Friday, July 20, 2018

The problem is not the Tories or Labour.....

Click on image to enlarge
Click on image to enlarge 

Understanding The Socialist Party

 Understanding the nature of capitalism helps us in imagining the fundamental change needed to end unrepentant capitalism and its global expansion. The Socialist Party does it best to provide some historical background and context to make people remember their roots and to get them angry against the system. Our task is to promote a consciousness that equips working people with the knowledge to take control of their lives and change it for the better. Today’s so-called critics of the capitalist order seem very tame by comparison. Be men and women in the full sense of the word, self-reliant and confident, Come, take your heritage, for you have nothing to lose but your chains. You have a world to win. The land is a gift of nature to all men and women, technology and all the means of production have been brought into existence by the energy and industry of the workers. We, therefore, propose taking over the land and the means of production and working them in the interest of all. If this were done, with our increased knowledge of organised production and distribution, the present industrial hell would be converted into a heaven of delight, where peace and plenty would bring joy and happiness to one and all.

Under the wages system you and your children, and your children’s children, if capitalism should prevail until they are born, are condemned to slavery and there is no possible hope unless by throwing over the capitalist and voting for socialism. Declare war, not on the individual capitalist, but on the capitalist system. The Socialist Party is for the freedom of the working class. We appeal to our fellow members of the working class to come together in one class-conscious solidarity. We are asking them to open their eyes and see a new dawn approaching. We declare then, that the time has come when working men and women should open their eyes to the class struggle when they should have an intelligent understanding of socialism and pave the way for its triumph and the abolition of capitalism. It is socialism or capitalism. The working class must be aroused. They must be made to hear the trumpet call of solidarity. Economic solidarity and political solidarity!

The Socialist Party knows its mission is so to organise the mechanism of production that wealth can be so abundantly produced as to free mankind from want and the fear of want, from the brute’s necessity of a life of arduous toil in the production of the brute’s mere necessaries of life. Only the working people themselves can improve their miserable conditions. We demand human dignity and justice and to achieve this goal, we strive by all peaceful means through our representatives to influence our society. The socialist movement is as wide as the world, and its mission is to win the world — the whole world — and dedicate it to humanity. The mission of the Socialist Party is the creation of the cooperative commonwealth. The world the Socialist movement is to win from capitalism will be filled with wealth for all to have and to enjoy in its abundance. And why not? Nothing is so easily produced as wealth. The planet is one vast mass of raw materials. In every passing breeze, in every wave, in every river and ray of the sun are the magic forces to transmute into energy sources.

Socialists may disagree. We may be divided. It is possible that we shall quarrel and yet still be perfectly sincere. However, we are all subscribers to the same fundamental socialist principles. We all stand upon the same uncompromising platform. We are all battling for the triumph of the producers of the world. We are educating, we are agitating, we are organising. It is only a question of time when socialists will be in the majority. We will succeed on a platform declaring for the common ownership of the means of production and distribution. Then the factory will no longer be a dismal prison thronged with industrial convicts. Then for a’ that and a’ that, man to man the world o’er, shall brothers be for a’ that. The worst in socialism will be better than the best in capitalism. We can only hope for and work for the best.



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Scotland's Deprivation Means Early Deaths

Scotland has the highest rate of avoidable death in the UK and the figures are getting worse, BBC analysis has found. In 2016, the rate stood at 301 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 287 in 2014.
North Ayrshire has the highest avoidable death rate in Scotland, the fourth most deprived local authority area in Scotland, saw the highest rate - 373 per 100,000 people, while Shetland has the lowest.
Experts blame social deprivation, with access to alcohol, tobacco and fast food also a factor.
It means the gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor is worsening.
Dr Andrew Fraser, from NHS Health Scotland, said: "We know that people in poorer areas experience more harm from alcohol, tobacco and fast food than those in more affluent areas. Part of the reason for this is that it is easier to access the things that harm our health in those areas. To prevent death, disease and harm we need to take actions where and when they are needed. We must address harm from alcohol, tobacco, being overweight or obese. However, these are often common factors, co-existing in communities, groups and individuals, and so we must also address the environment we live in."
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-44872590

Wealth for all



Workers who support capitalism are easily overcome by the propaganda supporting its class rule, exploitation, poverty, famine, war. Only the socialist—who is conscious to the facts of capitalism and the need to replace it with socialism understands. Socialists are not alone in hating what capitalism does to people but they are unique in their understanding of why it does and of how to end it. Capitalism is always prepared to spend a huge part of its resources on destruction, regardless of how much deprivation there is in the world. It is no coincidence that it is at its most inventive, efficient and productive in wartime, when its aim is to destroy as much, and murder as many, as it can.

To most people the word ‘poverty’ means one of two things. Either life below the breadline, such as experienced by many in this country in the last century and by millions still today in the less developed parts of the world. Or simply being badly off, of having enough to live on but not being able to afford the extra comforts which most other members of the community enjoy.

Looking at the first type of poverty, where people actually suffer sickness or death from undernourishment, we find that it has virtually disappeared from Britain. The second type however is still rife. It exists among various sections of the population, the low-paid, the unemployed, the old, the disabled.  If the first type of poverty has been wiped out, why then should the second type still be so prevalent? After all we are no longer in the dark days of the 19th century when wealth was limited and goods seemed scarce. Today our local supermarket bursts at the seams. Why in the midst of all this plenty does there still not seem to be enough to go round with fair shares for all? Why this continual inequality? If the “poor” are still with us, it’s not because there isn’t enough to go round (with today’s technology and expertise, resources, if used rationally, could be easily sufficient to satisfy all people’s needs), but because the anarchic, uncontrollable nature of the economic system under which we live does not allow for the elimination of poverty, only for unpredictable ups and downs in the production and distribution of the world’s wealth.

As an alternative to the system which produces and perpetuates poverty we have a completely different kind of society to propose, one which will do away with poverty in all its definitions. We propose a world community in which all the resources at man’s disposal are used to satisfy the needs of people, not of profits. There will be no poverty of any kind quite simply because all wealth will be owned in common and all persons will have free access to all goods. There will be no money, no employers, no wages, no frontiers. Only voluntary cooperation and economic equality In a society in which what you need will be readily available when you need it the “I want more” mentality will inevitably be absent. To achieve this change of society we need a revolution in ideas followed by a political revolution in which people by majority vote (not by minority violence) will usher out the present world system of buying and selling. This is your choice – capitalism which means reaction and chaos or a workers’ world which means a higher level of civilisation and culture. Socialism as we use the term, means a community of men and women who are able to understand, express and determine their lives as dignified human beings rather than  in which they no longer need to feel themselves prisoners of social forces and decisions beyond their control or comprehension.

The aim of the Socialist Party is to end the capitalist system of society, based on the exploitation of man by man, by means of the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalists and dismantling the capitalist state, the apparatus of force by which they rule; To establish the rule of the working people; To build a socialist society based on common ownership of the means of production, with economic life planned in the interests of the masses of the people – a society which will develop material; abundance and create a socialist society based on the principle “to each according to needs”.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Conflicting Plans

Things are changing day after day concerning NAFTA with Trump, Trudeau and their counterparts getting their panties in a twist over its implications. 

All these guys are really saying is, ''I have to look after the interests of capitalism in my country, so screw you, buddy, if that conflicts with your plans.''

 It certainly highlights the insanity and anarchy of capitalism. 

Imagine a world where there were no countries to squabble with each other, no trade, and where all could partake freely from the common store of wealth. Then you wouldn't have this nonsense. The funniest part of it is that critics of socialism say if established it would degenerate into chaos.
For socialism, 
Steve, Mehmet, John & contributing members of the SPC.

Abundance for All

Employers are impelled to squeeze the last drop of profit from the workers. At this very moment, the employers are trying to reduce the already totally inadequate pay and dismantle working conditions. A systematic campaign has been waged by the employers  for the destruction of the trade unions. Day in and day out, the media express their distaste for the workers organisations. In Wages, Price and Profit Marx insisted that if workers were to abandon their battles around wages and working conditions, then “they would be degraded to one level mass of broken wretches past salvation ... By cowardly giving way in their everyday conflict with capital, they would certainly disqualify themselves for the initiating of any larger movement.” But these battles are not ends in themselves. In the very next paragraph Marx also warned against exaggerating the importance of such battles and becoming “exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerilla fights incessantly springing up from the never-ending encroachments of capital...” Thus while this struggle is necessary if the proletariat is to resist everyday attacks and still more to develop its fitness for revolutionary combat, such struggle is not itself revolutionary struggle. Moreover, unless the economic struggle is linked to building a consciously revolutionary movement – unless, as Marx puts it, it is waged not from the view of “fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work” but under the banner of “abolition of the wages system”–then such struggle turns into its opposite, from a blow against the bourgeoisie to a treadmill for the proletariat.

But what are wages? When a worker hires himself to an employer he agrees to work for him, that is, to give him a portion of his time and energy each day in return for a specified sum of money. Hence it is seen that to shorten hours is, by decreasing the quantity of time and energy given, equivalent to raising wages and may be included under that head. Similarly, as wages are, in the long run, not the actual money but the "living" which that money will buy, the betterment of conditions generally may also be included in the general term wages. We find, then, that the object of the union is to secure for its members a betterment of wages. Wages being, superficially, the sum of money, but, in the last analysis, the living, in exchange for which the worker delivers up to an employer for a specified time his or her physical energy, in other words, labour-power. We find the fact that we must work for ever less and less wages is merely a necessary corollary to the simple fact that we must work for wages. We find that we must work for wages because we have not the necessary implements of production to enable us to work for ourselves. We must, therefore, in order to gain our livelihood, work for those who own these means of production. We cannot employ our own power to labour, we must, therefore, sell it to those who can employ it. Purchasing our power to labour, to them belongs the fruit of that labour; in it we have no part for we have sold out and receive our portion, at best a meagre living.

Seeking the cause of our enslavement we find it in the ownership by the masters of the means of production, the mills, mines and factories and the avenues of transportation. Owning these they, as a class, command our labour. To them we must sell, in competition with our fellows, our power to labour for a wage, the equivalent of which but a few hours of the day’s toil will reproduce. The hours we labour thereafter are the profit of the masters. Out of that unpaid toil are their rent, interest, and dividends paid, for to the owners of the means of wealth production belongs the wealth produced. It follows, therefore, that were the means of production collectively owned by the workers, to the workers the wealth produced would belong. The fruits of what is now their unpaid toil would then be theirs to use and enjoy. The enhanced productivity due to improved technology, the benefits of which accrue now to the masters would accrue then to the workers, to whose ingenuity they are due and by whose effort they are employed. The lessening of the labour needed then, in place of constituting, as now, an ever-pressing peril and an increasing source of hardship and degradation, would, by lessening the necessary hours of work, be but a boon and an easement to the workers. Increased productivity, instead of spelling intensified poverty would but signify enhanced ease and plenty.

But between the workers and the ownership of the means of production stands the State. If the property of the masters is stolen, restitution and punishment come at the hands of the State. If the ownership of property is in dispute, the State adjudicates. If property is threatened the State, with police and militia, with judiciary and legislature, hastens to its defence. The title deeds to property are written and guaranteed by the State.

The State giveth, the State can taketh away. It is now the instrument of the masters to preserve their property. It can become the instrument of the workers to turn that property into their hands. Now the control of the State is in the hands of the masters. The old political parties represent, if they represent anything, but warring factions of the master class. Whichever party wins to political power neither helps the workers. The politicians reign but, unseen, the capitalists rule. Be he never so honest or well-meaning, the old party politician can but serve Capital, not Labor, whether or not he wills or knows it. By training, education and thought he is the henchman of Capital.

So long as the workers can be beguiled into supporting any of the parties of capital, that is any party which is not against capital, capital is safe, be the victorious party never so fierce in its denunciations of abuses, never so sincere in its professions of sympathy for labour. While capitalist ownership is untouched, capital is master, labour slave. Only by themselves conquering political power for the purpose of abolishing capitalist ownership of the means of production can the workers ever obtain any easement. They must have the whole loaf or be content with none. So to the conquest of the State we, of the working class, have set ourselves. Not for honour or glory. Not for personal political advancement. These we might achieve more easily otherwise. Nor for the love of suffering humanity. But because we know we are slaves; we have lived enslaved long enough and are determined at least to die freemen.


Arrayed against us are all the powers at the command of the master class: their wealth, their media, their intellectuals. But on our side capitalism, which seeks to combat us, itself creates us recruits for our ranks, foments our revolt. Capitalism, whose upholders deny the feasibility of socialism, exists for no other end than to prepare the way for that society. Capitalism has gathered us together, educated us, drilled and disciplined us into a huge co-ordinated army of production, given us ideas and aims, interests and aspirations in common. It has brought the means of production, so to speak, under one roof and has developed their efficiency many hundred fold. It has organised them ready for our collective ownership, and has imbued us with the desire to own them, nay, has dictated to us the necessity of owning them, leaving us no alternative but to own them or perish.

The greatest obstacle in our path is the ignorance of our fellow slaves of their enslaved condition. But that ignorance is being steadily dispelled. We do not seek to accomplish the impossible, to get blood out of a stone, to better our condition within a system whose very existence predicates that our condition must grow worse. We seek only the possible and the only possible remedy. The wage slave’s salvation lies in emancipation and in nothing less. That is the aim and purpose of the Socialist Party.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The only road is the socialist road.

If we look only on the surface of the capitalist system, the wages of the labourer seem to be the remuneration of labour—so much money paid for so much labour. Labour is then treated as a commodity, the market-price of which rises and falls above or below its value.  In the wages-system, the money relation conceals the gratuitous labour of the wage-worker for the capitalist. The owners of all resources and means of wealth form a class by themselves; the owners of labour power, as their only possession in the market, another. Political, judicial, educational and other institutions only mirror the prevailing system of ownership in the resources and means of production. One class—the capitalist class—owns and controls the economic resources of the world. That class, for its own protection and perpetuation in power, subjects all institutions to its own interests. On the other hand, there is a class—the working class—which is eventually to change the whole system of ownership of the means of production.

The capitalist class will forever be interested in lowering the wages and living conditions of the property-less people because it's simply in their interest. Trade unions as the first line of defence for the working class in that daily struggle. However, unions alone cannot break people free from the endless cycle of capitalist wage-slavery. As long as the capitalist system exists, the bosses will always try to take back what they have been forced to concede. They will continually try to step up the exploitation of the working class in order to boost their profits. Until the workers get rid of the capitalist system itself, the cause of all the injustices they face, they will constantly have to take up their struggles over and over again. A socialist party mobilises, educates and unifies the working class and show that every conflict between workers and bosses is part of the general struggle in society between the ruling class and its state on the one hand, and the working class on the other. It denounces all the employers or the government attempts to institutionalise class collaboration. The guiding principle and basis of action of a socialist party are that the interests of the owning class and the workers are irreconcilable.

 The labour movement should drop the meaningless slogan "A Fair Day's Wages for a Fair Day's Work" since capitalism's internal nature prevents capitalists from being "fair" to the workers whose wages they must continually seek to depress and adopt the slogan: "Possession of the means of work — raw material, factories, machinery — by the working people themselves!" For many long years, the Socialist Party pleaded with the workers to organise and take over the entire means of production and distribution. Books, pamphlets, leaflets, and periodicals of all kinds were freely circulated, with a scant result, our fellow-workers indifferent to questions of supreme importance. We must skilfully seize appropriate moments and opportunities to discuss politics and socialism with our fellow- workers at union meetings and elsewhere. Our goal is to raise political consciousness to the level of a socialist understanding. What all workers must realise is that their misery is due to exploitation carried on by the capitalist class. Trade unionism merely restricts their struggle to attempts at lessening this exploitation. It does not fight to end exploitation i.e. to end the capitalist system and replace it by socialism. This is the fatal limitation of trade unionism.

We do not, of course, therefore oppose trade union struggles or refuse to participate in them. It is very essential to organise workers and help them to fight for their day to day demands. Because, it is only in the course of these fights, that the workers learn about the system of capitalist exploitation and the need to abolish it. Trade union struggles are necessary to educate the workers. What is wrong is to stop at that stage, limiting ourselves always to trade union struggles. We must urge the workers forward to transform the economic struggle into a political struggle for the seizure of power by the working class. If we do this we would be doing revolutionary work. Otherwise, we will sink into the morass of reformism. We should educate our fellow-workers sufficiently to prepare them to overthrow the system of exploitation itself. We must not only teach them how to fight for wage increases but go further to abolish the wage system itself.

The onus is on the Socialist Party of demonstrating in a way that can be understood by the workers that the theories we have so long expounded can be translated into a practical method of producing and distributing the wealth of the planet in such a way as to end forever the exploitation of the many by the privileged few.  Let us capture Parliament, and carry through a social revolution that will take us out of capitalism into the new world of socialism. Money, the most powerful weapon of the capitalist is discarded. Distribution will not be according to the amount of money a person has but according to his or her need. We are now poor and enslaved not because of lack of reforms made by politicians, but because the employing class owns and control the means of production, without access to which we cannot live. So long as others control the means whereby we live so long shall we be slaves? Only by taking and holding the means of distribution can the workers be free.

If we look only on the surface of the capitalist system, the wages of the labourer seem to be the remuneration of labour—so much money paid for so much labour. Labour is then treated as a commodity, the market-price of which rises and falls above or below its value.  In the wages-system, the money relation conceals the gratuitous labour of the wage-worker for the capitalist. The owners of all resources and means of wealth form a class by themselves; the owners of labour power, as their only possession in the market, another. Political, judicial, educational and other institutions only mirror the prevailing system of ownership in the resources and means of production. One class—the capitalist class—owns and controls the economic resources of the world. That class, for its own protection and perpetuation in power, subjects all institutions to its own interests. On the other hand, there is a class—the working class—which is eventually to change the whole system of ownership of the means of production.

The capitalist class will forever be interested in lowering the wages and living conditions of the property-less people because it's simply in their interest. Trade unions as the first line of defence for the working class in that daily struggle. However, unions alone cannot break people free from the endless cycle of capitalist wage-slavery. As long as the capitalist system exists, the bosses will always try to take back what they have been forced to concede. They will continually try to step up the exploitation of the working class in order to boost their profits. Until the workers get rid of the capitalist system itself, the cause of all the injustices they face, they will constantly have to take up their struggles over and over again. A socialist party mobilises, educates and unifies the working class and show that every conflict between workers and bosses is part of the general struggle in society between the ruling class and its state on the one hand, and the working class on the other. It denounce all the employers or the government attempts to institutionalise class collaboration. The guiding principle and basis of action of a socialist party is that the interests of the owning class and the workers are irreconcilable.

 The labour movement should drop the meaningless slogan "A Fair Day's Wages for a Fair Day's Work" since capitalism's internal nature prevents capitalists from being "fair" to the workers whose wages they must continually seek to depress and adopt the slogan: "Possession of the means of work — raw material, factories, machinery — by the working people themselves!" For many long years the Socialist Party pleaded with the workers to organise and take over the entire means of production and distribution. Books, pamphlets, leaflets and periodicals of all kinds were freely circulated, with scant result, our fellow-workers indifferent to questions of supreme importance. We must skilfully seize appropriate moments and opportunities to discuss politics and socialism with our fellow- workers at union meetings and elsewhere. Our goal is to raise political consciousness to the level of a socialist understanding. What all workers must realise is that their misery is due to exploitation carried on by the capitalist class. Trade unionism merely restricts their struggle to attempts at lessening this exploitation. It does not fight to end exploitation i.e. to end the capitalist system and replace it by socialism. This is the fatal limitation of trade unionism.

We do not, of course, therefore oppose trade union struggles or refuse to participate in them. It is very essential to organise workers and help them to fight for their day to day demands. Because, it is only in the course of these fights, that the workers learn about the system of capitalist exploitation and the need to abolish it. Trade union struggles are necessary to educate the workers. What is wrong is to stop at that stage, limiting ourselves always to trade union struggles. We must urge the workers forward to transform the economic struggle into a political struggle for the seizure of power by the working class. If we do this we would be doing revolutionary work. Otherwise, we will sink into the morass of reformism. We should educate our fellow-workers sufficiently to prepare them to overthrow the system of exploitation itself. We must not only teach them how to fight for wage increases but togo further to abolish the wage system itself.

The onus is on the Socialist Party of demonstrating in a way that can be understood by the workers that the theories we have so long expounded can be translated into a practical method of producing and distributing the wealth of the planet in such a way as to end forever the exploitation of the many by the privileged few.  Let us capture Parliament, and carry through a social revolution that will take us out of capitalism into the new world of socialism. Money, the most powerful weapon of the capitalist is discarded. Distribution will not be according to the amount of money a person has but according to his or her need. We are now poor and enslaved not because of lack of reforms made by politicians, but because the employing class own and control the means of production, without access to which we cannot live. So long as others control the means whereby we live so long shall we be slaves. Only by taking and holding the means of distribution can the workers be free.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Changing "Good Laws" For New Ones?

On June 7 the PCs won the Ontario provincial election taking 76 ridings, the NDP took 40, the incumbent Liberals 7 and the Greens 1. 

Doug Ford said his first act as Premier will be to take Ontario out of the carbon cap-and-trade system saving Ontarians 4.3 cents a litre on gasoline. He is also planning a $30 million court fight to block the federal government from imposing carbon taxes in Ontario.

 The cap-and-trade system was implemented by outgoing Premier Kathleen Wynne; it imposed a ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions by specified industries. This clearly shows the pointlessness of any government passing ''good laws'' when they can be overturned by a new one. The only positive thing about the election is that 42 per cent of the electorate did not vote, presumably thinking it's a waste of time voting out one bunch who cannot ''deliver the goods'' in favour of another who can't either. 

This does not mean elections are in themselves a waste of time. The electorate comprising mainly working people could spend their time very usefully voting capitalism out altogether and running civilization in entirely their own interests.
For socialism,
Steve, Mehmet, John & contributing members of the SPC.

Glasgow Branch Meetings (18/7)


Wednesday, 18 July 
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Maryhill Community Central Halls, 
304 Maryhill Road, 
Glasgow G20 7YE

When the Socialist Party of Great Britain was formed in 1904 it laid down one aim—Socialism. It drew up a Declaration of Principles that has solidly withstood all attacks from every quarter. 

The Socialist Party argues that minorities cannot simply take control of movements and mould and wield them to their own ends. Without agreement about what it is and where it is going, leaders and led will invariably split off in different directions. We say that since we are capable, as workers, of understanding and wanting socialism, we cannot see any reason why our fellow workers cannot do likewise. The job of socialists in the here and now is to openly and honestly state the case rather than trying to wheedle and manoeuvre to win a supposed ‘influence’ that is more illusory than real.

As our fellow- workers gain more experience of the class struggle and the workings of capitalism, it would become more consciously socialist and democratically organised by the workers themselves. The emergence of socialist understanding out of the experience of the workers could thus be said to be ‘spontaneous’ in the sense that it would require no intervention by people outside the working class to bring it about. Socialist propaganda and agitation would indeed be necessary but would come to be carried out by workers themselves, whose socialist ideas would have been derived from an interpretation of their class experience of capitalism. The end result would be an independent movement of the socialist-minded and democratically organised working class aimed at winning control of political power in order to abolish capitalism. As Marx and Engels put it in the Communist Manifesto, “The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.”

One of the great strengths of the Socialist Party is our opposition to leadership and our commitment to democratic practices, so, whatever weaknesses or mistaken views we hold or get accused of, they cannot be imposed upon others with possible worse consequences. Can other groups claim the same for their own political pedigree? The validity of the Socialist Party's ideas will either be accepted or rejected by discussion and debate, verified by actual concrete developments on the ground. The Socialist Party is not going to take the workers to where they neither know where they are going nor, most likely, want to go. This contrasts with those who seek to substitute the party for the class or who see the party as a vanguard which must undertake alone the task of leading the witless masses forward.

The Socialist Party expects any working-class organisation to possess democratic self-organisation, involving formal rules and structures, to prevent the emergence of unaccountable, self-appointed elites, who may become the de facto leaders making decisions; and we endorse Jo Freeman’s Tyranny of Structurelessness. We’re not talking about the sort of structures advocated and practiced by Leninist organisations, which are designed to enshrine control by a self-perpetuating elite. We are talking about structures that place decision-making power in the hands of the group as a whole, along the lines of the seven “principles of democratic structuring” listed by Freeman. Mandating delegates, voting on resolutions and membership referendums are democratic practices for ensuring that the members of an organisation control that organisation and, as such, key procedures in any organisation genuinely seeking socialism. Socialism can only be a fully democratic society in which everybody will have an equal say in the ways things are run. This means that it can only come about democratically, both in the sense of being the expressed will of the working class and in the sense of the working class being organised democratically without leaders - to achieve it.

The crucial part of our socialist case is that understanding is a necessary condition for socialism and we see the our job as to shorten the time, to speed up the process - to act as a catalyst. The Socialist Party views its function to be to make socialists, to propagate socialism, and to point out to the workers that they must achieve their own emancipation. To “make socialism an immediacy” for the working class, something of importance and value to people’s lives now, rather than a singular ‘end’. We await the mass ‘socialist party’. Possibly, the SPGB might be the seed or the embryo of the future mass ‘socialist party’ but there’s no guarantee that we will be (more likely just a contributing element, in my humble opinion). But who cares, as long as such a party does eventually emerge?

At some stage, for whatever reason, socialist consciousness will reach a ‘critical mass’, at which point it will just snowball and carry people along with it. It may even come about without people actually giving it the label of socialism. At the later stage, when more and more people are coming to want socialism, a mass socialist movement will emerge to dwarf all the small groups and grouplets that exist today. When the idea of socialism catches on, we’ll then have our united movement. With the spread of socialist ideas, all organisations will change and take on a participatory-democratic and socialist character, so that the majority organisation for socialism will not be just political and economic, but will also embrace all aspects of social life, as well as inter-personal relationships. We’re talking about a radical social revolution.

We have a knowledge test for membership. The Socialist Party will not allow a person to join until the applicant has convinced the party that s/he understands and accepts the party case for socialism. This does not mean that we have set ourselves up as an intellectual elite into which only those well versed in Marxist scholarship may enter. The SPGB has good reason to ensure that only conscious socialists enter its ranks, for, once admitted, all members are equal and it would clearly not be in the interest of the party to offer equality of power to those who are not able to demonstrate equality of basic socialist understanding. Once a member, s/he have the same rights as the oldest member to sit on any committee, vote, speak and have access to all information. Thanks to the test, all members are conscious socialists and there is genuine internal democracy. And we are fiercely proud of that. Consider what happens when people join other groups which don’t have such a test. The new applicant has to be approved as being ‘an okay comrade’. The individual is therefore judged by the group according to a range of what might be called ‘credential indicators’. Hard work (more often than not, paper selling) and obedience and compliance by new members are the main criteria of trustworthiness in the organisation. In these hierarchical, ‘top-down’ groups the leaders strive at all costs to remain as the leadership, and reward only those with a proven commitment to their ‘party line’ with preferential treatment, more responsibility and more say. New members who present the wrong indicators remain peripheral to the party structure, finding themselves unable to influence decision-making, eventually resigning, often embittered by all the hard work they had put in and the hollowness of the claims of equality and democracy. (Does that sound familiar?)

The longevity of the Socialist Party of Great Britain as a political organisation based on agreed goals, methods and organisational principles and which has produced without interruption a monthly magazine for over a hundred years, through two world wars, is an achievement that most socialist organisations can only aspire towards. The best thing we can accomplish in the SPGB is to carry on campaigning for a world based on the common ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s resources in the interests of all. We will continue to propose that this is established by democratic, majority political action. Other groups will no doubt continue to propose their own way to get there. And, in the end, we’ll see which proposal the majority working class takes up.




For a New Society - Muster under our banner

To those who, while convinced of the soundness of the Socialist Party’s position, yet not taken the step of joining up or contributing to our campaigns, we would point out that every additional member and every additional pound increases the propaganda capacities of the Party and brings nearer the time when the working class will capture the seat of power for the introduction of socialism. The only sound policy for the working class under capitalism is to use whatever strength their economic organisation can give them to press for higher pay from the employers, not to lend themselves to stunt campaigns whose only result will be to make reputations for a few Left-wing leaders. The workers should, however, face up to the limits of trade union action. Socialism is the only remedy for the poverty problem, and trade union action cannot bring about socialism. When the workers acquire an understanding of their position under capitalism, they will not require to be told what to do, either upon the political or the industrial field. They will then be in a position to dispense with leaders with their poisonous doctrines of class conciliation.  

The Socialist Party is very much anti-capitalist and for a different kind of society run by the people in the interests of the people. There is a gulf between the two classes—the capitalist class and the working class—and we are very firmly on the side of the working class where the people would control the means of production right from the workplace up. We encourage class struggle and try to amplify them through political action into electoral challenges to the ruling class. The Socialist Party right from its founding has attacked the policy of political bargaining. We held then, as we do now, that a socialist party must be independent and must be based on the demand for socialism, not on a programme of reforms to be obtained by cooperating with capitalist parties. 


It often happens after an argument, with a fellow member of the working class who was sturdily supporting the master class in all their works and ways, that you are told: “You’re mad.” Socialists are “insane” when we point out that in society to-day there are two classes, the working class, who do all the work and live in poverty and misery, and the capitalist class, who do need to work to live in luxury and debauchery. We are insane when we point out that the workers, being in the great majority, can alter this ridiculous state of affairs when they desire to do so, and that the only thing that stops them desiring socialism is their ignorance of the socialist position. As the condition of the working class under capitalism must inevitably and inexorably get worse, and as socialism is the only remedy if advocating socialism is insanity, sooner or later the majority of the working class have got to go MAD.

 Socialist ideas will never be forgotten so long as there are exploited and oppressed people fighting against the effects of capitalism. You can spot an employers' apologist by what he says about the role of the working-class in society. He will always say, that workers must follow the leadership of somebody else, that the working class not suited for the leadership of society; that they need a clever leader over themselves. These frauds teach the workers NOT to rely on their own class strength, NOT to rely on their own class organisations, NOT to act on their own class interests. “The emancipation of the working class is the work of the working class itself,” said Marx, proven how true this is in a hundred different cases. No social or political movement can advance, can bring the people to an improved position in any respect, and do it in a durable and consistent way, unless it is by the working class itself. The failure of the working class everywhere to follow the guidance of Marx has produced the heavy defeats it has suffered.

The socialist revolution is the necessity of the times, and it is essential to get prepared now. Many things need to be done. We need to overthrow the present tyranny and set up a genuine social democracy. Capitalist austerity and the continuation of class collaboration have both added to working-class disillusionment. In the eyes of many workers, the union organisations have lost their credibility because they failed to resist the capitalist offensive and were unable or even unwilling to maintain the positions already won. Events have clearly highlighted the barrenness of reformism. Capital has always used the reformist organisations for its own ends by involving and implicating them in the reduction of the living standards of the working masses.

The idea that the workers have power over industry is misleading. What conceivable force gives them any such power? That is a question the syndicalists and industrial unionists cannot answer. The most they can do is to come out on strike, which, instead of controlling industry, is a mere cessation of industry. Let them attempt to carry on production against the will of the owners of the means of production and they soon find the power which the workers daily have in their hands while in the workshops is not much of a protection against the State's baton or bullet. That power of the working class” which looms so large in the anarcho-syndicalist's mind is simply the power of the slave over the instruments of his slavery. The sooner you join us the sooner the modern class war will be over. Assist us to uproot the edifice of capitalism. 



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Something Is Very Wrong,

Chief executives at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5 per cent raise last year bringing the average wage for CEOs to $11.7 million according to Standard and Poor's recently released figures.
 For the first time, the American government required companies to show how much more bosses make than their workers. On average they make 164 times as much. At Yum Brands, CEO Greg Creed's pay of $12.3 million was 1,323 times higher than their average workers. 

"High pay ratios send a dispiriting message to the work force'', said Liz Shuler, secretary -treasurer of the AFLCIO.'' 

Companies are asking their employees to do more with less, at the same time that CEO pay is on the rise'' 

Doesn't this suggest something is very wrong in a society where such inequalities exist.

The mind boggles . . .
For socialism, 
Steve, Mehmet, John & contributing members of the SPC.

The future belongs to socialism

Since 1904, when the Socialist Party started out on its task of pointing out to the workers that there is no solution of their problems except socialism, and that there is no way of achieving socialism except through independent organisation in a purely socialist party for the conquest of the powers of the State. The Socialist Party has proclaimed that it makes no essential difference what is the label or programme of the political group which takes on the administration of capitalism. Too many times the workers have placed their trust in one or other of the non-socialist parties, and every time their trust has been repaid with poverty and distress instead of the promised prosperity, with the blood and tears of world conflicts instead of peace, with disillusion and despair instead of hope and progress. The history of general elections is the history of new and ever more cunning methods of catching the votes of the worker by promises of reforms. It is a history of pledges made only to be broken. The only political party which has never promised to solve the problems of the workers for them is the Socialist Party which does not promise to do something for you in return for your trust in us but only assures you that your problems can be solved by you, and by you alone, just as soon as you have the knowledge, the will, and the political organisation to make your will effective. It is your task to understand socialism, and then to join us in the Socialist Party to bring it about. The truth is that capitalism is triumphant everywhere because the working class are blind to their own class position, and are still persuaded that they have an interest in leaving power in capitalist hands. It is the duty of each national section of the working class to struggle against their own capitalist masters, aided to the extent that is possible by the international movement. 

There are so many people who do not understand what is the nature of the class-struggle of which socialists speak and so many others who choose to misrepresent it, that the essential facts cannot be repeated too often. The class-struggle is something which exists owing to capitalism. It is not an idea invented by socialists. It existed before there was any World Socialist Movement. The existing class-struggle is a fact arising from the division of human beings into two social classes. They are not divided into classes by socialists, or by their own ideas and outlook, but by their possession or non-possession of property. The capitalist class is those who own sufficient property to be able to live on the income which flows to them through their ownership. They are the receivers of rent, interest or profit. The working class is those who, because they do not own sufficient property to be able to live on property income, must work for their living. They must sell their physical and mental energies, their labour-power, to the capitalist class and the agents of the capitalist class. In return, they receive wages or salary. The working class includes those who perform practically all of the work necessary for the production and distribution of wealth, from the making of bricks to the task of organising and directing. They are all workers, working to order, producing wealth for the capitalists to own. These are facts, and it is remarkable how rarely the defenders of capitalism even attempt to dispute them. Given this private ownership of the world’s means of producing and distributing wealth, a class struggle is a necessary consequence, expressing itself as a struggle by the propertyless to gain control of the property, or as a struggle over the division of the product of industry—strikes, lockouts, etc. The capitalists assert they are too poor to pay workers a wage that will ensure a comfortable existence. Now surely this seems strange when wealth to the value of thousands of millions of pounds is used up providing battleships, tanks, 'planes, guns and the men to man and use them, and the people to minister to these armies of men. And more extraordinary still, all this wealth is simply wasted because of none of the powers that be have warlike intentions.

The part played by the Socialist Party is not that we have created this struggle, but that we explain it and show how it can be abolished by the abolition of all classes. The part played by some of the defenders of capitalism is to pretend that the struggle has no basis in material conditions but exists only because certain people hold and preach views regarding it. Many working men and women believed that it provided the solution to their economic problems. With all its faults and limitations the early Labour Party was of a distinctly working-class character. It was quite probable in its early days that many of its leaders believed it to be the only party which the worker, in his or her own interests, could support. Time has brought changes.  Today, however, after holding the reins of office, the appearance of the Labour Party to its members has changed considerably. The Labour Party has reached the stage at which it is unwilling to be associated with ideas of destroying the private property rights of the capitalist class. Its chief business more than ever now is to get itself elected. It chooses its programme of social reforms solely with an eye to getting votes. Is this little different from the openly capitalist parties?

The possession of huge funds will not alone create a movement nor will lack of funds destroy one. Outside the ranks of our Party, there are thousands and thousands of workers who feel the pressure of servile conditions and bitterly complain, yet they are deaf to our message. To such our view is the “long view,” but they want “something now." For over a century workers have been struggling for “something now," and how has it left them? Bound tightly to the wheel of capital, faced with the poverty and insecurity, that is their common lot to-day. As we have so often pointed out the problem is a simple one. The insecurity and bondage that is the lot of the working class arise from the private ownership of the means of living. The conversion of these means of living into the common property of society will enable the product of industry to flow wherever needed, instead of only to those who have the money to buy. As the working class performs the work of producing and distributing the wealth to-day nothing can be lost by the changeover, except the privileges of an idle and parasitic class. The simplicity of the Socialist Party position is a guarantee that if it is sufficiently pressed to the attention of workers it must ultimately convince them, and gain their support. The little leisure available to those who are advocating socialist ideas makes the spreading of our views a long job until our membership has reached dimensions which will enable our view to be put everywhere and at all times. There is always the central fact that is both a spur to our efforts is that the abolition of private ownership of the means of production and the establishment of socialism is the only solution to the economic evils of today, and further, that this can be accomplished when the workers understand it and want it. By joining us and helping with voice, pen, funds, and keyboard will speed the birth of a new and much-needed social revolution. That is our message to all our fellow-workers.


Poverty-stricken Scotland

More than half of the most long term deprived areas in the UK are in Scotland.
The 18-month study examined 120,000 neighbourhoods and was one of the biggest ever into British deprivation.
Alarmingly, 59 of the worst-hit 100 housing estates for poverty and inequality were discovered in Scotland.
The survey, which looked at census figures between 1971 and 2011, also found that 47 of the 100 poorest areas in that period were all in Glasgow which also had the ten most deprived districts in Britain.

The study was carried out by a team led by Professor Chris Lloyd at Liverpool University.
They used information on the number of unemployed people, the number of overcrowded households and the number of cars per household in each ward.
Of the 23 worst areas in Britain, 20 were in Glasgow and one each in Greenock, Rutherglen, near Glasgow, and Paisley.
Other neighbourhoods in the worst 100 estates were Craigmillar, Pilton and Granton in Edinburgh and parts of Cumbernauld and Motherwell.
The Castle ward area of Stirling, which includes the Raploch esate, was also included along with a housing estate near the centre of Inverness.
According to the Liverpool research the most deprived area in the UK in the last 40 years was the Canal ward in Glasgow.
It includes Possilpark, Milton, and Ruchill districts and takes its name from the Forth and Clyde Canal that goes through the district. The council ward which featured most often in the research was Calton in the east end of Glasgow which includes Bridgeton and Dalmarnock communities.
Calton had six of the 100 most deprived parts of Britain.
Easterhouse, Pollok, and Springburn also featured in the worst hit 100 areas in Britain.
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/shock-figures-reveal-over-half-12916659

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hail the coming of socialism!


There is no squaring the circle of the capitalist system and a viable sustainable planet. There is no way for capitalism, resource use for profit, along with all the strife, warfare, and poverty that comes along with it. To continue under the business as usual model that contemporary society operate under. Marx and Engels observed the basic deteriorating nature of advanced agriculture in what they termed “metabolic rift”, where they learned from European scientists of the overwhelming degradation of soil fertility on the continent due to poor farming techniques, razing of forests, and heavy industry. The nation-state and its corporations do not serve human health or well-being. It excludes the majority, cuts them from a connection to their neighbours, their communities and the land for the privilege of an elite class who sponges off us and sucks the marrow out of the bowels of the Earth. Revolutionary activity and political organization are needed. 

After decades of campaigning an legislation, most environmental problems have not substantially improved, and, indeed, some have become much worse. Among people, there is an increasing awareness of the threat of climate change and there now seems to be a genuine interest in searching for the deeper roots of the problem. The ecology movement has called into question many aspects of modern consumerist society that are complicit in the environmental crisis. If a future socio-economic arrangement is to be sustainable it must take these criticisms to heart. Getting to the roots of the problem implies that we examine the socio-economic system under which we live. To do this, however, ecological ideas are not enough. If we seek to adequately explain the reasons for the environmental crisis we must clearly understand the economics of society that lead to environmental destruction.

 Many are convinced that the resources used by humans have already far outstripped the carrying capacity of the planet that expanding population numbers present the greatest ecological crisis. The crude population explosion theory quickly collapses when we focus on the question of how resources are distributed.  The present surplus levels do not account for today's scarcity and hunger. There is more than enough food produced to sustain the current level of world population. Yet food somehow manages to avoid the mouths of those who can't afford to pay the price, being fed to livestock for the affluent to increase profitability yet it is the poor who gets the blame.

What is rarely raised in discussion is an alternative society without a profit-oriented economy. In other words, socialism which produces what people need, not what makes a profit Such a society would, for the first time allow genuine possibilities for ecological sustainability. With democratic control of economic activity, we could realise the potential to recognise and stay within the limits of the ecological carrying capacity of the earth. Without profit-seeking businesses operating in their own interest, we will have eliminated the major social forces which resist environmental safeguards.


Some environmentalists activists lead the call decentralisation and localism. While it is important to pay attention to the question of large-scale concentration of industry, doing so does not solve all of our problems. Certain industries require centralization for efficiency, and economy of scale actually may reduce environmental impact in many of these cases. Each town cannot have its own factory to produce trains, yet the demand for transportation will not simply evaporate. The key is to meet this demand at an ecologically appropriate scale under a system that places a priority on protecting the environment. Under the current system, new technologies will always be implemented in order to create new products to sell and to increase productivity for firms attempting to be more competitive.  Yet the introduction of a new technology does not automatically spell greater exploitation. A vision for a socialist society which functions in a complementary way and in harmony with nature is our goal.

The mainstream environmental organisations seem unable or unwilling to absorb the hard political and economic lessons being taught to them and continue to hope that capitalist institutions can live up to their promises. Such hopes are bound to be disappointed. The relationship between people and our environment is a central question for millions across the world today and has raised the spectre of environmental destruction on a scale previous generations could barely have imagined. The most serious issue is the threat of global warming which seems to be occurring already with many unusual weather patterns and extreme events. To the Socialist Party, the argument is simple enough. It is that the roots of the threat to the environment and to the future of the planet lie in the capitalist system itself and they cannot be solved within the capitalist system. The answer to this terrible threat is to build socialism.


Without the drive to make a profit, wouldn't workers in the vehicle industry assert a right to insist on proper safety and anti-pollution features being built into all cars? Wouldn't workers in the food industry compel thorough standards of hygiene and prevent the introduction of impurities and adulteration of any kind? Wouldn't construction workers in the architect office an the building site to assert their authority over what they demolish and what they build? The problem is not industry or science, but the organisation of production under the control of a minority which lives by the greed of profit before all else. The continuing viability of civilisation itself demands a social revolution that ends the threat of environmental disaster depends on that the class on whose labour the whole system rests upon. The future of society, and the environment, relies on whether the global working class can wrest control of society from the parasitic few and commence production for need and use instead of for profit and capital accumulation.



Summer School

Summer School 2017

Summer School 2017  21st – 23rd July Fircroft College, Birmingham   These days, con...