Monday, June 01, 2020

A message to the people of the planet Earth

The people of Earth have to put up with lives of slavery and the never-ending struggle against deprivation, yet a life of ease and freedom is within their reach if they will stretch oat their hands and grasp it. On our planet what is required for a healthy secure life is in abundance, and yet poverty, misery, and destitution are here in super-abundance.

All wealth that is produced, no matter what form it takes, is the result of the application of human labour power to nature-given material. This material and the finished product are owned by one group of the people—the international capitalists—those people whom we are told advance the money to carry on industry. The labour power is supplied by the miner, bricklayer, carpenter, manager, dustman, office clerk, and other members of the working class. The brains and brawn of the workers are utilised to produce articles that belong to the capitalists.

The notion that the capitalists, by advancing the money, have a right to the result, collapses as soon as the case is investigated. The particular function of the money as means of exchange has a tendency to confuse and cover the process of production with a mystical cloud. It is a matter of fact that it does not require money to dig for coal. It requires food, clothes, shelter, and the other things necessary to the maintenance of the miner while getting the coal. The capitalists have the monopoly of the necessaries of life, and they advance these necessaries of life to the workers with a view of obtaining a profit. The capitalists are the employing class and the workers the employed class. The interests of these two classes are directly opposite.

It is the interest of the employers to get work done as quickly and as cheaply as possible, for the cheaper the production the greater the profit. The energies of the employers are centred upon obtaining up-to-date machinery and instituting improved methods ; but this means less work for the employees— a greater number of unemployed to fight for the jobs that are going. Improved machinery and improved organisation displaces more workers and the competition for jobs keeps wages at the level of subsistence. Even the draughtsman, the mathematician, the chemist, the doctor, and similar "professional" men, who need long and careful training to render them efficient, can only command a wage that means toil from the earliest days of manhood to the end. The capitalist buys abilities as he buys potatoes and other merchandise. Numberless are the instances where those employed in these professions have chosen the suicide's grave in preference to the grim and forbidding prospect ahead of them.

Why does this state of affairs exist ? Why is work the all absorbing interest of the working class? It is because the workers do not own the product of their labour power. Yet all wealth is produced by the working class—even the very gold and paper that function as money are obtained by the workers.

The more the capitalists take from the total wealth produced the less there is left for the workers, and conversely, the more the workers take from it the less there is for the capitalists. This is the centre of the whole business. The interests of the capitalists are opposed to the interests of the workers, and consequently a struggle is always going on as to who shall get most out of the pile. This is what the Socialist Party calls the class war. Those who deny the class war and seek to harmonise master and worker are the enemies of the working class, whether their intentions be good or evil. By their attempt to cloud the issue they take sides with the masters and must be treated as enemies, no matter what particular garments they dress their arguments in.

Workers attempt to alleviate their lot by combining in unions to keep up wages and improve their conditions. By this act they recognise in a subconscious way the opposition of their interests to those of their masteis. Unfortunately the recognition is only subconscious, and the masters take every opportunity of blinding workers to their real interests and dangle before them illusive reforms on which workers employ their time and waste their energy. For years the workers have attempted to alleviate their lot by trade union action, but at the end of it all the sorry truth must be faced that to-day their position is more insecure and their poverty greater than ever. The claim that they might have been worse off had they not been organised is beside the point, and cannot explain away the fact that trade union action has been a failure as far as improving conditions is concerned. The general condition of the workers is growing steadily worse. At best, trade union action but slows the worsening process—it cannot stop it.

The fight between the possessing class and the working class has always resulted in the advantage going to the former. So long as one class owns the means and instruments for producing wealth,, the other class must in the long run be beaten by the pistol of starvation. This being the position of affairs, reform is useless—revolution is the only remedy.

The workers must first realise their identity of interests as wage workers, and the opposition of their interests as a class to those of the capitalists—the owners of wealth. In other words, they must become class conscious.

Having arrived at that knowledge they must understand that the capitalists keep their position through their control of the political machinery, and that in order to overthrow the capitalist class they must vote themselves, and not their masters, into power. They must organise into a political party which has for its sole object the conquest of political power in order to usher in the Socialist Commonwealth. That party is the Socialist Party.

Socialist Standard No. 1390 June 2020

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Poly-Tick Parasites

Many workers are disgusted by the antics of the Trump/Boris Johnson mob, which stands for capitalism in its naked form. The wealth producers are legally robbed so that the rich can become richer. Everything is second to profit. They are running the profit system the only way it can be run: produce more and more profits for the parasitical minority who own and control the resources of society, and to hell with the rest of us! 

When politicians display such open contempt towards working people, a lot of workers start to look for something new and different, the so-called moderate centre such as Keir Starmer or Joe Biden for a capitalist Utopia and who are currently falling over themselves to prove that they are a 'responsible' government-in-waiting, with their 'moderate' policies for squeezing more profits out of the wage slaves. They do not claim to stand for a different social system. They claim they will run capitalism better. For as long as capitalism has existed and thrown up its countless problems there have been dreamers around who have wanted to keep capitalism and reform its problems out of existence. The reformist dream is an appealing one to workers who do not yet understand the nature of the system they are living under. Faced with the callous rule of the Trump or Johnson elite it must be comforting to imagine that all we need is the Democratic Party or the Labour Party and life will be better. Why waste time dreaming. No amount of tinkering with the system will ever make capitalism a comfortable dignified and secure system for workers to live under. The reformists will always fail.

There is a new way of organising society that we need. That new way is socialism. In a socialist society the resources of the world will belong to all the inhabitants of the world, not to an owning or controlling minority. There will be no classes — no workers and capitalists: we will all work according to our abilities for the common good. We will take according to our needs. Production will not be for sale and profit. The market, will exist no more. Goods and services will be produced solely for use. This socialist alternative has nothing to do with plans for state control or small, co-operative business enterprises. Socialism is not about the state managing the profit system, but about doing away with profits, the state and all of the other features of a non-co-operative, money-mad society.

Capitalism still is and will continue to be motivated by the necessity of protection against the organized workers. The Socialist Party does not want to lead or govern anyone. Our sole purpose is to educate, agitate and organise for socialism. The change from capitalism to socialism cannot be brought about by us — or anyone else — acting on behalf of the working class. The workers must bring about socialism as a conscious, democratic majority. The workers can depend upon no one except those of their own class. The next step toward the solution of their problems must be the election of candidates to political office – local, regional and national – from the workers’ own ranks by the workers’ own political party, the Socialist Party.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Human beings have the capacity for historical hindsight. We can look back critically at the slaves of ancient society and agree that they were misguided in believing that their situation was “natural” and “proper". We now know that there was nothing innately inferior about slaves, that they were simply born into servitude. We have also passed that phase of society where the social structure was a rigid hierarchy in which the serf looked up to the knight, the knight to the Lord of the Manor and everyone looked up to the king or prince. If we now look at our own period in history with the same awareness of change and the impermanence of social ideas, we can see that there is nothing natural or necessary about the wage-slave status of the majority. The solution to the social problems of the majority is a dramatic change of social organisation to socialism.

The Socialist Party stands for the abolition of a social system which requires laws and coercion in order to survive. The alternative to all that — a revolutionary one, to be sure — is the establishment of a system based on conscious social co-operation. This will only be achieved when the earth and its resources belong to its inhabitants and not to a privileged minority. Abolish property, in all its forms, and you end the need to protect wealth, which is owned by those who do not produce it, from those who do. In a society of common ownership and democratic control, where everything belongs to everyone.

It will be claimed, even a system free of private property will need some laws and some police and some prisons. People will still need to be kept in order. No: in a socialist society the people will democratically keep themselves in order or there will be no genuine socialism. Anti-social individuals will still need to be punished, will they not? Let us consider these “anti-social individuals". Let us assume that there are going to be people in a socialist society who insist on defying the will of the community. It will be the community itself, within whatever area is affected, that will have to deal with such anti-social behaviour. How it responds will be entirely up to the people at the time to decide. There will certainly be no need for a special, permanent force of men and women to ensure that the common will is respected. It is often said that there are certain crimes which will always exist. Are there? We can agree that some murders are committed by sick people, as are many acts of rape, child molestation and gratuitous violence. Psychiatric knowledge regarding the origin of mental disorders which cause such behaviour is presently under-researched and confused. It is doubtful whether such characteristics would exist in a society freed from the repressive psychological conditioning of capitalism.

However, it is possible that there will be homicidal lunatics in a socialist society. If there are, they will require compassionate help, not punishment. You do not need prisons to deal with major personality disorders. Of course, those who believe that “human nature" is inherently anti-social will say that conscious social control is a dream. If they are correct, then the uncontrollable violence of the profit system will be with us forever. But all of the available evidence — psychological, biological, anthropological, historical — points to the fact that human behaviour is not natural, but adaptable and, given a different social environment, the thugs of today could be the consciously co-operating social beings of tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Capitalism is a society of conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic is sickening millions, killing tens of thousands, bringing everyday life to a stand-still. We must choose between saving actual lives and inflicting death. America’s president Dwight D. Eisenhower noted, “The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: … two fine, fully equipped hospitals.” Martin Luther King stated that “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” US Marine Major General J. Smedly Butler explained, “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…

Arms manufacturers have often been accused of causing war but in fact the roots of this scourge are in the basis of capitalist society. The makers and sellers of weapons merely take advantage of conflicts to exploit a market, to realise a profit, to accumulate more capital — just like the makers and sellers of any other type of commodity. People may die in extra abundance through this activity, but of what consequence is that when the overriding priority is to ensure the books balance on the side of profit?

Capitalism — the accumulation of wealth through the exploitation of working-class labour-power  is the inevitable social development of commodity-production to the point where abundance becomes possible; and where only the circumscriptions of the profit-system itself prevent society from freely producing and enjoying wealth.

1. The Socialist Party does not asks to be your would-be leader but wishes you to consider the merits of a serious idea - socialism. While the other parties consider workers too stupid to do their own thinking, we recognise and depend upon, your ability to understand our case. In fact, the Socialist Party asks you not to vote for us unless you are convinced by what we say.

2. The Socialist Party does not speak the same language as our political opponents. They talk about “the balance of payments problem”, the “national debt”, ‘‘the good of the nation”, “law and order”. Theirs is a system in which able workers are thrown on to the scrap-heap when it periodically becomes unprofitable to employ them; in which houses stand empty while homeless families live in misery because they can't afford to pay for a home; in which food is destroyed while millions starve; in which Christian morality is preached while governments store up piles of arms to destroy the world in the quest for markets.

Socialists speak the language of class struggle; that there is a working class who produce the wealth of society in return for wages or salaries, and a capitalist class who reap the profits simply because they own and control the means of producing and distributing wealth. For socialists the important issue is—Who is to own the means of life; the wealth producers or a minority of rich parasites?

3. The Socialist Party does not promise you “higher wages” or “improved welfare facilities” or “greater security”. The sad but indisputable fact is that as long as you go on supporting capitalism, its problems will be with you. A system which produces even the necessities of life for sale on the market at a profit causes poverty and insecurity for the majority alongside luxury and power for the few.

Many workers will agree that everything we’ve said so far is only too true. Yes, the other political parties ARE opportunists; yes, there IS class inequality; yes, the real problem IS capitalism. But what's the alternative?

What Socialism Is
The Socialist Party has as its object the establishment of a social system based upon the ownership by the community of the means of living. We need a majority of our class, desiring it, to bring this about. The only alternative is socialism, a society in which the whole community will own the means of production mid distribution of wealth. Class divisions will cease to exist, because instead of the separation between owners and producers of wealth, everyone will own and produce in common. Authoritarian leadership will give way to genuine democracy in which people will really have a say, because no longer will a minority possess power and privilege. Production for profit will be replaced by production for human needs, whereby goods will be freely available for people to take according to their needs. Work will be carried out on the basis of free co-operation instead of the coercion of the wages system. The division of nations will give way to the unity of one world. Inequality based upon possessions, status, race or sex will vanish as human beings create, for the first time ever, a sane society geared to the fulfilment of human needs. Critics of socialism claim that given free access, people will act irresponsibly. This we dispute. It is perfectly possible for people to act sociably when a socialist majority puts an end to the rat-race. For working people, socialism is the only alternative to the chaos of the profit system. 

The capitalist is the enemy, and, whether he appears as a democrat or a dictator, he can offer nothing but wage slavery to the working class. The ruling class have shown on many occasions that they are past-masters in the art of inducing self-deception among the workers. The Socialist Party  oppose the principles of world socialism to the scheming plans of the ruling class in such a way that the class issue is kept clear and the real aims of the ruling class exposed.

The establishment of the socialist society will result from the efforts of workers who understand not only the class antagonisms of the present system, but also the need for a classless society in which wealth will be produced only for use; the elimination of the class basis will also eliminate the profit motive.

Without this fundamentally class-conscious outlook, capitalist wars, and consequently working class slaughter, will always be a riddle to members of our class whose discontent with the present order of things need socialist understanding to give direction and effectiveness to that discontent. We members of the Socialist Party proceed towards our objective, firstly, by educating ourselves, and, secondly, by passing on that education to our fellow workers in the form of socialist propaganda and thus the greater will be the possibility of making the socialist majority of workers, who, having decided to abolish the private ownership of the means of life, will take hold of the political machinery for that purpose. With political control, this further step will be possible: the armed forces of the capitalist states will become an anachronism in a social system where there are no markets to safeguard and no trade routes to protect. The common ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution will necessitate other activities being found for the members of the derelict armies, navies and air forces of capitalism; activities based upon social utility, rather than wholesale mortality. And that, fellow workers, will be socialism.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Grievance Collector?

We are all shocked at the killing spree of failed, 51 year old businessman, Gabriel Wortman, who, on the weekend of April 18-19, killed 22 people, over 100 kilometres and 12 hours, in Nova Scotia, while wearing an RCMP uniform and driving a replica police cruiser. 

James Fitzgerald, a former FBI profiler, said, "The shooter appears to have been a ''grievance collector'', someone who remembers every slight or perceived slight from other people and begins to attribute their own shortcomings or failures to those alleged affronts. The grievances fester and can boil over into acts of vengeance''. 

Of two things we can be sure; Wortman was not exactly a well balanced person and that daily life under capitalism isn't conducive to good mental health with the pressures it puts on us all to survive. Reformers suggest banning guns, which though it’s a good idea an even better one would be to ban the society that causes violence and therefore wouldn't need guns. 

We cannot say nobody would suddenly go wacko in a socialist society, but we can say the pressure would not be great and that person would get the help he/she needed.

S.P.C. Members.

Capitalism's World In It's Own Image.

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels describe how capitalism has spread all over the world and add that, ''In one word, it creates a world in its own image''. They did not say the image was shitty and the publisher wouldn't have included it if they had. 

Be that as it may one only has to observe the dull uniformity of life under it to realize it ain't nothing to rave about. Diverse aspects of daily life such as jeans, T-shirts, freeways, high-rises, loud rock music, industrial slums can be seen, heard and unappreciated in any country. 

Now capitalism has given the whole world something new; starting in a black market in China we have COVID-19. One is a medical disease, the other an economic one and the sooner we get rid of both the better.

S.P.C. Members.

Arise and the work for your emancipation

Very few people would deny that the present state of the world leaves a lot to be desired. Humanity staggers from one crisis to another. Owing to the failure of our fellow-workers to understand their position in society, we have often pointed out that so long as the workers fail to make a serious study of the socialist proposition they easily become the victims of any political charlatan who desires to grow fat on their ignorance. Class consciousness was never more needed than now. To the Socialist Party, class consciousness is the breaking-down of all barriers to understanding. Without it, militancy means nothing. The conflict between the classes is more than a struggle for each to gain from the other: it is the division which reaches across all others. On the economic field there is constant conflict between the masters and the workers, each in turn fighting to reduce and increase this common standard of subsistence. The class-conscious worker knows where he or she stands in society. Our interests are opposed at every point to those of the capitalist class; our cause can only be the cause of revolution for the abolishing of classes. Without that understanding, militancy can mean little. It is not mere preamble that the Socialist Party’s principles open by stating the class division in capitalism: it is the all important basis from which the rest must follow.

In human history the principle of change operates. Social systems arise, grow, and decay, just as animals and plants do, the new system being a growth out of the older system. A glance along the path humanity has traversed in its development brings to light the fact that there have arisen at different times certain fundamentally different social systems, and in each epoch the people of the period have had their own particular outlook on life; as the epochs have been fundamentally different, so have the ideas of the times. Each social system has had at the back of it an older one, right away back to the time when our ancestors forsook their tree-top abodes for the solid ground. Just as each social system has given birth to or foreshadowed a later system, so capitalism at the high tide of its development foreshadows another system in which the evils that flow from the economic foundations of capitalism will cease to exist; economic insecurity will be as remote as the marvellous development of science can make it; no longer will those toiling myriads be bowed down with the weight of economic troubles, and the miseries we know to-day will disappear as snow before the sun.

The present social structure was not conceived by any one man or number of supermen. It is the result of slow, steady evolutionary processes. So with the new order—the socialist society of free men and women—it will come when the time is ripe, when the productive forces are developed to the point when a change will be inevitable. Our message to the workers is: Be prepared for that time to welcome the birth of the new social order; to herald in the co-operative commonwealth.

Socialism means the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution. In spite of a superficial similarity of words, the Labour Party is not aiming at common ownership, but at State control with private owners. The capitalist class are not, according to the Labour Party, to be dispossessed, but are to remain as a property-owning class, but are to be deprived of their immediate control over the management of industry. The country is to remain the same in all essentials. There will still be a working class and a class living on property incomes. Goods will still be produced for sale and profit-making, but the management will be in the hands of a series of so-called public utility corporations, directed by highly-paid business men. This is a grotesque representation of socialism. It is capitalism in a thin disguise. It solves no working class problem. It is not socialism and as such docs not bring socialism one day nearer.

The object of the Socialist Party is the establishment of socialism, a system of society wherein the means of production will be owned and controlled by the producers, working people. It is because these means of production are privately owned by the capitalist class to-day that millions of the workers throughout the world are in need of food, clothing, and shelter. Wealth is socially produced; it is the result of the co-operation of effort of the workers of the world applied to natural resources. But this wealth and the means for producing it are privately owned. It is this antagonism which the Socialist Party is out to abolish. In the socialist system harmony will take the place of the existing chaos, because there will be social production side by side with social ownership. This change in the social order is the revolutionary ideal of the socialist. All else is illusion.