1980s >> 1981 >> no-925-september-1981

Letter: Questions

Dear Editors

I would like to know how the SPGB would solve the fighting in Northern Ireland with better results than the Tories have had; also how would you deal with the Scottish wish for independence when you come to power.

How many SPGB candidates are MPs and how long do you believe the capitalist system will exist. When the SPGB come to power will there be changes in working hours and leisure hours, and what would happen to charity organisations and fund raising appeals?

Davye Barton
Par, Cornwall

Reply:

The SPGB is basically different from the parties of capitalism, who seek power on promises to deal with problems like the Irish troubles; who cadge for votes on issues like Scottish independence and who in practice fail to solve those very problems. We stand for a social system which can only be established by the political action of workers who understand socialism and the need for a revolution to end capitalism. There is no room in a socialist party for policies of trying to reform capitalism. At present workers concern themselves with matters such as Scottish independence under the delusion that it is possible to run capitalism, with some alterations, in their interests. In fact it is not possible and all experience bears this out; by taking sides in these disputes workers are supporting one section of the ruling class against another.

No socialist candidate has ever been elected to parliament. In the last election 78 workers voted for the SPGB candidate in Islington South—a sad measure of working class understanding of socialism. We can’t set an actual time on it of course, but capitalism will last for as long as that lack of understanding persists.

There is today a distinction between work and leisure time because under capitalism the vast majority of people have to get their living through employment. The latter is measured in time because it is the process in which workers expend the labour power they have sold to employers by the hour, minute, day and so on. When socialism is established there will be no employers and employed; people will work freely and in co-operation to produce whatever society needs, and all will have free access to that wealth. Work, then, will be pleasurable, creative activity inseparable from leisure.

Socialism will be a moneyless society. The social scars of capitalism, such as poverty, which are sometimes very slightly soothed through charity, will no longer exist. There will therefore be no need for charities.

Editors