Abolition of the wage system? Yes, we’re for it. Let’s organise to manage industry, eliminate private profit, plan production to suit the needs of the people – for peace, prosperity and plenty. But there is a war raging between the capitalist class and the working class. The capitalist class is easy to identify, they are the handful of millionaires and billionaires who own or control and who milk the factories, mines, and fields of our world. They are the class that owns and sells the products that we make and often can’t even afford to buy. We sell our labour to this class for a living wage, and very often less than that. The boss’s appetite for profits is looked after and protected by the State. The government is run by the capitalists for the purpose of maintaining the flow of profits. This is done in a lot of ways. Bail-outs for the corporations who also receive tax breaks and subsidies. A system of courts and police guard the property and the profits of the capitalists from the working class by injunctions against strikes and picket lines and strikes enforced by police who escort scabs into work. The government protects the boss’s right to practically dictate the terms of employment to us.
There are many people who say that they are for socialism and claim to be in favour of the emancipation of workers. However, we mustn’t be taken in by these “socialists”. The function of the Socialist Party is to educate the people by criticising all attempts at so-called reforms, whose aim is not the realisation of socialism, but the hindering of it; and by encouraging the unity of the working class towards revolution and the abolition of capitalism. As socialists, we base our political policy on the class struggle of the workers, because we know that the self-interest of the workers lies our way. We raise high our unsullied banner, and with principles inviolate and ideals undimmed, we stand forth as the representatives of the Socialist Party, appealing to the toilers and producers to join us in building up the party of their class. We all hope and work for the co-operative commonwealth of socialism.
Engaging in the democratic process and contesting elections has always been the position of the Socialist Party. Our position political action is not the sole strategy but that extra-parliamentary activities should be engaged alongside electoral action in a coordinated complementary strategy. Having fought and died for the ballot, fellow-workers tend to forget it is not the X on the voting paper which counts but the person's consciousness behind it. We want the working class to take over the State and convert it into an unarmed democratic administration of things. We want to see an end to capitalist class rule not the breakdown of society. The workers en masse don't need to create a different and more democratic decision-making structure from the ground up. What they need to do is to take over and perfect the existing structures. We don't need to construct a socialist society from scratch; this is not the way social evolution works; there will be a degree of continuity between what exists now and what will exist in socialism as there always has been between one system of society and another.
Those in the Socialist Party are not model system-builders. You don't abolish the state, getting rid of your control of your society at the point of actually having won the thing, and then play at Utopias. transform the institutions you have captured from capitalist into socialist ones. People recognise it will be by both parliament and non-parliament means we achieve socialism. Our case for Parliament is that it is the most efficacious application of the workers' will to establish socialism. We seek the least disruptive method of revolution and in the UK, at this moment in time, parliament is that route. It is by no means a universal one-size fits-all prescription. The SociaIist Party endorses both electoral and social activism without letting either be exclusive political strategies. The Socialist Party seeks to capture the state for the purpose of abolishing the state which will ‘wither way’ and be replaced merely with an ‘administration of things’. There is no necessary clash between socialists and anarchists in their conception of future society – both are state-free.
Unable or unwilling to look beyond the short-term horizon of the next election, politicians are essentially prohibited from taking a long view of things. To avoid making hard decisions on the environment costs are pushed into the future, glossed over by an optimism on the technological innovation and market mechanisms. From this perspective, there is no need for urgent change. We must, therefore, reinvent democracy at the ballot box. The Socialist Party rejects the need for a ‘vanguard party’ to capture the state through forceful means, instead calling for the democratically mandated institution of socialism via the mechanisms of parliament. The Socialist Party argue that the state under capitalism is merely an instrument or tool of the capitalist class, meaning that politicians (knowingly or unknowingly) can only enact laws and policies that furthered the narrow interests of that class. We do not think that political representatives of the ruling class will advance the genuine interests of the working class. Socialism is the alternative to the capitalist mode of economy. What is needed is a revolutionary movement, driven by the working class, which would dismantle the capitalist state, abolish private property, and establish socialism.
There are those liberals, progressives, all concerned, well-meaning individuals who decry society’s illnesses but possess no clear idea of their fundamental cause. They see around them the unequal distribution of wealth, endless war, rampant racism, unemployment, and people's diminishing expectations yet hold no coherent analysis of how such injustices come about. They favour amending the current system, hoping that gradually, bit-by-bit, it can be converted into something fundamentally different. If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re compromising your political values and you’re sabotaging future real change. You’re guaranteeing the ruling class will put you in this position again and again. Lesser evilism proclaims “there is no alternative,” and works to enforce that claim, inducing people to knowingly vote for parties that do not represent their views or interests. Stampeded by revulsion and fear, we are left with the choice of voting for the mainstream and right-wing whose strategy then enables a further rightward drift. The more the “left” compromises and capitulates, the more boldly the conservatives express their vision and the further to the right the mainstream moves. Every year, the Left concedes more ground to the right, under the mistaken impression that this will bring everything closer to the centre to capture more votes. In fact, there is no centre. The Left tailor their appeal to undecided voters and narrows the terms of political debate. As long as voters engage in lesser evilism, workers miss out on the political opportunities that elections should present. If you don't like present-day society ... if you are fed up with the way you are forced to live ... if you think the root cause of most social problems is the profit system, then your ideas echo closely with ours. We are not promising to deliver socialism to you. We are not putting ourselves forward as leaders. This new society can only be achieved if you join together to strive for it. If you want it, then it is something you have to bring about yourselves. Nobody can do it for you.
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