Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A future worth living for


Let us explain. Exchange is a social relation of private owners. Socialism abolishes exchange by free distribution. Socialists under socialism will ALL commonly OWN. Common ownership of the "means of exchange" means precisely "common ownership of private ownership." If by "workers' control" it is meant control of the ownership and distribution of the wealth the workers produce, it obviously cannot be under capitalism. Capitalism is a system based on private ownership; so long as capitalists own, they control.

Capitalism, the social system in which you live, is based upon the ownership and control of the means of production—land, factories, railways, and so on—by a privileged, property-owning class—the capitalist class—that lives out of the incomes from investments of capital. The means of production and distribution are operated by you, the working class, who are compelled to sell your power to work for wages or salaries in order to live. They can live without working but you must find employment in order to live. Your interests, that is the interests of the working class, are opposed to the interests of the capitalist class. The incomes of the capitalists come from what you produce above what it costs to enable you to live and raise a family. It is, therefore, in the interest of the capitalist to make you work as hard as possible for as low a real wage as possible, whilst it is to your interest to do the opposite. Hence their appeals to you to tighten your belts and accept wage freezing, and your tendency to rebel against this. The goods you produce must be sold by the capitalist before he can reap his surplus. Out of this fact comes the struggle for markets, the periodical crises, unemployment and wars.

The trade wars in the search for markets and sources of raw materials has brought about a division of labour within the world as a whole. A ship, a railway, a loaf of bread involves the use of materials from all over the world and the cooperative labour of workers doing different kinds of work. Capitalism has made the world into one vast whole, each section depending upon the others. The spread of modern conditions to all parts of the world is rapidly bringing the people of the world up to one level of development. Modern machines, modern methods and modern ideas are making headway everywhere. Yet the result of it all is the world in which you live with its antagonisms, its poverty problems, its insecurity and its barbarous wars. Problems for which there is no solution whilst the present system remains.

Socialism will abolish the antagonisms that are rooted in the class ownership of the means of production; it will dissolve the disharmony that hinders the enjoyment of the full fruitfulness of world unity and co-operative labour. Socialism is a system of society in which the means of production and distribution will be commonly owned and will be used to provide all mankind with the things necessary for a secure and comfortable life. There will be no privileged class. Each member of society will give according to capacities and take according to needs, If the productive capacity of today were used reasonably there would be no difficulty in meeting the reasonable needs of all. Once the majority of you understand this and work for it the problem of the future will be solved. The movement for socialism is directly in your interest and it is, therefore, you who must bring about this social change.

The policy of replacing capitalism with socialism is the only practical way to solve the problems of today. Leaving the world to race on to disaster is the opposite of practical. With socialism, the whole of the people of the world, in free association, will control the conditions of existence and the aim will be to make that existence as pleasant and satisfying as human ingenuity can contrive. Work will be done under the best conditions that can be devised and harmful occupations will be abolished; people will be prepared to do without those few things that can only be got at the cost of evil consequences to the producers. Educational facilities will be of the best, open to all, and not clouded by the necessity of learning what is necessary to find the elusive road to employment and social security. When all the evil influences that make working unpleasant today have been cleared away it will be possible to enjoy working. You enjoy working when you do what you like to do; what you dislike today is not work itself but the conditions under which you have to work. Just think for a moment of the evils that will disappear with the disappearance of capitalism. As there will be no buying or selling and therefore no production for profit money will no longer be needed and hence no one will sell his self-respect for it; when bread and other things are as free as the air we breathe no one can become a thief; when each takes part equally in arranging social affairs there will be no servility or dictatorship; when the avenues to happiness are open to everyone no one will gain by bribery or corruption. And so one could go through the evils that have a corrupting influence today and lead to social misery.

As you are the people who will organise and run socialism you must understand and want it before the change can take place. In order to bring it about you must, first of all, send delegates to Parliament mandated for this sole purpose. The powers of government are centred in Parliament and before you can take away from the capitalists their ownership of the means of production you must take away from them their control of the powers of government.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Glasgow Will Bake

 Nearly 2 million people living in the greater Glasgow area face severe disruption from climate heating unless billions of pounds are invested in protecting homes, businesses and transport links, a report says.

A study from Climate Ready Clyde, a coalition of 15 councils, universities, the NHS and infrastructure bodies on the impacts of climate change on the Clyde area estimates about 140,000 of its poorest residents will be the worst affected by increased heatwaves, flash floods and droughts, as they are the least equipped to cope.

It estimates there is already a funding shortfall of at least £184m a year to begin retrofitting homes and offices for heatwaves, defending roads and rail links against flooding and storms, and planting 18m trees to absorb higher temperatures and rainfall over coming decades.

James Curran, the coalition’s chair and a former chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said, “Climate change exacerbates existing inequalities and if we don’t respond in a coherent and urgent way then the inequalities that already exist in society will be worsened.” He said, “Some of the people who can least afford it and are least culpable in creating climate change are the ones that are going to suffer more with poor housing; they will be suffering damp in the winter; they’ll be suffering excessive heat in the summer; public transport will be disrupted.”

Billions needed to protect Glasgow from climate effects, report says | Glasgow | The Guardian

All for One and One for All

 Capitalism creates many problems and inflicts upon people all kinds of pressures. There was certainly plenty to protest about — there always is. What is baffling is despite so much experience in protesting people still persist in trying to campaign on individual issues and in isolation. They make little attempt to relate either one problem to another or to relate all the problems to a common cause. It seems that for every inhumanity there is a group of people ready to mushroom into an organisation and start protesting. The Socialist Party does not oppose the idea of resistance and protest but what we wish to happen is to make them a more fruitful form of expression. The fact that the horrors of capitalism do result in opposition and demonstrations is more hopeful than an attitude of indifference. But nothing is gained going over the same ground over and over again. The basic weakness of protest movements is that they all share one common illusion — that capitalism can be made to work in such a way that its worst effects can be avoided. They wrongly assume that politicians can at will adopt policies that would remove the problems endangered by capitalism. By engaging in reforms to mitigate some particular evil within the framework of capitalism they inevitably get involved in helping to perpetuate the very conditions which give rise to the evils against which they protest. We want the workers of the world to equip themselves with socialist understanding and put an end to the system that robs them, by bringing about socialism, a wage-free, class-free world based on free access and common ownership.

Exploitation, poverty, hunger and war, can only be abolished when their cause is understood. It is of little use to tinker with effects whilst the cause remains untouched and unchanged due to the fact that those who tinker with the effects are ignorant of the cause. When, and only when, a majority of the world's workers understand that ownership by the world capitalist class of the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth, means perpetual poverty, shortages and wars for those who have to humble themselves for wages, will they be able to replace class ownership with common ownership, produce goods for use instead of profit and see that people receive in accordance with their needs instead of the limited confines of their wages packets.

To turn our eyes away from a problem is no solution, for the problem still remains. Unless they see that their interests can only be served by unity on a basis of understanding they cannot put the solution socialism into practice.  Mankind must become objective and not dominated by immediate conditions. We must move on to socialism. A socialist society will organise itself on a democratic basis at every level. The social form will not, nor cannot be, tied to the past, but it will truly reflect the great contribution of the past in the form of the accumulated knowledge and social experience so painfully acquired which has made socialism possible. It should not be forgotten that the principal institutions of mankind have developed from a few germs of thought and a few simple cells of organisation. The natural form of humanity is that which equates the individual with all men and women, and that great equaliser is common ownership of the means whereby we live. The citizens of the Socialist community will work voluntarily because they are doing a job they love, for the benefit of society as a whole—i.e., in the long run, for themselves. All work in a socialist society will be essential and useful. There will be no need to try to stop people from doing wasteful and unessential things, like pouring luxuries into the lap of already overfed parasites.  It is incumbent upon the Socialist Party to explain that socialism must be based on voluntary labour—not force, compulsion, trickery, or deceit. 

Workers will never be able to take sound action until they possess the knowledge of socialism that it is our aim to provide. Until a sufficient number of workers are prepared to organise politically for the conscious purpose of ending capitalism, that system will stagger on indefinitely from one crisis to another.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Remembering Spain

A  commemorative memorial dedicated to Lanarkshire volunteers who went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War for the Republic in Duchess Park, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire was shamefully vandalised with the words "Franco" as well as what appear to be fascist symbols has had the graffiti removed. 

Build Socialism


The Socialist Party is often criticised as being the political party for saints and angels, expecting our fellow workers to be altruistic and self-sacrificing but it is through the self-interest of the workers to change the system that we actually appeal because the capitalist system is run in the interest of those who are parasites on societyThe Socialist Party is urging the producers of wealth to gain the comfort for themselves that they make possible for others to acquire. Socialism would encourage excellence in every branch of human activity. Freed from the uncertainty of the future, and with the best conditions prevailing for all, those who may excel will not be relegated to obscurity on a capitalist pittance. They will merit something infinitely greater respect of the whole of society, whose interests will be their own. 

Our job and our responsibility are to get people interested in socialism, to persuade and provoke people into accepting our ideas.  The policy and principles of the Socialist Party are easily understood, and we offer them to workers who are prepared to learn something new. Without understanding the workers cannot achieve socialism. Working people must require socialist knowledge and they must resist apathy and begin to challenge their existence of poverty and uncertainty. They must seek socialism as a priority. The Socialist Party is optimistic about the future, and we are optimistic that our fellow workers desire social change.

We concede that our fellow workers habitually vote capitalist representatives to the seats of government and that they can if they have a mind to, vote them out of office. It is not that the working class are enthusiastic supporters of capitalism — their experiences have taught them to expect little from any political party or politician. It is because they see no alternative to capitalism. This is the situation the Socialist Party hopes to rectify. The establishment of socialism is not just based on the control of political machinery: this is the end of the process. Socialism is not a change of government, it is a fundamental change in the nature and purpose of society. The master-and-servant mentality is imbued in the worker. While he starts and finishes his active life as a wage slave, ideas are spoon-fed to him by the propaganda machine of the capitalist. Left-wing propaganda offering leadership adds to the impression that we are incapable of thinking, organising and acting for ourselves. The reformers have had their day and there is nothing to show for it. When men and women become conscious of the need to change from capitalist society to socialism we will move forward. The conditions are ripe and the revolutionary route well signposted. The job of the Socialist Party is to speed the process, and not the impossible task of trying to make wage-slavery more palatable. If workers refuse to see the need to establish a revolutionary system of production based on democratic control and common ownership, there is no other way open to them to achieve their release from capitalism. It is all or nothing.

The World Socialist Movement has always been plagued by ignorant definitions and descriptions of socialism and dictionaries have played no small part in this deception. An objective test of socialism is contained within its two cardinal principles: first, abolition of the system of private ownership of the means of production and distribution and its replacement by a system of production based on common ownership; and, arising from this, the abolition of the wages system and capitalist exploitation. This is the revolutionary approach to politics which workers will have to think about rather than allow themselves to be misled by definitions written by career-minded academics. Capitalism divides because the means of production are owned by a few. Socialism will embrace all mankind because the earth will be owned in common. Socialism will be a class-free world community, democratically administered without leaders or governments. Production will be geared to meeting human need, on the basis of free access. The privileged private or state property institutions of capitalism will make way for communal interest and cooperation. Money, wages and profits will be no more. It is high time the workers of all lands finished killing and dying for capitalism and proclaimed their own class interest by establishing socialism. There is nothing in capitalism for the working class, whoever runs it. Capitalism has disastrously failed to harness its immense industrial and scientific resources for the benefit of all mankind, or to any end other than the quest for profits, must be obvious to any objective observer.

Building socialism demands the unity and cooperation of the workers of the world. Such unity and cooperation can only arise from a clear recognition of the need to change society into a system without frontiers where the scramble for trade and profits no longer exists. The resources of the planet, instead of being a class monopoly used to exploit and destroy, will be commonly owned and used solely to satisfy human needs. Our organisation’s task remains one of expounding the case for socialism. If one thing is clear, it is that until a majority of the world’s workers understand and acts for socialism we are stuck with capitalism and all it implies.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Capitalist Pandemic


We all want peace and prosperity which means nothing if it remains only platitudes. We in the Socialist Party are educating toward the replacement of the capitalist system of private profit by a democratic socialist society based on production for use. Socialism and democracy are inseparable. As socialists, we are unalterably opposed, not only to capitalism but to any form of the State. Nationalisation or state-capitalism is as abhorrent to us as the private-profit system. For us what existed in Russia was not some kind of socialism, not even a bad version. There was nothing resembling socialism. No benevolent dictator can lead to socialism. It can benefit capitalism but one kind of society cannot be built that way, and that is socialism. Socialism means for the first time in history people are freed of class rule over them, that they make history on their own behalf and in their own interests. And this freedom from class oppression cannot take place unless they themselves act. It cannot happen even if a well-intentioned leader tries to create socialism.

Politicians cannot change the status quo to one which benefits ordinary people instead of their masters, because capitalism is built upon the need for poverty oppression and endless war. You cannot have an oligarchic plutocracy without ensuring that the rulers have far more wealth and power to control their citizenry. Above all capitalism is manically authoritarian and indoctrinating. It slowly crushes any ideas, beliefs not conducive to turning people into compliant producers and consumers. Capitalism moulds everyone and everything into malleable forms with minor variations.

 Only by altering the system, by overthrowing and abolishing the capitalist class and establishing socialism in its stead can the workers get rid of the bad conditions they exist under today. The Socialist Party, the only party truly representing the workers, makes its attack to capture the political machinery and therewith control of economic powers and social forces for the purpose of ending the robbery by overthrowing the system of capitalism, emancipating the working class, and laying the foundations of the socialist co-operative commonwealth. The Socialist Party has for its object the control of the means of existence and the capture of political power as chief means to this end. The Socialist Party, of course, has always taught that the workers must become conscious or have knowledge of, their exploitation before they will free themselves from wage slavery.

It makes no sense to advocate the overthrow of the government by a conspiratorial minority or something of the sort, using force and violence in an insurrection to make up for the lack of democratic support by the majority. As long as we do not enjoy the support of a majority – and the socialist movement, unfortunately, does not – and as long as the opportunity exists to reach the ears of and convince such a majority by persuasion and education, we will continue to use every channel of conviction open to us to acquire a majority without which the achievement of socialism is hopeless. To do otherwise would be contrary to our socialist principles. Our ability to exist as an independent socialist group is based on the fact that we represent a concept of socialism that has nothing in common with Leninism, Stalinism or Trotskyism. These are some of our ideas, and we vigorously urge an examination of them, a thorough examination, a thorough hearing, a real hearing. We are not hero-worshippers, and we are keenly conscious of human frailty. Flattery is not our way. Today the working class are largely unconscious of what constitutes their own interests. They are thus easily misled by the capitalist class to use the political power they possess against the real interests of the working class. The Socialist Party is pledged to the abolition of the present system of society and the substitution of the socialist commonwealth.

The Socialist Party holds that it is not the task of our Party to draw up blueprints of future society. In expounding the case for socialism we stick to what is warranted by the evidence of contemporary experience, what is in line with history, and that which flows logically, from socialist assumptions.

Those who recognise that existing society — capitalism — cannot solve the major social problems of the world, but on the contrary is the cause of those problems, will agree that from the standpoint of human interests capitalism is obsolete. It has long since developed modern technology and industry to a level where a world of abundance and free access is possible. Capitalism is incapable of using these resources for the satisfaction of human needs, because of its private and state-property relationships.

In referring to socialism as a “world of abundance” we are not trying to foster the illusion of a press-button Star Trek world of replicators where everything endlessly gushes forth for the asking (although 3-D printing is a start). We are well aware that at whatever stage socialism is established, there will be worldwide aftermath of slums and general ugliness in almost every aspect of society. The task of rationally redirecting productive resources, to create an entirely different world environment, will be a vast one. Abundance must therefore be understood as developing with socialism, not as an automatic hey-presto. With the elimination of all the wasteful and destructive activities of capitalism, immense resources both in human and industrial terms will be available for useful production. When the sole commitment of all resources is the satisfaction of human needs, all the evidence shows that a continuous ample supply of food, healthcare and shelter is possible.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Socialism and Self-Emancipation


While capitalism lasts the Socialist Party has a primary task to explain and struggle for a socialist society. Our object is the establishment of a worldwide social system in which the means of wealth production and distribution (factories, mines, land, transport and communications, etc.) will be owned by the entire population of the world. We oppose every organisation which stands for capitalism. We oppose the wars which capitalism persistently throws up. We oppose political campaigns which appeal for votes on programmes of reforms (better housing, higher wages, etc.), which in fact do little or nothing to alleviate working-class problems. We oppose nationalisation, which is just another way of organising capitalism.

We advocate socialism and nothing else. Without a working class in possession of socialist knowledge socialism cannot be established. We seek to recruit socialists and nobody else. We examine all applicants for membership to ensure that they understand what is entailed by being a socialist. We appeal to the working class to examine the case for Socialism and to vote for our candidates only if they understand and desire socialism. Our party leader does not exist. Leaders are for the politically ignorant. We are leader-free. There are no leaders in the Socialist Party and we do not set out to become leaders of the working class. Apart from the Socialist Party, all other parties seek support for a political leader. The fact that the Socialist Party emphatically rejects the cult of leadership is another basic difference between ourselves and all other parties. To us, political leadership symbolises immaturity; it is inherently corrupt. By supporting political leadership in this election, the working class will relinquish yet again the power they can have to act in their own interests.

Over the years, politics has given us a procession of various leaders and a great deal of attention has been given to their various personal qualities, but the electorate is fickle appetite and one image can easily give way to something else. It is convenient under capitalism to associate individual personalities with various phases of its administration. It is convenient to be able to associate failure with a man instead of a system. It is convenient to be able to swap the man but keep the system, to create the illusion of fresh opportunities by introducing a new personality. Political leaders come and go, but the institutions they administer remain. We do not attack one leader as against another. We argue that no person, or for that matter no team, can administer capitalism in the interests of the whole community.

The political leaders claim that they can work on behalf of the majority. By now the cheap electoral promises that crumble in the hard test of actual policies and subsequent experience is more than familiar. As ever, this process will repeat itself in this election. Regardless of the endless auctioneering that lakes place between parties seeking to form a government, the stark facts of capitalist society must assert themselves. We live in a class-divided society that operates in the interests of a privileged minority. Regardless of intentions, capitalism can only be run in their interests. There can be no choice. The defence of interests, that are hostile to the working population must go with the job of government.

The administration of a society that is based on privileged interests requires the cult of political leadership. Workers who accept economic exploitation will abdicate their political interests by supporting a leader. Socialists have a knowledge of capitalism that enables them to know where their interests lie. For us, leadership is an irrelevance. We combine in a democratic way with the object of realising our mutual interests through the establishment of socialism. Action for fundamental social change is beyond individuals This must be the act of a majority who assert democratic control over their social affairs through knowledge and understanding. For us leadership and the confused support that it rests upon walks a political path fraught with disaster.

The Socialist Party does not seek your blind support on the basis of empty promises which are easy to mouth and cheap to print but, which, having no prospect of success, are in reality deceptive We do not offer you a leader with an allegedly magic touch. We do not ask for your vote unless you understand our case.

We live today under capitalism where the basis of the system is the ownership by a section of the population of the means of producing and distributing wealth—of factories, mines, and so on. It follows from this that all the wealth which we produce today is turned out with the intention of realising a profit for the owning class. It is from this basis that the problems of modern society spring. Capitalism is essentially a system of inequality; it can be nothing else.  The division of wealth— its glaring inequality which is a constant feature of capitalism. It is moreover a fundamental fact of capitalist life and colours the whole of your existence,

The class which does not own the means of wealth production—the working class—are condemned to a life of degradation and dependence upon their wages. This poverty expresses itself in inferior housing, clothes, education, and the like. Implicit in capitalism is the class struggle between capitalist and worker. The basis of capitalism throws up the continual battle over wages and working conditions with attendant industrial disputes. It gives rise, with its international economic rivalries, to the wars which have disfigured man’s recent history. Every other party stands for capitalism, whatever they may call themselves. And whatever their protestations, they stand for a world of poverty, hunger, unrest and war. They stand for a world in which no human being is secure.

Socialism will be a social system based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, by and in the interest of the whole community. Common ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution means that the things, which are needed to make and distribute wealth will be1 owned by the whole of humanity. But common ownership does not mean that everybody in the world will own an equal share of every factory, mine, train and the rest. What common ownership does mean, is that there is one way in which all human beings will be equal. Everybody will have an equal right to take, however! much wealth they need and to consume it as they require. Because the means of production will be commonly owned the things which are produced will go into a common pool from which all human! beings will be able to satisfy their needs.

If there is unrestricted access to wealth for, everybody it must follow that nobody, in a sense nor any individual or a class, owns wealth. This means; that wealth will not be exchanged. It will not be bartered nor will it be bought and sold. As a rough parallel, we can consider the air we breathe. Everybody has free access to the air and we can all take in as much of it as we need to live. In other words, nobody owns the air; nobody tries to exchange air for anything else, nobody tries to sell or buy it. Similarly, there will be no buying and selling under socialism; no need for the complicated and widespread organisations which deal in commerce and banking in capitalist society. Socialism will have no banks, no stock exchanges, no tax inspectors, or any of the paraphernalia of capitalism.

In a socialist society, wealth will be produced solely to satisfy peoples’ needs and not for sale as it is today. Because of this, there will be no deliberate variations in the quality of wealth. Socialism will have only one quality. Whatever is produced will be the best that human beings are capable of. Houses, for example, will be designed and built with the only motive of housing human beings in the best possible style. The materials of which they are made, their facilities and their location will all conform to this. They will be the best homes that society knows how to build.

Nobody will be employed by another person - nobody will sell his or her labour-power or work for wages. Everybody, in fact, will work for the whole of society, Work will be a cooperative effort, freely given because men and women will realise that wealth can only be produced by working unless wealth is produced society will die. Yet it will not only be a reluctance to commit social suicide that will keep us working under socialism. Mankind will be free, free from the fetters of wage slavery, free from the fears of unemployment, free from economic servitude and insecurity. Nobody will found doing a job that is hated but tolerated because it pays well. We will be free to do useful work, making things which will add to society’s welfare, things which will make human life better and happier

There will be no war; the cause of war will no longer exist. This means that there will be no armed forces with their dreadfully destructive weapons It means that the people who are in the armed forces, together with the rest of the enormous social effort which is channelled into them, will be able to serve useful, humane purposes instead of destroying and terrorising.

When production is only for human use we shall see a great development of society's productivity. First of all, an enormous number of jobs that are vital to capitalism will become redundant. Socialism will have no use for such jobs because its wealth will not be produced for sale. There will probably be statisticians to collect information about society’s productive resources and to relate this to our needs. A lot of people will work at transporting wealth all over the world. These are useful occupations, just as all work will be.

Capitalism has veined the world with frontiers and has fostered patriotism and race hatred none of which has any scientific basis. Frontiers are purely artificial and are often altered at international conferences. Many workers are proud of their nationality although in logic they cannot take pride in something over which they have no control. Socialism will have none of this. No frontiers, no racial barriers or prejudices. The world will be one with only human beings working together for their mutual benefit.

Socialism will end the wasteful insecure world we know today. It will remove poverty and replace it with plenty. It will abolish war and bring us a world of peace. It will end fear and hatred and give us security.  No matter how often the politicians assure us that they have the solution to our problems, they never succeed in solving them. The future, as long as the workers are content to trust their leaders, and to keep capitalism in being, is grim. The expansion of socialist knowledge and action is the only hope for a sane world, a world that is safe and abundant and free.