March 1952 issue of the Socialist Standard
Many times, when in discussion with Labour Party supporters, the socialist is accused of being a political dreamer. Let us then make a perusal of the claims of this very practical body before they came to power in 1945.
In the light of recent historical events, the writings in their pamphlet, “Let us face the future” would be humorous if it were not for the human tragedy they reveal.
They start off with the claim that it is a “Declaration of Labour Policy for the consideration of the Nation,” so we may assume from this that the Labour Party have no recognition of the class composition of society. This makes their claim to be “A Socialist Party and proud of it ” mere nonsense.
They inform us “we must consolidate in peace the great war-time association of the British Commonwealth with the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. Let it not be forgotten that in the years leading up to the war the Tories were so scared of Russia that they missed the chance to establish a partnership which might have prevented the war.”
It seems that something went wrong, also as far as the Labour Party is concerned, for it was their government which allocated 4,700 million pounds to the production of armaments.
Just previous to this they state that “No domestic policy, however wisely framed and courageously applied, can succeed in a world still threatened by war.” We were also informed that “Economic strife and political and military insecurity are the enemies of peace,” but economic strife is the very essence of capitalist society. First there is the strife between employers and workers over the distribution of wealth produced by the latter. Secondly we have the economic strife between rival groups of capitalists. The political and military insecurity arise as a direct result.
The Labour Party claimed that “It has a common bond with the working peoples of all countries.” It seems now that we are to demonstrate this common bond by dropping atom bombs on the working people of Russia and the so-called Eastern Democracies.
In accordance with their view of history they said, “Great economic blizzards swept the world in those years. The great inter-war slumps were not acts of God or of blind forces. They were the sure and certain results of the concentration of too much economic power in the hands of too few men. These men only learned how to act in the interest of their own bureaucratically-run private monopolies which may be likened to totalitarian obligates within our democratic State. They had and they felt no responsibility to the Nation.” We can only point out that, after six years of Labour Party government it was business as usual.
The farther we proceed into this quagmire of stupidity, the more inconsistencies and contradictions between claims and practice do we find, and now to top the bill Mr. Butler, of the Conservative Party, has out-laboured the Labour Party in his recent pronouncements. This serves to demonstrate that for the past six years the Labour Party was running capitalism, or rather capitalism has been running the Labour Party. It appears that capitalism is a very wicked lady, no matter how much the wooers woo she remains adamant in her desire not to be controlled.
We return once again to those awkward claims of the socialists, those whom the Labour Party regard as political dreamers. What have they said? So long as we have capitalism we will have wars. We will have poverty. We will,have insecurity. How much do we hate the person who says “I told you so,” but we must be excused if we indulge in that luxury now and again. It only remains for us to emphasise that the uncontrollable problems of capitalism will only be eradicated by the introduction of socialism. The political action necessary to introduce this new form of society needs as a prerequisite a majority of society understanding what socialism is. In this direction great harm is done by the Labour Party, the pseudo Socialist Parties, and the pseudo Communist Parties in their determination to deform the words Socialism and Communism to meet their own political ends.