The Socialist Cooperative Commonwealth 4/8

The World Socialist Movement (WSM) is the revolutionary organisation of the working class that aims at the overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment of the cooperative commonwealth. Socialism comes not as a remedy for the evils of existing society, but as principles for a new society. The WSM strives for a new world, a class-free world, a peaceful world, a world without poverty or misery, a genuine brotherhood of mankind.

 Workers of all nationalities, immigrants, refugees, political exiles, from every foreign land and native-born must make a common, determining demand: Socialism. It teaches the class struggle where every victory is a step towards the social revolution. World socialists have as their aim the emancipation of labour and the establishment of the cooperative commonwealth. There is a fighting class spirit today among the people. It aims at the overthrowing of the present system, it aims to take possession of the tools of production from the capitalist class and operate them for the benefit of the working class, which will be the whole of society. It aims is to change the foundation of this society from an exchange of commodities to the cooperative commonwealth. The World Socialist Movement is the political expression of the interests of the workers. For socialism is in the hearts, in the minds, on the lips of millions around the world. The future is ours.

When we speak of the commonwealth, we think of a confederation of free people united in one common bond – socialism. The trend is towards the cooperative commonwealth. It is the hope of the world. We in the WSM will continue to seek the worldwide advance toward the cooperative commonwealth. Our every step will be in the direction of the co-operative commonwealth where the motto, “From each according to ability, to each according to needs,” ceases to be an aspiration and becomes a reality.

Socialism is a society where the wages system, under which labour has been reduced to a commodity is to be supplanted by the cooperative system under which all may engage in useful occupation and work together in harmonious cooperation for the emancipation of labour, the uplifting of humanity, and the advancement of our civilisation. In other words, socialism is the fraternal commonwealth. By uniting at the ballot box, political control of the state can be secured to permit the cooperative commonwealth to be established and workers emancipated from wage slavery. We shall unite all our energies to end the present capitalist system and establish the cooperative commonwealth. Under the former,  the world has been brought to the verge of ruin, and humanity has been degraded beyond the power of language to describe. The horror of our social life is sickening and shocking. The time has come for social regeneration, and this is only possible through a new and worldwide change of system, a type of society compared with which the present would appear like cannibalism.

To substitute common ownership for private or state ownership in the means of production is what we say socialism means. It means a cooperative system of production and the extinction of the exploitation of the workers. The natural resources of the world are the property of the people as a whole. The abolition of the present system of production means substituting production for use for production for sale. Production for use, which is the social or cooperative production for the satisfaction of the wants of a commonwealth. Under the capitalist system, all products are produced for the market, they all become commodities. Capitalist society is based upon the exploitation of labour. A small minority owns everything; the working masses own nothing. The capitalists command. The workers obey. The capitalists exploit. The workers are exploited. The very essence of capitalist society is found in this merciless and ever-increasing exploitation. Until the present system of capitalist production (production for sale) was developed, co-operative production for common use was the leading form; it is as old as production itself. If any single system of production could be considered better adapted than any other to the nature of man, then cooperative production must be pronounced the natural one. In all probability for every thousand years of production for sale, cooperative production for use numbers tens of thousands. They all had certain essential features in common. Each satisfied its own wants, at least the most vital ones, with the product of its own labour; the instruments of production were the property of the community; its members worked together as free and equal individuals according to some plan inherited or devised, and administered by some power elected by themselves. The product of such cooperative labour was the property of the community and was applied either to the satisfaction of common wants, whether these were occasioned by production or consumption, or were distributed among the individuals or groups which composed the community. Socialist production will and must have certain features in common with the older systems of communal production, in so far, namely, as both are systems of cooperative production for use.

The socialist commonwealth liberates the individual from all economic, political and social oppression, providing the basis, for real liberty and for the full and harmonious development of the personality, giving full scope for the growth of the creative faculties of the mind.

Our goal is to organise the large working mass in the whole world for the overthrow of capitalism, the emancipation of the toilers from oppression and exploitation and the establishment of the socialist commonwealth. It shall carry out a wide agitation and propaganda of the principles of social revolution for the purpose of overthrowing the capitalist system.

We stand for the socialist cooperative commonwealth. The only issue for the working class is the abolition of the wage system and to rescue themselves from their commodity status in modern society. Knowledge and experience have demonstrated that no reform under capitalism can be of any benefit to the working class as a whole. The revolutionary spirit seeks to make changes as great as can effectively be made, the reforming spirit seeks to make changes as little as can effectively be made.