As wage workers, the vast majority of us have endless economic problems to worry about – pay and prices, rents and mortgages, sickness, unemployment, old age. Even more worrisome can seem the large and perhaps overwhelming problems facing us as human beings: war, poverty and the compulsive ecological destruction of our own planet by those who seek to persuade us they can do our thinking for us. There are numerous other problems, like racism or sexism, which distort human judgement and reinforce a system that thrives on human misery. Many people look to leaders to solve these intractable problems, sometimes through union action, more often by demanding social, political and economic reforms.
Come election time, all the parties suddenly become excited, recommending urgent laws they will introduce if they gain control of the government. But they don’t regard it as their business to deal with the basis of any of those problems, where the cause actually lies. Neither Right, Left nor Centre has any intention of tackling and dealing with the core of our troubles: the system of employment, known traditionally as wage labour, and the associated use of capital to produce all of the wealth we depend on. This system, we maintain, generates massive artificial scarcities in a society with the technological means to afford us abundance.
We, in the World Socialist Movement, hold that the social system needs to be changed fundamentally: we advocate the abolition of social classes through production based solely on meeting people’s needs, democratically administered. This goes much deeper than a mere change in government, but it also assumes a widespread understanding of what needs to be done. We are members of the working class, which includes everyone around the world who must sell his or her working abilities to some employer to stay alive, not just people whose collars are blue. We understand capitalism has gone as far as it can go; the time has come to put it behind us and start with a system of society that really works for everyone.
If you agree generally with arousing the rest of the world’s workers to an understanding of how easily within our grasp it is to achieve a world of abundance and peace — and a world we can pass on intact to the coming generations, join us.
Those of us in the World Socialist Movement seek a world without:
Poverty, war, sexism, racism, nationalism, environmental devastation with bosses and politicians telling everyone else what to do
Socialism is for anybody who thinks the world would be a better place if:
Democracy meant more than an election every few years;
Freedom meant real freedom, and respect, for everybody;
People cooperated to satisfy human needs
Socialism is for anybody who wants real solutions, not repeated failures.
The Left, Centre, and Right haven’t solved anything that counts – and they can’t.
Real solutions may take a while, but that’s better than never. Real solutions require rational thought, not hype. Real solutions require people to work for them
We reject the idea that socialism has been tried in countries sometimes referred to as socialist. Look below at our definition of socialism and ask yourself if this in any way describes the state capitalist, police states of modern China and Cuba or the old regimes in Russia and eastern Europe, or the past and present “social-democratic” governments in many countries.
We reject the idea of socialism in one country. National socialism equals non-socialism. The capitalist system is global and so must the system which will replace it.
We reject the idea that people can be led into socialism. Socialism will not be established by good leaders or battling armies, but by thinking men, women and children. There can be no socialism without socialists.
1. claims that socialism will, and must, be a wageless, money-free, worldwide society of common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution
2. claims 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. claims that there can be no state in a socialist society
4. claims that there can be no classes in a socialist society
5. promotes only socialism, and as an immediate goal
6. claims that only the vast majority, acting consciously in its own interests, for itself, by itself, can create socialism
7. denounces any vanguardist approach, minority-led movements, and leadership, as inherently undemocratic (among other negative things)
8. promotes a peaceful democratic revolution, achieved through force of numbers and knowledge
9. neither promotes nor opposes, reforms to capitalism
10. claims that there is one working class, worldwide
11. lays out the fundamentals of what a socialist society must be, but does not presume to tell the future socialist society how to go about its business
12. promotes a historical materialist approach – real understanding
13. claims that religion is a social, not personal, matter and that religion is incompatible with socialist understanding
14. seeks election to facilitate the elimination of capitalism by the vast majority of socialists, not to govern capitalism
15. claims that Leninism, Trotskyism, Maoism are a distortion of Marxian analysis
16. opposes all war and claims that socialism will inherently end wars, including the “civil war” between classes.
17. the WSM noted, in 1918, that the Bolshevik Revolution was not socialist, that Russia was not ready for a socialist revolution and was the first to recognise that the former USSR, China, Cuba and other so-called “socialist countries” were not socialist, but instead, state capitalist
18. claims a very accurate and consistent analysis since 1904 when our United Kingdom companion party was formed
World socialism can only be brought about democratically. Socialism means a global system of social organisation based on:
Common Ownership: All the productive wealth of the world will belong to all the people of the world. No more transnational corporations or small businesses and therefore nobody will own the world. It will be possessed by all of its inhabitants.
Democratic Control By All: Who will run a socialist society? We all will. There will be no more government and governed. People will make decisions freely in their communities, in regions and globally. With the existing means of information technology and mass communication, this is all possible.
Production For Use: Instead of producing goods and services for sale and profit, the sole reason for production will be to satisfy needs and desires.
Free Access: A society in which everyone owns everything, decides everything and only produces anything because it is useful will be one in which all will have free access to what is produced. Money will cease to have any function. People will not work for wages or salaries, but to give what they can and take what they need.
The World Socialist Movement (WSM) consists of ordinary people who have organised themselves democratically with one objective; to bring about a complete change in world society. Although small, we are made up of members in several countries.
Everybody in the WSM has equal value and equal power. Real democracy is fundamental to socialists. The revolutionary transformation of society must be brought about by the will of the great majority of the people if it is to succeed. We have no leaders. Every member can take part in making decisions. Our democracy works both locally and party-wide. All our meetings are open to the public.
All the necessary conditions of production and communication now exist for establishing a world socialist society. What is lacking is the understanding and will among those men and women who would most benefit from it. The task for socialists is to spread the necessary information as widely and thoroughly as possible. This often involves correcting a great deal of misinformation put out by those who want society to remain as it is, with all its poverty, oppression, and war. We have a thorough analysis of the workings of present society, how it is developing, and what needs to be done to make changes that would be beneficial for the human race. Discussion and debate are essential to the progress of the movement. We welcome them. Everyone is encouraged to put their point of view.