We are living in a rotten society hurling humanity backwards. The world is a shambles, a wrecked and tortured planet with its economy shattered and without the possibility of healthy reconstruction on any basis short of socialist revolution. Capitalism is at a loss to reconstruct the world, it cannot achieve the most simple reorganisation of production and distribution. Starvation; poverty in the midst of plenty; uprooting of millions of people; growing totalitarianism; diplomatic hypocrisy; destruction of and failure to use productive facilities; preparations for new war; imperialist expansion and exploitation; jockeying for division of the spoils of war – this catalogue of the aspects of capitalist society can be continued indefinitely. Society is sick. Capitalist society is over-ripe for a socialist revolution which has not yet succeeded. That is the setting for our time. It is not pretty. It gives no occasion for optimism. Pessimism is to philosophy.
Lamentation fill the air. Increasingly large numbers abandon the idea of social action for the myth of individual salvation rather than change society. Some turn to outright mysticism. Suffering, we are told by them, is the inevitable and unavoidable lot of humanity. Socialists do not in any way minimize the seriousness of the present situation, we categorically and contemptuously reject all such tendencies of catastrophism. We believe that the basic problem of our time resides in society. We believe that humanity can develop a healthy society of plenty and peace.
As socialists we continue to affirm the possibility and necessity for men to work together to build a new and decent society, and that means primarily the class which has most to gain from and can alone construct socialism: the working class. Is it merely wishful thinking that allows us to persist in our belief? Is it merely because we want it so? One of the reasons why we believe in the continued validity and relevance of the socialist principles is the fact that we desire it, the fact that it alone can solve the problems of our day. History is not some automatic process in which men and women are merely puppets; history is the activity of people functioning within the limits of their situation. And today that situation cries for a socialist solution. No realistic desirable alternative exists except a thorough socialist reconstruction. And that is the program to which the working class, for all its present confusion and political immaturity, will have to turn if it is not to sink completely into a new era of barbarism.
The most elementary needs and demands of the people are unrealisable under capitalism.
· Do you want economic plenty, the utilization of the means of production for peaceful needs? Then you must have socialism.
· Do you want the perpetuation and flowering of the democratic rights which the workers have won through years of struggle? Then you must have socialism.
· Do you want a future without nuclear missiles, without chemical weapons, without terror bombing? Then you must have socialism.
There is no other choice. Either chaos and destruction – or socialist reconstruction. The socialist perspective is more valid, more essential than ever because it alone meets the problems of our times; it alone proposes an answer that is achievable which brings comprehensive solutions to all of our social problems, as well as expresses the greatest ideals of which humanity is capable.
This future depends upon the people who believe in it and seek it. What we do will help determine the future. We unfurl again the red banner of socialist revolution; we stand with arms interlocked with our comrades throughout the world; we march towards world socialism.