2020s >> 2020 >> no-1394-october-2020

Meetings

All meetings/talks/discussions are currently online on Discord (unless it is stated that the meeting or talk is on Zoom).

Please contact the spgb@worldsocialism.org for how to join.

OCTOBER 2020 DISCORD EVENTS

Wednesday 7 October 7.30pm BST

The FAQ Workshop

 SHOULD WE STOP REIFYING CAPITALISM?

We all do it. We talk about capitalism as if it’s a thing, which has ‘qualities’ like being blind, insane, reckless, psychopathic etc and we impute motives to it as if it has living desires and aims. We turn it into a thing –  reify it – because a concrete entity is easier to conceptualise and relate to. But in doing so perhaps we turn the ‘thing’ into a monster, a golem that looks unbeatable. Would it be better to avoid this kind of talk, and refer instead to social relationships and unwritten agreements, thus perhaps demystifying and diminishing the task to a more human scale?

Friday 9 October 7.30pm BST

FRIDAY NIGHT TALK

WHY SOCIALISM? THE POWER AND LIMITS OF SPECULATION

Richard Field speculates on the positive side of socialism and how far we can go in this.

Wednesday 14 October 7.30pm BST

The FAQ Workshop

I S A THIRD WORLD WAR INEVITABLE?

 We issued a pamphlet with this title back in 1982, when the Cold War seemed destined to continue indefinitely. But just seven years later the world changed dramatically, with the collapse of the Soviet Eastern bloc regimes. Now, with the resurgence of capitalist Russia, the rise of China, the possible fragmentation of Europe, and the global economy hit by the double whammy of a slump and a pandemic, the world is more unpredictable then ever. So how would we answer the question today?

Friday 16 October 7.30 BST

FRIDAY NIGHT TALK

GEORGE ORWELL

Richard Botterill looks at his writings and political ideas.

Wednesday 21 October 7.30pm BST

The FAQ Workshop

 SHOULDN’T YOU BE THE ANARCHO-SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN?

An opponent once used to make a point of calling us that, in the hope it would annoy us. It didn’t. In fact some members even agreed. Others objected. But since we stand for a stateless society could he have had a point that we could be that contradiction in terms an anarchist political party? But others would object, and it’s not just a matter of the ‘parliamentary thing’, the rift goes deep even if it looks narrow. Perhaps the difference was important in Marx and Bakunin’s day, but does it still matter today?

Friday 23 October 7.30om BST

FRIDAY NIGHT TALK

POPULISM

Paul Bennett looks at the rise of this political phenomena in recent years.

Wednesday 28 October 7.30pm GMT

The FAQ Workshop

SHOULD WE CONSIDER DIRECT ACTION?

Occupy Wall St & UK came from nowhere to hit headlines. Extinction Rebellion did the same. How? Because their political ideas were elegant and sophisticated? No. Because of direct action. It doesn’t have to be illegal. It doesn’t have to be dangerous. Could we adopt direct action tactics to publicise the case for socialism?

We have been waiting over a century for the working class to discover our ideas, and yet if anything those ideas are becoming more marginalised than ever. Is it time we considered a change of strategy?

Friday 30 October 7.30pm GMT

FRIDAY NIGHT TALK

US ELECTION SPECIAL

General discussion with video clips


Declaration of Principles


This declaration is the basis of our organisation and, because it is also an important historical document dating from the formation of the party in 1904, its original language has been retained. A more detailed version including explanations of what the Object and each Principle mean to us is on the website here.


Object

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.

Declaration of Principles

The Socialist Party of Great Britain holds:

1: That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

2: That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.

3: That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

4: That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex.

5: That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6: That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organize consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

7: That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.

8: The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.


Socialist Standard October 2020


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