We are aware that a passage in the item “Conference Report” in the May SOCIALIST STANOARD can be read so as to misrepresent our case. The passage reads:

“We have always said that Socialism can only be established by a conscious, participating working class organised not only politically to capture and destroy the State machine but also outside parliament ready to take over and run industry and society generally.”

The SPGB case is that a politically conscious working class must use political means—that is through parliament—to take over the state machine, and convert it to an agent for the establishment of Socialism. Once that has been accomplished the coercive state machine will cease to exist; in the words of Engels (Socialism, Utopian and Scientific): “The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direction of the processes of production. The state is not ‘abolished’, it dies out.”

In addition, in the same issue, there were some less important printers’ errors.

In the article Death of a Publisher, the word “miser” in the second paragraph should have read “Midas” and, in the final paragraph, “few ideas” should have read “pen”. The article The Stretcher Bearers had a mistake in the last paragraph but one; instead of saying that social workers . . . pick their way through the battlefield with their stretchers and their handbags” it should have said “. . . their stretchers and bandages.” Of course, the printed version is hilarious enough almost to be left uncorrected but for all these mistakes, our apologies.

Editorial Committee

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