What differentiates the Socialist Party from other organisations advocating social change is its focus on self-emancipation and its criticism of leaders and all substitutes for the self-activity of the working class. Socialism is distinguished by its principle that the people can only be free when they free themselves from poverty exploitation and oppression. This emancipation from misery cannot be accomplished by mending particular evils but only by a fundamental revolution of society.
We are the Do-It-Yourself movement. Socialism is our goal and with it the abolition of every kind of exploitation and oppression, directed against a class, sex, or race. Socialism as a means to the emancipation without democracy, is unthinkable. Socialism not just the economic re-structuring of production, but democratic organisation of the social and political life of society as well. Socialism starts with the basis principles of freedom and self-liberation.
Ideas that tell working people that they are not ready or are incapable of deciding for themselves keep them from trying to change things. The system that existed in the former Soviet Union and its satellite countries is held out as proof that socialism does not work. Defenders of capitalism are very happy to endorse these dictatorial exploitative regimes as models of socialism to destroy the very concept of socialism in the minds of millions of people. The state owned the means of production – but who owned the state? Certainly not the workers, who were exploited and without control of all levers of social and political power. In what sense was it “socialist”?
Reformist parties have virtually eliminated any demand for socialism from their programmes, promising to maintain private property at all cost. These parties have practically re-defined socialism out of existence. They typically dreamed of “socialising” capitalism from above by increased state intervention in society where socialism is handed down to the grateful masses in one form or another by a ruling elite which is not subject to their control. Our objective is the social revolution – the abolition of capitalism and wage slavery – and the emancipation of the working class.
Direct participation of citizens in the administration of all social matters presupposes the abolition of the modern system of political representation and its replacement by direct popular democracy. The political self-education and the rule of the working class are a necessary preliminary condition of its economic emancipation. It is becoming increasingly clear on the necessity for the social and political revolution is organising into a special socialist party which is hostile to all parties of exploiters. We cannot achieve socialism by making peace with the bourgeoisie.
Future society will be socialist society. This means primarily, that there will be no classes in that society; there will be neither capitalists nor proletarians and, consequently, there will be no exploitation. In that society there will be only workers engaged in collective labour.
Future society will be socialist society. This means also that, with the abolition of exploitation commodity production and buying and selling will also be abolished and, therefore, there will be no room for buyers and sellers of labour power, for employers and employed— there will be only free workers.
Future society will be socialist society. This means, lastly, that in that society the abolition of wage-labour will be accompanied by the complete abolition of the private ownership of the instruments and means of production; there will be neither poor artisans nor rich capitalists—there will be only workers who collectively own all the land and minerals, all the forests, all the factories and mills, all the transport and communications, etc. The main purpose of production in the future will be to satisfy the needs of society and not to produce goods for sale in order to increase the profits of the capitalists. Where there will be no room for commodity production, struggle for profits, etc. Where there are no classes, where there are neither rich nor poor, there is no need for a state, there is no need either for political power, which oppresses the poor and protects the rich. Consequently, in socialist society there will be no need for the existence of political power.
Capitalism rests on the domination of the overwhelming majority by a small minority. And one of the worst things about this domination is that it is experienced as such, without being understood as such. Part of our job as socialists is to help people see through the illusions of capitalism, to understand that we are faced with this stark choice of socialism or barbarism, and to encourage a vision of self-emancipation as both the means and the end, the only means of creating socialism and the essence of what socialism would be. This vision is what the Socialist Party see it is a part of.