2010s >> 1906 >> no-20-april-1906

Bebel’s Incursion Into English Politics

In another column we publish the correspondence which has passed between the Executive Committee of The Socialist Party of Great Britain, our comrade Bebel, and Vorwaerts, the official organ of the German Socialist Party. There is no occasion to amplify that correspondence, and the only purpose of a reference to it here is to direct attention more particularly to it in justification of the attitude taken up by this Party. That attitude which is, of course, no more than a logical expression of the class struggle, and cannot be departed from by any Socialist except by the immolation of Principle on the altar of Expediency, coincides exactly with the pronouncement made by Bebel himself in other connections. He may only object to it, therefore, at the risk of self stultification. We regret exceedingly that instead of recognising that he had allowed himself to be betrayed into an act calculated, because it lent the countenance of approval to what was merely a capitalist victory, to defeat the purpose of Socialist propaganda, he should have preferred to attempt to exonerate himself by reading into his telegram something which in point of fact was neither implied nor expressed. We expected better things of Bebel.

Our intervention in this matter, however much we may deplore the occasion for it, will, like our protest to the French Socialist Party against the fraternisation of Dr. Brousse (a member of the Party and President of the Municipal Council of Paris) with the L.C.C. representatives of capitalism in municipal politics, serve to show that in England there is now a party jealous of the integrity and the unswerving adherence to principle, of the International Socialist Movement, zealous for the elimination of all confusing elements in industrial and political warfare, and determined to do all in its power—however little or much that may be—to organise the working class upon the basis of their distinctive class interests, for the final struggle with the hosts of capitalism, whatever the form of their manifestation, and the realisation of the Co-operative Commonwealth.

Until The Socialist Party of Great Britain Came into existence our Continental comrades may well have been in lugubrious ignorance of the existence of such a party : we sincerely hope our stand for principle will remove any misapprehension they may have had on this issue.

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