J. T. Murphy

What a Revolutionary Workers’
Government Would Do

Source: Workers’ Life, March 13, 1929
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

ALL Communists know that there can be no Socialism until the working class conquers power and establishes its own Revolutionary Workers’ Government. It is equally true that when the working class has conquered the capitalists the path to Socialism in Britain is as clear its daylight.

The Revolutionary Workers’ Government, having conquered the capitalists, would not have to seek their kind permission to nationalise this industry or that, nor wait until the Baldwins and Churchills and Birkenheads had been “reasoned” into Socialism by prayer supplication.

It would, under the leadership of the Communist Party, at once proceed to socialise the economic life of the country, and for the first time in its history give the working class, i.e., the great majority of the population, equality of opportunity, the control over their daily life, and the power to build the future. The Revolutionary Workers’ Government would:—

(1) Declare this country to be a Workers’ Socialist Republic, and to consolidate its power and to safeguard it from counter-revolution and external capitalist attack, organise its own revolutionary workers’ army, navy and air force.

(2) Without compensating the former owners it would repudiate the National Debt, only making allowance for small investors, trade unions and co-operators.

(3) Without compensating the former owners it would nationalise the banks, the land, the mines, the railways, land and sea transport, electrical industries, broadcasting stations, engineering and shipbuilding industries, post and telegraph, chemical, cotton and woollen textile industries, flour milling, boot and shoe industries and building materials, all of which are ripe for running as national industries, united, owned and controlled by the workers. The planned control and direction of industry, free from the profit-mongering control of private ownership, would set free boundless energy, eliminate enormous waste, and increase the powers of wealth production beyond measure.

(4) Farms over 150 acres would be run as Workers’ State Farms. Farms of 150 acres, would be rented to present tenants on a new valuation and on conditions of (a) actual working; (b) maintaining a reasonable level of cultivation; and (c) observance of trade union conditions. All titles would abolished. Unoccupied cultivatable land would be allocated to agricultural workers, each worker receiving land according to capacity to work it, assisted by credits to work collectively. Small farmers would be encouraged to develop agricultural co-operative societies to facilitate collective use and control of wage conditions, and hours of labour would be vested in the agricultural workers’ trade union and the Workers’ State Department of Agriculture.

(5) The control of workers’ conditions in industry would be exercised by the workers through factory committees and the trade unions, organised as industrial unions and working in co-operation with the State Department of industry. Instead of having to negoate with an opposing exploiting class, the workers would thereby exercise self-government through their various organs of State and industrial administration.

Source: Workers’ Life, March 22, 1929

When Workers are in Power

Communist Party’s Plans for Britain


[Last week Comrade Murphy showed that a Revolutionary Workers’ Government must conquer the capitalists and not wait to reason with them before putting its plans into operation.

It would declare Britain to be a Workers’ Socialist Republic and proceed to nationalise the banks, land, mines, railways and main industries without compensation to their former owners.]

(6) The distributive trade would be nationalised—and worked in co-operation with the Co-operative Movement, which would be encouraged to develop as a great distributive agency with the Workers’ State.

(7) State credits would be extended to the Co-operative Movement, so that, in conjunction with the State Distribution Department, they would rapidly eliminate private trade.

(8) The printing plants, cinemas, theatres and wireless stations would become property of the Workers’ State, which would also maintain a monopoly of newspapers and of book publishing, and use all these means of “intellectual production” for the most extensive political and general education of the workers for the building of the new Socialist order.

(9) The control of non-nationalised enterprises, such as small shops, petty handicraft industries, etc., in respect to wages, prices, conditions of labour, would be exercised by the Workers Government.

Dis-establish Church

The Government and workers’ Committees would have complete access to all materials relating to the financial control of these industries. This control would be operated in conjunction with the Workers’ control of banking and foreign trade.

(10) The Revolutionary Workers’ Government would confiscate all house property, transform the palaces and large houses of the rich into rest homes for the workers, rent for workers’ houses to be paid to the Workers’ State or a local Workers’ Council, and regulated according to income (10 per cent. of wages).

The rooms of large houses would be let off as workers’ flats on the same principle. (Where workers have been fortunate enough to secure their own houses to live in, the Revolutionary Workers’ Government would not confiscate, the main line of attack being upon the landlordism.)

(11) Dis-establishment of the Church and the placing of religion on a footing of voluntary associations with equal freedom of anti-religious bodies such as secularist societies.

The established Church is more than a religious institution at the present time. It is a great landlord levying tribute from the workers, extracting no less than £500,000 per year from mining royalties alone. The established Church of England and Scotland as a landlord must be treated as other landlords and the Revolutionary Workers’ Government would, therefore, confiscate its landed property and royalties and abolish tithes.

Foreign Trade

Its political power would be abolished whilst freedom for religious opinions and practices would be placed on the proper basis of equality with anti-religious views. This would ensure a real test as to the vitality of religion amongst the people.

(12) All hospitals, sanatoria, etc., would become the property of the Workers’ State, and the medical service would be conducted as a State service, free to the workers. Under its auspices there would be organised a scheme of non-contributory health insurance, guaranteeing the equivalent of wages when sick.

The insurance benefit for women would include eight weeks’ leave before and after confinement, with full pay.

(13) The Revolutionary Workers’ Government would exercise a State monopoly of foreign trade and thereby eliminate the vexed questions of free trade and tariff reform, both of which are but expedient measures for rival profit-mongers.

As the workers will own and control the industry of the country as a single concern and consequently would regulate its own internal market conditions, so also its State monopoly of foreign trade would enable it to purchase and sell in bulk on terms satisfactory to itself.

(14) The 7-hour working day would be established by law (six hours for miners and other dangerous occupations), and a maximum 40-hours working week. Unemployment would be regulated as a national charge to be administered by local Workers’ Councils at scales equivalent to wages when working.

Their Own Country

The Communist Party rejects the principle that it is necessary to penalise the workers to drive them to work. In a country owned and controlled by themselves, where ever increase in production raises the standard of the workers, the incentive to work becomes a first principle of social life, and the brutal weapon of starvation, which dominates the life of the workers under capitalism is abolished.

Women workers would be prohibited from night work, paid on the same terms as men and organised in the same unions.

Source: Workers’ Life, March 29, 1929

A World Red Republic

Red Government’s Aim in Foreign Affairs

Class Liberation

[In our last two issues Comrade Murphy has outlined the most important immediate steps that Workers’ Government would take.

It would see to it that the capitalists had no chance to hold up progress, nationalise without compensation, control enterprises not nationalised, control housing in the workers' interests, take over foreign trade, and establish a forty-hour working week.]

(15) Non-contributory old-age pensions at 60 years of life, at least equivalent to the wages when employed, would be regarded as a necessary measure of social legislation.

(16) All schools and universities, technical colleges and educational institutions would be nationalised by the Revolutionary Workers’ Government, and administered by a Central Educational Department and Educational Departments of the local Workers’ Councils.

Education of the young would be completely secular and freed entirely from its capitalist and imperialist teachings. School age would be raised to 16 years of age.

No person under 18 years of age would be permitted to work night work or overtime.

A 8-hour working day and a 5-day week for all between 16 and 18 years of age.

Work schools and factories to be established for the training of young workers for industry. These to be under the control of the trade unions and factory committees. Young workers would receive, full wages while attending work schools, and the hours of attendance included in general working hours. The State would maintain and support all school children, including those qualifying for higher technical education and universities, all of which would be administered and controlled by the workers.

This programme of class liberation, industrial, economic and social reorganisation, strikes at the foundation of the economic and political and social contradictions which characterise Britain to-day.

It shows how to remove the parasitism that battens on the social life of today and how to organise the country on the foundations of social labour.

It propounds the means for the scientific reorganisation of the economic life of this country, to eliminate the sex inequalities, to open the way for equality of opportunity for all.

Equally profound and far-reaching is the programme of the Revolutionary Workers’ Government in relation to foreign countries and those held in the grip of British imperialism. The first act would be:—

(1) The declaration of independence of every country hitherto ruled and controlled by British imperialism, and the offer of friendly assistance to them to maintain their independence and develop in the direction of Workers’ and Peasants’ Republics.

(2) Immediate unity and federation with the Soviet Union.

(3) Publication of all secret treaties.

(4) A declaration of friendship with the oppressed workers and peasants of the world.

(5) Repudiation of League of Nations as a capitalist and imperialist institution.

(6) Support to the Soviet Union programme of international simultaneous disarmament as the means to end war.

By these measures, national and international, of a Revolutionary Workers’ Government, the Communist Party shows the way to the solution of the economic crisis of Britain, the elimination of its social contradictions, the ending of war by the removal of the causes of war. It is the programme of socialism for Britain as a part of the struggle for international socialism which can only be consummated under the banner of a World Federation of Soviet Republics.