Editorial from the April 1997 issue of the Socialist Standard
Now it is election time again we are being asked to give our support - critical or otherwise - to the massed ranks of competing politicians, all of whom offer a variation on the same thing - more capitalism. From the three main parties, to the Referendum Party, Militant and Scargill's SLP, the choice on the political menu is a simple one: how do you like your capitalism; raw. medium or well done . . . meaning tough?
Socialists argue that the only sensible response to such a skewed question is to reject it, putting in its place a more relevant one: do we wish to continue living in a society where the profit of the few comes before the needs of the many or do we wish to organise for the only viable alternative - a society where production is carried out solely to satisfy human needs and desires with free access to available wealth?
Those whose answer to this is to favour the latter option should cast their vote for the Socialist Party (if we have a candidate in your constituency) or simply write ‘Socialism' across your ballot paper if we don't, in protest against capitalism and the political parties who seek to maintain it. We say this because we are the only political party standing in this election which favours the genuine abolition of capitalism and the creation of a socialist society. All the other parties support the market economy in its various forms and offer leadership teams for the working class to follow. We say that the working class should organise itself independently without leaders, relying on strength of numbers and the inability of capitalism to deliver the goods for the majority.
We are not participating in this election because what passes for political democracy in capitalism is perfect - we are fully aware it isn't - but because we aim to use the election as a means of placing socialism and genuine democracy firmly on the public agenda, giving people a real political choice rather than the phoney one offered by the other parties.
As we write the election result itself would appear to be a foregone conclusion. Unless there is an unprecendented poll reversal, the Labour Party will soon form the next government. The Labour triumph will no doubt be followed by the usual post-election political honeymoon. lt will not be long, however, before the reality of the situation becomes apparent - that no government, no team of economic managers, can make capitalism run in the interests of the wage and salary-earning working class. When this happens we can only hope that the working class seeks out the socialist alternative to the madness of the market economy and the posturing of its political leaders.