Monday, May 19, 2014

Voting is not enough!

Practical politics nowadays, to put it bluntly, is all about vote-catching and principles be damned.  The object for which a party organisation exists, or is supposed to exist, matters not; the chief thing is to secure a success for the party. Political parties might as well be football teams. The point is to win, and to win at all costs. However, we, in the Socialist Party argue that to achieve a socialist victory a clear idea is necessary. Capitalism cannot simply be removed. Its removal is dependent upon its replacement by socialism.

The Socialist Party is in favour of using parliament as a platform to expose capitalist policy. But our party still lacks the financial strength and membership numbers to run candidates in all regions. Nevertheless, our Party’s limited participation in the elections will allow us to make known the Socialist Party’s case and give many working people the opportunity to support a genuine working-class alternative to the capitalist parties like the LibDems, the Conservatives, and the Labour Party.  For ourselves the election period will be an occasion to criticise the pro-capitalist parties and defend our option of socialism. We will expose the Tories as the traditional party of the ruling class. As for Labour, we will unmask its false pro-worker image, for in fact, it seeks only to reform the system, content to defend the capitalists’ profits so long as they aren’t “excessive.” It is only by ending the system which a handful of parasites benefit from, that the working class will emancipate itself from exploitation once and for all.

Sheep go quietly to the abattoir; they say nothing and they hope for nothing. But at least they don’t vote for the butcher who will slaughter them. More sheepish than the sheep, the voter goes into the voting booth to mark an X at the name of his or her desired butcher, taken in by absurd stories on the TV and in the press, feeding their prejudices with false facts.

Many people are saying they aren’t voting “because they’re all the same”, MPs giving themselves salary increases and corruptly claiming expenses . The underlying feeling is one of disgust at all the parties and a growing disillusionment with all politicians. These sentiments highlight that real change can only come from social change not from realignment of these politicians. Unlike the other politicians, our candidates are not making promises they will never keep in order to win votes.

A vote for the SPGB is a vote in support of a Party that is opposed to capitalist exploitation and oppression. On the issue of nationalism we condemn the chauvinist stand of all the other parties.It is a gesture of solidarity to support a Party that is pledged to fight for a socialism.  Our aim is not just to collect votes. Above all it is to publicise our viewpoint and  draw working people into the fight for socialism.

But no mere vote will make for the social revolution. To obtain that men and women irrespective of race, colour, or creed must organise outside parliament, in their work-places and in their communities. It is only by having an extra-parliamentary force to fall back on that people can make full use of their parliamentary power. We can accomplish in parliament what can be accomplished there only on condition that we are ready to defend our right to representation. We must be prepared at any moment to fight for the ballot with all the means at our command.  Only under the banner of the class-struggle, never under that of legislative parliamentary bargaining, can the whole working class be united, can it finally succeed in unfolding its full power. Nowhere can the workers accomplish anything worth while by the method of compromise or concession.

Capitalist democracy is the only exploitative system in which political power (right to vote, etc.) are not the monopoly of the ruling class. Theoretically, the working class have the legal right to use their ballots in any way they choose. More importantly, the workers are organized in large industrial plants and could easily become conscious of their power. Therefore, it is even more essential for the capitalist class than it was for the ancient slave-owners or medieval nobility to convince the masses of people that the state rules in behalf of all citizens. The more potential political power the oppressed classes possess, the more urgent it is for the ruling class to insure that that potential power is not transformed into actual power. The two-party system is a self-perpetuating trap built on the key myth that the state is neutral in the class struggle.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain part of the World Socialist Movement wants genuine socialism and holds the view that mainstream parties are unable to run capitalism in the interests of the majority. It stands for a stateless, classless, leaderless society; a world without money; free access to the means of living and production solely for use, not profit. Such a system cannot operate purely at a local, national or European level. The SPGB/WSM is looking far beyond Britain and Europe; it's looking at the entire world in its fullest perspective.

Workers! You must use your political strength! Refuse to support the parties of your
enemies! Refuse to permit your political power to be wasted in another “third” party such as UKIP! Today it is the ballot that we use against capitalism. Vote, then, for socialism. Vote for the Socialist Party/World Socialist Movement.

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