Forum Replies Created
I wonder why all those the money/credit out of thin air proponents never turned up to quiz the banker or managed to have an input in the statement.As for the statement its simply what any self-respecting NGO has been demanding for decades. Scarcely ground-breaking and hardly revolutionary.Why declare in 3 that the system in unsustainable for reasons [“The climate crisis and dwindling energy and mineral resources, land to build and produce food on, and the growing population, are incompatible with the prevailing economic strategy.”] that are then not addressed by the statement and the suggested changes to the rules.
China has said it will cut the limit on the amount of cash the country’s banks have to hold in reserve, a move designed to encourage more lending. China’s central bank said it would reduce the reserve limit from its record high of 21.5% to 21% on 5 December. The bank had been increasing the rate to reduce lending by banks in order to dampen demand and tackle rising prices.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15962630 Some commentators also suggested the move could be part of a wider effort by Chinese authorities to combat underground lending. China Banking Regulatory Commission said it was looking to curb the rise of shadow banking and private lending in the country. Some estimates put private loans, where rich individuals and businesses rather than banks lend money, at 4 trillion yuan ($627bn; £402bn). The loans often come with exorbitant interest rates of up to 70%.
Some may find this David Graeber article of interest.http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011112872835904508.html” Most Marxists insisted that it was necessary first to seize state power, and all the mechanisms of bureaucratic violence that come with it, and use them to transform society – to the point where, they argued such mechanisms would, ultimately, become redundant and fade away. Even back in the 19th century, anarchists argued that this was a pipe dream. One cannot, they argued, create peace by training for war, equality by creating top-down chains of command, or, for that matter, human happiness by becoming grim joyless revolutionaries who sacrifice all personal self-realisation or self-fulfillment to the cause.”We perhaps can take issue with this in that we wish to use the State to abolish the State rather than what i think is envisaged by Graeber, to institute a transitional workers State.We can also possibly comradely debate Graeber on democratic practice and the rights of minorities when he explains that in Occupy Wall St. “From the very beginning, too, organisers made the audacious decision to operate not only by direct democracy, without leaders, but by consensus.The first decision ensured that there would be no formal leadership structure that could be co-opted or coerced; the second, that no majority could bend a minority to its will, but that all crucial decisions had to be made by general consent”
First it was Oakland, now it’s Wall St, the police have moved in to clear the protesters. It is an on-going situation and perhaps, hopefully, like the first failed attempt at Oakland, the police will be forced to withdraw again. However as the WSM wrote previously we cannot be overly optimistic.”What we’re facing is the simple fact that our class enemies hold state power, and will use it, ruthlessly to protect their interests and defend themselves from the threat of democracy. Which is why the Socialist Party argues for the prime importance of taking state power out of their hands.”http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2011/no-1277-january-2011/editorial-cold-reality-state-power
Worth a read on non-violence and the Occupy Movement. Reminded me of our usual slogan “Peacefully if Possible – Forcibly if Necessary ” and added a couple of other useful slogand for future use by myself. “A few people making decisions that affect everyone else is not what revolution looks like; it’s what capitalism looks like.” “The master’s tools won’t dismantle the master’s house. And they sure won’t build a better house.” “our word is our weapon” http://www.zcommunications.org/throwing-out-the-master-s-tools-and-building-a-better-house-by-rebecca-solnit
A picture can tell a story. How banks work http://geographyfieldwork.com/HowBanksWork.htm “I think that people have learned that money is not made in banks. It is made by real people working hard at real jobs. Actually, deep down we knew that all along. We just have to learn it again.” Asbjorn Jonsson, an Icelandic fisherman, in a week when Iceland was effectively a bankrupt state. Its banks owed the world an astonishing £35billion – 12 times the size of Iceland’s gross domestic product and £116,000 for every man, woman and child.
http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-question-about-fractional-reserve-lending/ A useful link on fractional reserve and money creation myth for those who are suspicious if we as a political party explains it
As member and reader of many lists i often come across “banks are bad – lets make them good” arguments naturally debt fractional reserve and the Fed are the targets. In America a campaign is being waged for the North Dakota State-type bank, particularly vociferous on the web is a Ellen Brown. http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/the-north-dakota-miracle-not-all-about-oili would appreciate up to date info on banks, referring to 1931 and the MacMillan report tends to make me seem very old and it is bit UK parochial to be easily accepted by Americans. Maintaining a data base woldbe usefuli have tried to post on banking on my personal blog since have no confidence in its accuracy so i err on the side of caution and avoid our own SOYMB bloghttp://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2011/08/banking-myths.htmlhttp://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2011/09/on-banks-again.html
Seeking to profit from the demonstrations with T-shirts and other merchandise.Ray Agrinzone, a clothing designer who launched a mail-order website said: “There’s nothing wrong with turning a profit.”http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/06/us-entrepreneurs-occupy-movement
“There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change — and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future.” Noam ChomskyThis discussion is not about whether or not we sympathise with the Occupy movement , that support goes without saying as many have already clearly stated, but it is a matter of how the World Socialist Movement makes the case for socialism within it.What should the party do is a valid question. We have precedents as we once acted as a conduit for the Bolsheviks during WW1 to publicise an anti war statement. But the Occupy movement didn’t spring up from no-where but was called by organisations with far more skill and expertise in publicising themselves particularly on the internet than we can do and which gave the protests the advantage over the Spanish intrados or the Greek anti-austerity demonstrators and Chilean student protests when it comes to media coverage. Nor do we need to offer financial support, OWS acquiring a fund of half million dollars.”The occupiers don’t need bloody leaflets or smart arses with all the answers or Socialist Standards… they need practical support.” explains Stuart…”A knowledge of a possibility is not practical support. It’s not as if these camps are against political discussion. A major purpose of them is to start them and organise them…”This is what we should be doing, engaging in discussion and debate. “One organiser, Vera Weghmann said: “We’re here because we want to discuss alternatives and not just oppose something; we’re coming together in lectures and workshops to educate each other.” If we don’t try creating our own influence, plenty of other “smart arses” are out there doing it already and giving a less revolutionary analysis or agenda than we would.”Yesterday brought a talk from Professor Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. “People often talk about whether it’s more important to talk to the converted or the unconverted, but I think both are very important – people should have a more sophisticated understanding of the things that they intuit.” he said “http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/campus-under-canvas-inside-the-st-pauls-tent-city-university-6256935.html”This is a time for action, but there also is a need for analysis.” Robert Jensen, professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, Austin on Al JazeeraStuart says “”our theories” will be of any use to any bugger. I’m afraid it’s not a faith I share. It’s a peculiarly arrogant view when you compare what we have achieved in the past century with what Occupy Wall Street achieved in one month.” Our theories are part of the battle of ideas, because like it or not, accept it or not, the Occupy movement are being courted and wooed by all sort of reformists and are we to leave it an open field for them and not challenge erroneous views that are so often just re-formulated old theories that we have, as a party, encountered and critiqued in the past century and have integrated into our political and economic analyses. Should we adopt the lapses of class memory achieved by so many of the academic commentators and not cast up unpopular reminders from the past?But what sort analysis can the party contribute. As others have said , the protesters have discovered and adopted many principles of the Socialist Party for themselves. But we possess just one key core message – socialism. But is it too idealistic simply to offer this aspiration and nothing else. Chomsky talks of a middle-way.”QUESTION: I was thinking of your text, “Goals and Visions,” and I think that sometimes it is much more important to concentrate on goals and forget the visions!CHOMSKY: You don’t have to forget them; there is a balance. You have to make your own choices; I mean, close friends of mine may make very different choices than me. For example, Michael Albert thinks that is really important, to spell out the visions. My feeling is that we don’t know how to do that, so this kind of work is less important than that on goals. These are speculations about reasonable priorities, doubtless different for different people, as they should be. There is no general right or wrong about it.”Rather than immediate goals, which i think would require the formation of those demands the movement have been so far reluctant to press for since it may mean co-option into the bourgeois politics process , we have to try and make socialism the object of the protest – the vision – and to do so we have to expose the non-revolutionary alternatives visions being peddled.That is the raison d’etre of the Party. To abrogate that role makes the party redundant.How we do that? I can only say we should be participating, be part of it all as an organised party and not hide from that in the guise of individuals.Setting up a lit table with a full selection of books and pamphlets, and yes the Socialist Standard, could be easily implemented.But more importantly an on-site daily discussion group, perhaps producing a bulletin of the talks. We are gaining experience from conducting non -adversary, non -confrontational forum type public meetings, we can begin such informal talks under a gazebo and banner. (and hopefully continue with our free refreshments policy) I believe many members are attending the occupations individually but in an ad hoc fashion yet it is not beyond our organisation to formalise it a bit better, with volunteer members rotating their attendance to maintain a full-time presence. By being involved and being seen to be taking part, our criticisms which have to be made, a responsibility not to be shirked or shied away from because of a fear we may alienate protesters, we will perhaps have a more receptive audience and have our ideas heeded more.” I’m really not interested in persuading people. What I like to do is help people persuade themselves.” – Noam Chomsky We, as socialists, are simply presenting choices to the working class, for them to reject or accept, that is all we can do but without a choice being offered, there is no choice.
” He who is morally impressed by power is never in a critical mood, and he is never a revolutionary character ” – Erich Fromm
Just to stir things up and fully aware that there is no real consensus i wrote the following:-First the boring history bit to remind ourselves of the origins of the SPGB, the product of lessons its founding members had learned within the SDF from which they concluded that a socialist party had to be leader-less. A truly revolutionary position for its time and for today. The SPGB structure was designed to avoid the rise of leaders like Hyndman, and became an organisation that made individual leaders superfluous. It denied aspiring leaders any dominance by such means as private ownership of the party’s journal or executive powers of the offices elected to. They instituted a knowledge test to place all members on an level footing.Yet in many ways the SPGB remained tied to social democracy, the primary objective for the working class being the capture the state machine using the SPGB as a tool to exercise political power through elections and parliament. Thus it differed from other working class groups and possible allies by denying the economic direct action of the syndicalists/industrial unionists and, also from pre-SPGB experiences of the negative influence of anarchism within the Socialist League, that strand too was also rejected. However, through the course of history events occurred that required the re-appraisal and re-accessment of the party position of its role and its function. Russia and soviets, the failure of the German Social Democrats and the rise of council communism cumulating with Otto Ruhl and the anti-political party/ trade union non-organisation organisation. Then later as an evolution of the anti-craft unionism of the Big One Union, became in the 30s the birth of the CIO and the strategy the sit-in strikes which in turn encouraged the wildcat non-union-controlled wildcat strike tactics, a development promoted by Pannekoek which then became synthesised with class struggle anarchism to become a hybrid anarcho-marxism. In the 60s we had the counter-culture and the student movement, the New Left, high-lighted in Paris 68 by the Situationists, and elsewhere by the affinity and consciousness-raising groups. For a period the party was beneficiaries of those processes since we could display our anti-authoritarianism and anti-bureaucratic credentials, demonstrate our no-compromise with the establishment and expouse our picture a future libertarian society. We experienced a growth of membership, the creation of new branches and the furthering of the World Socialist Movement concept. Sadly there has been gradual decline in the party’s fortunes.(but perhaps not its coffers!)In its beginning the early members of the Party had the confidence and optimism of being the vehicle for the working class to capture political power but when the over-estimation of the Party’s promise and influence failed to materialise the party proceeded to concentrate upon education – acquiring the reputation of “the working class university” but as also seen with the WEA that role disappeared with the arrival of further and higher education opportunities for workers and the accompanying liberalisation of curriculum in the social sciences by “progressive” lecturers.Thus with no more education role that left the Party with just propaganda and we all understand how we are unable to maintain an effective voice since the loss of street meetings, and the saturation of the mass media and nowadays the drowning-out noise of web. We are a political party in limbo, and in a sense have lost meaning and purpose which may account for the recurring obssession over HO house-keeping. Some members remain true to the original social democracy aspiration of the party, that we must stand in elections to eventually gain propaganda exposure if not political power.But other members now question this political party role of contesting elections, doubting its practicality or fruitfullness, for at least the time being.If the attitude that we no longer engage in political activity prevails then the present branch/national structure of the party is no longer required, and we can transform it to be more like Zeitgeist or Z-net/ Parecon, an internet presence.Other members have expressed a wish for the party to gravitate around the Socialist Standard and then the outcome would that party branches become somewhat similar to readers groups and its members street-sellers. In the past there was the Clarion, and in the modern day, the Big Issue. The paper becomes the movement. Once again the result would be a redundant role for the party, but also it would raise the threat of elitism which we always guard against, due to the risk of the magazine becoming the vanity press for aspiring and accomplished writers if the editorial control becomes less constrained with an independence from a party’s collective ownership.As mentioned previously, actual events in the real world has confronted the party case in the past and it appears that the Occupy movement may be another, particularly since it echoes much of the party’s own criticisims of vanguard political activity and shares its demands for a peaceful democratic world revolution. Despite the criticism, or alleged skepticism to the actions by a few members there is an acknowledgment by all of us that a protest is going on which could be a sign of a potential further political awakening. Nobody is born a socialist and people start protests with lots of the ruling ideologies in their heads. It is a learning process. So first let us be clear that we all stand in full solidarity with the protesters, their actions have inspired some much-needed debate. But each of us in the party differ on our expectations of its outcome.In many regards the Occupy Movement has fundamentally challenged the view that the party has any role whatsoever and that it is for the SPGB to learn, not the other way around. “What was inspiring and encouraging to me was that the group’s efforts to ‘reach out’ to the wider community in which they work is not focused exclusively on propaganda (“you’re wrong, here’s why, come join our weird little group”).” as one Party blogger has described his experience of similar groups.The protesters may be asking all the right questions, but have they discovered the right answers and if not, should we decline to supply the answers in fear that we would do not have the right to intervene as an outside organisation, and hence abdicate the educational component of the SPGB’s purpose.New people and new generations, have to re-learn old lessons but do they necessarily require to re-invent the wheel? Should the priority for our party be to facilitate a proper understanding of the system we live in, to offer people a proper understanding of capitalism/socialism or leave it to ther own self-discovery?Or do we simply place faith in the protesters as does BillM who holds the view that the Occupy movement’s generalised slogans will lead to socialist conclusions. As BillM posted “We don’t need to waste time on discussing what socialism will be — if we’re right the logic of their anti-capitalism will drive any movement towards socialism…”StuartW goes to the ulitimate, to provocatively declare we should disband the party and fund OWS (maybe his over-reaction to what he read on SOYMB) but he demonstrates the resurgence or revival of the Ruhl position that is now reflected in some measure by likes of Chomsky and Greiber. We read of the latter “…Soon after the magazine Adbusters published an appeal to set up a “peaceful barricade” on Wall Street, Mr. Graeber spent six weeks in New York helping to plan the demonstrations before an initial march by protesters on September 17, which culminated in the occupation… Three days after the protests began, Mr. Graeber left. Since then, he has kept a low profile because he wants to avoid what he calls an “intellectual vanguard model” of leadership. “We don’t want to create a leadership structure,” he says. “The fact I was being promoted as a celebrity is a danger. It’s the kids who made this happen.” “http://chronicle.com/article/Intellectual-Roots-of-Wall/129428/That we could and would alienate ourselves by advocating the old trinity of “Education, Agitation and Organisation”. So why exist? Stuart’s slogan on his blog “The socialist parties are dead. Long live socialism! ” is the obvious conclusion .Yet could the whole phenomena it all be just a style of populist Bernsteinism, the movement is everything, the objective nothing.”…the way they organize and act and treat each other is the ideology. It is the building of the new society in the shell of the old…You won’t need to worry over much about the future society (what it will be like after ‘the’ revolution) because you will be building the future society in the shell of the old.” from StuartW blog once more paraphrasing GraeberAre we to remain uncritical to the Occupy movement? It will not be the first time that socialists have been confronted by the fetish of the “revolutionary” forms of decision-making or tactics such as the soviets and workers councils of the past, factory occupations and and what-not. We have been accused of being outside the workers struggles for not participating in reform struggles or involving ourselves as a party in trade union actions. Is our sympathy with the Occupy phenonomen discouraging us to challenge the content and the consequences of its weaknesses?Without spokespersons authority the who speaks for the movement and who stops usurpers from talking for it?Again from BillM “without some sort of organisation you can’t repudiate idiots. In its dealings with the media, the Occupy X movement suffers from the media being able to select the spokespeople.” Already it is a problem for the movement, as the OWS website warnings have revealed. The human mic public meeting style is praised but it is forgetten that it is simply a localised way of getting around one city’s by-laws, not a universal requirement when a PA system is available. We also begin to wonder if this comment has any truth in it that it only works when the speaker expresses a message that the audience wants to hear.”He started by saying that the occupation was great and we should all be proud (lots of happy twinkle fingers). Then he began to question the assumptions and strategy of the protest in very comradely terms. All he got off was, “We need to recognize the limitations of this kind of struggle and seek to expand it,” but his full sentence died midway through as the ‘people’s mic’ trailed off after the word ‘limitations’ as downward facing fingers rose up throughout the crowd. Therefore more than half the audience was unable to hear his critique and he was immediately shuttled off so the next speaker could address the crowd. This speaker spouted some self-congratulatory platitudes and his every word was duly repeated by the occupied Greek chorus with twinkle fingers flashing everywhere.”http://libcom.org/news/wall-street-occupation-discussion-updates?page=7″I’ve generally seen veteran activists dominating the discourse little time given to critical voices or people who are unsure of the majority course of action–in other words the consensus has supressed disagreements, rather than allowed them to be debated and discussed.” http://libcom.org/news/wall-street-occupation-discussion-updates?page=4SOYMB has already posted upon the substitution for democratic structures by the advocacy of structurelessness of the Occupy movement and it seems confirmed by the following remarks from the Libcom Forum”…I’m still not sure how decisions are actually made at all, honestly…” Occupy Pittsburg IWWerhttp://libcom.org/news/wall-street-occupation-discussion-updates?page=6″At the planning meetings they’ve been having here it’s unclear so far how the facilitators are chosen, but surely once the thing gets going, someone could propose a different structure (which the facilitators did emphasize, to their credit) or electing a chair / rotating tasks. Committees are also kinda just done by volunteers at this point (which makes some sense) but it would be good to see them given a mandate by the group”http://libcom.org/news/wall-street-occupation-discussion-updates?page=5Are those expressions of doubts and the airing of criticisms counter-productive? That the protests should be helped along and not dismissed out of hand, but neither should it be acclaimed uncritically? It may be that we are at a moment of re-configuration and re-allignment of class power. It seems so. Starting with the miners defeat then the postal workers and so many other unions, organised labour has become weakened to ineffectiveness (even though there are encouraging recent signs of a resurgence of struggle, particularly to defend pension rights.)The workers “sop” or “social wage” – the welfare state – NHS, education, public housing and the benefits system is being dismantled. The capitalist class has been successfully reversing workers gains. At one stage it looked like that social protest could re-oriented around the environment, a collective concern since it had an effect for the whole of the working class, but now it is the Occupy Movement that it appears to be growing world-wide. No-one can deny that it possesses a nebulous content of non-demand demands and the inclusive slogan we are the 99% that is resulting in the involvement of a heterogeneous section of the population. Something positive may indeed crystalise from the contradictions that the protest movement experience in its own radical practices of democracy and the demands made upon it by the conventional Left and mainstream political parties.But are they demanding socialism? What the party should not do is to attribute to the Occupiers beliefs and values they don’t actually have and then criticise them for that failing to act on them.It is early days still and class struggle develops from experience and workers engage in new means of resistance when the old and previously tried and trusted methods begin to fail as pointed out by Pannekoek and Mattick and Bookchin – there is an adaptation and evolution of the the class struggle into new forms when the old ways are in the way.Can it transform into something more? Time will tell. Our question is where are we? Do we debate tactics and theory after each person actually understands what socialism is? If so, this isn’t going to happen overnight and it not likely to arise from one single protest.Perhaps there is an element of truth when Nathan J. Jun, assistant professor of philosophy at Midwestern State University, in Texas, and author of the forthcoming Anarchism and Political Modernity says that anarchism itself has had the greater influence on Occupy Wall Street because, he says, many activists there “regard anarchy as an ideal to be realized.”What i think our aspiration should be is the same, to make the idea of socialism as an immediancy to be achieved and move from occupation to expropriation.Post script”These are exciting times” or “it’s payback time.”This months Standard has 3 relevant articles.One voicing its sympathy for OWS, begun by the likes of the web-savvy Adbusters yet which from all the statements of its participants is confused and contradictory protest. Then there is the London riot article less supportive, for the violence the rioters engaged in, but which actully shares its main failing with OWS protesters.”They showed no understanding of why they led impoverished, disempowered lives in a world full of rich folk, expenses-grabbing politicians, greedy bankers and glitzy consumer goods. They were seeking payback and a means, individually, to survive. They were not fomenting revolution. But at the same time, they understood enough to know that their interests were not being served by the world in which they lived, and felt strongly that they were entitled to something more.”The 3rd article asks “Should we go down the route of fetishising every struggle going as, according to many on the left, struggle in itself is going to magically transform the consciousness of those involved into hardened revolutionaries? But if struggle alone is supposed to incrementally revolutionise us all then what’s the reason why so many workers who’ve gone through a lot of struggle, the miners, construction workers and others, have not reached radical conclusions but sometimes very reactionary ones such as “British jobs for British workers”? [echoed by those involved with OWS about the outsourcing of American jobs to Asia].As the issue’s editorial states “In addition to trade union action socialist political action is needed on the basis of a clear understanding and awareness of our class interests. Unions cannot make revolutions. Only the working class themselves can do that, through clear, democratic, determined political action.”What does the party do when such action is not forthcoming? But more importantly what happens to the struggles when such action is not embarked upon and stagnates at its current level?Don’t we have to take into consideration that possibility and make allowances for it in our approach? It is not being doom and gloom cynical Cassandras and Nostradamuses foretelling the future but being prudent and creating a policy from what we actually witness from what are the protesters present and current positions, not in a faith of what they might or possibly or potentially be. BrianJ talks about the protesters programme being a hidden message with a subtle content, but does that mean we need to follow suit, instead of,as Marx wrote that socialists must, being open about our communism.
HCH said [of Derek Hatton] “The difference is he would not be welcome back, as he’s in the wrong class”Poor old Engels, as he, too, would not be eligible for membership of SPEW. Yet you reproach the SPGB for its membership criteria.As the later re-print article admitted, the SPEW position on the Falklands was abstract. Yet in earlier posts you accuse the SPGB propaganda of being too abstract.The same article states that “Marxists have always given support to national struggles against imperialism.” That has never been the SPGB position. We have not supported a national bourgeoisie and share much the same view as Rosa Luxemburg. See http://www.worldsocialism.org/articles/luxemburg_and_the_national.phpPersonally, and not speaking for the SPGB, i always thought that if it was not for the Junta’s need to have a war to divert Argentinan workers from struggling against them , they could have easily have taken de facto control of the Falklands through the stock exchange by buying Coalite , the owners of the Falkland Islands Company and for all practical purposes the real owners of the islands.
HCH said “Militant/Socialist Party supporting the Falklands war, which it didn’t. Never let the facts get in the way of an argument, eh?”Militant International Review No22, June 1982: “…The labour movement should be mobilised to force a general election to open the way for the return of a Labour government to implement socialist policies at home and abroad. Victory of a socialist government in Britain would immediately transform the situation in relation to the Falklands. The junta would no longer be able to claim to be fighting British imperialism … A Labour government could not just abandon the Falklanders and let Galtieri get on with it. But it would continue the war on socialist lines…”I think that is a clear indication that under a Labour Government Militant would have supported the war against Argentine over the Falklands which was what i originally posted, was it not. I was stating fact.Reprinted here at http://www.socialismtoday.org/108/falklands.html
The question of the military and membership of the Party is one that we have not taken lightly, considering the fact that the Party has had to face two world wars with members being forced by law into the army. None as far as i know were expelled, but resigned voluntarily but many members refused to don the uniform and applied to be conscientous objectors and ended up in jail or labour camps.Our opposition to conscription in 1938.http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pdf/sac.pdfI think there were those who were influenced by Rosa Luxemburg’s anti-militarism with her scathing re-phrase of Marx/Engels: “Workers of all lands, unite in peace and cut one another’s throats in war!”You indeed present part of the party case for the capture of the state machine when you state “workers in uniform with their knowledge and skills would be needed to help oppose the violent reaction by the ruling class and their hirelings.” as you can see from our Declarion of Principles No. 6http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/gbodop.htmlThe contradictions tho remain with SPEW and its support of the 1982 Falkland War [albeit under the direction of a Labour government].i won’t comment on Liverpool WIKIPEDIA has a full analysisLiverpool’s adoption of a deficit budget for 1985/86 meant that the council quickly ran short of money. By September it was apparent that without a new source of funds, the council would be insolvent in December; as an employer it was therefore obliged to issue 90-day redundancy notices to its entire workforce. After this decision was announced on 6 September, the council’s joint shop stewards called for an indefinite strike,and also occupied council buildings and prevented the council from holding a meeting to formally vote to issue the redundancy notices.The national leaderships of the trade unions attempted to restrain their local branches from going ahead with the strike, and when NALGO members voted against the strike by 7,284 to 8,152, it was called off. The redundancy notices were issued on 27 September, together with a letter from the council’s leader and deputy leader (John Hamilton and Derek Hatton) explaining that there was no intention to make any employee redundant but that the notices were a legal requirement. With time running out, the council had to hire taxis to distribute the notices.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rate-capping_rebellionExcept to ask what did happen to Derek Hatton?