Socialist Studies Socialist Studies

SOCIALIST STUDIES

NO.17

CONTENTS INCLUDE:

LABOUR'S SOUL SEARCHING

MARX AND RECESSIONS

ENGELS, THE MAN & HIS CONTRIBUTION

ORIGIN OF THE FAMILY,PRIVATE PROPERTY & THE STATE

HARDY'S OBITUARY

LABOUR'S SOUL SEARCHING

As Labour grooms itself for government, its leading 'thinkers' are trying to abandon any pretence of being a Socialist party. Replacing the anti-socialist Clause 4 of their constitution and distancing themselves from many Labour financing unions, is central to this objective. Tony Benn and the capitalist 'left' may believe in Clause 4 passionately, but it has nothing to do with Socialism or the interests of the working class.

Take that first phrase: "to secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof. If the workers obtain the full fruits of their industry, what is left for those incapable of work, the old, the infirm, the young etc. What is left for the doctors, nurses etc. whose industry is useful, but what are its fruits'? There can be no "equitable distribution" of wealth in capitalism, based as it is on private property, and where profit is the motive behind production.

The next passage brings in the absurd idea of "common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange". The Labour Party's "common ownership" has always been taken to mean nationalisation, which is just state capitalism. To talk of common ownership of the means of exchange (money) is nonsense. The mere existence of money indicates that goods are private property, produced for exchange and not owned in common. In Socialism there will be real common ownership of the means of production and distribution, and consequently absolutely no need for money, since the goods produced will be inevitably be owned in common by the whole of society.

As Neil Kinnock said (1994 Conference): as no-one believed in Clause 4, it should be abandoned, (and has been), but what can Labour put in its place? Here are some of their big ideas:

'We stand far the Socialist principle that the first duty of Government is to care for the needs of the poor' (Gordon Brown, 27th September 1993).

In Socialist society there will be no rich or poor, nor a government to "care" for them. Individual members of Socialist society will have social equality with each other, there will be no privileged or under privileged groups. Every government's first duty is to represent the national capitalists, put profits first and people last Labour did this in the past and will again, if elected.

"Full employment is our biggest idea. Never again should we go into an election without the demand for full employment". (John Edmunds, leader of GMB ATU, Conference 1994).

This is Utopian and unrealistic; capitalism cannot deliver full employment on a permanent basis. (See article on Marx & Recession in this issue). Asking workers to vote for the continuation of their exploitation under the guise of "full employment", is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. The employment of workers makes the employers richer. Employers use workers to make profit not to provide jobs or out of kindness. The capitalists would love to have full employment, because this would mean the maximum capacity for profit. In Socialist society on the other hand, there will be no employers or employees because the common ownership of society's wealth producing apparatus will not give rise to these classes. Exploitation will be impossible

"Exploitation at the workplace is immoral. The Labour Party will make it illegal" (John Prescott, Deputy Leader, Conference 1994)

Will the Labour Party really abolish the wages system? We think not; this pledge came in the discussion of a national minimum wage. To Labour, exploitation only exists if wages are abysmally low. They do not recognise the fact that all wage labour is exploited labour. The capitalist system will survive, and thrive even if some of its worst excesses like sweatshops are legislated against. But whether workers are well paid or not, it remains a system based on exploitation - the extraction of unpaid labour from all who have to sell their labour power in order to live.

"The question now isn't 'full employment or not?', but 'employment under what conditions and for whom?'.... Policies aimed at an equitable distribution of paid work mark the direction in which to go". ( Anthony Giddens, Agenda Change, New Statesman & Society, 7th October 1994.).

Giddens succeeds in making "paidwork" (exploitation) seem a rare privilege: everyone should have their fair share of it! The only point clear is that Blair's 'new' Labour wants to abandon the unions' demand for full employment. Like Blair, Giddens waffles about "revival of family structures and ... civic renewal", echoing the latest American fad, communitarianism. The emphasis is on family, neighbourhood and community; on duty and responsibility. To listen to Blair speak of combining rights and responsibilities reminds us of the moralising of Guild Socialists like G.D.H. Cole.

"The Guild method implies the existence...of an attitude of responsible acceptance of the obligation to put the public interest first. Such an attitude can be expected...only in a society... conscious that rights and duties go together" (Quoted in Workers' Control, Eirene White MP, 1950).

Blair's talk of "the community", like the Tories' emphasis on "the nation", excludes the concept of class. Such talk is designed to persuade us that there is unity not division; that there should be common interests, a partnership between employers and employed. In fact there are opposing class interests. Those who buy labour power and those who sell it cannot be in partnership.

Socialists recognise this ugly reality. Labour would plaster the scarred face of capitalism with communitarian make up, while Blair will piously preach to the working class about responsibility and duty. The duty of the workers to keep providing profits for the capitalists and their responsibility to the system that exploits them. To Labour supporters we point out that you cannot change the nature of the system by re-labelling it, or by fancy sounding reforms. You can only get rid of capitalism's problems by abolishing their root cause- the class system.

Only when this class division is recognised and ended will it make sense to talk of a real community. The aim should not be the will o' the wisp of 'full employment', but an end to all employment, all exploitation. It is high time for workers to abandon such futile and muddled attempts to reform capitalism and instead to join us in working to end the class system and establish a new society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of producing and distributing wealth "by and in the interest of the whole community".

MARX & RECESSIONS

No problem in economics has occupied more of the time of the pundits than crises and their causes- and all quite fruitlessly. Most of them, misled by the sort of complaint shopkeepers make that 'there's no money about', have swallowed the nonsense that crises take place because there are not enough people possessing money to buy all the goods that have been produced. Actually the quantity of notes and coins in circulation now is several hundred millions of pounds more than it was at the start of the last recession, and about 40 times what it was in 1938.

Karl Marx had the right idea when he showed that from time to time, capitalists, who have come into possession of money by selling commodities and who could therefore immediately use the money to buy other commodities, decide not to do so:

"No-one is forthwith bound to purchase, because he has just sold... If the split between the sale and the purchase becomes too pronounced (it) asserts itselfby producing a crisis"

(Capital Vol. 1, Page 128 Kerr edition).

Capitalists act in this way because, periodically, capitalism operates to cause some industries to produce more than can be absorbed in their particular market, at prices which will yield a profit to investors. They then cut production and stand workers off; with consequent depressing effect on other industries.

It was not a simple and speedy matter for Marx and his colleague Engels to arrive at an understanding of the problem. In their early days, before they had completed their analysis of the capitalist system, they put forward theories which they later abandoned when they found that the theories did not fit the facts.

For example. Engels in his Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 said that crises "usually recur once in five years" and "the intensity of the crisis increases with each repetition". Also Marx and Engels, in 1848 in The Communist Manifesto said that crises "by their periodical return put on its trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society' , and Marx in Wage Labour and Capital asserted that crises "become at once more frequent and more violent".

If this view were correct, that crises were happening every five years in the 1840s and were becoming more frequent and more violent, then it is obvious that capitalism would long ago have lapsed into "permanent and chronic depression", and would have fallen into chaos. There are indeed some self deceiving individuals who are hopefully waiting for it to happen now.

The conclusion that Marx did eventually settle on was that crises happen about every ten years. (See Capital Vol 1 Page 699 Kerr edition). He had dropped the mistaken idea that crises became ever more frequent and violent. He also stated in Theories of Surplus Value: "There are no permanent crises".

After the death of Marx in 1883, Engels, in 1886, briefly toyed with the theory that British capitalism had lapsed into "permanent and chronic depression". He had been baffled by the seemingly endless 'great depression'. When recovery did come, as it always does, Engels dropped this theory and reverted to Marx's ten year cycle.

Marx and Engels set themselves the task of discovering the economic laws of capitalism both in respect of recessions and other problems, and then of presenting their findings to the workers, openly and in full. The Socialist Party of Great Britain at its formation in 1904 took the same line and undertook to present "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

There were others, including some who claimed to be marxists, who took a different view. Thus Lenin in his Left Wing Communism urged his fellow members of the communist parties to be prepared to use any means to get into the trade unions and carry on their work in them:- "If need be- to resort to all sorts of devices, manoeuvres and illegal methods, to evasion and subterfuge". Among the methods they used in Britain was falsifying trade union ballots.

In a different way the Clapham based Socialist Party also goes in for misrepresentation of the facts; against the evidence they maintain that the workers get worse and worse off, ("The Poor get Poorer"), and when the workers succeed by their trade union organisation in getting some improvement in their conditions, the Socialist Party is opposed to publishing the facts because, they say, that would be "to paint capitalism in favourable colours". (See Socialist Studies No.4, Are the Rich Getting Richer and the Poor Poorer?).

In August 1992, the Clapham organisation issued a document headed The Socialist Party - Education Series- No.2: Marxian Theories of Economic Crises. In it they make the following statement:

"Britain has endured three particularly severe recessions: the great recession of the 1880s, the stump of the 1930s, and the more recent recession of the 1980s".

In the first three quarters of the nineteenth century the two relevant factors for comparing one crisis with others were, the extent to which production fell (with its consequent creation of unemployment) and the fall of wages. Probably the most severe of all crises was that of 1847 when production fell by about 33 per cent, and wages fell heavily. The 1847 crisis is ignored in the above mentioned document.

Later on, with the spread of trade unions, it became normal for wages not to fall in depressions and indeed to rise somewhat. That happened in the great depression of the 1880s, in the 1930s depression and in that of the 1980s. Production fell by 16 per cent in the 1930s crisis, which was quite severe. In the 1980s it fell by only a moderate 9 per cent, and average real wages not only did not fall, but went up in every year from 1979 right through the 1980s by a total of 25 per cent. It is hard to justify describing that recession as "particularly severe". In the great depression of 1875 - 1895 production fell by only 2 per cent, but there was an abnormally long period of stagnation.

The Socialist Party's document rejects Marx's correct explanation of crises, that they occur when capitalists could buy the commodities in the market, but choose not to do so. Instead the Socialist Party offers the "overall shortage of purchasing power" theory:

"In a capitalist crisis there is an over production of commodities for market sale, so there will already be large stock-piles of commodities that no-one can buy" (Our emphasis)

This anti Marxist view is typical of that organisation.

ENGELS, THE MAN & HIS CONTRIBUTION

Friedrich Engels was born in Barmen Germany in 1820, and died in London in August 1895. He was, with Karl Marx, the co-founder of what is now known as scientific Socialism. That is a concept of a new society based upon the common ownership of society's wealth and its democratic control by society; a society where wealth is produced for people to use and enjoy as opposed to the existing society of capitalism where the motive behind production is the realisation of profit. The SPGB as a party agrees with the concept of Socialism as defined by Marx and Engels in their works. Scientific socialism, unlike earlier concepts is based upon a real basis of knowledge about the historical way in which society has developed. It is not just a vague wish for something better in the future, which has no doubt permeated society through the ages.

Engels was a friend of Marx for about 40 years; he supported him for a number of years in order for him to carry on the necessary study required for Capital. Engels was co-author of The Communist Manifesto with Marx, and he completed Volumes 2 and 3 of Capital after Marx's death in 1883.

He also made his own contributions from which we can benefit including The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, The Peasant War in Germany, Anti Duhring (from which came Socialism Utopian and Scientific, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, The Housing Question, Fuerbach. He also wrote voluminous letters to Marx and others which shed light on his views. Engels went to his father's firm in Manchester in 1842. Whilst he was in England the young Engels had gathered the material for his book on the Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, a remarkable feat for someone of 24-5.

The first meeting between Marx and Engels in Germany had according to Gustav Mayer, been a cool one as Marx was suspicious of intellectuals. Their second meeting in Paris in 1844 was entirely different. According to Engels they were in "complete agreement in all theoretical areas", and they had some similarities in their backgrounds. They were both literary & poetic, interested in religious issues, and matters juridical and political. From this Paris meeting onwards Marx and Engels remained life long friends, and more importantly to us, spurred each other on to fantastic achievements in socialist theory.

The Communist League asked Marx and Engels to prepare a document stating the aims of the organisation. This became known as The Communist Manifesto published in 1848, and probably the best known piece of socialist propaganda in the world. Engels certainly had a hand in this.

From 1854 to 1870 Engels went back to Manchester to work as a clerk in his father's firm During this period he did not see Marx very often, but they corresponded almost daily. Engels largely supported Marx, who had been ruined and exiled in Germany, although at this stage Engels himself was not a wealthy man, and was living on a salary. He knew, quite apart from friendship, that Marx was working on his Critique of Political Economy, and more importantly on Capital, and that the work had to be done to put socialist theory on a real basis, as opposed to one of wishful thinking. When Engels father died in 1860, he became a partner in the business and his income increased, and his support for Marx. In 1870 he sold up and moved to London to be closer to Marx. He was involved with the First International taking a leading role in the disputes with the anarchist Bakunin. In 1878 he wrote the brilliant Anti Duhring. Some chapters of this book were adapted and published as Socialism Utopian and Scientific, alter the Manifesto and Capital, the most well known socialist work.

After Marx's death in 1883 Engels took care of his work, arranging new editions and writing prefaces for them, and defending Marx from various attacks. He was charged with the completion of Capital Volumes 2 and 3. A mighty work in itself. Apart from this he was writing his own stuff including many letters to members of the German Social Democratic Party, like Wilhelm Liebknecht, Bebel, and Bernstein.

In 1884 Engels published his Origin of the Family, which was based on Lewis Henry Morgan's Ancient Society, and among other things showed the importance of private property in the development of the family and the state. It also extended dialectical materialism to pre history, and introduced the idea of primitive communism. Engels was the first to acknowledge his debt to Morgan, who certainly was not a socialist.

Engels' work on Capital has never been fully appraised. Engels was one of the few who could read Marx's writing, and he prepared Volumes 2 and 3 for publication using the notes and outlines left by Marx. Before his death Marx had indicated to his daughter Eleanor that Engels was to finish off Capital in any way he thought fit if he, Marx, were to die before its completion.

Engels said of Marx: 'I could never have achieved what Marx did. Marx stood higher, saw farther, and had a broader and quicker grasp of a situation than all the rest of us. Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented.' (From Fuerbach) That said Engels was indeed very talented and was in fact the leading partner in many respects. He was the more worldly and practical, and certainly more fluent in writing, and the more outgoing of the two. His knowledge of business and commerce certainly helped Marx the theorist to learn what actually went on in the manufacture and circulation of commodities.

In a letter to Engels in November 1866 Marx wrote: "Without you I could not have completed the book" (Capital)", and I assure you that it has always been a load upon my conscience to think that you, chiefly for my sake, were wasting your brilliant powers in business routine and had perforce to share all my petites miseres into the bargain", Marx also valued Engels' opinion very highly. In a letter of 22nd June 1867 he wrote to Engels (of Capital): "That you are satisfied so far, is more important to me than anything the whole of the rest of the world may say about the book."

ORIGIN OF THE FAMILY, PRIVATE PROPERTY & THE STATE

Both Marx and Engels had a wide range of interest in the natural and social sciences. However it was neither disinterested nor academic. It had a purpose. Knowledge was to assist in revolutionary Socialist action. Engels' book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, published in 1884, has to be seen in this light. Although it was a study of pre history and social anthropology, it amounted to a political text. It was also an applied example of the materialist conception of history. This had been sketched out in Marx's Critique of Political Economy:

"In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness."

(Page 20, Lawrence and Wishart edition 1971)

In preparing the book for publication Engels used copious notes by Marx on his study of Lewis H. Morgan's Ancient Society These notes were to be published later as Marx's Ethnological notebooks Both Marx and Engels held Morgan in high regard. Not only was he a brilliant field anthropologist but "in his own way..... discovered afresh in America the materialist conception of history by Marx 40 years ago". ( Origin, page 71, Lawrence and Wishart).

So why is The Origin important for Socialists today? Engels' account of the origins of the family, private property and the state has never been bettered, but his account of social evolution needs to be defended from his anti-socialist critics. There have been new facts and in the fourth Preface to his book Engels acknowledges this. But the sustained assault upon Engels both by professional anthropologists and others has been political. Engels' account is a threat to their own specious theories and the capitalist system they defend. As for the feminists who now seem to dominate anthropological departments, they either dislike Engels as a man, or want to replace the class struggle with a gender struggle as the motor force of human history.

Second, Engels demonstrates by reference to Morgan's study of the Iroquois and other anthropological evidence at hand, how class societies have not been eternal features of human patterns of living. This was a powerful empirical refutation of both creation theory held by the theologians and the belief held by Adam Smith and others that private property and trade were constant features of human history.

Third, Engels showed that production and reproduction of human existence is the central pivot around which human society has evolved. As he explained:

"The determining factor in history is, in the last resort, the production and reproduction of immediate life... On the one hand the production of the means of subsistence, of food, clothing and shelter of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social institutions under which men of a definite epoch and definite country live are conditioned by both kinds of production..." (Page71 loc. cit).

Fourth Engels highlighted the broad stages which have taken place in human history. The first chapter of the book deals with stages of prehistoric culture and is sub-divided into savagery, barbarism and civilisation. The second chapter deals with different types of family. The third deals with the Iroquois gens or clan. The fourth, fifth and sixth deal with the Greek gens, the rise of the Athenian state, and the gens and the state in Rome. The seventh, the gens among the Celts and Germans. The ninth the formation of the state among the Germans. Finally the tenth concludes with an outline of Barbarism and Civilisation.

Unlike Rousseau, Engels did not have some romantic attachment to a lost 'Golden Age'. Neither did he see 'rational progress' with the development of civilisation:

"..civilisation achieved things of which gentile society was not even remotely capable. But it achieved them by setting in motion the lowest instincts and passions in man and developing them at the expense of his other abilities. From its first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilisation; wealth and again wealth and once more wealth, wealth, not of society but of the single scurvy individual, here was its one and final aim." (Page 235).

Engels chose the title of his book carefully. There is an interlocking relationship between the form of the family and the development of private property, just as there is with private property and the development of the state. Private property was placed in a historical context and shown to have developed after the existence of common ownership and primitive communism. Correspondingly, the family was not fixed but changed with successive social systems And, contra the anarchists, the state evolved from private property ownership and the need to protect a ruling classes' wealth

Engels book highlights the excitement of the Socialist project. The Origin brings to our attention an awareness of where as a species we have come from, the social changes which have taken place, where we are now and where we want to go to. If private property societies had origins then they also have ends. This will apply to capitalism as it has done to slavery and to feudalism. The end of capitalism will not happen automatically but requires conscious political action by a knowing and determined working class. Engels' Origin helps us in this struggle.

TOLPUDDLE RALLY 1995

On 16th July, 14 members and friends made the trip to Dorset for the Tolpuddle Rally, and set up a literature stall. We distributed 500 copies of a special leaflet written on the limitations of trade union activity whilst stressing the need for the unions to resist the worst features of the rapacious capitalist system. We also distributed several hundred leaflets introducing the Party and sold #26.12 of other party literature. Many people came to the stall wanting to know more about us, including a number who were disenchanted with the 'new' Labour Party under Mr. Blair An enjoyable day was marred only by Labour Party and union speeches, by David Blunkett and Bill Morris amongst others

EDGAR RICHARD HARDCASTLE OBITUARY ("HARDY")

Comrade Edgar Richard Hardcastle (Hardy) died at the age of 96 in June after a short illness. He joined the staff of the Union of Postal Workers (UPW) in 1926 on graduating from the London School of Economics. He remained with the union for 38 years, retiring at the age of 70, long past the Union's normal retirement age. This special privilege was given to him because of his exceptional ability in completely re-designing and re-organising the Union's research department to the point where it became the model for trade unions throughout Europe. Lord Geddes, Ron Smith and Tom Jackson are but a few of the General Secretaries he served under.

His reputation long survived his retirement, and he became a bit of a legend, his advice being constantly sought and acted on. He was a very popular figure at the Union's annual conference, being a very gifted speaker with an immense sense of humour. On the last occasion when he attended the annual conference he was given a standing ovation.

Many a debt is owed to Hardy from Labour M. P. s and union leaders for his tireless energy in guiding their research in their particular fields - his advice was given unstintingly. He was one of those rare persons with a great sense of discretion and integrity. He served the Union well, and even 30 years after his retirement, this is evident in the affection in which his name is still held.

The remainder of Hardy's life was largely taken up with work in the field of Socialist theory. He joined the old Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1920 having been a conscientious objector and imprisoned during the latter part of the 1914-1918 War. Soon he was elected to the editorial committee of the Socialist Standard, the body responsible for the production of the monthly journal. He remained on that committee for nearly 50 years. In addition he was the intellectual power behind the pamphlets committee, and most of the old SPGB's publications between the wars, and after were written by him.

He was a brilliant lecturer with a prodigious knowledge of Marxism He had the art of reducing very complicated arguments into easily understood propositions. He made it appear easy when it was not. It was the result of his long painstaking research and his meticulous concern for accuracy. The main thrust of his work was to relate Marx's theories of the 19th century to the conditions of modern capitalism; eg. the exchange and trading relations, inflation, banking, mortgage and interest rates, and unemployment. He did manage to complete such a series under the general title of "Questions of the Day", but he would not permit any of the articles to be published under his name, instead they were published by ourselves, the re-constituted Socialist Party of Great Britain of Ashbourne Court.

Again simplicity was the dominant theme; involved and obscure language was reduced to simple well structured English, and always took into account the intellectual needs of the reader. His services as a speaker and debater were continually sought, addresses to colleges and universities, trade unions, summer schools and political opponents, made little ofhis spare time. In the Party he was class tutor to generations of budding writers and speakers. Of all his activities he loved debating with opponents of all kinds. One of his last encounters was with Lady Olga Maitland a few years ago. He considered her to be a very intelligent woman - praise indeed for an opponent.

Possibly the highlight of his debating career was his historic debate with the organisation Federal Union in May 1940. This was held at the Conway Hall, Holbom, in the heart of war time London; an unusual event in itself. 400 people attended. Federal Union were then advocating a united states of Europe as a means to prevent war and to obliterate National sentiment. To some extent they anticipated the present debates on the European Community. Federal Union had a number of influential supporters, among them Lord Lothian, Professor Joad and Lord Beveridge. Their representative on this occasion was Mrs. Barbara Wooton; she was later elevated to the House of Lords under the title Baroness Wooton, (she is now deceased). The debate was run on formal classical tines with speeches and rebuttals. We are fortunate in having a verbatim transcript of the whole proceedings which was reproduced in pamphlet form, and thus students will be able to study Hardy's debating technique. The cut and thrust of political debate was meat and drink to Hardy, and he showed time and time again that you can generate the same interest in discussing political ideas as you can in any other form of activity.

His special field was in the application of Marx's theories to current inflation. He completely debunked all the fallacious theories held by most conventional economists about the cause of rising prices. In answer to the claim that price increases were due to wage increases, he pointed out that wages themselves were prices thus making a nonsense of this absurd claim.

Years earlier he and his life long friend Comrade Raspbridge who died late in 1994, (BS in the Socialist Standard articles in the 1920s and 1930s), had completely demolished the nonsense advocated by John Maynard Keynes and supported by the Macmillan Report, about the banks creating credit. Raspbridge's masterly analysis is given in a number of articles in the 1935 Socialist Standards. With the re-emergence in recent years of this untenable theory, Hardy once again exposed the unsound reasoning which lay behind it.

Hardy's father had been one of the founding members of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. As a man, Hardy was a gentle person with infinite patience and tolerance. He was in fact the exact opposite of what passes these days as a "Revolutionary". He will be sorely missed, but his influence and inspiration will certainly live on.

NEW PUBLICATION

The fact sheets we used for our 1986 to 87 Lecture Series have been collated and form what might be termed a Socialist's Handbook. It contains 79 different quotations from Socialist publications and those of our opponents. It makes interesting reading.

Price 70p includes postage. Please send your order with stamps, postal order or cheque to:

The Socialist Party of Great Britain

THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN

OBJECT

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:

1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce, and those who produce but do not possess.

3. That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.

5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.

8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.