A Socialist Message to the Workers of All Lands
Nearly 100 years after Marx and Engels, in the “Communist Manifesto,” 1848, appealed to the workers of all lands to unite for the overthrow of capitalism and the inauguration of Socialism, the workers of the world still stand divided by national frontiers. Socialism has not yet been achieved and the capitalist class are still strongly entrenched in possession of property and power.
Large numbers of workers now realise that capitalism cannot provide comfort, security and peace to the populations of the world, but much has yet to be done before mere discontent with capitalism can be transformed into an understanding of the need for replacing capitalism by a social system in which the means of production and distribution shall be commonly owned and democratically controlled by the whole community. Much of the discontent of the working class, instead of being directed to the building up of political parties having Socialism as their aim, is being frittered away uselessly in “Labour” parties aiming to reform capitalism by democratic means or in “Communist” parties which have the twofold object of furthering the foreign policy of the Russian Government and of introducing state capitalism under dictatorship.
Neither in aim nor in method does the Socialist Party of Great Britain or its companion parties in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States of America fall into either of these two camps. The S.P.G.B. and its companion parties hold that the sole aim of the genuine Socialist movement is and must be to achieve Socialism; that this can be done only when a majority of the workers have become Socialists; that the road to Socialism is by gaining control of the machinery of government by democratic, parliamentary means; and that the Socialist Party, while extending the hand of fraternity to the workers of all lands, must on principle refuse to ally itself with the parties of capitalism, whether they openly avow themselves such or whether they pursue the aim of capitalist reform under the name of “Labour” or “Communist.”
Many of the adherents of reformism and advocates of State capitalism and dictatorship give lip service to internationalism, yet, like the British Labour Party on the one hand and the Communist Party on the other, are prepared to lend themselves to the furtherance of capitalist imperialism. Socialists can have no part or lot in capitalism and imperialism, whether of the British, the Russian, or any other variety.
Unlike those parties, which degrade the name of Socialism, the Socialist Party of Great Britain and its companion parties have an unbroken record of loyalty to Socialism and working-class internationalism in peace or in war. In the Great War, 1914-1918, and in the World War, 1939-1945, the Socialist Party of Great Britain stood by the principles of Socialism and proudly proclaimed its refusal to give support to capitalist war. Repeating the historic words of our manifesto issued in August, 1914, we say now as in the past:—
“Having no quarrel with the working class of any country, we extend to our fellow workers of all lands the expression of our goodwill and Socialist fraternity, and pledge ourselves to work for the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of Socialism.”
True to our international Socialist principles we seek contact with Socialist workers in other countries who take their stand on the same principles, with a view to setting on foot at last a genuine Socialist International free from the national prejudices and compromise policies that up to the present have hindered the march of the Movement.