Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Socialism is Real Social Security

As members of the working class are well aware, it is quite impossible to put a little by for a rainy day, for every day the forecast is a downpour, and trying to keep your head above water is a constant problem.

Our aim is socialism, which we define as a worldwide the society in which the Earth’s resources will be the common heritage of all humanity under democratic control at world, regional and local levels as appropriate. It will be a society where we shall work voluntarily as best we can, as far as our ability goes, to suit our joint needs, as part of a cooperative society. It will be a society in which the state, as the public power of repression at the disposal of a ruling class, will have been abolished and replaced by participatory democracy. This is our immediate aim, not some long-term goal.

In short, we think that given the development of productive capacity since Marx made the distinction in 1875 between a “first” (when full free access according to needs would not be possible) and a “higher” phase of “communist society” (when it would), the so-called higher phase can-and should-be established more or less immediately.

Although we call such a society “socialism” we have no objection to it being called “communism” as long as it is clearly understood that this has nothing to do with the state-capitalist dictatorships that used to exist in Russia and East Europe.

We don’t see ourselves as “the benefactor of the working people”. We are wage and salary workers who don’t see ourselves as a group doing anything for other fellow workers other than putting before them the basic socialist propositions that under capitalism there is an irreconcilable conflict of interest between capitalists and workers; that capitalism can never be reformed so as to work in the interest of workers; that what is required is a society of common ownership, democratic control and production for use, not profit.

If workers want such a socialist society this is something they must do for themselves without following leaders or relying on benefactors. We can’t establish it for them. As we say in our declaration of principles “the emancipation of the working class must be the working of the working class itself”.

We don’t suffer from the illusion that existing MPs and local councillors can do anything to further the cause of socialism. Their job, and in fact aspiration, is merely to run the political side of capitalism in Britain, and capitalism can only be run as a profit system in which priority must always be given to making profits over meeting needs. We also agree that there can be no real democracy under capitalism in the sense of a situation in which everybody has an equal say in deciding what should be done and in which those decisions can be implemented without hindrance. This is not the case today.

Having said this, in many parts of the world including Britain a sufficient degree of democracy exists for a socialist majority to be able to use existing elective bodies, such as parliament, to win control of the state machine through the ballot box. Of course, to work, this presupposes a socialist-minded and democratically organised majority outside parliament standing firmly behind the delegates they will have sent into parliament with the single-mandate to take the formal steps to stop the state from supporting capitalism.


We are faced as consumers with an increasingly perplexing range of career decisions, pension plans, healthcare options, educational opportunities and leisure choices. But as electors, the political choice we are provided with appears to be rapidly narrowing down to an infinite number of politicians dancing on the middle-ground. Even Greenpeace and Oxfam have given up on governments, focusing their energies instead on shareholders at AGMs. Is the market system the only way of prioritising what gets produced – or who goes hungry? Is the old communist ideal of production for use just a romantic but Utopian vision? And who cares about globalisation anyway?

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