The Peace and Freedom Party, born from the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism, racial equality, and internationalism.

The opening sentence of the Party platform has provoked questions such as, “Why are you for socialism?” or “What is socialism?” The answer is not simple, because the Peace and Freedom Party is a ‘multi-tendency’ party.” People from different organizations, as well as those without other affiliation, can be members of the Peace and Freedom Party.

We asked members of the PFP to provide their definition of socialism, both to answer the question and to illustrate the range of opinions within the party and the Socialist movement in general. Below runs the fourth in our continuing series, “What is Socialism?”


Capitalism is a political-economic system that privileges the interests of capital; that is, the class that owns and controls the strategic economic levers of society.

Socialism is also a class society, but it privileges poor and working people who are the producers of wealth and who are most in need of social assistance. Communism is yet another societal form, where the state has withered away, classes cease to exist, and the bounty of productive labor is distributed according to the principle of from each according to their abilities and to each according to their need.

Communism, thus, is an ideal and most distant form. As a transitional form, socialism entails a state that governs in the interest of the entire society but privileges the popular classes and a political party that represents the advanced consciousness of the popular classes based on their concrete experience of struggle against capitalism.

–written by Roger D. Harris

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