Monday, October 25, 2021

Private Ownership or Common Ownership


Private ownership divides society into two distinct classes. One is the class of employers, and the other is the class of wageworkers. The employers are the capitalist class, and the wageworkers are the working class. The capitalist class, through the ownership of most of the land and the tools of production — which are necessary for the production of food, clothing, shelter and fuel — hold the working class in almost total economic and industrial subjection, and thus live on the labour of the working class. While the working class, by their labour, produce today — as in the past — the wealth that sustains society, they lack economic and industrial security, suffer from overwork, enforced idleness, and their attendant miseries, all of which are due to the present capitalist form of society. The working class, in order to secure food, clothing, shelter and fuel, must sell their labour-power to the owning capitalist class — that is to say, they must work for the capitalist class. The working class do all the useful work of Society, they are the producers of all the wealth of the world, while the capitalist class are the exploiters who live on the wealth produced by the working class.

As the capitalists live off the product of the workers, the interest of the working people is diametrically opposed to the interest of the capitalists. The capitalist class — owning as they do, most of the land and the tools of production — employ the working class, buy their labour-power, and return to them in the form of wages, only part of the wealth they have produced. The rest of the wealth produced by the working class the capitalists keep; it constitutes their profit — i.e., rent, interest, and dividends.

Thus the working class produce their own wages as well as the profits of the capitalist class. In other words, the working class work a part only of each day to produce their wages, and the rest of the day to produce surplus (profits) for the owning capitalist class. The interest of the capitalist class is to get all the surplus (profits) possible out of the labour of the working class. The interest of the working class is to get the full product of their labour. Hence there is a struggle between these two classes. This struggle is called the “Class Struggle.” 

The crises of the world capitalist system are becoming more acute than ever before and are intensifying the suffering of the people. It is absurd that the social character and higher efficiency of the new technology in the means of production should bring about more unemployment and worsened working conditions. This is because the capitalist relations of production require that firms maximise their profits and win in the competition with rivals by increasing high-tech equipment and by cutting wages. We must understand the inherent laws of capitalism which lead to the chauvinist and racist notion that migrant workers are to blame for taking jobs away from the host people.


The aim of the Socialist Party is to overcome the capitalist class. The Socialist Party shows how the working class is exploited by the capitalist class; why capitalism must be overthrown and replaced by socialism, and how the working people must realise these goals. This theory provides the essential tools workers need to orient the struggle for their emancipation. The primary task of the Socialist Party is the political education of our fellow workers through our agitation and propaganda to explain the true nature of the system that oppresses workers, and the need for socialist revolution. Our task is to bring class consciousness to the working class. The Socialist Party will also use the forum presented through elections and parliaments to expose the true nature of these institutions. We will use them as a tribune to denounce the injustice of the existing social order and urge the workers on in their fight.

We are living under a system that is more and more revealed as the enemy of humanity. It has vast productive potential, but it means poverty and oppression for most people. It brings hunger to many of the working people of the world. Capitalism is responsible for the destruction of the environment. War and the armaments industry monopolise most of the world’s research and development, cynically profiting from destructive conflicts. The root cause of all this is capitalism’s guiding principle, the quest for profit, which takes precedence over any human interest.

We, socialists, organised in the World Socialist Movement declare that to the working class through the ballot box, will abolish the capitalist system of ownership with its accompanying class rule and oppression, and establish in its place socialism — an industrial democracy — wherein all the land and the tools of production shall be the common property of the whole people, to be operated by the whole people for the production of commodities for use and not for profit. We ask our fellow workers to organise with us to end the domination of private or state ownership — with its poverty-breeding system of production — and substitute in its place the socialist cooperative commonwealth in which every worker shall have the free exercise and full benefit of his or her faculties.

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