Friday, November 15, 2019

Socialism– Why we need it, How to get it

One of the problems confronting the socialist movement in its efforts to bring an understanding of socialism to the working class is the number of organisations that spread confusion about the meaning of socialism. These organisations render considerable service to capitalism; they help to maintain the fog of working class ignorance on which capitalism depends for its continued existence and in that they confuse the workers as to the nature of the alternative which socialism proposes. The tragedy is that many of the sincere and enthusiastic workers who subscribe to the fallacious reasoning of these “socialist” organisations get so involved in their complex political fetishes, and its attendant vocabulary, that they become bitter opponents of socialism — except as it relates to their ideas of “knocking the system” or promoting their pet reform. Hopefully this article can bring some clarity.

Socialism is an economic system based upon conscious planning of production by associated producers (nowhere does Marx ever say by the State), made possible by the abolition of private property of the means of production. As soon as that private property is completely abolished, goods produced cease to be commodities. Value and exchange value disappear. Production becomes production for use, for the satisfaction of needs, determined by conscious choice of the individual and collective communities themselves. ‘Labour’ will have transformed itself into meaningful many-fold activity, making possible all-round development of each individual’s human personality. The division of labour between manual and intellectual labour, the separation of town and countryside, will wither away. Humankind will be organised into a free federation of communes.

The Socialist Party’s concept of socialism is it is not a society of regimented individuals. Mankind produces in an associated, not competitive way; in a rationally and in an unalienated way, which means that we bring production under our control, instead of being ruled by it as by some blind power. This clearly excludes a concept of socialism in which man is manipulated by a bureaucracy nor by technocrats, as if in a centralised command economy or by a big corporation. It means that the individual participates actively in the planning and in the execution of the production  plans; it means the realisation of political and industrial democracy. Socialism is a society which serves the needs of humanity. The principal goal of socialism is the recognition of man's true needs, which will be possible only when production serves man, and capital ceases to create and exploit the false needs of man. We, the workers, who operate the productive apparatus that has been bequeathed to us by capitalism and relying on our experience as workers, we shall reduce the role of public officials to that of mere executive agents of our directives.

In peace or in war, in boom-times or in recession, capitalism cannot satisfy the basic needs of its working people for jobs at living wages, decent housing, adequate food and clothing. So long as the rich continue to coin profits out of the sweat and blood of the toilers, they do not care how many are out of work, go hungry and homeless, and lack all hope for the future. Only a clique of capitalists stands in the way of abundance. To expand production and achieve full employment the workers have to wrest control of the factories and other major means of production from the hands of the capitalists and establish their own rule over industry and society. Production for profit must be supplanted by production according to a unified plan determined by the needs of the entire people and directed by the associated producers themselves. This is the socialist remedy for capitalist chaos, insecurity and misery. Socialism will abolish war because it will bring a community of interests; it will be a society without frontiers, without nations, without classes, without conflict.

Capitalism is a world wide system in which the social labour of the world’s workers is harnessed to the profit-making activities of the capitalists through the medium of the wages-money system. Socialism, the only alternative to capitalism, is a world-wide system which will avail of the wealth-producing techniques of social labour in order to produce the wealth required in a system of social distribution in terms of "from each in accordance with his mental or physical ability; to each in accordance with his needs”. Since social class is determined by the relationship in which people stand to the means of wealth production, and since in socialism, all will stand in the same relation to these means, classes, including the working class, must obviously disappear

Socialism is rule by the working people. They will decide how socialism is to work. The task of the Socialist Party therefore is to help the transfer of power from capitalist class to working people. Its goal is a class-free society. The Socialist Party rejects all reformist and opportunist methods of struggle. There is no place for so-called leaders. The Socialist Party maintains that our society is divided into classes based on groups of people standing in the same relationship to the means of production. Secondly, it hold that the interests of these classes are antagonistic and irreconcilable and that a constant struggle goes on between them over the division of the wealth that society produces. The owning class is the ruling class because it controls the government. The government protects the capitalist class by protecting the source of its economic strength private property. It is the will of the capitalist class that the rights of private property be protected. It uses its control of government to write down its will and call it law. It uses its control of government to enforce its will, the law. The law is the voice of the ruling class. We live in a class society in which one class maintains its favourable economic position because it controls the rule by the people.

The right to vote for the propertyless was one of a number of concessions which a confident and secure class, made during a period of an expanding capitalism. The right to vote for the propertyless is one of a number of other concessions which frightens the ruling class.

Vote Brian Johnson - Cardiff Central
Vote Andy Thomas - Folkestone and Hythe
Elsewhere - Spoil your Ballot Paper

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