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Showing posts from August, 2015

Rise Up and Go Around in a Circle

The left nationalists in Scotland having suffered a set-back by the referendum defeat where they propped up the SNP now seek to offer themselves as the left opposition to their former allies.
 RISE – Scotland’s Left Alliance is a coalition formed by the SSP and various other groups with the noticeable exception of Sheridan’s Solidarity. http://www.rise.scot/
They have taken a cue from George Galloway’s party RESPECT by using an acronym to name itself: Respect Independence Socialism Environmentalism
And similarly to “Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement” they require to add a qualifier on what they are – “RISE - Scotland’s Left Alliance”.
The RISE party logo is very appropriate, as you can see for yourself,  for a political organisations that is going around in circles. 
The SSP have said that they will not stand any candidates next year in order to maximise the attention upon RISE, although, of course, its leading lights such as Colin Fox will be favourites to stand as can…

Plenty for all

This is the age of science. We are on the thresh-hold to a new world. Never was there such an immense power for good. But how have the ruling class used this knowledge and potential. Have they ended poverty? Have they introduced security? Have they provided a high standard of living? Have they brought about the peace and harmony which is possible with plenty? Have they used new technology to create the more wealth to share in? Have they really made proper use of the power placed in their hands by science and technology? Never has the world had such a wonderful opportunity to build a decent place to live in but what kind of world have the ruling class built for us all? The industrial machine age did and still pours out great wealth but where is it going?  We can see the ordinary people are not growing fat on it. Mankind is smart enough to travel through space, dig into the bowels of the earth, travel deep under the sea; but we go hungry in the midst of food. That is capitalism! It can…

Spreading the socialist message

Marx wrote no “Utopia”. Nowhere in his writings is there to be found a detailed account of the new social system which was to follow capitalism but we can make generalized observations from what we know of the present capitalist system and what socialism needs to become. The first essential feature of socialism is that the means of production are taken from private ownership and used for society as a whole. The next step is the conscious, planned development of those productive forces. In socialist society, where production is not for profit but for use, a plan of production is possible. Therefore the factories and the mines, the power-stations and the railways, agriculture and fishing can and must be reorganised and made more up-to-date, so that a far higher level of production can be reached. What is the object of this? To raise the standard of living of the people.
One of the favorite arguments of the anti-socialists used to be that if everything produced was divided up equally, t…

Aberdeen Shadows

Following the global collapse in oil prices, North Sea oil revenues have been in freefall. In the first three months of this year they fell by 75%, continuing the downward spiral from the middle of last year. The downturn seemed to have justified the fears expressed by No campaigners in the referendum on Scottish independence. Indeed, tax receipts from oil accruing to Scotland between January and March this year were £168m, down from the £742m gathered in the final quarter of 2014. And nowhere is the economic wind-chill factor being more sharply felt than in Aberdeen.
Amid job layoffs in a region long regarded as Scotland’s Klondike, the big oil operators are putting an end to the longstanding “two weeks on, three weeks off” working model for oil-rig workers. Crews are being pressured into signing up to a “three weeks on, three weeks off” equal-time rota. This is a tougher regime than in Norway, but is comparable with working practices in regions such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Aberdeen …

Change the world before it changes you

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can be achieved in today’s world only by a socialist revolution. The Socialist Party is a Marxist party in that we understand that the interests of the capitalist class and the working class are opposed and cannot be reconciled; that capitalism can and must be ended and replaced; that the working people must capture the State then build a socialist society. Reformism - the acceptance of the framework of the capitalist economy and state - and seeking to "manage" capitalism has always ended by leading the attacks on the working class. The attempt to travel the road to socialism in small steps, to start it off through changes or reforms which are possible under capitalism, leads inevitably to forgetting the final aim and making the means an end in themselves. Reformist tactics have up to now led to the the carrying out of reforms being by the leadership of working class organisations, the politicians of the parliamentary parties thu…

Make socialism a reality

Socialism is a society in which all the members of the community collectively determine their conditions of life and their way of living. In order to do so, they must own and control in common all the means of production. Unless the means of production are effectively in the hands of the whole society there can be no question of the democratic control of the conditions of life. Every capitalist competes with every other one for a market. If one capitalist does not compete, he is lost. Capitalism is a social system which breeds conflicts. It is a seething jungle of struggles wherein individuals, classes, nations, and empires fight against each other. Individual wage-earners vie with each other for jobs; capitalists outbid one another for markets; classes struggle against each other in the economic and political arenas; and nations are prepared to wipe each other off the map for the sake of expansionist conquest. Socialism will be won through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism a…

Why we are socialists

When the working class has power it can build socialism. The political power of the capitalist class is exercised, not merely through the parliamentary institutions, which it modifies or discards according to the situation but through its own class control of all institutions, by its own officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, police force, law courts, press, schools. It is only possible to conquer this class domination when, the majority of the workers are prepared to throw off the capitalist class control in all phases of social, industrial and political activity, and themselves take control of the factories, mines, workshops, railways, etc. There can be no real democracy unless it is a workers’ democracy that is in power. Real democracy means the mass of the population being at once voters and administrators. This is can be possible under a system of workers’ councils or peoples’ communes or another form of participatory decision-making that is deemed fit and proper at the appropri…

Communicating revolution

People don’t suddenly understand everything at once. Often they are politicalised (radicalised, if you like) by one issue that effects or influenced them. These people begin to question the whole society, and to see the inter-relationships between different issues. Our aim, in fact, is to help move people to a wider and broader perspective and understanding of the world. We point the way to the goal of the class struggle: socialism. Reformism preaches defeatism to the exploited. Nothing can be expected, nothing is possible but what exists, and what continues is betrayal of what could be with the argument of lesser evil. Those who call for a “lesser evil” — that is, for evil — will unfortunately succeed. The call for a “lesser evil” is what makes possible the greater evil.
Often revolutions are defensive. Fundamental social change takes place as a defense against attempts to take back hard-fought rights, gains, or conditions. Often revolutions do not occur out of ideological commitmen…

We are working class

Try an experiment. Dress up smart in a suit and tie, and walk into some corporation and say: “Hello, I’m a sociologist, I’m here to do a study. Could I just walk around and talk to people?” And then you walk up to somebody and say: “Who’s your supervisor?” And he’ll point to some office, and you find someone with a little name plate, and it’s a supervisor. And you ask him: “Who’s your supervisor?” And he’ll point to a different place, and you walk in and there’ll be a rug. And you say to him: “Who’s your supervisor?” And he’ll point to a different floor, all carpeted and you’ll find it gets harder and harder to get in the doors. There’s more and more secretaries, and phones, and the carpets gets thicker and thicker. Eventually you have to make appointments. And then you hit the barrier. Here is where you switch from the people who carry out decisions to people who make the decisions. And that’s your local ruling class. And from your test, you’ll find that all institutions are structu…

What do we mean by socialism

Capitalism is not part of an eternal “natural order” of things and nor is it a consequence of “human nature”. It is a fairly recent arrival in man’s history. The problems we face – unemployment, poverty, recession, are not some aberrant “illness” of capitalism, they are an essential part of how it works. All these evils are the direct result of the private ownership of wealth, and the consequent exploitation by a few of the mass of the population, the workers who produce all wealth – and whose reward is a pittance. This tiny minority of the population holds complete control of the economy and political power, and effectively controls all the machinery of the state, the armed forces, the police, judiciary and upper rank of the Civil Service. The economic and political power of the capitalist class has its counterpart in the domination and control of the production of ideas, through which it maintains the repressive machinery of the state.
The ruling class will attempt to defend its po…

The Need for Marxism

We live in a world dominated by capitalism, a system which allows a small minority of capitalists to oppress and exploit the great majority of humankind.  It is capitalism that brings about great inequalities in living standards with more poor people now in the world than ever before, starts murderous wars to steal the resources of other countries and causes the growing devastation of our natural environment.  Either we get rid of this outmoded and increasingly decrepit system or it will devastate humanity.  The hour is late and urgent action is necessary. Capitalism has only one function and that is to employ and exploit workers for profit. It is not particular about what it turns out, whether computers or candy-floss, in fact many large financial enterprises have capital invested in a widely different range of goods; the common denominator is profit. The great transformation of society from capitalism to socialism can only be accomplished by the common efforts of the workers themse…