During our Easter break we published a five part series on morality by Luke Andreski which was well received by our readers. <What Morality Is – Critical Mass (creatingsocialism.org)>
Succinct and fundamental, a good social studies subject and Introduction, with some answers leading to several more questions, aesthetics in ethics – ALLEN LANE
“Life is the source of everything we are, the source of everything we do.”
I don’t agree with this statement so does this make me amoral? The argument seems to be that there is only one moral code, but that doesn’t seem to be the case so why is your definition the correct one? – ROBB SCOTT
Food for thought! – HELENA JANSEN VAN VUUREN
An excellent review of the landscape. Looking forward to the next article. – STEVE HOLDEN
Our coverage of Lansman’s betrayal of Jeremy Corbyn <Lansman Has Lost His Momentum – Critical Mass (creatingsocialism.org)> met with a lot of approval.
That was an excellent article. I understand the ‘broad church’ concept and how the Labour leadership is selling the party as a non-threatening option, a ‘safe’ alternative. It may succeed.
There is a fundamental flaw though; the electorate is being denied not just the leadership towards change, but also the arguments for it – a path to create a fairer, more caring and egalitarian society.
The failure and disgraceful antics of this Government should have assured the opposition an open road to power. I do not believe it is outwith the realm of possibility that Labour’s relentless positioning on the middle ground held by the Conservatives may, come the General Election, create a scenario where there is little to choose between the two. What a shameful situation that would be. The incumbent selling, “Better the devil you know,” and the challenger selling, “Change you will hardly notice.” – JERZY MORKIS
If politics isn’t based on principles then it is opportunistic and self-serving. We have been able to see at first hand these two extremes over the past 8 years. Jeremy Corbyn took on the role of Labour Leader as a proven principled politician. His elevation to the top spot in the party didn’t change his nature. He stayed true to his principles and has done so to this day, resulting in his virtual expulsion from the Labour Party.
In contrast Keir Starmer has openly betrayed all of his stated principles by renouncing every pledge made during his leadership campaign. So Starmer clearly has no principles and he openly displayed his opportunistic credentials in the lead up to the 2019 general election by promoting the idea of a second Brexit referendum. An idea that was designed to sink the Labour Party manifesto and to hand the keys of 10 Downing Street straight into the hands of Boris Johnson. Back in 2019, for Starmer and his Parliamentary Labour Party pals, it was a case of anyone but Corbyn as PM. So what would a Starmer-Labour government look like? It would be opportunistic and self-serving of course! – PHILIP MORRIS
Not Lansman’s first betrayal either, for it was he who, as Chair of Momentum, added his voice to the chorus identifying a fictitious ‘antisemitism’ on the part of Jeremy Corbyn, whilst uncritically upholding the fraudulent IHRA ‘definition’ of antisemitism. The IHRA’s purpose is to shield the apartheid state of Israel from criticism, and by the same token to choke off any principled opposition to the Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people. – RICHARD PURDIE
Finally one reader made a more general point about our vision of socialism. Danny asks an important question and Dave Middleton answers it below.
I’ve been a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain since 1995 and so interested in socialist ideas. I’ve read through two editions of SS and found no description of what kind of social relationship you propose, that will replace capitalism. Here is the object of the SPGB which is published with all its literature. Perhaps you could tell us where we are going wrong?
“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.”
Comradely – DANNY LAMBERT
Thanks for taking the time to get in touch and to ask a question which I myself have raised on numerous occasions within the pages of the Sunday Socialist. It is all too easy to be against capitalism without proposing a vision of what the future socialist society will look like.
Unlike the SPGB, the Sunday Socialist is a journal not a political party, and so we do not have a manifesto as such. We have a set of core values based upon our shared understanding of socialism.
That said, I doubt many people would disagree with the broad aims described in your objective as outlined. But as Mike Stanton points out in this edition, that statement was largely shared by the Labour Party until Blair removed it, and it is hard to see where it got them.
These broad statements of intent sound impressive but open up more questions than answers. For example, when you talk of ‘common ownership’, what exactly does this mean? It could be interpreted as meaning nationalisation or, as I suspect you would prefer, workers’ control. The problem then is what to make of those who demand, say, the nationalisation of the railways. Do we tell them that they are wrong? Do we support rail workers on strike regardless of the fact that all they want to do is alleviate the worst conditions of capitalism and not actually replace it?
Similarly, whilst we may agree with the demand that the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth should be under democratic control, what does that mean in practice? What kind of democracy are you talking about? Is it parliamentary democracy or delegated councils of workers? And how would wealth (whatever that means in a socialist society) be actually distributed? Who would decide what was fair? How would differences of opinion be settled?
None of this is to say that we fundamentally disagree with you or your party. Any more than we fundamentally disagree with the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party, Communist Party and the many other groupings on the left who probably agree with the basic outlines of your position. The material conditions of capitalist social relations will lead to revolutionary situations in the future. This will be a true test of our socialist politics. Which parties will rise to the challenge, and which will falter?
Until then the questions we have raised here and which we discuss in the Sunday Socialist are important, both to clarify our ideas and to assist others who may be moving in the same direction. We welcome the involvement of all those on the left regardless of where they are currently in their political journey so long as they are prepared to debate with us in a comradely manner that furthers the development of socialist ideas.
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Life long socialist. Now retired, I have been an office junior, a bookseller, a docker and a teacher. I write a lot and read a lot more. Committed member of the Society of Authors, English PEN and the National Education Union. Never voting Labour again.