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Showing posts from November, 2015

Live Long and Prosper

Capitalism must be abolished. Working people need to throw the capitalist parties out of office and fundamentally transform society. The entire apparatus of government, set up to defend the interests of the capitalist class, must be replaced. The needs of working people can only be met by creating an economy, where ownership and control of means of production and distribution are taken from the tiny minority of capitalists and placed in the hands of the working people, to be run democratically. Reorganised on a socialist basis, our world can be free of racism, sexism, poverty, economic insecurity and exploitation. When the vast resources available to us are used to serve the needs of all instead of the profits of the few, a world socialist commonwealth, then the way will be opened for unparalleled growth in culture, freedom and the development of every individual. Such a society is worth organizing for. Socialists often hear the comment that "Socialism is a good idea but it’s no…

Who owns the North Pole Part 88

The global race for the Arctic’s riches is already in progress and attracting military interests, according to US State Secretary John Kerry, who says Washington is keeping a close eye on China and Russia and adapting its “national security” strategy.
Our future national security strategy is going to be affected also by what’s going on in the Arctic. The melting of the polar cap is opening sea lanes that never before existed,” Kerry said in a speech at OldDominion University. “The potential there is already there for a global race to exploit the resources of the region.” Kerry went on to say “Economic riches tend to attract military interest as nations seek to ensure their own rights are protected. And we know, because we track it, that these countries – like Russia, China, and others – are active in the Arctic.”
The restoration of Russian military infrastructure in the Arctic began in 2012 with the aim of being completed by 2020. Russia is developing mobile nuclear power plants des…

Celtic's Woes

Celtic was founded to help the poor Irish peasantry who fled their homeland in the 19th century following the ravages of an Gorta Mór, the Great Famine, which ravaged the land. The descendants of these people still form the core of the Celtic support and many are also to be found working for the club on low wages or in a part-time capacity. Their love of Celtic and what they think the club represents play a major role in their job satisfaction and loyalty to their employers. For many of the supporters, poverty, multi-deprivation and health inequality remain significant factors in their day-to-day existence.

10,000 recently signed a petition seeking the removal of Ian Livingston from Celtic’s board of directors. He is a lord of the realm who sits in the Upper House as a representative of the Conservative party, Lord Livingston of Parkhead. Earlier this month, he voted in that chamber to support the government’s plans to end family tax credits, a measure that would have increased the e…

The Socialist Movement

“Study because we will need all your intelligence. Agitate because we will need all your enthusiasm. Organise because we will need all your strength.” Gramsci
Despite the absolute need for a party of socialism we are a long way off from such a party. By this, we mean a party that has thousands of members and ultimately, we need to be thinking in terms of a party of millions of members. But to be a real socialist these days is to be a political anachronism, a fossilised relic. The central tenet of socialism is the assertion that the working class is the sole historical agency for the achievement of socialism. For Marxists the possibility of revolution rests upon the conscious and free acceptance of socialism by the working class. Gramsci’s conception of the need for the working class to develop a hegemony consciousness presupposes the existence of a mass-based socialist movement. In the absence of such a movement socialist theory is placed in a vacuum.
All those within the working class …

Something can be done

“We can’t advance and we can’t go home…For us, it’s Europe or die.” - Bamba, from the Ivory Coast
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Annual St Andrews Day March and Rally takes place Saturday 28th November. The event this year has the theme ‘No Racism: Refugees Welcome Here’
The UN Refugee Convention recognises that refugees have a right to enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents. The Convention stipulates that what would usually be considered as illegal actions (e.g. entering a country without a visa) should not be treated as illegal if a person is seeking asylum. This means that it is incorrect to refer to asylum seekers who arrive without authorisation as “illegal”, as they in fact have a right to enter to seek asylum. Asylum seekers do not break any laws simply by arriving without authorisation. International law make these allowances because it is not always safe or practicable…

Common Ownership

Why has the working class failed? Why is there little trace of any revolutionary movement among the workers? Why is it that people all over the globe seem incapable of initiating anything aimed at their own self-liberation? To fight you must have a positive aim. The essence of the future free world community is that workers direct their work themselves, collectively. The working class has to search for new roads. The real fight for liberation has yet to begin. A deep inner revolution must take place in the working classes of clear insight, of solidarity, of perseverance, courage, and fighting spirit.  The goal of the working class is liberation from exploitation. This goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a ruling class substituting the capitalists. It can only be realised by the workers themselves being master over production. The aim of socialism is to take the means of production and distribution out of the hands of the capitalist class and place them into the hands of the …

Europe's Shame

“We can’t advance and we can’t go home…For us, it’s Europe or die.” - Bamba, from the Ivory Coast 
Austria: Austria is requiring refugees to take an “Austrian values” course; one of those values is apparently barbed-wire fences, which it erected to try to keep them from entering the country in the first place.
Belgium: The interior minister has suggested that refugees wear special identity badges, raising the specter of Europe's fascist past.
Bulgaria: As one of the border countries, Bulgaria has militarized its territory to try to stop refugees coming from Turkey. Recently, an Afghan man was shot and killed by border police.
Croatia: Rival political factions have turned the refugees into a political football, wiht some criticizing the government for letting them in and others criticizing the refugees' treatment. The country's border with Serbia has been one of the main entry points for refugees.
Cyprus: The government has made clear it prefers “Christian” refugees, drawin…

PRESS RELEASE ON TRADE UNION BILL (EC STATEMENT)

PRESS RELEASE ON TRADE UNION BILL (EC STATEMENT)
The Media Committee is currently sending out the following media release to national media, trade unions & etc.
Restrictions on Trade Unions are ‘act of class war against working people’
As UK government plans to clamp down on trade union rights wait for a second reading in the House of Lords, the Socialist Party yesterday warned they are “an act of class war by the forces of organised capital, aimed against the ability of working people to defend or extend the standards of living of themselves and their families.”
Media spokesperson Robert Cox said: “Workers cannot rely on the House of Lords to stop this legislation. They need to stand together and fight to defeat it themselves. The strike vote by 98% of junior doctors on a 76% turnout shows the way forward.”
In a statement agreed by their Executive Committee, Socialists pointed out that “by seeking to impose minimum turn-out requirements beyond anything required of elected politici…

Socialism and the Socialist Party

A society which is founded on the system of the rich making the greatest possible profit out of the labour of others must be wrong. The Socialist Party seek a change in the basis of the current system of society - a change which would destroy the distinctions of classes and nationalities. This profit-driven system is maintained by competition not only between the conflicting classes, the capitalists and the working class, but also within the classes themselves: there is always war among the workers for bare subsistence, and among their masters, the employers and middle-men, for the share of the profit wrung out of the workers; lastly, there is competition always, and sometimes open war, among the nations of the civilised world for their share of the world-market. Although we produce all the wealth of society, we have no control over its production or distribution. The people are treated as a mere appendage to capital - as a part of its machinery. This must be altered from the basics:…

Why socialism?

Socialism focuses the attention of the world on the grave evils of the capitalist system that something needs to be done about. Those social evils are not bred in the heart of man but are bred by capitalism, and by nothing else. Socialism is not a mere reform movement. Capitalism is based on private property, the ownership by a minority of the population of the means of production and exchange. The capitalist class is defined in no other way – and maintained in no other way – except by the ownership of the means of production and exchange. This ownership is what gives the capitalist class power of life or death over the working class and over society as a whole. To live, you, the working person, must not only work for the owners of the means of production and exchange – you must guarantee them a profit. Working for them is not enough; a profit is absolutey required for you to get your job; and that profit can be obtained in no other wise except by exploiting that which is your only r…

The Republican Ideal

"Mississippi Yearning" is an article in The Toronto Star, October 19, that describes that the state is America's poorest and sickest state but where, unbelievably, opposition to Obama's health care reforms are fierce. A comment in a barber shop gives some indication of the level of understanding of health care, "Nobody should be handed high quality (health care) coverage simply because they happen to live in America. If you want insurance, get a damned job and pay for it. That's the way I look at it, it's not my job or anyone else's job to pay for their insurance." Unfortunately that's a pretty typical attitude showing a complete lack of understanding of the situation. Presumably he is quite happy to drive on roads that somebody else has paid for and will accept government social programs. Eighty- nine per cent of those who have fallen into the 'health coverage gap' are from the South. The Republican ideal score…

Worker V Capitalist

The lesson of past decades is that the problems facing the great majority of people will never be solved within the confines of the capitalist system. The system of exploitation must be abolished and replaced by a new, higher system, socialism. Our argument with the Left and the policies it is advocating is not that they would not be some degree of benefit to working class, but that measured against the criterion of achieving socialism which is, after all, what the Left claims as its goal, they fall far short. The aim of the Socialist Party is to establish socialism and abolish the right of one man to rob another of the fruits of his labour. This is what makes our Party different from all others. Our aim to make the working class the masters of their own destiny, to win political power, and establish socialism.
The attempt to cover 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 f…

Gaining Consciouness

There are two ways open to people today. We can continue along the path under capitalism or we can take the socialist road. There are deep differences between rich and poor. It is our aim to build a society in which all are able to live a full life, free of class distinctions and divisions. But we do not believe that this can be done for the people. It can only be done by the people. To this end we work for the widest possible socialist movement in the course of which a new understanding, new relations, can be forged. The achievement of socialism, once a distant dream, is now a reality for all to see. We will move into the realm of a truly human society, where the watchword is from each according to his ability to each according to his needs,‘ and where, in the words of the Communist Manifesto "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all",  where productive forces supply an abundance of products, when the last remnants of classes vanish and…

What is slavery?

The centralisation of the control of property in a few hands is increasing threatening the existence of civilisation.
Some scornfully sneer at the Socialist Party because they say we are “idealists.” Some others claim that we are as a whole “pretty good fellows,” but utterly “impractical.” Now, what is socialism? One day in the near future the hungry millions will turn against the overfed few. In his historic work, The Condition of the Working Class in England, Engels wrote in 1844: “Both legally and actually, the worker is the slave of the possessing class, the bourgeoisie; so much so that he is sold in the market like a commodity whose price is subject to rise and fall like that of any other commodity. If there is an increased demand for workers, their price goes up; if there is a decreased demand, the price goes down; if the demand has so decreased that a certain number of workers find no buyer of their labour-power, as ‘surplus stock’, then they have to lie in reserve, and thus …

Sing a song of capitalism

The December 1994 issue of the Socialist Standard
In Glasgow and Edinburgh pubs on a Saturday evening you may hear some workers, under the influence of a couple of drinks, giving voice to sentimental patriotic songs. "Scotland I Adore Thee" and "Hail, Caledonia" may be aired until the bartender or some other music lover puts a stop to the proceedings.
But what is the truth behind all this patriotic drivel? According to the BBC2 programme Whose Country is it Anyway? (26 October) Scotland, like every other country, is owned by a handful of people: "Sixty per cent of the land in Scotland, with a population of over 5 million is owned by only 1,500 people."
So next Saturday evening when you feel moved to imitate Kenneth McKellar with a version of "My Granny's Hielan' Hovel", remember who really owns Scotland - the capitalist class.

You may well "Belong to Glasgow", but Glasgow like every city in the world belongs to them.

SOCIALISM NOW !

Socialism maintains that there can be no fundamental change in the living conditions of the people while a minority holds economic power in the natural resources and in the right to exploit the majority for personal gain. Socialists insist that the basis of exploitation — the use of men and women for individual profit and power — lie in the capitalist system. Reforms do not remove the villain of the piece from the scene of action. A true socialist society must be change from a capitalist system of ownership, exploitation and control to one of common ownership, administration and control of the affairs by all men and women who produce its wealth. Socialists do not want bloody revolution. Revolution means change. There have been revolutions in art, industry and social relations which have not caused bloodshed. One of the most widespread misconceptions about socialism is that it is a doctrine of nationalisation and state ownership, where a bureaucracy controls everything – like it was i…

Brazil Destroys It's Resources!

The New York Times (October 18) reported on on the worst drought in Brazil's history. Huge reservoirs are depleted and water rationing is in place in Rio, Sao Paulo and other cities. Experts are looking at the rapid deforestation in South America as the culprit. Cutting down forests releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and increases global warming. Forests also absorb more solar energy than grasslands and release vast amounts of water vapour driving the rainfall amounts. Each fully grown tree releases one thousand litres of water a day and the entire Amazon rain forest sends up twenty billion tons a day, more water than the mighty river itself. But these staggering figures and the common sense they should engender are ignored in the race for profits and the need to keep up with the competition that is the crazy mantra of the capitalist mode of production. Brazil must destroy its resources or be left behind. Sooner or later, the world's ninety-nin…

Capitalism's Real Bank Crisis

Food bank use in Scotland has increased to record levels, with more than 60,000 referrals over a six-month period, according to a charity. Delays in receiving benefits was the most common reason cited for financial hardship.

Capitalism's Economic Law

Under slave society the source of profit was easy to see: the slaves worked while the slave owners led a life of luxury on the products of their toil. Under feudalism the source of profit was also easily seen. The serf worked for so many days on his own land and for so many days on the land of the landlord. Under capitalism the source of profit is hidden by the wage workers receive. It appears that the workers receive the full return on their day’s labour. The complicated nature of modern capitalist society clouds the issue. The capitalist class and its hired lackeys spread erroneous ideas as to the source of profit.
One illusion spread by them is that money itself the source of profit. This reflects itself in the expression, “money makes money”. This is not strictly true. If we, for example, were to heap a pile of sovereigns and silver in a room, it would remain the same amount for hundreds of years. Another more popular and more insidious idea spread by the boss is that machines ar…

Telling People All They require To Exist

In 1995 the then Conservative government of Ontario gutted the provinces welfare system. The social services minister claimed that a single person could exist on a food budget of $90.21. He even included a list of what could be bought for that amount but forgot things like butter for the bread and sauce for the pasta, among other wonders. Since then, inflation has risen forty-five percent but when a social worker recently tried to buy the same list, he found this 'welfare diet' had spiked one hundred and seven per cent to $189.91. The Conservatives were ousted and the governing Liberals have spent a decade of yearly rate increases but have failed, obviously to get back to pre-1995 levels. In fact, since the Liberals began increases welfare rates have increased just thirty-one per cent, below even the official inflation rate. You can cut this any way you like but there is only one way to solve this - and many other inequality problems – free access for a…

Agitate! Educate! Organise!

What are we out for? Nothing less than a social revolution, a complete transformation of human society.  That is no little thing. It is about the biggest job that anybody have ever set their minds to. And what are our means - people like ourselves. The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working-class themselves. There is no other way. It is in that of building up a class-conscious Socialist Party that we bend our efforts towards. Agitate! Educate! Organise! Are we, as is sometimes alleged, too purist, too sectarian or too intolerant? Are we too antagonistic, not to enemies, but to would-be comrades? Do we seek to distance people rather than to win them over? These are searching questions to which it may be worthwhile to give some consideration. In things doubtful, liberty of thought; in things essential, unity; and in all things, charity. Our task is to disarm hostility and to bring together all potential comrades into a united harmonious Socialist Party.
Capi…

Trying To Outdo The Leftish Party

At "The Word on the Street" book fair that SPC members attended on September 27, the so-called communist party were handing out literature, most of which was about what they would do if elected. Some of these pearls of wisdom were – raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour; employment benefits to be at ninety per cent of previous earnings for all workers; nationalize banking and insurance; reverse privatization of all programs and services: no new fighter jets; cut the military budget by seventy-five per cent; progressive tax reform based on ability to pay; double the corporate tax rate; invest heavily to create jobs by expanding renewable energy and conservation programs. There were many other proposals but this should be enough to show anyone where the CP stand. So, if elected, there would still be money, wages, taxes corporations, banks, military etc. All of which are a part of a private property-based society. So the CP are trying to outdo the lefti…

Socialism is just the beginning

We live in a world rife with misery and oppression in various forms. Hunger, poverty, unemployment, racial and sexual discrimination, and many forms of repression, from the restriction of the most basic democratic rights like freedom of speech and association to hideous barbarism like torture and genocide, are still the lot of the majority of the people of the world. Now even the existence of the human species has been put at risk by the rapacious demands made upon the planet’s resources.  Far from lessening with the progress of science and technology, the various forms of misery endured by the masses are growing and the gulf between the rich and the poor, between the powerful and the dispossessed, is steadily widening. Ever since the first class societies, the exploited have aspired to a better life where the living conditions of all would be in keeping with society’s ability to use the wealth of nature. They have yearned for a society where all injustice would be banished forever, …