Victory for Socialism and those who want it

It is often said that the “world is full of surprises,” but when a split occurs or a new group is formed inside that Super Political Pawn-shop—the Labour Party, nobody is particularly startled.

If the S.P.G.B. did not know its reformist opponents so well, we might have been surprised to learn that a newly formed (or rather resurrected) group inside the Labour Party claims to want “Victory for Socialism.” The Socialist Party of Great Britain, it would seem, has a lot to learn, for we were formed in 1904 with the single purpose of establishing Socialism—and without compromise have worked ever since for its victory. Now, after all these years of thinking that Socialism meant a change in the system of society, from the present one of wars and class war, wages and profits, to one where none of these things would exist, a classless world in which goods are produced for use, we discover (via the new group) that Socialism really means—capitalism with smaller tombs and lower rents. This kind of outlook typifies reformists everywhere. They start off not really understanding the significance of the Socialist case, then they dismiss their own misconceptions of Socialism as “futuristic pipe-dreams.” In the blind conceit that they know their way, they proceed to carry on the “day to day struggle” of trying to make capitalism with its wage-slavery less burdensome to the working class whose life-blood it sucks. It is a self-evident fact to every Socialist, that the evils which curse the lives of the working class CANNOT be removed within capitalism. If, as the so-called Communist and Labour Parties claim, the problems of slums insecurity, poverty, wars and slumps, can be got rid of bit by bit, one at a time, there is no need for Socialism. It is the fact that these and other such problems, are part of capitalism that makes Socialism necessary. If on the other hand they claim to know that the one solution is Socialism, then to continue toying with the effects of capitalism is the depth of stupidity and the height of folly.

Day to Day Capitalism
Rent Acts and hydrogen bombs are the current evils which stir the emotions and fire the slogans of the reformists. Capitalism is so sick that every day brings some fresh manifestation of the need to get rid of it. Ten years ago the reformists were wasting time and energy on now forgotten slogans and campaigns; in ten years’ time, who knows what they will be hollering about, except to say that it will be the latest ugly developments of a basically ugly system. If, ten years ago, instead of telling us that Socialism is “a pipe dream,” they had made the little effort necessary to understand it and then worked for it, the present fearful mess might never have existed. In trying to solve the day to day problems of capitalism the reformers thus became part of it and only help to prolong its existence—such is the price of ignorance.

The Bitter Truth
In order that anything worthwhile may be achieved it is no use the workers being just anti-Tory. The so- called “Victory for Socialism” crowd and the rest of those who support or belong to the Labour Party are at one in wanting to swing the current anti-Tory mood in the direction of another Labour Government.

It is true that the V.F.S. group claim to be “left wing” and to disagree in some ways with the Labour Party leadership but in a General Election they would be asking you to elect those very “right wing” they claim to oppose, for if another Labour Government is elected it will be these who will take over. They say they want a Labour Government with “sound policy” on peace, wages, rents, and pensions, etc., but they must face the hard facts of 1945-1951, bearing as they do, indelible witness to the uselessness of Labour Governments to the working class. They are now arguing about H bombs, which are only developments along the line begun by the Labour Government which established Harwell and took the first steps towards this “British” H bomb. It was the Labour Government which started the present arms drive. Under capitalism then as now, armaments come before houses, pensions, or anything else. Pensions and housing troubles are part of the general poverty suffered by the wealth producers. If the workers fail to learn from their past experiences of Labour Governments, they will go on electing strike-breakers and war-planners until the obvious dawns on them and they realise their real position under this system and organise with us to end it.

The various reforms and limited objectives dealt with in this article, are by no means new, but while workers are prepared to waste their time on such things, we must continue to explain their correct nature. All these points and more besides were raised at a discussion the writer attended at the Islington Open Forum a month or two ago, where most of those present supported the “Defeat Socialism” Movement under that other name. Other points, such as Industrial Action, Slogans and Demonstrations Lobbying M.P.’s and Leadership will be dealt with in a later issue, but on this occasion, let us take stock—let us see that attempting to deal purely with the effects of capitalism, its ugly life is prolonged. Movements of whatever name which do not seek the immediate establishment of Socialism (as defined in our Object) whilst they can never really defeat Socialism they certainly help delay it.


Leave a Reply