Capitalism is always an ugly, depressing, restrictive system whichever party tries to manage it. It must always condemn the majority to lives of exploitation and poverty. Poverty remains the main cause of a considerable amount of ill health. Millions of children die each year from malnutrition and infection in the Third World. Even in the more affluent countries workers have higher mortality rates than the rich as a result of working in stressful, polluted, alienating environments and living in poor housing conditions.
The primary purpose of the present system is profit. All other things are secondary. Profit is its lifeblood and when it shall cease to flow the system will be dead. Profit first; life, love, liberty — all these must come second. Under such a system workers are shackled by the chains of wage slavery. Working people have been dictated to by the courts, assaulted by the police, duped by the press, condemned by church-leaders, deceived by politicians, betrayed by turn-coats by renegades, preyed upon by careerists, infested by opportunists, deserted by cowards, bled by leeches, and sold out by leaders. But still, we rise up. The power of the socialist movement lies in its capacity to power to shed light, to feed the brain of the working class, arouse them from their torpor, develop their faculties for thinking, teach them their economic class interests, effect their solidarity, and imbue them with the spirit of the impending social revolution.
Today the world is in the hands of billionaires-owners of the largest corporations, the biggest banks; in short, owners or controllers of the huge monopolies. These capitalists, not only own or control the chief means whereby we work and live, but, in fact, control the whole governing machine. They pull the strings. And they use their power to make themselves richer and richer—at our expense. They hire workers to make a profit out of their labour; their capitalist production is for profit, not for use: and to get more profit they slash wages, carry through speed-up and worsen conditions. This mad race for profits ends in a crisis; and then they try to get out of the crisis—at our expense.
But it is not only poverty and insecurity and unemployment which threatens the majority of working people. For the great capitalist employer and financiers have one last use for us all and that is to recruit us for war. The cause of capitalist war is the attempt of each national capitalist group—British, EU, American, Chinese, etc.—to beat its competitors on the world market and to win bigger and bigger profits for its own millionaires. For capitalism has now reached the stage when war is probable. The multinationals and big banks are dominating at home, are dominating through their investments abroad, and that other countries have been divided up amongst them. Therefore the Great Powers are rivals of one another in the world market. This rivalry becomes fiercer and fiercer, firstly by tariffs, quotas, and other economic measures in a trade war but eventually transforming into actual military conflict either directly or by proxy. The most fearsome, ghastly and deadly armaments are being piled up. Science and inventive genius are prostituted to discover and perfect the means of death and destruction of millions, in order to win new markets, territory, and spheres of profitable capitalist investment, to bring rent, interest and profit for a handful of employers, bankers and landlords.
British workers are not blind to the fact that the British capitalist class is just as ruthless and savage as any other capitalist class. British workers must face the fact that all capitalism has to offer them today is poverty and low that they nor their families have any hope or future under capitalism. There is no need for a single worker to be overworked or in dread of losing his job; no reason why an unemployed worker should lack the necessities of life. All over the world millions of workers are year by year coming to realise these facts and to see that nothing except the existence of capitalism prevents them from building up for themselves a decent and secure world. Everywhere the workers are becoming less and less willing to put up with an entirely unnecessary state of destitution. They are showing themselves more and more determined to insist upon their right to food, good health and shelter for themselves and their families. But to get this, capitalism must be overthrown. To get this is only possible by the building up of socialism, giving peace and prosperity, happiness and new life to the whole working population of the world.
We have today ample resources for producing all the things we need. Today we are both unemployed and unable to get the things we need. The two things go together. For we are unemployed because the capitalists want to have their profits and will not let us produce what we need. Deprivation and unemployment can only be ended by taking over and running the industries to give us all a decent standard of living. The workers will produce far better and more willingly under their own management than they do now. For the first time, the British workers will know that greater productivity will no longer be a threat to their livelihood but will make it possible to raise the whole standard of living and shorten the hours of labour.