Saturday, May 01, 2021

Remember May Day

 


As we commemorate May Day, a day when workers of the world celebrate their unity and solidarity, in a few days time, in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, there will be nationalists, some even describing themselves as socialists, calling on a vote to endorse dividing Scottish workers from their brothers and sisters in other parts of this island. Today is the workers festival, a pledge of fraternity and internationalism,  not a day that should be wasted by the workers in begging scraps from the bosses table. 

Our message to Scots, English, Welsh and all other workers is to recognise our mutual interest in fighting the employing class and seek control of the political machinery to establish socialism. Nationalism means merely that workers get new masters instead of the old ones. Capitalism does not change by switching management personnel. Political control may well re-locate but multinationals on Wall St, Shanghai stock-market or the City of London will still maintain their economic stranglehold on any nation.

The task confronting us is not to focus any attention upon  diversionary constitutional arrangements but to build up a real union, one of the working class, organised to put an end to the property system that divides and oppresses us. In today’s capitalism to free ourselves from capitalism we need the world commonwealth of humanity.

INTERNATIONALISM NOT NATIONALISM


Friday, April 30, 2021

THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE UNION…IT’S CAPITALISM

 


Workers in Scotland suffer the same exploitative conditions imposed by capitalism as they do in other regions of Britain and they united through the trade unions to protect one another. Workers on any side of any border, wherever it is drawn, all face the same fundamental problem - capitalism. Referendums are designed to give apparently simple solutions to complex problems, they are the chosen way of despots and demagogues attempting to garner some semblance of popular support of their self-serving programmes. No referendum can solve problems for the working class in Scotland.


We constantly hear that we live in a globalised world, yet national sovereignty still resonates with many people. As socialists we reject the concept absolutely. The delineation of national boundaries within a system of world capitalism is just a reflection of the nationalist consciousness that currently prevails amongst the people of this planet. This is a false proposition. The problems of the Scottish people will not be solved by independence.


Do the working class have any interest in whether or not the United Kingdom remains intact? Or should they, as the Left urges them to, support an independent Scotland? We say no on both accounts as, wherever the boundaries are drawn, workers will still be subject to the vagaries of the global market system and will continue to experience problems such as unemployment and low wages. Workers will need to organise for a socialist society which will abolish borders rather than rearrange them. 


 Real political change has never come through leaders, and it never will. We have the potential to make real change rather than just tinker at the margins. So, let’s start to end capitalism. Otherwise it’s the same old same old. As we have always considered the right to vote as a benefit and a possible tool to end capitalism we will be going to the polling station, to cast a write-in vote for socialism by writing “WORLD SOCIALISM” across our ballot paper. If you agree with us, we urge you to do the same.



Imagining A New World 

 


Let us face the facts. Capitalism is strong, and the capitalists are growing wealthier. Even if American capitalism is fated  to lose its place in the front rank, does that signify a collapse of capitalism? If China ousts America is the system itself any weaker? If European businesses become dependents on the investments of the Chinese billionaires is it any less necessary for the workers to overthrow capitalism? The transfer of the supremacy from Europe to America and now to China may well be a cause of strength to the capitalist system; it is certainly not any evidence of any systemic collapse. A particular country’s capitalists might suffer financial pain but capitalism itself is not undermined.


The confidence of the capitalists in the stability of capitalism rests on the docility of the working class. Capitalism continues because the workers unthinkingly accept it. Capitalism will  end when the workers organise to bring it to an end. To educate and organise the workers for that purpose is the only problem with which socialists should concern themselves. Economic independence for the worker depends upon their free access to the land, factories, workshops, machinery, etc., and all other means of production.


 The Socialist Party does not propose putting capital into the hands of the State, but that the producers should own the means of wealth production in common, and with the abolition of private or class ownership the State would die out. The State is not at the back of the capitalists. The State is the central committee of the capitalist class and carries on the executive affairs on their own behalf. All private property society needs a State to rule the subject class and to conduct and regulate the affairs of government in the interest of the ruling class.


Rent, interest and profit are three parts into which the surplus taken by the industrial capitalist is divided. These three forms result from private ownership and can only be abolished when the producers own the means of production. Rent, interest and profit are not the fundamental causes of poverty, but these three forms of stolen wealth are effects of capitalist ownership of the means of production. Modern methods of producing involve large-scale production and associated labour, the means of wealth cannot be owned individually by each worker. They are too vast and beyond the means of any producer. As they must be co-operatively worked, so they must be commonly owned. There is no other solution. Individual ownership by the few rich non-producers, with the resulting poverty of the many—or common ownership by the producers themselves for their own comfort and enjoyment. That is the position our critic has to face. We do not expect our masters to point out the cause of our poverty; their privileges as landlords, shareholders, and dummy directors are based upon our exploitation as producers. Obviously, then, it must be the workers’ task to convert those material means of providing comfort and security for others into the common property of all.


The Socialist Party holds that the people ought to own and control its own industries, that all things that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned, that the basis of our social life, instead of being the private property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of all.


We propose, in brief, that all resources, all land and buildings, all manufacturing establishments, mines,  means of transportation and communication, should be, not private property, but the common property of all. We propose that production be made to serve the needs of those who work, rather than to serve the needs of a few parasites. We hold with science that production and distribution of goods can be planned to avoid anything resembling the crises in capitalist society, a planned economy on the basis of common ownership without any class divide. Experience has proved that planning under capitalism is impossible.


When we speak of a society organised on the basis of planned production and distribution what we have in mind is very simple. Do away with production for profit. Make a survey of all available resources, plant and personnel. Figure out how much of the products of each industry can be produced, say, in a year. Fix the annual consumption of the population at this rate. When you do so you are sure that nobody will go hungry or without a roof over his head. But this is not sufficient. Our purpose to increase production and to utilise the best services of scientists to improve our technology and methods of work to advance science for the purpose of improving life, not only to industry and agriculture but to all realms of life. The output of industry is sure to increase. Distribute the fruits of increased production among all the members of society. Improve their well-being. Increase production still more by further improving machinery and methods according to the latest data of science. Distribute the benefits of the increased production again among the population without exception, always heightening the technique of production to enrich the economic and cultural life of all the members of society and to ease their labour. Continue this process indefinitely. When you do so there will be no crises, no unemployment, no exploitation, no wars, no fear of the future. Everybody responsible for the welfare of all. 


You have nothing to lose, but everything to win. Join together under the red flag of socialism and go bravely and energetically forward, the future belong to you, on this you can be sure. This is the way and the means to the big goal. Let no one forget to walk it.



Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Future Is Ours If We Dare to Take It


 Every human being who desires to put an end to this society of decay and destruction, of war and hunger, must find a place in the  revolutionary World Socialist Movement. We will produce no more for profit but for use but for happinessThe crack in the foundations of capitalism is the technical possibility of producing as much or more than is required by everyone yet capitalism fails to deliver. The hope of socialism will be buried under the ruins of civilisation. This is your choice  to abandon your hopes and aspirations, for your master’s continued profits, or to abolish the capitalist system to make realisable our hopes and dreams. To do the first is to give up life itself, to do the second is to make life worth living. The Socialist Party aspires for a world worth living in. A world where no one need know hunger. Where people use their brains and brawn to contribute as fully as possible to overcome social problems. Where peace is the rule not an exception. The Socialist Party offers to exchange  poverty for prosperity, ignorance for knowledge, hatred for kindness, division for unity and to effect this change with minimum inconvenience to individuals so all shall be essentially benefit within a short period from the introduction of socialism, a cooperative world community.  There is no better way for suffering humanity than to go forward together to establish the democratic common ownership of the means of producing life’s necessities. 

It is the capitalist system which produces misery and disaster. Capitalists  promise all things to all men, like the quack who will cure everything from toothache to cancer with a bottle of colored water. Production for profit required two things: someone with enough resources to buy means of production (machines and so on); and, secondly, people who had no means of production themselves, no resources by using which they could live. In other words, there had to be “capitalists,” who owned means of production, and workers whose only chance of getting a livelihood was to work the machines owned by the capitalists. The workers produced things, not directly for themselves or for the personal use of their new “lord,” the capitalist, but for the capitalist to sell for money  on the market. . Marx pointed out that the source of  profit  could not possibly come from the capitalists selling the products above their value – this would mean that all capitalists were all the time cheating each other, and where one made a “profit” of this kind the other necessarily made a loss, and the profits and losses would cancel each other out, leaving no general profit. It therefore followed that the value of an article on the market must already contain the profit: the profit must arise in the course of production, and not in the sale of the product.

What is the importance of the analysis made by Marx to show the source of profit? It is that it explains the class struggle of the capitalist period. In each factory or other enterprise the wages paid to the workers are not the equivalent of the full value they produce, but only equal to about half this value, or even less. The rest of the value produced by the worker during his working day (i.e. after he has produced the equivalent of his wages) is taken outright by his employer. The employer is therefore constantly trying to increase the amount taken from the worker. He can do this in several ways: for example, by reducing the worker’s wages; this means that the worker works a less proportion of the day for himself, and a greater proportion for the employer. The same result is achieved by “speeding up” or intensifying the labour – the worker produces his keep in a smaller proportion of the working day, and works a larger proportion for his employer. The same result, again, is achieved by lengthening the working day, which increases the proportion of the working day spent in working for the employer. On the other hand, the worker fights to improve his own position by demanding higher wages and shorter hours and by resisting “speeding up.”

Hence the continuous struggle between the capitalists and the workers, which can never end so long as the capitalist system of production lasts.

Socialism, as every worker should know, is the next step in social evolution. The ideal of socialism is deeply embedded in the minds and hearts of workers.

We represent the conception of socialism of the future. We  stand for the  end impoverishment and to win the earth from the fear of want and war. We seek a world in which the exploitation of man by man shall cease, when prosperity and peace shall be enjoyed by all. Socialism obliterates all differences of race, gender, colour, and nationality. It celebrates the brotherhood of all workers everywhere. It crosses all national boundaries, it transcends all language barriers, it ignores all religious differences. It makes sharp and clear, around the world, the impassable chasm between all workers and all exploiters. 

Socialists seek a new world, a class-free world, a peaceful world, a world without poverty or misery. That  is the  promise of socialism, the real fraternity of humanity. Socialism is a constant inspiration to downtrodden and exploited workers in every  country in the world to build a place of land of peace and plenty, the great cooperative commonwealth, no bosses, no landlords, no bankers, no rich, no profiteers, no capitalism. We represent the future. 



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Scottish Ingenuity Sold to the American Military

 The li-fi system harnesses the light spectrum rather than radio frequencies to transmit data securely. Li-fi - short for "light fidelity" - is an emerging technology first developed in Edinburgh. The term was coined by Prof Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, who In 2011 demonstrated how an LED bulb equipped with signal processing technology could stream a high-definition video to a computer. While radio frequencies can be "detected and targeted", its technology cannot be detected outside of its defined "cone" of coverage.

Scottish high-tech firm pureLiFi has announced a multi-million dollar deal to supply the US military with an optical wireless communication system. The deal with the United States Army Europe and Africa is the world's first large-scale deployment of li-fi technology, according to the company. PureLifi said its Kitefin system would be deployed by the US military in "real tactical and strategic environments"

Andrew Foreman, chief technology officer with the US Army in Europe and Africa, said: "Including optical wireless in the commander's toolbox is imperative to the survival of communications, command and control systems and, more importantly, soldiers."

Chief executive Alistair Banham said: "If one of the most significant and advanced defence organisations in the world can rely on li-fi for the most critical of communications, li-fi can offer unprecedented benefits to the consumer. Li-fi, like so many technologies before it, is on a classic journey of adoption in defence to widespread acceptance in the consumer market and eventually li-fi in everyone's home. This first major deployment with the US Army Europe and Africa is just the beginning."


Light technology firm strikes deal with US Army - BBC News


Socialist Courier can only say how sad it is that a new technology must be sold to help make war and killing more efficient as a measure of it success. 

Build a Better World

 For an interesting read try, 'The Rise and Fall of United Grain Growers: Cooperatives, Market Regulation and Free Enterprise', by Paul D. Earl, U of Manitoba Press, ($27.95).

 Earl traces the history of the Winnipeg based co-operative grain company from its beginning in 1906 to its takeover in 2007 by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, now called Viterra. 

The UGG was started by farmers in Saskatchewan and was the first farmer owned grain marketing business in Canada. Initially it was kept going by about 16,000 producer-shareholders who were organized in a network of local associations which supported the company.

 As good as it sounds, the iron-clad laws of capitalist economics forced the UGG to compete on the market with private grain companies. This eventually led to mergers, which in turn led to them being sucked in to the whole capitalist scheme of things; clear proof that bits of socialism cannot exist within capitalism.

There are many who believe that the co-operatives will provide an easy and painless means of transforming present competitive production into production upon a basis of common property. 

The means of production to-day are in the hands of a small but tremendously wealthy class; a class that is powerful because it controls the State machinery. The means of production are operated by a large but poverty-stricken class of wage workers; a class that is in slavery because it leaves the State machinery in the hands of its oppressors.

Production is on a gigantic scale, based upon sale for profit. The increase in quantity and complexity of the machinery used makes necessary ever less and less workers to turn out the things required by society. The big capitalists undersell the small, and eventually drive increasing numbers of the latter out of business.  It is a social system in which society is divided into two classes—a capitalist class and a working class. The capitalist class consists of a tiny minority—the wealthy few who own and control the instruments of production and distribution. The working class consists of the vast majority who own no productive property and must, therefore, seek to work for the class that owns and controls the means of life in order to survive.

The relationship between the two classes forms the basis for an economic tyranny under which the workers as a class are robbed of the major portion of the social wealth that they produce.

 

Socialism - Economic Democracy


 The present crises, which encompasses all countries has definitely shown the absurdity of capitalism. The further maintenance of the private ownership of the means of production threatens humanity with degeneration and barbarism.  

The basis of society is economic. That basis is ripe for socialism in a double sense: modern technology has advanced to a point where it can assure a high standard of living to all mankind; but the capitalist property system, which has outlived itself, dooms the masses to ever-increasing poverty and suffering.

Capitalism has failed miserably to provide the basic necessities of life for hundreds of millions of workers around the world Like all thieves, bosses have no honor among themselves. They are constantly falling out. Capitalism means the ruination of our class, our families, our friends. Only world socialism offers working-people an alternative to the misery of capitalism. We want a society whose workers run everything in the interests of the world's peoples. We want a system that encourages every worker to become involved in running society; that educates everyone to act for the common good and does not indoctrinate people to "look out for number one;" that opposes placing selfish interests above the social needs. We want society to help each person grow. Socialism will abolish the wage system. Ending the wage system will reduce the problems capitalism causes inside the working class. In a socialist society, the principle "to each according to need" will be as basic as the principle "every man for himself" is to capitalism. With socialism the principle of work will be voluntary and "from each according to ability." People will work because they want to, because their class brothers and sisters around the world need their work. Socialism will abolish socially useless forms of work that exist now only for capitalist profit. Socialism will not need millions of lawyers, advertisers, or salespeople. In one stroke, it will do away with layers of needless government bureaucrats, as well as the hordes of petty supervisors and administrators who oversee and manage us for the bosses. It will free everyone to perform socially useful work, which is the source of true creativity. Capitalism cannot do anything but accumulate more and more capital. It is as obvious that the capitalists aren’t planning and can’t plan for a peaceful world! Conflict is in the blood of the capitalists.

The fundamental premise of socialism – that is, the economic premise – has already been present for some time. But capitalism will not disappear from the scene automatically. Only the working class can assume collective ownership over production and distribution from the stranglehold of the exploiters. If working people for one reason or another, prove incapable of capturing political power the continued decay of civilization will follow, climate calamities will pile up, despair and despondency will engulf the people. Other than the socialist revolution, there is no way out. When faced with barbarism or socialism, there is no longer a choice. The rejection of socialism can be likened to someone who would rather drown than get into a lifeboat. The choice is ours. Sink or swim – socialism or barbarism.

A better world is not only possible, but an urgency if we do not intend to return to barbarism. Whether you want it or not, the socialist revolution is the only alternative at the moment. And also it is the most beautiful of all the alternatives. Socialism will transform class society into a commonwealth. There is no other answer and no other escape.

 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

This what we mean by socialism

 


All the Socialist Party’s hope rest in working people. Their woes are its woes, their  foes, its foes. The Socialist Party believes that the reorganisation of society upon the basis of common ownership and democratic control of the economic forces will put an end to social  evils which now menace workers’ life. The Socialist Party’s goal is wealth for all and the plenty of the good things of life for everybody. By means of the vast new technology of this modern world, we can produce wealth enough for all without any trouble whatever. There is no doubt at all about this. Modern inventions have so increased the productive capacity of mankind that all men and women could have abundance of wealth by working only three or four hours a day.

 The Socialist Party proposes abundance for all. In order to get this abundance it advocates society the vast new inventions and use them for producing new wealth for all instead of producing it for a few. The only reason we are not all well off now is that a few people own these great modern tools and refuse to let us work at them except when they can make a profit for themselves. The fact is, not more than half of us are allowed by these capitalists, or great machine owners, to work even half the time. If we owned these factories and mines, transport and communications ourselves and all of us worked at them to produce wealth for our own use and happiness, all the troubles of poverty would disappear at once. The only thing that lies between us and the promised land is this private ownership of the means of producing wealth. Therefore, what the Socialist Party seeks to do, in order to get wealth for all, is to take possession of the means of production and run them for the use of all.

We indulge in no dreams or false hopes. We say to our fellow-workers, “Come, join our party, vote yourselves into power, use that political state power to capture back those means of wealth production which the capitalists have stolen from you, and then you will get all that abundance which modern inventions entitle you to.” The Socialist Party is to gather together all those workers whose real interests lie in abolishing the private ownership, establishing the principles of common ownership and workers’ control of industry, abolishing the wages system and distributing the good things of life, each according to needs. Only by taking and holding the means of production and distribution can the workers be free. As socialists, we take as our starting point that present society produces sufficient wealth to provide enough for all, but because of the ownership and organisation of production, that wealth is wasted or even destroyed. Capitalism is incapable of providing decent homes, social services and living standards for all.

The Socialist Party is part of a conscious movement that has as its aim the common ownership of social wealth. Changing the economic system is not an end in itself. It is a means of creating conditions in which human beings will be able to realise their full potentialities and work together for the common good, instead of being divided by class, sex, race or creed. Socialists want a society in which people’s needs are provided for by an abundance of goods and better social services. Capitalism distorts human individuality, subordinates men and women to the needs of the profit system, sets them against each other. Socialism aims to develop their individuality by creating a society in which exploitation and poverty are ended, and the resources of science and technology used to reduce the time spent in monotonous and mechanical jobs to a minimum, and vastly increase the amount devoted to leisure and creative work. Socialism is not a society in which the state and the government, as institutions separate from the people, either regiment them or do everything for them. It is the people themselves who have to build socialism, become involved in government, and be responsible for the development of society. In the process new attitudes to society, to work and to culture will develop. New relations, based on co-operation instead of domination and exploitation, will come into being between the sexes, between generations, between races and between nations. Socialism is based on co-operation instead of domination and exploitation, will come into being between the sexes, between generations, between races and between nations. 

Because under socialism the main industries and means of production would be commonly owned, all the wealth they produced would be available for the use of the people as a whole, including that part of it which the capitalists now take as their private profit. Moreover, the removal of the fetters on production imposed by capitalist crisis would be removed, and the production of wealth greatly increased.