Capitalism or Socialism?
Capitalism is the economic system which exists today all over the world. In capitalism the production and distribution of goods are owned by a small minority of people – the capitalist class. The majority of people, the working class must sell their ability to work in return for a wage or salary. The working class are paid to produce goods and services which are then sold for a profit which is taken by the capitalist class. This is exploitation of the working class for their surplus value. The capitalists live off these profits and also reinvest some profits for the further accumulation of wealth.
Socialism is the establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community. Common ownership will mean the end of ownership, it will be shared ownership, the earth’s resources a common treasury for all to take from what they need to live.
Democratic control is essential to the meaning of socialism. Everybody will have the right to participate in decisions on how resources will be used. Socialism has never existed, those countries that claimed to be socialist were in reality state capitalist and still had money, buying, selling, wage slavery, exploitation and production for the market.
Production in socialism would be solely for use not for profit. With the natural and technical resources of the world the common heritage of all, the object of production would be to meet human needs. There would be the end to buying, selling, profit and money. Instead, we would take freely what we had communally produced. It will be “from each according to ability, to each according to needs”. In socialism, everybody would have free access to these goods and services. There will be no system of payment for work, all work would be voluntary and would have a direct usefulness bringing about a new attitude to work. Socialism cannot be based on planning from a single centre, this is opposite to local decision-making and would be unresponsive to changing needs. The operational basis for this system would be calculation directly in resources combined with a responsive system of stock control instead of monetary calculation.
Capitalism will not collapse of its own accord, but will continue from crisis to crisis until the working class consciously organises to establish socialism. Socialism will then be a sharp break with capitalism with no ‘transition period’ or gradual implementation. Social productivity has long since reached a point where free access can be established, the economic conditions are ripe and ready for the next stage in human social development, this will be end of the pre-history of humanity and the real beginning of human history. Socialism will be a dynamic, changing society and we will have the free development of each person as the condition for the free development of all people.