1960s >> 1967 >> no-755-july-1967

Is Politics Corrupt?

Amongst the literature now put out by the so-called Peace Movement is a small red sticker proclaiming in bold black print: “Conservative, Labour, Liberal, Communist. THEY’RE ALL ALIKE.” Such a radical change of policy from that which many of these people were propagating a few years back should not be left without comment. In case anyone has forgotten, the Nuclear Disarmers were among the supporters then the Labour Party had when it took office for the first time in some thirteen years. Now, in their own words:

After two years of government by Labour we have few illusions left about the nature of party politics, the empty promises, and humbug of firm assurances about firm government.

They now stand for, and the Committee of 100 have already stated this, non-violent direct action. “We have broken with party politics, is now their claim. To recognise that there is little difference between the large parties is certainly a big step forward, but this suggests only that Parliament and the vote have been misused not that they are of no use. Ultimate power rests with those who control the state machinery and all its coercive forces. To give up politics and the struggle to gain control of Parliament is folly.

Those people who have come to this decision should think again and look a little deeper into the relationship between the major political parties. They are all alike, but what is it that they have in common? What is it that causes politicians to promise everything and give nothing? People in the “Peace” Movement would no doubt claim that all politicians are evil, completely insincere persons. But what they have in common is the simple fact that they all support the capitalist system of society. They have different ideas about how it should be run but all are agreed on this essential point.

Unfortunately without the necessary understanding of capitalist society, organisations like the Committee of 100 will continue to make these mistaken claims, based as they are on irrational ideas about the social and economic forces at work in society today. The vote, when based on sound Socialist knowledge and used to send delegates to Parliament as opposed to opportunistic leaders, can be the most useful instrument the workers possess.

M. Ballard