The Western Socialist
Vol. 34 - No. 256
No. 2, 1967
Under this heading the following appeared in a recent issue of the "Industrial Worker," the journal of the I.W.W.
My apologies for being so tardy in replying, but I must say something about the quote you used from the Socialist Party of Canada election manifesto in your November editorial comment.
You attributed it to "A Canadian left politician taking a slam at U.S. war policy," etc. As the writer of the manifesto, I would like to point out that I am not as you describe me. Leftists see nothing wrong with the class division of society into master and slave, although they object to its effects. As a Socialist I advocate common ownership (not state) of the means for producing and distributing wealth by, and in the interests of society as a whole, thereby ending the capital and wage-labor relationship.
The left-wing is just as necessary as the right-wing to keep the bird of capitalism flying.
Leftists have always been in the vanguard with reforms to patch up the profit system, on the surface, which aid in preserving the old system at its base. What the leftists advocate today, the centrists and the rightists will legislate ten or twenty years from now. Many of today's laws were the lofty ideals of the so-called Socialist Party of America in the U.S., and Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (in Canada), a couple of decades ago. With the inauguration of their ideas came the disbandment of the woolly-minded crusaders who pushed them. Now they are reorganized behind new utopias, still trying to make capitalism do something beyond its nature, that is, to function in the interest of society.
Not being socialists, leftists do not understand capitalism and consequently seldom, if ever, perceive the causes of war. They stage pathetic and fruitless protest marches against this war or social inequality, while supporting the productive relationship that causes these things.
If it is implied that I am a leftist, then by the same token I will be associated in the minds of many with Lenin's forced labor camps; with the British Labor government's strike-breaking activities; with Russia's sale of arms to India, Pakistan, and the Middle East; with Sweden's high suicide rate, or with Soviet-Cuban sponsored guerilla violence for a slice of the markets and materials of South America; or perhaps with the Chinese atom-bomb-backed bid to relieve the U.S. of its control of the wealth of South East Asia.
But, being a socialist, I spend my time exposing the outmoded social relationships that give rise to this social insanity. In many respects I include the IWW among the political immature, while at the same time realizing your good intentions. But remember, that old road to Hell is paved with them.
J. G. JENKINS
Victoria, B.C., S.P.C.