Go fight you fools, tear up the earth with strife,
And spill each others’ guts upon the field.
Serve unto death the men you served in life,
So that their great dominions may not yield.
Stand by the flag the lie that still allures, Lay down your lives for lands you do not own, And give unto a war that is not yours Its gory tithe of mangled flesh and bone.
But whether in the fray you fall or kill It is not yours to question why or where. You see those tiny crosses on yon hill? It took all those to make one millionaire.
It was for him the seas of blood were shed, That fields were razed and cities lit the sky, That he might come to chortle o’er the dead – The condor Thing for whom the millions die!
The bugle screams, the cannons cease to roar. “Enough! Enough! God give us peace again.” The rats, the maggots and the lords of war Are fat to bursting from their meal of men.
So stagger back, you stupid dupes who’ve “won”, Back to your stricken towns to toil anew, For there your dismal tasks are still undone And grim Starvation gropes again for you.
What matters now your flag, your race, the skill Of scattered legions – what has been the gain? Once more beneath the lash you must distil Your lives to glut a glory wrought of pain.
In peace they starve you to your loathsome toil, In war they drive you to the teeth of death: And, when your life-blood soaks into the soil, They give you lies to choke your dying breath.
So they will smite your blind eyes until you see, And lash your naked backs until you know That wasted blood can never set you free From fettered thraldom to the common foe.
Then you will find that “nation” is a name And boundaries are things that don’t exist: That Labour’s bondage, world-wide, is the same, And ONE the enemy it must resist.
Ralph Chaplin, 1914
Object and Declaration of Principles
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 (ie 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 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.