Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What our rivals say II

A kindly soul has alerted me to the intentions of TUSC. No, that's not a team of Bond villains, but the "Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition" -- the current front organisation from the people that brought you the front organisation Militant, who now call themselves Socialist Party (England and Wales). From the latter Wikipedia article:
Militant changed its name to Militant Labour after leaving the Labour Party. The former organisations Militant International Review, founded in 1969, became monthly and was renamed Socialism Today in 1995.[42] In 1997, Militant Labour changed its name to the Socialist Party, and its Militant newspaper was renamed The Socialist in the same year. The ownership of the party's name has been contested by the Socialist Party of Great Britain founded in 1904. As a result, the new party is frequently known as "The Socialist Party of England and Wales". Due to the requirement to register party names with the Electoral Commission, the Socialist Party uses the description 'Socialist Alternative' on ballot papers.
So, just to be clear, they are not us, they are an organisation that stands for
For a socialist government to take into public ownership the top 150 companies and banks that dominate the British economy, and run them under democratic working-class control and management. Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need.
That is, they will retain the market under state control (what we call state capitalism. So, necessary distinction dealt with, the main point: they intend to contest the list section of the GLA election this year. Needless to say, we do not endorse their slate, nor any of their candidates. Nor do we endorse their five point manifesto, which includes such as:
When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on - while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall.
This is a classic leftist demand that they must know cannot be realised. The state has run out of funding sources, and cannot make up this sort of spending without either increasing taxes (which would be evaded) or outright expropriating the means of production. Now, we call up front for a transition to common ownership, whereas TUSC will call on you to fight like demons for unrealisable demands in the hope that you eventually push through to common ownership (rather than become discouraged and go and try something else). Consciously or not, they stand for the continuation of capitalism, we stand for the abolition for the wages system as our first (indeed only) demand.

4 comments:

vin maratty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vin maratty said...

Comrades,
Declaring the Abolition of the wages system as your first and only demand could be interpreted as ending wages within capitalism, which of course would be chaotic. Just to clarify: A class conscious working class must first take control of the state and use the state to transfer ownership of the means of production into common ownership. When this is achieved the state and wages become superfluous.

Hud said...

Abolition of wages within capitalism is a contradiction in terms. Abolition of wages, is by definition the abolition of capitalism - not just the introduction of chaos. How do you transfer ownership of the means of production into common ownership? You do it the only possible way, you dismantle the capitalist property system, or to put it another way, you dismantle the wages system.

vin maratty said...

Hud,
If my wages were abolished tomorrow I would starve. Why? Because the means of production are owned by a minority. I am property-less. The working class must take control of the state and the means of production in order to establish socialism Does the SPGB take the Marxist position of using the State machinery to dismantle capitalism. The state then withers away. Or do you take an anarchist view that the state cannot be used for that purpose