The ideas of socialism held by the Socialist Party are on the ground of a conviction arrived at by reason, observation and evidence, and they are prepared to stand or fall by this test. The mere repetition of an abstract socialist slogans is not of itself sufficient to make a person a socialist. We must be prepared to adopt and act upon the implications which the formula directly involves and the doctrine of the class war involves opposition to all measures in the interest of any section of capitalism.
Socialism will be the most radical break with oppression and exploitation in history. Socialist society will no longer proceeds in chaos, but according to the planned fulfilment of genuine human needs. Socialism will unleash a level of productive forces unknown before in the history of mankind. The aim of the Socialist Party is to replace the world capitalist system with a world cooperative commonwealth. This will mark the end of classes and private property. Commodity production, that is, production for sale or exchange on the market, will not exist. The system of wage labour will be abolished and the guiding principle of labour will be “from each according to ability, to each according to need.” The means of production will be held communally and private property will be eliminated. As classes will not exist, all social and political inequality arising from them will disappear, the state will not be necessary as an instrument of class rule and will gradually have withered away.
Capitalism to-day must answer to the charge of clogging the cogs of progress. A block will be placed upon social evolution if capitalism continues. The Socialist Party accuses employers of being thieves.” But each employer is but a part of the system. No single employer can lessen exploitation and continue to exist. It is the system as a whole that must be judged.
At one period in history there was a justification for the individual ownership of property. When each worker took the raw material and made tools, and then with these tools manufactured cloth or shoes or tilled the ground, each thing produced was to a great extent the product of individual work. To-day this method no longer exists. All things are produced collectively, and still there survives the idea of the “sacredness of private property.” It is to-day the corner stone upon which rests the whole superstructure of capitalist society and class rule. Private property for the worker is but a farce, since the class that preaches most of the virtues of private property is the one that takes from the producing class all that it produces except a scanty subsistence.
Socialism, and only socialism, will create a true world community, a world without national barriers, without international rivalries, without master and slave nations and, hence, a world without war. Its primary duty will be to conduct the affairs of the world with the aim of eliminating poverty, homelessness, hunger and general instability. Its sole criterion would be the needs of the people. Socialism will guarantee peace, security and freedom and prevent the destruction of mankind. Socialism will end the root evil of modern society, i.e., the private ownership of the means of production, the factories, mines, mills, machinery and land, which produce the necessities of life. With socialism, these instruments of production will become the property of society, owned in common, producing for use, for the general welfare of the people as a whole. With the abolition of the private ownership of the means of life and with it the factor of profit as the prime mover of production, the sharp divisions of society between nations and classes will disappear. Then, and only then, will society be in a position to become a social order of abundance and plenty for all, for socialism will create a new world of genuine cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the earth. In abolishing classes in society governments will become administrative bodies regulating production and consumption. They will not be the instruments of the capitalist class, i.e., capitalist governments whose main reason for existence is to guarantee the political as well as the economic rule of big business, their profits, their private ownership of the instruments of production, and the conduct of war in the economic and political interests of this class. World socialism will assess the industrial potential of the world, determine its resources, the needs of the people and plan production with the aim of increasing the standards of living of a free people, creating abundance, increasing leisure and opportunity for cultural enjoyment. Socialism will not concern itself with profits and war, but with providing decent housing for all the people. Socialism will provide work without exploitation. For the aim of socialism is not the increased exploitation and intensification of labor, but the utilisation of machinery, technology, science and invention to diminish toil, to create time in which to permit all the people to enjoy the benefits of social progress.
The modern world contains all the pre-conditions necessary for socialism. All about us we observe gigantic industrial establishments containing machinery which could produce the goods of life in abundance. Mankind has developed a marvellous technology. The discovery and control of atomic energy has not only made it more possible for man to control his natural and social environment to create a fruitful life of abundance, but has made it imperative. Socialism will place at the disposal of science and the scientists all the material means to help create an ever-improving social life for mankind. Under capitalism, scientists are mere wage workers hiring out their skills to private industry. The fruits of their intelligence, learning arid research become the exclusive property of the capitalists who profit from the labour of these scientists. Thus, science has become subordinated to profits rather than to the common good of all mankind. Yet the future society depends in large measure on changing this relation of science to society. Only socialism can place science where it properly belongs: in the service of the people.
Humanity is at a crossroads. We can travel the road of capitalism, i.e., we can travel the road of chaos, war, poverty and barbarism, or we can take the socialist road toward true freedom, peace and security, the road toward a society of plenty for all which would end the exploitation of man by man for all time.