Thursday, May 04, 2017

We shall establish the socialist commonwealth

What is of importance now is that people who may identify with wanting to create a genuinely socialist society of common ownership, democratic control and free access to wealth, don’t get suckered in by a radical-sounding, ‘populist’ reform movement that has yet to prove its popularity anywhere beyond the already like-minded. The attempt to reform capitalism by so-called benevolent governments has always been a disaster and there’s nothing to suggest it would be any different next time around.

The Socialist Party is contesting this coming June election as a part of our campaign to establish a new system of society: one based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community. That is our sole object. By common ownership, we don't mean that everyone should have to share a toothbrush, but that in a society built upon our mutual effort, we should all benefit and have a say in how it is run. We don't believe any politician can solve these problems, as long as the flawed basis of our society
remains intact. In fact, we believe only you and your fellow workers can solve these problems. We believe that it will take a revolution in how we organise our lives, a fundamental change. We want to see a society based on the fact that you know how to run your lives, know your needs and have the skills and capacity to organise with your fellows to satisfy them. You know yourselves and your lives better than a handful of bosses ever can. With democratic control of production, we can ensure that looking after our communities becomes a priority, rather than something we do in our spare time. We all share fundamental needs, for food, clothing, housing and culture, and we have the capacity to ensure access to these for all, without exception. Our candidates make no promises, offers no pat solutions, only to be the means by which you can remake society for the common good.

All the politicians will tell you they have the answers. But their answers continually fail to solve the problems society faces. The Socialist Party says that if the politicians' answers are worthless, perhaps they are answering the wrong questions. Maybe we are asking the wrong questions. If we ask politicians why there are crime and unemployment, war and strife, homelessness and starvation, pollution and environmental destruction, they'll prevaricate, change the subject or give an answer a mile off the mark. Very few will locate the problem in a wider social and economic context - in the way our society is organised for production : profit before needs. But this is what the vast majority of our problems boil down to the undemocratic control and distribution of the world's natural and industrial resources and the fact that every aspect of our lives is subordinated to the requirements of profit. The golden maxim of our age is "can't pay - can't have. It is the logic that finds hundreds of millions living lives of abject poverty in a world of potential abundance.

Our political adversaries support the basic way society is structured, or just assume it’s the only way things can be. They would say that it can be improved from within, by changes to the law, or finding more funding for public services. Reforms or increased public spending may help some people in the short-term. But they only last as long as they fit in with the economic and political climate, which runs in the interests of the elite. The needs and wishes of the vast majority of people aren’t as important. People have campaigned for higher wages, or increased funding, or protecting the environment, without long-lasting, satisfactory resolutions ever being found. This shows that the problems haven’t been addressed at their cause.

We would say that to solve society’s problems, we have to change the way society is structured. This means going from our world where the means to produce and distribute wealth are owned by a minority to one where those resources and facilities are owned by everyone in common. Then, goods would be produced and services would be run directly for anyone who wants them, without the dictates of the economic market. Industries and services would be run just to satisfy people’s needs and wants. Our natural resources could be managed in a sustainable way, as the waste and short-term profitability which lead to environmental damage wouldn’t be there.

In a socialist society, the artificial constraints of profit will be removed and the productive processes will be used to their fullest potential and with the aim of satisfying needs first and in an environmentally friendly way. Socialist society will mean a world without borders or frontiers, states and armies, exploitation and oppression. It will be a world devoid of monetary transactions in which people give of their abilities and take freely according to their needs. All this could only be achieved by fundamentally changing the way society is organised. As every country is part of a global economy, the vast majority of people worldwide would need to want to change society.

We are not demanding the impossible. Our case is practical: our world would be a much better place to live in if we had a real democratic say in the decisions that effect us and real control over the means and instruments for producing and distributing the things we need to live in comfort. That is socialism - the only alternative to capitalism and its political parties. The Socialist Party is standing alone as a party which aims at the capture of political power by the working class, to abolish capitalism. The only legitimate and practical way this could happen is by organising equally and democratically. This means voluntary, co-operative, creative work, with decisions and responsibilities, agreed through everyone having an equal say. This would mean a much broader and more inclusive use of democracy than we’re used to. The Socialist Party is using what limited democracy we have in our current society to advocate a better world for everyone.

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