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Showing posts from July, 2018

The Red Clydesiders Reforms - 1928

The Rt. Hon. Mr. Wheatley Joins The Alliance. (1928) From the July 1928 issue of the Socialist Standard It has been calculated that of the rich persons who joined the Labour Party recently 50 per cent. were already candidates and the others were signing the book daily at the “Parliamentary Employment Exchange.” ("Daily Herald,” 26/6/28.) The above is from the speech of the Right Hon. John Wheatley, M.P., Minister of Health in the Labour Government of 1924 and supporter of the Holy Catholic Church.
The new alliance of CookMaxton, and Wheatley has a programme described by Mr. Wheatley thus :    Cook and Maxton declare that the workers should constitutionally seize the present surplus wealth of the idle rich and use it to give a decent standard of life here and now to the working classes. So the party of rich candidates (the Labour Party) is going to seize—by taxation—some of the surplus and give it to the poor.
How that is going to affect the exploiting nature of Capitalism Mr. Wh…

Some economic history

The Socialist Party talks about class because this is the basic feature of present-day society. The productive resources of society are owned and controlled by a minority class and are run for their benefit. We can’t see how any person can deny that we are living in a class society and that this is the all-important social fact that those of us seeking social change must take into account. In fact, that the immense majority are excluded from the ownership and control of productive resources means that there is a group in society that has a material interest in ending this state of affairs by establishing a society of common ownership and democratic control, it means that socialism is not some ideal society to which all people of goodwill are somehow to be converted. It provides it with a basis in social reality, with a group of people—the overwhelming majority, it so happens—who have an interest in establishing it as the practical solution to the problems they face.
Capitalist society …

Kids without a home

The scale of Scotland’s homelessness crisis has been described as “damning” after figures showed the equivalent of 38 children a day were left without somewhere permanent to live last year. Analysis by the charity Shelter Scotland revealed 14,075 children were in households assessed as being homeless in 2017-18 – the equivalent of six or seven pupils for every school.

On one day in March, 6,615 children were living in temporary accommodation – the fourth consecutive year in which the figure has risen, the charity said. It described the scale of child homelessness as “shocking”, and said not having a permanent place to live can have “drastic” effects on young people.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said the “acute shortage of housing” lies at the heart of the problem. She said: “The sheer scale of homelessness among children in Scotland is damning on our society. “For the equivalent of a class and a half of schoolchildren to be made homeless every day just isn’t right…

Socialism and the Socialist Party

The modern nation is exclusively a product of capitalism. Nations began to emerge with the growth of trade and formed the framework for the production and distribution of commodities on a capitalist basis. The left-nationalists propose to achieve independence and socialism simultaneously. However, fewer and fewer people still believe that Scottish independence is a step forward in the struggle for socialism. Independence is not the interests of the working class. Workers must unite with the only class whose interests lie unreservedly in eliminating capitalism – the international working class across the world. Class consciousness and national chauvinism do not mix. Socialism, which means the replacement of the present social order by one based upon free and democratic access to the means of living, has been identified with theories of nationalisation, the welfare state and the command economy of state-capitalism. Our political foes have thus been able to attach to the term socialism u…

The Object of the Socialist Party

The more seeds sowed now, the greater will be the harvest of conscious working class support for socialism. It is not within our power to give details of how socialist society will arrange its daily affairs. However, we can show the broad scope of possibilities for human development when production is for use and people, without exception, have free access to what they require from what is socially produced. Socialism is not just about providing basic needs it is essentially a “whole life” concept.
Capitalism requires perpetual economic growth in order to avoid economic crises. More specifically, in order to stave off mass unemployment and economic misery, capitalism requires increasing commodity production, escalating resource extraction, increasing trash and toxic dumping, and ever-increasing energy production. Capitalism, by its very nature, must expand unendingly and it has already surpassed the limits of sustainable growth.  Capitalism is not only incapable of responding adequate…

No More Patching Up

We are living in a world which has the resources to satisfy the material needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. We could produce enough food to feed everybody adequately and enough houses to house everybody properly. We could have a fully-comprehensive health care service, environmental-friendly industry, and pollution-free towns. All this is technically possible. The resources are there. The technology is there The people with the skills are there. But it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen because we are living in a class-divided society where the aim of production is not to satisfy people’s needs but to make a profit. The basis of present-day society is the concentration of the ownership and control of productive resources into the hands of a small minority of the population. The basic economic law of the profit system is “no profit, no production”. Defenders of profits see profit-making as an incentive to produce, as what makes the economic system go round. To a certain…

A Manifesto of Emancipation

We must take the work of salvation into our own hands in order to guard against deceitful “friends.” The socialist movement is a “do-it-yourself” movement. There is one, and only one, revolutionary strategy. Help yourselves. We in the Socialist Party do not have a loose definition of socialism that which s everything and everybody and mean nothing to anybody.   We laid down our definition and principles, based on our understanding of capitalism, which is fundamentally the same to-day as it was in 1904. We don’t want new definitions which will please all-comers and principles which don’t offend.Marx and Engels said “The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. We cannot, therefore, co-operate with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must be freed from above by philanthropic big bourgeois and petty bourgeois.” Their ally Joseph Dietzgen explained,"If a worker wants to take part in th…

Why change is necessary

We live in a strange society which honours the dead more than it cares for the living. It builds monuments to mark the famous dead, but not houses for all the living. There are great social achievements but, as is usual under capitalism, humanity is denied the full benefits of them. Having created the means of extending and improving life, capitalism negates such an advance because it destroys life at an intense rate. It is a tragic paradox that the system which has enabled medical science to extend its horizons is one which creates more “artificial” deaths than it saves in avoided natural deaths.  Lack of decent food (or any food) kills millions of people each year. Millions die each year because they do not have access to clean water or hygienic sanitation. In vast areas of the world health services hardly exist with one doctor has to attend to thousands of patients. The mortality rate in such areas is phenomenally high. Even in Britain, where there is supposed to be a free health s…

Changing The World

A socialist party must admit only conscious socialists to its membership for the simple reason that to do otherwise would attract people of all sorts of political opinions; people interested in anything but socialism. To do this would destroy our character as a socialist party. Our sole criteria for existing as a party is to propagate the idea of socialism.  A working-class party must have as its object the only political object in the workers’ interest — the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement by socialism. We have always kept our object clear. This is not sectarian—it is consistent and principled.
At election time voters are asked to pay the price for their political gullibility. “Vote for us" cry the defenders of the profit system: “Send us to Parliament r and we will make the country a pleasant place to live in". Many workers don't bother to vote in elections. Campaign leaflets are thrown away by the pestered electorate as casually as the promises within them …

Our rich heritage

Party News from the July 1957
From Glasgow (City and Kelvingrove Branches).— “We don’t deal in emotion and sentimentality; we adopt a scientific attitude,” quoted the Glasgow Herald. The speaker was Comrade Shaw, addressing an interested audience in Queen’s Park Recreation Grounds on May Day. While Comrade Shaw was presenting the revolutionary proposition, Mr. Frank Cousins, the official May Day demonstration speaker, was dishing out the sentimentality in the Bandstand in Queen’s Park. Our audience, however, showed their appreciation of the scientific attitude by donating £2 for the purpose of carrying on the good work. It was a grand start to a promising May Day. The Glasgow membership was more active than in recent years, and about 16 members scurried busily about Queen’s Park selling literature to the tune of 11 dozen Socialist Standards. The evening meeting was held in St. Andrew’s Hall, in opposition to the Communist Party and a Skiffle Group competition. A lively audience of 70 …

We Need Socialism

Many agree with our object socialism but disagree with our view of how it should come about. Well, the important thing is that we agree about the socialist objective. We’re sure our differences about methods can be reconciled by discussion and debate. The struggle for socialism is a political one and its object is to achieve the abolition of capitalism and its replacement with socialism by a majority of socialists. On the political front, there is only one kind of action which is consistent with the socialist objective—work to persuade the majority of workers that only socialism can achieve the common ownership of the means of production and the establishment of a system of production for use on the basis of equality and co-operation. There cannot be a long-term objective which can be reconciled with short-term actions to ease the worst effects of capitalism. These "short-term actions”committed to advocating a modified form of capitalism which would surely be hostile to socialist…

Lothian Socialist Discussion (25/7)

Wednesday, 25 July 
7:30pm - 9:00pm
The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, 
17 West Montgomery Place,
Edinburgh EH7 5HA

For years we have witnessed the “success” of a procession of practical efforts to rally workers to socialism by clever policies. We have seen the transformation of these advocates of socialist goals into supporters of the status quo — rebels who have been converted into supporters of the system. Their trademark has become the reforming, improving and administering capitalism. Rebels become transformed into administrators of capitalist states, recruiters for capitalist wars. In the name of building up a socialist movement among the masses, they have emasculated and compromised socialist principles. When elected, they have actually administered capitalism in the only way it can be administered, in the interest of the capitalist class, even to the extent of supporting capitalist wars and crushing workers on strike.

Where are the convinced socialists they were going to make? Wher…

Defeat the Masters

Whenever Leftist literature mention “socialism” it always hastens to say “of course we realise the people are not ready yet for socialism” giving the impression that they are very glad the people are not yet convinced of socialism. ...yet while the people In the U.S.A. are less socialistic minded than European workers, the Party has underestimated the amount of socialist sentiment among the workers and farmers, unclear though these ideas are. Nevertheless, there is a portion of the working people who realise that there is something wrong with the chaotic and rotten capitalist system and think that there could be a system whereby plenty would be produced and distributed for everyone. The Socialist Party, by raising the question and explaining socialism in connection with every injustice and oppression of capitalism could find many a recruit from among these people. The Left say we are calling for immediate socialism and yes are for the building of socialism just as soon as the workers w…