Sunday, June 9, 2024

Letter: Part of the struggle (1996)

Letter to the Editors from the June 1996 issue of the Socialist Standard

Dear Editors,

To me Colin Skelly in his letter to the April edition of the Socialist Standard reveals an almost religious zeal in his description of his efforts to resist the "temptation" to join a rally protesting about the proposed Newbury Bypass. I wonder, does he think he may have been in some way tainted by reformism had he succumbed to this "temptation”?

Surely, we are all involved in the class struggle (I know I am and have been for most of my life) whether we like it or not. Under this senseless and barbaric system of society we all have to compromise our principles every day of our lives and in fact those of us who still have a job may sometimes be faced with the prospect of industrial action. So tell me, Colin, would you avoid the "temptation” to strike along with your fellow workers for higher pay or better conditions? Would you honestly remain alone in the factory or office muttering "reformism" to yourself?

If we spent all our lives trying to avoid being involved in achieving “small, meaningless actions" then we truly risk becoming an elite and we also miss the opportunity of experiencing solidarity and comradeship with other workers. But what we most miss out on is the chance to tell other people about what we believe and why we think reformist action will not solve the problem.

To me being a Socialist means being a part of the struggle but without any illusions. If we do choose on occasion to unite with others against capitalism then we learn and grow as people. The end of capitalism is surely not some deadline that we must all sit down and wait for! Do you really believe that, Colin? Somehow that notion makes me feel very uncomfortable.
Heather Ball, 
Norwich, Norfolk

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