It is the Socialist Party’s contention that so long as capitalism remains in existence, war or the threat of war must likewise remain to torture our minds and bodies. What solution can capitalism provide against the recurrence of a third world war? The Socialist Party’s answer is that there is none. Those who are aware of the real forces at work in the modern capitalist world hold out little hope for a future in which war will not rear its ugly and vicious head. To the Socialist Party, this is nothing new. It is because we understand the nature of capitalism and its inevitable development that we refuse to be lulled by all sorts of hole-in-the-corner reformers who pander to ignorance by claiming to have solutions for problems which are incapable of solution within the framework of capitalism. The reader may ask now, If war is inevitable under capitalism, what solution has the Socialist Party to offer?
The main outstanding feature of capitalist society is the capitalist ownership of the means of production. By this we mean that relatively all the powers of production in existence to-day are owned and controlled by a small minority, known as the capitalist class, leaving the vast mass of the population without any means of obtaining a livelihood than by working for one, or for a group of these capitalists. “You have my very life if you have the means whereby I live,” are the words Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Shylock, and this is true—nay, even truer—than it was then. The workers, with the help of their master’s machinery, raw materials, etc., produce vast quantities of goods which the owner or owners endeavour to sell at a profit on the home and world markets. That is, at such times when they are not engaged in armed conflict with other groups of capitalists.
The most important point to remember about this process of exploitation is that the workers only receive back a relatively small portion of this product in the form of wages, such an amount as will suffice to keep them in “working efficiency.” Consequently, they are never able to buy back all that they produce, and no matter how much the capitalist may spend in the way of luxurious living, there is always a large surplus left over. This results, as we know only too well, from bitter experience, in slumps, crises and mass unemployment. But it also leads the capitalist to search for new markets or to extend the existing ones. It is here, however, that he meets his colleagues from other parts of the capitalist world, who are engaged in precisely the same hunt. Hence ensues power politics, back-room diplomatic intrigue, secret agreements, quarrels over territory and spheres of influence, and other nauseating features of world capitalist politics and diplomacy. This, we should like to stress, is not due to some inherent predatory instincts to which capitalists and their henchmen are particularly susceptible, but is the logical result of their pursuit of profit.
The cause, then, is clear. Not human nature, nor individuals aspiring to power, nor lack of “brotherly co-operation among nations,” but the profit-making system, the capitalist order of society. The remedy follows logically. Deprive the capitalists of their ownership of the means of wealth production, and make these the common property of all the people—in short, end capitalism and inaugurate socialism. Profits, spheres of influence, trade routes, and armed might will then no longer interest anybody because they simply won’t exist or be able to exist. This is because in socialist society things will be produced solely for use, and the sole motivation of production and distribution will be to minister to the general welfare and happiness of mankind. Instead of war, we shall have peace, real peace, not the periodical armistices that capitalism holds out for us. Instead of adulteration and distortion, perfection and beauty to the utmost limits of the capacity of society to provide them. Finally, but certainly not least, instead of exploitation and poverty, we shall bequeath to ourselves freedom and abundance. This transformation, however, can only be achieved when the majority of those persons most likely to benefit from the change—i.e., the working class—have reached an understanding of the cause of their miseries. Armed with this knowledge, they will organise with determination and enthusiasm in the political field for the sole purpose of getting to power for socialism.
The Socialist Party stands for this social revolution, the only political organisation in this country, without exception, to do so. We, therefore, appeal to all workers to interest themselves in our great work, and when they are satisfied that our position is clear and unambiguous, and founded upon a correct and true interpretation of the facts of the modern world, to join with us in the furtherance and growth of the World Socialist Movement both here and abroad. Socialism is the only practical alternative to poverty, war, and all its kindred evils. The time is now most opportune for socialist activity. Only by following this course of action may we hope to abolish the poverty of the workers and the possibility of yet another future calamitous holocaust.