Socialism is the sole solution to what is called the social question, meaning the question of poverty, the question of exploited labour. Workers cannot remain apathetic in the face of a party who tells them: only we bring the cure to the abuses that you suffer in society. The Socialist Party hold that the exploitation of labour will not disappear until the day the means of production –– land, machinery, and in general, all that serves production –– will be transformed from private property into commonly-owned property.
What is the aim of the Socialist Party? It is to establish socialism. The fundamental feature of a socialist society is that all the means of production – transport, the mines and mills, the factories – are owned by the people and the goods that are produced, are produced for use. Under the present system, which we call capitalist, the means of production are owned by private persons or corporations and they operate their industries not because people need the goods that they produce but because they want to make a profit. No one will be permitted to own any productive wealth and thus exploit others. There are no classes under socialism – that is, there is no class that owns the wealth and no class that is exploited. Today a worker has only labour power and sells that to someone who owns machinery and he or she gets a wage in return and the man who owns the machinery makes a profit out of the labour power. That is what socialists term exploitation of labour.
Given a society that produces enough to satisfy the needs of all human beings, the struggle for the means of life will be abolished. A society that produces enough to satisfy the reasonable needs of people will do away with all the brutal struggles characterising present-day society. With socialism people will be educated not to think of profit but of service to society. Great scientists even now do not work in their laboratories because they expect to make millions of dollars; they work because they are interested in science. We want a socialist society where all the productive wealth is owned in common and there is no exploitation. We want a social revolution. A new social system gives birth to new ideas. Society cannot be changed by the mere desire of a small group to change it. It must, in the first instance, be ripe for a change and in the second instance the majority must understand the necessity for a change.
“All previous historical movements were movements of minorities or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority.”
If we are expecting the majority to accept our ideas, we cannot conceal those ideas. Our task is to inform our fellow workers of our ideas and that our solution to the problems of mankind are correct and so it is impossible to use force against the masses. We can use only the power of persuasion and no other power. You can realise how absurd it is to accuse the Socialist Party of advocating violence. One thing that convinced us to join the socialist movement, it is a hatred of the violence that exists in society – the violence of war– the violence which condemns working people to hunger because of the poverty. Everywhere in society there is violence of one sort or another, culminating in the dreadful violence which sacrifices millions of human beings. It is this violence that drives us into a movement which has as its aim the creation of a world free from violence, where human beings will cooperate in the production of goods to satisfy their needs, where peace and security will prevail.
Mankind must take control of social forces and determine the operation of those social forces. We want a majority of the people to accept our ideas, why should we advocate a violent change from capitalism to socialism? The fact that we want a majority of the people to accept our ideas proves beyond all doubt that we want a peaceful transformation. The Socialist Party desires to have a majority of the people on its side. If we want a majority of the people, as we do, to accept our ideas, then we must be in favour of a peaceful dismantling of the State. The existence of bourgeois political democracy offers a chance to achieve socialism in a peaceful manner. We want to take over the means of production peacefully. We are not pacifists. But to accuse us of wanting and advocating violence is to accuse us of something that is against our very principles.
For the Socialist Party internationalism is the very heart of socialism. We conceive of the world as an economic unit. No nation, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can separate itself from the rest of the world. We are not isolationists. We do not believe that it is possible to isolate this country from the rest of the world. socialism is a world system under which all lands and all peoples will cooperate to produce enough goods to satisfy the reasonable needs of every human being. Every country will produce that which it is best fitted to produce. If a region can produce good machinery then let it not busy itself with producing agricultural products. Let some other country best fitted for the production of agricultural products produce those products and exchange its products for the machines produced by another country. Peace will come to a world cooperating in this way, which will be made possible only by socialism, which will do away with colonies and markets. The Socialist Party rejects the idea that one nation or one people is superior to any other nation or any other people. To us all human beings are equal. The prejudices that exist are a product of the social system and not inherent in human nature. The unity of mankind will be made possible and real under a socialist society which will do away with economic conflicts. Our party belongs to the World Socialist Movement.
The senseless suffering and death of millions of human beings are not abstractions to ourselves. We feel the pain of our fellow workers and we react by trying to create a world where destruction and war and poverty and disease will not be the fate of humanity. We proclaim to the world that it is possible to build a new social system guaranteeing every human being a decent livelihood and a chance to develop ones individuality, free from economic worries, free from the dangers of war. We say mankind must go forward to socialism or else back to barbarism. we try to stir up the people. We try to bring them a message of hope that a new world is possible and can easily be created if only they take their future into their own hands, a new world where hunger, war and the destruction of the environment will be unknown. There is no road other than socialism that will bring for mankind a peaceful prosperous planet. If the capitalist system is permitted to endure, the inevitable result will be continuous agony, sobbing and wailing amid tears and blood.
The Socialist Party still holds hope that the people will come to accept the ideas of socialism.