1920s >> 1920 >> no-192-august-1920

Birthday Honours

With, this number we complete the sixteenth volume of our Party Organ, the Socialist Standard. During the sixteen years through which we have run our journal we have had trying times—times which have been as severe tests, both of political solidity and of determination to survive, as we are likely to encounter short of the final struggle of the Revolution, and we have come through with unsmirched banner and untarnished record. There have been many hands at the helm, but as time has removed some and brought others to the labour the changes have left no discernable mark upon our pages. Just as we have found no occasion to alter one word of the. Declaration of Principles which has appeared in each copy we have sent out, so, no matter what changes have taken place in the personnel of our staff, what editors have come and gone, what successive Executives have taken control, in all things that matter our paper has remained unchanged. The reason for this is not far to seek—they have all done their work under a sound Declaration of Principles, published to the world, a guide alike for those within to work by, and for those without to test that work by.


So through these years we have held on our course without deviation, true to every clause, every statement, every affirmation, of the guiding principles under which our journal was launched. Others have tried all manner of shifts and dodges to find a short cut, or even to snatch personal advantage for interested Controllers. We, however, sure of the correctness of our claim that there it no royal road to Socialism, no other path than the hard and steep one of working-class revolutionary education, no other helpful policy than that based on the Class Struggle, have resolutely and consistently left such expedients to those others, content to have them provide our object lessons for us.


For our part we still proclaim that the proletariat must want Socialism before they can establish it, and that they must understand Socialism before they can want it; we still assert that society is divided into two classes—a master class and an enslaved class—with diametrically opposed interests, and that the freedom of the enslaved class can only be the fruits of victory in a class struggle; we still declare that the basis of society as at present constituted, is the private ownership of the means of living, and that reforms—anything in fact short of the abolition of private ownership in the means of living, and the establishment of common ownership in its stead—must be futile and utterly helpless to effect amelioration of the general condition of the workers’ position; we still preach that the road to this overthrow of the present social system lies in the capture of the political machinery, and we are as emphatically insistent as ever upon the point that the means to such end are already in the hands of the workers in their possession of the vast bulk of the voting power in all advanced capitalist countries.


Such being our beliefs we have shaped our policy sternly in accordance therewith. We have set our faces against compromises of every shape and form. We have refused to have anything to do with reforms, no matter how alluring they appeared, or how much they ran in the popular fancy. We have conducted all our activities in the light of the class struggle, keeping clear the issue—the overthrow of the dominant capitalist class and the system under which they dominate.


This policy has not been without its reward. The sickening records of the pseudo-Socialist parties become increasingly maloderiferous in the nostrils of thoughtful working men and women, and as our exposures drive, and historical events draw, these renegade parties into the open, and force them more and more to reveal themselves as the anti-Socialists they are, our clean record is appealing to increasing numbers. The demand for our Party Organ, notwithstanding the smaller facilities for disposing of it at our disposal, is greater at the close of the sixteenth volume than it has ever been, a fact which has its reflection in greater enquiry for our application for membership forms and a steady enrolment of new members.