No thank you, Mr Galloway
Dear Mr. Galloway,
We received an invitation (addressed to our former General Secretary) to join your Unity Coalition.
This invitation was considered at a meeting of our Executive Committee on 7th February 2004. The following resolution was passed:
That the secretary write to George Galloway to decline his request for support as he does not agree with our Object and Declaration of Principles; and that we challenge his organisation to debate on the case for socialism.
The very title of your old website – http://www.blairout.com – indicates the extent of your agenda: the removal of a specific politician from office and, presumably, his replacement with yourself or one of your allies. Whereas, our object is very specifically:
The establishment of a system of society based on the common and democratic ownership and control of the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth by and in the interests of the whole community.
Your website gives a list of demands around which you intend to campaign along with the removal of Tony Blair. These are:
To withdraw troops from Iraq and to let the people of Iraq decide their own future; Halting the privatisation of essential public services; Defeating the Euro and the proposed European constitution; Protecting and enhancing our environment; The restoration of trade union rights; For equality, tolerance and a multi-cultural society.
We are unable to support this list of demands. None of them addresses the essential problem of our society – the ownership of the means of production by a tiny number of capitalists and the enforced exploitation of the working class through the wages system. So long as the essential resources for living are controlled by their owners – whether as western style private capitalists or monopolist state bureaucrats, like that of the Soviet State-Gangster Capitalism you so venerated – the strife and anguish of the class struggle will remain.
The job of Socialists is to bring the class struggle to an end, not to try and accommodate themselves with this system, or with the likes of George Monbiot and their schemes to make the market system work better with international financial controls and dreams of petty national autonomy.
Liberation for Iraq within a world divided into state of property would merely mean liberation for the owners of Iraq, not its beleaguered workers, who would continue to be exploited.
Halting privatisations would merely mean having to pay capitalists interest on the bonds they sell to the government rather than directly for their services.
Defeating the Euro would merely leave workers using money with The Queen’s head on rather than without.
Protecting the environment in the context of the profit drive means an eternal struggle against the basic impulses of the companies whose taxes you’d need to pay for the nationalised services.
Restoring trades union rights, however welcome, would still leave us struggling against our employers and still prey to organised labour’s Achilles’ heel of unemployment.
As for tolerance, as Tom Paine wrote, tolerance is for Popes: it implies someone with the power or right to ‘tolerate’. Socialists seek a society of universal equality – the world over – based upon the free association of producers working collaboratively to produce for each according to their needs as individuals, not as interest groups. For us, the whole community means the whole community.
That is, we hold that:
That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex.
That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
Which necessarily excludes working with ‘faith groups’ whether Christian or Islamic whose antiquated views serve only to divide the working class, and conceal their real causes of their social subordination behind ‘identity’ and ‘culture’ supposedly shared across classes.
The effect of your Coalition’s campaign will be to help continue this mystification and confusion of the workers as to their own interests, as well the sullying of the name of Socialism by including it as part of your RESPECT acronym. Socialism is not milk-and-water reform, it is not a vague concern for ethics compatible with every opposition campaign or grouping within capitalist society. Without the clear aim of establishing the common and democratic ownership of the means of production and living, RESPECT will merely repeat the folly of Labour, in finding itself needing to run capitalism against the interests of the workers.
Thus, we reiterate our principle that:
… as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.
Consequently, we decline to join you in your campaign for self-aggrandisement at the expense of the working class; challenge you and your organisation to justify itself against the socialist case; and commit ourselves to openly campaigning for Socialism and against RESPECT in any up-coming elections.
The World for the Workers,
Bill Martin, Assistant Secretary.
15 February 2004.