Monday, February 28, 2022

Nationalism divides workers

 The capitalist class flood the media with illusory phrases such as “national interest,” “national security,” and “national unity” in regards to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


We live in the epoch of the possible proletarian revolution – the rise of world socialism and its challenge to world capitalism. There is only one class capable of overthrowing capitalism: the working class. There is no ideology above the class struggle; there is no longer an ideology such as nationalism that can serve the interests of both the bourgeoisie and the working class.


The World Socialist Parties are frequently accused of failing to distinguish between oppressed and oppressor nations, between the nationalism of the oppressor which is reactionary and the nationalism of the oppressed which is progressive. Nationalism preaches to the people that they have more in common with one another than they do with the people of other nations, regardless of class. Nationalism helps bind the working class to the bourgeoisie of its nation. Nationalism ties the working people to their own bourgeoisie while socialism unites the working people of the world against the capitalist class. Those in the World Socialist Movement argue that the destiny of working people must not be tied to the bourgeoisie, neither to its own existing national bourgeoisie nor to an aspiring ruling class. The working class must determine its own destiny and to the extent that the working class holds nationalist ideas, it is allowing its destiny to be determined by the capitalist class. Unity must be established between the exploited regardless of nationality.


 Socialism can not be accomplished under nationalist ideas engendered by capitalism. Socialism must be international or it cannot exist at all. The world is irresistibly being driven to internationalism and interdependence. Nation-states cannot resolve such global problems as climate change, depletion of energy and natural resources or deal with the effects of pollution of all kinds on land and ocean, the ecological disasters facing fauna and flora. In the end, it is nationalism and the nation-state will have to disappear, not socialism. The only race is the human race.


Almost every country is more powerful than another and tries to dominate it. Even the small countries harbour designs on parts of their neighbours' territory. The tendency of nations to dominate others leads to the view that they are all imperialist, which renders the term anti-imperialism meaningless. Nationalist slogans distract the workers from their own specific class aspirations. They divide the workers of different nations, they provoke the mutual hostility of the workers and thus destroy the necessary unity of the proletariat. They line up the workers and the ruling class shoulder to shoulder in one front, thus obscuring the workers' class consciousness and transforming the workers into the executors of plutocrats’ policy. National struggles prevent the assertion of social questions and proletarian interests in politics and condemn this important means of struggle of the proletariat to sterility. All of this is encouraged by ‘socialist’ propaganda when the left nationalists present nationalist slogans to the workers as valid, regardless of the very goal of their struggle, and when it utilises the language of nationalism in the description of our socialist goals. It is indispensable that class feeling and class struggle should be deeply rooted in the minds of the workers; then they will progressively become aware of the unreality and futility of nationalist slogans for their class.


Put your class first, not your country. The world is a “global village”. Each region may have its own particular and distinct customs, but they are part of a greater system of society that is worldwide. This system of society is capitalism and every region and nation operates within this system of society in one way or another. Borders are just artificial barriers that belong to a past and present that is best left behind.

Our emphasis is upon the class struggle, to awaken class feelings in order to turn attention away from national problems. Our anti-patriotism campaigns could appear to be useless against the power of nationalist ideology and it could seem that nationalism is making the most progress among the workers. But insofar as nationalist movements are in practice capable only of following in the wake of the ruling class and thus of arousing the feeling of the working class against them, they will progressively lose their power.  Capitalist conceptions will continue to dominate their minds as before. And when the decisive moment arrives when they must choose between national and class interests, the internal weakness of this workers' movement will become apparent, as is currently taking place in the separatist crisis. How can we rally the masses under our banner if we allow them to flock to the banner of nationalism? Our principle of class struggle can only prevail when the other principles that manipulate and divide men are rendered ineffective; but if our propaganda enhances the reputation of those other principles, we subvert our own cause.


Even though we do not get involved in the slogans and rhetoric of nationalism and continue to use the principles of socialism, this does not mean that we are pursuing a kind of ostrich policy in regard to national questions. These are, after all, real questions that are of concern to men and women and which they want to solve. We are trying to get the workers to become conscious of the fact that, for them, it is not these questions, but exploitation and the class struggle, which are the most vital and important questions which cast their shadows over everything. But this does not make the other questions disappear and we have to show that we are capable of resolving them.

To all the nationalist arguments, our response will be if they speak of the glory of the nation, we shall speak of the solidarity and unity of the workers of the world.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Folly of War


The Socialist Party has often faced criticism for its reluctance to support nationalism. The Socialist Party frequently irritates our critics when we consider despair and desperation, destitution and deprivation as fertile ground for the success of nationalism. We have recognised that working people may seek solutions to their economic woes not through a shift towards socialism but by adopting a nationalist ideology. We have always insisted that class consciousness, while being subject to historical and material conditions, also requires knowledge and understanding - the motor power of ideas. It does not automatically arise. Workers' circumstances and their daily struggles could well make workers susceptible to the soundbites of patriotism and shun the socialist case. Political and economic crises usher forth new discontent, and new slogans, which generally bring about new political groupings and new figureheads. When the population are driven by intolerable conditions into organising for common action the ruling class sooner or later will either placate and harness the movement or they find a means of dividing it, by finding diversions. Socialist consciousness emerges through discussion, debate and analysis. It is about people interacting directly or indirectly with others, exchanging ideas with one another. It is people's experiences of capitalism coupled with being acquainted with socialism and its feasibility that will bring about real revolutionary change


 Socialists side with no state, for all states are merely organised forces of national coercion. We are opposed to the lot of them and support the interest of the oppressed, not selectively, but wherever they are. Socialists can only welcome the ending of any war in any part of the world. Stop the killing - stop the suffering.


Russia can be described as a kleptocratic dictatorship with Putin as the chief thief. Putin’s brand of populism has fostered an aggressive nationalism. He has seized political events and commemorations to revive the flame of passions with a disastrous past. The populations of the Russian Federation and Ukraine have nothing to gain from the return of nationalism which ravaged this part of the World several times in the past. Those who take advantage of the differences between the different parts of the region have a lot more to gain from the nationalist divisions which hide the particularly brutal class relationships within these societies, where underpaid workers make the fortunes for the oligarchs.

 The question is not about the “independence” of Ukraine, or of the breakaway republics, but about the real life of the populations of the country is decided upon. As long as the masses will let themselves be taken in by nationalist adventures their situation will only worsen. Any socialist would obviously be saying a plague on both your houses.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The World Socialist Movement - The Peace Party of the World


We are human, but where is our humanity? What a barbaric age we still live in. Still, borders are to be fought over. Still, past wrongs to be avenged.

The class war is our war and our only war. We have no interest in championing any wars for ruling class pillage and plunder. In all these wars the workers are slaughtered while their masters get fat on the spoils of conquest. The time has come for the workers to cease fighting the battles of their bosses and to fight their own; to cease being slaughtered like cattle for the profit of the ruling class and to line up in the class struggle regardless of nationality for the overthrow of class rule and for the emancipation of their class and humanity. 

The Socialist Party has a consistent history of opposing all war. Our analysis has withstood the test of time Wars are fought for the interests and advantages of the ruling class. Our opposition to wars is attacked as “support for dictators”, “appeasement”, or “indifference”. How often have we heard that there have always been wars? Homo sapiens are a warring species, that human nature makes peace impossible and that aggression is built into our genes. Without a military plus a huge armaments budget to defend us, some other people will always try to conquer us?  Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities such as Putin rise to power. They view the world through a lens of aggression and that wars are inevitable.

The World Socialist Movement and its companion parties stand for peace. We do not take sides in the rivalries of countries, of nationalities, nor of presidents. The Socialist Party simply issues our call for friendship, fraternity and solidarity.

The Socialist Party denounces the aggressive acts of both governments and declares that between the peoples of the two countries there is no cause of quarrels. The interests of the working class are bound up with the maintenance of peace, and it is the working people who suffer most severely from the devastation and horrors of war. When a country is attacked the rich may suffer some financial loss, but they escape the worst horrors of starvation and misery inflicted upon the poor. The rich can get away to their rural retreats. The poor have to stay put in target areas. Anybody, therefore, claiming to speak on behalf of the working class must necessarily be in favour of peace.

We can overcome


Every worker, embittered, disappointed, confused, bewildered by the capitalist chaos around him or her can find confidence and clear knowledge that comes from the political and economic understanding conveyed by the Socialist Party. 

The readers of our journal or visitors to our web pages are not deceived or disappointed as we present the world socialist revolution as our answer as the way out of all the misery inflicted upon us.

  Socialism, above all, is a call for sharing and caring, and a product of mutual solidarity and collective cooperation. Scarcity and privation need not be the future. There is a better way for humanity–to go forward together to re-establish the democratic common ownership of the means of producing life’s necessities. We accept that our fellow workers are not yet ready for this, blinded by all-too-commonplace prejudices. The difficulties of our socialist cause arise chiefly from the conservatism of the human mind and to that conservatism are added the effects of centuries of degradation in which the labouring masses have been kept by a deliberate policy of the ruling classes. It is exceedingly hard for the majority of people to shake themselves free from old ideas, and deeply-entrenched authorities, and it is those mental factors that largely control our outlook

It is nationalism and racism that can divide the workers so that the workers of one nationality are struggling against the workers of another nationality or colour for a few illusory crumbs the rulers throw out exactly for that purpose. It is nationalism and racism that can pit groups of workers against each other. Such beliefs imply that certain people are better than all others and are “superior.”  Considering all those drawbacks there is still reason to rejoice at the progress we are making rather than to be disheartened by the particular difficulties we encounter. We will eventually flourish across racial and national lines as liberated humanity.

Socialists differ from left-wing liberal progressives in a fundamental way. Leftists seek to reform the system while socialists try to abolish it. The progressives hold that problems are only a matter of government policy. But the governing group is only the executive committee of the ruling class, as Marx pointed out years ago, and inevitably responds to its class interests. Socialists believe that the problem is not one of the symptoms but of fundamental causes; that the many social ills grow out of the very nature of capitalism as a system of exploitation and oppression; that poverty and inequality are endemic to capitalism; that it is in the very nature of the profit system, of the endless, ruthless, relentless struggle for profits that hunger and disease exist and that wars under capitalism are inevitable with periods of peace, even long and protracted ones, are merely intervals for the preparation of a new war.

The source of the inequality lies in which class owns the means of production. A small group of millionaires and billionaires owns over 90% of the wealth — the stocks, bonds, factories, real estate, natural resources.

The polarisation of poverty and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is a tendency inherent in all capitalist societies. It does not give way in times of recession or prosperity. Some capitalists may fall by the wayside but the capitalist class remains the owners. Nobody really knows who owns what corporation, what oligarch or family dynasty controls this or that part of the economy.  There's an ever-continuing tendency to amalgamate, dissolve and sell outright giant businesses, close plants, and shift capital from one country to another. But the end result is the same. The billionaire element extends its power throughout the face of the globe amid the growing misery of working people.

Socialists, however, are not fatalists. We think that the people can overturn the system. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Our Declaration of Peace


Once more our fellow workers are faced with the prospect of being inflicted with brutal warfare. On this occasion, it is a war to control Ukraine. 

The fight against war is inseparable from the fight for socialism. And this is very important to know to those who want to fight for our lives and our peace, against the war. We must strike at its root, not its branches.

 Only through our own organisation and our own struggle will working people gain possession of their own lives and the means to free and save themselves from being sacrificed and slaughtered. As there are different kinds of tyranny and exploitation, our organisations must also be varied with various ways of struggle. But it is obvious that all these organisations must share a common goal: the abolition of the plutocratic oligarchy and the liberation of the people. The only way to fight militarism is to fight capitalism. The capitalist nationalist system breeds wars, and we shall have to build a cooperative society, where things are no longer produced for profit, but for use, in order to be secure in peace. This struggle is known as the class war, and this is the only war in which workers should engage.

The Socialist Party deplores war and the ruin in its wake. War is part and parcel of the capitalist system. War is a feast for the dogs of war. There is only one war that is just — and that is the war of the oppressed class for its liberation. All other wars are predatory wars for the securing seizure of territories and markets for the profits of the exploiters, but they are fought with the bodies of the workers. We cannot stop war altogether. It is not possible to prevent the coming of war as long as capitalism lasts. However, war can on some occasions be postponed. forcing governments to refrain from immediately carrying out war plans. The fight against the war is a political fight. The working class must be stirred by protest meetings and demonstrations.

 In a war, the Socialist Party does indeed take sides, but it’s the third side. It’s the side of the workers, against the owning class that exploits them and also against the owning class that hopes to exploit them. 

Our position is not people against people but class against class. 

The Socialist Party has only one programme to prevent war: the programme of social revolution. That means that our struggle to end war is not something unique and separate from our normal, mundane socialist activities but is an intimate part of those activities. We do not create a permanent organisation to fight a war with a special platform for that. The inference of many well-meaning and sincere campaigners is absolutely clear that wars can be stopped without a socialist revolution. No socialist can accept such an idea and we cannot lend our name to something which we know is wrong and which must inevitably confuse. War is not the cause of the troubles of society. War is a symptom. The only way to fight against war is to fight against the causes of war. Since the causes of war are part of the nature of capitalism, it follows that the only way to fight against war is to fight against capitalism. It, therefore, follows that the only possible viable struggle against war is the struggle for the socialist revolution. No one can uphold capitalism and fight against war, because capitalism means war. 

The only war worth fighting is for a world socialist society.

No War Between Peoples - No Peace Between Classes



End the Old and Build the New


The Socialist Party seeks to abolish class-divided society. To achieve this, the revolutionary object of the workers must be socialism. As socialists, we are concerned with socialism and not with any scheme of taxation. Hence we oppose all other parties which endeavour to maintain in the workers’ minds the illusion that taxes are a political issue for them. When the working class have become conscious of their position as disinherited slaves and have determined to end capitalism and substitute socialism—when they have organised as a class and become politically supreme, they are hardly likely to waste their time in piecemeal measures. Instead of indulging in financial tricks in order to enable their wages to “buy back the whole of the wealth” they produce, they will organise a system of production and distribution in which wages and interest, along with the whole financial camouflage, will find no place. They will cease to produce commodities and will commence producing use-values only. Money therefore will cease to have any function to perform and the problems connected with money will cease to trouble them. 


For the working population, it is a society of poverty and insecurity; to most of them, it offers not the slightest chance of escape from a lifetime of constant, heart-breaking effort to earn a living. For the working-class, it is a society that breeds war and strife, in which their masters, on whose behalf they fight, use every device to instigate antagonism between them. From the cradle to the grave, they are subjected to a mass of propaganda that deadens their minds, works on their prejudices, and endeavours by every means possible to turn their thoughts away from the real cause of their troubles. They are the tools of political leaders and demagogues who make them promises that they do not keep. Disappointed, they exchange one set of political leaders for another, whose promises are no more fulfilled than the promises of those before them.


They become disillusioned, bitter, and cynical; fair game for dictators and “strong men” who promise to lead them to a “promised land,’’ but instead lead them into greater disasters and misfortunes. All the time they are experiencing unemployment, poverty, insecurity, competition for jobs, struggles to “rise up the ladder." They seek to escape from the harsh world of reality in dreams and games of make-believe, in the lottery and computer games, but only for brief moments, for capitalism soon brings them back to things as they are, and not as they would wish them to be. They still have to contend with poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and war. For the working-class, capitalism is a society of mental, social, and economic frustration; as such it breeds race-prejudice and national chauvinism as a swamp breeds pestilence.


The growing difficulty of our masters and their apologists to prove the capitalist system a beneficial one for the workers enables us to be assured with no false optimism that time and truth are on our side. Capitalism has not changed. It is still a system of minority wealth and mass poverty and insecurity—and just at present, it is profits, stock exchange prices and the emergence of new crops of millionaires and billionaires. The socialist struggle has not ended, it has hardly begun, and it will achieve in due time a social system that really will be a social revolution.


The ruling class would have you believe that socialists call for violent action and are deluded, irrational, psychotic, and hateful while claiming for themselves the virtues of progress, logic, truth, beauty, and knowledge. Yet it is the socialists who say that existing productive relations have become fetters on the productive forces when new technology has outgrown the old organisation of production when automation, as it is wielded under the profit system brutally, makes millions of workers jobless and unproductive and that social revolution has become a necessity and all that means capitalism demands to be replaced by socialism.  Socialism will unlock doors that have been barred to humanity.


Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Basis of Socialist Policy—The Class Struggle.

 Relations between Capitalists and Wage Workers defined.


 The population today is made up of all kinds of people, showing much variation in their persons and habits. They differ in size and age, health and mind, dress and looks, and in every family circle, we see wide differences in form, mind and conduct. With all this variation, there is a broad line of distinction, which divides the members of modern society into classes.


What is a class? Is it a group of people possessing some taste, habit, or ability, in common? No. A class in society is a body of people distinguished by their economic position. What divides one part of the population from the other, and separates them into classes, is the possession or non-possession of wealth and the necessity or otherwise of having to work for employers. There have been classes ever since private property existed, but the classes we are concerned with are those existing in the present social system. Class lines may not be as absolute and sharp as a mathematical figure, but the above property distinctions generally mark off one class from another.


There are two classes to-day. One, the working class, who do not possess property, and are therefore compelled to sell their mental and physical ability, that is, their working power, to owners of wealth in order to live. Whether they are employed in an office or a mine; whether they are paid wages or salaries, as long as they are driven through lack of property to seek a master, they are members of the working class.


The other class in modern society is the capitalist or master class. They own the means and instruments required for producing wealth but take no part in production themselves. They buy the workers’ mental and physical energy which is used to produce wealth. The capitalists pay the workers in the form of wages, just enough to live upon whilst working, and they retain the surplus themselves.


One class owns the means of production and the products but does not produce. The other class produces but does not own the wealth.


The working class possess only their labour-power—their energy. Like bread, coal, etc., it is an article of merchandise— a commodity. They must sell this to capitalists in order to get the food, healthcare and housing they need.


 The buyers of all kinds of commodities have an interest in buying as cheaply as possible. The seller’s interest is to sell as high as possible. Obviously, therefore, the interests of buyers and sellers are opposite and conflict with each other.


The workers’ commodity, labour-power, is distinguished, however, from all other commodities by the fact that the buyers of that commodity are all of one class and the sellers all belong to another class. The masters are always buyers of labour, and the workers always sellers.


These relations of employers and employed, masters and servants, are due to the divisions of property in society. Out of the material conditions of production and distribution arises the separation of the population into two distinct groups: property owners and wage workers. The ownership of the means of production by the capitalists and the resulting enslavement of the working class is the basis of the class struggle.


The Hostility Between The Classes.


The welfare of each class depends upon its position in society. In other words, the position occupied by the classes gives them distinct interests, according to their place in the social system.


The capitalist class, being a property-owning class, have a direct interest in protecting their present property and seeking to increase it. Their interest is to pay as little in wages and keep as much in profits as possible.


The working class is a class that lives by working for the owners of capital and their immediate interest is to get as much as possible in the form of wages for the fewest. hours. Moreover, they are the only class that produces the wealth and consequent benefits are to obtain the product of their industry.


The interests of the working class and the capitalist class are different. Not only different but opposite. The capitalists’ interest is to maintain the slavery of the workers and retain as much as possible of the fruits of the workers’ industry. The workers’ interest is to end their slavery and abolish the profits of the capitalists by enjoying all the wealth themselves.


 Conflicting interests cause these classes to take actions in defence of their interests, and those actions constitute an unceasing struggle—the class struggle. This struggle arises from the existence of classes and will continue until the class distinctions are abolished and consequently the classes with them.


A capitalist may be a genial, so-called kind-hearted man with good intentions, but as a property owner and employer of labour, he is compelled to take a position and engage in actions hostile to the workers.


The class struggle is a fact. The capitalists know it and pursue their policy accordingly, so that they may be victors. Most of the workers do not realise that the class struggle exists. Their day-to-day actions as wage slaves, however, in bargaining about terms with employers, and the disputes arising out of it, demonstrate that, whether the workers are conscious of their interests or not, the class struggle goes on.


Battle Ground of the Conflict.


 The class struggle originates out of economic conditions. It manifests itself on the industrial field in the never-ceasing conflict about the everyday conditions of employment, and on the political field, it shows itself as a struggle by capitalists to retain their ruling power against any attempts to unseat them.


The actions taken by the employers to obtain wage-workers, the methods used to exploit them, and the policy pursued in strikes and lock-outs to defeat them, are part of the class struggle. The workers’ resistance to the actions of the employers and their efforts to get the best possible price and terms for their labour-power through strikes, etc., are incidents in the same class struggle.


The foremost battlefield of the class struggle, however, is the political field. On that plane, the masters obtain their ruling power and there they concentrate to wield power over the working class. Every class in history which has risen to supremacy has had to obtain control of political power. Through that political control, the masters are able to use the armed forces and the legal machinery against the workers in the class struggle. With their political power, the masters are able to defeat strikers, to starve workers, to keep unemployed workers from getting food, make war and drive the workers to fight for them. As the political machine is the lever whereby classes dominate, the highest expression of the class struggle is on the political field.


 The master class carry on the struggle against the workers by enacting and administering laws, by controlling the press, the church and the school, and using them to try to prevent the workers from taking steps to wrest political control from the capitalists.


Consciousness of the Struggle Essential to Victory.


 The workers are in the class struggle but are not conscious of their interests. Hence they fight, blindly and vainly to improve their condition. Inside the unions, in political parties and in their everyday actions they do things that work to the capitalists’ advantage. They continue to act on lines that perpetuate the system that enslaves them, and support men, measures and parties that work against the workers’ interests.


The workers must recognise that the class struggle exists. They must become aware of their slave position, and the way out, if they are to prosecute the struggle to a victorious conclusion for themselves. If the working class become conscious of their class interests and welfare, they will refuse to take actions that injure them. The guiding policy for class-conscious workers must be: Will a contemplated action assist the workers to triumph in the class struggle?


No Compromise.


 Any action taken by the workers against their own interests assists the capitalists to retain power. Those who advise the workers to support the capitalists, or their policies and ideas, are helping to strengthen the position of the capitalist class.


The interests of the capitalists being opposed to the workers upon every point of social life and conduct, the action of the workers must be ever hostile to that of the capitalists. In their fight to retain control, the masters are ruthless, brutal, and know no mercy; and the workers must expect no help from them, but wage the struggle intelligently and unceasingly against them.


Every political party expresses the interests of one class or other, and the party expressing working-class interests must, therefore, be opposed to all other parties.


Results of the Struggle.


 The object of the conscious struggle by the workers must be to raise themselves to the position of the ruling class.


The class struggles throughout history, of chattel slaveholder and chattel slave, feudal lord and merchant, etc., have been forces in the progress of society. The struggle between the wage working and capitalist class is also a force making for social development, and the victory of the working class will mean the end of class rule. The working class is the last subject class to be emancipated, and their supremacy will result in the abolition of class distinctions through the common ownership of the means of life.


The interests of the workers are identical in spite of the apparent hostility between individual workers in their struggle for jobs. They are all victims of capitalist domination and dependent upon the employing class for permission to live. “Solidarity” must be the motto of the working class, as an injury to one is an injury to all.