Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why We Need Socialism

One of our election campaign team has endeavoured to interest the media (as yet to no avail) with this message:

There is no national solution to the problems that we face at this election. Even the politicians competing for your vote admit that there are global worldwide forces working against them.

We can either address the global causes of our problems or we can pretend they do not exist and make promises we cannot keep. All candidates except the socialist candidate are offering to continue with the existing state of affairs in which 1% of the population owns more wealth than the other 99%.

The earth and its resources are owned by a very small minority. For example the richest 92 people own more wealth than half the population. Wealth is produced for sale on the world market with a view to making a profit for the tiny minority.

These are the global forces working against us and require our attention.

The socialist candidate is an elected delegate of the World Socialist Movement, he is not a leader and he makes no promises to solve the problems caused by capitalism.

The World Socialist Movement advocates a democratic revolution to take into common ownership the earth’s resources and to organise the production of goods and services to meet human needs instead of the needs of profit

 Vin Maratty, 
Election Agent for The Socialist Party (GB)
Easington Constituency

Here's a recording of discussion  on immigration on BBC Radio Oxford at which our candidate, Kevin Parkin, took part:

Kevin managed to bring out well that socialists consider themselves "citizens of the world" and not, like the other candidates, Brits wanting to control "our" borders and keep out immigrant benefit "scroungers". Bit annoying that the presenter kept on saying that "immigration" was a big issue when it's not really, only what the media are telling people to think is, so opening the way for UKIP whose representative caught the ball and ran with it.

We can only sow the seeds of the socialist idea, we cannot force them to sprout and bloom but we do trust that eventually the principles of socialism will germinate and grow

On 7 May, you will have your occasional ration of democracy. It's all very well having a vote—but are you normally given any real choice? Let's face it, if it wasn't for the political party’s name on the election leaflet, could you tell which party was which? It's tempting—in the absence of any real alternative—to get drawn into the phoney war that is political debate today. Whether Labour or Tory, SNP or UKIP, they all spout the same promises. But it all amounts to the same thing—they offer no alternative to the present way of running society. Do you really think who wins an election makes any difference to how you live? And do politicians (whether left-wing, nationalist or right-wing) actually have much real power anyway? OK, they get to open supermarkets and factories, but it's capitalism and the market system which closes them down.

Do any of the political parties address any of the real issues:
Why is there world hunger in a world of food surpluses?
Why are there unemployed nurses, alongside closed-down hospitals and waiting lists?
Why are there homeless people in the streets and empty houses with "for sale" signs?
Why do some people get stressed working long hours while others get stressed from the boredom of unemployment?

The press and television are screaming at us about the importance of this general election. It's all nonsense of course. The day after the election we will find that it is business as usual. Men and women of the working class will return to the office, the factory or the hospital where we work for a wage or a salary. That is those of us "lucky" enough to have a job. The same round of work, insecurity and poverty will continue irrespective of the make-up of the new parliament.

If you don't like present-day society, if you are fed up with the way you are forced to live, if you think the root cause of most social problems is the market system, then your ideas echo closely with ours. We are not promising to deliver socialism to you. We are not putting ourselves forward as leaders. This new society can only be achieved if you join together to strive for it. If you want it, then it is something you have to bring about yourselves. The Socialist Party are not after your unthinking support. We do not want your vote unless you understand that the present system of society—capitalism—cannot be made to run in the interests of the majority. We are taking this opportunity to reach out to as many workers as possible. We We want you to consider an alternative society to the present production for profit rat-race that is capitalism. We want you to look at present-day society and ask yourself: does it operate in your and your family's interest?

This society operates against the majority and only favours a tiny handful of wealthy owners. The whole purpose of producing anything today is to sell it and make a profit. No profit, then no production. That is why so many live in sub-standard housing while building workers are unemployed. That is why people throughout the world are undernourished while farmers are paid not to grow food. Production for profit means that the world is armed to the teeth. Billions are spent on armies, the whole purpose of which is to protect markets, trade routes and sources of raw material. Wars are inevitable under capitalism. Capitalism is based on competition, and the logical outcome of global competition is military violence.

At this election you have a wide choices of parties. Conservative, Lib Dem, Labour, various Nationalist, Green, even some calling themselves "socialists". There are many differences in their policies, but what have they all got in common? They want your vote on the basis that they could run the system better or more fairly. Despite their differences they all want to run the buying and selling system of capitalism, and this applies as much to the "left" as the out and out supporters of capitalism. This system is based on the production of all wealth by the working class for a wage or salary. The owning class live off the unpaid labour of the working class. To talk of "fairer" capitalism is like talking of "fairer" robbery. Capitalism must go and be replaced by a new society based on common ownership and democratic control. There must be production to meet people's needs instead of production for profit. We must all be free to take what we require to satisfy our needs, without being rationed as today by the size of our wage packet. This new society can only come about when a majority want it and are determined to get it. Nobody can bring it about for you. So it's up to you, not the politicians. The future is in your hands, not theirs.

 We campaign to get workers to say no to a society based on profit, privilege and competition and yes to a society based on equality, cooperation and meeting people's needs. Where we are not standing any candidates our message to those who want socialism is to use their first vote to vote against all the various reformist and pro-capitalist candidates by writing the word "SOCIALISM" across the ballot paper.

No comments: