Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Creating Socialism to Change our Lives


The Socialist Party visualised socialism as based on the common ownership of the means of production and distribution, a new economic system built upon raising production to a higher level and ending all social oppression by dissolving the hostile classes into a community of free and equal producers striving not for sectional interests, but for the common good. This socialist commonwealth will liberate the individual from all economic, political and social oppression and will provide the basis for real freedom and for the full and harmonious development of the individual, giving full scope for the growth of the creative faculties of the mind.

The experiences of the Soviet Union have revealed to us the grave innate dangers of State capitalism which concentrates an overwhelming power in the hands of the government and places the citizen completely at the mercy of the State bureaucrat. The State, as the owner of industry, agriculture and transport become the universal employer, the universal landlord. It controls everything on which the fate and happiness of the individual citizen depend. The citizen is dependent on the State as regards employment, housing, and leisure. This enormous power of the State over the individual citizen leads to a dictatorship. State capitalism does not yet solve any of the outstanding problems confronting workers. It does not abolish crises, the classes, the wage system. Under State capitalism, there is production of commodities for sale, not production for use. Between production and consumption there still remains the barrier of exchange. Therein lies the chief danger of State capitalism.

The distinction between socialist and capitalist society is to be found in the characteristic relations of production, in the ordering of social priorities, and in its whole way of life. The prerequisite for this is the replacement of production for profit with production for use. Socialism will be the extension of a socialised process of production into socialised ownership. Products socially produced by the workers must be owned by the people. Then there will be no barrier to restricting production. Production is no longer guided by profit of the handful of owners but by the requirements of the workers, who now own the means of production. This is production for use and not for profit, the productive forces are released to serve people’s requirements. The economic crisis is abolished because its cause is destroyed. This is the basis for socialism.

The word “socialism” is used as a political trick. The Left call themselves “socialist” and that nationalised industries are socialist, The Right suggests that countries with large welfare programmes are socialist. These have nothing to do with socialism. Many people are against war, for social justice, and for an ecologically sustainable society that capitalism can only create a world of war, injustice and environmental destruction. There is a growing understanding that the current society cannot continue without catastrophe occurring yet we lack a vision of what might replace it. We need to create a world in which socially-validated needs form the basis of production and distribution and focus more on sustainability and sociability.

Capitalism is a world in which production is conducted and driven on a commodity basis which means that workers sell their labour power to producers (who then trade with each other and with “consumers” to get exchange value back with which to buy more labour power and more physical inputs) by tends to recreate capitalism either in its state capitalist form (which some called socialism) or its free-market capitalist form. In socialism, no one will need to, nor be able to, sell their labour power. This is the minimum criterion for a society based on socially-validated needs, since selling one’s labour power makes it (and its products) into commodities with exchange value. People will nonetheless work, not out of a need to get paid in order to live, but because we are able to re-design work so we will enjoy much of it.  Socialism is about giving a decent living standard to everybody.

It is hard to say much more about what the working class in power will choose to produce. A world of democratic freedom means decisions that may be hard to predict.  Once we have gotten away from the capitalism-driven need to produce and consume in order to make profits we will be able to re-shape our world in profound ways.  If wars are largely caused by capitalism and its needs, as the Socialist Party holds, then we no will longer need to engage in the vast amount of human labour spent on war and preparation for war, and this can give more of us more resources to devote to the common good. If we can reorganise our lives around producing for use rather than producing commodities to exchange, we can get away from a culture of competition and compulsive consumption and start to build a society of harmony.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

LiarLiar Tommy Sheridan

  Tommy Sheridan has been declared bankrupt.

The 58-year-old former leader of the Scottish Socialist and Solidarity parties was sequestrated over a legal bill of more than £82,000.

Sheridan now faces having his assets and income seized.

Sheridan wound up Solidarity and joined Alex Salmond’s Alba party earlier this year.

A person is disqualified from standing for election while sequestrated.

Tommy Sheridan declared bankrupt over unpaid legal bill (



The Socialist Party is frequently criticised for not commenting at length about how a socialist economy would operate. We think it would be essentially speculative. Nevertheless, the Socialist Party is able to broadly outline some generalisations about socialism. It will be an economic system based upon conscious planning of production by associated producers (not by the State), made possible by the abolition of private property of the means of production. As soon as that private property is completely abolished, goods produced cease to be commodities. Value and exchange value disappear. Production becomes production for use, for the satisfaction of needs, determined by the conscious choice of the associated producers themselves. No incentive will be needed anymore to induce people to work. ‘Labour’ will have transformed itself into meaningful many-fold activity, making possible all-round development of each individual. The division of labour between manual and intellectual labour, the separation of town and countryside, will wither away. Humankind will be organised into a free federations of communes.


The world to-day is in the hands of billionaires and CEOs of the biggest corporations, the biggest banks, the biggest hi-tech companies; in short, owners or controllers of Big Business.  These billionaire capitalists, not only own or control the chief means whereby we work and live but, in fact, control the whole governing machine. They pull the strings, and politicians are their puppets. And they use their power to make themselves richer and richer at our expense. They hire workers to make profit out of their labour; their capitalist production is for profit, not for use: and to get more profit they slash wages, carry through speed-ups and worsen conditions. This mad race for profit always ends in an economic crisis, and then they pass the burden to try to get out of the crisis on to us.


Poverty, insecurity and hunger make their inroads in the homes of millions of workers: low wages, intensified work to the point of physical and mental exhaustion, is the lot of the workers increases in the number of industrial accidents, more sickness and a lower life-expectancy amongst working people. This is the world to-day for working men, women and their families.


But this is not all. Capitalist war is the attempt of each national capitalist group—British, Russian, French, American, Chinese, etc. to beat its competitors on the world market and to win bigger and bigger profits for its own ruling class. Commercial rivalry becomes fiercer and fiercer and this competitive struggle is carried out, firstly by economic measures, and then finally by war. For capitalism war is inevitable.


There is no need for a single worker to be overworked or in dread of losing his or her job; no reason why a worker should lack the necessities of life. All over the world millions of workers are year by year coming to realise these facts and to see that nothing except the existence of capitalism prevents them from building up for themselves a decent and secure world. Everywhere the workers are becoming less and less willing to put up with an entirely unnecessary state of scarcity and deprivation. They are showing themselves more and more determined to insist upon their right to food, housing and healthcare for themselves and their families. But to get this, capitalism must be overthrown. To get this is only possible by the building up of socialism, giving peace and prosperity, happiness and new life to the whole working population.


It will mean that the capitalists will be deprived of their ownership and control of the factories and land, mills and mines, communications and transport. All these means of production which they have used and misused only to pile up profits for themselves and poverty for the workers will be taken from them. Socialism will end production for profit and will carry on production for use. The needs of all will be met, and new needs and pleasures now denied to the people will be created and satisfied by a socialist organisation and extension of production. All production and distribution as well as the development of all social services will be organised on a definite plan. A thorough-going reorganisation of our entire economic and social life on a new basis will be required.


We have to-day ample resources for producing all the things we need. Today we are both unemployed and unable to get the things we need. The two things go together. For we are unemployed because the capitalists want to have their profits and will not let us produce what we need. Destitution and unemployment can only be cured simultaneously by taking over and running the industries. The workers will naturally produce far better and more willingly under their own management than they do now. For the first time, the workers will know that greater productivity of the new advanced technologies will no longer be a threat to their livelihood but will make it possible to raise the whole standard of living and shorten the hours of labour. Not only economic security, not only ever increasing comfort and leisure, not only the day’s labour turned from useless grinding toil into useful work—but a far wider prospect is opened up. These new material conditions will be but the basis for the most rapid intellectual and cultural development of the whole population.


This will be a new world and it is for us to bring this new world into being.


Monday, August 29, 2022

Study Socialism


Behind the current spate of statistics around the cost of living crisis lies real misery of almost Dickensian proportions. Children are eating main meals which consist of little more than toast and beans or pasta. Many live in terrible surroundings with damp running down the walls. Parents often cannot afford to buy new clothes as the little money they have is spent on food and heating. It paints a gruesome picture of capitalist society

Everyday life is threatened in a way not seen since the dark days of the 1930s slump. If there is to be a battle for a better standard of living the wages front is the arena to fight it and where intervention by the organised working class can bring real success. And this is the arena where the workers, democratically organised, are most likely to come into conflict with all sides  – the government, the multinationals and the petty capitalists too. While companies try to pass taxes on to the general population through higher prices, the workers tend to pass them on to the capitalist class as a whole through increased pay claims and subsistence payments made by the state, which is why taxation generally is ultimately a burden on the owners of capital rather than the non-owners.


The root cause of the present antagonisms lies in the separation of industry into the two classes of capital-owning profit takers, and ownerless wage earners. The economy’s job is to work for people. It is not the job of people to sacrifice themselves on the altar of the economy. The idea that the proper function of our economy is to provide humans with decent lives carries with it the understanding that the distribution of material resources is of primary importance.

All of these are doomed to failure because the cause of all environmental problems is the way wealth is produced. The whole purpose of production is to make a profit, and if it is necessary to pollute the planet in order to realise that profit then that is what capitalism will do. Persuading presidents and petitioning multinationals are pathetic operations. The need is for a new society based on production solely for use.


From the ordinary trade union point of view of a struggle to enforce more pay and shorter hours, the railway strike seems to have been well conceived and executed and well timed. Much of the media has been attempting to set out the usual employers' line that everyone believes in the right of the workers to strike so long as they never exercise the right suggesting that the right to strike is a fundamental human freedom, but its exercise ought to be justified by some great cause. There is no great cause in the RMT dispute—it is mere market bargaining over money.The fact is that the trade union movement still broadly accepts capitalism though prepared to strike against the capitalists. 


Many think us arrogant with our claim to be the only party organised for socialism. Fellow-worker, our claims are not arrogant. The Socialist Party is the only political party organised solely for socialism.


What is Socialism?

You, fellow-worker, “know” all about socialism, don’t you?


You “know” that socialism means “share and share alike,” that is to say, that you should share your belongings with your neighbour. And knowing your neighbour, you decide against socialism.

You “know” that socialism means some vague sentiment about “loving your neighbour,” and again looking at your neighbour you feel uninspired.

You “know” that socialism means the destruction of initiative and inventiveness, and being ambitious you feel that the present order of things should not be upset.

You ”know” that socialism has been tried in different parts of the earth. After all, the self-styled “socialists'' have said so.

Quite bluntly, fellow-worker, you know little or nothing about socialism. In truth, if socialism did mean the things which these mangled ideas try to express then the working men and women who are organised in the Socialist Party would turn to some other more intelligent pursuit.

Production for use

Socialism does not mean sharing out either goods or income. Such a conception implies a fixed amount of social wealth, out of which each took an equal share.


Socialism means something fundamentally different from that. It means the social ownership of the means for producing wealth. Consider for a moment the factory in which you work. Each worker, out of perhaps many thousands, has his particular job to do. Yet no one worker produces the finished article, which the factory, as a whole, produces. Each worker plays his or her part, but the product is the result of the indispensable work of all.


 Production is a cooperative process. As in the factory, so in society generally. The work and life of the community is carried on by the workers as a whole. No one worker or group of workers is independent of the rest. One worker can play a part in steering a ship, but the labour of many thousands is required to build it. The worker who steers the ship could not do so without the builders. Production is social.


Yet outside the productive process is the class who owns the means of production. It takes no part in social production and is unnecessary to it.

Socialism means the social ownership of the social means of production. This will eliminate the owning class. Quite a simple proposition to conceive, but profound and revolutionary in its implications. Far from socialism meaning the sharing-out of some imaginary fixed quantity of wealth, social ownership will release the powers of production from the fetters of private ownership. It will bring into productive activity an enormous number of workers now engaged in unproductive labour. Production will expand to correspond to the people's needs. The people will take from the social store as they need. Initiative and inventiveness will have the chance to thrive, instead, as now, of being dependent on the ability of the worker to sell his abilities to a capitalist. Cut-throat competition for jobs will no longer exist and the mushy sentiment of brotherly love will have an opportunity to acquire real meaning.

So we could go on, stating and answering the common objections to socialism. But we want to do more than that. We want your interest. Whilst we tell you that you know nothing about socialism your interest is perhaps not easy to obtain. But be patient. Ask yourself what time you have devoted to a study of the question. Is your conception of socialism the result of independent thinking, or has it acquired shape from the influence of biased or coloured sources more interested in misrepresenting it? Think that out and be wary. Perhaps you have not had the time to study socialism. However, you are reading this blog and we assume that you want knowledge, and want to assist in removing the social evils of capitalism if you knew how.

We know that only socialism will solve these problems. We know that socialism will come. Make up your mind about that. More, the time will come when there can be no ordered intelligent living, no progress, and no harmony in social relations; national or international, without socialism.

 The lessons of the socialist message will be learned through the experience of bitter struggle. That struggle can be eased and shortened by the spread of socialist understanding. That is our responsibility. Yours is to examine our case. And that is what we ask you to do.

Socialist Standard

In the course of many years, we have answered all known objections to socialism in our monthly journal, the Socialist Standard. You can access the archives if you wish on our website. Study socialism and you will be much nearer an understanding of our position than you are to-day. It may modify some popular misconceptions in your mind, but it would be insufficient to convince you of the soundness of our case.


One prejudice we are certain will disappear—that working men and women cannot understand the meaning of the apparently complicated events around. They can. You can. We have. And we lay no claim to more than average brains. But we have devoted many years to the study of socialism. We know something about it. You know little. Quite naturally; we should be in a similar position regarding a subject to which you had devoted a long study. We are not of superior intelligence. We do claim, however, that we have found ourselves on the road to socialism (perhaps, for a few of us by accident) and that you would be with us with a little guidance.

We are workers drawn from all occupations, miners, mechanics, carpenters, bus drivers, office workers, artists, unemployed and unpaid and so forth. We have a case—the case for the social ownership of the means and instruments of production. Study our case and we are certain that you will soon be in the campaign for socialism.