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Events and New Additions to the Website

NEWS - We will be contesting three seats at the forthcoming General Election -

Battersea (Danny Lambert)

Islington North (Bill Martin)

SwanseaWest (Brian Johnson)

If you wish to help out in the campaign email us at spgb@worldsocialism.org or phone 02076223811 or text (only) 07732831192. We will put you in touch with the local branch election committee.

 

Meetings and Street Stalls -

ISLINGTON - Election Street Stall Saturday, 13th May 2017 - 11:00am - 1:00pm. Organised by North London Branch as part of the SPGB's campaign in the forthcoming General Election.

MANCHESTER - 'Only One Earth - Time to Take Control' Saturday, 13th May 2017 - 2:00pm. Discussion on the environment and capitalism.

KENTISH TOWN, LONDON - The Overpopulation Myth Thursday, 18th May 2017 - 8:00pm. Open discussion facilitated by Carla Dee.

BURFORD, Oxfordshire - Levellers Day Saturday, 20th May 2017 - 10:30am - 3:00pm. The Socialist Party will have a stall at this event.

DONCASTER - 'World Socialism - Nothing Less' (Day School) Saturday, 20th May 2017 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm. Film - 'Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff'. Plus speakers - Clifford Slapper & Brian Gardner.

SWANSEA - Street Stall Saturday, 20th May 2017 - 11:00am - 1:00pm. Also same time on 17th June, 15th July, 19th August, and 16th September 2017.

FOLKESTONE - Street Stall Saturday, 20th May 2017 - 12:00pm.

CARDIFF- Street Stall Saturday, 3rd June 2017 - 10:00am - 12:00pm. Also same time on 1st July, 5th August and 2nd September 2017.

BIRMINGHAM - SUMMER SCHOOL FIRCROFT COLLEGE - Summer School 2017 - 'The Environment' Friday, 21st July 2017 - 6:00pm - Sunday, 23rd July 2017 - 2:00pm

 

Latest issue of the SOCIALIST STANDARD May 2017

 

Recent Additions to the SOCIALIST STANDARD archive

FRANCE

French Election: Will the 'Left' Win? (By Adam Buick, March 1978) This month’s French elections could result, if the Left wins, in a new government containing Ministers from the so-called Communist Party (PC). This would not be new, even for France, since there were PC Ministers from 1945 to 1947, but, if it comes about, it will represent the re-integration of the PC in France into normal capitalist politics...

Mitterrand Organises Poverty (Adam Buick, January 1985) SOCIALISM = NEW POVERTY reads a poster stuck up all over Paris by a conservative students' association. Of course this has nothing to do with genuine socialism but concerns rather the false variety represented by Mitterrand and his "socialist party" who have been governing French capitalism since 1981.

The French Bomb (Adam Buick, December 1981) ... But Mitterrand's pro-bomb policy goes even further. Far from repudiating "the strategic nuclear strike force in whatever form” as promised in 1972, he has refused even to interrupt research authorised by Giscard into how to develop a French neutron bomb.

The French Movement for Abundance (Adam Buick, February 1980) In France, before and just after the last world war, a group known as the Mouvement Français pour I’Abondance (MFA) enjoyed some success, to such an extent that its theories are now referred to in most French dictionaries under the word abondance. The key figure in this movement, which still exists today though divided into a number of rival groups, was Jacques Duboin.

Colonialists to the Barricades (By F. R. Ivimey, March 1960) There are other French interests in Algeria that are becoming more important than the Colonists' dates, wine and raisins. These other interests have always been a powerful, but somewhat hidden factor in French Government policy; with the opening of the oil pipeline, however, these interests are now in the open, and overriding.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Loyalists and Loners by Michael Foot, (reviewed by Ivan, May 1986) Politics is not a subject for dilettantes. It is all about the power of the working class to revolutionise a decadent, repressive, murdering social system into history. This vital issue finds no mention in Foot's pretentious exercises in irrelevance. Is this the best this reputedly cultured man can do?

The Thatcher Government by Peter Riddell, (reviewed by Philip Bentley, May 1984) Riddell sees Thatcher not purely as a defender of free enterprise or monetarism but as a moral crusader, the voice of the provincial and suburban "middle class", concerned with personal responsibility, the family and national pride. This means that there has been no radical change in the British economy and society, for Thatcher is firmly committed to capitalism, the profit motive and private enterprise.

Marxism and the French Left by Tony Judt, (reviewed by Edgar Hardcastle, December 1986) In this book, Tony Judt describes how the ideas, aims and methods of organisations belonging to the "French Left" have changed in the course of 150 years. He defines what he means by "Left", it was, he says, "to be Republican, Radical, Socialist, or Communist at different times (or at the same time in different places)" — all of them with roots in the French Revolution.

The English Rebels by Charles Poulsen, (reviewed by Philip Bentley, May 1984) Poulsen's book is a valuable, though brief, introduction to some of the major radical ideas that have developed within society. At the same time it is a reminder of the need for a radical alternative to overcome prevailing ideologies as when he says of the suppression of trade unions that "the defence of freedom became a catchword to perpetuate poverty and exploitation" (p.157). The freedoms that are enjoyed are those of the capitalist class while poverty and exploitation are the lot of the majority.

My Life by Sir Oswald Mosley, (reviewed by Les Dale, May 1969) For a few years during the '30s the Blackshirts were familiar figures on the streets of London and other big cities. In their all-black uniforms with high necked shirts and broad, heavy-buckled belts, they were a new and disturbing feature of the British political scene—the nearest, in fact, that modern Britain had ever got to a private army.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Socialism and Charity (by May Otway, May 1933) What is the Socialist’s attitude towards charities?

Gunmen, Get Lost! (By Steve Coleman, May 1993) Sitting in a Dublin cinema on a rainy afternoon watching the Oscar-winning film The Crying Game was an electrifying experience. The film itself (which must have one of the least predictable twists of any film ever; one which probably detracts from the poignancy of the unambiguous attack on terrorist violence) shows vividly the cold and callous and futile world of IRA violence.

Latin America 1: Economy and Investment (By Vic Vanni, May 1971) Latin America is the Cinderella of world politics. In comparison with Africa and Asia it has been neglected, as a glance at the shelves in the libraries and bookshops will show. Penguin paperbacks, for example, have published a whole African Library but nothing comparable on Latin America, and even the left wing have been relatively silent on the subject.

Labour's Young Lions (By Adam Buick, May 1964) The recent conference of the youth section of the Labour Party, the so-called Young Socialists, at Brighton, has again rejected the official party policy on many important issues. There are signs that the young Socialists have now become an embarrassment to the Labour Party as was the League of Youth in the past.

What to do About the H-Bomb (By Stan Parker, May 1954) We live in a world in which the possession of property and the protection of property institutions is the dominating feature. Inseparable from Capitalism is the capitalist state, the machinery which governs the countless individual acts of exploitation and which can, as in Russia, actually constitute the exploiting agent...

 

EDITORIALS PAST

Remember Belgium! (May 1930) In 1914, hundreds of thousands of workers were duped into enlisting by the appeal to their sympathy on behalf of “poor little Belgium!" It is interesting to learn that confirmation has now been given to the statement that the Allied Governments had themselves prepared for violating Belgian “neutrality.”

End of a Dream (May 1992) When Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley were elected leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party in 1983, they were hailed as a "dream ticket" - as a pair who between them were likely to pander to just about every prejudice and delusion and so were expected to bring in the maximum votes for their party. At the time Labour had suffered so crushing a defeat that there was serious speculation about their ability to survive as an electoral force.

Return of Labour? (May 1990) As those who remember the Wilson and Callaghan prime ministerships of the 1960s and 1970s can testify, Labour governments have always ended up administering capitalism according to its rules. Attacks on workers as greedy wreckers for going on strike, anti-union laws, troops as strike-breakers, benefit cuts, hospital closures, unemployment, poverty and homelessness are not just features of recent Tory rule.

What Socialism Means (May 1980

May-Day and the War Clouds (May 1939) Let the British and German capitalists quarrel about their profit-seeking interests. Let British workers set an example to their fellows in all lands by proclaiming that the interest of the working class is in internationalism, not in wars for markets. Let working-class May-Day be an answer to all who would seek to turn the thoughts of the workers to nationalism and war.