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Glasgow Branch (12/6)

June 12 at 7:00 pm
Maryhill Community Central Halls,
304 Maryhill Road,
Glasgow G20 7YE

The reason for organisation is that a number of people united are better able to accomplish a given end as a rule than the same people working in an isolated fashion. In fact, some ends can only be accomplished by means of organisations, and socialism is one of them. Mere organisation, however, is not enough. It must be of such a nature that it will meet the need to accomplish the end as soon as possible. Moreover, it must really accomplish the end, and not some pale shadow of it. Bad organisation will often defeat the end aimed at, weak organisation will hinder its accomplishment, and only sound organisation will adequately achieve it. The end that is aimed at determines the nature of the organisation. Our organization, a party of equals, is a political movement to revolutionise the present social arrangements.

It is from the workers that the Socialist Party draws its strength, because it is the workers whose interests demand the change. Many clever and honest people believed that the parliamentary avenue to State control could be ignored and held to the view that general strikes and insurrection were the means the workers should adopt to overthrow the present social system, but in the end they did not succeed. The attitude taken by our Party years ago still holds true—that only by having a socialist membership, and therefore a socialist policy, can a real socialist party be secured.

Socialism can only be established by a socialist working class. hence the chief task of the Socialist Party can only be to make their fellow workers socialist. We hold that this can best be done by campaigning for socialism and socialism alone. To do otherwise is to get the support of non-socialists and eventually to cease to be a socialist party altogether. We accept the doctrine of the class struggle and base our policy on it. Thus we refuse to compromise with other political parties which, including the Labour Party, can only stand for capitalism. It is sometimes argued by the Left that the way to make socialists is to back the demands of politically ignorant workers and show then that these demands can't be realised without getting rid of capitalism. But this is an odd way of going about things. Why not tell the workers straight off that they're going down a blind alley? Why bother to lead them down it just to show them it is a blind alley? The logic of this is that the working class should try out all wrong policies just to see that they are wrong. We reject such nonsensical doctrine. But once this doctrine is rejected then the case for entryism falls to the ground. There is no longer any need to make a principle of leading workers down blind alleys because you think it will benefit them.

The Socialist Party addresses its appeal for members to the working class. It is essential that those who join the Socialist Party clearly understand its object and policy. Why does the Socialist Party regularly achieve such a low percentage poll when it contests elections? Is it our “dogmatism” and "sectarianism", our refusal to unite with other groups, such as those in the anti-war, ecologist, feminist movements? Frankly, although we would not want to deny the sincerity of many activists in these groups in seeking to improve living conditions and solve social problems, we would not want to merge with them to try and bring about reforms of the capitalist system. It is necessary to keep our objective clear and not being sidetracked into activity which has nothing to do with the work of building a movement to advocate and achieve a society of common ownership. We are of course always keen to discuss with other groups and parties, hold forums with them, and indeed learn from them where they have knowledge that we do not have.

We need speakers and writers to spread our message so the more people who have already arrived at a socialist consciousness become part of the organisation propagating those ideas, the more members and the more resources this will give us. Let us be in no doubt: there are very many workers who are ready and willing to listen to the case for world socialism and to take it up with enthusiasm. Optimistic we may be but socialists have a message which is irresistible and the most urgent and exciting task of the moment is to work for a speedy termination to the system which enslaves the majority class. The Socialist Party stands in hostility to the boss class whether they pretend to dictate on the workers' behalf or they are undisguised legalised robbers, we are out to end their power, and to expose the ideologies which have allowed them to hold it this long. Socialism is not dead: it has not yet been tried.

If you are a convinced socialist you should vote for your principles whether there is a socialist candidate in your constituency or not. Where there is no socialist candidate, write SOCIALISM across your ballot paper. But do not leave it at that. Persuade your friends, relatives and workmates to consider the socialist case. Give your support to socialist campaigns where there is a genuine socialist candidate. No effort can be too great in relation to the urgent political task which faces us.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain
52 Clapham High Street,
 London SW4 7UN


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