What are you waiting for? For a certain little lady to come by?
For world peace? For that moment when you can slap a parking ticket on
that stationary vehicle whose owner has committed the heinous crime of
being one minute longer than they should have been? For the chance to
appear in ‘Big Brother’? For the dentist to call you in and prove that
you have nothing to fear but fear itself? For the weekend when your
life feels like it belongs to you and no one else? For the arms of
Morpheus to envelop you? For the price of petrol/train season ticket to
become more affordable? For your team to win promotion this
season? For someone to bid on that eBay item you’re trying to sell? For
the replacement of a social system predicated upon the pursuit of
profit, profit and more profit?
T he local newsagents/post office. Lunchtime. Three counter
positions. Two of them closed. Surprise, surprise! Long queue
building up behind me. Metaphorically, I pull out my flask,
sandwiches and copy of the Beano and settle down for a long wait. I try
uttering the mantra, “patience is a virtue,” but this doesn’t work as
my concentration is disturbed by the mucky magazines in my eye line.
Ian Drury’s song, starts running through my head, “In my yellow jersey,
I went out on the nick. South Street Romford, shopping arcade, Got a
Razzle magazine, I never paid, Inside my jacket and away double quick.”
(Razzle in my pocket)
Last time I was rooted to one spot for so long without moving was
in a traffic jam just outside Worcester. On the satnav I watched an
hour of my life go to waste as I fumed in the queue. I’m just on
the point of turning to someone and saying, “When I was a lad we didn’t
have queues this long you know!” Fortunately, I manage to avoid turning
into bore number 147.
I move through ninety degrees and peruse those behind me. I’m not that
sensitive to other people’s moods but even I could sense their
resentment. Their blood pressure is rising exponentially with every
minute of inactivity that passes. I gauge this by the angry flush which
is appearing on their faces and the muttered imprecations which are
beginning to sound more and more and like an audition for a collective
of Wiccan worshippers in that Scottish play by Shakespeare.
I too join in the muttering. I am debating with myself whether I
should give in to an overwhelming urge to fix them with a glittering
eye and expound upon the benefits of a social system based upon
production for use, not profit. After all, my fellow wage slaves are
the ones who actually run the system on behalf of a minority.
Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Becket. There are two
characters called Estragon and Vladimir who, in a two day time frame,
engage in various activities whilst waiting for a character called
Godot to arrive. In the first scene Estragon after trying hard to
remove his shoe, and failing, says, “Nothing to be done.”
“Nothing to be done!” has resonance amongst those who are
constantly propounding empirical reasons why this global social system,
capitalism, has fulfilled its historical purpose and needs to be
replaced. “Nothing to be done!” is an oft-repeated response from other
members of the working class when real socialism is explained to them.
Go on the comments section of some internet blogs or media sites.
Amongst the jeering, insults, and puerile name calling you will
find countless posts complaining how tough times are and how they are
going to get tougher. These tirades are often directed at individuals,
e.g. politicians, organizations, e.g. political parties, or
institutions, e.g., the European Union, who appear, in the eyes of
those posting, to hold some malignant influence over their lives. For
the sake of veracity, it has to be said, that ‘socialism’ is often
cited in less than complimentary terms.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the ‘socialism’
referred to as being more scary than the bogeyman is state capitalism
as practised by the ex-Soviet Union and by regimes such as North Korea,
Cuba and others today. Moaning and whinging seems to be becoming
an art form. In the art of not doing anything. A pervasive
fatalistic air is apparent. Amongst many who are who are posting on the
internet anyway, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in
various ways. The point, however, is to change it,” (Karl Marx). Well,
here’s the tough love; whining about it ain’t gonna change anything!
The local branch of the bank that likes to be international and
local at one and the same time. Mid-morning. Once upon a time there
were five counter positions. Now there are only two. One of which is
shut. Yet another queue. The frustrations emanating from the
increasingly exasperated wage slaves wasting time trying to avail
themselves of the banks ‘services’ are palpable. Are those queuing
behind me are aware of their role as wage slaves within a capitalist
system that daily exploits them in its ever more desperate attempts to
fulfil it’s raison d’être? The thing about capitalism is that
it’s fulfilled its historical function to lay down the necessary social
conditions for a transition to a wageless, moneyless, leaderless,
classless, stateless society. It’s just that the vast majority of paid
and unpaid members of the working class don’t know that yet.
The couple at the counter finally sorts out their business. She
apologies to us all for keeping us waiting. I say out loud, it’s not
your fault, it’s the banks. In my mind I’m screaming, “We don’t need
banks! Abolition of the wages system! Free access of goods and
services! From each according to his/her abilities, to each according
to their needs! Had I said all this aloud in one of the temples of the
moneychangers what response would I have got? Would I have been dragged
kicking and screaming into a police van or into a conveyance to the
local mental health hospital. Well! What a looney! (Political
correctness in the use of language hasn’t permeated to my part of the
world). Elimination of money? Cor, we might be getting seriously
peed off wasting our life in this queue but that suggestion is just
ridiculous. Isn’t it? Hell, I don’t want to bring back more counter
positions in banks and post offices. I want a social system where money
and the need for financial transactions of any kind are no longer
“I'm so tired, Tired of waiting, Tired of waiting for you.” (Ray
Davies and The Kinks). I’ve reached an age where “Time’s winged chariot
hurrying near” resounds much more loudly nowadays. I think I can
legitimately describe myself as a ‘grumpy old man.’ Thing is, I don’t
think that you have to be old to be grumpy and dissatisfied to know
that there’s something wrong with the way that we live. Like the Kinks
I’m getting increasingly frustrated waiting for the transition to a
better social system which will supersede the one we have now.
Capitalism has outlived its usefulness and is inhibiting the personal,
and collective, growth of everyone on this planet. The problem is this
better life isn’t going to happen without us all putting in some
serious effort to bring it about. “It's your life, And you can do what
you want.” So what do you want to do? Are you happy with your life?
It’s down to us all. What are we waiting for?
spotted the link to that one above in the WSM_Forum on
The description "Humanity is finally outgrowing
capitalism, and it's time for a major upgrade. The future is one of
post-scarcity common ownership, free access and democratic control, and
it's on the horizon now. Join this Forum to find out about the World Socialist Movement and the
biggest change in society since the discovery of electricity."
day in the newspapers and on the TV we are confronted by earnest
politicians who assure us that they are doing everything possible to
lessen the prospects of another nuclear horror story like Hiroshima or
Nagasaki. A great deal of concern is being shown by these politicians
as to whether Iran has a nuclear bomb. This concern seems a trifle
ludicrous when the USA has 9,400 nuclear warheads and Russia has 13,000
of them. In fact when they are being frank, as the writer of this
newspaper report is, they know that nuclear disarmament is an
impossibility inside capitalism.
"Later this month United Nations
inspectors will visit Iran's secret nuclear facility near Qom to find
out if the Islamic republic is about to become the world's tenth
nuclear power. Whatever they find, the world already has enough nuclear
weapons to destroy every single nation on the planet. With
approximately 23,000 warheads, there is enough deadly material for 2.3
million blasts the size of Hiroshima. ... The world is committed to
nuclear disarmament in principle, in practice it will never happen." (Times,
6 October) RD
OOPS, THERE GOES
"For all the recent uproar over Iran's nuclear program, little
attention has been paid to the fact that the country
which first provided Tehran with nuclear equipment was the United States.
In 1967, under the "Atoms for Peace" program launched by President
Eisenhower, the US sold the Shah of Iran's government a 5-megawatt,
light-water type research reactor. This small dome-shaped structure,
located in the Tehran suburbs, was the foundation of Iran's nuclear
program. It remains at the centre of the controversy over Iranian
intentions, even today."
(Yahoo News, 2 October) RD
THE SUPER RICH
"Castles in France. Islands in the Caribbean. Private jets. With a
collective $1.27 trillion at their disposal, the
members of The Forbes 400 could buy almost anything.
How about a country? A quick glance at the CIA Fact Book suggests the
individual fortunes of many Forbes 400 members are as big as some of
the world's economies. Bill Gates, America's richest man with a net
worth of $50 billion, has a personal balance sheet larger than the
gross domestic product (GDP)
of 140 countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia and
Uruguay. The Microsoft (MSFT)
visionary's nest egg is just short of the GDP of Tanzania and Burma.
Warren Buffett, who lost $10 billion in the past 12 months and is this
year's Forbes 400 biggest dollar loser, still has a fortune the size of
North Korea's economy at $40 billion." (Yahoo Finance, 2
case you missed it
B.A. staff loyalty
Airways recently suggested to their workers, that during these hard
times they might like to work - for free. Many of the staff, apparently
concerned about their bosses profits, seemed to think it was a good
idea. From cabin crew to engineers, they donated their time and skills,
up to a months work in some cases - for nothing. So, are the bosses
happy, and how have the workers additional unpaid labour and efforts
Well, chief executive Willie Walsh has come up
with some plans. A report in the (Guardian 11 July) suggested that the
airline was now looking to replace existing cabin crew with new, lower
paid staff. And to save more money, it wants to make 4,000 job cuts
across the workforce, plus sweeping changes to working conditions. You
can't do too much for a good boss they say.
constantly have to find innovative ways of staying ahead of the
competition, and the red-top newspaper industry, which creates and
sells sensational stories is no exception.
(known in the trade apparently, as the 'Black Arts') can prove
expensive however. It emerged in July that News International have had
to pay £700,000 to a football personality to settle a breach of
claim out of court. Expensive, but it buys silence. The settlement
includes a gagging clause.
As this article is being penned, the
story of the widespread use of private investigators for illegal
hacking and phone tapping to get the dirt on people in the public eye
is just emerging. The alleged involvement, or knowledge of this by Andy
Coulson, ex-editor of the News of the World (and now Tory Party
director of communications) and other senior tabloid figures is being
Wensley Clarkson, a journalist with years of
experience in the red-tops, claims that these practices have been
widespread practice for years. "When I started out, in the late 70s" he
writes, "it was quite innocent - the odd £50 to a tame copper. By
80s we'd do anything".
business of religion
retiring, I was a member of the MSF union. (MSF stood for
Manufacturing, Science and Finance). One month the union newsletter
carried an article about how membership was being boosted by the
recruitment of clergymen.
I wrote to the Archbishop of
Canterbury asking that, as neither Manufacturing nor Science covered
the activities of god's representatives, could I assume-ttheir efforts
were chiefly concerned with Finance? He didn't reply.
God apparently does have to take his finances very seriously. In common
with numerous other multi-millionaires, his wealth is not what it was.
And as always, it's the workers who suffer when the bosses money isn't
rolling in fast enough. As a cost cutting measure, the Church of
England is now looking at proposals to shed the jobs of some of my
ex-fellow union membersrbishops and senior clergy.
concerned that the value of its investment portfolio last year was only
£4.4 billion. (Yes, 4.4 billion). In 2007 it was £5.7
proposal under consideration which might save your local bishop from
having to sign on, is to encourage congregations to be more generous
with their donations. Although they currently provide the C of E with
£600 million a year, it has been estimated that if they
percent of their income, an extra £300 million a year would be
It has also been suggested, in all seriousness
apparently, that priests should preach more about the value of
generosity. The Rt Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, worried
about his job perhaps, is quoted as saying "A time of recession is also
a time of opportunity ..."
Now that's what you call opportunism.
The faces behind the numbers.
One sixth of humanity undernourished - more than ever before
June 2009, Rome - World hunger is projected to reach a historic high in
2009 with 1 020 million people going hungry every day, according to new
estimates published by FAO today.The most recent increase in hunger is
not the consequence of poor global harvests but is caused by the world
economic crisis that has resulted in lower incomes and increased
unemployment. This has reduced access to food by the poor, the UN
agency said."A dangerous mix of the global economic slowdown combined
with stubbornly high food prices in many countries has pushed some 100
million more people than last year into chronic hunger and poverty,"
said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. "The silent hunger crisis —
affecting one sixth of all of humanity — poses a serious risk for world
peace and security. We urgently need to forge a broad consensus on the
total and rapid eradication of hunger in the world and to take the
necessary actions.""The present situation of world food insecurity
cannot leave us indifferent," he added.Poor countries, Diouf stressed,
"must be given the development, economic and policy tools required to
boost their agricultural production and productivity. Investment in
agriculture must be increased because for the majority of poor
countries a healthy agricultural sector is essential to overcome
poverty and hunger and is a pre-requisite for overall economic growth."
is working as normal.Let us work to get rid of this foul system and
establish a free access society of socialism/communism.Production for
use based upon, voluntary labour, access to its produce based upon,
self determined need.
A democratic society without nation
states ,elites,leaders,markets and their corolary, buying and selling.
The outgoing Labour PM Callaghan warned that the Tory government would
be a "national catastrophe', but, as we said at the time,..read
Capitalism - Bin it.
This is what Marx wrote
about the credit system, all those years ago...
system reproduces a new financial aristocracy, a new kind of
parasite in the guise of company promoters,speculators and merely
nominal directors; an entire system of swindling
and cheating with respect to the promotion of companies, issues of
shares and share dealings.
The credit system...accelerates the material development of the
productive forces and the creation of the world market, which it is the
historical task of the capitalist mode of
production to bring to a certain level of development, as material
foundations for the new form of production. At the same time,
credit accelerates the violent outbreaks of this contradiction, crises,
and with these the elements of dissolution of
the old mode of production.
The credit system has a dual character immanent in it: on the one hand
it develops the motive of capitalist production, enrichment by the
exploitation of other’s labour, into the purest and
most colossal form of gambling and swindling, and restricts ever more
the already small number of exploiters of social
wealth; on the other hand however it constitutes the form of transition
towards a new mode of production.
media are having a field day exposing the hypocrisy of millions
,officially put at $2.5 million though widely believed to be five times
higher , being spent on celebrating King Mswati III's birthday .
He will be 40 .
unemployment, 40 percent
HIV rates: nearly 40 percent among adults. Life expectancy
has nearly halved since 1998 because of the AIDS epidemic and is now
less than 31 years, according to the most recent U.N. figures.
70 percent live below the poverty line, and 20% depend on international
A new constitution took effect in 2006 maintains the ban on political opposition parties.
The king appoints the prime minister and the
cabinet. A previous king ,Sobhuza , declared a state of emergency in
1973 which Mswati has never formally lifted.
About 5,000 trade union members
took to the streets Wednesday to protest against the expenditure
Siphiwe Hlophe, founder of Swaziland for Positive Living (Swapol) led a
1,000-strong demonstration in the capital Mbabane to protest that eight
of his 13 wives, plus their children and an entourage of bodyguards,
maids and hangers-on, had chartered a plane to Dubai for a shopping
spree. English public-school-educated King Mswati III, whose personal
take of the national budget is half the health budget, is estimated to
have spent £2.2m on the trip and is planning a huge 40th birthday
Swaziland has the worst HIV infection rate in the world; 31% for women.
It is also pathetically poor, with nearly 70% of its people living on
less than 50 US cents (about 27p) a day.
Swaziland the king and the ruling elite refer to the Swazi nation but
pretend that Swazis are a traditional tribe, utterly obedient to the
king and his chiefs. The king misuses tradition to appropriate the
country’s meagre resources, prevent development and keep the people
What is the difference between a tribe and
anyway? Tribalism describes a frame of mind all human beings suffer
from: a pig-headed “my group, right
or wrong” attitude.
In Africa people are always referred to as members of tribes, but how
can 25 million Yoruba or 33 million Hausa people be called tribes? If
they are, then surely the English, Welsh and Scots must be British
tribes. Does the media refer to former Yugoslavia as tribal or the
Israel-Palestine conflict as a land dispute between two semitic tribes.
That’s how it would be described if they lived in Africa.
Africa’s problem is not tribalism as such,
but the utterly incoherent
nation states cohabited by different ethnic groups bequeathed to
Africans half a century ago. Africans had no part in the creation of
their nation states. At the end of the 19th century, Europeans drew
lines on maps of places they had never been to. Fifty years ago the
filled-in spaces became Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon,
countries that had never existed before. Suddenly pitched into
independence, they had no sense of common nationhood. By contrast the
ruling Europeans had always emphasised ethnic differences and
suppressed any sense of nationalism.
Beneath the surface of
Africa’s weak nation states lie old cultures, old communities, very
different societies with their own laws and languages. Nigeria contains
some 400 different ethnic groups. Uganda has more than 40. They lack
what we take for granted: a common conception of nationhood and
national citizenship. The unification of Africa remains a distant
dream, and separatism is frowned on because it could lead to bloody
We also read
that a meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers
has bestowed the title "king of kings"
on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The rulers, wearing gold crowns, sequined capes and colourful robes met
in the Libyan town of Benghazi. Sheikh Abdilmajid from Tanzania told
the BBC that the traditional rulers could play an important role. "The people believe in
the chiefs and kings more than they believe in their governments," While Col Gaddafi told the assembled
want an African military to defend Africa, we want a single African
currency, we want one African passport to travel within Africa,"
Banner declares that only through democratic de-centralised world
socialism can the African peoples become united but also Africa will be
unified with the rest of the world and enjoy common ownership of the
In Kenya there is a
proposal to pay hefty
salaries to the wives of the prime minister and vice-president. A leaked document
says the head of civil service Francis Muthaura has directed that they
each be paid $6,000 (£3,000) every month.
government memo leaked to the local media directs that Ida Odinga and
Pauline Musyoka, wives of the prime minister and vice-president
respectively, will be rewarded for their roles as hostesses.
The pay is also supposed to recognise their role for upholding national
Banner believes it is more the rich and powerful feathering their own
nests at the expense of the poor and vulnerable . We can only agree
with Transparency International's Gladwell Otieno who said the move is
a confirmation that Kenyan politicians are just a greedy caste, looking
after themselves at the expense of poor Kenyans recovering from the
effects of post-election violence.
the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, the number of households in fuel
poverty – where more than 10 per cent of income goes on heating and
lighting – has trebled in five years, from 1.2 million in 2003 to 4
million last September.
Polling of pensioners by the charity Age
Concern found that 38 per cent were cutting back on gas and 41 per cent
on electricity this year because of fears that they could not afford
the prices. With 13 million pensioners in the UK, the charity's
findings suggest that 5.2 million people over 60 will go cold at some
point this winter.Faced with a choice between food and fuel, many opt
not to switch on radiators or gas fires – at a cost to their health.The
Office for National Statistics has calculated there were 24,995 "excess
winter deaths" between December 2007 and March 2008.
Three quarters of those that die each year are aged 75 or over.
Age Concern spokesman Stefano Gelmini said: "If
older people cut back on their heating during a colder winter this
could raise the numbers affected by cold-related illness, which
contributes to thousands of excess winter deaths of older people each
Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine,
people live in the cold – particularly the elderly and those living
alone – they are more likely to to get cardiovascular problems, heart
attacks and strokes, and chronic lung conditions like bronchitis.They
can become less mobile. They try to keep one room warm, and because
they don't move about so much and don't go out so much they can get
quite depressed, so there are mental health problems too." He
harder it is for people to heat their homes, the more deaths there will
be. A particular concern for the Faculty of Public Health Medicine is
that higher energy prices are unequal in their impact and hit the poor
According to the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, rising
fuel prices mean ministers now have no hope of hitting their target of
removing all "vulnerable" households from fuel poverty by
Another broken promise , another failed palliative .
Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed the £250,000-a-year he earns from a
second job as "chicken feed". Mr Johnson also insisted it was "wholly
reasonable" for him to write newspaper columns on the side because he
did them "very fast". The comments risk infuriating millions of
Londoners struggling to make ends meet amid the economic downturn. And
they are unlikely to please David Cameron, who has ordered his shadow
cabinet to give up extra work in the run-up to the general election to
show their "commitment". Mr Johnson, who is paid nearly £140,000
his day job, was quizzed over his lucrative contract with the Daily
Telegraph during an interview for the BBC's HARDTalk programme. He
responded: "It's chicken feed." (Independent, 14 July) RD
"In 2000, Jon
tens of millions of his personal fortune
to vault himself from political obscurity to the United States Senate.
In 2005, he spent millions more to jump from Washington to Trenton and
become New Jersey's governor. This year he's opening his wallet again
as he looks to overcome a steep deficit in the polls to win
re-election, in what could be the ultimate test of whether money trumps
all in politics today. Throughout American history, personal wealth has
often played a significant role in winning political office. But as
campaigns are increasingly decided by 30-second TV ads and
sophisticated get-out-the-vote efforts, the two major parties are
increasingly looking to recruit individuals with personal fortunes that
can help bankroll campaign costs that now more often than not run into
the tens of millions of dollars."
(Yahoo News, 9 July) RD
fruit pickers are taking home as little as £45 a week
at a company which provides some of Britain's largest supermarkets with
thousands of tonnes of fruit, an investigation by The Independent has
found. S&A Produce, which supplies both Tesco and Sainsbury's,
employs thousands of eastern Europeans who are given a specific work
visa allowing them to work for the company. They are attracted by the
prospect of earning up to £200 a week by picking fruit on its
Herefordshire and Kent. The workers are officially paid the minimum
wage of £5.74, a comparatively high sum for foreign nationals who
have an average annual income of less than £3,000 in their own
countries. But employee pay slips obtained by The Independent show that
the real hourly rate for the company's fruit pickers often amounts to
less than half the minimum wage once a series of obligatory charges has
been deducted." (Independent, 10 July) RD
HOME SWEET HOME?
"The number of homes repossessed in the UK rose to 12,800 in the first
three months of the year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has
said. This was up 23% from the 10,400 in the previous three months and
50% up on the 8,500 in the same period last year. The CML has predicted
that 75,000 homes will be repossessed in 2009, almost double the 40,000
of last year." (BBC News, 16 May) RD
The US Government, like every government in world capitalism spends
billions of dollars in weapons of war and research into more and more
deadly ways to kill and maim, but when it comes to spending two cents
to save a child's life they remain strangely reluctant.
"Americans pretty much take vitamin A for granted, but many of the
world’s poorest people lack it. And as a result, it is estimated that
more than half-a-million children die or go blind each year. There’s a
simple fix: vitamin A capsules that cost about 2 cents each."
(New York Times, 13 May) RD
of thousands of landlords are struggling to meet their mortgage
repayments as the economic downturn devastates the buy-to-rent market,
according to a new report. Moody's, the rating agency, released figures
yesterday showing that 3.55 per cent of landlords were at least three
months behind with mortgage payments in the first quarter of the year -
compared with 0.95 per cent in the same period a year ago. Repossession
of buy-to-let loans had also risen marginally, to 0.18 per cent in the
first three months of this year from 0.13 per cent in the first three
months of last year. There are about a million buy-to-let landlords in
the UK, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders."
(Times, 13 May) RD
about kicking a man when he's down. Moody's ( the rating
agency)yesterday downgraded the credit rating of L'Aquila, the Italian
city, from A1 to Ba1 and placed it on review for possible further
downgrades after last month's devastating earthquake. The agency said:
"Moody's views these developments as affecting the city's ability to
meet its financial obligations on a timely basis." Well, it's an
accurate assessment, albeit a rather cold and clinical one."
(Times, 13 May) RD
LABOUR IN ACTION
World Bank recently estimated that 2.8 million children could die by
2015 if the global financial crisis is not checked. Commenting on this
the Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented: "It is as if the entire
population of Rome were to die in the next five years." (Times, 21
February) This from the leader of the Labour Party who vigorously
defend the killer society that is the buying and selling of capitalism.
Hypocrisy cannot go further surely when Gordon Brown suspends
parliament debate because of the death of the child of one of his
opponents in a vote catching move. He will not of course suspend the
running of capitalism or its parliament about the possible death of 2.8
A DANGEROUS SOCIETY
by the relentless drive for profits every developed capitalist nation
in the world is armed to the teeth in preparation for possible armed
conflict with its rivals. Now it transpires that it is not only its
rivals that should fear this growing arms race. Radioactive waste from
the Faslane base is polluting the Clyde near the large city of Glasgow.
nuclear submarine fleet has been hit by a series of serious safety
breaches involving repeated leaks of radioactive waste, broken pipes
and waste tanks at its home base on the Clyde, the Ministry of Defence
has disclosed. In a confidential report released under the Freedom of
Information Act, the MoD has admitted that safety failings at the UK's
main nuclear submarine base at Faslane, near Glasgow, are a "recurring
theme" and ingrained in the base's culture. The worst breaches include
three leaks of radioactive coolant from nuclear submarines in 2004,
2007 and 2008 into the Firth of Clyde, while last year a radioactive
waste plant manager was replaced. It emerged he had no qualifications
in radioactive waste management."
(Guardian, 27 April) Truly, capitalism is a dangerous society.
– The Army has approved new guidance to military commanders in an
effort to stem the rising toll of soldier suicides, officials said late
Thursday. The plan includes hiring more mental health workers and
tightening the way officials handle drug testing, health screening and
a host of other long-standing procedures that in some cases became lax,
according to officials, as the Army focused on fighting two wars. Army
leadership has become more alarmed as suicides from January through
March rose to a reported 56 — 22 confirmed and 34 still being
investigated and pending confirmation. Usually, the vast majority of
suspected suicides are eventually confirmed. The 2009 number compares
to 140 for all of last year, a record blamed partly on strains caused
by repeated deployments for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
(Yahoo News, 23 April) RD
You have just
received a leaflet from an organisation called "WaterAid"
. It could break your heart. Here is what it says
17 seconds a child in the developing world dies from water-related
diseases. In around the time it takes you to read the next paragraph, a
child somewhere will die. ...In just two minutes, seven more children
will have died. Please help now."
It is powerful stuff but of course
it is pointless. Socialist for over a hundred years have pointed out
that charity does not help the problems of capitalism - it keeps them
going. If you really wish to help the underprivileged, poor, starving
and thirsty children of this world you will organise for a new society
that makes charity impossible. We call it socialism. RD
the Value of labour-power, “ What, then, is the value of
labouringpower? Like that of every other commodity, its value is
determined by the quantity of labour necessary to produce it…A certain
mass of necessaries must be consumed by a man to grow up and maintain
his life. But the man,like the machine, will wear out and must be
replaced by another man. Beside the mass of necessaries required for
his own maintenance, he wants another amount of necessaries to bring up
a certain quota of children that are to replace him on the labour
market and to perpetuate the race of labourers. Moreover, to develop
his labouring power, and acquire a givenskill, another amount of values
must be spent…As the costs of producing labouring powers of different
quality do differ, so must differ the values of the labouring powers
employed in different trades. The cry for an equality of wages rests,
therefore, upon a mistake, is an inane wish to be fulfilled…Upon the
basis of the wages system the value of labouring power is settled like
that of every other commodity; and as different kinds of labouring
power have different values, or require different quantities of labour
for their production, they must fetch different prices in the labour
market. To clamour for equal or even equitable retribution on the basis
of the wages system is the same as to clamour for freedom on the basis
of the slavery system. What you think just or equitable is out of the
question. The question is; What is necessary and unavoidable with a
given system of production?”
(from “Value, Price andProfit”
pp39/40. In other words, inequality is part of the capitalist modeof
production and can only be rectified by an end to the wages system.