Friday, August 23, 2019

The Time is Now

The Socialist Party is political organisation which believes that the present form of society, with its inequalities and periodic crises must be replaced by one in which the wealth and the means of production should commonly owned and democratically controlled. The need for the Socialist Party still exists to arouse the apathetic from their passivity, to gain the attention of the indifferent, to inspire the faint-hearted, and to indicate the way to industrial and social harmony. There can be no be any slackening of effort in the exposing the terrible evils arising from capitalism and its fierce competition for trade. Children still die for lack of food and other health-giving conditions. Mothers and fathers still sigh because they know not how to provide for the children’s requirements. Despair is overtaking our communities. While these conditions remain the Socialist Party's task is to agitate, agitate, agitate. The workers have no real means of escape from this humiliating position short of revolutionary change.

 The socialist revolution represents the progress for all of humanity. The path of the socialist revolution, however, is not an easy one. Socialism is not some distant dream. It is the only road out of exploitation and oppression for our fellow-workers. Reformists preach reform as an end in itself. They prop up the rule of the capitalists. The reformists say that capitalism isn’t what it used to be. Marx was no doubt right in his time, they say...but that was years ago. But exactly what has changed in terms of the exploitation of the working class since Marx wrote of capitalism? Has capitalism lost its fundamentally exploitative character? There is still social and economic inequities. here can be only one conclusion. Today, like yesterday, to build socialism we must first make revolution. Many groups, organisations and parties supposedly dedicated to the struggle for socialism seem to be receiving a receptive hearing. Even those who have been almost completely silent for years have re-surfaced again with their same old bastardised solutions for things. 

All are dream peddlers.

Capitalism, the private or state ownership of the means of production, is responsible for the insecurity of subsistence, the poverty, misery, and degradation of the ever-growing majority of our people; but the same economic forces which have produced and now intensify the capitalist system will necessitate the adoption of socialism, the common ownership of the means of production for the common good and welfare. Our political liberty is of little value unless used to acquire economic freedom. The working class should cut connection with all capitalist and reform parties. It is the solidarity of labour uniting the millions of class-conscious fellow-workers throughout the world will lead to world socialism.

The Socialist Party has the only hopeful answer to these gloomy facts of life under capitalism. Only socialism can end war and armaments and thus stop that waste of production. Equally important, only socialism can secure that the labour force and the materials now devoted to the financial, trading, and other activities necessary to capitalism but needless in a socialist system of society, can be freed for the production of useful articles and services. In this, socialism offers the certain prospect that the output of useful articles could in short time be doubled. But this involves the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism in its place. For a socialist world, we summon the workers of city and country, all who are oppressed by capitalism. 

Only a socialist world can give us peace and plenty. The capitalist parties are as rotten and bankrupt as the system they uphold. They can maintain themselves and their social order today only by piling additional burdens upon the people. For the future they offer only poverty, war, continued insecurity and increasing destruction of the environment. The myriad evils of capitalism will disappear only with the ending of capitalism and the building of socialism. The workers will do away with the anarchy of capitalism. Democratically-elected councils of working people in every industry and district will run the factories and public services. Freed from the fetters of production for profit the vast technological and natural resources of our planet will be devoted to construction with sustainable factories manufacturing their products without interruption to provide almost undreamed-of plenty. No longer will farm produce be ploughed under and foodstuffs dumped to keep up prices. The workers will be released from back-breaking toil by every labour-saving technical device that scientific ingenuity can devise to serve a truly human civilisation. The hills, the beaches and countryside will become a playground and habitation for the people.

The Socialist Party delegates in Parliament against the staunch supporters of the capitalist parties, will be veritable “tribunes of the people” – calling upon our fellow-workers to struggle against the daily hardships imposed upon them and to rally their forces for a new society. We, socialists, refuse to join the reformists in leading the workers into the camp of capitalism. Now is the time for the working class to overthrow capitalism. The road to that task does not lie through support of capitalist governments. The only path is the socialist way. Forward, workers of the world, forward to the new world that awaits us? Today it is the ballot that we use against capitalism. Vote, then, for socialism. Vote for the Socialist party, the only party that keeps the revolutionary banner unfurled and urges unremitting struggle for world socialism.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


The Socialist Courier blog is always up-to-date with the latest political news

Bernard's Room, Thistle-street, Edinburgh Dec. 5.

THE Delegates of the Friends of the People in and about Edinburgh, convened here this evening, conform to adjournment.
Mr. HUGH BELL in the Chair,

Received the report of their Committee of Correspondence, from which it appeared, that the measure of a General Convention was universally approved. Printed copies of the proposed Declaration having been put into the hands of the Members, the same was next read, in form, paragraph by paragraph, and the copy annexed to this minute, was unanimously adopted as the Declaration of the Friends of the People in and about Edinburgh; and thereafter it was ordered to be published in all the respectable papers in Scotland, England and Ireland. The enlarged report of the the Committee of Organization was ordered to be printed, and submitted to the General Convention, to meet on Tuesday next. Referred also the motion, on their table, for a Committee of publications to the General Convention.

 Approved the Presidents and Secretaries of the several Societies to inquire into the expenses hitherto incurred; and authorised the Secretary to the Convention to convene the same.

The Convention then unanimously agreed to address the Lord Provost relative to the reports of tumult, industriously propagated. And the following Resolution, relative to the same, was ordered to be printed; and after being submitted to his Lordship, to be distributed in the form of a handbill along with the declaration.
Edinburgh, Dec. 5, 1792
Resolved unanimously, by the Convention of the Associated Friends of the People of Edinburgh, that their President, Vice President, Secretary, Capt. Johnston, Mr. Ronaldson and Mr. Reid, wait on the Lord Provost early to-morrow morning, and make a tender of the services of the Association of the Friends of the People, to co-operate with him and the Magistrates, in the suppression of all popular tumults.

Published by Order of the Convention
HUGH BELL, Chairman

It was then stated to the Convention, the the Sheriff had committed to prison two Members of the Association, upon information laid against them, that they had published or distributed some seditious papers. And a proper Committee was appointed to investigate the matter, and report the case, with the advice of council upon it, in order that, if innocent, the sufferers might receive the promised assistance of the Association at large; but, if found guilty, they might be treated according to the general Resolution.
Ordered the several Societies to convene and chuse delegates to the ensuing General Convention; and authorised their General Committee to take charge of the orderly convening of the first setting of the same.


The Friends of the People have been calumniated. It is time they should speak in their own vindication. Conscious of the purity of their intentions, and the integrity of their conduct, they have hitherto deemed it sufficient to trust to these alone for their defence. But how should their enemies feel the force of virtue, to which themselves are stangers?—They have persisted in their misrepresentations.

They insult the common sense of mankind, when they would have them believe that the Friends of the People can ever wish to disturb the happiness of Society, of which they themselves make so considerable a part. Will the father lead discord by the hand to the fire side of his family? Or the tradesman obstruct, by popular tumults, the commerce from which he derives his support?

The enemies of the People are weak, as well as false.
The Friends of the People are the Friends of the happiness of the People; and we know that to be happy we must be orderly; we must be virtuous. The baneful influence of political profligacy must be counteracted by a severe morality, and the inviolability of the Election oath*, profaned by intrigue, must again be held sacred among us.
On these our public—on these our private happiness depends—on these the necessary confidence between man and man.

No one can be ignorant of the dissatisfactions which have for some time past prevailed in the country, respecting the enormous and still increasing influence of the executive part of our Constitution—any more than of the well-grounded suspicions universally entertained as to the integrity of the Representative.

But these are alike inconsistent with effective government, and the peace of society. Their causes should be investigated. If abuses are found to prevail, they should be redressed; if not, the discontent should be removed, by shewing that it is groundless.

It is to collect the sense of the people on these important points, that their Friends have advised them to associate. And it is their solemn intention, as soon as such information can be obtained, to request a full investigation of abuses from the Legislature itself.

Immaculate purity can never shrink from candid inquiry.
There are two evils in our representation too glaring to be disguised, too obvious to need reasearch:
The Delegates of a few thousands give laws which dispose of the lives and property of unprecedented millions.
Secondly, its duration—Notoriously protracted beyond the term originally prescribed by the Constitution—giving it an interest separate from that of the People—removing it too far from their necessary controul—and exposing it to the intrigues of any Minister who may stand in need of its seduction.

Such are the evils which the Friends of the People are associated to consider. They will do it without passion; but with that rigorous perseverance which justice to an oppressed country demands.

Their object is, to reform, and not to subvert the order of Society.

To give security to property against the fraudulent pretences of those whom caprice, interest or ambition might instigate to swindle it from them—and not to violate it themselves by the public robbery of an equal division.
And, lastly, it is their object not to create unnecessary distrusts and alarms in the bosom of their country but to remove, by a candid and open investigation (the only way in which it can be removed), that want of confidence between those who govern, and those who are governed, which at present distracts it.
HUGH BELL, President
THOS. MUIR, Vice-President
W. SKIRVING, Secretary

No compromise, no concession, no concilation, no collaboration - Just socialism

The Socialist Party stands unalterably opposed to racism, sexism, nationalism, and all other systems of fraud designed to divide workers and to support exploitation and to pit workers against workers. A socialist society will not be won not by the efforts of different campaigns but by the united struggle of all the exploited. No single segment of the population can win by itself. Working people are highly socialised. Working side by side in factories, alongside one another in warehouses, desk to desk in offices, making the products the capitalists sell for profit, workers learn through their own experience the need for organisation and cooperation. Clearly, the products could never be made if the workers themselves were disorganised and refused to cooperate with one another. Workers gain through their own work experience an understanding of solving problems. In a capitalist society, these qualities of organisation and cooperation, are used to benefit not the workers, but the capitalists. The capitalists use these qualities of the workers to make huge profits and, in the process, keep workers in a state of near or actual poverty. These qualities, however, are very important for inspiring a revolution and building a socialist society after the capitalist society is destroyed.

 Since the workers are the ones who are directly exploited by the capitalists, they have the most potential for seeing most thoroughly the absolute unjustness and insanity of the capitalist system. Thus, of all classes in society, the working class also has the most potential for seeing the need to overthrow capitalism and to replace it with a new system – socialism – that will benefit not a handful of capitalists, but all the people. In building the movement of all the people to overthrow the capitalist system, we have the power to cripple the capitalists. If the workers don’t work, the capitalists don’t profit. As the only thoroughly productive class in society, as the only class which produces and distributes the things necessary for life, the working class is the only class which literally holds in its hands not only the ability to end the capitalist society, but the ability to build the new socialist society. 

The Socialist Party believes that the working class can create and develop the revolutionary movement to overthrow capitalism and to replace it with socialism. We do not hold to the old romantic notion of a handful of heroic revolutionaries can make the revolution for the people, such people never accomplish much and history shows over and over that all such schemes are doomed to failure but rather the people shall make the revolution for themselves. The ruling class has created the illusion that basic change can come by using reforms. The Left have perpetuated this myth. Change will only come when the people build their own political instruments, when they learn that there is no easy way and rely on their own efforts. It is impossible to develop a vision of the future without ideas and strategy which in the long run the people will view as indispensable to achieving their aspirations.

The working class is a sleeping giant and already is beginning to stir, and when it fully awakens, when it recognises the great power it has in its hands, the whole world will shake. It is only a matter of time but we should prepare ourselves for a long hard battle ahead.

The main thing is education, sharing information in a context that is relevant to our fellow-workers. We share our goals, and talk about what it would take to get them. People are receptive if sceptical. The biggest hesitation that people have is hoping for something new. People are willing to try new things, but they definitely are hesitant about hoping once again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Scottish Farming on Hard Times

Scotland's beef sector is on the brink of collapse due to depressed prices, according to a leading figure in the Scottish farming union.
Gary Christie, of NFU Scotland, said the slump is preventing some farmers covering the cost of rearing cattle. He told the BBC Irish beef, stockpiled ahead of Brexit, is already being drip-fed into the system.
Under growing pressure for improved efficiency, farmers are now able to breed animals weighing about 420kg by the time they reach maturity. But farmers say they have been told abattoirs will soon stop accepting animals which are larger than about 360kg.
Mr Christie added: "The supermarkets say the steaks are too big and they have a job selling big steaks."
Farmers are reporting destroyed cereals across the country because of the intense rainfall. Those who have not had their crops damaged are finding it difficult operating heavy machinery for harvesting in waterlogged fields. 
"My crop has been ready for 10 days and it's getting weathered. It makes it a dull colour and will make it difficult, possibly, to meet the stringent specifications that this crop requires. Our buyer might say they don't want to buy it, which would devalue the crop quite considerably.
"A lot of our wheat goes to the distilling industry. The specification is for a good, reasonable quality to it. If it falls out of that specification then it goes into animal feed and we get less for it. If it's spring barley and most of it's gone flat, then we probably will struggle to make the very stringent specifications our maltsters demand.


We declare our position here and now

To save the humanity, a different social system is required to be built—one based on cooperation, equality, and freedom, with production for use not profit, with self-management of all aspects of society. Admittedly only a few of our fellow workers are for this now, but for the Socialist Party, this remains to be our revolutionary goal. Whether politicians mean well or are hypocrites, their policies and programmes are simply inadequate for the crises we face. The result is that we are still on the path to an environmental Armageddon and the destruction of civilisation. The reality is that the system cannot deliver solutions. If we really want to build a movement for socialism, and to avoid merely replacing one set of rulers for another, the Left needs to rethink its understandings of class and the nature of the State in light of the evidence and learn from the mistakes of the past, instead of repeating them and expecting a different outcome. The Socialist Party seeks to create a society which will involve neither buying nor selling, nor employers, nor employees.

We’re the ones who build things, make things, provide services, make things work, provide the ideas. But though we build the world around us, it does not belong to us. Everything that has been built around us is the result of our work and yet we don’t work for ourselves. We produce not for ourselves, but at the behest’s and whims of others. The worker is compelled to labour for the purpose of producing something to satisfy the wants of others who, holding the things necessary for his life, thereby control him. He is, therefore, still a slave. We are the ones who are told what to produce, how to produce it, how much, and how fast. We are the ones who receive a pay cheque, be it high or low, not for selling what we produce but for selling our power to work. With that pay cheque we try to buy back what we make. The source of someone else’s profits comes from our work. Capitalism is based on wage-labour and if a theoretical non-capitalist market economy was a reality it would have to be based on self-employed farmers and artisans.

Industrial production can produce goods at a lower cost per unit than handicraft production, with complete laissez-faire, competition would eliminate most of the independent, self-employed artisans. In other words, industry would begin to be concentrated into the hands of the firms employing industrial methods of production. With complete laissez-faire, competition would result in those firms which employed the most productive machinery winning out against those employing out of date and so less productive machinery. So, there would be a tendency towards a yet greater concentration of industry into the hands of the big firms. What about the displaced independent artisans and the members of bankrupt workers’ co-operatives, some may ask? How would they get a living? Would they not in fact be obliged to sell their skills to the firms that had won out in the battle of competition? But if wage labour appeared then so would profits and exploitation. If these profits were to be shared but the continuing competitive pressures would oblige them to give priority to investing them in new, more productive machinery so as to be able to stay in business and not go bankrupt themselves. So even if it were possible to go back to the sort of “free” market economy, the tendency would be for capitalism to develop again. Examples being the kibbutzim and the Mennonites communities which have begun to employ wage labour and orient their production towards making profits and accumulating these as new capital.

When the worker has found an employer he receives in return for his labour a price known as wages which represents on the average what is necessary for his sustenance so that he can reproduce the energy to go on working, and also produce progeny to replace him when his working days are over. During the working-day the worker produces wealth equivalent to that for which he is paid wages, but this does not require all the time of the working day. In providing for his own keep he has also produced a surplus and this surplus belongs to the employer. This may eventually be split into profit to the manufacturer, rent to the landlord, and interest on capital invested by a financier. As capitalism develops the time in which the worker produces his own keep decreases while the surplus accruing to the capitalist increases. During this development the productivity of labour increases at an accelerating tempo: The worker continually produces more with less.

So when a man sells his labour power a number of hours for a certain wage, the amount of necessaries to produce his wages is always smaller than the amount of labour which the employer receives from him, the difference between what the worker receives as wages and what his labour power produces during his working time, constitutes the sole source of unearned income, i.e., capitalist profits. So profits exist because the worker sells themselves to the capitalist, who then owns their activity and, therefore, tries to control them like a machine.

Wage levels will vary with “the respective power of the combatants” as Marx puts it and in the long run this will determine the value of labour-power and the necessaries of life. From the point of view of wage-labour , wage levels and the value of labour-power depends on the balance of class forces, on what workers can actually get from their employers. As wages are also regulated by the relation of supply and demand, a surplus of labour power (the unemployed) is necessary to prevent wages swallowing up all profit. Therefore the unemployed army is a vital necessity to capitalist production, and there can be no solution under capitalism.

It would be wrong to confuse exploitation with low wages. It does not matter if real wages do go up or not. The absolute level of those wages is irrelevant to the creation and appropriation of value and surplus-value. Labour is exploited because labour produces the whole of the value created in any process of production but gets only part of it back. On average workers sell their labour-power at a “fair” market price and still exploitation occurs. As sellers of a commodity (labour-power) they do not receive its full worth i.e. what they actually produce. Nor do they have a say in how the surplus value produced by their labour gets used.

The worker goes into the labour market as an article of merchandise, and his wages, that is, his price, is determined like that of any other article of merchandise, by the cost of production (i.e. the social labour necessary), and this in the case of the worker is represented by the cost of subsistence. The price of labour power fluctuates by the operation of supply and demand. There are generally more workers in the market than are actually required by the employers, and this fact serves to keep wages from rising for any length of time above the cost of subsistence. Moreover, machinery and scientific applications are ever tending to render labourers superfluous, with a consequent overstocking of the labour market, decrease of wages, and an increase in the number of the unemployed. Under these conditions relative poverty is necessarily the lot of the working-class.

We have the worker entirely dispossessed of the means of getting a living except by selling himself as an article of merchandise to the owners of the means of living. This is wage-slavery. While capitalists are as a class against the workers as regards the ownership of the wealth produced by the working-class, they, the capitalists, are also antagonistic to one another in the endeavour to get the larger share of the markets. It wasn’t just Marx but also Fourier who pointed long ago that this competition could only end in monopoly, and we do see concentration an going on in every branch of industry.

Many seek a capitalism with the rough corners smoothed out, the utopian aspiration of a tamed capitalism. What is really required is a fundamental change of the economic basis of society. Many seek an idealised world and call for governments not to interfere in the operation of the market, to let market forces operate unhindered – laissez faire – and that the detrimental effects of the capitalist system can be eliminated by taming global corporations. For as long as capitalism has existed state “interference” or state “intervention”, in the economy has always existed. A corporation-dominated government is really the logical outcome of a class-divided society where the state must serve the owning minority. Individualists attack socialism because they fear the whole of the wealth of society shall be owned by a number of persons incorporated into a State or a bureaucracy, instead of being, as at present, owned by private individuals. They maintain that the right of the individual is supreme, and condemn any action on the part of a State or collection of individuals, that interferes with their desires. But socialists are not statists, that if the working class was compelled to work for a State instead of for individual employers then wage-slavery is not abolished, but is intensified. The worker to-day, while compelled to work for an employer, still has some sort of a choice among those masters, but with the State as the only employer he is compelled to work for that employer and under all of that employer’s conditions, or take the only other alternative – starvation. State-capitalism or as some like to call it State Socialism) would intensify slavery, but state-capitalism is not socialism.

People completely misunderstand Marx if you believe that his solution was to have GOVERNMENT-OWNERSHIP of the means of production and his object was to simply just to REDUCE the power of the capitalist because he wished a mere re-distribution of wealth between capitalists and the working class. He stood for the the ABOLITION OF THE STATE and he stood for the ABOLITION OF CAPITALISM [not its replacement by capitalism in another form]. Critics of Marx should go to the source and forget what the state-capitalist Leninists or Trotskyists say and understand that Marx was in favour of the abolition of the state and its replacement by an “association of associations”, i.e. by a co-ordinated network of neighbourhood councils and producer-controlled production units. Marx made quite clear when he says “The existence of the state is inseparable from the existence of slavery…”

Many have consistently failed to acknowledge or have dismissed as irrelevant the fact that the right of private property leads to control by property owners over those who use, but do not own, property (such as workers ). Free-market capitalist system leads to a very selective and class-based protection of “rights” and “freedoms.” For example, under capitalism, the “freedom” of employers inevitably conflicts with the “freedom” of employees. When stockholders or their managers exercise their “freedom of enterprise” to decide how their company will operate, they violate their employee’s right to decide how their labouring capacities will be utilised and so under capitalism the “property rights” of employers will conflict with and restrict the “human right” of employees to manage themselves. Capitalism allows the right of self-management only to the few, not to all. Bosses have the power, workers are paid to obey. Workers are subject to control from above which restricts the activities they are allowed to do and so they are not free to act, make decisions, participate in the plans of the organisation, to create the future and so forth.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

By their deeds ye shall know them.

To find an explanation of present social conditions the Socialist Party analyses society and discovers therein two distinct social classes, separated from each other by clearly marked political and economic characteristics. One class, the capitalist class, own and control the means of wealth production, but take no part in the process of producing the wealth. The analysis of the Socialist Party shows that the capitalists, who own an enormous mass of wealth, are able to obtain this wealth by the robbery of the other class in society — the working class.

Having no property in the means of wealth production the members of the working class are compelled to sell their energy to those who own the various tools of production, in order to obtain the wherewithal to live. It is by means of the workers applying this energy to nature given material that the wealth necessary to human existence is produced. But the great bulk of this wealth is appropriated by the capitalists who have control of political power and consequently use that power to legalise their robbery of the working class.

There is little need to stress the fact that, contrary to the wealthy position of the capitalists, the position of the workers is one of poverty and insecurity of existence. In an earlier stage of social development man endured privation through his lack of knowledge of the forces of nature, but in modern society, with man having gained a greater control over natural forces, wealth can be produced in abundance. Starvation or a lack of the means of subsistence, although unavoidable in earlier times, is now quite avoidable. There are ample means at the disposal of modern society for all to live in economic security, free from the yoke of servitude and the exploitation and poverty it entails for the working class. The poverty and the general degradation within society we trace directly to the class ownership of the means of life.

Thus it is in the roots of society itself that the Socialist Party discovers the core of the "social problem”.It is this the method of explanation through natural causes which is striking about the Marxist Materialist Conception of History. Throughout the history of societies composed of classes the various ethical codes have been those best suited to the interest of the particular ruling class, and imposed upon the lower orders as a means of government. The Socialist Party takes our stand upon the firm basis of positive science explaining social conditions, and, in fact, all things within the scope of our knowledge, by purely natural causation. Thus, the materialistic movement of socialism is seen to be utterly opposed to the false idealism and the supernatural. We know that economic evolution and the self- interest of the working class are inevitably preparing the path for that great social change, when the workers of the world will enjoy the fruits of their labour in a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution by and in the interest of the whole community; a system of society known as socialism.

What is the difference between the Socialist Party and other political organisations seeking the support of the workers? It is the difference between reform and revolution: We have but one object, the establishment of socialism, to achieve which we work for the revolutionary political organisation of our class. Reforms are necessary to a rapidly developing society, but granted the carrying through of the whole of the programmes of the reform parties, the fundamental condition of the workers would not be improved. Generations of reforms have been accompanied with a relative worsening of their conditions.

Likewise, to make ridiculous and extravagant “demands” on behalf of the workers while they remain without understanding, merely shows the ignorance or treachery of their would-be “leaders.” Without power to enforce these demands they may save their breath, for when the workers have the power they need no longer formulate demands or claim "rights,” much less beg their oppressors to hear their woeful tale of want. Powerless in ignorance to-day, they will become mighty and formidable in intelligence tomorrow. While the majority are in the former condition they retain the belief inculcated by their rulers’ so-called education, that capitalism is the best and only system possible—hence, at election times they vote for that system and in war time fight for it. There can only be one correct conception of socialism.

Likewise, those accepting by understanding, the principles arising from this conception are the socialists, and all others consciously or otherwise enemies of that cause. What then is this scientific conception? It is briefly summarised in our principles. The present system of society is the result of the development of a previous system, a development in which was generated the conditions for the new society.

Are similar conditions present within the system of today? All the means for prolific wealth production are present to-day, but privately owned by the capitalist class, and socially operated by the working class alone; yet capable of being socially owned and democratically controlled for an output of wealth in whatever quantities required to satisfy the needs of the whole people. There is one obstacle; lack of understanding by a majority of the workers of socialism, the knowledge we seek to impart. To talk of ameliorations and palliatives, alliances and coalitions, demands and rights, is to knowingly or unknowingly play the masters’ game and divert the toilers from correct knowledge and understanding. Disillusioned of their glib eloquent “leaders,” and with disdain for the gradualist, workers will march on without need for "trust” or "belief” or “faith” in anyone other than themselves, knowing through understanding that the power of their principles and policies will realise their emancipation through the establishment of the socialist commonwealth.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Here We Stand

The Socialist Party says once more this is a class war. The capitalist class and the working class have no common interests. The survival of the capitalist class depends on its ability to drive the working class into deeper and deeper misery.

 The Socialist Party understand its role as one to assist the working class to fight the capitalist class to the end, for an end to wage slavery. The working class is not a small, narrow class. The working class constitutes the majority of the population. The working class is composed of unskilled and skilled employees, farm-workers, and non-production workers such as office staff including lower-middle management, transportation and service workers. It can be defined as all those who:
  1. Do not own the means of production; 
  2. Have to sell their labour-power to the capitalist class to make a living; 
  3. Directly, or indirectly, create surplus value...which is then expropriated by the capitalist class.
This exploitation, or expropriation of surplus value, creates an irreconcilable, antagonistic class contradiction between the working class and the capitalists. Only the emancipation from wage labour itself can liberate the working class. Its purpose, therefore, is to overthrow the capitalist class and replace capitalism with socialism which is a class-free society

We mean to replace capitalism, and to substitute universal socialist organisation and co-operation. Our first principle as socialists is that all should be well-fed, well-housed, well-educated. The Socialist Party opposes the spreading the illusion of a class partnership, that there is an ever-expanding “pie” to be divided up and “shared” between workers and capitalists. Reformists constantly spread the view that the capitalist system is fine except for a few adjustments or ameliorations. The working class and capitalists, can get along with one another, they tell us and that there is no reason for conflict. The reformists claim the neutrality of the government mediation and the legal system. But the facts of the class struggle, of our declining standard of living, dwindling trade union rights, and the viciousness with which the capitalists attacks those on State benefits puts the lie to this class partnership fakery. 

The Socialist Party knows that in a capitalist society where class struggle is the rule, no institution is neutral. The State is in the hands of the capitalist class. Our goal is overthrowing capitalism as a system. Our struggle is against the system of wage slavery. Our object is the complete abolition of capitalism and reorganising the whole world on a socialist basis. We recognise that in this endeavour, we are up against a most ruthless brutal ruling class. It is necessary to add a word of caution. Some on the left think a socialist revolution can be done without winning over a majority of the people to revolutionary principles. We warn, here, it would be a dangerous game to play with the principles of revolutionary socialism, aye it would be a violation of them. It would cast suspicion on our revolutionary integrity, and for a certainty it will keep us from our goal.

There are a number of illusions preventing our fellow-workers from seeing the underlying cause of their problems and from looking toward a socialist solution. The Socialist Party dedicate itself to exposing the domination of our life by a class of capitalists who use their immense propaganda machine to promote ignorance and confusion. Capitalism has outlived its usefulness and is daily threatening mankind with destruction and devastation by either global war or global warming. We strive to establish a democratic socialist society. Our desire is to advance the cause of socialism worldwide. 

We, in the Socialist Party, believe in the entire transformation of the social system itself, and this remains at once our primary and immediate aim. The Socialist Party pledges itself to wrest all the means of production and distribution from the hands of the exploiters and bring these into common ownership under the management of the associated producers and to continue the struggle against the existing system of exploitation until this new society has come into being.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Scots and Racism

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Scotland’s  national poet,Makar Jackie Kay, said the country had to “grow up” and take more responsibility for the treatment of black and ethnic minorities.

Kay, who was born to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother in Edinburgh, said Scottish culture and broadcasting had failed to reflect the changes in the country’s population or in its education system. She said more action was needed to ensure that Scotland’s modern-day diverse population was reflected in public attitudes about “what it means to be Scottish”.
She said it was unacceptable to ask black people where they were from in Scotland in 2019, when the same question would not be asked of someone in Liverpool, Birmingham or London. Kay revealed she had been verbally abused at a Burns Supper in the city two years ago and told to “get out” of the event, despite being a guest speaker. “As soon as I started up, one of the men who had actually invited me started heckling me and kept going throughout my address. He later told me: ‘This is our club. You don’t belong here. Get out.’ It was deeply shocking and upsetting.”
She suggested not enough was known in Scotland about its past links with the slave trade, which she said Glasgow, where she lives, was “founded on”.
“The average Scottish child won’t know that Glasgow was founded on money from the slave trade, that a slave owner put the Gallery of Modern Art building there, why Jamaica Street is called Jamaica Street and why Virginia Street is called Virginia Street. They won’t know any of these things in the way that Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester and London have all started to come to terms with their histories. We just don’t talk about it.
“We like to think of ourselves as a country that is hard done to by England, which we certainly are at the moment, but that’s not our only story. But if we’re going to grow up as a country, and we really need to, we’ve got to take some responsibility for our attitudes to race in this country.
“It seems acceptable to keep on asking people where they are from in the way that you just don’t do with a black Liverpudlian, a black Brummie or a black Londoner. You can’t accept that now, in 2019."
Kay said: “Scotland is different in so many ways to when I was growing up. It’s apparently the most gay-friendly country in Europe now. As far as race goes, there are many, many more people of different backgrounds living in Scotland than when I was growing up. But I don’t think Scotland has changed enough as far as race goes. I don’t think we reflect that in our culture, in our television or news programmes, how we think of ourselves and in what we teach about history in schools."
"I’m talking about cities and their identities being inter-woved and multi-layered, and people having a communal sense of identity. I think Scotland is behind. Any Scottish city is at least 30 or 40 years behind Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and London. That’s just the truth. We need to find ways of changing that. It’s not just about people being there and a diverse population, it’s about how we actually change our image of ourselves when we think of what it means to be Scottish.”

Plenty for All

Deprivation and destitution in the midst of plenty, is the hallmark of the capitalist system of production. The tremendous power of social production produces goods far beyond the realms of our imagination. Wealth exists in this World in abundance. But the distribution of this wealth proceeds according to the social relations of society. These are capitalist relations, resting upon the capitalist ownership and control of the means of production. Ours is a class society and as such even under the plans of Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn these relations would remain, only the wealth would be redistributed by cutting the big fortunes and adding to the smaller ones or giving to those that have none. But this is impossible under capitalism since the ownership and control of the means of production determines the form of distribution of all wealth. So far this has meant and can only mean ever greater riches for the parasites and ever greater impoverishment for those who toil, who have nothing but their labour power to sell – and to sell only when the bosses see fit to buy.

What is the cause of inequality? It is the ownership and control of the means of production. This system secures the right to exploit labour by leaving in the hands of the capitalist class also the ownership of the surplus value produced by the labourer over and above what received as wages. This is how profits are acquired. Moreover, under the conditions of mass production, and in order to continue the process of production. In other words, sufficient only for their bare upkeep when they have jobs. Of course, the abundance of wealth available could easily guarantee to each family, as reformers proposes. But this is impossible under the profit system. Corbyn and Sanders grandly proclaim for the redistribution of wealth; but are equally vocal in the pronouncements for the maintenance of the present social order, the continuation of the right to exploitation so that returns to shareholders in the form of unearned incomes may continue; so that dividends on stocks may be paid of profits taken out of the exploitation of labour which they guarantee to proceed uninterrupted. This is but the attempted stabilisation of the system of exploitation. To stabilise capitalism means to stabilise the political and economic power of the class that owns and controls the means of production. They will not consent to any compulsory redistribution of their wealth. They do not even permit the workers to organise into unions so as to obtain a living wage without the most stubborn resistance. They will not yield their economic power, or surrender their accumulated wealth, nor give up their privilege to exploit labour. They'll use their power to determine who can be elected to the public offices and to dictate the policies and their its execution by the government, as well.

A real redistribution of wealth and a real program of social security can be carried out in no other way than by the overthrow of the system of capitalism. That is not at all the purpose of Corbyn or Sanders. Only the working class revolution can accomplish that.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Socialism, One World-One People.

The Scottish nationalists are once again marching through the streets, this time it is in Aberdeen. And once again the Socialist Party is obliged to make our views on the independence campaign very clear.

You say what you are going to say, say it, and then end by saying what you have just said. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

One World. One People” is the slogan of the Socialist Party. It is meant to convey that we stand for a world solution and that we rejected nationalism and racism.

Workers have no country.

Nationalism has always been one of the biggest poisons for the working class. It has served to divide workers into different nation states not only literally but ideologically. Today it is probably fair to say that a majority of workers—to one extent or another—align themselves with their domestic ruling class. After all, the ideology of nationalism ultimately means that workers and capitalists living in a particular geographical area must have a common interest. As with most myths there is an element of truth in this. 

Normally, a common language is shared and on a superficial level at least, a common "culture" can be defined, e.g. "the British way of life". However, if one probes slightly deeper such an analysis fails to stand up. Socialists argue that world society can be broken into two great classes of capitalists and workers. Despite many workers finding it difficult to communicate with and understand each other because of language or cultural barriers this does not alter the fact that they are all part of one globalised exploited mass with more in common with each other than with their indigenous bosses. The interests of the working class are diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the capitalist class including capitalists seeking their own nation states and independence. Workers have no country to fight for, we have a common interest in ending national boundaries and establishing world socialism. 

We argue against nationalists who co-opt the term ‘self-determination’ because it can only mean working people democratic controlling society and production. Self-determination concerns participatory democratic decision-making. 

The Socialist Party strives for a world without borders and without capital – a vision of a worldwide federation of free associations of peoples, class-free and state-free, of communities where production is based on need and more conducive to our environments.

The Socialist Party's case is not just against capitalism, but goes beyond capitalism to a post-capitalist society. It is not about another world that are possible, but is necessary. 

The Socialist Party argues that it would be pointless dismantling the British state only to replicate it as a sovereign Scottish state. An independent Scotland would not bring any fundamental change to the lives of most Scots, who would still be powerless, both economically and socially. Capitalism isn’t being threatened by the left-nationalists, rather they hope for greater state intervention, a larger welfare state, aspiring to the Scandinavian-type model and they present an image of a booming ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy to attract global corporate investment. Big Business will continue to rule Scotland.