Saturday, October 22, 2016

Socialism will end racism

Racism is an evil that has subjected millions to degrading and humiliating discrimination. While a great deal of effort has been made to minimise and alleviate the effects of racism, nothing -- absolutely nothing -- has been done to eliminate its cause. The basic cause of racism is not the false ideas or racial myths conceived and spread by the white supremacists. Rather, the cause of racism is the competitive, strife-ridden, class-divided capitalist system of society under which we live, and under which we desperately attempt to survive.

By forcing ethnic and racial minorities into submissive patterns of behavior the ruling class supplies itself with a pool of cheap, compliant labour. This is one way the capitalists benefit from race prejudice and race discrimination. But there is another, more subtle way. We have shown that labor's product is divided between the wages paid to the workers and the surplus value taken by the capitalists.  We said it's like dividing an apple - if one part is smaller, then the other part is larger, and vice versa. Now, by the very nature of things, there is a struggle between the capitalists and workers over this division. The capitalists, either because they are forced by competitive compulsions, or out of sheer profit hunger, constantly try in one way or another to increase their share. Contrariwise, the workers resist and strive to maintain their living standards, and even improve them. Here we can see the focal point of the class struggle that rages in modern society. We socialists hold that this struggle is irrepressible and irreconcilable. It can be ended only when the workers, male and female, black, brown and white, skilled and unskilled, Christian, Muslim and Jew, unite as a class to put an end to capitalist exploitation. The point is this -- race prejudice is one of the most insidious, and effective devices ever invented to keep the workers divided and fighting each other.

Another factor to be noted is the competitive nature of capitalism. And it isn't just the capitalists who are competing against each other; the workers also are cast in the role of competitors. They must compete for jobs. Now, then, the fewer the number of workers competing for the jobs, say of carpenters, the better chance each man has. And one way to keep the competition down is just to keep ethnic minorities who are easily identified, out of the carpenter market. Of course, there has got to be some justification for such discrimination. So we find it in the myths that circulate about races. These myths and libels are not looked at too carefully. They are believed when it serves one's material interests to believe them. And so the working class is kept divided, the capitalist class remains in the saddle -- and the outmoded capitalist system keeps all of our society in turmoil and conflict, postponing the day of international peace and social harmony.

There is but one way to end this irreconcilable struggle. That is by abolishing this outmoded capitalist system, and replacing it with socialism. Only a united, class-conscious working class can accomplish such a revolutionary change. Obviously, it is in the capitalists' interests to prevent the working class from uniting. And race prejudice is one of the most effective divide, and rule devices ever invented for blinding the workers to their class interests and keeping them divided and fighting each other, instead of forming a solid front against their exploiters.

What is the answer? How is mankind to win fulfillment of the dream of human solidarity? How are we to purge our minds of prejudice and to realize that the colour of a person’s skin has no more real significance than whether a person is tall or short or fat or thin or brown-eyed or blue-eyed? There is but one way. That is to remove the capitalist cause of race prejudice and to lay a sound economic foundation for human brotherhood. Well, the Socialist Party says that first of all, we must outlaw private ownership of the land and industries. We must make the means of social production the property of all the people socially. Then, instead of producing things for sale and profit, we will carry on production to satisfy human needs. In short, we replace the competition and strife of capitalism with the cooperation and collective interests of socialism.

The Socialist Party is fully conscious of the humiliation and sufferings of black and brown fellow-workers. We fully share with them their yearnings for a better life. But candour and honesty compel us to point out that only the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism can put an end to race prejudice, and establish the kaleidoscope of mankind on a sound material foundation. By making the means of production, distribution and social services the collective property of society, we shall be able to use our collective productive genius to create abundance and leisure for all in a sane, peaceful and democratic socialist industrial commonwealth. To establish such, the workers of all lands must organise in accordance with the economic and political conditions to demand at the ballot box that all the means of life become the common property of society.