A Do-It-Yourself Plan for Labor -- How to Build A Sane World


A Do-It-Yourself Plan for Labor
How to Build A Sane World

Today, "Do It Yourself" plans are very popular, having been widely publicized in almost every field of endeavor. However, in the political and economic world we are expected never to "Do It Ourselves." "Let leaders do it," we are advised. Professional "labor leaders" and paid economists do our thinking for us in economics. Politicians do our deciding in governmental matters.

The Socialist Labor Party is the only organization with a "Do It Yourselves" plan in government and economics. We alone have warned of the dangers of dependence on "leaders." For 80 years we have explained that since the American working class is intelligent enough to plan, design build and operate the wonderful industries throughout the land, it is also intelligent enough to own and administer those same productive forces through self-government in the democracy of Socialism.


You may never before have heard Socialism described as a democracy. Socialism is one of the most lied-about and misrepresented words in common usage today. Many believe that it means State ownership or State bureaucratic control of business. In fact, all an "economist" or politician has to do nowadays to get publicity is to give a speech on how any or all of the governmental controls and regulations are leading us toward "Socialism." If that were "Socialism," or if the Russian bureaucratic regime were "Socialism," we wouldn't want it; we would be unalterably opposed to it.

Another fact that many do no? realize is that Socialism has never existed, nor does it now exist any where in the world. Socialism cannot be handed to you by "leaders." Socialism is strictly a "Do It Yourselves" plan. Socialism cannot come a little at a time, or in one small locality at a time by government decree or otherwise. Socialism does not mean a lowering of anyone's standard of living to one common level, as you have been told by countless "leaders" and "economists" who want to do your thinking for you.


Having enumerated all these things which Socialism is not, we must now describe what Socialism is. Socialism means the social ownership and democratic management of all the machinery of production and distribution, as well as the natural resources and land. The working class today creates all wealth for the private owners of industry in return for a fraction of that wealth, called wages. Under Socialism, the same producers will create the wealth for all of society to enjoy. With those now unemployed, or senselessly occupied, put to useful endeavor, and with all the ingenious labor-saving inventions put to use, the hours of the working day will be shortened tremendously.

Automation in industry will cease to be a threat to job security, it will bring the blessing of greater abundance and more leisure time to enjoy that abundance. Instead of workers being divided into hostile groups competing for jobs that will pay enough to keep a family until next payday, we will work in harmony, cooperating to produce most efficiently the best possible products, since we will all directly benefit from each improvement in quality and quantity of the goods and services we have made available.

For you see, Socialism is not a paternalistic society in which the good things are handed down to you. It is a society of economic equality, which is to say, equality of economic opportunity. You will have full voice and vote in the Industrial Democracy of Socialism. After all, you know as well as anyone the details concerning your job. You are capable of choosing the foreman, superintendent, and management committees who will best harmonize production in your plant. Your representatives will meet with others, concerned with the same industry, throughout the country, in Socialist Industrial Unions. These will discuss new methods of gaining efficiency, and formulate information on the total production of that industry. From each basic industry, a representative will be sent to the Socialist Industrial Congress. The duties of this central body will be to correlate all the facts of production with the needs and desires of society as a whole, so that abundance will be assured to everyone. Your representatives can be removed as easily as they are elected, because of your on-the-job voice in running your industry. Economic as well as governmental freedom will at last be yours. The worries of unemployment, the insecurity and strain that now accompany the sale of your labor power to the private owners of industry -- all will be banished along with capitalism and its governmental voice, the political State.

What a relief from strain and worry the self-government of Socialism will bring! No longer will we anxiously scan each day's newspapers to find out if some "leader" has, by his words or actions, brought us nearer to an H-bomb war. No longer will we have to wait four to six years to replace one set of "leaders" with another, only to find that there is no real difference between them. No longer will we have to wait submissively while labor "leaders" confer with "brother" capitalists to determine, through wholesale bargaining, what our labor power will bring on the market this time. Freedom, equality and liberty will at last be ours, because we will have secured them for ourselves!

Increased leisure and general well-being will, of course, make it possible for all of us to lead wholesome and decent lives. All will enjoy better health. The modern scourge of mental illness will be practicaliy eliminated in a society freed from the causes of anxieties and tensions that now plague mankind. A new and superior race of men and women will emerge such as the world has never seen before.


The leisure which our shorter hours of work will give us will mean a great enrichment of our lives. Travel, the development of cultural appreciation, the best of entertainment -- all these will be ours.

Best of all, we will know the full pleasure of family life, without the cares which frustrate our happiness today. It has been claimed by some that Socialism would "break up the home." It is now obvious that it is capitalism which is the home-breaker, with fathers and mothers both working to make ends meet, and children left without proper family guidance turning into social delinquents. Marriage will cease to be a property relationship in the sane social order of Socialism. Mutual love and understanding will be the fundamental principle upon which the family of the future will build.

Perhaps you are shaking your head at. this point and saying, "All this sounds like a heaven on earth. But it can never be. We have to contend with human nature, you know."


Let's reason out this argument. Would you be opposed to helping create a "heaven on earth"? Do you really prefer voting for politicians who are pledged to maintain the present social system which is the exact opposite of that "heaven on earth" we have described? Is it your nature to desire peace or war? Are other humans different from you? Is it your nature to prefer the insecurity of employment and the exploitation under capitalism, or does your whole being yearn for economic freedom and security for yourself and your family? Are you proud of the fear-instilling and intimidating measures used by some "leaders" to curtail freedom of thought, or does your whole nature rebel at capitalism's encroachment upon yoor liberties? The Socialist Labor Party maintains that the best in human nature will only be brought out by the best in social and economic conditions. And America is the logical country for the initiation of those new improved conditions for two main reasons:


First, the Amendment clause in the American Constitution guarantees the right to a complete, peaceful change of government, upon the will of the majority. And the majority are the working class, the useful producers of this nation. The Socialist Labor Party calls upon this majority to vote for the change from private ownership and the political State to social ownership and the Socialist Industrial Republic of Labor. You can "Do It Yourselves" at the ballot box.

The second reason for America's fitness as the birthplace of Socialism lies in its immense industrial development. You are now carrying on all production in industry. You have only to take over and continue the operation of these same industries, producing for the use of all instead of the profit of the few. Having thus carried out your decision registered at the ballot box, you can then form your new government by electing your industrial representatives to your Socialist Industrial Union Councils, as we previously described.

This is the only way Socialism may be attained - by "Doing It Yourselves."