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Class War

A Short Story: What George Learnt


George — “You class-conscious Socialists want too much. You ought to be more reasonable.”

Frank — "Well. Socialism being justice, isn’t it reasonable to want it?”

George — “Oh, yes! But you demand the lot. I reckon that half a loaf is better than no bread.”

Frank — “Granted, my boy; but a whole loaf is better still. Besides, why ask for half when you want the whole?”

George — "Because I think you are more likely to get it. In a bargain both sides must make concessions.”

Ishmaelites

The Socialist Party of Great Britain has often been charged—and rightly too—with being a party of political Ishmaelites. It is so because the only logical position in the political world that a genuine Socialist party can take up is that of opposition to all other parties. There is room for but one Socialist party in any country and, therefore, we cannot be in opposition to ourselves, and we must be in opposition to all other political parties. Thus we have to stand out clearly and distinctly from other “Labour" or "Socialist" bodies in this country. There is not one of the multitudinous array of these that we cannot at once show, by the position it takes up, to be in opposition to the principles of Socialism, and acting, consciously or unconsciously, as the catspaw of the capitalist-class.

Is There a Class War?

 Many Labour Party leaders and Tory counterparts would agree with “The Economist” that, “today, the class war description of trade union activity is out of date; its spirit is kept alive by the Communists because it is part of the Soviet war on social democracy, by others only because their thought ossified years ago.” (September 6th, 1952.)

 “The Economist” could mean that society itself had changed and the class war description no longer applied or else it could mean that the analysis of capitalism as a society based on class conflict had been proved wrong; that today, the working class, through their trade unions, must work hand in hand with their employers to increase production if they want to further their interests.

 Whichever meaning is taken the result remains the same. Either view will find many adherents among the apologists for the present system in the avowedly capitalist and allegedly labour parties.

Direct Action in South Africa

 The recent attempts on the part of the Rand miners at Johannesburg to gain their ends by force of arms affords another striking instance of the futility of adopting such methods in the face of the organised, well-disciplined force of the governing class. Into the pros and cons of this particular case we do not propose to go. The broad facts of the case are sufficient for our purpose. In the mining districts of South Africa we find the masters organising for wage reductions; in fact, throughout the Capitalist world the same thing is going on all round. In England we had the coal mine owners making the first grand onslaught towards wage reductions. The Engineering industry at the present moment witnesses another great move on the part of the masters to force a reduction of wages.

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