Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Our Road Towards Socialism

 Ending of the exploitation, cruelty and injustice caused by class society in all its various forms is the goal of the Socialist Party. Socialism alone can end the exploitation of man by man. The aim we have set ourselves can be realised only with your active participation. 


Socialism will be when the means of production—the factories, mines, land,  and transport—are taken away from the monopoly capitalists are transformed into social property. This means that they belong to and are worked by the whole of the people, that the fruits of production likewise become social property, used to advance the standard of life of the people.

No longer can the capitalists by virtue of the fact that they own the means of production, live off the labour of others. No longer are the workers compelled to sell their labour power to the capitalists in order to live. The workers are no longer property-less proletarians. They now collectively own the means of production and work them in their own interests and in the interests of society, an associated body of wealth-producers. Socialism is the transition of mankind from class to a fully class-free society. This means the greatest advance in human history of all time, an abundance of goods of all kinds is reached. Society can now advance where the watchword is, “From each according to ability, to each according to needs”. Production will be planned in the interests of a continually rising standard of living for the people and in harmony for a healthy environment.


What is the Labour Party? Every socialist is supposed to be in the Labour Party we are told. But what distinguishes it from a socialist party. First, by eliminating the ultimate socialist ideal, the co-operative commonwealth, and confining its propaganda to present-day problems; and, second, by eliminating “general” questions and confining itself specifically to the special problems to unite in its organization the entire proletariat, irrespective of “political” or “social” belief, on a programme of its own “immediate demands;” and to carry that platform through by the aid of “friendly capitalists disposed towards the “reasonable demands of working people and such bourgeois political parties as may need its aid in Parliament and are willing to pay its price in the way of “social legislation.”

It is of the very essence of the Labour Party that it must not be “revolutionary.” First, because its aim is not to overthrow the existing order, but to meet the needs of “labour” under the present system. Second, it would alienate the sympathies of the bourgeois reformers, and it would make it impossible for any bourgeois political party to grant any of its demands. Any “revolutionary” sentiment that it may develop must be curbed.

The projected society we visualise is a society that would be based on the common ownership of the means of production, the elimination of private profit in the means of production, the abolition of the wage system, and the abolition of the division of society into classes.

Because as classes are abolished, as exploitation is eliminated, as the conflict of class against class is eliminated, the very reason for the existence of a government in the strict sense of the term begins to diminish. Governments are primarily instruments of repression of one class against another. According to the doctrine of all the great Marxists, we visualise, as Engels expressed it, a gradual withering away of the government as a repressive force, as an armed force, and its replacement by purely administrative councils, whose duties will be to plan production, to supervise public works, and education, and things of this sort. The government, as Engels expressed it, tends to wither away and the government of men will be replaced by the administration of things. The government of a socialist society in reality will be an administrative body because we don’t anticipate the need for armies, jails, repressions, and consequently, that aspect of government dies out for want of function.

By social revolution, we mean a transformation, a political and economic transformation of society. We visualise the future society of mankind as a socialist world order which will have a comradely collaboration between different lands and peoples with the production of the necessities and luxuries of mankind according to universal global planning

Tuesday, March 14, 2023



The foremost principle of socialism is the overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment in its place of a cooperative commonwealth. 

The aim of socialism can hardly be better expressed than by the formula of Marx and Engels that the basis of the new society will be the administration of things, as opposed to the existing order which consists of the coercion of persons.  Socialism means the freeing of the individual from the fetters which weigh upon him under the capitalistic system. And this is not to be understood as meaning that while the old fetters are removed new ones will be imposedAll direct coercion of the individual is contrary to the first principles of socialism.  One of the primary aims of the industrial and political organisation supposed by socialism is the guaranteeing of the freedom of the individual for good or ill. The aim is one for the working class throughout the world -  the abolition of class society itself. 

No one who really believes in socialist principles can afford to dally with the enemy or come to terms, in any shape or form. Socialism is the victory of the working class, the destruction of the economic and social bases of the possessing classes, the putting into practice of the principles of the planned economy, and the creation of a class-free society, where there will be no exploited or exploiters, nor class struggles, and all the efforts of society will be deployed to the common good. Socialism means the emancipation of all humanity.  Society will then determine for itself the forms of its confederations and its organisational structure.

Whoever travels through the land must be struck by its beauty. But, in addition to great natural beauty— our planet is rich. in natural resources, in the skill and art of its peoples, in its capacity to produce everything necessary for a good life for all. Our world could be a paradise for people. But on the contrary, it is not a paradise.  The fundamental cause of all the sufferings and tribulations of the people is that we are ruled by capitalists for their profit and interests.  The world is divided into rich and poor—a tiny handful of rich who need not work, and the overwhelming majority who work their whole lives through. It is a system of exploitation. By exploitation, we mean living off the labour of other people. Capitalism is a system in which the means for producing the wealth (the land, the mines, factories, the machines, etc.) are in private hands. A tiny handful of people own these “means of production” as they are called. But they do not work them. The immense majority of the people own nothing (in the sense that they can live on what they own) but their ability to work. In capitalist society the worker is neither a slave nor a serf, i.e. forced to do free, unpaid labour for a master. But he is exploited just the same, even though the form of this exploitation is not so open and clear as was the case with the slaves and the serfs.

The essence of exploitation under capitalism consists is that the workers, when set to work with raw materials and machinery, produce far more in value than what is paid out by the capitalists in wages. In short, they produce a surplus which is taken by the capitalists and for which they are not paid. Thus they are robbed of the values they produce. This is the source of capitalist profit. It is on this surplus, produced by the workers, that the capitalist lives in riches and luxury. Capitalism is a system in which the means for producing wealth are owned by a few who live by exploiting the workers, i.e. by robbing them of the values they produce over and above the value of their wages.

Capitalism is a system in which there are different classes—exploiters and exploited, rich and poor. The interests of these two classes are clearly opposed. The exploiters try to increase the exploitation of the workers as much as possible in order to increase their profits. The exploited try to limit this exploitation and to get back as much of the wealth as possible of which they have been robbed. This is one aspect of the class struggle which arises inevitably out of the whole character of capitalism as a class system based on exploitation.

The working class has to fight both immediate and long-term struggles. The immediate struggles are those that are fought out on different aspects of the struggle within the existing capitalist order. These struggles can be victorious without a fundamental change in the social system. Such struggles are those for wages, in defence of living standards, for peace etc. Organisations for waging these particular struggles are established, e.g. trade unions.

But for a lasting solution to all these problems, it is necessary to end capitalism altogether and replace it with a new system of society in which the working people decide how the world is run.

Monday, March 13, 2023

End Capitalism Now


Capitalism is in crisis.  The only vision remaining is the one put forward by the Socialist Party. The only credible alternative to running capitalism is to not run capitalism at all and thereby not let capitalism run our lives. What is important about socialism is its profound credibility.

Firstly, it has never been tried.

Secondly, the idea of production for use rather than profit is simple and makes sense to millions of people.

And thirdly, it is the only conceivable way that society will not get worse and worse to live in.

The practical alternative to living under capitalism, with all of its inevitable problems, is to establish consciously and democratically a different system of society in which production is owned by all, controlled by all and making wealth and services available to all. 

All the capitalist political parties try to comfort us with the promise that they alone know the way and have provided for every need to tempt us with better and brighter policies than their opponents. Capitalism can never be what its leaders promise. People already know that capitalism is a miserable system that’s rigged by and for the rich, and they don’t need to be told over and over again. But who’s offering a clear, understandable alternative, with a roadmap for how to get there? The Socialist Party disseminates the idea of a long-term solution to humanity's problems.

The reason why most people don’t consider revolution as a serious political option is that their thoughts are instantly derailed by the mental pictures that this conjures up. Either revolution is meaningless because everything nowadays is ‘revolutionaryas advertising agencies keep proclaiming, or it is a blood-soaked insurrection to where nobody wants to go, no matter how desperate things get.

The Socialist Party has over the years,  always been reluctant to speculate too wildly, for several reasons.

First, technology changes almost by the day, and what’s possible changes along with it. If we’d cared to describe our vision of a future socialist society, when we started out back in 1904, we would no doubt have been thrilled at talk of gas lamps in every street and a telephone in every town hall.

Second, taste is a very time and culture-specific thing. What appeals to you might be off-putting to someone else, and there’s no point deterring people from building a free society simply because of idle speculation about what some of the furniture might look like.

Third, and most importantly, it’s not up to us anyway, it’s up to the people who will establish socialism, which is you and people like you. If you want to live in bucolic forested idylls, as William Morris supposed back in the industrial 1890s, then doubtless you’ll make the arrangements. If you hanker for futuristic circular cities and gadgets galore.

Nevertheless, the future society envisaged by the Socialist Party has no money and is based on common ownership, democratic control and ecological principles. A proper sense of community has been established, cities have been made much smaller and the countryside revitalised, with people living in self-managing communities.  Socialism will be a “big society” in that it will be all society and no state. However, what we mean by both “society” and “state” is different from what it means today. By “society” we don’t mean bourgeois civil society where everybody has to fend for themselves to get a living, but one based on the common ownership of the means for producing useful things where everyone will be guaranteed a decent living by virtue of having free access to what they need. What people need will be provided by society and will not depend on their own initiative or competitive effort. The coercive aspects of the state will have disappeared, and many of its administrative functions will remain. There will still be central and local councils, though much more accountable and democratic than today and whose personnel won’t be able to allocate themselves any material privileges as everyone will have free access to what they need. In these changed circumstances there is no reason why some of the services provided by these administrations today should not continue to be. On the other hand, there will be scope for some of them to be provided by groups of volunteers. It will be up to the local communities of the time to decide. But the debate then will be a genuine debate about the best way to organise things in the common interest. Not the smokescreen to disguise cost-cutting in the interest of the capitalist class.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Capitalism - Each Against All


A few can rise out of their class and become traitors and renegades to their own working people; the mass is going to remain where they are. They can rise when the whole class rises together, to real social power. That’s why Eugene Debs said: “I want to rise with my class, not out of it.”

We are a class-stratified society and are getting more so. And no amount of media talk can disguise this fact. The most fundamental social fact is that the people are divided into classes, and the walls between the classes, instead of growing less, are getting higher. Class barriers are increasing. The picture is becoming clearer and clearer: on the one side, Big Business, property and its CEOs; and, on the other side, labour.

When they talk to you about “unlimited opportunity” for “social mobility” but working people live out their lives on the level at which they happen to be born and that is the bone and gristle of the capitalist class system. It is hard to find the media that tells the truth about capitalism, its exploitation and oppression of the people.

The voice of socialism is clear and distinctive and beyond the reach of effective argument because it speaks always and everywhere for this powerful idea: Without the fight for economic democracy, and without the fight for socialism, there can be no social progress. The question of our times grows clearer: the struggle for socialism or world destruction.

Economic power is political power. Don’t let anybody fool you otherwise. Economic power is direct political power. And the bigger industry gets, the more integrated its technology, and the more interdependent its parts, the more dependent the whole society and its government becomes upon those who own and control that technology. What this means is that, with the growth of big industries and monopolies, corporate share in total power has grown enormously.

Socialism will eliminate exploitation. It will rid the world of inequality, competition, social robbery and the nationalism and imperialism that gives rise to global war. In the absence of world socialism, a planet of human harmony, science and technology is now capable of destroying all mankind. Socialism has now moved from the realm of the possible or probable into the realm of necessity in order to save life itself.

 What better plan has anyone offered anywhere for the ending of capitalist anarchy than the socialist reconstruction of society? Is there any plan that goes to the root of the evil as does that to make the means of production the property of the working people, controlled by them, for the production of the things the world needs, ending the limits set by money and markets?


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Daniel De Leon


The following is the preface by the author to his biography of Daniel De Leon, which was part of Manchester University Press' Lives of the Left series. 

 Thanks go to La Bataille socialiste blog for originally putting this on the net.

This biography is a study of uncompromised revolutionary hope and dismal political failure. The story of Daniel De Leon is not that of a populist leader or a radical legislator, but of a militant and unswerving Marxist and irrepressible socialist activist who could see what was wrong and what must be changed in the mean and sordid atmosphere of turn-of-the-century American capitalism. The wrongs which he exposed and the change which he sought concerned not only the nature of capitalism itself, but also the ways in which that system tends to dominate and misdirect efforts to resist it. The wrongs were to outlive De Leon; the change has yet to come. Still, people of reason argue with passion, and sometimes despair, about why socialist ideas have never taken root in the USA; why the American working class has been so successfully accommodated within the capitalist system; why the message of De Leon has been utterly unheeded. It is to be hoped that this biographical study of the pioneer of American Marxism will contribute to an explanation of the hopes and failures which characterised the early socialist tradition in the USA.

Writers of history have not been kind to Daniel De Leon. Apart from the generally uncritical hagiographical accounts of his life written by De Leonists in defence of their tradition, most historians have mentioned De Leon only in passing, usually disparagingly and often inaccurately. When I first came to study the history of socialist thought in the USA, I was surprised (and irritated) to discover that no serious scholarly work dealing exclusively with De Leon’s ideas has been published. It reminded me of the absence of serious scholarly works on the great English Marxist, William Morris, which had at one time been a feature of British socialist historiography. It was clear to me from the outset that De Leon was a figure of major intellectual importance in the history of American socialist thought, and it was just no good for his life and ideas to be left to the realm of superficial caricature. As I embarked upon a study of De Leon’s writings and speeches it became obvious that I was considering a substantial political theorist, an evaluation of whom should not be clouded by tedious psychological investigations or other long-obsolete sectarian squabbles. In the time that I have written this book, I have come to conclude that most of the original attacks upon De Leon were motivated by the fact that he would not abandon his principles in order to court the kind of popularity socialists often attract when they stop being socialists. The secondary critics of De Leon have too often been inclined simply to regurgitate the prejudices of those who wrote before them without comprehending the political context of such prejudices. I must plead guilty to an absence of biographical interest in the deeper qualities or defects of De Leon’s personality, nor would I  expect others to evaluate the political ideas of a Marx, a Mill or a Morris on the basis of criteria which are best left to computer dating agencies. In so far as De Leon’s character influenced his effect as a political thinker and activist such matters are considered in the following pages. It is my hope that readers will be motivated by this account of De Leon’s life to turn next to his many very readable and easily available writings, in which are to be found some of the soundest and most straightforward Marxist thinking between the years 1890 and 1914. The account which follows is intended to clarify the context and meaning of such writings as well as to raise a number of criticisms which the open-minded reader will want to consider.

I acknowledge with gratitude the contributions to the production of this book of several people. Melvin Harris, whose profound intellectual generosity has been an inspiration to me, allowed me free access to his unique collection of material by and on De Leon; furthermore, the discussions I had with him and the suggestions I received helped me immensely to understand some of the important themes examined in this book. Frank Girard entertained me while I was researching in the USA, offered me the benefit of his years of scholarly and committed reflection upon De Leon’s contribution to the socialist movement, and (together with Ben Perry, with whom he is writing what promises to be an excellent history of the Socialist Labor Party) gave me insights into the De Leonist tradition which I could not have obtained otherwise. Adam Buick has encouraged and, sometimes, directed my research, especially into De Leon’s conception of socialism. Clifford Slapper’s very useful comments on the text and consistently intelligent suggestions of ways to improve both the stylistic and political quality of this book are much appreciated. I have received useful information from Edmund Grant, Ronald A. Sims, John O’Neil, Louis Lazarus and a number of others in the USA who did not know me personally but who heard that I was writing about De Leon and were kind enough to send me literature by, or about, him. In expressing my sincere thanks to these people, I must make clear that I take responsibility for any errors of fact or fault of interpretation which may have found their way into the text. I would also like to thank Sally McCann for her diligent and very helpful work in copy-editing this book. Above all, I dedicate this book to my father, who first taught me about the importance of history and the vision of socialism, which, when combined, can change the world; without his support over many years, this book could never have been written.

Stephen Coleman


Friday, March 10, 2023

War on War


The international crisis is escalating at the present time. The drive towards war is assuming irresistible dimensions. Elaborate preparations, hidden and open, are being made for a new showdown. Diplomatic and military preparations are going on in every country in Europe. There is only one way to prevent war and if it breaks out to end it, namely, by the overthrow of capitalism, the real cause from which war arises. Capitalism is a system based upon exploitation. Violence, repression and war are necessary to maintain that exploitation. The World Socialist  Movement has always been striving for peace between nations. Its energies have been directed towards the elimination of the causes of war. You are really not against war  if you are not for the overthrow of the system that produces war. You  are not really for peace if you  are not for the overthrow of the system which makes peace impossible. The first casualty of war is democracy. It must be obvious to anyone who is not politically naive, that no government undertaking or treaty has ever been kept for longer than it was expedient to do so.

The profit system is the cause of all wars today. The capitalist class owns all things, and it wants a market in which to sell them. Besides, the capitalist class has billions of dollars (profits) which it intends to invest in some other country in order to make more profits. And this is the cause of all capitalist wars. The capitalists all want to seize or hold, territory in foreign, undeveloped countries. They want to have a military in order to protect these foreign investments from the capitalists of other countries. Wars are caused by the competition of various national capitalist groups for new markets, new natural resources and new investments. The Socialist Party cannot agree with those who attribute the cause of war to the behaviour of this or that political leader.

Socialism will prevent wars because it means the ownership of the factories, mines, shops, lands and all other instruments of production and distribution by the workers who use them. It means the abolition of the profit system. You can make the whole world your world with a united working class. But you must have an educated, organised class.

The way to cure a disease is not to put salve upon the symptoms, but to remove the cause. The profit system is almost the only cause of war today. Discard the system and remove the cause of war. The profit system is the cause of nearly all the suffering poverty, sickness, crime, as well as war. It is the great enemy of the working people. Amidst the horrors of famine, poverty, crime and war there is one way out for the working class of every country. There is one way that means victory for the valuable workers of that country. That way means socialism (or industrial democracy as some call it).

So long as capitalists profit from privileged wealth, whilst the working people are crushed, there will always be wars for markets, mines, etc., which are required in order to maintain the privileged class's wealth. Never in history were the burdens and the terrors of war more horrible, than just now. We argue that the cause of war is a capitalist society.

Under capitalism, we have a world which is divided into rival and competing nations, which struggle with each other over the control of markets, trade routes and natural resources. It is this struggle which brings nations into armed conflict with each other because militarism is the violent extension of the economic policies of propertied interests. War cannot be isolated from the economical relationships of production or the general object of capitalist production, which is to advance the interests of those privileged class minorities who monopolise the whole process of production.

It follows that no worker of any country has any stake or interest in war, and we have always said that workers should never support war. Our stand since we were established has been to oppose every war. Armed with this understanding of the cause of war we are committed to working politically with workers of all countries to establish world socialism because that is where the interest of the working class lies. We have never participated in the hideous cause of capitalism at war.

We are saying that socialism is the only guarantee that war will not take place because it will completely remove the cause of war. But we are saying more than this. All the time capitalism exists, war will remain because the threat of military force, and its use, is a necessary instrument of vested economic interests.