We are only too well aware that progress towards the establishment of socialism is slow. Nevertheless, progress is being made. We know of no short-cut around the necessary task of agitation and education for socialism. Capitalist propaganda cannot remove or whitewash the problems suffered by the working class; neither can it solve the basic contradictions within society. In their efforts to solve the problems and contradictions the workers must eventually turn to socialism as the only solution. Since the Socialist Party was formed we have seen a seemingly endless array of attempts at alleviating the problems thrown up by capitalism, and we have seen them fail as they must. If all those who in the past said that they admire our objectives had joined with us in our task of making socialists that task would have been made easier. Unfortunately such workers still persist in futile reformism, or in advocating minority action by “enlightened” leaders.
Despite years of hard effort by the Socialist Party, two myths remain. The first is that state capitalism or some form of nationalisation is of benefit to the workers. The second is that those countries that have a high degree of state control have in fact introduced socialism or are at least in the process of doing so. Both these delusions are held by various sections of the political "left” despite the mass of evidence against them.
There are two fundamental conditions for the establishment of socialism (which must be a world-wide event). The first is the technology capable of production in abundance. This patently was not possible in Russia in 1917 or in China in 1949. The second is the desire of the working class, based on knowledge and understanding, to establish and run a social system where all wealth is owned in common by the whole of mankind, where production takes place for use, and where all that is made by man, is freely available to man. This condition never existed in Russia or China and as yet exists nowhere in the world. But the measure of the political awareness of the working class, is their level of understanding of socialism. Without socialist knowledge, socialism is no more possible than walking on water. Those that claim they are introducing socialism for the working class (or have introduced it) are hoodwinking humanity.
Without the development of potential for adequately meeting the needs of a world community Socialism could not be possible. This might be called the economic factor, and is, in our opinion, already here. What has not yet developed is the socialist majority, understanding their class position under capitalism, and ready and willing to undertake the transformation of society from capitalism to socialism. This is the political factor. In its absence capitalism will continue to exist because workers, lacking the necessary socialist knowledge, will continue to support political parties dedicated to the continuance of present day society. Both factors are equally important for in the absence of either socialism is not possible.
The outcome of minority-led revolutions, even if ostensibly to establish socialism, must inevitably lead to some form of capitalism. In the absence of a socialist majority consciously understanding the implications involved in the establishment of Socialism, there is nothing the leadership (no matter how enlightened) can do other than administer capitalism. The Russian and other state-capitalist revolutions (e.g. China, Cuba etc.) have set back the World Socialist Movement by side-tracking workers. Only now is the realisation that they have nothing to do with socialism—something we said at the time.
The existence of wages is the hallmark of capitalism. Capitalism implies a certain relationship between people, depending on whether they own capital or merely the ability to work. The workers in selling themselves day after day to the capitalist enrich not themselves but the owners of capital whose wealth their work increases.
Socialism cannot be established in one country at a time. As capitalism is the dominant form of society today, the problem created by it are also apparent throughout the world. Members of the working class internationally are therefore having similar problems to one another. However, they are constantly misled by non-revolutionary political organisations that capitalism will, at some time, begin to work in their interests.
We can see no fundamental differences in the problems facing the working class in, say, the United States, Russia or Australia, but assuming that large numbers of workers in one part of the globe began to reject the false arguments of the capitalist parties and recognised the need for socialism ahead of other workers, there is every reason to believe that interest in their ideas would be generated in a very short space of time among members of the working class in different parts of the globe.
One of the techniques which capitalism has developed to a tremendous degree is the facility of high-speed global communications. Socialist-conscious workers would use such facilities to the full in order to propagate their ideas to workers in other countries. They will do so by recognising that socialism can only be introduced by a united international working class. They will also do so in the knowledge that the solution to capitalism’s problems is the same for themselves as for fellow workers throughout the world. The only escape from exploitation and subjugation remains socialism.