The Socialist Party of Canada and its companion parties in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India stand alone in their respective countries in their consistent advocacy of the socialist solution. Their examination of society has taught them that nothing less than socialism can suffice, and they have adopted a common set of socialist principles (first formulated by the Socialist Party of Great Britain) which constitutes the basis of their movement and their conditions of membership. Adherence to these principles makes possible their steady insistence upon the fact that the immediate need of the working class is:
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.
These parties at present form only the nucleus of the great working class movement which must finally rise to bring this program into effect. The workers cannot depend upon others to do the job for them. It is a job that requires conscious and deliberate effort on their part. It is a job which they must do themselves.
Many and varied have been the interpretations that have been placed upon Socialism. Stalinism and Hitlerism have both been described as socialism. At different times socialism has been announced in New Zealand, New South Wales, London, Vienna and points west. Labor parties frequently come forward with lengthy lists of reforms or elaborate plans for “nationalization”, or “socialization”, and describe these as socialism. Workers must guard against such nonsense if they are not to be fooled by political highbinders, social quacks, or people who have themselves been fooled. For this reason among others the socialists stress the necessity for socialist education.
The workers must understand socialism before they can serve usefully in the struggle for its attainment. Social reform is not socialism. Neither is government ownership. Socialism has not yet been established in any country. It exists today only as an independent working class movement striving against the opposition of capitalist and labor parties alike, its energies directed without deviation towards a single goal. There are no short cuts to socialism. It can be reached only through the conscious political organization of the working class. But with that organization accomplished, no obstacle can stand in the road.
Socialism may be had for the taking. Take it.