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Freedom or Slavery?

Sick and weary of the conflicting tactics and vacillating policy of the left-wing the members of this party, some of them veterans in the workers' movement, raise the red flag from the mire through which it was being dragged, and are proud of being members of The Socialist Party. To combat the confusing effects of the compromise and opportunism of the Left, we fully realise that all our time and energies are required for the work of educating our fellow-workers to a clear conception of the causes of their misery, and of organising them so that they will concentrate all their efforts upon the capture of the political machine which is held and used by the master class as an instrument of oppression and exploitation. We have no time, therefore, to waste in appeals to the capitalist class for measures of reform, because we know that nothing short of complete economic freedom, and nothing short of the overthrow of capitalism, will put an end to the despotic system under which the robbery and oppression of the worker goes on. The Socialist Party wants what the oppressor will never give. The workers themselves must achieve their emancipation. “Who would be free must strike the blow." It is our part to show the worker how the blow must be struck.

Alleged labour leaders, who so far as discernible, do everything to confuse the minds of the working class as to their correct position, and as a consequence the working class are apathetic and indifferent regarding their social welfare. The work of this Party is to give a clear exposition of the conflict of interests between the working class and the master class, which in this district is made most intensely manifest, to arouse that enthusiasm which arises from class consciousness, and to organise the workers into The Socialist Party determined to wage war against capitalism and all its supporters, with the ultimate object of securing its complete overthrow. We realise that for some time to come considerable clearing away of misconceptions will be necessary before the socialist party shall reap the full reward of its campaigns. If all sincere socialists would but appreciate the importance of being associated with an organisation such as ours, based as it is upon sound principles, and pursuing as it does a straight and clearly defined policy, how much more effectively would we be able to accomplish the work we are called upon to do. Our case for socialism is presently the only solution for the many evils and problems that exist around us. As well as may be, we are doing the work the Socialist Party is called upon to do—the preliminary spade work necessary to the organisation of a class conscious working class party—and doing it in face of the added difficulties of reform parties—born of the ill-informed and misdirected exuberance of a few local reformers—inevitably create. The number of these parties do much to distract and divert our fellow-workers attention from the consideration of the real problem underlying their condition, so that workers do not readily appreciate their class standing and the necessity for organisation upon the basis of the class struggle as the indispensable condition of successful conflict with capitalism. Every one of the reformist left-wing parties is simply a further factor making for working class confusion—simply one more division of the available working class awareness that might otherwise be focused upon the root causes of, and real remedies for, working class ills; one more obstacle that will have to be overcome.

What the workers want is a straight lead upon a clear issue, and it is precisely because they have never had the one given them, and the other kept plainly before them ; it is precisely because they have been led to follow the fantasy of reform, and have found themselves at the end of their journey in very much the position they formerly occupied, that they to-day are sullen, disconsolate, and recalcitrant. And so the reformer must go into the category of working class enemies, and must be fought as strenuously as the hard-grained proletarian ignorance and apathy, the more so because he or she is the apathy producer, the ignorance perpetuator


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