From the December 1947 issue of the Socialist Standard
The Communist Party of Great Britain is carrying out a campaign to increase its numerical strength and is endeavouring to give the workers adequate reasons for enrolling as members.
One would assume that as this organisation claims to be a Communist one it would do its utmost to explain Communism to its prospective new members. One would think that the manner in which the Communist Party is making Communists would be made known, and that the revolutionary composition of the Party would be preserved by the exclusion of those who have no knowledge nor a desire for Communism or Socialism.
This is far from being the case. In an article entitled “ The Party You Can Be Proud To Join ” (Daily Worker, October 4th) Harry Pollitt writes, among other things, of the Communist Party’s loyalty to the working class movement; its policy “to solve the present crisis in the interests of the common people”; and its objective of “establishing close co-operation internationally with the Socialist Soviet Union; the new democracies in Europe, and the advancing colonial peoples.”
Harry Pollitt asserts that the alternative to taking these steps is to “sink to dependence on American monopolistic reaction, surrender to the monopolists at home, succumb to our own immediate economic crisis which will be intensified by a depression spreading from America, and become engulfed in war as the outpost and vulnerable advance base of American reaction against European democracy.”
It is to be noticed that Socialism, the one alternative to Capitalism and its crises, is not even mentioned by Pollitt As for solving this crisis “in the interests of the common people"—does not Harry Pollitt know that no step that intends to leave Capitalism standing can be, to any great degree, in working class interests? Does he not know that, whether or not Capitalism is in a state of crisis, there is always a crisis for the workers? Is he not aware that, whether or not British Capitalism sinks to dependence on American monopoly, the members of the working class spend their lives depending upon their masters for the necessities of life? Does he not realise that it is not only Capitalist Monopoly, but Capitalism at a whole that grinds the workers down to wage-slavery and poverty? Is he not aware that war is inevitable under Capitalism?
The only way to eliminate the evils of the present social order is to end that order in its entirety and establish a social system wherein the means of production and distribution are commonly owned. That is Socialism.
Such a social system can only be achieved by a majority of Socialists. The making of Socialists, therefore, is the only way to hasten the coming of Socialism.
Neither Harry Pollitt, nor The Daily Worker, nor the Communist Party does this. Instead we find them deeply concerned with the health of British Capitalism and its need for more workers. We see them helping to perpetuate nationalism by asserting their readiness to fight for “national independence and economic prosperity of Britain against the offensive of the dollar dictators and their supporters in Britain — the Churchills and the Right Wing Labour leaders.” (Harry Pollitt’s speech at Ilford, Daily Worker, October 8th.)
It is possible that this new recruiting drive will draw many new members into the Communist Party, and that organisation will hail them as Communists. Actually they will be nothing of the sort. They will be those who, in their lack of Socialist knowledge, have been led to believe that Capitalism can be run in the interests of the workers.
To those who are hovering upon the threshold of the Communist Party, Socialists would say this: Read the literature of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. Study our declaration of principles. Listen to our speakers.; question and oppose them, and weigh up the soundness of their arguments. We know that once you gain Socialist knowledge you will know the Communist Party for what it is—a purely reformist organisation seeking to patch up Capitalism.
F. W. Hawkins