A E Jacomb's case against the Socialist Party

A E Jacomb

The first of the statements in this text recognised some value in democracy, but declared it to be secondary to independence, and on this ground the Party refused to endorse the Spanish democrats’ struggle to maintain their democratic regime. The second predicated either that democracy was not threatened, or that it was not a working-class interest. The third was advanced as a repudiation of the others, which had proved indefensible. Reproduced for reference.

Democracy offers an alternative means to force—the ballot; alternative, that is, up to a point. Force ultimately must be the arbiter.

Democracy opens up a new vista to the working class. Socialist parties can precede democracy, but they cannot have the character demanded by working-class interests when the workers have attained political power. The new situation requires the organisation of the working class in a political army as segregated from and hostile to the political parties of the capitalist class as are the armies of two capitalist states at war with each other. The workers must be organised politically on class lines.

The setting up of such a line of demarcation, however, is contingent upon certain conditions. The issue must be clear, and the issue can only be clear when there is no longer, in the whole political field, any matter which involves the interests of both classes.

Jacomb's Case Against the Socia - A E Jacomb.mobi23.34 KB
Jacomb's Case Against the Socia - A E Jacomb.epub12.55 KB
Jacomb's Case Against the Socia - A E Jacomb.docx13.7 KB

Posted By

Jun 13 2014 15:31


  • The position that democracy cannot be defended by fighting for it is contradictory to the original position that democracy cannot be defended at the expense of independence.

    A E Jacomb


Dec 27 2014 18:00

Can only open the first document in that list!

Jul 28 2015 11:26

Works for me, what are you trying to open it in?

Jul 28 2015 12:43

First document opens in Windows but not the other two it seems. Not sure why they are different.

Just looking at the first though it does illustrate an early confusion in the spgb on the issue of reforms and capitalist democracy which has bugged it down the ages right up to the 'democracy movements' in Eastern Europe preceding and during the fall of the old Soviet union (which is not to align myself with Jacob's particular misplaced stand either). Some members taking the ''we will use capitalist democracy'' where it exists and ''other means where it does not'' approach manage to cover over the more fundamental problem of the practical relationship between class struggle and communist consciousness in different geographical and historical circumstances - presumably what Jacomb was arguing even if he was ill-informed about Spain.