Thursday, June 24, 2021

No to Cambo


 proposal is being pushed by Shell Oil and Siccar Point Energy to develop a large new oil field off the coast of the Shetland Isles. The government has not signalled its objection to the plan.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report stating that to reach net-zero fossil fuel emissions by 2050, policymakers must end all new investments in oil, gas, and coal extraction.

Friends of the Earth Scotland called the possible approval of the Cambo oil field project "completely indefensible" and said it "would further damage the U.K.’s credibility on climate action ahead of the U.N. climate conference COP26 later this year."

"It is an obscenity that these plans are being progressed just months before the UN climate talks are due to take place in Glasgow," said Caroline Rance, for Friends of the Earth (FOE) Scotland.

Producing and burning the 800 million barrels in this field would be equivalent to 10 times Scotland’s annual climate emissions.

In its first phase, the project would extract 150 million barrels—" as polluting as running 16 coal-fired power stations for a year," said FOE Scotland.

Rachel Kennerley, an international climate campaigner at FOE England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, said in a statement that "if ministers are serious about facing up to the climate crisis they must end their support for climate-wrecking fossil fuels at home and abroad."

Siccar and Shell aim to continue producing oil at Cambo until 2050. The government is not considering the Cambo oil field proposal in its "climate checkpoint," which determines whether new oil developments are compatible with climate goals, because the companies originally sought licensing in 2001 and 2004.

 "In terms of oil, it's not a new license, there are no new licenses this year," climate change minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told the Scottish Affairs Committee Wednesday.

Genuine Revolutionary Socialism

 


The Socialist Party is often told, “Your ideas are excellent but the word socialism has so many unfortunate associations that distance people.”

 The word socialism conjures up negative connotations. To many working people the word socialism means the same thing as the Communist Party dictatorship which ruled in Russia.

It is because of the confusion attached to the word socialism that our critics take great delight in flourishing the term wherever and whenever they can. We of the Socialist Party have nothing to do with such brands of so-called “socialism” or “communism.” We are Marxists because we know that Marxism is the only revolutionary socialism of the working class, and that is the only genuine socialism. History has demonstrated the spuriousness of every other brand. Socialism will not fall from the skies. Neither will it be gained by any appeals to the goodwill and compassion of the capitalist exploiters.  Socialism can be realised only as of the outcome of the class struggle of the workers. The class struggle is the motive force of history. Politics has no serious meaning except as the expression of conflicting class interests. Marx and Engels asserted, and we repeat after them, that there is an irreconcilable conflict of class interests between the workers and their capitalist exploiters. 

Capitalism robs the toilers of what they produce.  Socialism marks the birth of the era of prosperity for the workers. Under capitalism everywhere, wealth piles up automatically in the hands of the parasitic owners of the industries, while the masses of actual producers live barely at subsistence level.

When we say we will establish the cooperative commonwealth they still call us socialists. Whenever revolutionary socialists discuss the socialist road for their own country, they talk in terms of a worldwide struggle. Socialism, and only socialism, will create a true world commonwealth, a world without national barriers, without international rivalries, without masters and slaves. This global administration will not be a government of a dominant economic class but will be a decision-making body of all the peoples that inhabit the planet. Its primary duty will be to conduct the affairs of the world with the aim of eliminating poverty, hunger and general insecurity. Its sole criterion would be the needs of the people.

 The only possible remedy is the abolition of the private ownership of productive wealth. Socialism will destroy tile root evil of modern society, i.e., the private ownership of the means of production, the factories, mines, mills, machinery and land, which produce the necessities of life.  With socialism, the instruments of production will become the property of society, owned in common, producing for use, for the general welfare of the people as a whole. With the abolition of the private ownership of the means of life and with profit as the prime motive of production, the divisions of society between nations and classes will disappear. Then, and only then, will society be in a position to become a social order of abundance and plenty for all, for socialism will create a new world of genuine cooperation and collaboration between the peoples of the earth?

In abolishing classes in society, socialism will transform the form and type of governments that exist today. Governments will change into administrative bodies regulating production and consumption. They will not be the weapon of the capitalist class, i.e., capitalist governments whose main reason for existence is to guarantee the political and the economic rule of Big Business, their profits, their private ownership of the instruments of production, and the conduct of war in the economic and political interests of this class.

Socialism will solve the problem of poverty by abolishing capitalism. Socialism will not concern itself with profits but with providing decent housing for all the people. Socialism will create a system of health care in which the physical constitution and improvement of humanity will be the paramount consideration.  The aim of socialism is not the increased exploitation and intensification of labour, but to apply technology, science and invention to diminish toil, to create time in which to permit all the people to enjoy the benefits of social progress. Our world contains all that is necessary for socialism. All around us we see elaborate establishments containing the equipment and machinery which could produce the goods of life in abundance. Mankind has developed a marvellous technology to create a fruitful life of abundance. Only socialism can place automation and robots where it properly belongs: in the service of the people.

 People have a choice to make. Either we continue on the path of capitalism, one full of chaos, war and poverty or we take the socialist road toward a society of plenty for all which would end the exploitation of man by man for all time. 



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The War for Hearts and Minds


 What the Socialist Party means when it is referring to the social revolution. By the term “revolution” is meant that complete change in the relationship between the classes in society, and the fundamental change in the institutions of society that are brought about by the rise to power of a class that has hitherto been held in subjection. And socialists, when we speak of the social revolution, refers to those changes in society which will be brought about when the working class, holding political supremacy, is the dominant class in society, and takes possession of the means and instruments of wealth production and distribution.


The Labour Party is a reformist organisation engaged in advocating the patching up of the present system of society. Although some of its leaders are termed socialists, and at times have claimed that title, they have time and time again made it quite clear that they are nothing other than reformers. The real cause of the slavery of the working class is not touched by any reforms. The cause of that slavery, with its poverty and insecurity, is the private ownership of the means and instruments of wealth production and distribution. It is true that the capitalist mode of production, with its property basis, was necessary for the development of the instruments of production to their present stage of efficiency. But the development of the machinery of production has long since reached the stage necessary for the production of the means of life in abundance for the whole of society. The present system is based, however, upon the production of commodities for profit. The struggle for markets wherein to sell these commodities becomes keener and keener, especially as the capitalist mode of production, with its more and more efficient machinery, extends in the one-time backward countries. Wars, commercial crises extending over long periods of years, unemployment, and the reduction in the workers’ standards of living—these are some of the consequences of this struggle for markets. More commodities are produced than can be sold for a profit. Therefore restrictions are deliberately put upon production itself. This is not always done openly, but cases occur, and have been restored in order to promote an artificial scarcity.


Socialism, the remedy for the workers’ slavery, cannot be brought about gradually, as the reformers would try to persuade their dupes. It can only be brought about by dispossessing the master class of the means of wealth production, and that cannot take place until the working class has made itself the ruling class in society. To accomplish this the proletariat must win political power, which means the control of the armed forces of the State. By this revolutionary method alone will it be possible to abolish private property in the means and instruments of wealth production and to substitute production for use for production for profit.


What are we organised for? What is our chief bond of unity? What is our avowed object? The abolition of capitalism. We work for the coming of the cooperative commonwealth. Our first aim must be winning to our cause the majority of working people by promoting revolutionary principles in the struggle for emancipation that must be fought along political lines, using in the immediate struggle the parliamentary phase of political action by electing where possible our representative to political office. A socialist movement unites and is guided by a cause. That cause today is a vision of humanity crossing into a new world of human freedom, peace and brotherhood, a world free of exploitation, ignorance and strife. No force exists that can prevent the people struggling against intolerable conditions from coalescing. The socialist vision is one of peace and harmony. Today, the level of the means of production makes realising this cause possible.


Manipulation of people’s thinking has relied upon the old tactic of divide and conquer. Working people are confused. They don’t know where to throw a blow or who to blame for their poverty and misery. The ruling class understands that as long as people lack a vision and remain confused about who is their friend and who is their foe, it can maintain its supremacy. The ruling class is waging a vicious, relentless campaign for the hearts and minds of the people. It emphasises “me, me, me, and to hell with everyone else.” Socialists must win the war for the hearts and minds of the people.



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

An Address to Fellow-Workers

 


We address you not as citizens of one country to citizens of another but as world socialists to fellow-workers of the world. We reject frontiers as artificial barriers put up by governments. All are brothers and sisters and the world should be theirs. All should be social equals with free access to the plenty that could be if only the means of living belonged to a socialist world community. We oppose governments everywhere, all nationalism, racism and religion, all censorship, all wars and preparations for war.  We support class struggle for better wages and conditions against the employers and the government.  Do not be misled by those who say that universal suffrage is a fraud. Learn from your masters. You too must organise to win political power if you want a new society. Do not let cunning politicians return to power on your backs. Ignore those who would be your leaders. Rely on your own understanding and organisation. Turn universal suffrage into an instrument of emancipation. Do not underestimate what a task it will be to change society. It will be a hundred times more difficult than changing the government. A democratic world community, based on common ownership with production for use not profit, can only be set up when people want it and are ready to take the steps needed to get it up and keep it going. Democratic political action is the only way to socialism. There are no short cuts. We must have a majority actively on our side.


Do not be misled by demagogues, those who praise Lenin, Trotsky, Mao or Che Guevara, who would use you for their own mistaken ends. They think that an elite should use discontent and unrest to gain power so to set up a new society. What dangerous nonsense! Look at former state capitalist Russia where a new privileged class ruled, with police intimidation and censorship, over an increasingly restless population. Look at state capitalist China where power-hungry bureaucrats and new oligarchs cynically manipulate the people in their own sordid squabbles. Learn the lessons of history: elite action leads to elite rule. No socialism unless by democratic political action, based on socialist understanding. The task we face is to build up a strong world-wide movement for socialism. What is needed more than anything else in this period of social unrest is a clear, uncompromising statement of the case for a socialist world community.


We are keen to grow and spread. We want to increase the size and reduce the price of our journals. We have a dozen pamphlets we should like to publish. We seek to improve and widen our online presence. We want to train and equip new speakers and writers. We want—we want a hundred things; but chiefly and above all we want socialism.


We shall not get socialism until we get you. If you are thoroughly convinced of the desirability of socialism and  our method of attaining to it, your place is with us. Do not come in because you think something should be done for the suffering poor. Do not come in because you have a  kind heart and feel charitably disposed towards your fellows. We are engaged in a grim struggle. The enemy will not go down before an onslaught of sentiment. Come in clear-eyed and clear-headed, knowing that you are part of the working class, knowing that your class is a subject class, held in bondage by a parasitic useless class, small but politically powerful; knowing that you can wrest that power from them, and then—and only then—can remould our world.


We as socialists are not prepared to compromise our opposition to defenders of capitalism masquerading as ”friends” of the workers. The class struggle is not going to disappear by wishful thinking; nor will it go away by the introduction of economic or social reforms nor by draconian anti-trade union legislation. While capitalism remains, the class struggle remains. The solution to this struggle between capital and labour, a solution propounded by socialists throughout this century, is that workers must organise politically to abolish capitalism. Trade unions, strikes, and other manifestations of the class struggle can only go so far. They are always limited by the class position of the workers and the vagaries of the trade cycle which capitalism periodically passes through. In the end, workers must realise that it is in their immediate interests to push the class struggle to its limit and abolish capitalism.



Monday, June 21, 2021

Socialism - A Solidarity Society

 


The World Socialist Movement must be independent and uncompromising. It must also stand firmly by democracy, by the methods of socialist education and political organisation, and the method of gaining control of the machinery of government and the armed forces through the vote and only with the backing of a majority of convinced socialists. We do not take sides in ruling class quarrels. Capitalism is based on class ownership, class antagonism. What, then, is the remedy? It is so plain and reasonable that the slowness of the workers to accept it is a matter for recurring amazement. Abolish the capitalist ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. Rid society of this institution which has now become a fetter for the mass of the population. Let society itself, through its own democratic control, utilise the land to produce food for the needs of the whole community, and the factories and railways, etc., likewise. Let us have our means of life turned into means of producing the requirements of humanity, not the profits of a class. Let us turn our two hostile communities into one real community, freed forever of the rivalry of interests between those who own and those who do not own, a rivalry which restricts the production of useful and beautiful things, condemns vast masses to sordid poverty, excites class hatred and international war, and poisons human relationships in a war of the jungle instead of a co-operative endeavour to enrich life. Socialist propaganda by a socialist organisation is still the only road to socialism. Though disillusioned with conventional mainstream political parties, the workers find new illusions to keep them from the path to socialism.

 So long as the capitalist class control the means of life, every economy and every improvement in the education, health, and technical ability of the workers, male and female, only results in their becoming more productive slaves. The fruits of their increased productivity go to the masters and not to themselves. This is the central fact ignored or obscured by these so-called leaders of labour. Whether the workers follow the Left-wingers’  “to nationalisation” plus reforms, or the more militant to “cooperatives” plus reforms, they are doomed to disappointment. The only road to emancipation is the conversion of the means of life into the property of the whole people. To this end, we call upon the workers to organise consciously, and politically for the capture of the machinery of government.

 Socialism, undiluted and unadulterated, is what the Socialist Party wants. As to why we want it, only look around you. Billions in need food, health-care, housing, etc., and the means exist ready to hand whereby they can produce them but we are as far away as ever from economic security. 

 The Social Revolution offers the only way out. Muster, then, under our banner, with a view to its speedy accomplishment.  The only solution to their troubles is the abolition of the cause—the private ownership of the means of life. Until they decide to carry this abolition through, their position as a whole is bound to grow worse by the operation of the factors given above. To abolish their slavery; to establish the common ownership and control of the means of wealth production and distribution, the workers must first seize the governing machinery of society. This is the political machinery, with its centre in Parliament. At any general election, the workers can do this, because they have the vast majority of the votes. But behind the vote is needed knowledge. Only when the majority of the workers understand they are slaves will they be in the position to end their subjection. Until then they will remain slaves.

 The Socialist Party message is that they are two phases of one thing—the system of capitalism. Capitalist progress means high productivity, profits, economy of labour to the capitalist, but ill-health and nervous tension, robbery of, and unemployment, to the worker. Every strike of any size causes inconvenience and sometimes suffering. But to follow the above argument to its logical conclusion means that the workers must accept anything the masters choose to impose, even though it may mean greater suffering than would be entailed by a strike!

 On the economic field the workers’ powers are limited, and in the ultimate, can always be beaten by the possessors of political power. But, as Marx has pointed out, these everyday struggles, with all their limitations, are a product of the system, and cannot be avoided unless the workers are ready to sink below subsistence level.

 When a sufficient number are enlightened then we shall see the workers organise into the Socialist Party, putting forward their delegates and voting them into Parliament. With this control, they will be able to enter into possession of the means of life and end the misery and hardship of the present system and replace by the system that will secure comfort and happiness to all— namely, SOCIALISM.