The Socialist Party stands for a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interests of the whole community. We are told that this is a “Utopian dream.” The Socialist Party is accused of being incapable of providing details as to daily life inside socialism. The accusation is unreasonable. No person can give with any degree of certainty the details of the future under a new order of things. And no-one who has read history ought to expect this. The latin saying solvitur ambulando, translates as “it is solved as we walk along.” The Socialist Party suggests that if we take care of our principles, then the details will take care of themselves.
The basis of society to-day is a commercial one — the reason for the production and distribution of goods is to make profits and the evils of our present day society are, in the main, due to this exchange economy. The evils of to-day depend on the way in which goods are made and goods are distributed. The only efficient remedy for these evils is a revolution in the method of producing and distributing goods, transforming the purpose into satisfying peoples needs. Socialism is an endeavour to substitute organised co-operation for present day competition and commercial throat-cutting. Socialists propose to do away with the power of capital, in the hands of a private individual, to buy labour-power — i.e., to purchase wage-slaves. Socialism replaces a system of oppressors and oppressed. Class struggle is a unifying force. It is the one thing that all workers have in common, whatever their country, their industry, their gender, colour or sectional interests. Recognising that only through socialism, the common ownership and control of the means of producing wealth, can the people be freed from misery, we declare ourselves a socialist movement, and undertake to conduct propaganda among the people to win them to the need to establish socialism. Only socialism, which ends capitalist exploitation and which endorses the liberation and equality of all can improve the lives of the people.
Today the whole world is in the grip of capitalism. It is an astonishing paradox that, in a world where science and technology have advanced to the stage where there could be plenty for all, there is a growing amount of want and hunger. Not only are untold millions unnecessarily materially deprived but the great majority of the people of the world are oppressed in various ways. Capitalists oppress workers, states oppress whole classes. Working people suffer the worst excesses of oppression and exploitation and often find that their lives are empty and meaningless; enduring severe alienation. Wherever one looks in the world people are turned away from each other and thrown into all manner of antagonistic conflicts. The human species is also developing an antagonistic relationship with its environment. Slowly but surely by poisoning the atmosphere, polluting the oceans and ravaging the land, nature is being turned against us. None of these things is an isolated accident: rather these are all interconnected in one way or another. To make revolution is to put an end to capitalism. Our future must be wrested from the hands of those who, at the cost of unspeakable misery and destruction for the people of the world, are determined to preserve–and chain humanity to–the past.
Capitalism, under any kind of government—whether bourgeois democracy or police state is still a system of minority rule, and the principal beneficiaries of capitalist democracy are the small minority of exploiting capitalists; scarcely less so than the slave-owners of ancient times were the actual rulers and the real beneficiaries of the Athenian democracy. To be sure, the workers in the United States have a right to vote periodically for one of two sets of candidates selected for them by the two capitalist parties. And if they can dodge the witch-hunters, they can exercise the right of free speech and free press. But this formal right of free speech and free press is outweighed rather heavily by the inconvenient circumstance that the small capitalist minority happens to enjoy a complete monopoly of ownership and control of all the mass media and of all other means of communication and information. But even so, with all that, a little democracy is better than none.
Capitalism and socialism are irreconcilable. One or the other must ultimately triumph.