2010s >> 2018 >> no-1371-november-2018

Letters: ‘Getting rid of capitalism’, ‘Bone and Mogg’, & ‘Correction’

Hi,

Doesn’t seem like there’s much to reply to, you mention the book in the first paragraph (‘How to destroy capitalism’, Socialist Standard, September 2018) but don’t actually discuss any of the points it makes.

A question for you: in the last 150 odd years, Marxist approaches to creating ‘society wide political and workplace action’ haven’t been successful to say the least. Capitalism is still very much alive and kicking. You say ending capitalism will come from a majority vote, but a tiny and shrinking handful of people vote for socialist programmes. What reasons do you have to think the same slogans and organising models will be more successful in the future?

Cheers,

Shahin (author of ‘Capitalism. What It Is and How Can We Destroy It?’)

Reply:

The article was not meant specifically to be a review of your book, only to answer the same question you posed in the title.

We can’t deny that capitalism is still alive and kicking, but this means that all the various theories as to how to get rid of capitalism have not been successful, not just Marxist, but anarchist, syndicalist, Leninist and reformist ones too.

We do indeed say that capitalism can only be ended when a majority is in favour of this and takes deliberate, democratic action to bring it about; which involves more than merely voting for it – it also involves organising democratically outside parliament. This is because socialism, as a society without economic or political coercion, could only be sustained by people willingly cooperating and participating in its running. Socialism is a democratic cooperative society that can only come into being democratically, i.e., with majority support and participation.

That is what we are working towards. There is no other way. If such a majority does not emerge then socialism won’t and capitalism will continue. – Editors.

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Bone and Mogg

What does the SPGB have to say about the debacle on LBC radio in September about Ian Bone re Jacob Rees-Mogg and his crappy children? From what I heard on LBC Ian Bone called Mogg ‘a horrible person’ and said it to his children. LBC demonised Ian Bone for this.

J.S., London SW4

Reply:

Ian Bone and Class War have always specialised in anti-rich stunts but it is the capitalist system that is to blame for the lot of the majority class of wage and salary workers not individual members of the capitalist class such as Jacob Rees-Mogg. He may (or may not) be a horrible person – he comes across as a caricature of a toff and so an obvious target for a Class War stunt – but that is completely irrelevant. Remove him and replace him by a ‘nice’ capitalist and it would make no difference. Should Ian Bone have targeted Mogg’s children? Maybe, but only to tell them that capitalism is a horrible system – Editors.

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Correction

Hi,

The September Socialist Standard and its obituary of Ron Stone states that he was a poet and wrote the poem ‘Wage Restraint’ which was published in the Eighties.

That particular poem was actually written by Roger Woddis under the title of, ‘How They Solved the Economic Crisis’ and was published in either the New Statesman or Punch. It later appeared in the book, The Woddis Collection first published in 1978 by Barrie & Jenkins 24 Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX.

Richard Layton

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Correction: October Standard

Unfortunately the opening paragraph of the article on Conspiracy-Theory in last month’s Socialist Standard came out garbled. It should have read: “Conspiracy theory, or conspiracism, has it that much of the world today is to be understood in terms of ‘conspiracy’ be it by scientists, extra-terrestrials, masons, or whoever.”