The Socialist Party recognises the violence inherent in the present system of exploitation and military aggression which have arisen from it. But individual acts of violence and street-battles with the police are no solution. . No sane person prefers violent to peaceful measures, and so the Socialist Party will rely upon the efficacy of a united class-conscious ballot to accomplish its end. We need urgently to go beyond the widespread disorganisation of demonstrations and protests. While a march against a particular problem may boost morale they have to evolve into opposition to all the manifestations of the ills of capitalist society. There is absolutely nothing shameful, nothing disgraceful in demonstrating against tyranny and showing to all the world that working people will no longer put up with all that they have borne for so long. What is required is to use that energy, that determination and that magnificent spirit in such a way and in such a manner as to win over all those who suffer from the persecution and the cruelties of capitalist society. What is desperately needed is a credible mass socialist movement. It is futile to expect that capitalism will crumble and fall to those who are both unorganised and confused in their objectives. Socialism will not come about by those unwilling or unable to organise themselves. We must build a movement for radical social change. The great task of abolishing the present capitalist system and inaugurating socialism and the fulfilment of the cooperative commonwealth rests with our fellow-workers. The exploited are looking for a way out of the perpetual capitalist crises and the crimes and barbarism of capitalist society.
Capitalism creates a situation where large masses of the people are dissatisfied and embittered, but emboldened by hardships. The capitalist class exploits and oppresses and is the main enemy of all the people of the world. Our only hope lies in revolution—the sweeping away of this rotten system of exploitation. Until the workers get rid of the capitalist system itself, the cause of all the injustices they face, they will constantly have to take up their struggles over and over again. What all workers must understand is that their misery is due to exploitation carried on by the capitalist class. We do not, of course, therefore oppose trade union struggles or refuse to participate in them. We must go further and abolish the wage system itself.
The Socialist Party is necessarily a revolutionary party in the sense above indicated, and its basic demand is the collective ownership of the means of production and distribution and the operation of all industry in the interest of all the people. This will mean an economic democracy. Economic freedom can result only from collective ownership, and upon this vital principle the Socialist Party differs diametrically from every other party. Between private ownership and common ownership there can be no compromise. One produces for profit, the other for use. One produces billionaires and beggars, the other socially equal individuals.
The Socialist Party is the only party that is or can be truly representative of the interests of the working class, the only class essential to society and the class that is destined ultimately to succeed to political power, “not for the purpose of governing men,” in the words of Engels, but “to administer things.” The present form of government, based solely upon private property in the means of production, is wholly coercive; in socialism it will be purely administrative. The only vital function of the present government is to keep the exploited class in subjection by their exploiters. It rules wholly in the interest of the ruling capitalist class. What is socialism? To answer in a single sentence, it means the common ownership by all the people of all the means of wealth production and distribution. The Socialist Party is not a reform party. It does not propose to modify the competitive system, but to abolish it. It stands unequivocally for the common ownership and control of all the means of wealth production and distribution — in a word, socialism.
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