|READ THE SOCIALIST STANDARD IN 2019|
Modern society is divided between those who produce wealth but do not own it and those who own wealth though never assisting in its production, between the class that owns and controls the means of wealth-production and those who own nothing but their energy. Unable to obtain access to the means of life, the propertyless is compelled to sell his or her energy to those who own, who becomes a wage-slave and must bargain with the capitalist for a wage that will satisfy his or her wants. As the number of workers seeking to sell their energy is nearly always in excess of the demand, bargaining power is on the side of the buyers, or masters. It is a simple business axiom that when a commodity is plentiful it is generally cheap. But cheap labour-power means a low standard of living, and the owner of labour-power being human and more or less intelligent resents being thrust ever more deeply into poverty; while at the same time those who cut down his rations make huge additions to their bank balances and finding that markets have somehow become glutted, stop production for a time and turn their workers on the streets. Slow starvation on the dole for a time and then, back in the factory to repeat the process with, possibly, a lower wage and managers and overseers hustling and driving with feverish haste that they may be first with their goods on the awakening market.
On the one hand a super-abundance of wealth. On the other poverty to the verge of desperation. Whether they do little or nothing, those who own the means of life increase their wealth daily beyond their power to spend it. The propertyless wage-slaves are driven by the fear of the sack, and the more they yield the poorer they become. The capitalist increases his wealth by machinery and methods that enable one worker to do the work of many and then reduces that worker’s wages. He does nothing to assist production, but his overseers—themselves urged on by fear of the sack—in his interest, are constantly sacking and speeding up and reducing wages. This is the class war, waged from the employers’ side and accompanied by an avalanche of propaganda that attempts to reconcile these conflicting interest. The antagonism cannot be hidden. It cannot be smoothed away by patriotic blather or glib phrases about the indivisible interests of employer and employed. Whether they want to "carry on a class war” or not the workers are compelled to fight back. Whether they understand how to carry the fight to a successful issue or not millions all over the world realise that it is necessary to organise against the capitalist class.
What does the Socialist Party demand? The abolition of every form of expropriation and oppression of man by man in social, political and economic life. Mankind shall be free and equal without exception. From this arises the need for society to increase both the quantity and the quality of the means of life and of culture, so it shall prove adequate to meet the very highest demands that can be made upon it; and it follows, therefore, that it is the duty of every person to co-operate in accordance with his or her abilities in the production of these means of culture and life. The principle of all for one and one for all will be the life principle of the coming society. We wish every individual without exception to have a share in the means of culture and education according to his or her capacities and needs.
The aim of the Socialist Party is to overthrow the capitalist class and the creation of a class-free and state-free society in which the guiding principle will be ’From each according to ability, to each according to need’. Socialism will be based on the abolition of wage labour. Only by resisting all attempts at class collaboration, insisting on the independence of the working class, can a movement be built to challenge capitalism. This system of capitalism has now come close to running humanity into the ground. There are several parties around that call themselves “communist” or “socialist”. We have important disagreements with them. These parties all have one thing in common – they all dress themselves up with high-sounding revolutionary phrases, but underneath they are defenders of capitalism and attempt to sabotage the struggle of the working class.
Marxism is our guide to action. But it is not our Party's personal property. It belongs to the working class and is a mighty weapon of the working class. It is the business of all workers to grasp this theory and use it in the struggle to liberate our class. The Socialist Party takes the stand of the working class, which today is the only really revolutionary class.