The class struggle is a political struggle. It cannot be fought successfully by the workers unless they have a political weapon, which means their own political party.
The capitalist class has its own political parties and interest groups and sees to it that they remain committed to its basic interests, the maintenance of the capitalist system. The capitalists see to it that they remain under their control. They provide them with media exposure, provides them with funds, running into millions each year. In some places, the capitalists are in direct control of these parties, in others, its allies are in control.
Although a political party committed to using elections to capture political power the World Socialist Movement surprisingly does not regard vote-getting as of supreme importance. We do not present a programme of attractive promises as a lure for votes. We seek only an actual vote for socialism and our manifestoes do not flatter the electorate but simply endeavours to convince them of the case for socialism. We make it clear that the WSM wants the votes only of those who want socialism and disparages vote-seeking for the sake of votes and we hold in contempt those political opportunists seeking election for the sake of office or personal advancement. The socialist parties comprising of the WSM stands squarely upon its principles. It buys no votes with false hope and insincere pledges.
The ballot expresses the people’s will. The ballot means that the worker is no longer dumb, that at last has a voice, that it may be heard and if used in unison must be heeded.
The appeal of the World Socialist Movement is to the exploited class, the working people in all trades and professions, from the most menial to the highest skill, to rally together and put an end to the last of the barbarous class struggles by conquering the capitalist government, taking possession of the means of production and making them the common property of all, abolishing wage slavery and establishing the cooperative commonwealth. As individuals we are helpless, but united we present an irresistible power.
The World Socialist Movement will not unite with any other parties that do not stand for the democratic overthrow of capitalism and if it were ever to compromise and make such a concession, it will have ceased to be a socialist party. We are not here to play the filthy game of capitalist politics.
The WSM condemns the capitalist system.
In the name of freedom, it condemns wage slavery.
In the name of modern technology, it condemns scarcity and poverty.
In the name of peace, it condemns war.
In the name of humanity, it condemns hunger and famine
In the name of enlightenment, it condemns religion and superstition.
The battles of the workers, wherever and however fought, are always and everywhere the battles of the WSM. The education, organisation and cooperation of the workers is the conscious aim and the self-imposed task of the WSM.
There is no party leader or bureaucracy within the companion parties of the World Socialist Movement and there never can be unless the party deserts its principles. Each member has not only an equal voice but is urged to take an active part in all the party’s administration.
The party relies wholly upon the power and influence of education, knowledge, and mutual understanding.
The socialist parties of the WSM propose to use all the legislative and administrative machinery within the State and which the working class endeavour to take into its possession as the method of emancipation. We accept the vote and parliamentary action as revolutionary. The value of political action to the socialist movement is called in question by anarchists who suggest what they consider to be more speedy means or more effective methods to be adopted. They expect nothing and never expected anything from parliamentary action. They maintain that participation in parliamentary action is a waste of time and effort, and they point to the disappointing and poor results parliamentary action has so far has achieved for the WSM.
We cannot expect results unless voters themselves get the understanding and the spirit of organisation, which has yet to develop. Where people cannot imagine a way out of intolerable conditions there cannot be a great political movement and no amount of political propaganda can produce a movement.
Our primary function, however, is to organise as a political party, independent, class-conscious, and democratic. The function of anarcho-syndicalists lies with the unions.
These two functions are not absolutely distinct and separate and to some extent interdependent. Yet they are not identical. The trade unions can help us, we can help them. Socialists should be the subordinate partner in the matter of supporting industrial disputes. The World Socialist Movement declines to dictate the policy of the trade union in conducting the strike, nor do we expect the trade unions to abandon their immediate objectives and demands in order to make the socialist revolution.
The World Socialist Movement claim:-
- that socialism will, and must, be a wageless, money-free, worldwide society of common (not state) ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution.
2. that socialism will be a sharp break with capitalism with no “transition period” or gradual implementation of socialism (although socialism will be a dynamic, changing society once it is established).
3. that there can be no State in a socialist society.
4. that there can be no classes in a socialist society.
5. that only the vast majority, acting consciously in its own interests, for itself, by itself, can create socialism.
6. that there is one working class, worldwide.
that religion is a social, not personal, matter and that religion is incompatible with socialist understanding.
7. that Leninism is a distortion of Marxian analysis, that the Bolshevik Revolution was not socialist, that Russia was not ready for a socialist revolution, that the former USSR, China, Cuba and other so-called “socialist countries” were not socialist, but instead, state capitalist.
only socialism, and as an immediate goal;
a peaceful democratic revolution, achieved through force of numbers and understanding;
an historical materialist approach—real understanding.
any vanguardist approach, minority-led movements, and leadership, as inherently undemocratic (among other negative things);
all war and instead assert that socialism will inherently end wars, including the “war” between classes.
We neither promote nor oppose, reforms to capitalism.
We claim an accurate, consistent analysis since 1904 when the first companion party was founded.
We lay out the fundamentals of what a socialist society must be, but do not presume to tell the future socialist society how to go about its business.
We believe that socialism will be a money-free, wageless, free-access society.
We believe that leaders are inherently undemocratic; socialists oppose leadership.
We believe that socialists shouldn’t work for reforms to capitalism, because only a movement for socialism itself can establish socialism.
We believe that socialism will be a cooperative, worldwide system, and it has clearly not yet been established.
We believe that democratically capturing the state through parliamentary elections is the safest, surest method for the working class to enable itself to establish socialism.
We seek election to facilitate the elimination of capitalism by the vast majority of socialists, not to run capitalism.
Socialism as represented by the World Socialist Parties is concerned with the social needs of society as a whole. Socialists as individual workers teach of the common interest of society’s members. Socialists may recognise certain reforms to ameliorate the conditions of the workers but do not help the capitalist system to “recover” from the periodic crises that inflict it. Capitalism creates objective conditions favourable for the mass movements of the workers to develop to higher political levels until at last, they reach the revolutionary stage for the overthrow of the capitalist system.
We throw down the gauntlet to the capitalist enemy, to challenge the capitalist oppressors who stand for the perpetuation of the system that keeps working people in chains. The World Socialist Movement confronts the capitalist parties scorning any compromise and declares that there is but one solution and that is by the complete overthrow of the capitalist system.
We are stirring and arousing the working class, the class that has been oppressed and robbed for the one reason that it has lacked the consciousness of its own political power.
The WSM is an uncompromising working-class political organisation. It is fighting the battle of the wage workers of the world and for their welfare. Its demand is that all the means and instruments of production and distribution shall be used for the benefit of the actual producers of wealth and that these shall be controlled by the workers and administered in their interest. Its platform is an honest expression of working-class interests, with a clear statement of the means proposed for their accomplishment.
The World Socialist Movement platform is a plain and simple declaration of principles, policies and intent which all may understand. It was not framed merely with a view to winning votes. Its statements are straightforward and to the point. There is no ambiguity; no evasion of vital issues; no possibility of double-talk or hidden messages between the lines. There is no attempt to compromise with capitalism, no effort to offer a concession to our class enemies, no adherence to the mistaken and miserable fiction that the interests of labour and capital are identical.
The WSM is clear that it proposes to place society in possession of all the wealth they produce.
The elector who casts his or her vote for WSM candidates can do so with the positive assurance that whenever the opportunity arises every pledge of the party platform will be carried out to the letter. We do not disguise the fact that our aim is the entire abolition of rent, interest, and profit, and that we propose the common ownership and democratic operation of all industries and services.
The working class intends to use its political power, through the machinery of free elections, to force compliance with its demands by peaceful, legal, and constitutional methods, to end wage slavery. The only argument that has weight with capitalism is the argument of power. When the workers demonstrate that they have the strength to compel, capitalism will concede.
The working-class character and the revolutionary integrity of the World Socialist Movement are of prime importance. All the votes of the people would do it no good if the party ceased to be a revolutionary party, yielding to the pressure to modify principles for the sake of increasing its vote. Those who seek to make the socialist propaganda more appealing by eliminating whatever may give offence so that political campaigning serves as bait for votes rather than as a means of education do an injustice to socialism. Socialism can never be achieved by a fictitious vote. The World Socialist Parties seek only support from those who actually want socialism, no more and no less. We candidly proclaim our principles to convince and win fellow workers to our cause through understanding. No possible good can come from any kind of a political alliance with any who are opposed to socialism. We seek the support of our fellow workers, but only of those who along with ourselves, wish for the overthrow of capitalism in all its guises.