Queen Street (Newport Road end),
Cardiff CF10 2HQ
The Socialist Party stands in opposition to capitalism, a system of minority power where the productive machinery is possessed by a minority class: 10 per cent of the British population own more than half the accumulated wealth. Under capitalism the vast majority of people own no major stake in the productive machinery—they only own their mental and physical energies which they must sell to capitalists. The working class is in a position of compulsory exploitation, and are only permitted to produce wealth if it can be sold on the market. And it will only be sold on the market if it is profitable for the capitalists. In other words, wealth is produced under capitalism for profit and not for use. If there is no profit there are devastating consequences: food is dumped in the sea while people starve; cars are left standing in fields; homes remain unoccupied; workers are actually paid not to produce wealth.
The Socialist Party seeks to end the system, not to re-arrange the furniture within it.
You cannot get social change in the interest of the majority of the people unless the majority of the people want it. If the state is not used by the working class it is going to be used against the working class. So a socialist majority must gain control of the state machine. The socialist majority will elect delegates to do what the workers want, not leaders to act on our behalf. The ruling class cannot rule without the acquiescence of the working class. Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto that the socialist revolution will be unlike all previous revolutions because it will be a revolution of the majority. It is true that SPGB does not support demonstrations demanding capitalist reform. We do not kid workers that the system can be humanised.
The fact is that the mass of the people are in the working class. We run society from top to bottom; workers produce all the wealth. It is the working class which possesses the power to determine the future. Any attempt to establish socialism which left power in the hands of a parliament committed to the running of capitalism and armed forces committed to the defence of capitalism would be bound to fail. The present system survives because of minority power. Any conception of revolution or social change which is based on working class followers placing their faith in an enlightened vanguard is fundamentally anti-socialist. Where access to the state does not exist, workers must establish political democracy. The SPGB wants socialism without leaders or followers. We don’t need shepherds because we’re not sheep.