Monday, May 31, 2021

Why Capitalism?

 Politicians will promise to provide better social services improvements. Each party and their candidate will be blaming the other parties for the things that are not right. Labour will blame the Tory government and the Tories will blame Labour.

 Most of you will not know much about the Socialist Party, this may be the first you have heard of us. Certainly, many people have heard the word “socialism” but imagine it has something to do with nationalised industries, or the form of state capitalism in the former Soviet Union or China. So it is understandable if you regard Socialism as just another political cliche, used to win votes for Labour politicians and hence having little to do with working class interests.

The Socialist Party is different from all other political parties because the Socialist Party stands solely for socialism. Why do we make this principle our aim and objective? Because we do not think that the present social system, capitalism, can be made to work in the interests of the majority of people.

You do not need the Socialist Party to tell you there is something badly wrong with the way society is organised at present.

WHY should tens of thousands of workers be homeless and poorly housed when there are thousands of empty houses and large numbers of unemployed building workers?

WHY must vast numbers of workers suffer and even die waiting for hospital treatment while there is no shortage of resources being allocated to the armed forces, which exist to kill people, not cure people?

WHY is food locked away in cold storage or dumped in the sea while around the world 40,000 starve to death daily?


BECAUSE we live under a capitalist system where profit for the few who own and control the means of wealth production and distribution is more important than the needs of the majority.

This crazy way of running society only carries on because the majority have been persuaded to vote for it. Conned into believing that there is no other way, that capitalism run by leaders of left, right and centre, is the only option. The present social madhouse will not last forever. Workers whose political support has upheld the system can be persuaded to withdraw that support.


Unlike the political promises being thrown at you by our political opponents, the Socialist Party promises it will do absolutely nothing for you. If you want to change society you can do it yourself. Socialism is about people—all of us— regardless of age, race, gender, owning and controlling the resources of society, for use, not profit. At last the world will belong to the people who inhabit it, with all of us having free access to the abundant goods and services which society can produce.

If you think the socialist objective is worth registering your support for, rather than casting another wasted vote for capitalism, or not voting at all, then vote for genuine socialist candidates. Do not vote for ourselves if you want a leader to put things right for you. The Socialist Party wants only socialist votes and plenty of them, so we can show those who uphold this rotten system that there is a growing number of workers seeing through it. 




Sunday, May 30, 2021

Unite, Persevere and be Free


The Socialist Party points to the solution of our many social problems that the means of life, operated as they are by the workers collectively must be controlled collectively. They must be made the common possession of society. Wealth must be produced for social use and not for private profit.

Poverty prevails throughout the capitalist world irrespective of forms of government, rising or falling birth rates, etc. It exists because the abundance of wealth produced by the workers is in the hands of the non-producers, the capitalists, who own the means and results of production. The workers’ share of that wealth is wages, a fraction of the total values they produce. Wealth is produced to-day for markets, which relatively shrink as world competition grows more intense. Labour saving devices increase the number of unemployed, as they reduce the number required for a given amount of production. Wars are fought either to extend or retain markets for the disposal of wealth primarily produced for sale. The propertyless condition of the workers compels them to enter the labour market in order to meet the owners of their means of living—the buyers of their labour power—and the effective sale of that labour power is expressed in its price or wage.

The workers, as a class, are not poor because of their larger families. Wealth has increased much faster than the population. The workers are born poor, remain poor, single or married, employed or unemployed, with small families or large. The workers are poor today in the midst of plenty. The employer is only interested in the worker as a factor in production, as an economic category, he is indifferent to all else about the worker save his cheapness, efficiency and docility. Anything that tends to weaken or decrease these qualities naturally meets with the determined opposition of the capitalist class, while all that makes the worker cheaper, more productive and more contented with his lot as a wage-slave is eagerly welcomed and actively supported.

The budding international solidarity of the past has been swallowed up by the armed and antagonistic camps of to-day, but our message still remains as urgent and as alive as when it was first delivered, the message of socialism, the only message of hope, of solidarity, of certainty in a world of hatred, strife and uncertainty.

This message has its roots far back in the past. The germs of communistic ideas go back centuries, but the germs of socialistic ideas, as we know them to-day, were synonymous with the growth of capitalism. We again call attention to the only bright gleam in the heavy clouds that hover over us—our message of hope. The determination to establish a new form of society in which everything that is in and on the earth shall be the common heritage of all mankind; where security, comfort and harmony will be the lot of all. All that is necessary for the establishment of this society is understanding and the will to achieve it. If humankind will not rouse themselves for their own sakes, surely they will hear the cry of generations yet unborn and establish Socialism before it is too late.

Until the people have succeeded in overthrowing the present grotesquely stupid and inhuman social order, the mass of the people will remain what they are—heirs to the slavery of ages, exposed to all the evils and vicissitudes of a system based on property and production for profit. It is the height of folly on the part of the working class to continue placing their trust in mealy-mouthed professional politicians and glib-tongued “personalities,” and to fall again and again for their propaganda, despite all past disillusions and these leaders' glaring failure everywhere to deliver the goods. With the technical achievements and mass production that the last 100 years have brought to mankind, the social adjustment to this technical development, i.e. the fundamental change in the constitution of society as taught and advocated by scientific socialism, is now the only thing that matters. That teaching is that the means and instruments of wealth production and distribution must be converted from private and state control to the common property of the whole people if poverty, insecurity, class-conflict and war is to be effaced from the face of the earth. 

It's as simple as that.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Class Struggle. Part Two


The Futility of Reform.

Social Reform Explained.

14. The basis of the present system is class ownership of the means of producing wealth. The class that rules has always maintained that basis, as no other foundation for their system is possible.

15. Various changes are made, however, in the manner of conducting the system and in the detail conditions under which the people live. These changes do not affect the basis of the system and are therefore called reforms as contrasted with revolutions. The policy of altering the social conditions within a system is called Social Reform. These reforms are mainly carried out by means of legislation.

Its Purpose and Results.

16. The growth or evolution of modern industry affects the conditions under which the masses work and live. Our masters therefore are continually using their political power to “reform” industrial, social and political conditions. They do this to patch up and perpetuate the social system which benefits them, as it is against their interests to allow it to decay.

17. The rapid development of industry makes a complete change of social system more and more possible and necessary. The growing competition for jobs with the increasing uncertainty of a living tends to make the workers oppose the present system. Hence the master class tries to content the workers by promising, and often establishing reforms in the hope that the victims of the system will turn away from revolutionary policies. The purpose of reform is to cover up some of the worst features of the system; to adjust conditions so as to obtain more profits from industry, and to secure and strengthen capitalist domination.

18. The result of reform is a more efficient working of capitalism. The employing class learns by experience what detail changes will benefit them and introduces the reforms upon the plea that they are improving the lot of the worker. The other result of reform follows from this, namely, that they secure the support of the workers and cloud the class issue in their minds. Arthur James Balfour, the Tory prime minister well said : “Social Reform is the antidote to Socialism.”

Historical Survey of Influence of Reform.

19. The factory system in its early years sank the workers into the most miserable conditions possible. It drove them from their cottage industries amid green fields and fresh air into the insanitary buildings of smoke-poisoned and over-crowded cities. The women and children of both sexes were also recruited for the busy machinery. They worked fourteen and sixteen hours per day and often by night. In factory, shop or mine, they worked under brutal conditions for starvation wages. Individualism was celebrating its victory and the manufacturers accumulated fortunes in a few years. There was no factory legislation restricting the conditions of labour, and attempts to form workmen’s combinations resulted in merciless repression.

20. The terrible conditions of life and labour had a disastrous effect on the health of the population and the workers died off rapidly. Some of the far-seeing employers demanded legislation to compel the manufacturers to improve the state of their victims. Workers in their misery destroyed machinery, but it was mainly due to the antagonism between landowners and manufacturers that factory legislation came to be passed.

21. These factory reforms undoubtedly improved conditions for a time. It was because the workers had sunk to such utter degradation and inefficiency that the masters eventually enacted laws to prevent the workers from being killed off. The reforms were necessary to the preservation of the system and only improved the workers’ conditions compared with the depths to which they had previously sunk.

22. Since that time nearly all reforms have left the condition of the workers untouched, except where they made them worse. Political reforms, factory laws, pensions for the aged and allowances to the unemployed and sick; such legislation has been enacted in most capitalist countries without making any permanent improvement in working-class conditions. Bismarck, in Germany, heaped up reforms to win the workers away from Socialism and make them good fighting material, but the general condition of the workers remained the same. British capitalists have been ingenious in their reform policy, for it has built up the strength of the masters and kept the workers interested in their masters’ affairs to the exclusion of the working-class issues.

In spite of a century of reform Lloyd George admitted in 1911 that there was greater slavery, more poverty and deeper hardship amongst the workers than ever before. In the United States, technical education and other reforms have been instituted to better compete with Germany and other countries, but the early exhaustion, insecurity, lack of property, and poverty of the workers has been testified to by the report of the Committee on Industrial Relations of the U.S.A. Senate.

The Economic Barrier to Beneficial Legislation.

23. The operation of reform legislation brings in its train counter effects due to the economic laws of capitalism. A shorter working day is a desirable thing, but anything which makes labour power more expensive drives the employers to adopt some method to cheapen the cost of production. The hours are made less, but the energy and output remain the same as during the longer working day. Greater division of labour, more efficient superintendence, the elimination of the unfit, more scientific methods, better machinery and the introduction of women into the factory are some of the after-effects inevitably resulting from an increase in the price of labour power. The unemployment and insecurity of the worker are thereby continued and grow with the economic development.

24. Henry Ford testified that the output was greater in eight hours than during ten hours, and profits increased enormously. The evidence of Lord Leverhulme, the advocate of a six-hour day, is, that in his great soap factory profits multiplied with the reduction of hours.

So-Called Revolutionary Reforms.

25. Many well-known reformers call themselves Socialists of the revisionist school. They claim to have revised the teachings of Marx and Engels and made the theory up-to-date. They say we must go a step at a time. They argue that their reforms are revolutionary.

These men simply act as agents of capitalism in teaching the workers to fight for reforms. The time thus spent is lost to the teaching of socialism. The difficult details of the million and one reforms would take as much time for the average worker to understand as the real teachings of socialism. If the reforms advocated were likely to aid the workers in their struggle, the capitalists in control would not yield them, and to go before the workers with a reform programme is therefore a fraud, for it can only be carried into legislating with the consent of the employing class in power. The reforms advocated by Kautsky in The Erfurter Programme would not improve the workers’ conditions, and even to get them we would have to engage in the anti-socialist tactics of the German party.

Arguments of Reformers.

26. All the leading capitalist reformers, from Lloyd George to the leaders of the Labour Party, argue that if the workers will give them the power they will help the workers. The whole history of capitalist legislation is against them. The reform policy of capitalism is carried out to deceive the workers, to make them more efficient wage-slaves and to bind the workers more securely to allegiance to capitalism.

27. We see how bitterly the employers fight the workers’ demands for higher wages and how brutally they subdue them. Can we expect these same employers to pass beneficial legislation? Their claim to have improved our conditions by reforms is flatly contradicted by every inquiry into industrial conditions. The unceasing unrest and strike fever in the ranks of labour show that all the reforms have failed to stop the decline in labour’s conditions. All the arguments of reformers fail to show how it is possible to reduce the economic insecurity of the workers or to strengthen the producers’ position against the employer by reforms.

Waste of Effort in Fighting for Reforms.

28. The time spent on preaching reforms is wasted because it does not enlighten the worker on the causes of his conditions and the remedy. It simply leads him to expect benefits from the ruling class and the present system. All the reform campaigns of the past have resulted in some kind of legislation which eventually worked out to our disadvantage. Reformers forget that the very growth and evolution of the industrial system is quicker than the passing of legislation, and the actual development of the system causes more evils than are temporarily reformed. As soon as one evil is reformed twenty more arise. If the workers devoted one tenth of the attention and energy to Socialism that they give to reform advocacy—Socialism would be here.

Confusion of Issue in Worker’s Mind.

29. The advocate of Socialism finds his work hampered at every step by the confusion created in the worker’s mind by reformists. The workers are taught to believe that they have a common cause with non-socialists in fighting for amelioration. Instead of explaining to the workers the class character of modern society with the resulting enslavement and poverty that will always be the workers’ portion, the reformers create false hopes in the worker’s mind. The great majority therefore follow the policy of exhausting every possible error before coming to the right conclusion. They usually grow apathetic and sickened of politics altogether before the right stage is reached. Socialist activity by the workers requires a clear recognition of the class conflict, and as the belief in Reforms obscures this, reform advocacy is injurious to the workers’ interests.

Some Reform Organisations of To-day.

30. The societies advocating reforms are countless. They range from nationalisation Societies to Currency Reform Leagues. Shopkeepers, professional men, manufacturers, bankers and brewers, all vie with each other in seeking some reform to benefit their particular interests. Business men wanting more credit advocate currency reforms, but they fail to show how any alteration of banking laws will alter the relative positions of employer and employees. Labour Parties and Communist bodies have reform programmes and enlist their membership by this means. Their reforms, however, are either of the same variety as we have had for decades from Liberal and Tory or they are reforms which are impossible under capitalism, such as the demand to “absorb the unemployed.” Capitalism needs an unemployed army to keep down wages, and this industrial reserve is continually reinforced by those thrown out of work by machinery and speeding up methods.

The Anti-Sweating League has been loud in its demands for Trade Boards to be established in “sweated trades.” They rejoiced when the Trade Boards Act was passed, and reformers are busy demanding its application to more trades. The fraud of reform is clearly shown by the admissions of labour leaders concerning these Trade Boards. Mr. J. Beard, President of the Workers’ Union, says (Daily Herald, Aug. 19): “Trade Boards stabilised low wages and servile conditions and weakened trade


Social Reform Leaves Causes Untouched.

31. An examination of modern society shows that the poverty and degradation of the workers is due to the capitalist system itself. The only remedy, therefore, is to remove the cause of the social condition—to abolish the present system and replace it by a social system in which the means of production are owned in common, and in which exploitation will not exist.

32. Socialists are scientific and therefore seek to remove the causes instead of tinkering with effects. Social reform is like charity—it perpetuates the misery and does not prevent its continual reappearance. The reformer fights tuberculosis, whilst the workers’ conditions cause the disease to flourish. “Criminals” are hounded while poverty and unemployment drive men and women to recruit the army of “criminals.”

Evolution and Revolution.

33. Reformers claim that they believe in evolution as opposed to revolution. They preach “going gradually,” or “a step at a time,” and they attempt to justify their ideas on scientific grounds. Revolution, however, is a fact common to natural and human history alike. Revolution is the more or less rapid change made necessary by the previous evolution of the organism. Each system of society evolves up to the point where a complete change is required, and that complete change is a Revolution. The present system evolves, but no amount of evolution of private property produces common ownership. The common ownership for which Socialists strive can only be established by the rise of the working class to political power and the use of that power to transform the economic basis of society. That is a social revolution. No accumulation of reforms or steps can alter the economic foundations of capitalism.

Evolution and Revolution are not opposed to each other. The evolution of capitalism with all its reforms produces those conditions making a revolution inevitable if society is to progress. Socialists hold that conditions are ripe for revolution. Conditions are beyond reform.

Rationalisation and Municipalisation.

34. Government ownership is not Socialism. The transfer of industries from private firms to State ownership is simply a policy dictated by capitalist needs and for capitalist advantage. The most open enemies of Socialism have nationalised railways and other businesses in various countries without in any way benefiting the working class. Under Government ownership “sweating” is quite common, as can be seen from complaints about conditions in the Post Office, Mint, etc. In France and Canada, strikes on the nationalised railways have been frequent and ruthlessly suppressed, and active workers victimised.

The saving of waste resulting from abolishing competition means a reduction in the number of workers needed. That is the effect of Government ownership. The control of an industry by one employer—the Capitalist State—means a stronger force against the workers if they strike against their conditions, and the victimised workers have no other employer in the industry to employ them when they are dismissed. It is like a Trust.

The profits made in Government services are used to benefit the property owners—the taxpayers.

All these arguments apply against municipal ownership.

Adolph Kohn