Friday, September 18, 2015

The mind guides the hand

The Socialist Party concern itself with analysing the capitalist system, pointing out its defects and advocating the replacing of the capitalist system by the common ownership and democratic administration of the means of production and distribution. The success and progress of the socialist movement will depend very largely upon the method of education and the political tactics of the Socialist Party. The political programme of the Socialist Party is essentially constructive. There is no place in the political movement for the midnight palace coup and any cataclysmic transformation of society. Socialism does not advance necessarily in response to or because of great industrial distress. These crises may point out the fact that something is wrong, but the suggestion of the remedy and the cure for these ills is quite a different problem. Being merely anti-capitalist cannot bring about the cooperative commonwealth. We require a clear vision of our objective. Socialism meant the immediate communisation, according to a definite predetermined plan, of the means of production and distribution. The Socialist Party, denies the right of a person to call himself a socialist, in any sense whatever, on the strength of advocating the municipalisation of gas and water, or the acquisition of the railways, by the State. This is not a dogmatic statement of how the change will come about, but the expression of general meaning and ultimate significance of revolutionary social change. We consider it irrelevant to bandy words over the relative cost and advantage of a nationalised railway system over a privately-owned one. In both we find the class struggle and the extraction of surplus-value. Never has the need been greater than now for socialists to conduct a campaign for the socialist society. But how does the policy of supporting the “lesser-evilism of good” capitalist politicians stand up when we examine the conduct of Labour politicians? Socialists, in our opinion, never become partisans of one capitalist policy versus another. The overthrow of capitalism that is our demand; it is the ONLY demand of the Socialist Party.

Whatever one may think of the Socialist Party one must admit that its adherents are not of the type to give up without a struggle. We share the same viewpoints and walk the talk. In elections out candidates spell out the alternative to capitalism and we face the usual accusations of sectarianism for promoting socialist ideals by leftists who refuse to accept that the first step towards the building of a strong socialist party is knowledge and understanding. It is not simply a question of good will and solidarity. We know that the principles of socialism are necessary to the emancipation of the working class. The question is one of the need for revolutionaries to explain patiently where workers are being misled.

While drowning mankind in blood with its vile wars capitalism also befouls the world atmosphere with pollution. We have seen that capitalism means a small section of the population controls production and is not answerable to the rest of the community. At the moment the workers shows no interest in socialism which is generally regarded as “voting Labour.” The Socialist Party must spread its case for socialism as widely as possible, relating it to the questions of the day, so that as political consciousness strikes deeper roots, the socialist arguments can pull as many as possible from destructive rebelliousness to constructive social revolution. The Socialist Party proudly declares itself a party of revolutionary socialism. This means we stand for the abolition of capitalism, nothing more and nothing less. We do not stand for the reform of any institution under capitalism. Our activities are always directed towards the complete overthrow of capitalism, and to that end we concentrate our attention upon the education of our fellow men and women who are engaged in wealth production and who are exploited in the process. A socialist party is an organisation of the working class and its weapon. And the hand that grips that weapon must know whom it is fighting, to what purpose it makes its thrusts, and what it intends to do when the enemy is conquered and destroyed. The weapon can be forged only in the flame of thorough discussion. The mind guides the hand – our theories are clarified by criticism and analysis as it goes forward in the battle.

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