Sunday, March 31, 2019

Let Us Face the Future

Capitalist production is concerned with the realisation of a profit, not the satisfaction of human needs. No profit — no production, is the criterion, though millions of people are ill-clad, ill-housed and ill-fed. This is something we have said many times, and there are plenty of examples to support our claim.

We need a society which is concerned with the interests of all its members, an alternative to the present world where resources are monopolised by a privileged elite. The Socialist Party seeks a world which is held in common and at the free disposal of all humanity, where the alternative to commodity production for the market is the production of useful wealth directly for human need. The transfer of the world into the hands of all humanity and its conscious democratic control for the human interest is the political aim of the Socialist Party. Our job is to explain to thoughtful and involved individuals that only socialism will liberate mankind's ability to produce a world of abundance.

The capitalist or employing class lives by exploiting the workers; this means that out of the whole product of their labour, the workers receive only a part, and not a large part. Generally speaking, they get sufficient to enable them to work and to bring children into the world who will carry on when they are worn out—just like horses, with the one great difference that a horse costs money and must be fed and tended even when temporarily not required to work, while men cost nothing and can be laid off when work is slack, because their employer is under no obligation to keep them, and knows that they can be replaced at any time. In any industry, therefore, the employers are primarily interested in the exploitation of their own employees. Their interests are served by having production as high, and wages as low, as possible, even to the extent of injuring the health of the workers. An individual employer does not have to consider the health and fitness of future generations, and in consequence physical deterioration has been the lot of the workers in every land under the present system of society. No modification of capitalism can alter this condition of affairs. The solution is to abolish capitalism. Capitalism is only one of the forms of society which have evolved, and socialism must succeed it if poverty, privilege, slavery, are to give way to comfort, equality and freedom. Buying and selling of the necessities of life, should be abolished and a system of free distribution adopted. In a world based on the common ownership of the means of wealth production, production would be merely a technical problem — and we already have the technology to meet the task. With the fetters of profit-making removed, today’s potential plenty would be made a reality.

The essential facts are very simple. The land and the instruments of production are owned and controlled by a comparatively small number of persons. The workers, therefore, can only obtain a livelihood as the beasts of burden, the hirelings, of these capitalists. It further follows that the more of the good things of life the workers can make the fewer labourers need the exploiters hire. It is therefore not lack of necessaries, but the worker’s ability to produce more than is in demand, that enables the capitalists to create that powerful means of keeping the workers poor, the unemployed.

There is, however, one outstanding feature common to all countries irrespective of their size and population. And that is the existence in each nation of a fortunate, privileged minority who never have to contend with problems of poverty or large families because they own and control the wealth of the world. They became rich through the efforts of the working class, and irrespective of their sexual or biological habits, and they will remain in this same economic position until their employees realise the true nature of the system that enslaves them. When this time arrives the age of scapegoats, red herrings and political hypocrisy , no matter how it is sliced, will be at an end. And you can be certain that men and women who have finally obtained their emancipation and freedom, and have become the common owners of the world's wealth, will also have the intelligence to control their numbers according to the desires and requirements of a socialist society.

Remember the next time someone tries to tell you that world poverty is caused by over-population. Tell him or her it’s caused by capitalism’s profit motive.

Stop Being Fooled

In the world today, our fellow-workers are united under no cause whatsoever beneficial to themselves. Because working people consider politics far too complicated, they place trust in others—namely politicians and the government— and remain employed, exploited and enslaved. Capitalism is not a society of unity. It is based on class ownership of the means of life and therefore on class conflict. It cannot be controlled or moulded by politicians or economic experts into something which it is not. It cannot operate in the interests of the majority of its people. It must continue as a chaotic system of poverty, disease and war. All of that is taught to us by experience and by an analysis of capitalism. Capitalism depends on workers selling their labour power for the lowest wage or salary that employers can get away with paying. Workers are educated, trained and conditioned into believing that wage slavery is freely entered into. Unless the working class act to abolish capitalism, the prospect is dismal — a succession of ineffective governments distinguishable only by their style of empty promises and of the excuses they give for their impotence. We have had time enough to accustom ourselves to that idea — and time to act on what we have learned from it. Only knowledge of socialist principles will make the workers proof against being misled by capitalist and Labour Party misrepresentation. All the resources and know-how which, throughout the world, are devoted to "perfecting" the means of killing could so easily be devoted to ending hunger and poverty. But to do that means campaigning not for a change of government or for nuclear disarmament, but for the only line of defence against war — the establishment of socialism.

The fundamental division between workers and employers in the structure of modem society affects all the relationships within it. It affects feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and has a fundamental effect upon the personality of every individual. The child brought up in a family owning a few million shares, a few thousand acres, and four or five houses to live in has a completely different outlook on life from that of the child brought up in the average factory or office worker's semi-detached house on a housing estate. The children born into a family with adequate capital realise as they grow up that they are part of an élite with the freedom to chose how they occupy their lives. They may also realise that, although they will not necessarily do the hiring and firing themselves when they grow up. and may never even see the mines, factories and offices where their wealth is made, their inheritance of capital will make them employers of other human beings. The vast majority of children, on the other hand, become aware that their future depends upon being able to find someone to employ them. If they want to succeed in this, not only their education but their dress, their manners, their attitude to authority, even their political opinion must conform to the standards laid down by employers.

We are born essentially the same living beings as our ancestors of thousands of years ago; but we learn to think and feel and act from what goes on around us. From school, the newspapers and television, we take in the knowledge of the world's hunger and disease. At other times we learn that “butter mountains" are being piled up, milk poured down quarries, wheat burned, or crops ploughed back into the ground. We may not bring these facts together in our mind to raise questions about the system by which society is run indeed we are actually discouraged by the schools and the media from doing so. Instead we are persuaded to believe that the present organisation of society is eternal — even divinely ordained — and that it is ordinary people like ourselves with our selfishness. laziness and greed, who are to blame. And so. unresolved, these contradictions remain at the back of our mind, causing confusion, frustration, and a vague sense of guilty helplessness.

We are taught that hard work and thrift are the recipe for success in our future "career"; and then occasionally we see members of the ruling class in the news, who never do a day's work in their lives and spend money like water, playing at fox-hunting on their ten thousand acre estates, or racing ocean-going yachts, or shooting grouse on their Scottish moors, while our hard-working, thrifty parents get worn out before our eyes with years of work and worry. Our potential for behaving with affection, generosity, trust and creativity is made to seem naive and ridiculous up against the power of wealth in a society of ruthless competition.

All of us. whether we remain relatively sane or not are inevitably contaminated by the social values that provide the real motive power of capitalist society. The behaviour of capital in its urgent, relentless drive to make profit, which can be reinvested as capital to make yet more profit, regardless of human need or suffering, is the essence of avarice or greed. The very structure of modern society, in which the minority own and control all the means of producing and distributing wealth — and employ all the powers of the state to preserve their monopoly this class-divided structure has insecurity and self-interest at the foundations of society. None of us can fail to be affected by it.

Capitalist society is not a collection of individuals with common interests and a common set of guiding principles, it is a society deeply divided, at odds with itself. Class conflict was built into the foundations and shows up every day in its workings. To criticise workers as being selfish, greedy, unco-operative, deceitful, violent, when these are the main characteristics of the nations and the businesses with which we are compelled to be involved all our lives is to add insult to two hundred years of injury. Certainly, these are anti-social forms of behaviour; but then this is an inhuman social system. As long as we, its working-class majority, allow it to continue, we can expect nothing better. It is only by political organisation and action to gain control of the machinery of government can the capitalists be deprived of their ownership. It is not capitalist ownership that keeps the working class a subject class, but the control by the capitalists of the machinery of government, including the armed forces, which alone enables the capitalists to continue owning.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

We All Need Socialism

To save the long-term future for our children and grandchildren, we require a social change. We have to do all that is within our power to give them a future in which they can survive. Fundamental changes in our economic system are needed. Since rapid and fundamental changes are urgently needed to save the future, it is perhaps not an exaggeration to speak of the need for a revolution, but a nonviolent revolution. If we do not work with determination and dedication to save our world for future generations, all of the treasures that past generations have bestowed to us will be lost. Socialism is necessary because everywhere we are faced with the contrast between wealth for a few and the poverty for the many.

The Socialist Party puts forward the alternative society. Socialism will be a society in which the whole of humanity, without distinction of race or sex, will own in common all we use to make and distribute wealth. Common ownership means a society without classes, without privileges, without different standards of consumption. In socialist society everyone will have free access to the world’s wealth and will stand equally in that respect.

Socialism will be a world community without frontiers. Based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. Articles will be produced, not for sale or profit, but solely for people to use. Within this framework we can clear up once and for all the problems that are built-in to capitalism — the problems of housing, education, transport, health, pollution. racism and the others the orthodox parties and politicians are forever promising to solve. We can create a world of plenty where, as free men and women, we can co-operate to produce an abundance of wealth to which we can have free access according to our needs.

Socialism will produce its wealth for human use instead of for sale. This will make it a society of cooperation instead of competition. There will be no frontiers to divide the world’s people. Socialism will be one world, with one people working together for the commonwealth. Socialism will be an efficient world, in contrast to capitalism, where waste and shoddiness are profitable. For the first time, men and women in socialism will realise their capabilities to the full. Socialism will produce an abundance and at only one standard — the best we are capable of.

The Socialist Party is not another collection of leaders telling you to trust us and promising you almost anything for the sake of winning your vote. No leader can give you socialism, no clever politician can pull you by the nose into the new society. Neither will it happen by accident.

Trying to reform capitalism in this way has proved time and again to be futile. Capitalism is a class society that can work only for those who live off rent, interest and profit.

Socialism must be your work; it needs a conscious political act by the mass of the people, opting for the new society in full knowledge of what it is. It comes to this — only if you understand socialism and want it. Everyone who joins us in the struggle against this pernicious social system is helping to make the life of capitalism shorter and helping to bring about a sane and rational social order.

The world is a divided society

There is massive cynicism and distrust of the system, its inability to provide basic services, its failure to deliver the necessities of life and its unaccountable bureaucracies that rule our lives. After a campaign we are faced with yet the need for another.

Socialism is the socialisation of the means of production and of production and democracy is the means to this end. Socialism without democracy is unthinkable. Nevertheless, democracy occasionally might become unsuitable, or even a hindrance to our aim. It is a question of the conquest of political power. The possibility exists of a socialist party becoming the majority at an election, yet the ruling classes could make use of all the forces still at their command in order to prevent democracy asserting itself. Therefore, it is not by democracy, but only by a political revolution that the workers can conquer the political power. Should a ruling class, under the suppositions here discussed, resort to force, it would do so precisely because it feared the consequences of democracy. And its violence would be nothing but the subversion of democracy. Therefore, not the futility of democracy being demonstrated by the ruling class attempting to destroy democracy, but rather the necessity for the working class to defend democracy

We live in a world where the vast majority of men and women are living under the yoke of wage slavery. Capitalism remains the enemy of humanity, it cannot be reformed and the only solution is to build a new social system. We are still a long way from bringing that day of Revolution closer, but it is only through the educational and preparatory politics of today, through confronting the ideas of the system, can we prevail. Socialism is the only road out of the crisis of capitalism, the only road out of exploitation and oppression, the only road that can prevent war and reverse climate change. Working men and women of the world rise up and wage the class struggle. Rally to the red banner of the Socialist Party. We have a World to Win and a Planet to Share. Today is a turning point.

Our goal is the abolition of every kind of exploitation and oppression, be it directed against a class, a party, a sex, or a race. We seek to achieve this object by supporting the working-class struggle, because the workers cannot free themselves without abolishing all causes of exploitation and oppression. The socialist revolution will put an end to capitalist exploitation and all the forms of oppression that inevitably accompany it. The heart of socialism lies in the refusal to accept that what is will always be. Change is inherent in the very fabric of society. To find people seeking social change you don’t have to go back to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, to the ideas of the Levellers and Diggers, to the agitation of Chartism, the revolutionary upheavals of 1919 or the General Strike of 1926. Within living memory there have been historic clashes of interest between the ruled and the rulers. There have been the class war and the union battles of the miners, the fire brigade union, postal workers and dockers. Where there’s exploitation there is resistance. Things never stay the same: opportunities will arise to assert the working class’ interests.

In revolutions people and institutions are transformed very rapidly. Ideas, aspirations and actions which would have seemed impossible a year or ten years earlier suddenly come within the grasp of masses of people. Social revolution is the hope of the people.

The Socialist Party declares that its purpose is a social revolution. A social revolution means nothing more or less than adoption of a system of production, distribution, and consumption which is based on common ownership in place of the present inconsistent and anarchistic system of private ownership based on the power of capital. We cannot define the method by which the social change will occur. But even now, during this stage the Socialist Party does not confuse revolution and violence with one another. Violence and bloodshed do not make any movement revolutionary, and essentially, they have nothing in common. Being an organisation which stands for humanity and the attainment of its general happiness and well-being, the Socialist Party hopes that its victory will be accomplished by peaceful revolution. The Socialist Party is also aware of the fact that the success of the social revolution is guaranteed only when it occurs at a historic moment, at the moment when the minds of the people and the events have matured for it. Therefore, our greatest task is to educate and organise the working class so that it will become capable of carrying out this historic mission.

The Socialist Party works for the revolution, its struggles for the well-being, for the self-respect, and for the self-consciousness of labour.

Friday, March 29, 2019


It is quite clear that with production carried on for profit and not for use, with the means of production used, not for the purpose of satisfying human needs but for exploiting human labour in the extraction of surplus value, waste is absolutely essential. The capitalist system involves the persistent production of a mass of commodities which must be got rid of some­how if the wheels are to be kept going around. Thus, under capitalism, wilful waste is the essential corollary of woeful want. There exists waste in every industry, represented by the production and distribution of things which are useless and worse; adulterated and shoddy, made only to sell and to fall to pieces as soon as sold.

Under the capitalist system, with production geared to private profit, society’s resources are squandered in a thousand and one ways. Any High Street demonstrates this, with shops full of goods made more expensive by the duplication of product brands and built-in obsolescence. To combat waste, we are often urged to recycle. Recycling is, of course, a good thing. It is often the first step that most people take down the road towards environmental awareness or action. However, it is also very much a diversion. Simply putting “Please recycle this product when finished” on the outside of a drink can gives the manufacturer a green image, even though they are producing millions of “use once”, throwaway containers. The recycling industry gives the impression that something is being done about waste and stops people questioning why so much stuff is produced in the first place. Packaging companies want to shift the blame for “waste” onto the individual consumer. Why don’t we have reusable bottles? Why do we need disposable razors?

All the waste traceable to operations of a capitalist system, waste which drain the wealth of the world at a hundred thousand points, will never be fully uncovered this side of a socialism. Capitalism is inherently wasteful. If we are to save the planet, we have to fundamentally change how society uses, manufacture and treats the goods that currently form such an important part of our lives. All those unrepairable appliances, change with the fashion clothes, and the mountains of disposable packaging are actually not the product of an economy that delivers its benefits to most people. On the contrary, the biggest beneficiaries of consumerism are those at the top.  a system that unscrupulously exploits not only nature, but also human life and labour.

Nothing at all approaching to such stupendous outlay on sheer economic waste has been heard of in the entire record of the human race is that of war and the armament industries preparations for war. One would think that if the true costs of waging a war were dispassionately examined, war would be deemed unacceptable by all. Unfortunately, there are those who stand to benefit.

One of the biggest waste is undoubtedly unemployment at the cost of the demoralisation and misery of the unemployed and their families.  Unemployment represents a monstrous waste of society’s resources in terms of what the unemployed could contribute to production. Capitalism’s attitude to people is the same as everything else. Cast aside when no longer required. It is a system that unscrupulously exploits not only nature, but also human life and labour.

A Revolutionary Party

The working class are the creators of all wealth in society. Under the rule of the capitalists, there can be no freedom for the workers – only freedom to be exploited as wage slaves. The Socialist Party says plainly that mere reform of our existing society is impossible, or if possible, useless. When the foundation is insecure, and the edifice is crumbling, there is nothing for it but to build anew. We in the Socialist Party are revolutionists, not reformers in that we have no confidence in any measures of amelioration. We shall not throw our lot in with silly or self-seeking charlatans nor waste another moment in considering their contemptible social reforms.  The emancipation of the wage-slaves will not fall, like manna, from heaven. Nor yet will they be led into freedom, as into the promised land, by inspired leaders of mankind. The workers will only be freed by those whose interest it is to do so—the workers themselves.

Wherever people work for wages, they have been robbed of the land, the mines, the factories and so on; and they are steadily robbed of everything they produce, because it doesn’t belong to them when they have made it.  It doesn’t make any difference if the state nationalises some, or all, industries — as we know in this country — the people still don’t own them. That is why they have to sell their energy and skill to those who do own them — and the state can be a more powerful and ruthless boss than private companies. In socialism it will belong to them. The land and factories will belong to the whole people. But that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world yet. It is the next stage in the evolution of society — the system to supersede capitalism. The sooner we make the change-over the better.

Every time a war ends, they say, “Never again.” Every time trade picks up after a slump they say, “It won’t happen again. We learned the lessons.” They try trade agreements, altering the bank rate, juggling with currency rates. None of it works: recessions still happen, just as there is always a war going on somewhere these days. If things improve, the government takes the credit. If things go bad they blame the previous government or another country. The truth is that they have no control at all over the economic convulsions of capitalism, because they are uncontrollable. Recessions and wars are essential phases in its progress. They restore a sort of balance for a few years. But what a ramshackle way of organising the production and distribution of goods in the world. Their computers are never programmed to tell us how world socialism, with production for use not for profit, would employ the earth’s resources. They assume that production for profit will go on forever, and then argues that this system must be reformed to prevent it from destroying mankind’s habitat. Better surely to argue for an end to capitalism, since it is a system which generates waste and seeks constantly to increase the quantity of materials processed, year by year.

Everywhere the capitalist “mode of production” prevails: we see men and women who possess no land, no tools, nothing, who are driven by fear of want to sell their labour-power by the week or the month, mortgaging their lives in instalments so as to survive till the next pay-day. We see them producing goods galore, “an immense accumulation of commodities”, all their own work, yet they remain unable to afford most of what they need. We see human toil and human skills diverted from man’s real needs — food, clothing, health, housing, culture — to pander to the aristocracy of Big Business, the wasteful war-machine, the accountants, the luxury resorts, and so on.

This is what the Socialist Party oppose: the global system of exploitation of the many by, and for the benefit of, the few. A system which combines wanton waste with wasteful want.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Labour Lies

The Labour Party was not formed to replace capitalism by socialism, nor has it ever stood for a socialist object. Herbert Morrison repudiated any suggestion of Labour Government wishing to end the profit system. The Labour Party seeks by reform measures to stimulate capitalism while trying to curb its harmful effects. Pledged to retain capitalism, it cannot remove the evils of capitalism. Capitalism’s need for a National Health Service was expressed by all parties standing for capitalism. Nationalisation is not socialism but an expedient of capitalism. Openly capitalist powers have nearly all nationalised where necessary. Despite the efforts of Labour Governments, working class problems remain. Housing and healthcare are sacrificed to bail out the banks and industrial barons. Any politician who is promising a better life soon is dishonest.  The Labour Party is not a class party. It does not aim at socialism. The Labour Party works for capitalism. Despite the “bleak” outlook forecasted for workers, profits had risen. The “socialism” of the Labour Party has benefited only the capitalists. The Labour Party, so far from assisting the emancipation of working people, hindered it, in their pursuit of the will-o-the-wisp of social reform. For all their reforms the problems remain. It is not a bogus claim to make that if the factors causing war and unemployment continue that these things will re-appear. The Labour Party does not spread socialism but disillusionment. What can the Labour Party offer now?

That wealth exists on this planet in abundance is well known. But the distribution of this wealth proceeds according to the social relations of society. These are capitalist relations, resting upon the capitalist ownership and control of the means of production. According to the Left’s plan these relations would remain, only the wealth would be redistributed by cutting down on big fortunes by increased taxation and adding to the small ones or giving to those that have none via tax credits and benefits, and among the “radicals” the Universal Basic Income. But this is impossible under capitalism since the ownership and control of the means of production determines the form of distribution of all wealth. So far this has meant and can only mean ever greater riches for the parasites and ever greater impoverishment for those who toil, who have nothing but their labour power to sell – and to sell only when the bosses see fit to buy. What is the cause of this unequal distribution of wealth? The cause is to be found in the ownership and control of the means of production. This system secures the right to exploit labour by leaving in the hands of the capitalist class also the ownership of the surplus value produced by the labourer over and above what he receives as wages. This is how profits are acquired. Moreover, under the conditions of mass production, and in order to continue the process of production, wages only sufficient for their bare upkeep when they have jobs. Of course, the abundance of wealth available could easily guarantee to each family, a decent standard of life. But this is equally impossible under the profit system and it can be obtained only when the profit system is abolished.

Jeremy Corbyn declares in self-righteous indignation for the redistribution of wealth; but he is equally vociferous for the maintenance of the present social relationship. Labour Party policies assume the continuation of the right to exploitation, however, with an increase of the purchasing power of the masses so that returns to bondholders in the form of unearned incomes may continue; so that dividends on shares may be paid and the now of profits taken out of the exploitation of labour may proceed uninterrupted. There are no other sources for profits to come from. What is this but the stabilisation of the system of exploitation? To stabilise the system of exploitation means to stabilise the economic power of the class that owns and controls the means of production. It is also well to remember that political relations are governed by this economic power which is another way of saying that those who own are also those who rule. They use their economic power to build up their political state, to build up their government and to reinforce it by courts, by police and by military forces, always ready to be used against the workers when on strike or in other forms of struggle and on a whole serving for the purpose of keeping workers in subjection. The ruling class  will not consent to any redistribution of their wealth without political resistance. They will not even permit the workers to organise into unions so as to obtain a living wage without the most stubborn opposition. They will not yield their economic power, as represented by their accumulated wealth, or give up their privilege to exploit labour. They use this economic power to determine who can be elected to the public offices and to dictate the programmes of those elected and its execution as well. A real redistribution of wealth and implementation of real economic security can be carried out in no other way than by the overthrow of the system of capitalism. That is not at all the purpose of Corbyn’s Labour Party. Only the working-class revolution can accomplish that.

Bollocks to Insurrection

Elections serves as a barometer of the maturity of the working class. The working class as a class is still capitalistic-minded. Socialists cannot compete with the capitalists on the matter of amelioration of conditions of the workers; to do so means only to sink into the quagmire and quicksands in which the revolutionary outlook is buried. A mish-mash program of makes for confusion instead of clarity. The Left sneer with disdain at “parliamentarianism” and the Socialist Party’s electoral methods. They find education too slow a process. Yet they fail to tell us exactly how their revolution is to be brought about. That is a minor detail to a left-wing romanticist. As far as anyone is able to make out, it is going to be brought about by means of strikes, supplemented by street protests, which they describe as “mass action” or “direct action”. Grass-roots campaigns become the Left’s playthings in the eternal hope that they might trigger a people’s revolt. The slow, plodding processes of education they will have nothing of. The idea that working people who cannot summon up enough thought to vote for a socialist candidate will be ready for something more radical such as insurrection is a crazy notion. What does it matter to the street-fighting revolutionary that men and women of the working class, every time they have had a chance, have rejected socialist ideas.

 For the Leftist, all that is required is the correct chanting on demonstrations and marches. The case for socialism of the Socialist Party is far too advanced to suit the ordinary worker, so instead let’s reduce our demands to some simplistic slogans to justify building the barricades in the streets. The strategy of the Left is a mystic faith in the miraculous conversion of millions upon whom socialist knowledge and class consciousness are to descend like mysterious manna from heaven so they can behold the glory of the promised land. The Left consistently tries to shape people and interpret events to fit the theory instead of developing theory to correspond to reality. The reason that the Left reject the ballot box and parliamentary political action is because they know they are the minority and have not the patience to engage in debate and discussion to win over the majority. They don’t want the counting of votes, because they know the count will go against them, and because voting requires a degree of decision making and deliberation. They don’t want careful consideration of principles since their own fail to stand up to close scrutiny so they seek thoughtless rebellion and hope to carry their case on a wave of emotional excitement. Instead, they believe that the majority of people are fools who have to be led by an “enlightened minority.”

A socialism established by deception and intimidation would be no socialism at all. Political democracy has not failed: it has never yet been really tried. Rebellion, uprisings and all forms of terrorism have been tried and the results are there for the world to see. If reason and common-sense with actions determined for the well-being of all is not enough to bring about socialism, how can force and compulsion succeed? It is the task of the Socialist Party to explain the purpose and demonstrate the power of the universal franchise and to organise our fellow-workers for political action.

However, do not misconstrue for one moment that the Socialist Party for a moment advocates that the workers should relinquish the strike as an industrial or even as a political weapon. We cannot conceive of the workers ever renouncing the right to strike and to collectively withhold their labour in industrial bargaining or in certain political eventualities under a capitalist regime. What the sort of event which may arise that justifies the recourse to strike action will always depend on the nature of the principle at stake and the state of intelligence, knowledge and political awareness of the workers concerned. But in a country possessing complete political freedom – and especially where the workers are in such numbers as to be able to make or unmake Governments and laws – a general strike should be used only as a last resource, when the
will of the people is being opposed by unconstitutional action on the part of the Government – by military or police repression, or by sectional usurpation of public and civic power. For the mass strike inflicts suffering upon the whole community, but the poor, the sick and the elderly are especially vulnerable, and only in such extreme instances can the workers fairly and in accord with the mutual obligations of human society resort to what is virtually a form of civil war.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Food Bank Crisis

The number of crisis food parcels being distributed in Scotland is almost double previous estimates, with campaigners predicting a similar increase across the rest of the UK.

Between April 2017 and September 2018, 84 independent food banks across Scotland distributed 221,977 emergency food packages.

Added to existing data from the Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank charity, which works out of 137 food banks in Scotland, the newly-combined figures reveal nearly half a million, at least 480,583, food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust and independent food banks during the 18-month period.

Sabine Goodwin, of the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), said, “The situation is becoming more and more desperate, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see that this is happening in England and Wales, too. We need action that deals with the root causes of food poverty. We need a social security system that is fit for purpose, and wages that are related to the cost of living.”

Research has consistently shown that changes to the UK-wide benefits system, along with zero hours and temporary contracts that contribute to in-work poverty, is a key driver of food bank use.

End Disempowerment

 Our world is full of stark and bewildering contradictions. Governments mock the pledges of liberty, justice and equality. Despair and degradation prevail globally. Poverty and economic insecurity exist alongside extravagance. The capitalist class has one basic goal: to make more and more profits, and they accomplish this by dominating the economics, politics, and cultural life of the country. Employers will throw workers out into the streets to starve, promote violent racism, and build a military arsenal that can destroy the world several times over – anything for profits. This is an irrational and unjust system.

The quality of life is deteriorating. Life does not have to be this way. Exploitation, violence, racism and war strangles our lives. Capitalism thrives on the control of society’s wealth and production – production involving the interconnected efforts of millions of working people. We can improve our lives and society, and we can eliminate exploitation and capitalist injustice, by overturning the monopoly capitalist system. We can replace capitalism with a rational and humane system – socialism. Socialism is a social system where social wealth is genuinely controlled by society and for the benefit of society; where the common good, not profits, becomes the chief concern; where the everyday working people become the rightful masters of society. Such an economic and political transformation will be radical, but a radical solution is what it will take to bury the miseries of capitalism. There is no other choice today but for the working people to organise to struggle and, one day, achieve socialism. Each person is faced with the choice of either enduring the suffering of un/underemployment, brutalisation and war; or taking the path of struggle – joining with others who are dissatisfied and know that a better society is possible. Women and men, young and old, and people of all lands are realising we must unite and struggle to survive, to be able to work, eat and live as decent human beings.

Environmental pollution and poisoning of communities are inevitable because of the inherent drive by Big Business for maximum profits, where operations and conditions are governed by the anarchy of the market and competition. Capitalism must be abolished. Working people need to throw the capitalist parties out of office and fundamentally transform society. The entire apparatus of government, set up to defend the interests of the corporations, must be replaced. The needs of working people can only be met by creating a planned economy, where ownership and control are taken from the tiny minority of capitalists and placed in the hands of the working people, to be run democratically.

Today we must look ahead to the future where socialism, as a more advanced social system, will be built on the powerful productive capacities now stifled by capitalism. Socialism will replace capitalism, just as capitalism replaced feudalism. If the working people, and not the corporations, controlled the great resources of our society, we could improve all our lives. We could end environmental risks and dangers and guarantee a long healthy life for all. We could have a society not preparing self-extinction. We could have a society where the foundation is established for complete emancipation. These are the hopes and dreams of socialism. Reorganised on a socialist basis, the world can be free of poverty, economic insecurity and exploitation. When the vast resources available to us are used to serve the needs of all instead of the profits of the few, we will  have won a world socialist commonwealth. Such a society is worth fighting for.

The Socialist Party often hear the comment that "Socialism is a good idea but it’s not practical." But today it’s becoming more apparent than ever that it is the present system — capitalism — that is impractical and unworkable. Reforms will not change the condition of working people. Our aim is to build a revolutionary party on a world scale, to replace capitalism with a socialist world order. A socialist system today would alter not only who controls the means of production but also what kinds of goods should be produced. It would put those who are currently exploited in control of their own products and environments.
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Our aim is world socialism

The capitalist class deserve from us no more and no less than the same unwavering, undeviating enmity. The main aim of the Socialist Party is to mobilise our fellow-workers to fight against, not appeal to, the capitalists. The aim of the Socialist Party is the revolutionary overthrow of the world’s capitalist class. Every political party defends the interest of one class or another in society. On all questions, in every battle, and the Socialist Party defends the interests of the working class. We stand in solidarity with the struggles of all the workers. Our Party’s role is to educate, organise and mobilise the working class. One of the primary tasks of the Socialist Party is the political education of the working class. Through our agitation and propaganda we explain the true nature of the system that oppresses workers, and the need for socialist revolution. Our task is to bring class consciousness to the working class – the understanding of workers’ historic mission.

The Socialist Party is the organisation that can orient the struggle of the entire class. It can bring an overall perspective to each branch of the workers’ movement and unite all the isolated battles into one powerful revolutionary storm. Marxism shows how the working class is exploited by the capitalist class; why capitalism must be overthrown and replaced by socialism; and how workers must fight to realise these goals. This theory provides the essential tools workers need. Our cause is a just cause. It is the cause of all those who are exploited and oppressed by capitalism. It is the cause of the liberation of all humanity.

The founding principle of capitalist production has been every man for himself against all others, and everyone against everyone. This will be replaced by the true principle of human society: all for one and one for all. Imagine how great will be the growth of production, when each person, far from needing to fight against all the others, will be helped by them, when he or she will have them not as enemies but as co-helpers. If the collective work of ten attains results absolutely impossible for one alone, how great will be the results obtained by the large-scale cooperation of all who, today, work hostilely against each other?

What the profit system needs to conceal is exactly what we need to expose. This will speed up our common liberation; people have everything to gain in this universal struggle.  It is within our power to take our place in the fight.

The growth of reformist or pseudo-socialist parties which has been one of the developments of recent politics, while giving little guide to the actual amount of sound socialist knowledge among the workers who have flocked to them, are certainly a proof of the fact that millions of the world’s producers are profoundly dissatisfied with capitalist conditions. Marxist writings are to-day read and discussed to an increasing extent. As the general level of  knowledge is raised the working class will be enabled to take the control of their organisations completely into their own hands, and to dispense with leaders, and thus will be fitted for a more definite and uncompromising attitude toward the employing class. At the same time, we may expect, with the growing perception of the futility of palliatives within the structure of capitalism, the increasing acceptance of genuine socialist positions and the gradual growth of political parties which have for their avowed aim the waging of the class struggle to a successful revolutionary conclusion—the expropriation of the capitalist class and the institution of the co-operative commonwealth. This struggle must be international in its span and primarily political in character. The global character of modern scientific production demands a correspondingly worldwide social organisation and therefore the society of the future must be world-embracing and its establishment will mean the obliteration of national divisions. The class struggle between the capitalists and the workers is necessarily as world-wide as is the capitalist system itself. That the bourgeoisie of all nations are prepared to sink their differences in the face of working-class rebellion and to join hands in the work of suppression we have already ample evidence. We may therefore expect that forcible suppression will become more frequent and ruthless, and thus the class nature of the State, and the mercilessness of the bourgeoisie will be unmasked. As the consciousness of the proletariat grows and is translated into action we may dearly expect further manifestation of the international solidarity of the capitalists in defence of their mutual interests. The necessity for the political organisation and action of the class-conscious proletariat is shown by the fact that the capitalist class to-day are only able to dominate society because of their control over the political machinery.

Representatives of the ruling class are elected to power by the votes of the politically unaware workers, and will continue to be so long as this ignorance remains. Once it is dissipated, however, the workers can just as easily gain control over the complex organisation of government (which is not as the anarchists think, a mere arbitrarily imposed power, but has grown through centuries of evolution, step by step with economic development, and is firmly rooted in the social and intellectual life) for themselves. After constituting themselves the dominant class, the working class can proceed with the work of socialisation, and of levelling to the ground class rule and class subjugation. But to speculate on the manner of doing this is to-day futile. Both the tactics of the revolutionary struggle and the actions taken in the event of victory will be determined by the precise conditions which obtain at the time. It is not for us to dictate to, or even to advise, the men of the future. We who live in the present have our own duty to perform—incessant agitation, persistent education, so that we may build up our organisations strong in principle and discipline, without compromise or falter, and armed at every point to withstand the assaults, either open or covert, of the enemy without or within. To prepare the worker’s mind for revolutionary concepts we may therefore place the ever more glaring contradictions presented by existing society, and the intensification of the antagonism and severity of the conflict between the capitalist class and the working class. But other factors are not without importance.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Killing Communities and Neighbourhoods

A third of banks in Scotland have closed since 2010. 610 banks and building societies closed between 2010 and 2018.

Edinburgh south-west had the most bank closures, cutting the network by 135 branches down to a total of 30.
Glasgow Central came second, having lost 70, while Edinburgh North and Leith lost 65 and Edinburgh East lost 45.
Angus, Dundee West, Falkirk and Paisley and Renfrewshire North all lost 15 branches.
Since 2015 RBS has closed the most branches, shutting 158 of the 399 banks that have closed in those three years. Bank of Scotland closed 86, Clydesdale closed 59, Santander closed 38 and TSB closed 35.

Stuart Mackinnon, external affairs manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said "Policymakers need to take action to stop financial institutions removing this infrastructure from our communities."

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said the "alarming" reduction in banks and free ATMs "disproportionately impacts the lives of older people" who were less likely to use digital banking. He continued: "The extraordinary push by the banks to digital services leaves behind the 500,000 people in Scotland over the age of 60 who do not use the internet. That's the equivalent of the population of our capital city and is a staggering number of people to disenfranchise. What's more, with an ageing population in Scotland and the projected 50% increase in people living with dementia over the next 20 years, older people will find it harder and harder to manage their finances independently if face to face banking options have been eroded to the point of extinction..."

End Global Warming - End Business-As-Usual

Capitalism threatens mankind with a lethal and unpredictable mixture of global warming droughts and floods, sea level changes loss of forests and crops, all combining to precipitate recurring cycles of famine and conflict. This is the devastating scenario of the breakdown of our ecological system. The planet only supports life because of the delicate and harmonious relationship between eco-systems and carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels – oil, coal and gas – for energy in modem times, together with the destruction of much of the world’s rainforests, has enormously disturbed the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. But today this fine balance is being disturbed and on a massive scale. Anarchic capitalism and the rapacious greed of today’s corporations now threaten humanity with possible extinction.
 The Socialist Party has never opposed the spectacular successes science has contributed to society. But under capitalism it has been used and developed in an irrational and unplanned manner which has resulted in many catastrophes. Capitalism has proved incapable of using the capacity of modern technology to ease the nightmare conditions of those whose conditions of life are characterised by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surroundings, high infant mortality and low life expectancy. While advances in science and technology have made possible the development of the microprocessors, computers, mobile phones and robots, the real ‘energy crisis’ is for the people still dependent upon charcoal as fuel for cooking. For them, it can only be obtained by encroaching upon the forests. Denuded of tree cover, the top soil quickly becomes washed away creating deserts.

 It is a searing indictment of the short sighted and disastrous policies of Big Business. The wanton destruction of the environment has now reached calamitous proportions. The Greenhouse Effect is inevitable in a society dominated by blind market forces. The inherent contradictions, antagonisms and the competition of interests makes capitalism absolutely incapable of developing and introducing adequate safeguards against climate change. Corporations cannot afford to be overly concerned with stopping global warming. The existence of every corporation is based on its ability to make more profits than a rival company. Businesses will not dig deeply into their profits to take any real steps toward stopping climate changes. Business is not about to cut its profits for anybody. Business has not cut its profits to provide full employment or to avoid wars. There’s no reason to expect them to do such a thing in order to end global warming. This is also true to a large extent of the government. lt’s very difficult to tell the politicians from the businessmen. Marx summed it up well:

“The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the affairs of the bourgeoisie.”

People no longer hold any confidence in the business-controlled government’s ability to “control” business.  Capitalism is a voracious system. Can we end it before it destroys us?

 The Socialist Party see through the superficial and deceptive token gestures of the politicians. In a socialist world, all types of energy production would be considered on the basis of safety, efficiency and environmental concern.

This World of Ours

For years the Socialist Party has pleaded with the workers to organise and take over the entire means of production and distribution. The Socialist Standard, books, pamphlets, leaflets of all kinds were freely circulated, with scanty result. Unheeded, the Socialist Party faced blank indifference. It is not a question of condemning capitalism. Capitalism condemns itself. Capitalism must go is the only hope of the world. The onus is on the Socialist Party to demonstrate in a way that can be understood by fellow-workers that the theories we have so long expounded can be translated into a practical method of producing and distributing the wealth of the nation in such a way as to end forever the exploitation of the many by the privileged few

All the progressive liberal “anti-capitalists”, all of them, accept continued production of commodities for the market and for profit, the existence of an owning class and a working class, and the division of the world into capitalist nation-state competing against each other — in short, capitalism. The word, socialism, is taken to mean state ownership or government control. Their proposed policies contain a vast array of suggested remedies for the ills of capitalism —nationalisation, the development of state-operated health and welfare services, workers to sit on boards of directors, workers’ pension funds to extend their ownership of corporation stocks and seek control of corporation policy, government curbing of the freedom of action of big companies, encouragement of small companies and cooperatives, government management and planning of the economy, and so on. All these expedients have been tried and tested — with total failure. Application of all these “remedies” has not materially affected the character or operations of capitalism. Progressives not only support capitalism, even strengthen it by reforms, but also sees state capitalism as “socialism.”

Socialists are not looking for a saviour but for their fellow workers to join them in a movement which is understood by all, controlled by all, and in the interests of all — Socialism. It is not enough to say one is a “socialist” to be one. One must advocate the revolutionary abolition of capitalism and refuse to work for its reform, in order to wear the label of "socialist.”

What is apparent in elections is the extent to which all the parties try and manage the agenda for the election. They all want to encourage the debate to be round the handful of high-profile “flagship” issues where they feel on strong ground. The assumption is that voters are stupid and can only remember 3 or 4 things at a time, so why give them more than that to consider.

What it all means is that the campaign may centre around a handful of issues only. That may appear to appeal to the Socialist Party. After all we are the ultimate single-issue party - Abolish Capitalism. But while this is a single issue no-one is pretending that it is a simple case. Sure, it’s not complicated, the case for putting human need ahead of profit, but simple soundbites don’t do our case justice. We in the Socialist Party are also handicapped in the eyes of the modern voter by the fact that we are not in a position to make promises, and what’s more, we aren’t going to “do anything” for anyone. The other parties are falling over each other to be seen to be offering some immediate palliative. The Socialist Party advocates the abolition of buying and selling and money and wages. We want the replacement of the system where production is geared to profit, by a system where production is based on self-defined human needs. We're talking about a world community without any frontiers. About wealth being produced to meet people's needs and not for sale on a market or for profit. About everyone having access to what they require to satisfy their needs, without the rationing system that is money. A society where people freely contribute their skills and experience to produce what is needed, without the compulsion of a wage.

 In the admittedly unlikely event that the Socialist Party was elected, we would very probably (i.e. as we are a democratic party it wouldn’t just be up to the newly elected MP to decide) give our support to a reform demand which we felt would advance the interests or conditions of the working class. But it is reasonable for us to not want to allow this to divert us from the mandate we would have been elected on, to push for a world where the satisfaction of human need is the first and last and only consideration of society.

It's tempting, in the absence of any real alternative, to get drawn into the phoney war that is political debate today. Whether Labour, Tory, nationalist, Lib Dem or whatever they all spout the same promises. But it always amounts to the same thing-they offer no alternative to the present way of running society. Do you really think who wins an election makes any difference to how you live? And do politicians (whether left-wing, nationalist or right-wing) actually have much real power anyway? OK, they get to open supermarkets and factories, but it's capitalism and the market system which closes them down.

Monday, March 25, 2019

On Population Matters

We are told by many environmentalists, some of the stature of the BBC personality David Attenborough, that society overlooks the need for the world’s people, especially the poorer ones, to restrict or curtail their procreative activities. Study Malthus, abolish all religious superstition about contraception and get down to birth control should be a lesson to all. What they need to tell us is how their population reduction cure for poverty is supposed to operate. Perhaps, they argue that there are too many workers and that a reduction of their number would enable the smaller number to push up wages. An argument that overlooks the fact that under capitalism the number of workers who can get work is not a fixed number, it depends on whether capitalist production is expanding or contracting. The fallacy of the theory of the birth controllers is in supposing that unemployment is a direct result of the size of population in a given area of land, thus ignoring the form of social organisation, capitalism.

While capitalism continues, working people, whether more or less numerous than what some “experts” regards as the proper number, will continue to be exploited. Not birth control but socialism is required to abolish poverty.

It is true that the human population cannot grow without affecting the natural environment, sometimes with the risk of dangerous ecological chain-reactions. But the cause of global warming and the vast majority of pollution problems, from pesticide, industrial waste and so forth, could be avoided upon the abolition of capitalism with its reckless race for profits. The way to stop the environmental crises is not to stop having children, but to start cleaning up the economy and the planet. The “overpopulation problem” is really a misuse of resources problem.

People’s readiness to accept the “overpopulation” argument arises from their lack of understanding of the way capitalism works. If millions are hungry, it is felt that this can only be because there isn’t enough food in the world. If millions live in overcrowded squalor, this must be because there is a shortage of living space. If people are homeless, there is a “housing shortage” and that is that.

On the fringes are the white supremacists, self-styled eco-fascists, who envisage a future of climate change refugees invading North America and Europe. They foresee an impending war between the “haves” and the “have nots”. We are ominously warned that the Muslims are out-breeding the white Christian “race” and casting jealous eyes on their possessions and territories. This is highly misleading nonsense.

Capitalism, as a system of rationing and we are constantly told that “There isn’t enough to go round”, so we must limit what we consume. “Overpopulation” is used to make those of us who possess a few basic comforts to be thankful for what we have. Yet if we examine the potential for satisfying human needs which has been released by modern technology, we see that the opposite is the case. In order to thrive, the capitalist system must expand and develop its potential for plenty but in order to survive it also must preserve poverty and scarcity which are its life-blood.