Friday, January 27, 2023

A Message of Hope


The socialist transformation of society entails the dispossession of the minority capitalist class of their ownership and control of the means of wealth production and distribution. All of their lands and factories, mines, media and transport will be taken away from them. The machinery of production will become the common property of society. In order for the capitalists to be dispossessed — or "the expropriators to be expropriated", as Marx put it — there is one prerequisite. The working class, who produce all the wealth and constitute a majority of society, must be conscious of what they are doing. The dispossession of the capitalists cannot be carried out by politically ignorant workers, and nor can the task be performed for them by enlightened leaders. As the World Socialist Movement makes clear, the emancipation of the working class must be the work of the workers themselves. 

Socialists will enter the state bodies as delegates, not representatives or political leaders. They will be accountable for every move to the socialist movement and their sole purpose in entering the state bodies will be to abolish ruling class power. They will formally enact the abolition of class ownership, and in doing so will express the wishes of millions who have voted for socialism and nothing less. 

It is crucial that the state, which controls the means of coercion including the police and armed forces, is not left in the hands of the capitalists it represents. But unlike previous contestants for state power, the working class will not seek to establish its own state: a workers' state or a socialist state.

 As Engels pointed out, the workers' conquest of state power will be the last act of the state. The state will be dismantled. Government over people will be replaced by the administration of things. A class-free society, which will exist the moment that the capitalists are dispossessed and the means of wealth production and distribution are commonly owned and democratically controlled must be a society without a state. The State, like other social institutions, has not existed for all eternity, the long era of primitive man’s existence knew it not, only the advent of property with consequent class subjections makes the State a necessity.

“The modern State is but an executive committee for administering the affairs of the whole bourgeois class.”— (Communist Manifesto.)

With the establishment of Socialism and the consequent abolition of classes and class oppression, the function of the State ceases, and its need is ended. Socialism and the State are therefore incompatible. 

The World Socialist Movement seeks through the self-interest of the workers to change the system because that system is run in the interest of those who are parasites in society. It urges the producers of wealth to gain comfort for themselves. Within the capitalist system, there are countless intellectuals laying claim to being the teachers of the working class. every library and bookshop is filled with their voluminous works, professing their deepest sympathy with the sufferings of that class. Our advice to our fellow workers in this age of political chicanery and academic charlatans is to trust none. The main force generated within that system and the human factor that must bring that change is the growing conscious discontent of the working class, who in order to achieve their emancipation must realise that the barrier of freedom and comfort for all stands in the present socially operated, but privately-owned means of life. The only possible alternative is social ownership, by which the evils of to-day will be removed and the communal form of society in which the human family was cradled for so many thousands of years restored.

In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, working people learned that it was difficult to improve their condition by individual appeals to their employers. They also discovered that appeals to elected representatives went unheard. And so the men and women organised into trade unions to exercise their economic power in forcing the employers of labour to concede better working conditions, shorter hours or higher wages. The trade unions are organised for the expressed purpose of exercising the economic power possessed by the workers through the use of their hands or brains in operating and running industry.  Without the working class not one wheel would turn. There is no power in the world strong enough to oppose successfully the will of the organised, useful, productive working class when it is conscious of its class interests and determined to serve them. For it is only the people who work who carry folks around and feed them, and shelter to warm and clothe them, and take things to them. In spite of the innumerable battles between the employers and the workers and in spite of the steady gains made by labour, the workers have lost as many battles as they have won. In spite of increased wages and in spite of improved conditions, workers are still exploited. The workers have to be forever fighting to keep pace with the rising cost of living. The workers have to fight on the industrial field, with their fellow workers or sink lower and lower into utter degradation and despair. There is absolutely no way to avoid this fight. The only real hope for the working class is in the abolition of the wages system.

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