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British defence contractors are selling record amounts of arms to Israel, new figures reveal, just days after it was confirmed that Prince William will represent the UK government on a visit to the country next month. Netanyahu has said it will be “a historic visit, the first of its kind”. Campaign Against Arms Trade reveal that last year the UK issued £221m worth of arms licences to defence
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The Jewish Problem, as is the case with all minority problems, constitutes one of the countless issues which a sickly social system based upon economic classes constantly throws up. It will take much more than tear-jerker ads in the newspapers; much more than impassioned orations by prominent civic, national and world figures; much more than all the money that can ever pour into the coffers
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The most obvious fact facing the Socialist Party is that most workers are not socialists. Indeed most workers accept capitalism, believe it can’t be changed, and view socialists who want to change it as idealists or troublemakers. So how can this change?  Capitalist ideas seem to make sense because they reflect the world as we experience it.  They justify the current class divisions.  As Marx put it: ‘the ruling ideas of any age will be the ideas of the ruling class’. To use the language of an earlier time, something ‘ordained by God’. Or as the hymn says:
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,God made them high and lowly,And ordered their estate.Capitalist society is founded on the profit motive – and therefore this is thought of as ‘natural’.  Enterprises are run for profit. If capitalist ideology didn’t dominate workers’ thinking in this way capitalism couldn’t survive at all. Workers’ ideas clearly cannot simply be changed on a mass scale by socialist propaganda. A socialist journal such as Socialist Standard can’t match the operations of the billionaire press. The spread of socialist ideas on a mass scale must have a material base; just as capitalist ideas dominate workers’ thinking because they reflect their daily experience, so the spread of socialist ideas will reflect changes in that daily experience. The ruling class controls and directs the formation and propagation of ideas. None of this means that the attempt by socialists to spread their ideas through newspapers, pamphlets and books is irrelevant or unnecessary. Workers do not have to be socialists before they engage in battles that challenge the ruling class – but their ability to win those battles is closely linked to their level of political consciousness. Mass strikes, workplace occupations, and demonstrations create conditions in which it is possible for socialist ideas to spread, but it is impossible for workers to improvise, suddenly and in the heat of battle, a fully worked-out socialist understanding of the world. The socialist ideas have to be there, ready to inform those struggles, to articulate and generalise from these new experiences, and ready to prove their practical relevance by pointing to the way forward.   Capital is interested in production for profit, labour in production for use. Capital is based upon a constantly increasing exploitation of labour, in order to maintain its profit; labour constantly resists this exploitation. There is and can be no such thing as a “legitimate profit,” inasmuch as all profit is derived from paying workers less than the value they add to the product. There is and can be no such thing as a “fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” inasmuch as wages are the payment for only one part of the day’s work, the other part of which the worker is compelled to contribute to the employer in the form of surplus-value, or profit. Capital always seeks to intensify the exploitation of labor by reducing wages, increasing the work-day, or speeding-up production, or by all three at once; and labor always seeks to raise its wage and working standards. Capital always seeks to increase its profits, which can be done only by exploiting labour; labour always seeks to resist exploitation, which can be done only at the expense of profits. These are fundamental economic facts. Under capitalism, nothing that all the capitalists or all the workers can do is wipe out these facts. The capitalists, of course, hammer into the heads of the workers, from childhood on, that the laws of God and Man and Nature entitle them to a profit, especially a “legitimate” profit.
The class struggle is a political struggle. It cannot be fought successfully by the workers unless they have a political weapon, which means, their own political party. The workers need a party of their own. The first great step is breaking from the capitalist parties and capitalist politics, and toward independent working-class political action. A political party that does not proclaim its intention of capturing state power, overthrowing capitalism an is establishing a new society, is not worthy of the name, socialist. When the power of the capitalists is left intact and there is no fundamental change, the position of the people is not sufficiently improved or not improved at all, because no bold steps were taken to remove the causes of the social evils produced by capitalism. The hopes of the people are then disappointed. Their enthusiasm declined. Their hopes diminished.
Only in an entirely different society, where the people (the producers) own in common the tools they use in production (the factories, pits, depots and offices) will it be possible to plan democratically the rational use of labour and resources to satisfy the needs of the people. Production for use, not profit would be the basis of such a society, in other words, a socialist society. The Socialist Party came into existence to achieve such a society.  Its members are committed to helping transform crisis-ridden capitalism into socialism. To transform capitalism requires the understanding of the nature of the beast, what makes it tick, and how changes are brought about. Because our Party is based on Marxism — the science of social change — we are better able to understand the world we live in and how to change it. It is not an easy task, nor will it be achieved by a handful of dedicated socialists acting on their own. It will require the unity in struggle of the majority of our people in mass organisations of the working class. But to realize this aim of socialism, the Socialist Party must grow in numbers and influence, and the circulation of the Socialist Standard which puts forward the socialist case must be increased.

 We ask visitors to this blog who agree with its analysis and conclusions to seriously consider joining the Socialist Party and participate in creating a better world, fit for mankind to inhabit. 

9 hours 9 min ago
Jason Hickel, in his new book The Divide, rails against more recent attempts to show that trade and liberalisation are benefiting the poor. He uses research by the US-based campaign group Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics which shows that in 2012, the last year of recorded data, $3.3tn flowed out of developing-world
12 hours 10 min ago
It has taken many years, filled with bitter experience, to teach the working class that emancipation from capitalism is not to be won by apparently easy and simple means. That the socialist goal cannot be reached by relying on any one-sided method; either the exclusively parliamentary tactics of reformism, or the direct action of the syndicalists. This objective will only be achieved by the movement conducting a multi-sided struggle; a struggle on all fronts – the economic and political. The behaviour of Labour Party politicians in office, their complete subservience to the ruling class, soon unmasked the treachery of reformism. It revealed its futility. The mission of upholding human culture and rebuilding society on a basis of social justice to-day rests with the socialist movement. Society is ripe for the change from capitalism to socialism, so all sorts of groups are busy advertising their political panacea pills to cure the impending social ills.
The Left constantly refer the “dictatorship of the proletariat” but when Marx coined this phrase he had in view a democratically-elected body using coercive measures against an obstructive minority during a short transitional peril after a Revolution. Lenin perverted this clear meaning into the dictatorship of one proletarian party. In Russia party dictatorship narrowed down into the dictatorship first of the Executive Committee, then of the latter’s political bureau, finally of its general secretary – Stalin. Marx and Engels visualised socialism as the highest stage of human society, economically, socially, ethically and intellectually. Based on the common ownership of the means of production and distribution, a new and higher economic system was to be built up, raising production to a higher economic level, and ending all social oppression by dissolving the hostile classes into a community of free and equal producers striving not for sectional interests, but for the common good. This socialist commonwealth, liberating the individual from all economic, political and social oppression, would provide the basis, for real liberty and for the full and harmonious development of the personality, giving full scope for the growth of the creative faculties of the mind.
Socialism is a system of society in which all the members of the community democratically determine their conditions of life and their way of living.  In order to do so, we must own and control, in common, the machines, factories, raw materials – all the means of production and the purposes are put. Unless the means of production are effectively in the hands of the whole society, there can be no question of the social control of the conditions of life.
Every capitalist competes with every other one for a market. If one capitalist does not compete, he is lost. To become big the capitalist must first squeeze out his weaker competitors and add their capital to his – centralisation of capital – or make as much profit as possible from his current sales and reinvest it – accumulation of capital. The first method is of no direct interest to the worker as it matters very little who the boss is. If the capitalists want to fight things out amongst themselves, it is their business. It is of little interest for another reason: it adds nothing to the productive powers of society; the national wealth does not grow as a result of it. In fact, all it leads to is the concentration of the same amount of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. We are interested mainly in the second form of capitalist growth: the accumulation of capital. It is accumulation which has made capitalist society the dominant form of society in the world. This is what affects the worker most directly. The source of accumulation is surplus value.
In order to produce commodities for the market, every capitalist must buy other commodities which he uses in production. The things he buys are mainly: machines, raw materials or semi.finished goods, and labour-power. Machines, raw materials or semi-finished goods, although an item of expenditure on the part of one capitalist, are commodities sold by other capitalists and appear as part of their incomes. Those capitalists also spend money on machines, raw materials or semi-finished goods and labour-power, the money spent on machines, raw materials and semi-finished goods being the income of yet another group of capitalists who spend money on ... and so on indefinitely. Whenever one capitalist spends money on machines, etc., that money is part of the income of other capitalists who then hand it over to yet other capitalists for machines, etc. If all the capitalists belonged to one great trust these transactions would not take place and the only buying and selling that there would be is the buying of labour-power by the capitalists and the selling of it by the workers and technicians in exchange for wages and salaries. Taken all in all, the capitalist class (not the individual capitalist) has only one expense – buying labour-power. Whatever remains to that class after its purchase of labour-power is profit (surplus value). Profit can only be made when the workers produce more than their wage bill and the depreciation of machinery and the depletion of stocks of raw materials put together, i.e. when they produce surplus value, value over and above the wages necessary to maintain themselves and their families.

1 day 9 hours ago