Friday, October 16, 2020

Understanding who we are


The Socialist Party proposes that all resources, all land and buildings, all manufacturing work-places, mines, the means of transportation and communication, should be, not private property, but the common property of all. We propose that production be made to serve the needs of society, rather than to serve the needs of a few parasites. It is a planned economy on the basis of common ownership without any class division. Experience has proved that rational planning under capitalism is impossible. When we speak of a society organised on the basis of planned production and distribution what we have in mind is very simple. It is clear-cut. Do away with production for profit. Distribute the fruits of social production among all the members of society. Improve their well being. Increase production still more by further improved technology. Distribute the benefits of this increased production again among the people without exception to enrich the economic and cultural life of all the members of society and to ease their labour. Continue this process. When you do so there will be no crises, no unemployment, no exploitation, no wars, no fear of the future. Scientific advance on a colossal scale reduces human labour to the easy task of supervising machinery a few hours a day. It leaves mankind free to engage in other pursuits. It makes everybody responsible for the welfare of all. There is no exploitation, no oppression, no insecurity, no poverty. Life is made humane. 

The purpose of the Socialist Party is to help educate our fellow-workers of the necessity of united political action against the encroachments of the corporations and at the same time teach the need to abolish capitalism and make the workers, instead of the parasites, the masters of the world. We live in the capitalist system, so-called because it is dominated by the capitalist class. In this system the capitalists are the rulers and the workers the subjects. The capitalists are in a decided minority and yet they rule because of the ignorance of the working class. So long as the workers are divided they will remain in subjugation, exploited of what they produce, and treated with contempt by the parasites who live out of their labour. So long as the workers are content with conditions as they are, so long as the workers are meek and submissive followers, mere sheep, they will be fleeced.

The Socialist Party is the party of the workers, organised to express in political terms their determination to break their chains and rise to the dignity of free men and women. Socialism means throwing the parasites off the workers’ back. And socialism means workers’ control of industry. Nationalisation will bring the working people little good as the same exploiting gang is left to control and manage the nationalised industries to yield happy returns. Society is clearly treading the road to the abyss. We believe in the emancipation of humanity from the age-long enslavement by the class state and class rule. The abolition of the capitalist system and the wage slavery upon which it is based will put an end to the misery of the millions and nothing else can do it. The millions of workers — wage-slaves, male and female, must be aroused to consciousness of their class interests and their class power. Great as the task is, it must be accomplished by the working class itself. The wage workers of the world today are poor as a rule and ignorant as a class, but the constitute the overwhelming majority. In other words, they have the power but are not conscious of it. The working class alone does the world’s work, creates its capital, digs its wealth from out of the ground, builds its factories, its mills, its transport, conquers the rivers and the mountains, manufactures the things that support the people, feeds and clothes the multitude. Organisation means getting together with a common understanding and a common end in view, and working systematically for the attainment of that end. The rich did not gain their wealth by honesty, industry, self-denial and close attention to business and they preach that poverty is a blessing and wage-slavery a privilege. Labour is exploited, profits are robbery, the rich are parasites. The workers have the ballot and can use it for their own emancipation. All wealth is produced by labour, but it is taken by the capitalists. The capitalists own the natural resources and machinery of production and the capitalists live in luxury and extravagance never before heard of in the history of the world. They control government and all institutions of society by means of their wealth; they get their wealth by means of controlling the job, the source of all wealth. As long as the capitalists remain in control governments bow to them, courts do their bidding, politicians grovel at their feet, the media colour the news and distort facts in their interest and intellectuals fawn over them. They control all these elements of society by means of their wealth, and they get their wealth by virtue of their control of industry. The only way to abolish capitalism is to strike at the root. While the capitalists revel in luxury in extravagance, the workers are condemned to lives of poverty, ignorance, toil and privation. They lack economic security. 

Poverty and the fear of poverty render their lives miserable. The average worker is not more than a few weeks away from a state of destitution. If we should become sick or injured, we quickly become a burden to friends or relatives or beg for charity. 

Thousands are killed annually in the industrial accidents. Hundreds of thousands die from occupational diseases. Millions of children are deprived of education, many are stunted and dwarfed physically and mentally, millions go hungry to school. Having no standing before the law, workers are hounded by the police, victimized by the courts and subjected to all kinds of abuse, injustice and tyranny. Lacking wealth, workers lack power. Workers run industry and carry on production. They can do this without capitalists, while without workers, capitalists are helpless. Social control means possession of the source of all wealth and social power. When the workers control industry, they will own the earth. When a worker knows these facts, he has a correct understanding of conditions.

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