Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's a good idea, but what now? (1996)

Editorial from the February 1996 issue of the Socialist Standard

Socialism is not just an ideal—a pleasant dream—a philosophy to keep in the back of your mind. If the ideas you read in this journal or have heard from a Socialist Party speaker have made you think that something can and should be done to change the world, then you owe it to yourself to do something about making socialism not just a great idea but also social reality.

There can be no Socialism without socialists. Liberation cannot be imposed upon people who are prepared to tolerate oppression and wage slavery. Until the vast majority of us realise the collective power that we have to transform society all of the sickening problems of world capitalism will persist—new ones will emerge—and eventually we might all be destroyed in the terrific explosion of one mass-murdering bomb. We must choose either to abolish the present social system or to be damaged and destroyed by it. The building of a movement of conscious socialists is a race against the destructive tendencies of the world-wide profit system. It is an urgent task.

"I don't want to be involved in politics." This is a common enough response from people who see the logic of what socialists are saying but are doubtful about the possibility of political change. You are right to have doubts. Only followers, marching to nowhere behind Major, Blair, Clinton, Yeltsin and the other professional mis-leaders, have blind faith in politics and politicians.

Socialists do not ask you to believe—we urge you to do your own thinking—to see how the present system is denying you so much and how the socialist alternative offers you so much more. Nobody in the Socialist Party poses as a leader. For Socialism to be achieved there is no need to politicians and followers, but conscious socialists knowing what they want and why they want it.

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