Ordinarily, the ideas and beliefs which act as barriers to the urgent need to establish socialism are transmitted from parents, teachers, politicians, academics, teachers and priests.

One insidious barrier to the dissemination of socialist ideas is the existence of hundreds of charities who misleadingly claim that capitalism can be reformed to end poverty and war.

The facts are not in dispute:

· The world’s three richest people control more wealth than all 600 million people in the world’s poorest countries;

· 2.8 billion people - nearly half the world’s population - live on less than £1.20 a day. One in five survives on less than   65p per day;

· Every day, 30,000 children die as a result of extreme poverty;

· Each day, 50,000 people die of hunger and preventable illnesses.

(Statistics from THE INDEPENDENT, 1 June 2005)

All this is totally unnecessary. All these social problems are caused by capitalism and private
property ownership where production takes place for profit.

We are now being told that a coalition of charities called Make Poverty History and by the organisers of the Live 8 concert that politicians have the power to end world poverty. They do not. Politicians, whether well intentioned or devious, have to serve the interests of the capitalist class. Capitalist countries are in competition with each other as are individual capitalists and capitalist governments exist, as Marx pointed out, to act as “the executive of the bourgeoisie”.

What better platform could there be than to say at a pop concert in front of millions of people that capitalism causes poverty and that the solution is for the world’s inhabitants is for a majority working class to politically and consciously set about establishing Socialism where social needs will be met.

This important message will not be heard. Socialists are denied access to the media and denied the attention enjoyed by celebrities and well-financed charities. Instead of sound socialist argument against capitalism there will be pointless marching, empty slogans and inevitable disappointment when the charity lobby fails yet again to solve world poverty.

Make capitalismhistory” should have been the slogan. But to make capitalism history would require conscious and political, socialist action from the working class, action which both the charities and Live 8 reject as unnecessary. They refuse to believe that, before you can end poverty, you first have to abolish capitalism.

Poverty flows from the wages system. Capitalism restricts production despite human needs being unmet. Poverty is caused by commodity production and exchange for profit. It is caused because the means of production are owned and controlled by a minority capitalist class, by a class system which is not even referred to in the MPH’s literature.

The only framework in which poverty can be ended and people’s needs met is the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society.

To “make poverty history” first requires the formation of a world-wide socialist majority. Against this force for freedom from capital is the barrier of the charities, those who work for them, and those who give them their support. By spreading the misleading idea that capitalism can be reformed in the interests of all society, they draw attention away from the socialist case against the profit system.

As for the Live 8 event: nowhere is the conspicuous and predictable failure of charities to end poverty more obvious than in this revival after 20 years of a pop concert led by Bob Geldof. The problems of poverty over the last twenty years have not been resolved. It is impossible to end poverty without first putting an end to the cause of poverty: The capitalist cause of poverty still persists. Those who learn nothing from history are condemned to repeat the same mistakes again.

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Object and Declaration of Principles


The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.

Declaration of Principles


1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.

3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.

5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.

8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.