Monday, October 31, 2022

The insanity of capitalism

 The vast majority of the population of this planet live in want to one degree or another whether they be industrial workers in Western Europe or North America trying to make ends meet, beggars on the sidewalk in India, or even beggars on the sidewalk in the USA.

Yet they seem to blindly accept that this is the inevitable consequence of things—and in the particular context of capitalism, they are right. Various degrees of want will always exist in a private-property-based society where all production is with a view to profit and where the majority sell their labour-power in return for a part only, expressed as wages, of what they produce.

Various governments have introduced various welfare programmes to eradicate poverty and failed hopelessly. Some of the politicians behind these plans may well have been well-meaning people, whereas others were certainly trying to win votes, but whichever, it is immaterial as society as it presently exists cannot eliminate poverty let alone provide everybody with a full and happy life.

With the most advanced technological power, there is a contradiction that when the means exist to give everyone a full and happy life yet the vast majority struggle to make ends meet while a substantial minority live in want of the basic necessaries of life.

Socialists have consistently maintained that the natural resources, technology and distributive capacity exist to feed, clothe and house the world's population many times over. This, however, is impossible in an economic system where all production is geared to profit. In reality, nobody knows how big the earth's absolute supplies of raw materials are. No such investigations have been made. What has been investigated are supplies and resources that capitalism needs, and that is something very different.

So destitution, starvation and deprivation do not exist because the capacity for producing and distributing wealth is insufficient. The technology to eliminate them does exist but is not applied under capitalism where all production is for profit and which also deliberately wastes and destroys resources. Capitalism produces not for use but profit; so if wheat farmers, car makers, TV makers, appliance firms, heavy and light engineering companies can make more profit out of waste than by good quality products they will do so. But it is not enough to say that capitalism makes profits through waste. The fact is that the normal functioning of the system wastes an enormous amount of resources. Every year tons of foodstuffs are destroyed.

When we speak of waste, it is not food and raw materials alone that are wasted under capitalism, but millions of workers who become unemployed during the various trade depressions and recessions which are another logical consequence of an illogical system. The devastating wars that are caused by the need of competing sections of the world capitalist class for markets and raw materials are still further proof if any were needed, of the shocking waste of workers, especially when we consider there were more than 50 million casualties in the Second World War.

No one, whatever their political views, can examine these matters without being appalled at the logical insanity of capitalism. Logical, because these problems are a normal consequence of a society where all production is carried on only with a view to profit on the market. Insanity, because, surely to anyone in their right mind, it is insane that food should be destroyed when people are starving, that houses stand empty where people are homeless, and that factories stand idle when workers are unemployed.

Years of tinkering with these problems by politicians, of all parties, well-meaning or not, has not achieved anything and in some instances, matters have got worse. There is only one solution; which is for the world's workers to examine the contradictions of capitalism and then organise politically for a society where poverty, hunger, unemployment, pollution, waste, planned obsolescence, war and a host of things not even mentioned in this article will be a thing of the past.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Workers’ Councils

The policy adopted by the Labour and Social-Democratic parties in Europe has generally been described as “parliamentarianism”. By which is meant the idea that a parliament dominated by working-class representatives can, through various types of legislation, control the existing system of society in the interests of the community as a whole.

While workers have made some gains this way, more and more people are becoming aware that such a path offers no solution to any of the major problems they face, because it leaves untouched the basic structure of society which is their root cause. (Which is why the Socialist Party has always opposed any policy of social reformism).

In many radical political circles, especially those that have originated in or worked in conjunction with the Labour Party, the failure of this policy has been attributed, as much to the mechanism of parliamentary elections as to the nature of social reformism itself. It has been argued that the experience of Labour and Social-Democratic governments proves the uselessness of parliamentary institutions to the workers.

The alternative form of organisation offered has usually been “workers’ councils”, or factory committees along the lines of the early Russian Soviets. These are said to be more democratic and responsive to the needs of workers.

Obviously, a council made up of revocable delegates is more democratic than one composed of individuals elected for a fixed period of time, but in other ways, the typical workers’ council or factory committee is less democratic. It is organised on a narrower base and excludes those not employed such as the unemployed, old and young people, housewives and the disabled.

Despite their shortcomings, elections to a parliament based on universal suffrage are still the best method available for workers to express a majority desire for socialism.

Furthermore, although parliament run by Labour or Tory politicians is incapable of controlling the economic system in a rational and humane way, it is the centre of political control in advanced industrial countries. The minority of people who now monopolise the ownership of wealth do so through their control of parliament by capitalist parties elected by workers. Control of parliament by representatives of a conscious revolutionary movement will enable the bureaucratic-military apparatus to be dismantled and the oppressive forces of the state to be neutralised, so that socialism may be introduced with the least possible violence and disruption.

Parliament and local councils, to the extent that their functions are administrative and not governmental, can also be used to coordinate emergency measures when socialism is established.

We are not saying that workers' councils are therefore quite useless. On the contrary; like trade unions, they can often play a useful role under capitalism in the struggle of workers to maintain or improve working conditions and wages, and to resist capitalist authority at work. Factory or workplace committees, or something similar, would also play an important part in the democratic management of production inside socialism.

Representatives elected by workers to parliament have continually compromised to the needs of capitalism, but then so have representatives on the industrial field. The institution is not here at fault; it is just that people’s ideas have not yet developed beyond belief in leaders and dependence on a political elite.

When Socialism is established

When socialism is established it will be necessary to set up councils at local, regional and global levels for the administration of social affairs in every aspect of productive activity. Also, there will have to be councils whose function will be to coordinate the work of the various specific councils. The majority of the people in a local area will make decisions affecting that area specifically, the people in a certain region will make decisions for that region and everyone will make global decisions.

This will mean that everyone must have access to vast amounts of knowledge, concerning what each area produces, where it is stored, and how what is needed can be got from one place and moved to another. All this knowledge can be stored on the internet so that people can receive whatever knowledge they wish at the touch of a button.

When it comes to voting on specific issues people need to go no further than their living room. Even today TV reality programmes invite viewers to deliver their verdicts. If this is possible under capitalism, one can imagine the tremendous advantages that can be made in a socialist society when people will be able to utilise the technology built up under capitalism as well as improve on it.

People could if they wanted to, check and see how a certain project was progressing so that whatever was happening could be under the constant scrutiny of society as a whole. Who would not want such a society? So why not organise politically "for its speedy establishment?

Bookchin's Anarchism (video)


The Cause of War


The profit system is the cause of all wars today. The capitalists in Germany, America, England, France, China and Russia – all want to seize, or to hold, territory in foreign countries. They want to have an army and navy in order to protect these foreign investments – from the armies of the capitalist government of other countries. Wars are caused by the competition of various national capitalist groups for new markets, new natural resources in undeveloped countries, for new, protected foreign. investments. Each national capitalist group wants the strongest military to protect their industrial and financial invasion in new territories.

Every thinking working man and woman is opposed to all capitalist wars. We are opposed to ALL armies and navies. We object to having one life sacrificed to the interests of the capitalist class. The capitalist etalks patriotism and the flag when he wants to use you to fight his battles against other capitalists. But he will out-source and off-shore production where there are workers who will work for the lowest wages, be German, French, English, Japanese or American. He exploits you, dismisses you, permits you to starve regardless of your nationality. In every land he makes new laws, or evades old ones.

Emplyers only emphasise your nationality when he needs you to fight wars against other people, who are also fighting for new markets for the employing class of the foreign land. Workers  of all countries have no fight against each other. Their interests are common. Their only enemy is the capitalist who exploits them. The employing class is at present making all the rules in the game and every one of these rules is to further their interests at the expense of all others.

We are opposed to ALL armies, always have been, and always will be. We want NO army because these will not only be used against us today but will successfully crush any rebellion or revolution on the part of our class in future. The only foreigner we know is the boss who exploits us, whether he be German, English, Chinese or American. All workers are our countrymen. The capitalist is our enemy.

Socialism will prevent wars because it means the ownership of the instruments of production and distribution by the workers who use them. It means the abolition of the Profit System.

The way to cure a disease is not to put salve upon the symptoms, but to remove the cause. The profit system is almost the only cause of war today. Discard the system and remove the cause of war. The profit system is the cause of nearly all the suffering poverty, sickness, crime, as well as war. It is the one great enemy of the working class. Amidst the horrors of famine, poverty, crime and war there is one way out for the working class of every country. There is one way that means victory for the useful workers of that country. That way means socialism or industrial democracy.

The only war worth fighting is the class war, the war of the workers against the robber class. The abolition of the profit and wages system is the only fight that will benefit US.  The ruling class has always used the exploited workers to help fight its battles.

All power lies in the hands of the workers. You can make the whole world your world with a united working class. But you must have an educated, organised class. The class war will have to be FOUGHT OUT. And every act of rebellion and revolt will make us better fighters for the overthrow of capitalism, fighters with weapons tried and found effective.

 Revolt! Revolt again! And again Revolt!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Murray Bookchin and Social Ecology (video)


Revolutionary Thoughts


It will not be any one IDEA that will free the working class. But rather the common human needs of the workers, made acute by the breaking of old-time habits of life and thought. It is this breaking of old customs and old habits that create revolutionary INITIATIVE. Every movement gains MOMENTUM THROUGH ACTION. 

We should encourage rebellious activity on the part of the workers everywhere and at all times. ACTIVITY always adds to the strength of the movement, and brings new workers into the ranks. We do not learn inaction through activity but how best to act in order to win. Action tested in the fires of experience finds the best tactic. Questioning in ANY organisation is a sign of life. 

The working class is kept in a condition of wage slavery through its conditioning and indoctrination. Poverty cries out for the need of a new social order. All that stands between us and the things WE have PRODUCED, the houses we have built and do not occupy, the clothing we have made, the food we have produced, which we may not eat – all that separates us from these things, that belong to us, is our habits of inertia.


Capitalists pay the workers just enough to keep them in working conditions and to produce children to take their places when they can no longer be used at a PROFIT by the owners of industry. But the boss has GOT to give you a living while you are on the job, for when YOU STOP, PRODUCTION ALSO STOPS. As long as the profit system lasts you are going to get a living while you are at work, and that is about all you are going to get. If you get any more you will have to fight for it. You will have to fight to keep on getting what you receive now. Life is a constant warfare between the employers and the employed. 


The only way we get money to buy food and clothes and shelter is by selling our strength of hand or brain to one of these groups of capitalists who aimed the land and machinery with which food and clothes and houses were produced.

And there were hundreds of thousands of other propertyless men and women also looking for a master who would buy their strength and permit them to work in the shops and factories, making things for the shop and factory owners.

Because there were many men after each job, the bosses were able, and are still able, to buy our labour power for a wage that just about covered the cost of living. Now a wage means a part. For example, a miner digs $15.00 worth of coal in a day (for the boss) and the boss pays him $3.00 in wages or a very small part of the value of his product. And the boss keeps the product. And so we have the profit or Wage System.

The working class has no rights, no privileges, and no law. The working class has only the strength, the power of its two strong hands, of its sober mind, of its class solidarity. Labour feeds the world; it fetches and carries the food, the coal, and the clothing. It turns all the wheels of industry. The Law will not help us in a reign of lawlessness. Street barricades will avail us nothing today. But organization and education in the basic industries, in all industries – class solidarity – will help us. Industrial democracy means the rule of the workers as opposed to what we have known all our lives-the rule of autocracy or the rule of the capitalist few.


This is why we intend to abolish the profit system as the workers will themselves own and enjoy the things they have produced, there will be no poverty for any individual.  Class solidarity, and class organisation in the economic field will enable us at last to abolish a system that rests upon robbery.

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Right to be Lazy (music video)


End the Profit System


It is the need for food and a house to live in, that forces men and women to sell themselves to work for a boss for wages. Where land is free, food abundant, shelter available and clothing still a matter of ornament, men and women are practically free economically. It is the private ownership of land, food, clothing and houses that makes slaves of the non-owners. They are forced to work for wages to get money to buy these necessities. Everywhere we find that capitalism grabs up the land and other natural resources so that people are forced to find jobs in order to live. Is there any working man or woman who does not know that something is very wrong with things as they are today? No matter how hard we may work and save, we rarely make ends meet.

The sole end and aim of the employer are to make PROFITS. No matter how much the bosses may say in the media, you know that they consider everything connected with the business to bring MORE PROFITS to them. They install automation because it will enable them to reduce staff and thus make more PROFITS. They adulterate food with toxic preservatives to make it appear fresh all for the sake of paying more dividends to their shareholders.  If you stop to think about it you find almost everything in the world today and almost every institution directly relates, in one way or another, to PROFITS.

 When you go on strike with for shorter hours and higher wages, the boss opposes you, because higher wages and shorter working hours for YOU will mean lower PROFITS for HIM. You’ll hear the politicians teaching contentment and thrift because the rich men pay their salaries and the master class want you to be contented and obedient. These things mean more PROFITS for him. The politicians always line up behind the Captains of Industry instead of behind working men and women. It PAYS better. The media never tell the truth about a strike. They always side with the employers because the employers advertise and advertising means PROFITS.

Today the capitalist, or employing class, owns all the machines, by which things are produced. The employing class owns the land and the factories. They own the transport and the shops. They own these things and want to own these things – not for the purpose of raising food for people to eat or building houses for them to live in. They own these things for the purpose of robbing the working class – for the sake of PROFITS.

Employers need the unemployed in order to make profits almost as much as they need workers. We are today unable to name the price at which we will sell our strength, or our brains, to the boss because there are unemployed men and women who are offering their brains and muscles just enough to live on. If we demand higher wages or shorter hours, they will undersell us and get the jobs. This is how the employers use the unemployed to keep our wages down, and it is by keeping wages down that they are able to draw profits from the shops and mills.

We call these men scabs when deprivation drives them to take our jobs at lower wages, and we treat them like our bitterest enemies, all because their need is so great that they are forced to take our jobs at lower wages, to keep out of destitution.

Can you blame someone whose children are crying for food or to pay the rent to keep a roof over the family’s head is willing to work on your job for a bit less than you are getting? You may find yourself in the same fix week after next. Somebody desperately looking for work is precisely the same kind of human being as you and I.  That is how the boss uses the out-of-work against us and against themselves. You are always competing for jobs with the unemployed whether you realize it or not. And you must stop competing with them and begin to realize your need for them and their need for you. We must organise and cooperate with the out-of-work against the employing class.  We must stand by the unemployed in order to have them stand by us. We need the cooperation of our out-of-work comrades and hereafter we must organize with them to present a united front against the boss.

Profits are the cause of poverty. And the Socialist Party proposes to abolish poverty. This is why every workingman and woman ought to be a socialist. Because the bosses own the factories, they are able to buy your working strength for less than the value of the things you produce or make. This leaves a profit for the bosses. Socialism intends to make the factories,  the common property of those who work in them; to do away with bosses and to abolish the PROFIT system. The socialist movement is the only movement in the world composed of workers who mean to abolish poverty and the profit system. There is no member of the Socialist Party who waves the white flag of truce to the capitalist class.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Workers of the World, Awaken (music)

We have no country


In the war, in Ukraine, those who do the fighting will get nothing. Some of them will be killed and many of them will be crippled, but beyond that they will only have the glory and honour of serving their master class to gain ownership and control of resources.

 We wish all our fellow workers would stop and consider who will be benefited by war.  No matter WHICH side wins, the workers will gain NOTHING. The capitalists have sufficient good sense to let the working people do their fighting for them and they hire clever writers to publish patriotic editorials.

The only person  worth fighting is the man who ROBS us. The only people worth fighting is the ruling class that EXPLOITS us.

Why should workers  be patriotic? If we are working men or working women, we HAVE NO COUNTRY. We don’t even have a place to eat and sleep, unless we are able to find a boss to pay us wages and when we are out of work we have to beg for welfare. 

Or we have to become migrants and move to other countries to live and to find employment. We are driven from city to city,  from nation to nation by the everlasting chorus of “MOVE ON.”

Fellow workers of ALL countries are OUR countrymen.

 The capitalist is the FOREIGNER. Our only enemy is the capitalist class, the class that, under every flag, hires us for wages and keeps for itself the things we manufacture.

Russian  men and women have no quarrel with Ukrainian men and women. They share the same interests. Both are robbed by a capitalist class and the only way we can stop this robbery is by uniting under the banner of SOCIALISM. 

We must unite to demand the common ownership of the factories and the farms. United we can abolish the present system of society and make production the shared property of all those who perform any useful service in society.

The CLASS WAR – the war of the propertyless and exploited working class against those who live off their labour – is the ONLY WAR worthwhile. That is the ONLY war that can benefit OUR class. The only war in which we should engage is the working class war, which will abolish poverty from the face of the Earth.

Are you a Russian or Ukrainian? Or German, French, English, Chinese? Are you an American? It does not matter. This question applies to every worker in the world. What has “your” country ever done for you?

What has “your” country ever really done for you, fellow worker? Has it always looked after your welfare? Does it give you a decent comfortable home? Has it assured that your children received schooltime and playtime to equip them for useful satisfying life?

Surely no one expects you to love and die for a particular geographical district upon the face of the earth just because you accidentally happened to be born in it, unless that district has done something for you. Why should you love that land any more than any other?

Fellow worker, what has your native land done for you that you should fight for its flag and its power? No matter how large or powerful it may become, no matter how rich its resources and natural wealth, you will share in none of these things. If you are rich, “your” country will open its arms to welcome you and the law and the police will protect your wealth. If you are penniless, you will be vilified. “Your” country has protection only for the powerful and it has no concern for those who are poor and sick. “Your” country has no place for you once you have harvested the crops. For when your work is done your pay ceases. All that you have made, all that you have produced, has been kept by your employers and you are turned out, dependant upon the pittance of a pension from “your” country in your old age. 

Fellow workers of the world, the land of your birth has done little for you. Conditions everywhere are practically the same. Everywhere you will find the workers earning barely enough to live on. Everywhere you will find men and women hunting for jobsEverywhere you will find the privileged protected and the poor driven out. Every national flag in the world today means benefits for the employing class, who appropriate the things produced by their workers. Flags has no significance for those who sweat and toil.

There is only one flag worth fighting for and that is the red flag, which means universal solidarity of the workers of the world in their fight to abolish the profit system.