Free times are on the way; If you and I agree; To share the world and all it holds. A sane society.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'Why must you pay to live on the Earth?'

'endofmoney' posted on youtube by WorkNotJobs.

A pretty good short film in my opinion. Don't let the initial goose chase put you off.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Role-Modeling Social­ist Behav­ior: The Life and Let­ters of Isaac Rab

For most of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, Isaac Rab (1893 — 1986) was well known in the Boston area as a social­ist soap-box ora­tor, lec­turer, and teacher. He was a found­ing mem­ber of the World Social­ist Party of the United States and a cen­tral fig­ure in its Boston Local for many years.

In this book, Karla Rab, who is the grand­daugh­ter of Isaac Rab, tells the story of his life and presents a large selec­tion of his sur­viv­ing cor­re­spon­dence as well as many pho­tographs. She draws on her own rem­i­nis­cences and on those of many oth­ers who knew her grandfather.

Isaac Rab was born into an immi­grant social­ist fam­ily on Decem­ber 22, 1893. He devoted his whole life to the cause until his death on New Year’s Eve 1986. In 1916 he helped form the WSP from the left wing of the Michi­gan Social­ist Party in Detroit. Later he set­tled in Boston, where he orga­nized the Boston Local of the WSPUS in 1932. He also taught classes on Marx­ian eco­nom­ics for other orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the Com­mu­nist Party, the Pro­le­tar­ian Party, and var­i­ous Trot­sky­ist groupings.

Karla Rab’s book is, of course, about much more than her grand­fa­ther as an indi­vid­ual. It is the first his­tory of the World Social­ist Move­ment in the United States. Its impor­tance is great but sub­tle. It is often said that his­tory is writ­ten by the win­ners. Even the obscure his­tory of North Amer­i­can left pol­i­tics has its hier­ar­chy. Cred­i­bil­ity is given only to “win­ners” such as the Inter­na­tional Work­ers of the World, the Com­mu­nist Party, and the Con­gress of Indus­trial Orga­ni­za­tions — even though many of the prob­lems that plague the work­ers’ move­ment are the log­i­cal out­comes of their policies.

Social democ­rats and Lenin­ists like to por­tray smaller groups like the WSPUS as “iso­lated sects.” And as the his­tory of the work­ing class move­ment has been writ­ten mainly by them, who is to chal­lenge what they say? How­ever, with the col­lapse of the left in the United States there has been a reassess­ment of what var­i­ous polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions actu­ally accomplished.

This book demon­strates that the WSPUS, while small, was hardly iso­lated. Rab’s let­ters demon­strate involve­ment in the United Auto Work­ers and the Typog­ra­phers’ Union (a model of demo­c­ra­tic union­ism) as well as dis­cus­sions and debates among a wide range of left groups. Among the mem­bers of the WSPUS there were highly expe­ri­enced class war­riors. William Pritchard and Jack McDon­ald had helped lead the West­ern Labour Rebel­lion in Canada. Sam Orner had been an IWW orga­nizer in the hard metal mines of the Amer­i­can Rock­ies as well as the leader of a famous strike of New York City taxi cab dri­vers in 1934. (He was the model for the char­ac­ter Lefty in Clif­ford Odett’s famous play, Wait­ing for Lefty.) The Detroit Local of the WSPUS had mem­bers who had helped form the United Auto Work­ers and played roles in the edu­ca­tional ser­vices of the most mil­i­tant UAW locals (Irv­ing Can­tor, Joe Brown, David Dav­en­port, Frank Marquart).

Another impor­tant thing about Karla Rab’s book is that it shows how Rab orga­nized his polit­i­cal activ­ity. His let­ters are a les­son of last­ing value in how to approach the per­sonal as well as the intel­lec­tual and edu­ca­tional aspects of build­ing a move­ment for socialism.

Buy on Ama­zon (ben­e­fits WSPUS): Role-Modeling Social­ist Behav­ior: The Life and Let­ters of Isaac Rab

Taken from a piece by FN Brill on the World Socialist Party (US) website

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

"Is Obama a Socialist?" World Socialist Review

Is Obama a socialist? He does not regard himself as one. Neither do we. This issue of World Socialist Review examines Obama's outlook and life story, his packaging as a politician, and his policy in such areas as healthcare, the economy, and the environment. It also places Obama in the context of world capitalism and the American political system.

World Socialist Review is published by the World Socialist Party of the United States, which forms part of the World Socialist Movement together with companion parties and groups in other countries. For further information and literature on other topics, please go to our website at

This issue is book sized at 112 pages and is available for order worldwide from:

write for bulk orders of 5 or more copies.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Great Money Trick - Robert Tressell

Taken from classic working class novel, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, which was originally published in Britain in 1914. The text was found via the website of the Manchester Branch of the Socialist Party of Great Britain.

"Money is the real cause of poverty," said Owen.

"Prove it," repeated Crass.

"Money is the cause of poverty because it is the device by which those who are too lazy to work are enabled to rob the workers of the fruits of their labour."

"Prove it," said Crass.

Owen slowly folded up the piece of newspaper he had been reading and put it in his pocket.

"All right," he replied. "I'll show you how the Great Money Trick is worked."

Owen opened his dinner basket and took from it two slices of bread, but as these where not sufficient, he requested that anyone who had some bread left should give it to him. They gave him several pieces, which he placed in a heap on a clean piece of paper, and, having borrowed the pocket knives of Easton, Harlow and Philpot, he addressed them, as follows:

"These pieces of bread represent the raw materials which exist naturally in and on the earth for the use of mankind; they were not made by any human being, but were created for the benefit and sustenance of all, the same as were the air and the light of the sun."

"Now," continued Owen, "I am a capitalist; or rather I represent the landlord and capitalist class. That is to say, all these raw materials belong to me. It does not matter for our present arguement how I obtained possession of them, the only thing that matters now is the admitted fact that all the raw materials which are necessary for the production of the necessaries of life are now the property of the landlord and capitalist class. I am that class; all these raw materials belong to me."

"Now you three represent the working class. You have nothing, and, for my part, although I have these raw materials, they are of no use to me. What I need is the things that can be made out of these raw materials by work; but I am too lazy to work for me. But first I must explain that I possess something else beside the raw materials. These three knives represent all the machinery of production; the factories, tools, railways, and so forth, without which the necessaries of life cannot be produced in abundance. And these three coins" - taking three half pennies from his pocket - "represent my money, capital."

"But before we go any further," said Owen, interrupting himself, "it is important to remember that I am not supposed to be merely a capitalist. I represent the whole capitalist class. You are not supposed to be just three workers, you represent the whole working class."

Owen proceeded to cut up one of the slices of bread into a number of little square blocks.

"These represent the things which are produced by labour, aided by machinery, from the raw materials. We will suppose that three of these blocks represent a week's work. We will suppose that a week's work is worth one pound."

Owen now addressed himself to the working class as represented by Philpot, Harlow and Easton.

"You say that you are all in need of employment, and as I am the kind-hearted capitalist class I am going to invest all my money in various industries, so as to give you plenty of work. I shall pay each of you one pound per week, and a week's work is that you must each produce three of these square blocks. For doing this work you will each recieve your wages; the money will be your own, to do as you like with, and the things you produce will of course be mine to do as I like with. You will each take one of these machines and as soon as you have done a week's work, you shall have your money."

The working classes accordingly set to work, and the capitalist class sat down and watched them. As soon as they had finished, they passed the nine little blocks to Owen, who placed them on a piece of paper by his side and paid the workers their wages.

"These blocks represent the necessaries of life. You can't live without some of these things, but as they belong to me, you will have to buy them from me: my price for these blocks is one pound each."

As the working classes were in need of the necessaries of life and as they could not eat, drink or wear the useless money, they were compelled to agree to the capitalist's terms. They each bought back, and at once consumed, one-third of the produce of their labour. The capitalist class also devoured two of the square blocks, and so the net result of the week's work was that the kind capitalist had consumed two pounds worth of things produced by the labour of others, and reckoning the squares at their market value of one pound each, he had more than doubled his capital, for he still possessed the three pounds in money and in addition four pounds worth of goods. As for the working classes, Philpot, Harlow and Easton, having each consumed the pound's worth of necessaries they had bought with their wages, they were again in precisely the same condition as when they had started work - they had nothing.

This process was repeated several times; for each weeks work the producers were paid their wages. They kept on working and spending all their earnings. The kind-hearted capitalist consumed twice as much as any one of them and his pool of wealth continually increased. In a little while, reckoning the little squares at their market value of one pound each, he was worth about one hundred pounds, and the working classes were still in the same condition as when they began, and were still tearing into their work as if their lives depended on it.

After a while the rest of the crowd began to laugh, and their meriment increased when the kind-hearted capitalist, just after having sold a pound's worth of necessaries to each of his workers, suddenly took their tools, the machinery of production, the knives, away from them, and informed them that as owing to over production all his store-houses were glutted with the necessaries of life, he had decided to close down the works.

"Well, and wot the bloody 'ell are we to do now ?" demanded Philpot.

"That's not my business," replied the kind-hearted capitalist. "I've paid your wages, and provided you with plenty of work for a long time past. I have no more work for you to do at the present. Come round again in a few months time and I'll see what I can do."

"But what about the necessaries of life?" Demanded Harlow. "We must have something to eat."

"Of course you must," replied the capitalist, affably; "and I shall be very pleased to sell you some."

"But we ain't got no bloody money!"

"Well, you can't expect me to give you my goods for nothing! You didn't work for nothing, you know. I paid you for your work and you should have saved something: you should have been thrifty like me. Look how I have got on by being thrifty!"

The unemployed looked blankly at each other, but the rest of the crowd only laughed; and then the three unemployed began to abuse the kind-hearted capitalist, demanding that he should give them some of the necessaries of life that he had piled up in his warehouses, or to be allowed to work and produce some more for their own needs; and even threated to take some of the things by force if he did not comply with their demands. But the kind-hearted capitalist told them not to be insolent, and spoke to them about honesty, and said if they were not careful he would have their faces battered in for them by the police, or if necessary he would call out the military and have them shot down like dogs, the same as he had done before at Featherstone and Belfast.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

RSA Animate - Crises of Capitalism

Forget all the hogwash you've read in the papers and heard on the news. In eleven minutes and ten seconds David Harvey, accompanied by the RSA Animate team, illustrate how and why economic crises happen:

Thanks to Stuart Watkins for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, 12 July 2010

"What have I to do with your National Independence?" Frederick Douglass's Fourth of July Speech, 1852

"Your high independence only reveals the immesurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours not mine!"

Thus did an ex-slave and editor of the abolitionist newspaper the North Star blast the hypocracy of American Independence celebrations in 1852. A powerful and moving piece with relevance to today's system of 'wage-slavery'.

Actor Danny Glover reads abolitionist Frederick Douglass's "Fourth of July Speech, 1852" on October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)

Thanks to Arminius for the link.