When the Socialist Party enters the electoral arena with candidates, it is not just a matter of another party muscling in on the time honoured game of fooling the workers. We do not treat the business as a sport, wishing our opponents good luck and congratulating the one who succeeds in collecting the most votes and a well-paid job with generous expenses and ample benefits. We do not indulge in hypocritical handshaking with our opponents or in the “good-luck-old-man, the-best-man-has-won” bunkum. We are in deadly earnest. Our opponents represent our class enemies and there can be no truce in the class struggle. We do not even canvass votes as do our opponents. In fact we urge workers to refrain from voting for us unless they understand our object and are prepared to work with us for its achievement. An election campaign, for us, is a means of propagating our ideas amongst the workers at a time when political interest is rife and it is a means of gauging the development of socialist ideas in the constituency contested. Further to that, of course, is the fact that, in contesting every possible election we are working towards the achievement of our object. Election campaigns that are successful in bringing more and more workers to an understanding and a desire for socialism are preparing the ground for an increasing number of campaigns in the future. Join with us in the only war worth fighting, in the only struggle worthy of working class effort, the struggle to end the system that deprives the workers of the fruits of their labour, the struggle so that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom. Instead of allowing ourselves to be the tools of the master-class; to be housed in hovels, bred, fed and buried cheaply, slaughtered on battle-fields, packed into factories or superseded by machines we must take control of the world's resources ourselves and use them for our own comfort and advantage. We urge fellow-workers to study the case of the Socialist Party and work for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. There can be only one solution for working-class problems, the dispossession of the capitalist class and the institution of socialism by the working class. Our fellow-workers must adopt the only possible solution, the abolition of private property and the establishment of a society where the needs of men and women will be the sole criterion for the production of goods and services. The remedy is for the workers to do a little thinking for themselves. For when the majority of workers have become socialists it will mean doom for the professional politician. For then the working class will have established a society which will no longer need politicians of any sort.
From the earliest days of working-class history, racial hatreds and national antagonisms have repeatedly been an obstacle to working-class solidarity and organisation. Capitalists and their agents know the value of keeping alive these antagonisms. It would be difficult to find a capitalist class of any country which has not at some time or other stirred up its workers against those of another nation or race. They know quite well that, whilst the workers remain divided racially and nationally, their own privileged position in society will remain secure. It is largely to divert the attention of the workers from a critical examination of the true cause of their poverty, from an examination of the capitalist system. Racial hatreds have been of great service to the capitalist classes of America. Both in Latin America and in the United States, the idea is carefully nurtured among “white" workers that the “black" is his enemy. Here we have the capitalists importing minorities to work in their concerns because they can force them to accept low wages, and then doing all in their power to rouse white against black so as to prevent them from joining forces. The same thing happened here last century. Irishmen were brought to England to work at cheap rates and then the capitalist played off the Irish and English Workers, one against the other. About this, Marx wrote in 1869: —
"The English bourgeoisie has not only exploited Irish poverty in order to worsen the condition of the working class in England, by the forced transplantation of poor Irish peasants, but it has, moreover, divided the proletariat into hostile camps. . . . The average English worker hates the Irish as a competitor who lowers his wages and level of living. He feels national and religious antagonism towards him. . . . This antagonism between the proletarians of England is artificially cultivated and maintained by the bourgeoisie. It knows that in this antagonism lies the real secret of maintaining its power"
The fact that the agents of capitalism are able to stir up workers of one country against another is proof of the immaturity of the working class. It is a proof that up to now the workers are without a true understanding of their position in capitalist society. They are still ready to consider their own interests identical with those of their master class.