Socialist Studies Socialist Studies

Socialism and Socialist Revolution

It is a hard life being a socialist. If you say you are a socialist to someone they may think you are a member of the Labour Party or even the SWP or Socialist Appeal. If you are allowed to discuss what you mean by socialism then it is often couched in terms of nationalisation, what occurred in Russia and what is experienced today in Vietnam, North Korea Cuba and Venezuela. Socialists end up replying to what socialism is not rather than what it is. Misconceptions of what it is to be a socialist and of what socialism means is made worse by the stream of anti-socialist propaganda in the media.

So where do we begin. How do we fight our corner? To begin with socialists have nothing to apologise for. Socialism has never existed. No country has established socialism. There has never been world-wide common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society. There has never been production directly to meet human need. There has never been a social system based upon "from each according to their ability to each according to their need".

This brings us on to the capitalist media. They reject this argument out of hand. They do not want to admit socialism has never existed or that socialism means what socialists say it means. Instead they want to drag socialism through the mud and want it associated with failure, genocide, poverty and anything else that passes through their fevered minds.

Having a circulation of 660,000 thousand, Murdoch's SUNDAY TIMES has a long record of being a reactionary rag, ever since the days when it was edited by Andrew Neil (now Chairman of the tanking GB News). It employs propagandists to support Murdoch's interests and the interests of his class. And one of these interests is to rubbish socialism. So it comes as no surprise to read a highly positioned article by Rod Liddle "Labour should know by now socialist revolutions never work. If they need reminding, ask a Cuban" (July 18 2021).

According to Liddle the protests and riots in Cuba due to hunger, poor medical services and lack of political freedom is somehow something to do with socialism. He attacks those on the Left for supporting Cuba because it is "anti-capitalist" although it is led by dictators who imprison trade unionists and gays. He went on to attack those in the labour Party, like Diane Abbott, Zara Sultana and Ina Lavery who want "solidarity with Cuba". He went on to point out that the RMT union even has a garden party every year in solidarity with Cuba.

Well, socialists oppose Cuba too. We have opposed Cuban capitalism, since the days of Castro's dictatorship, and rightly described Cuba as state capitalist. We point out that the majority of people in Cuba are members of the working class and are therefore exploited like any other workers elsewhere in the world. Workers in Cuba are imprisoned within the wages system forced to produce more social wealth than they receive in wages and salaries. We support attempts by workers in Cuba to form trade unions in dependent of the state and to struggle for form a socialist political party with socialism as its only objective. Workers in Cuba have the same class interest as workers elsewhere in the world. And these interests are diametrically opposed to the ruling dictatorship.

Liddle goes on to state "All socialist states fail". This is a miserably egregious statement. As socialists continue to point out socialism has never existed not in Britain or in China or in Russia. Common ownership of the world’s resources under democratic control by all of society has never existed. The abolition of commodity production and exchange for profit has never taken place. Workers free from employment, the wages system, labour markets and employers have not taken place. And the state is a capitalist institution. It exists to protect the private property ownership of Rupert Murdoch and his class. Socialist and state are contradictions in terms. Where there is state there is no socialism and where there is socialism there is no state.

Yes. it is capitalism which causes poverty and misery. It causes environmental degradation. And it causes war and conflict. The profit system, whether it is private, state or a mixture of the two, can never be run in the interest of all society. That is why it has to be replaced globally by a world working class. And it is the state capitalism imposed on the working class in Venezuela that has forced a million to leave the country, to leave workers with empty supermarkets, power outages and people eating cats. No one voted for socialism in Venezuela and anyway you cannot have socialism in one country-socialism can only function as an integrated world system.

Liddle wants a 15 year old to embrace the profit system, to embrace capitalism and embrace the interests of his employer. If you are 15 and you are starting to understand that capitalism is not for you, do not join the labour party, refuse to march with the capitalist left and have nothing to do with extinction rebellion. See the Liddles’s of the world for what they are: mouthpieces for the interest of Rupert Murdoch and his class.

Question and think for yourself. Question socialists and ask us searching questions. Why do we reject leadership? Why do we want a socialist majority to establish socialism and no one else? Begin by questioning, what we write and what we say. Are we wrong? If so tell us. We value political debate and have an open and democratic platform to discuss ideas. We stand our ground and muster under our socialist banner in a political field that has the working class as an exploited majority facing the capitalist class and its supports, like Liddle. That is our constituency: and our task is to persuade the working class to become socialists. We can only afford a postage stamp for the truth: our opponents have millions to spend on their lies.

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