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History

The Basis of Socialism

 The Socialist Party cannot be accused, with fairness, of hiding from the world its Object, principles, and policy. The goal for which we strive, the reasons that direct us thither, and the methods by which we confidently expect to arrive at our goal are no secret. They are embodied in a summary form in the Party’s Declaration of Principles appearing on the last page of every copy of this, its official organ.

 The Party’s Object is defined as the establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments of production and distribution. This brief statement presents in a nutshell the whole broad, general outlook of the Party, and the key to all aspects of its philosophy. '

History - Whose Story?

We live in times of great change, uncertainty and bewilderment. For many it is hard to see where it is all leading. Empires fall; economies slump; morals are up in the air; riots; new national conflicts; New World Orders that are more wish than substance. Like in the inter-war years, the ruling class seem to be unsure quite what it is they are ruling—and for how long they will do so. The majority of people are a little numbed by it all. Better the devil you know? The atmosphere is one of expectation—often pessimistic and fatalistic, but the assumption is that everything in the known world might soon be not quite the same.

History as mystery

That’s what our rulers want because while we remain ignorant of our past they remain unchallenged. While we remain indifferent to history they reign supreme

The interruption of the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon on Easter Sunday by gay rights activists caused a flurry of media attention that would normally have been absent from such a pointless event. In the ensuing babble about the Church's hostile attitude to gay sex the content of the original sermon was more or less overlooked. Dr Carey's scholarly and sophisticated contribution to the Millennium Agenda was that we have all forgotten our historical Christian values, and that is why the world's in a mess. His view is that we should "remember history".

What happened in history

Socialists have long argued that an appreciation of history is a key to understanding the present and making the future.

The materialist conception of history is the essential tool for explaining social development, on the basis of society's economic foundations. People have to live before they can make history, so the way in which production is organised—how food, clothing and so on are produced—must be of crucial importance. Implicit in these ideas is the view that the environment in which people live itself affects production and hence the economic bases of society, as Karl Marx once wrote:

"Men make their own history but not of their own free will; not under circumstances they themselves have chosen but under the given and inherited circumstances with which they are directly confronted."

The circumstances that confront people include the geographical and ecological situation in which they live.

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