Tuesday, June 29, 2010

PediaPress – Book “The Socialist Party of Great Britain”

PediaPress – Book “The Socialist Party of Great Britain”

More adventures in Print on Demand - I've arranged this, and printed one copy to place in the Socialist Party Library, chiefly for archival purposes. Simply a compilation of Wikipedia articles about the SPGB.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mr. 3%

What price power?

Well, it seems for the Lib-Dems it's 3%:
Before the election, the Tories promised that 80% of the work of cutting the deficit would come from cutting spending and 20% from raising taxes.

In fact, the chancellor has announced that the figures are 77% to 23%.

That 3% is the impact of the coalition.
According to Nick Robinson It's possibly debatable, but the Yellow Tories will surely argue that for all they are worth. Indeed (I won't look for it) but Luke Akehurst pointed out that Lib-Dem pre-election plans involved 0% tax rises to deal with the deficit.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Here come the robots!!!!

Robot hospital 'Nuff said?
They will also have to keep at least one human on standby, should any of the robots break down.
No, not replacing staff, then. At least this is robots to save lives.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Labouring in vain

According to New Statesman Labour leadership contenders had a hustings at the Fabian society, and were asked whether they were socialists.

I'll leave you to read the article directly, but will simply draw your attention to this paragraph
That hint of disdain for the usefulness of ideological speculation may be a rather more authentic Labourist tradition than any theory of Socialism has ever been (The trade unions would never have founded the party if it had really wanted to be a Socialist one).

The Fabian intellectual GDH Cole had written, somewhat approvingly, of Labour having a "socialism so undefined in its doctrinal basis as to make recruits readily among people of different types".
Labour is not, and never has been a socialist party, it does not stand for socialism, but is trade unionism carried on into politics, it is the use of political power to defend and advance the interests of working people within capitalism. Just like a trade union, it has to tack, turn and sometimes cut a bad deal for its members.

Socialism is not sticking up for the bottom dog, it is using the organised power (and, yes, wealth) of the workers to completely overturn the economic system to one which is permanently run in our interests. It is political action that can do that.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

The proof!

Just to prove what I wrote yesterday, David Cameron goes all the way to Afghanistan to praise the hell out of the troops.
He also said he wanted to "rewrite and republish the military covenant" - the pact of support between Britain and its armed forces - and put troops "front and centre of our national life again".

"I want you to help me create a new atmosphere in our country, an atmosphere in which we back and revere and support our military," he added.
He also quoted someone who said that without soldiers there is no democracy, no free speech, no freedom. Funny, I could have sworn the soldiers arrested John Lilburn, arrested Colonel Brass and (in the form of the Police) fought against the Chartists at Hyde Park. Those are the people who brought us freedom.

Also, true to Tory form, he has increased troop pay - doubling operational allowance to £5K. Now, noticeably, the natural Tories in the military brass (and the general Labour ambivalence or antipathy to the military) meant that the army was used as a political football to help bring Labour down, and the Tories want to use the hired killers as a sort of bread and circuses thing - pumping pride in the army as they cut the social wage for the rest of us (and also ensure the loyalty of the means of death should things kick off at home).

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jenkins channels Kautsky

viaJon's Union Blog Simon Jenkins has been fulfilling his requirement to "say something controversial":
I say cut defence. I don't mean nibble at it or slice it. I mean cut it, all £45bn of it. George Osborne yesterday asked the nation "for once in a generation" to think the unthinkable, to offer not just percentage cuts but "whether government needs to provide certain public services at all".
Certainly, that's not the sort of suggestion the Tories want from their consultation (by consultation they mean announcing a set of fixed choices and then getting the answer they wanted in the first place anyway).

Of course, as a practical matter, I would much prefer that killing people was cut before helping people (although a few hundred thousand suddenly unemployed squaddies roaming the streets doesn't appeal). As you can see from the comments section, a lot of people remain wedded to the idea that we need to spend such fortunes on defence, because a threat might be round the corner.

Now, this is what Kautsky had to suggest would happen 'the day after the revolution':
In the first place it is self-evident that it would recover what the bourgeoisie has lost. It would sweep all remnants of feudalism away and realize that democratic programme for which the bourgeoisie once stood. As the lowest of all classes it is also the most democratic of all classes. It would extend universal suffrage to every individual and establish complete freedom of press and assemblage. It would make the State completely independent of the church and abolish all rights of inheritance. It would establish complete autonomy in all individual communities and abolish militarism. This last could be brought about in two ways; through the introduction of universal armament and the dissolution of the army. Universal armament is a political measure and dissolution of the army a financial one. The former can under certain conditions cost as much as a standing army. But it is essential to the security of democracy, in order to take away from the government its most powerful means of opposing the people. Dissolution again aims mainly at a diminution of the military budget.
Opposition to militarism is both political and practical in terms of wastage and social power. Simply ending the army isn't enough, it needs to political revolutionary change to a radical democratic society, in which all have a stake to remove the threat of disgruntled ex-military types forming new deaths quads.

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