Sunday, January 31, 2021

Our War Is The Class War


The  aim of the Socialist Party is to replace world capitalist economy by a world socialism. It alone can abolish the contradictions of the capitalist system which threaten to degrade and destroy the humanity. A socialist system will abolish the class division of society, it will abolish all forms of exploitation and oppression of man by man. Society will no longer consist of antagonistic classes in conflict with each other, but will present a united cooperative commonwealth. Mankind will take its fate into its own hands. Instead of destroying lives  in struggles between classes and nations, mankind will devote all its energy to  the development and  progress of its own collective potential.

Having abolished private ownership of the means of production and converting these means into social property, world socialism will replace the  blind processes of competitive production, by consciously organising and planning production for the purpose of satisfying  social needs. With the abolition of competition and anarchy in production, devastating economic crises  will disappear. Instead of colossal waste of productive forces for warfare - there will be a the use of  resources for peaceful means.

The abolition of private property and the disappearance of class division will end the exploitation of man by man. Work will cease to be a toiling drudgery for the benefit of the employing class and instead a means of nurturing peoples wishes and desires. Want and inequality, misery and a wretched standard of life will disappear. The hierarchy of the work-place will be removed together. At the same time, the organ of class domination, the State, will cease also as classes die out, and  all its measures of coercion expires.

Private property of  the means of production, the  lust for profits, the artificial poverty - which retards technical progress in capitalist society will have no place in world socialism. The most expedient use of technology and of the and the harmonious relationships with the environment  in the various parts of the world, the closest possible co-operation between science and society, becomes the driving force of the whole system.

A new culture of a united humanity, the disappearance all national borders, will bury forever all racial prejudice, and religious bigotry.

 One of the strange things about criticisms of socialism is that they should feel it necessary to impute “perfection” to human beings in order for socialism to work. We need to be a society of saints and have the personalities of angels. Behind this is the unquestioned assumption that human beings need to be 100% altruistic in order for socialism to work. That is to say, it should entail the complete negation of any kind of self-interested motive.

Its complete nonsense. Every conceivable kind of society is predicated on a mixture of both altruistic and egoistic motives – including both capitalism and socialism,

Socialism does not require people to be “perfect”. On the contrary, it is very much in the self-interest of workers as a class and individually to establish socialism. If anything is indicative of excessive altruism it is the willingness of said workers to allow themselves to be exploited and abused by a tiny parasite class under our present system of capitalism. For well over 95% of our time on this planet our species lived under a social arrangement completely at variance with the kind of society we live under today: “immediate return”, food sharing, communistic, hunter-gatherer bands (not to be confused with “tribes”). If anything defines human nature it is our Paleolithic and Mesolithic past – since our genetic make up has not changed significantly since then – not the kind of society we live under today. However, having said that, the only thing one can confidently say about human nature is that we are:

1) social animals and

2) highly adaptable.

Anything else tends to veer towards speculation

As for greed and jealousy bringing about the collapse of socialism how exactly is this supposed to work in a society in which goods and services are freely accessible to everyone without any quid pro quo exchange? If you want to gain the respect and esteem of your fellows in a socialist society the only course of action available to you is what you contribute to society, not what you take out of it. That’s no bad thing either.

The problem with so many critics of socialism is that they don’t really understand what it is they purport to be criticising.


 Robert Burns, put the idea of socialism in memorable verse:

For a' that and a' that

It's coming yet for a' that.

That man to man the world owr

Shall brithers be for a' that.

This brotherhood of mankind is to be achieved, not by emphasising minor cultural differences but by eliminating major obstacles, such as class divisions, and national oppression or State subjugation which is preventing human progress towards the unity of mankind in a brotherhood of peoples.

Paul Robeson in Scotland


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Socialism — The Hope of the Human Family

 When the Socialist Party was founded the original members saw nothing but growth and victory ahead of themThey would be sadly disappointed that nearly a hundred and twenty years later socialism has not yet been achieved. Yet they would be heartened that the Socialist Party remains knitted together by solidarity of feeling and action, still inspired by the same idea, continuing to work for the common cause, regardless of national boundaries and regardless of racial distinctions. 

We, in the Socialist Party, are today the only  organisation which has still retained a clear vision, an unclouded mind, in this general din of confusion and unreason; and it falls to us to continue our opposition to this criminal economic system. Since the Socialist Party was formed it has resolutely refused to join in  demands for palliatives, and assert that such a campaign will divert from the complete overthrow of the wage system.

The world was never more unsafe for civilisationWe believe in democracy. We adhere to democratic principles. We believe in a social system based on production for use, not for profit, a system of production and distribution socially owned and democratically controlled in the interests of the people. We believe in the attainment of our ends by peaceful, legal means, through political action, through education and agitation. We stand side by side with trade unionism and political action, as a means of combatting the evils of capitalism and laying the foundation of a class-free society. 

We declare uncompromisingly and unequivocally for socialism. Between the capitalist class and the working class there is an irrepressible conflict. Capitalism divides society into two antagonistic forces, because it is based upon two sets of conflicting economic interests. They each desire economic independence. One of these forces believes that it is justly entitled to the economic independence which it has, but which it manifestly did not create; the other force believes that it is being unjustly deprived of that which it creates and which it never possesses. A capitalist is one who profits by the system. If he labors himself, it does not alter the fact that he has an income apart from his labor sufficient to sustain him for life without labour, and therefore his is economically independent

The Socialist Party platform declares the objects to be the formation of a working class party; the abolition of wage slavery; severance with all capitalist and reform parties; abolition of class rule; the establishment of world socialism, the cooperative commonwealth. Private ownership of the means of production and distribution is the seed or germ of capitalism, of which wage slavery is the most revolting feature. This seed has now brought forth a bitter fruit in the class struggle, but the Socialist Party, champions the working class, declaring its intention to be the abolition of wage slavery by the establishment of a national system of cooperative industry, based upon the social or common ownership of the means of production and distribution, to be administered by society in the common interest of all its members and the complete emancipation of the socially useful classes from the domination of capitalism.

The present unplanned system of production, due to the individual ownership and cultivation of land for private profit, together with the introduction of machinery which so greatly multiplies results is, under the competitive system, bound to be profitless and ruinous to the farmers. Why should they of all people be opposed to collective ownership of the land? How many of them today own the land they live upon? Why should we struggle through a lifetime to maintain private ownership of a few acres, to leave to our children, subject to all the vicissitudes of the capitalist system, when through the substitution of common ownership, we relieve ourselves of this death grapple with greed, make ourselves and our children the wards and defenders of society?

In socialism, private ownership and barter in capital being at an end, money would lose the functions which it possessed under capitalism Party, progress towards the the abolition of wage slavery and establishment of the cooperative commonwealth.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Steady-State Socialism


Another important point not to overlook is that we are seeking a "steady-state” economy or "zero-growth" which corresponds to what Marx called “simple reproduction” - a situation where human needs were in balance with the resources needed to satisfy them. Such a society would already have decided, according to its own criteria and through its own decision-making processes, on the most appropriate way to allocate resources to meet the needs of its members. This having been done, it would only need to go on repeating this continuously from production period to production period. Production would not be ever-increasing but would be stabilised at the level required to satisfy needs. All that would be produced would be products for consumption and the products needed to replace and repair the raw materials and instruments of production used up in producing these consumer goods. The point about such a situation is that there will no longer be any imperative need to develop productivity, i.e. to cut costs in the sense of using less resources; nor will there be the blind pressure to do so that is exerted under capitalism through the market. Of course, technical research would continue and this would no doubt result in costs being able to be saved, but there would be no external pressure to do so or even any need to apply all new productivity enhancing techniques. And we can set out a possible way of achieving an eventual zero growth steady state society operating in a stable and ecologically benign way. This could be achieved in three main phases.

First, there would have to be urgent action to relieve the worst problems of food shortages, health care and housing which affect billions of people throughout the world. There would be need for an immediate increase in the volume of production of many kinds of goods to relieve those people who were suffering from the effects of the old system and to supply the needs of those who were in the process of transferring themselves from obsolete to useful occupations. For example, the agricultural parts of the world, freed from the restraints of the present money-based system would pour out the abundance of health-giving foodstuffs to feed the half-starved populations of the world. Secondly, longer term action to construct means of production and infrastructures such as transport systems and for the supply of permanent housing and durable consumption goods. For the first time, the conditions would exist for turning into reality the beautiful plans for housing people in real homes instead of the sordid slums which the present social system has called into existence. These plans exist today - on paper - and will remain so, while it is necessary to have money to get a decent home. Released from the money-necessity, architects, builders, designers, artists, engineers, and scientists would be enabled to get together to build towns, homes and work-places which would be a joy to live and work in, a job at which even today their fingers are itching to get. How long this period would last depend on the size and mess left by the present system. We don’t think it would take very long since we have seen how quickly even the obstacles of the present social system can be overcome and how backward countries can be developed by modern industrial methods. It should not, therefore, take very long for those parts of the world which are already highly industrialised to turn out enough goods to make the whole of humanity tolerably comfortable as far as the fundamental necessities of life are concerned. Thirdly, having got rid of the worst relics of the old order, production would then be adjusted so that there could be an eventual fall in production, and society could move into a stable mode, making due provision by storage for the possible natural calamities such as earthquakes. This would achieve a rhythm of daily production in line with daily needs with no significant growth. On this basis, the world community could live in material well being whilst looking after the planet. Socialism will seek an environmental friendly relationship with nature. In socialism we would not be bound to use the most labour efficient methods of production. We would be free to select our methods in accordance with a wide range of socially desirable criteria, in particular the vital need to protect the environment. What it means is that we should construct permanent, durable means of production which you don’t constantly innovate. We would use these to produce durable equipment and machinery and durable consumer goods designed to last for a long time, designed for minimum maintenance and made from materials which if necessary can be re-cycled. Many consumer goods are used occasionally. Perhaps sharing them in a neighbourhood will replace the idea that everyone needs one of everything. This will reduce the number of these items required. That means reduced production. In this way we would get a minimum loss of materials; once they’ve been extracted and processed they can be used over and over again. It also means that once you’ve achieved satisfactory levels of consumer goods, you don’t insist on producing more and more. Total social production could even be reduced. This will be the opposite of to-day's capitalist system's cheap, shoddy, throw-away goods with its built-in obsolescence, which results in a massive loss and destruction of resources.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Change the World

 Our aim, one and all, is to obtain for the whole community complete ownership and control of the means of transport, the means of manufacture, the mines, and the land. Thus we look to put an end for ever to the wage-system and to sweep away all distinctions of class. In our quest to create a better and safer world we should know what to adopt, and, similarly, we should know what to rejectThe Socialist Party look for our success to the increasing communication of our views among all working people, and next to the capture of the State-machine. It must be apparent to every thinking worker that there is at present  struggle waged by the capitalist classes to secure a greater share in the exploitation of labour. To confuse workers  false issues of the capitalist class are put forward to mislead the workers, frequently by those posing as friends of labour. The principal function of the World Socialist Movement is to participate in the class struggle in such a way that the workers are educated to understand that their industrial might must back up a political fight, to gain the political supremacy so to substitute the capitalist system with uncompromising world socialism. 

Exploited, oppressed and scorned, the boss class cripple you and humiliate you. They rob you of your feelings. They demand that you surrender your interests, your aims, your ideals and accept servile subjugation. You work all through the year and, with the sweat of your brow, produce everything in the world. You build houses and yet, do you not live in a filthy, shabby, slum. You have produced and prepared all thefine cuisine. And yet are you not yourself eating processed fast food that barely gives you enough nourishment? You have made everything in the world. You have built all that is the very pride of the human civilisation today, and yet you have never shared in them other than through the distance of television and movies.

 The ruling class threaten the entire future of civilisation. Our struggle is the struggle for freedom. you must stand up for your own cause, for the aim of socialism, for the emancipation of the enslaved working people, by means of the irreconcilable class struggle. Class against class is the order of the day. Oppose the capitalist world of exploitation and its wholesale slaughter the innocents and support a world of peace and fraternity between peoples. The World Socialist Movement extend to our fellow-workers across the world our greetings as our brothers and sisters. We cannot sit back and patiently wait for capitalist civilisation to collapse. If we are to survive we must be free from capitalist domination. If the capitalist class continues to dominate we will suffer more bitterly.

The World Socialist Movement is organised to abolish through the ballot box, the capitalist system with its accompanying despotism and oppression, and to establish in its place, world socialism — an industrial democracy where all the land and the means of production shall be the common property of the whole people, to be collectively operated by the whole people for the production of commodities for use and not for profit. Organise with us to end the domination of private property — with its poverty-breeding system of unplanned production — and substitute in its place the socialist co-operative commonwealth in which everyone shall have the full benefit of all the modern technology.

Workers of all countries, we call on you to carry out the work of socialist liberation. Rally to the call for our total emancipation. In answer to the capitalist class let our battle cry be:

"Workers of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains; you have a world to gain."


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What do we want? We want socialism!


We are not so naive as to imagine that the changeover from world capitalism to world socialism will occur over a single weekend. The changeover can be envisaged as taking place over a relatively short period of time of, say, five years or so (we simply don't know.) Yet even before the full establishment of socialism people will have started to do what is needed to begin creating the new world. Local life will soon became largely self-administering and local plans will be devised to make the best alternative uses of buildings that no longer served their original purpose, such as banks and armament factories.

 Communities able to grow their own food can very quickly become self-sufficient: food surpluses distributed elsewhere to areas of need without any requirement to pass through the intermediary of the market although later it will not be a question of communities passing on their surpluses to one another (most, if left to themselves, wouldn't have any surplus); it is a question of them being interlinked in a single network of production which in the end embraces the whole world. Wider co-ordination will ensue. It is as well to be aware to what extent local communities are interconnected and interdependent and that this places severe limits on what needs could be met locally. The fact is that people in small communities aren't able to produce all they need, or anything like it. The final stage of the production of a range of goods for everyday use could be done locally - food, clothes, shoes, furniture--as well as repairs but neither (most of) the raw materials nor (in most cases) any of the metals to make the tools and machines used in this final stage could be produced locally. The community will ascertain what are the requirements of the people - anything and everything that the people desire. Food, clothing, housing, transport, sanitation — these come first; all effort will be to supply those first; everyone will feel it a duty to take some part in supplying these. Then will follow the adornments and amusements. There will be a real sense of working together for a common goal - a true community. If you read people’s reminiscences of the Second World War or the Depression of the Thirties, you will find time and again the refrain, “Times were hard, but everybody pulled together.” It matters not how accurate these memories are; what is crucial is the way that cooperation and solidarity are seen as positive values, to be cherished and kept in the memory.

For real democracy: imagine a society where all the people would be of equal status, with equal, free access to resources owned by the community, as a whole (e.g. food, shelter, health-care, education, transportation, etc.).


Imagine a world with no leaders and no elite to lord it over us. A society where everyone can have an equal say in the issues that concern them. Above all, a world, in which all the people own and share the wealth that we need in order to live. The precise, day-to-day details of the running of this future society will be up to the people at the time, but what we can be sure of is that there will be open access to the administration of society for those interested in particular issues, such as food production, health, education, building of houses, the environment and local matters. Immense satisfaction will be experienced by huge numbers of individuals as, on the one hand they will be able to contribute their mental and physical energies into increasing the commonly held wealth of society, whilst on the other hand, they will satisfy their own self-defined needs from the common store.

"It's a nice idea but it will never happen" is one of the most common responses to the suggestion that it is in our interests to work towards building a socialist society. The assumption is that socialism will rely upon everybody being altruistic, sacrificing their own interests for those of others. In fact socialism doesn’t require people to be any more altruistic than they are today. We will still be concerned primarily with ourselves, with satisfying our needs, our need to be well considered by others as well as our material and sexual needs. It is enlightened self-interest that will work for the majority. The coming of socialism will not require great changes in the way we behave, essentially only the accentuation of some of the behaviours which people exhibit today (friendliness, helpfulness, co-operation) at the expense of others which capitalism encourages (acquisitiveness, competition.)

Given the control of human affairs that a socialist system would bring, people in socialism would be able to take charge of their destiny. What is undeniable is that we are a species with great talents. In science, technology, in art, crafts and design we can call upon a wide range of great skills. The point now is to release these for the benefit of humanity and a new era for humanity will have begun. Production for profit will have been confined to a barely-understandable and barbaric past.