Are the problems which face the workers capable of solution within the capitalist system, or are they not? If they are, then socialism is not only an idle dream, but to waste time and energy on propagating socialism is criminal folly.
If they are not, then those who divert working-class energies to a futile attempt to save the present system are of necessity enemies of the workers and must be irreconcilably opposed by the socialist. There is no need to await events to put this to the test. The workers are slaves to the capitalist class because the latter own the means of producing wealth.
The workers will either replace capitalism by socialism, or they will retain capitalism. If they perpetuate capitalism they will perpetuate their slavery to the capitalist class.
The Socialist Party has always warned against workers following leaders, even if and when the leaders appear to people as worthy. Workers must do their own thinking. But how much more sensible does our advice appear when it is obvious that the famous names who monopolise the media talk-shows and make sure that a genuine socialist voice is almost never heard, are such obvious idiots. Wake up, wage-slaves. You can’t possibly be as blind as the fools who try to lead you.
Socialism will be established only when a majority of workers understand and want it. It cannot be imposed upon the population “for their own good”, and nor can voters be lured into opting for socialism by offering promises as bait.
The Socialist Party stands in elections on a platform of uncompromised socialism. We do not offer to reform capitalism; we do not pose as leaders. Our position is that the workers must emancipate themselves. Only those who understand and accept socialist principles are asked to vote for socialist candidates.
Furthermore, those workers who only half agree or disagree with bits of what we say or like our candidate, but not our policies, are emphatically urged not to vote for the Socialist Party. We will only take class-conscious votes; it is the capitalist parties who need the other kind in order to win political power. Anyone wishing to join the Socialist Party must demonstrate that they know exactly what we stand for. We will accept no second-class members – no associate comrades who go along with us some of the way, but not all. Socialist knowledge must be the basis for involvement in the serious struggle for world socialism.
We do not expect every new member to have read the complete works of Marx and Engels or comprehend subjects of theoretical complexity. All that we require is some basic socialist knowledge: What is capitalism? What is socialism? What is our position on religion, reforms, Russia — the three Rs?
At the moment the Socialist Party is incapable of contesting all electoral constituencies. Where we do not put up candidates we urge those who agree with our principles to write ‘world socialism’ across their ballot papers. This is an indication that at least some workers wish to use their votes to support ideas which none of the candidates is offering.
Is it ever permissible to tactically vote for non-socialist candidates? Would it not be better to vote for the lesser evil? Not on any account:
Firstly, it is the elected candidate’s party which will run capitalism, and capitalism always gets its way.
Secondly, when you vote for the capitalist system you cannot abstain from responsibility for the iniquitous effects of its operation. You cannot vote for capitalism without the nasty bits.
Thirdly, every vote cast for capitalism is a vote against socialism: you are effectively kicking on the teeth the one real alternative to the problems of society. Indeed, by electing the so-called lesser evil, it can be argued that you are making capitalism look pleasanter. that you are helping to make the stench of the profit system smell more like a rose.
Fourthly, The party which supports various beneficial reforms will also support all kinds of other detrimental policies necessary for the running of capitalism.
Finally, by voting for a party advocating a policy you are voting for a leader and therefore relegating yourself to the role of follower. Nobody forces workers to follow; we have the choice not to do so.
The Socialist Party has adhered to clear principles since its formation and will continue to be hostile to all the sordid and dishonest political tactics which typify the capitalist system, whoever seeks to run it.
BRIAN JOHNSON - CARDIFF CENTRAL
ANDY THOMAS - FOLKESTONE & HYTHE