Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tackling Scotland's Problems

More than 21,000 healthy Scots have signed up to become volunteers to support vulnerable people in their area during the coronavirus pandemic. People are being asked to go to the Ready Scotland website if they wish to provide practical or emotional help.
Glasgow's  Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow could be in operation as a temporary hospital within two weeks. The emergency facility will be run by the NHS and could have capacity for more than 1,000 patients.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the emergency facility would be a hospital staffed by and run by the NHS, "with full clinical and medical infection control standards".

When push comes to shove, this shows that society can if it wishes challenge the many social problems that faces it. But why have we waited for a global pandemic to mobilise the people and the resources?

It's us or them

"The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees; let us rise"

The goal of the Socialist Party is the conversion of the means of production, and distribution into the common property of society in the interests of the entire community. The struggle to secure the common ownership of the means of production—the prerequisite of economic and social prosperity - which can only come about through the political victory of the class without property over the class with property. The basic evil in capitalist society lies in the private ownership of the means of production. This is the root cause for the wasteful unplanned anarchy of capitalism, for its extremes of unnecessary poverty on the one hand and anti-social wealth on the other, for its instability. The plain fact is that a numerically small group of people, the capitalists, who own the machinery of production and the natural resources of the country, have the masses at their mercy. They are industrial serfs. The ownership of industry is the source of the power of the profit-seeking class. It gives them control of the opportunities of the masses to secure the necessities of life. The millions of men and women who are dependent upon the wages they earn for a living are economic serfs. The present industrial system divides the people of this country into two classes. Anyone with a grain of common sense will admit that. There are people who work for wages and those who employ the wage workers. The evils of the present social order — insecurity, low wages, and industrial conflicts — are the product of a system in which the supreme purpose is the taking of profits.

The business of making profits is shrouded in great mystery by the capitalists. They seek to make the workers believe that it is through some occult power that they make the processes of production yield them profits and build up great fortunes for them. There is no mystery about the source of profits. The capitalists do not create wealth out of the aid in juggling with industry. They make profits because they purchase the labour-power of the workers for less than the value of the goods the workers produce, that is, they do not pay the workers the full value of their labour. There is not other way of making profits out of industry. The lower the wages for which the capitalists can purchase the labour-power of the workers and the longer their hours of labour, the greater will be the capitalists’ profits. The industrial conflicts which are part and parcel of the capitalist system are the direct outgrowth of this situation. The workers naturally seek to increase their wages and reduce their hours of labour. They endeavour to secure for themselves more of the wealth they produce and better working conditions. The capitalists resist. They see their profits menaced by the workers’ demands. The workers organize their power and refuse to work unless their demands are granted, and we have a strike

The existing industrial system is a huge profit-making machine, which has no relation to the happiness and well-being of the people. We have solved the problem of production. If working people seek a better world their aim must be the abolition of the profit system. The profit system leads inevitably to the conclusion that it is incompatible with the interests of the people. Common ownership of industry is the remedy for our social problems, the abolition of the rewards of ownership, rent, interest, and profit. The abolition of exploitation through the abolition of rent, interest, and profits will insure to the masses the enjoyment of the wealth produced through our greatly increased productive power and will end the misery and poverty which is such a dark blot upon our civilisation.

We can produce all that is needed to supply the necessities of life as well as some of the comforts of life — education and the opportunity for recreation — to all the people. World socialism will enable us to bring into existence more than enough wealth to give a high standard of living, which means good food, good clothing, good homes, education and recreation, peace and happiness to every family in all the lands. Through the establishment of industrial democracy we can assure through their creative effort that men are not drudges and slaves, but free men and women cooperating together in producing socially useful things.

The struggle of the working class will henceforth be a political struggle for control of the state because it must gain control of the government before it can hope to establish social democracy. For the working class to endeavour to take control of industry while all the repressive power of the class state remained in the hands of the capitalist class would be to invite destruction. The task the workers have to undertake, the way to freedom, is through building a class conscious political movement which will carry on the work of educating the workers to an understanding of the system of exploitation which now exists and the class character of the struggle to wrest control of the government out of the hands of the capitalist class. The Socialist Party is the medium through which this can be done. At the same time it is an essential part of the work of the workers to build up organisations in the industries themselves, having as their goal to supercede the capitalists in the control of industry. In these organisations in the industries are the beginnings of the new industrial order that will expand and grow until they become a huge cooperative organisation of the workers for control and management of the work of production and of all matters pertaining to the common interest of society. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

End the yoke of private property

The socialist ownership of the means of production means the elimination of the capitalist economic system, the abolition of private ownership of those means of production and the eradication of exploitation of man by man. In socialist society there are no longer classes with a monopoly of property in the means of production.

Capitalism does not consist merely in the private ownership of the necessaries for production. If such ownership were the determining feature of capitalism, then capitalism reigned in the days of serfdom. The serf owned his tools, the feudal lord owned the land. Yet that was not capitalism. Capitalism is that social system under which the tool of production (capital) has grown to such mammoth size that the class that owns it rules the world like a despot, steadily swelling the number of the wage slaves.

Socialism does not consist merely in the overthrow of private ownership in any or all of the necessaries of life. If such overthrow of private ownership were socialism, then the overthrow of the one-time private ownership of military forces, and the present state-ownership of the same, would be socialism. Obviously, that is not socialism. A leg of a human being is not a human being. Socialism is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled, and administered by the people, for the people, and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism, nothing short of that.

Socialists deny that workers and the capitalists are brothers. Instead we recognise the irreconcilable nature of the conflict between the two. That class struggle will not end until the capitalist class is thrown off the backs of the workers. As Tolstoy says, "I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back." Socialists recognise that an injury to one working person is an injury to all.

Socialism will require no political state because there will be neither a privileged property class nor a downtrodden propertyless class: there will be no social disorder as a result, because there will be no clash of economic interests; there will be no need to create a power to preserve ‘order’. The aim of the Socialist Party is the abolition of class rule and class conflict. Its goal is the development of a society in which the few shall no longer be able to enjoy luxury and leisure at the expense of the work, want, and insecurity for the majority.  So greatly have science and technology increased our productive powers that an abundance of all the good things of life for the whole population could be produced without subjecting any human being to drudgery. To assure plenty, security, leisure, and freedom for all, it is necessary that the existing property system, the existing forms of economic control and distribution of wealth, be so changed as to adapt them to the conditions of the modern world. Private ownership means power for the few and subjection for the many. Only by the socialized ownership and democratic control of such productive wealth, doing away with exploitation and making the satisfaction of human wants the ruling motive in production, can the ideal of a class-free society be achieved. The interest of wage-workers demands this change.

 The choice before us is either to permit capitalism to concentrate all power in the hands of an oligarchy of finance and reduce working people to abject servitude, or to assert the people’s right to control and remodel their economic life. In the name of freedom, in the name of civilization itself, for the good of those now alive and of generations yet unborn, we call upon the workers of the city and countryside, and upon all intelligent and humane men and women, to join us in winning the good new world which is within our reach.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

What the Future Holds

When this pandemic is eventually contained and abates we cannot return to normal, because normal was the problem. This as an opportunity to restart society for a better future. We can rebuild our society in an egalitarian way, in an environmental conscious way. We can banish the politics of hate. There are endless possibilities that a post-COVID-19 future can offer us to change our world. Our present capitalist system is unsustainable, and it works for the interests of a few very rich people.

 For the sake of the future, we must build a sustainable, steady-state economic system, an economic system which ends inequality. Nature may have be involved in the birth of this coronavirus strain but the number of deaths depend on human action and how we organise our society’s economic structure. Much of government policies and the lack of medical infrastructure and resources has proven that global capitalist system is incompetent. The world face an almost unprecedented crisis due to the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together, and we will only get out of it together. That means a paradigm shift in working together. Open our eyes and start learning that we need to have a different political, economic and healthcare systems from this present one.

The Socialist Party is in favour of the common ownership of all the means of production and distribution: namely, the land, mines, mills, factories, and productive machinery, for the purpose of operating industry in the interest of the whole people. The Socialist Party proposes to establish economic democracy.  The earliest known system of society, of which there exist examples today in certain spots of the earth. Men and women lived together in groups known as gens or clans. These were units of a larger group called the tribe. This type of organisation is built up on kinship or blood relationship. There was no private property, and hence no classes. The land was owned and shared in common.

 State and municipal ownership of energy, transport, etc., are palliatives and meagre ones too. Those who talk about these as “socialism” in any sense at best confuse workers on what really constitutes socialism – namely, the social ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people and the ending of the profit system. 

Wage-slavery is the fact.

Who controls my bread controls my head

 The social revolution is the hope of the oppressed people. The Socialist Party holds that political understanding alone can help the people to crystallise their discontent into an intelligent, ordered. Never before has technology provided such favourable conditions for the spread of education and agitation. Many who have never taken the trouble to get even an elementary knowledge of the fundamentals of socialism, have convinced themselves that “socialism will not work” and, in fact, that “socialism is dead.” On the contrary, socialism still lives. If our fellow-workers want socialism, they must join the Socialist Party, and agitate, educate, and organise for socialism. Capitalism today can no longer satisfy their demands. Our goal is to win the greatest mass of workers to socialism. Political agitation is the struggle to raise class consciousness.

Capitalism is founded upon production for profit. Socialism is all about production for use. 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 a party which stands for the brotherhood of humanity, and directing its activities toward the attainment of general happiness and well being, the Socialist Party hopes that it will be accomplished by peace. Our party, the Socialist Party, is also aware of the fact that the success of the social revolution is guaranteed only when the minds of the people have matured for it. Therefore, our greatest duty is to educate and organize the working class so that it will become capable of carrying out this historic duty. But just as we cannot define the form of the revolution, neither can we determine the moment or its course. The Socialist Party works for the revolution when its struggles for the well-being, for the self-respect, and for the self-consciousness of working people.

The economic basis of present day society is the private ownership and control of socially necessary means of production, and the exploitation of the workers, who operate these means of production for the profit of those who own them. The interests of these two classes are diametrically opposed. It is the interest of the capitalist class to maintain the present system and to obtain for themselves the largest possible share of the product of labour. It is the interest of the working class to improve their conditions of life and get the largest possible share of their own product so long as the present system prevails, and to end this system as quickly as they can. In so far as the members of the opposing classes become conscious of these facts, each strives to advance its own interests as against the other. It is this active conflict of interest which we describe as the class struggle.

The Socialist Party seeks to organise the working class for independent action on the political field, not for the betterment of their conditions, but above all with the revolutionary aim of putting an end to exploitation and class rule. Such political action is absolutely necessary to the emancipation of the working class, and the establishment of genuine liberty for all. To accomplish this aim of the Socialist Party is to bring about the common ownership and democratic control of all the necessary means of production — to eliminate profit, rent, and interest, and to change our class society into a society of equals, in which the interest of one will be the interest of all. The political parties are as rotten and bankrupt as the system they uphold. They can maintain themselves and that. system today only by piling additional burdens upon the people. For the future they offer only more poverty and continual war. The evils of capitalism will disappear only with the destruction of capitalism and the building of socialism.

The socialist society will do away with the anarchy of capitalism. Democratically-elected neighbourhood assemblies and workers’ councils in every industry and district will manage public services and production. The vast technological and natural resources will help us with the re-construction of society. The only path forward is the socialist road. Today it is the ballot that we use against capitalism. Vote, then, for socialism.” Vote for the Socialist Party, the only party that keeps the revolutionary red banner unfurled. The prevailing economic system can only be abolished in two ways; namely, by securing control of the state machine or by violent insurrection. No sane person prefers violence to peace, and hence socialists rely upon the efficacy of a united class-conscious ballot to accomplish their end.

The Socialist Party is necessarily a revolutionary party in the sense above indicated, and its basic demand is the common ownership of the means of production and distribution and the operation of all industry in the interest of all the people. This will mean an economic democracy. Economic freedom can result only from common ownership, and upon this vital principle the Socialist Party differs from every other party. Between private ownership and common ownership there can be no middle way. One produces for profit, the other for use.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Socialism and COVID-19

The Socialist Party in the present grave health crisis solemnly reaffirms its allegiance to the principle of internationalism and global solidarity. The time is now to kick-start the future of humanity. Never before has there been such demand for compassionate political action. Let us be clear. Right now we can prevent a crisis turning into a  catastrophe. Fighting for a few and not for all is not an option. COVID-19 threatens us all. It affects us all. COVID-19 is preying on the vulnerable. It is exploiting the inequality that divides our world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the glaring structural economic inequities in capitalist society. Capitalism’s distorted priorities are on full display. Rarely has the capitalist principle that profits come before people been made this explicit. Those who seek to make their country “open for business” will worsen the coronavirus pandemic and demonstrate even more brazenly that their policies are consistent with the capitalist class’s well-established pattern of sacrificing human and environmental well-being at the altar of the market,

We need to act together. We must cooperate from our local communities to a global scale. In the land of CEOs, shareholders, and spreadsheets, there are no people, only human resources, a work-force not individuals.

The time socialist revolution is now.

The Socialist Party stands opposed to the system of exploitation and class rule which is upheld and strengthened by nationalism and patriotism. In every country, the working people are oppressed and exploited. They produced enormous wealth but the bulk of it has been withheld from them by the owners of the industries. It is the logical outcome of the competitive capitalist system.

 The Socialist Party emphatically rejects the proposal that the workers should suspend their struggle for better conditions. On the contrary, the acute situation created by the pandemic calls for an even more vigorous prosecution of the class struggle. Those who want to see socialism thrive work for socialism. Let all others get out of the way.