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Pamphlets

What's Wrong With Using Parliament

What distinguishes us, amongst those who want a classless, stateless, wageless, moneyless society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of life, is our view that parliament can, and should, be used in the course of establishing such a socialist society.

This position is based on our understanding that before socialism can be established there has to be a majority actively in favour of this, and that it is essential for this majority to win control over the machinery of government (political power, the state) before trying to establish socialism. In developed capitalist countries, it is control of the law-making assembly (parliament) that is the way to the control of the machinery of government. Since control of parliament is obtained via elections based on universal suffrage, a socialist majority can win control of the machinery of government through winning a parliamentary majority via the ballot box.

Date: 
2010

An Inconvenient Question - Socialism and the Environment

Introduction

In recent years the environment has become a major political issue.  And rightly so, because a serious environmental crisis really does exist.  The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have all become contaminated to a greater or lesser extent.  Ecology – the branch of biology that studies the relationships of living organisms to their environment – is important, as it is concerned with explaining exactly what has been happening and what is likely to happen if present trends continue.

Date: 
2008

From Capitalism to Socialism. . . how we live and how we could live


FOREWORD to the 2006 edition

This pamphlet is intended to be an introduction to the socialist view of how modern society operates and why we think socialism is necessary as a means of organising the world more effectively.

For such a society to be established, it is necessary first for a majority of the world’s people to have a working knowledge of how the system we live under – which we call capitalism – operates, and to understand what the change to socialism will mean. The aim of this pamphlet, therefore, is to contrast the present way of life with what a future socialist world would bring, and then to suggest what kind of political action can be taken to bring socialism about.

Date: 
2006

Are We Prisoners of Our Genes?

Introduction

It may seem out of place that a political party should publish a pamphlet on an essentially scientific subject. What significance, it may be asked, have advances in our understanding of how heredity works got to do with a political programme aimed at changing the basis of society?

The answer is that it is not us socialists who have made genes a political issue. It is our opponents with their claim that the genetic make-up of humans would prevent the establishment of a co-operative, peaceful and non-hierarchical society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production.

Date: 
2004

Socialist Principles Explained

The reason for this pamphlet

We are open

Very few political parties these days are willing to tell you what they are aiming for and how they are prepared to achieve it. The Socialist Party  and our Companion Parties overseas have always done so. Our monthly journal, The Socialist Standard, our web site, all our pamphlets and election addresses carry our Object and Declaration of Principles. These explain what we are working for and how we expect to reach our goal.

We all agree

Everyone who applies for membership, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, colour or age is asked to show that they understand and agree with the Object and Declaration of Principles because they are the basis of our party and the World Socialist Movement it is part of.

Unchanged

Date: 
2000

Marxism Revisited

Since the break-up of the USSR and its eastern European empire, with the consequent collapse of Leninist ideas of revolution, it has become the accepted wisdom that Marxism is outdated. In this series of public forums The Socialist Party examined that body of thought known as Marxism and reassessed its relevance to modern conditions and to the development of an alternative society.

Each forum lasted two hours including the discussion which followed each talk.

From 'Summer School 1998', 3-5 July, at Fircroft College, Selly Oak, Birmingham. Audio recordings are also available by clicking the titles below....

 

Contents

Date: 
1998

The Market System Must Go!

Introduction

This pamphlet, on the subject of 'reform or revolution', is intended to explain why the Socialist Party advocates a revolutionary transformation of existing society rather than piecemeal reform, like the Labour Party or the Conservatives. It is primarily intended to be a detailed back-up to our more introductory pamphlets putting the case for revolutionary change, and to our journal The Socialist Standard.

Date: 
1997

Socialism as a Practical Alternative

Preface to the Revised Edition

A pamphlet with the title “Socialism As A Practical Alternative” was first published by the Socialist Party in 1987. Its purpose was to add some proposals for organization in Socialism to its basis of common ownership, democratic control and production solely for needs. The original text has been reissued with a few minor amendments.

Since 1987 the ravages of world capitalism have continued. Further millions have been added to the list of those who have died from hunger and avoidable disease. The market system continues to feed on its diet of misery. Now in a phase of world slump, it prevents society using its powers to solve problems. Around the planet, violence also continues with war  coming yet again to Europe in the former Yugoslavia.

Date: 
1994

Eastern Europe The Collapse Of The Kremlin's Empire

A socialist analysis of the events in Eastern Europe

“What justification is there, then, for terming the upheaval in Russia a socialist revolution? None whatever beyond the fact that the leaders of the November movement claim to be Marxian socialists".

Quoted from an article entitled "The Revolution in Russia - Where it Fails" in the Socialist Standard, August 1918.

Introduction

The events in Eastern Europe in the winter of 1989/90 shattered many of the illusions of workers who had imagined that the political and economic system that existed in those countries had something to do with socialism.

Date: 
1991

Ecology And Socialism

A Socialist View of Environmental Issues

Preface

Why ecology is important
In recent years the environment has become a major political issue. And rightly so, because a serious environmental crisis really does exist. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have all been contaminated and polluted to a greater or lesser extent. Ecology - the branch of biology that studies the relationships of living organisms to their environment - is important in this respect, as it can provide an explanation of what exactly has been happening and the extent of the problem.

Date: 
1990

Racism

Preface

Some people claim that human beings can be divided into races on the basis of physical characteristics like skin colour, and racism is the theory that one group of people, identified in this way as a “race”, is superior to another. Racism results in hostility towards the group thought of as inferior, the practice of discrimination and persecution, and in some cases it has led to genocide.

Despite the fact that there is no evidence to support racism it continues to cause suffering for those who are its victims. Today, as in the past, different ideas and theories have been used to support racism, and different groups have been singled out as the victims of racist oppression.

Date: 
1988

Women and Socialism

Introduction

Sexism is a word that has entered our vocabulary only fairly recently although the concept to which it refers has been around a lot longer. It means discrimination against women for reasons of gender alone. What it means in practice can best be illustrated by an outline of what many women in recent years have seen as the female role in contemporary society.

Date: 
1986

The Strike Weapon: Lessons of the Miners’ Strike

Introduction

This pamphlet is not about how the miners should have conducted their strike or how it might have ended differently. There are plenty of individuals and organisations which, both during the strike and since, have appointed themselves as advisers to the strikers, either counselling ‘moderation’ or urging tactics of senselessly heroic adventurism. The 1984-85 miners’ strike is now part of working-class history – the experiences received from it are not going to disappear from the memories of those who took part. Lessons must now be learned, for if history is to be of any importance, it must be as a guide for what we do now in making the future.

Date: 
1985

Ireland – Past, Present and Future

Ireland – Past, Present and Future

Introduction

Date: 
1983

Is a Third World War Inevitable?

Is a Third World War Inevitable?

Introduction
Each day it becomes more obvious that mankind must choose between the security of a peaceful society, which only conscious action can bring about, and the insecurity of militarism which is an inherent part of today's society, the 'civilisation' of the bomb and the dole queue.

There are many responses to the threat of war, from the' Apocalypse Now' hysteria of those who allow emotion to overcome reason, to the view expressed by a politician like Mrs Thatcher who, when opening Britain's most advanced torpedo factory , said that such weapons of destruction would serve to defend 'the British way of life' (Guardian, 11 April 1981). Those who would have us march round in circles pleading with leaders to 'ban the bomb' and those who urge us to sit back in our armchairs and have faith in the wisdom of governments have in common an ignorance of the cause of war and social insecurity.

Date: 
1982