From the April 1955 issue of the Socialist Standard
To look at the world pattern of today is, to many, merely to look at not so much a picture but a crazy jumble of jig-saws pieces which do not fit altogether or resolve themselves into a comprehensive whole. The expert and the man in the street are equally mystified as to the method to be adopted to sort out the mess. Though the expert continues to manufacture devices and the man in the street may strive to follow his advice, nothing seems to work out for the better of everyone, everywhere, all the time.
Risking the charge of being presumptuous, the Socialist puts forward the statement that, understanding the nature of society, Socialists alone can create harmony from chaos, plenty from want and a full life for all rather than the futile husk of existence that the vast majority of the world's people undergo at the present time.
At the moment insecurity and possible annihilation seems to be the lot of the over and underprivileged alike and so it is that the Socialist message is for all who accept the classless, nationless, and exploitationless world that alone will bring mankind a greater measure of happiness than it has ever known before.
Like all movements that have and continue to affect society and the individual, Socialism contains a philosophy. Its philosophy is materialistic and though it may share its materialistic thought in some measure with other groupings, that are not otherwise Socialist, it cannot be associated with them in any other way.
Socialism, apart from its philosophic content is an economic theory and it is from an analysis of the methods by which men have conducted themselves in order to maintain their physical existence that Socialists have evolved the theory of historical materialism.
It can be said that the whole of the industrialized and civilized world carries on the business of living (and dying) in keeping with the economic basis of Capitalism; this, despite the fact that in some cases the national machinery of government proclaims to have eradicated Capitalism as in Russia or that it is in process of doing so as in China or in other cases where the nations' "leaders" claim that a mixture of Capitalism and Socialism is at work as in Britain.
Socialists in Britain and elsewhere in the world refute the idea that Socialism prevails in Russia or anywhere else, together with the inane assumption that Socialism can exist alongside Capitalism in any country. These two views are, among others, some of the things which distinguish Socialism from its imitators. We shall continue to discuss some of the features of the so-called Socialist economy of Russia and China in our next five minute talk.