to divert great energy from her social reconstruction in face of the world war-mentality and the imminent danger of attack from Imperialist powers.
What Fascism Means
Parallel with the race towards an international conflagration proceeds the growth of Fascism in all Capitalist countries, our own not excluded. Fascism is Reaction writ large. It is Capitalism grown desperate. It is a forcible attempt to stabilise the existing system of class relationships. It throws off the democratic mask of capital's dictatorship for the purpose of smashing every organised opposition to Capitalism within its national frontiers. It takes the form of counter-revolution, waging civil war, if it considers the need exists, against the working class, crushing all progressive forces, leading mankind back to barbarism. Wherever it has triumphed it has shattered all working-class organisations--political parties, Trade Unions, Co-operative Societies--destroyed liberty, reduced men and women to abject slavery, and in not one case has it solved one economic or social problem--save the problem of how to crush Freedom.
It is growing rapidly in our midst, not in the number of people wearing Black Shirts, but in the minds and actions of the ruling classes and of the Government itself. Big sections of the reactionary press have become the blatant propaganda sheets of Fascism. The police forces are being rapidly militarised and placed in the hands of "property-class conscious" leaders. The air force is being made into a "class-proof" military are. A new "Defense Force" is being organised to maintain civil "peace."
The "National" Government is openly pursuing the reorganisation of Agriculture on a "Corporate State" basis, guaranteeing interest and profit to the private owners at the expense of the farm workers and the consumers. In Iron and Steel, in Cotton, in Mining, in Transport the same tendency can be seen. Already there is talk in Government circles of a "bloodless revolution."
The Will to Power
It may be that we are within measurable distance of the last opportunity for the people of Britian to use their democratic rights, won by generations of struggle, to prevent the triumph of the forces of reaction and Imperialist was. To ensure that the workers shall be enabled to declare their views freely at
the polls and that they shall choose rightly are among the most decisive, fateful issues before the people of this country.
Nor is it a question of merely waiting to vote when the election comes. True Democracy can only be defended and made effective provided the whole working-class movement, and above all its mass organisations, the Labor Party, the Trade Unions, the Co-operative Movement, come together in a great active and battling alliance prepared to exercie their mighty power against the forces of reaction. Only day-to-day activity against every encraochment of Reaction in all its forms can pave the way to securing a democratic triumph for Socialism. And on that triumph depends all that the workers most dearly prize. The Will to Power must be made alive.
Events in Europe have shown that a poicy of reformism in the Trade Union and Socialist Movements has not availed to stem the tide of Fascism. It has indeed led to a weakening of the workers' forces and paved he way to disaster. Capitalism to-day finds its ultimate strength in the control of the Sate machine, the armed forced and the police. That strength is exerted increasingly to maintain power over economic processes, education and propaganda. From this control of education and propaganda arises ignorance of the real economic and political issues confronting the world, particuraly among the so-called middle classes.
A Class Philosophy
On Socialists within the mass movements lies a heavy responsibility. On them falls the duty of constant propaganda and agitation to arouse a determination in rank and file and leaders alike to tuen their backs on the hope of "making Capitalism more human." A belief in the necessity for an economic revolution, a determination to focus the clamant needs of the unemployed and the employed on this objective, a readiness to bring the injustices suffered by the masses out into the public gaze, the encouragement of a fighting and class spirit within the Trade Unions, the securing of a Socialist outlook withing the Co-operative Movement, so that its organisation for distribution of immediately consumable goods may be linked to the Socialist Plan, and the acceptane by the Political Party of the fact that the method of evolutionary gradualism is of no avail--these are the essentials if the Will to Power is to be made alive. The goal is Socialism. The time is short.
Especially is it necessary for Socialists within the Trade Union Movement to concentrate the attention of their comrades on the need for a recognition that the demands for better wages, shorter hours, security and fair conditions cannot be
permanently secured by the traditional method of wage negotiation, even when backed by the strike, in the present declining stage of Capitalism. Nothing but the united struggle of the workers for the trasnfer to the community of the means of life now privately owned and controlled will suffice to preserve the workers from the degradation of their standards and their enslavement by a Fascist capitalist dictatorship.
The adoption of this class philosophy by the Trade Union Movement should find expression in organised demands and pressure for overdue reductions of hours, restoration of wage cuts, improvement of conditions, designed to build up a mass resistence in the Trade Unions to Capitalism. To facilitate the creation of this spirit of resistance Socialists within the Trade Unions shoulc work for the development and reorganisation of the Trade Union Movement. The workers should be organised at the point of production; workshop and factory committees should be built up; and Craft replaced by Industrial Unions, or, where circumstances so determine, by General Unions departmentalised on the basis of industry.
This reorganisation is also essential so that the demands for Workers' Control in Industry may be made effective--a demand which a Socialist Government when socialising industries or services must take immediate steps to meet and to satisfy. The socialisation of the means of production cannot in fact be a reality unless accompanied by workers' control of industry.
Socialism or Capitalism--that is the issue. The question the workers must answer is not "Do you like the 'National' Government?" but, "Do you want to end that system called Capitalism which has bred and is breeding poverty, unemployment and war, and to replace it with that economic and social order called Socialism, which sets at its purpose the full satisfaction of human needs, true Freedom and Peace?" There is no half-way house.
The simplest needs of the workers--food, shelter, warmth, work, shorter hours of labour, security, freedom, peace--can be secured only by coming of Socialism. Socialism means the complete transformation of the economic and social foundations of society. It replaces private ownership by social ownership, and production for private profit by production for use to the gain of all. When the community owns the means of production then and then only will the class struggle be ended, the peace of the world realised and war abolished.
To achieve this goal we must, as an essential step, secure in this country a Socialist Government with Power, and behind
it a class-conscious and determined working-class Movement. That is the great task upon which every effort must be concentrated.
We Must Have Socialism!
If we want to increase our communal wealth by enabling full use to be made of the productive capacity of Mines, Factories and Fields, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
To enable each person to have a fair and equal opportuniy of making his full contribution to the advancement of life, and to obtain his fair share of wealth, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
To enable all to work reasonable hours under the best possible conditions, rather than some to work long hours and others not at all, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
To see that the State accepts the responsibility of providing an opportunity for everyone to render useful service and of maintaining in decency and comfort all those who are not fit to work, through age or illness, or for whom no opportunity of work is provided, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
If we are to ensure to every family the privacy and comfort of a real home of its own and full opportunity to enjoy life freely after work is done, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
So that society as a whole shall be responsible for the health, well-being and education of its people, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
In order to stop for ever the explotation of the workers by the property-owning class and the financiers, by ending the private ownership and control of the land and all other means of production and of all those financial insitutions necessary for the maintanance of a highly organised industrial life, WE MUST HAVE SOCIALISM.
Make Democracy Real
In the attainment of this end the workers by hand and by brain must obtain power in the House of Commons by the election of a Socialist majority at the polls, with a clear mandate
to carry through a programme of Socialism. Mere reform of the Capitalist system will only bring more chaos.
There must be chosen a Government of Ministers pledged and determined to intorduce Socialist measures without delay.
Then will come the time when the Government will experiance strenuous and undemocratic opposition by vested interests of all kinds, which must be firmly set aside. The will of the people must prevail.
Nor is it enough to wait until obstruction has begun its deadly work. The House of Lords is a menace to democracy, a bulwark of Privilege, a certain opponent of Socialism. No Government, determined to effect the economic changes so urgently needed, should enter upon its task unless its mandate to sweep this anarchronism away can be put into effective operation the movement the Government and the Socialist majority in the House of Commons so determine.
The Socialist Government must also hvae received authority from the people at the election to take all necessary steps, emergency, administraive and legislative, during the first few months of power to maintain its democratic authority and to carry through the Will of the People. Whether by the utilisation of Emergency Powers or in any other way the Socialist Government must secure undisputed control over the vital weapons of economic power. That is an essential prelude to the socialisation of industry and its planning.
But the programme of a Socialist Government must be of a twofold character. It must bring succour to the wrecks of Capitalism and make that assistance sure by securing immediate control of the key positions of Capitalism. These measures must be the first steps of a Five-Year Plan of Socialisation.
The first position to be won are Finance and the Land. The Socialist Government must promptly socialise the Banks and Financial Insitutions and vest in the community the ownership of the Land.
The Banks are the nerve centres of modern economy. Unless the banking organisation with its financial control of industry, becomes the property of the community every other measure of Socialist economic reorganisation can be frustrated. Unless landlordism is abolished and the economic life of the country is freed from the fetters of "rent" and "royalties" the produc-