1990s >> 1994 >> no-1078-june-1994
Seven steps to becoming a Socialist
(1) Become aware of how capitalism works
Can’t pay — can’t eat.
No profit? — no production and no work.
These are the laws of capitalism’s economics.
Profit comes from paying back workers only a fraction of the value they produce.
Those who own the capital and employ wage and salary workers to make the profit are the ruling capitalist class.
Once you have understood this there is no going back.
It cannot be unlearned.
(2) Understand that the profit system won’t last forever
Capitalism is only about three centuries old.
Before that there was feudalism. Before that, slavery.
All were — and are — class forms of society. Capitalism is no more inevitable and permanent today than feudalism was three centuries ago.
(3) Realise that reforms don’t solve the problems that face us
Most workers still support the system which exploits and oppresses them.
They think there is no alternative.
They hope capitalism can be reformed to prevent the slumps and wars it causes. They believe it is possible for workers to get a better deal.
Three hundred years proves otherwise
(4) Come into contact with socialist ideas
Understanding and criticising capitalism are not enough.
Rejecting capitalism, “dropping out” or joining the Moonies, solves nothing.
Realising that a radical change in society is the only solution is part of the change itself.
Become aware of the other Socialist parties around the world devoted to the same objective.
Become aware of the overwhelming power of the world’s working class once they make up their minds to act in their own interest.
(5) Don’t be afraid to question the socialist case
Socialists (unlike some “Left Wingers”) are not fanatics.
We think a careful scientific approach is essential.
The capitalist media and the churches have a vested interest in telling us all that “you can’t change the world”.
They insist that society is like it is because of “human nature”.
They claim that socialist society could not work.
Such unscientific rubbish can easily be disproved.
But is does need careful thought and discussion.
(6) Resolve those doubts
Realise that there is no such thing as “human nature”.
There is human behaviour — and it changes according to circumstances.
Pygmies in the Congo jungle don’t behave like London office workers.
Modern factory workers don’t behave like Roman slaves.
When we have established socialism we shall behave differently because the basis of society will be different.
When we all own society’s means of living we shall have a different attitude to each other.
When we each have democratic power to influence conditions we shall behave differently.
(7) Join the socialist movement
When you realise that capitalism cannot be patched up, or cured by a “change of heart” –
When you can see that the immense changes in technology will force society to change in some way — Then — even though it’s an enormous task you’re taking on — You will decide that joining the world socialist movement for the abolition of capitalism is the only practical step.