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Showing posts from July, 2017

The new ideal

The viability of our planet support humanity is now being questioned.
The Socialist Party claims that the majority of the working class are capable of understanding socialism. This being so we are often asked the question, why then, are there not many more socialists? At present, the vast majority of workers mistakenly can only see the solution to their problems in reforming capitalism in one way or another. Capitalism itself is not questioned, it is only the patching up of its effects that is attempted.What is seen and heard in the mass media is the misuse of the word Socialism and distortions of Marx’s ideas. This means that we are called upon to waste a lot of time in explaining what socialism is not, that socialism does not yet exist anywhere. What is important about the mass media is not so much that they create attitudes and values but that they continue to reinforce existing ones. Socialist ideas are not propagated in a vacuum but within capitalist society, meeting all the obsta…

THE SOCIALIST OPTION

We envisage socialism as being established globally and almost simultaneously. As far back as 1847 Engels wrote: “Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?  No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others. Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries – that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany. It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed …

Socialism

The goal of social ownership and democratic control of production and distribution has to be articulated directly.To seek political improvements to the capitalist system is a distraction from what needs to be done. When we insist that the working class has to be educated before it can make progress, some people on the left who have good intentions say that they "don't want to wait that long." But this isn't an option. A "revolution" carried out by people who are angry at the injustices of the old social system, but unclear about what to replace it with, or not sufficiently dedicated to the democratic structure of the new system, is the road to a new dictatorship. The working class who will create a socialist society must also know how to operate it. They need to understand what the basic rules of the game are, so to speak. There needs to be a widespread consensus about what to expect of people if a socialist society is to properly function. "Anti-capit…

Brexit, Hard or Soft?

‘Soft Brexit’ – a scenario where the UK joins a free trade area with the EU, such as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). While tariffs would remain at zero, non-tariff barriers (including customs checks, border controls, differences in product market regulations and legal barriers) would increase the costs of trade.
 ‘Hard Brexit’ – a scenario where the UK and the EU do not immediately form a free trade area and the default situation is to trade under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. This would result in an increase in tariffs and non-tariff barriers that would be substantially larger than under soft Brexit.

New research examining for the first time the potential impact of Brexit on cities and towns has found Aberdeen could be the hardest hit by higher trade costs with the European Union.

Economic output as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) was predicted to decline by a 3.7% forecast decrease in GVA in the case of a hard Brexit, and 2.1% in a “soft” scenario. under a hard …

An introduction to world socialism

Wage Slavery Abolitionists

The Socialist Party of Great Britain was formed to work for socialism. We have carried on the hard struggle to build up a party of socialists, understanding and ready to work for Socialism. Our aim is to obtain for the whole community complete ownership and control of the means of transport, the means of manufacture, the mines, and the land. Thus we look to put an end for ever to the wage-system, to sweep away all distinctions of class, and eventually to establish the world cooperative commonwealth. Our tactics are as clear as our goals. We find ourselves opposed by the left-wing who believe that it was useless to advocate socialism. Their method is to try to win working-class support by promising and agitating for reforms. The workers, they claim, do not want socialism, but “something now.” Let us promise them what they want and thus get a Labour Party government. The numerous benefits it will bestow on the workers will then win their support for the introduction of socialism. This t…

The Lies That Kill (1990)

From the July 1990 issue of the Socialist Standard

Bandsmen, and even, now, in deference to the times, bandswomen, sit around waiting against a discordant cacophony of banging drums and snatches of pop tunes, or “party" airs, played inexpertly on fifes or accordians. Even in waiting, the pipe bands are disciplined, more expert, better turned out and better at planning their waiting time.

But a pipe band can cost an Orange Lodge a lot of money. Economics have, thus, created a niche in the market for the gather-up, four or five tune outfits that will swagger aggressively behind the well-suited Orangemen. The four or five tunes will synopsize a version of history; remind Fenians that they were given a bloody good hiding at Derry, Aughrim and. on the 1st July 1690 (before Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar) at the Boyne. Especially when passing a Roman Catholic chapel or an area inhabited by catholics, an aggressive increase in volume will taunt and threaten latter-day enemies.

Fest…

Fat Capitalism

Scotland's poorest children are increasingly likely to be obese, while those in affluent areas are not, a new NHS Scotland report has found. Heather Peace, head of nutrition science and policy at Food Standards Scotland, added: "This report adds to the mounting body of evidence showing that little progress has been made towards improving the Scottish diet for the last 20 years." The rate of children starting school in danger of becoming obese was 7% in the most affluent areas, but nearly double that at 13% for the least wealthy. 29% of women and 28% of men aged 18-64 in Scotland were obese. Adults living in the least-deprived areas of Scotland had the lowest obesity levels. However, people living in Scotland's most-deprived communities were more likely to be obese. For women obesity became progressively more common as the deprivation level increased. The proportion of overweight women in Scotland almost doubled over 20 years - from 31% in 1995 to 60% in 2015, the re…

This is socialism

On June 12th, 1904 expelled militants from the Social Democratic Federation formed the Socialist Party of Great Britain and the members immediately set about framing principles and rules to guide them. The party also arranged to publish a monthly journal, the Socialist Standard, which first appeared September 1904.
Though similar parties have since been formed in other parts of the world, all adhering to the same socialist object and principles, the growth of socialist knowledge among the masses has been slow in comparison with the growth of confusion as to what socialism is. This will be readily admitted by anyone who has followed recent world politics, or even local politics. Yet through the past sixty years the Socialist Party has remained stable in character and consistent in its attitude and principles It has also seen two world wars, the rise and fall of state capitalism in Russia, the undemocratic imposition by force of the trappings of capitalist industrialisation on the popula…

Capitalism Kills

Rising inequality during the 1980s increased the risk of drug-related deaths among members of "Generation X" in Scotland, a new study has found. The new analysis was carried out by NHS Health Scotland and Glasgow University. Researchers found the "social, economic and political contexts of the 1980s" may have caused an increase in drug deaths in the following years. They found links to gender and deprivation - young men in poor neighbourhoods were found to be 10 times as likely to die from drugs as women of the same age from a more affluent area. Similar patterns had previously been reported about the risk of suicide in deprived areas.  Dr Jon Minton, a quantitative research associate at Glasgow University, said his analysis was "consistent with the hypothesis that economic and other policy decisions during the 1980s created rising income inequality, the erosion of hope amongst those who were least resilient and able to adjust, and resulted in a delayed negati…

Real politics V. Real politique

The game of politics, for all the sham, the vaudeville, the bombast, the empty promises so often associated with it, is a serious game. Vast sums of money are poured into it and these sums are not provided by the workers.The money that is used is provided by the property-owning class, the capitalist class, and they are not provided because of any thought that in this way the interests of society may best be served; they are provided with the expectation that only their own interests will be served, even though these come into serious conflict with the interests of society.The capitalists have special material interests that cause them to have differences among themselves and these differences result in the experience of two or more political parties in most countries. But in one thing above all others, they are united and that is in their support of parties that stand first of all for the continued existence of capitalism. They are prepared to sanction a generous outlay of attractive …

The Socialist Party Versus Capitalism

Turning aside from the horrors of the present, people are thinking about the possibility of another world. Socialists welcome this interest, but are alive to its dangers. It is so easy for those workers who are not experienced in political and economic questions to be taken in by proposals that are useless or worse than useless, and what is at once obvious to the Socialist Party in all these proposals is that none of them are even fresh—all have been tried before and found wanting.
Capitalism, with its private ownership of the means of life, its rent, interest and profit, its buying and selling, and its system of wage-labour has been abundantly proved to be a wasteful, callous, and out-of-date form of social organisation? Only socialism can meet the needs of our age and abolish once and for all poverty and war and the other products of capitalism? If this is true, and it is, then anything other than socialism is not what is needed. There is no half-way house. If the world does not go o…