Tuesday, August 24, 2021

For common ownership and economic democracy


What the capitalist state appears to give in the way of reform is more often a sleight of hand calculated to play on the sentiments of workers and deflect their attention from the absolute need to abolish capitalism and establish socialism. These are important lessons for workers, who must learn to reject all reforms and reformers if they are ever to affect their own emancipation from the worsening conditions of life under capitalism. Only by building their own movement with the goal of abolishing capitalism and its system of production for private profit—and working to successfully replace that system with a socialist one based on production for human needs—can they hope to build the society of abundance and leisure they deserve and need to live as human beings should. To really get to the heart of our economic problems, we have to change the whole economic system that repeatedly forces us to fight for a decent living. This is the immediate goal of the Socialist Party. We are men and women seeking to establish a truly democratic economy, one in which:

Factories, transport and farms are socially owned by all of us instead of privately owned by a few.
• All the workplaces are run cooperatively and democratically by the workers themselves.
• Production is carried on to meet social needs instead of for profit.

Capitalist production takes place only if profits can be made. Through their overwhelming majority, the workers will assert their right to own and operate collectively the means of social production to abolish the political state of class rule.

 Capitalism has turned technological marvels into so many means of destroying jobs, increasing exploitation. Capitalists have no choice in the matter. They must seek out every method of reducing the costs involved in producing commodities. The introduction of new technology into production reduces the amount of labour needed and lowers the cost of production, thereby increasing profits. Increasing profits and holding wages down is what counts, for capitalists. For millions of workers, however, new technology in the workplace leads only to harder work—except for the millions more tossed onto the streets and into joblessness. That, however, is not what concerns the enterprising capitalist. of human labour and amassing profits. That should not surprise us much. That is how capitalism works, and how it has always worked. The benefits for businesses is that automated machinery does not require a wage, it never calls in sick and it does not need health insurance or a pension. A robot would certainly never organise with its mechanical brethren for better working conditions. Why is it that these great advances in technology, which could be made to benefit the working class, is instead ruining lives and creating a massive problem that seems to have no remedy? The answer is simple: capitalism utilizes this technology to increase profits. Today, the capitalist class that owns and controls this technology has only one view in mind: to cut costs and swell the bottom line. They could not care less what detrimental effect the profit motive has on society so long as profits are rolling in. 

It is obvious that current trends are leading the working class further into poverty and destitution. Workers, however, can avert this by recognising that they constitute a class with mutual interests of survival and well-being and whose interests are in conflict with those of the capitalist class. Accordingly, they must unite to abolish the social relationships that bind them to a life of misery and economic servitude. They must unite to establish a socialist society where the means of social production are collectively owned and operated for the social good, thus allowing advances in technology to be used to reduce the burden on those that do the work and not to kick people out on the street with no means to support themselves. In a socialist society, mechanization and technological advances will simply mean less arduous toil and a shorter workday—and the benefits will accrue to all of society, not just a wealthy few.

The working class has the power, but changing society takes some knowledge and training. The Socialist  Party calls upon the working class to take the first steps toward this goal by organising their strength economically and politically. On the economic field, workers must build new economic organisations to include all workers, employed or unemployed, young and old, blue-collar or white-collar, with the goal of collectively taking and operating the industries and services for the benefit of all. Workers must organise to challenge the capitalist form of government and institute common ownership and economic democracy.

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