50 Years Ago: Opinions and Interests

What is the object of the Labour Party? Some of its members assert that it is one thing, others emphatically contradict them. Even on the term Socialism, they cannot agree. What principle forms its basis? Again, no one knows. While its more prominent leaders avow and disavow the class struggle, the rank and file spend their time in which clique of leaders to trust. No wonder that the Liberals and Tories entrusted them with office.


The claim is often made by Communists and others that the Labour Party is entitled to respect as, with all its faults, it represents the workers. Actually it only represents some of the workers, possibly fifty per cent. These workers, however, are by no means agreed as to what they want nor how they are to obtain it, and it is therefore logically impossible to regard their opinions as expressing their interests. The interests of the working class are identical with Socialism, and we challenge anyone in or out of the Labour Party to contradict us. The opinions of the workers being mainly hostile or indifferent to Socialism are identical with those of the master class who, in fact, provide those opinions ready-made through the agency of the Press.


While this is the case, we of the Socialist Party have no ambition to represent the ignorance of the workers. We seek first to bring their opinions into line with their interests. All our propaganda is directed to this end.


(From an article “Opinions and Interests” by Eric Boden, published in the Socialist Standard, May 1926.)