Never before have objective conditions been so favourable to socialism. Never have the workers been more ready to listen to and examine the socialist case, but with this decline of hostility has come a corresponding disinclination to give enthusiastic support, due, no doubt, to the disappointment born of repeated disillusionment suffered at the hands of professional politicians of the old school, or at the hands of the new and numerous brood of Leftist who distort and bring into disrepute the principles of socialism. Remember that you and we are of the working class and we cannot, if we would, wash our hands of working class troubles. Their problems are also yours and ours, if they sink further into the mire so do we and you. If we cannot win the workers for socialism, they will be retained for the capitalist system and you will share the suffering that will ensue.
Capitalism may prepare the ground in people's minds, but that alone will not produce socialism. The growth of socialist knowledge requires effort; the effort must be organised and the organisation must have resources. Knowledge of socialism, the Socialist Party possesses as well as the fundamentals of organisationbut resources are far below even our present needs and a measure of effort quite inadequate to the task we have in hand. We have a few hundred members, a limited circulation of our journal and pamphlets, a not very visited presence on the internet and social media and with this we propose to conquer the world— to the not mirth and amusement of our class enemies. Why is our membership numbered in hundreds instead of thousands? Why not ten of thousands readers of our printed literature, and why not a daily or weekly paper? Why not twitter and Facebook accounts too numerous to mention? These things, even our members, at the moment dream about but realise are no way near on the horizon as practicable propositions.
We are a working class organisation and our funds are accordingly very strictly limited. The whole of the work of the organisation has so far depended entirely on the voluntary unpaid services of our members. This must, of course, remain generally true, however our activities may grow, but there are many things which can be done so much better, and others which can only be done at all by full time paid officials. We cannot, for instance, have organisers at work in the provinces until we can afford the expense, and only those who have tried know that there is a soon reached physical limit to the spare time work that can be performed after our employers have had their eight hours of the best that is in us. Much as we should like to attain a level of efficiency in internal administration equal to that of the best business concerns, it is a sheer impossibility to do so with the necessarily irregular and haphazard efforts on which we must rely.
But there are other developments by no means beyond our range, only waiting for just that little extra effort. Many who know the Socialist Party and its principles sympathise with us but have never yet felt the urgency of joining actively in our work. Many of them would justify standing aside, perhaps, with the remark that they would willingly join in if they could see some signs of activity; if only we would be more engaged and do something. To which we can only reply that with their help, perhaps, we might, and in any event if they would join they would better realise how great are the difficulties to be overcome before we can do even what little we succeed in doing now. We cannot compete in advertising and publicity with the numerous purveyors of political clap-trap who are our rivals for the attention and support of our fellow-workers. If, then, you already understand and accept our principles, why not apply for membership? To do so will give encouragement to us; it will keep you in touch with the internal work of the party, show you our difficulties and open up forms of activity you had not considered. You can, perhaps, find ways of co-operating with other members, at present isolated.
If you dislike what we say or how we say it, in our publications and websites and of the manner of their representation and presentation you can send us your criticisms of the matter. If you dislike what we say or how we say it we can promise to consider your points and endeavour to meet them so far as our limited powers permit. Above all, if you have difficulties or want particular subjects dealt with and explained, do not hesitate to tell us. Without some such guide it is difficult indeed to know to what extent we are making the best use. of our limited resources.