Editorial: The Communists and the I.L.P. Change Places
It is not often that two political parties change places so completely as the I.L.P. and the Communist Party. In 1919-1924 the I.L.P. was busily engaged in securing the election of a Labour Government, in the belief that such a policy would secure certain immediate gains and pave the way for the gradual reform of the capitalist system. The Communists, on the other hand, denounced Parliamentary methods and preached Soviets and armed revolt. In the intervening years experience has disillusioned the I.L.P. and sent them sneaking into the position vacated by the Communists, while the latter, under Moscow orders, are seeking a Parliamentary alliance with Labour and Liberals in the guise of a Popular front.
The following is a passage from Mr. Fenner Brockway’s recent book, “Workers’ Front” (Martin & Seeker, 3s. 6d.):—
The hope that Capitalism can be transformed to Socialism through the means of the Capitalist State . . . is an illusion. Socialists should use the constitution of the Capitalist State as fully as possible . . . but they should recognise that finally they must conquer the Capitalist class through their own action and organs, through Workers’ Councils or Soviets . . . and in the last resort, if necessary, through their own Workers’ Army . . .
And now the Scottish I.L.P., at its conference on February 13th, 1938 (The Times, February 14th, 1938), is attacking the Communists because the latter advocate the policy “of collaboration with sections of the capitalist class and capitalist governments,” in other words, because the Communists have adopted the I.L.P.’s own past errors and the I.L.P. has adopted those of the Communists!
The I.L.P., of course, is as wrong now as it was then, so are the Communists.