Showing posts with label voting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label voting. Show all posts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Protect the Vote! Use it Wisely!

Why haven't we had a socialist revolution? How much longer can capitalism last? How bad must conditions get before workers take action? There has been no revolution, but rather the working class, while angry, has been mired by confusion, uncertainty and despair.

Socialism is not a predestined inevitable development. Socialism is not an automatic affair, workers as a class must play an active role in the socialist revolution. Capitalism will not vanish. It will remain until it is overthrown. And capitalism can be overthrown only as the result of class conscious mass struggle.

Promoting class conciousness, however, is no easy matter. Workers are bombarded daily in the media with capitalist propaganda. Politicians and economists obscure the capitalist roots of economic crisis and falsely predict a “recovery” after a painful period of "adjustment." And some union leaders tell workers that they need to make concessions to their exploiters instead of fighting back. Worse still, many on the Left confuse workers by talking of  reforms or by raising false hopes that workers can force the political state to solve the problems of unemployment and poverty. Such notions can only help convince workers that they have a future under capitalism and that capitalism is, at this late date, somehow capable of being reformed. In truth, ending the effects of capitalism requires ending their cause -- the capitalist system.

The sad fact is that workers -- those who vote and those who don't -- still buy into the notion that capitalism can somehow solve the problems and miseries it creates and confronts them with. This misunderstanding is no accident. That misconception is nurtured deliberately by capitalism's politicians, and by assorted capitalist agencies of miseducation and misinformation -- the media, the schools, the universities, the churches, the ever-present reformers and more -- all of which are dominated by pro-capitalist interests. Those interests and their political lackeys are primarily concerned with the preservation of their system -- the source of their wealth and their positions of privilege -- at the continued expense of the useful producers of the nation. They will not and do not hesitate to mouth any promise or resort to any act they think will serve their purpose, no matter how hypocritical or ruthless. The hope for a sane and decent society can never be realised within the confines of the capitalist system. Private ownership of the means of life, coupled with the exploitation of wage labour, make it impossible. Furthermore, the system cannot be reformed, regardless of how moral or how ethical reformers may be. Capitalism is beyond that. Its very nature militates against such efforts.

It is important that workers come to recognise that there is an alternative to capitalism. For the sooner the working class realises that the misery imposed by capitalism need not be endured, the sooner will workers turn to socialism. Workers need to form a mass socialist party to challenge and defeat the political state for the purpose of dismantling it. That will clear the way for the workers' organisation on the economic field to administer the classless socialist society by ousting the capitalist class from the seat of its economic power and by taking, holding and operating the economy in the peoples’ interests. It is inconceivable that socialism would win at the ballot box by a number so small that the outcome would be in doubt. Indeed, even if the formality of vote counting was dispensed with completely at such a juncture, the social atmosphere would be charged with the electricity of impending change that the will of the people could not be concealed.

Capitalism can be counted on to produce economic crises in abundance. However, economic crisis is not a sufficient condition of revolution. Even if the economy should utterly collapse, the result would not necessarily be socialism. For in the absence of revolutionary working-class organisation, the ruling class would readily impose its own totalitarian alternative. There is much evidence that the capitalist class lives in fear of widespread social unrest and is at work to either contain or to defuse it and channel it off into harmless dead ends. We are in a race with time. We will either succeed or fail in our mission to penetrate the consciousness of the working class before all avenues for peaceful change are closed off.  Many are aware that the avenues for achieving peaceful change in our democracy are being closed at a frightening rate of speed. The ballot is more and more reserved to the major parties, financed by capitalist funding, the mass media are essentially sealed off from organisations like the Socialist Party. If the ballot cannot be brazenly taken from the workers, laws may well be passed to accomplish the same thing by a back door.

 If indeed we lose the race -- if all means for peaceful change are eventually closed -- socialists will not abandon our efforts and the struggle will continue but the alternative is not a pleasant one to contemplate. Accordingly, we work hard to get our message across now, knowing that if we fail the chances for a nonviolent and peaceful transition to socialism will diminish and possibly disappear. We live in a world of increasing chaos and violence, as the conflicts now raging in the Middle East attests. We aim for a world in which cooperation and peace will be combined with prosperity and freedom for all. The longer it takes to wake up the working class to accomplish the change in a nonviolent way, the longer the working class suffers ruling-class violent oppression, the more difficult it will be to achieve our hopes and aspirations for a new world worth having. Where the ballot is silenced, the bullet must speak.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Labour Cant

Labour Party members invariably assert (and it is a view endorsed by the left-wing) that if they were not in power the workers would be worse off. This theory of the “lesser of two evils” has always been the trump card in the hands of the Labour Party politician, but is it true that the British workers would have been worse off? The Labour Party makes out that it is saving the working class but what it actually attempts to do is to save capitalism. If any voter continues to hold a view that the Labour Party is a vehicle to achieve socialism then the ignorance being demonstrated is more than those who take a lesser-evils view, or those who take the view of a plague on all your houses. They have deceived themselves.

Millions will vote for the Labour Party, cynically encouraged by those on the Left. It is the nature of the faith, yet sadly the faith is not in the socialist intentions of the Labour Party. How many workers after these years of Labour’s “ socialism” have any idea of what real socialism is? But they choose the lesser of two evils, and sometimes the difference between the two evils is so small in their minds of the voters that they will choose because of the face or some irrelevant personal aspect of the party leader. It is this perception of politics being a choice between two evils, according to the rules of the game that we must constantly attack. The only way we can do this is by offering an alternative – so that they don’t need to play the game of voting for the lesser evil and don’t need to be forced into a false and hypocritical “choice”.

The working class needs only one party - a socialist party. The capitalists  require more than one party, because of their need to compete with each other. Different sectors and factions of capitalism seek to advance their own interests by competing both through and within these parties. Each party tries to mislead and cover up their sectional and vested interests with talk about “representing the people.” Their task is to fool the people with their lies and sound-bites. Because no matter what they say, no matter what they promise, no matter what the election manifesto states, they will try to carry out the capitalists’ agenda. Capitalists rarely take public office themselves. Instead, they prefer to rule indirectly, through trusted representatives. One of the most important ways they get leverage over the politicians is through campaign financing and contributions. He who pays the piper calls the tune. However, it would be a mistake to say that the wealthy class control “everything.” They do not control every politician, but nor do they need to. The main part of government they need to control is the leadership where the real power lies and they then can use it to influence the rest of government.

Adopting lesser-of-two-evils tactics spells disaster. Lesser-of-two-evil tactics inevitably lead to getting swallowed up and not to any expanded opportunity to speak for ourselves in the electoral arena. The problem is, there is always going to be a lesser evil among the pro-capitalist parties.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Marx your X

All the momentous strikes have proved that the government is under the control of the business class and that its army of official are subservient to their capitalist masters. The police, the courts and all the powers lodged in class government are all freely at the service of the employers, especially in suppressing discontent among their employees and keeping them safely in subjugation. On the political battlefield there is only worker versus capitalist. The workers have never yet developed, or made use, of their political power. They have played the game of their masters for the benefit of their masters. It is not to reform the evils of the day but to abolish the social system that produces them that the Socialist Party is organised. It is the party not of reform but of revolution, knowing that the capitalist system has had its day and that a new society, based upon a new system of production, must replace the one we now have.

Although as a political party committed to using elections to capture political power the Socialist Party surprisingly does not regard vote-getting as of supreme importance. We do not present a programme of attractive promises as a lure for votes. We seek only an actual vote for socialism and our manifestoes do not flatter the electorate but simply endeavours to convince them of the case for socialism. We make it clear that the Socialist Party wants the votes only of those who want socialism and disparages vote-seeking for the sake of votes and we hold in contempt those political opportunists seeking election for the sake of office or personal advancement. The Socialist Party stands squarely upon its principles. The Socialist party buys no votes with false pledges.
The ballot expresses the people’s will. The ballot means that the worker is no longer dumb, that at last has a voice, that it may be heard and if used in unison must be heeded. The appeal of the Socialist Party is to the exploited class, the workers in all trades and professions, from the most menial to the highest skill, to rally together and put an end to the last of the barbarous class struggles by conquering the capitalist government, taking possession of the means of production and making them the common property of all, abolishing wage-slavery and establishing the co-operative commonwealth. As individauls we are helpless, but united we represent an irresistible power.

The first step in this direction is to stop supporting the capitalist parties. The Conservatives and the Labour Party are alike, differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests. They have the same principles, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to the working class. There is no longer even the pretense of difference between them. They are substantially the same in what they stand for. They are opposed to each other on no question of principle but purely in a contest for spoils of office. They are literally bought, paid for and owned, body and soul. What difference can it make to the millions of workers whether the Tories or the Labourites prevail. How can any intelligent, self-respecting worker give his or her support to either of these corrupt capitalist parties? The worker who votes for the Tories or Labour does worse than throw away a vote. He or she is a deserter of their class and will reap what they have sown. They carry the badge of ignorance, servility and shame. Those workers who vote into power our class enemies are morally responsible for the crimes these parties inflict upon their fellow-workers and sooner or later they too will have to pay for the consequences of the ignorance of their votes.

Justice to workers means the end of capital. The old parties intend nothing of the kind. Workers must unite and vote together as a class in support of the Socialist Party, the party that represents them as a class, and when they do this the State will pass into their hands and capitalism will be no more; private/state ownership will give way to social ownership, and production for profit to production for use; the wages-system will disappear, and with it the ignorance and poverty. misery and crime that wage-slavery breeds. The Socialist Party is the tangible expression of the socialist movement, and is based upon the class struggle in whic all workers of all countries, regardless of race, nationality or sex, are called upon to unite against the capitalist class, their common exploiter and oppressor. It knows of no foreign-born among the oppressed and down-trodden. We are not asking you to give your votes to our party but only that you read its platform, study its program, and satisfy yourselves as to what its principles are, what it stands for, and what it expects to accomplish. Education and knowledge are the powers that confer the only means of achieving a decided and permanent victory for the people. We desire the support of those who recognise the Socialist Party as their party and come to it of their own free will. It is first and last the party of the workers, proclaiming their interests, their aspirations.

The Socialist Party will not unite with any other party that does not stand for the democratic overthrow of capitalism and if it were ever to compromise and make such a concession, it will have ceased to be a socialist party. We are not here to play the filthy game of capitalist politics. the Socialist Party condemns the capitalist system. In the name of freedom it condemns wage-slavery. In the name of modern technology it condemns scarcity and poverty. In the name of peace it condemns war. In the name of humanity it condemns the murder of little children. In the name of enlightenment it condemns ignorance and superstition. The battles of the workers, wherever and however fought, are always and everywhere the battles of the Socialist Party. The education, organisation and co-operation of the workers is the conscious aim and the self-imposed task of the Socialist Party. There is no party leader or bureaucracy within the Socialist Party boss and there never can be unless the party deserts its principles and ceases to be a socialist party. Each member has not only an equal voice but is urged to take an active part in all the party’s administration. Each local branch is an educational centre. The party relies wholly upon the power of education, knowledge, and mutual understanding.

The working class will eventually see through the politics of the corporations and their representatives dripping with corruption. They will protest, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! THERE MUST BE A CHANGE!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

All Change for the Council Elections

Capitalism is well past its sell-by date, and can now be replaced by its alternative: a wageless, moneyless, classless world community based on production for human need, not profit. This change can only come about once the majority understand it and want it. It won't come about by following leaders or voting for someone else to do it.

The world can now easily produce wealth sufficient to adequately house, feed, care for and educate the global population. Instead, we see hunger, disease and homelessness around the world despite the concerns of governments, charities and show-biz stars. Closer to home, in a "developed" nation like the UK, we see child poverty and an increasing gulf between rich and poor. Rates of depression and anxiety are becoming epidemic.

Capitalism is failing: it now acts as a barrier, preventing production being geared to human need. Rather than keep trying to tinker with this system we should start looking beyond it to an alternative: a wageless, moneyless, classless world community based on production for human need, not profit. This social change can only come about once the majority understand it and want it. It won't come about by following leaders or voting for someone else to do it.The candidates contesting this election (whether openly pro-capitalist or avowedly socialist) are asking you to believe that they can run this society a little bit better. We argue that history shows that the money system actually ends up running them. Their manifesto promises usually amount to nothing - it only encourages the idea that capitalism can be made better. So don't vote for them.

The one good thing about the Labour Party these days is that it no longer pretends to have anything to do with socialism. Perhaps they realise that if they did people wouldn't believe them anyway. They are not even the left-of-centre "labour" party they once were, but have stolen all the Tories's clothes. Not that "Old Labour" was any better when in government, imposing wage freezes, cutting benefits, opposing strikes just like all governments of capitalism as an economic system that imposes that profits must come before people. Socialism meant, and still means, the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, where goods and services are produced directly for use and not for profit and where every member of society has access as of right to the things they need to live and enjoy life. Nobody who wants such a society would dream of voting for the Labour Party, so don't.

The so-called "Scottish Socialist Party" (or the newly created Scottish Anti-cuts Alliance coalition) claim to stand for "socialism". In fact, the SSP stand for is a system under which all industry would be nationalised. They follow Lenin and Trotsky in thinking that workers cannot understand socialism, but must be led there by a vanguard party offering attractive reforms of capitalism (take a look at the SSP wish-list). Nationalisation and rule by a vanguard party is not of course socialism, but something called "state capitalism". It's a travesty of the word where production is to satisfy people's needs and would be on the basis of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". The Socialist Party are accused of "splitting the Left". We are not a part of this "Left". We are opposed to measures which tinker with and attempt to reform capitalism with palliatives. It has been a "Leftist" tactic in the past to hypocritically ask workers to vote for a "workers'" party to get reforms which they know they cannot obtain, on the parliamentary road which they dont support, to "socialism", which is not socialism. The Socialist Party is opposed to such trickery of workers and this cynical political opportunism. Simply, the "Left" are not socialists. Far from splitting the "Left", we oppose the "Left" for its political cowardice, (being unable or unwilling to describe socialism to workers and nail their true colours to the socialist mast), of opportunism, (interference in workers struggles and grass-roots movements to recruit and subvert them to their cause), and for its pretensions, (of assuming to know what socialism is, and presenting itself as a leadership to-wards it). If you want state capitalism, vote for the SSP. But if you want real socialism - don't cast a vote for them.

 In Scotland, the Socialist Party has not had the resources to stand any candidates and contest these local council elections. We suggest that you express your preference with a "write-in vote" for the Socialist Party as a statement that you think another world is possible. If you have confidence that humans can live and work co-operatively without need of the wages system, then write Socialist Party of Great Britain (or SPGB) across your ballot paper. And then get in touch with us to do something about changing the world.