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Drum (1957) From the September 1957 issue of the Socialist StandardWe have received a recent edition of the magazine Drum, published in Accra, in the new state of Ghana, edited by Mr. Drum and claiming the “Biggest Sale in Africa.” What is it like, this paper of the rising continent? Is there anything fresh about it? Hardly. Here are all the well-known features of the
6 hours 3 min ago
Those standing in this election for the Socialist Party are not seeking votes for what who they personally are but for what they stand for -- replacing today’s capitalist system of ownership. The candidates for the Socialist Party of Great Britain are unique in that they speak for the only party standing at this election demanding an end to capitalism. They believe the market-driven system we
9 hours 3 min ago
Scottish nationalism is born out of a frustration. The problems of the Scottish workers flow not from being part of the UK, as the nationalists argue, but because of the crisis of capitalism which weighs just as heavily on the workers and their families south of the border. The oppression and exploitation of working people is a product of capitalist society and can only be removed by the socialist transformation of society. This, in turn, requires the unity of all workers, irrespective of nation, colour, creed, sex or language. That is why workers' unity must be foremost in the minds of our fellow-workers. Nowhere is the result of this more glaring than in the trade union field that there should be no encouragement of the splitting of the trade unions, the basic organisations of the working class.  Fellow-workers are on a slippery slope if we abandon the principle of unity. Our blog has highlighted the division among the Scottish coalminers in the past.
Capitalism pits the interests of the employers and workers against each other, sooner or later all nationalist parties are forced to take sides and we know what the choice always has been from history. They declare that the “national interest” is supreme which is the interest of business. Socialism is about solidarity, coming together and uniting through class struggle. Nationalism should be anathema for a socialist for it creates arbitrary divisions based on nothing more than where a person happened to be born. Claiming that the true road to world socialism lies in erecting more borders is absurd. Socialism should be about uniting people through common interests, not pulling people apart through arbitrary ideas of nationhood. Breaking things up into smaller and smaller units is surely not the method of a socialist.
 Socialism is the self-liberation of working class people, by their own efforts, creating and using their own organisations. Social struggle occurs in a given place on the surface of the planet. As we live in Scotland we will begin here.  Our attitude to constitutional reform is that no fundamental problem facing working people can be solved, or even seriously alleviated, by tinkering with the state structure. We cannot tag along with or follow these nationalist movements or parties - we must resolutely propagate socialism. We must constantly hammer home that SNP and their ilk are nothing but tools of the ruling class. The nationalists will not just go away if we ignore them.
All too often, British union leaders have resorted to nationalist flag-waving to defend "British" enterprise against "foreign" competition - conflating the interest of the bosses with those of workers.  By choosing to operate on the basis that British workers have distinct interests from workers elsewhere, union officials (whether consciously or not) play right into the hands of the capitalist profiteers. Of course, nationalism was deep-seated in all Communist Parties

In the world in which we live each and, every society is pinioned within the iron grip of global capitalism. Against the vast multinational power of capital only one force can be counter-posed and that is the worldwide unity of the working class. Socialism, therefore is international or it is nothing. Socialism sets out to abolish the antagonisms and divisions between the peoples of the world. Socialism means large units, closer and closer fraternal relationships between all countries and peoples. Ultimately it means, in the shape of fully flowered socialism itself, a united Federated Communes of the World, ours will be free unions of free people. There will be not a trace of national chauvinism about them.  Working-class people are casting off old ideas and looking around for new ones.  
12 hours 5 min ago
A book – “The Great Climate Robbery: How the food system drives climate change and what we can do about it,” published by GRAIN, offers a comprehensive account of the unrelenting and largely successful campaign by big companies to take over the world’s food supply and exploit it for profit. The writers say small farms have been squeezed into less than one-quarter of the world’s agricultural
15 hours 6 min ago
The world has a proven abundance of resources and more than enough to feed and give us all more than we need to thrive. Yet because of the capitalist system, these resources are severely restricted, keeping half the world’s population in poverty and allowing millions to starve to death every year. The capitalist exchange-economy is detrimental to humanity as it creates social divisions, and conflicts of interest between nations, groups and individuals. It also creates conflicts of interest between the moral aspirations of the individual and the individual’s desire for materialistic rewards and security. 
Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society. The technical advancement over the last decades has been incredible, and the progress should be helping us to end global poverty. Ironically, the opposite has happened and world inequality continues to rise more and more. When new technology is implemented in work-places, workers are made unemployed. When the capitalist economy takes a down turn, the media blames the world’s woes on the least powerful of society, the poor, the sick, the migrants, all victims and not the instigators. Pollution kills many millions people on the planet every year and the numbers are risinis also a problem, yet attempts to reduce emissions are bad for business. A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.
Many people believe that there is too much technology in the world today, and that technology is the major cause of our environmental pollution. This is not the case. It is the abuse and misuse of technology that should be our major concern. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilise new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat.A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave, and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilisation for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people.
We want you to realise is how easily socialism can be achieved, once we have the political will to achieve it.  We also want you to understand just how empowering, creative and socially cohesive socialism would be. The world has so many problems and the solution is a economic system of production for use and free access. We think it is possible. Today we live in abundance. There is enough for all. Totally sustainably. We now have the knowledge and technology to provide easily for all human need. Without war, poverty or exploitation. There is no shortage of land, food, building materials or the capacity to produce the things we need.  A growing number of people and organisations around the world are realizing that a class-free money-free society based on common ownership is the answer to all our problems. It solves everything. Once a majority of the population understand socialism the change can take place. We see it as being almost immediate, voluntary and unopposed. It can happen just as soon as enough people wish it and will it. That's all it takes. The only change required is in your mind.
We already have everything we need to establish socialism. People will continue to do the essential tasks. Not because their arm is being twisted by debt, poverty and starvation. But because society needs them.Most people are perfectly content once they have enough. Enough is easy to sustainably produce today but the 'infinite growth' that the profit system needs ensures we are being continuously bombarded with advertising and marketing trying to convince us we need more to make us happy by conspicupus consumption and ever-changing fads and fashions. Humans are born preloaded with altruistic motivation. The vast majority want to help each other and take care of our surroundings. At the moment, they simply can't afford to. Once all our needs are provided freely and easily, as they can be now, we will be free to do what our conscience tells us. If a job is worth doing for society then society will see that it gets done. Like volunteer firefighters or ambulance staff today. Humans have already invented systems and machines to do the crappy shit jobs much more easily, if not eliminate them altogether. When almost everyone has the time, resources, energy and the means to help others, they will freely join the rota for the necessary but unpleasant jobs. Why ? Because there will be social admiration and esteem for those who contribute. Those who will do the work will mostly be the same people as now. When people aren't treated as wage-slaves and are secure and contented, they will offer their time to do what's important. We now know what we need to do. We've got everything we need to do it. It's just right now, in this outdated system, we can't 'afford' to do it. Imagine how you'd be without the worry of bills, rent, mortgage, losing your job. When everything is voluntary, just like in most voluntary organizations today, the members vote democratically for whoever they think would be best for the job. In many companies the current boss may well remain. But now the staff are voluntary, the balance of 'power' changes. For the good of all. Not just the boss. What communities agree is worthwhile will be accomplished. People will voluntarily contribute in health, sports, community, recreation, family, emergency services, conservation, etc.
Enough decent sustainable food, housing, education, healthcare, security etc. can be easily provided today. We are surrounded by abundance today. When humans have a decent standard of living, they behave very differently. Currently we are perpetually starved of our humanity by falsely induced poverty and subtly marketed brainwashing. Because we now have modern technology to help us with everything voluntary, society becomes the provider of everything. If society needs, then society will provide. Every supply chain, whether it produces electricity, food, car parts, vet services or TVs, relies upon people. A lot of people. They all have families, neighbours, friends etc. They are society. Without prices and money in the way, society gets what society wants and the supply chain is self-regulating. We will all have free access to as much as we can environmentally and sustainably produce. Renewable energy can easily replace all exploitive energy once it becomes 'affordable'. Once antiquated fossil fuel industries no longer have to protect their interests. Imagine free electric cars for all to use. When ownership is replaced by access, we will need far fewer cars, boats etc. Why own one anyway? In an economy based on production for use rather than production for profit, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all. In a resource-based economy such socialism all of the world’s resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth’s people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative. This idea of world socialism has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world’s population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate central command body. Our proposals would would provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfilment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.
 In socialism, the products of labour will be freely available or it won't be socialism. Instead of exchange, we'll have democratically controlled distribution networks. They'll exist on local, regional, and world scales. All products will these distribution networks who will then see that they're distributed according to need. With most products, the goal will be to peg production to expected need. With some products and services, this could mean basically unlimited access. With others, there may be rationing, based on a democratically decided and controlled system. That's not exchange, though. That's the abolition of markets and the implementation of a planned and rational distribution system. There is no need for money or trade within such a system. We are talking about replacing an integrated global capitalism based on value production with an equally integrated global society of free access. 'Alternative ' currencies are still money, reflecting equivalent exchange between private owners which if developed at a social level would begin to undermine the common 'ownership' of both the system of production and distribution of goods and services that we would all be benefiting from.Once we've abolished commodity production and exchange, money would cease to function as money. There'd be very little point to it.
18 hours 12 min ago