While the quality of life of the nation’s working class has been driven down to new depths, the ruling rich have prospered as never before, with the rich-poor gap among the highest in earth. By every measure, government policy has been to transfer trillions of dollars and vital social services of every kind from working people to the miniscule minority ruling elite. It is not just the British ruling class that robs the working people but the crisis-ridden ruling classes across the globe. There are no exceptions! The economic recession is “resolved” through the imposition of massive austerity policies implemented with wild abandon, as social services, health care, education, wages, and working conditions are continually eroded, regardless of which capitalist party is in power.
The capitalist system is mired in economic crises because of its very nature—the absolute imperative to expand and grow or die. Today’s giant corporations are in constant battles with each other on a world scale to secure markets for their competing commodities. Each technological innovation in the productive process employed by one is quickly matched or exceeded in productive capacity by the rest. What was a state-of the-art factory yesterday becomes obsolete within months. The same holds for every sphere of capitalist production. Those who employ the best, most efficient, cost-saving technologies (as well as cheapening the cost of labour) win the game, that is, until the remaining competitors are either compelled, at great expense, to introduce the next level of technology or go out of business. Wall Street’s current return to massive mergers and acquisitions is nothing less than one of capitalism’s imperatives to consolidate the power to dominate by absorbing the productive facilities of lesser competitors. Small businesses are daily eaten and digested by the larger corporations. In the same manner, the introduction of each new technology has the effect of substituting automation for human labour. Hence, we see the worldwide rise in unemployment and the associated worldwide decline of the manufacturing sectors in the world’s advanced capitalist nations.
Are you angry and frustrated with the usual kind of politics? But, nevertheless, still committed to a fundamental change to society. We have to confess, there does exist a certain amount of skepticism about voting but the Socialist Party runs candidates in elections as it is a time when people are more open to thinking about politics. For socialists, standing for parliament represents an opportunity to put forward the key elements of socialist principles.
Things can change but it’s not going to be through conventional politics, only through a quite different kind of politics. A politics which rejects and aims to change the status quo. A politics which involves people participating and not leaving things up to others to do something for them. When more and more people realise this they will begin organising for it, in the places where they work, in the neighbourhoods where they live, in the various clubs and associations they are members of, but, above all, they will need to organise politically. If you want a better world, you are going to have to bring it about yourselves. That’s our basic message. It’s no good following leaders, whether professional politicians or professional revolutionaries. In fact, following anybody (not even us) won’t get you anywhere. The only way is to carry out a do-it-yourself revolution on a completely democratic basis. Democratic in the sense that that’s what the majority want. And democratic in the sense that that majority, rather than following leaders, organises itself on the basis of mandated and recallable delegates carrying out decisions reached after a full and free discussion and vote. Fundamental social change never comes from elections alone, but it almost always proceeds through electoral battles. We are not simply looking to redistribute wealth. We want to take down the structures of class.