Socialist Labor Party

(Adopted by the 47th National Convention, July 16, 2007,
and ratified by the general vote of the membership, September 7, 2007.)

The Socialist Labor Party of America, assembled at its 47th National Convention, reasserts the inalienable right of all human beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We hold that the purpose of government must be to secure to every citizen the enjoyment of this right. Taught by experience we hold, furthermore, that this right is an illusion for the overwhelming majority of people—the working class—under the present system of economic despotism that is essentially destructive of their life, their liberty and their happiness.

We hold that humanity cannot exercise their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without ownership of the land on and the tools of production with which to work. Deprived of these, the lives, liberty and fate of the workers are in the hands of the class that own those essentials for work and production.

Ownership of the means of life is today held by a tiny minority in society, the capitalist class, exercising through this ownership and control an economic tyranny without parallel in history.

While that class owns the overwhelming majority of all wealth in our society, the overwhelming majority, the working class, owns a relatively insignificant fraction—usually no more than a home or a car in which a bank or finance company really has the largest interest. Put another way, most workers merely own the proverbial shirt on their back—and little else that helps them much in their struggle for existence.

The ownership of the bulk of the nation’s wealth by the few is conclusive evidence that labor is robbed of the major portion of the product that labor alone produces. Thus the worker is denied the means of self-employment and, by compulsory idleness and poverty in wage slavery, is often deprived of even the necessaries of life.

We hold that the existing contradiction between the theory of democratic government and the fact of a despotic economic system—the private ownership of the natural and social opportunities—divides the nation into two classes: the nonproducing, but owning, capitalist class, and the producing, but propertyless, working class; throws society into the convulsions of the class struggle and invariably perverts government to the uses and benefit of the capitalist class.

As the natural result of social evolution, the capitalist system now impels its own downfall. Having completed its normal development, this system and its political reflex, the state, are now outdated. No longer able to dispose readily of huge quantities of surplus commodities in foreign markets, each capitalist nation seeks desperately to crowd out its competitors, with the result that wars and conflicts convulse much of the world. In this mad struggle for survival, the working classes of all nations are the chief victims.

Against such a system the Socialist Labor Party raises the banner of revolution and demands the unconditional surrender of the capitalist class. In this crisis reform measures are irrelevant, and history teaches that where a social revolution is pending and, for whatever reason, is not accomplished, reaction—dictatorship—is the alternative.

Having outlived its social usefulness, capitalism must give way to a new social order—a social order wherein government shall rest on industry, on the basis of useful occupations, instead of resting on territorial, or political, representation.

This new social system must be the Socialist Industrial Union form of government if the needs of the vast majority are to be served, and if social progress is to be the law of the future as it has been in the past. Upon the workers rests the duty of effecting this revolutionary change in as peaceful, civilized manner as possible, using the ballot and industrial organization to effect the change.

We, therefore, call upon the wageworkers of America to organize under the banner of the Socialist Labor Party into a classconscious body, aware of its rights and determined to secure them.

We further call upon the wageworkers of America to organize into integral Socialist Industrial Unions to enforce their ballot, and to fulfill the needs and purposes of the Socialist Industrial Union government. Industrial unionism is the Socialist Republic in the making; that goal reached, the industrial union is the Socialist Republic in operation.

Finally, we also call upon all thinking citizens to place themselves squarely upon the ground of working-class interests, and join with us in this noble work of human emancipation so that we may put summary end to the most onerous threat to human existence, the barbarous class conflict.

The land and all the means of production, transportation, communication and distribution must be placed in the hands of the useful producers as a collective body. Substituting the Socialist Industrial Republic of Labor for the present state of planless production, industrial and international wars and social disorder, a commonwealth can be built in which all workers shall have the free exercise and full benefit of their faculties, multiplied by all the benefits of modern civilization under a democratically controlled economy that is collectively owned by all.

Socialist Labor Party of America, P.O. Box 218, Mountain View, CA 94042-0218 • •

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