Monday, March 19, 2018

United Voices

The world about us is falling to pieces. The need for change is widely realised.  Technically there is no major problem. The difficulty is a social one. Capitalism is maintained by class power and will only be displaced by the one class that no society can do without? Those who work. If the working people want power they will have to take it. It will not be given to them. The basic strategy for the working class is to obtain political power and capture the State machine. In the UK the most effective way is to contest and win elections. What is socialism? What are we actually striving for? How will this new society to be achieved? These questions is receiving even more attention today because of the pending catastrophes the planet faces. Without a socialist revolution, an apocalypse threatens the whole of mankind. Humanity can be saved from barbarism that menaces it only by a revolutionary working class.

Socialism is rule by the working people and they will decide how socialism is to work.  The task of the Socialist Party, therefore, is to help and guide the transfer of power from capitalists to working people by revolution. Marx and Engels made no attempt to proclaim in advance how a socialist society is to be developed. To use the word “socialism” for anything but working people’s power is to misuse the term. Nationalisation is not socialism. Nationalisation is simply state capitalism, with no connection to socialism. Nor is the “Welfare State” socialist. A socialist state (the working people in power) will certainly give high priority to health, education, art, science, and the social well-being of all its members. That is why it exists, that is the purpose of its economy. But “welfare” in a capitalist state, to improve the efficiency of that state as a profit-maker, is not socialism but a form of state capitalism.  It can be an improvement on capitalism with no welfare, just as a 40-hour week is an improvement on a 60-hour week. But it is not socialism. 

Socialism will eventually replace capitalism worldwide because it is economically superior and would provide a better quality of life for its people. socialism should be far more democratic than the most democratic capitalist state. Socialism provides freedoms for working people that capitalism cannot offer. Socialism provides the well-being capitalism promised but did not deliver. 

The “practical” political parties sneer at the Socialist Party as idealistic utopians campaigning for the unattainable without any immediate social value, judging ourselves from the limited horizon. It is our conviction that the socialist revolution will triumph based on an examination of evidence, upon our Marxist analysis of the social forces at work. Socialism is that form of society in which there is no such thing as a propertyless class, but in which the whole community collectively own the means of production—the land, factories, offices, mines, transport and all the means whereby wealth is created and distributed to the community. The basic principles of socialist society are diametrically opposite to those of capitalist society in which we live. Socialism stands for social or community property. Capitalism stands for private property. Socialism is a society without classes. Capitalism is divided into classes—the class owning property and the propertyless working class.

The capitalist class understands the need for political action. It is prepared in order to crush the attempts of Labour seeking to organise its forces. The workers are confronted by the whole economic force of capital in alliance with its political force—the State. Can the Socialist Party, therefore, neglect the political field, which is at present one of capital’s strongest bastion? The Socialist Party says no. We dare not leave the class enemy entrenched in any position from which it can threaten the working class. Revolutionary political action has not failed for the simple reason that it has never been tried or used. There has been plenty of Labour Party electioneering and parliamentary reformism, but that is not revolutionary political action. The time has now arrived for the workers' movement in this country to define clearly its attitude towards political action. Many are opposed to political action for no other reason than that they have not realised all that it means. The Socialist Party believes in the political weapon as the instrument by means of which the workers can capture the State in order to uproot it. We are convinced that socialism is the only hope of the workers. Neither reforms nor palliatives can in any way remove the great economic contradictions inherent in capitalism. The time has now arrived when all revolutionary socialists must either join hands with the Socialist Party or strengthen the hands of the reformists.  The Socialist Party appeals for members. In these days of pending global disaster, it is the obligation of every socialist to best assist the movement. No false sense of duty to some party which is not revolutionary should prevent anyone from throwing in his or her lot with the principles Socialist Party. Everything must be subordinated to the class war against capitalism. We, therefore, appeal to those comrades who complain of the shortcomings of their present organisations to come help us to convince our fellow-workers. With an increased membership our work can be extended and intensified. The growth of that work can only go on if new members come in. By taking your place inside our organisation you will become identified with the most fearless and virulent party of socialism in the country. Outside the Socialist Party your efforts are probably being exercised in a wrong direction; inside the Socialist Party, your efforts will be directed to the emancipation of the working class and the liberation of humanity.

'Socialism's Lost Century' (Glasgow public meeting, 21/3)

Glasgow Branch Meeting

Wednesday, 21 March
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Maryhill Community Central Halls,
304 Maryhill Road,
Glasgow G20 7YE

 Brian Gardner will give an introductory talk on the “Centenary of the Russian Revolution.”

The centenary of the Russian Revolution has just passed - with more of a whimper than a bang. From 1917 the SPGB has had a unique perspective on the Bolshevik misadventure. So, 100 years on, is there anything of value to be learned from the whole sorry event? Would it all have been different without the challenges of World War then Civil War? Was belated industrial development the problem? Did Lenin advance Marx's materialist view of history? What was the nature of the Soviet system? Did the Soviet Union not inspire workers around the world? The speaker will open on these and other questions for general discussion

The Left sees the Russian Revolution as a model to follow and have appointed themselves as the heirs of the Bolsheviks to lead "the masses". The Russian Revolution as a model? No thank you. It only led to state-capitalism, and most people understandably don't want to go down that path again. When the Socialist Party was told that socialism had been obtained in Russia without the long, hard and tedious work of educating the mass of workers in the ideas and principles of socialism, we not only deny it but referred our critics to Lenin's own confessions.  His statements prove that even though a vigorous and small minority may be able to seize power for a time, they can only hold it by modifying their plans to suit the ignorant majority. The minority in power in an economically backward country are forced to adapt their programme to the undeveloped conditions and make continual concessions to the capitalist world around them.  We have often stated that because of a vast population lacking socialist consciousness, Russia was a long way from accomplishing socialism. We were not proven wrong. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Racism in Scotland

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf and Labour MSP Anas Sarwar have told BBC Scotland that racism and Islamophobia are getting worse in Scotland. They both said they frequently received violent death threats via social media and in emails.
The MSPs said members of the Muslim community and other faiths had reported increasing levels of abuse. This included on the street and while engaged in work.
Yousaf said the "vile abuse" targeted at him was on a weekly and, at times more frequent, basis. The minister, who encountered racial abuse growing up, said what shocked him now was the level of violence in the messages sent to him. He said: "People will constantly refer to taking a bullet to me. I think 99% of them are probably mouth and no trousers, but that being said if the 1% take up that threat it is very, very serious indeed." Yousaf added: "What is worrying is that young people are seeing this face to face now. We are are hearing more Islamophobic and racist remarks right to our faces, and people are feeling emboldened post-Brexit and because of other factors too."
Sarwar said he had received threats on social media, in emails and in message left on his office phone. They included threats to burn down his offices. Other abuse included questions about his loyalties to Scotland and the UK and that he was part of an "undercover mission to impose Sharia law". He said that while he and Mr Yousaf were "blessed in a way" of having a platform to highlight and challenge the abuse, the majority of people who were targeted in the same way were too frightened to their experiences in public. Sarwar said: "In wider society, it is the 'dinosaurs' who will say stupid things and crass, offensive things, but we shouldn't pretend it will be phased out with age and time." He said not just Muslims, but people of other faiths, including Sikhs, were encountering the same types of abuse.
 Yousaf added that unlike previous generations who felt they had suffer their abuse in silence, people today were prepared to bring it out in the open in an effort to tackle it.

Our Policy Is Simple: Socialism

Socialism is a theory of a system of human society, based on the common ownership of the means of production and the carrying on of the work of production by all for the benefit of all. In other words, socialism means that the land, the factories and offices, the transport and communication networks and all such things as are necessary for the production of the comforts of life should be public property, just as our public roads, our public parks, and our public libraries are shared today, so that all these things should be used by the whole people to produce the goods that the whole of the people require. The idea of socialism is the co-operative commonwealth. The socialist revolution consists of the entire process, on a world scale, through which the socialist mode of production is established and supplants the capitalist mode of production. The Socialist Party does not put forward its goal as a utopia, as a mere ideal of what would satisfy people’s needs and make them all happy, but as a practical attainment which is made necessary by the actual conditions of modern society.

Only through socialism can the contradictions of modern capitalist society be solved and the modern technological forces of production be fully utilised. The socialist revolution is the abolition of capitalist private property, the abolition of all exploitation of man by man, the social ownership of the means of production and their planned use for the benefit of the whole of society, leading to abundance and brotherhood. Socialism is a society without class antagonisms, in which the people themselves control their means of life and use them for their own happiness.  Socialism is not inevitable. What has been termed its ‘inevitability’ consists in this, that only through socialism can human progress continue? But there is not and cannot be any absolute deterministic inevitability in human affairs since man makes his own history and chooses what to do. What is determined is not his choice, but the conditions under which it is made, and the consequences when it is made. The meaning of scientific socialism is not that it tells us that socialism will come regardless, but that it explains to us where we stand, what course lies open to us, what is the road to life.

Socialism means production for use and not for profit. It means that one working class is not pitted against the others in wars, It means that one worker is not pitted against the other in the fight for a job. It means that one worker is not cutting the throat of the other by producing at lower wages than the other. The criteria for production under socialism would be – how much is needed? Some people will argue that it can’t work, it’s a utopia. We can only answer that capitalism has demonstrated that IT can work and society organized on the basis of production for use would have even more of a chance of working than our present economic system. This system cannot give peace and plenty to its people, socialism can and will. Bronterre O'Brien, the Chartist leader, coined the phrase ‘social democracy’ but by which he meant democratic participation as distinct from mere voting rights.

Most people wonder what the future holds for them, their family and their friends. They want to know if it is possible to see a future free from the nagging worries of today, free from the poverty for millions and the homelessness. Will wages be able to keep up with prices, be enough to cover the payments on the house, the furniture or the car? Will there even be work to be had? Will there be peace in the world or nuclear annihilation? People ask, can there be such a thing as a secure and happy future for all, or must it always be a rat race? Is it inevitable that a small number of rich should forever cream off the benefits of modern technology, while the rest of us spend our days doing tedious boring work, whether in the factory, building site, supermarket or in the home? Are things arranged like this for always? But people know that life can be improved to make it better for all if the way our society is run was re-ordered. The conviction that members of the Socialist Party hold that life can be made happier and more harmonious for all comes from our study of life as it really is, from the lessons learnt from the experience of the past and of fighting for a better future.

It is not “human nature” that is the cause of the problems people face today. It is the way society is organised, with a minority of people owning and controlling the wealth. The vast majority of the people are excluded from any real say in the running of society. This is what lies at the root of the problems that working people face. It is this system, which we call capitalism, that cannot provide the good things of life for all. It is this that must be changed. The working people who have produced all the wealth around us must come into ownership and control of what is their own by right so that they can then build the society and produce the things they want. The Socialist Party believe that conditions can be changed for the better if the people are prepared to end capitalism. Our experience confirms the truth of our way of looking at human society. It does not matter how solid and permanent the old social order may look, through the struggle of the working people it can be replaced to correspond more to the demands of the times and the aspirations of the people. Socialism means, above all else, that political power has been taken out of the hands of the capitalists and their representatives and placed in the hands of the people. It means that the political power of the State is used immediately to place private property into common ownership.

From the present day organisation of production for private profit, the aim will be changed to production for use, production of what is wanted and needed by the people. Work will become more interesting and more meaningful to millions as its results will go entirely into benefits for the people. As more goods are produced, so working hours will be shortened. Industry will have a completely different purpose with socialism - to serve the people, not the interests of the privileged few.  Democracy will be extended in a way not possible under capitalism. Socialism will enable us to overcome the brakes on the progress of capitalism. It will release the creative energies of the mass of the people, making it possible to meet their needs in food, clothing, and shelter, and will open vast horizons of cultural and educational possibilities for millions. Mankind will be freed from worry about basic material needs as we know them today and will be able to meet new ones of which we as yet have no conception.  Class differences will, in fact, cease to exist. Man will be able to develop his own personality and talents to the full. With the harnessing of science and technology to industry, boring and repetitive work will be eliminated. Work for all will become as it is today for only a very small minority—interesting and satisfying. The essential difference between town and country will be ended, as housing, travel and cultural facilities become available to all people. The boundaries between mental and physical labour will be removed as all people receive the freedom and means by which to exercise their potential, their talents, and abilities.

Life for all will be plentiful, secure, happy and interesting. Winning socialism will end of those worries about wages, housing, poverty, peace that dominate our lives today. The building of this new society in our country is the aim of the Socialist Party.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Human solidarity will encircle the globe

The coming year promises to be a busy one for the Socialist Party. The worsening of workers' conditions means that much must be done to explain how to end capitalism. However, discontent does not necessarily translate into support for the revolutionary socialist option. While there are many reasons for this, one of the most important is that at the present time the socialist alternative does not appear practical to many. If more fellow-workers are to be won to the cause of socialism it is clear that we must greatly advance in our ability to explain the advantages and feasibility of socialism and how we can achieve it.

For too many, the word “socialism” is closely associated with the former USSR and it satellite states in Eastern Europe. While these state-capitalist regimes were never socialist – for socialism means that the workers hold power, not a handful of privileged bureaucrats – we never stop hearing that these countries typify socialism. As a result, many workers remain sceptical about whether genuine working class rule can ever be established.

It is clear we must expose these distortions of what socialism is and reveal to working people what real socialism is. We must make a start because the study, debate, and discussion of these issues are essential if the socialist movement is to win over workers in the battle of ideas against the stereotype disinformation from pro-capitalist intellectuals and academics. Working people are looking for a change. But they remain to be convinced that socialism can provide them with the better life and improved well-being that they seek. A new generation will come to our movement and dedicate their lives to it will not be willing to squander their energy on little things and little aims.  They will be motivated by nothing less than the vision of a new world. 

Socialism will bring about the transformation of human activity.  There will exist freedom from labour to an ever-increasing extent as the new technology of robotics and automation advances productivity and reduces the amount of labour time required from the individual. In the socialist society, when there will be plenty for all and where there is abundance, people will have no further use for money. Wages will become obsolete. Prices for goods redundant. In socialism, all will share in the benefits of abundance, not merely a favoured few at the top. Our socialist society of universal abundance will be regulated by the standard, “From each according to ability—to each according to needs.”  Today people are haunted by insecurity, undermined by fear for their future and the future of their children. They are never free from the anxiety that something bad will happen, to be deprived of an education and proper food and clothing for oneself and one's family.  In the socialist society of shared abundance, this nightmare will be lifted. They will be free from fear, and this greatly affects their attitude toward life and their enjoyment of it. Humanity will get a chance to show what it is really made of. In the new society, everybody will be an artist and every artist will be a worker.  The separation between manual and intellectual labour will be broken down. The division between specialised knowledge of single subjects and ignorance on the rest will be eliminated. People will not fear to love their neighbour lest they are taken advantage of, nor be ashamed of disinterested friendship, free from all self-interest and calculation. There will be powerful impulses to give things to each other, and the only possible way of giving will be by doing, by making. There will be no chance to “buy” a present for anybody—because nothing will be for sale; and besides, everybody will be free to take anything he needs from the superabundant general store of material things rolling from the assembly lines. Presents, to mean anything, will have to be made and such gifts will be really treasured and displayed on special occasions. Everybody will be able to live comfortably and to travel freely, without passports or visas. Why shouldn’t we, with all our abundance, travel around to explore the diversity of our planet. There will be no more private property, except for some personal effects. Consequently, there will be no more crimes against private property—which are 90% or more of all the crimes committed today—and no need of all these huge apparatuses for the prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of crimes against property. No need for police, judges, lawyers, prisons, jailers.

With the end of classes and their conflicting interests there will be no more “politics”, because politics is essentially an expression of the class struggle; and no more parties, as we know them now. There will be differences and debates, we must assume, but they will not be based on separate class interests. The people will turn their attention then to that most important problem of all—the problem of the free development of the human personality. In the class-free society of the future there will be no state. The state will wither away for the state is the most concentrated expression of violence. Where there is violence, there is no freedom. The society of the free and equal will have no need and no room for violence and will not tolerate it in any form.  People will recover some of the virtues of our older hunter-gatherer society, which was based on solidarity and cooperation, and improve them and develop them to a higher degree.

Perhaps it will be our misfortune not to be privileged to live in the socialist society of the future, It is our destiny and our mission is to clear the way for its establishment. No matter whether we personally see the dawn of socialism or not, no matter what our personal fate may be, the cause for which we fight has social evolution on its side to bring all mankind a new epoch. It is enough for us to do our part to hasten on the day. That’s what we’re here for. That’s all the incentive we need. And the confidence that we are right and that our cause will prevail, is all the reward we need.

Friday, March 16, 2018

One World - One People

The world, as they say, is getting smaller every day. The marvels of modern communications have diminished the geographical obstacle of distance.  The world economy, the global market, is more integrated today than we ever before realised. Yet the world remains divided up into nations, with frontiers and barbed wire, passports, and immigration controls, customs duties and 180 or so varieties of currency. Nations are demarcated by states, which have carved up the whole world into often quite arbitrary patches of territory in the last couple of centuries. The world is also in crisis. The crises produce turmoil. Despite this, states remain jealous of their sovereignty, competing with each other for shares in world production and trade to manage and command national economies.

Socialist solidarity springs the practical experience of the workers who felt that they had to cooperate with each other across frontiers and boundaries in order to defend their interests, their wages, and their working conditions. The day-to-day experience of a man standing alongside a foreigner brought an understanding of common interests, an instinctive kind of internationalism. In the ranks of the working class there went on an incessant competition and scramble for jobs. While the capitalist engaged in commercial rivalry and trade wars, fighting for markets, the workers were competing with each other for a place on the factory floor, often underselling the price of their labour. Socialists are well aware of this very real and unedifying element in the existence of the working classes in a society where dog-eat-dog competition permeated every aspect of social life. This strife can only end with the abolition of private property in the means of production – that is, with the abolition of capitalism.

The aim of the modern labour movement is to curb the competitiveness of the workers, to bring under control that individualism which made them an easy prey for capitalist exploitation. The aim of the labour movement is to instill in the workers the sense of solidarity which would benefit them all as a class. That was the origin of the trade unions and the origin of modern socialism. ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ is nothing else but a call to eliminate the effect of competition between workers within each country and to eliminate it also on an international scale. From this point of view, nationalism was, in the first instance, the workers’ self-destructive competitiveness; internationalism was their solidarity transcending national boundaries.

 Marx and Engels insisted that ‘the working men have no country’. They argued that the nation-state was alien to the interests of the proletariat and that in order to advance their interests workers must ‘settle matters’ with the bourgeoisie of each state, that workers must challenge the power of their ‘own’ capitalist class directly. This opened the possibility of ‘the common interests of the whole proletariat, independently of all nationality’. It also implied practical activity by workers to organise in mutual solidarity across national borders. Socialists maintain that workers must free themselves of patriotism and national superiority in their own interests, for without discarding these aspects of bourgeois ideology they would never themselves be free.

We oppose nationalism. By nationalism, the bosses really mean that workers must respect capitalist borders. These borders are artificial; they exist to divide workers and keep different sets of bosses in power. Workers need no borders. Workers in one part of the world are not different from or better than workers in another. Nationalism creates false loyalties. Workers should be loyal only to other workers, never to a boss. We endorse the revolutionary slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!"

Beyond Resistance – Establishing Socialism 

What is needed to be made is a fundamental change in the direction of society. Our compass for where we are headed should have socialism as its destination. We need to keep this end in view not to lose our way.

Today the capitalist class through its ownership of wealth holds economic power. Apart from perhaps small personal savings and maybe a house, the vast majority of people in Britain and elsewhere own nothing but their labour power, their ability to work. Wealth is produced by those who work by hand and brain, far in excess of the wages they are paid. The surplus goes to the capitalist owners or shareholders as profit. This is capitalist exploitation, the basis of all forms of rent and interest. The capitalist system is inevitably marked by gross inequality of opportunity. Driven by the urge for higher profit and in fierce competition, capitalism has developed from small-scale production in its early years, to present large-scale production, in which a few giant corporations dominate all branches of business. The drive towards further centralisation of capital by mergers is an economic law of capitalism. It results in greater and greater concentration of economic power in fewer and fewer hands, and the interlocking of industrial and financial capital. Huge conglomerates are created which do not confine their activities to one country, but straddle national frontiers. The process continues regardless of which political party is in office. It is not only economic power that is in the hands of the capitalist class. Political power is in the hands of the same class. The State is under the control of the same groups who control the wealth of the country and it serves their interests. The capitalist class does not only hold political and economic power. The same small elite controls the instruments of ideas through control of the mass media and whatever else that influences the minds and attitudes of the people. So there you have it, what we are up against, class power - economic, political, ideological.

The ruling class makes every effort to put the burden of the capitalism's problems upon the shoulders on working people. The rich few grow richer while the living standards of the majority are under constant attack. The capitalist purchaser of labour-power has only one object, viz., to enrich himself by making his money breed or expand, by the process of making commodities containing more labour than he pays for. This insatiable thirst for and headlong pursuit of surplus-value by employers has been for the workers and their families the cause of an exploitation more onerous than any form of exploitation previously known. So long as the means of production and labour are not joined together same hands, the production will retain the character of capital, and capital will inevitably exploit the workers and wring from them extra sweat and toil for which it will not pay.  The harder we work the more power we give the capitalist class to expropriate and enrich themselves. In contrast, with socialism for the first time in history, the individual will have the opportunity of real freedom, of real self-development, an opportunity one can never possess under the sordid struggle which characterises the capitalist society in which we live.

The Socialist Party through its activity and campaigns sharpen the weapons against the old society and build the confidence and strength of or fellow-workers. Socialism must always be the revolutionary idea to transfer of economic power from a small, greedy elite to the democratic control of the majority or it means nothing. Socialism means nothing unless it means control of society. It cannot be too strongly stressed that socialism means but one thing, and that is the abolition of capital in private or state hands. Anything else is not socialism. Socialism is not the establishment of a 30-hour week, not the abolition of zero-hour contracts or the creation of minimum wages. None of these, nor all of them together, is socialism. They might all be done by the government tomorrow, and still, we would not have socialism. They are merely reforms of the present system, mere band-aid patches on industrial servitude. While not opposing any reforms or improvements which may be secured under capitalism, the Socialist Party steadfastly declines to take time and resources away from its main battle, for revolution, in order to carry on the struggle for reform.   The one demand of the Socialist Party is unadulterated and undiluted socialism and the unconditional surrender by the capitalist class.  The Socialist Party claims the mantle of being the most humanitarian movement on the planet, more so than any philanthropic foundation or charity organisation. The Socialist Party - it and it alone - promotes the highest humanitarian hopes of humanity. The Socialist Party stands out unique as the only body based on the material programme which will make the realisation of those aspirations an accomplished fact. Socialism alone will supply the basis for permanent improvement in the condition of mankind.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Scotland's Hidden Child Poverty

North Barlanark and Easterhouse South areas of Glasgow have more than 70% children growing up in poverty. Yet there are pockets of "intense" child poverty among the most affluent areas of Scotland, new analysis has found.
While East Renfrewshire has some of the most prosperous communities in the country, the local authority includes Arthurlie and Dovecothall, where 54.9% of children live in poverty.
Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University found similar inequality in Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland. They said two-thirds of those classed as poor lived outside "deprived" areas.
Prof John McKendrick, who led the research, said it demonstrated the limits of focusing anti-poverty strategies only in the most deprived areas.  His study also found that even in local authorities with the lowest levels of child poverty, there were areas where more than one in every four children were living in deprived circumstances. These included Hillhead in the west end of Glasgow - where 36.9% were in poverty, Peterhead Harbour in Aberdeenshire - where the figures was 31.5%, Lerwick South in Shetland - where 26.2% were in poverty and Stornoway West, with 27.1% in poverty.
"Even within those local authorities with the lowest levels of child poverty in Scotland, there are pockets of intense child poverty in which more than one in every four children are living in poverty. This suggests that even in most of the affluent neighbourhoods there are some people who are living on an income that means that they are not able to afford what the majority of people in Scotland would agree that the majority should be able to afford."

Fact of the Day

Scotland has 37,135 properties recorded last year as having been empty long-term. Despite the issue rising up the political agenda, the most recent Housing Statistics for Scotland quarterly update revealed the number of long-term empty homes has risen by 83 per cent since 2007 when the total stood at 20,328.


The Socialist Party visualises a social system that would be based on the common ownership of the means of production, the elimination of private profit in the means of production, the abolition of the wage system, the abolition of the division of society into classes. The aim of the party is to popularise the principles of socialism and to aid in the work of transforming society from a capitalist to a cooperative commonwealth. We don’t propose the elimination of personal possessions. We speak of those things which are necessary for the production of the people’s needs

They shall be owned in common by all the people. Our Declaration of Principles forms a clear statement of our ideas to inform the world where our party stands, and to guide the party activities. The Socialist Party runs candidates wherever it is able to get on the ballot. We conduct campaigns during the elections, and in general, to the best of our ability, and to the limit of our resources, we participate in election campaigns. We believe that the modern world is an economic unit. No country is self-sufficient. It is impossible to solve the accumulated problems of the present day, except on a world scale; no nation is self-sufficient, and no nation can stand alone. The economy of the world now is all tied together in one unit, and because we think that the solution of the problem of the day—the establishment of socialism—is a world problem, we believe that the advanced workers in every country must collaborate in working toward that goal. We have advocated for the international organisation of the workers, the World Socialist Movement, and the cooperation and mutual assistance of its companion parties in all respects. The Socialist Party is opposed to all forms of national chauvinism, race prejudice, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, 

Capitalism is a society that did not always exist. Like preceding social systems, it went through a period of gestation in the womb of the old feudal society. It grew and developed as against feudal society, eventually overthrew it by revolutionary means, raised the productivity of mankind to undreamed of heights. Capitalism operates by certain internal laws which were analysed and laid bare by Marx in the Communist Manifesto and then in Capital. Primarily, the private ownership of the means of production and the employment of wage labour at wages less than the value of the product produced by the wage labourer. This creates a surplus which the capitalist proprietor has to sell in the market. It is obvious that the wage worker, who receives for his labour less than the total value of his product. can be a customer only for that amount of the value that he receives in the form of wages. The balance is surplus value, as Marx explained it, for which the capitalist must find a market. The workers are exploited by the capitalists. There is a constant conflict of interests between them, an unceasing struggle between these classes.

As long as the capitalist system remains recurring wars are inevitable. The Socialist Party has always stated that it is impossible to prevent wars without abolishing the capitalist system which breeds war. It may be possible to delay a war for a while, but eventually, it is impossible to prevent wars while this system remains. That does not eliminate the possibility of incidental and accidental attacks being caused by this or that country but fundamentally wars are caused by the efforts of all the capitalist powers to expand markets and spheres of influence The only way they can get them is by taking them away from some other power, because the whole world has been divided up among a small group of imperialist powers. That is what leads to war, regardless of the will of the people. We do not maintain that the ruling class (in general) actively seeks and desires war but they can not avoid it and retain the rewards of the capitalist system in their country. The Socialist Party does not give any support to any war, (other than the class war) We do not vote for it; we do not speak for it; we do not write for it. We are in opposition to it. Within socialism, there are no longer capitalists who profit by war, who see in war the way to secure more markets and a chance to dominate the world. 

The law of competition between capitalists results inevitably in the bigger capitalists, the ones with the more modern, more efficient, and productive enterprises, crushing out the small ones, either by destroying them or absorbing them until the number of independent proprietors grows continually less and the number of pauperised people increases by leaps and bounds, until the wealth becomes concentrated in the hands of a very few people, and the great mass of the people, especially of the workers, are confronted with ever-increasing difficulties of an economic and social nature. The real revolutionary factors, the real powers that are driving for socialism, are the contradictions within the capitalist system itself. All that the Socialist Party campaigning and agitation can do is to try to foresee theoretically what is possible and what is probably in the line of social revolution, to prepare people’s minds for it, to convince them of the desirability of it, to try to organise them to accelerate it and to bring it about in the most economical and effective way.

The social revolution “is a movement of the immense majority in the interests of the immense majority” to distinguish it from previous revolutions which had been made in the interest of minorities. Socialism cannot be imposed on the people from above. Capitalism by itself does not “evolve” into socialism. It has to be transformed into socialism by the conscious action and struggle of men and women. No longer can the capitalists by virtue of the fact that they own the means of production, live off the labour of the working class. No longer are the workers compelled to sell their labour power to the capitalists in order to live. The workers are no longer property-less proletarians. They now own the means of production and work them in their own interests and in the interests of society. For society is now composed or workers by hand and brain, i.e. free associations of wealth-producers.

Fish Pollution

ONE fish farm produces the same amount of waste as all of Scotland’s west coast towns put together, an expert has said.
Dr Richard Luxmoore, senior nature conservation adviser at the National Trust for Scotland, said a moderately-sized farm dumped the same amount of sewage as a town twice the size of Oban.
It comes as a string of experts warned salmon farming was having a deadly impact on the environment.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Musings from the past for socialist libraries

"Man ought to be able, wherever placed, to find for himself the means of existence; but I was to open a new scene of life, to remove to some distant spot, to be prepared against the ill-will of mankind, and the unexplored projects of the hostility of a most accomplished foe. The actual means of existence are the property of all. What should hinder me from taking that of which I was really in want, where, in taking it, I risked no vengeance, and perpetrated no violence? The property in question will be beneficial to me, and the voluntary surrender of it is accomplished with no injury to its late proprietor; what other condition can be necessary to render the use of it on my part a duty? He that lately possed it has injured me; does that alter its value as a medium of exchange? He will boast perhaps of the imaginary obligation he has conferred on me: surely to shrink for a thing in itself right from any such apprehension, can be the result only of pusillanimity and cowardice!" - William Godwin, Caleb Williams, 1794

For socialism, 
Steve, Mehmet, John &
 all contributing members of the SPC

Progressive Grappling? Lets Have Done With It.

On March 10 the Progressive, (a strange word for a party that stands for capitalism), Conservative Party will choose a leader to, hopefully, help them win the upcoming provincial election.

 The media are ''full of it'', debating whether it will be Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliot or Doug Ford -- in fact there is so much coverage it makes one wonder when folks will finally wake up and smell the coffee, which is that it makes no great difference which party wins or who its leader is. 

Capitalism is a market economy and the markets fluctuate and sometimes wildly. When the economy is buoyant a government may look good, but it will not and never has lasted long because of the boom-slump inbuilt nature of capitalism. 

When a slump comes all the government can do is to try and grapple with it as FDR did in the thirties, though most of his ideas were suggested by his Labour Secretary. 
The Nazi's also grappled with it by producing for war! 

So let's have done with the boom-slump economy and the parties who seek to maintain it.
For socialism,
 Steve, Mehmet, John &
all contributing members of the SPC

The Principles of the Socialist Party

The Socialist Party adheres to two vital tenets of Marxism.

That the “proletarian movement is the self-consciousindependent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority". The Socialist Party takes seriously its implications. "Self-conscious" implies that the class itself must understand the full significance of its actions. “Independent' implies that the class itself must decide the objectives and methods of its struggle free from other classes interests.

That the "The emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves". The working class cannot entrust its task to anyone else. No "saviours from on high" as the workers' anthem The International puts it, will free us. The working class will never achieve its power, if it leaves the revolutionary struggle to others.

Thus according to the Socialist Party, socialist political understanding and mass participation in the process of the revolutionary project is essential. Socialism, unlike all previous revolutions, requires the knowledge and involvement of the majority. It is therefore important that at the very outset we state precisely what socialism means.

What socialism means to members of the Socialist Party is that there are inequality and misery in the world; that this is the outcome of our social conditions; that the essence of these social conditions is that the mass of the people, the working class, produce and distribute all commodities, while the minority of the people, the capitalist class possess these commodities; that this tyranny of the possessing class over the property-less class is based on the present wage-system, and maintains all other forms of oppression; that this tyranny of the few over the many is only possible because the few have obtained possession of the land, the raw materials, the factories and machinery, in a word, of all the means of production and distribution of commodities, and have, as a class, obtained possession of these by no virtue other than by either force or fraud; last but not least, that the approaching change in society will be a revolution. The system of human society as it exists at present must be overthrown from the foundations. The two classes at present existing will be replaced by a single humanity consisting of the whole of the healthy and sane members of the community, possessing all the means of production and distribution in common, and working in common for the production and distribution of commodities.

The Socialist Party believes that the means of production and distribution should be the property of the community.  The owning class can and does dictate terms to the man or woman of that non-possessing class. “You shall sell your labour to me. I will pay you only a fraction of its value in wage. The difference between that value and what I pay for your labour I pocket, as a member of the employing class, and I am richer than before, not by labour of my own, but by your unpaid labour.” This is the teaching of the Socialist Party and why we claim to be socialists.

But we acknowledge that there were others before us. Earlier socialists also sought a better world founded on common ownership, equality, and democracy. In this they saw the means to meet all mankind’s material needs Among the Chartists, for example, Ernest Jones declared: “Money-capital did not create labour, but labour created money-capital; machinery did not create work, but work created machinery. It, therefore, follows that labour is, by its own nature the sovereign power and that it owes no allegiance, gratitude or subjection to capital.” 

Socialists have held that the ending of private ownership of major productive resources was the precondition for a socialist society. Today, in the name of socialism we see common ownership changed into state slavery, equality denounced as the barrier to the very socialism which it seeks as an aim, democracy denied as incompatible with working-class power.  The events in the former Soviet Union in the twentieth century has provided ample evidence that it is possible for the working class to possess less political power, to enjoy less civil liberty, to exercise less control over the circumstances of its working life, to be, in every sense of the word, more ‘exploited’, under regimes based on state ownership. The Bolshevik tradition, whether in its Leninist form or in its Trotskyist guise, has come so completely to dominate what passes for socialist thinking today that these facts are now regarded by some as a refutation of the principles of socialism, by others as a cause for redefining socialism into some monstrous Big Brother State. The Socialist Party, far from unaware of the dangers of a concentration of economic and political power within the hands of an all-powerful state, warned that the outcome of the Russian Revolution would be something approximating to what later emerged. Socialism means the administration of production by society, rather than by the state. This was not accomplished by the 20/20 vision of hindsight and the experience of Stalin's show-trials but the application of theory and contemporary analysis of events

Socialism means a class-free society, and a class-free society means that a privileged minority of the population are not in a position to enjoy the national wealth, while the majority live only on their labour to produce it. It means especially that privileged individuals who do have excess income cannot invest it in the instruments of production with which others work, thus reducing them to a position of fixed subservience. It means an end of rent, profit, and interest on stocks and bonds, an end of “surplus value,” an end of the exploitation of labour. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cheering News To Lighten All The Gloom And Doom

Those of you who have read so far may be wondering if there is any cheering news to lighten all the gloom and doom? well, there ain't much, but, one little goodie is that church attendance is dropping in Canada, which suggests folk are giving up on religion - but let's hear from a guy who can explain it better than me. 

Karl Marx said:
 ''Religion, the family, the State, law, morality, science, art, etc. are only particular forms of production and come under its general law. The positive abolition of private property as the appropriation of human life is thus the positive abolition of all alienation and thus the return of man from religion, the family, the State etc. to his human, ie social life. Religious alienation only occurs in the sphere of consciousness, in the inner life of man, but economic alienation is that of real life and is abolition, therefore, affects both aspects. Of course, the development in different nations has a different origin according to whether the actual life of the people is more in the realm of mind or in the external world, whether it is a real or ideal life.'' 

From Marx's 'Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts', 1844.

For socialism, 
Steve, Mehmet, John & all contributing members of the SPC.

Don’t Agonise, Organise!

The Socialist Party is not a party of reform but of revolution. Let it be clearly understood that by revolution the Socialist Party does not mean violence and insurrection. The Socialist Party offers a possible peaceful solution to the class war by the capture of the political powers by the working class as opposed to the capitalist class. Humanity must choose between the continuation of the capitalist system which leads to destruction and a revolution founded on the basis of solidarity and reciprocity.  Socialism stands for the end of the war and poverty. In capitalist society, the world is divided into states with opposed interests. The world is split up, separated by frontiers and impassable fences and walls. Nowhere is there security. There is talk of peace while there is preparation for war. The need for disarmament is announced while the powers arm to the teeth. Capitalist society has made of science an instrument of destruction for inventing weapons of war. A world revolution will replace the struggle between nations and will make of the earth one country single and indivisible. Socialists advocate everywhere solidarity and their slogan is “Workers of the world, Unite!” True freedom does not exist where property is not common property or where a man or woman is the slave of another, where the capitalist state has control of our lives and our wealth. Liberty in our society is an empty word, a word without meaning, a lie.  The wage system will have to give way to socialism which will bring to an end the exploitation of man by man and slavery in all its forms. Capitalist society condemns to poverty, enforced idleness, and starvation those whom it cannot employ for the purpose of enriching the capitalist class.

The Socialist Party opponents tell us that we are not practical, that we are dreamers, Utopians, visionaries. Our critics confront us with human nature and those academics or public figures say “You want to change society to ensure happiness to all and give everyone equality of rights. You forget, human nature! Mankind is by nature selfish and bad. You will never be able to change peoples' innate characters. Your ideals and intentions are good. But only angels can tread the ground you seek to build” And to this the Socialist Party replies. “This same human nature argument was advanced against those who wished to abolish slavery by thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle” Slavery has been abolished. Anybody who today would advocate the establishment of slavery in its old form would be looked upon as an enemy of the humankind. And would be told that there is something in human nature which cannot tolerate the existence of slavery.

Socialism is not only desirable and possible, it is also an historical necessity. Socialism is now even more feasible because the forces of production, thanks to new technology, have reached an unheard level of development with robotics and automation. They only need to be put in action for the benefit of everyone in order that all members of society may be assured of complete well-being. Modern science has created all the conditions of luxury.  Socialism with each new day becomes more possible and more urgent as a consciousness of cooperation rises among the producers. Our world could become a social heaven yet because of this absurd system in which we live, we find ourselves enduring a social hell. Mankind, instead of co-operating in the building of a shared sustainable home for all, finds itself occupied by an internecine strife in a war of each against all. The result is a useless waste of individuals' strength and the planet's resources. Socialism by ending the cause of these rivalries and conflicts– the private ownership of the means of production – forms a new society based on the principles of human solidarity and reciprocity and economic soundness. It will put an end to all waste and all unproductive work. It will abolish antagonism of interests and reduce authority to a minimum, making it function not in the interests of a class but in the interests of society as a whole. Socialism consists of a rationalisation of production, of all our activities and our very lives themselves. And that, not in the interests of some, but for the benefit of all.

The victory of socialism is desirable because only socialism can put an end to the exploitation of man by man and of women by men. Because only socialism can put an end to the struggle for the re-division of the world, for national possessions, which takes place between the different continents, nations and peoples. Only socialism can put an end to war and poverty and the innumerable injustices which are an everyday feature of our lives.

The capitalist class will not surrender its power through goodwill towards the workers. In order to change the ownership of property, it is necessary to take political power away from the wealthy employing class. This political power which is presently in the hands of the capitalist as a means of self-defence will become in the hands of the workers a weapon for the emancipation of the working-class. Workers, on capturing political power, will ensure the existence of social property, of property common to all. Each class which owns the means of production seeks to obtain political power, control of the State and the armed forces in order to safeguard its exclusive property and maintain its monopoly of ownership. Economic power brings political power. The landlord who exploits directly the ignorant peasant scattered throughout the countryside and unaccustomed to organisation, prefers the power of an absolute monarchy. The owners of machinery – living in a more developed society dependent on science and in which large masses of workers are concentrated in cities – have recourse for the purpose of maintaining its rule to the parliamentary monarchy or a republic. But be it parliamentary monarchy or a republic it is always political power at the service of private property. It is always the armed force at the service of the privileged class. He who possesses property possesses power. The working class is a propertyless class. And is on this account without any real political power. But this situation cannot last indefinitely. The working class will come to realise that it is the plaything and victim of a system which exists only through its efforts and which heartlessly exploits it.

There should be collective ownership of what is collectively produced. The working class in possession of the means of production, whether, produced by its own efforts or through the bounty of nature, will cease to be the wage-slave of the capitalist class.  Technology will cease to be a rival to the worker and will instead become an aid and an ally. Socialism is based on the recognition of the interests which are common to all and is a concept which does not sacrifice the individual for the sake of society nor society for the sake of the individual. The objective of socialism is a free individual in a free society, the well-being of each assured by the well-being of all in a well-organised society.

Summer School

Summer School 2017

Summer School 2017  21st – 23rd July Fircroft College, Birmingham   These days, con...