Platform of the Socialist Party of Canada

Since our inception in 1905, our aim, objective, platform, have remained the same, i.e.

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.

From this statement, it naturally follows that a socialist society must be one without social classes, states, central governments, money, trade, wage-labour, or employment, and must include voluntary labour and free access to all goods and services produced by society for all, based on their own self-determined needs.

The immense productive powers of capitalism have long since reached a stage where the establishment of socialism has been possible but because of the fetters of the financial market and the profit system it is unable to deliver what socialism can. Socialism has never been tried and it should be noted that what passed for socialism/communism in the former Soviet Union, and what is now taking place in China, Cuba et al, has none of the features of a socialist society. Rather, as we observed in 1918, what took place in Russia and subsequently in other countries called socialist was a form of capitalism run by the state with all the features of the capitalist mode of production – a monetary system, wage-labour, exploitation by the extraction of the surplus-value produced by the workers, state coercion, alienation of the worker from his product, and so on.

The Socialist Party of Canada does not advocate reformism, i.e. a platform of reforms with the aim of gradually reforming capitalism into a system that works for all. While we are happy to see the workers’ lot improved, reforms can never lead to the establishment of socialism and tends to bleed energy, ideas, and resources from that goal. Reforms fought for can, and frequently are, taken away or watered down. Rather than attempting gradual transformation of the capitalist system, something we hold is impossible and has been proven by a century of reformist platforms of so-called workers’ parties which have led instead to the reform of such parties themselves to accept capitalism, we believe that only socialism can end forever the problems of our present society such as war, poverty, starvation, inadequate health care and housing, insecurity, and environmental degradation.