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Parliament

The Importance of Parliament

The State is the public power of coercion. It arose out of the early division of society into classes, and developed with the development of class conflicts. It is the result of the desire to keep “order”; that is, order in the interests of the class that is supreme; order to allow the ruling class to subdue and exploit the rest of the population without hindrance. Through the ages the State has been controlled, as a rule, by the class that has been economically the most important. It is maintained by taxes, and hence a class that has outgrown its economic importance can often continue for a time to control social affairs. As the State grew in size and complexity, it became more burdensome and the taxes grew with it. This led to quarrels among property owners over the amounts of their contributions. Much of the apparent cleavage between parties in modern States is at bottom only a question of who shall take the weight of taxation.

The Thieves Kitchen Records

There has been a very flat month in the Thieves' Kitchen, and the debates, centring largely round matters of finance, offer nothing of sufficient interest to find place in these records. The Oral Answers, however, provide some food for reflection, as they usually do.

On March 20th Mr. Gwynne "asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the father of A. Judge, able seaman, H.M.S. 'Vectis,' sent a telegram on the 7th March to the Admiralty asking them to transmit a message to him of his mother's death; that no reply was received until the 11th March, and then to the effect that the Admiralty were unable to forward private messages to naval ratings at public expense."

Editorial: The Communists, the Labour Party, and Parliament

 We hold that as the Labour Party is committed to the policy of trying to reform capitalism, instead of the policy of abolishing capitalism, no purpose useful to the Socialist movement would be served by the S.P.G.B. seeking affiliation with the Labour Party. Consequently the S.P.G.B. never has tried to affiliate with the Labour Party or any other party in this country. We could not pledge ourselves to give loyal adherence to the non-Socialist programme of the Labour Party.

Political and Economic Organisation: Some Common Objections Answered

 The Battlefield of the Struggle

 In a previous issue we outlined the policy of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. We showed that the class struggle arises on the economic field, but that the workers can only be victorious in that struggle by becoming conscious of their class interests and controlling political power. The objection is often raised that the worker is "robbed” in the process of production, and that it is on the industrial field that he must fight for emancipation. These objectors do not realise the truth pointed out by Marx, that economic systems are controlled politically. Marx showed that material conditions give rise to political institutions by means of which ruling classes dominate the economic world. The materialist view of history shows that the material conditions of production, etc., make necessary political machinery to govern or control the economic life of society.

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