The new pamphlet ‘What Is Democratic Socialism’ is an excellent introduction to the basic ideas of the Socialist Party. Written in clear language, this pamphlet is accessible to all – whether people new to the thoughts and practices of socialism, or for the well-versed looking for a new take.
The pamphlet makes its contention explicit in the introduction: “Capitalism is a system that puts profit before everything else”. “The alternative to capitalism is democratic socialism”.
The pamphlet details just some of the many alarming effects of capitalism today. These include the fact that “Many of the basics of life – like a decent job, home and public services – cannot be afforded”, or the extraordinary inequality even in Australia, whereby “The top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 70% combined!”.
The pamphlet goes one step further, explaining why capitalism has been so detrimental worldwide, and why socialism is all around a better system for humanity. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the rebuttal to the idea that “people are too greedy for socialism to work”, with the pamphlet referencing the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton’s comment “Socialism is the people. If you’re afraid of socialism, you’re afraid of yourself.”
In addition to the detailed explanation of democratic socialism, the pamphlet is a transparent explanation of what the Socialist Party is, what a socialist government could achieve, and how people can get involved with the party. This is part of the pamphlet is useful in highlighting the importance of socialist organisation to counter capitalism.
As someone who has been involved with the Socialist Party for several years, the pamphlet was a great refresher of the party’s ideas and the ways in which I as an individual can take a stand against the ongoing capitalist crisis. I recommend “What Is Democratic Socialism” to all those frustrated with the state of affairs under the current system.
By Isobel Orford