Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Don't vote for your masters

Unlike the usual election manifesto, this is addressed to those who do not a vote as well as to those who do. Its object is to gain, not your vote, but your understanding. It is evident that none of the is worthy of your support.  Your party should be democratic. It should have socialism as its programme and the class struggle as its guiding principle.  Its candidates should be controlled by the rank and file. It should devote its energies to converting the workers to socialism, and to organising them for the conquest of political power for its realisation. It should never compromise with capitalist parties, and should refuse to barter away the workers’ salvation for crumbs that profit not. That is the party that you should support. Only one party answers to that description in this country—The SOCIALIST PARTY.

 But since the ground must be well tilled before the good harvest can be reaped, that party is putting no candidates forward in Scotland during the present election. Even the poverty which impedes the activity of the working- class party is in itself only a reflex of the present unreadiness of the electorate. Therefore the principles of Socialism must be more widely propagated and the workers more fully organised, before candidates of the Socialist Party can usefully enter the parliamentary arena. 

if you realise that your policy must be distinct from and hostile to all capitalist politics and that Socialism alone can help your class, then it is your duty to join the Socialist Party and take a democratic share in its work; thus advancing the day—not far distant—when it will place its own candidates— your candidates—in the parliamentary field to wage uncompromisingly the fight for socialism. But until you can thus vote for yourselves and strike a blow against exploitation, it is clearly your duty to spoil your ballot-paper. To do otherwise would be to support the system that crushes you.

Go to the polling station but only to write 'Socialism' across your voting paper; for if you cannot vote now for what you want, it is folly to vote for what you do not want. The vote, like the razor, is an instrument for a purpose. If you cannot for the moment use it to your advantage, it is madness to cut your throat. And by voting for your enemies, for traitors and charlatans, you are surely cutting your throat.

 However, whether you have a vote or not, realise how much depends on you and how much remains to be done. A vote, even for a candidate of the Socialist Party, is of no value unless it expresses a socialist consciousness. Understanding must precede action, for socialism is impossible until the workers become class-conscious socialists. There is, therefore, work for you to do. There are outlets for your energy infinitely more profitable to your class than voting for the defenders of exploitation. The army of socialism must be recruited, and your place is within the ranks of the organisation of your class, taking your part in the battle in the class war for the emancipation of your fellow-workers from wage-slavery. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

why blame newcomers?

The wailing in our country about the "invasion of immigrants" has been long and loud.  Native-born workers feels imperiled because...they are imperiled.  These are boom times for the employing class, but for all others are being squeezed. It's this economic vulnerability that anti-immigrant forces play on. But pointing to migrant workers and blaming them for the economic pain local people are feeling is a lie. The truth is that even if there were no migrants the misery that is felt would remain, for migrants are not the ones who:
    Downsized and offshored jobs
    Stopped being compliant to wage and hour laws with zero-hour contracts
    Reclassified millions of employees as "independent contractors," (Uberisation) leaving them with no benefits or labor rights.

Powerless migrants didn't do these things . The rich, well-connected corporate interests did them.

"God's" Word

“The new capitalism, through the idea of ‘meritocracy,’ gives moral cover to inequality,” Pope Francis said. “It sees the talents of people not as a gift but a ‘merit,’ determining a system of advantages and disadvantages.”
He argued that the ideology of a ‘meritocracy’ also colors the way we see the poor.
“A second consequences [of a ‘meritocracy’] is a change in the culture of poverty,” he said. “The poor person is considered to not have merit, and therefore to be guilty. They’re dishonored."
 Francis said. “A speculator is a figure similar to what Jesus in the gospels called “money-changers” as opposed to pastors. He doesn’t love his company or his workers, but they’re solely a means for making profits. He fires people, relocates the company, because it’s instrumentalized and eats up people and products.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Abe Lincoln quote on slavery

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.
You do not mean color exactly?—You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own. But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.
April 1, 1854

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Shetland Nationalism

Stuart Hill is standing as a candidate for the Orkney & Shetland constituency on a platform of the restoration of their sovereignty so as the islands' folk “won’t have to ask anyone for permission to do the things we want. We will no longer have to go cap in hand asking – we can make our own decisions.” Hill explains, “We can forget austerity and look forward to keeping our schools open, free ferries and whatever else we decide. Any negotiations will start from the standpoint that we own the land, we own the seas and we own the seabed.”

Graph of the Day

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Saudi despotism

  1. The Saudis export an extremist interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, around the globe. Over the past three decades, Saudi Arabia has spent about $4 billion per year on mosques, madrassas, preachers, students, and textbooks to spread Wahhabism and anti-Western sentiment. Let's not forget that 15 of the 19 fanatical hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudis, as was Osama bin Laden himself.
  2. The Saudis fund terrorism worldwide. A Wikileaks-revealed 2009 cable quotes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide … More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar e-Tayyiba and other terrorist groups." In Syria the Saudis are supporting the most extreme sectarian forces. And while the Saudi government condemns ISIS, many experts, including 9/11 Commission Report lead author Senator Bob Graham, believe that ISIS is a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money and Saudi organizational support.
  3. The government represses religious minorities. Trump says he is promoting tolerance, but this theocratic Sunni regime is based on repressing the Shia minority and non-Muslims. It is the only country in the world to ban all churches, and atheism is a capital offense. Year after year, the U.S. government’s own Commission on International Religious Freedom says Saudi Arabia commits “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
  4. Free speech and free association are forbidden in the kingdom. Criticizing the Saudi regime can lead to flogging, long jail sentences or even beheading. Tragic examples are Raif Badawi, languishing in prison for blogging; attorney Waleed Abulkhair, serving a 15-year sentence for defending human rights; and Ali al-Nimr, arrested as a minor and now on death row for nonviolent dissent.
  5. The regime is the most misogynist, gender-segregated country in the world. Women are not even allowed to drive and must live under a guardianship system that gives men authority over the most important decisions in their lives.
  6. There is no political freedom in Saudi Arabia. While most of the world’s monarchies have evolved to lessen the role of royalty, Saudi Arabia remains one of the world’s last absolute monarchies.The Saud family picks the king, who then has ultimate authority in virtually every aspect of government. There are no national elections and political parties are banned, as are unions and most civic organizations.
  7. They have engaged in a catastrophic war in Yemen. In March 2015, the Saudis launched a bombing campaign in Yemen that has targeted schools, hospitals, markets, weddings and funerals. The war has resulted in acute malnutrition and disease, leaving a Yemeni child dying every 10 minutes. Instead of supporting the bombing, the US government should be pushing a ceasefire and negotiations.
  8. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. Scores of people are killed each year after being convicted of various nonviolent charges that range from adultery, apostasy, drug use and sorcery. The executions are usually carried out by public beheading.
  9. The Kingdom primarily functions on the backs of mistreated foreign laborers. Of the nation’s 30 million people, some 10 million are foreigners. Workers from poor nations seek economic gains within Saudi Arabia, but are often lured under false pretenses and then not allowed to leave the country without permission from their employer. Female migrant workers, treated like indentured servants, often face physical and sexual abuse.
  10. Saudi Arabia helps maintain the world’s destructive dependence on oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world. With its vast potential for solar energy, Saudi Arabia could lead the world in renewable energy. Instead, the economy remains almost entirely dependent on oil and on the international level, Saudi Arabia works with the United States to oppose global climate agreements that would affect oil profits.