The Socialist Cooperative Commonwealth 5/8

The World Socialist Movement (WSM) has as its goal the liberation of labour and the creation 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 WSM is the political expression of the interests of the workers. For socialism is in the hearts, in the minds, in the hearts and on the lips of millions around the world. The future is ours.

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

The capitalist state, by controlling the old political parties, controls the powers of the state and uses them to secure and entrench its position. Without such control of the state, its position of economic power would be untenable. The workers must wrest the control of the government from the hands of the masters and use its powers in the building of the new social order, the cooperative commonwealth. The World Socialist Movement seeks to organise the working class for independent action on the political field, not for the betterment of their conditions but for the revolutionary aim of putting an end to exploitation and class rule. To accomplish this aim to bring about the common ownership and democratic control of all the necessary means of production — to eliminate profit, rent, and interest is the task of world socialists. Political action means participation in elections for public offices to gain control of the powers of government in order to abolish the present capitalist system. Such political action is absolutely necessary to the emancipation of the working class, and the establishment of genuine liberty for all. We have slavery as part of the marketplace worldwide. All kinds of brutality in the name of buying and selling goods. 

The World Socialist Movement calls upon all people who seek the emancipation of the working class from the chains of wage slavery to join it and through it and to work for the overthrow of the present capitalist system in all its social and economic ramifications, and for the establishment in its stead of a worldwide socialist cooperative commonwealth. The materials for the building of a socialist world are here, but the creation remains to be undertaken. The task of creating a coherent and free society is the mightiest to which mankind has summoned itself. We build on a sure foundation only when we build a system that has for its end the commonwealth, the common freedom and the common abundance for all men and women. The class-conscious appeal of the WSM is not for strife or antagonism, but for constructive purposes.

The aim of socialism is the abolition of all classes and parties and the coming in of but one class, the people. We in the World Socialist Movement are not appealing to you for support on the grounds that we socialists are better than other men, but on the basis that socialism is better than capitalism. Socialism proposes to bring forth and educate the best that is in men and women; capitalism and competition are bringing forth and educating the worst. Socialism comes not to destroy, but to build.  

We all in common depend upon the same common resources of nature. Since all people in common depend upon the sources and tools of production, there can be no individual liberty save these sources and tools belong to the people in common. The private ownership of the common sources and machinery of life is nothing less than ownership of human beings. If a man owns my bread or owns that which I must have in order to get my bread, he owns my whole being. Who sells one’s labour-power for wages sells oneself; for labour-power is our life. The wages system is merely an advance in the slave system, but it is no fit system for free men and women, and there can be no true freedom for all people until there is not another hireling left under the sun. The labour of the world is essentially slave labour. There is not a wage-earner who has not in some degree compromised themselves by dependence upon the private buyer of labour. So long as some men own that upon which all depend, the owners and the dependants are alike corrupted, enslaved, and robbed. Our capitalist system rests upon this power of the employing and the owning class to legally appropriate the fruits of the labour of society.

Can the day of change be hastened? Without a doubt. Every worker who helps the campaign, votes the socialist platform, and encourages others to do likewise is speeding the day of the new commonwealth. We appeal to all who are interested in the emancipation of the working class from the chains of wage slavery to join it and through it and its companion parties in the World Socialist Movement, to work for the overthrow of the present capitalist system in all its social and economic ramifications, and for the establishment in its stead of a worldwide socialist cooperative commonwealth. The remedy is not patching up this system but to its final overthrow and the establishment of the cooperative commonwealth. Our mission is to sweep the capitalist system into oblivion and usher in the socialist cooperative commonwealth. Socialism comes not as a remedy for the evils of existing society, but as a programme of principles for a new society.

The World Socialist Movement will build on a sure foundation that has for its end, the commonwealth, the common wholeness, the common freedom, the common abundance and fulfilment of all men and women. Nature offers resources enough for the abundance of life for countless billions of human beings. Critics answer that we aim for a society for saints and angels, but not for a society of human beings such as we are; that we must wait till we have a better brand of human beings before we can have socialism. All of which is very much like saying that it is not safe to cure a man of his disease until he gets well; or like saying that well will not come in out of the rain until we first get dry. It is a strange idea that makes men and women regarding what they know to be basically good as dangerous in practice, and what they know to be very wrong as actually safe. Socialism strikes at the root of the chief cause of our less than perfect conduct and proposes to abolish that slavery and competition which making mankind brutal and dishonest. The whole influence of capitalism is to war against love and liberty, and to make all that is lovely in human life impossible. Socialism comes to remove the causes that prevent men and women from true kinship.