Friday, February 07, 2020

We Stand for World Socialism

There is great confusion in the world today over the question of what is socialism. Our aim in the Socialist Party is to try to clear this up.

While Labour politicians talked about socialism, in practice they carried on running capitalism. They did introduce certain reforms which ameliorated the effects of some of the worst features of capitalism in the spheres of health, housing and family support. Collectively, these became known as the ‘Welfare State’ – but they were not socialism. The essential feature of capitalism, that very thing which makes the system one of exploitation and robbery of the mass of wage workers by the ruling class of capitalists, namely the private ownership of the means of production and distribution, this remained untouched.  That did not stop the ruling class from denouncing Labour governments as ‘socialists’ or ‘communists’ at every opportunity. They made the most of their control of the media and almost all sources of information to imprint this 'big lie' on people's minds.

 The Socialist Party exposes the whole machinery of capitalist exploitation of the working-class. The Socialist Party does not oppose supporting reforms under capitalism. What we do not embrace reformism attempting to build support by allying with openly class collaborationist parties. Our generation is living through a fundamental transformation of society in which international capitalism must be  displaced by socialism if civilisation is to thrive.

Socialism must involve the total transformation of social relations. This will mean:
1. The abolition of the private ownership of the means of production.
2. Elimination of competition and production for exchange value and its replacement by democratic planning and production for use.
3. Workers’ and people’s management of the economy and society.
4. The institutionalisation of mass forms of democracy, freedom of association and criticism. Progressive elimination of differences between manual and mental labour, town and country, men and women and between different races.
5.The abolition of wage labour.
6. The elimination of classes.
7. The disappearance of the state.
8. From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
We stand for an end to the oppression and exploitation of man by man. We live in a world torn by crises and wars. We live in a society which puts a price tag on everything. Our generation is increasingly disillusioned. We seek new paths, new roads forward. We search for social change. The world can be changed. For our generation and for humanity it must be changed. As socialists we believe that this social ferment must be harnessed to the great task of transforming this society—of building a new world. We stand for a world which can eliminate poverty and hunger and war; a world in which freedom is more than a word in a textbook; a world in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the producers themselves and the wealth of mankind are available to all. We stand with the oppressed, with all those who struggle for a better world. Above all, we declare our full solidarity with our fellow-workers. Around the world humanity is saying "Enough" and is beginning to move. Though our lives and conditions be different; though we live in different parts of the world; though our struggles take different forms; ours is a common goal—an end to the oppression and exploitation of man by man. What democratic rights we have were not handed to us on a silver platter—they were won in struggle. For most working people democracy remains a word without meaning. We are cut off from the ability to make decisions affecting our own lives. The giant corporations determine all the key questions. What does democracy mean to those deprived of his or her heritage and birthright? Or to the worker whose strike is broken by the corporate controlled courts and police forces? Or to non-whites faced with racism? Or to the many who live in poverty, denied the social power to escape it? Or to women denied by law the right to control their bodies. Behind the facade of parliamentary democracy lies the fact of a fundamentally undemocratic distribution of power that is inherent in capitalism. The Socialist Party works to extend democracy to all areas of life.
How can the world be changed? Certainly no elite will serve the task. We do not want to replace one group of masters with another. Nor do we want the patronising assistance of those whose real interests lie with the present system. We must look to those whose interests lie in change—to the working people, the people who work in the factories and offices of our society. They built the society—and they too are cut off from power and progress by the tiny minority that owns the wealth. The bosses need the working people—but the workers don’t need the bosses. Despite the relative complacency of the working class, it is clear that their very life situation forces them to come repeatedly into conflict with the system. They find themselves in daily conflict with the employers in the struggle for decent wages and security. It is the people, when they see the need for real social change and are armed with socialist ideas, that will build world socialism.

Those who doubt that socialism would ever come about are challenged today by the existence of the world’s peoples who are clearly on the road to the most thoroughgoing social change in history. A new world can be created—a world which will put people before money, which will create a participatory democracy every level. The potential of mankind virtually limitless, if it is freed from economic and social oppression. People everywhere are beginning to break from the conservatism of the old order. New movements are being formed, new directions are being tried. A new generation faces the task of finding the means to take up the struggle which the old movements have failed to carry—to participate in the international movement for socialism. We are part of the world community of socialists. We have no illusions that the way will be easy, no visions of quick success. But the future belongs to humanity and socialism.

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