Home > Misc, Politics > 2010 Election; The British Socialist Manifesto.

2010 Election; The British Socialist Manifesto.

Private capitalism does not work. It is not certain that Socialism is in all ways superior to capitalism, but it is certain that unlike capitalism, it can solve the problems of production and consumption. At normal times a capitalist economy can never consume all that it produces, so there is always a wasted surplus (wheat burned in furnaces, herrings dumped back into the sea etc. etc.) and always unemployment. In the time of war, on the other hand, it has difficulty producing all that it needs, because nothing is produced unless someone sees his way to making a profit out of it.

In a socialist economy, these problems do not exist, for production is only limited by the amount of labour and raw materials. Money, for internal purposes, ceases to be a mysterious, all powerful thing and becomes a sort of coupon.

It must be noted that ‘common ownership of the means of production’ is no longer a sufficient definition for Socialism; approximate equality of income (it need be no more than approximate), political democracy, and abolition of hereditary priviledge, especially in education. These are the necessary safe-guards against the reappearance of a class-system.

However, centralized ownership has very little meaning unless the mass of the people are living roughly on an equal level, and have some kind of control over the government. ‘The State’ may come to mean no more than a self-elected political party, and oligarchy and privilege can return based on merit, rather than money.

So what is fascism? It is a form of capitalism that borrows from Socialism just such features as will make it sufficient for war purposes. Everyone is in effect a State employee, though the salaries vary very greatly.

Socialism aims, ultimately, at a world-state of free and equal human beings. It takes the equality of human rights for granted. Nazism assumed just the opposite. But such fascism works because it is a planned system geared to a definite purpose without allowing any private interest. British capitalism, on the other hand, does not work because it is a competitive system in which private profit is the main objective; all the forces are pulling in opposing directions.

It doesn’t work because right at the end of 1939 the British dealers were tumbling over one another in their eagerness to sell Germany tin, rubber, copper and shellac- and this in the clear, certain knowledge that war was going to break out in a week or two. It was about as sensible as selling somebody a razorblade to cut your throat with. But it was ‘good business’. So while England was fighting for her life, businesses must fight for profit.

When this was realised, the professional optimists realised something was wrong, and so it was left to them to convince people that a planned economy might be better than a free-for-all in which the worst man wins. Luckily, this task will never again be quite so ghastly as it was during and following WWII.

Since then there has been blood, new men, new ideas- in the true sense of the word, a revolution. To retreat a second, England is a family with the wrong members in control. Almost entirely were we governed by the right, and by people who stepped into the position of command by right of birth. Few, if any of these people were consciously treacherous, some of them were not even fools, but as a class they were quite incapable of leading us to victory. It was like a tea-party of ghosts. But so long as the moneyed classes remained in control, we could not develop any but a defensive strategy.

Even the rationing system was arranged so that it hit the poor all the time, while the people with over £2000 a year were practically unaffected by it.

Note that revolution does not mean red flags and street fighting, it means fundamental shift of power. And luckily, British governments do, broadly speaking, represent the will of the people, and if we alter out structure from below we shall get the government we need.

Right through our national life we have got to fight against privilege, against the notion that a half witted public-schoolboy is better for command than an intelligent mechanic. The Britain that is only just beneath the surface, in the factories and the newspaper offices, in the aeroplanes and the submarines, has got to take charge of its own destiny.

People will want some kind of proof that a better life is ahead for themselves and their children. The one sure earnest of that is that when they are taxed and overworked they shall see that the rich are being hit even harder. And if the rich squeal audibly, so much the better.

Unfortunately, there is only one Socialist party that has ever seriously mattered, the (old)Labour Party. It has never been able to achieve any major change because it has never possessed a genuinely independent policy. What’s worse, the standard of living of the trade-union workers, whom the Labour Party represented depended indirectly on the sweating of Indian coolies.

Al alternative was the English Socialist movement. But, after twenty years of stagnation and unemployment, it was unable to produce a version of socialism which the mass people could even find desirable. The Labour Party stood for a timid reformism, the Marxists were looking at the modern works through nineteenth-century spectacles. Both ignored agriculture, and both antagonized the middle classes. The suffocating stupidity of left wing propaganda had frightened away whole classes of necessary people, factory managers, airmen, naval officers, farmers, white-collar workers, shopkeepers, policemen. All of these people had been taught to think of Socialism as something which menaced their livelihood, or something seditious, alien, ‘anti-British’ as they would have called it. Only the intellectually, the least useful section of the middle-class, gravitated toward the movement.

A Socialist movement which can swing the mass of people behind it, drive the pro-Fascists (New Labour, Conservatives) out of position of control, wipe out the grosser injustices and let the working class see that they have something to fight for, win over the middle classes instead of antagonizing them, produce a workable policy instead of a mixture of humbug and Utopianism, bring patriotism and intelligence into partnership- for the first time, a movement of such a kind is now possible.

It is time for the people to define their aims.

Recommended points are;

  1. Nationalization of land, mines, railways, banks, and major industries
  2. Limitation of income, on such a scale that the highest tax-free income in Britain does not exceed the lowest by more than ten to one
  3. Reform of the educational system along democratic lines

We should hope for the rise of something that has never existed before, a specifically British Socialism movement.

It will not be doctrinaire, nor even logical. It will group itself round the old Labour Party and its mass following will be in the trade unions, but it will draw into it most of the middle class and many of the younger bourgeoisie. It will disestablish the Church, but will not persecure religion.

It will show a power of assimilating the past which will shock foreign observers and sometimes make them doubt whether any revolution has happened.

Laissez-faire capitalism is dead.

Nothing ever stands still. We must add to our heritage or lose it, we must grow greater or grow less, we must go forward or backward.

I believe that we shall go forward.

Note: rhetoric is in jest!

Largely influenced by George Orwell’s ‘The Lion and the Unicorn.

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