Principles of Socialism
Socialism is a world-wide social system in which the means of production will belong in common to mankind and will be controlled by them for their own benefit. Production will be carried on solely to satisfy human needs. The wages system, buying and selling and money will disappear. In their place the principle “from each his best, to each his need” will operate.
Socialism can only be achieved by political means. At present the capitalists are able to keep their privileged position because they control political power. To free themselves from wage-slavery workers must therefore organise into a political party whose aim is to win political power and to use it to replace capitalism by Socialism.
Socialism can only be achieved by a socialist class. Until workers want and understand Socialism, it is impossible. Thus only conscious, majority, political action can achieve Socialism. Minority action, whether on the industrial or political fields, cannot. The way to political power lies through the ballot box. A socialist working class can use the vote to win power just as today they use it to hand over power to the capitalists. A Socialist party can have only one aim: Socialism. For a socialist party to seek support on the basis of a reform programme can only lead to compromise with capitalism.
To free themselves from wage-slavery workers need no leaders. Leaders only flourish on the ignorance of their followers. Once workers understand their interests and know that they want Socialism, they require no leaders. All they require is political organisation.
Trade unions arise out of the class struggle that goes on under capitalism between workers and capitalists. They will be necessary and useful as long as capitalism lasts. However trade unions have their limitations. They cannot be used to overthrow capitalism. Only conscious political action can do this.
There is no Socialism in Russia or China.
In these countries the workers are still exploited by a privileged minority through the wages system. Workers there have no trade union or political rights. The system in Russia and China is state capitalism, not Socialism. Government ownership of industries is not Socialism either. It too is state capitalism.
Socialists are opposed to all wars. Workers have no interest in fighting in wars since all wars are fought over the markets, trade routes and sources of raw materials of rival capitalist groups.
Socialists are opposed to nationalism. Workers have no country save on paper. Workers all over the world have a common interest in achieving Socialism. Nationalism is a device used to get workers to support their masters in peace and war.
Socialists are materialists and are opposed to religion which has always been a prop to class society.