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Left-Wing Reformism

Get Rid of Wages!

Over a hundred years ago, Karl Marx gave a talk to the general council of the International Working Men’s Association, a talk whose main point was to show that workers’ unions really could get wage rises — for already the silly idea was being put about that wage increases led to higher prices and therefore the workers didn’t gain. After proving his case up to the hilt, with his usual forceful logic, Marx naturally drew the conclusion that workers should fight for higher wages. But he added the following remarks, which deserve close attention:

  At the same time, and quite apart from the general servitude involved in the wages system, the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles.

English Social Democratic Parties Part One

 Neither Marx, who died in 1883, nor Engels, who died in 1895. were impressed by the early efforts made in England to advance the Socialist movement. Social Democratic Parties did not make their appearance until the last two decades of the nineteenth century. In the eighties the Social Democratic Federation, the Fabian Society, and the Socialist League, made their appearance, and in the nineties the Independent Labour Party. Of these parties the Socialist Democratic Federation and the Socialist League claimed to be based upon Marxism but the other two spurned “ imported ” ideas and based their “Socialism” upon “reason,” “justice,” John Stuart Mill and Stanley Jevons, liberally mixed with religion and out-of-date philosophical ideas.

"The Mixture as Before"

 German Social Democracy Today

 We are in receipt of the “Action Programme” of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, adopted at the Party Conference at Dortmund in 1952, and revised by the Party Conference at Berlin in July, 1954.

If the date had not been appended to the title page nobody outside would have known.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany has not changed.

 It remains what it was, a nationalistic capitalist outfit, peddling a typically Labourite programme of reforms, while professing to be Socialist.

 Indeed, without the vague introductory references to Socialism in the foreword to the programme, it would hardly differ from its opponents at all.

 Those with knowledge of the facts will read with amusement that

      “The Social-Democratic Party of Germany commits itself more definitely than ever to file great ideas of Socialism and Democracy."—(p. 7).

Unity with the I.L.P.

 We have received from the I.L.P. the unity proposals set out in the letter published below. We publish also the reply sent to the I.L.P. by our Executive Committee, which explains our attitude to such proposals.

Socialist Party of Great Britain,                   7th January, 1954.
52 Clapham High Street,
S.W.4.

Dear Comrades,

I have been instructed by the National Council of the IL.P. to give you below copy of a Resolution which was passed at our last Conference:—

NEED FOR A UNITED SOCIALIST PARTY

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