1900s >> 1906 >> no-24-august-1906

Editorial: The Second Milestone

In June we celebrated our second anniversary as a Party. With the present number we pass our second milestone as the Party’s official mouthpiece.

Two years. It is not a long time. We are still quite a juvenile among organisations. We cannot boast on the score of longevity—yet. We have not, as a party, “borne for 25 years the beat and burden of the day,” as certain elderly and very respectable members of other bodies claiming to be Socialist are for ever reminding us, and, for that matter, everyone else who ventures to criticise their present work; and we hope when we have as a party “borne the heat and burden of the day” for the allotted span, we shall not be so stupid as to suppose that our age is any necessary guarantee of infallible wisdom, nor be reduced to a pathetic reliance upon our hoary head as a sufficient defence for wrong action, as the venerable gentlemen aforementioned are wont to do.

Yes, we are still youthful—and virile. We have lived two years of strenuous life and falsified, by at least 18 months, the kindly prognostications (and we fear we must also say, hopes) of our good friends the enemy. And if it is any comfort to these same good friends we beg leave to state that our prospects of continued life are as favourable as ever. Indeed, more favourable, seeing that our work has enabled us to eliminate sources of weakness and establish ourselves as a working-class party, obtain international recognition, ensure that our printed vindication of the attitude we adopt shall circulate through the Socialist world Press, and maintain through our paper and from our platforms a steady supply of facts and figures for the information and inspiration of that increasing working-class audience to whom we are able to address ourselves.

Two years—and our confidence in the correctness of the position we occupied at the outset, is unshaken and unchanged. In that time not one single happening, great or small, has done other than confirm our faith in the possibilities of uncompromising working-class action along clear-cut Socialist lines; not one single incident but intensifies our conviction of the utter fatuity of palliative propaganda. We set out to preach Socialism and Socialism only as the hope of the worker, as his only way of escape from the appalling misery which environs his class and which, if it is not already in his daily experience, is removed from him by the smallest of spans, and we have preached it. We set out to show the utter folly of attempting to patch a system entirely rotten, and to urge that the only effect such patching could have was the prolongation of the life of that entirely rotten system—and we have shown it. We set out to prove that the enemies of the workers were not confined to the camp of Capitalism, but were actually in command of the camp of Labour, having been elected to their dominant positions by an ignorant proletariat— and we have shown it. Our purpose was to emphasise the fact that every worker or leader who was not organised in the ranks of The Socialist Party, waging war upon the forces of the capitalist class, was consciously or unconsciously lending aid to the enemies of the workers—and we have done that also. We set out to preach revolution as against reform; a boldly defined and unalterable working-class policy of open war upon the capitalist class as against paltering and compromise, with its inevitable results in working-class confusion; class organisation specifically for ultimate victory as against sectional organisation for an illusionary “immediate advantage.” That was our gospel two years ago: it is our gospel to-day.