The class ownership of the means of production and their use to make profits is the basis of modern, capitalist society. It means there are two opposed classes: those who own and those who because they don’t own must work for those who do. Mere democratic reform that leaves untouched this class basis of society is not nearly enough.
We are not really surprised that many who want a new and better society should tend to steer clear of the word ‘socialism’. We ourselves are only too painfully aware of what it means to many people—the repressive former regimes of East Europe and the swindle of nationalisation.
The World Socialist Party (India) has always tried to keep alive the real meaning of socialism as a world community based on the common ownership of the means of life where the one aim of production will be to satisfy human needs. With the end of class ownership everybody will be socially equal and free to take part in the running of social affairs. The oppressive government machine, which is needed only to maintain ‘law and order’ in class society, will be dismantled and replaced by the democratic administration of industry.
People who have been beaten and bullied by the police should have a good idea of the nature of the state machine as a coercive instrument for maintaining ‘order’. At present, its main job is to keep the private property basis of modern society and protect the privileges of the ruling elite.
With common ownership and production for use, the barriers to abundance will have been removed so that society can rapidly go over to “from each his best, to each his need”. People will work as best they are able and then take from the common store whatever they need. This is socialism.
It is necessary to capture political power to install socialism and to do this, workers must organise themselves as a political party having socialism as its sole aim and send elected delegates to Parliament or its equivalent.
However it is important to bear in mind that the objective to obtain a socialist majority in Parliament is totally subordinate to the need for a majority of workers to want and understand socialism.
The WSP (India) aim at the capture of political power through the democratic, conscious action of the world working class for the replacement of capitalism by socialism. We argue that this must be through parliament so that socialists must contest elections national and local. This asserts our nature as a political party as providing a valuable method of propaganda for the socialist case.
We are well aware of the depressing fact that the level of socialist consciousness, throughout the world let alone in India at present too low to elect socialist delegates to parliament. In our writings, we constantly point out the fundamental difference between a socialist party and those parties which seek to get power on a manifesto of reforming capitalism. Such parties are the prisoners of the reform-minded non-socialists who elect them and can therefore do nothing to introduce socialism.
The meaning of socialism is simple to grasp, and grasp it you must, if you wish to support it. Socialism describes the future world that socialists think you ought to desire as the creators of wealth. A social system like that is yours for the taking. It will be a struggle to get. but there will be a new world waiting for all at the end.
World Socialist Party (India)Address: 257 Baghajatin ‘E’ Block (East), Calcutta – 86, Kolkata, West Bengal 700086
Phone: +91-33 24250208