“There is also the attitude of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, who issued a manifesto urging people not to vote until everyone had joined the S.P.G.B. or became a Socialist. This curious attitude— which approaches Anarchism—was the result of the 1950 experience at the ballot-box. Carefully analysed, the attitude of the S.P.G.B is seen to be one of futility and hypocrisy. Instead of uniting at this time of crisis in a stand against war and rearmament, which could have been done without a single sacrifice of principle and actually with a great advantage to the propaganda status of the S.P.G.B., members of this stupid and stagnant party wrote ‘S.P.G.B.' across their ballot papers.”
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
We, in the Socialist Party, insist that majority socialist consciousness is a prerequisite for socialism. The task of spreading socialist understanding and desire is not to be evaded, even though the faint-hearted may shy away, aghast at the prospect of trying to convince the world’s workers of the need for Socialism. It may seem an enormous task but there is no choice in the matter. Socialism depends upon the conscious support of its people. Unless people understand socialism and want it, they will never build it. The revolution must be a democratic act. Political action must be taken by the conscious majority, without depending upon leadership. It is upon the working class that the working class must rely on their emancipation. Valuable work may be done by individuals, and this work may necessarily raise them to prominence, but it is not to individuals, either of the working class or of the capitalist class, that the toilers must look. The movement for freedom must be a working-class movement. It must depend upon the working class vitality and intelligence and strength. Until the knowledge and experience of the working class are equal to the task of revolution there can be no emancipation for them.
To say – as some critics have – that the Socialist Party stands only for ‘socialism through parliament’ or are ‘parliamentarian socialists is misleading. As Alex Anderson, of the Party's early years put it when asked the question, ‘Does the SPGB really propose to establish socialism through the ballot box?’, his reply was ‘Yes, but more importantly we must win it through the brain box.’ This association of the conquest of state power with the concept of a consciously and democratically organised working-class majority is distinguished from the reformist parliamentarianism of those who, in the name of ‘socialism’, seek to enter parliament for other purposes than to express the majority mandate formally to abolish class rule. Engels points out that the conquest of state power will be the final act of the working class.
Monday, October 30, 2017
"The S.P.G.B. was doing this right from its formation in 1904, which means that it was doing it at the time when Mr. Aldred applied for membership of the S.P.G.B., and in 1928 when he offered to give his support to S.P.G.B. candidates on certain conditions." .
“So far as organised representation is concerned, I will only add that, in my opinion, the S.P.G.B. embodies in its constitution, the best organised expression of class-conscious socialism."
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Obituary from the January 1965 issue of the Socialist Standard
Central to any discussion about smoking is that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, and that cigarettes are engineered to be addictive.
The factors that push people to smoke and make it harder for them to quit include stress, anxiety and boredom, but also what is normal in people’s communities, such as a lack of alternative coping mechanisms or a lack of hopeful or optimistic plans for the future.
This is where smoking becomes a social concern – and when some groups experience these factors more than others it should come as no surprise that they are statistically far more likely to smoke. So, we are able to understand why smoking rates in the most disadvantaged communities are several times higher than those in the most advantaged, why we see that half of all people out of work long-term smoke, and how it comes to be that a third of all tobacco smoked in the UK is used by people with mental health issues.
This is the dominant narrative for smoking in Scotland today, with the casual fag with a drink at the weekend increasingly a distraction from the main concerns.
ASH Scotland signed the recent joint letter calling on Scotland’s political parties to give robust support to the new Poverty and Inequalities Commission. Yet the focus of ASH is tobacco and smoking, so why sign a letter that centres on economic inequality. Smoking is not usually about free choice and people who do willingly choose to smoke now counts for just 7 per cent of adults in Scotland, a figure that is falling year on year. Looking at the factors that push them to smoke and prevent them from stopping is the purpose. Scotland still has the highest health inequality in Western Europe
In the Metro newspaper October 26th under the title of "Business Bites" two contrasting items demonstrated the difference between capital money and wages money.
"The boss of Lloyds Banking Group was bullish about Britain's economy as the lender revealed pre-tax profits more than doubled to £1.95 billion in the third quarter. Antonio Horta-Osorio said employment was at a record high and the weaker pound would help exports."
That is money loaned and returned with profit. Capital result.
The adjacent item read.
"Credit card borrowing rose again last month amid mounting fears of a consumer debt boom. The 7.8 per cent year on year rise compared with 7.3 per cent in August, says a report by UK Finance. Annual growth in overall consumer credit edged up from 1.4 to 1.5 per cent in September."
Wages moneys don't return profits. Wages being needed for consumer purposes and not being enough necessitates many workers to borrow.
Are the mounting fears of a consumer debt boom the same for the bosses as they are for the workers? I'll leave you to work that one out.
In recent years, with the revival of the ideological Right as a reaction to the failure of the wishy-washy middle-of-the-road social reformism that had been in vogue since the war, we in the Socialist Party have been singled out for special attention by those partisans of unbridled capitalism who call themselves "libertarians" and "anarcho-capitalists". This is probably because we are the only group calling itself socialist to put forward a coherent definition of what socialism is and prepared to go into the details of how we think a classless, stateless and in particular moneyless society might work.
calculation in natura in an economy without exchange can embrace consumption-goods only (von Mises, p. 104)Abridged and adapted from the debate here