Skip to main content

An appeal to humanity does not move the capitalist

Social Reaction or Social Revolution, Capitalism or Communism – thus stands the question. This question must be answered in our favour. For the spirit of socialism rises over the entire world.

Capitalism, with its competition, incites nations, races and continents against one another. Capitalism is the instigator of wars. Instead of uniting the world for peace, it works for its irremediable division, for perpetual conflict. Capitalism becomes the Destroyer. The permanent war economy continues with all the key social and economic questions are decisively determined by the course of national antagonisms and preparations for war.

The rise of a socialist movement depends today on the rise of a politically-conscious working class, on its separation from the capitalist ideology. Socialists should dedicate themselves to the purpose of hastening and influencing such a development. What is required of us above all is steadfastness in the face of continuing adversity. That is the duty of every conscious socialist who has stuck by his or her principles and ideas.

Many left-wing groups fancy themselves as “vanguards” of the working-class. We say that workers should spurn these would-be elites and organise for socialism democratically, within political parties without leaders. Leftists insist that they are very much concerned with working-class consciousness, but an examination of their literature shows that “consciousness” means merely following the right leaders. When it is suggested that the majority of the population must attain a clear desire for the abolition of the wages system, and the introduction of a worldwide money-free community, they reply that this is “too abstract”, or “too academic.” Some say, when push comes to shove, that they look forward to such a world without wages “ultimately,” but since this “ultimate” aim has no effect on their actions it can only be interpreted as an empty platitude. They are even muddled about the various capitalist reforms they will introduce if they get power. Bernstein’s dictum “The movement is everything, the goal nothing” sums up the left-wing outlook very well. Left-wing people need to chase feverishly down every reformist cul-de-sac, a practice known as “developing consciousness through struggle. Struggle is apparently a sort of metaphysical driving force which is supposed to turn reforms into sparks of revolution. Action for its own sake is lauded to the skies. The Left constitute the officer corps and the ringmasters who order the working-class to jump through hoops, manipulated by slogan-shouting demagogues brandishing reformist bait. What is needed is not leadership (the labour movement is full of “revolutionary leaders” as it is) but a working class equipped with an understanding of socialism. The left wing are a valuable asset to the capitalist system, thanks to the confusion and disillusionment they produce.

Those who march in protest about the effects of capitalism would do better to look for a more radical approach—or else contribute towards generations to come suffering the same sore feet, the same sore heads—and the same bitter disillusionment. Even when the politicians, the economists and the experts listen they are still powerless to end the misery and exploitation of capitalism.

Nationalists share the illusion that the problems facing workers in Northern Ireland or workers in Wales or in Scotland are caused by some faulty political arrangement: rule from London rather than from Edinburgh, Cardiff or Dublin. In actual fact, however, these problems have an economic cause: the capitalist system of class ownership of the means of production and distribution. As long as capitalism continues to exist these problems will remain, however the political superstructure is re-arranged and no matter how radical or violent the rearrangement. The experience of the South of Ireland since independence in 1921 is proof enough of this.

The Socialist Party is internationalist. It strives to join together of workers of all lands in order to end capitalism, and all the scourges which accompanies the system. It is nationalism that divides workers so that the workers of one nationality are struggling against the workers of another nationality for a few illusory crumbs the rulers throw out exactly for that purpose. It is nationalism that pits groups of workers against each other to the advantage of their mutual exploiters and oppressors. Nationalism is an ideology which developed with the emergence of nations during the rise and development of capitalism. Nationalism serves the capitalists in the sense that they are seeking a market for their goods, and their national market is always primary as capitalism develops. And nationalism serves to help the merchants, traders and manufacturers secure its home market from foreign competitors by promoting patriotic protectionism. Yet the nation-state also offers the spring-board for acquiring foreign markets by demanding free trade for its exports. Nationalism does not serve the interests of the working class but is a tool of the capitalist class. The hold of patriotic sentiment and the havoc wrought by capitalists by playing upon it, have been abundantly demonstrated.

Nationalism means exclusion and isolation. Any nationalism finally implies that those people are better than all others. We are the victims of a nationalism that preaches superiority and inferiority. Nationalism isolates the oppressed from their foreign brothers and sisters and delivers them into the hands of the exploiters of their own nationality. The destroyer of capitalism is the collective workers struggle, the victory of the multi-national working class.

Capitalism is a world system and cannot be replaced by socialism except on a global scale. Just as socialism in a single country is not possible, so a successful socialist strategy cannot be developed except on a worldwide scale.

The SNP is a capitalist party. It works on behalf of business. The difference between the SNP and the other parties is not that it is calling for a different social system. What’s different is that they are simply looking for a new way to divide the spoils. The sharing will still just be between groups of capitalists.


Popular posts from this blog

What do we mean by no leaders

"Where are the leaders and what are their demands?" will be the question puzzled professional politicians and media pundits will be asking when the Revolution comes. They will find it inconceivable that a socialist movement could survive without an elite at the top. This view will be shared by some at the bottom. Lenin and his Bolshevik cohorts argued that we couldn't expect the masses to become effective revolutionaries spontaneously, all on their own. To achieve liberation they needed the guidance of a "vanguard party" comprised of an expert political leadership with a clear programme. The Trotskyist/Leninist Left may remix the song over and over again all they want but the tune remains the same: leaders and the cadres of the vanguard can find the answer; the mass movements of the people cannot liberate themselves. The case for leadership is simple. Most working-class people are too busy to have opinions or engage in political action. There’s a need for some…

Lenin and the Myth of 1917

A myth pervades that 1917 was a 'socialist' revolution rather it was the continuation of the capitalist one. What justification is there, then, for terming the upheaval in Russia a Socialist Revolution? None whatever beyond the fact that the leaders in the November movement claim to be Marxian Socialists. M. Litvinoff practically admits this when he says:In seizing the reigns of power the Bolsheviks were obviously playing a game with high stake. Petrograd had shown itself entirely on their side. To what extent would the masses of the proletariat and the peasant army in the rest of the country support them?”This is a clear confession that the Bolsheviks themselves did not know the views of the mass when they took control. At a subsequent congress of the soviets the Bolsheviks had 390 out of a total of 676. It is worthy of note that none of the capitalist papers gave any description of the method of electing either the Soviets or the delegates to the Congress. And still more cu…


In 1900 Dundee was associated with one product: jute. Jute was the cheapest of fibres, but it was tough. As such it was the ideal packing material. Jute bagging and jute sacks were used to carry cotton from the American South, grain from the Great Plains and Argentina, coffee from the East Indies and Brazil, wool from Australia, sugar from the Caribbean and nitrates from Chile. Dundee was ‘Juteopolis’ – synonymous with its main industry. This association of place and product was not unusual. We still link Clydebank with ships, Sheffield with steel, Stoke-on-Trent with pottery. Throughout the late nineteenth century, over half of Dundee's workforce worked in the textile sector, which, from the 1860s on, was dominated by jute. Migrant workers arrived in Dundee in thousands. By the end of the 19th century, the city had quadrupled in size. Many of the immigrants were from Ireland, poor and Catholic. Many Catholic Irish immigrants faced discrimination and bigotry in Presbyterian Scot…