Socialism Hasn't Failed - It Hasn't Been Tried - Yet!


Perry Sanders and Dianna Sitar
Socialism Hasn't Failed; It Hasn't Been Tried - Yet!
from the New Unionist, December 1993, page 3

Ask the vast majority of working people the following question: "Has socialism (or communism) proven to be a failure?" They will respond with a definite "Yes!" To back up their position they most frequently cite the example of the Soviet Union. They also list Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, etc., and even Sweden and England as examples.

Now, if it were true that variations of socialism had been tried in these countries, then of course their answer and examples would be correct. But-they aren' t! The reason is that real workers' socialism has never been tried- yet. And it most certainly will.

Saying something doesn't necessarily make it so. If we said that we could fly with our arms, you would conclude we were either jokng or insane, because you correctly know that this can't be done.

Adolf Hitler led the "National Socialist Party" in Nazi Germany, but almost no one thinks of him as a socialist. Why? Because he did not play up his "socialism." Stalin did. Most working people think of Stalin as a "socialist" or "communist" because Stalin played up his "socialism." But the truth is both Hitler and Stalin were state-monopoly capitalists with brutal regimes.

Most workers in the United States have no direct experience with what was called "socialism" in any of the above countries. Asked for a definition of socialism, most will respond that it is where "the government controls everything" and workers are excluded from making all of the important decisions that affect their lives. Consequently, they believe that there is "no democracy under socialism."

Just for a moment forget about the label "socialism." Then you would be right about the Soviet Union, et. al. A tiny super-privileged minority in these countries did/do undemocratically control almost all of society for their own gain. This was/is state monopoly capitalism, not socialism.

The simplest definition of real workers' socialism is where all working people democratically manage, control and coordinate all of society-economically, politically, socially, environmentally- in their own best interest. Workers would democratically elect their supervisors, foremen and managers. All of the workplaces would be democratically run from top to bottom.

The priorities for production would be democratically determined by a majority of workers' representatives, and in referen-dums. Government would be truly of the workers, by the workers, for the workers.

The poor would be raised up, educated and trained, and provided with decent earning work. The rich and superrich would be cut down to average size and either do an honest day's work or receive no income.

There would be work for all who wanted and were able to work, and every worker would receive the full value of the product of their labor, minus deductions for equipment/plant replacement and expansion, social programs and administrative costs (see "Critique of the Gotha Program" by Karl Marx). According to Marx's definition, real workers' socialism hasn't existed -- yet.

In 1992, as usual, around 50% of workers voted in the presidential election. But most of these workers voted for "the lesser of two evils!" Clearly, then, the bulk of workers correctly know that there is no choice for them as workers. And, of course, workers realize every day at work that there is no democracy.

Yet, most workers accept this grudgingly. Why? Because they falsely believe that socialism has been tried and failed, and assume that, "This is as good as it gets."

Real socialists are few and lack needed support: members, organizers, writers, supporters and money. Do it now!

Don't be fooled by "socialist" labels. Support the genuine!