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Showing posts from May, 2016

Building a world socialist movement

We see the need for building a mass socialist party and recognise the importance of clarifying the many questions such a task demands. The class struggle teaches one lesson above all others, a lesson summed up in a single proposition: The most important project for the working class is the creation of a party to reflect and represent its interests, a leader-free party where members do their own thinking. The Socialist Party unfurled the red banner of socialism from the hour of its birth, has no rival in the field. It is the only revolutionary party, the heir of the rich traditions of the past and the herald of the future. The various groups and cliques which challenged the Socialist Party have all, without exception, fallen into pitiful disintegration and demoralisation.
It is nationalism that can divide the workers so that the workers of one nationality are struggling against the workers of another nationality for a few illusory crumbs the rulers throw out exactly for that purpose! …

Trotskyism Rehashed (1973) - book review

Book Review from the December 1973 issue of theSocialist Standard
Tariq Ali, a leading member of the so-called International Marxist Group writes in his book The Coming British Revolution that the socialist revolution will be produced by the long-dreamt-of big slump and not working-class understanding. Indeed,he categorically states that the working class is incapable of ever developing a socialist consciousness on its own and must have “leaders” (guess who) to do their thinking for them. Apparently the need for workers to recognise the leaders now is crucial since British capitalism is already on the brink of collapse and only needs one more good push. And not only will the Trots provide the workers with political direction during the revolution but will also throw in the direction of military operations for good measure!
Obviously, that’s a piece of romantic nonsense as Trotskyists know little or nothing of such matters, but such extravagant flights of fancy enable us to see the appe…

The Enemy Is Capitalism, The Fight Is For Socialism!

Working people are waging and will continue to wage struggles on many issues, including wages, health,  social services, unemployment, political rights, etc. These struggles put them in direct opposition to various sectors of the ruling class– this or that capitalist, manager, government minister or civil servant, municipal officer, police force or whatever. Workers know very well they have an immediate enemy and realise where their immediate interests lie in such conflicts. It is not the job of the Socialist Party to co-opt or direct these specific struggles. The role of the Socialist Party is to point out what all these struggles have in common, to point out that the cause of these problems and the misery that workers have to endure under capitalism is one and the same. The role of the Socialist Party is to identify the class enemy hiding behind each specific struggle. The role of the Socialist Party is to indicate that the only path that will enable us to solve these problems once…

In the name of Jesus

To the Socialist Party, the question whether there existed an historical Jesus of the Gospels is hardly a burning question. Some believe in the physical existence of Jesus but far fewer people believe in the Christ part nowadays so there is some sign of progress. There is nothing inherently improbable in the collection of ancient myths around an historical personage and the attribution to him of the magic commonly believed in at the time. The non-historicity of Christ remains in the realms of the “may have been”, the “probable” and the “perhaps”.
It has long been acknowledged by Christian theologians, and by anyone else who cares to study the evidence, that the Bible does not give a coherent account of the life and sayings of Jesus. There are just too many contradictions and inconsistencies within and between the various books which make up the New Testament. Not only that, many of the historical and geographical references involving Jesus are not confirmed by modern scholarship. Fo…

Implementing socialism

The working class has to establish the new economy, organise the new society, realise socialism. It has to dismantle the dictatorships, dissolve the state, and create the society without rulers – finally free. Its task is the accomplishment of the socialist idea. The Socialist Party proposes to realise socialism through the conquest of political power, the capture of the State machine by the working class at the ballot box in their respective localities. The Socialist Party strives for power—for power to transform society and achieve socialism.
The ideas, demands and movements of workers’ participation, workers’ control, self-management, direct workers’ rule, workers’ democracy, etc., have a long-standing tradition and are deeply rooted. These ideas imbue and permeate, in one way or another, the entire history of world socialism. Their ideological roots and origins lie in the interaction of two powerful and increasingly - determinating tendencies – socialism and democracy. The ideas,…

Heading for Uni?

Young Scots from disadvantaged areas are four times less likely to go to university than those from wealthy backgrounds, researchershave found. In England, those from the poorest neighbourhoods are 2.4 times less likely to attend university than people in the richest areas. Those in Northern Ireland and Wales are three times less likely to do so.
Sutton Trust chairman, Sir Peter Lampl said: "Scotland faces a shocking access gap and it is vital that the government appoints a strong independent commissioner without delay.

Over the past decade, Scots were more likely than their English counterparts to enter higher education. But they are less likely to go straight to university, and half who go via college repeat at least one year. Their study showed 90% of growth in higher education places for disadvantaged students came from colleges, not universities. In 2013-14, 55% of Scots entered higher education by the age of 30, 34.1% straight from school and 20.9% going to college first. …

Glasgow is Lung Disease capital

One person dies of lung disease, and five more are diagnosed, every five minutes.
Scotland's urban areas, particularly around Glasgow, have the highest lung disease mortality rates in Britain, a new report has found. People living in the city are almost twice as likely to die from lung disease as those in Stirling, according to the British Lung Foundation (BLF).
The charity said historic smoking rates were partly to blame for the serious health problems. But it believes heavy industry has also led to high rates of lung conditions. Irene Johnstone, Head of the British Lung Foundation Scotland, said thousands of people were dying every year from lung conditions not caused by tobacco.
It has been hailed as "the most comprehensive overview of lung disease in a decade". The study's findings include: Rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are highest in Scotland. The conditions are commonly caused by smoking Scotland has higher rates of less…

Party with a small "p"

Unless socialism is altogether a mirage, it will rise again as a world movement - or not at all. The propaganda and agitation for socialism have taught thousands that socialism means a society without classes, without the exploitation of man by man, without a production system operating for the purpose of producing profits for a few. The Socialist Party has capably demonstrated how socialism could end poverty, unemployment and war by eliminating private ownership of the means of producing the things of life, by ending competition, and ending the nationalist struggle for existence by this and all other countries. Our case for socialism has mercilessly exposed the evils of capitalist society, its murderous exploitation of the workers, its utter hypocrisy in human relations, and the most evident feature of its class character: the impoverishment of the masses and the enrichment of a small class of capitalists. The necessity of rebuilding the movement for socialism requires the re-establ…

Capitalism has no solution

The battle between people’s needs and capitalism grows ever fiercer. The attacks of capitalism, to maintain its profits, grow ever more sweeping and ferocious, ranging over every field, against both employed and unemployed workers, against wages and social services, for new forms of intensified labour. The basis of reformism is ended. All the so-called remedies not only fail to touch the root or the evil — the burdens of capitalist disorganisation and parasitism. It is a crisis of global capitalism. Every technological advance of production only intensifies the crises, intensifies the ferocity of capitalist competition for the market.
Many reformists promise that if only the capitalists would pay higher wages to the workers, enabling them to buy more of what they produce, there would be no crisis. This is utopian nonsense, which ignores the inevitable laws of capitalism — the drive for profits, and the drive of competition. The drive of capitalism is always to increase its profits by…

Planetary collapse or workers’ revolution

In a revolution, the power and wealth of society change hands. They are transferred from one class to another. In our time, there are two fundamental classes in 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 workers are cajoled and propagandised to protect all this wealth that is owned by the ruling class. The theory of the socialist revolution is that if the enormous wealth of society, controlled by the few, were controlled by the majority of the people, poverty could be eliminated, an end could be made to the mass murder of war, and mankind could live in peace and plenty. To achieve its goal, this revolution would be necessarily on a world scale. Real socialists today should rally to the Socialist Party, the bearers of the traditions of Marx. The principles of the Socialist Party serves the “have-not” class, the exploited. It stands for the abo…

What is a socialist revolution

At the outset, we wish to make it quite clear as to the exact aim and object of the Socialist Party. We are socialists, wishful above all things to advance socialism, and by socialism we mean the common ownership of all the agencies of wealth production, and this involves the complete supersession of the capitalist system, and the conducting of all industrial relations on a co-operative basis. We are working for the common good and for the co-operative commonwealth. We engage in helping for the overthrow of capitalism, and the building up of the socialist co-operative commonwealth.
That the present social system has failed must be apparent to all who have studied it. It has rendered the many subservient to the few; it has checked the best human endeavours, and facilitated every method of exploitation; it dispossesses and disinherits the vast majority, and foreordains their lifelong misery before they are even born; it makes one man dependent upon another’s caprice,; it is a premium o…

Discovering the Socialist Party

The Socialist Party is an organisation of convinced socialists who believe that socialism can come only through the conscious and determined action of the working-class in this and other countries. Its members are pledged to do everything in their power to further the promotion and ultimate realisation of a socialist society. The Socialist Party runs online forums, study groups, discussion circles, etc., for the discussion of socialist ideas. It organises a Summer School for longer and more detailed discussion. It publishes books and pamphlets in order to stimulate opinion and action throughout the world socialist movement.

The working class in society holds a special position. It has no property. It is a propertyless class—dependent upon the class which owns property—the land, the factories, mills, mines, railways, transport. But the land cannot give forth its fullness unless workers plough and sow and reap. The earth cannot deliver its mineral wealth unless workers dig it. Factorie…

The Futility Of Hoping Things Will Improve Under Capitalilsm.

An article by Jennifer Wells in the Toronto Star of April 23rd called attention to the fact that in the 3 years since the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh little has been done to improve the means of safety. To quote Wells, "the country is a long way from meeting its commitments under the sustainability compact it signed with the E.U. and the I.L.O. 3 months after Rana Plaza collapsed." According to Phil Robertson, Deputy Director for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, "the problem is Bangladesh's government is of the factory owners, by the factory owners, for the factory owners – and workers face intimidation, sexual harassment, long hours with low pay and hazardous and dangerous working conditions." Shades of New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 killing 146 workers confirms the futility of hoping things will improve under capitalism.  John Ayers.

Socialism Is the Goal We Must Strive For

“An injury to one is an injury to all”
In a climate of intense insecurity, cultivated by both the hostile corporate setting workers hesitate to speak out against their employers for fear of losing their jobs. The capitalist class has shown itself unfit to rule because it cannot even feed its wage slaves. But one thing is certain: the material conditions of life for the ordinary worker is drastically changing, and with them are changing the views and ideas of working men and women. A new and heartening sign of the fraternal mood that has been growing in the radical movement. The socialist alternative is beginning to appear realistic to many more working people. Such a perspective ought to appeal to the imagination of every genuine socialist.  
Vote for Corbyn (or Sanders) as many times as you like, and celebrate your supposed “victories,” but then when the next choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum” comes up, you are right back where you were. You have not advanced an inch, you are …

The Party of Marx

By socialism, Marx meant a class-free, money-free, wage-free society. In Marx’s first published writing as a socialist (The Jewish Question, 1843) Marx made it clear that human emancipation “will only be obtained by doing away with the state and with money", a view he held for the rest of his life. Marxian socialism is based on associations of free individuals in a society with no commodity, no money, no wage labour, no state. Men and women will never be free from exploitation and oppression until all work is voluntary and access to all goods and services is free. Socialism means a world-wide society, democratically controlled, without profits, wages or money. This is a practical proposition now. We say that tinkering with administrative forms is of no use. Buying and selling must be abolished. The wage packet—the permission to live—must be abolished.
Misery is mounting among people who want freedom and a right to live, for some way out of this madhouse. The misery and desperati…