Friday, July 12, 2019

Kent and Sussex Branch Meeting (Maidstone 14/7)

Sunday, July 14,  
The Muggleton Inn (Wetherspoon),
8 High Street, 
Maidstone, ME14 1HJ

(On entering a staircase to the left will be seen. Go up two flights and turn left. You’ll find us on the first floor)
Why should you join the Socialist Party?

We ask nothing except a careful consideration of our case by our fellow- workers. We believe the result will be that they join the Socialist Party. The Socialist Party is rich in history and tradition. A political party needs more than just those, however. 

When we speak of the Socialist Party as being “revolutionary” we mean, on the one hand, that its aim is revolutionary and on the other hand that we believe in the revolutionary method. We do not believe that working people can be delivered from poverty, unemployment, degradation, war, by any reform of the capitalist system under which we live. That system must be abolished, wage-slavery must be done away with altogether. The workers must own and control the machinery of production in common. As for curing the ills of the workers by reforming capitalism, we have lived through decades of the Welfare State which was to do just that. And you know only too well what that has got us. Salvation has been not been provided for the workers from those condescending saviours from high. This failure of reformism has taken place in a world where everybody could have a decent, comfortable home, abundant nutritious food, educational opportunities, access to travel and leisure. There is always some party which promises the workers to fix things with their policies. Isn’t it about time that the workers understood that it does not make any difference how well-meaning these capitalist reformers may be, there is no way out under capitalism?

Under capitalism, the general tendency is towards greater misery. Capitalists make their profits by paying the worker in wages a smaller value than he creates by laboring. The capitalist thus gets what Marx calls surplus value. It is the only way profit capital be created. Under modern conditions expensive plants and equipment are increased, but the work is done with fewer workers. Thus they must be exploited ever more fiercely in order that surplus value – profit – may be squeezed out of their labour, the only possible source of profit. Capitalism must drive the standard of living lower all the time. Capitalism cannot be reformed, it must be abolished. We cannot use the capitalist state system of government, whose very purpose is to maintain capitalism, in order to reform it. We have to build a new society on new foundations.

A revolutionary socialist party cannot be nationalist in spirit and character. Nor can it be confined to a single country. It must be part of an international of socialist parties in which workers throughout the world may be united against capitalism. The Socialist Party seeks to be the party of the British workers – built by them, not imposed upon them. We stand firmly upon our principles. We do not despise theory. On the contrary, without a theory we are lost, we become the victim of every kind of labour charlatan.

To those honest and militant workers who are today members of the trade unions or campaigns, we in the Socialist Party ask such workers to go further and to reject the capitalist system and cease taking their ideas unthinkingly from the capitalist media that is stultifying ourselves and the revolutionary movement.

To our fellow-workers we say that today more than at any other time no-one should be sitting on the fence or standing on the side-lines. We have no time to lose if we are to build a mass socialist party before it is too late. 

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