Sting in the Tail: Nazis
Searchlight magazine, called “the international anti-fascist monthly”, covers the worldwide activities of nazis and racists and there’s an awful lot to report.
Most countries in Europe and the Americas have their quota of crazies, from skinhead thugs and the Ku Klux Klan to followers of Nordic mysticism, with would-be fuhrers ten a penny. Searchlight revels in exposing their various criminal records which include murder, armed robbery, fraud, etc., and it is all very interesting.
However, no copy we have read down the years has given any sign that Searchlight has a clue as to why nazism and racism exist, let alone how to get rid of them.
The only way to eliminate these evils once and for all is to end the capitalist system which breeds the ignorance, insecurity and poverty on which they feed. Searchlight only highlights the effects, never the cause.
The Socialist Party has always insisted that the only way to deal with ideas that are opposed to those of socialism is in a rational and democratic manner. This is not the approach of the various left-wing groups.
In reporting the proposed concert organised by a neo-nazi group called Blood and Honour in London The Guardian (4 September) quotes a spokesman for the Anti-Fascist Action:
“Blood and Honour has only one agenda — the terrorism of anyone opposed to them. We are prepared to meet like with like”, said Mike Stone of AFA.
So here we have a group who propose to beat facism by adopting the tactics of the fascists. Apparently it is fascist behaviour to use violence against a political opponent — except when the violent act is being committed by someone in Anti-Fascist Action!
Heaven on Earth
In a society where people have so many troubles, the idea of a better life after death is inevitable.
A TV film, Heaven (BBC2, 1 September), asked some people what they thought Heaven will be like. Answers included …
We’ll have wonderful bodies and never get sick.
Like a billion years in Shangri-La.
Where you live forever in happiness with angels watching over you.
One man thought Heaven would be “Like New York or Los Angeles, a city”, but perhaps he got heaven and hell mixed-up.
Socialists expect no life after death, heavenly or otherwise, but we strive for a worldwide society based on production for use and democratic control. That would be heaven enough for us.
What a Waste
One of the charges socialists lay against capitalism is that it causes vast numbers of people to spend their time sorting out private property rights.
The grounding of the QE2 off the American coast is an example. The big priority here is to establish responsibility and, therefore, who pays for the QE2’s repairs and subsequent loss of business. To do this, teams from both the British and American marine accident departments, plus the insurers’ army of loss adjusters, flew to Boston to begin their investigations (The Guardian 11 August).
And just think how many other people were involved in the work of insuring Cunard, the ship’s owners, against this happening as well as the passengers against their cruise being cancelled.
All of this is necessary in a system where private property rights are sacred. In socialism a damaged ship would simply be repaired by society without capitalism’s obsession with “who pays?”.
SWP “Socialism “
The SWP’s paper, Socialist Worker, carried an article titled “What Do We Mean By Socialism?” (5 September) which got itself into the inevitable muddle.
For example, we are told socialism “means the abolition of classes” and yet there will still be “workers”. How come?
And there will still be money and exchange relations in the SWP’s “socialism
Of course not everything will be free the day after workers take power. But the list of free goods will constantly broaden.
Only health, education, housing and public transport are mentioned as being “instantly” free, so obviously other things people need will have to be paid for which means there would still be owners and non-owners just as there are today.
Incidentally, it was good to read that socialism “does not mean rule by a central committee . . .” but this is rich coming from a party which is itself ruled by one!
Food for Thought
We are forever being bombarded by TV images of starving millions: of little children dying in front of our eyes.
To the religious this may be God’s will; to the capitalist economist the working out of the market system, but to the socialist it is the completely unnecessary destruction of human beings by the insanities of capitalism. People starve while surplus food is stored in mountains or destroyed to keep up prices.
How much surplus food is being stored in Britain alone was revealed by The Independent (3 September).
The latest figures available from the Intervention Board, the body that administers the storage of EC surpluses in the UK, show that 144,179 tons of beef and 16,009 tons of butter are held at 95 cold-storage facilities all over the country.
More than 695,000 tons of barley, 1,510 tons of premium wheat, 11,364 tons of feed wheat and 324 tons of rye are held at 24 grain stores. A further 2,145 tons of skimmed milk are in warehouse storage.
It is estimated that the UK’s stocks of grain alone would be enough to feed Somalia for a year.