Monday, August 14, 2017

Year One of "The Socialist Standard" (1905)

Editorial from the August 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

With this number we achieve the completion of our first volume and the first year of our existence. We have gone the round of the seasons, we have successfully negotiated the initial difficulties always attendant upon the issue of a new paper, and we have settled down to our work as the literary mouthpiece of The Socialist Party of Great Britain with any tremors on the score of our ability to keep on which a few of us may have started out with, at rest

When we remember the number of journals appealing to a far greater constituency than we, unfortunately, can hope to affect for many a day, journals with a financial backing almost fabulous by contrast with our puny revenue, yet which have succumbed to the pressure of adverse circumstances probably not greater than those we have combatted, we are conscious of a not unpardonable feeling of satisfaction and elation at the results of our year’s work— a satisfaction and elation that we have good reason for knowing is far from being shared by those who so confidently anticipated the early demise of the Party that came into existence as a protest against their defamation of the name of Socialism. We refer, of course, to those pseudo-Socialist organizations—particularly the Social-Democratic Federation—which, by compromise with capitalist parties and by pandering to working-class ignorance make such material contribution to working-class division and confusion. The advent of our little journal killed the hope they entertained of the speedy dissolution of the Party, and they will, we conjecture, regard the celebration of our first birthday with feelings that will not be improved by the knowledge that the Party’s literary offspring is a sturdy, robust youngster who has already intervened in English working-class affairs with marked effect and whose voice has penetrated if not to the uttermost parts of the earth, at least to those parts where any Socialist movement exists and who has succeeded, therefore, in giving wide circulation to the strong, plain case The Socialist Party of Great Britain has made out in justification of the attitude it has adopted.

To-day, with confidence in the correctness of our position and enthusiasm for the great cause we champion, unabated, strong in the strength that comes of the knowledge of our stability and perceptibly growing power, we send fraternal greetings to our comrades the world over and record anew our unwavering determination to prosecute relentless war against all the forces of capitalism in whatever guise they come; against working-class oppression, against obscurantism  and sectionalism and all that makes for working-class delusion and impotency; to keep in the forefront of our advance the red flag under which the workers of all nations must marshal themselves if they would win to their freedom ; to keep that flag unfurled and aloft and boldly emblazoned with the object of our mighty mission and to lower it never; to march by the undeviating road that leads direct to the goal of our desire, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left to curry favour with ignorance or to secure place and power at the cost of principle — to do, in brief, all that men may to educate and organize the working-class against the day when the germ of destruction inherent in the capitalist mode of production, shall have rotted the heart of capitalism itself and broken down the social superstructure erected upon it, to the end that they may the more readily and surely enter into their heritage.

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