Who we are and the ideas that guide us
- ‘Talking About Socialism … from a Marxist point of view’ is a group of Marxists who believe that we urgently need a serious, democratic organisation for Marxist ideas and activity, with the aim of building support for socialist/communist ideas and for the construction of a mass socialist/communist party.
- Humanity is faced with a deepening general crisis of capitalism, from economic crisis, to increased international conflict and war, to the erosion of the limited democratic gains that have been won through past struggle, and to devastating climate catastrophe.
- These linked crises are all the product of the capitalist system. Under capitalism, production is carried out to make a profit for the few, regardless of the needs of society or damage to the environment. It drives the owners of capital to squeeze ever more profit from the working-class through speed-ups, extending the working day, and cutting wages. Instead of utilising new technology to reduce hours at work, it throws workers out of work. The unquenchable thirst for profit means a deliberate blind eye is turned to the devastating impact on the environment. Capitalism does not and cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority.
- This generalised crisis impacts on all aspects of working-class life, from the workplace to the home, in education, in health, and in social care for the old, the sick and the disabled. Reforms of the past, which make life more tolerable, from libraries to dental services, are being eroded.
- These crises are international in scope. They need an international response. None of the problems we now face can be resolved within the present system.
- Capitalism must be replaced by a different system in which the private ownership of the means of production – the land, its waters and minerals, factories, machines, transport, science, and technology – has been abolished, along with the exploitation of the working class for profit. In this new society the world’s resources will be owned in common by all, with production planned democratically for the benefit of all. It will be a society without any classes because everyone will be a worker like everyone else. It will be a society in which the government of people is replaced by the administration of things and of the way production is organised. This system is called ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’. Both words have been distorted and misrepresented by misuse in theory and practice. In our material we generally use the two terms interchangeably to mean the same thing.
- Socialism, or communism, means complete political, social and economic democracy. It requires a fundamental break with capitalism.
- Socialism/Communism is international. The interests of the working class are the same everywhere. Socialists/communists oppose all capitalist wars. Socialists/communists reject the idea that there is a national solution to the problems of capitalism. We stand for the maximum solidarity and cooperation between the working class in Britain and elsewhere. We stand with the working class and the oppressed of the world.
- We reject the possibility of building socialism/communism in one country. We reject the idea that the undemocratic Stalinist regimes of the former Soviet Union and similar other countries were socialist/communist.
- Under socialism/communism, everyone will have the right to participate in deciding how the wealth of society is used and how production is planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the natural world of which we are a part and on which we depend.
- How is this to be achieved? It requires the working class to win power and bring about the extension of democracy by replacing the undemocratic institutions of the capitalist state, which serve the interests of the capitalist class, with new state institutions based on real democracy – the election of all officials, full accountability, with officials paid only the average wage and subject to recall. Alongside this, the working class in power would have to expropriate the capitalist class – establishing economic democracy. Over time, with the abolition of the wages system and of classes, the need for any form of state other than for administration would disappear.
- For the working class to win power it needs its own party, with its aim – the abolition of capitalism and the common ownership of society’s resources – clearly stated and boldly campaigned for. It would have to be a mass working-class socialist/communist party with members in every town and city, workplace, school and college, truly representative of the working class and the oppressed sections of society, drawing together all who want a better future for themselves and future generations.
- A socialist/communist party must aim to win support from the working class and all those who want to bring about the socialist/communist transformation of society, which can only be accomplished by the working class itself acting democratically as the majority in society.
- A socialist/communist party must aim to win power to end capitalism, not to manage it. It would not participate in governmental coalitions with capitalist parties at national or local level. It would not administer cuts or other attacks on working-class living standards but lead the fight against them.
- We reject the idea that the various labour and social democratic parties, which aim simply to manage capitalism and which in office carry out attacks on the working class, represent any form of genuine socialism/communism.
- So long as the working class is not yet able to win power for itself a socialist/communist party would support and actively participate in working-class campaigns to defend past gains, to improve living standards and extend democratic rights. But any reforms will only be partial and temporary so long as capitalism continues.
- A socialist/communist party would seek to win both parliamentary and local council seats. All elected representatives would be tribunes of the working class and the oppressed, using their positions to advance the cause of socialism/communism. They will be accountable to the party membership. The party must be completely democratic.
- Through discussion and activity we aim to promote the ideas of socialism/communism, to make them popular within the working class and to build a group that campaigns to bring into existence the embryo of the new mass socialist/communist party that we need.
- To this end, we invite all who share our aims or who are interested in finding out more to join our discussions.
Join the discussion!
We run a fortnightly Zoom video meeting in which a speaker introduces a topical issue, and there is more than ample opportunity for everyone to contribute to the discussion. These are held every other Monday evening, at 7:30pm. We also send out regular email bulletins. If you would like to register for the Zoom sessions and/or receive the bulletins, please let us know here.
Video recordings of these discussions are available to watch on our YouTube channel here.
We have a public Facebook group which you can join here.