Capitalism is the system of society which dominates the world today. It is a system where, either privately or through the State, the capitalist class own and control the means of production. It is a system of riches and poverty, of slums and palaces. It is through the exploitation of the working class that all the wealth of the world is produced. Capitalism denies workers access to the wealth they create beyond the extent of their wages. Truly it is a system where wealth concentrates in the hands of a few, where the market and the profit motive are supreme. Human need must come second in a society that lives on profits.The only possible solution is to change society. What is the fundamental change that we stand for? Briefly, we wish to establish a system of society where every single person will be able to take freely from the store of social wealth whatever he or she needs. Such a system — which we call “free access” — means quite simply what it says: there will be no restrictions (such as are imposed today by the size of your wage-packet or salary cheque) on the amount of goods or services which any individual consumes, enjoys or uses. We maintain that an abundance of wealth, which such a system implies, could quite easily be produced if production were motived by the desire to satisfy people’s needs, not by profit as at present. Profit acts as a barrier to production, since if a thing cannot be sold at a profit, it will quite simply not be produced, no matter how many people would like it.
Anyone who believes that capitalism can ever be made to work more humanely is being both naive and idealistic. Greed, envy and theft, are intrinsic to capitalism. Price and profit dictate in capitalism what pleasure and purpose will dictate in socialism. Capitalism’s obsession with ownership has in this case indisputably prevented significant technological progress. In socialism, the maxim “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” will transform the character and quality of human existence. People will be able to choose the sort of work they most enjoy and be creative to the best of their ability. People will be glad to give their best and take the best of everyone else. William Morris describes his vision of socialism as when work will become the ultimate form of art. In socialism, with its culture of free cooperation and sharing, there is no conception of private property ‘rights’.
Socialism is not a market economy. It is (as developed in Engels's Socialism, Utopian & Scientific) a society where money has become superfluous because the means of production are completely under social control. All labor is voluntary, everyone has free access to whatever goods and services are available. Marx’s alternative to capitalism was one in which the relation of production would be that of an association of free producers. Freely associated individuals would treat ‘their communal, social productivity as their social wealth,’ producing for the needs of all. We need to remember the destination of our movement. If you don’t know where you want to go, then no road will take you there. The goal that that Socialist Party has always sought is one in which people relate to each other as members of a human family, a world of human solidarity where we have “an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” In order to call up the concept of “socialism” as Marx used it in the 19th Century, it is also now necessary to add a qualifier. The qualifier is “non-market.” Without that qualifier, the word “socialism” means many different things to different speakers.
Socialists have sometimes called government “the executive committee of the capitalist class.” For that reason, the World Socialist Movement does not envision any role in socialist society for government per se, but anticipates that the men and women living in socialism will devise some method of managing affairs, with the necessary administrative authority but no coercive power.
Socialism is a world-wide community with common interests. Where the land, and all the means of production will be owned by mankind as a whole, with democratic control. Where the sole motive for production will be the satisfaction of your needs. Simply put — bread will be baked because people want to eat it — just that. Money will play not part at all in this society because there will be no need for money. Decisions by the community will be taken on their merits. The wages system will be abolished along with all the other stupid trappings of the present system. Socialism will be a system of co-operation; where each will give according to ability and take according to need. Mankind with its knowledge, harnessed to the riches of the earth, is capable of producing abundance. Why be satisfied with a world of shortages?
Socialism cannot be introduced by waving a magic political wand. It will be the outcome of understanding and hard work; your understanding, your hard work. We ask you to study our ideas, and, if you agree with them, to make contact with our local branches so that you can find out more about them.
We are not asking you to vote for the Socialist Party because you are fed up with the others or because you think we should be given a chance. We only want your support if you agree with our case, our object and declaration of principles. Socialism means a way of life where the whole world and its resources will be held in common by all mankind. A classless world community with production solely for use and free access according to need. No longer will wages, markets and profits blight and restrict our lives. People will co-operate to produce an abundance — and then enjoy it. Socialism will be run democratically; that is why we have always stressed the need for understanding. Your support can help decide whether the misery of capitalism will continue.