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Showing posts from September, 2016

Socialism — Our Hope for the World

Despair, worry, and anxiety about the future are taking a toll on millions. An economic recession and the accompanying deterioration of the working and living conditions for people fosters the potential renewal of the combat readiness of the workers in the class war and represents a favourable terrain for the birth of a political class consciousness. But the absence of a strong solid socialist movement creates a vacuum and facilitates the diversion of workers into the cul-de-sac of reformist palliatives. Even worse, it can permit a rise in nationalistic racism and xenophobia.  In this way workers militancy and the potential of increased class consciousness is dissipated and political policies misrepresent the real interests of the workers. Communicating with fellow-workers is clearly a priority for socialists. Class unity cannot be realised by any chance fashion. It must be carried out through a long process of debate and discussion. It is essential to determine political objectives …

Millions for doing nothing

An Aberdeen farmer tops the league of those receiving European Union subsidies through the Scottish Government under the controversial Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Frank Smart raked-in nearly £3m in EU hand-outs last year - making him the biggest recipient of farm subsidies in the UK. He inherited his 400-acre family farm at Torphins, near Banchory on Royal Deeside, pocketed grants totalling £2,963,732.77 last year. He is benefiting from European– so-called naked acres – to trigger payments on them, without producing crops or keeping livestock. The only condition they have to meet is that the land they use is kept in good agricultural and environmental condition.
With entitlements to fields on farms from his Easter Tolmauds (CORR) business base on Deeside to Harris in the Western Isles Smart has harvested almost £12 million in just four years. 
Scott Walker, the chief executive of NFU Scotland, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: "There's one or t…

Resistance, unity and mass consciousness

It is always advisable to take a look around at the socialist movement, to take stock and to consider where we have arrived at and where we are going. What does the Socialist Party exist for? Nothing less than for social revolution, which is the complete transformation of human society from top to bottom. No little task. It is the biggest objective that anybody has ever tried. And what are the means at our disposal to do this work? None other than fellow-workers just like us. So it is not surprising that to forge a mass proletarian political party, with members fully conscious of their present class subjection and aware of their future potential our efforts have not been particularly successful. It is in the direction of building up a class-conscious working-class socialist party that we have still to bend our efforts with renewed energy. Agitate, Educate, Organise. The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working-class themselves, they cannot be emancipated agai…

No man is good enough to be another's master

A socialist society is the aim of the Socialist Party’s struggle for the emancipation of the working people of all lands. The goal of the Socialist Party is to replace the world capitalist economy by world socialism which is mankind’s only way out, for it alone can abolish the contradictions of the capitalist system which threaten to degrade and destroy the humanity. Socialism will abolish the class division of society, and it will also abolish all forms of exploitation and oppression of man by man. Society will no longer consist of antagonistic classes in conflict with each other, but will present a united commonwealth of labour. For the first time in its history mankind will take its fate into its own hands. Instead of destroying innumerable human lives and incalculable wealth in struggles between classes and nations, mankind will devote all its energy to the struggle against the forces of nature, to the development and strengthening of its own collective might.
A world system of s…

Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?

Capitalism is completely incapable of solving the problems of the world peoples. A capitalist system is inevitably marked by sharp social contrasts, gross inequality of opportunity. Capitalism attacks all the essential rights and liberties that have been won over many years of struggle by the working people. The wealth is produced by those who work by hand and brain, far in excess of the wages they are paid. The surplus goes to the capitalist owners or shareholders as profit. The capitalist class owns and controls the means of production, distribution and communication. The working class owns none of these, and therefore workers must sell their labour power to the capitalist for wages in order to live. The worker creates a product of value, part of which is returned to him as wage, and the rest of which is taken from him by the capitalists as profit. Thus is created the basic antagonistic contradiction between worker and capitalist, since the interest of one is, and has to be, direct…

Misleading Mis-leaders

As to the necessity for working-class progress, its organisation has to exist. Of that, there can be no question. The point to be decided is: how shall the workers organise? Some advocate armed insurrection; and some industrial unionism or revolutionary syndicalism. But most support the ballot and palliative reforms sought through parliamentary action.  If our fellow-workers allow themselves to be misled and tricked into following those roads they will fail to free themselves from wage-slavery or even to better their condition, but will be put further into the power of our masters, and much valuable time and energy will be lost and discouragement and despair will be the result. Far better no organisation at all than a fake form which divides the workers against themselves and misleads between their interests and those of the ruling class. Capitalism gives to the worker the right to choose his or her master but insists that the fact of the master/slave relationship shall remain unques…

Many struggles – but one war

The progress of mankind requires the cooperation of men and women. The inevitable outcome will be that the people must take possession collectively of the means of production and distribution. And this is called socialism. In order for the society working people will create to be just and egalitarian, it must embody socialist ideology. The fundamental change we envisage does not preserve capitalism. Our compass for where we are headed should have socialism set as its destination.
Capitalism inevitably produces exploitation and poverty, war, oppression, the poisoning of the environment, and a waste of human and natural resources, none of which can be consistently eliminated without the socialist transformation of society. It is an economic law, proven by the history of production under slavery and feudalism, that when an industrial system becomes a hamper upon the productive potentialities of the ever-improving science and technology, it has outlived its day and is ready to give way t…

Anti-fracking comes to Scotland

A tanker carrying 27,500 cubic meters of ethane from U.S. shale fields had reached Grangemouth, the site of the petrochemicals plant owned by multinational corporation Ineos who plan to eventually transport more than 800,000 tons of ethane, using eight specially built ships, across the Atlantic every year. Anti-fracking activists in Scotland and in Pennsylvania—where the fracked gas originated—oppose the delivery.
"Americans are being sacrificed by having this production near their homes, schools and farms," read a statement from Citizens for Clean Water a group based in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.  "I have witnessed first-hand how the fracking industry has brought permanent damage across the Pennsylvania region, polluted our air, land, and water and is destroying our livelihoods," Ron Gulla, a former resident of Hickory, Pennsylvania, who leased his own land for fracking in 2002, explained. "Those living near drilling, infrastructure, or waste sites h…

The Working-class: Grave-Diggers of Capitalism

Socialism is not just the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution. It means genuine equality, real freedom, and a radical transformation in all human relations. It is mankind's understanding of the environment. A socialist society can therefore only be built from below, a democratisation of all institutions down to their very roots. Socialists are alert, however, in pointing out the great distinction between "public" ownership and in reiterating the socialist demand for common ownership of all the means of production and distribution as the only cure for the evils of the competitive system. The truth is that state ownership (nationalisation) of the means of production and distribution is a political system dictating everything from the top. Without democracy, without complete political and administrative control by the producers, the centralisation of all economic power, all the means of production and distribution, in the han…

Power to the People

The Socialist Party recognises the class struggle that exists between the capitalist class and the working class, and the necessity of the working class organising itself into a political party for the purpose of obtaining the common ownership and democratic administration of the means of production and distribution. The Socialist Party is hostile to all political organisations that support and perpetuate the present capitalist profit system and is opposed to any form of horse-trading or a united front with any such organisations. The Socialist Party declares its aim to be the organisation of the working class into a mass political party, with the object of conquering the machinery of the State and using its powers to dispossess the capitalist class and transform the present system of private ownership of the means of production and distribution into one of common ownership by the entire people. Private ownership of the means of production and distribution is responsible for the eve…

We arra people

Who are the people? The people are the working class, the toiling property-less, the robbed, the oppressed, the dispossessed, the impoverished, the vast majority of the world. There are many signs of the awakening of the workers' movement. The Socialist Party endeavours to prepare the way for the Cooperative Commonwealth by teaching the hopelessness of reformism and by teaching the real meaning of social revolution.
The Socialist Party is  existence for the purpose of securing political power so as our fellow workers can take possession of industry and for the first time make this Earth fit for men and good women to live in. The Socialist Party looks into the future with absolute confidence and we see the dawning of the cooperative commonwealth and the vision of a world without a master, a world without a slave. The present system of social production and private ownership is rapidly converting society into two antagonistic classes — i.e., the capitalist class and the propertyles…

Tonight's Great Debate!

Now it's official the U.S. election will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Those with a chauvinistic streak may well ask themselves, "Do I vote for a woman, or a real estate mogul who makes an ass of himself in public and is more bigoted than I am?"
Though Clinton comes across as a caring person, nevertheless she will be beholden to the Wall Street tycoons. As Sandra Sarandon said, "They haven't contributed millions of dollars to her campaign for nothing." The most anyone can say at this time is if Clinton is elected things will be less chaotic than if Trump is. In other words, Clinton will be the lesser of two evils. This indeed may well be the case, however, as socialists, we are opposed to choosing between politicians who are pledged to administrate the affairs of the capitalist system. Why? Because no form of capitalism is worth voting for. Neither Clinton or Trump have any intention of making fundamental changes to society to benefit workers, nor…

Song of the Low - Ernest Jones (video animation)

Socialism cannot be postponed.

The private ownership of the means of production and distribution of wealth has caused society to split into two distinct classes with conflicting interests, the small possessing class of capitalists or exploiters of the labour force of others and the ever-increasing large dispossessed class of wage-workers, who are deprived of their due share of their product. Capitalism is responsible for the insecurity of subsistence, the poverty, misery, and degradation of the ever-growing majority of people. The same economic forces which have produced and now intensify the capitalist system will compel the adoption of Socialism, the common ownership of the means of production for the collective good and welfare of all people, or it will result in the destruction of civilisation. The Cooperative Commonwealth is our goal. In order to be understood, this idea must be carefully scrutinised. If you wish to oppose it, study it. No man or woman has a right to be a socialist or to criticise it without …

Today for revolution, not tomorrow

The question always before us is what next? “What is Socialism, what is Communism, what is Anarchy?” ask those weary of the cruelty and waste of capitalism and desirous of an alternative. For an answer, they receive only denunciations of existing things and a silence upon a hopeful vision of the new life which political activists are promoting, so many turn away, discouraged. Manifestos and platforms are published and treated as holy writ, yet in their contents, there is little to what the aims really are.  Little is defined so that they may be understood by others. Men and women call themselves socialists, communists, anarchists, and what have you, thinking they thus explain their views to others. Yet quiz them and you will discover how few of them have any clear conception of what they mean by their labels.  Advocates for free-market capitalism, for instance, call themselves libertarians, though capitalism could not be maintained a day without the power and coercion of the State, w…

Japan and socialism (Book Review 1988)

Book Review from the November 1988 issue of the Socialist Standard
The Kilt and the Kimono by Ian S. Williamson
How deceptive appearances can be! This book, with its banal title and dust jacket, looks extremely unpromising yet is packed with valuable information about Japan as well as containing more socialist arguments than any book published for years.
Ian Williamson is a Scot who has lived and taught in Japan. He is an ex-member and longtime supporter of the Socialist Party and what he has set out to do in this book is to explain Japanese society, with its unique culture and customs, through its history and to dispel the myths and prejudices which most people in the west have about Japan.
Ever since the end of the second world war many western writers and commentators, particularly American, have been trying to explain the complexities of Japanese society by using western standards as their guide They have assumed that the lifestyle, morality, values and even physical appearance of…

The World Needs Socialism

It should be no surprise that a growing number of people have begun to question capitalism. Many now know only economic instability and environmental degradation. Each new day brings additional burdens to the already bleak prospects for the future. For young Americans they are more likely to live in poverty or low wages than their parents, they are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed even though they are most educated than the previous generation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthiest 10% of families owned 76% of all family wealth in 2013. Those in the bottom 50%, by contrast, owned just 1%. Where did all this "wealth" come from? What are the legal and social roots of this "ownership"?
There is no real solution to the problem of poverty until we abolish the capitalist system. This goal — the abolition of capitalism —is shared by all the members of the World Socialist Movement (WSM). Poverty, war, and racism are not separate problem…

End the Power of the Boss Class

We live in a world dominated by capitalism, a system which allows a small minority to oppress and exploit the great majority of humanity. We live in a world rife with misery. It is capitalism that brings about great inequalities, starts murderous wars, steals the resources of lesser countries and causes the destruction of our environment. Hunger, poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and repression are still the fate of the majority of the people of the world.  Either we get rid of this system or it will destroy mankind. The only way forward is a class-free and state-free society on a world scale where people live in harmony with one another and with nature. The working class must depose the capitalist ruling class and establish socialism, a system of real, popular democracy that sets about the reconstruction of society.  These are crucial times for working-people at a time in which it is necessary to make a sober assessment of the present situation and perspectives.
It is through s…