Editorial: The Prospect of the Future
At this time of the year it is usual to take stock of the present position and of the possibilities in the near future. It is true that all times of the year are the same from the point of view of the working-class struggle, but the point fixed by the calendar as the beginning of another year is a convenient excuse for a brief survey.
From most aspects the year that has just ended has been one of the best that our Party has had. The increase in membership has been larger than we have ever had in one year before, and it is gratifying to notice that during the past few years the number who have joined each year has been larger than the previous year. A further feature is that the applications for membership are coming from places farther afield than formerly; places that were not accessible to us previously on account of our limited finance.
The sale of THE SOCIALIST STANDARD is steadily growing, and during the past few years there has been a very considerable increase in the number of regular postal subscribers. In fact, at present we have three times the number of postal subscribers that we had three years ago. This is chiefly due to the work of a committee who have developed a new method of making our Party and Paper known throughput the country without making calls on the Party funds. There is no doubt that a part of the increased membership is also due to their efforts, because working men who carefully read THE SOCIALIST STANDARD and become acquainted with the aims and methods of the Socialist Party of Great Britain are bound to realise, sooner or later, that the path marked out is the only certain way out of wage-slavery.
Although traffic conditions and official interference are yearly increasing the difficulties of holding successful outdoor meetings, we are still able to maintain our outdoor propaganda, and supplement it during the winter with indoor meetings. We also have many requests to place the Party’s position before groups of workers.
Our tenderest point is finance, and it speaks much for the spirit of our membership that, in spite of the long industrial depression, we are better off financially than we were a year ago. Of course, we still badly need funds to publish new pamphlets and re-publish old ones, but the fact that we are not deeper in the mire holds out much hope for the future.
Abroad the movement is making genuine progress, and a Socialist International, in the real sense of the words, will, at no very distant date, be an accomplished fact. From time to time we receive encouraging information from our comrades abroad that shows how the principles we advocate are taking root in other countries.
The Socialist Party of Australia is making good progress, holding successful propaganda meetings and debates, and their growing activities have compelled them to look out for larger premises. Occasional articles from them have been printed in these columns.
The Workers’ Socialist Party of U.S.A. are still carrying on, in spite of the lack of funds due to the industrial depression in America which compelled them to suspend the publication of their paper for the time being.
Recently we have been advised of the formation of a strong Party in New Zealand based on principles similar to our own and with branches in Wellington and Auckland. The name of the new Party is the Socialist Party of New Zealand, and we print a notice concerning it elsewhere in this issue, to which we would draw the attention of all our New Zealand readers. For the present, lack of finance will compel them to use THE SOCIALIST STANDARD as their paper, but when funds are sufficient they will publish a paper of their own. May that day be soon !
Apart from the above-mentioned parties, there are supporters of our principles and policy scattered throughout the world (in Canada, for example, there arc many) who are working hard, in some cases in isolation, doing the pioneer work towards the founding of other parties to form a part of the Socialist International of the future. It is interesting also to find that our articles find their way into papers in unlikely places. Our attention has been called to the republication of articles in journals in India, Yugo-Slavia, Rumania, France, and elsewhere.
And so we commence another year in a very hopeful and enthusiastic frame of mind. In spite of the work and the power of the enemy and their blind and their unscrupulous tools, knowledge of Socialist principles is spreading both here and abroad. The tide that will sweep slavery and oppression into oblivion is gathering force and coming in; slowly, it is true, but it is coming in. The pity of it is that some of those who did the hard, thankless, and difficult spade-work have “passed out” without seeing the fruits of their efforts.
To those who, while convinced of the soundness of the Party’s position, yet do not take the step of joining up or contributing to the funds, we would point out that every additional member and every additional penny increases the propaganda capacities of the Party and brings nearer the time when the working class will capture the seat of power for the introduction of Socialism.