The SPGB - Our Eight Original Contributions to Marxian Theory
The Socialist Party is like no other political party. It is made up of people who have joined together because we want to get rid of the profit system and establish socialism.Our aim is to persuade others to become socialists and act for themselves, organising democratically and without leaders. We are solely concerned with building a movement of socialists for socialism. We are not a reformist party with a programme of policies to patch up capitalism. The Socialist Party is an organisation of equals. There is no leader and there are no followers. So, if you are going to join we want you to besure that you agree fully with what we stand for and that we are satisfied that you understand the case for socialism.
The Socialist Party has also made its own contributions to socialist theory, in the light of further developments, going beyond some of the theories of socialist pioneers like Marx and Engels. We set out below a number of these contributions:
1. Solving the Reform or Revolution dilemma, by declaring that a socialist party should not advocate reforms of capitalism, and by recognising that political democracy can be used for revolutionary ends.
2. Realisation of the world-wide (rather than international) character of Socialism. Socialism can only be a united world community without frontiers, and not the federation of countries suggested by the word "inter-national."
3. Recognition that there is no need for a "transition period" between capitalism and Socialism. The enormous increases in social productivity since the days of Marx and Engels have made superfluous a period, such as they envisaged, in which the productive forces would be developed under a State control, and in which consumption would have to be rationed. Socialism can be established as soon as a majority of workers want it, with free access.
4. Rejection of any further progressive role for nationalism after capitalism became the dominant world system towards the end of the 19th century. Industrialisation under national State capitalism is neither necessary nor economically progressive.
5. For the same reason, rejection of the idea of "progressive wars". Socialists oppose all wars, refusing to take sides.
6. Recognition that capitalism will not collapse of its own accord, but will continue from crisis to crisis until the working class consciously organise to abolish it. ( see here )
7. Exposures of leadership as a capitalist political principle, a feature of the revolutions that brought them to power, and utterly alien to the socialist revolution. The socialist revolution necessarily involves the active and conscious participation of the great majority of workers, thus excluding the role of leadership.
8. Advocating and practising that a socialist party should be organised as an open democratic party, with no leaders and no secret meetings, thus foreshadowing the society it seeks to establish.