Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Labouring in vain

According to New Statesman Labour leadership contenders had a hustings at the Fabian society, and were asked whether they were socialists.

I'll leave you to read the article directly, but will simply draw your attention to this paragraph
That hint of disdain for the usefulness of ideological speculation may be a rather more authentic Labourist tradition than any theory of Socialism has ever been (The trade unions would never have founded the party if it had really wanted to be a Socialist one).

The Fabian intellectual GDH Cole had written, somewhat approvingly, of Labour having a "socialism so undefined in its doctrinal basis as to make recruits readily among people of different types".
Labour is not, and never has been a socialist party, it does not stand for socialism, but is trade unionism carried on into politics, it is the use of political power to defend and advance the interests of working people within capitalism. Just like a trade union, it has to tack, turn and sometimes cut a bad deal for its members.

Socialism is not sticking up for the bottom dog, it is using the organised power (and, yes, wealth) of the workers to completely overturn the economic system to one which is permanently run in our interests. It is political action that can do that.

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