50 Years Ago – What Socialism Means, Obituaries – Shenfield, Lovatt

The object of socialism is to unite humanity and to solve social problems by building a society which can satisfy the universal need for co-operation and material security.

Socialism involves a creative outlook concerned with the quality of life. In association with others, the individual will develop himself as a social being. With enlightenment and knowledge, man will replace the ignorance, false illusions and prejudice from which he suffers in our own day. Socialism is the form of society most compatible with the needs of man. Its necessity springs from the enduring problems, the economic contradictions and social conflicts of present-day society. Socialist society must be based upon the common ownership and democratic control by the whole community of the means of life.

Life will be based on human relationships of equality and co-operation. Through these relationships, man will produce useful things, construct amenities and establish desirable institutions. Socialism will resolve the conflicts which at present divide man from man. Regardless of ethnic or cultural differences, the whole world community will share a common interest.

Under capitalism the whole apparatus of production are either privately owned, as in America, or state controlled by a privileged minority, as in Russia. The economies of some countries combine both private and state control. Both forms are alien to the interests of the majority, since the priorities of trade and commerce, exploitation and profit-making, dominate life. Under both forms, production for sale on the market is organized primarily for the benefit of a privileged minority.

The building of Socialism requires a social reorganization where the earth’s resources and the apparatus of production are held in common by the whole community. Instead of serving sectional interests, they are made freely accessible to society as a whole. Production will be organized at world level with co-ordination of its differing parts down to local levels.

In Socialism there will be no market, trade or barter. In the absence of a system of exchange, money will have no function to perform. Individuals will participate freely in production and take what they need from what is produced.

(Socialist Standard, Special issue on Socialism, July 1973)

Stephen Shenfield
We were shocked to learn of the sudden death at the end of April of our American comrade Stephen Shenfield. He was born in England in 1950 and joined the old Haringey branch as a teenager and became an active member, writing for the Socialist Standard and serving for a while on the executive committee. However in 1974 he was one of a group of members who were expelled for breaking the then rule about publishing unauthorised material. He didn’t rejoin the movement till 2006 when he became a member of the World Socialist Party of the US to where he had emigrated in 1989. In the meantime, as a Russian speaker (he had relatives in Kiev), he had become an academic and expert in ‘Soviet studies’, publishing many articles and books on the subject. After rejoining he kept in touch with individuals and groups in Russia that were critical of capitalism. He resumed contributing to this journal (as ‘Stefan’). At the time of his death he was the general secretary of the American party (an administrative not a leadership post in our parties). The movement has lost an active member. Our condolences go to his wife and family.

Trevor Lovatt
Trevor Lovatt, a member of the World Socialist Party (NZ) for many years, passed away last October at the age of 85. He was a hard working socialist who would not under any circumstances compromise his knowledge of the Party’s case. Trevor was initially a Social Credit Party supporter. Upon meeting and discussing politics with Peter Furey (a member of the WSPNZ) in the 1980’sTrevor’s views were forever changed and he joined the WSPNZ. His contribution to promoting and expanding the idea of a ‘World of Free Access’ was relentless. Trevor would continually question, and supply his views on why the socialist alternative was not being taken onboard by society as a whole. As well as being a regular voice of the WSPNZ’s talkback programme on Access Community Radio Auckland (1990s) , he was also involved with the WSPNZ’s Radio Imagine, which operated for many years from the Party’s HQ in Auckland. Trevor was a keen weightlifter and loved country music.
World Socialist Party (NZ)

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