From the September 1964 issue of the Socialist Standard
Our aim is World Socialism, a system based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of life by and for the whole community. Under Socialism production will be for use and distribution direct.
The working class must establish Socialism itself. This cannot be done for them. Thus we reject Leadership. Self-styled leaders cannot lead the workers to Socialism, but they can, and do, lead a cosy life on the backs of the working class. We also reject the view that Socialism can be legislated into being by a majority of MP's over a passive and non-Socialist working class. We do, however, believe that the way to Socialism lies through revolutionary political action. Before Socialism can be established the working class must gain control of the machinery of government Then, being also organised economically for Socialism, they can use it to effect the change from Capitalism to Socialism.
We hold that only a consciously Socialist working class can establish Socialism. Thus we place extreme importance on Socialist understanding. Our primary task is to help to bring about such understanding and we believe the way to do this is to campaign for Socialism and Socialism alone. Otherwise we would get the support of those who merely want a reformed capitalism and eventually cease to be a Socialist party. Thus we have no reform programme. This does not mean that we are opposed to all reforms. We are not. But we are against a reformist policy. A Socialist programme can contain only one demand: Socialism.
There is no Socialism in Russia. In our view the Russian revolutions of 1917 cleared away feudalism and allowed capitalism to develop there. The Bolshevists were the agents of capitalism in Russia and the system they have built up can be described as State capitalism.
We accept, and act on, the doctrine of the Class Struggle between the capitalist class and the working class and we are therefore opposed to all other political parties whether they claim to be Socialist or not. In our view the Labour Party is a capitalist reform party. Its policy of piecemeal reforms cannot lead to Socialism. When in power. Labour parties have always acted as faithful caretakers for capitalism and against the interests of the working class. The Communist Party is also a reform party. It differs from the Labour Party in that it always put the interests of Russian State capitalism, and not those of British capitalism, before those of the working class.
Under capitalism trade unions are necessary and inevitable. We are not against trade unionism when it is used to improve workers' wages and conditions, but we say that trade unionism has its limits and cannot be used to overthrow capitalism.
Before Socialism can be established there are a number of illusions which must be dispelled. Among these is religion. Socialists are opposed to religion as it stultifies thought and encourages inaction by promising a better life beyond the skies. Religion acts as a delusory escape from the misery of capitalism and is thus a buttress of this system. Nationalism, too, is an illusion which help to maintain capitalism. It obscures the class struggle and leads the workers into actions which are altogether against their interests. A Socialist working class can have no use for nationalism. The most pernicious of these illusions is perhaps racialism. Scientific evidence shows that all race theories are so much nonsense. The colour of the skin has no connection with intelligence. No group of people sharing particular characteristics is inherently inferior to any other. The interests of all the workers of the world are one; they should not be led by the delusions of religion, nationalism and racialism to think otherwise.
Modern war is the product of the capitalist system. So are the horrifying methods of prosecuting it, including nuclear weapons. We have opposed, and are opposed, to the shredding of a single drop of working class blood in capitalism’s wars. Nor do we back the so-called colonial revolution. It is our view, and experience confirms this, that these anti-colonialist revolutions are mere changes of rulers. They are revolutions which lead to the introduction of capitalist or State capitalist regimes which prove to be cruel taskmasters to the workers of the territories concerned.
Our position can be summarised as: No Socialism without Socialists.