Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Pessimist or Optimist?


The present and the future are indeed grim unless the workers rouse themselves and organise for the replacement of the present system with a new world-wide system of production for use and the satisfaction of individual and social needs. There really is no viable alternative. Someday, someone who has the time and the interest will make a study of the way capitalism has corrupted thought and expression and debased language to such an extent that millions of people are incapable of making plain statements of fact and words rarely mean what they should mean. Most people know, in a general way, that the claims made for advertised goods are mostly false and misleading, yet always people will be taken in by the extravagant claims made for some new product or by a newly-phrased re-branding for an old one. Capitalism has a persistent habit of holding out hopes to those who suffer at its hands.

Read the deceitful language used by professional politicians, whose skill lies in gaining confidence and votes not in a truthful statement of the nature of the problems before the electorate. Notice the traditionally evasive and obscuring habits of expression of the majority of religious evangelical preachers. They are probably the worst offenders, because they are so utterly dependent on the favour of the rich and powerful in their church, and even lack the robustness of the politician and journalist who, though similarly dependent, have the confidence that comes from the knowledge that they have behind them the backing of their own party or paper within well understood limits. The hall-mark of expression under capitalism is that everything is twisted and distorted. Thus all politicians denounce the “profiteer,” but not the profit-maker. All the  guardians of “truth” are agreed that lying and deceit are to be condemned; except, of course, for purposes of waging war or diplomacy, or to attract buyers for goods, or induce workers to vote for capitalism at elections; in short, except for nearly all the normal activities of capitalist life.

The advice of the Socialist Party is to forget these whimsical side-shows and get on with the real work of ending capitalism. Are the workers ignorant? They learned what they know at capitalist provided schools. Are they lazy and selfish? If so, who robbed them of initiative and incentive and taught them that the way of life is to look after number one ? And what right have the rich and well-to-do to argue that the receipt of an income sufficient to buy the bare necessities of life should be dependent on the possession of all the social virtues: What about the ignorant, lazy, selfish property owners? Capitalism has a persistent habit of holding out hopes to those who suffer at its hands.

The Socialist Party will not barter its support for any promise of reform. For, no matter whether these promises are made sincerely or not, we know that the immediate need of our class is emancipation, which can only be achieved through the establishment of Socialism. Our interests are opposed to the interests of all sections of the master-class without distinction; whether bankers or industrialists, landlords or commercial magnates, all participate in the fruits of our enslavement. All will unite, in the last resort, in defence of the system by which they live.

For the party of the working class, one course alone is open, and that involves unceasing hostility to all parties, no matter what their plea, who lend their aid to the administration of the existing social order and thus contribute, consciously or otherwise, to its maintenance. Our object is its overthrow, and to us political power is useless for any other purpose. With these facts clearly in mind, and conscious that economic development is our unshakable and inseparable ally, we call upon the workers of this country to muster under our banner.

If world socialism is the only hope for us all—as it is—then the logical conclusion is that what we should be doing is campaigning in favour of this, not trying to pressurise governments to maintain welfare systems, vary taxes and interest rates and set economic priorities.

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