1960s >> 1969 >> no-778-june-1969

Immunisation or Pain-killers?

The difference between the aims of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and all other political parties (except our companion parties) is somewhat comparable to the difference between immunisation and treatment in medicine.

The Socialist Party strives after the creation of a new kind of society—Socialism—in which such problems as famine, poverty, war, and inequality could not conceivably arise, Socialism is a way of life based on, as our object says, “the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interests of the whole community”. This is to be taken literally, not as meaning nationalisation, or any other such phoney system, which has been amply proved in places such as Russia and here in Britain to be as offensive to the workers’ interests as open private ownership.

The Socialist Party seeks the removal of class society where the minority capitalist class exploits the majority working class and which has brought about the conflicts and problems we have listed. The other parties, however, do not seek to remove the cause of these problems, which is capitalism, and therefore cannot succeed in removing them. Instead, they accept the present capitalist system and try, allegedly, to make these problems felt less acutely Barbara Castle in her notorious White Paper on industrial relations recognised that there had to be conflicts in this society: ”The object of our industrial relations system, granted that there are necessarily conflicts of interest, should be to direct the forces producing conflict towards constructive ends” (emphasis added). But how she hopes to make the robbed work hand in hand with those who are robbing them is beyond comprehension.

Her attitude is similar to that of all other political parties : what they are doing is trying to patch up capitalism to make it less brutal and painful to many people. The failure of successive governments of various political colourings to make any appreciable impact on such problems as poverty and hunger should demonstrate clearly enough that it is time to start tackling such problems from their roots instead of smothering them with meaningless statements and promises.

The policies of the Socialist Party of Great Britain offer immunisation against these problems arising in the first instance whereas all the other political parties offer mere pain-killers—and not very good ones at that.

R.A.S.