From the October 1925 issue of the Socialist Standard
A correspondent sends us the Manifesto of the Scottish Workers' Republican Party, and asks for our opinion of it.
The object of the Party, founded by the late John Maclean is a Workers' Republic for Scotland.
The Manifesto sets out the slave position of the working class, and urges that the workers must carry through the Social Revolution.
The chief fallacy of their position is their insistence upon a Scottish Workers' Republic. This demand is both reactionary and Utopian. The struggle of the workers of the United Kingdom must be a united one. The workers are under the domination of a class who rule by the use of a political machine, which is the chief governing instrument for England, Scotland, Wales, etc. To appeal to the workers of Scotland for a Scottish Workers' Republic is to arouse and foster the narrow spirit of Nationalism, so well used by our masters. Economically the demand is Utopian, as the development of capitalism has made countries more and more dependent on each other, both through the specialisation of industry or agriculture, and also by the force controlled by the Great Powers to suppress or control the smaller nations.
The history of "independent" Hungary, Poland, and the Balkan States shows that the realisation of "political independence" by a country leaves the workers' conditions untouched and actually worsens them in many cases.
The appeal to the worker in this Manifesto to "rally to the cause of a Workers' Republic for Scotland" is made "so that we might win you away from the service of the imperialist gang who direct their activities from London." If the worker is to be won for Socialism, it is by getting him to understand the principles of Socialism, and not by appealing to him to concentrate on Scottish affairs. Socialism is international.
The uselessness of the Manifesto is shown by their anarchist attitude towards Parliament :-
"We claim that no useful working-class purpose can be served by sending men to Parliament."
They advance no arguments to support their claim. They offer no other method. They ignore the fact that the political machine is the instrument whereby capitalists wield power.
Their simple statement is that the workers can exercise "governmental power" because they are the only necessary class in society.
It is very simple. But what are the obstacles to this necessary class exercising the power of government?
The first obstacle is working-class ignorance, which is used to vote capitalists and their agents into political supremacy.
The second obstacle is the force which is used by the capitalists in control of Parliament to keep the workers in subjection.
The stupidity of preaching that because the workers are necessary to Scotland they can exercise governmental control is to invite the butchery of the workers.
Socialist education demands that besides advocating the establishment of Socialism, the obstacles that stand in its path must be pointed out, in order that the workers can march along the road to their supremacy. This Manifesto does not explain how the workers are kept in slavery, and it offers no road out of it. The meaning of the class struggle has yet to be learned by the Scottish Workers' Republican Party, The Manifesto closes with this gem: "Scotland for the Scottish Workers; the World for the World's Workers"!