Social Democratic League Objective, 1917

The realisation of a system of society based on socialist principles—or, in other words, an industrial democracy—wherein the means of production and distribution will be socially owned and democratically controlled by those who carry on the processes of wealth production.


The Social Democratic League bases its propaganda upon a recognition of the following principles:—

1. The Class Struggle

The economic and social conditions which form the basis of the present social system inevitably divide society into two classes, with conflicting economic interests. This conflict of economic interests between the capitalist class and the working class gives rise to what is known as the Class Struggle.

2. Industrial Unionism

In order that the working class may further their economic interests in the class war against the capitalist class, and in order that they may ultimately abolish the conditions which make the class war inevitable, it is imperative that they organise on the basis of industrial unionism, with the aim of controlling industry in their own interests, as distinct from craft or trade unionism, with its conservative motto of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, and its obsolete methods which divide the workers into small factions, and render their efforts futile against organised capital.

3. Anti-Militarism

That as militarism in its various forms is an institution that serves as a bulwark in maintaining the present iniquitous social conditions, being therefore a perpetual menace to the interests of the working class, it behoves the workers to oppose militarism in all its forms.

4. Internationalism

As the capitalist system of production is international in its scope and operations, and as, consequently, the working class are uniformly condemned to economic dependence upon, and industrial subjection to the capitalist class, the international identity and unity of working-class interests is obvious; therefore, internationalism must be recognised as an indispensable industrial and ethical principle by all who aspire for industrial freedom.


The Social Democratic League, being a purely propagandist body, proposes to further its propaganda through the media of public meetings, lectures, debates,

discussions, within and without labor organisations, political and industrial, and by the dissemination of literature bearing upon all questions of social, political and industrial interest to the workers. As education along correct lines is the essential and pre-requisite condition for the workers to free themselves from the thraldom of capitalism, the Social Democratic League is confident that industrial evolution, in conjunction with its educational efforts, will crystallise in the necessary political and industrial organisations of the working class that will ultimately triumph over the forces of capitalism. We therefore affirm the necessity for the joint use of political and industrial action for the establishment of the Socialist Republic.

As to the Political Parties

The Social Democratic League, not being a political party, allows its members freedom to support whatever party they may consider to be in line with progress and with the interests of the working class.

From the covers of H.E. Boote, The Case of Grant: Fifteen Years for Fifteen Words. Reprinted in David Lovell, Marxism and Australian Socialism before the Bolshevik Revolution, pp.268-269