Tuesday, April 30, 2019

No More Masters

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” Audre Lorde
There will not be a one-size-fits-all model of social change but there is a requirement to re-imagine the very foundations of the world around us.


Capitalism operates from a framework that assumes there is simply not enough to go around — that it is impossible for everyone to have all they need, even though some people possess unthinkable amounts of wealth. Socialists imagine the possibilities of a world without exploited labour. The working class is the only thoroughly revolutionary class. Its exploitation brings it face-to-face with the fundamental contradiction of capitalist society – the contradiction between the private ownership of the means of production and the social character of production. It is the only class which can carry the revolutionary struggle against the bourgeoisie through to the end and replace it as the ruling class.

Simply stated, the working class (or proletariat) is defined as all those who:
1) Do not own the means of production;
2) Have to sell their labour-power to the capitalist class to make a living; 
3) Directly, or indirectly, create surplus value which is expropriated by the capitalist class.

This exploitation, or expropriation of surplus value, creates an irreconcilable, antagonistic class contradiction between the working class and the owning employing class. Only the emancipation from capital itself can liberate the working class. Its mission, therefore, is to overthrow the ruling class and replace capitalism with socialism. The working class constitutes the majority of the population. A socialist world would be run for people, not for profit - for the benefit of the majority, not a handful of big businessmen and financiers. Production would be socially controlled and planned. All the big social and economic problems which we face today can only be finally resolved by putting an end to capitalism and establishing socialism. This socialist revolution can be carried through in conditions without civil war, by a combination of a socialist parliamentary majority and mass struggle outside parliament. Under capitalist society the Socialist Party exists to fight against the exploitation of those who toil by hand and brain, to strengthen the working-class organisation and political understanding of the need of ending capitalism and establishing socialism. We represent the future. The future is ours. never more determined to achieve the goal of Socialism than we are on this day in the year 2019.
    The Socialist Party's goal is;
    1) The abolition of the private ownership of the means of production.
    2) Elimination of competition and production for exchange value and its replacement by democratic planning and production for use.
    3) Workers’ and people’s management of the economy and society.
    4) The abolition of wage labour.
    5) The elimination of classes.
    6) The disappearance of the state.
    7) Full development of the productive forces .
    8) From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Working people must end PRIVATE PROPERTY in the means of production and operate industries for the benefit of the PEOPLE.
Every person who has the courage and the daring to dedicate to the greatest of all ideals – the emancipation of mankind – must come forward and take his place in the ranks of the Socialist Party. On our banner we inscribe this single, simple word: Socialism.




WORKERS OF ALL LANDS UNITE


A growing number of Scots believe that too many people are entering the UK. In June 2018 found that 38 per cent of respondents believed that immigration levels were too high. In the latest survey carried out by YouGov, 45 per cent of respondents now say that the level of immigration into Britain over the last few years has been too high.

A total of 37 per cent of those polled said they thought the level has been “about right”, with 6% saying they thought the level was too low, whilst 11% said they did not know whether the level was right or not.

Research suggests that 45 per cent of people who voted Yes in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum believe that immigration is too high.

A total of 77 per cent of Leave voters in the Brexit referendum said they thought the level is too high, whilst Conservative voters are most likely to be opposed to more immigration, with 65 per cent stating that view.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly warned that a more restrictive migration system could send Scotland’s recent population growth into reverse, with birth rates north of the Border falling to historic lows. Last week, latest figures revealed Scotland’s population hit 5.44 million. Migration was the main reason for the increase with 20,900 more people coming than leaving, from both overseas and the rest of the UK, over the year to mid-2018. Although Scotland’s population increased by 0.2 per cent over the year, the rate of population growth has slowed for the second year running. This is due to a reduction in overall net migration.

People do worry about the deterioration of their lives and many blame newcomers for the reason. The Socialist Party has never been afraid to take a minority position that is correct merely because it is unpopular with the working class at present. It has never pandered to the prejudices of the working class. Many politicians have indulged in attacks on immigrants over the years as it is necessary for them to have a scapegoat to blame for the ills of the political system that we live under and the immigrant has always served as such a scapegoat. You will not find a Socialist Party member in that number.

We hear it only too frequently; ‘I’m no racist but  I’m in favour of some sort of immigration control. Why give them houses  when we haven’t enough houses for our own people?Why spend money on schooling for them, when the class-sizes are too big for our own children.?’ ‘Why let them use our hospitals when the waiting times are already long enough...’ How often we hear this?

Even some on the Left demand tighter border controls to prevent ‘our jobs’ being stolen by foreigners at a cost to the disadvantaged unemployed.

We know that the politicians who blame the immigrants for the shortages in our society are exactly the same people who are responsible for those shortages. We know that in capitalist society the numbers of people coming into any country will be regulated by the number of jobs available in that country, and we know that overcrowding in that country – bad housing, hospital conditions and the like – are caused not by the numbers of workers in that country but by a system of society which plans its priorities and makes its decisions in the interests of profit and a minority who benefit from that profit. So we know that immigration controls cannot possibly assist the workers already in that country. We also know that immigration controls create all kinds of hardship for workers and their families who want to come here.

As soon as someone says ‘Keep them out’, as soon as he or she talks about ‘Our own people’, they have committed discrimination between one set of workers and another. Our people, cannot be defined by their place of birth, the place where they live, the language they talk or the colour of their skin. Our people are the plundered and the dispossessed all over the world who speak a multitude of languages and have many different coloured skins. The common factor of their exploitation binds them together far closer than the trivial differences of skin colour or language. It is the system of capitalist production that produces unemployment, homelessness, destitution and crumbling health services, not workers, be they 'indigenous' or 'foreign'.
WORLD SOCIALISM

We perform no miracles – We promise none.


Who are the oppressors, but the Nobility and Gentry; who are oppressed, is not the Yeoman, the Farmer, the Tradesman, and the Labourer? Your slavery is their liberty, your poverty is their prosperity.’ Laurence Clarkson 1647

WORLD SOCIALISM? No way! Face it. Every country that used to be socialist/communist has gone capitalist. We say socialism/communism has never been tried

The Socialist Party says to the workers: Unite into your own economic organisations, free from the control and influence of your class enemy. Organise your own political party. Challenge your enemy not only on the economic field but also on the political. Send your own representatives into Parliament to fight for your interests. We say, with Engels, that “universal suffrage is the best lever for a proletarian movement at the present time”. We say, with Engels, that “universal suffrage is the gauge of the maturity of the working class”. We will therefore do everything we can to raise the red line in that thermometer which measures the maturity of the working class. “On the day when the thermometer of universal suffrage reaches its boiling point among the labourers, they as well as the capitalists will know what to do.” The Socialist Party wants to make sure that on the day the thermometer boils over – not today, not tomorrow, but on that day – “the labourers. .. as well as the capitalists will know what to do”. We want to make sure that on that day the workers not only have enough votes in their hands, but enough power to enforce their will.

We are fighting for socialist freedom, and in this fight we are now on the defencive. The working class is on the defencive all over the world. The Socialist Party rejects the panaceas of capitalism. Society is in constant recurring crises. As Marxists, we understand that the underlying causes of this crisis lie within the capitalist system itself. The various economic difficulties cannot be “reformed away” through Keynesian or monetarist economic policies, because they flow from the fundamental contradiction of any capitalist society: the fact that production is social in character, yet the appropriation of social wealth is in private hands. As long as there remains capitalism people will suffer from unemployment, low quality social services, high military budgets, racial and sexual oppression, devastation of the environment, and all the manifestations of the chaos of production under the capitalist system.

As Marxists we understand that the real solutions to the economic and political difficulties of society lie in overthrowing capitalism and establishing a socialist system, that force in the revolutionary process must be the working class, owing to its position within capitalist society, and its objective interests in destroying the system which exploits and dominates it. Yet the working class remains incapable of playing its revolutionary role. The working class remains seriously divided, and dominated by ruling class ideas of racism, nationalism and sexism. The basic economic organisations of the working class are seriously under attack. Not only is the working class weak in its economic position in relationship to the bourgeoisie, but in the political field it is weak as well. On the whole the majority of workers are still under the influence of the pro-capitalist parties, primarily the British Labour Party and the Democratic Party in America. The awareness of the need for socialism will not come about spontaneously as a result of people’s disillusionment. It is the task of the Socialist Party, continually propagate for the socialist alternative. We argue for socialism not as a Utopian alternative to the evils of capitalism, but as the next logical step in human development. We continually try to show now the people’s problems are rooted in capitalism and that only a rationally planned economy, run by and for the working class, can overcome the present difficulties. The question arises as to how can the worker be transformed from a wage -slave, taught to obey the orders of his master, to can develop class-consciousness. A worker may live in extreme misery, yet his experience will not make him conscious of his own social status and of the necessity for class action. The conditions under which the worker becomes more or less receptive to notions of revolutionary class-consciousness vary greatly. When the worker opposes his or her exploiter and the state it makes it easy to open the workers' eyes and they become more susceptible to the socialist message that they are part of a social class of exploited and suppressed workers.

We have listened to the capitalists' promises for years and years. We shall listen no longer. Economic democracy and social justice are our demands based, first and foremost, upon the abolition of the capitalist system and exploitation, fully laying bare the innate rottenness of that system. The Socialist Party spread the hope of a world dedicated to peace and plenty.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Edinburgh Branch Meeting

7pm, Thursday, May 2nd
The Quaker Hall, 
Victoria Terrace (above Victoria Street), 
Edinburgh EH1 2JL

The Socialist Party has clearly stated is that to achieve socialism requires a clear understanding of socialist principles with a determined desire to put them into practice. 

For socialism to be established the mass of the prople must understand the nature and purpose of the new society. Our theory of socialist revolution is grounded in Marx's - the position of the working class within capitalist society forces it to struggle against capitalist conditions of existence and as the workers gained more experience of the class struggle and the workings of capitalism, the labour movement would become more consciously socialist and democratically organised by the workers themselves and would require no intervention by people outside the working class to bring it. 

Socialist propaganda and agitation are indeed necessary but would be carried out by workers themselves whose socialist ideas would have been derived from an interpretation of their class experience of capitalism. 

The end result would be an independent movement of the socialist-minded and democratically organised working class aimed at winning control of political power in order to abolish capitalism. Marx’s concept of the workers’ party to be was a mass democratic movement of the working class with a view to establishing socialism. This the Socialist Party still aspires to become.

We challenge capitalist apologists and pseudo-socialists in the battle of ideas. Our fellow-workers' acceptance of capitalist political and social ideas, like other beliefs are learned from other people - parents,  schoolteachers,  workmates, and the influence of the mass media and social media.  It follows therefore that the struggle against capitalist ideology must  also be a campaign to spread socialist ideas - a role taken on by ourselves. 

Socialist ideas arise when workers begin to reflect on the general position of the working class within capitalist society. The socialist view have to be communicated to other workers, but NOT from outside the working class as a whole. They have to be communicated by OTHER workers who, from their own life experiences and/or from being imbued with the past experience and knowledge of the working class, have come to a socialist understanding.

 It's not a question of enlightened outsiders bringing socialist ideas to the ignorant workers but of socialist-minded workers spreading socialist ideas amongst their fellow workers. We see socialist consciousness as emerging from a combination of two things - people's encounters with  capitalism and the problems capitalism inevitably creates but in addition, also the activity of socialists voicing the case for socialism as a part of peoples' experience.

We regard socialism not as a purely political theory, nor as an economic doctrine, but as one which embraces every phase of social life. The fact of the longevity of the Socialist Party as a political organisation based on agreed goals, methods and organisational principles seems to suggest that we indeed represent some strand of socialist thought that some people are drawn towards.

The Socialist Party does not minimise the necessity and importance of the worker keeping up the struggle over wages or to resisting cuts. There are some signs that union membership and general combativity are rising. And let's not forget that this is vital if our class is to develop some of the solidarity and self-confidence essential for the final abolition of wage slavery.

 We fully acknowledge the necessity of workers' solidarity in the class struggle against the capitalist class, and rejoice in every victory for the workers to assert their economic power. But to struggle for higher wages and better conditions is not revolutionary in any true sense of the word; and the essential weapons in this struggle are not inherently revolutionary either. It demands the revolutionising of the workers themselves. If there were more revolutionary workers in the unions—and in society generally—then the unions and the host of other community organisations would have a more revolutionary outlook. But the Socialist Party also cautions that participation in the class struggle does not automatically make workers class conscious. Militancy on the industrial field is just that and does not necessarily lead to political militancy, but ebbs and flows as labour market conditions change – and militants in the work-places can in no way count on their supporters on the political field. 

We do not say workers should sit back and do nothing, but that the struggle over wages and living conditions must go on. But it becomes clear that this is a secondary, defensive activity. The real struggle is to take the means of wealth production and distribution into the common ownership. Only by conscious and democratic action will such a socialist system of society be established. This means urging workers to want something more than what they once thought was "enough". The Socialist Party can be accused of wanting "too much" because our aim is free access and common ownership. The task of the Socialist Party is to show workers that in fact it is a practical proposition and to transform this desire into an immediancy for the working class.


The Future Lies with the Workers

The Marxist Materialist Conception of History tells us never judge phenomena from the surface of things and outward appearance, but to delve deeper down to the economic, social and political foundations. If we perform this critical task in the case of political demagoguery of the Left and the Right, we discover that in spite of their apparent differences, in spite of the divergent polarised social composition of their support, there are nevertheless similarities. Demagogues adapt their policy and propaganda to the prejudices of the audience to which it is hoped to appeal, without regard to the truth or correctness or workability of any given proposal. The pandering to prejudices and build on them. Such demagogy of populist parties is not accidental. All promises of material betterment, of peace, prosperity and security, are necessarily demagogic as they are formulated within the framework of the capitalist order, and none of these are possible under capitalism. That is why their claims AGAINST capitalism can be nothing but demagogy. Each in its different way presents a platforms which presupposes the continued existence of capitalism. Each of these parties are basically dedicated, however indirectly, to the maintenance and defence of capitalism. For sure, the Left and Right differ profoundly in the ways and means they propose; in their social composition of their supporters; in the manner and direction of their campaign. But these differences are secondary to this basic similarity.

In America, the Republican Party appears, the party of reaction, supported by the majority of the big capitalists, and by considerable portions of the middle classes. Its leaders make clear that the future of capitalism and profits, lies in true Americanism, rugged individualism, competition, no government “interference” in business, no concessions to the labour unions and an infantile program of U. S. isolationism. They want to pursue still increased profits in in their own unhampered way and Trump promises them he is the leader to do it.

The Democratic Party differ widely – in words at any rate. It too is devoted to the preservation of capitalism and the fullest possible capitalist prosperity (i.e., profits). The Democrats believe that the method of appealing to that traditional rugged individualism is no longer the route either to protect profits or to keep the tolerance of the people for the capitalist order. They advocate an “enlightened” capitalism, tempering the harsh exploitation with soft phrases about civil rights, collective bargaining and palliative government measures.. In this way, the Democratic Party aim to oil the wheels of industry.

The ONLY issue for the working class is the CLASS issue: what class holds power? More clearly than ever before, it must be the World Socialist Party against all others, – for workers' power and for socialism. Our Party is the only party that points out that there is no alternative for the working class other than socialism. Since its foundation, the Socialist Party has consistently carried forward the tradition of revolutionary Marxism. Our perspective remains what it has been: to do its part in the great task of making our party the revolutionary party of the working class. If we maintain a clear Marxian position and at the same time build, educate, work and fight side by side with the workers in each and every phase of the class struggle we will have no reason to worry about the charge of sectarianism or to fear isolation from our fellow-workers.


Scotland's Climate Emergency



Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes the world is facing a climate emergency and pledged to speed up efforts to achieve zero carbon emissions.

However, has she heeded Greta Thunberg's warning about North Sea oil who lambasted the expansion of the North Sea fossil fuel industry or does as SNP police has decreed, continue the drilling and shaping legislation to foster oil businesses.

How many fake promises and how much false hope are we going to be fed before we realise the truth? Climate change is changing the world we know and love. Our land, homes and food are at risk. The docility of the world population has contributed greatly to keeping intact the increasingly unequal, barbaric and rapacious society that is global capitalism. Because people believe there is no alternative to capitalism, it keeps on existing. The climate school Friday strikers and Extinction Rebellion have drawn attention to this issue. The fatal flaw means the continuation of the capitalist system which is the cause of the problems of global warming in the first place. Climate campaigners are firmly wedded to a form of capitalism, holding a belief that capitalism can be reformed so as to be compatible with achieving an environmentally sustainable society. The Socialist Party place ourselves unambiguously in the camp of those who argue that capitalism and a sustainable relationship with the rest of nature are not compatible. The excessive consumption of both renewal and non-renewable resources and the release of carbon emissions and waste that nature can’t absorb which currently goes on are not just accidental but an inevitable result of capitalism’s very essence. If the environmental crisis is to be solved, this system must go. What is required is political action - political action aimed at replacing this system by a new and different one.

The Socialist Party believe that if you share our concern for the well-being of people in our society for the welfare of Earth itself then we appeal to you as members of a long-established independent democratic movement which seeks by persuasion and worlds-wide peaceful political organisation to transform our present society into one fit for humankind. The problems of our planet cannot be solved within the existing structures of production and government. Our world is divided into national areas dominated by class minorities in each country, which, either by private or corporate ownership or by state bureaucratic parties monopolise the means of production. The class interests, values and drive for profit of the world-system have been the underlying reasons for the unprecedented destruction of life and resources throughout this century. This appalling process, made worse by new forms of pollution, including the cutting-down of the rain forests. This uncontrolled madness will continue unless we take the necessary democratic action to transform our way of life throughout the planet. Today many aware of past political errors, propose different approaches to the problems of humankind. They put forward schemes which though rightly concerned with holistic, ecologically benign, locally democratic, “human scale” production are still seen as being within the framework of money, wages, prices and profit. These proposals are attractive to a new political generation, which, failing to identify correctly the process responsible for our major problems, are likely to become a new wave of reformists.


Where are we going?

The Socialist Party platform is for the abolition of the system of capitalism and the establishment or a socialist system of production. All the material resources for a socialist economy are present in abundance–raw materials, industrial plants, energy-producing enterprises, transportation, highly developed agricultural resources. The Socialist Party is accused of being dogmatic. We are dogmatic in so far as we hold ideas that make us strive to end capitalism, not to patch it up. We are dogmatic because we explain economic theory such as surplus value, the source of rent, interest, dividends, etc. We are dogmatic because we preach the class war, asking our fellow-workers to cut adrift from the capitalist parties and reforms. We fight for nothing short socialism, because we believe that nothing short of that will save the workers. It is a platitude that the struggle for socialism requires the broadest possible working class unity. But unity on what basis, unity for what ends

The vast majority live by, or are dependent on, the sale of labour power to industries and businesses owned or dominated by the few. The natural resources and the means of production now in the hands of the few, and which are the source of their economic and political power, must be taken from them and become common property.

In a capitalist society, the ruling class not only controls the productive and state apparatus but also shapes and moulds the ideas, attitudes and very sentiments of the people with remarkable success and their ideologies suffuses whole of society. The more successful the capitalist class, the more deceived the working class. Workers must break with the patterns of thought and conduct which help to maintain capitalist class relations. Reformism is based upon the belief that there is no irreconcilable contradiction between labour and capital and that compromise and the gradual transformation of capitalism into socialism is possible. Socialism can only come about through a successful overthrow of capitalism by a self-organised working class. The Socialist Party will take possession of the means of production (land, mines, factories, means of transport and communication), which in the hands of the capitalists are the means of exploiting and oppressing the working masses, and will make them into social property. By suppressing the division of society into classes, it will put an end to the exploitation of man by man. The victory of the working class, the destruction of the economic and social bases of the possessing classes, the putting into practice of the principles of the planned production – all these will lead to the creation of the class-free society, where there will be no exploited or exploiters, nor class struggles, and all the efforts of society will be deployed to the common good. Society will determine for itself the forms of its confederations and its organisational structure. The victory of socialism means the emancipation of all humanity. Socialism will create not only the new economic and social order, but also the higher civilisation of free mankind.

Our party, which must still strive to get a hearing from the as yet indifferent working class. Socialism has nothing in common with violence practiced by individuals or of small groups, where individuals or minorities attempt to substitute themselves for the the working class. Engels wrote, in his Introduction to Marx’s Class Struggles in France:
The time of surprise attacks, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of the unconscious masses, is past. Where it is a question of a complete transformation of the social organisations, the masses themselves must also be in it, must themselves already have grasped what is at stake, what they are going in for, body and soul. The history of the last fifty years has taught us that.”

A socialist party which lacks a mass base as we ourselves presently do, must reach out to our fellow-workers with patient explanations, and pay no attention to premature demands for “action.” We confine ourselves to campaigning designed to win over the majority. We do not represent ourselves as pacifists. We are not pacifists. But we have adopted the age-old maxim of the Chartists, “peacefully if possible, forcibly as necessary.” We are organising, speaking, writing, and explaining; in other words, carrying on propaganda with the object of winning over the majority to our case for social revolution and socialism. The Communist Manifesto, defined the movement of emancipation as follows:
All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.”

The Socialist Party aims to make the social transformation with the majority and not for the majority.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

We are the future



The world today is a place of stark and bewildering contradictions. Possessing the greatest industrial and agricultural resources in history, it cannot feed, clothe and provide a decent livelihood for millions. People toil relentlessly away just to barely to survive. Poverty exists alongside opulence. This is an irrational and unjust system. But life does not have to be this way.

The Socialist Party strives for political and economic democracy throughout the world. Our conclusion is abolish profits and take production out of the hands of those who are governed only by considerations of profit. What we mean is not taking over of a single industry by nationalisation, but of expropriating from the ruling class each and every factory, office and farm in every branch of production. It means the wresting ownership and control from the capitalist class and transferring the social wealth to the producers of that wealth, the workers, replacing economic dictatorship with economic democracy. The Socialist Party argues that all reconciliations and palliatives are temporary, and that this is a class struggle to be fought out to a finish. The system is to be preserved or the system is destroyed. High wages and full employment are desirable things but the amelioration of working conditions under the capitalist system is limited by the necessities of capitalist production. You have to accept the economic laws of capitalist production, or abolish the system. The stock market gamblers may be swilling down their champagne, but these exploiters will discover that, for them, the party will soon be and the fruits of labour will belong not to the few but to the entire human race.

Private ownership of the means of production, exchange, communication, far from being diluted by popular share ownership, is undergoing an unprecedented concentration. There is no “trickle-down” effect. Capitalism has failed miserably to provide the basic necessities of life for hundreds of millions of workers around the world. .Older workers are discarded like garbage when they no longer have value to the boss-class. Only world-wide socialism offers people an alternative to the misery of capitalism. 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. A radical solution is what it will take to end the miseries of capitalism. The socialist revolution has become a historical necessity and possibility. There is no other choice today but for the working people to organise to struggle and, one day, win socialism.

Today we must look ahead to the future where socialism will be built on the powerful productive potential now stifled by capitalism. Socialism will qualitatively improve the lives of working people. Each person is faced with the choice of either enduring the suffering of poverty, war and environmental destruction or joining with others who are dissatisfied and know that a better society is possible. Women and men, young and old, and people of all nationalities must unite to survive, to be able to work, eat and live as decent human beings. If working people, and not the capitalists, controlled the resources of our society, we could improve all our lives and guarantee a decent standard of living for all.

These are the hopes and aspirations of socialists, fundamentally changing the social system. We cannot be distracted by cynical condemnations that today's ills are because of “human nature” or just the “way things are.” Capitalism, the social system under which we live, is responsible.


Wee Rebellion


Environmental campaigners have staged a "die-in". At the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow, about 300 activists lay down beneath Dippy, the famous copy of a diplodocus skeleton which is currently touring the UK.

Many held handwritten signs with the question “Are we next?”, while children held pictures they had drawn of their favourite at-risk animals as part of the event organised by Wee Rebellion, a climate-change protest group for young people in Glasgow associated with Extinction Rebellion.

Twelve-year-old Lida said: “We want to raise awareness about climate change. If we keep carrying on the way we are humans may become extinct, like Dippy.” 
Aoibhìn, 7, said: “Lots of animals are dying out because of climate change.”

Organisers of the die-in said Wee Rebellion would continue to hold protests until local and central governments committed to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 11 years and established climate citizens assemblies to oversee the changes. The group said industrial agriculture, overfishing and deforestation could lead to food shortages in the UK and serious flooding in parts of Glasgow.

...At every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing over nature – but that we, with flesh and blood and brain, belong to nature and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly. We are gradually learning to get a clear view of the indirect, more remote social effects of our productive activity, and so are afforded the opportunity to control and regulate these effects well. This regulation, however, requires a complete revolution in our existing mode of production…in our whole contemporary social order...”

You could be forgiven for thinking the above quotation came from a campaigner in the Extinction Rebellion movement, commenting on impending global ecological catastrophe and drawing upon the myriad reports currently in existence, written by concerned scientists that portend cataclysmic changes to our life styles if we don’t stop abusing our natural environment immediately. The quote is taken from
Dialectics of Nature, written by Frederic Engels in 1875.

The Socialist Party has been warning about the effects of capitalism’s penny-pinching production methods for well over a hundred years, and how they impact on the wider environment, and it is often with despair that we reiterate the Engels message from the 19th century of the dire effects of capitalist production. The Socialist Party have long argued that it is quite possible to meet the material needs of every person on this planet without destroying the natural systems on which we depend and on which we are party. So what stands in the way? Why isn’t this done? The simpler answer, which we must not get tired of reiterating, is that under the present economic system, production is not geared to meeting human needs but rather to accumulating profits for a few. Consequently, what we produce and the methods and the materials we employ are not decided rationally and democratically, but are dictated by market forces.

Production today is in the hands of business enterprises of one sort or another, all competing to sell their products at a profit. All of them – and it does not matter whether they are privately owned or state-owned – aim to maximise their profits. “Make a profit or die” is the law of the capitalist jungle. Under the demands of the market, businesses only take into account their own narrow financial interests, ignoring wider social and ecological considerations. The whole of production, from the process employed to the choice of what to produce, is distorted by this drive to make and accumulate profits. The result is an economic system governed by market forces which compel decision-makers, whatever their personal views or sentiments, to plunder, pollute and waste.

The Socialist Party's conclusion is clear: If our needs are to be met while at the same time respecting the laws of nature, the present market-driven profit system must go and be replaced with a system capable of producing the essentials humans need, but in an ecologically friendly way. If we are to meet our needs in an ecologically acceptable way, we humans must first be in a position to control production or, to put it another way, to consciously regulate our interaction with the rest of nature – and the only basis on which this can be done is the common ownership of productive resources.


Summer School

Summer School 2017

Summer School 2017  21st – 23rd July Fircroft College, Birmingham   These days, con...