Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Some Socialist Party! (1920)

From the March 1920 issue of the Socialist Standard

The following is an extract taken from an Ealing newspaper, "The Gazette," of January 24th, 1920:
The N.S.P. would not, as Lenin would, wipe out the Bourgeois or Middle Classes, in Ealing and elsewhere. It would try to teach them that social service is the highest service, . . .
We need only take its title to prove how ridiculous is the claim of the N.S.P. to be a Socialist organisation. Socialists recognise that the class struggle exists in various forms in every part of the civilised world. The exploitation of the workers is a fact whether they be white, black, brown, yellow—or green, as someone with a strong vein of sarcastic humour has suggested. Therefore the Socialist can recognise no NATIONAL differences, but must work steadily for the INTERNATIONAL emancipation of the working class.

The N.S.P. state that they have no intention of wiping out the "Bourgeois or Middle Class." Presumably in order to lay claim to the title of Socialist, one must possess at least a rudimentary knowledge of Socialist economics. Yet here is an organisation terming itself a Socialist party, that confesses to an utter ignorance of Socialist principles in the very statement by which it hopes to gain adherents.

It is obvious that if a knowledge of Socialism is lacking, the aims for which an organisation professes to strive must also be lacking of any sound and tangible foundation.

It should be quite easily understood that, under a system of society based upon the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the whole community, for and in the interest of the whole of the people, classes will automatically cease to exist, a fact which the so called Socialists of the N.S.P. have evidently failed to grasp.

The peculiar "Socialism" which is propagated by the N.S.P. and similar organisations, is naturally misleading to the workers who are ignorant of the principles of Socialism, and also confusing to the few who have awakened to the fact of their exploitation and are seeking the only remedy for their misery. In most cases organisations of this type are formed for the express purpose of confusing the minds of the masses, and turning them from their only means of emancipation—Socialism. They are told by glib, plausible orators that the workers' interests are really one with the interests of their exploiters the bourgeoisie, and that the antagonism which is felt toward the capitalists is one of the causes of the constant friction. If love could be fostered in the hearts of both workers and employers, peace on earth would be assured. It reminds me of the story of the lion lying down quietly with the lamb—the lamb inside the lion ! Such nonsense brought forward by the N.S.P. points to an utter ignorance of social conditions. The defects of the present system are not due to the "selfishness" or "wickedness" of one class, or the "antagonism" of the other. These things are simply the direct results of a system rotten to the core. Therefore it should be obvious to everybody that if the present system be abolished and another put in its place, a system formed for the benefit of the whole of society, instead of for a favoured few, as is that existing to-day, to the detriment of the rest of society, the effects of a defective society, i.e., "selfishness," "wickedness," "class antagonism," etc., will pass away.

Since Socialism is the only solution to the working-class "problem" the working class must make an effort to understand the means whereby such a system of society can be brought about. Practically the whole political power lies in the hands of the working class. By voting the capitalist candidates into Parliament year after year the workers are giving their exploiters the opportunity to perpetuate this system of wage-slavery. When the former have become conscious of their slave position, and have discovered that Socialism is the only remedy for their ills, they will vote a Socialist majority into Parliament. In this way will the capitalists be shorn of the power (the Army, Navy, and Police) which enables them to protect their selfish interests.

The hope of the workers lies in the study of this matter. The principles and means of attaining Socialism must become so firmly rooted in their minds that 'all the plausible vapourings of the N.S.P. and like organisations, falling upon enlightened hearers, will fail to have the effect these misleaders desire.
J. C.

1 comment:

Imposs1904 said...

The National Socialist Party was the minority - led by Hyndman - who left the British Socialist Party in 1916 over the issue of the war.

Hat tip to ALB for originally scanning this in.