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Showing posts from March, 2018

Understanding the system

In 1999 Karl Marx was voted the “Greatest Thinker of the Millennium” in a BBC online poll. Then in 2005, he was voted the “Greatest Philosopher” in another BBC poll. One voice from the wilderness though is too faint to be heeded, neither strong enough nor loud enough or even adequately broadcast so as to be heard. The only solution for the economic problems of the workers is socialism. Chasing after the endless revivals of old fallacies evolved by the ingenuity of the reformists has brought them no lasting advantage. Their ideas of a world compatible with a profit-driven market economy are illusory and their prospects for reform in the interests of humans and the environment a fallacy. It has diverted their attention from things that really matter and has left them as far as ever from achieving socialism. There have been repeated economic crises. Every one of them has shown the same general characteristics. Every one of them has been viewed as a sign of irretrievable ruin, and every o…

Charity ends

The Meals-on-Wheels has been a lifeline to thousands of elderly and disabled people. The service has been withdrawn from many parts of Scotland - and will cease entirely by the end of the year. The service has now ended in Moray, Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) said it could no longer ensure the service is safe and sustainable. RVS believes a lack of support from local authorities has forced them to cut services. In recent years an increasing number of council's throughout the UK have withdrawn subsidies, and the service operated by the RVS has dwindled. Director Sam Ward said: "We've gone from having over 80 services - we're just down to seven in Scotland and only 15 across the whole of the UK." Alternative services are being offered - including lunch clubs, frozen meal deliveries and a variety of home care packages. Many of the people who have been delivering meals as RVS volunteers, are doubtful …

Movement or Monument? The SPGB

The Socialist Party has great confidence that our analysis offers the only explanation of capitalism and the necessity of socialism. Socialism means the common ownership where the administration of society would also be transferred into the hands of the people. Socialists are opposed to the idea that a state or a nation must have a single “national” culture to which all its citizens are expected to conform. The way to end capitalism is to build unity among the working class in common struggle against the present rotten system and for a socialist society. We stand for the unity of the working class to achieve a socialism. Our greatest force, however, is the power of correct ideas. Our ideas and case for socialism can now be a powerful lever in the building a new society. No general prosperity will be possible as long as capitalism exists. Only socialism will bring prosperity to all. But socialism can only be achieved by men and women who are intellectually free.
The Socialist Party is t…

The Basis of Socialist Organisation. (1931)

From the December 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard
A Lesson of the Election The one thing that most clearly marks off the Socialist Party of Great Britain from the other organisations which claim an interest in Socialism, is our view that the only possible basis for a Socialist Party is an understanding of socialist principles. When the founders of the S.P.G.B. decided on our present Declaration of Principles as the minimum condition of' membership, they had already had long experience of alternative forms of organisation. They had seen the disastrous results of bringing together people without socialist knowledge who were attracted merely by one or other of a long list of political and social reforms. Such an organisation cannot be more advanced than its members, and therefore cannot take action for the furtherance of Socialism. Indeed, it can take action at all only with the greatest difficulty, for it rarely happens that all the members are agreed upon any one of the reform d…

Scot's Population

It is no secret that Scotland - like many other European nations - has an ageing population. The Scottish Government has long been concerned that if migration to the UK is cut, Scotland’s population will drop in the long-term. The knock-on effect, it argues, is that fewer working-age adults would be left to pay for the pensions and services relied upon by a growing number of retirees.

The Scottish Government pointed out that 70 per cent of Scotland’s land mass is classified as “remote rural”. Areas far from urban centres already face acute demographic issues. The population of the Outer Hebrides is predicted to decline by 13.7 per cent by 2039 – the steepest fall of any Scottish region.

The Scottish Government’s Europe minister Alasdair Allan said: “The findings from this report are clear: lower migration is very likely to lead to lower growth in total employment and lower output growth, and a substantial majority of employers in Scotland remain concerned around future access to the EEA…

Enough! Enough! No More Capitalism!

The great only appear great because the poor are on their knees.
There isn’t actually anything great about “the great and the good” and certainly nothing good about them. They have simply done a good propaganda job convincing everyone else that the majority is good for nothing better than to be rule over. History is littered with examples of great men who were discovered to be pathetic empty vessels.
Capitalism is a global system and has become more so with each new year. A large majority of the public now agree we are devouring the planet and they increasingly recognise that capitalism exacerbates the hardship of the people around the world. The guiding principle of capitalism, its essence is competition, the to make a profit out of one’s fellows, and to grow richer than one’s fellows. This strife is inherent in all the ramifications of society. So the contest will continue, always growing fiercer, whilst capitalism continues. Science places ever more terrible means of warfare at the d…

The Case Against The 'Living Wage' (1931)

From the March 1931 issue of the Socialist Standard
Maxton's Curious Mixture. On February 6th, Mr. Maxton, on behalf of the Independent Labour Party, introduced into the House of Commons a Living Wage Bill.-
The Living Wage, as defined in the Bill, "means a wage at least sufficient to meet the normal needs of the average worker regarded as a human being living in a civilised community, including the satisfaction of reasonable minimum requirements of health and efficiency and of cultural life and the provision of reasonable rest and recreation."
The amount of this living wage is to be determined by a Committee, appointed by the Board of Trade, "and which shall include among its members at least three working housewives, three representatives of trade unions, and three representatives of co-operative societies.”
The Committee is to take into account "actual retail prices and other costs of living,” in addition to various other factors, and is to review the wage at…

Defiant Socialism

Protest. Petition. Pester your politicians. Nothing changes. No matter how large our demonstrations get, no matter how many millions of people march or write to their local MPs governments keep turning a blind eye and deaf ear to our cries for change. Only businesses and rich people manage to get legislation passed.  And sure, it looked like we had a few victories, so long as some capitalists were sympathetic to us. But when we wanted something they didn’t, Governments just didn't listen. You would have thought we would have learned from decades of experience that getting corporate- controlled politicians to pass reforms is not our only option.  We have more power than we think.  We’ve got to go beyond the appeal for palliatives routine.  If organisers and activists are going to ask people to protest, we challenge them to add a second strategy – build a socialist movement for real change.
We have a labour movement that is completely discouraged and demoralised. We have a labour mov…

Capitalism: The Threat to Humanity

Beyond the madness of the capitalist system there lies a great prospect. In place of a world driven by competition and conflict, there is the prospect of a united humanity. Instead of being driven by the economic laws of an exploitative system there lies the prospect of a society that would work democratically in the interests of all people. This is the prospect of a new society based on common ownership, democratic control and production solely for needs.  The only way the capitalist system will be consigned to history is when a majority of people take political action to end it.  We hold in our own hands the possibility of a different world system with a good life for all people in peace and prosperity. But instead of one world, one people, we have exploitation, war and poverty. The present lurch towards nationalism, conservatism and the politics of hate is regressive and can only bring more misery. Never has there been so much misery whilst the potential for a better world are so c…

Child poverty to rise

One in three children will be living in absolute poverty by 2030/31, according to new analysis published by the Scottish government.
The analysis, which takes into account tax and benefit changes announced by the UK and Scottish governments, suggested that the percentage of children living in relative poverty - which measures the gap between low and middle-income households - will increase from 23% in 2018/19 to 38% in 2030/31. It found that absolute poverty - a measure of whether poorest households' incomes are keeping pace with inflation - will rise from 20% to 32%. Meanwhile, 16% of children will be in "persistent" poverty, up from 10%. The key reason for the increases was cited as UK government cuts, including the benefit freeze and the two-child limit on tax credits.