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Showing posts from January, 2018

Apathy and silence is compliance

The Socialist Party desires to build a better and healthier society with mutual aid at its core. One thing the workers will get from all governments everywhere are the usual nauseating sermons from the rulers calling on the ruled to work harder and produce more. Members of the Socialist Party are struggling for social justice, for human emancipation, and for a solidarity economics. We seek a truly free society without violence and totalitarianism; a society in which everyone pulled together for the common good.
The Socialist Party argument is that the workers live by selling their mental and physical energies to the employing class. They then go to work and produce wealth for the employers of value far larger than that represented by their wages. It is out of this “surplus value” that the employing class came to be the owners of all but a small part of the accumulated wealth of the country. Broadly speaking, the employing class, in peace and in war, have squeezed out of their workers i…

Homes for people

More than 1000 flats and houses that could be used to ease the homeless crisis have been lying empty for more than 10 years.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Lib Dems reveal there are more than 20,000 long-term vacant private sector homes in 23 of Scotland’s 31 local authority areas surveyed.

 Midlothian Council said they knew of a home that’s been empty since April 1993.

While new build homes cost an average of £100,000 to construct, the bill for refurbishing an empty property is significantly, at between £6,000 and £25,000.

The number of children living in temporary accommodation had risen by 10% in one year. There were 6,581 children living in temporary homes on September 30 last year.

The Radical Imagination of Socialists

Doom and gloom predictions can be helpful: the threat of catastrophe can encourage reforms. Too often, however, it inspires an attitude of hopelessness, which all too easily turns into disdain and expectations of failure. The prevalence of negative thinking creates cynicism and pessimism. It’s rare that a week goes by without some statistical reminder of wealth and income inequality or additional evidence from climate change scientists to confirm the depressing outlook. Scientists and historians have begun to warn that we are reaching a critical juncture. Cycles of inequality and resource use are heading for a tipping point that in many past civilisations precipitated political unrest, war and finally collapse. Social inequality and exclusion have spawned anger and revolts. Sometimes, workers are pitted against workers, as what seems to be happening in some European countries, where migrant workers are portrayed as job snatchers when the real problem is the failure of capitalism.  The…

The Robots Are Coming

Automation could cost Scotland 230,000 jobs over the next decade, according to a Cities Outlook report. It said 1 in 5 posts in Scottish cities could be displaced by 2030. Of the total 230,000 Scottish jobs at risk, this includes 112,700 jobs in Glasgow, 60,800 in Edinburgh, 35,900 in Aberdeen, and 20,000 in Dundee. In all Scottish cities, around 9% of existing jobs are in occupations predicted to grow in future. The emergence of new industries will create new jobs which do not currently exist - just as the rise of sectors such as the IT industry did over the past century, it said. In Edinburgh and Aberdeen job losses in some sectors could be offset by an upswing in high-skilled jobs as a result of automation and globalisation.  In both cities, more than a third of the jobs predicted to grow are in high skilled private sector occupations, while 29% and 22% are in low skilled private sector roles in Edinburgh and Aberdeen respectively. In contrast, more than a third of the jobs set to …

Welcome to the Plutocracy and Oligarchy

We live in an insane world, one that becomes more and more insane with every day that passes. To pick up a newspaper is to find a daily catalogue of wars and threats of wars, hatreds and atrocities, murder and violence. 
We know that capitalism cannot be blamed for everything wrong with the world, the fact is that it is responsible for most of them. Capitalism’s wars maim hundreds of thousands and undermine the health of countless others. But you know all this. As long as capitalism lasts, there is little chance of society ever really tackling the problem of ill-health and wars. We know, for example, that cancer research comes a long way behind arms production in the priorities of modern society. Why is this? Simple answer: arms are more immediately important to the capitalist class than finding a cure for cancer. Arms can be used to defend their commercial interests. Curing cancer would only save a few million lives a year. Who, other than cancer sufferers, would care?
Nationalism is a…

Church of Scotland Anti-Papism

Speaking during Christian Unity Week, Rev Dr John McPake, the Church of Scotland’s ecumenical officer, said there is ‘profound regret’ in his Church over historical anti-Catholicism in Scotland. Rev McPake said that while sectarianism has not gone away and ‘continues to raise its head,’ the ‘vast majority of sectarianism’ in Scotland is ‘no longer motivated by spiritual faith but is ‘animated by historical division.’

He pointed to poverty as one cause of the problem, saying that ‘sectarianism is found where communities are broken and divided for other reasons,’ adding that we have ‘common cause in building resilient communities which share in economic and social growth.’ It is appropriate to re-post what the Socialist Courier blog messaged back in June 2012 The Anti-Irish Church of Scotland The national church in Scotland today is the Church of Scotland, which is legally recognised as such. The Church of Scotland is the largest religious grouping in Scotland with 36% of Scottish populatio…

Vision, Hope and Ideas

All social wealth is ultimately the product of labour and labour alone. This includes the factories, technology and all other means of production, which are the product of past labour. Capitalist development has placed the modern facilities of production under the lock and key of private ownership. As a result, the working class majority suffers from growing deprivation and all the social ills emanating from that maldistribution. While profits have been soaring during this economic boom, wages have been falling. The only solution is for the working class to establish socialism. The fact that it today is privately owned by a few is the result of it being "legally" stolen from the working class. Society thus has the right to claim the property in the name of human survival, social well-being and progress.
The state "is but the executive committee of the ruling class," Marx wrote, and "the existence of the state is inseparable from the existence of slavery." …

The Crap In Capitalism.

I was returning from shopping and well-meaning people were collecting for children suffering from cancer. I know that research into cancer has been of benefit for many people and lack of money for research in this area takes a minor position compared to money for military purposes. An offshoot of military needs are rockets and trips to Mars for some takes up time in T.V. programmes. Socialists make the point should the working class decide to get rid of capitalism more resources would be devoted to eradicating the many problems people are suffering from under a capitalist system. Reading today's Daily Record article The joys of life on Mars according to Mark Waghorn's article wold be "Astronauts could produce food on Mars using their own excrement."  ProfessorChristopher House of Penn State University in the US said: " We test the concept of simultaneously treating astronauts waste with microbes while producing a biomass that is edible either directly or indire…

The wages system is capitalism

The alternative systems advocated by many who describe themselves as anti-capitalists all have the characteristics of capitalism and will, in consequence, be but a form of capitalism.To build a sound socialist movement, it is useless to rely on the support of people who do not understand socialism.
Wage-labour and capital can only exist together: the one is the complement of the other. If you wish to abolish profit-making—and capital is wealth used to make a profit by the exploitation of wage-labour—it can be done only by the abolition of capital and wage-labour. By this we are not suggesting that socialism will destroy factories, mines, machines, etc., any more than we are suggesting that socialism will destroy the workers. What we are saying is that socialism will strip the means of production of their capitalist function (i.e. the making of profit) and will put an end to the necessity of workers selling their labour-power for m wage. In other words, socialism will abolish the capita…

No Transitions - No Concessions

Think about the world we live in, and the possibilities that could be achieved. Capitalism is one of the greatest threats of our time. Capitalism is a future of devastating natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts over resources, surging refugees, and exacerbated inequalities, in a politically and economically unstable world.  Capitalism is a world where the prosperity of the most privileged is contingent on the suffering of the most vulnerable. Capitalism is driving us towards the gloomiest of futures.
But the Socialist Party has an alternate vision. It is to revolutionise our social system into one that is more sustainable, just, and equitable. Socialism is a solution to the present global chaos. We already have the technologies and capabilities to solve the problems we face - and socialism will mobilise them.  We need to restore the balance between resource consumption and resource renewal.
The word “socialism” has been used by so many people to mean so many different things that,…

Glasgow and Child Poverty

The End Child Poverty Coalition, made up of charities, faith groups and trade unions, has released a report that says 45% of children in Glasgow city centre are living in poverty. Glasgow Central appears 12th on a list of 20 constituencies across the UK.

Meanwhile, the number of homeless children living in temporary accommodation in Scotland has increased by 10%. Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said the figures should provide a wake-up call for those charged with tackling homelessness in Scotland. He said: “These figures show that on average between April to September 2017 a household in Scotland became homeless every 18 minutes. This is just not acceptable in 21st century Scotland...These are not just numbers, they represent thousands of people’s lives suffering the human tragedy of homelessness. Among them are 6,581 children without a permanent place to call home, which causes significant and lasting damage to their health, schooling and life chances…

Socialists Against Racism

I have said and say again that, properly speaking, there is no Negro question outside of the labor question—the working class struggle. Our position as Socialists and as a party is perfectly plain. We have simply to say: “The class struggle is colorless.” The capitalists, white, black and other shades, are on one side and the workers, white, black and all other colors, on the other side.Eugene Debs, 1903, 
Racism is an evil that has subjected millions to degrading and humiliating discrimination.While a great deal of effort has been made to mitigate and alleviate the effects of racism, nothing -- absolutely nothing -- has been done to eliminate its cause. The basic cause of racism is not the racial myths conceived and spread by the white supremacists. Rather, the cause of racism is the competitive, strife-ridden, class-divided capitalist system of society under which we live, and under which we desperately attempt to survive. The truth is that capitalism, under which we have developed…

Rabbie's Day

Today is the appropriate day to remind visitors to the Socialist Courier blog of the Burns Night article in the current issue of the Socialist Standard by Alwyn Edgar.

"What do socialists think of Burns? Is it possible that Burns could be called a socialist? The answer must be ‘No’...Yet there are many facets of Burns’ poetry, and of Burns’ philosophy, that must strike a chord with all socialists."

Bill Gates Comes to Town

On Friday, Bill Gates will visit Edinburgh University and will talk about world farming. He will announce further investment in UK agricultural innovation and unveil a plaque to formally launch the University’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, a £35 million research and teaching initiative focused on safeguarding the future of the world’s food supplies.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Edinburgh University principal, said: “Feeding the world’s growing population well while protecting the natural systems on which we all depend is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity."It is a shame that Bill won't manage to drop in on any of our Edinburgh branch members who would be more than willing to point out to him that the world currently produces a surplus of food yet nearly a billion go without sufficient nutritious food.
Only within a socialist framework can a rational food policy be put into place. Much of our case is promoting the possibility and the feasibility …

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

CAPITALISM TWO CLASSES
WEALTH PRODUCED SOCIALLY
... BUT PRIVATELY OWNED
... AND CONTROLLED BY POLITICAL STATE
WORKERS PRODUCE ALL RECEIVE FRACTION STATE CAPITALISM
TWO CLASSES
WEALTH PRODUCED SOCIALLY
... BUT STATE OWNED
... AND CONTROLLED BY POLITICAL STATE
WORKERS PRODUCE ALL RECEIVE FRACTION OR REAL SOCIALISM
NO CLASSES
WEALTH PRODUCED SOCIALLY
WITH DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION
WORKERS PRODUCE ALL, RECEIVE ALL
The apologists of capitalism say it is the best of all possible systems.Under capitalism, the means of production, distribution and social services are privately owned, with some government ownership. However, government ownership is usually limited to areas where the risks are too great, the profits too unattractive, or the scope of the operation too vast for private capital to undertake, or the activity too important to all capitalists to allow any one group of capitalists to have control. By and large, the land, the factories, the machinery an technology and other means of social production …

THE REAL CAUSE OF WAR

War is caused by economic competition, by the international struggle for foreign markets and sources of raw materials. The Marxist answer is that the cause of war in the modern world is to be found in the inevitable economic rivalries among dominant, competitive capitalist groups in capitalist society.  It is not Socialist Party alone who perceive this. We could cite the testimony of any number of leading capitalist spokesmen on the point. To make them politically palatable, ideological issues have always been invoked. In 1914 that the seed of the war they were being asked to fight and die in was commercial and industrial rivalry. Capitalist propaganda told them it was a war "to make the world safe for democracy."The same applies to World War 2, which was supposed to be a war to save the world from fascism. If this had been true, there would no longer be any fascism in the world. But it was not true. The war was fought for industrial and commercial reasons. Workers are made …