Workers are wage slaves who survive only by selling their labour power to the capitalists. Capitalists own the means of production and pay workers for their labour power. But the working class produces far more wealth than it receives in income. The difference is the source of capitalist profits. The capitalist tries to drive down the wages of the worker. The worker is employed only as long as he or she helps create profit for the monopolies. When the capitalist has problems maximizing his profits, he does not hesitate to throw workers out into the street. The capitalist system exploits the working class and creates the poverty and economic insecurity of society as a whole. The capitalist system is a system of economic anarchy and crisis. Capitalism is plagued by periodic economic crises which are built into the economic system.
There is only one thing that will cure the world of wars, of poverty, of insecurity and that is industrial democracy - socialism. Industrial democracy means the rule of the workers as opposed to what we have known all our lives-the rule of autocracy, or the rule of the capitalist few. Capitalist rule has brought poverty and despair to the productive many, and luxury and power to the unproductive few. The profits of the big corporations swell bigger than ever.
The capitalist world heaps misery upon misery upon the backs of the working people. For countless millions, life today is hunger, toil and anxiety. Everywhere the capitalist rulers look for remedies. But they can find none. To-day all the shams of capitalism are exposed. We are living under a system which is clearly revealed as the enemy of humanity. It has vast productive potential, but only brings poverty, hunger and misery to the working people. It inflicts draconian cuts in living standards on the already poor, simply in the interest of still greater profits for the capitalist class.
Events have emphasised the need that working people have for an alternative to their misery. Working men and women who try to find an answer to the hardships of present-day conditions are faced with a hard task. Everywhere, rising prices, falling wages, the uncertainty of a job, months or even years of unemployment; wars and ever-new threats of war. The armaments industry profits from wars of unparalleled brutality.
Capitalism is responsible for the deliberate destruction of the environment. The profit motive is incompatible with safeguarding the world’s natural resources. So long as it is profitable, environmental destruction is perfectly ’logical’ under capitalism’s business model, the process of capital accumulation. Our ecological problem is not limited resources but the waste of resources. The anarchistic system of capitalism wastes a great amount of social wealth.
All these are the daily conditions of life now. The root cause of all this is capitalism’s quest for profit, which takes precedence over any human concern. The capitalist system has concentrated the ownership of the tremendous productive forces in the hands of a small group of big corporations. It is marked by a basic contradiction: production is social, involving the coordinated and interconnected labour of millions of workers, but the control of this social labour and its product is private. Capitalism is an obstacle to the further advancement of the material well-being of society. It is unjust, wasteful, irrational and increasingly unproductive. The situation demands a new, more rational system of economic organisation that will utilise the productive forces for the benefit of the vast majority of society.
The greatest need of to-day is a clear understanding and positive mapping out of the path to travel. In the existing movement, there is no direction, no preparedness or unity. If the
workers do not awaken in time a terrible fate awaits us all. Capitalism cannot be reformed. The only solution is to end it and build a new social system. Socialism will provide a society planned for the majority rather than for profit.
Our vision is of a world movement which does not claim a monopoly of correct ideas but which brings together all the initiatives which exist in society and builds them into a coherent whole. The task is to abolish capitalism and bring about a socialist society. We are under no illusion about the difficulty of overturning capitalism. The ruling class will not give up its position easily. The socialist society of the future will draw its strength from the new organisational forms thrown up in these mass struggles and will learn from the experience.
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