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What Is Socialism? Essay

784 words - 4 pages

Socialism means a society restructured according to the working-class principle of solidarity. It means an economy of democratic planning, based on common ownership of the means of production, a high level of technology, education, culture and leisure, economic equality, no material privileges for officials, and accountability. Beyond the work necessary to ensure secure material comfort for all, it means the maximum of individual liberty and autonomy.

Working-class socialism - counterposed by Marx and Engels to all forms of "reactionary" or "bourgeois" socialism - builds on the best of what capitalism has achieved, in technology, economic coordination, communications, education, democracy ...view middle of the document...

We will have to forge our own tools; build our own organisations.

To an extent the working class in many countries has already started this process. The trade unions were the product of long struggles by the working class for the right to build their own organisations to protect them from the arrogant power of the bosses. The unions represent the working class - but incompletely, unsatisfactorily, binding the class to capitalism. But the unions still remain the major organisations of the working class, the major vehicles of class struggle. There is no short-term prospect of them being replaced by new organisations. Socialists who recognise socialism as the act of the working class must focus on the trade union movement, rather than on "radical" movements without a working-class or socialist perspective. But we must develop the unions, transform them, reinvigorate them with socialism.

To accomplish all this the working class needs a party - an organisation which fights against the ruling class on all fronts of the class struggle: the industrial front (the workplace, the trade unions), the ideological front (the realm of ideas, publications and theories) and the political front (challenging the right of the ruling class to control our lives). Such an organisation would be large in number, democratic in decision making, and effective in action.

However, As Western elites scrambled to regain political leverage in the region, a...

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