Communist Party of Great Britain
Source: The Communist, October 28 1922.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
THE capitalists call you to an election.
They have attacked you with every weapon at their command.
They have battered down your wages to starvation levels.
They have cast you on the scrap-heap of unemployment in millions.
They have gagged your every protest, bludgeoned you when you assembled to demonstrate your misery, and laid by the heels in prison all those bold enough for voice your claims and your indignation.
Now they wish to complete their victory by calling on you to register your submission at the ballot box. They call on you to agree to their power for another five years, in order that they may cover the further tyrannies they have in store with the appearance of your consent.
Working men and women! To hell with their capitalist politics!
We want bread; we want work; we want homes for our children; we want an end of class tyranny and oppression.
Vote down every Capitalist candidate. Their labels mean nothing to us. Coalition yesterday, Conservative and Liberal to-day, they are all the same. They all stand upon the backs of the workers, and differ on only over their share of the plunder.
We must stand together against them. The only struggle for us is the struggle of the workers against their exploiters. The election is only a phase of the struggle.
Why should we take part in the election? Not because we believe our struggle will be fought in the enemy’s platform of Parliament. Not because we believe fine speeches will persuade the ruling class to surrender. No! the struggle of the workers will be fought out in the streets and in the workshops.
But we send working-class candidates to parliament in order that the many millions of workers who still believe in it may see the truth of it in practice and learn its futility for the working-class struggle. We make the elections a rallying cry for the workers to measure their strength against the capitalists. The demonstration of to-day becomes the open struggle of to-morrow.
All over the world the struggle is raging. The workers of Europe, the peasants and masses of India and the subject nations have been in open revolt. But always embattled power of reaction from its citadel here in Britain has held them in and prevented the victory of the working-class. It rests with us to make an end of this. The workers of the world, the subjected masses of every country, are looking to the British working class to assert itself. We must not fail them.
Every blow struck at the Capitalist domination here is a blow struck for the workers’ struggle all over the world. Let us by the demonstration of our strength and our unity in this election send out a message of hope to the hard pressed and heroic workers of Russia, of Germany, of Ireland, of India, and every other country, that they may go forward in their difficult battle with renewed faith and determination, confident in the sure knowledge that we shall soon be with them.
To demonstrate our strength and our unity we must stand together. We must present a united front of the working-class. No worker must stand against a worker to the advantage of the capitalists. We must support our own candidates, chosen by the workers’ own organisations, against the capitalist candidates. Support all working class candidates.
We Communists are the revolutionary left wing of the working-class movement, united in a party to give independent expression to the revolutionary policy of the working-class, but fighting with the rest of the working-class in every struggle. For the elections we stand shoulder to shoulder with the other candidates of the working-class.
Workers of Motherwell and Dundee support the Communist Candidates! The Communist Party is the vanguard of the working-class, leading the way to the ultimate conquest of power. Our candidates are tried and true fighters in the revolutionary struggle. Show that you back them in their fight.
Workers of the other constituencies, support the Labour Party candidates. The large body of the working-class forces in the Labour Party stands for the fight against capitalism, even though they do not clearly understand the implications of the struggle. They are still the easy victims of reactionary leaders they: are misled by the false hope of overcoming the ruthless capitalist domination through paper Parliamentary reforms. But, inasmuch as they stand for the fight against capitalism, we are with them in action, even while we point out their mistakes.
Because we are convinced that by the struggle against capitalism they will be compelled to adopt the policy of the Communist Party sooner or later or perish, we decline to put opposition candidates against the Labour Party candidates where these are already fighting. Labour cannot afford to present a broken front to the enemy in the crisis to-day. We call on the revolutionary workers not to hesitate to give the most active support to every Labour Candidate. Whatever our criticisms among ourselves, in all action against the capitalists we present a common front.
But support the Labour Party candidates with your eyes open. See that your candidates shall really represent the interests of the working-class. We warn the workers against easy hopes and illusions. There have been betrayals in the past, in 1914, and time and again. Be on your guard against it in the future. Demand that your candidates shall be faithful to the workers’ interests.
Pledge your candidates against any form of alliance or understanding with any capitalist party.
Pledge them to vote against all way credits.
Pledge them to support the unemployed demands and to fight for them.
Pledge them to oppose every expenditure of the Government which serves to organise repression of the workers—army, navy, or police.
Pledge them to maintain the interests of the workers’ organisations, and to resist every attack upon the liberty of organisation, of speech of meeting, or of strikes.
Pledge them to oppose every form of Government intervention against the workers or supporting of organisations hostile to the workers.
Fellow workers, the struggle at the election is only a beginning. The real struggle comes after. Only the revolutionary conquest of power can achieve our aims. But, in the meantime, let us mass our forces in unity in the present struggle and be prepared for the struggles of the future.
Down with Capitalist misrule!
All Power to the Working Class!
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the
Communist Party of Great Britain.