The working class are the working class because we have no meaningful ownership of the means of production that provide everyday essentials. We have nothing but our brains and brawn that we are forced to sell to obtain work. This means that our lives are dominated by the capitalist market and exchange economy. Only the employing and owning class, the wealthy, benefit from this arrangement. Freedom from wage slavery will only come from common ownership, free access, and control over the means of life. Once capitalist society is gone we will find fulfilment beyond what is possible in today’s society. We have everything to gain from liberation. Working-class power is international or it is nothing. The system of capital that confronts us is thoroughly global. Just as capitalism is global, today’s working-class crosses all national borders. Capitalism is a world threat, and only an internationally organised working class is capable of fighting it. Together, we can cast off our chains.
It is not true that there is no class consciousness within the working class, but that consciousness is at a low level and has allowed millions of disgruntled workers to vote for class enemies of working people. The World Socialist Movement is an organization of men and women committed to building a socialist society and sees that only within a socialist society can we take control over our own lives and bring an end to war, economic insecurity and sexual and racial inequality. Only within socialism can all people fully develop their potential and capabilities. We must bring about the end of the present economic and political system that is imposed upon our lives – the system of capitalism. This system is inherently based on misery and exploitation. It profits a wealthy few at the expense of the vast majority of working people throughout the world. It generates war. It keeps people divided and powerless by fostering racial and sexual oppression. We believe that this system is controlled by a small number of extremely rich owners – a ruling class – who use all this country’s major institutions, including the government, to protect their interests and wealth. Socialism is not just an ideal. It is a proven, workable system where political and economic power is held and used to benefit not just a handful of people, but all people. Working people of the world will make it a reality.
Our world is changing. In the last few years, there have been tremendous changes around the world. We are being replaced by robots, computers, and other new technologies in our workplaces. At the same time, most people in the world still struggle daily for food, healthcare, and shelter. While a relative handful of people grow ever richer, the vast majority of people face a rapidly declining standard of living. The capitalists are defending their profits and domination by being ever more ruthless in their policies towards the workers and the dispossessed. The system can no longer feed and house us or provide us with jobs. At every opportunity, we must expose the capitalist system and uncloak our class enemy. Workers create the wealth of society, and the exploitation of that wealth is the basis of the bosses’ power. The lower the wages, the faster they work, the fewer the benefits, and the longer the hours, all add up to more profit for the bosses, and more misery for the workers.
We invite you to join us for a future of social justice and economic security. We must end this system of private property. We have no choice but to create a new world free of exploitation and want. This is not a system that can meet the needs of the people. It’s not a system that even considers the question of how to meet the needs of the people. We can only get rid of all social inequality when we’ve done away with classes, done away with the situation where anybody has to work for anybody else, and we have created a situation where we all work in common for the common good of society and humanity.
Capitalism has been unable to fulfil the needs of the people and has also been incapable of providing a decent life for the majority of the people, and poses a serious threat to the future of life on the planet with its pollution and environmental destruction. Homelessness, unemployment, inadequate education, lack of health care, and mass alienation have become facts of life. Present and future generations are confronted with the reality that they will be worse off than their parents. Millions of children are living in poverty. Increasingly, people are looking for alternatives to the way of life currently available to them.
We do not believe that Leninism is leading towards social change. We reject Lenin’s view of the vanguard workers’ party. We do not believe that a single party can or should determine the direction, strategy and tactics of the struggle for fundamental change. We reject the idea that fundamental change can or should come about through a seizure of power by a vanguard party claiming to act in the interests of the working class and the majority of society. We reject the goal of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” We reject the view that a single party can use its claim to represent the working class as a substitute for multi-party democracy and free elections. We are opposed to dictatorship in any and all forms.
We believe that movements for justice must practice and embody the values and principles that they strive to achieve in society. We do not pretend to have a blueprint for a new and better society nor the road map on how to get there. We do have a vision of a better society and general agreement on the pillars of a successful political strategy. We believe that fundamental change will take the support of the majority of people who will demonstrate in some verifiable way such as through voting that they want such a change.
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