Mary E. Marcy

Why the Socialist Party
Is Different

(August 1912)

The International Socialist Review, Vol. 13. No. 2, August 1912, p. 157.
Transcribed by Matthew Siegfried.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

WHY is the Socialist party different from the Republican and Democratic parties? And why should workingmen and women join the Socialist party and support its candidates? These are questions that intelligent workers are asking everywhere and that socialists will have to answer more often than usual during the coming presidential campaign.

We are going to give you a few plain facts and we want you to think them over and talk them over. We want you to find out the aims of Socialism and decide whether the Socialist party will be of benefit to you or whether the old parties will serve you best.

Read the Socialist Party Platform. Compare it with the platform of the Republican and Democratic parties. Read our magazines and buy a few Socialist pamphlets and find out what Socialism means and stands for.

We all know how fertile the old parties have been with PROMISES to the working class, in the past, and how effective in making laws for the benefit of the employing or capitalist class. They have failed you upon every possible occasion. We want you to consider the Socialist program for a while.

  1. The aims of Socialism are always in the interest of the working class.
  2. Workingmen and women contribute to and conduct our year-long campaign of education. The campaign funds of the Republican and Democratic parties are contributed by such men as E.H. Harriman, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jim Hill, the Swifts and the Armours.
  3. You will find that the Socialists are working men and women fighting the battles of the WORKING class, while the Republican and Democratic parties are serving the MEN WHO EMPLOY AND ROB YOU.

The factory owners, the mill bosses, the mine operators, have had old party officials serving them long enough. If you workingmen unite in the Socialist party you can elect men from your own ranks to SERVE YOUR INTERESTS.

The working class has nothing in common with other classes in society. We know that any newspaper, any magazine, or any movement that is financed by the employing class is going to serve those who grow rich on our labor.

Sometimes you may see Socialists in office who are trying to lighten the burdens of the workers by reform legislation, such as shortening the hours of labor-giving you an eight hour, instead of a ten or twelve hour day.

But these reform measures are not the essentials of Socialism. The Republican party might make legal the Eight Hour Day. The Democratic party, or a reform party, might pass laws to prevent very young children working in factories. It may be that when the old parties see the workers joining a party of their own, they will give us a few sops to keep us from the REAL BUSINESS OF SOCIALISM.

The real business of Socialism is to abolish a society that is based on the wages system. It proposes that the working class shall take over all the great industries, the mines, mills, the factories, the land and the railroads; it means that these industries shall be owned and managed by the workers who use them and that every working man and woman shall receive the full value of his product, without handing over any profits to any boss.

The man who owns a cotton factory today employs men and women and children to work FOR HIM. He pays them starvation ·wages while he makes millions of dollars profits on the cloth THEY WEAVE.

It is ownership of the factory that makes one man a rich and idle employer and the man, who has no property, a wage slave.

Socialism stands for the ownership of the factory by the factory workers. It means the overthrow of the wage system. This is the real essence of Socialism.

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Last updated on 31 May 2022