Although the party does not credit us with this (or with anything else, for that matter) we do not hold that their activities are wholly harmful or even pointless, only that their function is not what they believe it to be. So far as their efforts produce any result at all, it is not the ending of capitalism but its more efficient operation.
They do not reject efforts at reform; they hardly can do so, since their party depends on the results achieved by previous reformers who won a degree of freedom of speech, publication and assembly. But they do maintain that reform can never achieve an ultimate solution of the great social problems. Whatever the reformers achieve the “Socialist” Party shows that more remains to be done.
This is unpleasant for any reformers who may feel their efforts deserve a little friendly recognition, but it is useful for the capitalists. The tendency of the party’s efforts is to provoke reformers to tackle every problem as it arises, not allowing any one to remain suppressed, building up a head of steam powerful enough to cause a real upheaval. So far as the party has any practical effect at all, it acts as a ginger group, stimulating the reformers who strive to ensure the smooth operation of capitalism. If it were not for the efforts of the “Socialist” Party over the past eighty years the difficulties in which society finds itself might be even worse than they are.
from Ideological Commentary 18, June 1985.