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Showing posts from November, 2016

What is Money

Money is merely a means of exchange, in a commonly owned world, where production is for use, no means of exchange would be necessary access could be free and, money would be in the museums of antiquity.
The monetary system has evolved gradually and has been in existence as a system for about 250 years in England and for a much shorter period abroad. We make a distinction between the ancient coinage of Greece, Carthage and Rome, which although used to effect the exchange of commodities was at that period incidental to the main stream of an exchange system which was based on surpluses and barter.
As a general social form, money developed alongside the development of commodity production, and at the point in history when all wealth was produced in the form of commodities money became the universal medium or equivalent through which all exchange transactions were carried out.
The first condition for the introduction of a monetary system is when social products become commodities, i.e. ar…

Organise. Organise. Organise.

As anyone can clearly see, the world is heading closer to the brink of environmental disaster brought about by the rapacious and ruthless nature of capitalism. In these disturbing times, it is refreshing to see movements appear and spread globally, saying, in effect, 'There must be something better than capitalism.’ Many are beginning to realize that it is pointless getting rid of a government and putting a new one in power if its intention is to continue to administer the system for the benefit of the ruling class. These revolutionary ideas cannot be stopped at borders and they don't need leaders. So to those people, we say that socialism, common ownership of the means of producing and distributing wealth, production for use, not profit, free access to all humanity to the goods our society produces, will solve our major problems. Take a look at our case and act. We are working for a society where there is no such thing as a capitalist class or a working class. The basics of …

Solidarity is our protection

Capitalism is full of social problems but politicians say they don't have the money for all projects and  programmes that would be required to solve them. Because our present society is organised on the basis of the capitalist mode of production. That means the small minority who own the means of producing wealth get to distribute it, too. And they feel they are entitled to the lion's share. That means that money for the benefit of society, in general, is scarce. The more money that goes to society, the less goes to the owners. So, if we accept that the situation is caused by money, the obvious answer would be to abolish money and establish a society of common ownership of the means of producing and distributing wealth. That means abolishing capitalism, the system that relies on money, profit and the market system, a system that is designed to meet the needs of the capitalist class at the expense of those who do the work and create all the wealth. As everyone would have free …

Co-ops - Self-exploitation

We have nothing against working in a 'workers cooperative' if it means better conditions at work under capitalism and not being treated like shit every single day - though whether it does this long term is open to question. Similarly, we’d all rather work for a boss who at least treats us like a human being rather than a boss who acts like a little Hitler and makes us miserable every day. However, seeing cooperatives as anything other than a localised, immediate, temporary and partial solution for improving your working lifestyle is definitely a big mistake. And if cooperatives were taken as something more than a palliative measure to problems at work, then those involved face failure and demoralization. We do not think that the capitalist system can be gradually changed by the multiplication of cooperatives. The real interests of the working class are served only through the abolition of the wages system.
For those of us brought up in the struggle against the idea that it is…

Life Under Crapitalism

More than 200,000 Iraqis are expected to be displaced as the Iraqi army advances towards Mosul, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council. Camps have been set up to accommodate 60,000 people, so there will soon be overcrowding. Both the Iraqi government and the Kurdish authorities are mired in an economic crisis, (what government isn't?), brought on by low oil prices and say they do not have the resources to care for a large number of displaced people. They have urged everyone to stay put, which, of course ], they're not going to. So more people are fleeing from a war and going into camps. 
One thing about life under 'crapitalism' - it never changes. 
John Ayers

Co-opting cooperatives

Socialism is beginning to show signs of life again. This reawakening of the labour movement is to be welcomed. A political movement which has been in a state of suspended animation never begins again exactly where it stopped. The men and women who take it up afresh are like children repeating their lessons: they must go back to the beginning and run rapidly through the stages already traveled. Many have returned to the early promise of co-operatives or s some re-label “workers self-directed enterprises” and re-wording the vocabulary of the 19th C co-operators. The socialist movement had started with the proponents of co-operatives but these days some view that the economic emancipation of the workers can only be brought about when the workers themselves become owners of the elements of production – raw materials and the instruments of labour which are really as a matter of fact only a version of different capitalist ideas. The co-operators represent the benevolent notions of the phil…

Scottish Shorter Lives

Scottish men and women still die younger on average than people anywhere else in the UK.
Life expectancy at 77.1 years for baby boys born in the past three years, and 81.1 years for girls. This was two years lower than the UK average for men, and 1.7 years lower than the female average. The gap between Scottish and English life expectancy for both males and females has widened since 1980-1982 by 0.3 years for males and by 0.2 years for females. In Scotland, men and women can expect to live shorter lives, by 2.3 years and 1.9 years respectively, than in England.
In East Dunbartonshire males can expect to live for 80.5 years - 7.1 years longer than in Glasgow City, which has the lowest life expectancy in the UK at 73.4 years.
Females in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 83.5 years - 4.8 years longer than in West Dunbartonshire, which also has the lowest in the UK at 78.7 years.


Socialism does not require leaders as this implies followers, but would rather have decisions made in a collegial manner with input from all through elected councils and other methods. Leaders have led the working class into fighting and dying in wars to allow one capitalist group or another to have unfettered control of resources and markets for hundreds of years, and have not advanced the cause of the working class one iota. Better we get rid of such leaders and work for a society that is communally administered and everyone is great.
The Socialist Party do not waste their time protesting the effects of capitalism but point out that all the social evils created by it can only be abolished by the removal of the cause, namely, the ownership of the tools of production by a privileged minority, and the consequential enslavement of the majority, in other words, the capitalist system itself. Furthermore, we advocate clear- cut tactics conducive to its abolition i.e., a socialist minded m…

The Dark Night Shall End

Opponents of socialism say we will all become slaves of the State and that socialism has been tried many times in various countries and has always proved a “failure.” Yet it has never been possible for socialism to prevail in any modern state, seeing that the state itself as an organised entity is essentially class-controlled – a plutocracy. Every government that can be named has been brought into existence for the express purpose of maintaining the domination of the propertied class, and to keep under subjection the proletariat or propertyless class. So long as individuals belonging to the propertied and dominating class continue to exercise control and ownership of the means of production, and decide the character of the law and the control of the judiciary, no country is ready for socialism. Socialism can only exist when the people collectively own the instruments and agencies of production and distribution untrammeled by sectional monopolistic power, now wielded by a selfish olig…

Machines And Jobless Results

On October 21 Bombardier said it has plans to eliminate 7500 more jobs or 10 percent of its workforce including 2000 in Canada. This comes on top of the 7000 jobs to be eliminated by the end of 2017, which they announced in February. Their spokesperson, Simon Letendre, was pretty blunt about it, ''These are tough actions we need to take to make the business more profitable and succeed in the future''. The main words being "more profitable''
Surprisingly the Prez. of their workers' union, Scott Mcilmoyle doesn't seem too worried,''Right now we don't know for certain, but it appears to be indirect jobs,'' he said, referring to management, administrative and support jobs, instead of direct production ones. 
Well, ''Earth to Scott, these are workers too and will be adversely affected by lay-offs''. 
This is another example, if needed, of how bad things are getting for the working class. Because capitalism is a boom - …


Consider a few facts. We all know there is poverty in every country, and all good-intentioned persons are deeply sorry for this. It is known that food, clothes, shelter, and all other commodities are the direct product of labour, spent upon the raw material provided by nature. It is also known that there is an abundance of raw material to adequately supply the wants of the whole world without any concern, and it is further known that the power of men to produce the requirements of life from this raw material is very much greater than ever before, and yet in every country people die of starvation. It is also known that the land and resources are available. It is further known that machinery is sitting idle, and hundreds of thousands of men are unemployed, such incongruities would be unbelievable if we were not in daily contact with the facts. Is there a solution to this? The abolition of poverty and securing good conditions for all without exception should be our guiding principle.
A …

On with the Fight

Socialists do not depend upon what Marx said but apply Marxist principles to each set of circumstances as it arises. “So said Marx” is anti-socialist. Socialists constantly examine and re-examine whether we are fighting in the interest of the wage-earning class. We oppose reformism because it leads to a patchwork of palliatives rather than to the class struggle ending in the revolution of the propertyless against the owning class which must inaugurate socialism. The Socialist Party strives for nothing short socialism because we believe that nothing short of that will save the workers. The aim of The Socialist Party is to foster class awareness because we contend that the productive forces of humanity have outstripped the capacity of the current relations of production (their control by a tiny minority of capitalists) to deliver that productive capacity for the benefit of the vast majority of people who do not own the means of production (the working class). The Socialist Party calls …

We are One

Several hundred people have taken part in an anti-racism march in Glasgow. It was organised by the STUC Black Workers' Committee, with the theme "No Racism: Protecting Rights, Defending Communities".
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: "We are facing an unprecedented challenge from the right, with racist views permeating the mainstream in such a way as we have not seen in a generation. All around we see challenges to liberty and equality, with systemic attacks on employment rights, threats to human rights, question marks around the continuing status of migrant workers and rising hate crime."

At the moment, nationalism and xenophobia are everywhere in the ascendant and its dangers cannot be under-estimated but it is largely in the ascendant because we have been losing the class war.  This has been going on for decades. The Socialist Party is against all nationalist mystifications, a class position which is to oppose all capitalist ideologies of identity…

This is what socialism could mean

That problems exist within our current system is obvious to all by simply observing how people live  around the world and how they could and should live. However, socialism does not need to compare itself to a dysfunctional and insane system to look good. It can stand on its own merits quite well. Let’s examine what socialism can do for the world and its people.
We hold that the establishment of socialism must be done by the will of a majority worldwide. It must be carried out by a class-conscious majority who understand and opt for socialism’s goals. The first job of any elected socialist party would be to legislate the end of the private ownership of the means of producing and distributing wealth. In its place would be common ownership, everyone becoming an owner and a producer thus ending the class system that justified a tiny minority owning and controlling wealth and taking a lion’s share while the vast majority only get enough to survive and many not even that much.
Common owne…

Is Capitalism a Mad System?

No rational, objective person could look at our world and say that it is perfect. In fact, only a few seconds contemplation would be needed to conclude that we have massive problems such as war, starvation, dire poverty on a large scale, and impending ecological disaster on a global scale. If we were tackling these problems seriously and making progress, we might be satisfied with what we were doing but these very same problems have existed for decades and longer, proving that we are not taking them seriously. That they continue to exist amid plenty and the means to solve them is inexcusable, if not sheer madness.
There is enough wealth in the world to provide everyone with a decent living standard; there is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone adequately; there is enough productive power in the world to provide the required number of hospitals, schools, medical facilities to service everyone.
Capitalism has brought incredible productive power to the human race but we c…

A class-conscious majority

(Reprinted from the Western Socialist, Vol. 37 No. 275, 1970)
“…no government can impose its will upon a consciously unwilling majority…” The above truncated extract from an article by a Socialist writer is here presented in this form since it struck me as being a suitable text for a sermon—as some parson might say or a theme in music which could be developed and presented with a whole series of variations. I shall now try my hand at a transposition or—to use the musician’s term—an inversion. So from the negative to the positive form my transposition might read: “…no conceivable power could successfully resist a consciously willing and determined class conscious majority…”
I now replace the quotation as given at the head of this article into the context from which it was taken, by giving the whole of a concluding paragraph of an article by Ivan in the Socialist Standard of February, 1969: “If we say, then, that Socialism will be the society of freedom which will not know such disfigure…