The world today is a place of stark and bewildering contradictions. It cannot feed, home and provide decent healthcare for billions although there are ample resources to do exactly that. Capitalism, the social system under which we live, is responsible for the contradictions. A system of exploitation, racism and war makes our lives a misery. Capitalism thrives on the private ownership of society’s wealth and production – production involving the interconnected efforts of millions of working people.
The rich have one basic goal in life: to make more and more profits, and they accomplish this by dominating the economics, and the politics of every country. Anything for profits. This is an irrational and unjust system. But life does not have to be this way. We can improve our lives and society. In its campaign for a new society, the Socialist Party seeks to attain its objectives by peaceful and orderly means. The Socialist Party proclaims anew its faith in economic and political democracy, but it unhesitatingly applies itself to the task of replacing the bogus democracy of capitalist parliamentarism with genuine social democracy. If capitalism can be superseded by a majority vote, the Socialist Party will rejoice. The aims of socialism are always in the interest of the working class. The working class has nothing in common with the employing class.
The real business of socialism is to abolish a society that is based on the wage system. It proposes that the working class shall take over all industries, the mines, mills, factories, land, transport and communications. We can eliminate exploitation and capitalist injustice, by overturning the capitalist system. We can replace capitalism with a humane system – socialism, a system where wealth is genuinely controlled by society and for the benefit of society; where the common good, not profits, becomes the chief concern. Such an economic and political transformation will be radical, but a radical solution is what it will take to bury the many problems of capitalism. There is no other choice today but to win socialism which will qualitatively improve the lives of the working people. If the working people controlled the great resources of our society, we could improve all our lives. We could have satisfying and safe places of work. We could end industrial pollution and global warming, and guarantee a decent standard of living for all. We could live in a society that is not constantly at war. The Socialist Party is opposed to militarism, imperialism and war. Its purpose is to eradicate the perpetual economic warfare of capitalism the fruit of which is international, conflict. War cannot be tolerated by socialists or preparedness for war.
The difference between the objects of the political and labour union struggles is that the Socialist Party holds to a great and far-reaching purpose; a purpose not immediately understood by everyone; a purpose which, in fact, is often misunderstood and therefore has to meet opposition, prejudice and hatred which can be overcome only through extended educational propaganda. The objective of the unions, on the other hand, is an immediate one, the securing of higher wages and shorter hours. This is instantly intelligible to everyone; does not demand deep convictions, but appeals rather to immediate interest. On this account, quite undeveloped workers must not be hindered from joining the unions because of their prejudice against a world-overturning force like Socialism. As soon as the unions attempt to take in the great mass of the workers they must be absolutely independent. Of course, a friendly relationship with the Socialist Party can still be maintained.
The Socialist Party reminds workers that they should only expect their total emancipation and any improvements in their lot from themselves, from their own efforts and initiative, and not from the miraculous intervention of a third party, their elected representatives, whoever they might be, whatever party they might belong to, and whatever principles they might hold. Socialism means the overthrow of the wage system. This is the real essence of socialism.