Socialism is the collective ownership by all the people of the factories,
mills, mines, railroads, land and all other instruments of production.
Socialism means production to satisfy human needs, not as under
capitalism, for sale and profit.
Socialism means direct control and management of the industries
and social services by the workers through a democratic government
based on their nationwide economic organization.
Under socialism, all authority will originate from the workers,
integrally united in Socialist Industrial Unions. In each workplace,
the rank and file will elect whatever committees or representatives
are needed to facilitate production. Within each shop or office division
of a plant, the rank and file will participate directly in formulating
and implementing all plans necessary for efficient operations.
electing all necessary shop officers, the workers will also elect
representatives to a local and national council of their industry
or service—and to a central congress representing all the industries
and services. This all-industrial congress will plan and coordinate
production in all areas of the economy.
All persons elected to any post in the socialist government, from
the lowest to the highest level, will be directly accountable to
the rank and file. They will be subject to removal at any time that
a majority of those who elected them decide it is necessary.
a system would make possible the fullest democracy and freedom.
It would be a society based on the most primary freedom—economic
For individuals, socialism means an end to economic insecurity and
exploitation. It means workers cease to be commodities bought and
sold on the labor market, and forced to work as appendages to tools
owned by someone else. It means a chance to develop all individual
capacities and potentials within a free community of free individuals.
It means a classless society that guarantees full democratic rights
for all workers.
not mean government or state ownership. It does not mean a closed
party-run system without democratic rights. Those things
are the very opposite of socialism.
"Socialism," as the
American Socialist Daniel De Leon defined it, "is that social
system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled
administered by the people,
for the people,
and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic
despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism,
nothing short of that." And we might add, nothing more than
If it does not fit this description, it is not socialism—no
matter who says different. Those who claim that socialism existed
and failed in places like Russia and China simply do not know the
will be a society in which the things we need to live, work and
control our own lives—the industries, services and natural
resources—are collectively owned by all the people, and in
which the democratic organization of the people within the industries
and services is the government. Socialism means that government
of the people, for the people and by the people will become a reality
for the first time.
has never existed. It did not exist in the old U.S.S.R., and it
does not exist in China. Socialism will be a society in which
the things we need to live, work and control our own lives—the industries,
services and natural resources—are collectively owned by all the
people, and in which the democratic organization of the people within
the industries and services is the government. Socialism means that
government of the people, for the people and by the people will become
a reality for the first time.
To win the struggle for socialist freedom requires enormous efforts
of organizational and educational work. It requires building a political
party of socialism to contest the power of the capitalist class on
the political field, and to educate the majority of workers about
the need for socialism. It requires building Socialist Industrial
Union organizations to unite all workers in a classconscious industrial
force, and to prepare them to take, hold and operate the tools of
are needed in the ranks of Socialists fighting for a better world—to
end poverty, racism, sexism, environmental disaster and
to avert the still potent threat of a catastrophic nuclear war.
Find out more about the program and work of the Socialist Labor
Party and join us to help make the promise of socialism a reality.
1. Learn more
The SLP publishes a wide range of literature on various aspects
of the socialist movement. Its official journal, The People,
offers a clear analysis of the news from the workers' point of view.
Sign up for a free e-mail sub, and if you like it, get a real sub
or a bundle you can pass on to others who don't have internet access.
2. Get involved
Contact the SLP in your area and find out about local activities.
3. Join us
The SLP is open to all who agree with its program of political and
economic organization to replace capitalism with a new socialist
society. Learn more about the SLP's ideas and its program. If you
agree, you belong in the SLP!