Harry Baldwin

Your choice. Capitalism or Socialism?

Source: Socialist Party of Great Britain election leaflet, 12 April 1973.
Transcription: Socialist Party of Great Britain.
HTML Markup: D. Whitehead
Copyleft: Creative Commons (Attribute & No Derivatives) 2007 conference "Be it resolved that all material created and published by the Party shall be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs copyright licence".

Greater London Council elections, 12 April 1973

Don’t get bowled over by the possibility of "free" transport. By the threat or promise of Labour taking over all the rented property in London. By the promise that the Ring Road will actually improve the environment. We reject this. This election, as with others in the past, is to decide which Party is going to run capitalism. Our candidates will seek your support only on the clear cut issue of Socialism.


Labour, Tory, Liberal, Communist and the others are in favour of a system where you will remain members of the working class. They support capitalism, which basically is a system where the means of wealth production are owned and controlled by a small minority of people, the capitalist class, and where the vast majority—you, the working class— have to work for a wage or salary in order to exist. It is a pernicious system. It is based upon buying and selling, with profit as the motive for production. Where money is the determining factor and "Will it pay?" the first question. How often have you read of a "good" scheme which cannot get off the ground because of the cost? It is a system that generates strife, greed, corruption, suspicion; it throws up social problems like an erupting volcano.

Housing, slums, transport, roads, medical centres, open spaces; these will all appear yet again in the manifestoes of the other parties as problems which must be urgently solved, and for which they all have the solution—if only you will vote for them. But all these parties have had the "solution" in the past; the only trouble is that they have never worked; capitalism has seen to that.

The Greater London Council is part of the political machinery for running capitalism and as long as you are prepared to continue voting for the parties which support capitalism then so long will the system last and so long will you bear the brunt of social problems. If you are prepared to live with a system that deprives you of a creative and happy life, then go on voting as you've done in the past.


But we think you have the potential, not only to envisage a different type of world, but to take the necessary political action to get it. Let there be no misunderstanding. We are not putting forward candidates who will make you any promises. We are not saying that we have better leaders than those of other parties. In fact, we have no leaders, but do have a set of ideas, which although at first glance might be new to you, we feel sure you will, on reflection, agree have something which is worthy of your consideration.

We have already mentioned that our issue is that of Socialism, and when we use this word we mean something specific. Socialism is a world-wide community with common interests. Where the land, and all the means of production will be owned by mankind as a whole, with democratic control. Where the sole motive for production will be the satisfaction of your needs. Simply put, bread will be baked because people want to eat it—just that. Money will play no part at all in this society because there will be no need for money. Decisions by the community will be taken on their merits. The wages system will be abolished along with all the other stupid trappings of the present system. Socialism will be a system of co-operation; where each will give according to ability and take according to need. Mankind with its knowledge, harnessed to the riches of the earth, is capable of producing abundance. Why be satisfied with a world of shortages?

Socialism cannot be introduced by waving a magic political wand. It will be the outcome of understanding and hard work; your understanding, your hard work.

We are not asking you to vote for the Socialist candidates because you are fed up with the others or because you think we should be given a chance. We only want your vote if you agree with our case, our object and declaration of principles.

Take a momentous step for your future by making further enquiries about THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN; by reading our literature and making up your own mind whether at last in this election you will have nothing more to do with capitalism, but will throw in your weight and resources with the Socialist movement.

Harry Baldwin, Socialist Party of Great Britain candidate, for Lambeth Central.