Sunday, February 01, 2015

The World Socialist Movement



 As wage and salary earners, the vast majority of us have endless economic problems to worry about -- wages and prices, rents and mortgages, sickness, unemployment, old age. Even more worrisome can seem the large and perhaps overwhelming problems facing us as human beings: war, poverty and the compulsive destruction of our own planet by those who seek to persuade us they can do our thinking for us. There are numerous other problems, like racism or sexism, which distort human judgment and reinforce a system that thrives on human misery. Many people look to leaders to solve these intractable problems, sometimes through union action, more often by demanding social, political and economic reforms.

Come election time, all the parties suddenly grow excited, urgently recommending laws they will introduce if they gain control of the government. But they don't regard it as their business to deal with the basis of any of those problems, where the cause actually lies. Neither Right, Left nor Center has any intention of tackling and dealing with the core of our troubles: the system of employment, known traditionally as wage labor, and the associated use of capital to produce all of the wealth we depend on. This system, we maintain, generates massive artificial scarcities in a society with the technological means to afford us abundance.

We, in the World Socialist Movement, hold that the social system needs to be changed fundamentally: we advocate the abolition of social classes through production based solely on meeting people's needs, democratically administered. This goes much deeper than a mere change in government, but it also assumes widespread understanding of what needs to be done. We are members of the working class, which includes everyone around the world who must sell his or her working abilities to some employer to stay alive, not just people whose collars are blue. We understand capitalism has gone as far as it can go; the time has come to put it behind us and start with a system of society that really works for everyone.

If you agree generally with arousing the rest of the world's workers to an understanding of how easily within our grasp it is to achieve a world of abundance and peace -- and a world we can pass on intact to the coming generations, join us.

Those of us in the World Socialist Movement seek a world without:
Poverty; War; Sexism, racism, nationalism, and other forms of hatred; Environmental devastation; Bosses and politicians telling everyone else what to do

Socialism is for anybody who thinks the world would be a better place if:
Democracy meant more than an election every few years; Freedom meant real freedom, and respect, for everybody; People cooperated to satisfy human needs

Socialism is for anybody who wants real solutions, not repeated failures. The Left, Centre, and Right haven't solved anything that counts - and they can't.
Real solutions may take a while, but that's better than never. Real solutions require rational thought, not hype. Real solutions require people to work for them

We reject the idea that socialism has been tried in countries sometimes referred to as socialist. Look below at our definition of socialism and ask yourself if this in any way describes the state capitalist, police states of modern China and Cuba or the old regimes in Russia and eastern Europe, or the past and present "social-democratic" governments in many countries.
We reject the idea of socialism in one country. National socialism equals non-socialism. The capitalist system is global and so must the system which will replace it.
We reject the idea that people can be led into socialism. Socialism will not be established by good leaders or battling armies, but by thinking men, women and children. There can be no socialism without socialists.

The WSM:
1. claims that socialism will, and must, be a wageless, moneyless, worldwide society of common (not state) ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution
2. claims that socialism will be a sharp break with capitalism with no "transition period" or gradual implementation of socialism (although socialism will be a dynamic, changing society once it is established)
3. claims that there can be no state in a socialist society
4. claims that there can be no classes in a socialist society
5. promotes only socialism, and as an immediate goal
6. claims that only the vast majority, acting consciously in its own interests, for itself, by itself, can create socialism
7. opposes any vanguardist approach, minority-led movements, and leadership, as inherently undemocratic (among other negative things)
8. promotes a peaceful democratic revolution, achieved through force of numbers and understanding
9. neither promotes, nor opposes, reforms to capitalism
10. claims that there is one working class, worldwide
11. lays out the fundamentals of what a socialist society must be, but does not presume to tell the future socialist society how to go about its business
12. promotes an historical materialist approach - real understanding
13. claims that religion is a social, not personal, matter and that religion is incompatible with socialist understanding
14. seeks election to facilitate the elimination of capitalism by the vast majority of socialists, not to govern capitalism
15. claims that Leninism is a distortion of Marxian analysis
16. opposes all war and claims that socialism will inherently end war, including the "war" between classes.
17. noted, in 1918, that the Bolshevik Revolution was not socialist. Had earlier, long noted that Russia was not ready for a socialist revolution and was the first to recognize that the former USSR, China, Cuba and other so-called "socialist countries" were not socialist, but instead, state capitalist
18. claims a very accurate, consistent analysis since 1904 when our United Kingdom companion party was formed

World socialism can only be brought about democratically. Socialism means a global system of social organization based on:

Common Ownership: All the productive wealth of the world will belong to all the people of the world. No more transnational corporations or small businesses and therefore nobody will own the world. It will be possessed by all of its inhabitants.

Democratic Control By All: Who will run socialist society? We all will. There will be no more government and governed. People will make decisions freely in their communities, in regions and globally. With the existing means of information technology and mass communication this is all possible.

Production For Use: Instead of producing goods and services for sale and profit, the sole reason for production will be to satisfy needs and desires.

Free Access: A society in which everyone owns everything, decides everything and only produces anything because it is useful will be one in which all will have free access to what is produced. Money will cease to have any function. People will not work for wages or salaries, but to give what they can and take what they need.

The World Socialist Movement  (WSM) consists of ordinary people who have organised themselves democratically with one objective; to bring about a complete change in world society. Although small, we are made up of members in several countries.

Democracy

Everybody in the WSM has equal value and equal power. Real democracy is fundamental to socialists. The revolutionary transformation of society must be brought about by the will of the great majority of the people if it is to succeed. We have no leaders. Every member can take part in making decisions. Our democracy works both locally and party-wide. All our meetings are open to the public.

The Task

All the necessary conditions of production and communication now exist for establishing a world socialist society. What is lacking is the understanding and will among those men and women who would most benefit from it. The task for socialists is to spread the necessary information as widely and thoroughly as possible. This often involves correcting a great deal of misinformation put out by those who want society to remain as it is, with all its poverty, oppression, and war. We have a thorough analysis of the workings of present society, how it is developing, and what needs to be done to make changes that would be beneficial for the human race. Discussion and debate are essential to the progress of the movement. We welcome them. Everyone is encouraged to put their point of view.

           


Gun Law - Have Gun, Will Travel

Are small arms, as many describe them, the real weapons of mass destruction? A study commissioned by the United Nations World Health Organization and the World Bank found that by 2020, the number of deaths and injuries resulting from war and violence would overtake the number of deaths caused by diseases such as measles and malaria. El Salvador has calculated that the extra annual costs associated with dealing with gunshot injuries would equal the cost of a brand new hospital. The Small Arms Survey estimated that 300,000 people are shot dead over the course of a year. Gun homicides account for around 200,000 of these deaths, the majority occurring in Latin America and the Caribbean, while 60,000 to 90,000 people are killed by small arms in conflict settings. In many contemporary conflicts, civilian deaths outnumber those of combatants.

Approximately 50,000 more deaths result from gun suicides. Over one million people are believed to suffer firearms-related injuries on an annual basis. While the accuracy of these figures can never be guaranteed, given that much data is inevitably incomplete, the magnitude is sobering.

Between 1960 and 1999, the Britain-based Omega Foundation found the number of companies manufacturing small arms had increased six-fold. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that between 1990 and 2001, there were 57 separate major armed conflicts, with only eight of them subject to UN arms embargoes. “Such embargoes are usually late and blunt instruments, and the UN sanctions committees, which oversee the embargoes, have to rely largely on member states to monitor and implement them,” SIPRI said. “Therefore, arms embargoes cannot be deployed effectively as an instrument by the UN to prevent illicit arms trafficking, without better national controls on international arms transfers. These controls are woefully inadequate.”

Small arms have a disproportionate impact – while accounting for only one-fifth of the global arms trade, they maim and kill far more than any other conventional weapons. Small arms were the most commonly used weapons - and in some instances the only weapons - used in the 101 conflicts fought worldwide between 1989 and 1996. They are relatively inexpensive, portable and easy to use, and are effortlessly recycled from one conflict or violent community to the next. Their durability perpetuates their lethality. An assault rifle, for example, can be operational for 20 to 40 years with little maintenance. Numerous human rights violations are perpetrated with small arms – indeed the manifold abuses committed at gunpoint reflect the unparalleled coercive power of the gun. The threat of a firearm renders victims largely unable to run away or defend themselves. Atrocities ranging from torture and arbitrary arrest to abduction and the silencing of political opposition are all frequently ‘assisted’ by small arms. Guns have facilitated both systematic rape in war and intimate-partner violence in the home. Armed violence is also intrinsically linked to forced migration.

“It is hard to imagine a small group of people terrorising and forcibly evicting entire communities without weapons such as AK-47s,” argued Cate Buchanan, manager of the Human Security and Small Arms Programme at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. “It is often noted that although the majority of killings in the Rwandan genocide were committed with blades, guns were needed to round up the victims and keep them surrounded before killing them.”

The majority of small arms are produced in the most powerful countries in the world, the United States and the European Union combined account for about 75 percent of the total annual production, although more than 90 countries can, or do, produce small arms. The value of small arms exports from the US in 2001 stood at $741 million, while the value of small arms exports from all G8 countries for the same year totalled almost $1.5 billion. Other major exporters include Belgium, Brazil, Austria, Spain, China, Israel, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The majority of the 7 million to 8 million new guns produced every year form the legal trade in small arms, that is the trade authorised by governments. However, limited controls of this legal trade, and a failure to enforce them, means that many arms are diverted into the illegal sector. The thriving black market trade in small arms provides guns to people who cannot obtain them legally, even though the vast majority of these guns have origins in the legal sector. The failure by most states to consider fully the end use of the weapons they export means that small arms often fall into irresponsible hands. The governments of key exporting countries may point to their stringent controls of small-arms exports, but many continue to transfer arms to irresponsible end users, that is, countries in which the weapons would likely be used to fuel armed violence or to contribute to human rights violations. The irresponsible exporting of small arms is made possible by an absence of export controls or a failure to enforce existing controls, or by loopholes in the law. “The issue of weapons is very close to governments and their national security priorities. Normal trade regulations cease to apply, and governments are reluctant to make compromises in this area,” explained Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s policy advisor on small arms.

Indeed, almost all the G8 countries have in recent years exported small arms to countries where there are major human rights concerns, including Algeria, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Sierra Leone. Some small-arms exports have been directly linked to human rights violations. Reports from Algeria, for example, suggested that sporting and hunting weapons were used by ‘death squads’ to massacre civilians in 1997. In 2003, a contingent of such weapons worth $1.7 million was shipped to Algeria by the Russian Federation.  The developing world also spends massively on small arms. While information collated by the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT), a research coalition of nongovernmental organisations, suggested the majority of small arms exported by western European countries remains in the region or goes to North America, guns to the value of $200 million were exported to Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East in just one year, a value equivalent to hundreds of thousands of weapons. This figure also does not account for the weapons transferred to, and within, the developing world through black market trading.

Legislative loopholes undermine weapon control efficacy. By licensing production to another country – that is, outsourcing production, often to the purchasing country – labour costs are lowered and controls over arms transfers that may apply in some countries can be evaded. Research by the Omega Foundation suggested that companies in at least 15 countries, including the US, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany and Switzerland, have established agreements permitting the production of arms in 45 other countries.

Not only does the legal trade in small arms sometimes directly supply irresponsible end users, the absence of controls means guns can easily be diverted into the black market. Estimates suggest that 80 percent to 90 percent of the small arms traded on the black market originate in state-sanctioned trade.

While the value of the black market trade in small arms may be relatively small-scale – worth around $1 billion – it is almost impossible to control. In addition, the durability of small arms means they can easily be recycled from one conflict to another, or passed between the hands of different criminals. The recent conflicts in West Africa are but one arresting example of this, with guns passing from, and continuing to wreak devastation in, Sierra Leone to Liberia, and now most recently to Côte d’Ivoire.

Small arms move into the illegal arena in various ways. Governments at war, for example, may transfer weapons to sympathetic nonstate actors. Security forces and other authorised weapons users may supply and sell arms, while civilians, aided by inadequate regulation, can purchase firearms and then illegally sell them on, in a process known as the ‘ant trade’.

Weapons may be purchased or stolen from poorly guarded government stockpiles, or recovered from the battlefield following combat. In 2002, for example, arms collected in Albania were transferred to Rwanda, from where they were allegedly passed on to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In addition, disarmament programmes or changes of weaponry by armed forces can flood the black market with weapons, as was the case after former Warsaw Pact countries sold off the standard arms they had been using.

Arms brokers – effectively middlemen – also play a key role, and have been implicated in supplying some of the worst conflict zones and areas most notorious for human rights abuses, including Afghanistan, Angola, the DRC, Iraq, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa. As the arrangement of arms deals is an unregulated area, arms brokers can operate outside the law and traffic arms illegally on behalf of governments or private actors. Even where controls do exist at the national level – fewer than 40 countries were found in 2005 to have them – brokers either rely on a lack of political will to enforce such laws or simply move offshore.


Arms embargoes are also no barrier. Brokers find ways of either avoiding controls or colluding with authorities. Creating a complex supply chain involving many front companies and handling agents, using fraudulent or misleading paperwork, and routing deliveries through third countries that may not be subject to embargo restrictions are just some of the tactics deployed by brokers.

http://www.irinnews.org/in-depth/58952/8/guns-out-of-control-the-continuing-threat-of-small-arms

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Patti Smith - People Have the Power

Big Pharma Mobilises

Pharmaceutical companies claim they need to charge high prices to fund their research and development. This just isn’t so. For one thing, drug companies spend more on marketing and advertising than on new ideas. Pharmaceutical companies spend 11% of their income on R & D and 40 % of their income promoting their brand.

As it is, most of the important innovations come out of universities and research centers, like the National Institutes of Health, funded by government and foundations.

A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries.

Among the topics negotiators have considered are some of the most contentious T.P.P. provisions — those relating to intellectual property rights. And we’re not talking just about music downloads and pirated DVDs. These rules could help big pharmaceutical companies maintain or increase their monopoly profits on brand-name drugs. Overly restrictive intellectual property rights actually slow new discoveries, by making it more difficult for scientists to build on the research of others and by choking off the exchange of ideas that is critical to innovation.


Big Pharma boasts the largest lobbying group in Washington, and is pulling the puppet strings of far too many government officials. The whole world pays the real price in the form of worse health and unnecessary deaths.

who are the real "low life scum"?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Churchill's Inhumanity

A day of events has been held in London to mark the 50th anniversary of Churchill's funeral but Mailstrom has no regrets or sadness nor offer any condolences for his passing on.

Churchill on Mussolini
“What a man! I have lost my heart!… Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world… If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism.”

Churchill on Gandhi
“ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back. Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.”

In Sudan, he bragged that he personally shot at least three “savages”.
In South Africa, where “it was great fun galloping about,” he defended British built concentration camps for white Boers, saying they produced “the minimum of suffering”. The death toll was almost 28,000.
When at least 115,000 black Africans were likewise swept into British camps, where 14,000 died, he wrote only of his “irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men”. On his attitude to other races, Churchill’s doctor, Lord Moran, once said: “Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin.”

As a young officer in the Swat valley, now part of Pakistan, Churchill one day experienced a fleeting revelation. The local population, he wrote in a letter, was fighting back because of “the presence of British troops in lands the local people considered their own,”

“Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination.”

His fear-mongering views on Islam sound strangely familiar:
“But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.”

“On the subject of India,” said the British Secretary of State to India: “Winston is not quite sane… I didn’t see much difference between his outlook and Hitler’s.”
Churchill admitted “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

In the 1943 Bengal famine Secretary of State for India’s telegram requesting food stock to relieve the famine, Churchill replied:

“If food is scarce, why isn’t Gandhi dead yet?”

Up to 3 million people starved to death. Asked in 1944 to explain his refusal to send food aid, Churchill jeered:
“Relief would do no good. Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply.”

In 1920 Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons on the “uncooperative Arabs” involved in the Iraqi revolution against British rule.

“I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas,” he declared. “I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. It would spread a lively terror.”

As British Colonial Secretary, Churchill’s power in the Middle East was immense. He “created Jordan with a stroke of a pen one Sunday afternoon”, allegedly drawing the expansive boundary map after a generous lunch. The huge zigzag in Jordan’s eastern border with Saudi Arabia has been called “Winston’s Hiccup” or “Churchill’s Sneeze”.  He is the man who invented Iraq, another arbitrary patch of desert, which was awarded to a throneless Hashemite prince; Faisal, whose brother Abdullah was given control of Jordan.

As Colonial Secretary, it was Churchill who offered the Jews their free ticket to the ‘Promised Land’ of ‘Israel’, although he thought they should not “take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience.” He dismissed the Palestinians already living in the country as “barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung.”

Addressing the Peel Commission (1937) on why Britain was justified in deciding the fate of Palestine, Churchill clearly displayed his white supremacist ideology to justify one of the most brutal genocides and mass displacements of people in history, based on his belief that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph”:

“I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

“You must understand that this war is not against Hitler or National Socialism, but against the strength of the German people, which is to be smashed once and for all, regardless of whether it is in the hands of Hitler or a Jesuit priest.” ~ Winston Churchill, Emrys Hughes, Winston Churchill – His Career in War and Peace, p. 145; quoted as per: Adrian Preissinger, Von Sachsenhausen bis Buchenwald, p. 23.

“Germany’s unforgivable crime before the second world war was her attempt to extricate her economic power from the world’s trading system and to create her own exchange mechanism which would deny world finance its opportunity to profit.” ~ Churchill to Lord Robert Boothby, as quoted in: Sidney Rogerson, Propaganda in the Next War (Foreword to the second edition 2001), originally published in 1938.

During the satuaration bombing campaign of German cities and civilians Churchill had said earlier:

“I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau.”

Churchill, as Home Secretary, said:

‘I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilized and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race.’



Libertarian Anarchism


Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Authoritarians


After Capitalism?

Capitalism can sell everything; but it can’t sell “less.” Capitalism knows no limits, it only knows how to expand, creating while destroying.

The World Council of Churches, which represents about 590 million Christians in 520,000 congregations, decided in July that to continue to hold fossil fuel stock would compromise its ethics, and recommended that the 349 member denominations consider divesting oil and gas stock. Six of the eight Anglican dioceses of New Zealand and Polynesia, and four dioceses in Australia divested their portfolios of fossil fuel stock. In the United States, the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist churches became the first denominations to begin to divest themselves of fossil fuel stock. Both denominations have a long history of fighting for social justice. Also divesting are Quaker, Episcopal, and several other denominations. Several synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America have passed resolutions asking the national board and local churches to divest themselves of fossil fuel stocks. The Union Theological seminary, with a $108.4 million endowment, became the nation’s first seminary to divest itself of fossil fuel stock. The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the seminary’s president, explained the decision: “It is ever clear that humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels is death-dealing—or as Christians would say, profoundly sinful.”

Right now there are hundreds of campaigns globally for fossil fuel divestment as a strategy in the fight against climate change. Many are proposing that when institutions divest from fossil fuels, they should then "reinvest" in clean energy and low-income communities. The debate about divestment raises important questions about how we bring about social and economic change and how much we should engage with capitalist enterprises and government.

For sure, to address climate change, we clearly need massive development of solar, wind and other clean energy. And we need improved and expanded public transit, energy-efficient housing. A "divest and reinvest" strategy is being advocated of universities and other institutions to use their endowment money to support environmental initiatives. Selling fossil fuel stocks will not significantly hurt fossil fuel companies financially. Buying solar company stocks may lead to small increases in the price of those stocks but that’s all. A divest-reinvest strategy is not likely to lead to the clean energy economy we need. We have evidence. Ethical investors have failed to end the arms trade or the tobacco and alcohol industries.  Such campaign gives a legitimacy to the capitalist system by focusing on money rather than politics undermine the rationale for capitalism’s existence.

There exists two rival conceptions of socialism. What is known as “state socialism” and what is called “market socialism”. One advocates a system of state-ownership, where there exists no private enterprise of individual capitalists. The economy is run by a series of plans under the centralized command of the State. Wage labour still exists but the employer is the government and the bosses are the officials of the various ministries and departments. The other model promoted is where the economy is operated by a mixture of co-operatives and nationalized industries that will no longer possess the imperative to accumulate capital or compete with other nation states. Wage labour remains but because enterprises are worker-owned or, at least managed, the worker pay themselves (profit-sharing), they are their own employers. The Socialist Party rejects both types and even challenge them to legitimately call themselves versions of socialism as they both involve buying and selling, the continuance of private property (albeit collectively owned) and the retention of the prices system as an expression of value.

Advocates of either “state socialism” or “market socialism” describe the socialist vision held by the Socialist Party as utopian. The idea of overthrowing existing “corporate” capitalism and replacing it with a nicer sort of capitalism is a political project that the Socialist Party would ascribe as the fantasy. The Left strangely enough share the same criticism of socialism as the Right.  “It sounds good on paper, but socialism will never work, because if everybody gets everything they need whether they work or not, then there is no incentive to work at all!” So the old argument goes, you need wages and you need money to force people to work. “No money, no honey.” This is the case against socialism shared by those avowedly pro-capitalist and some who declare themselves to be some sort of “socialist.” They ten present a picture of a society where there will be no pressure among competing enterprises to undersell one another by allotting some workers a smaller share in income, working some harder than others, laying some off, hiring the poor from other regions. Workplace democracy within the market is supposed to minimize such exploitative tendencies. It should be obvious by now that neither “state” nor “market” socialism are “realistic” proposals that provide a solution. We might as well revert back to Henry George or Major Douglas plans for a “post-capitalist” society.

Workers sell their labour power as a commodity.  That is why we concentrate efforts on the price of our labour power (wages) and the terms and conditions at which it is sold. Certain workers’ cooperatives anticipate a new society growing within the womb of the old.  It reunites workers with the means of production and removes the capitalist from the workplace.  It gives ownership to the workers and elevates their power, confidence and consciousness.  It can prepare the workers involved and other workers for the task of making the whole economy the property of the working class, which is socialism. Some co-ops provide the services that are currently provided by the state and which leaves them at the mercy of the state and the politicians who preside on top of it.  Such services include education, health, welfare and pensions. Thousands of cooperatives already exist; they are not purely idealistic mental constructions.  What’s more they can be, and many are, very successful; providing hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Living proof that workers can do without capitalists to tell them what to do.  Workers can take control, can make decisions and can be successful. When critics say – “where is your socialist alternative after over a 150 years of your movement?” we might be ventured to point to the cooperative movement as a simple promise for the future. Of course, cooperatives are not a solution to everything. An objection is made that cooperatives will simply teach workers to exploit themselves within a market economy based on competition.  They will simply become their own capitalists. Co-ops aren’t anti-capitalist because they do not provide an alternative to capitalism, except in the legal sense of ownership. In capitalist society ownership entitles control and capitalist ownership entails capitalist control. Markets do not disappear and therefore capitalism does not disappear.

We must urge the start of a new period of major struggle against capitalism, after a long time of relative inaction. The Socialist Party can be thought of as representing, in embryo, the democratic participatory socialism of the future, in which popular groups will make economic decisions.  In this way, socialism can be made real, although socialism cannot fully be installed without making a radical break with current property relations and the current allocation of political power. There is a need for mass education about the ways in which capitalism lies at the root of the problems afflicting ordinary people around the world. The belief that nothing beyond capitalism is possible can be countered by a vision of a workable socialism, based on democratic participation in the economic as well as the political institutions of society. The socialist movement can be rebuilt, and socialism can become a real possibility again, only when millions of people become convinced, not only that capitalism does not meet their needs, but that a better alternative system is possible. If the resistance to reformism can prevail, a vision of a socialist future for humankind may again be placed on the world’s political agenda.


We cannot be effective socialists if we work alone. We cannot inspire socialism without embracing self-education. Revolution is not a product, but a process. We don’t ever “finish” our training. Class struggle remain a perpetual work-in-progress. It’s tempting to write off all those so-called comrades who don’t share your epic vision or your one-of-a-kind discipline or your... whatever. You’ll start the damn revolution all alone. Who needs them, right? You need them. We all need “them.” For many reasons. For example: it is collective efforts that create the checks and balances. Unless we work as a team, we might aim our rage and anger at the wrong targets. A socialist party needs commitment. It doesn’t need loners. It needs teammates and solidarity support for all who join the struggle. Our shared personal visions help lay the groundwork for political action. Let’s join together to work towards collective liberation.

White Australian "Civilisation"


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mandelson on the fiddle again

Peter Mandelson received £400,000 tax-free in cash last year from a company he owns. The company, of which he is the sole shareholder, gave the former secretary of state a loan – a move described by a leading tax campaigner as likely to have been motivated by tax avoidance. It allows those who take advantage of the mechanism to delay when they pay tax on income earned through their company – potentially indefinitely.

Salary payments or dividends from a small business are liable for tax under UK rules, but in the case of a loan to a director – provided a certain minimum rate of interest specified by HMRC is charged – the borrowing is not liable for tax. The official interest rate that applied at the time was 3.25%. The company charged £15,211 in interest on the balance. No repayments were made on the loan by Mandelson during the year, nor was any repayment schedule or term of loan set out.

Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and director of Tax Research UK, said Mandelson’s use of loans raised questions.
“How to extract cash from small companies whilst paying as little tax as possible on the way is a massive part of the UK tax avoidance industry,” he said. “Directors taking loans from companies they own is one way in which this is done, which has been widely condemned in the past when done by footballers and others. It’s just about impossible to think this is motivated by anything but tax avoidance.”

Mandelson’s loan and property dealings previously came under scrutiny after he was forced to resign from Tony Blair’s cabinet in 1998 when it was revealed he failed to declare a secret property loan from Geoffrey Robertson, a fellow Labour MP and tycoon, who was at the time under investigation by Mandelson’s department. After a brief return to the cabinet, he was forced to resign a second time in 2001 over his involvement in a passport application of Indian billionaire Srichand Hinduja.

In August 2011, it was reported that Mandelson paid £8m for a four-storey Regent’s Park townhouse with its own wine cellar. Mandelson recently criticised Labour’s tax policies on wealthy individuals, about the mansion tax, Mandelson said Ed Miliband’s plan to tax properties worth more than £2m was “crude” and “sort of short-termist” and would “clobber” homeowners.

 During the early years of Blair’s premiership, he commented to an audience of tech entrepreneurs that he was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes”.


He has made public speaking appearances for clients including Coca-Cola, Lloyds bank and Samruk-Kazyna, Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, as well as for mining companies operating in Africa. Mandelson established a second company, Global Counsel LLP, in partnership with his long-time aide Ben Wegg-Prosser and the advertising giant WPP. Global Counsel’s clients include multinationals such as BP, Goldman Sachs and commodities giant Glencore. In 2012, it was revealed that Mandelson was advising Asia Pulp and Paper, which has been accused by environmental groups of destroying large swaths of an Indonesian rainforest. He is the proverbial politician for hire.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free Blood or Bloody Profit

In Britain, however, we donate 2 million units a year, with no payment – following the World Health Organisation recommendation that blood donation be voluntary. This is not only for altruistic reasons, but also for safety. “The safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated donors from low-risk populations,” says the WHO. A study in New Zealand showed that offering payment would put off some donors.

Nevertheless, thousands of NHS patients receive blood plasma from paid donors. This contains clotting factors and antibodies. Thousands of individual donations go into each dose of clotting factors – used to treat haemophiliacs who are bleeding – or immunoglobulins (antibodies) used to treat people with autoimmune diseases, severely damaged immune systems, or some serious infections.

After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known as mad cow disease, some recipients of UK plasma products developed the fatal brain disease variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob-disease (vCJD). As there is as yet no adequate screening test for this, British plasma has not been used since 2002, when we began to import it from the US. The plasma trade is global, with companies exporting worldwide. Currently, all products used in the UK come from safe sources, but with plasma is in increasingly short supply, which may have to choose between denying patients plasma-based treatments, or buying them from more risky sources.

Turning blood into a commodity opens the door to commercial pressures: donors are dishonest about their risk factors, companies turn a blind eye and cut corners. If you are on skid row, plasma donation is a good way to pay for your next fix, and companies keen to exploit worldwide demand may not be too assiduous in checking the honesty of potential donors, or in screening them. For years, prisoners in Arkansas donated plasma and recipients developed the blood-borne infections it contained. Despite revelations of poor screening, companies continued to buy plasma taken from prisoners until 1994. China, too, has an appalling record. A Chinese company running an illegal collection passed inspections by the authorities, but in 2006 was shown to be selling plasma infected with hepatitis C. Britain can’t claim an unblemished record, either – from the 1970s to the early 1990s, thousands of people given NHS blood products developed HIV and/or hepatitis C.


We now import our plasma via a government-owned company. But in 2013, the government sold an 80% share of the business to Bain Capital, a US venture capital group. Many feel uncomfortable about introducing the profit motive to the supply of blood products.

What is Affluenza?

Ours is a world where injustice and inequality abound. A different system prevails for the rich and a different one for the poor. We are certainly not telling you anything new.

16 year-old Ethan Couch, son of wealthy parents, drove off at more than 70 miles per hour in a 40MPH zone. He had seven of his friends with him. About an hour later, Couch lost control of his vehicle and ploughed the truck into a group of people. Breanna Mitchell, Hollie Boyles, Shelby Boyles and Brian Jennings were all killed. Two of Couch’s passengers were badly injured. One was paralysed, losing the ability to speak and the other suffered broken bones and internal injuries. Couch was found to have a blood-alcohol content three times the legal limit for adult drivers and also tested positive for Valium.  Ethan Couch received no jail time for his crime. Instead, Couch was ‘sentenced’ to a long-term, in-patient facility for therapy and rehabilitation. His expensive team of lawyers, with the help of a psychologist called in as an expert witness, had managed to successfully mount a defence around the concept of ‘affluenza’ – the inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege. Blame it all on affluenza. British psychologist Oliver James defines affluenza as “placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and fame.”

Paris Hilton built a $325,000 mini-mansion for her dogs.
Nicolas Cage bought three homes, 22 cars and a $270,000 dinosaur skull all in the same year.

Mukesh Ambani, the Indian billionaire whose 27-storey, 400,000-square-foot home in Mumbai requires a staff of 600. 

Affluenza has robbed them of their souls. But lets call a spade a spade...Affluenza is capitalism. That is where the blame does lie. 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Drugged crazed communism

The massive war on drugs which kills people from the plazas of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool, is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people's brains and cause addiction. But what if drugs aren't the driver of addiction— but , in fact, it is disconnection with society that drives addiction. The writer George Monbiot has called this the "age of loneliness." We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connection.

Vancouver psychology professor Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about a drug experiment experiment. A rat is put in the cage all alone with a choice of normal water and water laced with a drug. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if built a lush cage where the rats had colored balls and the best rat food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, would happen then? The rats with good lives didn't like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats had used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

Alexander took the test further. He repeated the early experiments, where the rats were left alone and became compulsive users of the drug. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked so you can't recover? Do the drugs take over? What happened is striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.

During the Vietnam War, Time magazine reported heroin was "as common as chewing gum" among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers became addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified: they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended. But in fact, some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers, according to the same study, simply stopped using. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so they didn't want the drug anymore.

If you happen to say, break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you get from your doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the theory of addiction is right—it's the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them—it's obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets, to meet their habits. But here's the strange thing. It virtually never happens. Medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street users into desperate addicts—and leaves medical patients unaffected.

The junkie is like a rat in the first cage: isolated and alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like a rat in the second cage: going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different. This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. If we can't connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—gambling or drugs. A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn't bond as fully with anything else. So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

Smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism—cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy, and deadly, effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed. But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That's not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that's still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about the cause of addiction being chemical hooks is real, but it's only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

The war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. When drug offenders get out of prison, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record, guaranteeing they will be cut off even more.

Another approach has been tried and tested.

Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and take all the money they once spent on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them—to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step was to get them secure housing and subsidized jobs, so they had a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. In warm and welcoming clinics, addicts are taught how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma. One group of addicts was given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other and to society, and responsible for each other's care.

The British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and intraveneous drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop offered all the dire warnings we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News but everything he predicted had not come to pass—and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example. This new evidence challenges us politically, it obliges us to change our minds and our hearts. The present drug message is that an addict should be shunned. Nor should we ignore that pharmaceutical companies urge us to deal with our problems, largely produced by economic and political forces out of our control, by taking a drug, one that will both chill us out and increase their profit margins. We are told that anything that does not make us feel good is not worth bothering with.

We need now to talk about social recovery; how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation. It is time to talk about real genuine social-ism.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lies v truths

Hand on the bible and say it, Randy Andy

Andrew spoke publicly to “reiterate and to reaffirm” a strenuous denial of the allegation that an underaged female was made to have sex with the prince which Buckingham Palace describes it as “categorically untrue”.

Lawyers for Virginia Roberts have written to Andrew at Buckingham Palace to ask for a two-hour sworn interview about Roberts’ claim that she was forced into sexual relations with Andrew by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender. An attempt to deliver the letter by FedEx was apparently rejected by the Palace. Jack Scarola said that if the letter could not be delivered, he would consider making a new request for Andrew to answer questions under a 1970 Hague convention on taking evidence abroad, to which the US and the UK are both signatories. Andrew cannot easily be subpoenaed to give testimony, as an American resident might be, because he lives outside the jurisdiction of the US courts. Visiting Florida may put him at risk of being served with a subpoena to appear there, lawyers said. But a server may find it too difficult to get close enough to the Duke – and past his security detail – to physically hand him legal papers.

The Hague convention states that a country may reject a request if it “considers that its sovereignty or security would be prejudiced”. 

“International judicial assistance is always discretionary, based upon principles of comity rather than treaty, and is also subject to legal procedures in the requested country,” said Marcus Funk, a defence attorney and former prosecutor. The request would be sent to Barbara Fontaine, the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division and Queen’s Remembrancer, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Under directions to the courts from Britain’s ministry of justice, this interview should “be conducted in the same way as if the witness were giving evidence at a trial”. It may be carried out by “any fit and proper person nominated” by Roberts’ attorneys or “any other person whom the court considers suitable”. Andrew would be entitled to have a lawyer present. If Andrew refused or failed to show up for the interview, the law states that Roberts’ attorneys could apply for a court order instructing him to do so. Disobeying a court order in the UK may leave someone open to prosecution for contempt of court.


 http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/23/prince-andrew-lawyers-sex-questions-court

Friday, January 23, 2015

People for a New Society Videos

 Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5








Interview with Walter Petrovich

PART 1



PART 2



PART 3



 PART 4

People for a New Society

The golden parachute

European pharmaceuticals group Sanofi on Thursday said it had agreed to pay 4.44 million euros ($5.06 million) in total to ousted chief executive Chris Viehbacher.
Viehbacher, who left in October, will receive a payment of 2.96 million euros, which corresponds to his fixed and variable compensation for the year, Sanofi said in a statement.
On top of that, he will pocket 246,750 euros each month for half a year until June 30, or a total of 1.48 million euros, for not working for a competitor.
Viehbacher also undertook not to hire away previous employees of the company for 18 months and signed a confidentiality agreement for 24 months, Sanofi said.
http://www.oann.com/ousted-sanofi-ceo-gets-4-44-million-euro-severance-package/

Philanthropy Plans

Worldwide child deaths will be halved over the next 15 years. By 2030, only one in 40 will die that early thanks to healthier childcare practices such as breastfeeding, better sanitation and vaccines.  Polio, guinea worm and river blindness will be eradicated, and there will be a single-dose cure for malaria with the help of donated drugs, such as those distributed free to 800 million people last year. By 2030 Africa will be able to feed itself rather than depend on food imports. Farmers in Africa will have access to better fertilizer and to drought- and disease-resistant crops, allowing yields to double.

At least that is what the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believe. Mailstrom would be being mean-spirited if we too didn’t hope they indeed succeed. But reality makes us question the fulfilment of that ambition ...the path to hell is paved with good intentions...

However, none of this will be achieved easily. “You need some breakthroughs,” Melinda Gates said in an interview in a wonderful expression of understatement


http://www.oann.com/gates-foundation-sees-huge-gains-against-disease-poverty-by-2030/

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Enlightenment?

Buddhist monk U Wirathu condemned human rights rapporteur Yanghee Lee at a public rally on Friday held to denounce a recent U.N. General Assembly vote calling for the Myanmar minority Rohingya Muslims to be granted citizenship in the country.

“Just because you hold a position in the United Nations doesn’t make you an honorable woman. In our country, you are just a whore,” Wirathu told a cheering crowd of several hundred people in Yangon on Friday. “Can this bitch really be from a respectable background?”


Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state in the predominantly Buddhist country. Almost 140,000 Rohingya remain displaced after deadly clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012.

The Brit Benefit Tourists

A recent Guardian report  found that 30,000 Brits are claiming unemployment benefits in countries across the EU. The report also discovered that British claimants in richer EU states outnumber those from the same countries in the UK – British claimants in Ireland outnumber Irish claimants by five to one and Germans by four to one. And that many Brits get far better benefits in other EU states than they would here.

 Politicians will soon be  denouncing a new wave of immigration, a wave made up of British ex-emigrant-immigrants. 

“Damn those ex-emigrant-immigrants coming over here, scrounging off the British taxpayer. Why don’t they go back to where they came from?"

 Oh, they have.

No Money No Visa

Zimbabwean grandparents who have been refused a visa to attend the funeral in Eastbourne of their five-year-old granddaughter.

They were refused visas for three reasons – they had not previously travelled out of Zimbabwe, they could not demonstrate a regular income, and there was a danger they would abscond.

The cost of visitor visas excludes the poorest and the Home Office has admitted in a freedom of information response that some visas have netted them a profit of 440%.

Wealthy people from overseas find it much easier to visit or settle in the UK. If you’ve got a spare £2m you can come here and invest it. If you’re richer still, with a spare £10m up your sleeve you can apply to settle here after just two years. The same opportunity is not afforded to the less wealthy even if they are keen to work hard, pay taxes and contribute to society.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/21/uk-grieving-relatives-andrea-gada-grandparents-visa

Guilty of discrimination against the Roma

A high court has ruled that the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, has “unlawfully discriminated” against Romany Gypsies. A judge said both human rights and equality laws were breached by Pickles and his department “calling in” cases which would normally be considered by his planning inspectors.

The judge said Pickles was operating a legally flawed policy of “recovering” for his own consideration appeals by Travellers who claim there are exceptional circumstances for allowing them green belt sites. Mr Justice Gilbart, sitting in London, said an inspectors’ decision was normally received within eight weeks of the end of an inquiry – but it could take six months or more for a decision letter for a called-in case. No attempt had been made by Pickles and his ministers to follow steps required by the 2010 Equality Act to avoid indirect discrimination, and “substantial delays” had occurred in dealing with the appeals in violation of article 6 of the European convention on human rights, said the judge. The judge said Pickles’ department had “coined and developed” a practice in 2013 and 2014 of calling in all, and then a majority, of green belt Traveller cases – most involving Romany Gypsies or Irish Travellers – “which discriminated unlawfully against a racial group”.


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/21/eric-pickles-unlawfu-discrimination-against-romany-gypsies-green-belt-judge-rules

George Carlin