"He who dreams that he can lead a great crowd of fools without a great store of knavery is a fool.” - Voltaire
We see a system of society, in which a small minority, the capitalist class, own the means of producing wealth. We see that this class no longer takes an active part in the production of the wealth which they own, and of which they retain a large part after paying wages to the workers, the real producers. We see that the capitalist class have ceased to be socially useful and that the organisation of society which they built up, and which was in its time and place necessary and an advance on previous systems, has become a hindrance to further progress. We see that the capitalists maintain their position by their control of the machinery of government, and we know they will not willingly abdicate their privileged position. Because of this, we ask the worker to organise for the conquest of power so that they may wrest from the ruling class their hold on the means, of life, and may rebuild society on the basis of common ownership and democratic control. We strive for something definite and material. We want to abolish capitalism. We stand for the destruction of wage slavery and the profit-making system. Socialism alone lies the hope of the working people.
SOCIALISM is the only remedy for present or future working-class ills and one that can be applied as soon as the workers choose to apply it. We contend that socialism is the only object worthy of working-class support. The sooner you turn aside from the long-exploded quack remedies offered to you and set yourselves to the task of promoting socialism and organising the workers for its accomplishment, the sooner your problems will be solved, and the less will be the cost to you in poverty and suffering.
The workers, the producers of wealth, are poor because they are robbed; they are robbed because they may not use the machinery of wealth production except on terms dictated by the owners, the propertied class. The remedy for working-class poverty and other social ills is the transfer of ownership of these means of production from the capitalist class to society. That, in a few words, is the case for socialism. The work of rebuilding society on this new basis cannot be started until power is in the hands of a socialist working class, and that cannot be until many millions have been convinced of the need for change and are broadly agreed on the way to set to work to bring it about.
Some critics tell us to devote our energy to make the best of capitalism by getting “something now”? By “something now” they mean higher wages, increased State benefits, and other like proposals. It may then come as a surprise to them that we also believe in getting something now. We differ in that we are not willing to subordinate our campaigning for socialism to the demand reforms from the capitalists, and instead, we hold that the best way to get these things is by the revolutionary activity of an organisation of revolutionaries. In other words, the quickest and easiest method of getting reforms from the ruling class is to let them see that it will endanger their position to refuse.
While we recognise that socialism is the only permanent solution, we are do not consider that the capitalists cannot provide better conditions for the workers. If the workers would, cease to struggle for improvements, they’d soon find that there is still room for a worsening of their conditions, and on the other hand were they free from the mental blindness which prevents them from striking a blow when and where it would be most damaging, they might, even within capitalism, raise their standard of living and diminish their insecurity.
Unfortunately, they do not yet see the brutal facts of the class struggle, and too often allow themselves to be paralysed by action by their belief in the supposed community of interest between them and their exploiters, by their response to every deceitful appeal in the name of patriotism, and by their lack of confidence in their own powers and intelligence. They will put up a straight fight against their employers, but they have not yet seen through the more subtle hostility of the newspapers, the politicians, and all the other defenders of the employing class who pose as neutrals because it makes their influence more deadly. The employers and their hired defenders know well enough that your gain is often their loss, and they, therefore, have good reason to persuade you not to seize the opportunities that offer of raising your wages or reducing your hours. But many who talk about the beauties of an “advanced programme of social reforms” seem not to have realised that if such things are to be of any worth to you necessitate at first the dipping into the profits of the other class. Various well-meaning persons may preach arbitration and conciliation, but you know well enough that sweet words do not, as a rule, charm employers into giving higher wages. They will not give up any part of what they hold except under pressure one kind of pressure is fear; the fear that refusal to spend part of their on reforms will encourage revolutionary agitation for the seizure of the whole.
Our aim as socialists is the destruction of the capitalist system of society, and we are therefore unalterably hostile to all political parties which seek to gain control of parliament for any other purpose than the establishment of socialism. The Labour Party is such a party. its so-called “socialists” are puppets dancing on the strings of the industrial and financial capitalists behind the scenes; its pacifists are merely decoys who will allay suspicion while the militarists prepare for war; its radical left is a convenient buffer to receive the blows of the workers so soon as they tire of waiting for something to be done to relieve their misery.