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"Socialism or Barbarism" is not a mere abstract slogan, it may be the reality. The issue in this election as in all of them is capitalism versus socialism and we are for socialism because we are for humanity. Everyday people think: we are way overdue for change. In earlier times, there was a widespread belief in socialism’s imminence and desirability. Today there is little understanding
1 min 3 sec ago
The newest line of criticism for the banking industry is coming from within, as a group of rank-and-file banking employees prepare to demand that their employer stop ordering them to use predatory sales tactics and start treating them as a valued piece of the workforce. A group of tellers, loan officers, and customer service representatives from the country’s largest commercial banks will
1 min 3 sec ago
What do we all want? We want to be all that we can be. And we want this not only for ourselves. But also for our families and our loved ones. We want everybody to be able to develop all of their potential but there are two points to bear in mind. First, how can we possibly develop all our potential if we are hungry, in bad health, poorly educated, or dominated by others? Secondly, no-body is identical so we need to self-define our own wishes and needs as we all differ for everyone else.
 The aim of socialism is individuality, not uniformity. Our goal cannot be a society in which some people are able to develop their capabilities and others are not. We are interdependent and all members of a human family. The full development of all human potential for all is our goal. Satisfaction of communal needs and purposes focuses upon the importance of basing our productive activity upon the recognition of our common humanity and our needs as members of the human family. As long we look at one another as competitors or as customers, relating to others through an exchange relationships i.e., as enemies or as means to our own ends (and, thus, trying to get the best deal possible for ourselves), we shall remain alienated, atomised, and apart, human beings - fragmented. Socialism, if it is to be at all attractive, must promise to remedy those defects and nurture the development of each of us as the necessary condition of the full development of all.  For socialists the concept of solidarity is central. It is because we are a human being in a human society that we have the right to the opportunity to develop all our potential. Common ownership of the means of production (rather than private or sectional ownership), production for the purpose of satisfying needs (rather than for the purpose of exchange) and democratic decision-making within associations of the producers. Socialism wants to create a society in which each citizen actively and responsibly participated in all decisions because he or she has convictions and not opinions formed by media manipulation. We have created a widespread system of communication. Yet people are misinformed and indoctrinated rather than informed about political and social reality.
These are the core elements of socialism that people need to build. Our loyalty must be to the human race. Socialism is rooted in the conviction of the unity of mankind and the solidarity of all. If we believe in people, our choice is very clear: the only path is socialism. We fight any kind of worship of the state or the nation. The aim of socialism is the abolition of national sovereignty, the abolition of any kind of armed forces, and the establishment of a world commonwealth. Socialism is opposed to war and violence in all and any forms. We consider any attempt to solve political and social problems by force and violence not only as futile. Socialism stands for the principle of human relations based on free cooperation of all men for the common good. It follows not only that each member of society feels responsible for his fellow citizens, but for all citizens of the world. The injustice which lets two-thirds of the human race live in abysmal poverty must be removed
Think about this capitalist world of ours. Its very essence is to expand the market, to accumulate capital, to generate more and more surplus value in the form of commodities which must be sold, constantly trying to create new needs in order to make real that surplus value in the form of money. A spiral of growing production, growing needs and growing consumption. Everyone knows that the high levels of consumption achieved in certain parts of the world cannot be copied in other parts of the world. Very simply, the Earth cannot sustain this -- as we can already see with the clear evidence of climate change. However the people in the developing regions of the globe are well aware of the standards of consumption from the media. Are they to accept that they are not entitled to the fruits of civilisation? Are they expected to be deprived of their “fair share” of the benefits of ever advancing technology? Are the poor to be denied the opportunity to catch up with the relatively more affluent in regards to the standard of living and quality of life? Socialism wants material comfort for everybody on the planet.
Capital concentration led to the formation of giant enterprises, managed by hierarchically organised bureaucracies. Large agglomerations  of workers work together, part of a vast organised production machine  which, in order to run at all, must run smoothly, without friction,  without interruption. The individual worker becomes a cog in this machine; their function and activities are determined by the whole structure of the organization in which they work. In the large corporations, legal ownership of the means of production has become separated from the management and has lost importance. They are run by bureaucratic management, which does not own the enterprise legally, but socially. The CEOs while they do not own the enterprise legally, controls it factually; it is responsible (in an effective way) neither to the stockholders nor to those who work in the company. In fact, while the most important fields of production are in the hands of the large corporations, these corporations are practically ruled by their top employees. The giant corporations which control the economic— and to a large degree the political— destiny of the country, constitute the very opposite of the democratic process; they represent power without control by those submitted to it. When mankind is transformed into a thing, and managed like a thing, the managers themselves become things; and things have no will, no vision, no plan. The democratic process becomes transformed into a ritual. Whether it is a stockholders meeting of a multinational or a political election the individual has lost almost all influence to determine decisions and to participate actively in the making of decisions. Even the voice of the unions has been muted as they too have developed into bureaucratic machines in which individual members has very little to say and many of the union chiefs are managerial bureaucrats, just as industrial chiefs are.
While our economic system has enriched mankind materially, it has impoverished it “spiritually”. As a result, the average person feels insecure, lonely, depressed, and suffers from a lack of joy in the midst of plenty. Life does not make sense. It is meaninglessness. The capitalist system offers innumerable avenues of escape, ranging from television to tranquilisers to soulless consumerism, which permit  people to forget that they are losing what is really valuable important in life. Capitalism puts things (capital) higher than life (labour). All production must be directed by the principle of its social usefulness, and not by that of its material profit for some individuals or corporations. Socialism stands for freedom from fear and want. But freedom is not only from, but also freedom to; freedom to participate actively and responsibly in all decisions concerning the citizen and the community, and also the freedom to develop the individual's human potential to the fullest possible degree. The way in which someone spends most of his or her energy, in work as well as in leisure, must be meaningful and interesting. It must stimulate the intellect as well as artistic powers.

The Socialist Party is different from other political parties not only in its objectives, but in its very structure and in its way of functioning. It must also become the emotional and social home for all its members who are united by the solidarity of the common concern humankind and the future. The Socialist Party has developed an extensive educational campaign among fellow workers, who can be expected to have an understanding for socialist criticism and socialist ideals. The Socialist Party strives to gain the allegiance of an ever- increasing number of people who, through the party, make their voices heard throughout the whole world. Its only weapons are its ideas. It rejects the ideas of achieving its goals by force or by the establishment of any kind of dictatorship. We appeal to the true needs of those citizens will give it who have seen through the fictions and delusions which fill the minds of people today. We appeal to everybody to recognize his or her responsibility for their own life, that of their children, and that of the wider human family. People have a deep longing for something they can work for, and have confidence and optimism in. The weakness of present system is that it offers no ideals and that possesses no vision— except more of the same. We in the Socialist Party are not ashamed to confess that we are committed to a vision of a new society, and hold the hope that our fellow workers will eventually share in this vision and then join us in the attempt to realise it. Socialism is not only an economic and political movement; it is a human project. ?alt=rss
3 hours 2 min ago
“Our waters are overfished,” said Ousman Bojang,  a veteran Gambian fisher.
West African waters are believed to have the highest levels of illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing in the world, representing up to 37 percent of the region’s catch. The theft of West Africa’s fish stocks has been denounced by various environmental groups for years. Forty-seven industrial-sized fishing vessels currently in The Gambia’s waters, thirty-five of which are from foreign fleets. Meanwhile, artisanal fishers, on whom the population depends for supply, say they are finding it hard to feed the market. Prices have risen phenomenally and shortages in the market are no longer a rarity.
In an historic ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea – the first of its kind by the full tribunal – the body affirmed that “flag States” have a duty of due diligence to ensure that fishing vessels flying their flag comply with relevant laws and regulations concerning marine resources to enable the conservation and management of these resources. Flag States, ruled the tribunal, must take necessary measures to ensure that these vessels are not engaged in IUU fishing activities in the waters of member countries of West Africa’s Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SFRC). Further, they can be held liable for breach of this duty. The ruling specifies that the European Union has the same duty as a state. The SRFC covers the West African countries of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The need for an advisory opinion by the Tribunal emerged in 1993 when the SRFC reported an “over-exploitation of fisheries resources; and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of an ever more alarming magnitude.” Such illegal catches were nearly equal to allowable ones, it said. Further, “the lost income to national economies caused by IUU fishing in Wet Africa is on the order of 500 million dollars per year.”
“This is a very welcome ruling that could be a real game changer,” World Wildlife Fund International Marine Programme Director John Tanzer was reported as saying. “No longer will we have to try to combat illegal fishing and the ransacking of coastal fisheries globally on a boat by boat basis.”
Greenpeace described “monster boats” trawling in African waters. “For decades,” Greenpeace wrote, “the European Union and its member states have allowed their industrial fishing fleet to swell to an unsustainable size… In 2008, the European Commission estimated that parts of the E.U. fishing fleet were able to harvest fish much faster than stocks were able to regenerate. The problem of oversized fleets using destructive fishing methods is a global one and the results are alarming and indisputable.”
The Africa Progress Panel, headed by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, said that illegal fishing is a priority that the continent must address. Another is the endorsement by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations of guidelines which seek to improve conditions for small-scale fishers.
Nicole Franz, fishery planning analyst at FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture department in Rome, told IPS that the small-scale fisheries guidelines provide a framework change in small-scale fisheries. “It is an instrument that looks not only into traditional fisheries rights, such as fisheries management and user rights, but it also takes more integrated approach,” she said. “It also looks into social conditions, decent employment conditions, climate change, disaster risks issues and a whole range of issues which go beyond what traditional fisheries institutions work with. Only if we have a human rights approach to small-scale fisheries, can we allow the sector to develop sustainably.”

6 hours 2 min ago

While world attention is focused upon the xenophobic riots against foreigners in South Africa that many claim was instigated by politicians such as the Zulu king, the United Nations draws attention to the shameful complicity of governments in the deaths of many hundreds of migrants and refugees in Europe. 

Anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians across Europe, including Britain, is blocking attempts to introduce large search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean that would save large numbers of migrant lives, Laurens Jolles, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Italy, has warned. Jolles said political expediency was preventing measures being taken to reduce migrant deaths. “In many countries in Europe at the moment, the [political] dialogue and the rhetoric is quite extreme and very irresponsible,” he said. Jolles said: “Because of elections and because of the economic crisis, it becomes difficult for those parties who traditionally would not follow on those same lines to counter the rhetoric with the strength that they should.

 “It’s a fear of foreigners, which is a logical fear, a natural fear, but it is being exploited for populist or political reasons, especially in election periods.” He continued, “The level of this dialogue compared to 20 years ago is just incredible. It wouldn’t have been possible in the past, the racist rhetoric, the rhetoric of intolerance. In the 60s, 70s and the 80s, we would never have accepted this,” said Jolles.

The UK Foreign Office says it will not support future search-and-rescue operations because they encourage migration. “The fact that the UK has made it clear that it does not wish to participate in contributing measures to a rescue operation, or putting in place a rescue operation in the Mediterranean, is very concerning,” said Jolles. 

In December, the UNHCR appealed to the EU to provide 130,000 resettlement places for Syrians displaced by the civil war. Germany has pledged to take 30,000 and Sweden 2,700. The remaining 26 EU states are taking 5,438 between them, with Britain taking just 143.

 “The UK should be participating and contributing in a European context to solidarity measures and trying to fulfil its part making it easier to deal with these [migration] flows,” said Jolles. “If one really wants to tackle the problem and ensure that there are less deaths, then the thing to do is to look at providing legal avenues to come to Europe. There is an obligation, both moral and legal, to try and do something. People will die.”

The UNHCR is concerned that rather than helping to create a safe passage for migrants, the European commission is more concerned with trying to stop people entering. “What we are hearing is that there is more dialogue on how to prevent people coming to Europe and how to stop them than how to manage the flows and what to do when these persons come into Europe,” said Jolles.

In order to ward off unrest various tactics are employed by governments. One of them is creating divisions among the suffering masses by, for instance, blaming foreigners and whipping up nationalistic feelings. This diverts attention from misrule and mismanagement. Secondly, and in response to the official lies, the masses who are hungry, sick and illiterate are taken in by the government's ploy. Now, since a hungry man is an angry man and since anger is emotional and overpowers reason, the least provocation can result in violence-often misdirected. Such violence can be vented against fellow citizens usually manifested in riots and civil wars. The violence is also invariably be turned loose on the "aliens". This is the real cause of xenophobia-the rich pitting the poor against the poor. In fact wealthy "foreigners" are rarely affected.

The real solution will be to eliminate the present situation of a minority owning the means of production and distribution of wealth whilst the majority owning nothing, have to work for the few. In other words money, buying and selling, commodities and the like must be done away with. Humanity must commonly own the means of production and must have free and equal access to the produce. Under such circumstances there will be no want and consequently no war and hatred. But this type of system can only be possible when people make efforts to understand it. When they understand and want it, they can organise to usher it in.
South Africa and the EU are not very much different in essence when their ruling class seek to divide and rule, even if both vehemently deny that charge. The facts and evidence says otherwise. 
6 hours 2 min ago