Socialism means economic democracy.
Instead of production for sale and the profit of a few, socialism means production to satisfy the human needs and wants of all. Socialism will allow for us to carry on production for use in the most modern production laboratories we can possibly create, utilising the safest and most productive methods. The more we collectively produce, the more we shall collectively enjoy. All of us will be useful producers, working but a fraction of the time we are forced to work today. But we shall not only be useful producers, but we shall also all share equitably in the wealth we produce, and our compensation will literally dwarf anything we can imagine today. In socialist society there will be neither involuntary unemployment nor poverty. The young will be educated not only to prepare them to participate in social production but also to enable them to expand their interests and develop their individual interests and talents.
The aged will be cared for, and not by any such demeaning methods as are used today. We shall provide all their material needs and create a social atmosphere in which they can live lives that are culturally and intellectually satisfying. It will not be charity, but their rightful share as former contributors to production. Under capitalism, improved methods and machinery of production kick workers out of jobs. Under socialism, such improvements will be blessings for the simple reason that they will increase the amount of wealth produced and make possible ever higher standards of living, while providing us with greater and greater leisure in which to enjoy them.
With socialism, we shall produce everything we need and want in abundance under conditions best suited to our welfare, aiming for the highest quality. We shall constantly strive to improve our methods and equipment in order to reduce the hours of work. We shall provide ourselves with the best of everything: the finest educational facilities, the most modern and scientific health facilities and adequate and varied recreational facilities. We shall constantly seek to improve our socialist society. Purposeful research, expansion of the arts and culture, preservation and replacement of our natural resources, all will receive the most serious attention. It will be a society in which everyone will have the fullest opportunity to develop his or her individuality without sacrificing the blessings of cooperation.
Freed from the compulsions of competition and the profit motive that presently hurl capitalist nations into war, socialism will also be a society of peace. In short, socialist society will be a society of secure human beings, living in peace, in harmony and human brotherhood.
This all may sound too good to be true. Yet the world has the productive capacity to provide a high standard of living for all, to provide security and comfort for all, to create safe workplaces and clean industries, and to help other nations reach these same goals. The only thing keeping us from reaching these goals is that the workers don't own and control that productive capacity; it is owned and controlled by a few who use it solely to profit themselves.
Socialism was born in response to the grave social problems generated by capitalism's uses of technology. Socialism grew out of the profound disruption of society capitalism caused. It was the pitiless and inhumane uses to which capitalism put the technology at its disposal to exploit human labor that made the socialist movement necessary.
Socialism is not an idea that fell from the skies, but a natural response to the material conditions and social relations that took shape as the capitalist system of production developed.
At the same time, however, the socialist movement has always recognised the tremendous material possibilities technological advances offer for eliminating the poverty, misery and suffering it has engendered -- not of its own accord, but as a direct result of the capitalist system of private ownership of the productive forces created by human labour and ingenuity. The whole purpose of the socialist movement, therefore, is to solve the grave social problems resulting from the march of technology monopolised by a numerically insignificant capitalist class so that the magnificent possibilities modern advances in technology hold out may benefit all of humanity. Accordingly, the socialist movement also sees in so-called post-industrial technology the productive instrument for the attainment of its goal. Whatever good there is in modern methods of production, whatever their potential for making the world a better place, for eliminating arduous toil, hunger and poverty, that potential is wiped out by a single, dominating fact. The one fact that overwhelms and nullifies the promise of all progress is private ownership of the means of production and distribution. The goal of the WSM is to replace capitalism with the economic and social democracy of socialism.
William Morris once wrote, "While theologians are disputing the existence of a hell elsewhere, we are on the way to realising it here…”
Organising to bring the industries under the ownership of all the people, to build a socialist society of peace, plenty and freedom, is the only real alternative workers have.