What Socialism Means - Socialist Labor Party of Canada


And Freedom

Socialist Labor Party of Canada

The Socialist Labor Party of Canada is the only bona fide party of Socialism in Canada. It has no connection whatever with other parties or groups calling themselves Socialist or Communist.

SOCIALISM DOES NOT MEAN government or State ownership. Britain's so-called "Socialism" is an anti-Socialist scheme to save British capitalism. The Russian system is a State despotism, maintained for the benefit of a ruling bureaucratic class, with the working class virtually in a state of economic serfdom.

SOCIALISM MEANS collective ownership by all the people of the factories, mills, mines, railroads, land and all the other instruments of wealth-production. Socialism means production of things to satisfy human needs, and not, as under capitalism, for sale and profit. Socialism means free access to and democratic management of the industries by the workers through Industrial Union Councils.

FOR YOU, as an individual, Socialism means a full, happy and useful life. It means the opportunity to develop all your faculties and latent talents. It means that, instead of being a mere chattel bought and sold in the labor market, an appendage to a machine, an automaton, a producer of wealth for the aggrandizement of idlers, you will take your place as a human being in a free society of human beings, and a participant in its councils.

YOUR INCOME, as a wage worker, under capitalism is determined by what your labor power, as a commodity, will bring in the market. By and large, taking into account the ebb and flow of the labor market, you receive a living wage - the minimum amount necessary to feed, clothe and house you and your family. What you produce over and above your wages is appropriated by your employer who divides it with the banker, landlord, politician and sundry capitalist hangers-on. Under Socialism you will receive the full social value of your product.

That is, after the Socialist Industrial Union, to which you belong, makes the necessary deductions for replacing used-up raw materials and machines, for expanding productive facilities, and for the maintenance of public services, such as hospitals, schools, etc., you will receive directly the value of the remainder of your product. How much would this be? For one thing, it would include the stupendous wealth now yielded to the parasitic capitalist class which the capitalists divide among themselves as profit, interest, rent, taxes, insurance premiums, royalties, fabulous salaries, real estate and advertising fees, etc. But even this fails to convey an accurate picture of your well-being under Socialism. For Socialism, by eliminating the scandalous waste resulting from capitalist anarchy, and by accelerating the adoption of new techniques and inventions, will greatly increase the wealth available for the people's consumption and enjoyment.

Even a conservative estimate based on statistics in Quick Canadian Facts, 24th edition, reveals that in 1968 Canadian workers were producing at a rate sufficient to give every family in the country an income of $10,000 a year Taking all the factors into consideration, the elimination of waste, of capitalist parasitism and the removal of all restrictions to improved techniques it is safe to say that under Socialism you would receive far more than what $20,000 would buy today.

YOUR JOB under Socialism will not be dependant on the caprices either of a private employer or the capitalist market. When things are produced to satisfy human needs, instead of primarily for sale and profit, involuntary idleness will be an impossibility. The "demand," instead of being limited to what people can buy, will be limited only to what people can use. Nor will technological unemployment be possible under Socialism. Instead of kicking workers out of their jobs, the improved methods and facilities will kick hours out of the working day. "Jobs for all" under capitalism is a hypocritical slogan, except possibly when capitalism is preparing for, or engaged in, an all-out war. Socialism alone can give jobs for all and open wide the doorway to economic opportunity.

YOUR HOURS of work under Socialism will be the minimum necessary to fulfill society's needs. Work is not the end and aim of man's existence; it is the means to an end. We do not live to work; we work to live. Socialism will, therefore, strive in every way to lighten the labor of man and give him the leisure to develop his faculties and live a happy, healthful, useful life. It was estimated two decades ago that with the facilities then in existence, by the elimination of capitalist waste and duplication, and by opening jobs at useful work to all who were deprived of them, we could produce an abundance for all by working four hours a day, four or five days a week, and forty or forty-five weeks a year.

THESE ARE a few of the direct and elementary benefits that you will derive from Socialism. To them may be added a multitude of corollary benefits.

DEMOCRACY is the foundation of this infinitely better world for which the material conditions are already present. Capitalist democracy is limited to the political field. Even there it is restricted and in constant peril. On the economic field, despotism prevails. Capitalism gives to the owning class the terrifying power to hurl millions upon the mercy of charity with a stroke of the pen. Socialism destroys this despotic power, and creates an economic foundation for complete democracy.

UNDER SOCIALISM, all authority will come from the workers integrally united in Socialist Industrial Unions. In each plant, the rank and file will elect a management committee to supervise their plant operations. In each shop division of a plant, every worker will participate in making the necessary plans for carrying out the decisions of the management committee and for efficiently running the shop. Besides electing their shop foremen, the workers will also elect representatives to a local and a national council of their industry - and to a central congress representing all the industries and services. This latter body will plan and coordinate the production of an abundance for the benefit of the entire nation. And all persons elected to posts in this economic administration, from the lowest level to the highest, will be subject to removal at any time that a majority of those who elected them decide it is desirable to replace them.

Such is the full-flowered democracy of Socialism - that complete democracy which has in its composition the maximum amount of the ingredient Thomas Jefferson described as "the direct action of the citizens." It will be a democracy solidly based on that primary freedom which, ultimately, is the foundation of all freedoms - ECONOMIC FREEDOM!

YOU ARE NEEDED to help bring to fulfillment the promise of abundance and human happiness that this age offers. You are needed to help avert the reenactment of capitalist tragedy -- of mass unemployment and an even more catastrophic third World War. You are needed in the fighting ranks of Socialism. Study the program of the Socialist Labor Party. Prepare yourself to prepare others. Help us to unite the working class politically to demand the unconditional surrender of capitalism. Join with us to consolidate the workers' power into one all-powerful Socialist Industrial Union to back up the Socialist ballot by taking possession of the instruments of production and locking out the outvoted, usurping capitalist class.

ASPIRATIONS that are petty and mean must be cast aside; this age demands that the workers think in class terms, for it is only through class action that the conquest over poverty and degradation can be won. Seniority, social security reforms, housing plans and patchwork measures generally are schemes to keep you mentally imprisoned in the vicious circle of capitalist thought. Break this thraldom of the mind! Instead of illusory "social security" under capitalism, proclaim as your goal the goal of the working class: