Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why we are in this election

 The Socialist Party has a long history of involvement in capitalist elections for our own purposes.  Parliament, for the Socialist Party, can in no way become the arena for the struggle for reforms, for the amelioration of the position of the working class. It is the task of the working class to wrest the State apparatus from the hands of the ruling class and replace it, thus is demonstrated quite clearly the basic difference between the tactic of the socialist, who enters parliament with revolutionary aims, and the tactics of the reformist. The parliamentarianism of the Socialist Party emerges as a tool for the elimination of parliamentarianism. Parliament is a definite form of the State, therefore, it cannot at all be the form of socialist society, which knows neither classes nor class struggle nor any state power. Consequently, the Socialist Party denies parliamentarianism as a form of the society of the future. 

Election campaigns should not be carried out in the spirit of the hunt for the maximum number of parliamentary seats but in the spirit of educating fellow-workers to the principles of the socialist revolution. Every socialist member of parliament must bear in mind that he is not a legislator seeking an alliance with other legislators, but has been sent into the enemy camp in order to carry out the Socialist Party decisions there. The member of parliament is responsible to the Party as in our rule-book. Members of parliament will use the parliamentary rostrum for the unmasking of the bourgeoisie and its hacks, the nationalists and patriots, and the reformists.

The workers’ discontent is already evident and is bound to grow enormously as standards of living  are reduced. The entire history of the labour movement shows that the workers tend to resort to independent political action when they find themselves defeated or frustrated on the economic field. There is every reason to believe that this tradition will assert itself more powerfully than ever in the coming period. Across the globe peoples long subjected to exploitation are rising up.  We enter this election campaign amid changing political conditions that forecast the opening of a new stage in the class struggle. Events are pushing the trade unions away from support of capitalist political parties. Working class political consciousness will be decisive in determining the outcome of the battles ahead. The status quo can’t be frozen indefinitely; new political explosions will occur and they will cause repercussions throughout the world labour movement. The very forces of capitalism that have acted to create crises are also operating to prevent any lasting social stability. The importance of an election to lies in the fact that it gives our party the opportunity to reach out fellow-workers when their political interest is at a higher level; and serves to measure the political shifts and tendencies caused by changes on the economic and political scene. We must use the election to teach workers the political the connection between their employer and the state, the connection between their status and the economic system. The bosses don’t intend class peace. They are resisting, not granting, concessions to labour; and the government is backing them up in what is rapidly becoming a war against the unions. The bosses are cutting production costs through automation, casualisation, out-sourcing and other devices intended both to squeeze more out of the workers still in a job. They resist wage demands and chip away at conditions and contracts. Union demands are met by management counter-demands calculated to eliminate long-established job conditions and to weaken union strength. The bosses are engaged in a war of attrition against its work-forces. Social ferment is increasing. Yet rising social tensions, generated by the economic recession, are beginning to get people in many walks of life to ask searching political questions; to start thinking for themselves and recognize the need to fight boldly to maintain freedom of thought, expression, association, and action.

 The Socialist Party engages in electoral processes to reach people who find themselves in this situation and present the socialist answer to these problems in clear language and comprehensible terms. Never has the need been greater than now for socialists to conduct a campaign against the machinations of capitalism. The Socialist Party will tirelessly reiterate and prove to our fellow-workers that their problems cannot be solved without the overthrow of the capitalist system. 

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