Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2016

We Are All Human

“Capital is dead labour that vampire-like only lives by sucking living labour and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.”Marx
The Socialist Party’s aim is socialism, because socialism is the only way to solve the problems of working people and end the class divisions in society. The Socialist Party aims to replace the crises, insecurity, profiteering, inequalities and social antagonisms of the capitalist society in which we live by a socialist society. In our lifetime great scientific advances and new technologies have opened up entirely new perspectives for mankind, make possible immense improvements in the life of people, creating possibilities of human progress which far surpass the dreams of the socialist pioneers. However, the capitalist society in which we live cannot release this potential. Automation, which could ease labour and bring great increases in production, leads to greater exploitation and unemployment. There is a constant struggle to maintain real wages. Many fe…

Ice Cream Man Cometh (1985)

Ice Cream Man Cometh (1985) From the January 1985 issue of the Socialist Standard
On the night of April 16 last, petrol was poured through the letterbox of a top floor flat in Glasgow and then set on fire. The Doyle family was trapped in the blaze and six of its members, aged between 18 months and 50 years, died. Summing up at the end of what became Scotland's worst multiple murder trial, the judge provided the convenient scapegoat for the horrific incident: "No decent person could be other than appalled by such dastardly deeds. Those who set fire to the flat were wicked, depraved. inhuman and evil" (Scotsman, 9 October 1984).
But were these men just wanting to kill without reason? Evidently not, as they had had plenty of opportunities to do so simply with a shotgun and, according to one of the two men accused, the fire was only meant as "a frightener which went too far" (Scotsman, 20 September 1984). Indeed the court, in its hurry to find someone to blame, igno…

Arise

All over the world things are confused and mixed-up. Our world is one that can change in weeks and days and even hours instead of when it took years. People find themselves unsure and uncertain and, yes, frightened. Many politicians take advantage and stoke these fears, inciting division by creating scape-goats to blame, igniting hatreds between people rather than building solidarity.
The end must determine the means. Socialism will be established only when a majority of workers understand and want it. Fundamental social change will have to come about through a majority revolution, expressed through some kind of verifiable electoral means. Only the elimination of the capitalist system provides the basis to bring about equality. the Socialist Party has tried in many ways to point out that the root of social problems throughout the world is the system of capitalism, and that to solve these problems and empower the people we need to break the economic power of the capitalist class and e…

The Ballot and The Socialist Party

“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people, and the few who make up the employing class have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system…Instead of the conservative motto: "A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword: "Abolition of the wage system…”The Industrial Workers of the World Preamble
The Leave Europe campaigner say it is taking away our ‘sovereignty’ and we will only regain it by becoming independent of the EU.  The Remain lobby has had Cameron saying he protected our sovereignty with negotiation and reform from within. But precisely whose sovereignty are they all talking about?  Not yours. Not ours. Whichever side end…

Elections and The Socialist Party

Participation in elections are but a part, although not necessarily the most important part, of socialist activity. Something even more important than success at the polls is the progress of socialist consciousness in the masses, and successes at the polls are in themselves of interest only in so far as they permit us to judge of the increase of this socialist consciousness. It is also evident that with the success of a socialist party on the political field, success on the economic field by the trade unions will be multiplied.
As socialists, we supported no capitalist side in elections. Voting for Labour or Tory means supporting both parties’ attacks against the working class. The Labour Party, particularly its left-wing, claims to stand for the workers’ interests and for socialism. Labour claims that socialism can be introduced gradually through a series of reforms using parliamentary means. In the early years of the Labour Party many workers voted for Labour, believing that they c…

Revolution

You Say You Want a Revolution
You say you want a revolution Well, you know We all want to change the world You tell me that it's evolution Well, you know We all want to change the world
Socialism is not a reform, it is a revolution. We need to distinguish ourselves from those who merely wish to patch up the present system by a serious of legislative policies and keep it. The old parties, every one, and new ones, every day springing up, all claim to be staunch advocates of reforms. Between us and them there is a radical difference. It is to make the point of difference clear and to distinguish sharply between all such manifesto programmes and socialism that the Socialist Party uses the term “revolutionary.” We are not “reformists” — we are “revolutionists.” The horrors and terrors of the capitalist system are immediate and inherent effects caused by the contradictions of the system itself. Thus reforms, palliatives, and ameliorations will not rid capitalism of its problems. It must be re…

Stop being slavishly philanthropic

The Socialist Party 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 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."
We are speaking of socialism as it was envisaged by Morris, Marx, Tressell, Luxemburg et al, indeed before reformist delusions that capitalism could be reformed took hold of and limited left-wing political aspirations. We wouldn't need any governments over us in a classless society and the causes of war would also disappear along with the competition for raw materials, trade routes, markets…

Heads or Tails – It’s All the Same to Us

Capitalism has generated massive increases in productivity and provided extravagant wealth for some, yet most people still struggle to make ends meet. Capitalism is an inequality-enhancing machine as well as a growth machine. Not to mention that it is becoming clearer that capitalism, driven by the relentless search for profits, is destroying the environment. It is not an illusion that capitalism has transformed the material conditions of life in the world and enormously increased human productivity; some people have benefited from this. But equally, it is not an illusion that capitalism generates great harms and perpetuates unnecessary forms of human suffering. Capitalism as a way of organizing economic activity has three critical components: private ownership of capital; production for the market for the purpose of making profits; and employment of workers who do not own the means of production.
If you vote for a different politician then you do not understand how the system works.…

Fight nationalism, don't embrace it

This weekend as many in Ireland and in Scotland commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Dublin Easter Rising, it is incumbent upon those of us in the Socialist Party to discourage nationalist feelings among our fellow workers.
Capitalism is a single world system, a single world economy. There is no such thing as the "British economy", the "Irish economy" or the "American economy"; there is only one economy, world capitalism. This view has important implications. First, that there are no national solutions to today's social problems. The various states into which the world is divided are political, but not social units. The state does not define the boundaries of the present social system, which is worldwide and capitalist. Since capitalism is the cause of today's social problems and is a single world-wide social system, it clearly follows that the solution to these problems can only be a world-wide social change (from world capitalism to world soci…

A Word on the American Election Campaign

We recognise that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are controlled by moneyed interests. And as much as Bernie Sanders has identified with socialism, we know that the Democratic Party represents corporate interests. So no matter what the candidates say or do, they are still being controlled by the two-party system which is disempowering. When talk about what democracy is, it means being rule by the people and we need to break away from this notion that the only way of being democratic is engaging in electoral politics. We’re not telling people not to vote, we’re simply do not endorsing any presidential candidate because none represent the interests of the majority – the working class. Instead, we want to put our time and energy is in the development of people to act in their own interests and on their own behalf. And so, we are pushing for the real revolution which won’t come solely at the ballot box. The revolution will be on the ground, when the people rise up and …

World Socialism Restated

When we talk about the inevitability of socialism we assume that the workers will continue to struggle for it. Were they, on the other hand, sit down tamely and wait till socialism came to them, they would remain enslaved by wage-labour. Socialism can only come when workers are no longer willing to allow themselves to be exploited. When the workers, both politically and economically, are so class conscious and so well organised as to make their exploitation impossible then capitalism will have reached the end of its road. That is what we understand by social revolution, and our ideal – that of human brotherhood – is revolutionary, because it is only to be realised by the social revolution. Whoever speaks of social revolution speaks above all of the abolition of capitalism, the abolition of its productive and property relations and the establishment of new relations.
It is important to realise that capitalists are not always looking for ways to increase the degree of exploitation of w…

A new society on new foundations

“Competition is civil war, and monopoly a massacre of the prisoners” - Proudhon
Hunger in the midst of plenty, that distinguishing mark of the capitalist system of production, is intensified a hundredfold during an economic crisis. The anarchy of the market brings about a catastrophic fall in wages, the shutdown of factories, widespread unemployment, disruption of world trade, disturbance of the monetary system, the frantic search of capitalists for new outlets and new markets. To restore profit margins, the government, as executive committee of the capitalist class, drives down the living standards of the workers in order to place the national capitalism in a stronger competitive position. To start the wheels of industry going, the capitalist government pours bail out the banks and subsidises the corporations. The state’s budget takes on undreamed-of proportions. Its balancing becomes ever more precarious and in fact near-impossible. The national debt increases at a dizzying pace. Th…

The capitalist treadmill

Competition must go. The abolition of the exchange economy and its institutions must be replaced with the rational, socialist organisation of labour that mankind may become free to build his or her own life and to be human with the others. Marx analysed the capitalist system of production. He exposed how it rests on the basis of the exploitation of man by man. All value comes from labour. Because they own the means of production, the capitalists hold the whip-hand over the workers. They do not own them, as a slave-owner owned his slaves. They pay them wages. But the wages are not equal to the real value produced by the worker. The worker works only part of the day to earn his wages. The rest is free labour for the boss. This is surplus value, out of which the capitalists make their profit and accumulate wealth. Because of their great economic power and wealth, the owners of the means of production dominate in every capitalist country. They run parliament and the press; their ideas pr…

Socialism is no pipe-dream

The Socialist Party seeks a change in the basis of society - a change which would destroy the distinctions of classes and nationalities. Workers, although they produce all the wealth of society, have no control over its production or distribution: the people, are treated as a mere appendage to capital - as a part of the machine. We want a real revolution, a real change in society. The Socialist Party aims at the realisation of complete socialism, and well knows that this can never happen in any one country without the help of the workers of all lands. For us neither geographical boundaries, political history nor race makes rivals or enemies; for us there are no nations, but only fellow workers and friends, whose mutual sympathies are perverted by the master class whose interest it is to stir up rivalries and hatreds between peoples. We shall live a society not of enemies in a state a kind of armed truce but instead we shall live among friends and neighbours. People will regard work n…