1990s >> 1991 >> no-1042-june-1991

Organise to End the Profit System

Socialist Party member Fred Edwards was a candidate last April in the election for the two delegates from the Yorkshire and Humberside district of NALGO to the 1991 TUC Conference. We reproduce below his election address. He obtained 3628 votes as against 9172 and 7669 respectively for the two other candidates, who were elected. We would not want to claim that all those who voted for him fully agreed with the socialist views expressed in his statement. All the same it is encouraging that the socialist message obtained such a wide and receptive hearing.

In 1989 when I was first nominated by my branch as a potential delegate to the TUC Conference I indicated then my history in the trade union movement over the past twenty years or so and as such feel it not a necessity to cover old ground, suffice to say that the views I had then are as strong now with regard to the effectiveness (or lack of) by our “leaders”.

Throughout the years our “leaders” (for that is what they like to be called) continue to place themselves in a position of trying to influence the powers that be that, by tinkering with a social system which continues to put profits before people, all will be sweetness and light.

However, the reality is whenever workers endeavour to gain a few extra crumbs from they cake they themselves bake the capitalist class and its apologists remind them of the need to be realistic. By which they do not mean that workers should acquaint themselves with Marxian economics and the workings of the class struggle, but rather that the employee class should accept less today in exchange for a share in Utopia tomorrow. In the meantime, the working class have to endure the deprivation of their inferior social position, while the capitalist class can continue to enjoy their parasitic privileges derived from profit, interest and rent.

Production under capitalism is anarchic, as the profit requirement must be placed before the needs of the majority. That is why tens of millions of human beings starve to death each year, while farmers are subsidised not to produce food. Similarly whilst thousand of building workers remain unemployed tens of thousands of workers remain homeless.

Alongside over-production for the market there is under-production for human need. This basic contradiction has remained despite reformist attempts to eradicate working class social problems. They have failed as they address effects rather than the cause: commodity production.

In conclusion, I ask of you, the voter, if you agree that my assertion is substantially correct and the TUC should be educating towards a classless, moneyless, private-propertyless society then please vote for me. If you disagree then you will obviously vote for someone else.

The great task which confronts the working class is to organise consciously, politically and democratically throughout the globe so that a speedy end may be wrought to the system.

Fred Edwards

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