To the Socialist Working-Class


The Socialist Party of Great Britain has received a communication from the Secretary of the British Section at the Amsterdam Congress, asking, among other things, whether the Party favoured the holding of a Conference with a view to forming in England a National Committee to deal with matters arising out of the International Congress. We have declined to take part in any such Conference on the grounds that it should be the task of the Socialist Party alone to deal with these questions, and that judging by the composition of the British Section at the Amsterdam Congress, at which the Party was represented, the proposed Committee would consist of men who are in no sense of the word Socialist. Elsewhere in this number we publish the correspondence at length, and take the opportunity of addressing the Socialist working-class concerning the grave issues therein raised.

To those who have followed intelligently the deliberations of past International Congresses, it is apparent that these Assemblies have been characterised by a lack of definiteness in their organisation, with the result that considerable confusion still exists as to the real nature of the decisions arrived at.

It is of course true that certain dangers and difficulties are inseparable from International Congresses, but we contend that these regrettable results are in a great measure due to the participation in them of organisations and men possessing neither the knowledge nor the right to voice the cause of the working-class.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain is strengthened in this opinion by facts well known here which show clearly the principles animating many who took part in the recent Congress at Amsterdam. Our delegates thereto found such organisations as the Independent Labour Party, the Labour Representation Committee, the Social-Democratic Federation, and the Fabian Society claiming and obtaining admission as Socialist organisations. Thus were seen the defenders of Capitalism, the upholders of Child-slavery, the friends of Compromise and Reform, and the catspaw of the Bourgeois reaction generally, masquerading as Revolutionists, prostituting the name and spirit of Socialism, and confusing the workers on questions of vital importance.

The I.L.P. and S.D.F. both support representatives of the Capitalist Class in the political field ; The I.L.P. in its official organ definitely repudiate the class-war, while it is admitted in “Justice” by the S.D.F. that there are occasions when the existence of the struggle may be forgotten with advantage by the workers for the emancipation of their class. The Fabian Society is not a working-class organisation and stands for State Capitalism. The L.R.C. is but the left wing of the Liberal Party and declines to recognise any Socialist Candidate.

The S.P.G B. declines, therefore, to betray the working-class or to stultify itself by taking part in the proposed Conference when to do so would be to admit the right of those organisations to deal with the findings of the Congress of the International Socialist working-class.

With the object of placing future International Congresses on a definite Socialist basis, and securing proper and proportionate representation of all bona fide Socialist Parties thereat, the S.P.G.B. is preparing a memorandum for the consideration of the International Bureau and the Socialist Parties affiliated in the hope that measures will be adopted to as far as possible prevent the recurrence of past confusions and place the working-class of the world on a united and revolutionary platform.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain.
London, January, 1905.

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