— and then, what? Markets choked, production stopped, unemployment colossal, and slump abysmal.

These things will gradually awake the worker to a knowledge of his position. As the water wears the stone away, so the disappointments and sufferings will eventually wear away the workers' support of capitalism. In our opinion, human society is ripe for socialisation now, immediately. It wants but a working class ready, willing, and, above all, organised, to take the means of human life out of the hands of those who now use them for individual gain and convert them into instruments for the common well-being. The opportunity arises at each General Election, for, as the capitalists conserve their power by their hold on the machinery of government, so, with the accession to power of a majority of workers' delegates, backed by an organised working class, can the people achieve that social ownership of its own means of life, which we call socialism. This can be achieved in our time. This is within the compass of the present year. There is no need to await the brutal bludgeoning of the next slump, or the one after that. The first requisite is understanding; the next organisation; and then a realisation that they are best combined by joining the Socialist Party—now.

Every member of the Socialist Party commenced with a relatively limited amount of knowledge, usually dearly bought in the hard school of working-class experience; but he or she knows that such a step inevitably leads to the desire to study and enlarge that knowledge. Unfortunately, the new convert to socialism is often inclined to enthuse over anything that is supposed to call for working-class activity and support; he or she is fired with zeal and interest in matters which, a later and clearer perception will teach, are about as much to do with the socialist objective as the programme of the Labour Party. It by no means follows that he or she should not endeavour to understand each and every phase of political activity, but a clear understanding of their socialist position IS FIRST NECESSARY to enable him to analyse and explain the uselessness of such and such a movement to our class. No member of the Labour Party could show that even the realisation of the whole of their programme would confer the slightest permanent benefit upon the workers; they can only impress and delude the politically ignorant. Mere eagerness to do something without an objective, which is the result of scientific deduction, may even be in a direct line to perpetuate decadent capitalism. All reforms are a standing example of such waste of effort as far as socialism is concerned.

It is often easier to instruct and help members of the working class in obtaining real socialist knowledge who have NOT imbibed some half-baked unscientific notions of the so-called "Communist" and other left-wing organisations, seeking the support of the workers, than it is with those who, though professing socialists, are confused, and, in reality, unconsciously enemies of the working class. Before one can lay any claim to the name of socialist, it is essential that an understanding be based upon a scientifically drawn-up foundation; only then can the worker discard false conceptions and avoid the errors so common to the pseudo and the sentimental reformer.

That foundation is to be found in the principles of the Socialist Party. There, in simple, working-class language, is the guide to action. Once understood, no matter how brilliant the oratory or rhetoric, or how touching the appeal may be that is. made by people who claim that their heart bleeds for the worker—he will know that there is one way, and ONE WAY ONLY, to working-class emancipation, and that is. the way of class-conscious concerted action by the workers themselves. That is the knowledge that will enable the workers to obtain the power to wrest, by their political supremacy, the means to the glorious heritage that awaits them. Without that knowledge, however much skill and dexterity they may possess as workers, they remain slaves, by reason of the ignorance of their position in society. Once a majority obtain that knowledge, the advent of the socialist commonwealth is at hand. Fellow-workers, join with us; the smallest effort helps to speed the day.