Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Social Democracy


Working people may have not yet reached a socialist society  but the idea of revolution, of remaking society from below, is stronger than ever in the popular mind. We are told that not achieving socialism is proof of its impossibility and evidence of the permanence of capitalism. They say very little about  who calls themselves socialists and what is meant by “socialism”. We have heard different definitions. If you call toadstools mushrooms and eat them, you will poison yourself. The definitions of the intellectuals of all hues and gradations are just as false promoted by the ruling class itself to mislead and misinform.

Socialism should be described as a society of the free and equal, and democracy was defined as the rule of the people. The Communist Manifesto linked socialism and democracy together as end and means. The “self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority” cannot be anything else but democratic, if we understand by “democracy” the rule of the people, the majority. Constructing society where workers remain without voice or vote in the process is  foreign to the thoughts of socialists. The reformist idea that socialism can be handed down by degrees is an alien concept for socialists. The rule of the working class cannot be exercised by deceiving the  people, but only by their active involvement in every part of the political life of society.

 The emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves. The socialist reorganisation of society requires a workers’ revolution. Such a revolution is unthinkable without the participation and consent of the majority. Government nationalisation of industry and transport does not signify the establishment of socialism. 

 Socialism as a class-free society with abundance, freedom and equality for all; a society in which there would be no state, not even what’s called workers’ state. The Communist Manifesto depicts socialist administration as “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”

Capitalism is 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-masters of past times. While chattel slavery may be gone, wage-slavery still exists. Despite the formal right of free speech and free media, the small capitalist minority happens to enjoy an almost complete monopoly of ownership and control of all the big press, of television and radio, and dominate all other expressions of social media on the internet.

 Another definition of socialism is “economic democracy” the extension of democracy to industry, the democratic control of the means of production by the workers and their communities where  exclusive private ownership is excluded.  The ruling class never stop preaching that their form of government is the most democratic on earth yet those who run this world are a small handful of bankers and businessmen and billionaires and they own the vast productive forces–the factories, the mines, transport and communication systems and exploit the majority of the population, for their own private benefit and gain. The state, the police, army, courts, the bureaucracy of the civil service and other institutions are controlled by this capitalist class. It is not a dictatorship of one autocrat or a plutocratic clique. It is a concealed class dictatorship  under the camouflage of democracy, where a tiny handful of profit-makers rules society and uses the state as their machine to suppress the working people.  The capitalists do not openly admit their rule. Instead they claim that this is a democracy where everyone shares power and takes part in running the government.

Once power power has been acquired by the working people they will  socialise the ownership of the means of production, making them the common property of society and the state as such will be replaced by the common administration of society by all its members.

We do change the world. One generation merges into another. The hopes of yesterday’s socialist pioneers become the inspiration of the socialists of today, and by them are revolutionary ideas passed on to the socialist movement of tomorrow. Unite and rally around the red banner. Above all think for yourselves, and in thinking for yourselves we will develop an understanding which will give power to the working class.

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