2020s >> 2020 >> no-1389-may-2020

Party News – Discord in the Ranks

It’s not like socialists to curl up our tootsies and give up at the first sign of trouble, so we’re not likely to let a once-in-a-century global pandemic cramp our style.

Instead, like many others during the current lockdown, we are responding to
physical restrictions on meeting by going online. We’re using the audio-only Discord system to save bandwidth, and because most of us are not sufficiently photogenic to want to look at each other every day.

The system works pretty well and we’ve already held a couple of online talks, as well as several branch and Executive Committee meetings. It’s not been entirely plain sailing of course, with some members having to drag headphones or microphones out of attics or cellars only to discover that they last worked efficiently when Sony Walkmans were still a new fad.

Others have had computer problems as Discord doesn’t work with very old operating systems, or with the super-restrictive Windows S. Actually Discord was originally designed for gamers, who tend to a) be digital natives and b) have state-of-the-art gear.

Many socialists, it is fair to say, do not belong to this social demographic, so online conferencing software can be something of an uphill struggle. That’s why, for the next few weeks, there will always be someone on the server, ready to talk or answer user questions, at 12 noon and again at 7.30pm, UK BST, unless there’s an evening talk on.

Still, we’re making progress, with around 50 members online at the time of writing. Companion parties have got involved too, with members from the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan and India.

And of course visitors are very welcome too, and are free to join any online Discord meeting just as they would be free to attend any physical meeting by the Socialist Party or its companion parties. This is a great opportunity to chat to socialists from around the world without leaving your house!

And if anyone is thinking of joining, having a live chat about it with members is much more fun and informative than simply filling in a form on the website.

If you’d like to drop in and chat to us online, or come to one of our talks or other events, just drop us a line to spgb@worldsocialism.org and ask for an invite.


Declaration of Principles


This declaration is the basis of our organisation and, because it is also an important historical document dating from the formation of the party in 1904, its original language has been retained. A more detailed version including explanations of what the Object and each Principle mean to us is on the website here.


Object

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.

Declaration of Principles

The Socialist Party of Great Britain holds:

1: That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

2: That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.

3: That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

4: 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.

5: That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6: That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organize consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.

7: 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.

8: 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.