Saturday, June 26, 2021

Socialism and Self-Emancipation


While capitalism lasts the Socialist Party has a primary task to explain and struggle for a socialist society. Our object is the establishment of a worldwide social system in which the means of wealth production and distribution (factories, mines, land, transport and communications, etc.) will be owned by the entire population of the world. We oppose every organisation which stands for capitalism. We oppose the wars which capitalism persistently throws up. We oppose political campaigns which appeal for votes on programmes of reforms (better housing, higher wages, etc.), which in fact do little or nothing to alleviate working-class problems. We oppose nationalisation, which is just another way of organising capitalism.

We advocate socialism and nothing else. Without a working class in possession of socialist knowledge socialism cannot be established. We seek to recruit socialists and nobody else. We examine all applicants for membership to ensure that they understand what is entailed by being a socialist. We appeal to the working class to examine the case for Socialism and to vote for our candidates only if they understand and desire socialism. Our party leader does not exist. Leaders are for the politically ignorant. We are leader-free. There are no leaders in the Socialist Party and we do not set out to become leaders of the working class. Apart from the Socialist Party, all other parties seek support for a political leader. The fact that the Socialist Party emphatically rejects the cult of leadership is another basic difference between ourselves and all other parties. To us, political leadership symbolises immaturity; it is inherently corrupt. By supporting political leadership in this election, the working class will relinquish yet again the power they can have to act in their own interests.

Over the years, politics has given us a procession of various leaders and a great deal of attention has been given to their various personal qualities, but the electorate is fickle appetite and one image can easily give way to something else. It is convenient under capitalism to associate individual personalities with various phases of its administration. It is convenient to be able to associate failure with a man instead of a system. It is convenient to be able to swap the man but keep the system, to create the illusion of fresh opportunities by introducing a new personality. Political leaders come and go, but the institutions they administer remain. We do not attack one leader as against another. We argue that no person, or for that matter no team, can administer capitalism in the interests of the whole community.

The political leaders claim that they can work on behalf of the majority. By now the cheap electoral promises that crumble in the hard test of actual policies and subsequent experience is more than familiar. As ever, this process will repeat itself in this election. Regardless of the endless auctioneering that lakes place between parties seeking to form a government, the stark facts of capitalist society must assert themselves. We live in a class-divided society that operates in the interests of a privileged minority. Regardless of intentions, capitalism can only be run in their interests. There can be no choice. The defence of interests, that are hostile to the working population must go with the job of government.

The administration of a society that is based on privileged interests requires the cult of political leadership. Workers who accept economic exploitation will abdicate their political interests by supporting a leader. Socialists have a knowledge of capitalism that enables them to know where their interests lie. For us, leadership is an irrelevance. We combine in a democratic way with the object of realising our mutual interests through the establishment of socialism. Action for fundamental social change is beyond individuals This must be the act of a majority who assert democratic control over their social affairs through knowledge and understanding. For us leadership and the confused support that it rests upon walks a political path fraught with disaster.

The Socialist Party does not seek your blind support on the basis of empty promises which are easy to mouth and cheap to print but, which, having no prospect of success, are in reality deceptive We do not offer you a leader with an allegedly magic touch. We do not ask for your vote unless you understand our case.

We live today under capitalism where the basis of the system is the ownership by a section of the population of the means of producing and distributing wealth—of factories, mines, and so on. It follows from this that all the wealth which we produce today is turned out with the intention of realising a profit for the owning class. It is from this basis that the problems of modern society spring. Capitalism is essentially a system of inequality; it can be nothing else.  The division of wealth— its glaring inequality which is a constant feature of capitalism. It is moreover a fundamental fact of capitalist life and colours the whole of your existence,

The class which does not own the means of wealth production—the working class—are condemned to a life of degradation and dependence upon their wages. This poverty expresses itself in inferior housing, clothes, education, and the like. Implicit in capitalism is the class struggle between capitalist and worker. The basis of capitalism throws up the continual battle over wages and working conditions with attendant industrial disputes. It gives rise, with its international economic rivalries, to the wars which have disfigured man’s recent history. Every other party stands for capitalism, whatever they may call themselves. And whatever their protestations, they stand for a world of poverty, hunger, unrest and war. They stand for a world in which no human being is secure.

Socialism will be a social system based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, by and in the interest of the whole community. Common ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution means that the things, which are needed to make and distribute wealth will be1 owned by the whole of humanity. But common ownership does not mean that everybody in the world will own an equal share of every factory, mine, train and the rest. What common ownership does mean, is that there is one way in which all human beings will be equal. Everybody will have an equal right to take, however! much wealth they need and to consume it as they require. Because the means of production will be commonly owned the things which are produced will go into a common pool from which all human! beings will be able to satisfy their needs.

If there is unrestricted access to wealth for, everybody it must follow that nobody, in a sense nor any individual or a class, owns wealth. This means; that wealth will not be exchanged. It will not be bartered nor will it be bought and sold. As a rough parallel, we can consider the air we breathe. Everybody has free access to the air and we can all take in as much of it as we need to live. In other words, nobody owns the air; nobody tries to exchange air for anything else, nobody tries to sell or buy it. Similarly, there will be no buying and selling under socialism; no need for the complicated and widespread organisations which deal in commerce and banking in capitalist society. Socialism will have no banks, no stock exchanges, no tax inspectors, or any of the paraphernalia of capitalism.

In a socialist society, wealth will be produced solely to satisfy peoples’ needs and not for sale as it is today. Because of this, there will be no deliberate variations in the quality of wealth. Socialism will have only one quality. Whatever is produced will be the best that human beings are capable of. Houses, for example, will be designed and built with the only motive of housing human beings in the best possible style. The materials of which they are made, their facilities and their location will all conform to this. They will be the best homes that society knows how to build.

Nobody will be employed by another person - nobody will sell his or her labour-power or work for wages. Everybody, in fact, will work for the whole of society, Work will be a cooperative effort, freely given because men and women will realise that wealth can only be produced by working unless wealth is produced society will die. Yet it will not only be a reluctance to commit social suicide that will keep us working under socialism. Mankind will be free, free from the fetters of wage slavery, free from the fears of unemployment, free from economic servitude and insecurity. Nobody will found doing a job that is hated but tolerated because it pays well. We will be free to do useful work, making things which will add to society’s welfare, things which will make human life better and happier

There will be no war; the cause of war will no longer exist. This means that there will be no armed forces with their dreadfully destructive weapons It means that the people who are in the armed forces, together with the rest of the enormous social effort which is channelled into them, will be able to serve useful, humane purposes instead of destroying and terrorising.

When production is only for human use we shall see a great development of society's productivity. First of all, an enormous number of jobs that are vital to capitalism will become redundant. Socialism will have no use for such jobs because its wealth will not be produced for sale. There will probably be statisticians to collect information about society’s productive resources and to relate this to our needs. A lot of people will work at transporting wealth all over the world. These are useful occupations, just as all work will be.

Capitalism has veined the world with frontiers and has fostered patriotism and race hatred none of which has any scientific basis. Frontiers are purely artificial and are often altered at international conferences. Many workers are proud of their nationality although in logic they cannot take pride in something over which they have no control. Socialism will have none of this. No frontiers, no racial barriers or prejudices. The world will be one with only human beings working together for their mutual benefit.

Socialism will end the wasteful insecure world we know today. It will remove poverty and replace it with plenty. It will abolish war and bring us a world of peace. It will end fear and hatred and give us security.  No matter how often the politicians assure us that they have the solution to our problems, they never succeed in solving them. The future, as long as the workers are content to trust their leaders, and to keep capitalism in being, is grim. The expansion of socialist knowledge and action is the only hope for a sane world, a world that is safe and abundant and free.

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