New Year has come round again and around the world, socialists are asking “How much longer must we wait?” Outside the Socialist Party, there are thousands and thousands of workers who suffer servile conditions and bitterly complain, yet they are deaf to our message.
We have often pointed that the insecurity and misery that is the lot of the working class arises from the private ownership of the means of life and the transformation of these into the common property of society will enable the resources of society to flow wherever it is needed, instead of only to those who have the money to buy. Is our message so hard to understand? No! It is the very essence of simplicity. The workers produce the wealth of the world, the capitalists own it. The aim of the capitalists is to force or cajole the workers into the submissive attitude of willing wage-slaves. Whatever goodwill we may wish one another as the bells ring in the new year, capitalism will determine what we get, and for most of us, it will be a pretty second-rate existence.
On the surface, it is true, there may seem little reason for optimism. From 1904 until to-day we have delivered the same message day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and still our fellow-workers let themselves be led up the blind alleys of disappointment and despair, following leaders with pathetic trust on the painful march to a promised land that always remains just over the hill. It is not palliatives for individual social ills that we need but the removal of the cause of all those.
Food, clothing, and shelter are basic human needs but they become under the profit system a means for a few to acquire wealth and power. The only way to assure a better life for all is for the power to come from people who put the public good first, before any private gain. There is only one way to achieve that change and end society’s nightmare: the democratic forces of humanity must replace the market forces of capital. Until the public good comes before profit, things will get worse for all of us.
The phrase “Happy New Year” has become little more than a platitude these days but what we do urge is that you take upon yourselves the task of seeing this year—2019 as the year in which you commenced to do something about putting things right.