Socialist Principles

Dear Comrades,

On this Continent, the pressure of capitalism on the working class is not minimized by welfare-state palliatives. Today, all the problems, whether of the homeless families, or of the young, or the old, of increasing criminality, etc., etc., not only remain, but are accentuated. Life is getting harder for the workers, more difficult and more insecure. One need not detail the daily reports of domestic tragedies caused by want and misery—one need only look at the newspapers’ headlines, and leading articles, such as ”This Lost Generation,” “Courage to see things in their real light,” “The alarming rise of criminality a feature which, one of the papers says, shows a deep crisis in a sick society.

The working class of all other European countries are in no lesser plight. You have read of huge strikes in Italy and of demonstrations in Belgium against the further lowering of the workers’ living standards. In France, unemployment, cuts, short time working and strikes are on the order of the day. A periodical, Les braves gens, published by an organisation of French philanthropists appealing to the rich for a realisation of the suffering of the destitute and the plight of the lonely old people in particular, states in bold type: 4 million French live on 1.88 NF (about 3.s. per day). The paper states that thousands of people have had their gas and electric current cut off for non-payment of bills. And how could they, with 3s. per day to live on? Perhaps this will remind you of the Abbé Pierre campaign in Paris to arouse the well-to-do to a realization of the terrible plight of the French capital’s poor and homeless outcasts, though when all is said and done by these philanthropists, the workers remain the wretched and heavy laden in this capitalist world. Saying this to the President of the movement Les braves gens (whom I happened to meet at a swell Vienna hotel), and suggesting that nothing but a fundamental change of the constitution of present-day society can do away with these evils and with what les braves gens called a national disgrace. Count de Danne replied that ideals do not pay, that my proposal was impossible, and that all one can do is to palliate the sufferings.

A glance at the world in general reveals a sadly sick and chaotic society. UNO and FAO-statistics show a shocking picture of hunger and misery, almost unbelievable in a world of staggering wealth and unlimited possibilities. That behind the line facades there exists a tortured humanity and much happiness, seems paradoxical. Yet, such is the dismal truth.

In the face of such a situation and the permanent threat of another war; in the face of the inability of all the statesmen, politicians, leaders, writers, scientists and churchmen to solve any social problem; in the face of the past failures of the “superior brains” to avert catastrophes such as the two world-wars in this progressive “enlightened” generation, one can only marvel at the childlike attitude of the surviving poverty-stricken masses of the people still looking with confidence and respect to the “personalities” and to their leaders. Is it not yet evident enough that these individuals always stood—and stand today-for the continuation of the present system, of which poverty and insecurity of the workers, armaments and all-round conflict, always on the brink, are inseparable parts? What greater human disaster must befall us before it dawns on the workers that fundamental change is imperative! Surely, with the daily references in Press and Radio to such questions as Germany, Berlin, Laos, Indonesia, Algeria, the Sahara, the Congo, Palestine, Pakistan, and Africa and Asia in general, and to the nauseating thieves quarrel over the control of the tremendous resources and exploitable populations, the workers can no longer fail to see the real CAUSE of all the trouble commercial rivalry.

Of course, not one of capitalism’s apologists or statesmen would lay his finger on the root cause of the social dilemma. Not one would point out that what is in all logic to be done, is the removal of the private ownership barrier in favour of common ownership by the people as a whole, which alone would enable mankind to rise to higher and loftier forms of human co-existence.

Many of capitalism’s henchmen claim to have been in the “resistance” movement and to have suffered for their opposition to war. But the only genuine opposition movement in the world to capitalist war was and is today the revolutionary organisation of the S.P.G.B. and their companion parties. All others are not opponents to war as such; they were only on the wrong side of the warmakers’ line-up. They wanted the other side to win, but not to oust capitalism.

Therefore, here is our watchword for the workers for the next Election: Up with principles the revolutionary Socialist Principles—and no Vote for individuals unless they are uncompromisingly committed to subscribe and endorse the Declaration of Principles!

A hearty Salute to all comrades!

Fraternally yours
for Socialism!

Leave a Reply