Socialism is not some Utopian scheme. Capitalism has created the economic conditions for socialism. Today there is social production but no social ownership. Socialism will bring social ownership of social production. It is the next step in the further evolution of society. Socialism will be achieved by the capture of political power by the workers and the abolition of capitalism. Working people will take over the economic forces developed by capitalism and operate them in the interests of society. This will bring a qualitative improvement in the lives of the working class. Because working peoples will control the great wealth they produce, they will be fundamentally able to determine their own futures. The end of exploitation of one person by another will be an unprecedented liberating and transforming force.
What, then, will socialism look like? How is Socialism to come? How are you going to bring it about? Socialism will not mean government control. The state serves the interests of the ruling monopoly capitalist class.
Government involvement in the economy is a form of state capitalism. The main means of production – the factories, mines, mills, big workshops, offices, agricultural fields, banks, transportation system, media, communications, medical facilities, big retailers, etc., will be transformed into common-owned property. Private ownership of the main means of production will end. The economy will be geared not to the interest of profit, but to serving human needs. Socialism will open the way for great changes in society.
Our fellow-workers decline to join the Socialist Party nor to vote for the Socialist Party, because the Socialist Party can do nothing to improve conditions now. Our fellow-workers think that certain “reform” parties, or perhaps some “reform” wing of one of the old parties, is going to bring about certain improvements right away.
Socialists, however, realise that present-day society, not only in Great Britain but all over the world, is divided into two classes—the capitalists or owning class, controlling all the means of wealth production and distribution, and the workers who, by reason of their propertyless status in relation to the means of living, are compelled to spend the best part of their lives in their masters’ factories, mills, mines or shops, etc., producing and selling goods. In short, the whole complex business of present-day society is run from top to bottom by members of the working class who, in return for their services, receive wages. You, fellow worker, do not need us to tell you that whatever the amount in your wage-packet, it is never quite enough to, colloquially speaking, “make ends meet.” In fact, in a great number of cases, workers are born to and live a life of direst poverty.
This, then, is where a little simple economic illustration is called for. It is known to socialists as the theory of value and surplus value and can briefly be depicted thus: A worker is paid the rate for the job at which he is employed but that sum will be much smaller than the values he will create during working-hours. This difference is known as surplus-value, and is the source of the capitalists’ income.
For an excellent insight into this aspect of Socialism we would recommend Karl Marx’s "Value, Price and Profit,” in which this question is ably dealt with in a very interesting discourse.
It is irrational to rely on capitalist solutions for the social ills that inflict society when it is capitalism itself that has led us towards those. Statisticians miss one vital point, that food, health and shelter, which are necessary to sustain human life, are produced, not because people need them, but for sale on a market with a view to profit. The only solution to any problem is to remove the cause. Only socialism can solve this problem, a system of society in which goods will be produced solely for use, where people will work according to their ability and take according to their needs. To-day’s productive powers have reached a level where it would be possible for everybody to have enough—even to-day, it would be possible were it not for the capitalist class who control not only their factories, mines, etc,, but our very lives as well. Wages will be an anachronism in a community where "from each according to ability, to each according to needs” is the maxim, and with the existence of common ownership in the means of wealth production and distribution which socialism presupposes, there cannot be use for either masters or money.
Socialists are often dubbed pessimistic. Our policy is not one of pessimism or hopelessness, but we tell you to face up to the facts. The future lies before you and it is up to you to fashion it as you desire. Two roads are here—capitalism or socialism—which one are you going to take? capitalism you know and if you are satisfied with it you will continue to give it your support. We socialists are not satisfied and we have made an effort to understand the world in which we live. Our solution to the problems that confront us is simple — We stand for the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism—a system based on common ownership of the means of wealth production. But we cannot establish socialism until you and the majority of the working class desire it capitalism with all its horrors will be your lot until you join with us to abolish it. If you are unconvinced have a look at the history of capitalism and you will see what it has to offer you.
Are you content to make this your lot? At the end of your life will you be able to say you have enjoyed it to the full? Are you not sick of war, unemployment and misery? Do you want to pass this state of affairs on to posterity? The world is really a very beautiful place; life, too, could be beautiful, and yet the conditions of the majority of the people make it very ugly. If you desire something better why not study the case for socialism? Once you start to do this it will not be long before we will have your agreement. Then you too can join with us in the work that will ultimately lead to the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. Only then will the working class put the past behind them and go forward to a future of peace and prosperity—that of socialism.