J. T. Murphy

The Coming of the Mass Communist Party in Britain

A Reply to R. P. Dutt

Source: The Communist International, No. 9 (New series) 1925.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
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.

WE are always glad when a sinner publicly repents and returns home, but we are also always very sorry to see the sinner relapse. In No. 11 of the “Communist International” (English Edition), Comrade R. P. Dutt begins with repentance and having repented for missing a whole historical period in the development of the British working class movement, immediately proceeds to sin again at leisure. It is a pity the repentance was not more leisurely for the subsequent sins might not have been so great.

In an attempt to recover the ground that he missed in his first article, he not only sets up a number of skittles for the joy of knocking them down, but does not hesitate at sheer misrepresentation. The purpose of the latter it is difficult to understand. Certainly it does not help to solve any of our problems, and might be usefully left to the scribes of the bourgeois press.

To deal with the misrepresentations first. After setting forth the inevitability of the disintegration of the Labour Party and the demand for the creation of a mass Communist Party, he proceeds to estimate the oppositional forces in the Labour Party, to indicate the weakness of the opposition, and to enumerate the facts indicating the progress of our Party. Then he presents three problems arising, and in the second of these, dealing with the question of what must be the role and action of the C.P. within the opposition in order to assist the development to the new Communist Party, he writes:

“Comrade Murphy in his article sets out four alternatives:

   1. To “help these masses to effectively challenge leadership they resent.”

   2. To “attack the prominent leaders who are typical of the movement.”

   3. “The Minority Movement to attempt to harness these forces.”

   4. To “prevent the national Left-wing bloc taking shape in the Labour Party.”

Of these four he advocates the first as the “only one course to take.”

“This is too simple a statement of the position. To lay down “Helping the Left-wing” as the whole. statement of the Party’s task in the present process is to reduce the Party to a simple element of the Left-wing and to omit entirely the distinctive task of the Party. But it is this distinctive task of the Party (which may even sometimes involve “attacking prominent leaders” at the same time as supporting the Left-wing in general) which must be clearly laid down, and on which the whole process through the Leftwing to the mass Communist Party depends.”

Now compare this “whole statement of the Party’s task” with what I factually wrote.

The Coming of the Mass Communist Party


“By continuing our demand for affiliation to the Labour Party as an independent workers’ Party concentrating within itself the interests of the working class, and directing the workers against the bourgeois Liberal politics of the I.L.P., Fabians, and middle class politicians who have taken advantage of the opening of the gates of the Labour Party to individual membership to retard the development of the workers along their own independent lines. By keeping abreast of the changes now clearly manifest before our eyes in the Labour Party, as a mass movement grows, which is inevitably destined to be driven closer and closer to our Party. Our Party saw the change coming in the trade union struggles and has played its proper role in developing the Minority Movement. The Labour Party now manifests similar symptoms. Whereas last year we could only look to Maxton, Kirkwood, Hicks, Purcell, etc., as individuals with left tendencies, now we know that large numbers of workers in the Labour Party locals express themselves in support of the sentiments they express, and also know that the confusion in the minds of the comrades I have named and their colleagues prevents them harnessing these forces into an effective challenge to the existing leadership of the Labour Party. Four questions present themselves to our Party: (1) Shall we help these masses to effectively challenge the leadership which they resent? or, shall we vigorously attack the prominent lenders who are typical of the movement, drive them further from us in the hope of a direct appeal to the rank and file to join us proving successful? or, shall the Minority movement attempt to harness these forces? or, shall we permit them to drift and be content to issue calls for campaigns, with local manifestations of support and prevent the national left-wing bloc taking shape in the Labour Party?

“ . . . The first policy is the only policy we can pursue with any hope of success, with any hope of developing into a mass Communist Party. The fears of many party comrades that such a policy is dangerous to us does not alter the fact that a mass Communist Party has to he created to conquer capitalism. If we cannot be bold enough to risk the dangers of winning the workers and workers’ leaders who are near to us, who are being attacked by the capitalists and the reactionaries as Communists, how shall we win the workers who are farther away from us than these? How can we explain this phenomenon in the Labour movement other than as a historic process of the working class finding its way towards a clear working class policy of which the Communist Party is the embodiment? We should welcome this process as the guarantee of our Marxian conclusion that a mass Communist Party will be formed in Britain as in every other country where capitalism has to be conquered by the working class. The only way our Party of to-day can prove that it is the real beginning of a mass Communist Party is seen in the measure it understands this process and shows itself capable of handling it. The “left” forces are coming nearer to us and our task is not only to win them still nearer, but to set before them the fact that they can never carry through the revolutionary tasks for which they profess sympathy until they have joined with us in the making of a party equal to all that revolution will demand of it—a party formed not simply for parliamentary and propaganda purposes, but a party with its foundations in the factories, its units the factory groups, its purpose to lead in strikes, demonstrations, elections and in every phase of the political struggle, culminating in the seizure of power and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is this latter kind of party we are striving for in the efforts we are making to transform our Party on to the factory group basis.”

This quotation shows that the policy I have outlined is not a policy of “merely helping the Left-wing.” It gives a very definite and specific line for the development of the Communist Party as an independent party, contrasting the Labour Party with the Communist Party both in regard to political line and its structure. It states concretely that one must continue to demand affiliation to the Labour Party, tell the Left-wing of its weaknesses, and how we must work with them.

The United Front and the “Left”

If comrade Dutt will refer again to my article and read on he will find that I state specifically a number of political issues upon which we can form a united front with the Left-wing as a means to the development of our Party—a programme of action which has been adopted by our Party. For example I wrote “there are many political questions upon which we can fight together whilst maintaining our own political valuation of them and frankly explaining to them where we think they are wrong. Upon these issues we can form a united front, not simply a platform front, but a national organised fighting front. For example, are there not many Labour Parties, who will agree with us in fighting for a new Treaty with Soviet Russia, for the rights of trade unions and political organisation of the workers in the colonies and dependencies of the British Empire, for scrapping the Versailles Treaty and the Dawes Report, for international trade union unity, for the Parliamentary Labour Party to be subordinated to the Labour Party Executive, and not vice versa; for a Labour Government to be selected and controlled by the Labour Party, for Communist Party affiliation and equal rights of the Communists in the Labour Party and trade unions; for the nationalisation of banks, mines, railways, with workers’ control; for State and municipal housebuilding schemes by direct labour, etc.

“I set these as examples of questions where there is a large volume of agreement which cuts straight across the policy of the present leaders in the Labour Party.

“The Communist Party can unite with local Labour Parties to fight for these demands, without giving away one iota of its revolutionary political integrity. Indeed, it is tinder obligation to do so if it is a party of struggle against capitalism and not a sectarian society, and it must perforce help those who are seeking to find the best way of fighting, to come together on a national scale. The actual experience of struggling would carry the workers farther towards the Communist Party than all the propaganda appeals to join the Party separated from the tests of such experience.”

This line of policy is not only a repudiation of the misrepresentations of comrade Dutt, but it destroys the foundations of his further criticisms which argue that the line I indicate is the “fundamental subordination to the Labour Party as the essential character of the daily propaganda of the Party.” On the contrary, the line is that of an independent workers’ party pursuing the policy of the United Front as a means to the development of this party and the revolutionising of the masses of the Labour movement.

But this error is not the only error of comrade Dutt. He says: “The uncritical presentation of the Labour Party as the essential organ of the working class, as the future revolutionary organ once the existing leadership is overthrown, leads to a fundamental approximation to the Labour government and continual blurring of the fundamental differences between the Communist Party and the Labour Party, and a continual under-estimation of our revolutionary tasks. Most of this is weakness of expression and confusion of thought, which is natural in a young Party and not yet politically serious.”

Gently, gently, brother, pray. I have a very vivid recollection that it was not J.T.M. who proposed early in 1924, so close “an approximation to the Labour Government” that in the event of a general election our Party should not put forward an independent programme, but should weigh in behind the Labour Government to save it from defeat. This was comrade Dutt’s proposition to the Political Bureau of our Party at this time, and if he will keep his memory fresh he will probably agree that the time is hardly ripe for the above exhibition of intellectual arrogance towards the “young party not yet politically serious.” Even the Kelvingrove bye-election and the election speeches referred to did not provide us with so blatant a case of “absorption” as comrade Dutt’s proposition.

From this position he swings to the other extreme, and in No. 8 of the “Communist International” damns the Labour Party to perdition and sets forward the alternative of “the leadership of a mass Communist Party” without in the least showing how the mass Communist Party was to come into being or what would be the situation in the interim. After the criticism of comrade Martynov and myself, he remembers the interim and sets off anew to base the mass Communist Party not so much “on the ruins” of the Labour Party as on a “split in the Labour Party.” With a thundering broadside quotation from comrade Zinoviev about the “inevitability of the decomposition of the Labour Party,” and the “inevitable liquidation of the Labour Party” a la Martynov, all of which has never been in question, he shouts Contrast these with the declarations of comrade Murphy. “The Labour Party is increasing in strength.” “The Labour Party will grow in numbers and strength.” (See p. 103, No. 12.)

The Decomposition and Liquidation of the Labour Party

It is assumed that these statements are contradictory, this is due entirely to a non-historical approach to the question and the leftist kink which repeatedly manifests itself in comrade Dutt’s outbursts. What do we understand by the “decomposition of the Labour Party?” Do we mean simply a change of leadership, or the shattering of the Labour Party to fragments, or the transformation of the whole movement? It is certainly difficult to tell what comrade Dutt means. At one moment we have a picture of the Labour Party in ruins, and the C.P. rising phoenix-like from the wreckage.

“Out of the ruins of the old democratic electoral association, which was the prey of every petty bourgeois opportunist, and adventurer, must arise the solid disciplined force of the mass Communist Party of the future, and of the workers fighting under its banner.” (C.I., No. 8, p. 30).

On the next occasion we have to concentrate “on building up the revolutionary mass movement within the Labour Party, which mass movement must develop to the mass Communist Party.” (C.I., No. 12, p. 105.)

Then we swing along to the jangle of many phrases to the conclusion that “all those tasks indicate the complete transformation of the whole movement (I presume the whole movement includes the Labour Party) from top to bottom, in outlook, leadership and organisation, which is necessitated by the revolutionary struggle to which the movement is in fact gradually advancing, but, etc. . . .” (C.I., No. 12, p. 109.)

It would appear that comrade Dutt has all the rabbits in the hat, and we can take our choice. But this kind of conjuring politics will not do. What do we mean by the decomposition of the Labour Party? If I understand the word “decomposition” aright, we mean the disintegration, the break up, the decay, the dying out of the Labour Party. That sooner or later it will die, I do not doubt for a moment, but that the Labour Party is dying at the present moment but all the facts of the present period deny, and comrade Dutt is simply confusing a process of differentiation in a Party of a peculiar character which has not yet reached the full stature of its development with decomposition. To suggest that immediately new currents make their appearance or change of leadership becomes apparent, or even the possibility of a split, that the Labour Party is, therefore, dying, damned and done for, is ridiculous. It is perfectly true that we must reckon with the possibility of a split in the Labour Party, but it is also advisable that we reckon on a variety of possibilities. To place all our cards upon the splitting of the Labour Party is neither good Marxism or good tactics. The one thing that must govern our policy is that the “inevitable split” shall be made by the reactionaries, for which they will be held fully responsible by the workers. To suggest that I have put forward “an idyllic picture of an evolutionary continuous development of the Labour Party to revolution,” or even that I ignore the possibilities of a split, is utterly unwarranted.

In my first article, I wrote: “The attack on the Communist Party is the attack of the bourgeois politicians to prevent the crystallisation of working class politics (which are fundamentally revolutionary), in the Labour movement. They will split the Labour movement, disrupt it, use constitutions, smash constitutions to achieve their object.”

Here is no idyllic picture of gradualism or the ignoring of the “inevitability of the split,” but both are treated as the incidents of the efforts to create a mass Communist Party, through a correct application of the united front policy.

It is quite good that we should learn from the experiences of the world Labour movement, but we must be exceedingly careful in drawing parallels, and in this respect comrade Dutt is again unfortunate in citing the Norwegian Labour Party. This party swung over to the Communist International on the wave of revolution which swept across Europe after the Russian Revolution. When the wave receded, and the Party was faced with the serious business Bolshevisation, that is, of transforming itself into a Communist Party, it was unequal to the task, and it split on the elementary rock of individual membership. Norway had no Communist Party. Our situation is totally different. The Labour Party leadership is not faced with the demand of Bolshevisation as a result of wholesale identification with the Communist International. On the contrary, its leaders have and are the most bitter enemies of the Communist International. But there has been since 1920 a Communist Party steadily growing in strength, vigorously and ever more clearly pursuing an incessant fight with the leadership in circumstances increasingly favourable to the confirmation of Party’s policy in even wider sections of the Labour movement, and the Labour Party itself. The historical line of the British Labour Party is only similar to that of the Norwegian Party up to a certain point. In its approach to revolution, the lines are obviously dissimilar, and whatever split takes place in the Labour Party will not be a parallel to that of the Norwegian Labour Party.

It is quite correct to describe, and no one quarrels with the description that the structure of the Labour Party is a “primitive” form of political organisation, but to argue quite mechanically that because the Norwegian Party split or the German Social-Democrats split, or the Italian or French Socialist Parties split, therefore, the British Labour Party will split at exactly the same stage on exactly the same issue is wrong. It would also be wrong to say the British Labour Party will not split, and indeed nobody says it will not split. Certainly I do not say that such will not be its fate. But what I have said, and what I repeat, is that the Labour Party is passing through a process of differentiation, in which the political thinking is becoming clearer, and that through this process, which accompanies the widening and deepening of the s struggle, the mass Communist Party will come into being through our winning of more and more workers to the ranks of our existing Party, through a proper application of the united front tactics.

The ultimate fate of the Labour Party I did not discuss. It was not in question. But approaching the Labour Party historically and analysing the process of differentiation going on within it, I indicated the lines upon which our Party could reap the results of this process and develop into a mass Communist Party, not through basing its policy upon splits, but by striving to so revolutionise it that the workers cast off the right-wing leaders and elect left leaders and Communists and come under the hegemony of our Party. This by no means subordinating our Party to the Labour Party, or making the Labour Party the basis of all our activity. But so long as the Labour Party remains a composition of the trade unions and Labour organisations, we cannot escape the task of drawing them into the path of revolutionary struggle, as the means of defeating the reformist leaders. It is not our task to split the Labour Party, although a split may be forced upon the Labour Party by the reactionaries, but certainly not by us. The task of revolutionising the “whole movement” means also the revolutionising of the Labour Party, which comprises a very big percentage of that movement. The Communist International and our Party as a section of the International have undertaken this task on the basis of uniting the workers in struggle. This policy does not leave out of account the possibility of a split, but gives us a firm, determined line should a split occur, and that is—once again pursue the united front policy as a means of winning the masses, winning those who remain under the leadership of the right-wing.

That we should continue this line is becoming increasingly important with every day that passes. Had comrade Dutt looked at what is developing under our noses and placed it in proper historical perspective, instead of the situation from the premises of “crises” and “splits” in the Labour Party, he would have seen the development of the Labour Party amidst objective conditions which are driving the great bulk of the Labour movement to the left and on to the path leading to revolutionary struggle. Here, let me make a further correction. When comrade Dutt talks about the activity of the masses, and seeks to separate the masses from the Labour Party, he is confusing the situation in the most stupid fashion. Are not the bulk of the masses who are active, in the Labour Party? Did not 5½ millions vote for the Labour Party at the last election? Was there ever a period of wider and more intense political activity in the history of the Labour Party than there is to-day? At no time, comrade Dutt. Speak to any worker and ask him if he can hear the crashing ruins about his ears! He will laugh you to scorn, and rightly so. He will show you that the more acute the situation becomes the greater the numbers who flock to the Labour Party, and the clearer and sharper become the lines of differentiation within its most conscious political elements. If, through this process, the Liberal, Menshevik leadership is swept away does this mean the liquidation of the Labour Party? Rubbish. It may increase its strength, extend its reach, carry it further along the path of revolutionary struggle. But will that make it into a Bolshevik Party, and remove the necessity for the building of the mass Communist Party? Not in the least. There is no alternative to the mass Communist Party to lead the working class to Communism, but at what stage the Labour Party will vanish, and leave the field entirely to the mass Communist Party is another proposition.

The Leftism of Dutt

Comrade Dutt is troubled with a leftist outlook in this regard. He is obviously afraid of the Labour Party treading the revolutionary path. He is scared almost to death at the prospect of the Communist Party ever getting its representatives on to the Labour Party Executive. He holds his hands up in alarm and shouts: “The Labour Party is treeated as actually advancing into the revolutionary period, becoming a revolutionary organ—increasing in strength as the workers become more class conscious.” The effect of this outlook is tremendous and significant. Indeed it is terrifying. But not half so bad as a Communist leader developing the leftist kink. Listen again: “The trade unions and the Labour Party are the shell within which develops the movement of the masses towards the new revolutionary struggle. But neither the trade unions nor the Labour Party is capable of conducting the revolutionary struggle.”

Have we not heard this before? Is it not an echo of the old S.L.P., the I.W.W., the leftists of the Comintern Congresses who were unable to realise that it is only as the masses enter the path of revolutionary conflict with their unions and their “electoral machines” (Labour Parties) that they learn the inadequacy of these instruments to secure and complete their victory? It is due to the shattering of illusions in the minds of the masses through actual experience that the development of the mass Communist Party becomes possible. But these struggles are not struggles separate and apart from the trade unions and Labour Parties. These latter are not brick buildings, but living combinations of human beings. They are neither “shells” nor dance rooms in which the masses whirl about, but actually the masses conducting, activities under limitations created by themselves. When in the course of struggle these workers find those limitations or constitutions standing in the way, they bend or break these limitations. For example, the Labour Party constitution was not formed for strike action. But 1920 saw a joint Congress of the Labour Party and the trade unions set up Councils of Action to conduct strike action against war on Russia. Was this not a revolutionary action?

Again, when in quite recent days the Miners’ Federation challenged the mineowners and the State, and marshalled the Trades Union Congress into line, subjected itself to the leadership of the General Council, secured the backing of the Labour Party, in short, pursued the line which the Communist Party had been urging upon them, was this not revolutionary line? Most certainly it was. And what is more, the Labour Party has grown as a result. It has called into consciousness many workers who were not interested previously, simultaneously with the development of the strength and influence of our Party within its ranks. The growth of the Labour Party, therefore, as we move forward to revolutionary struggles is not retarded, and indeed, if comrade Dutt will cast his eye over the history of the Russian Revolution, he will discover that the Menshevik Party was much greater than the Bolshevik Party, say in the February Revolution, which I would suggest is much further along the route to the Bolshevik Revolution than what we have reached in this country as yet. There is thus nothing contradictory is insisting that the Labour Party will grow in strength and power as the workers become more class conscious, so long as we do not cherish any illusions as to what is required to carry the struggle to a workers’ victory.

The Possibilities of a Landslide Towards the “Left”

Let us approach the position of the Labour Party and the unions from another angle. It is generally agreed that the foundations of British Imperialism are crumbling, that British imperialism can no longer afford to maintain British Labour as an aristocracy of labour among the nations, that the working class of this country have now got to fight every inch of the way against continuous attacks from the capitalist class. In these circumstances, where lies the basis for a social pacifist policy in the ranks of the unions and the Labour Party? Is not the history of the last twelve months eloquent with evidence that the basis for social pacifism in the Labour movement is becoming narrower and narrower? What is the meaning of the march of the trade unions towards united action, the rivalry between the General Council of the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party Executive, and especially its right-wing, but the evidence of the approaching revolutionary crash making the masses ever more and more conscious that MacDonald and his middle class clique have got to go? Historical parallels are useful, but nowhere is there a complete parallel to the position in Britain. In this respect, I well remember comrade Lenin quoting with approval the diagnosis of the social forces in Britain, made by Lloyd George after comparing them with France and Germany, who have large agricultural populations. He said “Four-fifths of our country is occupied industrially and commercially; only one-fifth is under agriculture. It is one of the things I have constantly in mind when I think of the dangers which threaten our future. . . This country is more top-heavy than any country in the world, and if it begins to rock, the crash here, for that reason, will be greater than in any other land.” Comrade Lenin said in regard to this statement: “It would be no sin on our part to learn something from Mr. Lloyd George.”

I would ask—has this country not begun to rock? And rocking, is it not shaking to its foundations, every element social pacifism within the Labour movement? The social pacifists seek for something to cling to, and find nothing but appeals to the bourgeoisie who can no longer help them, while the masses of the Labour Party and the unions become increasingly convinced of the necessity of struggle and—a united struggle.

We are thus face to face at this stage with not a mere split in the Labour movement, but the whole Labour movement being pushed over to the left. Contrast the resolutions the Trades Union Congress agenda with those of the Labour Party Executive. Can anyone doubt, with the preponderating weight of the unions in the Labour Party that the line of struggle upon which the trade unions are being forced, and which now finds expression in its sharper class war declarations, will not force themselves upon the Labour Party? The Labour Party as the political expression of the unions cannot help but feel this pressure; it must feel the effect, and is feeling the effect. So much is this the case, that everyone who has eyes to see is witness to a terrific struggle in the Labour Party between the middle class incubus, the thorough reactionaries such as Thomas, and the working class forces, who are increasingly in sympathy with the C.P. This struggle may split the Labour Party, and yet it may not. Contrary to a split, it may cast off a number leaders and pitch them into the Liberal Party or the Tory Party, or out of political life entirely. Their efforts to prepare the grounds for a split have been obvious enough. Did not Cramp, the chairman of the Labour Party declare that if it came to a choice between unity with the Russian unions and Amsterdam, large unions would split away? The danger of that is not yet entirely passed, but the fate of any leaders who take that line at present is not likely to be a happy one, so profound and widespread is the demand for unity. Nor can we ignore the efforts to so increase the individual membership of the local Labour Parties in order to get free of the unions and secure the real structure of a social democratic party. But simultaneously with this effort to escape and find a new track, we are witness to the revolutionary process developing on a large scale in the local Labour Parties. Witness the large numbers of local Labour Parties challenging the expulsion decree directed against the Communists. So far has this process gone that whatever hopes the “right” wing elements ever had of getting the Labour Parties free from the unions and their revolutionary tendencies, one can see little chance of a splitting movement in the direction of a new Social-Democratic Party based upon the individual sections of the Labour Party, having the ghost of a chance of success. No one can possibly dispute the fact of widespread disgust with the imperialist policy of the right wing, or the growing conviction that drastic revolutionary measures will have to be adopted to meet the challenges of the imperialists. So much is this the case, so much is the right wing conscious that it stands no chance of success by means of split at present that they are deliberately moving back to the unions, and striving to keep the unions and the Labour Party closer to each other. Witness the efforts of Thomas and Bondfield to get back to the General Council.

What Then?

What do these developments say to us?

They tell us that whatever splits there may be lying ahead of the Labour Party, there is also the possibility and probability of the whole Labour movement swinging leftward under the pressure of the deepening class antagonisms. I do not mean to suggest for a moment that Thomas and Co. will become revolutionary, but because they have no other social basis than the working class, they will travel with the working class along the path of revolutionary struggle in order to betray the revolution even as Ebert and Co. betrayed it in Germany. For, let us make no mistake about it, the trade unions and the Labour Party must enter the revolutionary struggle, whatever their defects, because they cannot escape it. This is neither underestimating the role of the Communist Party nor the factory committees. As a matter fact, both the trade unions and the Labour Parties may become important factors once again in the creation of the factory committees, exactly as they played no small part in the creation of Councils of Action, exactly as the Mensheviks played no small part in the creation of Soviets. The possibility of the Labour Party growing in strength and power as the masses become more class conscious is, therefore, to be expected as the whole working class becomes more politically conscious through the development of revolution and even as the Communist Party goes from strength to strength until it has secured the majority of the workers behind it. Then begins the decay, the decomposition, the disintegration of the Labour Party Mensheviks. But if historical precedents are anything to go by, I would remind comrade Dutt that the Mensheviks of Russia passed out of the picture a few years after the revolution and not in the early stages of the struggle for power.

What then should be our line of action? Should it be of working for a split in the Labour Party, because Thomas, Clynes and MacDonald refrain from splitting away the trade unions and thus become identified with strike action and the like, as in the recent miners’ dispute? Not in the least, but by keeping abreast of the struggle, by leading it along its logical and inevitable path, bringing them face to face with the masses before the realities of the fight, we shall expose them to the workers until the workers drop them out of the Labour Party and the Labour Movement. I know no better illustration of this policy than the policy we pursued throughout the recent crisis. Step by step, our Party gave the lead as the situation developed, until the point was reached when Thomas, for example, said exactly the same as the Communist Party—“Strike.” It appeared at that moment to the average worker that our Party was eclipsed, when the very next step tore the sham to pieces. The government retreated after threatening to use “all the powers of the State to defeat the workers.” Immediately, Labour leaders cried out that in nine months’ time the issue would depend upon whether our working class brothers in the Army will shoot their brothers in industry. At once our Party gave the lead for the next step which the struggle demanded, and called on the Trades Union Council and the Labour Party to enlighten our brothers in uniform, to tell the truth to them about the struggle. This was classic. At once Labour leader after Labour leader tumbled over each other to assure the capitalist class that they really did not mean to damage them or their army, and before the eyes of the whole working class, those leaders stood exposed, and our Party stepped again to the front as the only party that dared to give the lead which every class conscious worker knew instinctively to be the right one.

It is thus that our Party will win the workers into its ranks, secure the hegemony of the Labour movement, and ultimately the actual leadership of the decisive majority of working class, marshalling around it the sum total of the social forces that can be used for the complete liquidation of capitalism and the leading of humanity towards the goal of Communism.

Pursuing this course, our Party can face the question of splits, or no splits, in the Labour Party quite unperturbed. We are for the revolutionising of the Labour Party, and the trade unions, and against splits. Splits at this stage of revolutionary history are the answers of the reactionaries to the demands for the revolutionary struggle. Our slogan is—Workers, Unite for Battle! This is the basis of our strategy and tactics, and not the “inevitability of splits.” The “decomposition of the Labour Party” and the liquidation of the Labour Party of which comrades Zinoviev and Martynov speak, are the sequel to the successful application of our policy along the lines I have indicated, and which our Party is pursuing.

The two-fold task of our party enunciated in conclusion by comrade Dutt, is simply a rehash of the policy I had already outlined and translated into concrete propositions. The skittles he sets up concerning the future of the Labour Party now prove to be skittles indeed, for the exercise of his leftist proclivities. His approach to the problems of our movement in his two articles is not the approach of a Marxist, but that of an intellectual, who has lost touch with realities.