For Our Canadian Readers
Vote for Yourself for a Change Are you planning to vote for a politician that you don't trust?
Are you planning to abstain from voting altogether?
If this sounds like you, then you owe it to yourself to read this leaflet.
Otherwise, have you found a political party that none of the rest of us have heard of? A party that can run the country in your best interest? A party that can eliminate poverty and war?
If this is you, then you know something that most of the rest of us don't, and you won't be interested in this leaflet.
Most people think that whichever government is elected it will make no real difference to their lives.
Most people are concerned about the environment, unemployment, and "the good life".
Keep reading. Canada and the other nations of the world have had just about every conceivable form of government. None of them have been too good at bringing "the good life" to all of their citizens.
In fact, if you look at the history of the country and the planet, and the different parties that have been elected, there is no real reason to vote for any one of them over any other.
Right wing governments have improved the lives of ordinary people like you just as much as left wing governments. Not very much in any case, but ...
Left wing governments have been as environmentally destructive and anti-social as right wing governments.
If you analyze society, and we hope you will, you will discover that government is not capable of solving the vast majority of the problems that you want solved.
You will discover that the economic structure of world society is far more powerful than any government and that government cannot control it. At best, government can avoid making stupid decisions that make a bad situation worse. But even at that, the politicians and economists don't have a very good track record.
Right wingers put their faith in a less-regulated economy. Left wingers put their faith in a more-regulated economy.
Fact: Neither has worked. The economic structure that prevails in the world today is, as we all know, capitalism. It was not always the prevailing economic structure of society, but it has brought to humanity the promise and possibility of plenty and security for all.
It hasn't delivered on the promise, though.
Instead, food is destroyed and wars kill hundreds of thousands every year.
Instead of the promise, the ecosystem is rapidly being altered, perhaps such that human life will no longer survive on earth. Grim — but remotely possible.
Why? If society was working to satisfy human needs (like edible food, drinkable water, breathable air, pleasure, security) would it be like it is now?
No it would not!
Society fails humanity today because it is organized not to satisfy human needs, but instead to produce goods and services for sale at a profit.
No matter which party that gets elected to government, this system cannot be controlled, and cannot be made to meet the needs of humanity as a whole (or even a major part of humanity).
But, is there an alternative that will work and that can meet our needs?.We have all heard, from the media, about "the failure of socialism". We have all heard that this proves that capitalism is the best possible system.
Neither is true.
First of all, the claims that the police state tyrannies of Eastern Europe, Asia, and elsewhere were socialist or communist are false. Even though the lying dictators in those countries claimed to be socialist or communist, wouldn't it be reasonable to subject those claims to some sort of verification or reasonableness check? Even though the rich capitalists in the West agreed that these places were socialist or communist, should we just blindly believe them without question?
If one examines the ideas of socialists of the 19th century, they don't sound at all like what we have been told is socialist.
If one examines the ideas of the Socialist Party and its companion parties in other countries, one finds that they have been repudiating the so-called "socialist" states since they were formed.
But socialism, the real thing, is a dangerous concept. It means democracy, not just voting every couple of years, but real control over society by real working people.
It means an end to poverty.
And poverty is one of the pillars of current society. A pillar that makes the rich rich at the expense of the rest of us.
There is a tiny minority that benefits from capitalism. They own the media, the factories and the land, they even buy and sell us. This minority is the capitalist class, and it is us that makes them rich and powerful.
The politicians do what they must to get elected, and when elected they do what they must to appease the capitalist class.
The media is the organ of the capitalist class, and it prints all the news that supports capitalism.
You don't think that those who own the major media are about to support the end of their utopia, do you? So instead of real analysis of how society functions and how it can be changed, we get platitudes and lies.
Capitalism is not the best possible system, and socialism has never been tried.
The Socialist Party does not want you to follow anything, or anyone, blindly or otherwise. The Socialist Party wants you to open your eyes, and your mind, to something that has been the subject of vilification and distortion for over a hundred years — socialism.
Socialism is a new way of running society based upon one very simple, yet profound, concept:
From each according to ability, to each according to need.
What would such a society be like? The Socialist Party cannot predict the future, nor does it wish to lay out some "cast-in-stone" blueprint for future society, but the following are features of what socialists envision:
Common (not state) ownership of the resources of society, such as mineral wealth, land, factories.
Democratic control of society by everyone, without leaders, instead of by the dictates of the profit system and a privileged minority.
Free access to all the goods and services of society — no money and no market.
Voluntary labour according to ability.
All of this is completely practical and attainable.
All of it is unlikely as long as you continue to support the current system that creates all the problems that the government cannot solve.
You are a human being. You have wants and desires. You have a brain. But today you are a second class citizen.
With the accelerating degradation of the environment, with real and expected job losses from free trade (or no free trade), with global trade adjustment, how secure is your life? How long will you continue to vote for capitalism? Until it is too late?
Since our inception in 1905, our aim, objective, platform, have remained the same, i.e.
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.
From this statement, it naturally follows that a socialist society must be one without social classes, states, central governments, money, trade, wage-labour, or employment, and must include voluntary labour and free access to all goods and services produced by society for all, based on their own self-determined needs.
The immense productive powers of capitalism have long since reached a stage where the establishment of socialism has been possible but because of the fetters of the financial market and the profit system it is unable to deliver what socialism can. Socialism has never been tried and it should be noted that what passed for socialism/communism in the former Soviet Union, and what is now taking place in China, Cuba et al, has none of the features of a socialist society. Rather, as we observed in 1918, what took place in Russia and subsequently in other countries called socialist was a form of capitalism run by the state with all the features of the capitalist mode of production – a monetary system, wage-labour, exploitation by the extraction of the surplus-value produced by the workers, state coercion, alienation of the worker from his product, and so on.
The Socialist Party of Canada does not advocate reformism, i.e. a platform of reforms with the aim of gradually reforming capitalism into a system that works for all. While we are happy to see the workers’ lot improved, reforms can never lead to the establishment of socialism and tends to bleed energy, ideas, and resources from that goal. Reforms fought for can, and frequently are, taken away or watered down. Rather than attempting gradual transformation of the capitalist system, something we hold is impossible and has been proven by a century of reformist platforms of so-called workers’ parties which have led instead to the reform of such parties themselves to accept capitalism, we believe that only socialism can end forever the problems of our present society such as war, poverty, starvation, inadequate health care and housing, insecurity, and environmental degradation.
See also here for overview