If democracy means control of society by the majority of the people, then democracy does not exist. Under the domination of the small ruling class, political freedoms are being eroded; the power of corporations and government bureaucracy grows; militarisation, economic exploitation and environmental harm intensify daily. Economic freedom and democracy will be integral parts of the revolution, the one that will build socialism. To accomplish this will require the most organised and conscious revolutionary movement in history. It means organizing all working people around the world into a single unified socialist movement. We must organise politically to contest the politicians committed to continuing capitalism, to educate for the need for socialist change and to openly and painstakingly gather our forces in as peaceful a manner as possible, using all our efforts to build a new society suited to the conditions of our time.
Under capitalism today the means of wealth production are privately owned. With socialism tomorrow they will be collectively owned. Under capitalism government’s main purpose is the protection of private property. Industry is at present controlled by a few industrial barons whose purpose is to take from the workers as much wealth as possible. In socialism, the political State will have ceased to exist. Socialism is industrial democracy. Industrial democracy is Socialism. The government is the government of the property-holding classes. Its purpose is to keep the workers, who have no property, in subjection. Its most important laws are laws of oppression. Socialism will need no armies, police and prisons. The courts and judges today are almost wholly concerned with two kinds of work. One is to try cases at law that grow out of private property relations. When two property holders quarrel about a piece of property they go to court in order to have the fight settled as cheaply as possible. Another function of the courts is to sit in judgement upon and determine the punishment of such of the poor as may have been "guilty" of disrespect for private property. Of course, everybody now knows that rich offenders purchase this "justice," while poor offenders get it presented to them. Do the starving poor take food? They are sent to jail. Such is the nature and purpose of the political government today. In socialism, there will be no lawless rich to keep their place by repressing the poor. There will be no enslaved poor to be suppressed. There will be no great private fortunes to fight about in the courts. In their class war upon the working people, one of the most effective weapons of the capitalists has been the force wielded by their political government. Everywhere the workers have been fooled into supporting the government. Even reform politicians use the powers of government in the interests of the master class. They vote for such politicians as call themselves "the friends of labour." But they soon find out again that "the friends of labour" out of office, become the enemies of labour when in office. In every country under the sun, the workers are forced to organize a party of their own.
Government ownership is not socialism. State ownership can never lead to socialism. It is not a step toward socialism. It has nothing socialistic about it because all political government is the rule from the top.
The Socialist Party stands not merely for POLITICAL supremacy. Its purpose is not to secure higher old-age pensions and free meals for school children. Its mission is to help overthrow capitalism and establish socialism. The great purpose of the Socialist Party is to capture the powers of government and thus prevent them from being used by the capitalists against the workers as socialism is constructed. The Socialist Party is not a political party in the same sense as other parties. The success of socialism would abolish practically every ministry existing under the present form of government. Local councils, legislatures and parliament would not be composed principally of office-seekers whose highest ambition seems to be to enact laws with loopholes in them for the rich. But the administrative organs of the workers would be composed of men and women and their work would be to improve the conditions of labour, to minimise the expenditure of labour-power, and to increase production. Everybody now realises that it is ridiculous for sane people to work all day and every day. "The less work the better," is the motto that the workers must set themselves. The Socialist Party is the bearer of sound knowledge, using its great and growing organisation to teach socialism. When the working class is strong enough at the ballot box, it will make an end to capitalism. When a worker understands socialism, he or she does not ask who will do the hard work, will socialism divide up, will socialism destroy incentives, and similar, foolish questions. Socialism is explained as a political scheme.
Let all the wealth now being wasted in wars and in competitive commerce - let all this waste stop. Let the latest technology be everywhere used. Let the genius of the workers be liberated for the many inventions and the development of better processes. If all this were to be done, it is readily seen that a small portion of the day, or a few days per month, or a few months steady work per year, will yield social wealth in abundance. It would be foolish for us to say how much a worker should work because we do not know how much wealth he or she will desire for oneself and family. It is not for us to determine that. But it is most reasonable to suppose that with socialism an individual working eight hours a day for four months in the year will produce food, clothing and shelter in abundance. Those who will not work will not be permitted to starve. At present, even all healthy people wish to work, yet none desire life-long slavery for the profit of others.
People will be educated in freedom. They will work in freedom. They will live in freedom. Most of the diseases which now afflict humanity will be unknown because their causes will have been removed. Where there is plenty for all, none will be driven to swindle, to steal or to take profits. Education will be within the reach of everyone. Science and the arts will flourish. Socialism will free not only the slave but the slave-driver and the slave-owner. Socialism today makes war upon the enemies of the working class. When it is victorious, even the enemies of the working class will embrace it. Peace and brotherhood will come with freedom. Then we shall have economic democracy and a cooperative commonwealth.