Revolution Without Borders

Who are the oppressors, but the Nobility and Gentry; who are oppressed, is not the Yeoman, the Farmer, the Tradesman, and the Labourer? Your slavery is their liberty, your poverty is their prosperity.’ Laurence Clarkson, 1647.

The small size of the World Socialist Movement and its lack of any political prominence within the workers’ organisations may be important issues for some of our critics. However, possessing the correct knowledge is far more vital for our members.

The World Socialist Movement’s role in every class struggle is to attack reformism. Our class has learned from bitter experience that there is no halfway solution. The practice of palliatives has maintained the illusion that capitalism will continue albeit in a modified form.

Without exception, no matter what the struggle, the only concern of the World Socialist Movement must be to build it around the ideas of socialism. We have raised aspects of socialist ideas in many battles over the years. We did good work in showing how patriotism leads to more profits for the bosses. We demonstrated that dividing the workers into race or nationality lines enables the employers to cheat one group of workers while robbing all workers. We expose and attack the capitalist myth that race is a biological category and say that the nation-state is an invented entity. We attack the source for capitalism’s racist and xenophobic oppression: the drive for maximum profits. We explain capitalism will end with a socialist, class-free society. If we don’t make that idea the cornerstone of our work, we are not doing our job.

We have the responsibility of pointing to capitalism as the source of inequality and injustice. We explain that prejudice and discrimination can only be ended by the socialist revolution and the abolition of wage labour. By making reform campaigns primary we deflect the idea of eliminating the wage system. As the bosses squeeze the workers harder and harder every aspect of socialist ideas can come to the front. We disagree that popular ideas can only be those of reform. Every worker can be a socialist.

An egalitarian society can only be achieved with socialism. The logic of demanding more from capitalism is reformist. It reinforces capitalist concepts and ties the working class ideologically to the profit system. In contrast, the revolutionary struggle is to displace capitalism, a system that can never meet the aspirations of the workers.

The World Socialist Movement embodies the new socialist society in its ideas and its function, its essence. There is no easy way to build our strength. We have to remain committed to our strategy: agitation and education. Our goal is not the goal of simply making life better or making life under capitalism more tolerable.

Some on the Left argue that unity is more important than standing by principles. They call for electoral alliances with not only non-socialists but even avowedly anti-socialists.

No possible good can come from any such kind of a political coalition with rival parties. The World Socialist Movement is made up of men and women who refuse to compromise with their oppressors; who cannot be bought with fake promises offered under false pretences. The World Socialist Movement resolutely stands squarely upon its principles and relies wholly upon the education of the working class. Ignorance alone stands in the way of socialist success. Capitalist parties comprehend this and apply all their efforts to attempt to prevent working people from perceiving the real nature of the capitalist system. Indoctrination is essential to slavery.

The ending of capitalism is the object of the World Socialist Movement. It will not ally with any other party that does not stand for socialism and we would rather dissolve than concede our fundamental ideas. We fully understand the magnitude of our task and our members have the patience of preliminary defeat and the trust in eventual victory.  

The aim of socialists is to make more socialists. For the simple reason that without a majority who support the idea of socialism, the attainment of a socialist society is not going to come about. We accept that currently, the World Socialist Movement finds itself in the seemingly impossible situation of being in the minority with the majority accepting or acquiescing to the status quo of class society and all that it entails within capitalism. Our analysis also understands that in capitalism, the social conditioning which takes place is under the influence of the ruling capitalist class, who ensure their dominance by making laws that reinforce their political control and provide legitimacy. Further, by controlling education and culture, the process of social conditioning becomes subject to capitalist conformity to provide a docile and relatively passive workforce who support waged labour. 

The World Socialist Movement admits all these are significant barriers to overcome. But we are not downcast nor disheartened. There are several essential factors that hold vital influence: social evolution; the class struggle and the battle of ideas and the evidence suggest that history is on our side, but time is very much running short. 

Socialism is not a doctrine where each socialist is determined to ‘convert’ another worker in the manner of religious proselytisers as if on an evangelical quest for socialist purity. The process of gaining a common socialist mindset (or class consciousness to use the Marxist term) is much more complicated. It will develop mainly out of the person’s everyday experiences of the contradictions of capitalism (poverty amidst plenty, etc.) and their involvement in the class struggle. These contradictions are, in turn, derived from the most basic contradiction of capitalism: the contradiction between social production and class ownership of the means of production. 

“The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their social being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.” (Marx) 

In short, capitalism produces its own gravediggers through self-education. Granted, as yet a class conscious working class is still proportionally small in relation to the global population, nevertheless, we note that there exists a rise in understanding and awareness concerning the social question on the internet where similarities between peoples conclusions are correspondingly aligning in the challenges to the capitalist status quo. More and more people are questioning the things associated with the way we live and that process is still ongoing so we are not despondent nor discouraged. 

Socialism tends to be the target of derision as a utopian ideal. And yet, despite being subject to dismissals, socialist ideas never go away, partly because its criticism of the present system draws on the notion of a future that has eliminated the conditions of the present that make life so difficult and full of misery for so many. The World Socialist Movement has to take a maximalist position and while accepting and understanding where the majority consciousness is now and try to draw the fellow workers in our direction as a magnet attracts iron filings.

“One man with an idea in his head is in danger of being considered a madman: two men with the same idea in common may be foolish, but can hardly be mad; ten men sharing an idea begin to act, a hundred draw attention as fanatics, a thousand and society begins to tremble, a hundred thousand and there is war abroad, and the cause has victories tangible and real; and why only a hundred thousand? Why not a hundred million and peace upon the earth? You and I who agree together, it is we who have to answer that question.” – William Morris