From the December 1930 issue of the Socialist Standard
Formation of the Workers’ Socialist Party, (U.S.A.)
Ten months ago we announced that our comrades in the Socialist Educational Society of America had launched a monthly paper, “The Socialist.” After a short but useful life, publication of the new journal had to be suspended owing to the aggravated unemployment which hit the U.S.A. The promoters of the paper found their own pockets less able to meet the expense of publication because many of them were out of work, and the audiences at street corner meetings were in a similar plight, and could not buy the paper, or give so generously to collections. For the time being the American organisation has to manage without a journal, but this has not prevented the carrying on of meetings and educational activities, and we are pleased to chronicle the founding of the “Workers’ Socialist Party of the United States,” on September 8th.
Like ourselves, the members of the American Party are asked why they are adding to the number of Socialist parties. Is America not already blessed with a multiplicity of so-called Labour, Farmer, Socialist, and Communist parties? Why start another? Why increase the confusion? The answer is the one given by the S.P.G.B. in this country; there is no way of challenging and destroying the confused theories and spurious programmes of the parties which promise to reform capitalism except by building up from the ground an organisation of Socialists working only for Socialism.
It will, perhaps, sound odd to justify the new party in America by referring to something outside America, but it will, nevertheless, be found true on examination that the condition of the working class in Great Britain is proof enough of the need for the Workers’ Socialist Party in the U.S.A. In Great Britain we have the counterpart of all of the reform parties of the U.S.A., but with a difference. Here they have been more successful, and one of them, the Labour Party, has twice formed the Government, and before that was represented in Coalition Cabinets. In this country, a very large part of the reform legislation demanded by bodies such as the “Socialist Party of America,” which is the American equivalent of the I.L.P., has been put on the Statute Book. But to what effect? Every year that passes, despite its certain crop of new reforms, shows the working class rather worse off than before in relation to the wealth and power of the capitalist class. Every year shows more clearly the need for a Socialist Party striving for Socialism, and the uselessness of all of the parties of reform. Reform of capitalism through Communist violence is no better than reform through the Fabian “inevitability of gradualness.” Only the Socialist Party has consistently pointed to the one sure road. After our years of effort it is, then, encouraging to see comrades taking up the task for themselves in other countries. Like the Socialist Party of Australia, the Workers’ Socialist Party of the United States is based upon our Declaration of Principles, with only the minor alterations required because of the different terminology of the institutions of that country.
We offer our congratulations and good wishes to our companion parties.