This week`s meeting will explore the way in which a socialist society can be built.
Leon Trotsky`s Transitional Programme (written in 1938) is more than just a political programme. It is in essence a whole method for socialists to use in the struggle to abolish capitalism and replace it with socialism.
How do socialists convince the majority of working-class people of the need for socialist ideas and of the correct methods to change society?
In the Transitional Programme Trotsky shows how the problems of working-class people should be approached in a socialist way.
Socialists fight for immediate reforms (minimal demands) but the day-to-day problems, unemployment, low pay etc. are linked to the socialist transformation of society by a series of intermediate demands (transitional demands).
The Transitional Programme demonstrates the method that Marxists have used to point the way to socialism from Marx himself to the Socialist Party and its sister parties organised around the Committee for a Workers’ International today.
Virtually all the political, economic and social problems that we face are caused by capitalism: low pay, unemployment, expensive and inadequate housing, bad health, racism and war all flow from this system.
This basic truth is obscured by the media, the politicians and the capitalist system itself. It is not enough, therefore, for socialist organisations to simply proclaim socialism and wait for the workers to support it.
Marxists must link the struggles of the working class on “bread and butter issues” to the wider struggle to change society.
We propose demands that help to alleviate the basic problems that the working class face but also point in the direction of fundamentally changing society through the working class taking over, replacing capitalism with a democratically planned economy.
These demands, transitional demands as Trotsky refers to them, act as a bridge between answering the immediate problems of working people and the socialist transformation of society, the ultimate solution to all the separate issues.