Friday, November 30, 2018

A revolution is coming

The Socialist Party seeks a better world founded on common ownership, a society to meet all mankind’s material needs. Distortions of “socialism” has seen common ownership changed into state slavery. Only when this system is replaced by socialism, by the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution can worker's problems really be solved. The capitalist class through its ownership of wealth holds economic power but apart from a few personal belongings, some small savings and perhaps a house, the vast majority of people own nothing but their labour power, their ability to work. The wealth is produced by those who work by hand and brain, far in excess of the wages they are paid. The surplus goes to the capitalist owners or shareholders as profit. This is capitalist exploitation, the basis of all forms of rent and interest. The capitalist system is inevitably marked by sharp social inequality. Capitalism attacks all the essential rights and liberties that have been won over many years of struggle by the working people. People are divorced from the process of decision-making. Trade unions are under attack. The capitalist class does not only hold political and economic power but increasingly control the mass media and the means of communication, everything that influences the minds and attitudes of the people. Time and again industries have been generously subsidised by the state. The rich grow richer while the living standards of the majority are under constant attack. Today millions of people are living at or below the poverty level. They include those in the families of the lowest paid workers, many of the unemployed and their families, many of the chronic sick, millions of old people and children.

The economic basis of socialism is common ownership of all important means of production and distribution. Politically, power is potentially in the hands of the working people. Socialism will enable the community as a whole to benefit from all increases in productivity, all advances in science and application of technological discoveries, and this without the present fears of redundancy, unemployment, rising prices and cuts in wages. By ending exploitation it allows people to make their own future, and by freeing creative energies ensures that the future will bring economic, social and cultural advances. It will bring a new quality of life for individuals, for society as a whole. That is why socialism is the aim of the Socialist Party. Its aim of establishing the rule of the working people in place of rule by the owners of property. The Socialist Party is agreed upon its object, that object being social and economic freedom and equality for all, through the common ownership and democratic control of all the material means of production and existence. Political action is to break down the domination of the master class and hasten the emancipation of the working class. The Socialist Party has been reproached because we spurn the Labour Party rather than subordinate our socialist goal to mere “Labourism” and reformism. The task of the Socialist Party is the realisation of socialism; and only incidentally to assist in the organisation of the working-class and the amelioration of its conditions in existing society. That is for trade unions is to make the best of existing conditions; to make the best terms for its members, and, secondarily, to help on the emancipation of the working-class. We in the Socialist are consequently charged with being hostile to trade unions because we refuse to subordinate the one function to the other. Far from being against trade unions, we offer our full solidarity to workers organising acting upon sound lines.

The first condition for the success of socialism is that its adherents should explain its aim and its essential characteristics clearly so that they can be understood by everyone. We must do away with many misunderstandings created by our adversaries. The main idea of socialism is simple. The Socialist Party believes that society is divided into two classes by the present form of property-holding, and that one of these classes, the wage-earning is robbed by the owning employing class. Workers possess nothing and can only live by their work, and since, in order to work, they need expensive equipment, a machinery which they have not got, and raw materials and capital, which they have not got, they are forced to put themselves in the hands of another class that owns the means of production, the land, the factories, the machines, the raw material, and accumulated capital in the form of money. And naturally, the capitalist, possessing class, taking advantage of its power, makes the working and non-owning class toil for them. Therefore, in our present society, the work of the workers is not their own exclusive property. Since, in our society founded on intensive production, economic activity is an essential function of every human being, since work forms an integral part of the personality, it may be said that the worker does not even own his own body absolutely. The worker alienates a part of his or her activity, that is, a part of his or her being, for the profit of another class. All the misery, all the injustice and disorder, results from the fact that one class monopolises the means of production and of life and imposes its laws on anotSocialism will realise the ideal “from each according to one’s ability, to each according to one’s need.” Classes will have disappeared, the state will “wither” away, and a new era of human freedom and prosperity will arise.
her class and on society as a whole.  

The purpose of the Socialist Party is to break down the supremacy of the capitalist class. All differences of class must be abolished by transferring the ownership of the means of production and of life, which is to-day a power of exploitation and oppression in the hands of a single class, from that class to the whole community. The abusive rule of the minority must be substituted by the universal co-operation of all citizens associated in the joint ownership of the means of labour and liberty. And that is why the essential aim of socialism, is to transform capitalist property into common property. Socialism is not some Utopian scheme. Capitalism has created the economic conditions for socialism. Today there is social production but no social ownership. Socialism will bring common ownership of social production. It is the next step in the further evolution of this society. Socialism will be a higher level of social development. Socialism will be won through the capture of political power by the working class and the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. In socialism, the working people will take over the economic forces developed by capitalism and operate them in the interests of society. 

 Working people will control the great wealth they produce and they will be fundamentally able to determine their own futures. The end of exploitation of one person by another will be an unprecedented liberating and transforming force. Socialism does not mean government control. The state serves the interests of the ruling capitalist class. Government involvement in the economy is state capitalism. When the government intervenes does so to help, not hurt, capitalism. The Socialist Party vision of socialism is that the means of production – the factories, mines, mills, big workshops, offices, agricultural fields,  transportation system, media, communications, medical facilities, big retailers, etc., will be transformed into common property. Private ownership of the means of production will end. The economy will be geared not to the interest of profit, but to serving human needs. This will release the productive capacity of the economy from the limitations of profit maximisation. A great expansion of useful production and the wealth of society will become possible. Rational economic planning will replace the present chaotic system. Coordinated planning of production will benefit the people. Socialism will open the way for great changes in society. resources would be used to help the weak and vulnerable. The protection of the environment would be ensured. The elimination of private ownership of the means of production and will be cherished as the builders and masters of society. The means of production will be the property of society. Transforming the productive resources of society into common property will enable the working people to assume administration of the economy. Workers will be able to manage democratically their own workplaces through workers’ councils and/or elected administrators.

Socialism will realise the ideal “from each according to one’s ability, to each according to one’s need.” Classes will have disappeared, the state will “wither” away, and a new era of human freedom and prosperity will arise.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Lesson in Marxist Economics

Workers produce things, not directly for themselves or for the personal use of their employer, but for him to sell for money. Things made in this way are called “commodities” – that is, articles produced for sale on the market. The worker receives wages, the employer receives profit – something that was left after the consumer had paid for the articles, and after the capitalist had paid wages, the cost of raw materials and other costs of production.
What was the source of this profit? Indirect robbery. Making the worker work more hours than is necessary for his keep, and appropriating the value of what he makes in those extra hours of work – the “surplus value.” The capitalist uses a part of this surplus value for his own maintenance; the balance is used as new capital – that is to say, he adds it to his previous capital, and is thus able to employ more workers and take more surplus value in the next turnover of production, which in turn means more capital – and so on. The capitalists have a compulsion to accumulate. Capital appears in the form of accumulated money, thrown into circulation in order to increase in value. No owner of money capital will engage in business in order to recuperate exactly the sum initially invested, and nothing more than that. By definition, the search for profit is at the basis of all economic operations by owners of capital. Competition in a capitalist mode of production is competition for selling commodities on the market. While surplus-value is produced in the process of production, it is realised in the process of circulation, i.e. through the sale of the commodities. The capitalist wants to sell at a maximum profit. A capitalist has to strive constantly to get the better of his competitors. This can only occur through operating with more capital. This means that at least part of the surplus-value produced will not be unproductively consumed by the capitalists and their hangers-on through luxury consumption, but will be accumulated, added to the previously existing capital. The logic of capitalism is therefore not only to ‘work for profit’, but also to ‘work for capital accumulation’. ‘Accumulate, accumulate; that is Moses and the Prophets’, states Marx. It is competition which basically fuels this terrifying snowball logic: original investment – accumulation of value (surplus-value) – accumulation of capital – more accumulation of surplus-value – more accumulation of capital.  The growth of the value of capital means that each successful capitalist firm will be operating with more and more capital. Marx calls this the tendency towards growing concentration of capital. But in the competitive process, there are victors and vanquished. The victors grow. The vanquished go bankrupt or are absorbed in a merger. No amount of capitalist ‘self-regulation’, no amount of government intervention, has been able to suppress this cyclical movement of capitalist production. Nor can they succeed in achieving that result. This cyclical movement is inextricably linked to production for profit and private property
 The main weapon in competition between capitalist firms is cutting production costs. More advanced production techniques and more ‘rational’ labour organisation are the main means to achieve that purpose. The basic trend of capital accumulation in the capitalist mode of production is, therefore, a trend towards more and more sophisticated technology. The compulsion for capital to grow, the irresistible urge for capital accumulation, realises itself above all through a constant drive for the increase of the production of surplus-value. Capital accumulation is nothing but surplus-value capitalisation, the transformation of part of the new surplus-value into additional capital. There is no other source of additional capital than additional surplus-value produced in the process of production. The history of the capitalist mode of production is therefore also the history of tighter and tighter control of capital over the workers.
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. Capitalism is an irrational, disorganized operation that enormously rewards crooks, gangsters, exploiters, con-artists, gamblers, stock manipulators, and all manner of corruption. It's a ruthless economy that survives by inflicting anguish on untold billions. The underlying profit system is perpetuated by mostly unknown industrialists and financiers, and the governments they own. The value of a commodity comes from the labor invested in it, including the labor that manufactured the machinery and extracted the raw materials used to create the item. And the boss' profits do not come from his smarts or his capital investment or his mark-up, but from the value created by labor - specifically, surplus-value.
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.
Labor-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.
The only way to eliminate all basic sources of disequilibrium in the economy calls for the elimination of generalised commodity production, of private property and of class exploitation, i.e. for the elimination of capitalism.
The Socialist Party is the champion of the class interests of the working class and constitute a revolutionary party.  The liberation of the working class is only possible through the overthrow of private property of the means of production and rulership, and the substitution of production for profit with social production for use. The Socialist Party recognise that the power of the State is an instrument of class domination and that the social revolution for which the working class strives cannot be realised until it has captured political power.
 Automation, cybernetics, robotics, whatever you call it, is a genuine innovation, not merely a little more of the same. It is the way of producing more, better, with less work. That can spell trouble for our economic system tends to reverse the normal ways of thinking about economic problems.  It is an economy of production for profit rather than for use and thrives on scarcity. The media is filled with reassurances conceding that there will be job-losses and hardships, but in the long run, more jobs will be created, as experts tell us we’ve had this before, and we’ve seen that, in the end, technological innovation led to more jobs instead of fewer. It is clear that capitalism can assimilate rapid technological advances only if it can expand greatly, to invest new hoards of capital and thus re-employ some of the displaced workers. If capitalism succeeds in accomplishing a more complete automation – which is the logical end which industry is heading the effects will be devastating.
Socialists 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 families do today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Against Radical Reformism

The commodity is a product of human labour not intended for the direct consumption of the producers but for exchange. Production of commodities, in the history of human society, is counterposed to the production of use-values. The former is produced for the market, the latter for the direct use of the producers.

The assumption that capitalism can be planned in the interests of society, that reforms in terms of improved living standards etc. can be guaranteed is false. In fact, the capitalist system cannot operate rationally and democratically, leaving society’s resources to be wasted by its subjection to the anarchy of the market. The wastes of capitalism are so pervasive but for example, we have the cost of commercial competition (duplication of brands between rival companies, built-in obsolescence, advertising etc.) Costs of the capitalist financial system (the stock exchange, the banking system, all the financial speculative activity.) Similarly the costs of many of the repressive functions of the state (the military, the police, courts, and prisons.) It is not possible to calculate all resources that would potentially be released by the ending of capitalism. Some benefits would come rapidly others may take longer. Of course another big saving would be the end of the production of luxury goods for the consumption of the capitalist class. The final most glaring cost of capitalism is the waste of the skills. The experience and the talents of all those condemned to unemployment. Fully applying all of society’s resources would allow a massive increase in production even before the long-term advantages of a rational deployment of resources materialised. Before you can get the production for need and not for competitive accumulation, you first have to have a social revolution but this system cannot be stopped by force. It is violent and ruthless beyond the capacity of any people’s resistance movement.  What we want is not workers’ participation in their own exploitation, but society’s control over production, so that they can impose our own priorities, the priorities of production for need. 

 Socialism will be the replacement of a society based on accumulation for profit with one based on production for need. But that will not come about if we wait for it, no matter how long or patiently. There is only one way and that is to put an end to the capitalist system. The abolition of the capitalist mode of production requires the appropriation of the means of production by society.  In socialism, the products cease to be commodities and will be distribution in accordance with the needs of consumers. We in the Socialist Party analysed the absurdity of unemployment when there were want and the cruelty of the suffering in the midst of plenty. But ideas alone do not make a socialist movement. We must take our ideas and put them into life. The political weapon is necessary for the capture of the power of the State, of the legislative and administrative machine and the forces of law and order. It must be used to effect a transfer of the ownership of industry from the capitalist to the community and the co-operative commonwealth. The workers must also be economically organised as to be ready to take over the control and management of industry from the capitalist. The aim of the socialists is to place society in control instead of the capitalist, to organise production for use instead of for profit, and to replace capitalist autocracy by industrial democracy. Instead of the worker being “a hand” depending for his or her livelihood on the willingness of someone to employ him or her, without status and subject to the command of a master, we will be free men and women controlling industry in association with our fellow-workers in the interests of all. The task of eliminating capitalist ownership and control belongs to political democracy; the task of organising the new industrial order belongs to economic democracy. The present social system must pass away, but only when a new society is ready to take its place. That new social system is now in the making. A socialist revolution does not ‘happen’: it must be made by people’s actions and choices, decided the extent of the maturity and activity of the people. We should no longer think of disaster and a cataclysm as the catalyst for revolution. In William Morris’ words, it means the “making of socialists”. 

The aim of the Socialist Party in simple terms is to guide our fellow-workers workers in their struggle for their interests, to teach them what is important and necessary in the political struggle against the capitalist class. To aid in the political development of the working class, to help break away from capitalist politics and capitalist politicians. The Socialist Party is blazing a trail toward the socialist future. We are prepared for it by the conviction that there is no hope for a new and better world except through the achievement of the new social order of socialism, a world of peace, freedom and plenty for all.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Against Capitalists but for Capitalism

Are today’s anti-capitalist movements against capitalist and globalisation moving towards a common vision of a new social system? For sure, they are against the many negative aspects of capitalism – excessive inequality, un/underemployment, alienated working conditions, sweated labour, poverty, misery, disappearing democracy and environmental degradation – all necessary results of capitalism. They view social justice as something that will not require a thorough social restructuring but which can be carried out on a national scale by way of a few palliative reforms implemented by electing a radical-inclined government. The anti-capitalist protesters present a litany of demands, consisting mostly of government legislation and regulations. Some support and encourage cooperatives and worker participation in a firms’ decision-making, that they describe as economic democracy. They argue that eliminating extreme disparities in wealth and reducing the sizes of giant corporations would be to democratise capitalism. These “radicals” aspire to an economy of locally-based small businesses whose ethos would be concerned with the general public welfare. Such a society is considered as a non-capitalist system.  

To members of the Socialist Party, this seems a very strange perspective. Capitalism it as an economic system consisting of three basic components: private ownership of the means of production, a system of exchange in which prices are primarily market-determined, and the condition that most people in the society are wage labourers. How can one be anti-capitalist if you do not confront the concept of private property (sectional ownership) exchange value (the prices system) and the wages system (wage slavery.)

Instead, these anti-capitalists believes that certain features (democratic management, social control of investment) can be tacked on to an existing market economy and the result called non-capitalism. And what is to prevent a small mom and pop store growing into what became Walmart? They will have to resort to the power of the State to impose limitations on enterprises.

Socialism represents the best hope for a human future. In essence, socialism means replacing a capitalist economy of production for profit by production for need. The labour theory of value, which we hold to, refutes the notion that capitalists have “contributed” something other than workers’ labour to the social product, and therefore have earned their profit. Socialism guarantees that associated workers will produce what society needs without squandering or misallocating available labour time from the commercial pressure among competing enterprises to undersell one another. It is socialism which resolve the contradiction between production for exchange and production for use, to satisfy humanity’s needs and wants. Workplace decision-making and/or elected managers will continually strive to lower labour costs and cut corners in the manufacturing process as a survival strategy. Those activists against capitalism have failed to examine the reasons why profits are important under capitalism or explain the imperative of capitalism’s growth tendency to accumulate capital. These profits, or the further capital they acquire in search of future profits, may be used to apply new technology, enter new markets, or encroach on the competitors’ market share. Levels of profits and liquidity are weapons in a war between rivals. This activity is a matter of survival; if one firm does not undertake it, the competition will. Instead many critics of “capitalism” seek to attribute its faults to the flawed nature of the individual fat-cat capitalist’s or CEO’s search for profit simply to their psycho-pathic desire for ever-increasing wealth, a very moralistic biblical answer that it is their love of money which is the root of all evil, while ignoring the economic function of the role they perform.

Today, the anti-capitalist struggle requires an alternative vision to hankering back to the days of the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and romantic nostalgia of some sort of supposedly self-sustaining small communities. What they are aspiring towards in reality is to repeat the whole process of capitalist development again, and because they cannot comprehend the dynamics of capitalism, they are fated to repeat all the same mistakes and errors committed throughout history.

For the world’s working class, there’s but one solution - socialist revolution.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Climate Change Hit Salmon Catches

 Global warming is being blamed for Scotland’s worst salmon season in living memory. 

Some beats on famous rivers like the Spey and the Nith recorded not a single salmon caught during the entire season. Just two salmon were caught on the River Fyne in Argyll this year, where once more than 700 were caught each season. The number of fish caught by anglers has been so low that some estates have stopped selling permits for once-popular beats because there is no fish to catch. Tourism has been hit, sales of salmon tackle have slumped and ghillies have lost their jobs.

 Experts believe rising temperatures blamed on global warming have badly hit the salmon’s feeding grounds with related changes in current patterns also affecting their migration. Survival rates for salmon at sea have fallen as low as 3 per cent with global warming and ocean fishing fleets among the likely causes.

Remembering Black Douglass

When abolitionist Frederick Douglass arrived in Scotland on a speaking tour in 1846 from the United States, 13 years had passed since Britain enacted the Slavery Abolition Act.
Colonial slaves had gradually been freed and Britain's slaveowners were financially compensated for their loss of "property".
Douglass's 19-month visit to Britain and Ireland began in 1845; seven years earlier he had fled slavery himself from the US' slave-owning South for the free North.
"One of the things about his travels in Scotland was his Scottish surname," said Alasdair Pettinger, author of the forthcoming book, Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846: Living an Antislavery Life. "He picked up the fact that Douglas [or Douglass] was a name that resonates in Scottish history."
Douglass often connected with Scottish audiences by referring to the "Black Douglas".
"When he addressed audiences, he quite enjoyed the fact that he could make a connection to the 'Black Douglas', which, being black himself, was quite an opportune connection," said Pettinger. 
He was born around 1818 as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. By the time he arrived in Massachusetts as a fugitive, he needed a new name. Nathan Johnson, a free person of colour who gave him shelter, had been reading a narrative poem by the Scottish author Walter Scott - The Lady of the Lake, which had a character named James Douglas.
Douglass impressed Scottish audiences with powerful speeches opposing slavery in the US, which had yet to end the practice. He worked as Scotland's anti-slavery agent from an address in Edinburgh, where there is now a commemorative plaque in his honour, and toured the country's cities and towns - including Glasgow, Paisley, Dundee and Perth - between January and October 1846. Delighting in the warm Scottish welcome, he described a "conglomeration of architectural beauties" in Edinburgh, and even contemplated settling in the capital with his family.
He demonstrated his literary knowledge of Scotland by visiting the birthplace of Robert Burns. According to Pettinger, the first book Douglass bought after escaping from slavery was an edition of Burns, and he was known to quote the 18th-century Romantic poet as another way of engaging with Scottish audiences.
Douglass arrived amid controversy over the separation of the Free Church from the Church of Scotland. The Free Church required funds, which saw it accept donations from pro-slavery churches in the US. Douglass latched on to the issue and denounced the Free Church by repeatedly calling to "send back the money" on his tour. At Edinburgh's Music Hall, 2,000 people attended his talk.
 The Scottish capitalists' appetite for making money fed off the back of human misery. Scottish merchants and doctors often staffed Africa-bound British slave ships that took enslaved African people and transported them to colonies in the Caribbean.  By around 1800, a staggering 30 percent of slave plantations in Jamaica, where there are still Scottish surnames and place names, were owned by Scots. As Scotland's Tobacco Lords reaped great wealth from their investments, Glasgow boomed. Glasgow, street names mark the city's merchants who amassed extraordinary wealth from the transatlantic slave trade, like Glassford Street, named after Scottish Tobacco Lord, John Glassford.  Other connections include Jamaica Street, named after the island where slave plantations saw the city's industrialists grow fat on the proceeds of sugar and rum.  In Edinburgh, Henry Dundas, a prominent Scottish politician who infamously delayed Britain's abolition of slavery by 15 years, is immortalised by a statue in the capital.
As for Douglass, he visited Scotland again between 1859 and 1860. After his first tour, he arrived back in the US in 1847 a free man, after supporters in England made provisions to buy his liberty.
“In the country, this conflict is not so apparent; but, in cities, such as Baltimore, Richmond, New Orleans, Mobile etc; it is seen pretty clearly. The slave-holder with a craftiness peculiar to themselves, by encouraging the enmity of the poor, labouring white men against the blacks, succeeds in making the said white men almost as much a slave as the black slave himself. The difference between the white slave, and the black slave, is this: the latter belongs to ONE slave-holder, and the former belongs to ALL the slave-holders, collectively. The white slave has taken from his, by indirection, what the black slave had taken from him, directly, and without ceremony. Both are plundered, and by the same plunderers.”

One for all and all for one

What will socialism mean in practice? It will mean that the capitalists will be deprived of their ownership and control of the factories and communications, mills and mines, and transportation. All these means of production which they have used and misused only to pile up profits for the owning employing class will be taken from them. Socialism will make an end of production for profit and will carry on production for use. The needs of all will be met, and new needs and pleasures now denied to the working class will be created and satisfied by a socialist organisation and expansion of production. Workers will produce far better and more willingly under their own management than they do now. For the first time the workers will know that greater productivity will no longer be a threat to their livelihood but will make it possible to raise the whole standard of living of all and shorten the hours of labour.

The capitalist is interested only in production for profit. The fact that people always need shoes and food and shelter is of absolutely no concern to him unless he can realize a profit for himself in producing these articles. If he cannot, he closes down his factories.

The ending of capitalism will put an end at the same time to the threat of wars, to the maintenance of armed forces in preparation for war abroad or suppression of the workers at home. The building of socialism will lead the whole of humanity towards a new world. This is the new world for which many generations of workers have struggled. It is for us in our generation to bring this new world into being. Revolution becomes possible when the working class is not prepared to live any longer under intolerable conditions and has a will to overthrow capitalism. A socialist party is based on the work of those who first taught how society develops and changes, on the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. A socialist party has no interests apart from those of the working class as a whole an so it will not betray the interests of the working class—for it has no other interests. The Socialist Party is distinctively the party, and its vote is distinctively the vote, of the working class. The revolutionary party of the working class cannot be grown overnight. It arises from the class struggle; and it develops with the development of the class struggle, in the fight against capitalism. But the working class must know how to struggle, to have an understanding of the laws of development of society and of the laws of revolution.

There is but one issue from the standpoint of labour, and that is Labour versus Capital. Upon that basis, the political alignment of the future will have to be made. There is no escape from it. For the present, the ignorance of the workers stands in the way of their economic and political solidarity, but this can and will be overcome.

What we aim at is a socialist party to take into membership all class-conscious wage-workers, thus making an injury to one the concern of all. The Socialist Party stands firmly on the bed-rock of the class struggle, and; declares, that so long as the means of production are in the hands of a numerically small class, the workers will be forced to sell their labour-power to them for a bare subsistence wage. Consequently, between these two classes, a struggle must go on until the toilers come together on the political as well as on the industrial field and take over for themselves that which, being the result of their labour, justly belongs to them.  We believe that the economic struggle against the employing class must give way to the mass political struggle against the capitalist state.

Anyone looking for answers to the problems of the workers’ movement will not find them on the Left. Blundering ahead without vision it has stumbled first into this path, then into that, it has made mistake after mistake, and all too often dissipated its strength in hopeless struggles which could have been avoided had it possessed socialist theory to guide its footsteps. 

 Class war between employers and workers over the product of labour goes on without letup. The employers will continue to try to destroy the workers’ standard of living and break the unions; the workers will continue to build their unions and to advance their interests.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Our world today

The Socialist Party seeks the abolition of the private ownership of the means of production and the elimination of competition and production for exchange value and its replacement by democratic planning and production for use with the people’s management of the economy and society. Socialism will be based on the abolition of wage labour, the elimination of classes, the disappearance of the state and the full development of the productive forces in the context of world socialism, and “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.”

 Capitalism itself has created the objective basis of socialism, within the old class-economic relations. It comprises the collective forms of production, a cooperative mass organisation of labour within industry and the abundance modern industry is capable of producing where collective forms of production, and their accompanying technical-economic changes, has resulted in the enormous increase in the productivity of labour and the creation of abundance. The abundance makes possible and necessary socialist distribution of goods, a socialisation of consumption to correspond with the objective socialisation of production. Capitalism rejects this possibility and necessity: it means its own abolition. Last but not least the proletariat, a property-less class.

Socialisation requires expropriation of private ownership and replacement of production for profit with production for use: new social relations of production. Rational planning of industry is possible, with the exclusive aim of meeting community needs. As this means the abolition of capitalism, it is forcibly resisted by the dominant class interests. The clash of the old and the new becomes a struggle of classes, a struggle for power between the classes representing the old and the new, the capitalists and the workers. To maintain its ascendancy, the capitalist class must repress the forces of production and the movement toward socialism. It becomes clear, particularly as the class interests of the proletariat are realisable only by destruction of the older relations of production. This means the proletariat cannot realise socialism without abolishing itself as a class to be replaced by the association of organised producers.

The struggle for power aims to get control of the State. The State is an organ of class rule and suppression, under capitalist control, enmeshed in all the class-economic and exploiting relations of the existing order. Wresting control of the state from the capitalist class makes it possible for the working class to overthrow capitalism and suppress the old ruling class, to destroy the old social relations and create the new. The socialist revolution is much more fundamental than the earlier bourgeois revolution. Where the latter replaced older forms of property and exploitation with newer forms, the former annihilates all forms of private property and exploitation. There can be no compromise between capitalism and socialism. The compromise between feudalism and capitalism revealed their mutual exploiting identity. The aristocracy merged with the new men who rose to power as a result of industrial exploitation of mineral resources on the great landed estates and many nobles became pioneers of capitalist enterprise. An older class adapted itself to the rule of the new and became part of the new system. But capitalists cannot be absorbed into the new socialist order; hence there can be no compromise between socialism and capitalism.

Capital and labour interests of each of them is fundamentally different and exclusive. Capital is interested in production for profit, labour in production for use. Capital is based upon a constantly increasing exploitation of labour, in order to maintain its profit; labour constantly resists this exploitation. There is and can be no such thing as a “legitimate profit,” inasmuch as all profit is derived from paying workers less than the value they add to the product. There is and can be no such thing as a “fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” inasmuch as wages are the payment for only one part of the day’s work, the other part of which the worker is compelled to contribute to the employer in the form of surplus-value, or profit. Labour cannot get away from the fundamental fact that capital always seeks to intensify the exploitation of labour by reducing wages, increasing the work-day, or speeding-up production, or by all three at once; and labour always seeks to raise its wage and working standards. Capital always seeks to increase its profits, which can be done only by exploiting labour; labour always seeks to resist exploitation, which can be done only at the expense of profits. These are fundamental economic facts. Under capitalism, nothing that all the capitalists, or the whole government, or all the labour leaders, or all the workers, or a combination of all these, will ever do, can succeed in wiping out these facts.

The world to-day is in the hands of billionaires - owners of the biggest corporations, the biggest banks, and the biggest media; in short, nearly everything we use or need. These billionaires, these capitalists, not only own or control the means whereby we work and live but, in fact, control the whole governing machine. They pull the strings. And they use their power to make themselves richer and richer—at our expense. They hire workers to make profit out of their labour; their capitalist production is for profit, not for use: and to get more profit they slash wages, carry through speed-up and worsen conditions. This mad race for profit ends in a crisis; and then they try to get out of the crisis — at our expense. Look at the result. Poverty, insecurity and misery making their inroads in the homes of millions of workers: low wages, sweated labour to the point of physical exhaustion, is the lot of the workers in the factories with increases in the number of accidents, sickness, and a high death-rate amongst working-class mothers and babies. This is world to-day for working men, women and their families.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Red Salute

The decisions on production are made, not by consumers, what the people need and want; not by the workers, what the workers would like to make; not by scientists and technicians who know best of all, perhaps. The main decisions on production under capitalism—what shall be produced, how, where, and when—are made by financial magnates remote from the factories, remote from the people, whose sole motive is profit in each case.  Marxists call it the anarchy of capitalist production and the result is wasteful competition. Consider the waste represented by the conspicuous consumption of those seeking to emulate capitalist social parasites and the huge share of the product of labour that goes to those non-producers. That is an absolute waste. There is the waste of advertising, trying to get us to favour one identical product over another, or to buy something we don’t need and that won’t do us any good, and then buy something else to overcome the effects. That is pure waste. Then there’s the waste of human material, which really shouldn’t be squandered. Just think of all the people prostituting their talents and skills under capitalism. There are millions of such people, engaged in all kinds of useless, non-productive occupations in this present society. That’s not all. Consider the waste of militarism and all the wars. All that is an economic waste, inseparable from the present system. Finally, the costliest of all the results of the anarchy of capitalist production is the waste of economic crises—the periodic shutting down of production because the market has entered a recession—an unavoidable cyclical occurrence under capitalism.  Workers in factories, eager to produce what people require, aren't allowed to work and produce them, are put out into the street unemployed and now needing the work so that they could live.
What will the people of the future think of a society where the workers lived in constant fear of unemployment, in a world of abundance but with poverty and deprivation all around because of this monstrous squandering of the people’s energies and resources, which is the direct result of the anarchy of capitalist production. Just ending all this colossal waste—to say nothing of a stepped-up rate of productivity which would soon follow—the socialist reorganisation of the economy will bring about a startling improvement of the people’s living standards. The first condition will to stop production for sale and profit and organise planned production for use, eliminating all those conflicting interests of private owners of competing businesses. When people regard themselves as citizens of the world, concerned with all the affairs of the world and all its peoples, and seek fraternal association with them on the basis of equality, they will ask themselves If we’re all doing well and living good, producing more than we really need in an eight-hour day—then why the hell should we work so long?” This question will arise in the councils of the workers in the shops at the bottom and will be carried up through their delegates all the way to the top of the government. And the logical answer will go along with the question: “Let’s shorten the working day. Why should we work eight hours when we can produce all we need in four?” And there will still be abundance and superabundance. That may appear to be a simple answer to a complicated question, but many things will be simplified when the anarchy of capitalist production for profit is replaced by planned production for use.
 By a simple act of human solidarity, decided freely and voluntarily, we will put the world on a firmer foundation with a system of socialist cooperation. That will be a very simple and natural and easy thing to do because socialism will have the means, the abundance, the productivity for the benefit of all. When there is plenty for all, there is no material basis for a privileged bureaucracy and the danger disappears. From the very beginning,  we will have real workers’ democracy because democracy is not only better for ourselves, for our minds but is also better for production - economic democracy when all the workers participate in the decision-making,  bringing together their experience and proposals. Flaws in work-plans will be corrected right away by the hands-on knowledge of the workers, bad administrators will be recalled by the democratic process. An educated and conscious working class will insist on democracy in all spheres of communal life from A to Z,  in all cultural activities. Every day you can have something to say about what you’re doing and how it should be done. That’s what really counts so not to tolerate bureaucratic tyrants of any kind. All the repressive features of the State will wither away and die out for lack of function. There will be no class to repress. All will be free and equal. The government over men and women will be replaced by the administration of things.
That is an indication of social revolution. We, in the Socialist Party, strive to help it along, feel victory is on our side, for we are the future. The goal is worthy of anything we can do for it.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Mankind and Socialism

Under the capitalist system, a few crumbs must be given to sections of the workers to keep them sweet.  Capitalism, with its system of production for profit – its system of international rivalry for domination of foreign territories and trade, produces one war after another. The capitalists keep millions subjugated and exploited, by its wage system. This system cannot give peace and plenty to its people but socialism will. Socialism means production for use and not for profit. Socialism means internationalism. It means that one working class is not pitted against others. It means that one worker is not pitted against another in the fight for a job. It means that one worker is not cutting the throat of the other by producing at lower wages than the other. The reformers all seek to do the impossible: make capitalism work. Untold misery, poverty, and unemployment are the living facts that prove that capitalism doesn’t work – not for the working class, anyway.  Reformers refuse to see the truth: that capitalist society does not function to achieve social goals the community as a whole regards as desirable, but rather operates to achieve the goals considered desirable by a small part of society, the ruling capitalist class, which places its profits as the paramount concern of society. Society does not exist to satisfy the requirements of the community but the profit needs of the capitalist class. The government’s purpose is to ensure the rule of the capitalist class, and by its policies to assure their returns. When the needs of the great majority of society come into conflict with the capitalist system and the capitalist class, the government’s role is to ascertain that the latter triumphs. Capitalist class parties may differ and sometimes do differ deeply on how to achieve the purpose of the state, but despite these differences, all capitalist parties represent the capitalist class.

 Socialism is based upon the planned organisation of production for use by means of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, is the abolition of all classes and class differences. Production would not be organised on the basis of the blind push and pull of the capitalist market but in accordance with the needs of the people. Production for profit would give way to production for use. The waste of capitalist competition would be overcome. Capitalism produces bombs for the destruction of homes just as readily as it constructs homes. It produces luxurious palaces while millions live in shacks. Its motive of production was, is, and always will be profit. It is not the needs of the people that dictate its production.

If, however, production were carried on for use, to satisfy the needs of the people, the question immediately arises: Who is to determine what is useful and what would satisfy these needs? Production for use, by its very nature, demands constant consultation of the people, and the democratic direction by the people would guide the course of production and distribution. Decisions made by committees of planners, no matter how well-intended and benevolent they might be, cannot plan production for the needs of the people for it would lead to the regimentation of the people and would be for the workers, but not of and by the workers. Instead of being regulated by the blind market, as under capitalism, production would be regulated by a bureaucracy. Production for use, aimed at satisfying the needs of society and of freeing all the people from class rule, would be impossible. Democratic control, the continual extension of democracy, is, therefore, an indispensable necessity in socialist society. Socialism is not a blueprint for society that exists in the minds of some people. It is a practical necessity. It is the direction that working people must take in order to save society from disintegration. The Socialist Party intends to make our fellow-workers conscious of this necessity and to work for the realisation of the goal. The workers cannot rid themselves of their sufferings without abolishing capitalism and proceed with the complete reorganisation of society. The abolition of private ownership would remove the last barrier to the development of production. Production would be organised, rationally carried on and expanded, and aimed at satisfying the needs of society. Men and women would no longer be wage-slaves of the employers. Every introduction of new technology and an increase in productivity would bring comfort and even luxury of all; and an increase in everyone’s free time, to devote to the cultural and intellectual development of humankind. Mankind will not live primarily to work; we will work primarily to live.

Even today, with all the fetters that capitalism has placed upon production, industry properly organised can produce the necessities of life for all in a working day of four hours or less. Organised on a socialist basis, applying robotics and automation we are talking of a society of leisure and abundance. There is free access for all. There is ample opportunity for the intellectual development of all. There will be no need of a public coercive force to maintain the power of one class over another, to protect the property of one from the assaults of the other, to assure the continuation of oppression and exploitation. There will be the simple administration of things, but no longer the rule of one over another. The State itself will die out for lack of any social need or function. 

Mankind will prove that class conflict, poverty, hunger war, and oppression are not unavoidable and that capitalism and the state are not indispensable. In the socialist society we will show that abundance, freedom, and equality are not only possible but the natural condition for the new history of humanity.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

If you believe in the socialist vision, you must become part of the socialist movement

Society rests at present upon the basis of private ownership of the essentials of existence. The possessing class is able to dictate terms to the non-owning class. Because the owners are few and the non-owners are many they can only conserve their monopoly by manipulating the minds of the majority as well as the machinery of political administration. Any struggle to end the exploitation involved in this system must begin as a struggle to undo in the minds of the working class from the bonds woven by the boss and his agents with intent to keep the slave satisfied with his or her wage slavery. Therefore all revolutionary emancipation struggles must begin with is what is called “education.”

Socialism” means the will of the workers imposed as a system controlling all economic life in the interest of the workers—and to the destruction of every other class-interest. To understand socialism, one must necessarily understand the present social system; i.e., capitalism.

Under capitalism, society is divided into hostile classes: an owning capitalist class, whose members have ownership of the various parts of the instruments of wealth production.
This includes the land, the factories, the transport, the communications, the mines etc., upon which the whole of the people is dependent for their existence.

A working class, whose members possess nothing but their labour power, which is useless to the worker unless he can have access to the raw material and the machinery of production, which is owned by the capitalist class.

This being so, the worker, in order to live, must sell his or her labour power to the capitalist or capitalist concern. This labour power that the worker sells is used for the production of wealth, for which the worker receives what is termed wages. Wages are the price of labour power; that is to say, the capitalist will have to return to the worker the number of necessities he must consume while exerting his labor power. This amount will vary with the value of these necessities and the standard of living, but it will invariably be less than the amount of goods his or her labour power produces. This is a necessity, not alone of this system, but of any social system of wealth production in which only a part of the members of society are actually engaged in useful labor; so that when a person sells his or her labour power a number of hours for a certain wage, the amount of necessaries to produce the wages is always smaller than the amount of labour which the employer receives from him, the difference between what the worker receives as wages and what his labor power produces during his working time, constitutes the sole source of unearned income, i.e., capitalist profits. Here we see laid bare the secret and mysterious source of the wealth of those, who, without producing themselves, obtain possession of the wealth of society.

Capitalism had its beginnings in the development of industry and commerce. With the application of machinery to productive industry, a tremendous change has followed in the whole superstructure of society. With the development of the hand tool into the machine, the independent mechanic has been forced into the factory, divorced from the means of production, a dependent on the machine owner.

As the machinery increases in size and cost, so does it squeeze out the weaker capitalist, whilst the stronger ones unite into combines and trusts; so that we see competition increasing among the workers, whilst among the capitalists' combination is the rule.
Thus does capitalism go steadily onward; first an individual competitive state, then on to collectivism, less and less competitive. Surely this cannot last forever! A point is reached where it becomes unbearable for the workers. Collective labour and increasing competition among them clash with the collective capitalism and increasing combination of the capitalist. The contradiction must be abolished. The expropriators must be expropriated, the workers who collectively use the tools of production must also collectively own them. Classes in society abolished and a new order of society inaugurated in which poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality and slavery to freedom.

How will this transformation from capitalism to socialism be accomplished, and who will bring it about?

Socialists maintain that social progress since written history has always been through the struggle of classes with opposing interests. These interests to-day are represented by the capitalists, who are the rulers and the workers who are the ruled.

Hence, the next step in social progress must lie in the victory of the workers.

The capitalists, however, are powerfully entrenched behind the state, which is the powers of government; this includes the legal, civil, and armed forces; this is the political power controlled by the capitalists in their interests, viz., to preserve their ownership in the means of wealth production. But in the hands of the class-conscious workers, these would be used as an instrument for their emancipation.

Therefore, to accomplish their universal freedom, the workers must be organised into a political party of their class with a full knowledge of their conditions, and the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, viz., the emancipation of the workers from slavery and establishment of a new order of society based upon the ownership of the means of wealth production, by and in the interest of the whole community. With this object in view, we solicit the support of all members of the working class. Our slogan must be: "Workers of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains, a world to gain."