Sunday, January 31, 2016

The twilight of global capitalism

It is absurd to pretend that governments can manage the economy. In fact their job is to manage 'us' in the interests of the parasite economic class of exploiters, who pay big bucks to support their elections to this end regardless of which party label they are flying under, hence their insistence upon reassuring the electorate of their 'business friendly ' nature. This ensures that whatever political hue the elected reps are, the electorate, like turkeys voting for Xmas, remain in conditions of waged slavery, subject to the dictates of the capitalist market. If their first duty is to get elected to 'government' then they are not operating in the interests of the workers. They are just another capitalist party, which they are anyway but various supporters and enemies, see them as some kind of 'socialism' light. The Labour Party are not socialists and never were so. Real socialists do not have nor do they need, leaders. It is time for workers to stop supporting 'business friendly' parties of capitalism and envisage how we may usher in the new, global post-capitalist future where we won't need governments 'over' us and can run a commonly owned, free access democracy for ourselves. Capitalism cannot be tamed and must be replaced. Real socialism is a post-capitalist society not some business friendly stitch-up of the workers. If you are convinced, however, that groups or parties promising reforms deserve your support, we would urge you to consider the following points.

The campaign, whether directed at right-wing or left-wing governments, will often only succeed if it can be reconciled with the profit-making needs of the system. In other words, the reform will often be turned to the benefit of the capitalist class at the expense of any working class gain.
Any reform can be reversed and eroded later if a government finds it necessary.
Reforms rarely, if ever, actually solve the problem they were intended to solve.

This was summed up by William Morris over a century ago:
"The palliatives over which many worthy people are busying themselves now are useless because they are but unorganised partial revolts against a vast, wide-spreading, grasping organisation which will, with the unconscious instinct of a plant, meet every attempt at bettering the conditions of the people with an attack on a fresh side."

The profit motive of capitalism is a major cause of the problems we face in today's society: ever increasing inequality, poverty, alienation, crime, homelessness, environmental degradation—the list could go on and on. There are countless ways in which the working class (and indeed the capitalist class) suffer as a result of the profit system. Unless we organise for a revolutionary alternative, the profit system will continue on its blind, unswerving path. The problem is that workers are willing to give their power away to representative governments when in reality they only can represent the interests of the capitalist class and govern 'over' you. The world has the productive capacity to provide a high standard of living for all, to provide security and comfort for all, to create safe workplaces and clean industries. The only thing keeping us from reaching these goals is that the workers don't own and control that productive capacity; it is owned and controlled by a few who use it solely to profit themselves. The Labour Party, since its foundation were as dangerous to the capitalist system as a pantomime lion to its audience. To project a change of a 'governing' party as a potential 'alternative', is capital's great electoral trick.

It stands alongside the "Great Money Trick" and waged slavery, clothed in the ideological rhetoric of Freedom and Liberty, which consists of freedom to plunder surplus value from the wage worker and liberty to globalise this plunder at the point of a gun if necessary. Rather than contemplate a change of government 'over' you, consideration needs to be given to a change of the economic and political system in order to establish a post-capitalist, common ownership with a delegated democracy, which requires administration being the preserve of the majority in conditions of free access to the collective produce of this majority and the elimination of privileged ownership and control mechanisms.

We don't need leaders. We need to stop being so slavish and establish the post-capitalist society.  What we saw in 2008 was the enactment of a welfare state for the rich, a kind of state socialism for the financial elites that Marx predicted. But with this comes an increased and volatile cycle of boom and bust, bringing the system closer to disintegration and collapse. We have undergone two major stock market crashes and the implosion of real estate prices in just the first decade of the 21st century. The corporations that own the media have worked overtime to sell to a bewildered public the fiction that we are enjoying a recovery. Employment figures, through a variety of gimmicks, including erasing those who are unemployed for over a year from unemployment rolls, are a lie, as is nearly every other financial indicator pumped out for public consumption. We live, rather, in the twilight stages of global capitalism, which may be surprisingly more resilient than we expect, but which is ultimately terminal. Marx knew that once the market mechanism became the sole determining factor for the fate of the nation-state, as well as the natural world, both would be demolished. No one knows when this will happen. But that it will happen, perhaps within our lifetime, seems certain.

“The old is dying, the new struggles to be born, and in the interregnum there are many morbid symptoms,” Antonio Gramsci wrote.

What comes next is up to us. There has to be a sea-change in workers political consciousness so they begin to consider electing themselves to administer a post-capitalist society. The idle the world comprises of the top 1%. The poorest worker produces more wealth than any of the capitalist parasites who own and control the means of living. The capitalist class bring nothing to the table other than already stolen surplus value which they have extracted from the exploitative wages slavery system. It is a collective working class problem and requires a collective working class solution which removes ownership and control of the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth from the parasite 1% capitalist class and making them common with free access and democratic control by all. If we want real social change we need to get rid of this slavish attitude get some yourself and make the revolution instead of looking to business friendly leaders, with or without backbone, making undeliverable promises of reform. Let us haste the day for a move onto a commonly owned, free-access, post-capitalist delegated democracy over the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth rather than over the people.

Workers already run capitalism from top to bottom. They are managers, scientists, government workers and so on. They are more than capable of understanding and running the new society in common in everyone’s interest. They are also subjected to a heavy schooling process and national interest propaganda from cradle to the grave with vested interests controlling media and so on. They are rightly suspicious of any grand superimposition of planned economies such as the disastrous Soviet state capitalist experiments. The success of capitalist propaganda to mislabel those as indications of 'socialist' failure, has to be reckoned with, along with the incapacity of the pseudo socialists left to educate 'themselves' out of the same narrative, in order to participate in 'real' revolutionary propaganda activities alongside fellow workers, rather than engaging in trickery of workers to gain support for so called 'Left' governance OVER them. The alternatives presented within politics are little more than tinkering with the re-imposition of status quo options and are never articulated outwith those boxes of understanding.

"While theologians are disputing the existence of a hell elsewhere, we are on the way to realising it here: and if capitalism is to endure, whatever may become of men when they die, they will come into hell when they are born."William Morris

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Capitalism Charged and Found Guilty

All wealth comes from labour. Labour receives a ration back for subsistence and the rest goes to the parasite capitalist class, who only bring capital (stolen wealth, dead labour) to the table, when it is deemed profitable to exploit the worker again and so the cycle continues. Capitalism can't be reformed to work in any other way and must be replaced by the post- capitalist society.  Socialists don't expect any political party to do it for them, but rather the task of bringing in socialism, i.e. a free access society without buying and selling, wage slavery and with production for use, is the mission of the workers themselves.

It will be for us to take ownership and control of the wealth of the world into our own hands. We could, together, use the wealth of the world to meet our mutual needs and grant the true independence of being able to control our work and our lives in free and voluntary association of equals. As this is the emancipation of labour from the fetters of wage slavery with production for use, production doesn't stop until needs are met, as profit is not a consideration and with free access to the social product, there is no further need for any means of exchange and money, (a part of the market system) ceases to be needed. With common ownership of all the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth we see the end of vested interests and elite classes competing and warring over them. A true class less society is the result.

All capitalist politicians are fakirs, selling panaceas until the next crisis to keep the wage slaves supporting their rule 'over' the workers. It doesn't matter if they are allegedly labour, with friendly pro-worker sound-bites or avowedly conservative in nice or nasty party mode. Capitalism cannot be reformed, exploitation takes place at the point of production of workers rationed by wages to access of the social product, so it is no good blaming the politicians for pretending it can be. Capitalism is about the immense production of commodities. Workers themselves are turned into sellers of commodities, via their labour power.

This drives profit. The whole reason for capitalism. Advanced economies have to continue to create new goods, whether useful or not, it doesn't matter if they are consumed or end up in landfills, in order to accumulate even more wealth in the hands of the 5% parasite class.

Capitalism has to be replaced by a free access production for use. Any reforms which threaten the status quo will be destroyed or reincorporated into the main infrastructure in profit-friendly relational functions. Exploitation in capitalism is at the point of production where wage slavery exists. It is from human labour applied to natural resources that all wealth proceeds. It is human labour which adds value to this natural wealth, as it is transformed into commodities for sale on the market.

You have to end the capitalist market system and establish free access and abolish waged slavery, so we can have production for use within a sane allocation of resources, which ends the overproduction for sale, in the pursuit of profits in booms and the slump/glut switching off of production, before needs are met, in the interest of profit, necessitating the creating of new commodities, in pursuit of profit, to take up the slack of lost production and profit earning capacities in the global capitalist economy.

Capitalist market and banking and money systems, is anarchy, wasteful and unnecessary. The working class are the source of all wealth. The money system is a part of the market system. This can’t be reformed and has to be replaced with a post-capitalist commonly owned free access social system without buying and selling, where production is for use for the satisfaction of the human needs of a single human species in harmony with nature and the planet's shared resources, rather than for the rationed sale on a market for the enrichment of a few percent of a global parasite class. The market leads to intense economic, political and global competition, war, squandering of resources, misuse of technology to destroy oppositional resources, a conflict of human interests for the pursuit of elitist gain, with wealth being produced in conditions of waged slavery for the majority, essentially to keep the slave presenting themselves for further exploitation, on pain of poverty, actual or relative, to satisfy the need for accumulation of profit for the few. Absolutely insane use of resources. The full charge sheet against the world exchange economy with regard to the way it forces people to use the world's resources can now be drawn up. It reads:
(1) That, although there has been a long-term expansion of productive capacity and oil output, this has been only a fraction as fast and as extensive and as safe as technology has made possible.
(2) That, although in the long run the existing capacity has been more or less fully used, this has been broken by regular periods of under-use.
(3) That, in agriculture and in industries faced with declining markets, there has been deliberate destruction of productive capacity and regular destruction of wealth.
(4) That millions and millions of human beings who could have contributed to producing useful things have been prevented from working at all.
(5) That millions and millions more human beings have been allowed to work but only to engage in wasteful exchange and coercive activities.
(6) That the existing productive capacity has been used to produce considerable amounts of waste.
These are all serious charges and all of them are proved. They point to the need for the world's people to recover control over the productive system by abolishing the exchange economy altogether and replace it by a society that will allow them to plan the production of wealth in their own interests and to allocate the products for their own individual and collective use. Expecting capitalism to reform is the equivalent of a death wish. It is an impossible dream whereas socialism/communism post capitalism, where the world’s workers, 95% who not only produce all wealth, but run the system of wage slavery from top to bottom in the service of the exploiting class, are more than capable of running a self-regulating sane system of common ownership with equal free access afforded to all without elites.

We need a revolution in peoples thinking to end this waste. It is then a simple case of a majority taking into common ownership, (not state ownership, or private or corporate ownership) all the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth by and in the interests of the whole human family. At a stroke, without the parasitical elites, all the competition which drives war and wasteful use of technology will be ended and we can make common cause with our human family and the eco husbandry of the planet's resources will be the normative state of affairs. That is the function of capitalist politicians, to get our assent to be 'governed' over in the interests of business. Experience should have shown us this, a long time ago and capitalism and its anarchic market system and waged slavery continues from boom to slump to boom again. We have some responsibility for wanting to believe impossible things, that governments can make any difference to the boom, slump or market cycle.

We are not presenting the socialist alternative of a world without wages as a utopian dream for the century after next. This is practical now. Socialism is the sensible next step for humankind to take. We have nothing to lose but our chains. You and others are responsible for the established order. You and others can withdraw support from politicians of capitalism left, right, centre. You along with the vast majority can govern yourselves without any elites. You can do away with the production of commodities including yourself as a commodity (labour-power) for sale on the market. Politicians of all hues and colours have a conceited delusion that they can adjust capitalism and fine tune it to deliver outcomes beneficial for most of society. You should stop expecting governments to level up the playing fields in society (impossible). Reforming capitalism (impossible). Managing the economy (impossible). Capitalism thrives on inequality of access, to keep the real wealth producers (the working class), working to produce surplus value, for the parasite class of capitalist, who do not need to work as they can pay to have their interests managed for them, with the best money can buy, legal systems ,governments and anything else to protect their dominant interests. Around 5% of the world’s population live a life of ease and luxury on the backs of the rest of us. Capitalism can't be reformed and must be replaced.

It is up to us workers worldwide to withdraw our assent to be governed 'over' in the interests, of a tiny minority parasite class 5% and withdraw our acceptance of waged slavery to establish a sane post -capitalist social system. The consent of the majority which the minority needs to keep its system going. We must unite to change society. You and others the 95% can stop crawling on your hands and knees to capitalism and refuse their crumbs in return for the common ownership of the planet. It is well past time for the workers of the world to grow up and stand on their own two feet. It is long past time the working class said a plague on all capitalist politicians. Away with those lick-spittle, two-faced, slave-driver representatives of the rapacious, blood-soaked capitalist system, despoilers of the planet, impoverishers of the many.
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.


Friday, January 29, 2016

The mis-sold versions of socialism

The Socialist Party of Great Britain stands dedicated to achieving the following objective: "The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community." This post-capitalist society of social equals, will not require rationing of access to social wealth, via waged slavery, based upon ability to pay for them, but will proceed from a production for use, free access principle of: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs."

The World’s marvelous machinery, its complex technology are not for the welfare of the many nor the social good of the masses. It exists for the exploitation of the worker and the enrichment of the capitalist class. It is an organised system where the machine is merely the means through which the social relation of owner and wage-slave is maintained. All innovation, inventions, scientific achievements of knowledge are made subservient to this. The state is just a servant of commerce. The only people who have the power to use the laws to their benefit are those who control the means of production and profit from them. A mere change of personnel in this political field, Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem, Green, or Tartan, it makes no difference. The wage system remains. The exploitation continues. And it will carry on, until the workers take control of the land, the mines, the factories and the means of production, and abolish the wage system. We are wage-workers, wage-slaves, and we bear the signs of this system on our backs like a cross. The abolition of the wage system is the expressed goal, to which we must cling with conviction.  Capital is basically accumulated dirty blood money, surplus value, extracted from waged-slaves, in return for their subsistence in relation to a rationed access to the wealth, which workers have already produced collectively. Any government, however well-meaning some of its political whores are in Edinburgh, London or Karachi, is elected to police this state of affairs. Tweedledum becomes Tweedledee. It is all an irrelevance. Political scum rise to the top of the political pond which is a festering cesspit in the service of a parasitical system of society which exploits the many for the enrichment of the few. 'Believing' in any politician is a religious act.

 "Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it" - Engels

The Scottish Socialist Party are Trotskyists who think workers are too stupid to understand what socialism is, "the abolition of the wages system", they foolishly believe that socialism can come about in one country in a top-down model with enlightened masters guiding the masses.
The Green Party foolishly think that capitalism, a rapacious bloody system of intense exploitation of labour, can be made more equal and 'nicer', while in government would heed the needs of industry as much as any other party.

The SNP are pretending to be 'Leftier than thou', to Labour, not hard to do these days, when capitalism has been through a massive upheaval and ALL governments heeding their masters voice cut to the bone, wages, condition, welfare in order to ensure profitable opportunities to encourage the parasite class to invest some of the wealth they have stolen from the workers, in surplus value.

It is a conceited deception, that workers will have any say in the running of Scotland. A separate parliament in Scotland would be a capitalist parliament. It would not provide Scottish workers with any greater control over their own lives. Scotland would remain an integral part of international capitalism. An Edinburgh sovereign parliament will leave the workers in exactly the same position as before. The liberation for Scottish workers can only come about by overthrowing capitalism itself. If this is not done, no amount of separatism can ever succeed in bringing freedom. Instead of tragically wasting time fostering nationalism, workers should be struggling for a socialist society without national borders. Workers in the main are lucky if they own a square foot of the country in which they reside. Most of us don’t own a single square inch of Scotland. It doesn’t belong to us: we just live here and work for the people who do own it. In or out of the Union, that won’t change. In Scotland, society is run in the interests of those who own the wealth. They argue among each other over billions of barrels of oil, GDP rates, profits and exports, because where the borders lie matters to them. Every border is an opportunity to wring cash out of other property owners. Scotland will remain dependent upon their whims and interests whatever the outcome. They’ll try to sway us one way or another with crumbs (or the promises of crumbs) but we’ll only get what they feel they can spare to protect their privilege and wealth. We will remain dependent upon their investments, making a profit for them before we can get our needs and interests met. The only way to stop this dependency would be for us to take ownership and control of the wealth of the world into our own hands. We could, together, use the wealth of the world to meet our mutual needs and gain the true independence of being able to control our work and our lives in a free and voluntary association of equals. Join The Socialist Party to fight for an independent world.

What difference does any of that make to a worker if independent or part of the UK where in both the government recipe is for running capitalism which were business friendly and retained wage slavery. Workers need to get rid of capitalism and the need for weapons, Trident or otherwise, vanishes in a free access society shorn of competition between rival parasites capitalists organised in nation states and global power blocs. Workers have no country and have nothing to lose but their chains, if they make common cause with workers worldwide. Time for workers of the world to get off their knees to the capitalist class and take over to establish a classless society of free access socialism without capitalist, bureaucratic or government elites? The whole planet is owned by a parasitic class of exploiters. It is irrelevant which set of politicians, police workers in the nation states in which they reside. As long as workers have the franchise, they can use it as capitalism's Achilles heel to remove those leeches from their backs and to take all wealth into common ownership. As workers our interests lie and are in common with fellow workers all over the world.

We are not speaking of the mis-sold versions of socialism such as the state-capitalist ones of the Soviet era or the mixed command nationalisation type of the reformist Left. We speak of a society such as the world has never seen. We are speaking of a free access society, post -capitalist, wageless, moneyless world, where each of us can freely play a full part in running and organising it, locally, regionally, globally, without politicians but with recallable delegates, when we need to take wider decisions. Without private ownership of the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth, then we can have no vested interests attempting to control or direct affairs (such as Big Pharma, Arms trade, Agribusiness, as a few examples.)

If resources, indeed all wealth, is owned in common then we can proceed to sane allocations of that wealth rather than engage in wasteful, destructive, war and competition over it for national, corporate, or individual vested advantage.

Real socialism/communism is an idea which time has not yet come, but requires the politically conscious assent of the majority, realising the potential of an integrated, self-regulating system of production for use, with free access and voluntary production, to come into being.

The revolution can't be brought about top-down by a bunch of leaders of the Leninist type or by some technocratic or bureaucratic direction.

“Because the condition of the workers of all countries is the same, because their interests are the same, their enemies the same, they must also fight together, they must oppose the brotherhood of the bourgeoisie of all nations with a brotherhood of the workers of all nations.”- Engels, 1847.

“If they speak consciously and openly to the working class, then they summarise their philanthropy in the following words: It is better to be exploited by one’s fellow-countrymen than by foreigners.” - Marx, 1848

Thursday, January 28, 2016


People from ethnic minority backgrounds in Scotland are still being held back by workplace discrimination, according to a report by a committee of MSPs, the Equal Opportunities Committee following a six-month investigation. The report said ethnic minorities largely performed better academically than white Scots. But they were more likely to be unemployed or in low-paid work, and were under-represented in senior management roles. It found that there were "significant barriers facing people from ethnic minorities in gaining employment and developing a career". This was despite 40 years of legislation and equality policies.

War may be hell for some but it is heaven for others.

Military marching, patriotic parades, martial music - they are mostly intended to give the impression that it’s ‘your’ country, that you should be proud of it, that your leaders are there to protect you, that the division into rich and poor is pre-ordained (perhaps by some god or other) and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You may well, indeed, take pride in the place you live – its landscape, architecture, people, etc, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in terms of possession, ownership and control, it’s the rich elite, the few percent in any country, who collectively own the world’s land and resources (including what you think of as your country), and they would naturally prefer people to hold the view that this is an immutable state of affairs, all the more to hold on to their power, backed up by governments and armies. It’s utter tosh. They only keep their power (and send millions of us to die in wars to help them do so) because the majority allow them to, and continue to let themselves be duped by militaristic displays and patriotic twaddle.

Sir Richard Evans, Regius Professor of History and President of Wolfson College Cambridge has raised the question of “How can you possibly claim that Britain was fighting for democracy and liberal values when the main ally was Tsarist Russia? That was a despotism that put Germany in the shade and sponsored pogroms in 1903-6.” He also pointed out that unlike Germany where male suffrage was universal – 40 per cent of those British troops fighting in the war did not have the vote until 1918.

An English officer, R.J. Fairhead, saw the evil of war, but not in the soldiers. They just had to fight. He strongly attacked the political structure in Europe and looked above the taught national stereotypes. His learned hatred for the Germans was converted to a general hate for the whole situation and the system which made a war like this possible.
“Politicians do not listen to those whom they claim to represent and the failure to take notice of the fragile peace declared for that brief period led to the anti-government revolution throughout Europe.”

Lieutenant A.P. Sinkinson described similar experiences:
“As I walked slowly back to our own trenches I thought of Mr. Asquith’s sentence about not sheathing the sword until the enemy be finally crushed. It is all very well for Englishmen living comfortable at home to talk in flowing periods, but when you are out here you begin to realize that sustained hatred impossible.”
Sinkinson saw that Germans were not worse people than himself. Only the people at home, far away from the cruelties, the brutalities, from death and from the war’s real grimace, could keep their hatred.

That the opinion toward the enemies had changed after the Christmas truce is emphasized by Westminster Rifle Man Percy. The new experiences he had with the Germans whom he met made him rethink everything he had heard about them. He wrote that:
“They [Germans] where really magnificent in the whole thing [Christmas Truce] and jolly good sorts. I now have a different opinion of the German. Both sides have now started firing, and are deadly enemies again. Strange it all seems, doesn’t it?” Obviously Percy recognized how surreal the situation was. He started to rethink his attitude toward the Germans but he did not think about stopping fighting them.

After having met the enemy between the trenches, many soldiers started thinking about all they had read and heard about them. For many, the former hatred was vanished. They now recognized the soldiers from the other side of the trenches as human as themselves. They were not mercenaries, no inhuman monsters eager for war, just humans. The stereotypes they know from the time before the war and before they met their enemies did not fit after meeting their enemies. Not all Germans acted like it was described in the newspaper and were not as arrogant as the German Kaiser.

On the other hand not all the English soldiers were mercenaries fighting for material well-being. These soldiers started to reflect their own experiences and started to compare their experiences with what they knew before about their enemies. The conclusion they made was that their prefabricated picture and the experiences they gained did not fit together. It was hard for the soldiers, faced with the reality of the war, to maintain the black and white propaganda picture.

Workers have NO country. Abolish the wages system and share the world in common with your fellow workers. We really need to consider how to get rid of capitalism, if we want to get rid of arms dealers, nuclear weapons and war, which is concomitant upon capitalism along with poverty and waged slavery. In a world of a potential superabundance of wealth, it is rationed out to the producers and resources are fought over to be squandered by states in the interest of their dominant capitalist interests.

Currently there is now a North Pole war-dance going on for resources under the sea as well as in the South China Seas where old protagonists are eyeing each other up once again.

'In America trillions of dollars go to military and homeland security companies. Perpetual war represents perpetual profits for business and government interests. According to Morgan Keegan, a wealth management and capital firm, investment in homeland security companies is expected to yield a 12 percent annual growth through 2013 - a high return when compared to other parts of the depressed US economy. Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff pushed the purchase of the heavily criticised (and little tested) full-body scanners used in airports. People were unaware that the manufacturer of the machine is a client of the Chertoff Group, his highly profitable security consulting agency. The US "black budget" of secret intelligence programmes alone was estimated at $52.6bn for 2013. That is only the secret programmes, not the much larger intelligence and counterintelligence budgets. America has now have 16 spy agencies that employ 107,035 employees. This is separate from the over one million people employed by the military and national security law enforcement agencies.
In the first 10 days of the Libyan war alone, the Obama administration spent roughly $550m. That figure includes about $340m for munitions - mostly cruise missiles that must be replaced.

There is only one way to prevent war and if it breaks out to end it, namely, by the overthrow of capitalism, the real root from which war springs. The solution rests in the power of the working class. If world capitalism has no solution for its problems excepting new and more horrible slaughter, it is time this insane system were ended. The fight for socialism is the fight for peace. Destruction and carnage can be ended, not by the victory of one or other of the combatants which would merely lay the basis for new wars and is not in the interests of the workers of any country, but by the victory of the workers over capitalism.

Some 50,000 non-combatants are estimated to have died as British and American planes bombarded France in preparation for the invasion of Europe. 20,000 French civilians were killed in the two-and-a-half months from D-Day, 3,000 of them during the actual landings. On July 9, 1944, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the top British general in the D-Day offensive, ordered 450 aircraft to begin a devastating bombing campaign on German positions in France as the Allies advanced. Henri Amouroux, a French academic, calculated that about 20,000 people died in Calvados alone as towns and some cities, including Lisieux and Le Havre, were all but wiped out. In his book on the landings, Antony Beevor, the British historian, condemned the air raids as "stupid, counter-productive and above all very close to a war crime". In fact, during the whole war, US and British armed forces killed many more French civilians than did the German army and airforce. You don't hear much about that but, then, the victors get the right to write "history".
"Think of the hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families. But the suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the over-riding image - that of the French welcoming the liberators with open arms" Christopher Prime, Historian

Cpl LF Roker of the Highland Light Infantry is quoted in a book about the civilian impact of the campaign, ‘Liberation, The Bitter Road to Freedom,’ by William Hitchcock.
"It was rather a shock to find we were not welcomed ecstatically as liberators by the local people, as we were told we should be... They saw us as bringers of destruction and pain," Roker wrote in his diary.

Another soldier, Ivor Astley of the 43rd Wessex Infantry, described the locals as "sullen and silent... If we expected a welcome, we certainly failed to find it."

Hitchcock raises another issue that rarely features in euphoric folk-memories of liberation: Allied looting, and worse. "The theft and looting of Normandy households and farmsteads by liberating soldiers began on June 6 and never stopped during the entire summer," he writes.
One woman - from the town of Colombieres - is quoted as saying that "the enthusiasm for the liberators is diminishing. They are looting... everything, and going into houses everywhere on the pretext of looking for Germans."
The evidence shows that sexual violence against women in liberated France was common. According to American historian J Robert Lilly, there were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war.

Apologists of capitalism would claim the Second World War was a just war. Regardless of the stated intentions, of the apparent excuse for beginning a war, the only reason ever is the pursuit of the interest of the capitalist class, which they will enforce without reserve upon the working class. Hoping that war can be carried out in a gentlemanly way, that it can be carried out without inflicting suffering on the working class is pie in the sky.

It is not our land but their land

Half of Scotland’s privately-owned land is held by 432 owners, with 16 of that number owning 10 per cent of the country, according to research by Andy Wightman.

Today, more than 500,000 acres of land is classed as being community-owned - but this amounts to just 2.5 per cent of the country. The half-million mark was crossed in 2015 when crofters in Lewis secured a 28,000 acre estate covering 11 townships after 13 years of campaigning.

The Forestry Commission Scotland own nearly 1.6 million acres which is 9% of the land area.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The charade of capitalism

Workers don't have a country. The nation is run in the collective interests of the ruling class. Most of us don’t own a single square inch of Scotland. It doesn’t belong to us: we just live here and work for the people who do own it. In or out of the United Kingdom, in and out of the EU, that won’t change. In Scotland, society is run in the interests of those who own the wealth. They argue among each other over billions of barrels of oil, GDP rates, profits and exports, because where the borders lie matters to them. Every border is an opportunity to wring cash out of other property owners. Scotland will remain dependent upon their whims and interests whatever the state of sovereignty. They’ll try to sway us one way or another with crumbs (or the promises of crumbs) but we’ll only get what they feel they can spare to protect their privilege and wealth.

We will remain dependent upon their investments making a profit for them before we can get our needs and interests seen to. The only way to stop this dependency would be for us to take ownership and control of the wealth of the world into our own hands. We could, together, use the wealth of the world to meet our mutual needs and grant the true independence of being able to control our work and our lives in free and voluntary association of equals.

There is no such thing as a, "fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay".  Exploitation takes place at the point of production or you would not be hired. The Labour Party has ever served the interest of the ruling class, even to the extent of supporting war on their behalf .The welfare state would have happened anyway, no matter who was elected. The Labour Party doesn't have socialist roots.  Its aim was always to reform capitalism. Any party which intends to run capitalism with its, waged labour, buying and selling, money system, production for sale on a market, is by definition a capitalist party. Equally notions of employment full or otherwise are nothing to do with socialism. Capitalism can't be reformed and shorn of its rapacious tendencies. It has to be replaced by a new post capitalist social revolution. We fail to see why you should continue to elect people to police 'us' on behalf of the parasitic capitalist class, but require to police 'them', on behalf of the slavish electorate.

You only need to develop a political awareness which dispenses with government over us, replacing the capitalist system with a self-regulated and self-correcting, democratic, global, free access society of common ownership, which requires no police, as it ensures all wealth is commonly produced ,owned and accessed freely without wages, prices, or minority ownership intervening in the free access to it. Remove privileged accumulation of wealth and its political class. Abolish the market and its wages system, establish real socialism.

The biggest charade is the notion that politicians or political parties can left, right, centre, statist, free-market, mixed-market, can make anything other than a marginal difference in running capitalism. Capitalism can't be run in any way which interferes with the exploitative boom-slump cycle of the market system and conditions of wage-slavery for the vast majority. Capitalism cannot solve the problem of distribution, through its market mechanisms, wages or prices, as it must choke off production, as its markets become saturated reducing profit but, always before human needs can be satisfied. All political parties are business friendly in this sense.

The Labour Party in office claimed the benefit for establishing the welfare state. They started clawing back some measures very quickly and putting up prescription charges. Workers are not better off in relative terms. Any changes in welfare system for example increase profits derived from labour. The rate of exploitation is greater. If you are born poor you will die poor with few exceptions.

Nationalisation was in the interests of the capitalist class. State capitalist measures such as that, does nothing about wage slavery or the rate of exploitation. They didn't dispossess the mine owners or railway owners, they compensated them and in many cases paid them with high salary seats on the boards of trade and management which run the industries. Any safety reforms arose out of union action.
Attlee's socialist ‘movement’ must have taken place on the porcelain seat in the lavatory.

Capitalism has to be replaced, through the conscious and informed action of the majority, with a new post - capitalist society, harnessing all of the productive capacity of this one and more, freeing up human resources intrinsic to capitalism, but unnecessary in a new post-capitalist one, banks, money, insurance, armies, navies, war production, and by harnessing all of the infrastructure and techno-structure.

We, the world’s workers, whether waged, salaried, white or blue-collared, can create a world of superabundance, which has free access, without wages and prices, to produce of our collective endeavours, within a global, regional and local democratic participatory framework, by all the world’s people and an organising "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.”

To do this we, the world’s workers, must dispossess the global capitalist class, whether private individuals, bureaucratic, governmental, or corporate, of their ownership of the means of production and distribution and take them into common ownership. Politicians are irrelevant. Les get rid of capitalism and its politicians for good.

Socialism is a free access society which doesn't need reformist political parties to bring it into being. It only needs a working class conscious of itself and in itself aware, that it is its class interests to overthrow private and state ownership of the means and instruments of creating and distributing wealth and willing to engage with fellow workers worldwide, to replace them with common ownership and democratic control globally in conditions of free access without wage slavery or prices or markets.

Workers have no country. The world for the workers.

Lording it over us

89-year-old hereditary peer and Kent landowner, the fifth Baron of Northbourne whose son, Sebastian James, featured in the Bullingdon Club society’s 1987 photo, alongside David Cameron and Boris Johnson contributed to the House of Lords debate where he voted in favour of the Government's attempts to redefine the way child poverty is measured said some families "ought" to try harder to earn money and added some families preferred a lifestyle dependent on state support.

Two-thirds of children in poverty have at least one parent in work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abolishing Wage Slavery

The Slavery Abolition Act 1833  was when Parliament abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company," the "Island of Ceylon," and "the Island of Saint Helena"; which were eliminated in 1843). The Act was repealed in 1998 as part of a wider rationalisation of English statute law, but later anti-slavery legislation remains in force. Contrast with the future ‘Abolishing the Wages Slavery System, An Act of Revolution’ the task of workers worldwide and will require no government, crowned or elected state heads approval. Contrast the "parliamentarianism" of the reformists, which involves sending representatives to Parliament to run capitalism, with the socialist policy in which a socialist majority mandates recallable delegates in order to dismantle the state machine, from a position of control.  Contrast the circus of capitalism society with a post-capitalist, socialist one.
Production will be for use and not for sale on the market. Distribution will be according to need and not by means of buying and selling. Work will be voluntary and not imposed on workers by means of a coercive wages system. A human community will exist and social divisions based on class, nationality, sex or race will have disappeared. You will need to 'make' it happen. A plague on all the politics of capitalism. The governments of the world may well introduce a thousand reforms, but we would still continue to live in a world ravaged by starvation, war, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and every other social ill. We would still live in a two class society, with our real needs subordinated to the wishes of a minority. Why campaign for crumbs when the whole bakery is there to be taken? No matter how well-intentioned the politicians are, or how colourful their promises, they are bound to fail because they do not control the system – it controls them.

Workers produce all wealth. A tiny percentage exploit the fact of workers necessity to labour in return for a ration of the wealth, while the minority parasite class own and control the means and instruments for producing the wealth. It is capitalism with its anarchic market system which cannot satisfy human needs as production is turned off if profit isn’t realised thus producing the distribution problem which ensures inequality of access, ad infinitum. There will not be any states national, imperial or otherwise with overlords or entrenched interests in a post- capitalist socialist society so there will be no political classes or privileged overseers. This is a global phenomenon. Workers run this exploitative system from top to bottom. In effect there are only two social classes, 10% capitalist and 90% workers, whether better off workers or poorly paid workers. They are still dependent on a wage or salary check to access what they collectively produce. They are still only a few pay slips short of a food bank while the parasite class live in ease and luxury. The solution to this is not a redistribution of wealth via tax or other measures. This only perpetuates the system of exploitation. It is the political dispossession of ownership of the means and instruments for producing wealth from the capitalists and its transfer to the world’s population and the ownership in common with fellow workers worldwide.

Economist Thomas Piketty joins a host of deluded people who think that capitalism can be reformed in ways which benefit the majority. This nicer capitalism can't exist, never will exist and can never be in the interests of the real wealth producers. That isn't the movers and shakers, the big boys and girls in the city, or the manufacturers, but is the world’s working class. It is not clear how Piketty defines capitalism. He seems to mean what the French call capitalisme sauvage, or unregulated, wildcat capitalism. If so, then his claim to have shown that ‘capitalism simply cannot work’ is reduced to the lesser claim that unregulated capitalism cannot work. This is a powerful refutation of the free marketers, but is still suggesting that capitalism can be reformed ‘to work’. The similarity between Piketty’s view and that of Marx on how capitalism works to make the rich richer is obvious but there is a difference. Piketty is more concerned with the distribution of the income from capital while Marx was concerned with the accumulation of capital itself irrespective of who owns it (whether individuals, corporations or the state) or who benefits personally from it.
Piketty claims that the data his research uncovered ‘contradicted nearly all of the theories [of inequality] including in Marx and Ricardo.’ He doesn’t say what he thinks Marx’s theory was, but elsewhere he has made it clear that he is criticising the theory of the long-run tendency for the rate of profit to fall (a position held, in different forms, by both Marx and Ricardo). He doesn’t think that there is any such tendency. And of course, unlike Piketty, Marx never advocated trying to stop or reverse capital accumulation and/or the rich getting richer through legislation or government action. The distribution of property income amongst the rich can be changed, but that would make no difference to those whose income is derived from working.
Exploitation of wage slaves takes place at the point of production. Employment is not a route out of poverty, rather employment for wages or salaries is the source of wealth for the few and poverty whether real, actual, or relative for the many.

The global working class collectively produce all the wealth in society and has access to it collectively rationed by the wages and prices market profit system. The profit system can't help doing this. It's the only way it can work. Which is why it must go. One thing is certain. The Tories, LibDems and Labour—and now UKIP—have nothing to offer. They all support the profit system and are only squabbling over which of them should have a go at running it.

What's the alternative?
If we are going to improve things we are going to have to act for ourselves, without professional politicians or leaders of any kind. We are going to have to organise ourselves democratically to bring about a society geared to serving human needs not profits. Production to satisfy people's needs. That's the alternative. But this is only going to be possible if we control production and the only basis on which this can be done is common ownership and democratic control. In a word, socialism. We are talking about a world community without frontiers. Only on this basis can world poverty, hunger and the destruction of the environment be ended.

The socialist alternative to the profit system is:
1. Common ownership: no individuals or groups of individuals have property rights over the natural and industrial resources needed for production.
2. Democratic control: everybody has an equal say in the way things are run including work, not just the limited political democracy we have today.
3. Production for use: goods and services produced directly to meet people's needs, not for sale on a market or for profit.
4. Free access: all of us have access to what we require to satisfy our needs, not rationed as today by the size of our wage packet or State handout.

There has been an alternative since 1904 when the Socialist Party of Great Britain was formed. Their objective ,"The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community. They have consistently advocated this post capitalist solution which consists of creating a new world organised democratically, globally, regionally, locally by ourselves without elected political leaders based upon the organising tenet of, "From each according to their ability to each according to their needs"

Common ownership means that society as a whole owns the means and instruments for distributing wealth. It also implies the democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, for if everyone owns, then everyone must have equal right to control the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth.

Common ownership is not state ownership. State ownership is merely the ownership by the capitalist class as a whole, instead of by individual capitalists, and the government then runs the state enterprises to serve the capitalist class. In the self-proclaimed "communist" states the state enterprises served those who control the party/state apparatus. The working class did not own or control. It produced for a privileged minority.

Monday, January 25, 2016

For a new society

An Oxfam survey found that 79% of respondents favour wealth being distributed more equally than it currently is in Scotland. They want better equality in income and assets and believe politicians should be doing more to address inequality, the charity said. 63% said politicians should do more to address economic inequality, with only 22% saying they are already doing all they reasonably can.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "At a time when nearly one in five people in Scotland live in poverty, it is encouraging to see such support for more action to reduce economic inequality in Scotland. We agree, because we are increasingly aware of the barrier extreme inequality creates to tackling poverty.”

The aspiration to have a nation which many earnestly believe in, is in reality a desire to have a society which is yours — which you can feel a part of because it belongs to you. Workers are right to want a society which we can call our own: a planet which belongs to humanity and local areas which we can take pride in as people who are no longer the tenants in a capitalist-owned world. To the Scots who are driven by national independence the Socialist Party appeals with all of the same passion which the Scottish nationalists use, in their address to the working class: Come, let us unite as a class which has everything in common, everything to gain, a variety of cultures to develop — let us, indeed, have the world for the workers.

Jettison your 'upperosity'

In 2011, nearly 7 million children died before age five, as compared to 1990 when nearly 12 million did. While that translates into 14,000 fewer children dying every day in 2011 than in 1990, it still translates into the deaths of 19,000 children under age five every day in 2011. How long? How long? The horror that is capitalism is here and now and cannot be civilised or tamed in any meaningful way to eliminate the above tragedy. The ‘Gaurdianistas’ need to raise their sights above their relatively cocooned existence which they personally experience, tinkering about on the margins for some modicum of personal improvement for themselves or others in order to assess, if they are a part of the problem. There is nothing new in any of this. History is forever repeating itself without us learning much from it. The halo of capitalism has been smashed by the recession. The halo of our industrial system is gone. It is no longer a sacred thing, which must not be meddled with because of fear of the consequences. For years the working-class has been silent, a sleeping giant lulled to sleep by its own victories and the ability of capitalism to expand and provide a gradually rising standard of living. The working-class has had to struggle to realise these gains, but this struggle has been contained within the limits and rules established by the system.

The world is rich in natural resources. It is capable of satisfying the needs of all its people. Capitalism is a system based on exploitation. A handful of parasites live off the backs of the workers and could not care less about their situation. There can never be class peace between exploiter and exploited, between boss and worker. The working class cannot eliminate exploitation and poverty unless it overthrows the capitalist system. Welfare cuts that are meant to get the jobless back to work are driving down the living standards of hundreds of thousands of people who are in no position to find a job. There never was a golden age of the welfare state. The history of income maintenance in Britain has been the history of coercion, discipline and surveillance. Now new layers of social control has been added. The 'welfare state' is in difficulty across the industrialised world. Despite this, welfare systems will not be dismantled completely — their main aim, after all, is to provide some support for workers who are ill or unemployed so that they might return to the labour market at a later date. They also help mitigate against social unrest. The Government has tried to sell its welfare reforms on the back of mistruths and nasty stereotypes. However, this research exposes what a devastating impact its policies are having on communities throughout the country. Ministers are not cracking down on cheats as they claim, but destroying the safety net that our welfare state is meant to provide for those who fall on hard times through no fault of their own. Full employment is a mirage. When we get close to it, in boom times, we drive up wages where we can as part of the class struggle. There is no right to work in capitalism and anyway, they need a reserve army of labour to terrify the rest of us who get out of line. We really need to consider employment as waged slavery where we can only get back a ration of the wealth we produce while the owners of the means of wealth production siphon off our unpaid labour power. The answer is to make common cause globally with our fellow workers and get rid of wage-slavery, abolishing the wages and prices system.

Left and Right are parts of the same capitalist system. Variations of themes Statist, Neo-Con, Centrist or otherwise. All the left have done with their failed experiments of minimum programmes, to fool workers into supporting their elitist Jacobinistic, leaderist distortions, is bloody the vision of socialism/communism as a classless, wageless, moneyless, free access society, which to get there involved the active emancipation of the working class by their own efforts. There will be no such thing as a socialist 'government'. Higher wages and shorter work hours are sometimes possible under capitalism. But:
'At the same time, and quite apart from the general servitude involved in the wages system, the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles. They ought not to forget that they are fighting with effects, but not with the causes of those effects; that they are retarding the downward movement, but not changing its direction; that they are applying palliatives, not curing the malady. They ought, therefore, not to be exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerilla fights incessantly springing up from the never ceasing encroachments of capital or changes of the market. They ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economical reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto: “A fair day's wage for a fair day's work!” they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword: “Abolition of the wages system!" '  Karl Marx, Value, Price and Profit, 1865.

This revolutionary alternative to capitalism requires you to take control of your political life and consciously aspire to it. It can't be given to you on a plate by a political party. Capitalism cannot be reformed in any meaningful way that is not commensurate with its continuation of its capacity to exploit the majority of their surplus value. This essential part of capitalism ensures that the rich need grow ever richer and cream off enough for further expansion, even if temporarily the employment wage-slavery tap is turned off during a market down turn. They will eventually find new avenues to exploit, no hurry as they are simply rolling in money, but the wasted generation between those points of slump and boom are of no great moment to them, other than encouraging words to, "get on their bikes" or take wage cuts, or move to another country, with a watchful, wary, eye out for civil unrest. We need to stop trusting, even well-meaning politicians, to secure crumbs for us and organise ourselves with other workers of the world to take over and run for ourselves a free access bakery. Even if every M.P. was an honourable person of the greatest integrity, it would only make a marginal difference to our lives as workers. The best thing we can do for the young is for us to educate ourselves a fair bit, discourage them from following the footsteps of the failure of the previous generation which trusted political parties to reform capitalism. Get rid of all our smug pseudo 'squeezed' middle-class pretensions with notions of 'upperosity' and realise that, if we 'have' to work for a wage or salary we are members of the exploited working class, whether we own our home or send young Dimkins to a private school or not.

We are one human species who are capable of much better things than to de-humanise either by the alienation of wage-slavery and thus ideologically driven to profit from it. Rather that the social system creates the circumstances in which accumulation is a driven necessity. The pursuit of Profit in this system means that needs cannot be met. This applies in all countries. Production in capitalism has to be for sale with a view of realising a profit. The vast production capacity cannot be utilised in an efficient manner to satisfy all human needs. It is insanity, now we have this productive capacity to create a superabundance of wealth, we don't put it to a human species orientated use in fraternity with all. Money can become an obsolete method of accounting when all wealth, already created by the world’s workers is owned in common and controlled democratically. A real democracy where each can take according to their needs and contribute according to their ability will have no master or servant.

Nobody wants their standard of living to be reduced, whether as cuts to their wages or their pensions or as the reduced income unemployment brings. But that’s what they get, even though they might vote against it. To imagine that electing another set of politicians is going to make any difference, though, is an illusion. It assumes that governments control the way the capitalist economy works whereas in fact they have to govern on its terms of ‘no profit, no production’. They have to give priority to profits and profit-making. In a slump that means imposing austerity. Henry Ford is reputed to have said that you can have a car of any colour so long as it’s black. Capitalism in a crisis is like that. You can elect any government, but that government will impose austerity.

The fuel that drives capitalism is profits. A slump means that capitalist businesses are investing less than before because it’s not so profitable. The only way capitalism can get out of this is if profitability revives. This happens spontaneously in a slump. The assets of failing and bankrupt firms pass cheaply to others, who can therefore use them more profitably. Interest rates fall, allowing firms that borrow money to invest to keep a larger proportion of their profits. Increased unemployment exerts a downward pressure on wages, increasing the share of profits in new production. Left-wingers and trade union leaders think that the way out of a slump is to increase spending. Get the government to spend more, they say, and that will get production going again. But it won’t. For the simple reason that the increased wages or government spending would have to be at the expense of profits; which would make things worse. Some governments may start off trying to do this but they are very quickly obliged by the economic laws of capitalism to effect a U-turn and impose austerity. That’s the way capitalism works, and it’s the only way it can work. Capitalism is a system that puts profits before people and cannot be reformed to do otherwise. The only way forward is not to vote for a change of government policy or to reform some aspect of capitalism, but to act to replace capitalism with socialism so that the Earth’s resources really can become the common heritage of all and used to serve human welfare.

Burns Night

Robert Burns was born Jan. 25, 1759 and despite what many claim he was not a socialist and officially Burns was a Whig. He joined “honest man” Patrick Heron’s by-election campaign in 1795 in the seat of Kirkcudbright, writing three popular election ballads against the local Tory lairds. But being a Whig was not quite the same thing as being a Liberal or a Liberal Democrat. The Whigs (originally a name for Scottish cattle drovers or cowboys) came in a broad spectrum of colours. Some were followers of Tom Paine and his Rights of Man, while others were happy to go into coalition with the Tories under William Pitt. Burns probably regarded the Whigs, whoever they were, as the lesser of two evils. His political philosophy was egalitarian and against hypocrisy of any kind. He cast a critical over every party, and over politics in general. The trouble with Burns is that he isn’t easy to pigeon-hole.

But he was a radical democrat. Throughout his poetry and songs, Burns champions the working man and insults, lampoons, despises, rages against the upper classes and their hangers-on. He was a member of the "Friends of the People" in Dumfries. The Friends Of  The People group called a convention in Edinburgh and the leaders of the convention were arrested and tried for sedition, most prominently Thomas Muir of Huntershill was sentenced to 14 years deportation to Botany Bay in Australia. But didn’t he join the Royal Dumfries Volunteers to put down those revolutionary Frenchmen? “Never but by British hands / Maun British wrangs be righted!”, he wrote in his patriotic poem Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat?. Hugh MacDiarmid tells us Burns only joined the Volunteers to spy on them. Only months before, he had tried to send four cannonades to the French Assembly – guns he bought at the sale of the smugglers’ ship, the Rosamond, he had helped to seize.

He had written an Ode For General Washington’s Birthday, in which he praises all revolutionaries and appeals to Scotland to revolt too:
But come, ye sons of Liberty,
Columba’s offspring, brave and free,
In danger’s hour still flaming in the van,
Ye know, and dare maintain, the Royalty of Man!

Even the much-cited poem A Parcel of Rogues can be taken two ways:

But pith and power, till my last hour,
I’ll mak this declaration;
We’re bought and sold for English gold –
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

It can either be read as “Scotland should never have sold its independence”, or “Scotland is a parcel of rogues and cannot be trusted with independence”.

His message was one of make love, not war.

“The Deities that I adore
Are Social Peace and Plenty,
I’m better pleased to make one more

Than be the death of twenty.”

Sunday, January 24, 2016

For a world freed from profit

Socialism can only be established peacefully and democratically by the workers themselves. It cannot be brought about "like a thief in the night" (Keir Hardie) by reforming or nationalising nasty bits of capitalism away. What the Socialist Party advocate entails doing away with capitalism, its politicians and leaders altogether. Socialism stands for the sole aim of establishing a global system of society in which there will be common ownership and democratic control of the world’s natural and industrial resources. We advocate a world social system in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation and an equal say in how their society is run; a world in which production is freed from the artificial constraints of profit and used for the benefit of all.

As long as capitalism exists, profits will always take priority over our real needs. Some workers welcome reforms; some reforms have improved working class conditions, but no reform can abolish that basic contradiction between profits and need. No matter how well-meaning the politicians, nor how colourful their promises, they are bound to fail because they do not control the system; rather, it controls them. The governments of the world may well introduce a thousand reforms, but we would still continue to live in a world ravaged by starvation, war, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and every other social ill. We would still live in a two-class society, with our real needs subordinated to the wishes of a minority. Why campaign for crumbs when the whole bakery is there to be taken?

Many workers are confused about ‘human nature’, arguing, for instance, that humans are ‘by nature’ greedy, selfish and aggressive and therefore unable to cooperate to help establish Socialism. What they are in fact citing are characteristics of human behaviour under varying conditions. Human behaviour is not fixed but determined by the kinds of society people are conditioned to live in. We are not born as racists or bigots, any more than we are born with a desire to burn witches or hoard money. The capitalist jungle produces vicious, competitive ways of thinking and acting. But we humans are able to adapt our behaviour and there is no reason why our rational desire for comfort and human welfare should not allow us to cooperate. Even under capitalism, people obtain great pleasure from doing a good turn for others. Few enjoy participating in the ‘civilised’ warfare of the rat-race.

Capitalism can't be reformed and has to be replaced by a democratic, global, government-less, moneyless, prices-free, free access socialist society operating the slogan,"From each according to their ability to each according to their needs." There is no middle class in society. There are only two classes, the workers and a minority parasitic capitalist class who live off the surplus-value produced by the workers. If you have to work for a wage or salary in order to live then you are a member of the working class which must make the revolution which makes all wealth the common heritage of all the planet and abolishes class ownership of the means and instruments for producing wealth forever.

Value is created by labour. Not governments. Certainly, governments at the behest of the capitalist class by virtue of their minority ownership of the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth direct the labour into profitable production of commodities for the capitalist class. This production is not aimed at satisfying human needs as the tap is turned off as soon as it is deemed unprofitable to continue and workers are thrown onto the scrapheap long before satisfaction of needs can be realised. Of course this is an intrinsic feature of capitalist development where workers can only ever gain a ration of what they collectively produce, but they produce and add value by selling their commodity to the capitalists namely their labour power.It is here at the point of production, where exploitation begins and this extraction of surplus value from the worlds workers is the basis of profit. Firstly, capitalism is a system in which wealth takes the form of commodities. i.e. objects produced for sale on the market. Commodity production is not unique to capitalism, but the commodity nature of labour power is. So, capitalism is defined by the fact that the mental and physical energies of most people have to be sold on the market for a price called a wage or a salary. Where there is wage labour there is capitalism. Secondly, capitalism is defined by the law of value. Value is a social relationship which exists in property society where commodities are exchanged. Where there are no commodities, because production and distribution have advanced beyond the stage of buying and selling relationships, there will be no need for the concept of value or for prices and money. As Marx pointed out, "Value is the expression of the specifically characteristic nature of the capitalist process of production"

All of the focus is on what is best for capitalism. Extractive elites are an integral feature of capitalism.
Marx correctly outlined:
1. The boom-slump cycle endemic to capitalism and how no government intervention—however benign—would be able to prevent it;
2. How the market economy would eventually spread its tentacles into every aspect of human life, conquering the entire planet in the process;
3. How an excess issue by governments of paper currency beyond that required by additional value production is the real cause of inflation;
4. Class division and the modern development of a world economy where the division between the richest and the poorest is the widest in human history;
5. The growth of a colossal credit-based financial apparatus that, as time goes on, becomes increasingly isolated from the realities of the wealth production process on which it depends.

If anyone doubts the prescience of the Marxian analysis, consider the following passages from the Manifesto about the development of world capitalism and the ruling capitalist class:
"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation . . . It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e. to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image."
And yet:
"Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange, and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells."

In a world of uncontrollable global economic crises, permanent warfare, rampaging environmental destruction, unprecedented income inequality, social dislocation and delinquency, who can in all seriousness say that Marx was fundamentally wrong? And if his identification of the problems of the modern world and their trajectory is so accurate his proposed solution for them must surely command attention too.

Let us abolish the wages system and establish a global, free access socialist system where production is for use, without rationing of access by prices, wages or private ownership of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth. Let all wealth be owned in common and controlled democratically without elites, by the whole population. Check out what the World Socialist Movement says socialism is, what capitalism is and inform yourselves as to the replacement of this outmoded system with the new one.
The Soviet Union had damn all to do with socialism. It was no more communist than Revolutionary France. The ‘Jacobin’ seizure of power by the Bolsheviks is testament to this. It merely replaced feudalism with a state capitalist system. Marx would have told them so, as socialists in the SPGB did at the time:
"Is this huge mass of people, numbering about 160,000,000 and spread over eight and a half millions of square miles, ready for Socialism? Are the hunters of the North, the struggling peasant proprietors of the South, the agricultural wage slaves of the Central Provinces, and the industrial wage slaves of the towns convinced of the necessity, and equipped with the knowledge requisite, for the establishment of the social ownership of the means of life?Unless a mental revolution such as the world has never seen before has taken place, or an economic change has occurred immensely more rapidly than history has recorded, the answer is “No!”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bread and Circuses

 Abolish the wages and prices system. There is no such thing as a fair day’s pay. Wages are only ever a rationing of access to the massive wealth collectively produced. Wage workers are exploited at the point of production for the surplus value which they produce in order for the parasite capitalist class to amass huge profits. Businesses such as Celtic football club are no different in this respect regardless of the founding ethos. Sectarian divisions in Scotland and elsewhere have workers at each other’s throats rather than pursuing their common interest, which is getting rid of the parasitic capitalist system and establishing a free access, moneyless, government less, social system. Such are the modern versions of bread and circuses. Establish common ownership of all wealth production and distribution rendering boardrooms obsolete.

"When sport is considered only in economic terms and consequently for victory at every cost, it risks reducing athletes to mere trading material from whom profits are extracted” Pope Francis

The State is the governance and control of the vast majority by a dominant minority class in its interests. Working people have no country. It is in the interests of the vast majority to do away with this ownership and control of the earth's resources by this parasitic minority, whether control is exercised through national, regional, or global coercive, i.e. governing apparatus. The fact that this government is by assent through the chimera of the elective process, into which the rich buy privileged input, doesn't remove the domination of the vast majority and their compulsion into conditions of wage slavery in order to profit the capitalist class. We have more in common with workers in England, Poland, Bangladesh etc. than we will ever have with the parasite class who wish to exploit us. Instead of opting for government over us for a pittance of a wage or salary, opt for the whole world to be owned in common and controlled democratically without governments, nation states or politicians. It is your world to be won, make common cause with your fellow worker, don't slavishly settle for anything less.

It would be nice if struggles for national independence could magically result in a classless society, but that's, unfortunately, not the way societies progress. Scottish capitalism is not only tied to the British capitalism but also to international capitalism. Any kind of Scottish state that didn't offer benefits to corporations would see capital flight and a serious drop in its economy -- the Scottish socialist economy is a myth. Nationalism just replaces one set of bosses with another, and also helps to divide the working class. As if an "independent" Scotland would be any less affected by the world slump or being sacked by a Scottish boss be more agreeable. Will a social revolution come about through constitutional moves towards independence? No! All moves towards independence have entrenched the power of the Scottish elite. The SNP have been bank-rolled by millionaires like Tom Farmer and Brian Soutar. National independence is a chimera. Scottish independence is a distraction from building working class solidarity against capitalism. Nationalism is, at best, a dead-end and, at worst, reactionary. The socialist objective is to liberate humanity, not liberate nations.

The phrase ‘Nation-State’ itself assumes that the states into which the world is divided are the political expression of pre-existing ‘nations’. In fact, it’s the other way round. It is the ‘nation’ that is the creation of the state. States inculcate into their subjects the idea that they form a community with a common interest and that the state represents that interest. The result is that people come to refer to themselves and other subjects of the same state as ‘we’ and ‘us’.

Real socialists do not speak of ‘we’ and ‘us’ in relation to so-called ‘Nation-States’ in which they happen to have been born or live. We know that, in every state, there are two classes with opposed interests: the class of those who own and control the means of production and the rest, the vast majority, who do not and, to live, have to sell their mental and physical energies to those who do for a wage or a salary.

It is not difficult to believe that the political scum of all parties, very public stance against eastern European (aka Roma) immigration is fuelled largely by a desire to appeal to the populist vote and is a demagogic tactic aimed at seducing the Far Right. Each year we are reminded by the government of the day to remember the Jewish Holocaust, yet the Roma Devouring stays forgotten. August the 2nd is the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the start of the liquidation by the Nazis of the ’gypsy’ camp at Auschwitz. The silence of British politicians was deafening. Our rulers have a long history of camouflaging the failures of capitalism, particularly in times of economic slump, by seeking out scapegoats.

Wage and salary workers in one state have the same basic interest as their counterparts in other states. We are all members of the world working class and have a common interest in working together to establish a world without frontiers in which the resources of the globe will have become the common heritage of all the people of the world and used for the benefit of all. In a free access socialist society there is no need for a capitalists, or their policing governments, as the capitalists produce nothing and only bring exploitation to the table. Workers produce all wealth and are rationed in their access to it by wages. They build the houses produce food, clothing, shelter, anything you care to name. The Great Money Trick chapter in the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists describes the robbery. Capitalism is a system of organised scarcity. Governments of all stripes attempt to manage this, but the fact is the system manages them. We can't have the 'fairer capitalism ' of social reformers. It is an anarchic market system which will waste human resources as soon as it is necessary for shoring up profits. Production is always choked off before human needs can be satisfied. Indeed the satisfaction of human needs isn't the purpose of capitalism. Profit is. Capitalism can't be reformed any meaningful way. We all must seize hold of our personal responsibility to work for its demise and replacement with a world of free access, wage-less price-free socialism, without competition, governments or nation states eye-balling each other up over control of resources on land under sea and elsewhere in space. Only with a world of common ownership and democratic control of all wealth, food, clothing, housing, fuel and all resources based around the tenet of, "from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” can humankind become truly human. The fact that present society is not one of conscious motivation, directed towards social ends, but of profit motivation, places grave restrictions on its productive powers and hence consuming powers. As Marx points out,
"... It is not a fact that too much wealth is produced. But it is true that there is a periodical over-production of wealth in its capitalistic and self-contradictory form. . . . The capitalist mode of production for this reason meets with barriers at a certain scale of production which would be inadequate under different conditions. It comes to a standstill at a point determined by the production and realisation of profit, not by the satisfaction of social needs." Capital, Vol. 3.

This is why Marx indicted capitalism as a system of organised scarcity. Only you can end it and establish a classless society with politicians redundant along with their mentors. Capitalism cannot meet the needs of the majority of us, the workers (or proletariat) of the world, no matter how progressive it might become in the future.

It is not 'our' welfare state but the capitalist class' welfare state. It was set up to maintain the reserve labour force for when an economic downturn occurred. Cradle to grave provision happened out of political expediency to buy off discontent. Especially after the war. Its cost is a burden on the capitalist class. If you work for a wage or salary your tax is deducted from the employers wage bill, what you receive is the bottom line. The nominal National Insurance and other contributions workers’ pay are a con in order to gull you into the impression it is 'your'' welfare state. Your target is the capitalist class who have collectively reneged on the promised provision, the employers who have a done deal on pensions, often in lieu of wage settlements in the past and now protest their unaffordability. Your discontent should be channeled into making common cause with workers of all lands and none to remove the parasitic capitalist class, who produce nothing but live off the fat of the land everywhere. Abolish the wages system and establish a global, free access socialist system where production is for use, without rationing of access by prices, wages or private ownership of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth. Let all wealth be owned in common and controlled democratically without elites, by the whole population.