The Aim of the WSM 3/3

This is Socialism

Socialism means common ownership

The means of production will no longer belong to a privileged minority class, whether private capitalists or state bureaucrats. Both private capitalism and state capitalism will be replaced by a system in which all natural and industrial resources will be held in common by the whole community. This is the basis of socialism.

Socialism means social equality

With the establishment of common ownership, the existing division of society into a privileged ruling class and a majority class of wage and salary workers will come to an end. Instead, every member of society will stand equal with respect to the means of production and have an equal say in the way social affairs are run.

Socialism means cooperation

With the disappearance of classes, a common social interest really will exist. People will no longer be alienated, isolated individuals competing in the marketplace, but will be members of a real community of free and equal men and women cooperating for their mutual benefit and for the common good. In line with the nature of humans as social beings, cooperation, not today’s competitive individualism, will be the prevailing social ethos, transforming all aspects of social life — work, play, education, the family and personal relationships generally.

Socialism means democratic control

The existing political structures where a government rules over people on behalf of the class that owns the means of production will give way to a fully democratic system of decision-making and administration. Decisions will flow upwards from the broadest possible base rather than from the top downwards as at present. Delegates, subject to the full range of democratic checks and controls, will carry out and supervise the purely administrative tasks that will remain once the political state with its machinery of coercion has been dismantled.

Socialism means production for use

Production for sale with its profit motive will come to an end; goods and services will be produced to directly supply needs without the intervention of buying and selling. The mechanisms of the market will be replaced by a self-adjusting system of production for use. The productive and distributive network will be geared to respond in a flexible way to information about needs, communicated to it directly as required amounts of specific goods and materials.

Socialism means free access

With the abolition of market mechanisms, people will be able to obtain the food, clothes and other articles they need for their personal consumption by going into a store or distribution centre and taking according to their own self-defined needs. Housing will be rent-free, with heating, lighting and water supplied free of charge. Transport, healthcare, communications and education will be organised as free public services. There will be no admission charges for entertainment and recreation. Money will become redundant.

Socialism means the abolition of the wages system

Since people will have free access to what they need, productive work will no longer be performed for an employer in return for a wage or salary but will become a voluntary service organised on a democratic basis. The factories, farms, offices, schools, hospitals and other places of work will be administered democratically by those working in them. People will undertake this work service as their contribution to the necessary social tasks of producing the goods to keep the stores stocked with the things for people to take for their personal consumption and running the free public services and the administration.

Socialism means a world community

Because capitalism itself is already a world system that, either in its private or in its state form, dominates the whole globe, socialism too can only be a world system. This means that socialism could not be established in just one country but only as a world community without frontiers, in which the natural and industrial resources of the Earth will be the common heritage of present and future generations. The world will be regarded as one country and humanity as one people.