Monday, May 22, 2017

Socialism and Solidarity are the Key

Our aim is socialism, which we define as a world-wide society in which the Earth's resources will be the common property of all humanity under democratic control at world, regional and local level as appropriate. It will be a society where we shall work voluntarily as best we can, as far as our ability goes, to suit our joint needs, as part of a co-operative society. It will be a society in which the state, as the public power of repression at the disposal of a ruling class, will have been abolished and replaced by a participatory democracy. This is our immediate aim, not some long-term goal. We are workers who don't see ourselves as a group doing anything for other fellow workers other than putting before them the basic socialist propositions that under capitalism there is an irreconcilable conflict of interest between capitalists and workers; that capitalism can never be reformed so as to work in the interest of workers; that what is required is a society of common ownership, democratic control and production for use not profit. If workers want such a socialist society this is something they must do for themselves without following leaders or relying on benefactors. We can't establish it for them. As we say in our declaration of principles "the emancipation of the working class must be the working of the working class itself".

We don't suffer from the illusion that existing MPs and local councillors can do anything to further the cause of socialism. Their job, and in fact aspiration, is merely to run the political side of capitalism in Britain, and capitalism can only be run as a profit system in which priority must always be given to making profits over meeting needs. We also agree that there can be no real democracy under capitalism in the sense of a situation in which everybody has an equal say in deciding what should be done and in which those decisions can be implemented without hindrance. This is not the case today. Having said this, in many parts of the world including Britain a sufficient degree of democracy exists for a socialist majority to be able to use existing elective bodies, such as parliament, to win control of the state machine through the ballot box. Of course, to work, this presupposes a socialist-minded and democratically organised majority outside parliament standing firmly behind the delegates they will have sent into parliament with the single mandate to take the formal steps to stop the state supporting capitalism.

The state is based on minority rule. It was set up and exists in opposition to the majority and so can never be truly democratic. The current state is owned and run by the kleptocratic class of capitalists, a tiny proportion of the population. Thus their state is predicated upon an opposition between the desire of the masses and the will of their clique. Their state is set up against the majority, because they can never be a majority. Their ideas, thinking, and tactics, are all those of a tiny minority. 

Our members have got together for the single purpose of helping the emergence of an understanding of and a desire for socialism. When this does emerge – fortunately it does not depend on our own meagre efforts but more on people's experience of capitalism and its failure and inability to solve the problems they face – it is our opinion that will express itself, among other ways, through the ballot box. Those who want socialism will use their votes to send delegates to elected bodies with a mandate to use political control to end class ownership and usher in the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and to dismantle the apparatus of class rule. We certainly think that all those who want socialism and are agreed that this is the right way to proceed to get it as quickly and as peacefully as possible should get together in a single organisation, a single socialist political party.  If they were prepared to drop campaigning for reforms and to accept campaigning for socialism as the immediate priority then of course we should all get together and have a bigger and better socialist organisation, so helping to speed the demise of capitalism and avoid the miseries it has in store for us if allowed to continue.