Sunday, April 07, 2019

The age of scarcity has passed.

“...When the workers come into the world, we find that we are outcasts in the world. The land on which we must live is the property of a class who are the descendants of men who stole the land from our forefathers, and we who are workers, are, whether in town or country, compelled to pay for permission to live on the earth; the houses, shops, factories, etc., which were built by the labour of our fathers at wages that simply kept them alive are now owned by a class which never contributed an ounce of sweat to their erecting, but whose members will continue to draw rent and profit from them while the system lasts. As a result of this the worker in order to live must sell himself into the service of a master – he must sell to that master the liberty to coin into profit the physical and mental energies…There is only one remedy for this slavery of the working class, and that remedy is the socialist republic, a system of society in which the land and all houses, railways, factories, canals, workshops, and everything necessary for work shall be owned and operated as common property...” James Connolly

The working class asks very little, just peace, homes, security, decent working conditions, a reasonable education leisure and recreation. Yet capitalism still fails to provide these basic necessities. Workers have undergone years of treachery and betrayal and still political parties try to lull us with fairy tales about how wonderful things will be if we just give them a parliamentary majority. Has history not provided us with sufficient evidence to prove that capitalist politicians have nothing to offer us but more, and larger doses, of the same old medicine – exploitation, unemployment and war? They have proofed themselves to be loyal servants of the ruling class and ardent defenders of the capitalist system, fundamentally no different from one another. The voters are right to be concerned about the candidates’ obvious lack of integrity. Their mistake is to consider such corruption and hypocrisy to be an individual matter, not an absolute necessity of capitalist politics.

We believe that the working people deserve better. We need a socialist party to challenge the fundamental social, economic and political basis of capitalist society and expose the condition of hunger, misery and war that are bred by it – one who will advance the fight for socialism. A party of which the elected delegates will remain the servants – not become the masters. Our goal is socialism – everything we do is in the direction of that objective. Socialism will be victorious only when the working people take possession of all the basic means of production. The attitude of the Socialist Party is clear and definite. It claims that the wealth of society is created by the workers. It claims that the workers, through various industrial and administrative councils, must own and control all the processes of wealth production. We carry this struggle on to the political field in order to challenge the power which the present ruling class wields through its domination of the State which it wins at the ballot box.

Capitalism promotes competition, strife, and bloodshed. In its path to destruction hundreds of millions of helpless people are being crushed by increasing poverty and insecurity. The clinging to capitalism, the ownership of the world by a small propertied class, is driving the people of this planet swiftly along the path to ruin. The hope of humanity and the road to progress lies in the revolt of the wage-earners against the propertied class, the capture of political power from the propertied class, and the appropriation of the land and the means of production from the propertied class. Only when the world is run by the workers of the world for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of a capitalist class, will security of livelihood and peace between the nations be obtained. That is socialism, the social or common ownership of everything managed by the chosen representatives of the workers. To transform capitalism to socialism is a revolution. In that sense we call ourselves revolutionists.

New struggles are now looming on the horizon and the working class can be expected to begin the writing of a new page in its history. The future lies with socialism. No amount of misinformation and disinformation will be able to hold back the development of socialism. Socialist ideas will prevail, preparing the way for the overthrow of capitalism and the transformation of society. The only possible hope of the working class is common ownership of the means of production.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Why we need socialists

The change from capitalism to socialism is going to be the greatest event in human history, ending as it will, the age-long rule of private property and with it the exploitation of man by man, and establishing in its place the socialist commonwealth where money rules no more. The changes on all aspects of life will be correspondingly profound. Let the businessmen, the stock market gamblers and politicians laugh or weep or tremble at such a prospect. But what can they offer as an alternative to socialism? Nothing but the continuance of Hell under their system of capitalism. It is for you to choose, fellow-workers. Should we placidly accept that the present world-wide system of society— capitalism? Without an understanding of the present social system and a desire to bring about the social changes needed if we are all to have a future, simply rioting in the streets will not bring about the social revolution required to implement real global cooperation.

What makes socialists? The Socialist Party's advocacy is one factor in the process of education but far more powerful is the economic development with its increasing the insecurity of life for everyone who lives by selling his or her labour-power to an employer. It is this great factor that usually forces workers to listen to the Socialist Party case for socialism. The class division between workers and employers is more clearly shown. No wage slave is sure of his or her job. Long before the Socialist propaganda will reach the majority of these people the growth of the contradictions in capitalism will have forced them to examine various supposed ways of escape, and they will be compelled to take up the study of socialism as furnishing the only solution to these problems. Without the poverty of the poor there could be no riches for the rich.

Despite the Trotskyist belief in "revolutionary situations,"explanations of the nature of socialism are rarely found in their press or on their websites. As the revolution will take place at any moment, there is no need for this painstaking work. The line of their propaganda is rather like the instructions of a general staff to its army — " "Workers must fight for equal pay.” etc. Despite of their claims to be revolutionary, their platforms and policies contains the usual reformist nonsense, such as the "Nationalisation of the land, mines, banks, transport and all big industry.” etc.

The protests and demonstrations by workers against the effects of recurring capitalist economic crises are understandable but misplaced. Instead of agitating for a fair day's pay for a fair day’s work the working class should be engaged in political action with the object of abolishing the wages system completely. It must be obvious that the bumblings and blusterings of hypocritical politicians and “labour leaders’’ can no longer disguise the fact that they arc powerless to influence the actions of the market system.

Capitalism has run its course. The only question is how much longer the working class are prepared to see capitalism thrash about continuing to do untold harm to millions of workers. The working class has a choice. It can continue to choose to support a social system which brainwashes them, which bullies them, which suppresses them, which makes them homeless, which makes them hungry, which makes them poor, which exploits them and which kills them. Or the working class can choose to realize that we are many and they are few. It can choose to stop its own exploitation and decide to hasten the demise of capitalism and bring about a social system based upon common ownership of the means of production and distribution. The working class can choose to abolish poverty, abolish famine, abolish want, abolish lack of opportunity, abolish the wages system. abolish capitalism.

The Socialist Party's aim is to see established a democratic world community without frontiers—in which the natural and industrial resources of the world have become the common heritage of all humanity, and are used in co-operation to produce wealth directly for needs, with free access for all to the available goods and services, according to their own self-defined needs.
A money-free, state-free world commonwealth is the only framework within which current social problems can be permanently solved, since it is only on this basis that production can be oriented towards satisfying human needs. This social revolution can only be carried out when once a majority of wage and salary workers throughout the world want it, fully understand its implications, and organise democratically and politically to achieve it. Abolish prices once and for all, and replace this outdated system with a society of free and equal access for all, based upon self-defined needs. We don't need political confidence tricksters to run the world; we can do it ourselves for ourselves. We still see an inconsistency in being committed to the establishment of a free, socialist society through the democratic self-organisation of the working class without leaders and believing that humanity needs to be saved by some supernatural being who supposedly lived and died 2000 years ago and will return some day to establish his kingdom on Earth.

The social revolution has begun and no-one can stop it

Everyone is aware that usually a person gains office on the strength of fiery impassioned speeches, which strangely contrast with those given at a later date after a period in office. It is now a difference from a person who reflected the working-class conditions and now who is remote from them. The person is removed from the rank and file, meeting a new class of people, and mingles in separate circles from before. Things which were once primary are now secondary. Not that the person has ceased to feel interested, or has become dishonest but the influence of new factors results in a change of outlook. As long as leaders are in the fore, little thinking is done by the mass. If one can sway the crowd in one direction, another can move them in the opposite direction. We desire for men and women to think for themselves. Hope replaces fear; trust replaces repression; abundance replaces poverty.

The members of the Socialist Party are class-conscious revolutionaries who devoted their energies to the great cause of freeing humanity from the poverty and wars of the capitalist system. This, they believed, could be accomplished only through construction of a worldwide socialist society of peace and prosperity. We adhere to the basic conceptions of Marxism because they have proved again and again that their essential elements have proved to be true. No better set of ideas has been shown to be superior to Marxism – and not because no attempts have been made to think of better ones. On the contrary, the attempts have been countless. 

Socialist consciousness lies in the awareness and understanding in which the workers themselves realizes that they and they alone are the creators of socialism. So long as capitalism exists, so long as an exploitive society resting on industrial production exists, so long as a working class remains indispensable to modern production, the necessity of socialism will remain. All socialists recognise the class struggle as a vast school of socialist education. Marxists, however do not believe socialist consciousness arises automatically. Ideas about socialism are also necessary to differentiate between the need for social change, or just an improvement of conditions under the existing social orders. Socialist knowledge is a weapon with which to change the world.

Labour politicians talk about socialism. We judged them by their deeds, not just by words. In practice, they carried on running capitalism.  They did introduce certain reforms which ameliorated the effects of some of the worst features of capitalism in the spheres of health, housing and family support. Collectively, these became known as the ‘Welfare State’ – but they were not socialism. The essential feature of capitalism, that very thing which makes the system one of exploitation and robbery of the mass of wage workers by the ruling class of capitalists, namely the private ownership of the means of production and exchange, this remained untouched.

In a class society, a small number of the community, by virtue of the ownership of the means of production, has control over the whole productive process and possesses corresponding privileges, together with the control of government. The other much larger part of the community possesses nothing but a minimum of personal goods, the ability to work, and a few hard-won political rights. Conflict of interest is inevitable. Sooner or later the dominant class will be actively opposed by the dominated class. 

Capitalism subjects men and women to the restrictions of organised labour and then robs them of its fruits. Less than a tenth of the population possess anything but a pitiful minimum of property. Not less but more private property is needed. But it must be the right kind of property. There are two kinds of private property. Private property in the means by which things are made – factories, land, mines, gives to the owners power to control the lives of others. That must cease. It is wrong private property. The other kind of private property consists in consumer goods – food, clothes, houses, personal possessions– all that ministers to comfort. The two can readily be distinguished. Private property in the means of production yields money income. Private ownership of personal property yields none.

The working class must strike out on the road to independent political action, independent of pro-capitalist parties. The working class needs a socialist party. The working class need to break with the bourgeois parties and forge their own political trend to establish socialism.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Be Careful…be VERY careful

Eugenics inspired Hitler and it was much studied and admired around the world in many countries. It gained the approval of numerous intellectuals such as H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw (today it is Chris Hedges, David Attenborough and so is Bono), as well as leading politicians of the likes of Churchill. Eugenics fostered the justification for the colonial logic and white supremacy. The Nazi regime modelled its sterilisation programs on those of the American segregationists. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the research of German eugenicists, sponsoring major eugenic institutes. In recent years, eugenics forms part of the core belief of the over-populationists, a new “scientific” racism. Even supposedly liberal environmentalists have adopted the underlying premise with their “people pollute” arguments and their advocacy of zero population growth. When today one hears particular phrases such as “carrying capacity” or the “tragedy of the commons”, beware because it is pure Thomas Malthus. Ecologists offer a future tending toward the pastoral idyll and little is said on improving the conditions of the poor crammed into urban slums and shanty towns that were spreading across the globe. The poor are to be blamed for migrating from rural destitution and devastation. 

One reads all manner of extreme predictions couched in academic language of ecologists. Forced sterilisation of the unworthy has become family planning for the undeserving. Are we surprised that Bill Gates’ philanthropy concentrates resources on contraception? They are careful not to blame the economic reasons for large families, instead it is unchecked copulation making new babies. The enemy is the people, not corporations or class exploitation. The poor are being blamed for being poor. 

As Ian Angus wrote in 2012:
“[Over] Populationist ideas are gaining traction in the environmental movement. A growing number of sincere activists are once again buying into the idea that overpopulation is destroying the earth, and that what’s needed is a radical reduction in birth rates. Most populationists say they want voluntary birth control programs, but a growing number are calling for compulsory measures.”

The road to survival does not lie in prescriptions to eliminate surplus people, nor in birth control, but in the effort to make everybody on the face of the earth productive. Hunger and misery are not caused by the presence of too many people in the world, but rather by having few to produce and many to feed. Missing from the over-populationist’s arguments is any notion that people are capable of effecting positive social and environmental change. By placing the onus on the individual and personal life-styles the ecologists obscure the role of capitalist systems of production, distribution and consumption in causing global warming. Overpopulation per se has become the new scapegoat for the world’s ills. Overconsumption by the rich has far more to do with global warming than the population growth of the poor. The few countries in the world where population growth rates remain high, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, have among the lowest carbon emissions per capita on the planet.

 “Would the grow-or-die economy called capitalism really cease to plunder the planet even if the world’s population were reduced to a tenth of its present numbers? Would lumber companies, mining concerns, oil cartels, and agribusiness render redwood and Douglas fir forests safer for grizzly bears if — given capitalism’s need to accumulate and produce for their own sake — California’s population were reduced to one million people? The answer to these questions is a categorical no… We have yet to answer what constitutes the “carrying capacity” of the planet… Viewed from a distance of two decades later, the predictions made by many neo-Malthusians seem almost insanely ridiculous… the most sinister feature about neo-Malthusianism is the extent to which it actively deflects us from dealing with the social origins of our ecological problems — indeed, the extent to which it places the blame for them on the victims of hunger rather than those who victimize them.” explained Murray Bookchin in 2010


If Socialism is a dream. Capitalism is a nightmare.

The revolution for socialism is a social revolution. Socialism emerges from an ocean of blood and capitalist lies. The workers now have it in their hands the means to establish and build socialism. The State is controlled by the capitalists is used as a means of oppressing and exploiting the workers. It directs production and distribution in the interests of capitalists, and it is to them that the profits will go. Its function is to rob the worker. This must be changed. The workers of the world must see to it that private property and interests, whether vested in the State or individuals, are overthrown. Socialism is not a solver of all problems but of the major problems of our time.

The workers are much better equipped to more speedily establish socialism than can the capitalists can reconstruct the capitalist system into a humane system. For capitalism there is only one way—the way of increased exploitation. To create its wealth there can have only one source—the already over-burdened workers. They will be forced to toil harder than ever before. They will be inadequately paid. The capitalists enforce their will on the workers using the State. The State compels the workers to live in misery and poverty. The State maintains armed forces for the purpose of keeping the workers in subjection—paying one section of workers to suppress the others. The State regulates production in the interests of the capitalists. The State takes commerce and industry under its protection—making workers State employees. It turns workers into slaves of the corporation. The State is the most relentless of exploiters. Capitalism will use the State to save capitalism, and to extract for themselves an ever-increasing surplus wealth. Capitalism is defined by and erected upon an economic base. The superstructure of socialist society will be built up on the economic base peculiar to it, namely on common ownership and democratic control of the means of life, production for use, and distribution according to need.

Science wedded to socialism would be working for the good of mankind and not the means of mass destruction. The workers could welcome and not fear fresh discoveries. Our culture seems to be increasingly all sad, bad or mad. The ideas prevalent in society today are no longer of the illusory sentimental kind. Today, people face the brutal realities of life without relief or hope. The ugly realities of life under capitalism are apparent to most people—only the socialist solution eludes them. One thing certain. Only the spread of socialist knowledge will provide optimism for more happy and contented lives.

The Socialist Party’s claim for working class support lies in our contention that only the abolition of capitalism can solve the problems of the working class, and that in this country only we stand for the object of ending capitalism and establishing socialism. Capitalism causes poverty, unemployment and war. To get a living, workers are forced to hire themselves to the capitalist class. Workers are employed in order to produce a profit for their hirers. Only so long as profit is realised are goods produced. Production for profit is in the interests of the capitalists. Raw materials and ready markets are essential to capitalism. In pursuit of these, Governments are driven to conflict. At best the worker keeps a job, which reduces him to a lifelong struggle to make ends meet, finishing as he started, with nothing. During slumps and consequent unemployment millions eke out an existence in direst poverty and destitution. Such conditions arise from capitalism, be it democratic or dictatorial, planned or unplanned. It is not possible under capitalism for workers to be anything else but workers.

Since 1904 the Socialist Party has never deviated from its object. We have always argued that workers in this and other lands must understand and accept socialism before capitalism can be abolished. Capitalism is global, so will be socialism. The task of the Socialist Party is to make socialists and speed the day of achieving socialism. As for as the Socialist Party is concerned, socialism is an end in itself. The Party’s work is done with the advent of socialism. Organisation inside socialism will be the responsibility of society, not of the Socialist Party. Socialism as a system of society is distinct from a form of government. Our end as a political body is the establishment of that society.

Socialist production will be to satisfy the needs of society. Everyday life will be from each according to ability and to each according to need. Under such conditions, money, trade and employment have no place. Socialism does not exist anywhere to-day. 

The three stages of any society are Growth, Decay and Death. Capitalism has passed beyond the growing stage, now moving from one crisis to another. Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. The next stage in social evolution is socialism. The unfulfilled needs of present society demand the end of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. Experiences of the past, present and future will continue to hammer that fact home.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

We need to save ourselves

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet” - Albert Einstein 

Unhealthy diets are responsible for 11 million preventable deaths globally per year, more even than smoking tobacco, according to research of the Global Burden of Disease study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, published in the Lancet medical journal.
But the biggest problem is not the junk we eat but the nutritious food we don’t eat, say researchers, calling for a global shift in policy to promote vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes. While sugar and trans-fats are harmful, more deaths are caused by the absence of healthy foods in our diet, the study found. Heart attacks and strokes are the main diet-related causes of death, followed by cancers and type 2 diabetes,
The study found that eating and drinking better could prevent one in five deaths around the world. Although diets vary from one country to another, eating too few fruits and vegetables and too much sodium (salt) accounted for half of all deaths and two-thirds of the years of disability attributable to diet.
“Our findings show that suboptimal diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risks globally, including tobacco smoking, highlighting the urgent need for improving human diet across nations,” they write.
Rather than trying to persuade people to cut down on sugar, salt and fat it would be better to promote healthy options, they say.
Prof Walter Willett from Harvard University, a co-author of the study, said, “Adoption of diets emphasising soy foods, beans and other healthy plant sources of protein will have important benefits for both human and planetary health,” he said.
The issue about vegetarianism these days is not so much the moral case that can be solved by individual choice but the environmental one which will require social decisions about food production methods being made. Our eating habits and manner of food production is not just a personal issue but a social question, as it is an environmental question. We cannot create a vegetarian/vegan world by individual conversion or changing personal taste inside capitalist society. We are not, despite our advocacy of less-meat eating, trying to impose a lifestyle on to others but suggesting that such a conclusion will be by collective politics in the interests of society as a whole when socialism is established.

Preventing catastrophic warming is dependent on tackling meat and dairy consumption, but the world is doing very little. A lot is being done on deforestation and transport, but there is a huge gap on the livestock sector. There is a deep reluctance to engage because of the received wisdom that it is not the place of governments or civil society to intrude into people’s lives and tell them what to eat. Livestock-related emissions and associated issues are not in the spotlight of international climate negotiations, partly because of the difficulty of measuring the emissions accurately. The result is a lack of awareness on the subject among global policymakers. A shift to an omnivore (or flexitarian) diet can dramatically slow down the global warming trend.

The Socialist Party avoids associating socialism with one particular lifestyle choice and it is not on a crusade to proselytise for vegetarianism or veganism but as socialists, we envisage a rational well-planned society that will endeavour to be sustainable as far as possible which leads me to reach certain conclusions. We associate ourselves with the steady-state, zero-growth model of economy for a socialist society, explaining that we envisage an anti-consumerism trend to prevail and expect a drop in consumption levels with the important caveat that there will be an initial phase of higher production to raise people to a decent standard of living We say this sustainable future can come about because with socialism there will be little need for conspicuous consumption and public ostentation's to show status. Meat-eating is deeply embedded in our culture and the multi-billion-dollar cattle and dairy industries are powerful and politically connected, making change difficult.
Meat-eating will decline over time in socialism, because the profit system will have been scrapped. We don`t expect to see the hunting and eating of individual animals necessarily disappearing, or even the raising of animals for food, until quite some time, if ever. Socialism will provide a democratic forum which no one has today other than the capitalists, who will also have disappeared. Local and regional factors will also apply, with democracy working at a local as well as a global level. We don`t see anything being compulsory. Coercion is not compatible with socialism (except, perhaps, some coercion necessary initially in dispossessing the capitalist class.)

Only within a socialist framework can a rational food policy not involving the mistreatment of animals be put into practice. Present society is not providing for people because of its economic imperatives and that we can change those by political action which will then permit people access to a better life, a better well-being both physically and mentally. Socialism is all about aspiring to live in togetherness with our fellow human beings and from that will arise living in harmony with the planet, whether a wild forest or tamed farmland.

The problem is capitalism

A socialist is one who endorses the necessity for common ownership to eliminate private, state or sectional capitalism, and secure the advantages for the whole people by the common ownership and control of the land, the factories and transport. By the co-operative commonwealth is meant ownership of the whole people in the common interest. The present capitalistic competitive system is aimed at making for each capitalist, but never for securing the public welfare. Capitalists own and control in every manufacturing country, competing in the world’s market against all other capitalists also seeking a share in the market. To compete effectively, they must place the commodity on the market as cheaply as other competitors and in order to do this they must ever have regard to cheapening the cost of production and keeping wages down to the lowest possible margin. There is not an exception to this rule. It necessarily follows that each group of capitalists is continually on the lookout to save on wages, and therefore every new technology termed labour-saving is really wages-saving constantly increasing proportion of output going as profits to the capitalist. This is the direct effect of private ownership of the means of production for the purpose of making profit for the capitalists, instead of working co-operatively in the common or public interest. The present system stands condemned. Society is divided into two opposite classes, one, the capitalists and their sleeping partners, the landlords and bankers, holding in their hands the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and being, therefore, able to command the labour of others. The other, the working-class, the wage-earners possessing nothing but their labour-power, and being forced by necessity to work for the former.

Socialism can only exist when the people commonly own the instruments and agencies of production and distribution currently possessed by a plutocracy. Socialism does not aim at making citizens the slaves of Big Brother governments, but to get rid of all governments other than the self-government of free citizens. There can be no real socialism where exploitation exists and no person can live idly in luxury on the labour of others by receiving unearned income in the forms of interest, profit or rent. Therefore, socialism means the, complete replacement of the present capitalist system, of private ownership and control of land, machinery, and money. declare that the present capitalist system is based upon the legalised robbery of the wealth producers and the object of socialism is to get rid of the employing owning class as speedily as possible. Socialism stands for the abolition of robbery and the abolition of poverty. This social transformation means the emancipation not only of the proletariat, but of the whole human race, which suffers under the conditions today. But it can only be the work of the working class, because all the other classes, in spite of mutually conflicting interests, take their stand on the basis of private ownership of the means of production, and have as their common object the preservation of the principle. 

The battle of the working class against capitalist exploitation is necessarily a political battle. The working class cannot carry on its economic battles or develop its economic organisation without political rights. It cannot effect the passing of the means of production into the ownership of the community without acquiring political power. To shape this battle of the working class into a conscious and united effort is the object of the Socialist Party. The interests of the working class are the same in all lands with capitalistic methods of production. With the world market, the condition of the workers in any one country becomes constantly more dependent on that of the workers in other countries. The emancipation of the working class is thus a task in which the workers of all countries. Conscious of this, the Socialist Party declares itself one with the class-conscious workers of all other lands. The Socialist Party fights not for new class privileges but for the abolition of class domination and of the classes themselves, and for the equal rights of all.

The socialist principle is common brotherhood based on the socialisation of the means of production and distribution in the interests of the entire community, and the complete emancipation of labour from the domination of capitalism. Our object is the cooperative commonwealth founded upon the socialisation of land and industry where the storehouse of all the necessaries of life should be declared and treated as public property. The future of the world is to be co-operative, and not competitive, supplying the needs of all, with modern methods of production, effectively applied, an abundance of commodities can be provided to satisfy the needs of all.

The object of the Socialist Party is to secure economic freedom for the whole community, that all men and all women shall have equal opportunities of sharing in wealth production and consumption untrammelled by any restriction. The clearly avowed object therefore of the Socialist Party is to hasten the change and to aim at securing for the highest standard of social well-being.
We are engaged in prolonged class warfare, not the mere shuttlecock game of ordinary party politics. It’s a battle of ideas not of parties. The struggle is not confined to one people but covers the whole of mankind. Humanity cannot possibly remain in its chaotic condition. We are suffering from a capitalist system that fosters environmental destruction.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Go Forward

The capitalist class has never stopped–and will never stop–its efforts to destroy and weaken the workers’ movement. The capitalists recognise that decisive class battles occur when the working class goes into action, and that is a constant threat to profits. The bosses use their government apparatus to undermine the workers. Members of the Socialist Party are imbued with the revolutionary aspiration for a new society without exploitation. The Socialist Party aims to political militancy, to end the policies of class collaboration, and to develop again throughout the workers movement the historic perspective of socialism. Despite a bloody history of struggle to organise and to improve conditions, reforms have not resulted in a decent, secure life for working people. Reforms only create illusions. Reforms fail to raise the political, class and socialist consciousness of workers. They fail to expose the nature of capitalism. Every gain is continuously rescinded. As long as the ownership of land and industry is under control of the capitalist class, the economy is run solely for the maximum profit interest of the bosses, and their state power is used to protect their capitalist system. Capitalism must be defeated ideologically, politically and economically.

The Socialist Party urge fellow-workers to be guided by the slogan, “An injury to one is an injury to all”. Capitalist politicians make pretty speeches. That is the way capitalism operates, the only way it can operate. For the capitalists run things for their own profit. This swindle isn’t going to last forever, of course. The working people will take over the factories, mines, transport and all other means of production. So, our main job is to kick out the capitalists and establish socialism. But that doesn’t mean we can just sit around and wait for socialism. A working class and a people that does not fight for its material needs, and for its dignity, will never get to socialism. We are preparing to dump capitalism and establish socialism.

The Socialist Party is aiming for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the working class and the creation of a new world system of production. We are for common ownership to directly satisfy everyone’s needs, where production and distribution is controlled democratically by the working class via a worldwide network of local, regional and global administration system councils. Production for profit will end and nation-states and borders will be eliminated. In the process capitalism’s environmental degradation of the planet will be reversed and humanity will be able to plan for sustainable development. There have been no modern wars that are not rooted in capitalist commercial competition. The drive to war is an outcome of the operation of the capitalist system itself. It is not the result of a few mad or bad capitalist leaders and only the overthrow of the capitalist system can prevent war. There is only one war that workers are duty-bound to support – the class war. The Socialist Party does not simply oppose one section of the ruling class but is against the whole system which offers the world's workers death, destruction and misery by poverty, disease and disaster. Capitalism has no future to offer people anywhere. The power to overthrow this system based on profits for a tiny few, stolen from the unpaid labour of the working class, rests in the hands of those workers who must organise resistance and oppose capitalism on their own account

Fight for socialism! We will win!

Futile hopes, empty dreams!

Few can deny that the world today is suffering upheaval, chaos, turmoil and conflict. Against this insane capitalist system, the Socialist Party raises its voice in protest and condemnation, declaring that if our society is to be rid of the economic, political and social ills that plagues it, capitalism must be replaced by a new social system, organised on the basis of common ownership and democratic management of all the means production and distribution and all of the social services. It must be one in which production is carried on to satisfy human needs and wants. In short, it must be genuine socialism. Across a world full of human gore, we, the Socialist Party, reach out the hand of solidarity to our fellow-workers.

Capitalism is the last expression of class rule. The economic foundation of class rule is the private ownership of the necessaries for production. The social structure, or garb, of class rule is the political State with no vital function other than the maintenance of the supremacy of the ruling class.

Goals determine methods. The goal of social evolution being the final overthrow of class rule, its methods must fit the goal. Capitalism laid the economic groundwork for socialism, and provided the class that can bring socialism about. The workers cannot rid themselves of their sufferings without abolishing the domination that the state machine has over them. They can do this only if they gain control of the state machine itself. By doing so, they can end capitalism and reorganise of society. For the first time in history, the state would be in the hands of the majority to be used against the anti-social minority. The important thing is that there will be no need of a public coercive force to maintain the power of one class over another, to protect the property of one from the assaults of the other, to assure the continuation of oppression and exploitation.

Socialism is based upon the planned organisation of production for use by means of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and it is the abolition of all classes and class differences. The purpose of planning, is to assure the harmonious integration of industry with the environment while still raising the standard of living of all. It is the maintenance of capitalist domination of society that demands, more and more, the abandonment of ecological balance and democracy. The raw materials, machinery and labour power of the nation would be brought together into an integrated whole. The waste of capitalist competition and the stagnation of monopoly capitalism would be overcome. Production would not be organised on the basis of the blind push and pull of the capitalist market, but in accordance with the needs of the people. Production for profit would give way to production for use. Capitalist motives for production was, is, and always will be profit. It is not the needs of the people that dictate its production.

 Democratic process and institutions are not merely desirable ideals, but indispensable to the planning of production for use. Who is to determine what is useful and what would satisfy these needs? Will that be decided exclusively by a small board of government planners? No matter how high-minded and wise they might be, they could not plan production for the needs of the people. Production for use, by its very nature, demands constant consultation of the people, constant control and direction by the people. The democratically-adopted decision of the people would have to guide the course of production and distribution. Democratic control of the means of production and distribution would have to be exercised by the people to see to it that their decision is being carried out. Otherwise, at best, it would be the benevolent regimentation of the people “for their own good.” A government which declares itself to be for the people, but is not a government of and by the people. Production would be run by the autocratic will of a bureaucracy. Economic distortions, social conflict, exploitation and oppression would inevitably result. Production for use, aimed at satisfying the needs of society and of freeing all the people from class rule, would be impossible. Democratic control, the continual extension of democracy, is therefore an indispensable necessity.

With socialism, there is abundance for all. A rationally planned organised society, sustainably using resources and renewable energy and with better technology to come, could easily assure abundance to all.

Socialism is not a blueprint for society that exists in the minds of the members of the Socialist Party. It is the direction that the people must take in order to save society from disintegration, in order to satisfy their social needs. To be a socialist, merely means to be conscious of this necessity, to make others conscious of it, and to work for the realisation of the goal. In the socialist society we will show that abundance, freedom and equality are not only possible but the natural condition for the new history of the human race.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Why settle for the lesser evil?


We now face a daunting array of challenges. If we are to save ourselves, we must take an honest look at where we are and then act urgently to get where we want to go. The interests of the workers, as the exploited and oppressed, class of society, are the same in all countries. Capitalist exploitation unites the workers without difference of trade, sex, religion, and nationality, into the one revolutionary force, that is going to build a new world. A vote for the Socialist Party is a vote for yourself. A vote for Labour or a Conservative or Nationalist is a vote for your master. They believe in capitalism and are firm defenders of the profit system and the rights of capitalists to exploit labour.

 If anyone who has a shred of socialist integrity left is to support the Socialist Party candidates against the candidates of the capitalist class. When no socialist is on the ballot, The Socialist Party’s advice to voters, is abstain from voting for either evil, and to mark their voting papers for the Social Revolution. A vote for the small revolutionary party, then – which has no candidates? Yes. A vote of confidence in it and of confidence in the revolutionary tomorrow, so that the dozens and hundreds of today may be the thousands and hundreds of thousands they must number tomorrow

For many years people have been told to vote for a lesser evil. Lesser Evils who, as executors of the system, find themselves acting at every important juncture exactly like the Greater Evils, and sometimes worse. The lesser evil in theory becomes the greater evil in practice. And we are tired of being blackmailed into voting for enemies of the world’s people.

It would be nonsense to argue that a Tory Government would be “better than a Labour Government.” It is equally nonsense to argue that a Labour Government “is better than a Tory Government.” Both governments are anti-working-class governments of the capitalist class.

The Socialist Party seeks to eradicate the basic causes for war, unemployment, poverty and fascism, which it knows are the products of capitalism. We are for world socialism as the only way to abolish all the evils of modern class society.

The tragedy lies in the fact that there is no mass revolutionary party, independent of all varieties of reformist politics, to end capitalist rule and its attendant horrors.

This lesser-evil argument represents the greatest single mistaken dogma on the Left. Socialism is not a matter of helping capitalism solve its mess.

In politics, we don’t believe in choosing the “lesser evil” over a greater evil, when such a choice exists. But these parties are both monstrous evils for the working people. We choose instead something good for working men and women: THE SOCIALIST PARTY!

This is socialism. This is a socialist party

We are socialists because we recognise in it the only principle by which the working-class men and women can emerge as free people and not as mere profit-making machines for the service of others. The future advocated by the Socialist Party is the socialist commonwealth. Our objective is aimed at the right of the community to control for the good of all, the production of its social wealth. The Socialist Party’s goal is a class-free society based on the common ownership and control of the industries and social services to be administered in the interests of all society. Socialism means production to satisfy human needs, not as under capitalism, for sale and profit. Such a system would make possible the fullest democracy and freedom. It would be a society based on the most primary freedom—economic freedom. For individuals, socialism means an end to economic insecurity and exploitation. It means workers cease to be commodities bought and sold on the labour market, and forced to work as appendages to tools owned by someone else. It means a chance to develop all individual capacities and potentials within a free community of free individuals. It means a classless society that guarantees full democratic rights for all workers. Socialism is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled and administered by the people, for the people where political and economic despotism has been abolished and class rule is at an end. That is socialism.

If it does not fit this description, it is not socialism—no matter who says different. We must not be swept off our feet by revolutionary phrases and radical slogans. Those who claim that socialism existed and failed in places like Russia and China simply do not know the facts. Socialism does not mean a government command economy or state ownership. It does not mean a one-party system run without democratic rights. Those things are the very opposite of socialism. Socialism has so far never existed anywhere. It did not exist in the old U.S.S.R., and it does not exist in China. When the working class takes control of state power it controls all that is necessary to run production on socialised lines. A dictatorship of the proletariat is unnecessary, the workers being in a majority. There will not even be a rule of the proletariat because the act of socialising the industries automatically abolishes all classes and therefore the proletariat as a class ceases to be.

The Left wants a dictatorship over the proletariat. It argues that the large mass of workers will never become Socialist and will have to be led by an intelligent minority. So, it is willing to unite with any movement of workers, no matter how wrong this may be, in order that they will have some masses to lead. The Socialist Party knows that no leaders are going to pull the workers into Socialism. As Marx stated, “The emancipation of the working class must be the class-conscious act of the working class itself.” An ignorant muddleheaded working class will never be able to act correctly or move in the proper direction no matter how clever the leaders may be. “The day is past,” says Engels, “for revolutions carried through by small minorities at the head of unconscious masses.” In order to gain a following the left-wingers caters to the ignorance of the masses and so we find its platforms filled with all kinds of petty reforms. The Socialist Party holds that the political party must be a party of no compromise. Its mission is to point the way to the goal and it refuses to leave the main road to follow the small bypaths that lead into the swamp of reformism. The crimson banner of socialism is held high by ourselves and not dragged down into the quagmire of reform. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It must be overthrown.

The Socialist Party is opposed to violence or the advocacy of violence in the labour movement because it knows that such tactics are playing right into the hands of the capitalist class. It is not cowardice that dictates our position but common sense. In many countries, workers have the right to openly and agitate for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism. If we did not have this opportunity then no alternative would be open for us but to advocate the forceful overthrow of capitalism. The capitalists can steal elections, miscount votes, and resort to a thousand and one political tricks, but it is merely tampering with a thermometer — it cannot change the temperature. And the temperature is the organised power of the working class. Let a revolutionary moment arise and unless the workers are organised, all the armed insurrection and physical force will bring us nowhere unless the working class are politically and industrially organised so an invulnerable unity be offered to the master class. Advocacy of violence brings naught to the workers but imprisonment and executions.

 Socialism will be a society in which the things we need to live, work and control our own lives—the industries, services and natural resources—are collectively owned by all the people, and in which the democratic organisation of the people within the industries and services is the government. Socialism means that government of the people, for the people and by the people will become a reality for the first time.

You need to be in the Socialist Party fighting for a better world—to end poverty, racism, sexism, war and to avert the threat of imminent environment catastrophe. The Socialist Party calls upon all who understand the critical nature of our times, and who are aware that a basic change in our society is needed, to join us to put an end to class conflict and all its poisonous results. By placing the land and the instruments of social production in the hands of the people as a collective body in a cooperative socialist society we seek to build a world in which everyone will be free.

The Socialist Party alone of all the organisations on the political field has a concrete, clear, concise, principled vision, the only one possible of inaugurating. The time is ripe for action. It is the responsibility of every class-conscious worker to line up on the side of that organisation that has the conviction, the principles and the tactics necessary to the emancipation of the working class. Right now, the Socialist Party alone points the way to freedom. The only argument ever made against the Socialist Party is that we are small. When the time is ripe for the social revolution, it will be the organisation, no matter what its size, that has the correct principles and tactics that will be the rallying point of the working class.

The Socialist Party never compromises truth to make a friend, never withholds criticism of mistakes lest it make an enemy. It pursues its course unswayed by a desire for temporary advantage. Its integrity of purpose by which it is inspired will, in the long run, win the respect and confidence of our fellow workers.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Feed the World

Many people still believe that hunger is caused today by over-population and that if there were fewer people in the world, then, and only then, could they be adequately fed. This is not so. In the first place, the resources and technology exist now to feed the world’s population many times over. Second, even if the population did decrease substantially, there would still be a hunger problem, since hunger like homelessness is essentially an economic problem, a poverty problem. To say that millions of human beings suffer from hunger because there are too many people is to subscribe to a myth. It is an explanation of a situation which is not based on an examination of the facts. The continued existence of millions of lives endured under the scourge of hunger, malnutrition and starvation is not “natural” or “unavoidable” but is entirely artificial. The so-called population problem is in reality a poverty problem—a problem of capitalism. The Socialist Party argues that the first step to be taken in solving the problem of hunger is to recognise that famines are artificial and that the miseries that they bring are unnecessary and avoidable. The amount of food currently being produced would adequately feed the expected world population for the year 2100.

In the face of this overwhelming abundance why do millions of our fellow humans continue to starve? The situation is clearly intolerable. Food is not produced primarily to satisfy human need, but to be sold on the market so as to realise a profit. No profit, no production. Because the market only recognises effective demand (i.e. demand backed by the ability to pay) people starve within sight of food.

In the 1980s economist Keith Griffin (then President of Magdalen College, Oxford) put the problem this way:

  “The fundamental cause of hunger is the poverty of specific groups of people, not a general shortage of food. In simple terms, what distinguishes the poor from others is that they do not have sufficient purchasing power or effective demand to enable them to acquire enough to eat. The problem is the relationship of particular group of people to food, not food itself.”

Back in the 1970s, Don Thomson who worked for War on Want stated:

  “Experienced disaster and officials now admit . . . that they know of hardly any famine in living memory where there has been an outright shortage of food locally. They found instead that the victims did not have the means to buy.”

Today that assessment is still backed by the findings of aid charities in the field. People can buy food if they have money, but hungry people do not have money. The hungry have no money to buy food at existing prices, so they do not constitute a market. Under capitalism food is a commodity and commodities are only produced when there is an effective economic demand. People experiencing hunger is not the same thing as “economic demand for food”. The world’s food problem does not arise from any physical limitation on potential output or any danger of unduly stressing the ‘environment’. The limitations on abundance are to be found in the social and political structures of the exchange economy.

The problem of hunger cannot be solved within the framework of production for profit. The challenge that faces humanity is that of organising things on a different basis. Class ownership of the world’s resources must be replaced by common ownership. This will be done when the majority of the world's population—we who own no productive resources other than our ability to work—organise to take democratic political action to dispossess the profit-seekers who currently own those resources. Capitalism has neglected the enormous potential of developing countries. The land is there, much of it unused, capable of feeding many times the world’s present population. Producing enough food to feed the world’s growing population is not a problem in itself. We have the technology to get the rest of the world into the position of food surplus that the West has enjoyed in recent years. Producing more food is not the greatest of problems, from the scientific point of view. All we have to do to maintain the world’s population in food is to measure now much food we needed, apply the technology and knowledge we already possess and then grow the food required. In a socialist world this essentially is all we would have to do. The problem, of course as already been stated, is poverty. The hungry people of the world simply do not have the money to buy the food they need and so do not constitute a profitable market. Food production is limited to what can be sold profitably, and its rate of expansion is governed by the rate of expansion of the market for food.

Too many environmentalists adopt positions blaming the victims, the poor, for their poverty. This attitude dehumanises the poor so that they become “hordes”, “floods”, “a cancerous growth" or “a plague of people”. It also, by making the problem seem so enormous, saps the political will to do anything let alone take any meaningful action. In addition, it patronises the World’s poor in particular as they are seen as being helpless victims unable to do anything for themselves. The attitude of the neo-Malthusians is to condemn the poorest of the poor to death. The only framework for a rational solution of this problem is production to meet human needs on the basis of the common ownership of the world’s resources. This means an end to finance and trade, and the problems they bring, and the institution of the planned distribution of food to where it is needed. The answer is really quite simple. The land should belong to all and food be produced to eat and not for sale with a view to profit. We cannot pretend that the object of present society is concern for human welfare. The production and distribution of food is organised as a world business. 

Socialism in Scotland

Edinburgh Branch Meeting
April 4, at
The Quaker Hall, 
Victoria Terrace (above Victoria Street), 
Edinburgh EH1 2JL

Glasgow Branch Meeting
April 17 at
Maryhill Community Central Halls, 
304 Maryhill Road,
Glasgow G20 7YE

The very existence of human life is threatened

The Socialist Party offers something unique. It analyses the events of capitalism from a consistent Marxist standpoint. It is not misled by promises of reform of easing any social ills. Experience teaches it that this is futile. So, we shall continue to stand, alone, for the only effective way of dealing with capitalism’s ailments—the establishment of socialism. We have kept the socialist case alive and active. However, capitalism remains and its abolition is urgent. Only socialism will truly set free the people’s talents to build an abundant world of free access to wealth. Socialism will bring the uniting of the human race. The Socialist Party stresses the essential unity of the majority of the world’s people, to give mutual support during the class struggle of capitalism and-more importantly—in the struggle to end class society and replace it with the class-free society of socialism. Our weapons in this struggle are words — discussion, debate, and knowledge. Cogency, clarity, and coherency are vital to our work. We do not indulge in smears, or distort what our opponents say—they condemn themselves out of their own mouths. The Socialist Party tirelessly puts it case, in talks arguments, in speaking and writing. We tell the way out, and we are sure that if you think about it you will sooner or later agree with us.

Capitalism divides people on the basis of their country or their physical characteristics. The Socialist Party is at present so small so it might seem a better political strategy to switch to some vote-catching gimmick. But in the long run this would make our work harder still. It would signal the end of the socialist movement and leave us with the task of rebuilding once more.

The capitalist class owns and controls the means of production, distribution and communication. The working class owns none of these, and therefore workers must sell their labour power to the capitalist for wages in order to live. The worker creates a product of value, part of which is returned to him as wage, and the rest of which is taken from him by the capitalists as profit. Thus, is created the basic antagonistic contradiction between worker and capitalist, since the interest of one is, and has to be, directly opposed to the interest of the other. This most fundamental of contradictions will not end until capitalism with its private ownership and/or control of the means of production is itself ended, and replaced with socialism.

In socialist society, all means of production will be common property. There will be no classes and no class struggle. The consequences of class divided society – racism, national chauvinism, male supremacy, the monogamous family based on property, etc. – will all have disappeared. There will be no wars, no armies, and no need for weapons of war, which will become historical curiosities. There will be no distinction between mental and manual work. Socialism will be a life of material and cultural abundance and any problems arising resolved by mutual cooperation.

Piecemeal reforms cannot solve the problems our society faces. There can be no doubt that a new society based upon common ownership is the only way to end the problems of modern society. Our task is to keep that case alive, to sharpen our propaganda and to make our party into an ever more dynamic force for socialism. All the left-wing parties which said they knew how to humanise capitalism have failed, and the parties which thought they had discovered short-cuts to socialism have come and gone and the socialist proposition still holds the field. We ask you to try socialism.

We of the Socialist Party call on all to fight the political fight on the straight ticket of revolutionary socialism. We will fight this fight on principles which penetrate to the foundations of society in all lands: the abolition of the private ownership of the land and means of production. The Socialist Party is intent upon taking the fight not only into the institutions of the working class but also into the enemy’s camp itself - Parliament. Many arguments have been brought forward which deal with the propagandist and agitational value of electoral politics but there can be greater value in engaging at the ballot box. No important struggle of the workers against the exploiting class can take place outside parliament without having a mighty echo inside parliament. When workers are driven into a big industrial struggle, the state machine operates against them, as witnessed by the miners’ strike of 1984-5. We must fight inside parliament as revolutionaries. Parliamentarism is not an end but a means for the conquest of power.

The Socialist Party holds that power is in the hands of those who control the machinery of government including the armed forces, and that the working class cannot remove capitalist dominance and introduce socialism until, through socialist political organisation, they have conquered the powers of government for the purpose of introducing socialism.

We again place on record the important proposition that while the working class must in self-defence organise on the industrial field, and use their only weapon there, the strike, there is a definite limit to what strike action can achieve, for in the last resort the capitalist-controlled State forces can, and will, crush strikes, both large and small. As for the future and the establishment of socialism, it is obvious that when a majority understand and want socialism this will express itself in the trade unions as well as politically. 
Nevertheless, the key to the achievement of socialism will still be in political organisation and action to gain control of the machinery of government. Or, as it is put in our Declaration of Principles, the working class must conquer the powers of government “in order that this machinery, including the armed forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation.”