Hal Draper

Statement of Principles of the Independent Socialist Club

(October 1964)

From the pamphlet Hal Draper, The Mind of Clark Kerr, Berkeley 1964.
© Copyright, 1964 by Hal Draper
© Copyright Center for Socialist History. Used with kind permission of the copyright holders.
Downloaded from http://texts.cdlib.org/
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

We stand for socialism: a new system in which the people own and control the basic sectors of the economy, through social and governmental institutions of the widest democracy.

We stand for a socialist policy which is completely independent of and opposed to both of the reactionary systems of exploitation of man by man which now divide the world: capitalism and Communism.

Capitalism is an outlived system whose lifeblood is private profit and oppression, whether or not represented as the “welfare state” and whether or not its government is administered by liberals or self-styled “socialists.” Even in the midst of a false prosperity based on a Permanent War Economy, it perpetuates poverty, unemployment, racism, and imperialism.

The so-called Communist regimes – whether Stalin’s, Khrushchev’s, Tito’s, Mao’s, or others – are systems of totalitarian collectivism which have nothing in common with socialism. The Communist parties and movements which support these regimes are likewise no allies or friends of the aims and ideals for which we stand.

We stand opposed, however, to the reactionary “anti-Communism” which is the party-line of the American Establishment, and which is essentially a mask for the persecution and witchhunting of any radical social dissent. We stand for political opposition to Communism, but against any abrogation whatsoever of civil liberties and democratic rights for views and opinions, including the civil liberties of Communists and fascists.

We stand for complete independence of and opposition to both the imperialist war camps, capitalist and Communist, which are struggling to divide the world and threatening to plunge the world toward nuclear catastrophe. We are for strengthening all tendencies toward a Third Camp of those who reject both war blocs and their military preparations. We are for a democratic anti-imperialistic foreign policy, instead of the Cold War power-politics of either Washington or Moscow-Peking.

We stand for the advocacy of independent political action in opposition to both old parties, Democratic and Republican, by the labor and civil rights movements and other progressive forces, looking to the building of a new party.

We stand for full support to all militant struggles for complete civil rights for the Negro people, for “freedom now,” for all possible aid to the independent fight of the Negro movement itself; and against compromise of this fight for the sake of appeasing either white-supremacist or white-liberal prejudices or for fear of embarrassing any set of politicians.

In sum, our view of socialism is both democratic and revolutionary, both humanist and working class; and it is only as a revolutionary-democratic movement of opposition to the Establishments that socialism can present a third choice for the world, a choice for a new world of freedom, peace and security.


Last updated on 26.9.2004