Sunday, May 19, 2019

Fast Fashion Fast Pollution

Fashion is the world’s second-most polluting industry after the oil industry. According to the think tank Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), the majority of fast-fashion products are incinerated or trashed within a year. In the U.S., wasted leather, cloth, rubber and other scraps constitute over 8 percent of the total volume of solid waste. The premature trashing of clothes wastes money as well as resources, costing an estimated $460 billion in product value per year. Around the world, the number of times people wear a garment has dropped by a third over the past 15 years, while clothing production has doubled. Americans in particular “wear out” clothes at roughly four times the global rate—snatching up jeans and boots practically faster than we can break them in. And although spring and fall are the main shopping seasons, brands now compete on “micro seasons,” ranging anywhere from 50 to 100 per year—so a hot collection might rotate from the display window to the landfill within weeks.

At the current rate of pollution, the apparel sector’s carbon emissions will balloon by 60 percent by 2030, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, amounting to about a quarter of the global carbon budget. The total share of carbon emissions from the sector by 2050 would actually be equivalent to roughly 300 million tons of oil—more than tripling within a generation.

The whole clothing supply chain ravages water and soil resources. A pair of jeans and a T-shirt, which amount to roughly two pounds of cotton, represent an estimated 20,000 liters of water. In addition, conventional cotton crops absorb about 24 percent of global insecticide sales and 11 percent of pesticide sales. Non-biodegradable plastic, synthetic fibers that are shed in the laundry flush into oceans and poison marine ecosystems, contributing roughly a third of global microplastic water pollution, or half a million tons of plastics. According to the World Bank, textile processing and dyeing contribute up to an estimated 20 percent of industrial water pollution today, the impacts of which are concentrated major producing countries that are already suffering massive water stress, like China.

Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, a global campaign founded in the wake of the horrific factory collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 points out that even the limited “ethical sourcing” programs that brands use to audit their overseas factories are often toothless and unregulated. Although consumer pressure is rising, she observes, fashion remains “a profoundly growth-driven market, rather than a quality-driven market.” And once overproduced goods hit Western retail storefronts, “brands are burning millions and millions and millions worth of product that is unsold.”

Cleaning up fast fashion would necessitate a radical re-imagining of what we wear, who makes it and what it represents. Today, rankings of fashion brands according to the environmental impact of their supply chains show that the vast majority fail to incorporate eco-friendly production methods, including controlling chemical and energy use.

According to Francois Souchet, head of EMF’s Make Fashion Circular program, “Just slowing down isn’t enough … we need to change the way the industry operates quite fundamentally.”  Souchet says, the fashion sector should adopt a fully “circular” industrial infrastructure which relies on renewable energy and recyclable fiber. The circular-economy concept advocates “designing out” waste—deliberately constructing styles for durability, using recycled materials or organic fibers, without requiring hazardous pigments and other chemicals. For brands and consumers, Souchet says, “the incentive is on using what’s been produced more, on producing better, and on ensuring that once it can’t be used anymore, it can actually be turned into something new.”

The mass dumping of secondhand clothes is hardly a sustainable form of “reuse,” critics say, because it hampers higher-quality regional manufacturing in countries like Kenya and Uganda, by distorting the potential market for locally made fashion Recycling alone would not address fast fashion’s social problems, particularly labor abuses in Global South factories. A sustainable supply chain should also support decent jobs.

The Brexit Party: The pop up shop, and it's takers.

Looking strong in the polls, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party appear set to mop up courtesy of the European Parliament being elected through proportional representation.

In an effort to drop the unsavoury baggage associated with the previous party of Brexit  (and in short enough time period to avoid accruing it all once again) Farage has mobilised millionaires and political misfits alike in an effort to drum up popular support for US regulatory and trade standards, all wrapped in the guise of protectionism in the name of the British worker.

The Brexit Party are the political representation of a pop up shop, a flash sale of short term and cheap political messages combined with the financial backing endowed upon the retail giants. While you may get a "branded" coat for three quarters of the price, you can rest assured that there will be a no returns policy, and indeed that the shop may well be vacated by the time you realise any fault.

It is not only Daily Mail readers who appear to be taking the bait. As bemusing as it is unsurprising, the likes of George Galloway and the CPGB-ML are advocating a "one time only" vote for the Brexit Party. In seeing the pending nature of Brexit as a so called betrayal of the workers, the aforementioned appear to have forgotten what the Brexit Party stand for. 

Voting for the Brexit Party is seemingly understood to be entirely synonymous with an initial vote for Brexit. It is of course, complete nonsense to compare a vote in a binary referendum to that for an actual political entity, no matter how much it attempts to obfuscate the genuine nature of its political beliefs.

It would make somewhat more logical sense  that a self proclaimed socialist or revolutionary entity would stand for the immediate goal of socialism (like The Socialist Party are in the South East), rather than support a right wing party in a manner so tenous that it beggars belief.

To summarise, Nigel Farage and his millionaire funded Brexit brigade are not, and will never be, on the side of the rank and file in Britain. Whatever your stance is on Brexit itself, a vote for the Brexit Party is a vote to degrade conditions for wage labourers and the propertyless in this part of the capitalist world.  

James Clark

Food Production Possibilities

The first point to make is that farming methods will be adopted according to health benefits, not wealth benefits and satisfying genuine hunger not hunger for profits. The proposal that the world community in socialism could immediately stop deaths from hunger and rapidly increase the supply of food is based on the freedom that all people would enjoy to co-operate with each other to produce food directly for needs without the constraints of the market system. With food, it is possible to increase production rapidly because a lot can be done with hand labour. It is not necessary to first expand means of production. Whilst industry and manufacture may take time to bring in more machinery and equipment, local initiatives could mean more people using their local land resources for more intensive production. But, to begin with, a socialist world could immediately stop people dying of hunger with a more equal distribution of scarce supplies. At the same time local initiatives would greatly improve the supply of food within a very short time

However, we also have an example of a rapid increase in food production during World War II when the normal operation of the market system was suspended. Though this example may seem perverse so far as socialism is concerned, it does indicate what can be achieved when production and distribution is organised, even for a short period, outside the normal constraints of market laws.

Before the Second World War Britain imported approximately 55 million tonnes, or 3/4 of the country's food by ship each year. In England and Wales arable acreage was about 9 million; whereas 16 million acres were under grass and a further 5 ½ million was “rough grazing” (once reasonable pasture). One acre of permanent grass (for animal fodder) fed 1 or 2 people; one acre sown with wheat fed 20 people; and one acre sown with potatoes fed 40 people.

What was achieved was that over a period of about four years food production in Britain was increased by 70 percent. Nationally, some 6 ½ million new acres were ploughed up between 1939 and 1944. Harvests of wheat, barley and potatoes increased by over 100%; milking cows increased by 300,000; other cattle by 400,000. This was at the expense of fewer sheep, pigs and poultry but enabled the country to completely reverse its reliance on foreign food. In terms of calories, the net output had been quadrupled by 1943-44. By the end of the war, food imports had been reduced from 22 million to 11 million tons and Britain was producing well over 60% of its food. From 815,000 allotments in 1939 the number rose to 1,400,000 by 1943. allotments were estimated to contribute some 1.3 million tonnes of food produce. 90,000 women of the Land Army came from very different backgrounds. The daughters of doctors, solicitors, labourers and factory workers from the industrial areas joined together, driving tractors, milking cows and cleaning out pigs. By all accounts the work was hard but enjoyable. The living conditions on farms were often crude but mostly morale was high. With the ending of occupations such as those in insurance, finance and banking, millions of people would become available for useful production in socialism. Restaurants were run by local authorities, who set them up in a variety of different premises such as schools and church halls. They evolved from the LCC’s Londoners’ Meals Service which originated in September 1940 as a temporary, emergency system for feeding those who had been bombed out. By mid-1941 the LCC was operating two hundred of these restaurants.

War Agricultural Committees were formed immediately on the outbreak of war . They were leading farmers and nurserymen, with a good knowledge of local conditions, who had volunteered, unpaid, to help in the campaign to get full production from the land in their particular county. These Executive Committees, numbering eight to twelve members,Ministry of Agriculture propaganda poster predominantly farmers, were given delegated powers by the Minister under the wartime Defence Regulations. There was usually at least one landowner, one representative from the farm workers and one woman representing the Women’s Land Army. They formed Sub-Committees to cover different aspects of work, and District Committees to ensure that there was at least one Committee member in touch with every farmer, up to say 50 or 60, in his area of 5000 acres. Later, some District Committees embraced a representative from every parish. The role was to tell farmers what was required of them in the way of wheat, potatoes, sugar beet or other priority crops, and to help the farmers to get what they needed in the way of machinery, fertilisers and so on to achieve the targets which were set them. The Sub-Committees covered the following concerns: Cultivations, Labour, Machinery and Land Drainage, Technical Development, Feeding Stuffs, Insects and Pests, Horticulture, Financial and General Purposes, Goods and Services and War Damage. The Committees employed paid officers such as the Executive Officer and assistants in each county and District Officers to keep the show running smoothly in every locality. Technical Officers were also employed to advise farmers about such matters as the lime requirements of their soils, the making of silage, the treatments of soil pests, the care of machinery and the improvement of livestock. Farmers could get expert advice free, which contributed enormously to increase the output that farmers achieved.

Such an increase of 70 percent today, on a world scale and within four years, would be more than enough to provide every person with choice and free access to good quality food. The organisation that led to increased food production in Britain during World War II indicates practical ways of achieving similar results in socialism. Potentially, the organisation already exists. In place of national governments, the UN could be democratised as a World Council which could become a centre for co-ordinating a world-wide war on hunger. The FAO could also achieve its potential as a key organisation at last able to achieve real results. To devolve the work, agricultural committees could be set up in every country and these could be further de-centralised through county and district committees, (or equivalent bodies in all countries). At every level throughout this structure, the FAO could provide skilled staffs able to draw on its store of world data and technical information to advise and assist the work. This network could be extended to local farms with an ability to adapt to every local condition.

Common ownership would give all communities immediate access to land. In the short term, people in the areas of greatest need could concentrate their local efforts using the best means available. At the same time the regions most able to do so could assist with increased supplies. There can be no doubt that throughout the world, within a season, the plight of the seriously undernourished would be greatly improved. In the longer term, communities in socialism would be able to look beyond the immediate priorities of desperate need and begin to sort out the appalling state of world agriculture that is a consequence of the exploitation and destructive methods of capitalist agribusiness. It not only exploits farm workers of all lands, it exploits the soil and anything in nature it can get its hands on. There is of course widespread concern, not just about starving people but also about the damage and loss of natural food assets across the world. This is the continuing despoliation of land and ocean resources, the excessive and inappropriate use of weed killers and chemical fertilisers together with the cruel treatment of animals. Also within agriculture we shall be reassessing the relative values of different methods of producing our food. We shall be free to look at the results of studies knowing that there is no hidden agenda or biased information. When we have the correct, unambiguous facts in front of us decisions can be made unemotionally about land use. Chemical fertiliser or natural manure and traditional methods? Monocrops or mixed farms? Grain for food or fuel? Grain for humans or animals?

With shrinking aquifers and glaciers there is huge wastage of water with some countries' current irrigation methods, poor infrastructure, old or outdated technology in some industries, money-based equations for water use when mining for minerals and a billion dollar business selling bottled water at up to a thousand times the cost of water from the tap with how many thousands of gallons wasted in the process? In the likely future scenario demographics will probably change a great deal but we shall be in a position to totally re-think the use of the global water supply and consider every stage from aquifers, dams, irrigation methods, industrial use and domestic consumption. Water and the infrastructure required will be considered in minute detail as to how best to use, re-use, conserve and generally value it as a basic necessity of all life.

It will make sense in general to reduce food miles – to relocalise agriculture for everyone's benefit. By doing so huge savings will be made in fuel and energy use.But local food production is limited by variations of soil and climate, which means that local projects would contribute to balanced production throughout the regions of the world. On this larger scale the grain-producing regions of America, Canada, Australia and Asia would continue to be important. Wheat, maize and rice are basic to world agriculture and new areas could be developed for the production of these cereals together with the whole range of nutritious fruits and vegetables. With the ending of rival capitalist states and the market system the world community in socialism would have the great advantage of being able to make the best use of the land resources of the planet in whatever location may be considered best. A priority in such decisions would be care of the environment. The possibility that conservation methods might require more people would not matter. There would be no economic pressure to carry on using destructive production methods that use the least amounts of labour. Certainly in the transition period whilst we are investing our human energies into appropriate infrastructure we can cut emissions drastically and restore food security and control to local communities, always remembering decisions will be made locally. On the global scale we will move right away from decisions imposed and implemented by world financial authorities and transnational corporations in favour of working for the common good. Respect will automatically be conferred to local knowledge and traditional methods understanding that the objective will be to satisfy food, fibre, fuel and other needs.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What we say about Brexit

The opening statement of our election agent, Adam Buick, at the Chesham EU hustings.

“The way people are going on about it you would think Brexit was the only issue. But what about global warming, wars and the threat of war, mass population movements and, nearer home, growing inequalities, unaffordable housing and a crumbling heath service? These problems arise from the capitalist system of ownership by the few and production for profit. Capitalism exists in the EU and would still exist in a Brexit Britain. So, as far as most people are concerned, it doesn’t matter either way [heckled]. In or Out, the same problems are going to continue. The way-out is not some change — or not — in Britain’s trading arrangements but in replacing capitalism with common ownership, democratic control and production to satisfy people’s needs not profit.” 

Our candidates for the South East England region are:
Mandy Bruce, 
Ray Carr, 
Dave Chesham, 
Rob Cox, 
Mike Foster, 
Stephen Harper, 
Neil Kirk, 
Anton Pruden, 
Andy Thomas, 
Darren Williams.

Labour is the father and nature the mother of wealth.

The science of ecology gives us powerful tools for understanding how nature functions — as interrelated, integrated ecosystems. It gives us essential insights into humanity’s impact on the environment, but it lacks a serious political social analysis. Socialism can make an ecologically balanced world possible, which is impossible under capitalism. The needs of people and the planet will be the driving forces of the economy, rather than profit. It will set about restoring ecosystems and re-establishing agriculture and industry based on environmentally sound principles. The world we want must begin with actually defining what sort of world we want. We can't rely only on the bureaucracies of governments to address the problems facing our planet. We must start doing it ourselves.

Terminology is important to discussion and bandying words around without fully comprehending their meanings won’t be fruitful. Capitalism is the social system under which we live. Capitalism is primarily an economic system of competitive capital accumulation out of the surplus value produced by wage labour. As a system it must continually accumulate or go into crisis. Consequently, human needs and the needs of our natural environment take second place to this imperative. Capitalism is an economic system where, under pressure from the market, profits are accumulated as further capital, i.e. as money invested in production with a view to making further profits. This is not a matter of the individual choice of those in control of capitalist production – it’s not due to their personal greed or inhumanity – it’s something forced on them by the operation of the system. And which operates irrespective of whether a particular economic unit is the property of an individual, a limited company, the state or even of a workers’ cooperative. The capitalist system is left unscathed. Nowhere is the market-driven profit system as such challenged. Nowhere is the “can’t pay, can’t have” society we have that consigns the greater portion of the population of the planet to lives of abject misery condemned. Capitalism is taken for granted and all that is being asked in the end is the end of corporations. It is just the demand for wider democracy and fairer trading conditions while allowing capitalism to carry on perpetrating every social ill that plagues us.

Alexander Berkman, the author of the Anarchist ABC, put it, "capitalism will continue as long as such an economic system is considered adequate and just". Until people see through it capitalism will continue to stagger on from economic crisis to war to ecological crisis. To simply denounce finance capitalism as the main enemy is to side with industrial capital in the struggle between the two over how much each is to get of the wealth produced by the worker class. When we challenge capitalism, we challenge it all or we do not challenge it at all.
The result of capitalism is waste, pollution, environmental degradation and unmet needs on a global scale. The ecologist’s dream of a sustainable ‘zero growth’ within capitalism will always remain just that, a dream. If human society is to be able to organise its production in an ecologically acceptable way, then it must abolish the capitalist economic mechanism of capital accumulation and gear production instead to the direct satisfaction of needs.

Marx was fond of quoting the 17th century writer Sir William Petty’s remark that labour is the father and nature the mother of wealth. Marx’s materialist conception of history makes the way humans are organised to meet their material needs the basis of any society. Humans meet their material needs by transforming parts of the rest of nature into things that are useful to them; this in fact is what production is. So the basis of any society is its mode of production which, again, is the same thing as its relationship to the rest of nature. Humans survive by interfering in the rest of nature to change it for their own benefit. That humans have to interfere in nature is a fact of human existence. How humans interfere in nature, on the other hand, depends on the kind of society they live in. Humans are both a part and a product of nature and humans have a unique significance in nature since they are the only life-form capable of reflective thought and so of conscious intervention to change the environment. It is absurd to regard human intervention in nature as some outside disturbing force, since humans are precisely that part of nature which has evolved that consciously intervenes in the rest of nature; it is our nature to do so. True , that at the present time, the form human intervention in the rest of Nature takes is upsetting natural balances and cycles, but the point is that humans, unlike other life-forms, are capable of changing their behaviour. In this sense the human species is the brain and voice of Nature i.e. Nature become self-conscious. But to fulfil this role humans must change the social system which mediates their intervention in nature. A change from capitalism to a community where each contributes to the whole to the best of his or her ability and takes from the common fund of produce what he or she needs. Competitive pressures to minimise costs and maximise sales, profit-seeking and blind economic growth, with all their destructive effects on the rest of nature, are built-in to capitalism. These make capitalism inherently environmentally unfriendly. Attempts to “green” capitalism, to make it “ecological”, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth. The only framework within which humans can regulate their relationship with the rest of nature in an ecologically acceptable way has to be a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources, freed from the tyranny of the economic laws that operate wherever there is production for sale on a market. Humans are capable of integrating themselves into a stable ecosystem and there is nothing whatsoever that prevents this being possible today on the basis of industrial technology and methods of production, all the more so, that renewable energies exist (wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and whatever) but, for the capitalists, these are a “cost” which penalises them

The Green New Deal movement is really a green-washed attempt to create a new model of capital accumulation. All the "progressive" rhetoric aside, the GND is intended as a last-ditch effort to rescue an entire system of class privilege and economic exploitation based on artificial scarcity from the revolutionary impact of abundance.

The liberation of our class will only come about when we, the class ourselves, for ourselves, do the hard work of organising, which needs that we class conscious workers doing the equally hard work of convincing our fellow workers. 


Win the battle of democracy
Do away with private property
Abolish the wages system altogether
End employment to end unemployment
Achieve abundance for all and inscribe on the banners:
From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs! 

An association, in which the free development of each is the condition of free development of all 

"Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution."
Karl Marx, Private Property and Communism, 1844

“Empirically, communism is only possible as the act of the dominant peoples “all at once” and simultaneously, which presupposes the universal development of productive forces and the world intercourse bound up with them… presupposes the world market. The proletariat can thus only exist world-historically, just as communism, its activity, can only have a “world-historical” existence. World-historical existence of individuals, i.e., existence of individuals which is directly linked up with world history… Communism is for us not a state of affairs, which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the now existing premise.” – Marx and Engels, The German Ideology (1845-46)

Engels observed “that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries … It is a world-wide revolution and will therefore be world-wide in scope.” Principles of Communism, 1847

Our Concern

“Our concern cannot simply be to modify private property, but to abolish it, not to hush up class antagonisms but to abolish classes, not to improve the existing society but to found a new one.” – Karl Marx & Frederick Engels, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League...

“The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. ... All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority. ... the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property ... of buying and selling... The working men have no country ... the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!” - Marx-Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848.

~ “To conquer political power has therefore become the great duty of the working classes.… the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrences” Marx, 1864, Inaugural Address of the Working Men’s International Association

Emancipation of labour – guiding principle of Marx

"That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;" - Provisional Rules of the International Working Men’s Association, 1864 

 “the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries.” – International Working Men’s Association 1864, General Rules

 “At the same time, and quite apart from the general servitude involved in the wages system, the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles. They ought not to forget that they are fighting with effects, but not with the causes of those effects; that they are retarding the downward movement, but not changing its direction; that they are applying palliatives, not curing the malady. They ought, therefore, not to be exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerilla fights incessantly springing up from the never ceasing encroachments of capital or changes of the market. They ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economical reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto: “A fair day's wage for a fair day's work!” they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword: “Abolition of the wages system!"”[emphasis added] ~ Marx, Value, Price and Profit, CW, Vol. 20, pp. 148-49

Karl Marx and Peaceful Revolution 

The following passage from 1878, which emphasizes that such a transition may not stay peaceful, is a good example of Marx mentioning the winning of a parliamentary majority:

 “An historical development can remain ‘peaceful’ only so long as no forcible hindrances are put in its way by the existing rulers of a society. If, for example, in England or the United States, the working class were to win a majority in Parliament or Congress, it could legally put an end to laws and institutions standing in the way of its development, although even here only so far as societal development permitted. For the ‘peaceful’ movement could still be turned into a ‘violent’ one by the revolt of those whose interests were bound up with the old order. If such people were then put down by force (as in the American Civil War and the French Revolution), it would be rebels against the ‘lawful’ power.” 

Notice that the role of the parliamentary majority is not to legislate socialism into existence, but to help clear away obstacles for the working class movement as a whole.

~ “Considering,
That against the collective power of the propertied classes, the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes. That this constitution of the working class into a political party is indispensable in order to ensure the triumph of the social revolution and its ultimate end - the abolition of classes.” - Resolution IX, London Conference of the International, 1871.   

 Marx on Universal Suffrage and Political Self-organization

That the emancipation of the productive class is that of all human beings without distinction of sex or race;
That the producers can be free only insofar as they are in possession of the means of production;
That there are only two forms under which the means of production can belong to them:
The individual form which has never existed generally and which is being more and more eliminated by the process of industry;
The collective form whose material and intellectual elements are being formed by the very development of capitalist society.
That this collective appropriation can only be the outcome of the revolutionary action of the productive class – or proletariat – organized in a separate political party.

That such organization must be pursued by all the means, which the proletariat has at its disposal, including universal suffrage, thus transformed from the instrument of trickery, which it has been up till now into an instrument of emancipation.” [Emphasis added]

Written on about May 10, 1880 Printed according to L'Égalité, No. 24, June 30, 1880, 

 “For the full representation of labour in Parliament, as well as for the preparation of the abolition of the wages system, organizations will become necessary, not of separate Trades, but of the working class as body. And the sooner this is done the better. …” - Engels, Trades Unions, written on about May 20, 1881 

Elect MPs as mandated socialist delegates to overwhelm the Parliaments and pronounce: Annulment of all property and territorial rights whereby all that is on and in the earth will become the common heritage of the whole humanity. This will help clear away obstacles for the working class movement as a whole and usher the humanity into the realm of freedom towards World Socialism:

1.  Socialists are not against persons, but against capitalism. 

2. Socialism has never and nowhere been tried at all. 

3. When it will be done, it will have to be established worldwide. 

4. World socialism can be established only through a peaceful and democratic way, by means of collective understanding, number and rallies of the working class. However, if any minority group obstructs initiation of socialism, socialists will have to advance by encountering it. But force does not mean violence. Force or power is born out of the union of knowledge based on materialist conception of history and an independent organization of the working class. It is number, understanding and solidarity that constitute real force. Only working class is the majority – 95% of the population of the world. It is only the working class who perform all work in capitalism. Therefore their power is not violent.
5. Winning elections does not weaken the argument for applying force, rather strengthens it. On the other hand, without taking the first step of declaring the legal defeat of capitalism through its own constitution, applying force against an elected government not only becomes futile, but also decimates the truth that it is the class conscious working class who is the majority. 

6. To win the battle of democracy after understanding what we are going to do, where the danger lies, what and why socialism has a double advantage: (a) we can show the socialist majority by sending majority delegates (not merely representatives) to the parliament, and (b) in case there be any attempt from any corner to block this mandate by using parliament, we can abandon the legality of the parliament, This tactics of social change via democratic means is free from violence and certain.  

7. Arriving at the majority and with it instead of reforming capitalism and running its administration socialists will get set to its abolition; they will not accept any administrative posts of capitalist society before arriving at the position of its abolition. The task of socialist delegates (MPs) is not to help run the capitalist governing process, but to incapacitate the process itself, to facilitate the abolition of capitalism by the immense majority of socialists. Because, socialists neither support nor oppose the reforms of capitalism. Their only and immediate aim is to establish socialism. 

8. Without informed majority participation in order to reach at a democratic decision in the interest of all the conception of vote and democracy is meaningless. We need participatory democracy. 

9. Socialists do not trust political leaders, since the existence of leaders means the existence of followers and both remaining drowned in political ignorance. Leader/follower relation is anti-democratic. Organization and leadership are not the same thing; there can be organization without leadership. Leadership is not necessary when an organization is democratic. The immense majority of people of society can create socialism consciously in their own interest and with their own initiative. 

10. A socialist party does not require a leader, socialists are all equals.
11. The World Socialist Party (India) has organization, but no leadership.

 This organization is carrying on political class struggle as a vigilant guard of one most appropriate and pertinent explanation first put forward by the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. 

In Marxian conception socialism and communism are synonymous. Marx and Engels have used the two terms alternatively to mean the same thing - post-revolutionary participatory democratic socialist administration of things – affairs of life – in lieu of the   capitalist administration of men. In Marx’s view the principle of communism or socialism is: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.

The World Socialist Party (India)

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Quack's Confession ( Short Story 1968)

 A Short Story from the February 1968 issue of the Socialist Standard

The man was certainly ill. We all agreed about that. He was unconscious. He had a high fever. His breathing and pulse-rate was irregular. On rare occasions he would regain consciousness—but then he would just babble nonsensically, or leap about making frantic gestures. Everyone had to admit that there was something wrong. This was not how folk ought to behave. Undoubtedly, he was ill.

Furthermore, we all said something should be done about it. A few advocated prayer, others punishment. But most of us rejected such foolish advice. We were determined to treat his illness properly, medically and effect his cure.

"The correct treatment is quite apparent," said one. "The patient is unconscious, so we must wake him up. We can do this by shaking him vigorously, and by sounding loud noises in his ear."

"Perfect!" cried another. "And since he has a temperature we must cool him down. Let us submerge his body in icy water."

"Naturally," said a third. "And to regularise his breathing we must connect an air pump to his lungs, and be careful to work it by the clock."

In due course they fixed on a plan by which the sick man would receive all these types of medical care. To their surprise, however, after days of the most intensive treatment the patient did not seem to be improving. I thought his condition had worsened, but my companions indignantly rejected this suggestion, and not a few of them maintained (with deep conviction) that our man was on the mend. "Only a soulless cynic could deny that we have made progress," someone remarked, with a contemptuous glance in my direction.

At this I felt I had to speak out. "My knowledge of medicine is very slight," I told them. "But I do think we've been setting about this problem in the wrong manner. It seems to me that these disorders which you have been treating: the temperature, the irregular pulse and so on—these are but symptoms of something deeper. I think we should discover the cause of the illness and treat that."

At this there was, first of all, a great deal of laughter, but when I persisted, amusement turned into annoyance. One of my friends, a little kindlier than the rest, told me: "I can appreciate your concern. When I was your age I too had these high-flown ideas. However, we've a practical job to do now, and we're doing it as well as we can. These abstract notions of yours may sound all right in theory, but you must remember: medicine is the science of the possible."

"The so-called treatment you're using isn't curing the patient," I remonstrated. "If you never tackle the roots of the ailment, he will never recover. You may even be responsible for his death."

"That's going too far," I was rebuked. "Cherish your own ideals if you want to, but don't cast aspersions on decent people who are doing a necessary job. We're extremely devoted to our medical work, and it makes my blood boil to hear the irresponsible suggestion that it's all in vain. We cannot expect overnight miracles, after all."

Throughout all these conversations, the patient was groaning pitifully, and was therefore ducked in even colder water, shaken yet more roughly, submitted to louder and louder noises, etc. I was infuriated and went off to consult some books on medicine and physiology, where I soon discovered the cause of our patient's infirmity. As a matter of fact it is quite a simple virus, and very easy to eradicate.

But I could never persuade the others to listen to me, and they came increasingly to think of me as an obstructive person with a dangerous obsession. At length I was becoming such a nuisance that they had me locked up. I have been in this prison cell ever since. I am allowed newspapers, and in all of them I read that the patient is about to recover.

Yesterday I had a visitor—my fiercest opponent, the one who had denounced me more heatedly than anybody else, the one who was most dedicated to the view that only symptoms should be treated. "I'm genuinely sorry to see you here," he said. And I could see that he was.

"This may surprise you, but I personally feel there may be a lot in what you say. I couldn't come out on your side though. All these ideas about viruses are far too much in advance of the thinking of ordinary people. We must educate them gradually. In time, if we keep on treating symptoms, they will come to see that we must eventually eradicate the cause as well. I admire your stand, but we must be realistic, and not move ahead of the times."

With that, and a promise that I would be more comfortable, he shook me warmly by the hand and left.

All the same, it is extremely lonely here in the cell, and sometimes, at night, I am awakened by the patient's screams of agony.

David Ramsay Steele 

Street Stalls - Canterbury, Cardiff, Reading

From Noon
The Parade,
Canterbury, CT1 2JL
From 1-3pm
Queen Street (Newport Road end),
Cardiff CF10 2HQ
From 2pm
Broad Street entrance to the Oracle Shopping Centre,
Reading RG1 2AG

Australia Chooses

 18th May, is General Election day for Australia. A fitting socialist response is this song by Bill Casey (deceased), a member of the one time (World) Socialist Party of Australia.

Bump Me Into Parliament (tune: Yankee Doodle)

Come listen, all kind friends of mine
I want to move a motion,
To build an El Dorado here,
I've got a bonzer notion.

Bump me into Parliament,
Bounce me any way,
Bang me into Parliament,
On next election day.

Some very wealthy friends I know
Declare I am most clever
While some may talk for an hour or so
Why I can talk forever.

I know the Arbitration Act
As a sailor knows his 'riggins'
So if you want a small advance
I'll talk to Justice Higgins

Oh yes I am a Labor man
And believe in revolution
The quickest way to bring it on
Is talking constitution.

I've read my bible ten times through,
And Jesus justifies me
The man who does not vote for me
By Christ he crucifies me.

So bump them into Parliament
Bounce them any way,
Bung them into Parliament
Don't let the Courts decay.

by Bill Casey