Thursday, January 31, 2013

Noam Chomsky Quietly Analyses the Way Capitalism Controls US

Chomsky, activist and linquistic theoretician, explains to Al Jazeera what is going on in the western world--why we are all so apathetic in the face of an insane demolition of our civilization all in the interests of greed and privilege. Don't expect any help from Obama, a man with no moral center, according to a group of female black activists who met him with their concerns. It explains why he is not in the least bothered about assassinating unknown people via unmanned drones in various parts of the world, and why he merely turns aside when anyone points to the Zionist injustice towards the Palestinians.

So, quiz question: who is the president with no moral center?

And for us: does he care that we know he hasn't one? Does he care enough about his future reputation to want to change the perception? It seems unlikely. He seems intent on securing his privileges for the immediate future.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Meaning of Socialust Struggle in Britain

Anthony Wedgewood (Tony) Benn is a long time Labour MP, now retired from Parliament but still arguing the case for socialism and against rule by the rich. Here he puts a brief case:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Practical Marxism and Communism in Short Sentences

Law for the Rich

Our Society and Why We Want to Change it: Capitalism

The aim of the Communist Party is to achieve a Socialist Britain in which the means of production, distribution and exchange will be socially owned and utilised in a planned way for the benefit of all.
Rule 2 of the Aims and Constitution of the Communist Party

Britain, And Its People

Whoever travels through our land must be struck by its beauty. Despite over 200 years of industrial development, Britain’s varied loveliness is world famed. But, in addition to great natural beauty, Britain is rich—rich in natural resources, in the skill of her workers, in her capacity to produce everything necessary for a good life for all.

Britain’s greatest single asset is the British people, who in their long history have often been foremost in the fight against tyranny and oppression:

  • the British people were the first in the world to fight and end the absolute power of kings in the English Revolution of 1640
  • the British working class pioneered trade unionism and the Co-operative movement
  • the struggle of the English Chartists in the forties of the last century is an inspiration to the workers of all countries

Britain could be a paradise for the people—its skilled working people could build a new and better life as rapidly as any other people in the world. But Britain is not a paradise for the peqple. On the contrary, there is:

  • massive unemployment and part time working
  • continually rising prices, and bitter resistance by the government and employers to wage increases
  • a vicious programme of cutting our social services to the bone
  • starvation and hypothermia among old working class pensioners, starving on miserable pensions, and desperate hardship for our disabled people
  • cultural domination of our country by the US
  • a continuous history of wars, the result of Britain’s membership of NATO and other war alliances, on behalf of the US
  • a constant waste of taxpayer pounds to finance costly nuclear submarines, though the ostensible reason for them, the Soviet Union, has disintegrated.

…to be selective! All of this is the consequence of policies supported largely by both the Tories and right-wing Labour leaders. But why? Who and what is responsible?

Underlying it is the fundamental cause of all the sufferings and tribulations of the people, namely, that Britain is a capitalist country, ruled for and by capitalists for their profit and interests. It is the capitalists and those right-wing leaders of the Labour movement who support their policies, who are responsible for the position we find ourselves in. What is wrong with Britain is the way society is organised, the “system of society” which prevails. Some of the main features of this society are:

  1. It is divided into rich and poor—a tiny handful of rich (1 per cent of the population own more than half the nation’s wealth) who do no work and the overwhelming majority who work their whole lives through:
    • Large fortunes comprise a quarter of this country’s wealth. This is owned by about 5,000 people—one-fifth of 1 per cent of the nation. There are hundreds of thousands of capitalist firms, but only a few hundred of them take half the total yearly profit made in Britain.
    • Millions of people can exist in this country only by drawing public assistance. But there are roughly 100,000 big bosses, 300,000 small employers and 650,000 managers—a total of around 1 million who live off what the rest of us, the twenty or so millions of the working population, produce.
    • These working people produce everything and own very little. The million produce nothing, own practically everything and dominate everything—the Government, Parliament, the press, the courts, book publishing, the films, ITV and the BBC.
  2. Wars—involving incalculable suffering to the people—are a regular occurrence. There have been two terrible wars within the lifetime of elderly adults in Britain, and continuous wars backing US imperialism, especially in the Middle East.
  3. Empire—Britain is the centre of a huge empire, now called “the Commonwealth” covering a quarter of the earth’s surface and containing a quarter of the world’s population. This empire was acquired by brutal conquest, just as the US is now acquiring its empire. It brought huge profits to British capitalists and financiers. It cost the lives of thousands of British soldiers and hundreds of millions of pounds spent in trying to keep the colonial peoples down. While many of these peoples have now won their political independence, vast profits are still squeezed out of them, for British firms still dominate decisive sections of the economic life of the poorer colonial countries.

These are some of the features of the system we live under which is called capitalism.

What Is Capitalism?

Here we deal with two main aspects only:

  1. It is a system of exploitation. Capitalism is a system in which the means for producing the wealth—the land, the mines, factories, the machines, etc—are in private hands. It is true that in Britain some industries—mining, the railways, electricity—have sometimes been taken out of private hands and have been nationalized. But the first charge on the nationalized industries is compensation for the old, private shareholders. Nationalised boards are manned overwhelmingly by ex-directors of the industries concerned. In any case only around 20 per cent of industry at most has ever been nationalized. The remaining 80 per cent stays in private hands. Thus a tiny handful of people own these “means of production” as they are called. But they do not work them. The immense majority of the people own nothing (in the sense that they can live on what they own) but their power to work.

    By exploitation we mean living off the labour of other people. There have been previous forms of exploitation. In slave society, the slave owners lived off the labour of the slaves who were their property. In feudal society, the feudal lords lived off the forced labour of the serfs. In capitalist society, the worker is neither a slave nor yet a serf, that is, forced to do free, unpaid labour for a master. But he is exploited just the same, even though the form of this exploitation is not so open and clear as was the case with the slaves and the serfs.

    The essence of exploitation under capitalism consists in this—that the workers, when set to work with raw materials and machinery, produce far more in values than what is paid out by the capitalists in wages, for raw materials, etc. In short, they produce a surplus which belongs to the capitalists and for which they are not paid. Thus they are robbed of the values they produce. This is the source of capitalist profit. It is on this surplus, produced by the workers, that the capitalist lives in riches and luxury.

    Let us take actual examples of this using werll established historical data. Official figures show that in 1955 the value added by labour to the raw materials, etc. in the cement industry came to £1,870 per worker. Average wages and salaries came to £620. Thus there was a surplus value of £1,250 produced by each worker. This is 200 per cent exploitation—a lot of workers got one-third and a few capitalist got two-thirds.

    Capitalism is a system in which the means for producing wealth are owned by a few who live by exploiting the workers, that is, by robbing them of the values they produce over and above the value of their wages.

  2. It is a system of booms and slumps. From the earliest days of its existence—at the end of the eighteenth century—until today, capitalism has been marked by periodic slumps, or “economic crises” as they are called, which cause mass unemployment and untold misery for the great mass of the working people. These are very special crises. They are caused because there is too much of everything and are therefore called “crises of over-production”.

    In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that in all earlier epochs would have seemed an absurdity—the epidemic of over-production…
    Marx-Engels, Communist Manifesto

    The great world economic crisis of 1929-31, which really lasted until the beginning of the Second World War, is the yardstick for more recent crises, including the present one. At that time there were over 40 million people unemployed throughout the capitalist world. In Britain, in the autumn of 1930, the figures of registered unemployed exceeded 2,300,000 and never sank below 1 million until 1940, after the beginning of the Second World War.

Capitalist Crises of Over-Production

Capitalism is a system based on competition. There are many capitalists each producing the same kind of commodity. Each hopes to sell all that he has produced and thereby to realise a profit. He has to compete with his rivals in the attempt to sell his goods. The quantity of goods produced therefore bears no relation to the real demand. Capitalism is thus by its nature an unplanned, anarchic system. Each capitalist tries to produce as much and as cheaply as possible to grab as much of the market and as much profit as possible. To do so more effectively, to defeat their rivals, the capitalists constantly seek to cheapen production by introducing new machinery, speeding up the workers, etc. Thus more and more goods are being produced. At the same time they seek to drive down the wages of the workers to increase their share of the wealth produced.

There thus arises a constant gap between the quantity of the goods produced and the ability of the mass of consumers—in all countries, workers and peasants dependent on more or less fixed wages and small incomes—to buy them. This is the source of crises under capitalism.

So long as capitalism has existed there have always been crises of overproduction.

So long as capitalism continues to exist crises are inevitable. It is impossible to plan continuous unbroken production in the interests of the people under capitalism. Only socialism makes crisis-free production possible.

Capitalism Develops to Imperialism

So, capitalism is a system where each capitalist is faced with competition for the market from his rivals. To meet this competition each capitalist tries to produce more and more cheaply than his competitors. This results in the enlarging of the units of production as individual capitalists enlarge their plant, introduce more modern machinery, speed-up, etc. By this competition, the bigger and stronger capitalists ruin the smaller and weaker ones, and a stage arises when whole sectors of production are dominated by a few giant concerns. These are called monopolies and they are able to regulate production in their own interests, charge high monopoly prices, and maximize profits.

This is a new stage in the development of capitalism—the domination of economic life by monopolies—monopoly capitalism—and began to develop in most European countries at the end of the nineteenth century. Monopoly is the essence of imperialism, and imperialism is the highest and last stage of capitalism.


Competition leads to monopoly in each capitalist country. But monopoly does not eliminate competition. Within each country the big monopolies engage in fierce conflict with one another. Competition is particularly violent between the monopolies of different countries for world domination. One result is the scramble for secure, exclusive, competition-free markets, for sources of raw materials, for spheres for the most profitable investment of capital. This is found in the technically undeveloped parts of the world. These are seized and transformed into colonies, whose whole economic and political life are forcibly dominated by imperialist governments to meet the needs of the big monopolies for maximum profits.

But the world has only so many colonial areas. And by the beginning of the twentieth century the available colonies were parcelled out between a few older imperialist countries—Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Portugal—especially Britain. The British Empire, by 1914, covered 12.7 million square miles of territory with a population of 431 million people. 3,700,000 square miles of the British Empire were acquired between 1884-1900, the period of the rise of imperialism as a new stage in the development of capitalism.

Imperialism Causes War

In this situation, developing monopoly capitalism in Germany and the USA driving outwards and eager to acquire colonies could secure them only by taking them from those powers who already had empires, that is, by war—especially from Britain.

The various powers “gang up” in combination against other groupings of imperialist powers. Thus the First World War of 1914-18 took place as a conflict between two groups of powers—one led by Britain (the Entente) and the other by Germany (the Central Powers). It was a brutal imperialist war between Britain and Germany for colonies, markets and European domination. The Second World War arose out of the drive of Hitler Germany for world domination. Today the danger of a third world war arises out of the drive of US imperialism to subjugate the entire world.

Socialist Revolution

Imperialism is not only the period of world wars. It ushers in the era of the world socialist revolution.

The workers in the imperialist countries, faced with increased exploitation, the peoples of the colonial countries, subject to even greater oppression, the people of the whole world, faced with a succession of terrible wars, awaken to the need to end imperialism. New revolutionary Marxist parties—Communist Parties—arise to head this struggle. Where these parties have the leadership of the working class and of their allies, imperialism is smashed, as was the case in Russia in 1917 after the First World War, and China after 1945. These countries take the path to socialism, which will see the ending of the exploitation of man by man.

The Class Struggle

The Class Struggle arises from Capitalism itself. It is not Imported.

Capitalism is a system in which there are different classes, exploiters and exploited, rich and poor. The interests of these two classes are clearly opposed. The exploiters try to increase the exploitation of the workers as much as possible in order to increase their profits. The exploited try to limit this exploitation and to get back as much of the wealth as possible of which they have been robbed.

This is one aspect of the class struggle which arises inevitably out of the whole character of capitalism as a class system based on exploitation.

In the fight against monopoly capitalism, the working class needs allies, and can secure them. Monopoly capitalism attacks not only the working class but threatens the interests of other sections of society, including those of the smaller capitalists—small businesses like sole traders and self employed craftsmen. The whole home and foreign policy of monopoly capital threatens the existence of the overwhelming majority of the people. This is seen particularly in the policy pursued by the Tory Government on behalf of the big monopolies. Thus monopoly capital can be isolated and the whole forces of the people organised against it. It is the task of the working class to unite around itself the majority of the nation in common struggle for peace, national independence, defence of living standards, East-West trade, etc.

The working class has to fight both immediate and long-term struggles. The immediate struggles are those that are fought out on different aspects of struggle within the existing capitalist order. Such struggles are those for wages, in defence of living standards, for peace, etc. These struggles can be victorious without a fundamental change of social system. Organisations for waging these particular struggles are established, for example, trade unions, peace organisations, old age pensioners’ organisatiops, etc.

But for a lasting solution of all these problems, working people have to end capitalism altogether and replace it by a new system of society in which the working people rule. For this purpose, the working class creates the Communist Party to draw together the most advanced and progressive sections of the working class and of other sections of the people. The Communist Party is dedicated to the task of ending the capitalist system and replacing it by a socialist system. The Communist Party participates to the full in all the immediate struggles facing the working class and its allies, for it is impossible to talk about fighting capitalism unless one takes part in all aspects of that struggle. But the special task of the Communist Party is to link the struggle on the immediate questions with the struggle to develop consciousness and understanding of the need to end the capitalist system as such and replace it by socialism.

Capitalist society gives rise to fierce class struggles which are sharpened enormously in the period of monopoly capitalism—imperialism. This period provides the most favourable possibilities for the securing of allies for the working class. Imperialism puts the task of ending capitalism on the agenda of the day. Communist Parties are created by the working class to lead this struggle. The main task of the Communist Party is to combine participation in the day-to-day struggle with the spreading of understanding of the need to end capitalism and establish socialism.

Socialism—Our Aim

Ending Exploitation

The ending of the exploitation, of cruelty and injustice caused by class society in its various forms, has long been the dream of men. It found expression in the teachings of the early Christians, in the writings of men like John Ball, Sir Thomas More, Robert Owen, the early English Chartists and the pioneers of the British Labour movement.

But so long as modern, large-scale factory production did not exist, socialism—which alone can end the exploitation of man by man—could only remain a dream. It was capitalism, in the search for greater profits, which mastered natural forces, expanded the production of goods on an enormous scale, united the scattered, individual production of men into highly developed, large-scale factory production, thus establishing the basis on which socialism can be built.

But capitalism by itself does not “evolve” into socialism. It has to be transformed into socialism by the conscious action and struggle of men. Capitalism creates the living social force which, by its very position in capitalist society, is compelled to change capitalism into socialism. This force is the working class and its allies. The age-long dream of the thinkers and the fighters of the past can only be transformed into reality when the working class, supported by its allies and led by the Communist Party, wages the struggle to take political and economic power from the capitalist class and, having succeeded in this, sets about building a socialist society.

Features of a Socialist Society

What will such a socialist society look like? How will exploitation and oppression be ended? We can get an idea of the general features of a socialist society when we examine the experience and achievements of the Soviet Union, the country where socialism was entered for the first time. Ultimately the Soviet Union failed, partly because it was harassed for its whole existence by hostile capitalism, but also through deviations from Marxism and democracy in its internal organization. But despite the problems the Societ Union faced, it did achieve much, enough to show what socialism would be like in better circumstances.

  1. The first and most important feature is that political power, that is, control of the apparatus of government—of the state—is now in the hands of the majority of the people led by the working class. This means that control of the armed forces, the police, the foreign office, education, radio and television, etc, is in the hands of the working class and its allies. It is this power which makes possible the taking over of the main means of production, distribution and exchange, the transformation of the country, from capitalism to socialism, and the defence of the new socialist state from attempts to overthrow it either from inside or outside the country.

  2. The means of production—the factories, mines, land, banks and transport are taken away from the monopoly capitalists. They are transformed into social property by socialist nationalization. This means that they belong to and are worked by the whole of the people, that the fruits of production likewise become social property, used to advance the standard of life of the peoples.

  3. Exploitation of man by man is ended. No longer can some men—the capitalists—by virtue of the fact that they own the means of production, live off—exploit—the labour of others—the working class. No longer are the workers compelled to sell their labour power to the capitalists to live. The workers are no longer property-less proletarians. They now own the means of production and work them in their own interests and in the interests of society. For society is now composed of workers by hand and brain, that is, of an associated body of wealth producers.

    What is produced is no longer divided between the workers’ wages and the surplus taken by the capitalists. The whole of what the workers produce comes back to them in various ways. The achievements of the Soviet Union have been ignored and denigrated by western propagandists, but, its national income belonged to the working people. One part—about a quarter—went to the further expansion of socialist production and for other public needs, and the remainder—approximately three-quarters—was used for the satisfaction of the working peoples’ material and cultural requirements… This figure included wages and salaries and the income received by collective farmers. It included the money spent by the government on pensions and other forms of social maintenance, social insurance, and free education and medical services and on other cultural services and amenities.

    Since production under socialism is still insufficient to give everybody all that they need, the direct return in money—or “wages” as they are still called—is based on the individual contribution made. The distribution principle of socialism is therefore: “From each according to his ability to each according to the work done”.

    What is produced comes back in other ways as well as in wages. The whole immense system of social services—health, social insurance, pensions, education, etc—are free and non-contributory, available to all. The expenses of state administration, of defence, above all, the money for expanding socialist production—the guarantee of a constantly improved standard of living—are financed from the values created by the workers in production. All these serve the immediate and future interests of the working class.

  4. Production is planned to meet the constantly rising material and cultural needs of the people. This is only possible because the means of production have been taken out of the hands of competing private owners whose only concern was to produce what was profitable, not what was needed by the people. Thus there is an end to crises, slumps and unemployment, of poverty in the midst of plenty. For what is planned is both an increase in production and in consumption by the people through increasing their purchasing power. The many price reductions in the Soviet Union since the end of the Second World War, alongside a great increase in production, are examples of how this works out in practice.

  5. Socialism means the ending of the oppression of nation by nation, the end of imperialist exploitation of colonial peoples. It is impossible to build socialism on the basis of imperialist oppression—a point which right-wing Labour leaders cover up. Imperialist exploitation is the policy of monopoly capitalism and benefits it. A socialist society eliminates monopoly capitalism. There is therefore no social basis for imperialism in a socialist society. On the contrary, socialism alone ends imperialism, frees formerly backward colonial peoples, and by fraternal assistance brings them into the front ranks of industrial and social development. The development of the former colonial peoples of the Tsarist Empire since 1917 is one of the most inspiring proofs of the truth of this statement.

  6. Socialism means peace. Within the country there are no longer capitalists who profit by war, who see in war the way to secure more colonies, markets and a chance to dominate the world. On the contrary, in a socialist society everyone loses by war not only in terms of personal suffering but also by the diversion of resources from socialist construction and the advance to a better life. The last war cost the Soviet people the equivalent of two Five-Year Plans—as well as 25 million dead.

  7. Finally, socialism means a new, higher type of democracy—a wider, more purposeful life for all. It is the only system in which the old definition of democracy as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” becomes a reality. Capitalist democracy is government of the people by the capitalists in the interests of the capitalists. The basis for socialist advance is the development of the initiative of the people, their enrolment in the active processes of government and social life. Without this the building of socialism is impossible. Socialism cannot be imposed on the people from above. It develops from below, from the new opportunities which socialist society provides to men and women to develop all their capacities in their own interests and in the interests of society as a whole. The great advances made against forbidding odds in the socialist countries show this.

Socialism—the First Stage of Communism

Socialism is the first stage of transition of mankind from class to fully classless society. Marx and Engels visualised Communism in two stages—socialism, the lower stage, and Communism, the higher stage. There are many differences between these two stages. The main difference is that under Communism production has been developed to such an extent that there is an abundance of goods of all kinds. Society can now advance from the watchword on which socialism is organised, that is, “From each according to his ability to each according to the work done”, to that of Communist society, which is, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. This means the greatest advance in human history of all time.

Socialism for Britain

The steps necessary to advance Britain towards socialism are outlined in the Communist Party programme The British Road to socialism. On the basis of the building of an alliance of the working class and other oppressed social groups, a socialist government will be set up. Resting on the power of the majority of the people and on their continued struggle, this government will take over all the means of production at present in the hands of the monopolies and turn them into social property. Production will be planned in the interests of a continually rising standard of living for the people. The state apparatus which served capitalism will be transformed and replaced by one which serves the interests of the people. The people will begin more and more to play a decisive part in the running of their country.

A Socialist Britain will greatly strengthen the new advancing world of socialism which already exists and will speed up the final overthrow of imperialism all over the world.

The Path to Socialism in Britain

A fundamental problem of the Labour Movement is how to achieve socialism. Within the movement controversy has raged for a very long time as to the best way to do it. There are two main outlooks:

The Right-wing View

There is a powerful group in the Labour movement composed mainly of the leaders of the Labour Party and a majority at the TUC, which propagates a “right-wing” or “Social Democratic” view on achieving socialism.

It is based on the idea that the way to socialism is through capitalism and its institutions—that capitalism is transformed peacefully and gradually into socialism through the “introduction” of socialist measures by a Labour Government, for example, nationalization. The two Labour Governments of 1945-51 are held up as examples of this gradual transition to socialism. This “theory” is false and dangerous:

  1. It avoids the central issue of real power—political and economic power, which under capitalism is in the hands of the capitalist class and which must be taken out of their hands if the advance to socialism is to be made. Power in the sense of a parliamentary majority must not be confused with real power. A parliamentary majority in British conditions is of importance in beginning the advance to socialism, but, by itself, it cannot bring about socialism.

    Economic power means ownership of all the means of production—the factories, mills, mines, land, banks, etc. So long as these remain in the private hands of the capitalist class, society remains capitalist society, irrespective of the character of the government in power. The workers continue to be exploited. Production continues to be production for profit. Planned production for socialism is impossible. Finally, the capitalists can use this power to sabotage and disorganise the economy.

    Political power means control of the state apparatus, which is more than Parliament. The state apparatus is the machinery of coercion and government established by every ruling class to maintain its rule over the subject classes. Essential positions in the capitalist state, in the armed forces, the police, law and the judiciary, education, media, etc, are, by careful process of selection, concentrated in the hands of trusted defenders of capitalism. Control is a powerful weapon in the hands of capitalists, used whenever their basic interests appear to be threatened by any progressive government.

  2. It teaches that the state is neutral. The right-wing leaders proclaim this state apparatus is “neutral” and carries out the orders of whichever government is in power. This is a fatal and dangerous idea. Experience in the past has shown that whatever the government in power, however large its majority, the defenders of capitalism in the state apparatus are ready to use their power to thwart any move which might be disadvantageous to the capitalist class as a whole or to any individual section. This was proved in the case of the Liberal Government of 1913, which had passed a Home Rule Bill for Ireland. Landlords of big estates in Ireland and Tory imperialists were bitterly opposed to this measure. They organised a mutiny in the armed forces, called the Curragh Mutiny, and compelled the Government to withdraw the Bill.

    Experience in pre-Hitler Germany, Austria and Spain, and the present experience in the Arab states, in South America, particularly Chile and now Venezuela, where the US backed capitalists constantly harass the legitimately elected government, all emphasise the same point, that is, that control of the key positions in the state when left in the hands of capitalist supporters results in the overthrow of the elected parliamentary majority—where such a government is regarded as a menace to capitalism.

  3. It confuses nationalization with socialism. The right-wing leaders assert that any economic activity by the state constitutes socialism. But capitalism often resorts to nationalization. It depends on the kind of state which does the nationalising and the kind of nationalization undertaken. In a number of countries—Germany, Canada and a number of European countries—the railways were nationalized long before the British nationalized theirs. State dockyards, arsenals, etc, have been a feature in many countries for a long time, but nobody would call them socialist measures—served a predominantly capitalist economy to benefit capitalism, not the people.

    In Britain some important industries were nationalized—coal, railways, electricity, steel. This was not socialism, for these industries serve the big monopolies, providing them with cheap steel, fuel, power, and transport at the expense of the workers in the industries and of the consumers. The nationalized industries continue to be administered by the former managers and directors with a few retired generals, admirals and old trade union leaders thrown in. The industries nationalized constituted 20 per cent of industry, 80 per cent still remained in private hands. The economic power of the capitalists is not threatened by this kind of nationalization.

  4. It teaches that the working class have no need tp fight for socialism. In essence, right-wing Labour theory reduces the role of the working class in the fight for socialism to that of “voting fodder”. All the workers need to do is to vote every so often for a Labour Government in sufficient numbers. Then socialism is handed down from above, from the magnanimity of Labour politicians, even though many are careerists and opportunists looking for the chance to aggrandize themselves by serving capitalists' interests. In practice, they disarm the working class and prevent them organising and mobilising for the greatest struggle of all—the struggle for socialism.

  5. It turns experience upside down. This theory is most dangerous because it flies directly in the face of the experience of the international working class. No country has achieved socialism on the basis of this theory. On the contrary, in all cases right-wing Labour Governments have been replaced either by fascists, near-fascists, or Tory Governments—Germany, Austria, Britain, Australia.

The Marxist View

  1. General principles. The essence of the Marxist view of the transition to socialism is that unless political and economic power is taken out of the hands of the capitalist class and transferred into the hands of the majority of the people, led by the working class, no advance to socialism is possible.

    This means that the state apparatus is transformed into one which serves the majority of the people. The leading positions in the state—army, police, judges, etc—are taken by representatives of the people and defenders of their interests. It means, in the economic field, that monopoly capitalists’ control of the means of production is eliminated by socialist nationalization. This is the general essential content of the transition to socialism in all countries.

  2. Concrete circumstances. While the essential content of socialism applies to all countries, the form in which the transition takes place varies according to the differences of time, place and the relation of class forces in the world, and in the particular country. In various places, we have seen socialism appear in several different ways, some of which were fundamentally non-violent, but turned violent by external interference, mainly from the USA and its allies, such as Korea, Chile, Cuba, Syria, Vietnam. In Britain again the form will be different. In our programme The British Road to socialism our party outlines the specific British forms of advance to socialism.

The British Road to Socialism

Only socialism can solve the problems facing the British people. The British people can only secure peace, national independence, better social provision, the end of imperialist domination over colonial peoples, when monopoly capitalism is ended. Britain can only advance and finally solve its problems when it takes the path to socialism.


The development of unity and of the immediate struggle are the foundations for the advance to socialism. The fight for socialism is not something separate from the fight for the immediate and urgent interests of the people, that is, the fight for wages, peace, social standards or national independence. On the contrary, the greater the level of activity on these issues, and above all, the greater the unity in action of the working class and its allies in the fight for these interests, the more speedy and effective will be the fight to end the Tory Government, to eliminate right-wing influence from the Labour movement.

Action in unity, now, lays the basis for the wider unity which is essential if we are to achieve a Socialist Government and to advance to socialism in Britain.


The alliance of the majority of the people, led by the working classn is the force that can end monopoly capitalism. Monopoly capital, whose political representatives are the Tories, pursues a policy opposed to the interests of the overwhelming majority of the British people. It has tied Britain to the United States, with resulting loss of independence. The continuation of this policy threatens the British people with economic, political, military and national destruction.

The way to prevent this is to build a broad, popular alliance of the workers and their allies—the small shopkeepers, farmers, professional people, who between them constitute the large majority of the nation, and all of whom are oppressed and threatened by monopoly capital. But this alliance must be led by the working class, the class most blatantly exploited, and so with most to gain from socialism, and therefore the most determined and decisive class in capitalist society, once the capitalist propaganda veils are lifted from its vision. It is the guarantee that the outcome of the struggle will be to advance to socialism. Such an alliance would unite to defeat the Tories in a General Election and return a government which, through constant agitation and relentless pressure would begin a programme to take Britain to socialism.

The Role of Parliament

Parliament is rooted in British history. Through it, the British people have expressed their aspirations for social advance for centuries—the English Revolution founded Parliament 1640, Chartism 1840, General Election 1945. Parliament could play a positive role in the development of socialism in Britain, but it would not be a Parliament resting on a passive people whose task was ended with voting it into power. It would rest on and be impelled by a politically active people whose struggle for socialism would continue and be part of the activities of Parliament. In short, it would be a Parliament reflecting the will of the people and giving the sanction of its authority to their struggle.

The Programme of a Socialist Government

The Socialist Government, based on the continued action and struggle of the people, would lead the British people to socialism by carrying out the following programme:

  1. Socialist nationalization of large-scale industry, banks, insurance companies, big distributive monopolies, and the land of the big landowners, to break the power of the billionaire monopolists, and control of foreign trade in the interests of the people
  2. A planned economy based on socialist principles and aimed at rapidly improving the people’s living and working conditions, with workers by hand and brain, and their organisations, participating in planning and management at every level
  3. Consolidation of the political power of the working people by ensuring that those in commanding positions in the armed forces and police, the civil service and diplomatic services are loyal to the Socialist Government and increasingly representative of the people, and by democratic electoral reform, democratic ownership of the press, and control of broadcasting by the people
  4. The strengthening and extension of all democratic rights, and measures to ensure the just administration of the law
  5. Recognition of the right of all subject peoples to self-determination, and the necessary measures to guarantee this
  6. Making Britain strong, free and independent, with a foreign policy of peace and friendship with all nations.
    British Road to socialism.

The Decisive Role of The Communist Party

It is because monopoly capitalism—imperialism—places before the working class and the whole people the urgent task of ending capitalism that the working class creates the political weapon for accomplishing this task—the Communist Party.

Without a strong Communist Party which has the support of the decisive sections of the working class, no advance to socialism is possible. This is the experience of the working class struggle in all countries. It is in those countries where Communist Parties lead the working class that socialism either exists already or is in the stage of being achieved. In all countries where right-wing Labour leaders dominate the Labour movement, the working class has been led to defeats and the rule and power of the capitalists have been strengthened.

The Communist Party originally formed in Britain in 1920, following on the experiences of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, is a party of a new type. It differs fundamentally from the Social Democratic Parties, the parties dominated by the right-wing Labour leaders.

Differences of Theory

The Communist Parties base themselves on the theories of Marx and Engels which were developed further by Lenin and by communist countries. These theories are called Marxism-Leninism. They are drawn from the actual experiences of the working class under capitalism. Marxist theories generalise these experiences and draw scientific conclusions from them. For example, a fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism, based on the actual experience of the working class, is the Class Struggle.

Since the dawn of class society, history has been the history of different classes struggling for political domination, for the ownership of the means of production and for the major control of the wealth produced. Marxism-Leninism asserts that the class struggle exists and is developed most sharply in capitalist society. We saw the interests of the capitalists and workers are opposed—they confront each other as exploiter and exploited. The workers can only defend and improve their conditions by struggle. Finally, that the outcome of this struggle must not be limited to the defence and, improvement of existing conditions but to the ending of the capitalist system altogether.

The right-wing Labour leaders accept capitalist theory on all decisive questions of the working class struggle for socialism. They justify profits. They deny the class character of the state and preach its neutrality. They proclaim the Parliamentary transition to socialism within the framework of capitalism. They deny the class struggle and preach the “common interests” and the “reconciliation” of classes.

Their theory is the theory of the capitalists, which they transmit to the Labour movement. The fundamental task of the Communist Party at this stage is to combat this capitalist theory and to infuse the Labour movement with the class theory of Marxism-Leninism.

Differences of Aim

The aim of the Communist Party, clearly stated in Rule 2 of its Constitution, is to achieve socialism in Britain. The aim of socialism is also to be found in the Constitution of the Labour Party and undoubtedly reflects the aspirations of the rank and file for a Socialist Britain.

But the whole practice of the right-wing leaders who dominate the Labour Party has been to strengthen capitalism and thereby to prevent the achievement of socialism.

In words, the Labour Party now stood for common ownership. In fact, the dominant right-wing leaders were able to maintain their alliance with the capitalist class, to hold back the movement in the great struggles of the twenties, leading up to the betrayal of the General Strike in 1926, the collapse of the Labour Government in the 1931 slump, and the disruption of the Labour Party by Ramsay MacDonald’s desertion to the, Tory Party.
John Gollan, Which Way for Socialists?

They supported the first imperialist war of 1914-18. They support the capitalist gulag, the European Union. They sided with reactionaries and diehards in attacking and slandering the Soviet Union, even when we owed our freedom from fascism to the Soviets” defeat of the Nazis. The two post War Labour Governments continued the policy of strengthening capitalism, and tied Britain to US imperialism. Blair kept Thatcherism alive under Labour when the country was sick of it, and subsequent Labour governments have gone from bad to worse, Brown aiding the capitalists by emptying the Treasury of our tax pounds to prop up crooked Bankers, supporting vicious Tory cuts blaming, with the Tories, the feckless working people have to service the debt.

Throughout they have weakened and disrupted the unity of the working class by attacks on the Communists, bans, splits, purges of progressive socialist activists in the Labour movement. It is therefore not surprising that the right-wing leaders today hardly speak of socialism. Instead they speak of the “Welfare State” the “Mixed Economy”, and now even Disraeli”s expression “One Nation”, falsely imagining these mean socialism.

A fundamental task of the Communist Party is to put the aim of socialism constantly before the working class, to raise its political consciousness and fighting spirit, and to inspire all aspects of working class struggle—peace, national independence, against attacks on living standards etc.—with the aim of socialism.


  1. Because right-wing Labour theory sees a parliamentary majority as a sufficient condition for socialism, its organisation is adapted mainly to electoral activity. The other aspects of working class struggle—the day-to-day fight with the capitalists over wages, working conditions, standard of living—is not regarded as the business of the Labour Party. Indeed to retain the support of capitalist backers, it sides with the Tories in condemning working class action. The “wings” of the Labour Movement are rigidly divided between the trade unions and the party, with the party concentrating overwhelmingly on electoral and parliamentary activity.

    The Communist Party is also interested in the electoral struggle in strengthening the number of fighting, militant MPs of the type in the past of William Gallacher and Phil Piratin, and today Jeremy Corbyn and John McConnell in Parliament. But it rejects the view that Parliament is the sole and decisive form of working class struggle, and emphasises the connection between the developing struggle against the capitalists on all issues and the return of a progressive, socialist parliamentary majority.

    The main body of the Labour Party is now unquestionably the Parliamentary Labour Party, and within this, of the top leaders—the members of the Government, particularly the Prime Minister when Labour is in office—due to the machinations of Blair and his advisers when in power—and of the “Shadow Cabinet” when it is in opposition.

    The Parliamentary Party has become a dictatorial party within a party with an almost presidential leader. It is a law unto itself, outside the real control of the party as such, and now independent of party conference decisions, though it commonly ignored them anyway. Glaring examples are the refusal of Gaitskell and his supporters to accept the decisions of the 1959 Labour Party conference on unilateral disarmament, and their sustained struggle to overturn them. Because the right-wing policy of the leaders comes into constant conflict with the outlook of the rank and file, discipline in the Labour Party is imposed from above, with constant bans and proscriptions from the leadership. The remaining members are content that Labour should be electable, even if all that can be elected is a Tory Party in all but name.

  2. Because of the totally different outlook and the aim of the Communist Party, the form and character of its organisation is likewise different. The Communist Party does not isolate one side of the struggle—the electoral fight—as does the Labour Party. It bases itself on the need to encourage and develop all sides of the working class struggle, besides that on the electoral field. This is emphasised especially in Rule 2 of the Party Rules. It sees the working class the decisive, most advanced force for socialism in modern society, the class which is called upon to lead other sections in the struggle against monopoly capitalism.

    Communist Party organisation is based on the idea that the Communists must have contact with all sections of the people, especially the working class, and participate in all struggles, especially the struggle of the workers in large—scale industry. This is why the Communist Party gives such emphasis to factory organisation.

  3. The leaders of the Communist Party do not have a conflict of outlook with the Labour Movement and the mass of the people, as does the Labour Party—that of the two trends in the Labour Party—the socialist trend of the rank and file, and the capitalist trend represented by the right-wing leaders.

    The Communist Party is a voluntary union of people who share a common outlook—Marxism-Leninism—and the common desire to work to realise its principles in life—that is, to advance to socialism in Britain. There are not two disciplines in the Communist Party as in the Labour Party, one for the leaders and one for the rank and file, but only one discipline. This is binding on all, leaders and rank and file alike.

    The system of organisation which prevails in the Communist Party and is called “democratic centralism” is the combination of centralised organisation—higher bodies, like the Executive Committee, District, Area, Factory and Area Branch Committees—with the fullest democracy from the bottom to the top. This democracy is expressed in the following:

    • all decisions are based on majority vote
    • all leading bodies are elected by the vote of the membership
    • all members are encouraged to play the fullest part in formulating Party policy.

    Rule 3 of the Party Constitution and Aims explains this process in great detail. Democratic centralism means that:

    1. All leading committees shall be elected regularly and shall report regularly to the Party organisations which have elected them.
    2. Elected higher committees shall have the right to take decisions binding on lower committees and organisations, and shall explain these decisions to them. Such decisions shall not be in conflict with decisions of the National Congress or Executive Committee.
    3. Elected higher committees shall encourage lower committees and organisations to express their views on questions of Party policy and on the carrying out of such policy.
    4. Lower committees and organisations shall carry out the decisions of higher elected committees and shall have the right to express their views, raise problems, and make suggestions to these committees.
    5. Decisions shall be made by majority vote, and minorities shall accept the decision of the majority.

    The Rights and Duties of members are dealt with in Rules 15 and 16. Members have the duty to take part in the life and activities of their Party branch and to equip themselves to take an active part in the working class movement. The rights of Party members are:

    1. To take part in their Party branch in the discussion and formation of Party policy and the carrying out of such policy, in accordance with the procedure defined in Rule 17
    2. To elect and be elected to all those leading Party Committees defined in Rule 6
    3. To address any question or statement to such leading Party Committees up to and including the Executive Committee
    4. To reserve their opinion in the event of disagreement with a decision, while at the same time carrying out that decision.

    All these features taken together constitute the Communist Party as a party of a new type, able to fulfil the role of advance guard and leader of the working class struggle for socialism. In short, the role of the Communist Party can be summed up as follows:

    1. To give the Labour movement a socialist consciousness, a scientific socialist theory, a perspective of advance to socialism
    2. To lead the workers and their allies in all the struggles which confront them—from the immediate struggles under capitalism right up to the struggles for political power and the building of socialism
    3. To provide the organisation for the vanguard of the working class and working people capable of carrying out these two tasks.

Towards Success

The building of a mass Communist Party is the key to immededlate advance and ultimate victory for those dubbed “the 1 per cent”, more precisely the ruling class of capitalists.

More and more the rank and file of the Labour Party and the trade unions are fighting the policy of the right-wing Labour leaders. More and more they are fighting for the policies originally outlined by the Communist Party. The decisive task facing the Communist Party is to build unity in action with the best elements of the Labour movement in the struggle to save Britain from aiding warfare, for national independence, and for the defence of the living conditions of the people.

This unity of the socialist forces of the working class is essential if the working class is to lead the majority of the British people against monopoly capitalism. In the course of building this unity of action, the most determined effort must be made to win understanding of the need for and role of a mass Communist Party and to increase the numbers of participants many times over. It has been the consistent struggle, propaganda, Marxist explanation and leadership of the daily struggle undertaken by the Communist Party over the years which has helped maintain a principled Left movement in the Labour Party. The stronger the CP, the stronger will be the struggle for a socialist policy in the Labour Party.

Build the Communist Party

While the task of building unity with the Left of the Labour movement is of central importance, it is no substitute for the building of a mass Communist Party. Unity itself can only be strengthened if in the course of it ever new recruits are won for the Communist Party. A mass Communist Party, based on widespread unity of action with the best socialist forces in the Labour movement, is the only guarantee that the magnificent prospect of a Socialist Britain will be realised in our lifetime.

Only the Communist Party, because it is based on Marxist-Leninist theory, can point the correct way to the working class, and link immediate struggles with the ultimate fight for socialism. The Communist Party alone has applied Marxist principles to the concrete problem of the advance to socialism in Britain in its programme The British Road to socialism.

The task of building a mass Communist Party is one of the greatest importance to the whole Labour movement. A mass Communist Party is the key which will open the door on a socialist future for the British people.

Adapted from, Our Aim is Socialism, CPGB (now CPB), 1962


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Act Keeps the Rich Rich!

Fiscal Cliff Clock

Richard L Kaplan, a University of Illinois professor of law, and an expert on taxation and retirement issues tells us that the 'Fiscal Cliff' Act provides increased certainty and lower tax rates than simply letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire. So, the government’s budget deficit will most likely be larger than projected, and a variety of phase-out provisions that both complicate the code and raise effective tax rates were reactivated.

Almost all of the convoluted new rules apply only to people with income of at least $250,000 a year. Yet despite the campaign talk, the act does not address the issue of taxes paid by the most wealthy people. The Warren Buffetts and the Mitt Romneys of the world will see their tax rates rise somewhat, but their rates will still be well below those of less wealthy people because the capital gains tax benefit is largely preserved.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Communist Party of Britain invitation to Workers, Trades Unionists and Socialists to Discuss Labour Party Policies

Ed Miliband has continued Labour’s efforts to win back credibility on the economy by echoing a statement from Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, that Labour cannot promise to reverse any coalition spending cuts.
Are the laughing at us? Miliband and Balls

Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain has invited workers, trades unionists, and socialists to discuss an open letter addressed to them regarding the policies being advocated by the Labour Party leadership.

At the beginning of 2012, the Communist Party published the first edition of its Open Letter, rejecting the statements from Labour Party leaders on public spending cuts, public sector wages and pensions and on welfare benefits.

Those statements broadly confirmed the Labour leadership’s support for the rationale and approach of the Tory-led government towards these issues.

This wrong approach has not changed fundamentally. Arguing that the cuts should be a little less deep and a little more prolonged is still to accept the logic of the blue and orange Tories, City of London bankers and speculators and the EU. Nor is it an approach that has either cut the public spending deficit or stimulated a private sector-led economic recovery.

That is because it was designed to do neither.

The real intention of Tory strategy, dictated by the City and backed by the EU, is to prepare the public sector for wholesale privatisation. In that sense, the strategy has not failed. It is on course to deliver privatised services to big business, while also undermining trade unionism and cutting wage and pension bills and taxes on the wealthy. Regionalised pay is intended to accelerate the drive. The austerity and privatisation programme is working—for the ruling class.

The questions therefore remain:

  • what is the labour movement going to do about this ruling class offensive?
  • what are the trade unions going to do about the Labour Party leadership’s refusal to resist it?
  • in its efforts to promote a broad, inclusive and intensive discussion in the labour movement, the Communist Party is issuing the following updated statement of its own views.

Below is the joint statement issued by 16 communist and workers’ parties in Europe in May 2012, which places Britain’s economic and financial crisis—and responses to it—in a wider international context. Please read and discuss these statements with friends, workmates, trade union colleagues and comrades. We urge you to raise these issues in your trade union and political organisations.

Comments received in response to the first edition of the Open Letter can now be found online at Further comments on this new edition can be sent to

The Crisis of Political Representation in The British Labour Movement

The Communist Party rejects:

  • the analysis peddled by the banks, hedge funds and Tory-led government that past levels of public expenditure were the main cause of the economic and financial crisis
  • the remedy dictated by City of London financial institutions and the EU Commission and European Central Bank, namely, that massive public spending cuts and a savage attack on the wages and pensions of public sector workers are necessary to reduce the public sector financial deficit.

The policy of the Labour Party leadership to align itself with this analysis and these remedies is a betrayal of the millions of workers and their families who should be able to look to Labour for support and solidarity. Statements by Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and other Labour shadow ministers in support of deep cuts in public sector wages and pension entitlements, and in welfare benefits, represent a shameful capitulation to the banks, the Tory-led regime, the right-wing mass media and the EU.

The refusal of the Labour Party leadership to fight for policies to defend public services, jobs, wages and pensions and so revive economic growth highlights the extent to which the interests of the labour movement—which are also those of the people of Britain generally—go largely unrepresented in the House of Commons.

The leaders of Labour-affiliated trade unions know that their members need a Labour Party that defends their members’ interests. In addition to the widest possible mass movement, it should stand up for public services, oppose the whole rotten set-up in corrupt, big business Britain, and renounce an imperialist foreign policy that mires us in aggressive war, the mass slaughter of civilians, international kidnapping and torture and a new generation of nuclear weapons.

This raises the need for the affiliated unions to campaign in a more determined, planned and coordinated way to change the policies and, when, necessary the composition of the Labour Party leadership. The duty of the affiliated unions to fight for socialist and internationalist values in the Labour Party could not be clearer.

At the same time, this is part of an important, even bigger question:

  • how can the labour movement best ensure that its collective views and interests are represented in the Westminster parliament?

This challenge must be faced by the whole movement, including those unions not affiliated to the Labour Party.

The Labour Party was founded by the trade union movement. It still receives the support of over one-third of voters. But this support is not guaranteed and could quickly disintegrate if the party’s right-wing course is maintained. The trade union movement, and its members locally, have a duty to intervene to reclaim the party as an essential voice and vehicle for the interests of working people. Affiliated unions should:

  • step up the fight for a fundamental change of economic and social policy in the Labour Party in favour of public services, productive industry, wages, benefits, pensions, trade union rights, public ownership and progressive taxation
  • respond to demands from their members and consider withholding financial donations to the Labour Party centrally until its leaders and MPs oppose cuts in public sector wages, pensions, services and benefits and express solidarity with workers taking action to defend them.

Affiliation fees should be maintained to step up the challenge to the Labour leadership’s current policies from inside the party as well as from outside. We believe that these kind of initiatives, combined with mass popular campaigning and action across Britain, are the most realistic and effective steps that can be taken towards achieving real representation of working people’s interests inside the Westminster parliament.

However, should the Labour Party continue on a right-wing course up to and during the next General Election, the trade union movement and the left will have a duty to consider what further steps may be necessary to ensure that the labour movement has its own mass party, one capable of winning elections, forming a government and enacting policies in the interests of workers and their families.

The perspective may need to change from one of the labour movement struggling to reclaim the Labour Party to that of re-establishing a mass party of labour. Affiliated trade unions may need to convene an all-Britain conference to discuss the crisis of political representation for workers and their families. The TUC will have to resume its historic responsibility and convene a special conference of all labour movement organisations to discuss the political representation of the labour movement in the House of Commons.

In the meantime, the labour movement must fully recognise the scale of the threat now being posed by the current ruling class offensive—fronted by the Tory-led regime—to working class rights and living standards. United mass, popular resistance still needs to be built to this government, based on a clear understanding of the class forces and interests that stand behind Tory policies.

In the Communist Party’s view, it is vital that the resistance to this offensive also projects a bold and unifying alternative economic and social strategy. This is where the People’s Charter can play an invaluable role, setting out the policies to rebuild Britain’s productive economy, enhance our public services, secure greater social justice and protect our environment. Pointing a way forward in the immediate battles will help create more favourable conditions in which to resolve the labour movement’s current crisis of political representation.

For its part, the Communist Party will continue to develop its Marxist analysis, project an alternative economic and political strategy for the working class and its allies and strengthen non-sectarian left unity.

Statement authorised by the Communist Party political committee September 5, 2012.

Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Europe, May 1, 2012
For Maximum Opposition to the EU Treaties

The European Union and the ruling classes of the member states are determined to make working people pay a very heavy price for the deepening crisis of the system. We Communist and Workers’ parties of the member states of the European Union call on workers across the EU to resist and oppose the adoption of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the revised Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

These two treaties would make “Eurozone” member states and practically all other countries signing these agreements into permanent regimes of economic austerity involving deeper and deeper cuts in public expenditure, rises in indirect taxes, reductions in wages, sustained liberalisation of markets and privatisation of public enterprises, services and vital national assets.

The strategy is to have low wages, low public spending, mass poverty and workers having few rights. The treaties are designed to make these measures into a permanent feature of the EU that are impossible to reverse.

The impact of these treaties will not be confined to the member states of the Eurozone. They will provide the bench-mark for further attacks on workers’ rights and conditions across the whole of the EU. The ruling classes have declared open warfare on workers in a generalised offensive.

These treaties are designed to neutralise the potential of national working class formations to influence or change national economic and social policy. They, along with previous treaties, are about blocking any avenues for the working class to defend itself or to promote policies of social progress and a socialist alternative.

They will make austerity permanent by continuous external interference of EU institutions in the affairs of member states in relation to economic and social policy, in the interests of monopoly capitalism.

In this they have the active collaboration of the ruling class and its political representatives in each country. These treaties will further negate and deeply undermine national and sovereign rights. Any policies that the ruling classes across the European Union can deliver will inevitably make the people pay for this crisis of capitalism. Promoting the interests of the working class is only possible by confronting and breaking with this destructive system.

We, Communist and Workers’ Parties value and salute the mass response from the workers and other social strata affected by the measures and policies of big capital, in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy and call upon workers and their trade unions, and people’s mass organisations, to resist these renewed attacks and to mobilise and assert a working class response to the crisis of state monopoly capitalism.

In the immediate battles of today our parties will present the vision of Socialism as the answer to the crisis of the capitalist system.


  1. New Communist Party of the Netherlands
  2. Workers’ Party of Belgium
  3. Communist Party of Britain
  4. Portuguese Communist Party
  5. Communist Party of Finland
  6. Communist Party in Denmark
  7. Communist Party of Luxembourg
  8. Communist Party of Ireland
  9. Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party
  10. Communist Party of Greece
  11. Party of Italian Communists
  12. Communist Party of Malta
  13. Communist Party of Poland
  14. Communist Party of Spain
  15. Communist Party of Sweden
  16. German Communist Party

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Israel: The Zionist Paradise?

Zionist Aims in Israel

The present aims of the Israeli Zionists are to:

  • retain the occupied lands
  • force the Arab population off them
  • expand Israel’s territory through new annexations
  • attract new settlers of Jewish nationality from the diaspora.

These aims are to be attained in parallel with continued subversive activity against states independent of the USA and the vast western capitalist cartel of nations—particularly socialist countries, and national liberation movements.

In persuading Jews all over the world to emigrate to Israel, Zionist “recruiting agents” spare nothing in describing the glories of the “earthly paradise”. Their favorite theme in denouncing life in the diaspora is the presence of antisemitism there, lack of rights for Jews and discrimination against them. Zionist “recruiters” assure their listeners that a cordial welcome, extensive material assistance, comfortable flats, jobs in one’s speciality, national unity, and the considerate and friendly attitude of the authorities await them in Israel. Many simple hearted credulous people fall victim to this propaganda. People from a hundred countries, speaking dozens of languages have emigrated to Israel. What did they find there?

The state which the Zionists have established in the Holy Land is far from the paradise for Jews they promised. Public life is marked by undisguised racialism, political reaction, militarism, and militant clericalism. The government is controlled by reactionary Zionist parties. Israel had no constitution. Laws issued when Palestine was under British colonial domination, and even before that under the Turks, were kept in force. Brute force is praised, and primitive behavior is widely practised.

The 6,000 or so synagogues in the country testify to the rabbinate’s influence on Israel’s social and political life. The part of Jerusalem, captured by Israel during the “six day war”, alone has over 450 of them. Family relations and daily affairs are regulated by “courts of rabbis” which administer justice on the basis of the ancient Jewish sacred scriptures and the Talmud’s interpretations of it, rather as various Islamists in the west would like to introduce the rule of the ancient Sharia law. Rulings by these courts are binding whether you are a religious Jew or a convinced atheist.

Only men have the right to seek a divorce, and only men have legal rights to an inheritance. Women have no such rights. If a woman’s husband dies she can get married again only to his brother. If her late husband’s brother does not wish to marry her, and she wishes to marry someone else, she must obtain the brother’s permission. If the brother is under age the woman must wait till he comes of age and decides her fate. Some rabbis, according to their tradition, not to say lasciviously, make women who adopt Judaism perform ablutions in a ritual pool in the presenc’e of three of them.

A recruit in the Israeli army is issued a volume of the Jewish scriptures together with his rifle. There is a chaplain and a mobile synagogue in every army unit. The chief rabbi of the army has the rank of general. According to the concept of the Zionist clerical founders of Israel the important role played by the rabbinate in the affairs of the state should smooth out class antagonisms, promote the chauvinistic upbringing of youth, and create the illusion of unity among the Jews.

The reactionary nature of Zionism cannot be hidden by its legends about “the historic mission of God’s chosen people”, religious mysticism, and the “unity and brotherhood” of the Jews. Zionists’ criminal actions and plots are becoming clear, and have aroused mistrust and criticism among Jews. Reactionary policies pursued by world Zionism have been condemned by Jewish organizations in Britain, the Netherlands, France, Uruguay, and some other countries. Even many Israelis realize that their Zionist rulers are leading them along a dangerous path, and the imagined socialism of kibbutzim was soon seen through. The more intelligent ones left Israel quickly, and Zionists have had to persuade more Jews from abroad to emigrate there.

The state is actually in the hands of big capitalists, and the dominant universal ideology in Israeli is racism.

Socialism, Histadrut and Kibbutzim

The above aims have united various Zionist parties and groups—from the fascistic Herut party to the “socialist” MAPAM and MAPAI, which, in an attempt to win the sympathies of working people, were promoted by Zionist propagandists as “Zionist socialism” in Israel, a concept believable only by the gullible. The industrial enterprises of the Association of Israeli Trade Unions, called Histadrut, have been declared “a straight road to the higher stage of socialism”, while agricultural cooperatives, kibbutzim, are claimed to be communistic institutions. Socialism and all forms of elitism are utterly incompatible, so an elitist system like Zionist Israel professing socialism is hoping to dupe idiots.

In 1921, David Ben-Gurion was elected as secretary of Histadrut, the Israeli Labour organization, the glittering diamond of Zionist “socialism”. Yet, by the 1970s, it had partial ownership of important enterprises, accounting for 20 percent of the gross industrial output, but which were not public property. They were owned by joint-stock companies in which trade unions were the partners of domestic and foreign capitalists who held the greater part of the shares. Histadrut’s share of the profits and the trade union membership dues were not used to improve the material situation of the workers or to meet their cultural requirements, but to expand production and to maintain the management staff of the trade unions. A part of the proceeds was turned over to the leadership of the Zionist parties. Since the 1980s, the role and size of Histradrut has declined.

The situation is a somewhat similar in agriculture. Over 90 percent of the cultivated land is owned by the government and the Jewish Agency which lease it at high rates both to individual farmers and to collectives. The kibbutz was the more popular type of collective, but though the members of a kibbutz worked together, they did not collectively share in the profits or own the farm buildings, the implements and associated property of the kibbutz. Working ten hours every day, the members of a kibbutz did not get any payment either in cash or in kind. What they do got was lodging, plain food and some clothes. Once in two years they are entitled to a holiday. Anyone who left the kibbutz, even those who had worked for many years, were not entitled to anything. The whole profit made by a kibbutz was appropriated by the Zionist administration which was not accountable to the members of the kibbutz.

By calling the kibbutzim and the Histadrut enterprises “socialist” the Zionists tried to disguise the true nature of their enterprises, and at the same time to cast aspersions on the class nature of society, discrediting it in the eyes of the unfortunate settlers who cursed their hard lot and Zionist “socialism”. The workforce of a kibbutz was mostly young and healthy immigrants who had no money and who were therefore compelled to hire themselves out. Poor they came and poor they went. Such is “communism”, Zionist style—more like an exploitative religious sect.

Zionists are the sworn enemies of genuine socialism, but they resort widely to posing as socialists through demagogic assertions of their socialism to try to win over Jewish workers. It is another parallel with the Nazis, the German National Socialist and Democratic Party of Hitler, which shrewdly exploited the popularity of socialist ideas in building up their initial support.

To camouflage their anti-social activity, Zionist leaders resort to dishonesty. In 1970, after talks between the government and Histadrut, which lasted for nearly a year, wages rose by a healthy 8 percent. It was a hoax. The “defence tax” was raised simultaneously from 10 to 15 percent of the average wage, and half of the 8 percent rise was to be paid in compulsory bonds for a “security loan” subscription. The increased tax and subscription deductions came to 9 percent of the wage, leaving the beneficiaries one percent worse off. So much for Zionist trade union leadership. In reply to protests, the Zionists advanced the slogan:

You cannot defend the country and raise wages at the same time.

This is equivalent to Göring’s statement: “Iron makes an empire strong. Butter only makes people fat”, or “Guns not butter”. Göring is surpassed in his rhetoric by the Zionist leadership of Israel today.

Following the 2011 Israeli social justice protests, Histadrut, in February 2012, called a general strike for badly paid subcontracted and unorganized workers. The demand was for the same pay and conditions as regular employees. A settlement gave the subcontractors some gains but at the cost of an enforced moratorium on striking over such issues for three years.

Really Israel is a state where the implements and means of production are owned by capitalists, and where the state apparatus safeguards the interest of propertied classes. It is a state based on exploitation—a typically capitalist state that can contain only token elements of socialism. Private enterprises owned by domestic or foreign capitalists account for the bulk of industrial production in Israel.

Poverty and Housing

One of Israel’s major problems, which appeared at the outset and remains unsolved, is the problem of poverty. The living standard in 2008 of 20.5 percent of Israeli families is below the “poverty level”, most of them Israeli Arab and Haredi Jewish families. That measure is families, but 25 percent of all Israel’s residents (1.5 million people) and 36 percent of its children (805,000 children) are poor. International Living Magazine in 2010 found that Israel has the 47th highest standard of living in the world. The monthly income per member of these families was about 70 Israeli pounds in the 1970s, which was barely enough to buy bread and margarine. By 2008, the average family income for Israel’s Jewish majority was US $4000 per month, while for Israel’s Arabs it was US $2,200 per month. Over half of all Arab families in Israel lived in poverty. The National Insurance Institute (NII) found that poverty in Israel has not declined, though incomes are rising. The majority of the poor are not Jewish but Arabs, and Ultra-Orthodox Jews who are isolated from other Jews.

Unemployment is a national scourge in Israel. The omission of the Arab communities with the worst unemployment keeps the figure looking better than it is, as does the omission of everyone conscripted to the EDF. While the war industry is operating at full capacity, the volume of civilian production is shrinking. Enormous outlays for military purposes swallow much of the state budget, and high taxes cut people’s spending capacity. Permanent residents have to contribute more because special con cessions are given to immigrants and returning Jews. The Israeli inflation rate averaged 32 percent from 1952 to 2012, reaching an all time high of 486 percent in November 1984.

Speaking once at a MAPAI congress, Zeev Sharef, political hawk and long term Israeli civil servant who entered the Knesset and became Minister of Housing, admitted that the government spend on social needs was only what rich Israelis spent on restaurant meals!

There is an acute housing problem in Israel, providing an excuse for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Yet Zionists go on “recruiting” immigrants. Carrying out the orders of the big Jewish capitalists, Zionists continue to insist that the “final solution of the Jewish question” can only be achieved by settling all Jews, or at least the majority of them, in Palestine.

The recruitment of settlers was in the hands of several organizations. In 1968, a special agency, the Immigration Ministry, was established in Tel Aviv. It assumed the sole responsibility for the recruitment, transportation and accommodation of settlers. In size of allocation from the state budget the Immigration Ministry is second only to the Defence Ministry. A Zionist newspaper Elal, ignoring the grim prospects which emigration to Israel entails for most settlers, suggested that a main aim of Zionism is transfer of Jews in the diaspora to the Promised Land.

As it is everywhere, the more unemployed in the labor market, the cheaper is labor and the higher capitalists’ profits. Zionist sponsors of the plan are not particularly worried how unemployment affects working people, they worry more that over ten percent of immigrants to Israel quickly go back to the country whence they came—Tel Aviv unwillingly telling us the number of Jews who leave the Zionist “paradise”. The constant danger of a new armed conflict in the Middle East, and the hardships which people in Israel have to go through cause constant emigration.

And there is no telling how many more people, who were lured into going to their “ancient homeland”, would like to leave it now, but are unable to do so. A survey found close to 60 percent of Israelis had approached or were intending to approach a foreign embassy to ask for citizenship and a passport, and even half of Israeli youth would live somewhere else if they had the chance. The lower end of estimates of how many Jews have emigrated is the official one of 750,000—10 percent of the population—issued by the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. Netanyahu’s government places the current number of Israeli citizens living abroad in the range of 800,000 to a million, about 13 percent of the population. About 45 percent of adult Israeli expatriates have a university degree, compared with 22 percent of the Israeli population. Plainly, intelligent Israelis do not stick around in Israel. In explanation, they say:

The question is not why we left, but why it took us so long to do so.

Social Castes and Discrimination

The departure of Jewish Israelis undermines Zionist ideology. Why would Jews who are well integrated and accepted in other countries emigrate to Israel? And especially as a quarter of young Israelis in Europe marry outside their faith. Disenchantment awaits many immigrant Jews from the moment they arrive in Israel. They can see for themselves the wide gap between wealth and poverty. The greatest hardships fall to the lot of the have nots from Asia and Africa, since Israeli society is stratified not only according to social classes and people’s property status but also according to ethnic groups. The indigenous Jewish population of Palestine, which is not numerous, constitutes the top privileged stratum called sabras. Below them are Ashkenazis, settlers from Europe and the United States.

The lowest rung in this multi-step social ladder is occupied by Sephardis, settlers from Asian and African countries. Contrary to Zionist demagogic claims of “national unity and equality”, the Sephardis, who are slightingly called “black Jews”, make up the main body of the unemployed. They are given, and only last of all, the hardest and lowest paid jobs. They are allotted inferior living quarters, mostly in barracks, where one room is shared by two or three families. Although the Sephardis constitute over a half of Israel’s Jewish population, their membership in the Zionist trade unions is less than one percent. Of the 120 seats in the Knesset, 33 belong to the sabras, 70 to the Ashkenazis, and only 17 to the Sephardis. “Black Jews” constitute a mere 5 percent of the student body of Israeli universities. The rabbinate have forbidden marriages between Sephardis and members of the higher ethnic strata.

The lot of the goyim, non-Jews, in Israel is the hardest of all. Not only Arabs but also half breed Jews are regarded as goyim by the Zionist racists. In 1970, the Knesset passed a law which specified who can be considered one of “God’s chosen people”. Under this law only a person whose mother is a full blooded Jewess and who professes Judaism can be a full Israeli citizen. If one of a woman’s parents is not a Jew, her children cannot expect to be regarded as genuine Jews. By their common roots in European Nationalist ideology, Nazi biological and racial theories, which inspired the disgraceful Nuremberg Laws, have been adopted in Israel. Both the racial laws of Nazi Germany and modern Israel stem from the same imperialist ideology.

Zionist authorities practise severe discrimination against the Arab population. To go from one part of the country to another Arabs must have special permission. In many towns and villages, even the Arabs who live there permanently must report daily to the local police station. The police have the right to place any Arab under surveillance, to confiscate his property, to evict him, to arrest him and members of his family, and to detain him indefinitely. Deprived of elementary civil rights, Arabs are only given jobs which low caste Sephardis refuse to do, or when there is a temporary shortage of labor. Such jobs include digging canals, laying roads across the desert, and draining marshes. Nearly all Arab children are illiterate.

Brutal reprisals follow the slightest suspicion of cooperation or even sympathy with Palestinian freedom fighters. At Moshe Dayan’s initiative, “collective punishment” and “punishment for being near the spot” are applied to Arabs. This punishment is dealt not only to those who are suspected of helping the guerrillas or of any other form of resistance to the occupiers, but also to people who lived near the place where guerrillas have carried out an operation. Again it is similar to the reprisals taken by Nazis against the Maquis and other anti-Nazi resistance groups in WWII.

Zionist newspapers readily feature the exploits of the “green berets”, a special frontier force operating on occupied territory. A report from the newspaper Haaretz by Michael Glaser, a West German journalist, said:

The patrol ordered everyone to stand still and get ready for a check. However, some tried to escape by jumping onto the bus that was passing by. The patrol opened fire on the bus, wounding five of its passengers.

Elsewhere he writes:

Several times I myself saw patrol men beat up Palestinians with clubs as their documents were being checked. A favorite pastime of the green berets is to undress women on the pretext of establishing their identity and to question them naked for hours. This is exactly what happened recently to a group of medical nurses.

Glaser relates other instances of the inhuman treatment of Arabs by the Israeli authorities. A detained Arab woman, Adama Abdallah Shafik Taga, told her lawyer in the presence of a police inspector that right after her arrest she was put in a cell together with some Israeli prostitutes who took her clothes off and beat her up. After that, absolutely naked, she was thrown into the punishment cell, where a police officer named Duwaik knocked her down and kicked her. The unfortunate woman was pregnant and began to hemorrhage, but she was denied medical assistance.

When Muaid Usman al-Bahash, an Arab student, was allowed to see his lawyer, he had a paralyzed arm. He related the following:

They hung me up to the ceiling by the arm and pulled at my feet. They kept beating me until I blacked out. Then they chained me, beat me up with sticks, put electric currents through my body, and burnt my skin with cigarettes.

Obviously, none of the practices of Himmler’s school was left unused, but these are older examples, today, the situation for Palestinians is worse, but there are many videos of their mistreatment available on You Tube.

Social Unrest

The world Zionist movement and the imperialist countries render considerable financial aid to Israel, but it is not large enough to cover its military spending which is growing from year to year. During 1950–66, Israel spent an average of 9 percent of its GDP on defence. Defense spending reached a high of about 24 percent of GDP in the 1980s, but have since proportionately dropped. The total defence budget in 2010 is the highest in Israel’s history, at $14 billion, around $2500 per person.

Many immigrant Jews, besides persecuted Arabs, protest against the Zionist regime in Israel. There is an anti-militarist movement in the country. Campaigns against capitalist exploitation, racialism, terrorist methods of administration, and the prevalent state of lawlessness is gaining momentum.

The implementation of the UN Security Council resolution and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied Arab territory was advocated by the Movement for Independence of the Left headed by Knesset Deputy Jacob Riflin. The Hablam Hazeh group which had two seats in the Knesset called for an immediate return of the lands captured from the Arabs and a lasting peace settlement with them. Several Israeli youth organizations were active in the struggle for peace and against the government’s militarist policy.

As the living standards of the Israeli working people deteriorate, the class struggle becomes increasingly acute, and the strike movement assumes greater scope. According to official statistics released by Tel Aviv, 90 strikes took place in the period from January to September 1969, the number of strikers was 30,000. In the same period of 1970 there were 127 strikes in Israel in which 72,000 people took part. The total number of strikers in 1970 was 120,000. In 1971 the strike movement continued gathering momentum. It was joined by workers in the paper industry, post office employees, railwaymen, electricians, dockers, doctors, the ground personnel and pilots of civil air lines, bus and taxi drivers, and workers in various industries. Secondary school teachers went on a seven-week strike; and the customs employees of the country’s second largest port, Ashdod, staged a slowdown, demanding higher wages.

The end of 1972 was marked by a new wave of strikes in which thousands of Israeli industrial workers and office employees took part. Once again the ports stood still. The striking dockers were soon joined by workers from several state owned and private companies, as well as by hospital technical personnel. According to US news reports from Tel Aviv, the telephone and telex communications were paralyzed, power systems were turned off in some areas, and the functioning of the Lod airport was disrupted when 150 technicians and administrative personnel of El Al Israel Airlines went on strike.

In early January 1973 continuing strikes compelled the government to call an emergency meeting of its committee in charge of the regulation of wages, taxes, and prices, which latter had gone up 14 percent in 1972. However, the government did not publish any statement that showed its intention of improving the situation of the working people or of meeting, at least partially, the strikers’ demands.

Worried by the growing number of strikes, Prime Minister Golda Meir called on the workers to end them, since the country could not meet their demands of higher wages. When her appeal was not heeded, the aged Premier became enraged and ordered forceful measures to put down strikes, including punishment of the strikers. Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan for his part suggested that the strikers be dealt with in a most severe manner, including imprisonment.

Poverty, unemployment, a high cost of living, slums and the inaccessibility of education for a great number of young people are constant factors in encouraging crime, drug addiction and prostitution in the Holy Land. Abraham Polak, a former Israeli army officer, explained why he had left Israel:

I was happy to get out of that hell.

Despite stringent laws providing for up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 dollars for selling narcotics, they are sold almost openly in Israel. This profitable business is growing turning thousands more young men and women into drug addicts and ruining their lives. Prostitution, which is not illegal in Israel, is rapidly increasing.

The crime rate in the country was doubling every decade in the 1970s. Burglary particularly flourished in that period, showing a growth of 200 percent. The number of armed assaults grew rapidly every year. Attorney General, Meir Shamgar, expressed concern that armed violence was increasing. Crime in Tel Aviv assumed such proportions that in October 1972 special detachments of troops which had been used to put down Arab revolts in the Gaza strip area were rushed to Tel Aviv to help the police. Juvenile delinquency in Israel was also growing. About 20,000 youth from the ages of 14 to 17 neither studied nor work, many of them have connexions with the underworld.

Such are some of the consequences of militarization in the country, and Israel’s policy of violence and aggression towards neighboring Arab states. Such is the bitter fruit of the terror practised in occupied Arab territories, the barbarous raids on peaceful towns and villages in Syria and the Lebanon, and the cult of violence, the abandonment of all restraint which is being advocated by the Israeli military.

  • I Abuelaish, I Shall Not Hate, 2011
  • R Brodsky, The Truth about Zionism, 1974
  • S Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People, 2009