Editorial: How Will You Use Your Vote?

At the General Election in 1945 the S.P.G.B. had a candidate at North Paddington, and contested the same constituency again in November, 1946, when the Labour Member elected in 1945 resigned on grounds of ill-health. This time we are again contesting North Paddington and also putting up a candidate at East Ham South. Southend Branch is carrying on electoral activity and if sufficient support is forthcoming the candidate will be nominated. Our candidates, according to present information, will be opposed by Labour, Tory, Liberal and Communist candidates. All four parties will be calling on the workers not to vote for the only candidates who represent the Socialist challenge to capitalism. It is right that all four parties should do this and we welcome the opportunity of putting the election in its proper setting. It is our task and ours alone to press home the truth that for the working-class here and in all countries there can be no escape from the poverty, insecurity, hatreds and wars of the world as it is except through the abolition of capitalism and establishment of Socialism.

It is a hard lesson and one the working class are slow to grasp. The bitterness with which the other parties conduct the struggle for power lends colour to the belief that there are fundamental working-class interests at stake in the choice between them. In truth none of the four will touch the fundamental issue of Capitalism—Tory, Liberal, Labour or Communist administration will all leave the working class in the wage-slave position from which only Socialism can emancipate them. Whatever the detailed way in which the capitalist system is administered there will still be luxury and privilege for the rich, poverty and arduous toil for the working class. This is a basic feature and one that is common to all the superficially different forms of Capitalism, whether it be private enterprise America, Labour administered Britain or Russia under Communist dictatorship. A Minister in the Labour Government, Mr. Glenvil Hall, M.P., Financial Secretary to the Treasury, admitted in the House of Commons on 18th May, 1949, that: —

“Of the 550.000 people who die each year only 10 per cent. own more than £2,000 but these ten per cent. between them own 90 per cent, of the total property.”

Inequality is inseparable from Capitalism, and while all the non-Socialist political parties profess to deplore “extreme inequality,” all of them, including the Communists, advance specious arguments in defence of inequality itself. They are all concerned to defend and perpetuate the system that gives wealth and privilege to a minority.

During the election campaign, the S.P.G.B. will put in its election literature and from its platforms the same Socialist message that our propagandists address to the working class at all times. There will be no vote-catching programme and appeals specially designed for election purposes.

The inauguration of Socialism demands the understanding of the working class. Votes and support given for anything less than Socialism would be only a source of weakness and confusion. We will do all we can to ensure that the Socialist candidates receive only the votes of those who understand and want Socialism; no other votes are sought.

What of the result? The number of votes given for Socialism will serve as a measure of the growth of Socialist understanding. Knowing how far the great majority of the working class are from accepting the Socialist case we know that the Socialist vote must be small. We are not discouraged by that. We have on our side forces that constantly add recruits to the army of Socialism as the other parties repeatedly betray their mental bankruptcy in their vain attempts to bring order, well-being and peace out of the chaos that is Capitalism.

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