"Spanish society in the present time," said economist Ramόn Tamames in his Introduction to the Economy of Spain in 1967, "is in the midst of effervescent change; changes in the economy are rapidly transforming traditional habits and mentalities and are exposing myths that have acquired almost an aura of eternal verity." Just how little dictators and other politicians can alter the "course of history" with their decrees has become impressively evident in the case of Spain.
Probably the greatest obstacle to the acceptance of socialist ideas in the present century has been the belief on the part of millions of workers that socialism - or communism - has been established. Quite understandably, workers look at the tyrannies of Eastern Europe, China, Albania and the other self-proclaimed "socialist countries" and reject what they see. The media in the West are quite happy to accept the myth that these police states are "socialist".
The parties and contacts in this list have a common understanding of socialism. Any organization sharing this understanding is encouraged to join the World Socialist Movement.
At the present time world capitalism is in depression. Throughout the world there are millions of unemployed. So it is important to know why this depression is happening, whether or not it could have been avoided. Will it pass away, and if so, when? Will depressions happen again in the future?
Below, we look at how some reform legislation has fared in capitalism.
The establishment of world socialism will involve the abolition of the state, but this must be achieved by first gaining control of the entire powers and machinery of governments, including the armed forces. The practical question involved in this is that the socialist majority must be in a position to implement its object. It must be in a position to control events, which means being in a position to enact the common ownership of the means of production, and to ensure that society is completely transformed on this basis.
I. The state of capitalism
2. A classless, stateless world
Running global human society without the machinery of states is regarded by some as being as unachievable as radio and hi-fi systems were to some people before their invention. Socialists observe that the coercive governmental machinery of the state has not always been a feature of human society but was created necessarily in a phase in our history and will, with equal necessity, be abolished with the establishment of socialism.
3. Notes on the State
Central to socialist thinking on the nature of the capitalist state is the concept of class. Drawing on the writings of Marx, socialists argue that we live in a class-based society, in which a small minority own and control the means of producing wealth to the exclusion of the rest of the population.
The history of US imperialism dates back to the times of the foundation of the nation. Whether making and breaking treaties with various American Indian tribes and "nations"—expropriating their lands—or in adventures in far-flung oceans and climes, US capitalism went all-out from its beginnings in muscling its way into world business and, in pursuit of such ends, into the internal affairs of other nations. To be sure, that is not exactly how such activity was always explained by the official moulders of public opinion.