Thursday, November 24, 2022

Change the World for Ourselves


To the other political parties, we offer the ideal of the universal harmony between peoples. Others may have paid lip service to this ideal. The Worlds Socialist Movement has acted upon it. Socialism will be a world society, one without states or frontiers.  Our message is equally addressed to all our fellow workers iaround the world.Socialism is the only solution to the problems of wage and salary earners in the country you come from, problems which are basically the same—unemployment, struggles to keep wages up with prices, bad housing, schools and hospitals, racism, insecurity and so on — precisely because they have a common cause — the capitalist system of class monopoly of the means of existence and consequently production for profit.

Capitalism is international. Economically, it operates as a single system dominating the whole world, but, politically, it is divided into a hundred or so artificial “nation-states”. Each of these states seeks to ensure the loyalty of its subjects by inculcating into them, from the cradle to the grave, the idea that they are members of a “nation” with a common interest against those of other “nations”. Socialists reject this mistaken and dangerous idea, regarding themselves not as British, Irish, French, American or whatever but as members of the human race, as citizens of the world. The working class has in reality only one enemy: the capitalist system.

The real division in the world is not between people of supposedly different “nationalities” but between two social classes both of which are international: a class of capitalists who own and control all that is in and on the Earth and a class of people who, excluded from such ownership and control, are obliged to work for an employer in order to live. Wage earners everywhere, whatever their language, passport, skin colour, have a common interest. Socialism will see the abolition of frontiers and the dismantling of the various armed states into which the world is now divided. As classes will have been abolished, people really will become citizens of a united world.

There is a common misconception of the workers becoming socialist in one part of the capitalist world but not in other parts. Those who have become socialists are everywhere a small minority, and everywhere at present the socialist idea spreads only slowly. Experience everywhere supports the view that the progress of the socialist movement will be much the same everywhere because broadly the workers’ experience of capitalism is everywhere similar. Also the movement in one country influences growth in other countries. The tempo will at some stage increase but again there is no evidence of any kind to suggest that it will quicken in Britain and hang back in U.S.A. and Russia or vice versa. On the contrary the only expectation is that the growth of the socialist movement everywhere will be accompanied by increasingly effective common international action by the socialist movement. The international socialist movement will be strong everywhere before the possibility of socialism arises, and if the election at which socialists take governmental control out of the hands of the capitalists in one country slightly precedes the elections at which the workers elsewhere do the same, the situation will present no problem of any moment The capitalists everywhere will be at the end of their rule, and will know that they are at the end of their rule, in face of the world socialists acting as one united movement.

 Capitalism being an international system spanning the world with a network of interlinked production units, ‘socialism in one country’ is not possible. So, we are talking about a world-wide socialist revolution with the same process taking place in country after country over a relatively short period of time, rather like, for instance, the overthrow of the state-capitalist regimes in East Europe in the 1990s or the so-called Arab Spring. This is not an unreasonable supposition as, already, economic and social conditions are basically the same in whatever geographical or political areas capitalism dominates. Nor is it unreasonable to suppose that, when the socialist idea catches on, it will spread in all countries. It is the opposite supposition that is unreasonable: that this will be confined to one country or that one country would be way ahead of all the others. This is not how ideas spread today. Everywhere they face the same problems that result from this, problems which can only be lastingly solved within the framework of a borderless world society based on the Earth’s natural and industrial resources having become the common heritage of all humanity.

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