Thursday, March 14, 2019

North London Street Stall

March 16th
from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm 
Wood Green Library, 
187-197A High Road, 
London N22 6XD

The Socialist Party claims that the majority of the working class are capable of understanding socialism. This being so we are often asked the question, why then, are there not many more Socialists? At present the vast majority of workers mistakenly can only see the solution to their problems in reforming capitalism in one way or another. Capitalism itself is not questioned, it is only the patching up of its effects that is attempted. What is seen and heard in the mass media is the misuse of the word socialism, and distortions of Marx’s ideas. This means that we are called upon to waste a lot of time in explaining what socialism is not, that socialism does not yet exist anywhere. What is important about the mass media is not so much that they create attitudes and values but that they continue to reinforce existing ones. Socialist ideas are not propagated in a vacuum but within capitalist society, meeting all the obstacles and prejudice of capitalist ideology. A great deal of expense and time is spent perpetuating attitudes which maintain the capitalist system.

It may be concluded that there seems little chance of establishing socialism and such a conclusion would be correct if it were simply a question of the efforts of the Socialist Party alone. Important as these efforts are, they are not in themselves sufficient to prepare the working class for the establishment of socialism. Working in opposition to capitalist ideology are the facts of capitalism itself. Capitalism has not only produced the material conditions of potential abundance, where the forces of production conflict with the property relations, but has also brought into being the working class whose necessary task is to act in their own interest in abolishing the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour.

To those who say “Yes socialism is a good idea, but you will never get the majority of people to understand it,” we ask: If you can understand Socialism, why not then the majority of people? Members of the Socialist Party are no more or less intelligent than most other people. What we say is that if you think socialism is such a good idea why not find out more about it? Then join with us in helping to explain it to fellow workers so at least they may have the opportunity of deciding for themselves.
For those who think us idealists and say “Yes it sounds like a very fine ideal, but reality just does not work like that”, we reply that socialism is not an ideal. It is based on the sound facts of the way human society evolves, and the way capitalism works. We are not asking for a change of heart — we are asking for the conversion of the means of production from private or state ownership to common ownership. This is not an ideal but a practical and material demand that is in line with the interests of workers throughout the world.

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