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Environment

Shattering illusions


“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

Implicit in the membership of the Socialist Party is an understanding of socialist principles. In fact, membership is conditional upon this. Exploitation gives the key to an understanding of capitalism. Today the workers as a class are born, and remain, propertyless; they, therefore, do not own capital which is a form of wealth. Capital is the accumulated wealth of the capitalist class. It is useful for further production, but with only one object — that it may absorb the further unpaid labour of the workers, and thus produce . . . surplus value, the source of rent, interest, and profit. Not the means of wealth production in themselves, but the class relations under which they are used to obtain the surplus value, realised through sale in the world market — make them capital. The Labour Party and the Left do not stand as we do for common ownership, which would mean the abolition of such class relations. If the workers are to enjoy the fruits of their toil and drudgery, they must own and control the means by which they produce them. The land, factories, railways etc. must be made the common property of all to meet the needs of all. That is what we mean by socialism. More >

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Addressing the Green Party

 Many Greens claim to advocate a society based on cooperation and production for use, a sustainable society where production is in harmony with the environment and affairs are run in a decentralised and democratic manner. They argue that only in such a system can ecological problems such as pollution and global warming be solved. The ultimate aim is a participatory economy, based on smaller-scale enterprise, with a greatly-reduced dependence on the world market. What is being proposed is the abolition both of the world market, with the competition for resources and sales it engenders, and of existing centralised states, and their replacement by a worldwide network of smaller human communities providing for their own needs. This will involve a steady-state economy based on maximum conservation of materials and energy.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain place ourselves unambiguously in the camp of those who argue that capitalism and a sustainable relationship with the rest of nature are not compatible and unless the Green Party embraces socialism, their vision is unachievable. Because people believe there is no alternative to capitalism, it keeps on existing. The environmentalist’s dream of a sustainable ‘zero growth’ within capitalism will always remain just that, a dream. If human society is to be able to organize its production in an ecologically acceptable way, then it must abolish the capitalist economic mechanism of capital accumulation and gear production instead to the direct satisfaction of needs. More > 

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Will capitalism lead the world to ecological disaster? It is certainly having a good try. Socialists have for decades railed at capitalist market production for being on a relentless collision course with the environment, and have frequently used clichés like 'profits of doom' and 'merchants of menace'. Now, rarely a day goes by when our attention is not drawn to the various issues of environmental degradation and how the increase in human activity is impacting on large areas of the natural environment globally.

It is time to stop the rape and pillage of the Earth. It is time to protect the environment and to enjoy its bounties in a sensible and sustainable way. The world has the technology and the human expertise. It just needs the political will to make the change. Democracy has been reduced to a tiresome routine that involves electing the rulers once in five years. They have become election machines with their own vested interests. These machines are designed to gather votes and use them as fodder to convert money into power, and power back into money. Substituting one party for another, or making a change of administrative power is not enough. We need an entirely new politics. This cannot be done leaders or by a political party but instead, if everyone joins together, understanding that this is their work, then a dream becomes a reality. People’s movements need to come together.

the environmentalists may achieve limited success against government policies by lobbying for better regulation, at the end of the day, they will never be able to overcome the profit motive which is the root cause of the problems they wish to ameliorate and are destined to struggle endlessly against capitalism. More >

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