A former member writes

July 2024 Forums General discussion A former member writes

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  • #80933

    We have received the following email from a former member who has requested we publish it. He is using a pseudonym but we have checked and he was a member (joined 1971).

    Quote:
    Hi Guys! (and Dolls)

    I joined the SPGB back in the early seventies when I was 14 – fired with revolutionary zeal but I must admit also as a horny adolescent hoping to meet hot socialists of the female persuasion of my own age. I went to a couple of meetings in Streatham, I think it was (one of those god-awful places in South-east London), and discovered the average age of members was 55 and they were all male except one – disappointment. I made the pilgrimage to Clapham High Street with my Red Rover bus pass and bought a few issues of the Socialist Standard with what was left of my pocket money. Shortly after, I had an epiphany  and believed that the majority should NOT dictate to the
    minority, that my belief was more anarchist than socialist and went very hippy for many years.

    Some time after that, I finally found myself in employment and what turned out to be a lucrative (relatively) profession – Information Technology. I got very good at it and have spent the last 30+ years being still very good at it, and getting a reasonably satisfying wage – not rich, but not bad either. “Workers by hand or brain” as I think Marx said?

    I am comfortably well off and wish for nothing. I have every material want that I could desire (credit card bills are bit high but I can deal with them). I have spent my life working hard to achieve this, for myself and my family, and you suggest I should share with the kid the same age as me who left school with no qualifications (because he couldn’t be bothered to do that book learning stuff) and spent his life doing nothing because he couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed (I am thinking of real-world examples here) – that I should distribute my hard-earned cash with his zero-contribution to equalize us?

    And before you cite the deplorable background of the drone, and my privileged position – actually the complete opposite is true. My father left my mother when I was four years old (along with two other school-age children). He never sent a penny during the entire period of my childhood (this was the sixties) and then it wasn’t a career choice as it is now, to be a single parent, have several kids with different fathers and get council housing and social security payments. She got NOTHING. My mother worked night shift in the local hospital cleaning out incontinent patients beds.At the age of eleven, I answered the door to be told by the rent-man if we didn’t pay up we would be out on the streets. We had food, but little warmth – there was only one warm room in the house so I did my homework at school (a good grammar school, I passed my 11+ with ease). I got a free school uniform but I had to queue up with the other poor kids to get our free school-dinner vouchers – which we had to brandish to show that we were poor, and stigmatize us in front of our peers.

    Meanwhile these peers of mine from childhood, from good homes (“middle-class” but I know you don’t recognize this as such, I used to class them as “parents that aren’t hiding from debt-collectors”) went on to become in some cases heroin addicts, and mostly all bloodsuckers and deadbeats, useless and still contributing nothing to this day.

    So my message to the parastic “unfortunate” drones that I should share with – FUCK YOU. I could have put that more politically correct but that’s what I feel.

    If you feel you like publishing this feel free – just send me a link where you put it. Then again, you probably won’t publish it as it is “off-message”.

    regards

    Nod Glodnig

    #87176
    DJP
    Participant

    Hello Nod,So, over 30 years you have managed to amass a comfortable pile of crumbs. You’ve put yourself to use, the only use that people are able to put themselves in the present social system, and helped increase the size of the cake that is societies capital. But by spending too much time staring at your pile of crumbs you’ve failed to noticed that the cake mix is rotten, that the fumes from the bakery pollute the environment we live in and that the bakery owner grows fat from your efforts.That a life of wage slavery should have such an effect on someone is understandable, even well paid wage workers are always in a precarious position, whether or not they are aware of it. Most slaves, even well fed ones, secretly dreamed of being slave-masters. We seek the end of the system wage slavery.You should really know better.

    #87177
    J Surman
    Participant

    This seems a rather strange communication coming from out of the blue. I’m wondering what motivated ‘Nod’ to write in at this time, perhaps he’ll tell us more if he wants any serious replies.Just one point, what’s his opinion on the really nasty parasites who cause so much death and destruction around the world while they’re focussed on their never-ending quest for accumulation?

    #87178
    robbo203
    Participant
    J Surman wrote:
    This seems a rather strange communication coming from out of the blue. I’m wondering what motivated ‘Nod’ to write in at this time, perhaps he’ll tell us more if he wants any serious replies.
    Just one point, what’s his opinion on the really nasty parasites who cause so much death and destruction around the world while they’re focussed on their never-ending quest for accumulation?

     
    Yes  very strange indeed,  He is almost a parody of your stereotypical Daily Mail reader – with his complacent,  self-satisfied , I’m-all-right-Jack–and-stuff- the-rest -of-you attitude  . And the guy clearly doesn’t have much of a clue about socialism either with his  objection to distributing  his hard-earned cash to others, who have contributed nothing to society, for the sake of equalisation. 
    It just doesn’t add up .  The chirpy familiarity – “Hi Guys! (and Dolls)” – and the odd Marx quote suggesting someone  who has done a little reading around and whose outlook on life is a little broader than singlemindedly  getting on in the rat-race, making loadsa money and dying of a pre retirement heart attack,   just doesnt seem to sit easily  with the naff and drearily predictable sad sentiments of your typical right-up-your-own-backside egotistical type. “Look at  me!. Look at what a success I am,  having  got where I am through sheer graft.. Why should I share what I have achieved with you. So fuck of!!”.  Strewth,  give us break.. This is , well., so passe,  luv.  Gordon Gecko said it all back in the 1980s and we’ve moved on since then.
    But what intrigues me is why reestablish contact  with an organisation with you were evidently only very fleetingly acquainted all those years ago and with which you today have so little in common.  Now there’s a mystery. Perhaps Mr Mystery Man  should tell us more about this voyage of self discovery he has seemingly embarked upon

    #87179
    HollyHead
    Participant

    Methinks our correspondent doth protest too much. “I am comfortably well off and wish for nothing.” Not even an end to world hunger and the threat of ecological disaster? Well poor braindead old you.

    #87180

    We have also received this email from another (better) former member (joined 1953):

    Quote:
    I was in the Birmingham branch some 65 years ago. Howard Grew was chairman, I think, and his wife was secretary. We had a regular speaking stand in the Bull Ring, and met in a nearby pub. I was then a cub reporter on the Smethwick Telephone weekly newspaper and recall those meetings with great pleasure.
    Quote:
    I am very glad to be able to keep in touch with the party through Facebook. Just listened to the talk on Rosa Luxemburg. Wonderful!
    #87181
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    “Not even an end to world hunger and the threat of ecological disaster? Well poor braindead old you.” Obviously every thinking person does. How one achieves that, is another matter.There is enough food on this planet to feed everyone. The problem is distribution – and starvation occurs usually in war-torn or corrupt countries that prevent this – plus no infrastructure like roads, petrol stations and transport to get it there.Many countries produce surplus foodstuffs that they dump onto the world market to keep the price locally high – to please their farmers. This to me is a good solution, who cares how it comes about, if it gets food to the mouths of people who need it.Ecological disaster – another subject. One that I have been active in my own little way for many years.

    #87182
    robbo203
    Participant
    Nod Glodnig wrote:
    “Not even an end to world hunger and the threat of ecological disaster? Well poor braindead old you.” Obviously every thinking person does. How one achieves that, is another matter.
    There is enough food on this planet to feed everyone. The problem is distribution – and starvation occurs usually in war-torn or corrupt countries that prevent this – plus no infrastructure like roads, petrol stations and transport to get it there.

     
    This is true but this itself is part of a larger problem that is capitalism and the priorities it pursues which often promote corruption and sometimes war

    Nod Glodnig wrote:
    Many countries produce surplus foodstuffs that they dump onto the world market to keep the price locally high – to please their farmers. This to me is a good solution, who cares how it comes about, if it gets food to the mouths of people who need it.

     
    Dumping food on world markets can sometimes simply have the effect of transferring the problem elsewhere. If I remember correctly, India’s decision to reverse its policy on food exports a number of years ago had adverse consequences for a number of  other food exporting countries whose farmers suffered as a result.  As it happens much of the food surpluses at the time succumbed to spoilage because of inadequate warehousing facilities due to poor funding. It is also well known that well intended charitable efforts at delivering food to people who desparately need it such as in times of drought  can undermines efforts to to revive farming locally. Such is the perversity of the market system
    Apart from that, there is the literal dumping  (meaning destruction) of food. – not just at the retail end of the supply chain as when supermarkets dump stuff in skips etc  but at the production end as well. Locally , here in Spain Ive seen tons of cherry tomatoes rotting in the barrancos around the grotesquely ugly greenhouse belt  along the coast  between Adra and Almeria (the only other man-made structure you can see from outer space  – apart from the Great Wall of China, apparently).  These greenhouses proliferating like a cancer are a particularly vivid illustration of the utter irrationality  of market capitalism and the ecological disasters it brings in its train. Many of the greenhouses now stand empty. Ilegal wells having drained the acquifer have enabled an inrush of sea water to fill the vacumm leading to salinisation of the water supply.. The surrounding countryside has been affected too and as the vegetation suffers erosion sets in, compounding problems
    There is of course also the deliberate withdrawal of agricultural land prompted by apparent overproduction in the form of  food surpluses. Millions of hectares of land have been affected by this within the EU alone.

    Nod Glodnig wrote:
    Ecological disaster – another subject. One that I have been active in my own little way for many years.

     
    Good . So you  are not  quite of the Im-alright-Jack-And-Stuff-The Rest-Of-You  persuasion that came across strongly in your original post. Glad to hear of it!

    #87183
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What is your odd longing though?

    #87184
    Gog_
    Participant

    The email writter seems to have completely failed to realise that actual point of what socialism is. Socialism’s aim is not to give all his money to the poor that have “not worked” it is to get rid of the use of money, for as we well know: money is the root of all poverty. This former member may well be sitting in his pretty lounge decorated with all the trappings of a well paid job and it is in this case that people such as him fail to understand the problem associated with capitalism. While he is happy to swan around pretending not to be chained to his position in the capitalist system of society he is continuing to turn a blind eye to his acceptance of a perpetually exploitative method of allowing a few bullies to control the rest of us: how we live and how we die. While this person is happy with his tiny little piece of wealth and his position along the social spectrum he is just another individual happily sitting back with his feet up brainwashing himself, letting more and more people who have do not have any hope in all the universe suffer endlessly now and in the future. This is the attitude that will-if left unchecked-allow the continual stripping of the world, its people and its resources for the sake of a better living for a minority of people.

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