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Showing posts from April, 2016

The tyranny of profits

“The anarchy of the market produces the tyranny of the factory.”Marx
“Market socialists” raise objections to the Socialist Party call for free access. Their argument rests on some dubious assumptions. First, that left to themselves human beings will produce goods that other human beings do not need. Second, that human beings have and always will resist producing things efficiently and well in the absence of outside pressures. Thirdly, that because they are innately lazy, human beings will not work unless compelled to. Finally, they say that in an economy without a market there would be no price system and therefore no way to compare the production costs of different things. The increased waste would arise, they claim. The prices which people are prepared to pay for goods act as signals which tell individual firms what to produce and what not to produce.
The market is not the answer. There is only one way to escape for workers from the detrimental effects of capitalism and that is f…

Missionaries come to Glasgow

US Christian activists, Hope Scouts – which describes itself as a worldwide charity - are raising cash to spread the word in Glasgow – because they reckon it’s so poor and deprived. 
It has organised relief projects in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Bangalore in India. It says Glasgow is now in their sights because of the so-called Glasgow Effect, a term used to describe the low life expectancy and levels of poverty in parts of the city. 
Hope Scouts – which says it was inspired by the scriptures to serve the poor, sick and suffering - say poverty, stress, alienation and pessimism are rife in Glasgow where, it claims, a third of children live in deprivation.

Socialists in Scotland

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. During the referendum debate, the partisans of independence were painting an unbelievable picture of how life would be so much better if Scotland was no longer ruled from Westminster. A social democratic paradise was to be established in Scotland. Reformism, despite failing to do so on every previous occasion it has been tried, would somehow be able this time to make capitalism work for the benefit for wage and salary workers and their dependents. Socialists didn’t believe this either. And with the dramatic fall in the price of oil, few can now support the idea that an independent Scotland could have afforded those reforms.
 The Socialist Party does not oppose reformism because it is against improvements in workers' lives lest they dampen their revolutionary ardour; nor, because it thinks that decadent capitalism simply cannot deliver on any re…

We want the best in life

Capitalism continues to exist not only by force but also by the power of ideas. These ideas are instilled into people from the day they start thinking to the day they die. The schools and colleges, the newspapers, magazines and books, all the media, the church pulpits, are all the ways by which the thoughts of people are shaped. They are used by the class that controls them to argue that the society we live in is fundamentally correct and the natural one. By and large, the working class accepts these ideas. If it did not, capitalism could not be kept alive for very long. Because we are stuffed full of these ideas, workers will usually accept the division of wealth to different classes as fit and proper. Some of us are made to toil, others are made to prosper. Why complain if you have not the talent to make money and become rich? Don’t the wealthy provide you with a job? Wanting to change the natural order is only the politics of envy”
Marx always describes socialist society as a soci…

Real Scottish Socialists

It would a most wonderful experience to live in socialism, yet, many workers cannot see socialism coming in their lifetime. However, the Socialist Party says to our fellow-workers that the next best is to fight for it.

It certainly does not require a great genius to understand that Scotland, like every other country, has a population which is divided into a majority who are non-owners and a minority who are owners. And that after centuries of joint development with England that all means of producing wealth are owned and controlled by large businesses whose shareholders are spread throughout Britain and the rest of the world. Just as certainly it does not need extraordinary intelligence to know that workers in specifically "Scottish" companies merely receive in wages enough to continue working—barely enough, as for workers everywhere.
Scottish workers don't have to attend a university to know that the ruling class of Scotland since the days of the Highland "Clearan…

Why the SPGB?

In 1904 a small group of workers got together and formed the Socialist Party of Great Britain, aiming to bring the message of the necessity of a socialist solution to the gathering world crisis. That small group did have a few things going for it. They knew where to start and based their principles on the experiences of Marxist thought and action. The Socialist Party named the enemy—the capitalist profit system organised around the world. While supporting the workers’ organisations, the trade unions, the socialists in the SPGB saw their task as advocating action to establish socialism, the need for a socialist revolution, and for politically conscious working class to be the agent of social change. Members of the Socialist Party still hold that revolution is required if humanity is to survive the ever-present threat of extermination. There is nothing more threatening to the rule of the corporate oligarchs and plutocrats than the prospect of a party of hundreds of thousands that fearl…

Poverty, Cancer and Processed Meat in Glasgow

Glasgow has long been notorious for the astonishing gap in life expectancy between rich and poor. Men who can expect to die at the age of just 54 live within a few miles of those who will survive well into their 80s.
Now researchers believe they have found a key reason for this disparity – the regular consumption of cheap, processed meat, particularly by the city’s poorest men. Last year the World Health Organisation warned that processed meat caused cancer and red meat was also “probably” carcinogenic. 
High levels of phosphate in red meat was linked to premature ageing and kidney damage. And the study found that phosphate was much more easily absorbed by the body from meat containing additives. Phosphate occurs naturally in many foodstuffs, such as meats, fish, eggs, dairy products and vegetables. But consuming too much of the substance wears down telomeres, vital structures on the tips of a person's chromosomes that help protect against a range of diseases -- from cardiovascu…

End Capitalism Now

The Socialist Party of Great Britain, a party of the World Socialist Movement, addresses itself to fellow workers. We stand for a socialised economy in which the profit system will be replaced by the cooperation of people. If you don't want a classless world of common ownership then the Socialist Party doesn't want your support.
 Between droughts and floods, it appears that vast sections of this planet are becoming uninhabitable. Millions of people are driven from their homes and plunged into dire suffering before the onslaughts of nature. While we call it `nature’, it is well known that behind the present destructive developments of natural forces, lies the responsibility of the capitalist class. This planet has been a great treasure house of nature, which the capitalists the owners of the natural resources, have despoiled. The environmental ravages of today are directly traceable to their activities. They cut down the forests and made great profits in selling timber and rai…

Don’t be Duped by Religion

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” - Marx, (Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law)
Today the spread of atheism is unrelenting, so much so that Christianity itself is becoming increasingly  secularised. That far fewer people believe in God or Christ nowadays is some sign of progress. There is no “true” Islam or pure Buddhism, there is just the endless variety of ways humans try to interpret their world in order to act in it. Religious groups have a notorious history of stifling dissent by any means possible, even if, in Britain, nonbelievers are no longer persecuted, tortured and killed and that is because the superstitious myths and rituals with which religion cloaks itself are no longer taken seriously by the majority of the population. But there are countries where the heads of religion are still able to wield considerable power and…

Socialism and a humane world

Most people consider "politics” boring, because what is generally thought of as politics is one set of professional politicians claiming to know how to make the lives of the majority even more profitable for the minority who employ us; another set quarrelling over how to do the same without it showing, and yet another set trying to do both. But politics is about power and the Socialist Party is about “people power”.  Politics is not profound or mysterious; it is the expression of class interests. The Socialist Party stands for the interests of the working class and therefore has as its policy the abolition of world capitalism and the establishment of common ownership. The profit system is hard to defend by rational argument and so many myths are used as a gloss over a system based on instability and violence. The struggle for a world of common ownership is the only struggle with a future and involves the end of mystification and the beginning of history made consciously by peopl…

Let’s Change

Have we learned nothing from history? Has all the sacrifice and suffering for a better world been for nothing? We precariously perched on the edge of an abyss. The time has come when big changes are necessary. The profits of the capitalists and corporations are higher than they have ever been. The sham measures of government regulation have only increased exploitation and put still heavier burdens upon the workers. The boss class has done exceptionally well and, indeed, they have never been better off. Only by the establishment of Socialism can the World’s problems be finally solved and its people guaranteed a good life, lasting peace and decent living standards. Socialism means an end to capitalist profit and exploitation, for it will deprive the capitalists of their ownership and control of the factories and offices, mills and mines, farms and landed estates, transport, and ensure that production is organised for the use of the people and not for the profit of the tiny minority of …

A world socialist commonwealth

The capitalist system, not workers were responsible for the economic crisis. The present government does not represent the interests of the majority. It is dominated by agents of the big banks and corporations. All are committed to maintaining the profit system. The ‘reformers’ offer no alternative to big business control. Only the working class have the power to overturn capitalist rule and their profit system. Capitalism must be abolished. Working people need to overthrow the capitalist parties. The needs of people can only be met by creating a planned economy, where ownership and control of the means of production are taken from the tiny minority of capitalists and placed in the hands of the people, to be run democratically. Reorganised on a socialist basis, the world can be free of racism, sexism, poverty, economic insecurity and exploitation where the vast resources available to us are used to serve the needs of all instead of the profits of the few. We seek a world socialist co…

Capitalism, your place is in the cemetery

It follows from an analysis of capitalism that the primary task of a socialist party is to wage an intensive campaign of agitation for change by a revolution to the power and wealth of society which is transferred from one class to another. In our time, there are two fundamental classes within society, the working class and the capitalist class. The minority class owns the wealth, profits from it, keeps down the standard of living of the majority class which has no wealth. The theory of socialists is that if the enormous wealthy of society, controlled by the few, were controlled by the majority of the people poverty could be eliminated, an end could be made to war, and mankind could live in peace and plenty. To achieve its goal, this kind of revolution would be necessary on a world scale. Many real socialists today rally to the Socialist Party, the bearer of the traditions of Marx and Engels. It stands for the abolition of the profit system, social ownership management of industry, t…

We won't be slaves any longer

Capitalism has failed miserably to provide the basic necessities of life for hundreds of millions of workers around the world. Millions of workers are unemployed, hungry and homeless.  Older workers are thrown out like garbage when they no longer have any value to employers. Capitalism is the dictatorship of the bosses. In the capitalist society, only the bosses are free - free to hire and fire, free to pillage and plunder, free to make our class fight for their profits. We will allow no freedom to exploit workers. They hold power through their political parties, their cops, their courts, and their military. Like all thieves, bosses have no honour among themselves. They are constantly falling out.
The entire labour movement should concern itself with eliminating ignorance through increasing knowledge to the working class. Men and women must transcend the narrow limits of capitalist thought  if mankind is to be saved from barbarism. Socialists look for every opportunity to turn things…

Homes not Hovels

“A house may be large or small; as long as the surrounding houses are equally small it satisfies all social demands for a dwelling. But if a palace arises besides the little house, the little house shrinks into a hut. The little house now shows that its owner has only very slight or no demands to make; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilisation, if the neighbouring palace grows to an equal or even greater extent, the dweller in the relatively small house will feel more and more uncomfortable, dissatisfied and cramped within its four walls.” Marx, (Wage Labour and Capital)
The problem of securing a roof over one’s head is one of the greatest uncertainties for most working people, subject as they are to the vicissitudes of the capitalist business cycles. Those who have sufficient savings for a down payment on a home stand to lose it during the depressions. Renting tenants unable to pay are mercilessly evicted. The need for homes is never satisfied, precisely because …

Churches in retreat (1987)

From the February 1987 issue of the Socialist Standard
Christian churches in Britain have lost half a million members in the last five years. According to the UK Christian Handbook, Christian church membership has declined to under seven million people, which is about fifteen per cent of the population. But other religions have shown an increase. In particular the number of Muslims has increased by over a third to 852.000 and many churches have been converted into Mosques. Other religions to have increased their membership, on a smaller scale, were Sikhs. Hindus, Buddhists and Satanists while the number of Jews showed a slight decline.
Although there has been a change in the type of superstitious nonsense being peddled, on the whole religion is a very minor activity in Britain. There will be a greater number than the above who still profess a belief in a god of some kind but who don't want to be confined to the absurd behaviour patterns these churches demand.
In fact, Christianity…