Thursday, April 20, 2017

Power to no one, and to every one

The Socialist Party’s case is that socialism will be established by the conscious democratic political action of a majority of workers using the electoral machinery, which in this country means parliament.  For so long as capitalist political parties control the law-making bodies, the armed forces, courts and police, the administrative and tax-collecting departments, local councils, etc, all organisations and actions, whether industrial or political, are strictly limited in their scope because whenever the government decides that a vital capitalist interest is seriously threatened it will use all of its powers to protect capitalist property, power and privilege.

The class struggle is a political struggle. It cannot be fought successfully by the workers unless they have a political weapon, which means, their own political party. The capitalist class has its own political parties and interest groups and sees to it that they remain committed to its basic interests, the maintenance of the capitalist system. The capitalists sees to it that they remain under their control. They provide them with media exposure, provides them with funds, running into millions each year. In some places, the capitalists are in direct control of these parties, in others, its allies are in control.

The ballot expresses the people’s will. The ballot means that the worker is no longer dumb, that at last has a voice, that it may be heard and if used in unison must be heeded. As individuals, we are helpless but united we represent an irresistible power. The appeal of the Socialist Party is to the exploited class, the workers in all occupations, from the most menial to the highest skilled, to rally together and put an end to the last of the barbarous class struggles by conquering the capitalist government, taking possession of the means of production and making them the common property of all, abolishing wage-slavery and establishing the co-operative commonwealth.

Although as a political party committed to using elections to capture political power the Socialist Party surprisingly does not regard vote-getting as of supreme importance. We do not present a programme of attractive promises as a lure for votes. We seek only an actual vote for socialism and our manifestoes do not flatter the electorate but simply endeavours to convince them of the case for socialism. We make it clear that the Socialist Party wants the votes only of those who want socialism and disparages vote-seeking for the sake of votes and we hold in contempt those political opportunists seeking election for the sake of office or personal advancement. The Socialist Party stands squarely upon its principles. The Socialist Party buys no votes with false promises.

The Socialist Party will not unite with any other party that does not stand for the democratic overthrow of capitalism and if it were ever to compromise and make such a concession, it will have ceased to be a socialist party. We are not here to play the filthy game of capitalist politics. the Socialist Party condemns the capitalist system. In the name of freedom, we condemn wage-slavery. In the name of all the modern technology at our disposal we condemn scarcity and poverty. In the name of peace, we condemn war. In the name of humanity, we condemn the murder of children. In the name of enlightenment, we condemn ignorance and superstition.

The battles of the workers, wherever and however fought, are always and everywhere the battles of the Socialist Party. The education, organisation and co-operation of the workers is the conscious aim and the self-imposed task of the Socialist Party. There is no party boss or bureaucracy within the Socialist Party and there never can be unless the party deserts its principles and ceases to be a socialist party. Each member has not only an equal voice but is urged to take an active part in all the party’s administration and each local branch is an educational centre. The party relies wholly upon the power of education, knowledge, and mutual understanding to achieve our goals.

The Socialist Party proposes to use all the legislative and administrative machinery within the state and which the working class will endeavour to take into its possession as the method of emancipation. We accept the vote and parliamentary action as revolutionary. The value of political action to the socialist movement is called in question by anti-parliamentarians who consider they hold a more speedy means to build socialism. They expect nothing and never expected anything from parliamentary action. They maintain that participation in parliamentary action is a waste of time and effort, and they relish the disappointing and the poor results parliamentary action has so far has achieved for the Socialist Party. We cannot expect results unless voters themselves get the understanding and the spirit of organisation, which has yet to develop. Where people cannot imagine a way out of intolerable conditions there cannot be a great political movement and no amount of political propaganda can produce a movement. Our primary function, however, is to organise as a political party, independent, class-conscious, and democratic. Our mission in the Socialist Party is to point the way to socialism and to refuse to be side-tracked into the swamp of reformism. The Socialist Party does not advocate violence because it knows the capitalist class has the advantage. It is not cowardice but common sense and it is not heroism that makes a fool rock a boat in stormy waters, it is idiocy.

We approach the June election at a time when there is an ever-growing hatred among wide sections of the population and a distrust of institutions. There is plenty of anger and good reasons for it if you look at what is happening to people. It is a reflection of hopelessness and concern that everything is lost – and when nothing is in our lives, nothing is in our futures, then at least there is only our anger. The media is designed to focus that anger on people who are even more deprived and miserable – such as migrants, welfare 'cheats’, trade unionists and all kinds of people who somehow you think are getting what you are not getting. People's outrage is not directed towards those who are really responsible for our misery – the power-hungry corporations and financial institutions. Don’t challenge them, rather look down on the people who are even below you – those who live on benefits and rely on food-bank charity. Some of the scapegoats are refugees fleeing from the destruction that the UK has contributed towards in the Middle East so let's make hate-speeches about how undeserving they are of our compassion.

These are not times for tinkering with and tweaking the capitalist system. Capitalists, knowingly or unwittingly, are in the process of destroying the planet. Forget about looking for leaders. What we need is a movement that rises from the people and empowers them. People need to stop looking up and start looking around. There is an old adage, if the people lead, the leaders will follow. People need organisations, and people need to come together. By self-organisation, you will find that you have got no leaders – and do not want them because you do not need them. 

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