Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Unwanted Children

Child refugees from Calais are being forced to live in a former detention centre because the Home Office refused to enact a resettlement strategy to safely house unaccompanied minors. Despite months of warnings from the French authorities that the Calais camp would close the Home Office elected not to act on a plan designed and agreed by local councils to ensure vulnerable child refugees were adequately housed when they came to Britain. 

A source close to the process said: “Politically, the Home Office did not want this to happen, so it didn’t do anything. Therefore as the camp comes to closure it’s a panic – all the work you should have done over three to six months you do over three to six hours. They cannot place the child in a number of cases because none of the checks have been done.”
Andy Elvin, chief executive of Tact, the UK’s largest fostering and adoption charity with more than 500 carers, said: “It’s embarrassing for a developed nation not to have managed this more professionally. We’re not even talking about a massive number of children.”

The failure to prepare adequately means some child refugees have been forced to stay at a “pre-departure” immigration detention unit called Cedars, near Gatwick airport. Cedars was shut by the government in July following criticism over the policy of imprisoning children and family awaiting removal from the country. 

The Refugee Sweat-shops

Only a tiny percentage of the estimated 3 million Syrians who have sought refuge in Turkey have work permits. To survive, they have to work illegally, without any rights, and for low wages. A made-to-measure workforce for the garment industry, and a reminder that one person's plight is often another's opportunity. Finding Syrian refugees and children making branded clothes for the UK market was relatively straightforward.

Some of them were being paid a little over £1 an hour, well below the Turkish minimum wage. The 15-year-old boy told me he wanted to be in school but he couldn't afford not to work. So he was spending more than 12 hours a day ironing clothes that are then shipped to the UK. Efforts are being made to get them into education but it's estimated that as many as 400,000 are working, many of them in the garment industry.

All the clothes brands say they regularly inspect the factories making their clothes to guarantee standards. Some of these audits are unannounced. But the Syrian boys explained how the factories got round this problem. When the auditors arrive, they are hidden out of sight. And when the auditors leave, they go back to work. As simple as that. Other factories may never be visited by auditors because as far as the brands are concerned, they don't make their clothes. They're part of the chain of sub-contractors who make up much of the garment industry in Turkey. They take orders from so-called first-tier factories - official suppliers to the brands - but often without the knowledge of the brands themselves.

Big fashion brands are profiting from refugees and their children. All the brands involved say they are completely opposed to child labour and any exploitation of Syrian refugees. But the BBC Panorama  investigation shows they sometimes don't know how or where their clothes are being made. And until the brands know exactly who is making their clothes, then this type of exploitation is almost certain to continue.

Remembering the Hungarian Uprising

The Hungarian Uprising of 1956 was a revolt against the government of the Hungarian People's Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies that saw Russian tanks smashing down Hungarian workers. The Hungarian uprising began on October 23rd when the Secret Police, the A.V.O., fired on a crowd estimated at 200,000 demonstrating outside the radio station. The next day Russian tanks were called in but were forced to retreat. The government under the newly appointed Prime Minister Imre Nagy, lost control. Workers Councils, loosely linked together, organised the distribution of food supplies and the resistance to the Russians. Despite hunger and poverty there was surprisingly an absence of looting in the city. Shops with broken windows had their goods left intact.

The rebels demanded:
(1) The establishment of a democracy of the Western type.
(2) The free formation of parties of all types.
(3) Free elections.
(4) An armistice for the insurgents and complete withdrawal of all Soviet forces.

As well as recognition for the Workers Councils, higher wages, higher pensions, less piecework, higher family allowances, more houses and so on.

This mixed bag of demands could not even have begun to be met by the regime. Nagy, attempted to placate the Nationalist sentiment of the insurrectionists with his counter-proposals:-

(1) An armistice for all who took part in the fighting.
(2) The creation of a new police force based on the Army and workers' and youth groups.
(3) Dissolution of the Secret Police.
(4) The reinstatement of the Kossuth coat-of-arms in place of the Communist insignia.
(5) The restoration of the 15th March as a national holiday. This date is the anniversary of the Kossuth rebellion of 1848, which was put down by the then Russian Czar.

Developments forced Nagy to adopt a different stand, so that on the 30th October, he announced the abolition of the one party system and formed a government, including Agrarians and Social Democrats. Nagy's 'concessions' were too late to satisfy the rebels. With the Government ineffectual, power was moving towards the revolutionary workers' councils. The Communist Party slogans had said that workers were the ruling class, now, through the councils, the workers were putting it into practice.

Condemned as fascist counter-revolutionaries, the uprising was very much a nationalist one but the restoration of the old order was not on their agenda.
 The Smallholders Party leader Bela Kovacs made clear: "No one, I believe, wants to re-establish the world of the aristocrats, the bankers and the capitalists. That world is definitely gone."
 Likewise National Peasants Party leader Ferenc Farkas: "We shall retain the gains and conquests of socialism..." 
Even Catholic Party leader Endre Varga saw no point in trying to turn back the clock - "We demand the maintenance of the social victories which have been realised since 1945..." 
Of the twenty or more new papers that appeared within days of the uprising none were right wing. One that tried to publish found the compositors refusing to touch it.

The first workers' council was at the United Lamp factory in Budapest representing ten thousand workers. Within days workers' councils were being set up across the country. Moves to centralise and strengthen the movement resulted in a Parliament of Workers' Councils for the whole of Budapest, drafting a statement of the duties and rights of the workers' councils with nine points, here in full:

1. The factory belongs to the workers. The latter should pay to the state a levy calculated on the basis of the output and a portion of the profits.
2. The supreme controlling body of the factory is the Workers' Council democratically elected by the workers.
3.  The Workers ' Council elects its own executive committee composed of 3-9 members, which acts as the executive body of the Workers' Council, carrying out the decisions and tasks laid down by it.
4. The director is employed "by the factory. The director and the highest employees axe to be elected 'by the Workers' Council. This election will take place after a public general meeting called "by the executive committee.
5. The director is responsible to the Workers' Council in every matter which concerns the factory.
6. The Workers' Council itself reserves all rights to:
a. approve and ratify all projects concerning the enterprise;
b. decide basic wage levels and the methods by which these are to be assessed;
c. decide on all matters concerning foreign contracts;
d. decide on the conduct of all operations involving credit.
7. In the same way, the Workers' Council resolves any conflicts concerning the hiring and firing of all workers employed in the enterprise.
8. The Workers' Council has the right to examine the balance sheets and to decide on the use to which the profits are to be put.
9. The Workers Council handles all social questions in the enterprise.

It was an attempt to establish workers' control, and, to an extent, workers' self-management, in the work-place. It wasn't concerned with abstractions but with a day-to-day reality and it represented a starting-point for the workers' councils

The Russians launched a counter-attack on November 4th. 150,000 men and thousands of tanks were used. Nagy appealed to the U.N. and took refuge in the Yugoslav embassy. A puppet government under Kadar took over. The military defeat of the Hungarian workers and peasants took just over a week. Resistance continued for many months but the rising had been crushed. As long as the workers’ councils held the legitimacy of worker’s interests, Kadar's government had to defuse their militancy. Attempts to “legalise” and emasculate them were met by strikes, so in November 1957, the Hungarian government simply abolished them.  

The United Nations Committee investigating the uprising was told by a Hungarian professor of philosophy, "It was unique in history that the Hungarian revolution had no leaders. It was not organised; it was not centrally directed. The will for freedom was the moving force in every action." The same point is well made by two fighters: "There was no organisation whatsoever, consequently there was no discipline either, but there was astonishingly good teamwork." "Some people got together, fought, went home, then others came and continued the fight." The workers of Hungary proved once again that freedom comes from below, not from any leadership ('revolutionary' or otherwise). That the Uprising had no leaders was not a sign of weakness but of strength, for while it is possible to execute a few leaders, it is much more difficult to execute a whole people and a people who do not place their faith in a leadership, cannot be subsequently betrayed by them.

Continuing resistance can be gauged from the scale of the repression: the curfew was not lifted until May 1957; summary justice was not brought to an end till November 1957; during 1957 and 1958, executions occurred virtually every day; two years after the revolution, there were some 40,000 political prisoners; in 1959, nine members of the Ujpest Workers' Council were executed. It was not till January 1960 that death sentences were officially ended for 'offences' during the revolution. The last internment camps were closed in June 1960, but several hundred rebels were not released from prison till the late 'sixties and early 'seventies.

When those Russian tanks invaded Hungary to quell a popular rebellion for democratic rights it destroyed any lingering illusions that state-capitalist Russia was anything other than an oppressive occupying power. One political cost was the damage done to the British Communist Party with many of its members resigning, from which it never recovered.

Approximately 200,000 (about 2% of the Hungarian population at the time) fled abroad as refugees. The present prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban should be reminded of this fact when he builds his razor-wire fences and deploys his police and border guards to keep out the current refugees who are fleeing repression.  


Prejudice against African Americans was first spread by Southern capitalists to serve their economic interests. To ensure itself a pool of cheap and unresisting labour for menial tasks and field work, the Southern ruling class decades ago enacted Jim Crow segregation laws. One of the bitter fruits of these laws was the inferior education for black workers, adequate for cotton picking, but not for most industrial occupations. Then African American workers migrated to urban centers by the hundreds of thousands. The Southern agricultural capitalists, in their hunger for ever higher profits, had displaced them with machines and cast them adrift. Northern capitalists soon joined them in exploiting the black man's colour to form a pool of cheap labour. The racial antagonisms today convulsing America are nourished by the bitter competition for jobs. White workers believe they benefit from the exclusion of black workers from large areas of the job market. And there are black workers who want to make the same mistake: they hope to benefit from the creation of a separate African American economy that excludes white workers.

Both overlook a basic fact: The United States is not "two nations, one white, the other black"! It is a capitalist nation in which the line of division is economic, one of class. The American people are split into two social classes, one of which owns the industries, and the other does not. The former are the capitalists, the latter are the workers. The capitalist owners, black and white, have interests in common that are directly opposed to those of all workers, whatever their color. Between capitalists and workers, there is a class struggle that cannot be appeased. Racism, far from benefiting either white or black workers, benefits their capitalist exploiters by dividing the working class.

The hideous conditions of life in the slums, the soul-searing humiliations that are the everyday punishment inflicted on African American workers and workers of other racial minorities, the endless frustrations that defeat the strongest wills of black workers caught in the racial dead ends called ghettos -- these are facts that need no repeating here. What is needed is to emphasize that resistance is the logical consequence of capitalism's inability to change or even ameliorate these conditions. With all the sympathy that it is possible for a humane mankind to summon for the suffering, anguish, and despair of our fellow African American fellow-workers, brutalized victims of criminal capitalism, understanding their anger and bitterness and agreeing that their anger and bitterness are justified, the Socialist Party nevertheless urges all who are inclined to listen to the advocates of violence to reflect, and to reflect soberly. No one should doubt that riot and disorder would cause enormous damage and bloodshed and that damage will be in your own neighbourhoods themselves. And it will be inflicted by minions of capitalist law, many of whom are ready, willing and eager to wage war on those whom they fear and hate.

Revolution is absolutely necessary if the horrible conditions of daily life and all the problems of our cities and of society are to be ended. But such a revolution cannot be accomplished only by black people alone. Indeed, it can only be achieved by the working class in its entirety. his follows because it is only the working class (black, brown and white, male and female, skilled and unskilled, young and old, able-bodied or not so fit) that can complete the all-important constructive phase of building society on socialist lines. Only the workers, organized in the World Socialist Party, can avert paralysis and chaos. And they will do it, not with guns, but with the ballot. We shall be secure, healthy and happy human beings living in peace, harmony and freedom, in marked contrast to the capitalist jungle of strife, misery, and insecurity in which we live today. African American, Hispanic and white workers alike must face the fact that the task confronting them is to organise their political and economic power - not to demand merely the amelioration of the horrible conditions of their lives, but to demand the abolition of the capitalist system of wage slavery. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

American Hegemony

US Army General Wesley Clark said in 1991
“..we learned that we can use our military in the region in the Middle East and the Soviets won’t stop us. He said, and we have got about five or ten years to clean up those all Soviet client regimes; Syria, Iran, Iraq, – before the next great super power comes on to challenge us.”

The goal of US intervention across the planet has been to establish global hegemony before another rising world power could balance American geo-political dominance. Today, the USA on the brink of war with Russia in Syria, and with China in the South China Sea. The United States has run out of time and finds the leading edge of its ambitions chaffing against a re-emerging Russia and a rising China.

Washington has concocted an array of excuses as to why it is involved in Syria’s conflict, running the full gambit from fearing “weapons of mass destruction” to fighting terrorists to addressing humanitarian concerns, but the reality of America’s involvement in Syria boils down to the pursuit of the latest and most desperate leg of its rush to dominance before emerging world powers reintroduced balance and limits to American hegemony.

Hat-tip Wee Matt

Make this world ours

 All things are held in common

In socialism, the planet will be like the one you know, but also very different. There is no money. There is no war. There are no rich people. There are no poor people. There are no leaders. All decisions are shared. All responsibilities are shared. Instead of competing to survive, people cooperate to live.

This is Earth, under new management. Ours.

You now have no bills to pay, no rent, no mortgage, no debts. Everything is free, nothing is for sale, and neither are you. But you want to help, just like others do. There are a hundred things you could do, a thousand more you could train to do.

You might have chosen to drive a bus or a train, fix the plumbing, coordinate a data network, plough a field, teach a child, organise an event, study engineering, cure a disease, brew beer, rehearse a play. You might choose to work four hours a week, or fourteen or forty. What you do makes everyone better off. That’s your recompense, and it’s better than money. It’s job satisfaction. It’s fulfillment. It’s a life on your own terms, a life worth living. It’s why you make the commitment to work.

This is Earth, as it could be in the near future. It won’t be created by the politicians of capitalism. It will be created by us, all of us who now produce everything, working together. We can say ‘We want this’. Then we organise to make it happen.

Against our combined communications the billionaires can do nothing. Together we can force referendums, elections, votes and take control of nation states. Then abolish property laws and the agencies that enforce them and take control of factories, land, services. It can be democratic, peaceful, and effective. We take control. We take our lives back.

This new Earth is not Utopia. There are problems, issues, arguments, accidents, mistakes, false starts or blind alleys. But cooperative management solves the problems as today’s arrogant leaderships never did.

If you agree with this you can let others know that this is what you want. 

Stressful jobs can kill

A new study confirms the less control you feel you have at your job, the more likely you are to drop dead. Studying over 2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over the course of seven years, researchers found “those in high-stress jobs with little control over their workflow die younger or are less healthy than those who have more flexibility and discretion in their jobs and are able to set their own goals as part of their employment.” 

The study also found those with little control over their work timeline on a day-to-day-basis are 15.4 percent more likely to die than those who are given the opportunity to craft their own daytime schedule. People who are able to choose when to take a break or grab a cup of coffee actually live longer than their more regimented peers.

A recommendation of the study is for companies to engage in and encourage "job crafting," a process whereby employees help craft a meaningful and productive job for themselves where they can set goals. This news seems to suggest that a more hands-off approach to managing employees not only helps foster goodwill, but actually provides health benefits—no matter the person’s industry or position. The takeaway—that enterprises are better off insuring their employees have a proper work-life balance—falls in line with current conventional wisdom that companies with pro-employee policies function more efficiently.

In Japan, there is a word for dropping dead from work stress: karoshi. However, let us remember the word for dropping dead from no work and no possibility of work: starvation.

To be conveniently ignored

Sea-Watch, a German charity, said its rescue ship was deployed by the Italian coastguard to help an overcrowded dinghy off the coast of Libya. They arrived to find a rubber dinghy packed with 150 people, and proceeded to give those on board life jackets and help them to safety.

But during the operation, a vessel marked with the insignia of Libya’s national coastguard approached, and armed men boarded the migrant boat, attempting to detach its motor. These men attacked the refugees, hitting them with clubs while preventing the rescuer’s two speedboats from intervening. A situation of mass panic on board the rubber boat ensued and the rubber boat collapsed, causing the majority of the 150 people to slip into the water. More than 20 refugees are feared to have died.

“This latest incident of alleged Libyan official units endangered not only the crew of rescue volunteers but moreover caused the death of many migrants,” Sea-Watch said in a statement.  “It is unclear why Libyan Coast Guard engaged the way it did. Sea-Watch calls for an immediate and detailed investigation of this violation of humanitarian law.”

Britain is among the countries training Libyan coastguard and naval personnel in an attempt to stem the number of boats being launched from the country’s shores.

We should not expect too much of an investigation by the UK. A diplomatic blind eye will be turned to the event and the needless deaths will be ignored. 

Socialism will end racism

Racism is an evil that has subjected millions to degrading and humiliating discrimination. While a great deal of effort has been made to minimise and alleviate the effects of racism, nothing -- absolutely nothing -- has been done to eliminate its cause. The basic cause of racism is not the false ideas or racial myths conceived and spread by the white supremacists. Rather, the cause of racism is the competitive, strife-ridden, class-divided capitalist system of society under which we live, and under which we desperately attempt to survive.

By forcing ethnic and racial minorities into submissive patterns of behavior the ruling class supplies itself with a pool of cheap, compliant labour. This is one way the capitalists benefit from race prejudice and race discrimination. But there is another, more subtle way. We have shown that labor's product is divided between the wages paid to the workers and the surplus value taken by the capitalists.  We said it's like dividing an apple - if one part is smaller, then the other part is larger, and vice versa. Now, by the very nature of things, there is a struggle between the capitalists and workers over this division. The capitalists, either because they are forced by competitive compulsions, or out of sheer profit hunger, constantly try in one way or another to increase their share. Contrariwise, the workers resist and strive to maintain their living standards, and even improve them. Here we can see the focal point of the class struggle that rages in modern society. We socialists hold that this struggle is irrepressible and irreconcilable. It can be ended only when the workers, male and female, black, brown and white, skilled and unskilled, Christian, Muslim and Jew, unite as a class to put an end to capitalist exploitation. The point is this -- race prejudice is one of the most insidious, and effective devices ever invented to keep the workers divided and fighting each other.

Another factor to be noted is the competitive nature of capitalism. And it isn't just the capitalists who are competing against each other; the workers also are cast in the role of competitors. They must compete for jobs. Now, then, the fewer the number of workers competing for the jobs, say of carpenters, the better chance each man has. And one way to keep the competition down is just to keep ethnic minorities who are easily identified, out of the carpenter market. Of course, there has got to be some justification for such discrimination. So we find it in the myths that circulate about races. These myths and libels are not looked at too carefully. They are believed when it serves one's material interests to believe them. And so the working class is kept divided, the capitalist class remains in the saddle -- and the outmoded capitalist system keeps all of our society in turmoil and conflict, postponing the day of international peace and social harmony.

There is but one way to end this irreconcilable struggle. That is by abolishing this outmoded capitalist system, and replacing it with socialism. Only a united, class-conscious working class can accomplish such a revolutionary change. Obviously, it is in the capitalists' interests to prevent the working class from uniting. And race prejudice is one of the most effective divide, and rule devices ever invented for blinding the workers to their class interests and keeping them divided and fighting each other, instead of forming a solid front against their exploiters.

What is the answer? How is mankind to win fulfillment of the dream of human solidarity? How are we to purge our minds of prejudice and to realize that the colour of a person’s skin has no more real significance than whether a person is tall or short or fat or thin or brown-eyed or blue-eyed? There is but one way. That is to remove the capitalist cause of race prejudice and to lay a sound economic foundation for human brotherhood. Well, the Socialist Party says that first of all, we must outlaw private ownership of the land and industries. We must make the means of social production the property of all the people socially. Then, instead of producing things for sale and profit, we will carry on production to satisfy human needs. In short, we replace the competition and strife of capitalism with the cooperation and collective interests of socialism.

The Socialist Party is fully conscious of the humiliation and sufferings of black and brown fellow-workers. We fully share with them their yearnings for a better life. But candour and honesty compel us to point out that only the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism can put an end to race prejudice, and establish the kaleidoscope of mankind on a sound material foundation. By making the means of production, distribution and social services the collective property of society, we shall be able to use our collective productive genius to create abundance and leisure for all in a sane, peaceful and democratic socialist industrial commonwealth. To establish such, the workers of all lands must organise in accordance with the economic and political conditions to demand at the ballot box that all the means of life become the common property of society.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton or Trump

Q: Clinton and Trump are together in a plane crash, who survives?
A: the planet

The presidential debates are now over. Opinion polls have Clinton in the lead. Clinton presents herself as the progressive candidate, nevertheless, she will be beholden to the Wall Street tycoons. As Sandra Sarandon said, “They haven't contributed millions of dollars to her campaign for nothing.”

Trump is not a new phenomenon within the American society. The history of American politics is littered with demagogue populism, of which some have been Third Party or independent candidates, while at other times members of the duopoly. Some journalists would like that Donald Trump is depicted as an aberration. Indeed so, in the difference between Trump and Clinton is that he has as far as we know, ordered people killed. There is little if any difference either between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, over treating women with dignity because many women have been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Her defense of women is hypocritical and fraudulent.

The progressive political commentator, John Pilger, can view Trump as the lesser evil because of his isolationist position on foreign policy:
“Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted “exceptionalism” is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.”
 Pilger has remarked on the censorship of his anti-Clinton critique by a liberal website. 

Surely it is by your friends you keep that you are judged. Negroponte and Kissinger, are endorsing her, both were involved with dictators, terrorists, drugs dealers, and both supported fascistic death squads. 

Others endorsing Clinton:
* Max Boot – A hard-line war hawk and self-declared “American imperialist”
* Eliot Cohen – Founding Signatory for the Project for the New American Century
* Robert Kagan – A former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential neocon in academe”
* Richard Armitage – Former Deputy Secretary of State who admitted that he was the source who first revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame
* Madeline Albright – Who said it was “worth it” in describing the 500,000 Iraqi children who died because of U.S. sanctions
* Brent Scowcroft – National Security adviser to Bush #1
* Henry Paulson – Former Treasury Secretary and key bailout architect
* Leon Panetta – Former Director of the CIA
* Dan Senor, a leading neoconservative operative and former foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney, who declared, “Hillary is more hawkish than any of us!”
*Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl gave $5 million to the Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC—Priorities USA Action—between 2015 and 2016. Of that sum, at least $3 million was contributed following Clinton’s letter to Haim Saban in July of 2015, in which she sought advice on "how we can work together” to defeat the growing movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction (BDS) Israel.

Republican and Democrats is just the same dog wearing different collars, they are interchangeable. Hilarity Clinton is the ideal Republican Party candidate.

Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, is on the very right of the Democratic party and a Wall St clone, supporting new de-regulation of the banks and supporting the TPP and TTIP trade deals. The Damnocrat Kaine has a long history of defending his state’s right-to-work law. A decade ago, when he was governor, Kaine referred to Virginia’s right-to-work measure as “a law I strongly support.” PolitiFact Virginia concluded: “he supported Virginia’s right-to-work laws during his gubernatorial campaign and his four years in office. Even the group that seeks to expand these laws [the National Right to Work Foundation] concedes Kaine did few things that troubled them.” The election of this senator as Vice-President is an indication of what would be the future of the US working class, whoever they elect is going to affect them and benefits the rulers. New York Senator Chuck Schumer explains, "For every blue-collar Democrat we will lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two or three moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia."

 Hewlett Packard executive Meg Whitman, typically a strong fundraiser for the Republican Party, announced that she would be supporting Clinton, both at the ballot box and through donations.This endorsement followed those of Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, and Warren Buffett. But the focus on high-profile billionaires obscures the broader discussion of the Democratic Party's move away from labor and toward wealthier, white-collar professionals, whose views on economic issues in particular, are often antithetical to the ambitious changes necessary to combat the trends that have left millions without even the most basic of necessities. Hillary Clinton has, in light of these recent endorsements, predictably attempted to differentiate between "good" billionaires and "bad" billionaires. Clinton has been blessed by the members of the ruling class, now it is just the formality of ritually anointing her President. The choice has already been made by the oligarchs before the general election takes place. She is going to be the winner. All the irregularities made during the primaries favoring Clinton over Sanders has shown that she is the selected as the chosen one.

By, exposing Clinton, we are in no way expressing sympathy for Trump who made all his money from the sweat of the working class. The de-industrialization of the US brought the real estate boom and the finance of real estate property by the banking system, and the price of real estate was inflated, and poor peoples were thrown out from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and the poor neighborhood of the US, and it was called the process of gentrification. The real estate market is based on parasitism in the same way as the banking system. He is gaining popularity based on the false dreams of millions of workers.
The main problem of the US is not to defeat Donald Trump, the main essential problem is capitalism.  Whoever wins the presidential election will become the captain of the battleship and the representative of the capitalist economy.

As socialists, we are opposed to choosing between politicians who are pledged to administrate the affairs of the capitalist system. Why? Because no form of capitalism is worth voting for. Neither Clinton nor Trump has any intention of making fundamental changes to society to benefit workers, nor could they without a mandate to do so from the American working class. Both seek to maintain a society that causes war, pollution, racism, societal breakdown, unemployment, and poverty. Clinton may do a bit better than Trump, but as socialists, we don't care about a bit better, but a whole lot better, which won't happen until a fundamental change is made in society. A change that will eliminate the above social evils – a change called socialism.

Fact of the Day (US working hours)

Europeans work up to 19 percent fewer hours annually compared to those working in the US, according to research. For Americans, that's 258 hours extra per year or about an hour per working day.

The Guilty

Thanks to the groundbreaking work of geographer Richard Heede, we  know that a relatively small number of investor- and government-owned companies are responsible for two-thirds of human-caused carbon emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Heede’s 2014 study found that just 90 companies accounted for 65 percent of worldwide carbon emissions between 1854 and 2013.

What’s more, half of those companies’ total emissions have occurred since 1988—long after the scientific community and the public became aware of the threat posed by global warming.

The Union of Concerned Scientists rated the business practices of the top eight U.S. investor-owned fossil fuel companies on Heede’s list that are U.S.-based or have a North American affiliate. Together, these eight companies are responsible for nearly 15 percent of worldwide industrial carbon emissions since the 1850s and have spent tens of millions of dollars over the last two decades to deceive the public about the reality of climate change. In order of emissions magnitude, they are:
1. Chevron
2. ExxonMobil
3. BP
4. Royal Dutch Shell
5. ConocoPhillips
6. Peabody Energy
7. Consol Energy
8. Arch Coal

ExxonMobil, has consistently disparaged climate science and recommended that societies learn to adapt to global warming. “Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said at the company’s 2015 annual shareholder meeting, “and those solutions will present themselves as the realities become clear.”
Never mind that the realities of climate change have been clear for many years—and the company’s own scientists warned Exxon’s upper management decades ago about the “potentially catastrophic” risks posed by global warming. The company has spent at least $33 million since 1998 on a network of more than 60 think tanks, advocacy groups and trade associations, many of which continue to distort climate science and denigrate renewable energy to this day. ExxonMobil, flatly reject the idea of diversifying into renewables because, as Rex Tillerson told his shareholders, “We choose not to lose money on purpose.” Given that scientists project energy companies worldwide will have to leave 60 to 80 percent of their reserves in the ground to ensure average temperatures do not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius, that’s shortsighted thinking at best.

Chevron and ExxonMobil are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive business lobby group that denies human activity is driving climate change and provides its state legislator members with sample bills to undermine renewable energy. BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell have quit ALEC but still belong to the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who misrepresent climate science and oppose government efforts to curb carbon emissions. Peabody Energy deny there is a scientific consensus about climate change in its legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

End War - End Capitalism


"The system under which we have lived has been a predisposing cause of war even though those who direct and profit by it have desired peace." - Church of England, 1941

Campaigns, marches, protests, and demonstrations have failed to end wars. The fact is that all modern wars are the result of the rivalry and competition of the ruling classes of the respective nations of the world for the markets and resources of the globe. When the anti-war activists attack 'militarism' and yet uphold the capitalist system, they are fighting an effect while defending the cause. As long as the peace movements refuse, or are unwilling, to admit the cardinal point that capitalism with its production for profit and private ownership of production is the cause of war, they will find themselves fighting endless reforms or effects under capitalism which never lead to a solution but only to frustration and despair. The only road to permanent peace lies in the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by genuine socialism under which goods will be produced for use and the means of wealth production will be socially owned. Militarism is part and parcel of a capitalist system based on profit-motivated production.

President Woodrow Wilson clearly stated this truth in 1919, when he said:
"Why my fellow citizens is there any man here, or any woman -- let me say, is there any child here -- who does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?"

This truth was stated quite frankly in a United States Navy document inserted in 1947, edition of the Congressional Record:
"Realistically, all wars have been for economic reasons. To make them politically palatable, ideological issues have always been invoked."

General Leonard Wood, speaking to capitalists before the Lake Mohunk Conference in 1915, said: "We soldiers and sailors are merely your trained servants. You create wars, we try to terminate them. Nine out of ten wars are based on trade." (emphasis ours.)

"We will move this year a step toward our ultimate goal - the elimination of all nuclear weapons from this earth." So said Jimmy Carter on his Inauguration in 1977. Well, we are still waiting and rather than the elimination of those nuclear weapons we are witnessing their modernisation and upgrading.

The many antiwar movements will come to naught unless they quickly learn that capitalism is the cause of war. They must listen to and heed the case of the Socialist Party.

It should be obvious that without the participation of the working class in the economy or in the military services, no war would be possible. But unfortunately, the working class is disorganised. In every country in the world, it is so fragmented as to be powerless. It's up to us to stop wars by building not just a renewed peace movement, but a deeper one for a fundamental change to a new society. We can build a world of peace, plenty, and freedom, or tolerate the destruction of civilisation. Our choice is one of taking action to build that better world or of being passive and inactive while the capitalist despotic destroyers end the world for themselves and us. Our "war" is the class war, and the enemy we face is the capitalist class. The causes of war that existed under capitalism will no longer exist under socialism and only with socialism can permanent peace become a reality instead of just a dream as at present. We believe that it is inescapable that the only way to end wars is a fundamental change to an entirely new social system. By establishing socialism, society would be free of the ruling-class motives and economic drives that impel them to dominate other nations and expand that domination. We would have instead a rational, democratically planned economic system that could function harmoniously on a worldwide scale, eliminating the need for militarism generally, including nuclear arms, and creating a stable, secure, and lasting world peace. Nationalism is a great aid to the capitalist class, so it is probable that they will continue to spend millions to enhance it. Our only hope for a peaceful and humane world is for the workers of all nations to overcome their divisive nationalism, and unite and organize to create a world without borders, armies and wars.

We have been under the direction of men and women in government who were supposedly our "best minds." And what a sorry mess has been made of things. We have suffered the misery of wars and recessions. Billions still live in abject poverty in the midst of actual and potentially greater abundance. Our political leaders have failed us in the past so why should we expect that they won’t fail us again? The fact is, it is not "leaders" who cause war; war is caused by economic competition, by the international struggle for foreign markets and sources of raw materials. Capitalist nations must export or die.

If this world is to have a future -- if the perilous arms race is to be halted and nuclear war averted -- the capitalist cause of war must be uprooted. Let no prejudices, no false loyalties to outmoded institutions, prevent you from accepting this irrefutable logic. All of us have an inescapable obligation to future life on this planet. That obligation is to reorganise our society in such a way as to eliminate war-breeding competition and replace it with peaceful cooperation and fraternity. This means we must each of us begin now to educate ourselves so that we may understand and educate others. Peace is possible. But it requires that the working class to unite politically to outlaw private ownership at the ballot box.  Peace is possible but not until production for sale and private profit is supplanted by production for use. Only then will there be cooperation to raise the cultures and living standards of all peoples. And only then will the burden of fear be lifted.

The Socialist Party answer is that the cause of war in the modern world is to be found in the inevitable economic rivalries among dominant, competitive capitalist groups in capitalist society, having world domination as their objective. The Socialist Party's answer is that we can uproot the cause of war by organising to uproot the capitalist system. Workers have more than the necessary numbers to vote capitalism out and socialism in, as proposed by the Socialist Party. We would then have social ownership of the industries, under the democratic management of the workers themselves. There would be no markets and no commerce that would have to be protected by armed force. There would be no cause for war. We would have Socialism, not the phony socialism of government ownership, not the bureaucratic state despotism that once existed in the Soviet Union, but a genuine socialist society, resting on the basis of economic freedom. This new social system that the workers alone can bring into being, can forever put an end to war by establishing the society of human brotherhood based on freedom, peace, and abundance.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spain's falling population

Spain by 2050 will be a depopulated nation dominated by elderly and single people, according to a report.

Spain's population set to drop 11% by 2050. Low birth rate and high life expectancy ‘will lead to 5.3 million fewer inhabitants and over-65s making up 34% of total.

A quarter of a million Spaniards will be over 100 years old. By that date, there will be 1.7 million fewer children under 10 than there are today.

The Land Grab War

The murder of Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres in March triggered international condemnation, but the outrage has failed to stem the violence. Two more land rights activists in Honduras have been murdered amid a continuing wave of violence against community leaders opposing big business interests. Jose Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionicio George – both members of the Unified Peasant Movement (MUCA) – were shot dead by a group of men outside the organization’s office in Tacoa, in the Bajo Aguán region.

The 2009 coup d’état has made Honduras the world’s most dangerous country for environmental and land activists, leaving at least 120 dead, according to the NGO Global Witness. In the fertile Bajo Aguán, land conflicts have fueled a dirty war in which almost 150 peasant farmers and their supporters have been murdered since the coup, mainly by paramilitary groups.

“Honduras has become a ‘no-go area’ for anyone who dares raise their voice for the protection of the environment,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, director for the Americas of Amnesty International. 

The Bajo Aguán dispute dates back 20 years, to a World Bank-funded land modernisation programme. The farmers say thousands of hectares of land used for subsistence farming were fraudulently transferred to agribusinesses that grow African palms, which are exported to the west for biofuel. MUCA was formed to try and reclaim the land through both legal action and illegal land occupations.

Annie Bird, director of Rights and Ecology which investigates violence in the country, said: “These murders are a direct result of development policies being promoted in the region. Corrupt businessmen with military backing are funding paramilitary groups to consolidate control over the development agenda, by killing leaders and destroying movements which oppose multinational financed mega projects that are not in their community’s interests.”

Health Experts Against Coal

"Ending the use of coal is a simple, no-regrets public health intervention. The rapid phase-out of coal-fired stations is an imperative first step. Coal is the most carbon-intensive source of power generation, and is a key focus for reducing the risks of climate change," the U.K. Health Alliance on Climate Change said in a report. Pollution also disproportionately impacts children and can cause diseases ranging from lung cancer to stroke, killing 40,000 people a year in the country.

"Climate change and air pollution are both major health threats," the report, A Breath of Fresh Air, states. "They share a common driver: the combustion of fossil fuels. Pollution from coal plants alone costs the U.K. as much as £3.1bn each year in human health impacts."
The report calls for replacing coal with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which are beneficial to both air quality and climate safety, which in turn is "advantageous to health," the report states. "Indeed, joining up policies on health, air pollution, and climate change can offset the costs of climate mitigation policies through the health benefits that they bring."

Although the U.K. government promised almost a year ago that it would phase out coal by 2025, the groups raised concerns over the seeming lack of preparation to do so, with no consultation documents published since the plan was announced.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, said the phase-out of coal use "is an essential step towards creating a sustainable energy policy for the U.K. It is also a vital co-benefit for health—ending coal use will deliver long-lasting health and environmental dividends for the British population. Life expectancies will be prolonged, disease and disabilities reduced, and future risks to health diminished. This is an opportunity to be seized." 

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, "Cutting air pollution from coal will greatly benefit the lives of many people with long-term chronic health conditions and help to protect the health of future generations. Tackling air pollution and climate change will have numerous health benefits but it requires a joined-up approach from government to ensure the health impacts are better recognized and fully realized."

Fact of the Day - Lazy unemployed

More than 15,000 people have applied for 78 jobs driving new trains, 200 applications for every vacancy

Rohingya Denied Aid

Food aid deliveries planned for more than 80,000 people in Myanmar's Rakhine state have been blocked because of a military clampdown in the area, according to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP).

About 125,000 Rohingya remain displaced and face severe restrictions on their movements, education and access to food while living in sqaulid camps.

In June, the UN said widespread violations against the Rohingya, including denial of citizenship since they are accused of being illegal immigrants, forced labour and sexual violence could amount to "crimes against humanity".

The EU, in July, urged Myanmar's government to put an end to the "brutal repression" and "systematic persecution" of Rohingyas.

There can be no peace without socialism

To achieve peace we must understand the real cause of war. It would be difficult to find anyone who'd insist that war is a good thing. Mass killing and destruction don't strike most people as any exemplary human behaviour. Yet organised warfare has been a central characteristic of what we call civilisation, which has existed for the past 5,000 years or so. When faced with such a history of unrelenting combat, it is tempting to conclude that human beings have a natural tendency to fight, that it is part of our biology - "human nature" that men,and in particular men, are naturally aggressive and violent, and since the rulers of nations have been usually men, they are the cause of war.

The earliest human communities survived by gathering nature-provided foods - nuts, berries, roots - and by hunting animals. A few such societies still exist in the world and have been studied by anthropologists. Generally, warfare was unknown among such peoples. Their culture was marked by equality and cooperation, where aggressive behavior was discouraged and disparaged. War is thus not a result of human nature. If it were, it would exist among all peoples and cultures.

Warfare does come on the scene when there is something to fight over property. Society developed beyond its early gathering-hunting stage when people learned how to produce food rather than rely on what nature had placed at hand. The growing of fruits and vegetables allowed people to settle down in permanent communities.  It is at this stage of economic development that the temptation to acquire property without work, by instead raiding the neighboring tribe and taking what they had grown, arose.  But at this point the idea of private property, belonging to one individual and no one else, was still largely absent. The kill of the hunt and the booty of war belonged to the community as a whole, and was divided up equally among all the members of the clan or tribe for individual use and consumption, but not private accumulation.

The wealth of a people now depended on the amount of territory it could control for agriculture and grazing land for sheep, goats, and cattle. But as the available land was constant, a competition arose among the growing populations for land, a competition decided by war. With growing surpluses of food more of the labor of the community could be devoted to non-food production, of implements and utensils, clothing, ornaments and other items of expanding variety. As different peoples specialized in different forms of production, trade among them grew, and with trade, a new economic power arose: money. Centres for trading were established, which became the first cities.

The need for standing military forces to protect and expand the territory of a people, and the need for centrally-organised economic projects such as irrigation systems, led to the development of a new form of government. Unlike the kinship-based democracies of old tribal society, the new governments were based on territory, reflecting the importance of land and agriculture. They were governments ruled by military leaders, the kings, who established their centers of power and administration in the fortified cities. These rulers used the military forces at their command not only to battle foreign enemies but also to enforce their will on their own people. They collected taxes from the people, and they distributed what had formerly been communally-owned land to themselves and their fellow warriors, priests, and bureaucrats as their private property.

By making the land their private property they could enjoy and accumulate the wealth the land produced without having to work it themselves. They could do this because their newly-organised political powers, the powers of the newly-formed governments called states, could be used to force other people to do the work. The people forced to work the agricultural estates of the big landowners who controlled the state were the captives of war, who were made slaves. Society was now divided between slaves and free citizens, and between women and men. But there was also a growing division between rich male citizens who owned a lot of land and slaves, and poor male citizens who owned little if any property. With this full development of class division based on ownership of private property and economic exploitation, and with governments organised as militarised states, we arrive at the glorious dawn of civilisation. This was the system of the great empires of the Mediterranean and the Middle East - Babylon, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome.

Warfare was a key component of the imperial system because of the need to conquer other nations for more land, slaves and taxes, and conquer them at the expense of other empires. If a people couldn't make war it perished or was enslaved. Because warfare was necessary for survival, the best warriors were glorified and their attributes of aggression and merciless violence against "the enemy" admired rather than condemned. Despite unparalleled success at empire building, it fell victim to the "internal contradiction" of the imperial system. The costs of making new conquests and the administration of conquered territories eventually exceeded the wealth that could be extracted from them. Rome went into an extended period of decline, and,eventually, its empire broke up under attack from the tribes of northern Europe. Since the fall of Rome, Western civilization has experienced two other social systems, feudalism, and capitalism. Warfare was a central institution of both because the same competition for property continued, though in different forms.

The battles among the feudal lords eventually led to a few being able to control large territories and to become kings of consolidated nations. Once the national boundaries of Europe were pretty much set, the competition spread to other continents. The European states of the 15th through 17th centuries competed for supremacy in international trade, which led to many wars. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they competed for colonies for the raw materials to feed their growing industries, and markets for their finished products.

Today, global capitalism is policed by the uncontested military forces of the United States. Capital now needs unrestricted access to the resources and markets of the entire globe, and any resistance on the part of non-Western peoples to domination by Western capitalism is crushed by military force. The West controls these regions politically by supporting puppet governments in the third world, which it supplies with the weapons to suppress their own people. Of course, we seldom hear of U.S. foreign relations spoken of in this way. Instead of the economic causes of international conflict and war being explained, we are given ideological reasons for our government's actions abroad. When the Soviet Union was the biggest obstacle to U.S. economic expansion, it was supposedly a contest between "communism" and "democracy." Now that it's "Islamic fundamentalism" that raises the biggest resistance, it's our "good" against their "evil."

War, for all its suicidal possibilities, is not irrational. It is a necessary and unavoidable institution of economic systems based on the competition for property, resources, and economic opportunity. What is irrational is to continue an economic system that operates on the assumption that there is a scarcity of resources, a scarcity that requires competition to allocate them for greatest "efficiency," when no such scarcity exists. In fact, the progressive, revolutionary feature of capitalism - its development of the means of wealth creation - has given us an industrial system that can meet the material needs of all and be the basis for the free cultural development of all, rather than for some at the expense of others which is the unavoidable case in situations of scarcity. Yet the way wealth is distributed under capitalism, for the profit of the few rather the benefit of all, creates just such conditions of artificial scarcity which inevitably produce conflicts and wars between nations.

An economic system is not the way it is because of the way people are. People are the way they are because of the way the system is.

As we learn from pre-civilised communities, cooperative economic systems without private property and without political states promote peaceful, humane values. On the other hand, property-centered systems inevitably promote division, strife, and conflict among people.

So it is a grave mistake to think that peace can be achieved within a competitive, acquisitive system. And it is a mistake to think that the political institutions that exist to further the aims of such a system, including through the planning and execution of war can be transformed into peace-promoting bodies.

It doesn't make any difference how many well-meaning people are elected to office, or how many women instead of men, or how many blacks instead of whites. The government must continue to act in ways supportive of the economic system upon which it is based. The elected peace candidates won't change the system; the system will change them. Or, failing to be converted into "practical" politicians, they will be isolated from the real powers of decision-making and eventually become discouraged and give up.

To be effective a peace movement must direct itself to the task of replacing the economic system that causes war. Since this can be done only through the organised action of the great majority, the movement must work to inform itself and the working class at large about the program for establishing a socially-owned, cooperative economic system. Telling people what they already know, that war is bad, is not enough. What needs to be said is how to change society so war will no longer be necessary.

While this seems like an awesome task, one that postpones the achievement of peace to the distant future, we should keep in mind that decade after decade of protests, demonstrations, petitions, civil disobedience and peace campaigns have failed to stop or even slow the spread of war and weapon buildups throughout the world.

If a social revolution is the only way to eliminate war, the sooner we begin organising for that the sooner will we arrive at our goal of peace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Water Problems

Around 783 million people—11 percent of the world's population—don't have access to clean water, which can be deadly. Lack of clean water and sanitation is the ultimate cause of approximately 3.5 million deaths every year.

By 2030, only 60 percent of humanity’s demand for water will be met by existing resources at the current rate of use, according to the U.N. That means four out of 10 people will be without access to water.

2.4 billion people are still using unimproved sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who are still practicing open defecation. India has the highest number, around 190 million people, practicing open defecation, mostly in rural areas. This has led to a number of health impacts, including typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio, trachoma, intestinal worm infections and infectious diarrhea, which kills 760,000 children under the age of five worldwide every single year.

Many nations have been willing to go to extremes not only to protect their water security, but to use water as a military weapon.

"Geopolitics and a history of cross-border disputes have meant that transboundary water issues are perceived largely from a perspective of national security," writes Mandakini Devasher Surie, the Asia Foundation’s senior program officer in India." She says that a "highly securitized approach has severely limited access to water and climate data." By not sharing critical regional water data, Surie argues, it is difficult to get an accurate assessment of water availability. And you can't solve the problem if you don't know the extent of it.

Help defend humanity from catastrophe.


Millions are angry, bitter, resentful and bewildered because of United States' policy in the Middle East. Despite the manifold problems with which the capitalist system daily confronts people, the number-one subject on the minds of most people currently is Syria. There obviously is a growing concern that this civil war may yet prove to be the spark that will set off the nuclear holocaust that could destroy our civilisation and all humanity. It is a fear that prevails throughout the entire world. Most of Americans voted Obama because of his seemingly "sensible" stand on foreign affairs. Now they feel double-crossed and betrayed. This reaction is understandable. Obama had flagrantly violated his pledge not to seek to widen the conflict war. Obama did not act alone. He had powerful lobbies behind him, applauding his "firmness," which was the President's supporters' description for his reckless gambling with the lives of mankind. Nor was it just the State Department that was behind him, nor the professional militarists of the Pentagon -- for whom Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria is a laboratory for war in which to try out new tactical theories and test new weapons. But even more significant than all this was the support the President received from a solid majority of the nation's bankers, industrialists, newspaper publishers and other top capitalists. This was the support that was really determining. It was the support of this country's ruling class acting in response to its material interests.

It is easy to generate emotion over the tragedy in Syria. But to understand it, to understand the forces that propel the United States toward getting involved, is something else again. It is the position of the Socialist Party that it is not possible to understand the Middle Eastern wars without examining it in the context of the world struggle. Why is the U.S. in the Middle East? It has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. Those are mere political window dressing. U.S. capitalism desperately needs control in the region to secure resources – oil for its capitalist economy. World War I was over the issue of world markets and raw materials. World War II was over the same issue.

The repeated crises to which the world is being continuously subjected are not caused by men. There is a more basic cause, one that explains why as one crisis subsides others flares up, and one that also explains why all these crises follow a pattern that has become almost monotonous. This is not to say that men do not play their part, sometimes hastening, sometimes slowing the pace of events and their immediate consequences. The really determining factors, however, are social forces that exert an irresistible pressure on both men and events. Giant imperialist camps are engaged in a "death struggle", often through proxies.  Each is determined to survive, to maintain its ruling-class privileges and to dominate the world. The stakes are enormous. They are nothing less than control of the markets and riches of the earth and of the producing workers everywhere. Both camps possess the means for totally destroying one another. With each crisis, they move closer and closer to open conflict -- to the point of mutual destruction. All other nations are mere pawns. Some are potential markets; others are sources of raw materials; still, others are strategically located along the important trade routes and are considered essential to their defense; many are areas for profitable investment. All of them are "battlefields" on which the East and West are clashing for imperialist objectives.
It has everything to do with coldly calculated material interests, with world markets, with sources of natural resources essential to capitalist survival, with spheres of influence, with lines of communication and trade routes, with areas of profitable investment. The hundreds of thousands of deaths and the refugee crisis in the Middle East is a mess brought about by the outmoded and decadent capitalist system

There is a vital lesson to learn. It is that politicians do not control events; events control them. The truth is that the only hope for peace in the world today lies in the words and deeds of those who are striving to abolish existing systems of class rule and to reconstruct society on sane and sensible Socialist lines. Only when private ownership of the economy is replaced by social ownership, and production for sale and profit by production for use, can we end war-breeding competition and enthrone the peace-preserving principles of cooperation and brotherhood.

Only one thing can prevent the catastrophe toward which the world is heading. That is the establishment of genuine world socialism. There is no acceptable alternative. We must establish a society in which private ownership of the means of life will be replaced by social ownership and democratic control; in which production for sale and the profit of a few will be replaced by production for the benefit and use of all; in which the outmoded political form of government (the State) will be replaced by an industrial form of government. This is the only way we can end the economic ruling-class rivalries that lead to war and the recurring economic crises that increase the compulsions to war.

Socialism will be the opposite of capitalism. Poverty, insecurity, unemployment will be eliminated. War-breeding struggles for markets will be a thing of the past. Totalitarianism will be impossible. Everyone will lead a full life, contributing his or her fair share of the work and receiving his or her fair share of the total social product. We shall have laid the material and economic foundation for social harmony, peace, plenty, and liberty, on the basis Of international human brotherhood. The Socialist Party does not question the sincerity of many of the protesters. But it is duty bound to point out that sincerity is not the issue. Sincerity is like the good intentions that pave the road to hell. Undisciplined by sound knowledge and theory, sentiment runs riot and commits tragic errors. When the looked-for result is not soon achieved the "movement" based on sentiment alone - sincere or otherwise – deflates like a burst balloon.

To conclude: Sentiment and emotion for a good cause are laudable. But without a sound premise and attainable goal, they can only lead to failure and despair. The crying need of our time is not parades, or demonstrations for limited and impossible objectives, but determined, unrelenting action to awaken the working class to the imperative need for a socialist reconstruction of society and to enlighten them on the principles and program for accomplishing that social change in a peaceful, civilised manner. At this late hour, it is the only way to strike a decisive blow for peace and freedom for the workers of all nations. All else is futile and hopeless.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How do we make change?

A new report from the United Nations released Monday brought another dire warning of the catastrophic consequences of climate change—that without putting immediate environmental safeguards into place, 122 million more people could be driven into extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.

Without "widespread adoption of sustainable land, water, fisheries and forestry practices, global poverty cannot be eradicated," it states, calling for "deep transformations in agriculture and food systems," such as greater support for the globe's half-billion small-scale farmers. The report cites diversifying crop production, better integration of farming with the natural habitat, agro-ecology, and "sustainable intensification" as strategies to help small-scale farmers adapt to a warming world.

FAO director general José Graziano da Silva wrote in a forward to the report, "'Business as usual' is not an option. Agriculture has always been the interface between natural resources and human activity. Today it holds the key to solving the two greatest challenges facing humanity: eradicating poverty, and maintaining the stable climatic corridor in which civilization can thrive. We cannot allow the impacts of climate change to overshadow our vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition, where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest," he said. "No one can be left behind."

ETON UP BY FAILURE! (weekly poem)


An Essex Psychotherapist states that David Cameron’s resignation as
PM and then as an MP was because he would be ignored and seen as
a failure - and that his fragile ego could not cope with such a situation.

Recall the ‘Big Society’, (1)
What did it signify?
A sea-change in morality?
Or more pie in the sky? 

Remember the Cons brand new role,
How they would be so ‘Green’;
Dave on his sled at the North Pole, (2)
And all not worth a bean.

His pledge to end Child Poverty, (3)
Contained no ‘ifs or buts’;
And then we had austerity,
Slashed benefits and cuts! 

With our fifth largest GDP,
Still Dave was firing blanks;
Bank bonuses became the key,
And funded our Food Banks.

So graft like Dave, then at a squeeze,
You’ll go to Eton too;
Provided Daddy pays the fees, (4)
You then can jump the queue. 

To being PM with the fame,
Of being at the top;
‘Tis pity this high jump became,
A f… f… Fosbury Flop!

(1)‘The Big Society’ 2010 Tory Manifesto. After slashing
grants to charities, the phrase was dropped from 2013.

(2) ‘Hug a Husky’-2006. After claiming he would lead the
“Greenest government ever”, Cameron later cut energy
efficiency programmes and renewable energy subsidies.

(3) In 2006 Cameron described poverty as a "Moral
disgrace". His government later cut Child Tax Credits.

(4) Eton College Annual Fee: £34,434.

© Richard Layton