1920s >> 1929 >> no-296-april-1929

Communist Party Contortion

The Communist Party at its formation opposed the Labour Party. Then for a time they supported and opposed Labour candidates in different places at the same time. Finally they gave them unqualified support everywhere. They now propose a new line of action which involves opposition to the Labour Party once again. Though claiming to oppose, they still desire to affiliate with them, but “the fight for affiliation, however, must be converted into an offensive fight against the treacherous leadership of the Labour Party ” (The Communist, April, 1928).

Apparently all would be considered well if the Communists could only become the new leaders of the old politically ignorant followers. The way these would-be revolutionaries propose to “come out” as an independent political party is to change their attitude towards the Labour Party and Labour Government, by replacing the slogan of “Labour Government” by the slogan of “Revolutionary Workers’ Government.” This drastic change need not alarm their vote-catching competitors, the Labour Party, because “in some districts active support to Labourites, who pledge themselves to vote for the elementary demands of the Working Class and accepting the Communist Party into the Labour Party is admissible.” (Ibid.)

Needless to say, these pledges, and more if necessary, will be given to such political simpletons if the votes are forthcoming. The Labourites know how to outdo even the Liberals at that game, because the Daily Herald (March 4th) tells us that the Lloyd George gamble for votes “is a good programme as far as it goes. There is not an item in it to which the next Labour Government is not committed.” Add to that some of the Communists’ very elementary demands, which include Land Nationalisation and the Abolition of the Monarchy, and we get some idea of what “revolutionary” means to a Communist. Those who do seek to revolutionise society, and not to reform and patch it, will not be misled by Communist clamour. Such aspirants to Leadership must, like their Labour brethren, trim their sails in order to cater for the muddle-headed discontents who are looking around for a party that appears to them to offer most in exchange for their votes. Only voters with Socialist knowledge know that it is not Parliament as such that can achieve their objective, but a Parliament that contains representatives of an organised working class outside it. We do not expect the capitalists to surrender unless faced with an organised working class in control of political machinery, nor do we imagine for a moment that such an experienced class will be disturbed by any intellectual (!) minority with a following fed on silly slogans and chatter about “disarming the Bourgeoise.”

The political control that the working class will acquire as a result of Socialist knowledge, including control of the armed forces, will be acquired only when they gain such knowledge, and, therefore, cease to support capitalist agents. There will then be no power available for use by the master class that could prevent an organised majority of workers from using the present political machinery to establish Socialism.