January 6, 2017
The line of the Workers Party is that social development is demanding the transition from capitalism to socialism.
Socialism alone will enable the workers to emancipate themselves by eliminating the exploitation of human beings and ushering in a new and higher stage of social development.
Socialism would eliminate private ownership of the means of production. That is, socialism recognizes the reality that the means of production are social in character – that they are the accumulated product of generations of labor and are only set in motion through a social division of labor. Thus socialism would strip the exploiting class of the privilege of ownership which historically they entrenched through force of arms and by the expropriation and disenfranchisement of the laboring classes.
Socialism would recognize, in law and in fact, that the people have sole title to the land and natural resources as well as the factories, communications systems and other implements of production.
Thus, under socialism, the working class would no longer be disenfranchised and oppressed. Labor-power would no longer be a commodity to be bought and sold with the aim of extracting maximum unpaid labor or surplus value. Rather, labor-power would be recognized not only as the necessary starting point of human and social life itself but also as one of the fundamental expressions of humanity – as the means through which human beings transform the natural and social environment so as to emancipate themselves.
Under socialism, workers must be guaranteed secure, stable livelihoods and paid according to the quality and quantity of the work done. No longer would a tiny section of society – a privileged class of capitalist owners – be allowed to accumulate wealth from the labor of others. Economic and job insecurity will become things of the past and the life of society and its members will no longer be determined by capitalist profit-making but by the struggle for social progress and the blossoming of the human personality.
By eliminating private ownership of the means of production, socialism will eliminate social classes and hence the basis of all class privilege and domination. Thus socialism would enable the American people to complete their great historical project to create a society which guarantees – in real life – equal economic, political and social rights for all human beings.
In addition to receiving wages commensurate with their work, workers would have at their disposal the entire social product.
For centuries, society has produced annual surpluses. The modern economy creates more wealth every year than the minimum required to maintain the existence of its members and reproduce society at the same level. The problem has been that this social surplus has remained at the disposal of a tiny class of exploiters, who have used it to extend their system of exploitation and domination.
Under socialism, the entire surplus would be at the disposal of society as a whole. One portion of this surplus must be invested – on the basis of a democratically worked out plan – to guarantee all the inalienable economic rights of the people. Other portions of the surplus would be utilized to create reserve funds and to invest in the future of society.
Socialism would bring the social relations of production into harmony with the productive forces and eliminate the anarchy and crises characteristic of capitalism. Social ownership would enable humanity to introduce social planning into economic life. On the basis of a scientific plan, society will set in motion the vast productive forces at its disposal and insure continuous and high rates of economic growth. Under socialism the laws of profit-making and commodity production would no longer reign supreme. Instead the economy will be guided by the line of meeting the ever-rising material and cultural needs of the people and insuring all-around social progress. By bringing the social relations of production in accord with the productive forces, socialism will create the conditions for resolving the environmental crises caused by capitalism.
At the same time, socialism will tremendously multiply the productive forces of society by releasing the human factor. Under socialism, the workers will not only receive all-around education and scientific training but will be the creators and shapers of social life. After socialism’s highest stage, the later communist society will create the conditions for the all-around emancipation of human beings, inscribing on its banner: “from each according to ability, to each according to need.”