Tuesday, July 12, 2022

To Working People


Fellow Workers,

 In view of the recent tragedies around the world, we urge your members to give our case their earnest consideration.

We are Marxists, basing our position on the investigations and conclusions of Marx.


Our sole object is the achievement of socialism—a social system in which everything that is on the Earth will be the common possession of all mankind. Everyone will be on an equal footing. There will be no frontiers, no buying and selling, and no privileged groups—except the old, the young, and the infirm.

We hold that capitalism, the system under which goods are produced by the workers for the profit of a relatively small section of owners of the means of production, is now the system that prevails all over the earth; that it breeds wars, slumps, internecine conflicts, and misery for the mass of the people; that there is a constant class struggle going on between the owners of the means of production, and those that operate them—the working class; that all the reforms put forward and fought for by well-meaning people have not touched the fringe of the problem of working class subjection but, instead, though even unintentionally, have pushed further away the day of emancipation; that, so long as the present system prevails there is no remedy for this state of affairs; the only way out is to abolish capitalism and establish socialism in its place; that state-ownership is not socialism, but a particular form of capitalism; that the workers must organise together internationally to attain their freedom from the conditions that oppress and frustrate them.

We are talking about a united working-class and saying (quite correctly) how immensely powerful the working class could be, if only it was united.

“If we all spat we could drown them” Scottish trade unionist Jimmy Reid with his typical working-class directness and humour once said. 

The question, therefore, is why isn’t the working class united? What is it that blinds workers to their class interests, and divides them? A moment’s thought should supply the answer. It is political ignorance.

Many workers do not think they are workers, at all. Many carry on a pathetic struggle to appear “middle- class”, grumbling the while about the “unjust” prosperity of car workers or dockers.

In fact, even to talk about “Unity” at all pre-supposes unity for something—some aim, some goal. Unity in the abstract, for the sake of unity, is meaningless.

Apart from the large number of workers who still think that the boss is their best friend and that they too can become capitalists, there is also a very large number who see the necessity of uniting in trade unions to improve their lot.

 A minority of workers have realised that the problem is not just a question of keeping wages up, but that capitalism is their trouble and its abolition would be emancipation from social problems for everybody, especially the workers, who are on the receiving end. These workers have acquired real class-consciousness, for them it is no longer a question of dockers, miners, or teachers, but the abolition of the wages system. They are revolutionary socialists because it is absurd to propose the abolition of capitalism without a superior alternative. When the anti-socialist says “Yes, but what would you put in its place?” the answer is socialism.

This presupposes the overthrow of capitalism, and we can all agree that the last thing capitalists want is to be abolished (by the way, this does not mean physical extermination; we are talking about social relations). Theoretically, it should be possible to abolish the capitalist class without harming one hair of one capitalist’s head.

Over the years, various people have put forward various ideas for the abolition of capitalism. This has brought disunity, even among those who wanted to abolish capitalism. In other words, even the minority who did oppose capitalism could not agree on the methods to overthrow it. Among the various groups holding opposing ideas was one which came together from a number of splinter groups to form a Communist Party in 1920.

Some of these groups left it again, as soon as they realised more about it. Sylvia Pankhurst and the Workers Socialist Federation refused to follow Moscow and backed out. Some prominent Scottish Workers Committee Movement stalwarts, Tommy Clarke, of the AEU, John Maclean, the first Bolshevik Consul in Britain, did likewise.

Under Russian domination, and blindly following their paymasters, McManusGallagher, Bell and Co. they started their wearisome howl for “The United Front”

The element of success they possess—numbers; but numbers weigh only in the balance, if united by combination and led by knowledge” Marx explained, in the address of the Working Men’s International Association.

The Socialist Party has always held a very clear and straightforward idea about political and industrial action. Political action is that which concerns the whole working class, and industrial action is that of industries or trades. There is no way of getting control of the political machine of government except by voting. Even if a government resigns as a result of a strike, it is still not known how many want something else, and what they positively want. A political party pledged to every one of its understanding members, is necessary for socialism.

This is where we come in. The overthrow of capitalism must be a political act. It must be the united conscious act of a revolutionary working class by some form of election.  It would be well to realise that socialism is the abolition, not the reform of capitalism and that to establish socialism, the workers must vote for it because there is no other way of knowing whether they are united for it or not. If the bondage of capitalism is to be ended and a human society achieved, there must be comprehension of how the fetters are made.

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