Saturday, February 27, 2016

Quote of the Day

'The Socialist Party never asserted that Socialist Society would result from the actions of parliamentary delegates alone. It is completely illogical to imagine that Socialist understanding could grow to the point of political victory without simultaneously resulting in a growth of understanding and hence organisation to prepare for the taking over of industry. The Socialist Party in fact knows well that organisation is necessary for the running of industry in the new-born Socialist society. It holds also that a sizeable spread of political clear-sightedness will lead to the growth of such organisations, for when many workers want Socialism they will begin to organise and plan for the rebuilding of society prior to the capture of political power. We in fact stand for the principled, democratic organisation of class-conscious workers in contrast to the Industrial Unionist concept of industrial bodies built up upon the “open-house” principle.

For the present, however, Socialists have to act and co-operate with a majority of non-socialist fellow unionists. Socialist unionists will certainly oppose unsound actions and theories wherever these are found in the unions but we do not support the view that if the present unions were smashed then “genuine working class unions would arise in their place”—yet another industrial myth. The faults of the present-day unions result from the lack of understanding of their members and until their experiences lead them to realise the limitations of the day-to-day struggle, until they realise that within the framework of capitalism they cannot rise above their basic status as victims of the caprices of the world market these faults remain.'

Melvin Harris
May 1966 issue of the Socialist Standard

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