Let us explain. Exchange is a social relation of private owners. Socialism abolishes exchange by free distribution. Socialists under socialism will ALL commonly OWN. Common ownership of the "means of exchange" means precisely "common ownership of private ownership." If by "workers' control" it is meant control of the ownership and distribution of the wealth the workers produce, it obviously cannot be under capitalism. Capitalism is a system based on private ownership; so long as capitalists own, they control.
Capitalism, the social system in which you live, is based upon the ownership and control of the means of production—land, factories, railways, and so on—by a privileged, property-owning class—the capitalist class—that lives out of the incomes from investments of capital. The means of production and distribution are operated by you, the working class, who are compelled to sell your power to work for wages or salaries in order to live. They can live without working but you must find employment in order to live. Your interests, that is the interests of the working class, are opposed to the interests of the capitalist class. The incomes of the capitalists come from what you produce above what it costs to enable you to live and raise a family. It is, therefore, in the interest of the capitalist to make you work as hard as possible for as low a real wage as possible, whilst it is to your interest to do the opposite. Hence their appeals to you to tighten your belts and accept wage freezing, and your tendency to rebel against this. The goods you produce must be sold by the capitalist before he can reap his surplus. Out of this fact comes the struggle for markets, the periodical crises, unemployment and wars.
The trade wars in the search for markets and sources of raw materials has brought about a division of labour within the world as a whole. A ship, a railway, a loaf of bread involves the use of materials from all over the world and the cooperative labour of workers doing different kinds of work. Capitalism has made the world into one vast whole, each section depending upon the others. The spread of modern conditions to all parts of the world is rapidly bringing the people of the world up to one level of development. Modern machines, modern methods and modern ideas are making headway everywhere. Yet the result of it all is the world in which you live with its antagonisms, its poverty problems, its insecurity and its barbarous wars. Problems for which there is no solution whilst the present system remains.
Socialism will abolish the antagonisms that are rooted in the class ownership of the means of production; it will dissolve the disharmony that hinders the enjoyment of the full fruitfulness of world unity and co-operative labour. Socialism is a system of society in which the means of production and distribution will be commonly owned and will be used to provide all mankind with the things necessary for a secure and comfortable life. There will be no privileged class. Each member of society will give according to capacities and take according to needs, If the productive capacity of today were used reasonably there would be no difficulty in meeting the reasonable needs of all. Once the majority of you understand this and work for it the problem of the future will be solved. The movement for socialism is directly in your interest and it is, therefore, you who must bring about this social change.
The policy of replacing capitalism with socialism is the only practical way to solve the problems of today. Leaving the world to race on to disaster is the opposite of practical. With socialism, the whole of the people of the world, in free association, will control the conditions of existence and the aim will be to make that existence as pleasant and satisfying as human ingenuity can contrive. Work will be done under the best conditions that can be devised and harmful occupations will be abolished; people will be prepared to do without those few things that can only be got at the cost of evil consequences to the producers. Educational facilities will be of the best, open to all, and not clouded by the necessity of learning what is necessary to find the elusive road to employment and social security. When all the evil influences that make working unpleasant today have been cleared away it will be possible to enjoy working. You enjoy working when you do what you like to do; what you dislike today is not work itself but the conditions under which you have to work. Just think for a moment of the evils that will disappear with the disappearance of capitalism. As there will be no buying or selling and therefore no production for profit money will no longer be needed and hence no one will sell his self-respect for it; when bread and other things are as free as the air we breathe no one can become a thief; when each takes part equally in arranging social affairs there will be no servility or dictatorship; when the avenues to happiness are open to everyone no one will gain by bribery or corruption. And so one could go through the evils that have a corrupting influence today and lead to social misery.
As you are the people who will organise and run socialism you must understand and want it before the change can take place. In order to bring it about you must, first of all, send delegates to Parliament mandated for this sole purpose. The powers of government are centred in Parliament and before you can take away from the capitalists their ownership of the means of production you must take away from them their control of the powers of government.