Capitalism epitomises selfishness in today's world. We are brainwashed to compete with each other, subscribe to goals defined by figures in authority and obey laws with little or no protest.
Suffering in terms of hunger or lack of medicine or poor conditions can definitely be linked with the doctrine of capitalism, which denies millions of human beings access to the necessary goods, services or opportunities to make life a more equitable proposition. Many people die from unnecessary causes like hunger (in a world where grain is destroyed or stockpiled to keep market prices high) and illnesses, which medical science has cured in the Western world. The problem is lack of access The problem of preventable, unnecessary illness afflicts the entire capitalist world. Illness in the "backward" countries may take a different form from that in the "advanced" Western world, where disease is very often associated with the stress of survival under industrial capitalism, but that does not indicate that it is any more of a problem to a fair share of all the goods, services and wealth created by labour, managed (and abused) in many cases by capitalists.
Socialism is really the simple matter of ensuring that people can get access to enough of the resources their labour helps to produce. The Socialist Party is not aiming at a society of "fair" shares of wealth (which is in any case a dubious concept) but one where everyone has the same rights of access to society's wealth that is. free access to satisfy self-determined needs. This is not in operation anywhere in the world: thus it is not possible to "live" socialism at present.
The ethos of every social system — its morals, laws and so on — is based on its mode of wealth production and exerts pressure on the people to accept and conform. Capitalism's ethos springs from its nature as a society based on the class ownership of the means of life, the production of wealth as commodities and the drive to accumulate capital. The ideas of the working class — who are productive. exploited class under capitalism — and the goals to which they aspire to. are fashioned under this pressure. It is not possible for the workers as a class to operate selfishly, for their role under capitalism is to perform the enormously generous act of producing all society's wealth but allowing their exploiters to appropriate it while they themselves receive only enough to reproduce their working abilities.
The issue of capitalism or socialism is not a moral one. It is not helpful to think in terms of "deliberate injustices" ("justice" itself is a nebulous, variable concept) because even if capitalism were immaculate "just" it would still be a social system which cannot meet the needs of the majority of people. Whatever offences it commits against human interests are in response to its needs as a class-divided society.
Capitalism has been a necessary stage in social evolution and has outlived its usefulness, making it a hamper on human progress. Its "doctrine" was once revolutionary and progressive but now it is reactionary and decadent. The idea of socialism promises to abolish the problems caused by capitalism but that does not make it "superior" in the strict sense of the term. It is truer to say that it is in line with modern conditions and needs and scientifically expresses the nature of the next stage in human society. Understanding socialism is not a difficult, protracted business: the members of the companion parties of the World Socialist Movement have come to understand socialism, not through any special abilities or endurance but because capitalism has convinced them that there is no other way
Socialism cannot be achieved through violence. It must be the act of a majority of workers throughout the world who understand socialism and who take the conscious, democratic step to abolish capitalism and replace it with a society of common ownership. The work of socialists is to change workers' ideas, through debate and persuasion: it cannot be done through violence and repression. The fact that some who advocate violence call themselves socialists illustrates the importance of judging people by what they stand for, not by the label they attach to themselves.