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65.6 million people are displaced worldwide. Last September, members of the United Nations convened in New York for the Summit for Refugees and Migrants, at which 193 countries committed to developing a comprehensive approach to welcoming and helping refugees. There are more than 22 million refugees in the world, 84 per cent of them in low- or middle-income countries – not in Europe, the
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“He who owns the means whereby I live, owns me” - Shakespeare
Ownership and control of the means of production are inseparable. The State, in the hands of the capitalists, is used as a terrific weapon of class warfare. Some people confuse the term State with Society and regard them as synonymous. Actually, the State arose with the institution of private property and became the authority of propertied interests over society in the name of society. The State was obliged to intervene in industrial disputes partly as conciliator and regulator though always as the custodian of property interests. It governs society in the interests of property and can do no other. The State does not rush to the rescue of the working class. The questions of ownership and control became principal questions. The demand for the nationalisation of this and that industry became popular. The machine of State becomes larger, its powers of repression grows enormously and wage-slavery remains. Class-war continues. Capitalist production is for the purpose of securing profit through the exploitation, ruination and enslavement of the working people. Ownership is what gives the capitalist class power of life or death over the working class and over society as a whole.
The questions of ownership and control become principal questions. For the workers the old order has to go. Socialism is a class-free society based upon common ownership. In socialist society the means of production have ceased to be capital, that is, to be a means of exploitation. In socialist society there are no longer an employing class or a State with a monopoly of property in the means of production and the majority deprived of property in the means of production. Socialist ownership of the means of production gives rise to mutual relations between people engaged in the production process which are quite different from those obtaining under capitalism. Private property in the means of production inevitably divides people, gives rise to relations of domination and subordination and to the exploitation of some people by others, evokes antagonism of interests, class struggle and competition. On the other hand, social ownership of the means of production unites people, ensures a genuine community of interests and comradely co-operation. The social ownership of production means that socialist production is freed from the contradiction, inherent in capitalism, between the social character of production and the private capitalist form of appropriating its fruits.
The original role of money was to serve as a medium, a standard that made easier the exchange of one commodity for another. But under capitalism, this medium of exchange has taken off with a life of its own. For the capitalist, the aim of production is to produce goods to exchange and not to use, but instead it is a compulsory drive to accumulate capital through exploitation–simply put, to make more money. Once money becomes the aim of production, labour power has to become a commodity. In other words, a worker’s labour power can be bought and sold. Besides the fact that people must be legally free–that is, not slaves owned by others or serfs tied to the land–the labourer must have lost all means of production and thus all ability to produce either for consumption or exchange for himself. An example of this is peasants being driven off the land. Labour power as a commodity is the necessary complement of the private ownership of the means of production by the capitalists. Only by buying the worker’s labour power can the capitalist make profits. Workers produce more than what the capitalist pays them in wages and benefits. This is the basis of exploitation of the workers. What the workers produce over and beyond the socially necessary labour for keeping themselves and their families alive and working is surplus value. Surplus value is the only source of profits and is ripped off by the capitalists.
We have in capitalism a colossal concentration of wealth on the one side and poverty on the other side. We have in a world of stupendous riches unknown in all history: no abundance, no peace, no security, no full employment anywhere on the planet. These social evils are not bred in the heart of man; they are bred by capitalism, and by nothing else. To live, you, the worker, must not only work for the owners of the means of production and exchange – you must guarantee them a profit. Working for them is not enough; a profit is absolutely required for you to get your job; and that profit can be obtained in no other wise except by exploiting that which is your only real possession – namely your physical or mental capacity to work. That is all the workingman or woman has. The capitalist must accumulate in order to exist. To accumulate, he must be assured profit. To profit, he must exploit labour. There is no other way. Capitalists always seek to intensify exploitation; labour always and necessarily seeks to resist exploitation. Capitalism seeks what is rightfully its own, from its point of view: the maximum that it can get out of the worker. Labour seeks what is rightfully its own: that’s why it forms class organisations, labour unions.
Socialism demands not only the collective ownership of the means of production but the control of the working class. Anything less than that may be anything you want; it is not and never will be socialism.
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Low wages, freezes to benefits and rising costs of renting could cause more than 1 million households ( including 375,000 with at least one person in work) to become homeless by 2020. It estimates that 211,000 households in which no one works because of disability could be forced to go. The study by the homelessness charity Shelter shows that rising numbers of families on low incomes are not
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Once again the British government prefers to turn a blind eye to the realities of its support for a belligerent Saudi Arabia. Yemen is now facing the worst cholera outbreak anywhere in the world, the United Nations has warned. A statement by Unicef and the World Health Organization says the number of suspected cholera cases in the war-torn country has exceeded 200,000. So far more than 1,300
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Seward Community Food Co-op workers have now voted by an overwhelming count to unionize, becoming the last food retail co-op in Minneapolis to do so. “Workers lost their voice,” said Gina Montenaro, 37, a Seward cashier. “When Seward expanded, it became more corporate.” Cashier Bea Cooper, 23, read a statement accusing Seward managers of “unequal and unfair application of discipline,
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