Giving Socialism a bad name

The French Socialist Party, giving socialism a bad name since 2012 at least.

La Manif Pour Tous en France by FreeMyFrance

Authored by Chris Hall


Daily Mail, socialists and gypsies headline

I bet the Daily Mail couldn’t believe their luck, being able to link Socialism and all those words with negative connotations! Mind you, they missed a trick with not linking these events with the Channel Tunnel.

May Day Message by the Central Committee of the Greek Communists

Elections in GreeceImage via Wikipedia

As international capital seeks to strip the resources and dignity of the Greek people the KKE, the Greek Communists, have released a statement this May Day.

Worth reading all the way through. Can’t say I disagree with a word of it. All power to them and their cause.

Comrades, workers, Greeks and immigrants, young women and men, pensioners, unemployed,

KKE calls you to turn the events of this year’s 1st May in honour of the struggles and the sacrifices of our class into a new beginning of class political awareness and militant uplift in order to repel and overthrow the criminal policy of the government and the plutocracy that leads the working class, our families and children to the most savage and brutal exploitation, to permanent poverty and unemployment.

It is our duty, especially towards young workers, men and women, towards the children of the workers and the people, to defend the conquests that the previous generations have shed their blood for. Nobody should be afraid to make sacrifices for the struggle; nobody should succumb to the dark days, the result of this policy that serves the profitability and the reinforcement of the monopolies. It’s time to rise up with class unity and people’s mobilisation against the war on our rights. To struggle for our rights and for our children’s future. Our class has the power and the capability to lead the formation of a great antimonopoly, anti-imperialist, democratic front that will overthrow the power of the monopolies and will struggle for people’s power.

People should have no trust in the parties of the plutocracy or in the EU.

The brutal anti-labour measures of the PASOK government, supported by the parties ND and LAOS, will persist and will escalate as long as the workers and the people do not show their real strength. The subversion of social security rights, the dramatic increase in retirement age limits, the drastic cuts on pensions and benefits, the abolition of restrictions on mass dismissals, the elimination of Collective Labour Agreements, even the abolition of the basic salary and the generalisation of the temporary and flexible employment are measures predetermined years ago.

Their goal is the labour force to become even cheaper, the young people to be deprived of fundamental rights as regards labour, education and healthcare services. The same measures are promoted in all EU countries as require the interests of the capitalists. They want the workers to pay for the capitalist crisis and the impasse of their aged, outmoded capitalist system.

Capitalism cannot become human; neither can it avoid the crises. It is not a one-way road. The more powerful the monopolies get, the more the workers and the people will suffer, the greater parasitism, corruption and barbarity will become.

Today, more than ever, the material preconditions in order for the people to have contemporary rights and stable secure job actually exist. The working time and the retirement age limits can be reduced, Health and Welfare services, Education, housing, sports and cultural activities can be free and contemporary. Do not tolerate the deterioration of the terms of your life.

You have already experienced the path of development that serves the capitalist profit. It will only place new burdens on your shoulders. However, there is a way out. There is a path of development that serves workers’ and people’s needs. It’s the path of people’s power, of people’s economy.

It is imperative our class to trust and use its own strength.

The working class is the most powerful social force. It produces the wealth; it creates and makes the factories, the enterprises and the infrastructure work. Greece has natural resources that are required for the development of the country in favour of the people.

The basic preconditions are all monopolies to become popular-social property and to be subjected to central planning and to social and workers’ control, as well as our country to be disengaged from the imperialist organisations.

Reject the slander and the lies of the supporters of capitalism about the socialist construction in the 20th century. It has been the first attempt to construct socialism which despite the difficult conditions and the mistakes proved that the working class and the people can live much better without capitalists.

It proved that the planned social production can bring an overall development without crises and at the benefit of all the people. We draw lessons from the achievements but also from the mistakes made during this great effort so as to construct socialism with confident steps, to achieve unprecedented incomparably greater gains.

Workers, young people

Trust KKE!

The Central Committee assures you that our party will devote all its forces to the unwavering defense of the rights, the present and the future of our class. However, we cannot win the general war that plutocracy and its parties launched against our rights without your participation in the struggle.

Join the struggle without any delay; for a movement with strong roots in the workplaces and the sectors; with a strong class unity and solidarity liberated from corporatism, yellow trade unionism, the erosive influence of labour aristocracy that spreads the poison of submission and defeatism.

Rely on your party and support it in the big coming struggles, for the big radical change; for the rights, the power of the working class, for socialism. This is our class patriotic duty for the present and the future of our class, our internationalist duty towards the working people of Europe and all over the world who suffer from capitalist exploitation and the plundering by the monopolies.

Nowadays, we have to struggle without any compromise, we deserve a better life where the needs of the people will be satisfied.

Honour and glory to the victims of our class, to the class struggles; their sacrifices have yield fruits; they call us to new and victorious struggles. The future is in our hands.

The Central Committee of KKE

The General Election

So Gordo’s set the date, the media has gone into a frenzy and already I’m bored. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s the cult of celebrity and the media will be spinning out of control to bring us the ‘character’ of the party leaders. Truth is, I don’t care. It’s a turn-off. But the media really has no choice, as Neil Clark says on his blog:

For the sad truth is that the vote on May 6 will be the most meaningless poll in modern British political history.

In a country which takes great pride in its ‘democratic’ credentials, and which sees its divine mission as spreading ‘democracy’ across the globe, the British voter will be presented with a choice of three main parties advocating almost identical policies on the most important issues of the day.

You have it there, no difference except by degree. All the major parties are cooking from the same menu which is giving me indigestion. For the past 15 years there has been a powerful clique in Labour working to disengage the party from it’s socialist roots. Can it ever recover? I don’t know. But it’s present policies are nothing compared to what Labour should be coming out with.

Control of the nation’s infrastructure
Rebuilding our manufacturing base
An end to our foreign adventures
Building a representative Parliament
Increased public spending
Putting the blame for the financial crisis where it belongs
Tackling inequality and encouraging diversity
Repealing anti Trade Union laws
Rolling back Thatcherism and free reign capitalism
Higher taxation
Plugging the tax loopholes that the rich enjoy

Drop those policies in my lap and you have my vote. Come to me with spin and fake tan and you know where to stick it.

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The Socialist Blogging Forum

Jim over at The Socialist Way has just started up a forum for discussion around socialist issues. As Jim puts it:

So let me cut to the chase, I would like to start a new forum for socialist bloggers and individuals who are socialists or just interested in discussing any posts in more detail, or just sharing any ideas or information that would be of general interest. The proposed forum would be open to anyone interested in developing and sharing a better understanding of what socialism is or what socialism means to any individual from a personal perspective, it would not be affiliated or take any particular party line. My initial thoughts are that the forum would be small to start off with and likely would remain a manageable size that is comfortable for all concerned, and with as little labour as possible, but we would need a moderator; I am happy to fulfil this role and set-up the forum to start off with. This is just an idea that I’ve been thinking about for some time and I am hoping, and this is a big if, if not a bare cheek that Chris H and his excellent blog would consider being a founder member; no strings or obligations involved. Think about it and lets have your thoughts. We can build a new socialist blogging community with real purpose and optimism!

Sometimes blogs can lack the continuity and the immediacy that a forum can offer. Often I would like to think out loud and listen to feedback, often on many concurrent issues. Yet at the same time I don’t want part-political restrictions in place that can fetter free-thinking. Socialism to me covers a wide range of thought and practice, going beyond what people perceive as the accepted Marxist interpretations. A free arena to think and discuss yet linked to current issues and relevant blogs seems a good idea to me.

You can join here at Socialist Blogging.

My Inspiration #2 Tom Mann

In the UK there has always been a strong non-conformist streak when it comes to the Christian faith, especially among those who seek to outwork it in society. I’m often amazed how those who have gone before us seem to be sidelined in the history of faith in this country.

It was with a great surprise that there is such a good record on the life of Tom Mann in places as Wikipedia, Marxists Internet Archive and Spartacus Schoolnet.

Tom Mann was born 15th April 1856 in Bell Green, a suburb of Coventry he left school at 9 years of age to work in a colliery.

Through his various jobs he became exposed to the ideas of William Morris and the principles of socialism and Christian socialism. He wrote the pamphlet, “What a Compulsory Eight-Hour Day Means to the Workers”, the first time that a call had been made to limit the working day.

After reading the Communist manifesto by Marx and Engels, Tom Mann embraced communism. He was one of the three main leaders of the successful 1889 Dock Strike. during this time he worked with organisations such as the Salvation Army and the Labour Church to provide support for the strikers. in 1893 he seriously considered becoming an Anglican minister. I do wonder why we have such a problem reconciling the Christian faith and socialist principals today?

In 1894 he was elected as Secretary of the Independant Labour Party and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament three times.

In 1901 he emigrated to Austrialia and returned to England in 1909.

Tom Mann organised the transport workers’ strike in Liverpool in 1911. During this time he was arrested and imprisoned for publishing a leaflet urging soldiers not to fire upon striking workers. Sending the troops in was a common technique used to try and end strikes. He was sentenced to 6 months but served only 7 weeks due to public pressure.

Throughout his life he continued to support the poor and dispossessed in society. In 1932 he published pamphlets criticising the cuts in poor relief and was sent to prison under the Seditious Meetings Act. Two years later he was put on trial in Cardiff for sedition but was acquitted.

His article “A Socialist’s View Of Religion And The Churches” is worth a read.

Tom Mann died in Leeds on 13th March, 1941.

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