Object and Declaration of Principles
This declaration is the basis of our organization and, because it is also an important historical document dating from the formation of the first Socialist Party in 1904, its original language has been retained. An annotated version of the Object and Declaration of Principles, including explanations of what the Object and each Principle means to us, is also available.
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 the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
The Companion Parties of the World Socialist Movement hold
- That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labor alone wealth is produced.
- That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
- That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
- That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex.
- That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
- That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organize consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
- That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
- The Companion Parties of the World Socialist Movement, therefore, enter the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labor or avowedly capitalist, and call upon the members of the working class of each country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labor, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.