SOCIALISM: HUMANITY’S HIGHEST IDEAL


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Here is a brief history of the Socialist Project. This is an exciting addition to the struggle to gain justice in a militarized, hyper-capitalist world:

“The Socialist Project does not propose an easy politics for defeating capitalism or claim a ready alternative to take its place. We oppose capitalism out of necessity and support the resistance of others out of solidarity. This resistance creates spaces of hope, and an activist hope is the first step to discovering a new socialist politics. Through the struggles of that politics – struggles informed by collective analysis and reflection – alternatives to capitalism will emerge. Such anti-capitalist struggles, we believe, must develop a viable working class politics, and be informed by democratic struggles against racial, sexist and homophobic oppressions, and in support of the national self-determination of the many peoples of the world. In Canada and the world today, there is an imperative for the Left to begin a sustained process of reflection, struggle and organizational re-groupment and experimentation. Neither capitalism nor neoliberalism will fade from the political landscape based on the momentum of their own contradictions and without the Left developing new political capacities. We encourage those who share this assessment to meet, debate and begin to make a contribution to a renewed socialist project in your union, school and community.”

 

View the site here

 

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Here is a nice post I have reproduced from Mondo Politico – I hope that is OK.

The Socialist Party is a companion party of the World Socialist Movement (“WSM”), which began with the founding of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. In effect, the WSM (and each of its companion parties, including the Socialist Party of Canada) says it seeks a non-violent revolution to replace capitalism with socialism, which it defines as “…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 society as a whole.” Effectively, the WSM advocates a society in which everyone takes what one needs (somehow without consuming more than is produced), and produces only as much as one wants to produce: in which all labour is voluntary and unpaid, and in which the fruits of labour are free. It elaborates on that definition as follows:

“If there are wages and salaries, it is not socialism.
State ownership is not socialism.
Social programs are not socialism.

Socialism means democracy at all levels of society, including the workplace.
Socialism means a wageless, moneyless society.
Socialism means voluntary labour.
Socialism means free access to the goods produced by society.”

The WSM views government, at present, as being a tool of “the capitalist class”. It is strongly opposed to working with any other political parties, viewing virtually no other party as a socialist party: the WSM takes the position that history has shown other parties never to replace capitalism with socialism (as the WSM defines that term).

Wage Slave News

Poverty
9 February 2007

“A state of Constant Dread” blazed the headlines of “The Toronto Star” on January 13 2007, with the word “Dread” written in 2-1/2 x 11 inch type. “Poverty today,” it continued, “It’s fear. It’s loneliness. It’s not knowing whether your kids will have a decent place to sleep. In 2007, hidden in plain sight, one in six Canadians live in poverty.”

The Star’s editors, who have a long history of advocating reforms, have obviously decided something should be done about it, as it should, though the socialist answer may not be the one they seek. The article continued by giving some shocking figures – 70 000 people living in Toronto are on waiting lists for affordable housing. 14 150 Canadians were living in homeless shelters based on a 2001 census, and probably more by now. 120 “high poverty” neighbourhoods exist in Toronto, which is an amazing figure considering Toronto is considered one of North America’s most prosperous cities and the city most immigrants to Canada head for. 5% of Toronto families are earning less than $20 000 a year. 750 000 Canadians rely on food banks to feed their families.

The article, by David Olive, trots out more horrible statistics, but they all mean the same thing – for a sizable portion of Canada’s work force, things are really grim. Olive complains, first, that many who live in poverty are unable to do much to improve their condition. In the piecework factories in Toronto’s Spadina Avenue garment district, hourly wages are lower than even the lowest minimum wage (New Brunswick’s $6.70) due to the lax enforcement of the labour laws. Furthermore, too many are too busy working two jobs to organize and lobby politicians for a “better shake.” Olive’s second complaint is that these same politicians don’t care. In his words they lack the “political will”. Nevertheless there are a few well-meaning people around who are attempting to deal with the problem. It would be laughable, were it not so pathetic, that their attempts are doomed to end in failure.

Peggy Nash, the NDP MPP for Parkdale, High Park, Toronto, a riding where poverty is all too obvious, is typical of such well-meaning advocates. She admits that her Private Member’s Bill to raise the minimum wage to $10/hour for workers in banking, transportation, telecommunications and other sectors covered by the Federal Labour Law, is no panacea, “It’s just a start, a renewed effort to get people talking about why a G-8 nation tolerates so much poverty and suffering.” Nash says, “And with luck it will encourage provincial governments to raise their minimum wage levels. Nash, however, has a clear idea of how poverty affects people: “Poverty is fear, malnutrition, chronic bad health, loneliness, illiteracy, and inadequate job skills and no time or money to upgrade them.”

John Clarke, an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), believes that only a widespread sense of outrage will rid us of “This evil.you have to challenge these injustices endured by our fellow citizens.only when politicians see that the public is active on its own discontent with the status quo will we see a difference.” Clarke bemoans that workers in poverty put a strain on the taxation system in the form of welfare payments, the cost of incarceration among poorly supervised kids whose parents are collectively working three or four jobs, and visits to emergency wards because they cannot afford preventive care. Clarke is obviously unaware that it is the capitalist class that pays the bulk of taxation. In November, Canada’s Food Banks Association noted that, “A majority segment of food bank clientŠle are working people who complain about not being able to obtain more than 25 hours of work per week from any given employer.” This makes them take on additional jobs. “Working night and day including graveyard shifts and no time for their spouse and kids and still not getting ahead,” says Clarke. John Murphy, chairman of The National Council for Welfare (an advisory body to the federal government’s Human Resources and Social Development Department) pointed out that, “Welfare incomes in every province remain far below the poverty line.”

Hugh MacKenzie, a research associate on the Inequality Project at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, cites three key elements of an anti-poverty strategy. These would be affordable housing, pharmacare and universal child care. MacKenzie says, “A family’s struggle to find housing sucks resources from nutrition and other essentials. Since going off traditional welfare means foregoing drug benefits, the absence of prescription drug coverage for working-poor families keeps them from climbing the welfare wall.” Therefore, it can be clearly seen, that for a person who needs prescription drugs, they can be worse off in a low paid job than being on welfare. Child care is essential, according to MacKenzie, “Because we live in a society where as soon as kids are in school, parents are expected to work, almost always outside the home.”

Nash is understandably concerned that the one hundred highest paid corporate CEOs in Canada are paid an average of $9 million a year and the $22 000 raise that Ontario MPPs recently voted themselves exceeds Ontario’s $19 032 in annual welfare assistance for a couple with two children, which represents a 17% drop since 1989. In one respect, Nash sees things clearly: “Our market economy is marvelous at creating wealth but there’s so little fairness in how that wealth is distributed.” So little? There is none. Her final thought is: “These huge and growing extremes in wealth and poverty are not in anyone’s interest.” – You sure said it lady!

The comments of Nash, Clarke, Murphy, and MacKenzie are included in this review because it shows how out of touch with reality these well-meaning people are. The anarchy of production of the capitalist system means there is no overall planning to match production with human need. Anyone can start up or ramp up production when sales and chances for profit are high. Inevitably a saturation point is reached when demand is lower than production and we have an overabundance of goods. Workers must be laid off and factories closed, creating a recession. Since the seeds of the next boom are to be found in that recession – cheap labour, raw materials, machinery, and factory rent – then we have the continual boom and bust cycles familiar to capitalist production. When opportunity presents itself to the capitalist to expand production, he must be able to find the necessary labour. This is where the poor, unemployed and welfare people come in. They are `the reserve army’ standing by on minimum benefits ready to be called on as required. In other words, they are a necessary part of the system and they won’t go away while the profit system exists, and the people mentioned above are simply attacking the symptoms, not the disease.

The source of all social wealth is human labour. The working class produces an abundance of wealth, so much so that poverty could be eliminated very quickly if a Socialist society, based on the common ownership of the means to produce that wealth were established. Poverty is an endemic part of capitalism and it cannot be different. The fundamental aspects of capitalism are the ownership of the tools of production by a tiny minority of the world’s population and the consequent wage-slavery of the majority. With production for profit, the capitalist tries to extract as much as possible from his workers, who inevitably resist and organize into unions to improve conditions as best they can, hence the class struggle.

Governments, dictatorial or democratic, exist to run the affairs of capitalism and therefore to preserve the status quo, which makes the continuation of poverty inevitable. This does not mean that there are no well-meaning politicians or political parties, but they cannot succeed in eliminating poverty within capitalism. For more than two centuries the profit system has held sway over this planet and none have succeeded in this endeavour yet. In 1945, the British Labour Party introduced the modern day welfare state which, in 1948, included medicare for all. Nobody would deny today that poverty exists in the UK and even their health system is in a mess and suffering from gross underfunding. Nor does it make sense to argue that we don’t have socialism yet, so in the meantime we need to fight for reforms to at least reduce the worst effects of poverty. This argument has been voiced by so many for so long that `in the meantime’ has become forever. The time is long past and too many people have suffered, are suffering, and will continue suffering until we attack the disease itself.

There is one way, and one way only, to abolish poverty, and that is to establish a socialist society in which the tools of production will be commonly owned and administered by the population as a whole in their own interests. In such a world, not only poverty but all the social evils created by the profit system will be abolished. Who would not want to abolish war, famine, crime, preventable disease, planned obsolescence, people having nervous breakdowns, and a host of other problems engendered by profit motives? Who would not want to replace them with a world where all will live in peace, harmony, and prosperity? This, dear reader, can be had as soon as people want it. So why not organize politically in the Socialist Party of Canada and its companion parties around the world to bring it to fruition.

Reproduced from the Socialist Party of Canada (Wage Slave News)

7 responses to “SOCIALISM: HUMANITY’S HIGHEST IDEAL

  1. stephen.reeves

    People are poor in Western Societies because they do not have the brains or education to be anything else raising the minimum wage will not help, most on minimum wage are there for a short time as they move up the workforce, only the dumb ones stay on minumum wage, or single mothers who are too stupid to stop having kids, and lose the father somewhere, and expect everyone else to pay for them.

  2. Keith

    Or those working through college in fast-food restaurants.

  3. Keith

    All of this drivel would be extremely humorous (“wage slave”?) if it wasn’t concerning something so serious.

  4. Keith

    PS – the state of poverty existed and exists in nations under socialist government; more often more than a state under democracy. Are there people in Canada that actually follow this? How frightening.

  5. Guy Watson

    Drivel, Keith? A majority of voters chose a part last November that has not performed. It has not performed because it is heavilly supported by the interests the voters were trying to say “no” to. Wall street, Big Insurance, Pharmaceutical corporations, Banks “too big to fail” . If the voters can be trumped time and time again by “representatives” who vote with the corporations who line their pockets then we do not have Democracy. We have a form of Plutocracy, or government by the rich and powerful. If this is drivel than keith you need to go back to school and study a bit of what the founders of this country wanted. Nowhere is Capitalism mentioned. I have lived in Norway for 5 years as a resident. The medical system was great and the country more peaceful. Socialism is incorrectly associated with Communism. The two have nothing in common. In America we have neither Democracy or Capitalism, if capitalism is defined as a free market. Our politicians have chosen to use taxpayer money to subsidise the greedy groups listed about. We need a revolution to return this country to what it was envisioned — not what the rich have created but a place where working people have a fair chance to succeed.

  6. Kick-ass article, good looking website, added it to my favs!!

  7. xrisi kampa

    for socialist society is urgent the contestation by exploiteds class the relations of domination,perhaps is the time for contestation

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