Friday, December 29, 2006

Scotch Mist

I thought I would transcribe and post this article from the archives of the Socialist Standard , the author being our good comrade and fellow blogger from Patience and Perseverance .

Scotch Mist

In Scotland today it’s true that there is a struggle - as there is in England , Wales , Ireland , or rest of the world for that matter . But the struggle in Scotland is not , as the Scottish National Party would have us believe , the struggle for home rule , self - government , self- determination , or self anything . The struggle in Scotland , as in the rest of the world , is a class struggle: the struggle between the working class and the capitalist or owning class.

The SNP tell us , the workers , that independence from England and the control of our own purse strings will cure all our problems . What they do not seem to realise is that the problems they are going to try to solve are an integral part of the capitalist system , and history has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that within this system there is no satisfactory solution to these problems apart from Socialism .

The SNP talk about the Scottish culture and the Scottish way of life . But in what way is the life of a Scottish wage slave basically different from that of an English , an American , or for that matter a Russian wage slave? There is no basic difference in the way of life of the world’s working class because we all suffer from the same problems such as poverty and insecurity . Independence from England will not cure the poverty and insecurity of the Scottish workers , because they will still be the wages labour and capital relationship.

There is no truly independent country in the world , because international capitalism has made sure of this , and our own experience here in Britain , especially since 1964 , should have brought it home to us . The past few years should have shown us just how independent Britain is , when foreign “ bankers” tell the British government how to spend money , and how it must not spend money , in order to keep the international capitalist class happy .

Class Struggle

Independence for Scotland therefore is a myth put about by the Scottish National Party , which further confuses the Scottish section of the working class and blinds them from the real struggle - the class struggle .

The outcome of the class struggle is the abolition of capitalism and an end to poverty , insecurity and the ever-present threat of war.

Socialism is a sane society , where the means of life will be owned in common by the whole of the world socialist community . By the means of life we mean the land , mines , factories , railways , and the like - in short , the means of production and distribution . In Socialism the rule of life will be : from each according to his or her ability , to each to according to his or her need. There will be no need for buying and selling , just a free world for a free people .It could be like that now , so why not do something about it ? The world is ours for the taking . So why not take it ?


J. Moir , July 1969


Really Good Marks said...

Well workers in indepepndent Ireland enjoy more job security than those in Scotland. Example was when continental closed tyre plan in Newbridge in favour of Cork as it was harder ot lay folk of in Cork

Workers of the world can unite no bother... but they don't need to be in one great state for this to happen. Over the 20th century the workers of the world started the century living in 50 states and ended it in 200 states...and life got better for most of them just ask the Irish tyre makers.

Its ironic how the "socialists" want to keep the big capitalist imperial units going. Not for them a Norway or various Baltic states.
Iceland no doubt a crime.. east Timor back with Indonesia. No lets have the large sovier union back so workers can all unite in the Gulag.

Oh the vacous nonsense these blogging "socialists" who wouldn't be able to use a shovel for more than 10 mins - assuming they had every held one in the first place.
here's to an independent
Scotland England Wales and Isle of Man ....with all workers united in prosperity

ajohnstone said...

First you mistake the objective of the Socialist Party . It is not to creat a super-state but to abolish the state . We also hope to abolish nations and establish one world , a world of peoples and not borders .
Your example of the independence of Ireland appears to contradict you . It was only when the Republic sacrificed independence to join the European Community that the economy grew and that boom will no doubt slow down when capital searches out pastures and profits new in those new EU countries . East Timor has become a de facto colony of Australia .

While we concentrate on advocating workers unity regardless of nationality , you can join the struggle for Europe's stateless peoples - full list here ,

And for the World's threatened indigenous peoples who will NEVER be offered their own country , here is a list for you to offer your support towards ,although safeguarding native cultures and traditions has never been a trait of capitalism .

Grant Thoms said...

I agree with RGM. But tell me which Socialist Party do you belong to? The Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity both are committed to creating an independent socialist republic of Scotland. So don't you?

Duncan Money said...

While I'm undecided on the nationalist question I think rcg is misrepresenting Alan's position and the position of his party.

Grant thoms,

As I'm sure Alan Johnstone will tell you, he's a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain a party that has consistently opposed nationalism in all forms for over 100 years.

Really Good Marks said...

Well arguing with Brtish Nationalist is like nailing jelly to the wall.

Yes I am aware that the imperial capital will fill poor footsoldiers with whatever argument they will fall for to try and stem the growth of nation states and maintain empires but luckily the imperialist Socialist Party of Great Britain (says it all) has failed as independent nations have doubled and doubled again in the last 100 years.
One point left unaddressed is that Irish workers enjoy more security that in UK. Independence has helped them

There are only two games in town. Government from London within or outwith EU similarly gov from Edin on the same basis. Talk of no states is woolly guff not even worthy of the Lib Dems.

The Rep of Ireland doesn't contradict my argument. Scotland entered the EU at the same time and if EU so great why has Scotland not progressed as well particulalry the highlands and Islands with structural funds. No I think March 1979 when Ireland's punt broke from sterling was a more important date allowing Ireland a better monetray climate.

Anyway Norway and Iceland have done it without the EU

Finally when if you abolish the state what then for health service and education service or is the Nationalist Brit Socialist Party against that too..>You'd have more credibility if you argued for ending gov in London than stifling Scotland
On borders there are no restraints on worker movement between Northern Ireland and the Republic hence so many cheap Labour Northerners working in Dundalk.

Anyway finally finally I enoy this thank you :-)


ajohnstone said...

Grant , the SSP and Solidarity are not pledged to creating an independent SOCIALIST republic but both are intent upon a STATE-CAPITALIST Scotland , where the economy is based upon state-ownership and nationalisation , not the COMMON ownership as advocated by the Socialist Party .

RGM , throwing epithets such as "British Nationalist" and "Nationalist Brit Socialist Party" fail to impress .We are WORLD Socialist party not a political party bound by parochialism . I think you failed to follow those links . I wanted to point out to you that to support your own nationalism involves you supporting other peoples nationalism and according to .According to the Organization for the European Minorities
there are currently 291 minority ethnic groups in Europe involved in conflicts and land claims with their respective governing majorities.That's Europe only , not the rest of the world .
Contrary to how it appears on a political map, the world is not and cannot be nicely partitioned into contiguous regions ( or "countries") such that each
country contains people of only one particular ethnicity. You would
either have to engineer mass population migrations or expulsions, or you would have to forget about contiguous regions and end up with literally
millions of tiny exclaves and enclaves.

You have repeatedly alluded to the apparent advantages of aindependence for the Republic of Ireland yet you ignore the vast inequalities that continue to exist for the working class there :-
Ireland has one of the highest rates of poverty among developed countries, ranking third highest in the 2005 United Nations Human Development Index.
Approximately 23.9% of all children in Ireland in 2003 were “at risk of poverty” – the official EU definition of income poverty.
In 2003, 242,000 children were living in households where the income was less than 60% of national median income.


The Irish authorities release figures, which show that 184 people earning more than £1m last year paid no personal taxes.,,2087-2483988.html

Call it wooly guff to call for the end of the nation state if you wish but it is rather more forward thinking than your own nationalism

Really Good Mark said...

Ah the tragedy of the Commons
all in common ownership I have seen common ownership of stuff like boats and tractors and because they are essentially nobody's child they have a life span a quarter or less of normal.

yes the Irish gov figures on child poverty are not great but at least they are better than London's. Anyway when you abolish states we'll all be back in Amazon or sub saharan African living and no-one will be employed by a state to collate these figures so your utopia will be a statistical success...

Yes of course to be a Scottish nationalist makes one a Norwegian nationalist an English nationalist an Icelandic nationalist etc is indeed logical to encourage more effective economic units.

Like I said when you guys take on the imperialist you'll get more respect than having a go at stateless nations and being the unwitting (probably) patsies of the imperilaists.

Meanwhile I still want to know what will happen to my father's much needed health service when you get rid of states and education provision might be worth knowing or will we just all learn according to our means from each dependent on how much he can be arsed cos surely you won't pay the teachers with filthy capital.

Anyway again many thanks


ajohnstone said...

RGM , Still too difficult to get your head around the fact that you don't need a state and government and the capitalist class to support a society , i see .
Can i offer an illustration for you . The RNLI . Neither organised nor funded by the state , it provides a voluntary service without any expectation of reward . I could do a google search and provide you with statistics of millions of people who provide unpaid work for the good of society .
Doctors and nurses are not press-ganged by the state into providing your father with health - care . Inside socialism voluntary co-operative work will continue for the benefit of all and if society as a whole can provide the indivdual with the means of living then why should he or she cease work in health or education and stop contributing to the common good .

Jimmy said...

You fairly put the cat among the pigeons when you published "Scotch Mist", on your blog.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

RGM said...

RNLI - never has one organisation worked so well and organised to benefit from the fruits of capital and little old ladies in lawyers offices wondering who to leave their cash too when handed a shiny brouchure

don't tell Gordon Brown that doctors and nurses would do it for free he'll fell a right idiot for paying them and will probably cut back on it.. come to think of it don't tell the doctors or nurses either

oh and 291 ethnic minorities in alleged disputes and neighbours will stop arguing about fence positions or lilande

paradise ... how is everybody else just so stupid about human nature and this sect of a philosophy worked it all out.

Well done Nobel Prize stuff here :-)

ajohnstone said...

Do I detect just a little bit of progress and movement from you in that you now have come to understand that the Socialist Party aren't just any other old "blogging socialists" that you previously lumped all together , and that you previously called "imperial socialists". We have now become a "sect of philosphy" . Although in the words of Marx , "philosophers have interpreted the world , the point is to change it" That is why we are a political party arguing for that change and don't consider ourselves passive philospohers .
(Although i do prefer Marx's lesser known comment on philosophy; "Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex." )

But no , not everybody else are just plain stupid about human nature . The evidence exists for the tendency to co-operate and provide one another with mutual aid. It requires class society to invent such phantasms as orginal sin to deny it .
We'd rather describe the character of people as being based upon human behaviour rather than human nature , people not possessing just one unchanging nature but learning from around them how to behave and interact . It is why cultures and traditions all vary at different times and in different places .

If the virtues of competition is constantly extolled then so be it , the rat-race world will be the outcome and those who accept it , must accept the responsibility for the accompanying vices of anti-social behaviour .

The Socialist Party of Great Britain is the oldest existing socialist party in the UK .Its case and arguements has developed over the years but mainly they were built upon the lives and experiences of previous generations.
It just takes some people a little longer to learn the lessons of history but you'll get there , eventualy , i hope .