Sunday, October 24, 2021

What can the Socialist Party do?



The aim of the Socialist Party is to help make a social revolution and put an end to capitalism. Standing in the way of socialism is the capitalist class. In making the social revolution, the capitalist class is our main enemy. It is the ruling class that holds state power and is principally responsible for the hardships facing working people. Against this minority stands the vast majority of the rest of the population. Capitalism is characterised by the division of people into classes according to their role in the production and distribution of social wealth. In a capitalist society, the capitalist class and the working class are the two basic classes. The capitalist class owns the means of production and holds state power. Through their ownership and control of the means of production they control the economic life and live off the profits they squeeze from the working class.

The working class is composed of all wage-earners - mental and manual, urban and rural - whether in basic industry, manufacturing, service, farm, sales, domestic, clerical, public or other jobs. The working class is composed of skilled and unskilled, employed and unemployed.

Although the capitalists rule, they do not do so through open violence and terror. Working people enjoy a wide range of democratic rights - we can vote in regular elections, we can organise trade unions and political parties, we can set up protest groups, publish newspapers and leaflets, go on strike, hold meetings and demonstrations, and travel freely around the country. If we get arrested for anything, we are not held in detention without trial and we have the right to legal defence. These rights are vital for the working class to defend and promote its interests. Without the rights to form trade unions and to strike we would be at the absolute mercy of every whim of the employers.

But these rights have not always existed. Nor were they generously granted by the employing class. They have been fought for with great effort and sacrifice by many generations of working people in a struggle that goes back to Chartism and the reform campaigns and the formation of trade unions. Despite the importance of the democratic rights that we have won over the years, the working class can never achieve complete political freedom under capitalism. In this society, only the capitalists have the money, time, knowledge and influence to use capitalist democracy to the full. The government of today serves the interests of the ruling capitalist class. No matter which party is in power, the state apparatus - parliament, government departments, the courts, prisons, police and armed forces - protects capitalist private property and administers the capitalist economy. In every major industrial dispute, the state has taken sides with the bosses against the workers. The State organises infrastructure - roads, airports, communications, ports - funds research and development and manages economic conditions inflation, interest rates, exchange rates - to promote capitalist accumulation, "the economy". From control and manipulation of the media to the education system, the State spreads an ideology of respect for private property, individualism and the law, that the rich are entitled to their wealth and that the government should be left to govern.

The Socialist Party is internationalist. We are carrying out the socialist revolution in Britain and elsewhere to make our contribution to the struggle of the workers of the world to bring about the dawn of cooperative commonwealth.

Parliamentary elections provide an opportunity for the capitalist class to test their ability to deceive the masses of the people. Every few years we are asked to choose between capitalist parties offering minor variations of the same diet of falling wages, reduced social services, poverty and desperation for many, and support for imperialist wars., many people feel obliged to support one of the capitalist parliamentary parties as “ the lesser evil. This is mistaken, however, as it strengthens those forces that are trying to defeat us. The Socialist Party does not shy away from the electoral struggle, however. We do not seek salvation in the false promises of the capitalist parties. We see the election as an opportunity to criticise capitalism, but not with empty phrases.

Every political party defends the interest of one class or another in society. On all questions, in every battle, the Socialist Party defends the interests of the working class and works to prepare its victory over the capitalists. The Socialist Party’s role is to educate, organise and mobilise the working class. 

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