Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Change of Politics

The members of the Socialist Party are frequently beseeched by the Left to join in some sort of anti-capitalist alliance. They endeavour to convince us with siren-songs that such a coalition against capitalism would bear fruit, either by driving the non-socialists out of the Labour Party like weeds or providing the shoots of a new “socialist” party, glibly offering popular reforms. The life-cycle of such developments can be charted in close connection with the recurring crises within capitalism born and re-born with each succeeding economic crisis. In all their incarnations, they have remained a reformist movement in body and spirit, hoping to politicalise workers and recruit them into their ranks. Even at their most radical, the political platform does not transgress the boundaries of that are built into the capitalist system. Armed with their reform programs, the Leftists vainly storm the citadels of the capitalist class to extract as many concessions and reforms as they can. Occasionally, very occasionally, they even control some local governments. Nevertheless, any reforms they managed to exact do not result in any basic changes in the workers' lives or reverse the processes of capitalist accumulation, centralization, and control.  In some cases, they even produced consequences contrary to those anticipated or promised.  After every losing battle and even ignoble capitulation to the master class, the Left has lost more of their mass support. Without bold revolutionary aims, unable to grasp the dynamics of the principal forces at work in capitalist society, the reformist movement progressively lost whatever trust and confidence it once possessed within the working class. Their “revolutionary”  shrivelled into vacuous phrases to cover their alliances with pro-capitalist parties. This many-faced, myriad-minded social movement of protest against the plutocratic rule of Big Business and High Finance lack the power and the will to revolutionise the political system and the economic structure of capitalism.

 Our aim in the Socialist Party is a cooperative commonwealth without State, without ruling Government, without classes, in which the workers shall administer the means of production and distribution for the common benefit of all. We appeal to fellow-workers to rally to the World Socialist Movement and muster under the banner of socialism. The capitalist class is constantly revealing itself in its true colours with its rising cost of living, growing unemployment, the savage repression of all efforts of the workers to better their condition, the deportation and imprisonment of migrants. The working class must capture the power of the State and reconstruct society in their own interests, to turn it from the government of men into the administration of things. Everywhere the capitalists cry: “More production! More production!'’ In other words, the workers must do more work for less wages, so that their blood and sweat may be turned into gold to pay for the ruination of the capitalist world. To save their system of exploitation the capitalists unite and chain the workers to the machines of industry. So long as the capitalist system exists, a few men will be making their money out of the toil of others. All reforms of the present system of society simply fool the worker into believing that he or she isn't being robbed as much as before. Workers can no longer wait to experiment with reforms. Before it is too late, the class-conscious workers of the world must prepare to attack and destroy capitalism and root it out of the world. The State is used to defend and strengthen the power of the capitalists and to oppress the workers.  Capitalist society presents a solid front against the worker.

The private property of the capitalist class, in order to become the social property of the workers, cannot be turned over to individuals or groups of individuals. It must become the property of all in common. Industry and its factories, too, which supply the needs of all the people, are not the concern only of the worker, in each industry, but of all in common and must be administered for the benefit of all.  The word “politics” is to many like a red flag to a bull. Politics, to people, means simply politicians trying to catch votes to elect them to some comfortable office, where they can comfortably forget all about the voters, until the next election campaign. This is using the word “politics” in a corrupt sense. One of the principles upon which the Socialist Party was founded is expressed in the saying of Karl Marx: “every class struggle is a political struggle”. That is to say, every struggle of the workers against the capitalists is a struggle of the workers for the political power – the State. This is the sense in which we socialists use the word “politics.”

The Left believes that they can gradually gain this political power by using reforms to legislate capitalism peacefully out of existence. This leads them to preach all sorts of reforms of the capitalist system, draws to their political opportunists and adventurers of all kinds, and finally causes them to make concessions and compromises with the capitalist class. The Socialist Party engages in electoral campaigns to give us an opportunity to speak to the working class, pointing out the class character of the State and their class interests as workers. They enable them to show the futility of reforms, to demonstrate the real interests which dominate the capitalist political parties, and to point out why the entire capitalist system must be overthrown. When Socialist Party members are elected to Parliament, their function to make propaganda; to ceaselessly expose the real nature of the capitalist State, to obstruct the operations of capitalist government and show their class character, to explain the futility of all capitalist reform measures, etc. In Parliament, the Socialist Party can show up capitalist brutality and call the workers to revolt. The most common objection to electing candidates to capitalist legislatures is that, no matter how good revolutionists they are, they will invariably be corrupted by their environment and will betray the workers. This belief is born of long experience, chiefly with Labour Party fakirs. But we say that a real revolutionary party such as we have the means to retain the loyalty of our elected delegates. The special function of the Socialist Party is to educate the workers for the capture of political power and the administration of the socialist cooperative commonwealth.

Industrial Despotism or Industrial Democracy.

The capitalists class are a menace to humanity. Capitalists perform no useful function in society. The Socialist Party is the only party that stands against the present system. All forms of capitalist interest, rent and profit is a rake-off from industry and is sheer robbery. It is the only party that boldly avows itself the party of the working class and its purpose the overthrow of wage-slavery. So long as the present system of capitalism prevails, the toiling masses will be struggling in the hell of poverty as they are today. The Socialist party is absolutely the only party which faces conditions as they are and declares unhesitatingly for socialism. Private ownership has had its day. The Socialist Party stands for common ownership and co-operation. The workers who have made the world and who support the world, are preparing to take possession of the world. This is the meaning of socialism and is what the Socialist Party stands for. We demand the machinery of production in the name of the workers and the control of society in the name of the people. We demand the abolition of capitalism and wage-slavery and the surrender of the capitalist class. We demand the Earth for all the people. Ending the gigantic robbery which is the very base of the capitalist system will at once release vast resources for useful social ends. With the deadly limitations of the capitalist market with its terrible misery and suffering,  removed, the way is open to satisfy the needs of the people.

Where there is no capitalist class to demand its profit production and distribution can take place for use, an enormous increase in efficiency. The socialist system of planned production, based upon social ownership of industry and the land, is incomparably more efficient than the anarchic capitalist system founded upon private property, competition and the exploitation of the workers.  It will end the hundreds of useless and parasitic occupations and the entire crew of “middlemen,” real estate sharks, stock brokers, advertisers, sales-people, whole rafts of government bureaucrats, police, clerks, and sundry capitalist quacks, fakers, and grafters. It will turn to useful social purposes the immense resources consumed by these socially useless elements. Socialism will also conserve the natural resources of the planet which are now being ruthlessly wasted in the mad capitalist drive for profits. Socialism will put a stop to criminal environmental recklessness and have as one of its principal aims the careful conservation of all the natural resources.

It is characteristic of capitalism to justify all the robbery and misery and terrors of its system by seeking to create the impression that they are caused by basic traits in human nature, or even by “acts of god.” Thus they invent mysterious explanations for preventable disasters as to make them appear natural phenomena over which mankind has no control, like tornadoes and earthquakes. The same general attitude is taken with regard to war. War is put forth as arising out of the very nature of humanity. Man is pictured as a war-like animal, and therefore capitalism escapes responsibility. The ravages of warfare, too, will cease with the end of commercial rivalries between nations. Mankind is by nature a gregarious and sociable. We do not make war because he dislikes others who differ in language, religion, place of birth, etc. Wars have always arisen out of struggles over the very material things of wealth and power. This is true, whether we have been living in a tribal, slave, feudal or capitalist economy, and whether we have obscured the true cause of wars with a religious garb or with patriotic slogans about making the world safe for democracy. The cause of modern war is the policies of the capitalist nations to rob others in the global struggle for markets, raw materials, and territory. In a society in which there is no private property in industry and land, in which no exploitation of the workers takes place and where plenty is produced for all, there can be no grounds for war. Conflicts are not to be ended by peace conferences and disarmament treaties, but by revolutionary struggle of the working class against capitalism itself.  It will be only when the workers have finally defeated capitalism and re-assembled the world on a socialist basis that universal peace can come.

The result of these consequences of the socialist revolution will provide the material base for a well-being of all in the world. The aim of technology will be to achieve the highest possible standards for working people, not the welfare of a few capitalists. Production will be scientifically calculated in advance. The needs of the people and the possibilities of the industries will be carefully studied, calculated and met. With a thoroughly organised industrial system the carrying out of the production plans will be easy and natural. A socialist society without planned production is unthinkable. A socialist world will be a unified, organised world. The economic system will be one great coordinated and interlinked network. The resources of the world will be at the disposal of all the peoples of the world.

A classical capitalist argument against socialism is that it would destroy incentive; that is if private property in industry and the right to exploit the workers were abolished the urge for social progress, and even for day-to-day production, would disappear.  With no exploiting class to rob them of the fruits of their toil workers will welcome better technology because they shall get the full benefit of them. They have broken the chain of capitalist slavery and are building a new world of liberty, prosperity, and happiness for themselves and families. It is understandable why the producing masses under capitalism betray no such enthusiasm in their work. We are robbed of what we produce and for us, robotic and automated improvements in production mean wage-cuts and unemployment. With socialism no one will have the right to exploit another; no longer will a profit-hungry employer be able to shut factory gates and sentence thousands to starvation; no more will it be possible for a little clique of capitalists and their political henchmen to plunge the world into a blood-bath of war. The socialist revolution will create in the new and better development of the individual.  Theirs will be an individuality growing out of and harmonizing with the interests of all. It will not have the objective of one’s getting rich by robbery.

 The capitalists seek to justify their destructive behaviour by asserting that it is rooted firmly in human nature. Such appeals to “human nature,” however, must be taken cautiously. By that method of reasoning it would be quite easy to conclude that the rich capitalist who heartlessly casts workers out of his shops penniless and gives no thought as to their future has quite a different “human nature” than the hunter-gatherer who, with a higher sense of clan solidarity, before eating his kill, calls loudly in the four directions in case perchance there may be another hungry hunter nearby. Changed social conditions develop different “human natures.” Thus competition, a ruinous, anti-social thing under capitalism, becomes, will with socialism, become highly beneficent. Life in a socialist society will be varied and interesting. Individuals will vie with other individuals, as never before, to create the useful and the beautiful. Locality will compete with locality in the beauty of their architecture. The marks of individuality and originality will be found on everything. The world will become a place well worth living in, and what is the most important, its joys will not be the monopoly of a privileged ruling class but the heritage of all mankind.

The socialist revolution is the most profound of all revolutions in history. It initiates changes more rapid and far-reaching than any in the whole history of humankind.  The millions of workers striking off their shackles of wage-slavery, will construct a free society and inaugurate a new era for the humanity, the building of a new world. The overthrow of capitalism will bring about the immediate or eventual solution of many great social problems. Some of these originate in capitalism, and others have plagued the human race for centuries. Among them are war, religious superstition, prostitution, famine, pestilence, crime, poverty, alcoholism, unemployment, illiteracy, race and national chauvinism, the suppression of woman, and every form of slavery and exploitation of one class by another. Socialism will liquidate these handicaps to the happiness and harmony.  Capitalism, based upon human exploitation, stands as the great barrier to social progress. By abolishing the capitalist system, we release the productive forces strong enough to provide plenty for all and relegate the capitalist baggage of ignorance, strife, and misery to the past. Socialism frees humanity from the stultifying effects of the present essentially animal struggle for existence and opens up before it new horizons. The day is not so far distant when our children, will look back with horror upon capitalism and wonder just why it lasted for so long. For generations many have dreamed and planned their utopian societies and being mere speculations disconnected from actual life, they fell on deaf ears. Today, the socialist revolution is no longer an abstraction, a mere theory.  The advance of the revolution is difficult but its direction is sure and its movement irresistible. 

Revolution – Our Only Future!

The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to gain. Workers of the world—unite!

 This is the world of competition, of exploitation, of production for profit.  Hunger, disease, and death stalk all peoples. This is the capitalist world. Capitalism outlived its usefulness long ago. It is no longer capable of progress, of raising the standards of living of the people. Capitalism is only capable of guaranteeing new wars, mass unemployment, and misery.

Under capitalism the production of wealth is carried on for profit. The desire for profits is the motive force which drives the capitalist class to use its capital in the production of wealth. In order to secure profits the workers must be exploited. Part of the product of their labour must be turned over to the capitalist class in the shape of dividends and interest. The task falls to the Socialist Party to take the anger and the hatred that our fellow workers have toward the capitalist system and arm them with a deep understanding of why we have to live this way, whose fault it is and what we can do about it. There are two roads we can follow. One is to say: “Well, that’s too hard to deal with and let’s just deal with the easy problems, just with the day to day problems. Let’s just talk to the workers about things they can agree with us and understand, not about revolution and socialism because that turns them off.” Others will say, “This system’s too big, it’s too powerful what we’re up against, I got enough problems in my factory, in my community. I got enough problems in my home, man, don’t talk to me about that kind of political stuff.”

It is only by understanding how capitalism is against the interests of working people, of how capitalism must be fought by the working class and when the people are equipped with an understanding of capitalism as the enemy–then we can progress on the road to revolution. Only by completely getting rid of this system of wage slavery and its law of profits and the system in which the capitalists own and control everything, including us and our labour can we advance towards socialism. There’s no way step by step we can win, it’s only by getting rid of the whole source of these problems, the system of capitalism, that we can build a new society run by and for the working class. The only power that can save humanity from the peril of barbarism is the working class. It must free itself of all dependence on the possessing classes. It must cease all collaboration with the exploiters and embark on the road of class struggle, the road of socialist victory. The class struggle is a political struggle. It cannot be fought successfully by the workers unless they have a political weapon, which means, their own political party. The capitalist class has its own political organizations. The workers need a party of their own.  The workers have their own political party, which openly calls itself the party of the working class – The Socialist Party of Great Britain.  It is the first big step in breaking from the capitalist parties and capitalist politics, and toward independent working-class political action. The maintenance of the sacredness of private property is the basic principle of every capitalist government. To this principle, it subordinates everything else. The Socialist Party holds a basically different principle. To the evils of capitalism, it must propose social progress and human welfare. Against the interests of a ruling minority, it advocates the interests of all humanity. Its aim must be to assure abundance for all and peace to all. Are not these the things that all the people long for? Capitalist class rule has demonstrated it cannot, by its very nature, achieve this aim. Yet its achievement is not only necessary, but it is quite possible.

Civilisation hovers at the edge of an abyss and socialism is the only possible salvation. Private property generates war. Private Property is the enemy. Production must be released from the fetters of private property. The resources of the world must pass into the possession of humanity. All other problems, the problems of nationality and of race and colour will be solved once society is freed from exploitation and class divisions. A socialist system will bring real democracy. The people of the world want an end to this capitalist system. They want jobs, peace, freedom, security. They want a new life; they want a change from the chaos of the profit system which has proved its incapacity to maintain a high level of peacetime production in the interest of the people. A new social, system, that is, socialism, is the only hope for humanity. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A belated message from the Socialist Party's EC

The aim of the Labour Party programme is to improve the conditions of the workers without destroying the private ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution (land, factories, railways, etc.) and without transforming them into the common property of the whole community under democratic control.

The only solution for the problems of the working class is Socialism. This is the urgent question of the day. In this country, only the Socialist Party of Great Britain is organised and carried on solely for the direct, unceasing fight for Socialism. Only the S.P.G.B. is deserving of the support of the working class...

...If the S.P.G.B. were willing to sacrifice its Socialist principles and independence by soliciting support and votes on a programme of reforms, it would at once be able to overcome the obstacle. It would be able, like the so-called “Labour” parties, to gain a large membership and apparent strength. That growth would not, however, help forward the Socialist movement, which can only progress to the extent that it gains the understanding and support of convinced Socialists. The S.P.G.B., therefore, does not solicit the votes of non-Socialists, whatever the nature of the reform measures in which they may be interested.

The S.P.G.B. receives the support of Socialists alone.

To prevent the enemies and false friends of Socialism from interpreting the failure to run candidates as evidence that Socialist propaganda is not making headway, Socialists can mark their ballot paper with the word “Socialism,” thus demonstrating the growing strength of the Socialist vote in this country.

The Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, October 22nd, 1935.

Is the Red Flag Flying?

We are living in serious times. Grave events will test the socialist movement.  Only those who have thought out their principles and know how to hold to them firmly will be able to sustain themselves in such times. One of the biggest questions confronting humankind in trying to understand its own destiny and evolution. Our movement, the movement of socialism, judges things and people from a class point of view.  Capitalist disasters are all around us, clear to see. Yet most people believe capitalism is the best system we’ve got. Before they oppose capitalism, they want to know what is to be put in its place? There is an alternative way of running society. It is called socialism. However for many on the Left, socialism is not a society too different from capitalism, but rather, a form of capitalism in which the working class has achieved a higher status It is, as Engels once mocked, "the present-day society without its defects."

Socialism is not government ownership or control of industry. Socialism struggles for the end of the state, not the enlarging of its functions.   Socialism is the struggle to place the ownership and control of industry directly in the workers through the overthrow of capitalism. Socialism, in the words of Engels, is not the government of persons, but the administration of things. The state, and its authority masking itself as democracy, disappears.  The Socialist Party's goal is the realisation of a humane human community.

A socialist society is not created by steps toward socialism. Socialism is a result of conscious social building, planned and conducted by the organised workers who have won political power and supported by the majority of the population. There are no short cuts. Socialism is based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and exchange, upon production for use as against production for profit, upon the abolition of all classes, all class divisions, class privilege, class rule, upon the production of such abundance that the struggle for material needs is completely eliminated, so that humanity, at last, freed from economic exploitation, from oppression, from any form of coercion by a state machine, can devote itself to its fullest intellectual and cultural development. Anything less you can call whatever you wish, but it will not be socialism. The Socialist Party reaffirms that socialism for us, yesterday, today, tomorrow means the end of class rule; the end of class privilege; the freeing of the people from all chains and all coercion, the fullest realisation of democracy, the emancipation of men, women and of children from wage-slavery, abundance for all, and therefore liberty for all.

Capitalism is an economic system based on profit. Profit-seeking is the sole motive force in all economic life. The accumulation of capital is regulated by the laws flowing from this search for profit.  Because the capitalist economy is an economy for profit, the contradictions inherent in capitalism – particularly the inevitable disproportion between the different sectors of production – periodically provoke abrupt interruptions’ in the realisation of this profit which is the raison d’ĂȘtre of capitalism. The movement of capitalist economy this acquires the spasmodic and cyclic character which is peculiar to it, swinging abruptly from periods of stagnation and crisis to periods of growth and upswing. This movement, peculiar to capitalism, is valid for the entire world market, for all countries. 

Social Revolution

We live in a society racked with crises. This society can neither guarantee them a secure future nor even promise there will be a future. The threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over the lives of all of us. This society places a premium on wealth. The vast majority of our people work out their lives for the enrichment of the small minority of profiteers who own the bulk of the economy and through their wealth control the entire society. The economy staggers from one recession to another, increasing an unending drive against the rights of labour, all these are hallmarks of the "system" we live under. The system is capitalism. Under it a small minority rule in fact if not in name, and profit is the be-all and end-all of economic life; human needs comes not-at-all.

Hunger and deprivation in the midst of plenty is the distinguishing mark of the capitalist system of production. Capitalism is long on promises, short on performance so that there is forever the recurring contradiction between words and deeds. The vicious capitalist drive to beat down the living standards of the workers is conducted under a barrage of propaganda about raising these living standards. The main illusion fostered by capitalist democracy is that of the State as being above the classes, acting in the “common” interest.  The working class by its own bitter struggle and bloody sacrifice utilizes the rights won by it to organiSe opposition to capitalist exploitation, to organize its own democracy in the form of trade unions and political parties. But the ruling class uses its power to shackle them to the capitalist system by controlling them through professional leaders, union bureaucrats and tamed politicians in the reformist parties. These “leaders” are experts in organising sham battles through which they “deliver”‘ (betray) the organised workers to the master class.

Freed from the clutches of the profiteers and their hangers-on, production, and distribution must be brought under common ownership and the economy planned by the people themselves in their own areas of work. The profit system cannot make use of automation for the benefit of society; socialism will! The future society that will be constructed under socialism will reduce work to an insignificant part of daily life and offer the individual the fullest possibilities to pursue his own abilities and interests.  Capitalism is a system in all its hideous absurdity, the great destroyer of social wealth, and of human happiness, security and life itself. The wondrous productive machine which it developed and which, if rationally organised, could easily supply the needs and comforts of all, proves to be a mechanism that degrades the people to misery, wretchedness, and suffering.

Socialists have often been accused of wanting to overthrow capitalism by force and violence. When they accuse us of this, what they are really trying to do is to imply that we want to abolish capitalism with a minority, that we want to force the will of the minority on the majority. The opposite is the truth. We believe we can win a majority to support a change in the system. First, you should be clear in your mind about the meaning of the word “revolution”. Many people have a stereotyped picture of what a revolution is like. They say a revolution is about building barricades and armed militias taking over a city. What they do is they confuse revolution with insurrection.

Everything you use, everything you eat or wear, your car, your housing — you didn’t make any of these things. We don’t produce these things as individuals. We produce socially. But, even though we produce socially, through co-operation, we don’t own the means of production socially. And this affects all the basic decisions made in this society about what we produce. These decisions are not made on the basis of what people need but on the basis of what makes a profit. What socialism means is not simply that a socialist party come to power, but that a class — the masses of the working people — come to power.  The ruling class is never going to solve its problems through the capitalist system. Therefore, the objective conditions for revolution are going to arise over and over again. We don’t create these conditions, but there is one thing we can do, we can be the socialist party in waiting.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It’s their system, not ours!

 There presently exists a lack of theoretic preparation for the day when the people can actually abolish capitalism. We are talking about the person who wishes to see another world, but thinks it can come about, if at all, by simply doing away with bosses, or paying everyone the same amount, or whatever political, legal, and administrative reform measures they have been led to believe can accomplish the redistribution of power and wealth and can really make their lives better. The Left tends to reinforce naive confuse visions of anti-capitalism, instead of providing theoretical clarity. A new human society cannot emerge through spontaneous action alone. People need to know not just what to be against, but what to be for, not just “what is to be done,” but what is to be undone––what is it exactly that must be changed in order to have a viable and emancipatory socialism? Unfortunately, this issue receives almost no attention. They have not attempted to remake society totally.

The source of capital is no mystery. Capital is simply money and commodities assigned to create a profit and be reinvested. Profit is made by the "magical" addition of surplus value to the value inherent in the product. The "added value," the profit, is produced by workers. And this capital is born to expand or die. To be useful, the investment must result not only in a profit but in a growing rate of profit. Capital represents the stored-up labour of millions of workers accumulated in the hands of the bosses. Nor is the role of such capital any. mystery. “Capital,” Karl Marx, said, “is dead labour that vampire-like only lives by sucking living labour and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.” It is the very essence of capitalism to keep labour at a minimum point, just sufficiently above the starving point so that it can continue to produce – never enough above this point so that the worker could save for a period of not working. The boss has no other interest in the worker. Meanwhile, however, all the accumulated labour of the workers, stored up in machines, becomes ever more potentially productive of goods which, utilised for the workers, would unfold possibilities of unlimited development. Surplus value derives from unpaid wages. The worker is never paid for the value of the product, only for the value of her or his labor time, which is considerably less, and which meanders widely depending upon the historical, cultural and social conditions of a country. Labour-power is miraculous, like the Virgin Birth. You get more out of it than you put in. Workers produce a commodity which has more value than what they get in wages to keep them functioning. This differential is surplus value, which is the source of capital.

But, capitalism, no matter how it plans and hopes and prays, would never actually be able to do more than drive the worker to the bedrock of subsistence – although there is plenty to provide a featherbed of luxury for all.

Only socialism, where the stored-up labour is utilised for the social good, can realise the potentialities of human productivity and development. Only when accumulated labour belongs to those who produce it – to the worker who turns the wheels.  Once workers realize, however, that the “return” should be to them and society instead of to the bosses, they will have begun to see the socialist solution. The secret of value, the labour theory of value, that was unearthed by the classical economists and by Marx is what the money barons fear and hate. It is the secret that will set the world free. People will learn how to control the supposedly sacred, eternal, and inscrutable method of production and distribution that now controls us

People in a socialist world will produce for use according to a reasonable plan and without a thought for the odious notion of profit. And with no insatiable parasitic class to maintain, socialist society will produce abundance for all. That's a fact. The global human family will arrange its standard of living as easily as affluent families do today. The socialist says that progress consists not in smashing the giant corporate conglomerates of industry but in taking them away from the private owners and making them the property of the whole people, those who produce all the wealth of the world. Owned by the toiling people, by the workers, the poor farm labourers, the dispossessed and all the poor, these global industries could produce plenty for all. That is the road to socialism, to a world system, of peace, security and freedom. We believe in telling the truth to fellow-workers. We believe only the truth can serve the cause of socialism. We don’t believe in choosing the “lesser evil” over a greater evil. We choose instead something good for working men and women: A socialist party! The Socialist Party demands the abolition of the profit and wages system altogether. In a period the self-organisation and independent mobilisation of the working class, it has opened up the possibility of challenging capital’s hegemony. It has developed and nourished the idea that society as a whole is responsible for the well-being of its members. This social consciousness remains a dagger aimed at the heart of the profit system. For capitalism to flourish, social solidarity must be replaced with the notion of the consumer who is free to make “choices.” To the consumerist vision of the atomised individual we respond: Another world is possible!

Edinburgh Branch Meeting (1/3)

Edinburgh Branch

Thursday, 1 March

The Quaker Hall,

Victoria Terrace (above Victoria Street),
Edinburgh EH1 2JL

The Socialist Party stands for the sole aim of establishing a global system of society in which there will be common ownership and democratic control of the world's natural and industrial resources. We advocate a world social system in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation and an equal say in how their society is run; a world in which production is freed from the artificial constraints of profit and used for the benefit of all.  The basis of socialism is there will be common ownership of the Earth. The people of the world will share the world. Wealth will be produced not for sale or profit, but solely to satisfy human needs. This means the end of buying and selling and all the other financial and commercial institutions like money, prices, wages and banks. People will co-operate to produce an abundance of wealth from which they can take freely according to their needs. Socialism will mean a world without borders or frontiers, social classes or leaders, states or governments, force or coercion. Socialism can not be brought about by a small dedicated minority 'smashing the state' in a violent revolution. Any attempt to establish socialism without a majority first being in favour is bound to fail. Socialism, by its very nature as a system involving voluntary co-operation, could only be kept going by those who really wanted it and knew what it involved.

The Socialist Party has no leaders and is controlled by its members. Nothing we say or do goes on behind closed doors. Any member of the public is free to attend any of our meetings and speak at the same.  Socialism can not be forced upon people as it depends upon majority understanding, not compulsion. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Gutter politics

There are many reasons why socialists want a complete change in the basis of society.  Capitalism corrupts everything it touches. In this society the cash nexus is everything.  Capitalism is a society based on class ownership, exploitation, and the profit motive. capitalism is in its biggest crisis since the Great Depression. This means that wealth is returning to its ‘rightful owners’, the capitalist class; the workers, meanwhile, must make do with austerity. To talk of ethics in such a society is nonsensical. But it’s not just that things are bad. People are also losing confidence that things will get any better: a growing majority do not think their children will end up better off than they are, for example. It is this growing majority of disaffected working-class people who are looking for answers. And unless they look very hard indeed, beyond the mainstream media, the only answers they’re hearing are coming from the rising right-wing populists with their superficial appeal that proclaims the virtues of selfishness. The conventional politicians reveal how they have no good arguments with which to counter the xenophobic nationalists; and that it is precisely the failure of their ideas that turn the workers towards hopeless fantasies. All those liberals can resort to is to whine that the populists have taken “respectable” patriotism too far, that they are extremists. It’s up to socialists to provide better answers and get them out there and show that capitalism – even when it is operating perfectly well– must necessarily produce misery and exploitation. The ill-considered rhetoric needs to be confronted, contested at any and every opportunity. Self-replicating, regurgitated mantras built on lies, fears, and hatred need overturning without hesitation.

The typical Guardian-reading liberal may genuinely abhor the racism of the right but have been unsuccessful in confronting them because to do so would mean acknowledging the shortcomings of a system which they champion and which gives rise to the politics of prejudice. When capitalism fails to deliver, when despondency and shattered hopes arise from the stench of the failed promises and expectations that litter the political landscape, is it any wonder that workers fall for the scapegoating lies of neo-fascists and the quick fix they offer?

The professional politicians do their craven best to pander to this supposed collective identity and the nefarious influence of those ideas have on the workers can be seen from the treatment of the issue of “asylum seekers” – vulnerable migrants looking for refuge and sanctuary in safer lands. They project the line that they are “firm but fair” in dealing with the asylum “crisis”, desperate to deflect charges that Britain is a “soft touch” for immigrants so they advance every policy to speed up the process of ejecting “undesirables” from the country. They talk about legitimate asylum seekers, as opposed to economic migrants – as if poverty itself were not one of the cruellest breeds of oppression. All this, despite the fact that the government's own reports demolish a great many of the myths around refugees and actively refutes that the welfare state is a pull factor and a basic motive for travelling around the world to come to another country. The majority of asylum seekers had little or no knowledge of the UK social services other than, a vague idea that they would be “looked after” because after all, that was what they had been repeatedly told – the good Samaritan character of the average Briton. The Socialist Party understands that the thing which makes workers leave behind their communities and go to a place where their language is not spoken, is the capitalist system itself. We see the harm that is done by national boundaries, that prevent workers from moving to be with whom they want to be with; prevent them from sharing their skills and their knowledge as they see fit; prevent them from seeing their common cause.

The members of the Socialist Party do not swallow the deceit that working class “foreigners” are different from working class “nationals”. That Britain is “ours”, not “theirs” when in reality it is neither. Politicians are rewarded for their management of capitalism, and the media repeatedly foments anger and vitriol amongst the working class in order to keep cashing in with their nasty anti-social “news.” The real “undeserving” are the exploitative capitalists and their devious political henchmen. If you are looking for scroungers , you should direct your spleen at the really rich – the top five percent or so of the world's population who own far, far more than the rest of us ever could. They, not asylum seekers, are the scroungers of this world and will continue to shaft us as long as we let them. Millionaires and billionaires, thanks to the exploitation of the working class, are free to fly first-class anywhere in the world are the real migrant “scroungers” who need to be kicked out.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The system is rotten!

We say of the miner that he produces coal, of the baker that he or she produces bread, but such is not the case. They assist each other in the production of coal and bread and are at the same time dependent upon the balance of the workers for their equipment and materials. Before the miner goes down into the earth his fellow workers in every line of human endeavour have co-operatively labored to supply him with house, food, furniture, clothing, tools, powder, etc.; so that in the mining of coal all of the workers assist him. They do not go to the coal-face, but he could not go there without them. The mining of coal is, therefore, a social function in which all the workers participate. What the miner does is to perform the last social act necessary to transform the natural deposit into usable shape. But the coal is not yet produced—coal is not mined to be used by the miners, it is intended to warm some home or furnish power to some industry—other workers follow the miner to complete production of the coal. For no commodity is produced until it reaches the purchaser who consumes it. Only when this has happened is the objective which inspired its production attained—the satisfaction of an individual or social need. The miner has been used for illustration here, but you can substitute for him the farmer, office clerk, bricklayer, driver, etc., and no matter which of these you select a study of their activities will show that they work in conjunction with and cannot function without the balance of the working class. Capitalist industry has so organised the workers that their mutual inter-dependence is its outstanding feature. There is no independence for either the individual or the group. As a class they labour and produce; as a class, they are exploited, and as a class, they must organize, and through a class organization only will they be enabled to achieve any betterment in the present or emancipation finally.

If you are a wage-working man or woman, your life is conditioned upon having access to a job; you must establish yourself as an employee to some employer. To establish this relationship you must possess something which the employer requires in the business in which he is engaged. You have the power to produce wealth—labour power. It is the only thing you have, but it is an essential factor in industry. In fact, all capitalist industry is predicated upon the existence of men and women like you who have no other way to live, except by offering their life energy, labor power, for sale. The labour power of the workers in nearly all industrial occupations is used in connection with other expressions of power such as steam, electricity, gas, water, gasoline, and horses. Labour power differs from these other powers in that it not only expends itself but expends itself intelligently and directs, controls and uses these other power expressions. The brain of the worker, as well as his or her arms and legs, is a factor of his or her labour power. The other powers would as likely injure as serve without the guidance of labour power.

When you sell your labour power to the boss you agree to deliver to him the use of it for so many hours per day, usually ten, for which he, in turn, agrees to pay you a stipulated price (known as wages) of, say, $3.00 per day; or you agree to embody a certain amount of it into the raw materials he provides at a given price. The former is the time system of selling labor power, the latter is the piece work system. In either case, you sell your labor power to the boss, measured by the clock or incorporated in some article. The worker sells his labor power and receives in return a wage, out of which he must provide the means of life for himself and his dependents. The boss buys labor power because he needs it to operate his establishment, whether that be a factory, a mine, a railroad or a farm. The most up-to-date equipment is valueless as a means of producing wealth unless the magic influence of labor power sets it in operation. It is not a philanthropic motive that inspires the boss to employ the wage worker; it is because he must employ him, or fail in his enterprise. When he does employ the laborer he drives as hard a bargain as he can, which means that he will pay the laborer as little as the laborer will work for. But the least the laborer is inclined to accept, on the average, is a wage sufficient to maintain him and his family according to the standard of living obtaining among the workers. And this standard is what determines his wage. The labor time necessary to produce values equal to that required to maintain and reproduce the laborer sets the exchange value of his labor power, or the wage of the worker. As you will see later this is what determines the relation of all commodities to one another—the amount of socially necessary labor time contained in them—and, as labour power is a commodity, its exchange value is similarly determined. But labour power, unlike other commodities, besides being part of the worker is associated with the aspirations, hopes, ambitions, and will of the owner. That is, as well as being a commodity, it has human attributes, and being inseparable from the labourer has the effect of. reducing him to a commodity basis. In capitalist society he is not only a producer and seller of a commodity—labour power—but is himself practically a commodity—a package of labour power wrapped up in a human skin.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Who owns the North Pole? - A "Polar Silk Road"

It has been a long while since this blog returned to this once regular feature bt the issue of the Arctic has not gone away.

China now describes itself as a "near-Arctic state".

"The Arctic situation now goes beyond its original inter-Arctic States or regional nature, having a vital bearing on the interests of States outside the region and the interests of the international community as a whole, as well as on the survival, the development, and the shared future for mankind," a Chinese white paper said.

China wants to make sure its point of view is reflected in the region, through involvement in Arctic governance and by shaping its agenda. China wants to be included in economic benefits here, that is the reason for their involvement even if they do not possess legitimate geographical reasons to be considered a member of the region. China is able to provide financing for Arctic countries, their activities, and expeditions.

The country entered into joint ventures with Russian gas companies, it built a large embassy in Iceland, it helped finance the Kouvola-Xi'an train in Finland, it thawed its relations with Norway and it invested into Greenland. The influx of investments is important to Greenland's goal to become less reliant on Denmark. In exchange, China wants access to the mines in Greenland

Lanarkshire's Age "Problem"

A demographic age time bomb is primed to go off across Lanarkshire – as the number of people aged over 75 is set to rocket over the next two decades.
Life expectancy is continuing to increase dramatically over the region according to NHS Lanarkshire, placing a “great strain” on resources. In 20 years, it is projected that there will be 35,600 more people aged over 75 – a rise of 71 per cent.
The interim director of public health, Gabe Docherty, who said: “People are living longer which is fantastic. However, many are living with a range of long-term conditions which is placing great strain on our health and social care services. In these times of increasing demand and of fewer resources, we all need to look at how we use services.”
A further health divide is also exposed across the county, with life expectancy higher in South Lanarkshire than in North Lanarkshire. Men in the north can expect to live for 75.3 years, while the figure for the south is 77. Women in the north are likely to live for 79.6 years while the figure for the south is 80.8.
 However, life expectancy is still below national levels. People in Lanarkshire live on average a year less than others in Scotland (men one year less and women 0.9 years). Compared to the UK as a whole, men in Lanarkshire die three years earlier and women 2.6 years earlier.

Wealthy Cities

According to new research undertaken by Zoopla analysing property values in the UK’s ten largest cities, Glasgow ranked behind London and Bristol in first and second place respectively.

Glasgow had a huge value of £90.75 billion and its annual percentage growth in the value of homes sat at 5.38% – the second highest growth numbers behind Sheffield.
Edinburgh was sixth, with the value at a total £68.27bn and a steady annual growth of 4.04%.
In Glasgow, G12, which includes the West End and Glasgow University, has a total property value of £4.27bn. 
EH4 in Edinburgh, which includes Dean Village and Comely Bank, has a total value of £8.61bn.

For peace, prosperity and plenty for all!

The "spectre of communism" still haunts the world's bosses. The battle between bosses and workers rages everywhere. One class—the capitalist class—owns and controls the social necessaries, to wit: the economic resources of the world. That class, for its own protection and perpetuation in power, subjects all institutions to its own interests. On the other hand, there is a class—the working class—which is eventually to change the whole system of ownership of the means of production. Workers are beginning to realise that in the constructive work for the future they have to learn the facts of past evolutions and revolutions. And from these facts, expressed in theories, they find the guide for the course that they have to pursue in their struggle for the possession of the earth, and the goods that they alone have created. 

The Socialist Party does not oppose trade union struggles or refuse to participate in them. It is very essential to organise workers and help them to fight for their day to day struggles with their employers. Because, it is only in the course of these fights, that the workers learn about the system of capitalist exploitation and the need to abolish it. What is mistaken is to stop at that stage, limiting ourselves always to trade union struggles. We must teach them how to fight for the abolition of the wage system itself. The working class must make its stand against its own capitalist system – whose lust for profits and interest, for investments, markets, and expanded capital, for raw materials and cheap exploitable labor, can mean only exploitation. For it must be understood that distribution is always ultimately controlled by those who own and control production. Today the bosses own. Tomorrow, the workers will own production and would, therefore, be in a position to control and direct distribution in the interests of the people and society. The ownership of industry is the source of the power of the profit-seeking class. It gives them control of the opportunities of the people to secure the necessities of life. The millions of men and women who are dependent upon the wages they earn for a living are wage slaves. The power to hire and fire the workers, to give and take away the opportunity to earn a living, carries with it the power to compel the workers to work for such wages as will leave the capitalists a profit from their labour. There is no mystery about the source of profits. The capitalists do not create wealth out of the air in juggling with industry. They make profits because they purchase the labour-power of the workers for less than the value of the goods the workers produce; that is, they do not pay the workers the full value of their labour. There is no other way of making profits out of industry. The lower the wages for which the capitalists can purchase the labor-power of the workers and the longer their hours of labour or the greater the intensity, the more will be the capitalist’s profits. Naturally, the capitalists pay the lowest wages at which they can induce the workers to work. Since they are in a position to deny the workers the opportunity to earn a living if the workers do not accept their terms, they have been able to keep the wages at the point where they yield the workers a mere subsistence. The workers naturally seek to increase their wages and reduce their hours of labor. They endeavor to secure for themselves more of the wealth they produce and better working conditions. The capitalists resist. The existing industrial system is a huge profitmaking machine, which has no relation to the happiness and well-being of the people. In practice it results in drawing away from the millions of producers the bulk of the wealth they produce and in heaping this wealth in the laps of the relatively small class which owns the machinery of production, and in this process its by-products are generally insecurity, low wages, and industrial conflicts, thus making happy, healthy lives impossible for the masses of the people. If the work of reconstruction is to result in a better world, its aim must be the abolition of the wages and profit system.

Millions of workers are cold, hungry, homeless. Many more endure slum housing. Tens of millions of young workers are unemployed. Millions of young will never find work in capitalist society. Older workers are thrown out like garbage when they no longer have value to some boss. Capitalism has failed miserably to provide the basic necessities of life for hundreds of millions of workers around the world.

With socialism, goods are produced for the use of men and NOT for the profits which they bring in to bosses. Labour power is no longer regarded as a commodity to be bought and sold. It is not purchased at all, let alone purchased at the lowest possible price to keep it alive and able to produce more value. Men and women, in socialism, will work and produce useful goods. But they will produce these for their mutual needs and for their mutual development. The sufficiency of goods which men and machines can create will be given to men to develop their bodies so that their minds can grow rich in the wealth of human knowledge, aesthetic appreciation, and artistic creation. From day to day, from week to week, and from year to year, the spiral of possible individual activity will widen rather than taper, as human productive and intellectual achievements increase. Mankind, no longer fettered by the necessity of working not only for their own material maintenance but for the bosses’ even more material profits, will be freed to live more fully. The time that each must work will be small, yet the goods produced for all to enjoy will be plentiful.

The Socialist Party seeks a society whose workers run everything in the interests of the world's workers. We want a system that encourages every worker to become involved in running society; that trains everyone to act for the common good and does not indoctrinate people to "look out for number one;" that opposes placing selfish interests above the social needs. We want society to help each person grow and develop. Capitalism is the dictatorship of the bosses. They hold power through their political parties. Socialism will abolish socially useless forms of work that exist now only for capitalist profit. A socialist society will not need millions of lawyers, advertisers, or salespeople. In one stroke, it will do away with layers of needless government bureaucrats, as well as the hordes of petty supervisors and administrators who oversee and manage us for the bosses. It will free everyone to perform socially useful work, which is the source of true creativity.