Socialism is the international movement of the working class to abolish the wage system. It is a revolutionary movement of the workers, by the workers and for the workers. And these workers are not to be side-tracked. You have been fooled too long to be satisfied with mere words.
A person who works for wages is a slave. Worse than a slave, for a slave can always look to his master to feed, clothe and house him. The wage worker is forced to get a job – to sell his or her working strength to a boss or beg, starve or steal.
Men and women can never be free or independent as long as they have to beg the idlers for a chance to work. The man who owns your job owns you. Generally, he will pay you barely enough to live on, while he keeps for himself all the things you make.
And we workers make everything in the world. There is nothing fine, valuable, beautiful, or useful that is used by men and women, no matter who they are, that is not made by the hands and the brains of working men or women.
But we are not permitted to enjoy these things. The bosses claim them all. They only give to us (in wages) enough to eke out a poor existence.
The whole secret of our slavery lies in the fact that a few people owns the means of production and distribution, the land and the communications.
Socialism proposes that the workers who operate the industries shall own them in common – that men and women shall work for themselves and shall own the things they make without dividing up with any idle property owners.
This is socialism in a nutshell. If you are a miserable worker living from hand to mouth and in constant fear of losing your job, it ought to sound good to you. The Socialist Party is the party of wage earners, organized for the overthrow of the wage system. It is OF, BY and FOR the working class alone and it ceases to be a socialist party the very moment it pretends to represent the members of any other class.
Remember that the interests of wage-workers and capitalists are absolutely opposed. You and I are not at all interested in benefiting the capitalist class. The capitalist class has already helped itself by appropriating the product of our brawn and brains. The capitalist helped himself. He always does help himself, by taking everything we make for his own property. Every day the capitalist is able to appropriate more of the value you or I have made. He is getting richer. For this reason, we will not permit avowed socialists whom we elect to office to serve us and our class to promise to serve our enemy, the capitalist class. We put men in office to do all in their power, by any and every means FOR the working class. Every individual who refuses to so serve us is a traitor to the socialist cause.
Why is the Socialist Party different from the other parties? And why should working men and women join the Socialist Party and support its candidates?
We are going to give you a few plain facts and we want you to think them over and talk them over. We want you to find out the aims of socialism and decide whether the Socialist Party will be of benefit to you or whether the old parties will serve you best.
We all know how fertile the old parties have been with promises to the working class, in the past, and how effective in making laws for the benefit of the employing or capitalist class. They have failed you upon every possible occasion. We want you to consider the Socialist program for a while.
The aims of socialism are always in the interest of the working class. You will find that the socialists are working men and women fighting the battles of the working class, while those in the other parties are serving the men who hire you and rob you. The factory owners, the mill bosses, the mine operators, have had old party officials serving them long enough. If workers unite in the Socialist Party you can elect men and women to serve your interests. The working class has nothing in common with other classes in society. We know that any news outlet, any media, or any movement that is financed by the employing class is going to serve those who grow rich on our labour.
Sometimes you may see a reformer in office who are trying to lighten the burdens of the workers by reform legislation, such as shortening the hours of labour-giving you an eight hour, instead of a ten or twelve hour day. But these reform measures are not essential for socialism. When the capitalist parties see the workers joining a party of their own, they will give us a few sops to keep us from the real task of socialism and the real task of socialism is to abolish a society that is based on the wages system.
It proposes that the working class shall take over all the great industries, the mines, the factories, the land, the transport and the communications; it means that these industries shall be owned and managed by the workers who use them without handing over any profits to any boss. It is ownership of the factory that makes one man a rich and idle employer and the one who has no property, a wage slave.
Socialism stands for the ownership of the factory by the factory workers. It means the overthrow of the wage system. This is the real essence of socialism.