Saturday, March 31, 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 one has been used to dissuade the workers from looking towards socialism. Recessions are not evidence of capitalist weakness They will not of themselves result in the collapse of the capitalist system, and only a misunderstanding of the nature of crises leads the workers to slacken their efforts to maintain wages at those times. Crises are not the ruin of capitalism, but merely correctives to its contradictions. Capitalism and its crises can, and will, go on indefinitely until the workers take conscious steps to end the system. The Socialist Party tells the workers that socialism is the only remedy for their troubles. There is no time which is not a proper time for them to work for socialism.

 Only too frequently, when the word 'socialism' is deployed it is used as meaning more government intervention in the running of capitalism and the lives of the people. Not only does the Left exclude questions of the ultimate goal of society, but they do not even admit socialism—that is, common ownership of the machinery of production and distribution—as being a question at all. For the,m the question of the ultimate goal of society is merely the issue of state capitalism versus private capitalism. Socialism of course means the end of government since there will be no minority class who need state power to maintain their dominance. For capitalism to end, political power will have to pass out of the hands of their capitalist ruling class and into the hands of the working class. So it comes back to the need for a consciously socialist majority to win control of political power after all. This is an essential precondition for the establishment of a world socialist society, the only basis on which our vision of a world without money can come into being.

Capitalism, we can safely argue, perpetuates inequalities. People with money will always have an inherent advantage over the poor and uneducated in free-market economies. And since capital grows faster than wages thanks to the power of compound interest, the gap in wealth between the haves and have-nots will continue to grow. In the near future, capitalists who own robots will be able to multiply their productivity and profits without a corresponding increase in wages, as the majority of blue-collar jobs go extinct. Unemployment will rise as a result, triggering violent class warfare that could threaten the very fabric of many global societies. The workers are poor because the capitalist class own the machinery of production and because they retain and consume a vast amount of the wealth produced.

The Socialist Party has nothing in common with the parties that preach peace but continue to prepare for war. Our opponents defend their actions with talk of the need for security. We must, they say, guard the integrity and independence of the nation. They differ among themselves only as to the amount and kind of armaments necessary, for security. They argue the respective merits and costs of the battleship, the submarine, aircraft and poison gas. There are some who urge that the nations should agree to gradual and mutual disarmament, and there are even pacifists who claim that the best of all guarantees of security is for this country to disarm completely without waiting for the rest of the world. The Socialist Party does not agree with any of these points of view. For us, it is not a question of deciding which is the. best method of achieving security, but a question of deciding whether the security referred to is of any real concern to the working class.  Commercial rivalries set capitalist states one against the other. The class which has property and privilege must maintain armed forces to protect their property and to make secure the social system which affords them their privileges. The capitalists and their politicians do not consciously seek war as a means of snatching wealth and power from their rivals but they are driven by the forces at work in the capitalist system to follow policies which bring them into conflict with each other.  The governments are called in to further the interests of the national groups of capitalists. Under the cloak of patriotism and national defence, with the blessing of the church, the press, the labour leaders and the politicians, millions of workers are thrown against each other in battle. They do not know that they are fighting to defend or to extend the interests of the class that lives by robbing them of the fruits of their labour.

One cannot but sympathise with the exasperation of Labour Party members who are always promised something new and inspiring. The Labour Party is not a socialist party. It is not even united in its views as to the best way of running capitalism. Its record shows that its leaders are willing and able to use it against the interests of the workers. Workers who take to heart the lessons of the past will abandon it and join the Socialist Party. 

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