Monday, August 12, 2019

North London Branch Meeting (15/8)

Thursday, August 15th 8:00 pm
Torriano Meeting House,
99 Torriano Avenue,
London NW5 2RX

Politicians and media pundits would have us believe that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and that the greed, corruption, poverty and violence of our society are aberrations that can be resolved by some thoughtful reforms. The differences in their solutions are often minor and cosmetic, electoral promises are marketing techniques to lure in the voters. To be successful the goal of political parties is not to exercise power wisely but only to achieve power and maintain it. So it is not surprising that the popular attitude towards politicians is contempt and disgust. The question is how do we envision the possibility of a new, free, cooperative society when answer does not lie in electing a new set of politicians, or a different government to replace the discredited old ones. The Socialist Party's remedy involves people taking control of their workplaces, their neighbourhoods, their communities – directly and without leaders standing in the way. We say it is possible to build a unified world community of cooperation.

Nevertheless, the absence of a viable socialist movement today is an indisputable and depressing fact. It is hardly a profound observation to note that socialists remain politically marginised and ineffectual, a deplorable reality. So deplorable, in fact, that unable to chart a path out of isolation, some on the Left have deluded themselves into a strategy that imagines capturing the Labour Party or the Democratic Party to transform them into a legitimate socialist party, a foolish folly and an exercise in futility. However, in contrast, the Socialist Party remains committed to the conviction that there exists hope and still remains time to halt and reverse the process of degradations brought on by the ravages of capitalism. Our task is to overcome our isolation and frustration. 

The Socialist Party looks beyond the immediate situation and outlines a vision of a future society. The issue is not simply who owns the means of production but the far larger and more complex issues of how goods are produce and distributed, of how work is organised and administered, and of answering the questions on the very way we run our lives, overcoming scarcity and meeting people’s elementary material needs for food and housing in contrast to the mindless commercial consumerism of our throwaway culture. Our planet cannot sustain this wasteful lifestyle. The unrelenting drive for increased growth and production is ecologically infeasible and no longer synonymous with “progress.”

The Socialist Party's ideas of human freedom is envisioned within an entirely new paradigm which transcend the productionist model of capitalism itself. We advocate socialism that is not based on ever-expanding production and consumption but one that establishes a steady-state relationship between human needs and the environment. A socialism that is democratic, non-exploitative, egalitarian, and worldwide. The Socialist Party keeps this ideal alive and endeavours to make it a reality. Its aim is to loosen capitalism’s ideological grip on working people, to free them from the ideas of the ruling class. This is not “pipe dream” talk. We are part of the world socialist movement that is taking shape. We envision no easy transition to socialism. We say that those who see an evolutionary gradualist path to socialism based on an accumulation of reforms – the last reform bringing us socialism – live in a dream world. Any serious examination of reformism shows no significant gains, despite much militancy by many. The Socialist Party does not create the illusion that reforms, in and of themselves, can lead to socialism, or that the ruling class can satisfy the needs of the people by reforms.

We understand that words alone cannot bring socialism but words are only weapon for the present time. The Socialist Party pride itself on the ability to articulate the contradictions of capitalism, how these simultaneously drives workers apart and pushes workers closer together, how they creates the conditions for workers’ self-organisation and then destroys them. To be effective as socialists we need to understand how capitalism organises and also understand how capitalism controls social relationships. The Socialist Party seeks a system that unites rather than divides us and allows all of us to reach our potential. We commit ourselves to that end and call upon fellow-workers to join in this endeavour.

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