Day-to-Day Runners of Capitalism part 2

The complete lack of grasp of the general political situation from a Socialist point of view, screams from every line of Driberg’s reports. Kruschev, having taken the Labour Party to task for being “reformist” and failing to educate the masses in the “revolutionary spirit,” Driberg enters the defence by saying “though Britain had certainly not been transformed into a Socialist State, the Labour Government had taken substantial steps towards Socialism—taking basic industries into public ownership, introducing comprehensive social security measures, and so on.”

The only “revolutionary spirit” in which workers need educating will come from a knowledge of their class position under the wages system and a realisation on their part of the need to use that knowledge to vote for the abolition of this system. Far from drawing attention to the real nature of Capitalism, at every election the so-called Communist Party uses exactly the same stunts as the rest of them, promising houses, jobs and peace, etc.

As we stated earlier, to the Labour Party nationalisation means Socialism, but perhaps workers are beginning to see that the so-called “public ownership” is two steps forward, three steps back and does not mean that they OWN any more of the means of living than they ever have.

The term “social security” has a nice sound but only INSECURE people need it. No reform can give workers security because their insecurity does not arise from lack of reforms but is basic to their wage slave position under Capitalism.

Krushchev’s idea is clearly that of an ignorant mass of people having their interests looked after and their problems solved for them by the right kind of Government. If workers had understood Socialism in 1945 they would not have voted for the Labour Party yet Kruschev assumes the existence of an electorate which wanted Socialism and because the Labour Government did not bring it about, thought they would try the Tories. His actual words were “Yet the Labour Government lost the next elections. Why? Because they did not use their power in the interests of the working-class, and the working-class therefore became indifferent to the Labour Party. The workers’ conditions in those nationalised industries you speak of didn’t change greatly. Therefore the workers saw no difference between the Labour and Tory parties.” He then added “the Labour Government did not change the State institutions set up by previous Governments, or create conditions in which the social structure could be changed. Therefore, the working-class was not interested.”

It would be interesting to hear from Mr. Kruschev, in what respect “the State institutions” of Russia differ from those which typify Capitalism everywhere. Except for the fact that there is only one Party which exercises dictatorial control, the nature of the institutions, i.e., private property, inheritance, law making and enforcing bodies such as law courts, prisons, police and judges, also a monetary system, army, navy, and air force, etc., remain the same.

The Labour Government did not take office to change the State institutions of Capitalism, but simply to use these institutions to run Capitalism and to make what adjustments they found necessary to run it more efficiently. The one remaining necessary condition for changing “the social structure” is an understanding of why this change is necessary on the part of the majority of the working-class. Living under Capitalism and coming into contact with Socialists’ ideas will bring this condition about, but no Government can “create” it.

After the erection and demolition of a few more Aunt Sallies in connection with the Labour Party, Kruschev switched to the so-called Communist Party, saying “the Communist Party is not a mass Party in Britain at present because of certain historical conditions. But times are changing: a revolutionary situation will arise; and the Communist Party will use this situation to educate the mass of the workers and lead them to the victory of Socialism.” Far from their being able to educate anyone the British Communist Party would not know a “revolutionary situation” if they saw one.

Hypocrisy Enshrined
This next quotation from Mr. Krushchev will sicken any worker who seriously reflects on it. “Being revolutionaries and Communists, we are interested in the international solidarity of the workers; but we DO NO MORE than GIVE GOOD ADVICE to parties that need it. Every country has its own way. We stick to the principle of strict NON-INTERVENTION. Our work is based on the slogan of PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP. There are various ways of transition. Let us be patient.” (Our emphasis).

The rulers of Soviet Capitalism stand condemned out of their own mouths. The bloody butchery of workers in Hungary since Kruschev made this statement, and on a smaller scale in East Berlin before it, demonstrates how utterly meaningless words are to these henchmen of Capitalism.

Contrasts in Capitalism
The remainder of the interview was largely devoted to comparing methods of running this system. The advantages of two parties as opposed to one, crime and punishment, propaganda technique, and so on. Kruschev had explained that Russia is composed of a number of “ sovereign republics ” and when Driberg asked “could there be capital punishment for murder in one republic, and not in another?” Kruschev replied “it is quite possible. Every national republic has its own criminal code. Even now, there are some differences, but there is some co-ordination.” This to Socialists is a very telling statement, for Socialism and national republics are contradictory terms. Socialism cannot exist in one country only, because it involves a WORLD class-struggle, and a world solution to problems arising from this world system. Socialism is the direct opposite of everything national. Krushchev’s reply poses a contradiction within a contradiction—Socialism in one country itself divided into separate national bodies, each with “criminal” codes and legislature of its own.

Another degree in which British Capitalism varies from Russian is that in the House of Commons there is time for questions and in the supreme Soviet there is not. Russian workers, we are told, can ask questions at Party and trade union meetings. For an exploited class to be allowed to ask questions indeed sounds a good thing but in neither country do workers have any real redress within Capitalism because the problems are such that they cannot be solved little by little. In fact although a lot of questions have been asked, the problems housing, jobs, security, and peace, etc., will last as long as the system which generates them.

One question Mr. Kruschev was called on to answer came from an old woman who lived on a collective farm and had lost a plot of land because her sons who had worked on the farm had gone to work in a factory. This is a private property question and clearly has nothing to do with land being held in common. The woman had asked other officials and after looking into it Kruschev decided “she’d been given the correct answer first time.” Another example was that of a mining engineer sent to jail for three years “for negligent supervision” after “ a worker in a pit that he was in charge of had fallen and died.” Mr. Kruschev asked the “ higher judicial authorities to investigate it.”

We are assured at the end that the Press in Russia can now criticise top Party Leaders and the crimes of the Stalin era have been “put right again by the twentieth Congress.” Said Kruschev “our aim is to prevent any repetition of the cult of the individual and to return to the Leninist position and methods.” Any change that has taken place in Russia since Stalin is more apparent than real, still the H-bomb race goes on, still the struggle for world trade and, like all ruling classes, the Russian State Capitalists show no mercy to weaker powers that oppose them. The horror witnessed in Hungary gives the workers there little cause to rejoice at whatever “cult” persists in Russia, individual or otherwise.

While most workers all over the world have no understanding of Socialism they will tragically toy with alternative parties to run Capitalism and suffer the INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCES.


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