Thursday, February 28, 2019

Our Immediate Demands

“Our demands most moderate are – We only want the earth!” James Connolly

In the last few months, vast sections of the working class have struggled against and struck blows against the capitalist class. The history of the working class has been a history of unremitting struggle against exploitation and oppression by the capitalist class. The working class come into existence by the forcible driving of the peasants from the land. The landless peasants were then forced to work at starvation wages in the factories. The ruling class, while in the main using lies and deception to exploit and oppress the workers of our countries as well as working people all over the world, has never shrunk from brutalising workers. But where there is oppression there is always resistance and the working class has never been cowed. The spirit of the workers has always been never to capitulate. The working class has time and time again supported the struggles of its class brothers and sisters around the world. Why then has the mighty force of the working class so filled with the spirit of rebellion and international brotherhood, never overthrown their oppressors and exploiters.

Working men and women, do not forget for an instant that the great struggle in which you are engaged is a class conflict, and that the lines must be sharply drawn in every battle, whether on the economic or the political field. The slavery of your class is responsible for your chains and never until your entire class is emancipated can you escape from the iron grasp of your capitalist masters. As far the class struggle is concerned, there is no good capitalist and no bad worker. Every capitalist is your enemy and every worker, your friend. You have got to stand and act as one. Solidarity is our strategy, and socialism points unerringly the way. Day by day the class-conscious socialist movement increases in power. It scorns all compromise. It firmly holds every inch it conquers. It cannot be intimidated nor frightened by threats. It is pursuing its historic course and come what may, it will press on and on until the goal is reached and labour rules the world.

Under chattel-slavery the slave was bought and sold and became the property of the buyer. Under the system of wage-slavery, to which workers of all races in all capitalist countries are subjected at present, the LABOUR or LABOUR POWER of the individual worker is bought, a wage is paid to the worker by the employer, and the employer only takes an interest in the welfare of his workers in so far as it helps him to make profits out of them.

Under chattel-slavery the slave was oppressed and exploited by the slave master and slave rebellions took place time and again led by the instinctive surge to freedom. The wage-slaves — workers of today — are exploited and oppressed by the capitalist employers. As under the system of wage-slavery, so under capitalist slavery, workers are constantly struggling for better conditions and for the ABOLITION OF CAPITALIST SLAVERY in all countries. The struggles of the industrial workers and oppressed colonial peoples take on more and more a bitterly conscious fight against exploitation and imperialist slavery, for that OVERTHROW of this FINAL slave system of the government and for the establishment of a society controlled by the workers and all toilers. The emancipation of humanity from all forms of slavery and oppression is the historical TASK OF THE WORKING CLASS AND CAN ONLY BE REALISED BY THIS CLASS. The capitalists freed the chattel-slaves in order to transform them into wage-slaves; the WAGE-SLAVES WILL FREE THEMSELVES, IN ORDER TO FREE HUMANITY. Working people have shown that their revolutionary spirit of rebellion cannot be crushed. The capitalist class have NOT succeeded in quelling the revolutionary spirit of the working people. It is necessary to take the struggle forwards, to fight for the complete overthrow of the capitalist system of exploitation, and for the establishment of the working class as the ruling class. There are no solutions within the capitalist system. The spirit of our time is revolutionary and growing more so every day. A new social order is struggling into existence. The old economic foundation of society is breaking up and the social fabric is beginning to totter. The capitalist system is doomed. The signs of change confront us upon every hand.

The Socialist Party is the only party that stands against the present system and for the rule of the people; 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 and the few are allowed to own the world’s industries, the toiling masses will be struggling in poverty. Private ownership and competition have had their day. The Socialist Party stands for common ownership and co-operation. The one is Capitalism; the other Socialism. The one industrial despotism, the other industrial democracy. 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 all children born into the world shall have equal opportunity to grow up, to be educated, to have healthy bodies and minds, and to develop and freely express the best there is in them in mental and physical achievement. We demand complete control of industry by the workers; we demand all the wealth they produce for their own enjoyment, and we demand the Earth for all the people.
A rat race is for rats. Were not rats. Were human beings.” Jimmy Reid

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Socialist Party Condemns Capitalism

“The monopoly of land drives the worker from the farm into the factory, and the monopoly of machinery drives him from the factory into the street, and thus crucified between the two thieves of land and capital, the Christ of Labour hangs in silent agony.” Ernest Jones (Chartist)

Socialism has come to be applied to any activity of the state or municipality in an economic direction, irrespective of what the nature of the activity or the state concerned is. Hence any industrial or commercial enterprise undertaken by a governmental body is labelled Socialism nowadays. It does not mean socialism. The State is an agent of the possessing class and industrial or commercial undertakings run by governmental bodies are run in the interests of the ruling class. Their aim in all cases is to show a profit, in the same way as any other ordinary capitalist enterprises. This profit accrues to the possessing class in the form of relief from taxation, interest on loans, etc. In other words, these industrial undertakings are run for profit and not for use and their employees are little, if at all, better off than those of private employers. For socialists, poverty and squalor are unmitigated evils. Socialism involves a complete revolution in all spheres of human life. After workers have overthrown the capitalists we will establish socialism. The capitalists use their state to protect their interests. The enormous waste of capitalism will be abolished.

The “lesser of two evils” line is exactly what the name implies – choosing the lesser evil within the existing social system. The type of person who pursues this line are people who don’t understand that the real alternative is socialism. For them to pick the lesser evil is progressive, that is, to the extent that they think it is anti-capitalist, and pro-working class. For socialists to pursue this policy by not pointing out the true alternative to capitalism is mistaken. They betray their duty to the working class.

Workers are wage slaves who survive only by selling their labour power to the capitalists. Capitalists own the means of production and pay workers for their labour power. But the working class produces far more wealth than it receives in income. The difference is the source of capitalist profits. The worker is employed only as long as he or she helps create profit for the employers. The capitalist class owns and controls the means of production, distribution and communication. The working class owns none of these, and therefore workers must sell their labour power to the capitalist for wages in order to live. The worker creates a product of value, part of which is returned to him as wage, and the rest of which is taken from him by the capitalists as profit. Thus, is created the basic antagonistic contradiction between worker and capitalist, since the interest of one is, and has to be, directly opposed to the interest of the other. This most fundamental of contradictions will not end until capitalism with its private ownership and/or control of the means of production is itself ended, and replaced with socialism. The only way to abolish the capitalist exploitation of labour and the decadent society built on this foundation is to destroy the state power of the exploiting class

Without the trade unions the workers would be a mere rabble of broken-spirited and utterly degraded slaves, and there would be little hope of their redemption. Trade unions did almost magical work in giving them solidarity, strength, and political effectiveness.  Strikes have slightly increased wages, slightly reduced the hours, and slightly improved the general condition of the toilers, and may continue to do so in the future, but almost certainly to a lesser extent than formerly. But the Socialist Party always wishes to make very clear and convincing is, that no strike in the past has dealt any effective blow at the system that persistently crushes workers down; and no strike can emancipate themselves.

The Socialist Party stands for the overthrow of capitalism. It demands a new form of society run by the working people. In socialist society, all means of production will be common property. There will be no classes and no class struggle. The consequences of class divided society – racism, national chauvinism, sexism, will all have disappeared. There will be no wars, no armies, and no need for weapons of war, which will become historical curiosities. There will be no distinction between mental and manual work. Socialism will be a life of material abundance. We appeal to you then, fellow-workers, to rally around the only banner that symbolises hope for you– the crimson banner of socialism. Cast off all your old political affiliations, and organise and vote to reconquer society in the interests of its only useful class – the workers. Let your slogan be, the common ownership of the means of life, your weapons the industrial and political organisation of the wage slaves to conquer their own emancipation. Freedom lies within the grasp of the wage slave, we need but the mind and knowledge to seize it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Always, there are groups in protest against some aspect or other of this social system. CND’ers come into this category. They leave intact the very thing which spawned nuclear weapons  –the private property basis of Capitalism –so their cause is hopeless.
Supposing the Bomb could be banned. If two Nations, possessing the necessary technical knowledge, should quarrel seriously enough over the things wars are really fought for – markets, sources of raw materials, strategic Bases, etc. –and even supposing they commenced fighting with ‘conventional,’ ‘moral’ weapons, would not the losing side set its scientists to producing nuclear weapons in order to stave off defeat? If history is anything to go by, the side which was winning would use the Bomb and justify this by claiming it had brought hostilities to a speedier conclusion.
It would require several volumes to deal with every ‘solution’ which CND’ers have dreamt-up over the years. From World Government or alignment with the ‘uncommitted Nations’ (some strange bedfellows in this lot), to ‘disengagement’ and the farcical ‘Steps Towards Peace,’ every straw has been clutched at.
Anyway, even if it were possible, Capitalism minus the Bomb would not solve the problem of war; a world based on the common ownership of the means of wealth production, alone, will do that. So, being after something fundamentally different, we have no alternative but to oppose CND.
One final point. We do not deny the sincerity of many campaigners; the energy and ingenuity they displayed in tackling a job they considered important provided further proof that once working men and women get on the right track Capitalism’s days are numbered.
 Vic Vanni, 
Socialist Standard
April 1966

The heart-break of capitalism, the joy of socialism

The Socialist Party believes that only when the whole of the working class rid ourselves of the employing class, their parties and their system, can the people stand up’ and build socialism to begin to control their lives. Socialism is not the conquest of the state by a political party: it is the conquest of society by working people through industrial and political action. Socialism is not State Capitalism, which is simply a means of protecting and promoting capitalist interests and more easily oppressing the workers. Socialism is not government ownership or control of industry. Socialism is the transformation of the State, not the enlarging of its functions. 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 development of mankind. Socialism will be won through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the capture of political power by the working class. With socialism, the working people will take over the economic forces developed by capitalism and operate them in the interests of society. This will bring a qualitative improvement in the lives of the working people. Because working people will control the great wealth they produce, 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 aims at giving a meaning to people's life and work; at enabling their freedom, their creativity, and the positive aspects of their personality to flourish. These are not aspirations about some hazy and distant future. Socialism is autonomy, people's conscious direction of their own lives. Exploiting societies persist because those whom they exploit help them to survive. Socialist society implies people's self-organisation of every aspect of their social activities. Socialism implies that the organisation of a society will have become transparent to its members. Inside socialism, people will dominate the workings and institutions of society, instead of being dominated by them. Socialism will therefore have to realise democracy for the first time in human history. Socialist society will provide a socialist solution to the problem of centralisation.

The word ‘socialism’ is more than the name merely for a new system of economic relationships. Socialism means the ending of exploitation of man by man, a society without class antagonisms, in which the people themselves control their means of life and use them for their own happiness. Socialism is not inevitable. What has been termed its ‘inevitability’ consists in this, that only through socialism can human progress continue. But there is not and cannot be any absolute deterministic inevitability in human affairs, since men and women make their own history and chooses what to do. What is determined is not their choice, but the conditions under which it is made, and the consequences when it is made. The meaning of scientific socialism is not that it tells us that socialism will come regardless, but that it explains to us where we stand, what course lies open to us, what is the road to life.

Socialism means a class-free society, and a class-free society means that a privileged minority of the population are not in a position to enjoy the national wealth, while the majority live only on their labour to produce it. It means especially that privileged individuals who do have excess income cannot invest it in the instruments of production with which others work, thus reducing them to a position of fixed subservience. It means an end of rent, profit, and interest on stocks and bonds, an end of “surplus value,” an end of the exploitation of labour. Marx placed at the very basis of his system the assertion that the workers being the lowest class in society, could not emancipate itself without emancipating all mankind, and he described socialism in consequence as “the society of the free and equal.” The Socialist Party desires the realisation of a humane human community.

The Socialist Party rejects the policy of state ownership and rejects the idea that state capitalism is a phase of socialism. The larger part of reformist propaganda and practice in the past have been implementing state capitalism, often misleadingly designated as “state socialism”. Whenever the state nationalised an industry, whenever the state imposed its control over industry, workers naively accepted this as anti-capitalism, and as a symptom of the growing importance of socialism and the transformation of capitalism into socialism. This is not so. What was passing away is not capitalism, but laissez faire capitalism. What has come about has not been socialism nor an “installment” of socialism, but a brutal and typical expression of capitalist power and supremacy. Socialism is not state ownership or management of industry, but the opposite. When socialism conquers, its first act is to abolish the state, its parliamentary regime and forms of activity. State capitalism is not socialism and never can become socialism. The institutional developments of capitalism do not bring, they never can bring, socialism. State capitalism accentuates and sharpens class divisions, by arraying against working people all sections of the ruling class merged and united. State capitalism regulates and directs capital and labour. The working-class stands against the unified capitalist regime. The workers set themselves against the state, the state against the workers; the struggle becomes more intense and general, the antagonisms more acute and irreconcilable. As the state imposes its control over industry, the working-class challenges that control, contests the authority and force of the state, and itself gradually acquires the power of control over industry. The challenge under the impulse of events develops into the social revolution. The social revolution becomes a fact when the people has acquired sufficient consciousness of its control over production to establish that control in practice.

A lure is offered to the workers to “democratize” state capitalism, transforming state capitalism by “democratizing” the government, placing it in the hands of “the people.” State capitalism is fundamentally and necessarily undemocratic; it cannot be democratised, it must be abolished by the proletarian revolution. The coming of Socialism is a process of violent and implacable struggles, not a dress parade of amicable transformation. The concept of “transformation” in practice doesn’t transform capitalism, it transforms the workers’ movement into a caricature of socialism and a prop of capitalism. Socialism rejects “co-operation” with the capitalist, in industry as in politics. One phase of state capitalism is the policy of trying to maintain industrial peace, and this is attempted alternately by coercion and cajolery. One means of cajolery is an arrangement by which the workers may “co-operate” with the employers in the consideration of matters affecting a particular industry or factory. The state tries to compel this co-operation, making it an impliedly compulsory affair, and it becomes the function of the government to bring the workers under the sway of the capitalist in ways that strike at the independent action of the workers. Autocracy in government is supplemented by a sham democracy, by apparently giving the workers a share in the regulation of their conditions, but which actually is an illusion, as the power of the employers sets it at nought. The purpose is to run the militant spirit of the workers into the ground, to disorganise their independent action.

Monday, February 25, 2019

New TV channel launches

Capitalism is a system of exploitation

To make revolution and put an end to capitalism, the working class must have a clear strategic plan. They must determine what the nature of the struggle is, who are the enemies and who are friends that can be rallied to the cause. The Socialist Party’s concept of socialism, is not that it is an arbitrary constructed preconceived plan, but rather another stage of social evolution. Those who will design and build the socialist society of the future will be the socialist generations themselves. The people in the future society will be wiser than we are. The Socialist Party can only point out the general direction we should take, and any more we should not try. The vision of a new world and what the future socialist society will look like is a fascinating topic for speculation and laying out some of the broad outlines of probable future development is possible but not the fine details. Socialism will undoubtedly bring a transformation in human relationships. Socialism is based on one great premise – sharing the abundance of wealth which we can create. Socialism cannot be inaugurated by decree, nor can it be established by any government, no matter how admirable. Socialism must be built by the people, must be made by every worker. Where the chains of capitalism are forged, there must the chain be broken.

A handful of capitalists control our world and make vast profits on the labour of the working people and the natural resources of the planet. All the major means of production - the factories, forests, farms, fisheries and mines are in the hands of a few capitalists. These people at the centre of the multinational corporations, lord over huge personal fortunes accumulated from the backs of the working class. Capitalism is a system of exploitation. A handful of parasites live off the sweat and toils of the workers and could not care less about them. The capitalists get rich from the fruit of our labour.  At the end of the week a worker collects their pay. The capitalists claim this is a fair exchange. But it is highway robbery. In reality, workers get paid for only a small part of what they produce. The rest, the surplus value, goes straight into the hands of the capitalists. The bosses get rich, not because they have "taken risks" or "worked harder," as they would have us believe. The more they keep wages down and get fewer workers to do more work, the more they can steal from us and the greater their profits. For working people the future is less and less certain.

Capitalism is a system of international exploitation. If the bosses think they can make more profit somewhere else, they just close their factories and throw the workers out on the street. The monopolies invest their capital abroad, as "transnational" corporations. They penetrate foreign markets and plunder the natural resources of developing countries. They also attempt to dominate other countries politically and to a degree militarily. This international exploitation brings enormous profits for the big corporations, and wretched lives for the people. Capitalism is a system of economic anarchy and crisis. Monopoly capitalism is plagued by periodic economic crises, such as recessions, which are becoming more serious and complex. It is the very nature of each monopoly to try to maximise its profits by pushing production and cutting expenses, especially the pay of workers. Economic crises are aggravated by speculation, hoarding and other schemes of the bankers, financiers and industrialists. Each tries to profit in the short run, but their individual greed eventually throws the whole system into turmoil, leading the working class to suffer. Capitalism is an obstacle to the further advancement of the material well-being of society. It is unjust, wasteful, irrational and increasingly unproductive. In the face of economic crisis, capitalists have always tried to put the burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of working people. It has tried wage freezes, social contracts, cuts in benefits, increases in taxation, cuts in expenditure on health and education, and handouts to business. People live in misery so a small clique of very wealthy individuals can live in luxury. The idea that everyone can get rich under this system is a lie invented by the rich themselves. Under capitalism, the only way to get rich is to trample on someone else. There is only room for a few capitalists - at any time the great majority must work and be robbed. This is why workers have only one choice: either submit to this wage slavery or resist.

Working people make up the overwhelming majority of the world's population. The problems of capitalism - exploitation, anarchy of production, speculation and crisis, oppression of nationalities and women, and the whole system of injustice - arise from the self-interest of the tiny group of monopoly capitalists. In nearly every country they are the oppressed majority, labouring to support the luxury of a handful of exploiters. Capitalism has created the economic conditions for socialism. Today the whole system of production is socially interdependent, but it is controlled by private hands. In place of private control of social production there must be common ownership if society's problems are to be addressed. Socialism will be won through the overthrow of capitalism. Having overthrown the capitalist class, working people will take over the economic forces developed by capitalism and operate them in the interests in society. Socialism will be a better society, one which will present unprecedented possibilities for the improvement of peoples' lives. Because working people will control the great wealth they produce, they will be fundamentally able to determine their own futures. The end of exploitation of one person by another will be a resounding liberating and transforming force. Socialism will not mean government ownership and  control. Today we often hear of government control of the railways or post office as " socialism". But the state serves the interests of the ruling class. When the government intervene in the present economy, it does so to help, not hurt, capitalism.

With socialism, the economy will be planned to serve human needs rather than simply profit and luxury consumption by the rich. This will release the productive capacity of the economy from the limitations of profit maximisation. A great expansion in useful production and the wealth of society will become useful. Rational planning will replace anarchy. Coordination and planning of the broad outlines of production by public agencies will aim at building an economy that will be stable, benefit the people and steadily advance. Redirecting the productive capacity to human needs will require a variety of economic methods and experiments. There could be a combination of central planning and local coordination. Factories and other productive facilities will be modernised to eliminate backbreaking labour and ecological damage. With socialism, goods and services will be distributed on the basis of from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. Transforming the main productive enterprises from private to common ownership will allow workers to run democratically their own work places through workers' councils and elected administrators, in place of the myriad of management supervisors.

The capitalists are composed of the top owners, large investors and CEOs of the multinational corporations that control the economic life. Against this minority stands the vast majority of the rest of the population. The conditions of life for 99% of the people cannot fundamentally improve without the overthrow of the capitalist ruling class. The most resolute opponent of the capitalists is the working class. The working class is daily thrown into conflict with the capitalist class. Because of its social position, it is the most revolutionary class and will be the principal and leading force in the socialist revolution. The most fundamental of all human activities is material production. If we did not produce, we could not live - politics, law, religion, philosophy, literature, recreation would all be impossible if we didn't have food to eat and shelter over our heads. For this reason the method of organising production has long been the most contentious of all problems faced by society. Society is characterised by the division of people into classes according to their role in the production and distribution of social wealth. In capitalist society, the capitalist class and the working class are the two basis classes. The capitalist class owns the means of production and holds state power. The working class is the main and leading force in the revolutionary struggle. The capitalists are the ruling class. They are our enemy in the fight for socialism. Through their ownership and control of the means of production they control the economic life of the planet and live off the profits they squeeze from the working class. The capitalists are a powerful enemy but there is a potentially much more powerful force opposing them: the unity of the vast majority of people. Despite its huge numerical advantage, the powerful potential of the working class has been frustrated by internal divisions and limited development of class consciousness. The majority of workers at this time do not understand the need for fundamental change to society. They have difficult lives but do not see how their problems can be resolved. They want an improvement in their lives and often struggle against their employers, but do not yet see the need for revolutionary change. There are also workers who are generally content with their situation or feel that, even though things could improve, capitalism is the best system. They do not favour change and many are affected by racism, sexism and national chauvinism. Only by isolating our enemies to the maximum and winning over all those who are oppressed by capital to the red banner of socialism can the working class succeed in overthrowing capitalism.

With the help of the Socialist Party, more and more workers will become politically educated and grow class conscious and understand the need for revolutionary socialism. Workers will realise that their interests lie in the overthrow of capitalist private property and the establishment of socialism. The Socialist Party are internationalists. We are campaigning for the socialist revolution to make our contribution to the struggle for world socialism. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Socialist Dawn

Humanity is experiencing times of instability and insecurity. It is neither a precedent, nor an exception. Tremendous changes are taking place among workers. The capitalist class has taken increasing steps to try to ensure that workers remain reliable and loyal wage slaves. Many liberals have chosen to call themselves “democratic socialists” yet few of them understand the historical background of the term. There exists a fallacy in identifying radicalisation with class warfare. The two are not the same, and not always part of the same process. Mass radicalisation is a condition of changing attitudes, shifting beliefs, rejecting previously accepted values. It is the subjective responses to social crises. The class struggle and class warfare continue under all circumstances in capitalist society. We are failing to understand that our society requires transformation.

The aim of the Socialist Party is to build towards a socially just, sustainable future. Radical-sounding environmentalists rail against consumerism and frequently propose that people need to accept a lower level of living in order to deal with the climate crisis. When austerity policies are already cutting into living standards, demanding that working-class people change their lifestyles is unlikely to win workers to environmentalism, and more importantly, is not the correct response to the global warming problem. Rather than focusing on what people consume, we struggle for a world where ecologically sound production is democratically and rationally controlled by the people. Labour creates all wealth

Our socialist ideas are generalisations from the past and from the present; we use them as weapons to create the future. Every day capitalist apologists presents new appearances, lies, shams that seem to disprove our case for socialism. The capitalists heap misery upon misery upon backs of the working class. For countless millions life today means poverty, hunger and war. Everywhere the capitalist rulers look for remedies. But they can find no way out of the blind alley. We must remember the spirit and meaning of working-class solidarity. Unity is strength. Capitalists are using the government to strip our rights and squeeze the last drop of sweat and blood from us. They are whipping up nationalist hysteria against migrant workers.

Austerity and cuts mean just one thing – that we working people take the brunt of it. This is no secret, because we live through it every day. People say it’s just like the 30’s. But we say it’s a lot worse! But what is at the root of the problem? The root of the problem is capitalism. Capitalism causes recessions because of its unplanned and unregulated anarchic competition and drive for maximum profit through ever intensified exploitation of the workers. The motive of capitalist production is the securing of maximum profits. Production of goods is in fact an incidental aim of capitalism, as is employment. The possessing class organises production for the purposes of increasing profits. When conditions are such that profits can be increased by increasing production, the owners do so, and when conditions are such that profits can only be increased by cutting back production to keep up the price, then that is what they do. Thus, if it serves to increase profits to increase the numbers of workers in production, then this is done; but if profits can only be increased by intensifying exploitation, getting more or the same amount of work out of fewer workers, then this is done instead. 

We need socialism because the means of life, the factories, the offices, mines and land should belong to the people! We need socialism because production of the necessities of life should be for the use of the people instead of the profit of a few. For too long we have endured the misery the bosses have inflicted on us! We have not forgotten and we will not forget! And we will be unafraid! We have had enough.

These fundamental features of the capitalist system cannot be eliminated without removing the capitalist system itself. Let us proclaim our solidarity with the workers of the entire world! We must prepare for a socialist revolution — there is no other way! The dawn of socialism is rising on mankind’s horizon, ending forever the misery of want and war.

The Choice Before Us: The Status Quo or Social Change

 In response to the convulsions of capitalist society, the labour movement is trying to shed its acquiescent past and to rearm itself politically.  The Socialist Party has a basic starting point to all of its ideas – that the working class is a revolutionary class and as such is capable of overthrowing the capitalist system and establishing socialism. We hold an unshakable confidence in the working class as a revolutionary force. It is something we have to defend every day against those who tell us that the working class are so imbued with the ideas of capitalism. There is a crying need to assert the relevance of class. The Socialist Party explains that our confidence is not a form of workerist romanticism but that we see the working class as an exploited class, driven by the realities of class society into conflict with their exploiters. This does not mean that workers are currently seeking revolution – it means that the working class are objectively potentially revolutionary. The difference between us and other political parties – and we make no bones about it. We are revolutionaries. Our goal is a fundamental change in society. We will not go just a part of the way – or even half of the way – we are going all of the way.  Transformation of the economy cannot be postponed. But transformation is possible only through the working class. Common ownership is a necessity for socialism. Without it, the private capitalist owners may be eliminated, but their place may be taken by a new ruling class, the state bureaucrats who own the means of production because they own and control the state which is the only legal owner. Therefore, the Socialist Party stands against nationalisation.

The capitalist system is based on a contradiction. On the one hand it depends on networks that merge the labours of most of the world’s seven-plus billion people into what is in effect a global system of cooperation. Just look at the clothes you are wearing. They are made from cotton or wool from one part of the world, carried by ships made from steel from somewhere else, woven in a third place, stitched in a fourth, transported using oil from a fifth, and so on. A thousand individual acts of labour are combined in even the simplest item. On the other hand, the organisation of these networks is not based on cooperation, but on ruthless competition between rival highly privileged minorities who monopolise the means that are necessary for production – the tools, the machines, the oil fields, the modern communications systems, the land. What motivates the capitalists is not the satisfaction of human need. It is the pressure to compete and keep ahead of other capitalists. The key to keeping ahead in competition is making profit and then using the profit to invest in new means of keeping ahead. The drive for profit leads capitalists to rush to pour money into any venture that seems profitable. The socialist alternative to such a state of affairs is simple. It is to replace decision making on the basis of competition between rival groups of capitalists by a genuine democracy where the mass of people democratically decide what the economic priorities should be and work together to plan how to achieve these. If planning and innovation are possible under the present system, they are just as possible under a system based upon meeting human need through democratic decision making, rather than competing in order to make profits to direct towards further competition. To reshape society in a socialist direction it is necessary to take control of those enterprises, subordinating them to the fulfilment of democratically decided priorities. A socialist society would involve the mass of people in democratic debate to plan production to meet human need.

In a socialist world of plenty, mankind is at long last freed of the dominance of economics, the tyranny of economics. We will for the first time be free to develop the full potentialities and capacities of the human individual, and see the full flowering of humanity’s spirit. This is the only goal worth fighting for today. It is the real freedom. Socialism is not merely the remaking of the social system and of the world – it is the remaking of humankind. Socialism is not merely abundance, security, peace and freedom. These great goals are themselves only means to an end. Our most urgent task becomes that of winning fellow-workers to socialist ideas and to the practical task of building independent socialist parties around the world. Our task to build an organisation for revolution. It is time we stop endorsing castles in the air and accept the reality that coalitions and alliances cannot be built with non-socialists. This way the socialist alternative will begin to appear realistic. Such a perspective ought to appeal to the imagination of every genuine socialist.

Thought and action can build socialism. Let us think and act

Saturday, February 23, 2019

We’re going after the system!

The world and humanity are heading for unprecedented dangers and conflicts, up to and including the end of a habitable planet, if we are to trust some climate change experts.  They say this is the apocalyptic reality facing future generation. Current policies may well make our earth unliveable. Why do we not respond to the crisis? Only immediate action can save the future. If the future is to be saved the world requires a different economic system. Capitalism uses every trick, fair or unfair, to turn natural resources into money. By law, the directors of corporations are obliged to put the profits of stockholders above every other consideration. No room whatever is left for an ecological or social conscience. They act in such a way as to make themselves richer, and to increase their control of the political system to ensure they can accomplish this.

The media is dominated by trivia, entertainment, sports, the weather, celebrity gossip and so on. Worries about the future, the danger of new wars resulting from uncontrollable climate change, of widespread famine arising from global warming, of the possible mass migrations of peoples because of environmental destruction seldom appears in the news or in daily conversations of the public. Serious discussions of the crises which civilisation now faces are almost entirely absent. The media gives no hint at all of the true state of the world or of the dangers which we will face in the future. The lack of urgency demonstrated by the media and politicians gives the false impression that all is well with the world. But in fact, all is not well. We have to act immediately and adequately to save the future. 

Trump’s victory was achieved because he was able to convince a large majority of working-class whites that he represented a better hope for a healthy economy and world peace. Interlaced with his appeal was a deep undercurrent of national chauvinism. Trump shamelessly presented a program of thinly veiled racism, painting those who do not become rich or successful in a capitalist society as inferior, lazy and leeching off hard-working taxpayers. Trump is a throw-back to the bygone days of unchallenged U.S. supremacy in the world. His nationalism calls for a return to aggressive U.S. unilateralism.

We live today in an era of populism. We don’t know how coming events will pan out. But what is certain is that the economic and political crises are going to get worse, that the ruling classes have no alternatives to these crises, do not offer any future.

Across the world we see a wholesale embrace of the anti-working-class reformist ideology, along with attempts to create whole new reformist institutions to replace the openly discredited ones. In some cases, leftists are already taking the logic of their shift further: attempting to build or support openly class collaborationist populist parties and popular fronts. The gap between the capitalists and the increasingly impoverished working class is widening. Reformism is a proven failure: that is why the progressives and liberals are moving rightward. The far left’s rehashed reformism has even less viability. Its programme is worse than illusory: it is dangerously misleading. he liberation of the proletariat is the task of the proletariat itself; it is a task it must carry out in opposition to “condescending saviors.” Reformism is not a moderate or too slow form of socialism, but its enemy. We want the working class to become conscious of itself and its power in society. Success in the class struggle demands working-class independence from all capitalist parties. If more workers are to be won to the cause of socialism it is clear that we must greatly advance in our ability to explain the advantages of a socialist society and how we can achieve it. Working people remain open to socialism and are looking for change. But they remain to be convinced that socialism can provide them with a better life – greater democracy and improved material well-being. It is clear we must improve our explanation of our fundamental socialist option. We must combat the distortions of what socialism is. First of all, the word “socialism” is in the popular consciousness closely associated with the former USSR and Warsaw Pact countries. While these regimes were never socialist we never stop hearing that these countries typify socialism. Not only do the former Soviet Union and its satellites repeat this endlessly to cover up the fierce exploitation of workers in their societies, but the media and academia also take up the same refrain. They like nothing better than to point their finger at the ex-USSR and say, “Look, that is socialism,” knowing full well that the police state structure and the command economies of the East bloc countries are unlikely to attract workers.

Sooner or later, we should prepare for the time to re-structure the world’s economy to achieve planetary sustainability and steady-state economics. We must achieve a new kind of economy – socialism. What is needed more than hope is political action. We must end capitalism. We must create industrial democracy. We must replace nationalism with a movement for a world commonwealth. Fight for a future.

Socialism – Saving the Future

The principles of the Socialist Party are clear and definite. We assert that the wealth of society is created by the workers. We claim that society, through their industrial and community councils, must own and control all the processes of wealth production. We engage in this struggle on to the political field in order to challenge the power which the present ruling class wields through its domination of the State which it wins at the ballot box. By its victory at the ballot box, and its consequent political domination, the capitalists are able to subjugate the workers as wage-slaves by using the ministers of State to impose their domination over our fellow-workers. These unsympathetic bureaucrats are appointed by our masters and being appointed by the ruling class, who control the State, the bureaucrats can only maintain their jobs by serving those who control them. Make no mistake about it, government are out to cut our standard of living. To be sure, they claim this is necessary so that standards can rise in the future. But we need take no notice of this. The promised prosperous futures with steadily rising living standards have never appeared and, of course, they never will. You don’t have to be a socialist to be sceptical on this point. It is surprising that there are still people who think workers generally have something to gain from supporting capitalism.

The Socialist Party is convinced that the present political State, with most of its attendant institutions, must be swept away. The political State is not and cannot be a true democracy. It is not elected to serve the social wants of the community. It is elected because the wealthiest section of society can manipulate all facts through its power over the media. By its money the capitalists can buy up advertising to decide the election issues. The electorate is not asked to vote upon facts but only upon such topics as the media, representing capital, puts before the workers.

The working class cannot leave political control in the hands of the ruling class. We have seen what power the conquest of the State gives to the capitalists in its struggle with workers. It is through its political strength that the capitalists can deprive us of civil liberties. The power to accomplish this flow directly from their control of the State which it secures at the ballot box. The maintenance of our freedoms is part of the political struggle.  In order to achieve a peaceful revolution our class must capture the powers of the State at elections and prevent the capitalist class from using the law against an emerging mass socialist movement. This destructive function is the revolutionary role of political action. But this destructive political function is necessary in order that the industrial constructive element the creation of socialist bodies in the revolution may not be thwarted. The Socialist Party’s task is the preservation of civil liberties and the destruction of the political State. All other questions, such as the United Nations, free trade, or tax reform—these things which are agitating the minds of Tory and Labour parties—are merely traps to catch the unwary workers and to persuade them to vote to preserve capitalism. The working class must end capitalism and construct socialism. The Socialist Party alone puts forward such a position. It urges the workers to use their ballots to capture political power—not to play at politicians or pose as statesmen, but to use their votes to uproot the political State. To think that Parliament can be used as the means of permanently improving the conditions of Labour, by passing a series of acts, is to believe in parliamentarianism. The Socialist Party is not a parliamentary party. It believes in entering Parliament only as a means of sweeping away all antiquated institutions which stand in the way of the working class collectively owning and controlling the means of production.

To simplify Marx’s criticism of capitalism in the mid nineteenth century, he argued that the core problem of capitalism was a class exploitation and struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat where the latter sells labour power which is extracted as surplus value by the former.  The bourgeoisie own the means of production and over time in their race to maintain profits they increasingly replace human labour power with machines, they drive down wages placing more and more individuals into poverty.  This process creates an economic crisis, intensifying class struggle, and eventually creating conditions for a capitalist struggle. It suggested an economic inevitability for the revolution. Starting in the late nineteenth century individuals such as Eduard Bernstein in Evolutionary Socialism argued that the revolutionary tactics and economic inevitability of the revolution were not practical or certain.  He and others agreed with much of the basic criticism of Marx but instead tied the future of a class-free society to gradualism and reforms through parliament. It was supposed to be state capitalism for the benefit for poor, but it was still capitalism.  Yes, the government can act and manipulate the economy for the benefit of the people, but it did so for the benefit of the rich. China has its state-owned enterprises but it is not socialism, it is state capitalism, and mostly to the benefit of a few.  Socialism is not the central state planning of the economy where the government owns all the businesses. Extremely few Chinese have any say over the economic choices being made in that country, one where there is a sharper and sharper class divide.

Friday, February 22, 2019

An old world to overthrow. A new world to build

Why must the working class play the prominent role in the socialist revolution? First of all, working people are highly socialised by working side by side at their jobs. By making the products the capitalists sell for profit, workers learn through their own experience the need for organisation and cooperation. Clearly, the products could never be made if the workers themselves were disorganised and refused to cooperate with one another. In capitalist society these qualities of organisation, and cooperation are used to benefit not the workers, but the capitalists. The capitalists use these qualities of the workers to make their profits and, in the process, keep workers in a state of near or actual poverty. Since workers are the people who are directly exploited by the capitalists, they have the most potential for seeing through the capitalist system. Thus, of all classes in society, the working class also has the most potential for learning the need to overthrow capitalism and to replace it with a new system – socialism – that will benefit not a handful of capitalists, but society. Also, a mass movement of workers possesses great strength to cripple the capitalists. If the workers don’t work, the capitalists don’t profit. As the only productive class in society which manufactures and operates the things necessary for life, the working class is the only class with the ability to build the new, healthy socialist society. For all these reasons, the Socialist Party holds that the working class is a revolutionary class for the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. The Socialist Party does not believe in the old romantic notion of a handful of heroic revolutionaries making the revolution for the people on the behalf of the people, rather than the people making the revolution for themselves. We oppose those who lack faith in the ability of the people themselves to make a revolution, and who therefore feel that they must do it for them. Such individuals and parties never accomplish much. History shows over and over, however, that all such schemes based on minorities and vanguards are doomed to failure. The working class is a sleeping giant and when it awakens, it will recognise the great power it has in its hands. It is only a matter of time. Education, of the workers alone can fit and prepare them for the herculean task before them. It is only through the education of the workers that they can come to clearly understand the necessity of not only organising, but for the kind of organisation required to give them the power to carry on their struggle, to fight their everyday battles, and finally to conquer capitalism and come into possession of their own.

To-day all wealth, the largest and most fruitful tracts of land, the mines, the mills and the factories belong to a small group of private capitalists. From them the labouring class receive a scanty wage in return for long hours of arduous toil, hardly enough for a decent livelihood. The enrichment of a small class of employers and investors is the start and end of present-day society. It is to change this capitalist world which is the purpose of the Socialist Party.  All social wealth, the land and all that it produces, the factories and the mills must be taken from their exploiting owners to become the common property of the entire people, placing them under social control. To-day production in every manufacturing unit is conducted by the individual capitalist independently of all others. What and where commodities are to be produced, where, when and how the finished product is to be sold, is decided by the individual capitalist owner. Nowhere does labour have the slightest influence upon these questions. We are simply the robots to do the work. In socialism all this will be changed. Private ownership of the means of production and distribution must disappear. Production will be carried on not for the enrichment of a few individuals but solely to supply the wants and needs of the working class. Accordingly, factories, mills and farms must be operated upon an entirely new basis, from a wholly different point of view. Production will be carried out for the sole purpose of securing to all a more humane existence, of providing for all plentiful food, clothing and other forms of subsistence. The productivity of labour will be increased. Farms will yield richer crops, the most advanced technology will be introduced into the factories. It follows, therefore, that we need not, and will not deprive the small farmer or handicraft artisan of the bit of land or the little workshop from which he or she ekes out an existence by their own hands. As time goes by, he or she will realise the advantages of shared socialised production over private ownership.

Bountiful provisions, a decent education for the children, comfortable care for the aged and the infirm – these form the all-important part of the socialist system. Waste such as we find to-day must cease. Society will be more rational in the use of its products, its ways of manufacture and its deployment of labour power. The production of armaments will pass out of existence, for a socialist society ends war. Instead the raw materials and the enormous amounts of labour power that were devoted to this purpose will be used for other more useful production. The manufacture of costly luxuries for the of wealthy will stop. Work itself must be completely altered. Today employment in industry, on the farm and in the office is usually a torture and a burden. Men and women work because they must in order to obtain the necessities of life. In a Socialist society, where all work together for their own well-being, the health of the individual worker, and the joy in work must be conscientiously fostered and sustained. Short hours and less days of labour will be established: recreation and leisure merged into the work process, so all may do their share, willingly and joyously. Today hunger drives the worker to the factory or the farm-owner, into the business office. Everywhere the employer sees to it that no time is wasted. With socialism all working people are free and on an equal footing, working for benefit and enjoyment, tolerating no waste of social wealth. To be sure, every socialist enterprise needs its technical superintendents who understand its technology, who are able to administer production so that everything runs smoothly, to assure the implementation of the most efficient methods. Workers inside socialist industrial democracy will must show that we can work decently and diligently, without capitalists and slave-drivers but of own volition.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Social Democracy

Socialist ideas are assailed on all sides by our class foes, the story of the alternative, socialism, is not told so it necessary to keep explaining it. Capitalism is the mortal enemy of the people

Capitalism is a system of commodity production (that is, the production of goods for sale and not for direct use by the producer) which is distinguished by the fact that labour power itself becomes a commodity. The major means of production and exchange which make up the capital of society are owned privately by a small minority, the capitalist class, while the great majority of the population consists of the working class. Because of their economic position this majority can only exist by selling their labour power to the capitalists and thus creating through their work the incomes of the upper classes. Thus, fundamentally, capitalism is a system of exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class. Under capitalism social production replaces the individual production of the feudal era. It is based on an ever-greater socialisation of labour. However, although production is social, ownership is private. The working class produces the commodities which constitute the wealth of capitalist society, but it does not own them. They are appropriated by those who own the means of production – the capitalist class.

The contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of appropriation is the basic contradiction of the capitalist system, impelling its development and giving rise to the motive force of capitalist society, the class struggle. It also manifests itself as an antagonism between the high level of organisation in the individual factory or enterprise on the one hand, and on the other, the anarchy of production prevailing in the social economy as a whole. Production is socialised to an ever-greater degree while the ownership of the means of production are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Anarchy of production is
the tendency of capitalist producers in general to produce to the maximum without regard to their competitors or to the capacity of the market to absorb their production. Competition for the market in which profit is realised has always been the hallmark of capitalism, and the greatest stimulus to capitalist production. The lust for profits stands in the way of economic progress.

 It is both possible and necessary for the working class, the main and decisive productive force in capitalist society, to carry out a social revolution which it is the historic mission of the working class to accomplish. By replacing private ownership of the means of production by common ownership, by transforming the anarchy of production which is a feature of capitalism into planned production organised for the well-being of all of society, the socialist revolution will end the division of society into classes and emancipate all of humanity from all forms of exploitation. Exploited by the relations of production under capitalism, the working class has a direct material interest in the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement by socialism, the system in which the working class owns and controls the means of production and collectively shares in the products of its labour. The working class, created by capitalism, is also the destroyer of capitalism. This need for a socialist party is not something that is merely thought up in the heads of revolutionaries. More and more production becomes socialised, that is to say, great masses of workers are concentrated into huge industrial plants in the great cities. The highly complicated machinery of modern capitalism converts workers into a semi-skilled and unskilled mass which merely serves or tends machines. The huge masses of capital become centralised into fewer and fewer hands. The constantly diminishing number of capitalists faces the constantly growing mass of workers. The class struggle becomes sharper and sharper. The workers concentrated in the offices and factories are not divided to the same degree that they once were. They are compelled to think in terms of solidarity. For sure, there is still room for reform and betterment in the present social system, but this is of minor consequence compared to the world’s crying need for economic and social reorganisation. Private property and private ownership of production for individual profit are no longer compatible with social progress and have ceased to operate for humane and civilised ends.

The Socialist Party sets its task to assist fellow-workers to understand the irreconcilable antagonism between the exploiters and the exploited, and explains to it the significance of the social revolution and the necessary conditions for it. It highlights to all how hopeless their position is under capitalist society and explains the necessity of a social revolution if we are to free ourselves from the yoke of capital. Accordingly, the Socialist Party calls upon all members of the working class to join it. The inauguration of socialism is the aim of the Socialist Party. That is the task of the working class. That is the road to human freedom. Upon socialism, depends the future of humanity and of civilisation. The working class is called upon to save society from barbarism. We can be sure, however, that recent setbacks are temporary and that the socialist revolution remains on the agenda.