Editorial: The Socialist Movement in Other Countries
PROGRESS IN AMERICA.
Our readers will have read with pleasure that in November last comrades of ours in New York launched the first number of their monthly journal, “The Socialist.” The founders, the Socialist Educational Society, are trying to link up into a national organisation a number of groups and individuals who have long carried on separately the work of propagating Socialism.
“The Socialist” will make it possible for them to get their message before a wider public with the object of turning what is now an educational society, with a declaration of principles based upon our own, into a political party.
The starting of the new journal is by no means an isolated event. It is the outcome of years of hard and often seemingly fruitless efforts. But the handful who .persisted in that work were men who had learned by experience—some of them as members of the Socialist Party of Great Britain—that the road to Socialism cannot be an easy one. They know, as the founders of the S.P.G.B. knew, that there is no limit to the plausible but futile schemes for reforming Capitalism put forward by professional politicians and well-meaning but badly-informed would-be saviours of the working class, and that nothing but Socialist knowledge will make the workers secure against these political frauds and cranks. The publication of “The Socialist” marks a definite step forward for the Socialist movement in the U.S.A., and it also inevitably means a heavy additional burden for the comrades who are responsible, a new drain on their time, their energies and their pockets. We urge our readers here and in America to. give what aid they can in extending the sale of the new journal in order to lighten as much as possible the work of the Socialist Educational Society. We hope next to be able to report that the extension of their activities, the holding of more study classes and propaganda meetings, will have made it possible to. form in the U.S.A. the looked-for Socialist Party.
Reference has also been made from time to time in our columns to the Socialist Party of Australia, another young organisation formed by a few readers of the Socialist Standard. They, too, have as their basis our Declaration of Principles.
At their meetings and lectures they have been in the habit of selling our pamphlets and the Socialist Standard, but during the past year or two the Australian Government has done us the honour of banning our literature from that country. That action—still being continued under the present Labour Government which came into office last October—has caused us and our Australian comrades inconvenience and financial loss, but it is likely to have one very happy result. It has caused the Socialist Party of Australia to concentrate on publishing a journal of their own, and this they intend to do as soon as they can get together the necessary minimum of money. We commend this incident to the authorities who thought they could stop Australian workers from studying Socialism by excluding literature from abroad.
Readers in Australia who would like to assist in the work of the S.P. of Australia should get into touch with the Secretary, at P.O. Box 1440, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.
In the early days of the S.P.G.B. we sent delegates to the Congress of the International, but finding that parties were admitted to it which were prepared to repudiate by word and deed the fundamental principles of Socialism—parties here and abroad of the type of the Labour Party and the I.L.P.—we withdrew. We were not, and are not, prepared to associate internationally with organisations which are opposed to Socialism at home. In due course the war justified all our criticisms of the Second International. Not being based on Socialist principles and knowledge, it dissolved at the first shock into national groups anxious only to outdo each other in their ferocious jingoism and their demonstrations of loyalty to their respective sections of the Capitalist class.
The eventual formation of the Third (Communist) International has not solved the problem; rather has it confused it still more. It, like its rival, is prepared to admit organisations which are not in any sense of the word Socialist. It admits and supports bodies which are avowedly nationalist, interested primarily in helping one Capitalist country against another. It allows (or rather orders) its national parties to support Capitalist candidates at elections and advocates the suicidal policy of street-fighting. Its policy is dictated, not in the interests of the working class of the world, but in the interests of the developing Capitalist system in Russia striving for a place in the world scramble for markets.
The progress of Socialist organisation cannot be more advanced on the international than on the national plane. We look forward to the time when our work and the work of the bodies we have mentioned and other individuals and groups in English-speaking countries and in Austria and elsewhere, will bear fruit in a real International based not on illusions but on the solid foundation of Socialist knowledge and organisation.
READ “THE SOCIALIST”
“The Socialist,” organ of the Socialist Educational Society (U.S.A.), is obtainable from the publishers at 132 East 23rd Street, New York, or from this office. Price 3½d. a copy, post free; or 3/6 a year post free (one dollar a year post free in the U.S.A.). Bundles rates on application.