~ kenneth knapman. (2014-15)
All rights reserved, 2015
1. Material Spacetime
· Time Consciousness
· Time and Nature
· Spacetime and the Universe
· The possibilities for the future
2. Lenin’s Reality of Time and Space
· The Doctrine of Being
· How do Human beings fill their brains with consciousness?
· The contribution of the ancients to theories of the mind
· Evolution of morality and ethics
· Being and Consciousness
· Messing with the Mind and sickness
· Bourgeois conditioning is a process of behaviour modification
· Philosophy helps keep one sane
· The Capitalist Epidemic of Anxiety
4. A Bigger History of Time
· A Bigger History of Time.
· The Context of Time and Space
· Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation
· Special Relativity
· Gravitational Waves: Ripples in the fabric of space-time
5. Human History is about its Actions in Time and the Effects on Consciousness
· History as a Continuous Process
· Workers have a basic consciousness because of their social being
· How can the Working Class affect time and space?
· Workers control labour-time as they add value
· Workers’ Consciousness Develops
· The interrelation between Working Class Consciousness and Communist Consciousness
· Restricted Political Agitation means Restricted Political Action
· What should a properly Constituted Workers’ Opposition do?
· Renovation of the Trades Councils to meet the needs of the day
· Their Scope and Work
· There is propaganda and there is agitation
· The Working Class As Vanguard Fighter For Democracy
· Organisational Work
· Workers’ consciousness develops in time and space
· Political exposures in day-to-day life enhance Workers’ Consciousnesses
· Workers have consciousness because of their places of work
6. Collective Consciousness
· The We
· The Workers’ Collective Consciousness
· Basic organisation
· Decision making
7. Modern Proletarians
· The Modern “Thinking” Proletarian has to be Communist
· Why is the Modern Proletarian Communist?
· How do Modern Proletarians think?
· What do Modern Proletarians “think about”?
· The Modern Proletariat and the Modern Proletarian Party
· Economic Struggle
· Stop paying the rich and increase investment in social programmes
· Fascism and war
8. The End of Imperialism
· Creating space
· Human activity in creating and opening up space for itself
· The Aim Is a New Society
10. The Space for Change
· Why has Austerity failed?
· What is Austerity supposed to do?
· Does Austerity work?
· Balancing the Economy through Proportional Development and putting Commodity Production in its place
· Commodity Production
· The Law of Value
· The Necessity of an NHS
· An Overview of the Necessity for Education
· Democratic Renewal
13. Point of View and Perspective
· Concentration and Compression
· Spatial Awareness
· Empirical epistemology
15. Socialism, the New Beginning
· House building
· Public works programmes
· Creating a social product
Human consciousness and the thinking human brain operate in time and space. Both time and space have the potential to be humanised and the materiality of consciousness can be integral to it. There is a link between Consciousness and Time and Space. Depending on how we operate in spacetime means that we can influence it and it can reciprocally influence us, this is the influence of the human factor and potentially humanises space and time. Kant sided with idealism and regarded time and space not as objective realities but as forms of human understanding. Feuerbach considered time and space conditions of being. Engels went so far as to indicate that the reality of time and space were the source and significance of human knowledge in general. Lenin talked of time and space giving human beings a natural biological purposeful direction in terms of evolution. He said that the theory of space and time is inseparably connected with the answer to the fundamental question of knowledge. New understandings about space and time and its materiality would show that the human factor and social consciousness act on time. It would show not only that the objective material conditions are the source of ideas reflected in the human brain but also reciprocate through the subjective factor back into the real world. Thinking and being go side by side. They both are objective things. Thinking, consciousness and collective social consciousness have their own place in the universe and the nature and reality and materiality, of space and time. Hegel said Nothing-Becoming-Being is a transitory movement through Time and Space. Nothing and being are opposites but essence makes a difference, time and space must evolve but the essence of time and space remains. Hardial Bains forecast that the future will be a world of pure humanity, of consciousness, of seeing far beyond the limits that time and space could ever impose on us. The Working-Class has its special place in the process of development of consciousness. The proletariat is still the gravedigger of capitalism and will usher in the new society out of the old. The author points out that it is the collective aspect of consciousness and the Human factor/Social consciousness is a new development and departure with the old philosophic conscience. Human beings can alter time, and space and shape and also shape their own consciousness.
There is time for change and there is the realising of change and there is the reality of change. Changing the condition means that progress can be made if there is appreciation of the necessity of developing our grasping of the nettle of time and space. There can be ‘time for us’ or it could be ‘our time’.
The revolutionary aspect of spacetime, when it is appreciated, will show its empowering and civilising character. When it is structured and organised by human beings, bringing its subjectivity into line with its objectivity, it will speed up the social revolutionary process. The appreciation of time and space in the present system of economy, is tantamount to appreciating the existential crisis of capitalism, it is destined to show that its ‘time is up’ that it is ‘only a matter of time’. Existential crisis suggests a period in time that is measured, the factors of which can be temporarily adjusted, alleviated, by political intervention, but are overwhelmed by the weight of the multifarious moments and forces operating at any given time.
Time consciousness is being aware of the actuality of material time. When driving in a car velocity is measured on the speedometer but when the warning sign flashes at the side of the road that you are over the speed limit it initiates consciousness and you slow down without it being necessary to fall into a speed trap.
Being conscious of time and space sometimes is to take into consideration immediacy, opportunity and planning. These are necessities that need to be appreciated in time and space.
Immediacy is not static it is time in flux. It has its own quality and materiality. It is a moment on a timeline. With consciousness it is acting with urgency when time is of the essence. Reacting to Government policy may be important but leaving it to chance may affect strategy and tactics or it may be too late. Leaving things to chance or not fulfilling duty may affect cohesion. It may setback progress temporarily or even prove fatal. It is important, on occasions, to be “timely” or “on time”. To take immediate action may be to take extra parliamentary action, organising a flash demonstration or it may be issuing a statement or a commentary. Acting too late may mean losing the effect caused by the moment. It may mean that events overtake the situation at hand.
Opportunity, in time and space, may be taken or missed. Sometimes it takes time for situations to arise or repeat themselves. Opportunity is a favourable circumstance, or set of circumstances, in time or space for doing something. Opportunities are necessities, real and material. They arise out of time and space and they affect time and space.
Planning cuts short the path in time and space. It reduces chance and ad hoc. Planning the quickest route from A to B is the best way of formulating and implementing policy. A plan is material because it is drawn up and is conscious. An operational plan may involve markers, points or stages, each having their own materiality. There are strategic and tactical plans all involving time and space.
Time and Nature
There are a number of questions as to how time and space are affected at very slow speeds and the sub atomic particle level or the very small. Also what the effects on objects are at the low energy and low mass level.
Gravitational time dilation is a form of time dilation, an actual difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers situated at varying distances from a gravitating mass.
Atomic clocks at differing altitudes form the earth (and thus different gravitational potential) will eventually show different times. The effects detected in such experiments are extremely small, with differences being measured in nanoseconds.
Clocks that are far from massive bodies (or at higher gravitational potentials) run faster, and clocks close to massive bodies (or at lower gravitational potentials) run slower.
A clock set at the peak of mount Everest would be about 39 hours ahead of a clock set at sea level, over the total lifetime of the earth of 4.6 Gyr.
Clocks on aeroplanes flying at sub-sonic and supersonic speeds have recorded differences on clocks.
There is velocity time dilation and gravitational time dilation. Time dilation occurs because the speed of light is the same for all observers in the same media. So the rate of time experienced by the observer changes with respect to an object moving near to the speed of light because two events in space time having different time origin with respect to each other never coincide with each other.
Fast things and low things experience less time.
There is a suggestion biological age dilation also occurs with time dilation as you approach the speed of light.
Spacetime and the Universe
If there is a fabric of spacetime then it is susceptible to all that affects the material universe. It would conform to logic and dialectics. There will be quantitative and qualitative processes, steps and changes. There is Cause, Effect and Reciprocation. It would be susceptible to particles such as photons and electrons and other such matter in nature. The dialectic of cause and effect reaches the point of reciprocity where every effect is equally a cause, and every cause equally an effect. The process of getting to the essence of what’s happening, of going into it, of discovering its laws of motion, of explaining at first the main lines of development this is the work of dialectics. Time itself will reveal its essence. The bending of light by spacetime would also warp spacetime. Lightwaves would be operating and reflected in the medium of spacetime and spacetime would make waves. The effects of Quantum mechanics would naturally cause changes in spacetime and it would be reciprocated.
All waves, whether electrical or magnetic, affect spacetime and each would be affected by spacetime in the form we call ‘gravity’ it would appear sometimes as an action and a reaction. It is conceivable that the actions and reactions of spacetime would appear as particulates or waves, whether in the form of suggested ‘gravitons’ or ‘gravity waves’, remains to be seen.
It is conceivable that Quantum Mechanics operates in all things and at all levels. Einstein’s ‘entanglement’ has been observed as different Quantum States. Quantum Gravity is a field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe the force of gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics. It has been suggested the ‘Quantum Biology’ has seen it operate in the seasonal navigation capabilities of birds, such as in the eyes of Robins, and it also suggests affecting evolution and the evolutionary process itself. Manipulating DNA through the process of entanglement has wide implications for mutation and could once again revolutionise the understanding and practical application in terms of medical treatments.
The experience of Physics and the abandonment of entanglement temporarily ‘took away’ the dialectical approach. It was based upon pragmatism, on what aspect “works” in the short term and not the big picture. It concentrated on developing technologies and capital investments, calculating on the basis of profit and loss rather than an all-sided scientific solution. By integration and including spacetime theory into the equation, a more all sided and less empiricist approach to science would be of greater service to human kind.
Science has returned to investigating entanglement. A Science team have been able to ‘send atoms’ three metres away with one hundred percent accuracy. Three entangled particles – a nitrogen atom locked in a diamond crystal and two electrons – were used to transfer spin information a distance of three metres in time and space.
Four possible states were transmitted, each corresponding to a ‘qubit’, the quantum equivalent of a digital ‘bit’. In quantum computing a ‘qubit’ can represent a zero, a one, or a ‘superposition’ of both states at the same time. It was teleporting the state of a particle.
The demonstration was an important first step towards developing an internet-like network, between ultra-fast quantum computers, whose processing power dwarfs that of today’s supercomputers.
Teleportation exploits the weird way ‘entangled’ particles acquire a merged identity, with the state of one instantly influencing the other no matter how far apart they are.
Giving one particle an ‘up’ spin, for instance, might always mean its entangled partner has a ‘down’ spin – theoretically even if both particles are on different sides of the universe. Albert Einstein called it “entanglement”; scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that it is a real phenomenon.
It is using entanglement as your communication channel.
A more ambitious experiment, involving the teleportation of information between buildings on the university campus one thousand three hundred metres apart, is planned. It is hoped this will answer Einstein’s main objection to teleportation, the possibility that a signal passes between entangled particles at the speed of light.
The integral nature of dialectics would suggest that all of the effects of Physics, such as thermodynamics and uncertainty would apply to spacetime. Creative thought experiments, rather than speculation, would give impetus to possible outcomes in the developments of technologies and scientific breakthroughs backed up by real life experimentation and new theory. Human beings have the unique ability to abstract absence.
Human consciousness and the thinking human brain operates in spacetime and the neurons of the brain have probably evolved quantum properties, yet to be discovered, on top of what is known in terms of magnetic field and electron particle manipulation. What effect does human thinking have on spacetime?
This is obviously different from any idealist notion of the world being created from pure thought or ideas. This would be turning things upside down. Matter is the basis of ideas, the real world reflected in the human brain, the objective to the subjective. This in turn reflects back into the real world where the subjective can influence the objective.
Hardial Bains shows great confidence in humanity when he points to the expectations of humanity;
“As social consequences and the human factor become the dominant forces, there is bound to be another revolution of such a breadth and depth that human beings will then be able to grasp what is time and space, what is energy and how is it transferred, etc? All the ingredients for such a revolution already exist”. (1)
The possibilities for the future:
“It will be a world of pure humanity, of consciousness, of seeing far beyond the limits that time and space could ever impose on us. It will be the celebration of what humanity can give rise to, and what the festival of the humanisation of nature and the universe has in store for us.” (2)
It makes no sense to say that consciousness cannot act on the real world. Consciousness is a powerful thing. Language is the pathway for thought to pass to the real world, whether it is in words or sign language. When ideas are transferred to the real world and grasped by the masses they become, “a material force for change” according to Engels.
When tomography is used to map the brain, deploying X-Rays or ultrasound or heat radiation detection, each area when activated can be measured by the infrared impulses given out. Probes on the outer skull can sense specific brain waves caused by the action of firing neurons. The electricity and chemical activity produce timely responses in memory or cognition to respond to the outside world. It would be mistakenly incredulous to think that there is not activity at the quantum level. Already voice activation is common in computing but also brain patterns are used to overcome activation of mechanisms in the outside world, signals are electronically amplified and translated through various servomechanisms to operate machinery. Disability support uses high tech devices in an increasing manner such as with motor neurone disease or other physical challenges.
Human thinking mainly operates through language and semiotic imagery. Language materialises consciousness through the voice vibrating in the air. This causes human beings to develop cultural means to express itself. In this way too, the narrative has become the method of extolling its memories and projecting prophesy and creativity. It also reports news in the media. News is a reflection of noteworth events in time and space and information material.
Narrative for example, recalls the passing of time when it appears to speed up or slow down. It can be seen in the flashback or occasionally in the speculations of the flash-forward. There is the past in the past leading to an event further forward in time but not in the present as the author passes further into the past as does his or her work. The poet or prosaic writer may express with long or short sentences, long vowels or clipped consonants to portray the feeling of the slowing or speeding up of time. Only in film or video played backwards illustrates time reversal.
Having said this who has not experienced the fast life of the city compared to the sedentary feelings of the countryside or a series of fast moving events that invoke sensations. Yet these empirical sensations are incomplete knowledge from the logic of real time expressed by a chronometer in our conception of inalterable linear time.
These are only perceptions of the observer in whatever eventful or placid existence in time and place coordinate in any measured chronological timeframe. In any objective reality of revolution, or slow motion, occurring simultaneously on one planet, the context can be influenced by the actual existence or action of being that is influencing the situation in spacetime subjectively, or is reciprocally objectively influenced by spacetime. In this context who can say what or whose time or the passing of time is true or conforms to the notion of real time? Who can indicate in what circumstances what is linear and what is lateral time? Yet any idea of non-linear time cannot regard stasis as plausible, because where there is matter, there is motion. Zero time or time zero is finite but is relative within the absolute and absolute within the relative so what would appear to be stopped time could only be time in flux, time in transition and the energy moving time is conserved or transmuted. The only appraisal can be summed up by different human participants in time measured on a clock in contrast to what has been experienced by the participants in different locations between those points in time on the chronometer.
It is not understood or confirmed what the actual thought process has on spacetime, quantum mechanics or thermo dynamics in either ordered or disordered thought.
Hardial Bains acknowledges the apparent nature of forces acting upon time and matter.
“Time is generally the measure of movement of matter in space. But when time works for the people then the movement of the society cannot be measured by time.
When time works for the people, it seems as if time is being dictated by something else, another force.
This other force orders that society must change so much within such and such a time. The such and such a time could be a hundred years and the changes (the so much) only the birth of another time. Yet during another span of time (a few years say), changes may be of such a fashion that nothing of the past remains. The changes after the Second World War were of such a dimension, in terms of the speed and the quantity of time in which they were taking place, and their quality. Even the society awakens only later to take stock of all the changes that have come about.” (3)
Finding out about spacetime can mean that time can be a thing in itself or a thing for us. Depending on how we operate in spacetime means that we can influence it and it can reciprocally influence us, this is the influence of the human factor and potentially humanises space and time.
Lenin’s reality of time and space
“Recognising the existence of objective reality, i.e.., matter in motion, independently of our mind, materialism must also inevitably recognise the objective reality of time and space, in contrast above all to Kantianism, which in this question sides with idealism and regards time and space not as objective realities but as forms of human understanding”. (4)
Feurbach the materialist, limited as he was, saw space and time as a condition and as a reality;
“Space and time,” says Feuerbach, “are not mere forms of phenomena but essential conditions (Wesensbedingungen) . . . of being”
“Just as things or bodies are not mere phenomena, not complexes of sensations, but objective realities acting on our senses, so space and time are not mere forms of phenomena, but objectively real forms of being. There is nothing in the world but matter in motion, and matter in motion cannot move otherwise than in space and time.” (5)
Lenin refers to Engels who even in his time amid the science then was clear about the reality of time;
“Engels criticised Dühring, where Dühring speaks of the change in the idea of time but evades a direct answer to the question: are space and time real or ideal, and are our relative conceptions of space and time approximations to objectively real forms of being, or are they only products of the developing, organising, harmonising, etc., human mind?” (6)
The subject at issue is not the idea of time, but real time.
Engels knew that new discoveries and science would start to reveal the nature of time, at the same time he was interested in the epistemology (knowledge) question that history in philosophy had presented, from the ancients to Descartes, the Cartesians and beyond;
“The point is not that Engels denies the necessity and scientific value of investigations into the change and development of our ideas of time and space, but that we should give a consistent answer to the epistemological question, viz., the question of the source and significance of human knowledge in general”. (7)
Our developing notions of time and space reflect an objectively real time and space; that here, too, as in general, they are approaching objective truth.
And, as new scientific discoveries are made, the reality we know today of spacetime as a material phenomena with characteristics being revealed all of the time, Engels would see the truth of his predictions.
“The basic forms of all being,” Engels admonishes Dühring, “are space and time, and existence out of time is just as gross an absurdity as existence out of space” (7)
Engels pointed out to Dühring that denial of the objective reality of time and space is theoretically philosophical confusion, while practically it is capitulation to, or impotence in face of, fideism (depending on faith or revelation).
Lenin pointed out that the empiricists (empiricism is knowledge through the senses) were no different to the idealists (the idealists believed that knowledge just appeared through activity of the mind) the relativists were nothing more than empiricists;
“The relativist, Mach said, “Space and time are well ordered systems of series of sensations” (Mechanik, 3. Auflage, S. 498). This was idealist nonsense, such as inevitably follows from the doctrine that bodies are complexes of sensations. According to Mach, it is not man with his sensations that exists in space and time, but space and time that exist in man, that depend upon man and are generated by man”. (8)
Such is the idealist nonsense expounded by the ‘empiricists’; man is the concocter of time out of his head! Lenin shows how objectively it comes from nature and has always existed,
“Mach argued space is derived from experience without being a reflection of objective reality outside us. The existence of nature in time, measured in millions of years, prior to the appearance of humans and human experience, shows how absurd this idealist theory is.” (8)
The age-old question that had bugged the materialists is where human knowledge really came from, Lenin even showed that purpose or determination by nature, as a feature in time and space, are dependent on the outside world;
“If the sensations of time and space can give human beings a natural biological purposeful direction in terms of evolution, this can only be so on the condition that these sensations reflect an objective reality outside of the human entity. A Human being could never have adapted biologically to the environment if sensations had not given him or her an objectively correct presentation of that environment. The theory of space and time is inseparably connected with the answer to the fundamental question of knowledge, are our sensations images of bodies and things, or are bodies complexes of our sensations?” (9)
Time and space are an imperative;
“For the materialists, by recognising the real world, the matter we perceive, as an objective reality, have the right to conclude therefrom that no human concept, whatever its purpose, is valid if it goes beyond the bounds of time and space.”
“If in the relative conception of time and space there is nothing but relativity, if there is no objective reality (i.e.., reality independent of man and mankind) reflected by these relative concepts, why should mankind, why should the majority of mankind, not be entitled to conceive of beings outside time and space? If Mach is entitled to seek atoms of electricity, or atoms in general, outside three-dimensional space, why should the majority of mankind not be entitled to seek the atoms, or the foundations of morals, outside three-dimensional space? Philosophical idealism is nothing but a disguised and embellished ghost story. Consistent philosophical doctrines must take either nature or human thought as primary. (9)
An English Machist, says:
“Of time as of space we cannot assert a real existence: it is not in things but in our mode of perceiving them” and, “Space and time are not realities of the phenomenal world, but the modes under which we perceive things apart. They are not infinitely large nor infinitely divisible, but are essentially limited by the contents of our perception” (10)
Engels gives substance to time and space by completing its appreciation that it becomes something for us, for humanity to recognise and humanise.
“To sever Engels’ doctrine of the objective reality of time and space from his doctrine of the transformation of “things-in-themselves” into “things-for-us,” from his recognition of objective and absolute truth, viz., the objective reality given us in our sensations, and from his recognition of objective law, causality and necessity in nature—is to reduce an integral philosophy to an utter jumble. (11)
“Our “experience” and our perception adapt themselves more and more to objective space and time, and reflect them ever more correctly and profoundly.” (12)
The study of sentience is about the development of the ability to perceive and self-awareness conceptualises the material universe in time and space. Self-awareness is the recognition of that consciousness.
There is a history of philosophy, schools of thought and philosophers who have influenced the course the history of consciousness. These vary between the ancient and the contemporary. Such names, and there are others, are Heraclitus, Parmenides, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates up to Descartes, the Cartesians, Spinoza, Locke, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Engels, Lenin and today Hardial Bains.
But first let us reflect and have some thoughts on the doctrine of Being;
The Doctrine of Being
Hegel’s limitations within the ideal do not help it to escape into the material world. It only forms the essence of his finite universe and absolute. The materialism of Marx settled scores with this philosophy and derived his historical materialism.
It became clearer that history is recorded time and human history operates within space and time.
If anything, new understandings about space and time and its materiality would show that the human factor and social consciousness act on time. It would show not only that the objective material conditions are the source of ideas reflected in the human brain but also reciprocate through the subjective factor back into the real world.
Thought is a product of the human brain and depends upon the structural integrity of the brain to reflect upon the material world in order to function, to think. Evolution in humans has evolved the brain and differing from animals, has developed reason and refined memory in order for it to become capable of consciousness about itself and its existence and become sentient.
“Thinking and being go side by side. They both are objective things…Being, nonetheless, can only be human if it is social. Thinking and the social being produce human consciousness. The form of consciousness depends on the social being and not on the thinking. The brain can sit idly by without making the slightest effort while social being imparts the person, the brain, with a particular kind of social consciousness.” (13) [Hardial Bains, If you love your class, A question of love, 5th, November, 1995, p.23]
Thinking and being, the material nature of thought in the human synapses and passage of electrons in sections of the human brain are becoming understood in biochemistry and neurology.
Thought and ideas are parts of the conscious whole. Thinking, consciousness and collective social consciousness have their own place in the universe and the nature and reality and materiality, of space and time, have consequences for abstract notions of “nothingness”.
Marx corrected Hegel, whose thoughts and ideals, were outside the materialism provided by scientific discovery of the time. The inner kernel of Hegel’s dialectic could be rescued and developed. Today with modern definitions we are able to further this work.
Nothing-Becoming-Being is a transitory movement through Time and Space.
Hegel explains Hereclitus and what he takes from him in, (14) [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel “Lectures on the History of Philosophy,” Volume 1] ;
a. Understanding the abstract process as time, Heraclitus said:
“Time is the first corporeal existence,” as Sextus (adv. Math. X. 231, 232) puts it.
Corporeal is an unfortunate expression; the Sceptics frequently pick out the crudest expressions or make thoughts crude in the first place so that they may afterwards dispense with them”.
Corporeal here means abstract sensuousness; time, as the first sensuous existence, is the abstract representation of process.
Unfortunately, Corporeal hits the nail on the head because it is the opposite that is revealed, like the modern day empiricists, who attribute time to spirituality, a priori or even God. For the idealist, Hegel, it is lodged somewhere in the idea.
“It is because Heraclitus did not rest at the logical expression of Becoming, but gave to his principle the form of the existent, that it was necessary that time should first present itself to him as such; for in the sensuously perceptible it is the first form of Becoming”. (16)
For Hegel he has a problem with time and its reality or materiality and places it outside or unique in nature.
In Hegel’s Logic, Essence is the Division which stands between Being and The Notion; Being and Essence constitute The Objective Logic, while the Doctrine of The Notion is The Subjective Logic.
By making it “pure” it gives time a Godlike attribute, the notion falling into the subjective is the idea of purity of notion.
“Time is pure Becoming as perceived, the pure Notion, that which is simple, and the harmony issuing from absolute opposites;
– its essential nature is to be and not to be in one unity, and besides this, it has no other character”. (17)
And so the suggestion here is that there is separation and time is not real;
“It is not that time is or is not, for time is non-being immediately in Being and Being immediately in non-being:
– it is the transition out of Being into non-being, the abstract Notion, but in an objective form, i.e. in so far as it is for us.
In time there is no past and future, but only the now, and this is, but is not as regards the past; and this non-being, as future, turns round into Being”. (18)
So for Hegel he isolates Being and its essence and attributes no essence to time.
Everything, it is said, has an essence; that is, things really are not what they immediately show themselves. There is something more to be done than merely rove from one quality to another, and merely to advance from qualitative to quantitative, and vice versa: there is a permanence in things, and that permanence is in the first instance their essence.
“If we were to say how that which Heraclitus recognised as principle, might, in the pure form in which he recognised it, exist for consciousness, we could mention nothing else but time; and it quite accords with the principle of thought in Heraclitus to define time as the first form of Becoming.
b. But this pure, objective Notion must realise itself more fully, and thus we find in fact, that Heraclitus determined the process in a more markedly physical manner”.
“In time we have the moments of Being and non-being manifested as negative only, or as vanishing immediately;
– if we wish to express both these moments as one independent totality, the question is asked, which physical existence corresponds to this determination.
To Heraclitus the truth is to have grasped the essential being of nature, i.e. to have represented it as implicitly infinite, as process in itself; and consequently it is evident to us that Heraclitus could not say that the primary principle is air, water, or any such thing”. (19)
(Note: Air, Fire and water were the original elements according to the ancient Greeks).
In one sense you might say that Heraclitus was more materialist than Hegel.
“They are not themselves process, but fire is process; and thus he maintains fire to be the elementary principle, and this is the real form of the Heraclitean principle, the soul and substance of the nature-process.
Fire is physical time, absolute unrest, absolute disintegration of existence, the passing away of the “other,” but also of itself; and hence we can understand how Heraclitus, proceeding from his fundamental determination, could quite logically call fire the Notion of the process”.
“The unity, whose moments, being and nothing, are inseparable, is at the same time different from them and is thus a third to them; this third in its own most characteristic form is becoming.” (20) [Hegel:Logic: Doctrine of being]
“Transition is the same as becoming except that in the former one tends to think of the two terms, from one of which transition is made to the other, as at rest, apart from each other, the transition taking place between them.” (21)
“Regarding being the two terms cannot maintain or subsist on their own, they only will with becoming, the third term. (22)
“Parmenides held fast to being and was most consistent in affirming at the same time that nothing absolutely is not; only being is.” (23)
Of course this raises the question, “is there really any such thing as ‘nothing’ is there a void. Even so, lack of void does not mean that the process is entirely incorrect but only asks to be taken into account.
“Taken entirely on its own, being is indeterminate, and has therefore no relation to another. In this ancient understanding it seems that from this beginning no further progress can be made.” (24)
“Becoming is the pervading synthesis of being and nothing. Synthesis suggests bringing together of mutually external things already there.”
Hegel now brings the ego into the question and its make-up;
“How does the ego become structured? What brings determinateness into indeterminateness?
An emptiness of mind, a vacuum of thought, pure unwritten space would suggest an inactive mind; Attempts made in various Yogic states; A state of mind that no warm blooded animal species attains. Yet in the evolution of brain where is this null thinking achieved? What happens at the microorganism, no brain stage or existence of current lower forms of life?” (25)
Transcendental meditation suggests that the unconscious ideas drip into the mind emptied due to constant repetition of a mantra. It does not suggest where the fragments of knowledge originate. Hegel thinks that intuition instinctively creates the idea.
“The abstraction is called space, pure intuiting, or pure thinking; this dull, empty consciousness, the barrier between the unconscious and conscious mind, is the threshold of the relationship of thinking and being.” (26)
The problem for the idealist is the notion of the reality of space. Space is not created by the mind, space exists and the mind accesses this space and operates within it and may do something to space in reciprocation. Humans can create a space by acting in space consciously. Yet thought and consciousness must be a reflection of the material world in the human brain.
Hegel explains the movement in consciousness, but it makes idealism the prime source;
“Consciousness is filled with determinate sensation, conception, desire and so on; it does not exist separated from some particular content. The empirical transition, moreover, is self-evident; consciousness can of course make empty space, empty time, and even empty consciousness itself or pure being, its object and content, but it does not stop at that; it goes beyond it or rather presses forward out of such a vacuity to a better content, that is, to a content which in some way or other is more concrete…” (27)
The dialectical transition is therefore explained only in terms of the idea. The absence is filled with a higher quality projection. Yet Hegel cannot get away from the null and void and ‘pure space’ and is stuck with a lack of material history. He is stuck with his unknown non-definable indeterminateness, initially and finitely and out of itself, out of thin air comes the determinateness.
“Consciousness by making abstraction can, of course, fill itself with such indeterminates also and the abstractions thus held fast are the thoughts of pure space, pure time, pure consciousness, or pure being. It is the thought of pure space, etc. — that is, pure space, etc., in its own self — that is to be demonstrated as null: that it is as such already its own opposite, that its opposite has already penetrated into it, that it is already by itself the accomplished coming-forth-from-itself, a determinateness”. (28)
Concepts can be defined by giving them features that distinguish them from other concepts. Yet we can rescue the inner kernel of his dialectic and capture the process midway on. Motion gives rise to negation of negation so out of the old comes the new, new material enriches the old and formulates the new. Therefore absence can be abstracted in human consciousness.
How do Human beings fill their brains with consciousness?
“Understanding requires an act of conscious participation by the individual, an act of finding out. In other words, understanding, or becoming conscious, is an experience. We develop it through our direct experience of phenomena”. (29) [Hardial Bains: Necessity For Change]
Hardial Bains has explained how the real world has caused consciousness to develop in the history of humanity. Once known, the reaction to this has been to prevent consciousness developing.
Anti-consciousness is not acquired by the act of finding out but by the act of consciously suppressing any findings. It projects the impression that there is nothing to find out; and to reach and grasp even relative knowledge is interpreted as if to do so is to demand the ultimate truth and on this basis to conclude that an ultimate finding out is not possible.
Anti-consciousness confuses the real attributes and qualities of living or the act of living. We only remember what we are able to culturally remember, that part of history, which is taught us at school. The reality of history, the people’s history or what we experience or have experienced, by the act of finding out is contrary to Ant-consciousness. Disinformation is Anti-consciousness. Lies, distortions, lack of proven facts serve Anti-consciousness. Truth, clarity and fact aid consciousness. Therefore Consciousness is the antithesis of Anti-consciousness.
Lying is prevalent in capitalist society and the monopoly masters pull the strings of the deceiving puppets in Government. Distortions of the truth, disinformation perverts social consciousness and it is incumbent on humanity to combat lies with facts and truth.
“Lying is an organised assault on society to protect the status quo, something that comes naturally to the financial oligarchy. It hires prize fighters, to do a good job at it, to turn lying into a profession and a way of life” (30) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; daily reflections on social consciousness and other matters; The new magazine publishing company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2012] [intro: p.15]
Flicking across the media would substantiate the constant bombardment of lies that passes for news.
The contribution of the ancients to theories of the mind.
Ancient philosophers of the Far East in particular have contributed to how the ego operates and also flux in time and space.
Many philosophies of the ancient world concerned themselves with human consciousness and the ego. Brahmanism and Buddhism have developed early thinking and basis for examination of knowledge and enlightenment.
The Vedas (véda, “knowledge”) are a large body of texts originating in ancient India are considered revelations, some way or other the work of God. The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain revealed truths.
The concepts of Brahman (Ultimate Reality) and Ātman (Soul, Self) are central ideas in all the Upanishads. Referring to the student sitting down near the teacher while receiving esoteric (understood by a selected or privileged few) knowledge. Atman is the spiritual essence in all creatures, their real innermost essential being. The Upanishads describe the universe, and the human experience, as an interplay of Purusha (the eternal, unchanging principles, consciousness) and Prakṛti (the temporary, changing material world, nature). The former manifests itself as Ātman (Soul, Self), and the latter as Māyā. The Upanishads refer to the knowledge of Atman as “true knowledge” (Vidya), and the knowledge of Maya as “not true knowledge” (Avidya, Nescience, lack of awareness, lack of true knowledge).
There are recognised parallels between the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato and that of the Upanishads, including their ideas on sources of knowledge, concept of justice and path to salvation, and Plato’s allegory of the cave. * Platonic psychology with its divisions of reason, spirit and appetite, also bears resemblance to the three gunas in the Indian philosophy of Samkhya.
Some argue that the Ancient Greek philosophy was influenced by, and borrowed some core concepts from, the Upanishads. Various mechanisms for such a transmission of knowledge have been conjectured including Indian philosophers visiting Athens and meeting Socrates; Plato encountering the ideas when in exile in Syracuse; or, intermediated through Persia. However some say the two systems developed independently.
The teachings of Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, Shakyamuni,or simply the Buddha. He was a sage. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries before the Christian Era.
Using the practise of yogic meditation the Buddha is said to have been unsatisfied with meditative consciousness to gain enlightenment.
The problem with transcendence of consciousness or immanence is that it is often associated with the spiritual rather than the material world. It is possible to reduce the activity of the brain but to achieve emptiness or void, to obtain knowledge, is to abstain from the material world or limit consciousness to mere thought, the essence of the idea separate from practice in the real world. Even so it may be possible to deactivate logic or memory temporarily. But the brain is a space full of matter and the material brain thinks and it is nigh impossible to prevent it except through death.
What the meditators achieved, though, was significant through their focus on intellectual thought. Isolating the functions of the brain, slowing them down in time and space enabled thinkers to separate and examine cognitive behaviour even before psychoanalysis of the modern era came into being.
A Buddha refers to one who has become awakened through their own efforts and insight. After austerities and attempting to find enlightenment through deprivation of worldly goods, including food up to the point of practising self-mortification, Gautama Buddha almost killed himself. The Buddha returned to a form of meditation that included Middle Way – a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
Gautama was famously seated under a Pipal tree—now known as the Bodhi tree—in Bodh Gaya, India, when he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. After 49 days of meditation, he is said to have attained “Enlightenment”. At the time of his awakening he supposedly realised, “complete insight into the cause of suffering”, and the steps necessary to eliminate it.
The four jhanas (a series of cultivated states of mind) seem to be a Buddhist innovation but some say there are borrowings from the Moksadharma, a part of the Mahabharata.* What existing knowledge was contemplated by Gautama is not known but it is obvious categorising and formulating aspects of the mind was the intention.
The ancients studied existence and Buddhism is no exception.
Buddhism sought to explain existence in, “The Three Marks of Existence”, which are impermanence, suffering, and not-self. * Observing the functions of the mind might not necessarily be an ancient form of idealism.
Impermanence expresses the Buddhist notion that all compounded or conditioned phenomena (all things and experiences) are inconstant, unsteady, and impermanent. Everything we can experience through our senses is made up of parts, and its existence is dependent on external conditions. Everything is in constant flux, and so conditions and the thing itself are constantly changing. Things are constantly coming into being, and ceasing to be. Since nothing lasts, there is no inherent or fixed nature to any object or experience. According to the doctrine of impermanence, life embodies this flux in the aging process, the cycle of rebirth (Saṃsāra), and in any experience of loss. The doctrine asserts that because things are impermanent, attachment to them is futile and leads to suffering (dukkha).
Suffering is also a central concept in Buddhism, pain, unsatisfactoriness, sorrow, affliction, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discomfort, anguish, stress, misery, and frustration.
Not-self is the third mark of existence. No phenomenon is really “I” or “mine”; these concepts are in fact constructed by the mind. For Buddha, neither the respective parts nor the person as a whole comprise a self.
To be a fully awakened being the mind is purified of the three poisons of desire, aversion and ignorance. Nirvana means “cessation”, “extinction” (of craving and ignorance and therefore suffering and the cycle of involuntary rebirths.
A common experience and thread of ancient philosophy and its reflection in religion is a grasp of altruism.
Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others.
It is a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews.
Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness. The word was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in French, as altruisme, for an antonym of egoism.
Evolution of morality and ethics
The argument that morality is the job of religion or dispersed is an anti-humanist approach. It discredits the reality of morality in philosophy and Communism. It is the difference between Catholic confession of sin as only a spiritual accomplishment and the action of innate altruism and the influence on the ego. Also conditioning of the mind through what happens in the brain because of its interactions in the universe in time and space.
Altruism in nature, biological organisms can be defined as an individual performing an action, which is at a cost to the self (e.g., pleasure and quality of life, time, probability of survival or reproduction), but benefits, either directly or indirectly, another third-party individual, without the expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action.
Alms are the fruits of a moral notion of the gift and of fortune, human behaviours such as charity, giving alms to beggars, emergency aid, tipping low paid waiters, courtship gifts, production of public goods, and environmentalism.
One consequence is that people are more cooperative if it is more likely that individuals will interact again in the future. People tend to be less cooperative if they perceive that the frequency of helpers in the population is lower. They tend to help less if they see non-cooperativeness by others and this effect tends to be stronger than the opposite effect of seeing cooperative behaviours.
An interesting example of altruism in nature is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body.
Evidence for the neural bases of altruistic giving in normal healthy volunteers, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in October 2006, they showed that both pure monetary rewards and charitable donations activate the mesolimbic reward pathway. However, when volunteers generously placed the interests of others before their own by making charitable donations, another brain circuit was selectively activated: the subgenual cortex/septal region. These structures are intimately related to social attachment and bonding in other species. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.
Helping behaviour is seen in humans at about two years old, when a toddler is capable of understanding subtle emotional cues.
The effects of volunteerism (as a form of altruism) on happiness and health and have consistently found a strong connection between volunteerism and current and future health and well-being.
In a study of older adults, those who volunteered were significantly higher on life satisfaction and will to live, and significantly lower in depression and anxiety.
Volunteerism and helping behaviour have not only been shown to improve mental health, but physical health and longevity as well.
Gratitude goes hand-in-hand with kindness and is also very important for our well-being. A study on the relationship happiness to various character strengths showed that “a conscious focus on gratitude led to reductions in negative affect and increases in optimistic appraisals, positive affect, offering emotional support, sleep quality and well-being.
Confucius (551 BC) in the Analects indicated human beings should base their values and social ideals on moral philosophy, tradition, and a natural love for others. Confucius’s social philosophy largely depended on the cultivation of Ren by every individual in a community
Ren is the Confucian virtue denoting the good feeling when being altruistic. Ren is exemplified by a normal adult’s protective feelings for children. It is considered the outward expression of Confucian ideals.
According to Confucius, a person with a well-cultivated sense of ren be resolute and firm (Analects 12.20); be courageous (Analects 14.4); be free from worry, unhappiness, and insecurity (Analects 9.28; 6.21); moderate their desires and return to propriety (Analects 12.1); be respectful, tolerant, diligent, trustworthy, and kind (Analects 17.6); and, would love others (Analects 12.22).
Confucius said that one’s understanding of “li” should inform everything that one says and does (Analects 12.1). He believed that subjecting oneself to li did not mean suppressing one’s desires, but learning to reconcile them with the needs of one’s family and broader community. By leading individuals to express their desires within the context of social responsibility, Confucius and his followers taught that the public cultivation of li was the basis of a well-ordered society (Analects 2.3).
Ren and li have a special relationship in the Analects: li manages one’s relationship with one’s family and close community, while Ren is practiced broadly and informs one’s interactions with all people.
The importance of education and study is a fundamental theme of the Analects emphasising the need to find balance between formal study and intuitive self-reflection (Analects 2.15). When teaching he is never cited in the Analects as lecturing at length about any subject, but instead challenges his students to discover the truth through asking direct questions,(Analects 7.8) He sometimes required his students to demonstrate their understanding of subjects by making intuitive conceptual leaps before accepting their understanding.
Aristotle, in his Magna Moralia, refers to Socrates in words, which make it patent; Socrates held that the doctrine virtue is knowledge. Within the Metaphysics, he states Socrates was occupied with the search for moral virtues, being the ‘ first to search for universal definitions for them ‘.
Socrates’s dialectic method of inquiry, known as the Socratic method or method of “elenchus”, which he largely applied to the examination of key moral concepts such as the Good and Justice.
To solve a problem, it would be broken down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distil the answer a person would seek.
The influence of this approach is most strongly felt today in the use of the scientific method.
To illustrate the use of the Socratic method; a series of questions are posed to help a person or group to determine their underlying beliefs and the extent of their knowledge. The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis elimination, in that steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions find better hypotheses. It was designed to force one to examine one’s own beliefs and the validity of such beliefs.
Socrates also questioned the Sophistic doctrine that virtue can be taught.
Religions incorporating philosophy; Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and Sikhism, etc., all place particular emphasis on altruistic morality.
Altruism figures prominently in Buddhism. Love and compassion are components of all forms of Buddhism, and are focused on all beings equally: love is the wish that all beings are happy, and compassion is the wish that all beings be free from suffering.
Since “all beings” includes the individual, love and compassion in Buddhism are outside the opposition between self and other. It is even said that the distinction between self and other is part of the root cause of our suffering. In practical terms, however, since most of us are ‘supposedly’ spontaneously self-centred, Buddhism encourages us to focus love and compassion on others, and thus can be characterized as “altruistic.”
In the context of larger ethical discussions on moral action and judgment, Buddhism is characterized by the belief that negative (unhappy) consequences of our actions derive not from punishment or correction based on moral judgment, but from the law of karma, which functions like a natural law of cause and effect. A simple illustration of such cause and effect is the case of experiencing the effects of what I cause: if I cause suffering, then as a natural consequence I will experience suffering; if I cause happiness, then as a natural consequence I will experience happiness.
Most types of karmas, with good or bad results, will keep one in the wheel of samsāra; others will liberate one to nirvāna. In Buddhism, karma is not the only cause of all that happens there are other causal mechanisms such as Citta Niyama — Will of mind and Dhamma Niyama — Nature’s tendency to produce a perfect type.
Motivation includes knowledge versus ignorance; so a well-intended action from an ignorant mind can easily be “bad” in that it creates unpleasant results for the “actor.”
The fundamental principles of Jainism revolve around the concept of altruism, not only for humans but also for all sentient beings. Jainism preaches the view of Ahimsa – to live and let live, thereby not harming sentient beings, i.e. uncompromising reverence for all life. It also considers all living things to be equal. The first Thirthankar, Rishabh introduced the concept of altruism for all living beings, from extending knowledge and experience to others to donation, giving oneself up for others, non-violence and compassion for all living things.
A major characteristic of Jainism is the emphasis on the consequences of not only physical but also mental behaviours. One’s unconquered mind with anger, pride (ego), deceit, greed and uncontrolled sense organs are the powerful enemies of humans. Anger spoils good relations, pride destroys humility, deceit destroys peace and greed destroys everything. Jainism recommends conquering anger by forgiveness and pride (ego) by humility, deceit by straight-forwardness and greed by contentment.
Altruism is central to the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel, especially in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain.
St Thomas Aquinas interprets ‘You should love your neighbour as yourself’ as meaning that love for our self is the exemplar of love for others.
In Islam, the concept ‘īthār’ is the notion of ‘preferring others to oneself’. For Sufis, this means devotion to others through complete forgetfulness of one’s own concerns.
Judaism defines altruism as the desired goal of creation.
The central faith in Sikhism is that the greatest deed anyone can do is to imbibe like love, affection, sacrifice, patience, harmony and truthfulness. The fifth Nanak, Guru Arjun Dev sacrificed his life to uphold 22 carats of pure truth, seen as the greatest gift to humanity.
It was under the tutelage of the Guru that Bhai Kanhaiya (1648–1718) subsequently founded a volunteer corps for altruism. This volunteer corps still to date is engaged in doing good to others and trains new volunteering recruits for doing the same.
Swami Sivananda, an Advaita scholar, reiterates the same views in his commentary synthesising Vedanta views on the Brahma Sutras, a Vedantic text. In his commentary on Chapter 3 of the Brahma Sutras, Sivananda notes that karma is insentient and short-lived, and ceases to exist as soon as a deed is executed. Hence, karma cannot bestow the fruits of actions at a future date according to one’s merit. Furthermore, one cannot argue that karma generates apurva or punya, which gives fruit. Since apurva is non-sentient, it cannot act unless moved by an intelligent being such as a god. It cannot independently bestow reward or punishment.
Tao literally means “way”, but can also be interpreted as road, channel, path, doctrine, or line. The Tao also is supposedly something that individuals can find immanent in them.Taoist propriety in general has within it, “naturalness”, simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility.
Laozi, philosopher and poet of ancient China is known as the reputed founder of philosophical Taoism. He is usually dated to around the 6th century BCE and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius.
Laozi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching). As with most other ancient Chinese philosophers, Laozi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy and appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. In fact, the whole book can be read as an analogy – the ruler is the awareness, or self, in meditation and the myriad creatures or empire is the experience of the body, senses and desires.
The Tao Te Ching, describes the Dao (or Tao) as the source and ideal of all existence: it is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble, being the root of all things. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act “unnaturally”, upsetting the natural balance of the Dao. The Daodejing intends to lead students to a “return” to their natural state, in harmony with Dao.
Seeking the calm state of wu wei is a concept used to explain ziran or harmony with the Dao. It includes the concepts that value distinctions are ideological and seeing ambition of all sorts as originating from the same source. Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes. Some Taoists see a connection between wu wei and esoteric practices, such as zuowang “sitting in oblivion” (emptying the mind of bodily awareness and thought) found in the Zhuangzi.
Some of Laozi’s famous sayings include:
“When goodness is lost, it is replaced by morality.”
“The usefulness of a pot comes from its emptiness.”
“The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it is so similar to the Way.”
“When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad.”
“Those who know do not say. Those who say do not know.”
“A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.”
“The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”
—Laozi, Tao Te Ching
Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation. The yin yang (i.e. taijitu symbol) shows a balance between two opposites with a portion of the opposite element in each section. Apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, expanding and contracting are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolised by yin and yang. This duality lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy,
Certain catchphrases have been used to express yin and yang complementarily:
- The bigger the front, the bigger the back.
Illness is the doorway to health.
Tragedy turns to comedy.
Disasters turn out to be blessings.
In Daoist metaphysics, distinctions between good and bad, along with other dichotomous moral judgments, are perceptual, not real; so, the duality of yin and yang is an indivisible whole. In the ethics of Confucianism on the other hand, most notably in the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu (c. 2nd century BC), a moral dimension is attached to the idea of yin and yang.
* The Allegory of the Cave (also titled Plato’s Cave or Parable of the Cave) in Plato’s, Republic is said to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature.
Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from things passing in front of a fire behind them, and they begin to give names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, for he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
Socrates reveals this “child of goodness” to be the sun, proposing that just as the sun illumines, bestowing the ability to see and be seen by the eye, with its light so the idea of goodness illumines the intelligible with truth.It is proposed that God’s light is too brilliant for man and the light is knowledge. Man is given only part of the light, which is reason and faith.
The Allegory of the Cave (also titled Plato’s Cave or Parable of the Cave) in Plato’s, Republic to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature.
Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from things passing in front of a fire behind them, and they begin to give names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, for he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
Socrates reveals this “child of goodness” to be the sun, proposing that just as the sun illumines, bestowing the ability to see and be seen by the eye, with its light so the idea of goodness illumines the intelligible with truth.It is proposed that God’s light is too brilliant for man and the light is knowledge. Man is given only part of the light, which is reason and faith.
Socrates likens our perception of the world around us “to the habitation in prison, the firelight there to the sunlight here, the ascent and the view of the upper world [to] the rising of the soul into the world of the mind”
Socrates has presented his thesis of the bisected line further bisecting each of the two segments. The four resulting segments represent four separate ‘affections’ of the psyche. The lower two sections are said to represent the visible while the higher two are said to represent the intelligible. These affections are described in succession as corresponding to increasing levels of reality and truth from conjecture – to belief – to thought and finally to understanding.It elaborates a theory of the psyche.
* In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) shared by all sentient beings, namely impermanence (anicca), dissatisfaction or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā).
Anicca (Sanskrit anitya) means “inconstancy” or “impermanence”. All conditioned things (saṅkhāra) are in a constant state of flux. The appearance of a thing ceases as it changes from one form to another. When a leaf falls to the ground and decomposes its relative existence and appearance transform, and its components go into a different form.
Saṃsāra (Sanskrit), is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one’s actions and consequences in the past, present, and future in Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, Jainism, Taoism, and Sikhism.
The oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
Being and Consciousness
There is a history in philosophy. Descartes did not differentiate reasoning from the personality within the ego. Today we know by examining the mind through tomography that it is divided and apportioned, each having an affect on the others.
Spinoza attributed all to the soul and the connection to the spirit. The prime mover of all initial thought was an infinite God.
Kant attributes initial thought to a priori, innate factors, similar to spirit or God.
Fichte proposed that it was an outside factor, which provided the oppositional contradiction to provide movement in thought.
It was left to Marx to link knowledge to the real world and materialism thus resolving the issue.
Cartesianism is the name given to the philosophical doctrine (or school) of René Descartes.
Cartesians view the mind as being wholly separate from the corporeal body. Sensation and the perception of reality are thought to be the source of untruth and illusions, with the only reliable truths to be had in the existence of a metaphysical mind. Such a mind can perhaps interact with a physical body, but it does not exist in the body, or even in the same physical plane as the body.
In general, Cartesian thought divides the world into three areas of existence:
· that inhabited by the physical body (matter),
· that inhabited by the mind, and
· that inhabited by God.
Descartes starts, (just as Fichte did later on), with the ‘I’ as unquestionably certain; I know that something is presented in me.
Thought comes first; the next determination arrived at, in direct connection with it, is that of Being. The ‘I think’ directly involves my Being.
The arrival of Being is in my ‘I’; this connection is itself the first matter. Thought as Being and Being as thought — that is my certainty, ‘I’; in the celebrated Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), we therefore have Thought and Being inseparably bound together.
On the one hand this proposition is regarded as a syllogism (from two propositions a conclusion is reached): from thought, Being is deduced. [Kant objected to this that Being is not contained in thinking, that it is different from thinking].
They are still inseparable, or constitute an identity; their difference is not to the prejudice of, or be biased against, their unity.
Descartes says: “There is no syllogism present at all. For in order that there should be such, the major premise must have been ‘all that thinks exists’”
The thinking subject as the simple immediacy of ‘being-at-home-with-me’ is the very same thing as what is called Being; and it is quite easy to perceive this identity.
Descartes has, not further worked out this identity of Being and Thought, with Descartes the necessity to develop the differences from the ‘I think’ is not yet present; Fichte first applied himself to the deduction of all determinations.
Spinoza carried on the Cartesian principle to its furthest logical conclusions. For him soul and body, thought and Being, cease to have separate independent existence. The dualism, the two contrasting aspects, of the Cartesian system Spinoza, set aside.
Spinoza’s definition of the infinite is important. When people look to the extreme and say, “and so on into infinity”, they give it a kind of finite characteristic, when a mathematical fraction is converted as a decimal it becomes incomplete. When it goes over to the negative, like the axis of a graph, without being an actual (he calls it actu) marked fact, for Spinoza the infinite is not the fixing of a limit and then passing beyond the limit fixed what is sensed as infinity, but absolute infinity, the confident certainty of it, which has complete and present in itself an absolute multiplicity, which has no Beyond. Having said this, negation of negation is probably a better way of describing continuity.
The infinite actu, Spinoza therefore calls the absolute affirmation of itself.
Spinoza says, “God is a Being absolutely infinite, i.e. a substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses an eternal and infinite essence.”
Does substance, one might here ask, possess an infinite number of attributes? But as with Spinoza there are only two attributes, thought and extension, with which he invests God.
Spinoza’s idealism is this: The true is simply and solely the one substance, whose attributes are thought and extension or nature: and only this absolute unity is reality, it alone is God.
It is, as with Descartes, the unity of thought and Being, or that, which contains the Notion of its existence in itself. In other words the brain does not separate the ego from the rational but the mind is one. There is finiteness so the initial impulse or only infinite capability for thought is God or must come from God.
To break down thinking and being;
Thought with the rational separate entities in the brain, the ‘I’ where the personality exists and the rational part of the mind.
Fichte didn’t think this was the solution and gave an historic more natural input.
In Foundations of Natural Right (1797), Fichte argued that self-consciousness was a social phenomenon. A necessary condition of every subject’s self-awareness, for Fichte, is the existence of other rational subjects. (It’s like saying one person has to have someone else to bounce ideas off, to have opposition.)
The “I” must set itself up as an individual in order to set itself up at all, and it must recognise itself to a calling or summons (Aufforderung) by other free individual(s). Due to this calling, it limits its own freedom out of respect for the freedom of the other. The same condition applies to the other(s) in its development.
(31) [Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy; Section Three: Recent German Philosophy; C. Fichte.]
Hence, mutual recognition of rational individuals turns out to be a condition necessary for the individual ‘I’ in general. This argument for intersubjectivity is central to the conception of selfhood.
Consciousness of the self depends upon resistance or a check by something that is understood as not part of the self yet is not immediately ascribable to a particular sensory perception.
The ‘I’ itself sets this situation up for itself (it posits itself). To ‘set’ (setzen) does not mean to ‘create’ the objects of consciousness.
The principle in question simply states that the essence of an, ‘I’ lies in the assertion of ones own self-identity, i.e., that consciousness presupposes self-consciousness. Such immediate self-identity, however, cannot be understood as a psychological fact, nor as an act or accident of some previously existing substance or being.
The ‘I’ must posit (setzen) itself in order to be an ‘I’ at all; but it can posit itself only in so far as it posits itself up as limited.
The finite ‘I’ cannot be the ground of its own passivity. Instead, for Fichte, if the ‘I’ is to posit itself off at all, it must simply discover itself to be limited, a discovery that Fichte characterizes as a repulse or resistance (Anstoss;) to the free practical activity of the ‘I’. Such an original limitation of the ‘I’ is, however, a limit for the ‘I’ only in so far as the ‘I’ posits it out as a limit.
The ‘I’ does this, according to Fichte’s analysis, by positing its own limitation, first, as only a feeling, then as a sensation, then as an intuition of a thing, and finally as a summons of another person.
The Anstoss thus provides the essential impetus that first posits in motion the entire complex train of activities that finally result in our conscious experience. Both of our selves and others as empirical individuals and of the world around us.
Though Anstoss plays a similar role as the thing in itself does in Kantian philosophy, unlike Kant, Fichte’s Anstoss is not something foreign to the ‘I’. Instead, it denotes the ‘I’’s original encounter with its own finitude. Rather than claim that the Not -‘I’ is the cause or ground of the Anstoss, Fichte argues that non -‘I’ is set up by the ‘I’ precisely in order to explain to itself the Anstoss, that is, in order to become conscious of Anstoss.
Though the Wissenschaftslehre demonstrates that such an Anstoss must occur if self-consciousness is to come about, it is quite unable to deduce or to explain the actual occurrence of such an Anstoss — except as a condition for the possibility of consciousness. Accordingly, there are strict limits to what can be expected from any a priori deduction of experience, and this limitation, for Fichte, equally applies to Kant’s transcendental philosophy.
The a priori is not only limited by finiteness in time and space, it is limited as to what gives the prior initiation or primary impulse. Being as such, into which thought must pass, This Notion, this actuality is not an immediate unity which does not possess difference, opposites or contradiction, within it, is the ego; it is pure thought, or the ego is the true synthetic judgment a priori. Being as such, into which thought must pass, This Notion, this actuality is not an immediate unity which does not possess difference, opposites or contradiction, within it, is the ego; it is pure thought, or the ego is the true synthetic judgment a priori, as Kant called it.
According to Fichte, transcendental philosophy can never explain why objects have the particular sensible properties they happen to have or why I am this particular individual rather than another.
Self-consciousness requires resistance from exterior objects, but this resistance can only come from other rational beings, making consciousness a social phenomenon.
Fichte’s maintained the ego to be the absolute principle; reason is in itself a synthesis of Notion and actuality. It is from the very beginning subjective, conditioned by an opposite, and its realisation is a continual rushing onward in finitude, a looking back at what has gone before.
It starts with an impulse or desire existing in fact, influenced by personal feelings that are connected, things taken from the past and feeding forward.
Self-consciousness has the certainty of itself; what is not apprehended is something foreign to it. Nothing other than the ego anywhere exists, and the ego is there because it is there; what is there is only in the ego and for the ego.
The simple principle of this knowledge is certainty of myself, which is the relation of me to myself; what is in me, that I know.
Fichte begins, like Descartes, with ‘I think, therefore I am,’ and he expressly brings this proposition to mind.
The argument is whether the being of the ego not dead or concrete or whether the highest being is thought. Whether Ego is a self-existent activity of thought.
Fichte begins from this absolute certainty, as a necessity and demands from this ego, not only Being, but also a larger system of thought has to be derived. According to Fichte, the ego is the source of the categories and ideas, but all conceptions and thoughts are a manifold reduced to a synthesis through Thought. While with Descartes in connection with the ego other thoughts appear, which we simply find already in us, such as God and nature.
For Fichte, still, nothing from the senses was to be admitted from without. So it contained within the old conception of knowledge, of commencing with principles in this form and proceeding from them; so that the reality, which is derived from such a principle is brought into opposition with it. Truth is something different, it is not derived, and one may know and be certain of self but not truth. The ego is certain, it cannot be doubted; but Philosophy desires to reach the truth. Others would pursue this later.
Fichte analysed the ego, reducing it to three principles from which the whole of knowledge has to be evolved and we can briefly summarise it;
1. “I” is material, substance in time and space.
2. It operates with thought but is not a product of thought.
3. It also has a relationship; the thinking brain interacts with the phenomenon of the ego.
There is reciprocity between various faculties of the brain, which makes up the human consciousness. The ego has sub-divisions that also relate to each other. The egocentric is one such subdivision.
Analysis is a consequence of the relationship between the ego and thought. The ego that sees something, I see something through the window, I go out and acknowledge it and analyse it, this is a reflection of the real world, it absorbs the idea, which is a material reflection in the brain. I see something else; the result is similar, and so on. Continuous absorption is engagement, it reacts to what is seen, active participation, it enhances thought and ego. It is not static but matter in motion. Therefore the quality cannot be defined.
“The “I” that acknowledges, analyses, reflects and receives the reflection is not the egocentric “I”. The egocentric “I” recognises with a prejudiced definition”. (32) [Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]
“It thinks it is special. It is individualistic based on preservation. It is a deviation. It is created by distortion, disinformation and manipulation. It is not what comes through seeing, but the opposite of what is not factual to life but a lie or an untruth. It is an assertion. It is not based upon experience but false effigy or myth”.
“The egocentric “I” has its rights, its direction, its definition; it is nothing but a definition of somebody, a definition of something. The ordinary ego, “I” is universal, the egocentric “I” is not”.
“I make life by living it. This is being-in-operation, being-in-state. The operation that has made it operational is consciousness of being-in-state. Where does consciousness reside? It resides somewhere, and that somewhere is “I”.”. (33)
“Operationally, it is the consciousness of being-in-a-state-of-change this is how I see. If this seeing becomes static, then it does not change and develop, it stops! Anything that becomes static becomes anti-consciousness”. (34)
“Something I receive without questioning stays immobile”. (35)
“There are two things that are static – individual inertia and social inertia. As long as these two inert states balance each other, the person will remain comfortable”. (36)
Hardial Bains explains that there is no possibility of stasis, things, the mind, time and space always has matter in motion.
“Questioning is to become operationally a consciousness that is always in a state of change”. (37)
Quantity and quality and its dialectical leaps can occur frequently when it comes understanding. The mind does not like to stay still.
“Consciousness of being-in-a-state -of-change has something in it that questions comprehension, destroys it, and reaches a new comprehension and so on ad infinitum. Built-in development is there. Any part of comprehension in its pure state is anti-consciousness. The thing that destroys it is a confrontational ethos. The moment-of, decision”. (38)
If it does not remain in action, then it becomes anti-consciousness.
“A person in an anti-conscious state can never see what is happening to him or herself”. (39)
Of importance is the distinction between two qualities of understanding and consciousness.
“Understanding does not bring freedom. Liberation does not come with awareness. Only consciousness is liberating”. (40)
“Children indulge in wishful thinking and oblige themselves by believing that they are at the centre of the earth and that the whole world revolves around them”. (41)
Because an individual is so connected to humanity consciousness has to act on people and society to favour them. Therefore Being and Consciousness has its collective dimension and influences. This is why the human factor and social consciousness enters the equation as a prime motivator.
“To seek truth is to serve the people, I develop myself in such a way that all my actions become one with the aspirations of oppressed and working people. They are the people I serve”. (42)
The “I” of self and the “I” of the other become one, and one can relate to one another.
(43) [Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]
Consciousness tends to compel one into action and this is why denial or anti-consciousness is damaging to the self. If the truth about child poverty is known then turning a blind eye is not an option because any injury to one section of humanity is an injury to all. Human beings know that they cannot but help each other. People must act when they become conscious. Humans are fundamentally social and depend upon the preservation of its kind and its generations. Without human interaction it becomes barren and lacks culture and sustenance. Because humans are bound in this way they cannot resist the tendency to support each other and develop the solidarity and feeling of community. This is the real human nature.
Consciousness is not the same as understanding what poverty is, whether it is the same today as in Victorian or medieval times, the measurement or criteria reflected in some statistics, it is the reality of their being, the being of the poor, their existence.
Consciousness has the relationship of thinking and doing.
Even being aware of child poverty is not the end, denouncing it is one form of action, organising to change the situation is another stage, all are relative; eliminating it is the absolute necessity.
Consciousness is above awareness because it involves the future, time and space is influential, human consciousness is capable to automatically abstract absence. What is absent is solution.
Discussion is collective and it has a specific function above awareness into consciousness. It realises the imperative to go into action because the impending solution is naturally incorporated. How can one not act when the concrete solution stares you in the face? Answers may be difficult but all struggles are difficult, but for human beings all problems are for solution. To not be involved in problem solving is not to be alive at all.
Messing with the Mind and sickness
Bourgeois conditioning is a process of behaviour modification
Motivation and the collective consciousness is something humans have difficulty in separating. Separation is attempted by bourgeois individualism or bourgeois right. This individualism is the opposite of real human nature even though it is presented as prime and animalistic.
Bourgeois individualism and bourgeois right are pressed to the extreme to maintain its undue credibility.
Mind control (also known as brainwashing, re-education, coercive persuasion, thought control is of great interest to capitalism. Diversions, ambiguity, confusion mongering are all floated to support anti-consciousness. Prisoners are systematically indoctrinated using punishment and reward techniques similar to experimentation on animals, (Pavlov’s Dog).
There are many psychological techniques.
Much has been done to use narcotics to “blow the minds” of youth or divert them from rebellious activity to pacify or divert from revolution.
Mind control is possible through the covert exploitation of the unconscious rules that underlie and facilitate healthy human social interactions. What informs that part of the brain that is the ego and the will is susceptible to influence. Disinformation is corrupting and can only be combated through truth, facts and genuine information.
Nazi brainwashing” of the people of Belarus by the occupying Germans during the Second World War took place through both mass propaganda and intense ‘re-education’ especially in schools.
Corporate mind control in society is where business corporations and monopolies attempt, by advertising and with mass media, to control the population’s thoughts and feelings to suit an agenda of consumption or mind numbing culture.
Modern corporations are said to practice mind control to create a workforce, which shares the same common values and culture.
Imperialist Globalisation is attempting to create a worldwide monocultural network of producers, consumers, and managers. Modern educational systems are criticised for contributing to corporate brainwashing.
A 2010 study by social psychologists compiled a list of experiments about freedom of choice and argued that too much choice can produce a paralysing uncertainty, depression, and selﬁshness.
Many libertarian thinkers are strong advocates for increasing freedom of choice. Economists, like Milton Friedman, advocate neo-liberal ideology that is behind their theory of “Market forces”.
There is no consensus as to whether an increase in economic freedom of choice leads to an increase in happiness.
Capitalists allocate their resources as they see fit, among the options (such as goods, or assets) that are available to them.
The liberal attempts to destroy the guiding star, the ‘will-to-be’. In this case the will is strong and is even stronger collectively as social-consciousness awakens. The ‘will-to-be something else’, or to change, is difficult to hold back, is difficult to suppress. But try they must to make people believe that life, the workers’ lot, is all there is and they must accept their station in life and stick to the safety of their historical crib and the condition that has been allocated to them. They should accept limits to knowledge, to not act and to find out and not break out into the world of consciousness either individually or collectively, but to stay where it is safe in the realms of anti-consciousness and ignorance. Consider it has a form of existential stasis. Yet this form of existentialism in philosophy has long been in crisis, the form admired by Sartre and his subjective idealist psychoanalytic followers.
Laws of development, dialectical and historical materialism, determine that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that have definite outcomes.
When we become conscious of our self, we realise that our essential qualities are endless urging, craving, striving, wanting, and desiring. These are characteristics of that which we call our will.
Hardial Bains has described the human struggle that takes place as, the dawn of the crisis is when we realise that to move forward, we must leave the historical crib, it becomes the dawn of alienation, the dawn of consciousness. It is also the dawn of life.
The struggle between the deadliness of the historical crib and the freedom of living is what it is about.
Hardial is aware of where the reactionary opposition comes from and why it does it; The individual becomes conscious of the struggle between the defenders of the crib (“the various classes of people who have usurped power by force”) and the forces of liberation.
“The deceit of anti-conscious living reveals quite clearly that passive acceptance is to give in to the various classes idea that they are the only people whose rights have been defined in society, in the sense that it is they who have the right to rule and to be served by the mass of the working people. It is this right of rulership, which is questioned by the individual who responds to his or her will-to-be. The moment-of-decision comes when this will-to-be strikes at the cocoon of the historical crib.
Conscious rebellion is not against something but is something. Rebelling for a cause is something that can never happen within the historical crib. Consider the activity of seeking the truth. The anti-conscious conception is, of course, that we all seek the truth. But ask a revolutionary (the conscious rebel), and his or her response will be: “I am seeking the overthrow of all the various classes of people who have usurped power by force” because these are the very people who are blocking spread of truth.” Furthermore, the conscious rebel contends that we cannot evolve and develop a society unless we continuously question its fundamentals.”
(44) [HB,If you Love your Class]
Philosophy helps keep one sane
Sanity refers to the soundness, rationality and healthiness of the human mind. Compos mentis is having mastery of mind. A troubled conscience is a troubled ego and can often be caused by anti-consciousness; suppression of the will-to-be, disinformation and confusion A sane mind is considered healthy both from its analytical and emotional aspects. Insanity can be caused by narrowness and brokenness.
There is an epidemic of anxiety, depression and stress related illness without explanation that capitalist society and its many forms of oppression are the cause.
Agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation and cognition, compromise collective freedom of thought and action and any human being is susceptible to such manipulation.
The Capitalist Epidemic of Anxiety
There is an epidemic in the capitalist world affecting all classes but specifically the working class. It is a product of the oppression of the workers and their marginalisation. In the struggle to develop their thoughts and actions with analysis, the disinformation is used against the workers to prevent them adapting their ideology and hampering the ability to wage ideological struggle. It attempts to prevent workers becoming political and straight jackets them.
What is this epidemic? It is Stress and stress related diseases like Anxiety and Depression. Even though the two have some connection, they are different. Depression is a sickness and can be related to pessimism. Anxiety is also sickness related repression. Sicknesses can be cured, but where the causes are political or systemic to capitalism these are causes and are not diseases and they cannot be cured.
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed mood can feel anxious. They can also feel sad, empty, hopeless, and worthless.
Anxiety and depression affect the ego and interrelate with thought. They affect the personality. How in particular does Anxiety work?
The human brain and consciousness can effect anxiety through the pituary gland at the base of the brain and the endocrinic system. It can cause emotional change through various hormones or class of signalling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms.
Angst means fear or anxiety it describes an intense feeling of apprehension, or inner turmoil. Anxiety affects thought through negativity and is combated through positivity. In Politics, positive vision, programme and proactivity are essential. Psychology and philosophy abstracts negative anticipation and Angst, which involves and instigates “fear”. Tenseness, tightness, anger, and choking are all physical symptoms and expressions of Anxiety. Dread describes a profound and deep-seated condition. It can be placed out of balance or disfunction through hormone inbalance or control such as in the thyroid or adrenalin production, affecting the heart rate. At the same time instinct and consciousness can have the same effect over the system.
It is naturally occurring. Where animals react instinctively human beings react differently because of levels of consciousness and freedom of choice, which can be appealing and terrifying particularly when it comes to decision-making or lack of empowerment as is the usual case. Personal principles, cultural norms affected by external interference such as imperialist consumerism can aid and abet an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviour and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events, such as the feeling of imminent death.
Anxiety affects the ego and disinformation lack of clarity in outlook or ideology can effect the working class ability to organise for liberation. It can be manipulated though reactionary fear mongering, negative propaganda, isolation and divide and rule tactics. It can manifest collectively and individually where no way out, entrapment, deception, confusion mongering, lying, rumour mongering become prolific. It affects the human attempts in many cases by fascist methods to rationalise and seek truth from facts.
Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat; whereas anxiety is usually the expectation of future threat. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, with a reaction to a situation that is subjectively seen as menacing. It causes restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration. Anxiety is natural and objective but too much can cause an anxiety disorder.
This is what is happening now generally and has reached epidemic proportions because of capitalism and austerity.
Specific areas affecting working people are redundancies, under-employment and unemployment with lack of work and low pay. Teachers are affected in high numbers by stress. Firefighters, paramedics, soldiers, miners, low paid workers and claimants suffer specific stresses. Most occupations have stress related problems. Youth, seniors and women are affected in different ways. Racism brings certain stress with it.
Common ‘treatment’ options include lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications.
Anxiety is distinguished from fear, which is an appropriate cognitive and emotional response to a perceived threat and is related to the specific behaviours of fight-or-flight responses, defensive behaviour or escape.
Anti-consciousness or suppression of the will-to-be something else, rather than a wage slave, are key to the struggle to escape the historical crib, which saddles people. Apprehension or conceived lack of courage of conviction can be attributed to the causes of anxiety, which in turn reciprocates back into the anxious self. It may be a mental state that results from a difficult challenge for which the subject has insufficient coping skills.
It occurs in situations perceived as uncontrollable or unavoidable, the causes and effects due to capitalism may be such situations.
Workers’ quality of life can be affected with stressful panic attack. Everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives but not long-term until now.
There are behavioural effects of anxiety and cognitive effects. Physical effects can be chest pains a racing heart and heart attack.
Stepping out of the historical crib, the self-conscious act of rebelling, taking a political stand, becoming a communist, joining the Communist Party, having courage of conviction, the exercise of following one’s conscience, taking responsibility and decision-making may all be factors in diminishing if not finishing Anxiety.
The trauma of birth is creative and brings with it desire for – separation, individuation and differentiation. The trauma of re-birth is the struggle of stepping out of the crib. It is the struggle to be or not to be, ontic death (individual, social or civic)
the state in which a being is aware of its possible non-being. Being someone or becoming no-one. It is the choice of direction between emptiness or like death or condemnation. It is finding meaning through action in the real world and facing up to it.
Humans generally require social acceptance and thus sometimes dread the disapproval of others. Apprehension of being judged by others may cause anxiety in social environments.
Social anxiety fears the fact that they may be judged negatively. Avoidance is not the answer, unfamiliarity by certain others, some people share different group membership ideas, particularly of suppressed or embargoed groups (i.e., by race, ethnicity, class, gender, politics, Communist Parties, Trades Unions etc.). Participating may be stressful to oneself or a contradictory partner who wants to subject their wills in opposition. It can become hostile. It is a question therefore of rights of individuals and collectives to express themselves particularly against reaction.
Anxiety induced by the need to choose is increasingly being recognised as a problem for individuals and for organisations.
Today we’re all faced with greater choice, more competition and less time to consider our options or seek out the right advice. Too much neo-liberal and capitalist motivated freedom of “choice”, as opposed to collective decision-making, is bourgeois right. Choice in this society is usually pro-individualism rather than having a human pro-social character. It encourages pragmatism over principle. This is the ideological basis of the systemic cause of the disease in this society. Here is the class basis of the problem and here is where it should be tackled.
In a decision context, unpredictability or uncertainty may trigger emotional responses in anxious individuals that systematically alter decision-making. There are primarily two forms of this anxiety type. The first form refers to a choice in which there are multiple potential outcomes with known or calculable probabilities. Usually it best to look for a principle cause or effect that is most suitable when choosing a route. The second form refers to the uncertainty and ambiguity related to a decision context in which there are multiple possible outcomes with unknown probabilities.
The working class is marginalised and people are normally kept out of the decision-making process but are thrown in when it comes to abandonment of social responsibility and people are left to fend for themselves. It is a disadvantage that can turn into its dialectical opposite and become an advantage. Particular skills of decision-making turn into the general pro-social decision-making, thus establishing empowerment and the transition towards becoming the decision-makers of society.
It is the understanding and finding out about these anxious moments, in time and space, and how it is possible for workers to decide that makes them confident. Confidence leads to assertiveness and inner strength that deals with or resolves anxiety about the future.
A Bigger History of Time.
The Context of Time and Space
Professor Stephen Hawkins, theoretical Physicist, covered ‘a brief history of time’ at the cosmic level. It involved a study of spacetime, particularly around the event horizon towards the singularities of black holes.
Stephen Hawking says;
“…Space and time are now dynamic quantities: when a body moves, or a force acts, it affects the curvature of space and time – and in turn the structure of space-time affects the way in which bodies move and forces act. Space and time not only affect but also are affected by everything that happens in the universe…” (45) [Brief History of Time Chapter 2]
The history of linear time can normally be studied through history, archaeology, the study of fossils, the study of evolution, social history, Geology and atomic decay. Yet all processes have histories and hence what comes to the fore is the theory and practice of dialectical and historical materialism, the study of matter in motion.
Social history is one of the newest forms in studying history. Its history feeds social science. Recorded history through text is relatively new too. Ancient history is limited because much of it precedes civilisation. Archaeology can throw light on early history but is a slow process.
It is therefore difficult to make certain predictions about the future based on the development of human kind.
For the working class it is a question of appreciation of history to inform the present because in general the history we are interested begins now, in the present. It is the dynamics of the present that is most important and the experiences that are gained from direct participation in directing the course of history today.
Human beings control human history and social history by anticipating its direction and formulating schemes to orchestrate it. Social History is also affected by natural changes, climate change and natural occurrences and disasters out of their control or influence. Even though people tend to make history, but they don’t necessarily do it as they please, the will of the individual tends to be subordinate to the collective wills of humanity. People have their part in nature and human history is a part of the history of nature in which they operate. In this way they control what occurs in time – they have control over the substance of time. Prophesy or prediction can only work if it is based upon reality and experience. Human beings act upon nature and are a cause and effect in society and control time incrementally by its actions.
The Human influence is most effective through Social Consciousness.
It is therefore important to understand the dialectical and historical materialist philosophy and the causes, effects and reciprocations of space and time and all things operating within it.
Geology studies solid features of any celestial body (such as the earth, Moon or Mars). Features on Mars that correspond to geological features on Earth enable predictions about water, atmosphere and factors for life. Extreme conditions on earth have identified early factors and habitats for life and its earliest development. Because of its long and traceable history in the early universe and study of its dynamics, Geological history informs the incremental stages that have determined the quantitative changes and qualitative leaps that have taken place.
Life passes through time and space and it is recorded through the study of fossils. The evolution and revolutions in life can be discovered through archaeology. Palaeontology unravels the history and science of fossil animals and plants. Anthropology, studies human kind and includes the comparative study of societies, cultures and the science of human zoology and evolution.
Biology, evolution, the process by which different kinds of living organism are believe to have developed from earlier forms, including natural selection as formulated by Darwin is a study of life through the effects of time and its reciprocity. Genetics are the time capsules of life on earth and carry the information for the formulation of different species. Grasping the unfolding and revolutionary aspects of biological change means that time and space will have profound implications for medical science. An example of which is the research into kidney disease and its effects on human life and how a conscious approach will transform treatment. Degeneration is being combated already and will bring more kidneys into use in transplants. Hours of dialysis, the clinical purification of blood, are already being transformed. Degeneration causes the slowdown of body function even long before kidney failure.
Chemistry is the science of elements and is concerned with substances of which matter is composed. The periodic table has been the template or map of the existence of elements and can be seen as the result of the creation of forms of matter on nature’s timeline. The half-life of a radioactive substance determines how materials decay and transmute in time and space. Physics is most concerned with the properties of nature particularly matter and energy and their motions in space and time.
In electricity and the flow of electrons, the motion reveals cause, effect and reciprocity. The flow of current through an inductive coil, when it is switched or alternating will show impedance (Z) to the flow. This impedance is known as inductive reactance (XL). In an alternating current circuit containing resistance (R) Z2=R2+XL2 measured in ohms. The reactance is proportional to the switching speed in time and space or the frequency of the current, XL=2 π FL. The Voltage or force of energy is sometimes known as the electro-motive-force (e.m.f). The forward e.m.f is impeded by a back e.m.f, a reversal of flow from positive to negative can change to negative to positive, which can temporarily invoke voltages of extremely high potential. The action through a coil and the turns on a coil creates corresponding magnetic field in proportion and this causes the reciprocation to occur. The boost in voltage is used in car ignition spark plugs and in ‘striking’ ionised gas in fluorescent tubes. An analogy is similar in a mechanical spring that is compressed and then released where the energy is reverse to the energy applied in its reciprocal behaviour.
In an explosion it can be likened to the recoil of a gun.
Incas regarded space and time as a single concept. In western philosophy, until the beginning of the 20th century, time was believed to be independent of motion. In 1895, in his novel The Time Machine, H. G. Wells wrote, “There is no difference between time and any of the three dimensions of space except that our consciousness moves along it”. The relationship, between time and space and consciousness, has long been a topic of discussion.
Middle Ages philosophy adapted Aristotle to Medieval theology in the great synthesis of Christianity and Reason undertaken by philosopher-theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. The Prime Mover of Aristotle’s universe became the God of Christian theology, the outermost sphere of the Prime Mover became identified with the Christian Heaven, and the position of the Earth at the centre of it all was understood in terms of the concern that the Christian God had for the affairs of mankind.
In astronomy, the Geocentric Model (also known as geocentrism, or the Ptolemaic system) is a description of the cosmos where Earth is at the orbital centre of all celestial bodies.
The geocentric model held sway into the early modern age, but from the late 16th century onward was gradually superseded by the heliocentric model of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler.
In 1543, the geocentric system met its first serious challenge with the publication of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), which posited that the Earth and the other planets instead revolved around the Sun.
The relative understanding of orbits, historically changing, now takes the Prime mover out of the hands of the spiritual and into the material universe. The origins of the universe, primordial galaxies, with matter in motion and cooling; swirling gases giving initial momentum combined with gravity to assert angular momentum.
Kant’s grasp of dialectics led him to unravel the history of the natural condensation of the solar system. The nebular hypothesis is the most widely accepted model in the field of cosmogony to explain the formation and evolution of the Solar System. It suggests that the Solar System formed from nebulous material. The theory was developed by Immanuel Kant and published in his Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heaven. Originally applied to our own Solar System, this process of planetary system formation is now thought to be at work throughout the universe.
The elliptical orbits of the planets have such small eccentricities that, to a very good approximation, we can think of them as circles. (Only very precise measurements, like those available to Kepler, are able to detect the difference.) This means that we can use the idea of uniform circular motion to analyse planetary motion. A body in uniform circular motion is constantly accelerating towards the centre of its circular track. Thus, according to Newton’s first law of motion, there must be force acting on the planet that is always directed toward the centre of the orbit – that is toward the Sun!
Newtonian physics is considered as an important part of natural philosophy and materialism. It has to be considered in history because of its implications for time, space and also consciousness.
Newton’s second law of motion allows us to state what the magnitude of that force must be. The required force is just the mass of the Earth times its acceleration; [F=MA]. We know that the acceleration of an object moving in uniform circular motion is A = V2/R. Thus, we can calculate the force that is required to keep the Earth on its circular path and compare it to physical theories about what that force might be. This is what Newton later did, although he did it first for the Moon rather than the Earth, to learn about the force of Gravity.
Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation
“What is the Force that keeps the Earth going around the Sun?’” Newton’s discovery was the force gravity, which is an attractive force that occurs between two masses. The Universal Law of Gravitation is usually stated as an equation:
Fgravity = G M1 M2 / r2
where Fgravity is the attractive gravitational force between two objects of mass M1 and M2 separated by a distance r. The constant G in the equation is called the Universal Constant of Gravitation. The value of G is:
G = 6.67 X 10-11 meters3 kilograms-1 seconds-2
Newton’s developed this law and using it, with his laws of motion, to explain the motion of lots of different things – from falling objects to planets. Out of these general rules, Newton was able to show that all of Kepler’s descriptive laws for orbits followed as a direct consequence.
When you combine Newton’s gravitation and circular acceleration, which must balance in order for the object to remain in orbit, you get a relation between the period, distance, and mass of the central body. It beings by equating the centripetal force due to the circular motion to the gravitational force.
So therefore, the history of the solar system formulated the theories of gravity at slow speeds but the absolute boundary was to be challenged from Newton to Einstein at very fast speeds. The absolute became relative but relativity too has its boundary.
The Michelson–Morley experiment was published in 1887 by Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley. It compared the speed of light in perpendicular directions, in an attempt to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary ‘luminiferous aether’ (“aether wind”). The negative results are generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the then prevalent ether theory, and initiated a line of research that eventually led to special relativity, in which the stationary ether concept has no role.
Albert Einstein originally proposed special relativity in 1905 in the paper, “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”. Special relativity corrects mechanics to handle situations involving motions nearing the speed of light.
In special relativity, the inconsistency of Newtonian mechanics with Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism and the inability to discover Earth’s motion through a ‘luminiferous aether’ led to the dismissal of any such ‘ether’ but a medium of space and time and the fabric of spacetime has led to a different formulation of material space.
Space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as spacetime.
Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another.
As Galilean relativity is now considered an approximation of special relativity valid for low speeds, special relativity is considered an approximation of the theory of general relativity valid for weak gravitational fields.
Galilean relativity states that the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames. Galileo Galilei first described this principle in 1632 in his travelling at constant velocity, without rocking, on a smooth sea; any observer doing experiments below the deck would not be able to tell whether the ship was moving or stationary. The Earth orbits around the sun at approximately 30 km/s offers a somewhat more dramatic example, and it is technically an inertial reference frame.
A comparison can be made between Newtonian relativity and special relativity.
Some of the assumptions and properties of Newton’s theory are:
1. The existence of infinitely many inertial frames. Each frame is of infinite size (covers the entire universe). Any two frames are in relative uniform motion. (The relativistic nature of mechanics derived above shows that the absolute space assumption is not necessary.)
2. The inertial frames move in all possible relative uniform motion.
3. There is a universal, or absolute, time.
4. Two inertial frames are related by a Galilean transformation.
5. In all inertial frames, Newton’s laws, and gravity, hold.
In comparison, the corresponding statements from special relativity are as follows:
1. Rather than allowing all relative uniform motion, the relative velocity between two inertial frames is bounded above by the speed of light.
2. Instead of universal time, each inertial frame has its own time.
3. The Galilean transformations are replaced by Lorentz transformations.
4. In all inertial frames, all laws of physics are the same.
In physics, the Lorentz transformation (or transformations) is named after the Dutch physicist, Hendrick Lorentz. It was the result of attempts by Lorentz and others to explain how the speed of light was observed to be independent of the reference frame, and to understand the symmetries of the laws of electromagnetism. The Lorentz transformation is in accordance with special relativity, but was derived before special relativity. It also has to be observed that the phenomenon of the substance of light that nothing appears to travel as fast or faster and energy and matter are in turn dependent upon it as matter approaches the speed of light.
Relativity is still confined within the boundaries of inertial frames below or at the speed of light. Dialectics is prepared for any question of relativism, i.e., of relativity of our knowledge, which excludes even the least admission of absolute truth. Truth is compounded from relative truths. Human thought then by its nature is capable of giving, and does give, absolute truth, which is compounded of a sum-total of relative truths.
And the present confines of Physics;
Each step in the development of science adds new grains to the sum of absolute truth, but the limits of the truth of each scientific proposition are relative, now expanding, now shrinking with the growth of knowledge. So as science develops the grasp of the expanding universe, the materiality of spacetime unfolds and the new laws of physics revealed. The boundaries of relative initial frames are broken and new absolutes are found.
But within the present confines;
The presence of gravity becomes undetectable at sufficiently small-scale, free-falling conditions. General relativity incorporates non-Euclidean geometry, so that the gravitational effects are represented by the geometric curvature of spacetime. Contrarily, special relativity is restricted to flat spacetime.
Analysing and study of curved spacetime, measure the materiality of spacetime and its shape and space it occupies. Topology paths (in particular, in mathematics particularly differential geometry, a geodesic is a generalisation of the notion of a straight line to curved spaces) in spacetime represent the motion of particles and radiation.
A locally Lorentz invariant frame that abides by special relativity can be defined at sufficiently small scales, even in curved spacetime.
Following Poincaré, also Minkowski (1908) and Arnold Sommerfeld (1910) tried to establish a Lorentz-invariant gravitational law.
However, these attempts were superseded because of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, “The shift to relativity”.
“…More careful reflection teaches us, however, that the special theory of relativity does not compel us to deny ether. We may assume the existence of an ether; only we must give up ascribing a definite state of motion to it, i.e. we must by abstraction take from it the last mechanical characteristic which Lorentz had still left it”.
Gravitational Waves: Ripples in the fabric of space-time
Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 as part of the theory of general relativity. In Einstein’s theory, space and time are aspects of a single measurable reality called space-time. Matter and energy are two expressions of a single material. We can think of space-time as a fabric; the presence of large amounts of mass or energy distorts space-time – in essence causing the fabric to “warp” – and we observe this warpage as gravity. Freely falling objects – whether soccer balls, satellites, or beams of starlight – simply follow the most direct path in this curved space-time.
So far there has been no observation confirming the existence of gravitational waves. (46)
Just as a boat sailing through the ocean produces waves in the water, moving masses like stars or black holes should produce gravitational waves in the fabric of space-time. A more massive moving object will produce more powerful waves, and objects that move very quickly will produce more waves over a certain time period.
Some of this space-time curvature ripples outward, when large masses move suddenly, spreading in much the way as ripples on the surface of an agitated pond. When two dense objects such as neutron stars or black holes orbit each other, their motion stirs space-time and gravitational energy ripples throughout the universe.
The difficulty in theories suggesting inflation after a Big Bang, and a universe created quickly out of the matter emitted from a big black hole often hinges on an expanding universe that “slowed down” after some inflation and initially travelled faster than the speed of light. The materiality of space and time has consequences for notions of pure space or void, denying the fabric of spacetime. It denies consciousness about space and time and the materiality of spacetime, what it is, compared to idealist notions about it.
Nothing-Becoming-Being is a transitory movement through Time and Space. It appears to replicate of what happens with consciousness. Transition is the same as becoming. Space and time materiality have consequences for abstract notions of “nothingness”. This is similar to Hegel’s consciousness, but not the same. After all, thought is a product of the human brain and depends upon the structural integrity of the brain to reflect upon the material world in order to function, to think. In outer space, an emptiness or void, a vacuum, pure space would suggest an inactive universe.
Ripples in Space and Time, rapid inflation, a Cosmic radiation, from the Cosmic microwave background, from the earliest light of the universe would suggest a lag in light catching up in linearity with the being that came out of “nothing” but the materiality of spacetime suggests that there isn’t any ‘nothing’, there is no void, and matter, the stars, the galaxies and the dust came from the transition within the ripples and other unknown natural aspects of material space. It confirms that the known matter of the universe is the matter emerging or born of spacetime. It confirms the conservation of matter changing from one form to another.
So Hegel’s consciousness is not null as the universe is not empty and the writing in consciousness is as the structural fabric of spacetime and the writing has its basis in the material universe.
Human History is about its actions in time and the effects on consciousness
(Thoughts on parts of Marx’s German Ideology)
Human history is about time and how it materially affects human beings. It has been a cause and effect for human beings and reciprocally human beings have an effect on the course of history.
“The first assumption about human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. The first fact to be established is the physical organisation of individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature.
The actual physical nature of human kind and natural conditions such as climate etc. is one aspect, but also there is the writing of history through the actions of people.
In the first place humans like animals exist in nature, then start to produce their own food. It could be animal husbandry or agriculture. Social structure and hierarchy are added to the fundamental necessities of life and securing them.
Humans are distinguished from animals by consciousness. They begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, their actual material life. It coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. It presupposes the intercourse of individuals with one another. Here is the connection of the social and political structure with production. The social structure and the State are evolved out of the life-process of individuals as they really are; as they operate, produce materially, they work under definite material limits and conditions independent of their will”. (47) [Marx: The German Ideology].
Hardial Bains refines the notion of consciousness;
“I define human consciousness as one that is conscious of itself, planned and directed towards the well being of humanity…”…the quality of consciousness to be conscious of itself, as the particular quality of human consciousness that can abstract absence. If a consciousness cannot abstract absence, I do not call it human consciousness.” (48) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; About Animals and Human Beings,, 24th,, January, 1996, p.81-82]
This is the most creative side of humanity. To look for what is not there, to decide that it can be there to create and produce what is not there and put it there. How does it formulate it? By looking at the world experimenting with science acting upon the world analysing and formulating new theoretical positions and testing them out in practice. This is the power of humans extracting absence; this is the potential of the working-class.
“The ideas which these individuals form are ideas either about their relation to nature or about their mutual relations or about their own nature., of their relations and activities, of their social and political conduct”. (49) (Marx: The German Ideology).
Man operates in nature and acts in nature and human to human relations how they behave towards each other, what rules they make or manage affairs.
The opposite assumption is only possible if a separate spirit (God) is presupposed.
Here Marx immediately draws the distinction between the idealist and materialist conception of history, and clearly shows how progressively human beings become conscious and shows how it is matter acting on the human brain that provides the many moments to propel thought. It is not God it is not the mind and the idea alone it is the outside world that is reflected in the human brain.
As Marx says, “The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men, the language of real life. Conceiving, thinking, the mental intercourse of men, appear at this stage as the direct efflux of their material behaviour. The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of politics, laws, morality, religion.., etc., of a people. Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. – real, active men, as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its furthest forms. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men is their actual life-process…” (50)
The goodness of God was only placed there by way of awe and imagination that is why it has no factual basis in history. It was a way of explaining the unexplained when culture and science had achieved no real development in its early ignorance of the workings of nature;
“Morality, religion, ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, are not independent, they have no history, no development; but humans, developing production and their material intercourse and relations, alter their thinking and the products of their thinking. Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.” (51)
“Human beings must be in a position to live in order to be able to make history, they eat and drink, have habitation wear clothes. The first historical act is the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself and is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history to sustain human life.” (54)
“Even when the sensuous world is reduced to a minimum, to a stick, it presupposes the action of producing the stick. It is the first attempts to give the writing of history a materialistic basis by being the first to write histories of civil society, the state, of commerce and industry.” (52)
The example Marx gives is a wonderful representation of initial thoughts and shows that in time past, the present in the past that history had started in that particular present. As it starts today and every day. The point of showing motion in time and space as a new quality shows the development of leaps in history and pinpoints the transitory nature of time that there is negation, out of the old comes the new. The example shows the abstracting of absence and presupposition that becomes a cause of action that in turn produces.
“The second point is that the satisfaction of the first need (the action of satisfying, and the instrument of satisfaction which has been acquired) leads to new needs; and this production of new needs is the first historical act”. (53)
There is reciprocation as a result and makes a process.
Population and its production enhance collective social consciousness at the earliest point where it becomes conscious activity.
“The third circumstance which, from the very outset, enters into historical development, is that humans, who daily remake their own life, make other humans, to propagate their kind: the relation between man and woman, parents and children, the family”. (54)
The family comes first but other human contacts and relations develop outside of the family.
“The family to begin with is the only social relationship. Increased needs create new social relations and the increased population new needs…
The production of life, both of one’s own in labour and of fresh life in procreation, now appears as a double relationship: on the one hand as a natural, on the other as a social relationship. By social we understand the co-operation of several individuals.” (55)
Co-operation as a necessity is also conscious out of material and physical necessity.
Human beings working together in production develop into a force as individuals work socially together.
“No matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end. It follows from this that a certain mode of production, or industrial stage, is always combined with a certain mode of co-operation, or social stage, and this mode of co-operation is itself a ‘productive force.’ ”(56)
“Only now, after having considered four moments, four aspects of the primary historical relationships, do we find that man also possesses “consciousness,” but, even so, not inherent, not “pure” consciousness.” (57)
And here lies the criticism of the idealist philosophers who look for apriori or products of the mind.
The voice and hearing is described as transference of vibrating air as matter and is turned into phonenes, syllables, words and sentences – in a word language and it is the materialism of language where we communicate.
“Matter, which here makes its appearance in the form of agitated layers of air, sounds, in short, of language.” (58)
“Language is as old as consciousness; language is practical consciousness that exists also for other people. Language, like consciousness, only arises from the need, the necessity, of intercourse with others.” (59)
Consciousness itself is therefore constructed out of matter. It is human and it is social.
“Consciousness is, therefore, from the very beginning a social product, and remains so as long as men exist at all.” (60)
And here is the beginning of the explanation of the human factor/social consciousness.
“Consciousness is at first, of course, merely consciousness concerning the immediate sensuous environment and consciousness of the limited connection with other persons and things outside the individual who is growing self-conscious.” (61)
Putting together primitive awe and religion again;
“At the same time it is consciousness of nature, which first appears to people as a completely alien, all-powerful and unassailable force, with which human’s relations are purely animal and by which they are overawed like beasts; it is thus a purely animal consciousness of nature (natural religion) just because nature is as yet hardly modified historically.” (62)
“Human’s consciousness of the necessity of associating with the individuals around is the beginning of the consciousness that one is living in society at all. This beginning is as animal as social life itself at this stage. It is mere herd-consciousness, and at this point human beings are only distinguished from sheep by the fact that with them consciousness takes the place of instinct or that human instinct is a conscious one.” (63)
The self, the ego, consciousness takes over from instinct and defines human beings as distinct from animals.
The efficiency of human inter-relations makes it more productive of its necessities of life and the phenomenon of division of labour appears. The clerical order manifests to establish and maintain organised religious faith.
“When a division of material and mental labour appears, (the first form of ideologists, priests, happen at the same time.)” (64)
So as thought develops it can philosophise.
Of course as the whole thing grows the contradiction develops as privilege and class are established.
“From this moment onwards consciousness is something other than consciousness of existing practice, that it really represents something without representing something real; from now on consciousness is in a position to free itself from the world and to proceed to the formation of “pure” theory, theology, philosophy, ethics, etc. But even if this theory, theology, philosophy, ethics, etc. comes into contradiction with the existing relations, this can only occur because existing social relations have come into contradiction with existing forces of production.” (65)
The haves and have nots establish their “intellectual and material activity – enjoyment and labour, production and consumption – is delegated to different individuals.
“ It is self-evident, moreover, that “spectres,” “bonds,” “the higher being,” “concept,” “scruple,” are merely the idealistic, spiritual expression, the conception apparently of the isolated individual. (67)
“Property, the nucleus, the first form, of which lies in the family, where wife and children are the slaves of the husband. This early slavery in the family, though still very crude, is the first property…” (68)
And what of this new contradiction that enters because of this division of interest?
“It implies the contradiction between the interest of the separate individual and the communal interest of all individuals”. (69)
“The social power, i.e., the multiplied productive force, which arises through the co-operation of different individuals as it is determined by the division of labour, appears to these individuals, since their co-operation is not voluntary but has come about naturally, not as their own united power, but as an alien force existing outside them, of the origin and goal of which they are ignorant, which they thus cannot control, which on the contrary passes through a peculiar series of phases and stages independent of the will and the action of man”. (70)
History as a Continuous Process
Marx and Engels argued that all of history through savagery, Barbarism, Slave society, Fuedalism and Capitalism exploited successively to a more sophisticated and higher level labour, the productive forces and concentrated Capital into the hands of the few.
“History is nothing but the succession of the separate generations, each of which exploits the materials, the capital funds, the productive forces handed down to it by all preceding generations….” (71)
The inter-relations and development of production meant that social intercourse, including language and intellectual exchange interacted to form consciousness.
“This conception of history depends on our ability to expound the real process of production, starting out from the material production of life itself, and to comprehend the form of intercourse connected with this and created by this mode of production.” (72)
History showed that it was not idealism but the material conditions that gave rise to consciousness in time and space.
“It has not, like the idealistic view of history, in every period to look for a category, but remains constantly on the real ground of history; it does not explain practice from the idea but explains the formation of ideas from material practice; and accordingly it comes to the conclusion that all forms and products of consciousness cannot be dissolved by mental criticism.” (73)
It shows that circumstances make men just as much as men make circumstances.
Workers have a basic consciousness because of their social being.
Time and conditioning, history, has had an effect on workers’ consciousness. This basic consciousness is not simply put there by any individual or propaganda but is gained by experience of surroundings, particular in the place of work.
Causes of consciousness and feelings for change are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in men’s better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.
They are sought, not in philosophy, but in economics.
There is a growing perception that existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, the modes of production and exchange is no longer in keeping.
The means of getting rid of the out of place things that have been brought to light must also be present. Discovered in the facts of the existing system of production.
The mode of production is the capitalist mode of production.
The capitalist order of society is free competition, individualism and private ownership.
Essence is not destroyed by its negation, but overcome retained and superseded by a still deeper essence.
When we say, “out of the old comes the new” there is negation of negation. We say that one thing being pregnant with new, analogous to society that capitalism is pregnant with the new socialist society. Yet there are developments made by previous civilisations that remain. The best of the old is kept but the bad is discarded.
Abstract Notion, is made more and more concrete by theoretical practice.
The process of getting to the essence of what’s happening, of going into it, of discovering its laws of motion, of explaining at first the main lines of development. Contradictions arise; the seemingly accidental aspects of the thing – the inessential – force us to deeper and deeper essence.
In the sphere of Essence one category does not pass into another, but merely refers to another, when one thing becomes another, the one thing has vanished. Not so in Essence: here there is no real other, but only diversity, reference of the one to its other.
At first, essence shines or shows within itself, or is reflection; secondly, it appears; thirdly, it manifests itself as actuality.
The transition of Essence is therefore at the same time no transition: for in the passage of different into different.
When we speak of Being and Nought, Being is independent, so is Nought.
The transition from a capitalist mode of production to a socialist mode, has to resolve the fundamental contradictions to complete a change and it would do it through revolution. At the same time the new is growing out of the old. Capitalism is pregnant with its new form. Some of the practice of the old will be carried forward into the collective memory so the essence of production will be there but altered.
In the case of Monopoly Right, the condition reflects into the necessity for change through immediate demands such as its restriction. The claim on the added value, for example, requires a shift in the balance, the portion that is claimed by the owners of the means of production and the workers or the Government. The wealth producers push forward with their claim and demand that it is first and foremost.
The case is different with the Positive and the Negative. No doubt these possess the characteristic of Being and Nought. But the Positive by itself has no sense; it is wholly in reference to the negative. Here the ultimate resolution through conflict of class interests presents itself, posits the moments to initiate and carry through fundamental change to its conclusion.
The Social means of production is only workable by a collectivity of workers, the co-operation of millions of workingmen and women.
Their social being and their actions in work give rise to basic consciousness.
Production is not a series of individual acts but a series of social acts, and the production from individual to social products.
The articles that come out of the factory are the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had to follow one another before they were ready. No one person could say of them: “I made that; this is my product.”
Division of labour upon a definite plan, as organised in the factory is social production.
So here is the example of capitalism not only producing its own gravediggers but also the productive facility for the alternative social organisation of manufacture. Also perfected over a long historic period and over ripe for birth.
The concentration of the means of production and of the producers in large workshops and production lines is the socialised means of production and socialised producers. Social being is bound to give rise to a social consciousness.
The owners of the tools of labour have always selfishly taken the product, although it was no longer their product but exclusively the product of the labour of others.
The products produced socially are not appropriated by those who have actually set in motion the means of production and actually produced the commodities, but by the capitalists.
The means of production, and production itself, had become in essence socialised. .
“The contradiction is, the incompatibility of socialised production with capitalistic appropriation”. (74) [Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific]
The contradiction becomes naturally a part of consciousness.
“The means of production concentrated in the hands of the capitalists, on the one side, and the producers, possessing nothing but their labour-power, on the other. The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation shows itself as the antagonism between workers and capitalists”.
The predominance of this contradiction has shifted somewhat because of the export of Capital. Collective versus individual consciousness has in essence remained but it has also evolved into the gap between rich and poor with “privilege” becoming more obvious. The wealthy have shifted the way of becoming richer by more parasitical ways of doing it, particularly through moving money around in the financial markets or other forms of speculation. The production of commodities in some ways has been replaced by the production of money in such schemes as bonds and Quantitative easing and printing cash.
Yet the overproduction crisis is still occurring in some sectors.
No one knows how much a particular article is coming on the market, despite marketing, nor how much of it will be wanted. It is a hit and miss situation. No one knows whether an individual product will meet an actual demand, whether it will be able to make good his costs of production or even to sell the commodity at all. Anarchy reigns in socialised production.
How are we take this situation when it is obvious how precise we fix and organise our production targets, where and breakdown in production is fixed efficiently by an organised and disciplined army unit of maintenance, on the other hand stark reality of lack of marketing reliability and insecurity.
The production of society at large, social production, doesn’t have a plan, its an accident, anarchy; and this anarchy grows it and it gets worse.
We know this now as the rule of market forces, neo-liberal “Chicago School” monetarism, where nobody knows whether there is demand or whether the market will sustain it.
But the chief means by aid of which the capitalist mode of production intensified this anarchy of socialised production was the exact opposite of anarchy. It was the increasing organisation of production, upon a social basis, in every individual productive establishment, every factory. This is social production. Modern production has developed technology and robotics, massive loss of labour has occurred, in this way the capitalists have tried to eliminate labour.
We have planned supply and unplanned, anarchic demand.
Yet it still appears but the effects have switched the demand to the luxury of the privileged whereas the market for the old product has fallen where the poor cannot purchase. Now we have the obscenity of foodbanks and the unsheltered who cannot afford accommodation. Now there is a new and more powerful raging contradiction between the have’s and have nots, emerging as an antagonism between the privileged elite and the underprivileged majority. This contradiction presents itself more than an economic but a political issue of representation and a demand to re-balance the gap between rich and poor and even close it completely. It raises the whole question of political renewal of the system of Representative Democracy to be replaced by a more Direct form. This contradiction promises to have profound and powerful effects on the mass consciousness like never before in time and space. It demands fundamental change in parliamentary selection of candidates in elections so that individuals and Monopolists cannot lobby or be so easily influential and corrupting.
Today Capitalism has reached a tipping point. The system has become so heavily monopolised in the basic sectors and dominated by concentrated social wealth that the economy demands planning. Monopolists want state-organised planning to defend their private interests and enlarge their private fortunes; they oppose planning to defend the public interest, strengthen the overall socialised economy and build the nation. Falling rate of profit and investment has led big monopolies in Britain to apply for funding from Europe and hand-outs from Local Enterprise Partnerships between business and Government. They even demand money from local councils on a “promise” to invest and create higher paid jobs.
The law of a falling rate of profit forces those that own great social wealth to plan in concert with the state to prop up their private profits using the public treasury and the political power of laws, rules and regulations that suit their private interests, but which immediately come into contradiction with the public interest, other owners of social wealth and the working class.
“The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation now presents itself as an antagonism between the organisation of production in the individual workshop and the anarchy of production in society generally”.
The monopolies artificially minimise added-value through boosting transferred-value from machinery. They gesticulate, squirm and moan that taxes are too high and corporate rates should fall. They disguise it by including small business rates. They say that this would make it attractive for them to invest or be enticed away from upping sticks and moving out. The Government tends to agree and ‘support business’, which decreases taxable corporate income thus inflating the actual profit companies can claim. The claim on the social product is divided into three, the Monopoly claim in the form of profit, workers’ wages and the Government, which it spends on itself and social programmes such as Health and Education. Hence Government makes the cuts to these essential services. These are modern antagonisms that workers are becoming more conscious of. This why the modern contradictions create the demand for the restriction and curbing of Monopoly Right.
Essentially efficient productive forces create overproduction.
The productive forces still generally over produce, they create a glut on the market, fields full of cars, mountains of food, laid off or redundant labour. Shifts are cancelled; nightwork is halted as a result. All of these are symptoms caused by the relations of production and in turn hindered by the reduced spending power and workers’ wages that in many examples have themselves contributed to demand.
The capitalistic mode of production moves in these two forms of the antagonism and the trade cycles continually affect the stability and sustainability of employment. In terms of consciousness this obviously has its effect. Capitalism is never able to get out of that “vicious circle”.
Anarchy in social production causes the limitless perfectibility of machinery; every capitalist must perfect machinery and improve technology more and more, under penalty of ruin but the perfecting of machinery, robotics, and computers make human labour superfluous.
“It means, in the last instance, the production of a number of available wage workers in excess of the average needs of capital, the formation of a complete industrial reserve army available at the times when industry is working at high pressure, to be cast out upon the street when the inevitable crash comes, a constant dead weight upon the limbs of the working-class in its struggle for existence with capital, a regulator for keeping of wages down to the low level that suits the interests of capital”. [Engels]
The capitalists, who now run an economy that is in an existential crisis because they have diminished the manufacturing base amongst other things, know the threat of unemployment. They now say that they are interested in jobs, but where are these jobs? They are low paid or zero hour contracts, temporary labour or unpaid workfare particularly for the youth. These are now classed as “underemployed” that add little value and cannot sustain life properly. Workers on welfare benefits are forced to take these jobs or face starvation.
“Machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working-class; that the instruments of labour constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the labourer; that the very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation”. [Engels, Utopian & Scientific]
And do we not see it today? New technology has made redundant the labour of so many production workers, even the skills of the most skilled electricians with panels of electrical control gear has been reduced to the programmable logic controllers that long replaced the electronics of the valve and basic transistor. The maintenance and sustainability of equipment, modern machinery, has reduced the faults and fault diagnosis previously required to keep the effective and efficient flow of production.
When the general crisis breaks out, the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange among all civilised peoples are thrown out of joint. Commerce is at a stand-still, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much, bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy. (77)
The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale.
In these crises, the contradiction between socialised production and capitalist appropriation ends in a violent explosion, this why the Capitalists want to avoid it like the plague. The circulation of commodities is, for the time being, stopped.
The economic collision has reached its climax. The mode of production is in rebellion against the mode of exchange.
The fact that the socialised organisation of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalist themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises…
These productive forces themselves, with increasing energy, press forward to the removal of the existing contradiction, to the abolition of their quality as capital, to the practical recognition of their character as social production forces.
How can the Working Class affect time and space?
The concept of time and space and its understanding is redefined on the basis that spacetime is substance as well as condition.
Human beings operate within occupied spaces and its condition but changes to the structure of the fabric of spacetime can dialectically operate. This will be between cause and effect, the change of place between them and reciprocation.
Science, at the moment, is only observing and monitoring certain effects of mass and energy fields upon spacetime. It also needs to monitor the effects of the human factor and social consciousness upon material spacetime.
How human thinking in the brain, individually and collectively, not only will have specific effects but social activity here on earth will also have consequences.
Epistemology is through the conscious participation and the act of finding out. Individual sense perceptions and actions are only part of the equation.
Part of this knowledge is the re-evaluation of the perception of space and time by human individuals and collectives.
For philosophers and philosophy, thinkers, it remains the same; it is not a question of interpretation of the world but to change it. [78 b – From the quote carved on the gravestone of Marx in Highgate Cemetry, London, England][Poverty of philosophy]
In linear time the clock mechanism will continue to tick and record the different time beats and apportion time, in time, in two or more places on the planet earth. It will probably be recorded in seconds, minutes or hours and will approximate due to the accuracy of the timepiece. At the same moment the occupants of the different places may perceive the duration differently. If revolution or such other activity is perceived in one country, time will be perceived differently to a person going through the motions in a day in the life of an inhabitant of a relatively peaceful countryside milieu, somewhere else on the planet and unconnected socially or politically. These feelings and sensations are subjective, but subjectivity is known to speed up or retard objective motion.
The subject and objective factors are time dependent.
If the subjective factor can speed up or retard social movement then the subjective quantitatively and qualitatively acts upon space and time with cause, effect and reciprocation.
If the subjective factor is advancing movement up to a revolutionary point then it would concentrate episodes and events, which would make things appear to move quickly in real time or linearity time or clock time. However the human feelings and sensations of time in the thick of struggle or outside of struggle would be different.
The human factor, social consciousness, people’s organisation, mechanisms for social empowerment and a mass Communist Party are all elements integral to the subjective factor and can speed up the movement. Revolutionary theory, ideology, politics, Information, logic and dialectics, strategy and tactics, useful material and resources, media, printing presses, Information technology etc can all serve the Subjective factor.
Contrary to this, disinformation, reactionary media, the state, anachronistic Government, reactionary ideology, reactionary politics, old philosophic conscience are all factors to retard pro-social movement.
The state of these opposites is a dialectic of contending social strata, the struggle of opposites that are playing out in time and space. It is characterised as the struggle between the working class and the capitalist class.
The subjective can be the cause of changes in the fabrics of space and time but how? It is not the ticking clock that records everything in the quality or quantity of time and a clock measures only linear time. Under certain physical conditions such as created by space travel or supersonic travel, certain changes and differences can be recorded but this is not the end of the discussion.
The working class, the modern proletariat, can alter space and time and use time for its own ends. It alters what goes on in time and space by its very being and essence. It alters the universe in production, humanising space and time and living and acting in the material world and universe. The image of the world reflecting the bourgeoisie is already being replaced by the world being built in the collective image of the working class and the social system of workers will come further into being and take this image and reality to new global realities.
How do we deal with the issue that “time has run, or is running out” or there is “no time left”. The question is for whom, for the capitalists? Time will run out for those that have no future, but there are always solutions for the working class and people who do have a future. Time can be made and there is plenty of time and there is also plenty of space for it if it so desired.
Why is there no room for reactionaries and defunct or moribund classes? It is because they are diminishing, they are an anachronism; they cannot hold back the march of time and because they are almost diminished completely – they will eventually have no dynamic in time.
The notion of “no time for change” or “no time to make change” is an anachronistic notion in itself as the spaces can be made and will be made and opened up. The reality of creating and making time through effective use of time and efficiency and appropriating new skills through science and technical development, add to the perception of time and the quality of time.
The qualities of space and time and their quantities move dialectically and from a lower to a higher form. As one notion or formulation is negated by another notion or formulation, the negative and positive actions and reactions cause time and corresponding space to spiral upwards and forwards.
The working class and its consciousness can use its weight in intervention. By intervening at the moment of flux or at an appropriate time where the plasticity of the moment is critical, the dialectic of change can be witnessed and experienced and can serve the proletarian movement in a timely fashion. It can transform ebb in the tide of revolution in the direction of a flow. It can change a retreat into an offensive. By introducing timely slogans or initiatives programmatically in steps, they can be effective methods in developing momentum, movement, tempo and pace, all of which have similar connotations.
There is also the need to know how to slow things down, when to retreat and when to consolidate as in all strategy and tactics advancing and retreating in an orderly fashion is important. All legal forms of struggle and parliamentary engagement with reforms are part of the slow process necessary at certain times. The forms and mechanisms of empowerment or struggle adapt to alter the necessary condition and substance of time and space.
As time has changed political economy has also changed. Discussion around Capital centred economics as opposed to human centred economics has moved on. As K.C. Adams, the Canadian economist has shown, that the times demand new expressions. Terminology has changed too as well as expressions. For example, the means of production are not fixed capital and certainly not fixed costs but fixed transferred-value.
The means of production of pre-capitalist economic formations were the products of the actual producers of those systems back to communal and pre-class times. Capital was not necessary at those times to produce means of production and is not needed in contemporary times, which is the time of the working class.
Owners of capital were only necessary as a social force to move society out of feudal scattered production and introduce technology to production. Once the move was complete their existence as a social class became unnecessary.
The time when they became obsolete has long passed.
The proletariat is the social force now necessary for transition to industrial mass integrated production on a global scale governed with new relations of production in harmony with the socialised economy.
So if it is the time of the working class, how can time be used in favour of that class now?
As the working class is the most numerous then its ideology, philosophy and politics, its superiority in numbers and organisation, first and foremost, makes it superior as a subjective human force with objective effects.
The Revolutionary Communist Party, with modern definitions and Marxism-Leninism, has long adopted its own political economy and dialectical outlook. Along with this it develops the human centred outlook and becomes masterful in the art of influencing both time and space.
“As social consequences and the human factor become the dominant forces, there is bound to be another revolution of such a breadth and depth that human beings will then be able to grasp what is time and space, what is energy and how is it transferred, etc. All the ingredients for such a revolution already exist”. (79) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class, On Finding two new planets, 19th January 1996, p.71.]
It brings with it many future possibilities for human kind and human consciousness, which sees beyond the limits we have seen with linear time up until now. As we appreciate the nature of time and space the process of its humanisation begins and we will see what humanity, in all of its profundity, can give rise to.
Thinking about the nature of time;
“Time does not stand still, but they say that casualties take place because ‘time has stood still.’ How can this be? He reached a set of his own conclusions. His first conclusion is that liberal democracy assumes that it is here forever and has transcended time. Second, ‘the notion of time coming to a standstill actually speaks of old time, the time past, on one hand, the transcended time, on the other.’ Since the authors of such notions actually could not stand time at all.’ time, ‘in this instance, became the target of subjective rage’ and ‘the subjective simply blew away the objective.’ Third, ‘time had left liberal democracy and the ‘West behind;’ hence the rich think that ‘if they repeated over and over that time is standing still and has been transcended, they would appear to be standing ahead of time.’ (81)
“The final conclusion is that ‘because liberal democracy and the ‘West’ are behind the times, they are the ones causing casualties, making nature and society pay for actually operating in time.’ Time is not standing still for the bourgeois class, they have been left behind by the times”. (82)
Time and space become tools or weapons in the modern proletarian arsenal. The working class and its Party can use the physics of time and open up its own spaces such as fundamental alternatives to the status quo.
“Lack of space” is a real problem….often it actually means lack of initiative. If we go by what is happening in the society these days there is “lack of space” for just about everything worthwhile.” (83)
“Lack of space” can be a blessing in disguise, a challenge to all who are determined to fulfil their aims. (84) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; Lack of Space, 3rd, January, 1996, p.55]
“I was thinking about a communist worker who cannot find “space for communism” in the working class, in particular at his workplace. This communist worker suffers from the “lack of space syndrome”. It gives the worker and the society the justification to do nothing.”
“Making space” …appears to be dependent on someone taking action…Many times people forget that there are two factors that are crucial in making this or that or “space” a fact of life. One is nature, the other is the human factor…” (85)
In its own time the working-class can develop its struggle for the rights of all. It can change direction in the economy. It can use time to render the military and weapons of mass destruction obsolete. By tactically “playing for time” or strategically against imperialist war, it can also be effective just as much as it can limit the terrain and space for war and field weaponry.
Historic time is the narrative of experience that can be the past projected into the present, such is the experience of anti-fascism, Stalingrad or socialist planning to inform the present and modernise it all for the future such as Modern Communism. The same is true for the struggle for democracy and democratic renewal. The working class can constitute itself as the nation.
Grasping the facets of time becomes an aid to human consciousness and strengthens the processes of dialectical and historical materialism. It is nature working its way through so that it can be a force on the side of the most advanced class in history, the ones who can comprehend and apply it most – the modern proletariat, for the cause of change.
Workers control labour-time as they add value
Adding value is the basis of workers’, human based, political economy as opposed to capital centred economy. The labour condensed in a product determines its value and exchange value.
Every variable in production is in constant development as the quality of labour shifts through the skill levels. Updating of skills with the aid of production of new means of production, through science and technology, machinery and computers all assist in labour efficiency and effectiveness.
There are indeed many parameters that improve thinking speeds such as mathematical formulations, which work in conjunction with previous labour condensed in data collection, statistical analysis, memory in various forms and rationality. Also co-operation through collective conscious activity enhances adding value in the shortest possible time.
Labour power is also a variable that comprises energy and matter conversion containing exchanges of various motive forces. The density of material and its manipulation in terms of mass and acceleration are well known determinates in energy applied in its various forms and can readily be calculated in joules per second or wattage.
It is known that human labour ability can be maintained and reproduced effectively and exponentially given the correct conditions including cultural influences. Much of this enhances as much as the high road of civilisation is taken.
Labour time on a linear scale has been traditionally measured chronologically and effectiveness operates at every level on this scale. The working hours, minutes, seconds and even nanoseconds can be measured in terms of what can be achieved in many spheres of productive mental and physical work. It is not known the limits of either measurement or activity at the minutiae or atomised level. To differentiate to the limits of infinity or zero would mean that infinite time or indeed zero time could have theoretical implications for the control of time by those that produce or calculate. But we also know that there are limits to limits and there are no limits in infinity only transition and relatives in absolutes and absolutes in relatives. There has to be both quantitative and qualitative steps and leaps that the unknown development takes. In this way it is conceivable that the capacity of the human brain is ‘limitless’.
As the perception of time changes so does the conception and it is not known the effects that this has on the control over labour time.
What is unique in this is that the producers and creators of wealth are the only class of people capable of controlling time through labour-time in this fashion. No parasitical or non-productive class has this facility. This is why capital centred economy is anachronistic and moribund. It is control over labour and labour time that fundamentally is the need of the day. It is for its development and maintenance that the claim over value added to the social product must continue along the path to its final conclusion, which is a total human centred control.
The interrelation between Working Class Consciousness and Communist Consciousness
Looking again at Lenin’s, What is to be done? (86) When translating human consciousness to communist consciousness through propaganda and organisation.
If we are to say that Consciousness is not limited to the individual but the human factor/social consciousness, then this has to take into account its organisation.
A connection between social consciousnesses can be made in the specifics of discussion or in the printed word. Each has the ability to connect the real world, through social intercourse as a cause and effect to take consciousness from one level to another and is therefore reciprocal.
There is a certain consciousness that prevails because of history informing the present through education, media, recorded data, experience direct and indirect, communication advances and the Internet.
A newspaper, website, can be used to disseminate ideas and give political education. A newspaper can be a collective propagandist and a collective agitator and a collective organiser. Modern social networking, social media, e-mail is similar to the exchange of physical hard copy but is quicker and far-reaching in time and space.
Workers’ Consciousness Develops
Spontaneous upsurge of workers takes place and becomes widespread because of contradictions between workers and capitalists. Greater consciousness in the theoretical, political and organisational work of Modern Communism and the Modern revolutionary Communist Party must take place too. It needs to do this because the communists are the most enlightened and conscious contingent of the working class.
We have to wage ideological struggle as part of the class struggle. First there are ideological considerations, we ideologise issues and then we wage ideological struggle. We often do this in the struggle against two opposing tendencies; (1) Working Class standpoints versus (2) Capital centric standpoints.
We cannot confine ourselves solely to exposing the system that stands in the path of development. Propaganda can expose the state of affairs in the country or the world, particularly the political state of affairs. But to develop the consciousness of the workers it is the cause of the working class and the class struggle that are key.
The organised elements within the Workers’ movement are not political enough.
Restricted Political Agitation means Restricted Political Action
If Agitation of the General mass of workers is restricted to Trades Union issues, then the workers’ experience and actual finding out results in a barrier being put up to their developing consciousness.
Practical or lack of theory inhibits revolutionary theory and movement and the economic struggle or Trades Unions tend to do this. They offer a bit of “resistance to the capitalists”. Literature, exposing economic factory, school and office conditions is as old as the hills.
As soon as the workers realise that a forum could, supply them with a new kind of written material that tells the whole truth about their existence, about their lack of rights, they begin to correspond.
Workers have their traditional organisations like Trades Unions, even though the General Council of the T.U.C takes up a certain amount of politics, it still keeps mainly to economic struggle. The Trades Councils were formed to assist the workers in organising politically they are still impeded. This why the Workers’ Opposition as a political force, within the Trades Unions and the workers’ movement, is necessary.
What should a properly Constituted Workers’ Opposition do?
There are two aspects to the Workers’ Opposition; first there is the objective reality of the working class in motion, as a movement for resistance, waging class struggle against the capitalist offensive. It operates as a force to develop the workers’ offensive and change the situation from revolutionary ebb into revolutionary flow. It is generally a reality and operates due to its level of consciousness through protest, demonstration and various actions like particularised or general strike action. By doing so this in turn reflects back on workers’ consciousness and the level of activity becoming even more revolutionary as it goes on. Eventually the workers can take complete control of power under the right circumstances.
Second there is the subjective factor, which becomes more of a material force for change. If the workers develop the subjective factor it tends to reflect back upon the objective and speed up the process of change because consciousness is its goal. The conscious side of the Workers’ Opposition becomes more material because organisation is the expression of consciousness. It becomes the motivator and deciding factor in placing the full force of the entire workers’ organisations behind working class collective consciousness. In this way advanced organised workers’ thinking becomes the motive force for change in a real way.
So what should a properly constituted Workers’ Opposition really do? The first thing it should do is set itself up. Workers in the forefront of the streams that make up the generalised flow of the actual resistance should constitute themselves as an organised minority within the general organised movement. The most conscious and revolutionary workers must do this.
Having decided to do this the next step is to constitute themselves with an alternative outlook to the capitalist outlook, a complete alternative to the neo-liberal agenda and politically aware on the basis of its own experience as working class. It has to be in the forefront of asserting political and economic alternatives.
The Workers’ Opposition must operate within the existing established organisations like Trades Unions, Trades Councils and Shop Stewards’ Committees because it is not only part of them but raises general consciousness to develop and promote the best political leaders.
To develop the Constituted Workers’ Opposition it must be properly constituted once set up. It has to be an organisation of a new type. Why is this? The reason is it has to be principled and not pragmatic. Pragmatism is all over the place, it takes on single threads because they appear to work but overall individual particular threads and streams of consciousness diverge. Pragmatism is an anachronistic way of thinking. Principled and all sided thinking is democratic and is not one sided. Decision-making discusses the facts of the situation, analyses them and then sums up with a principled decision. Pragmatic individualistic and egotistic thinking is therefore the opposite of principled democratic and collective agreement because pragmatism tries out whimsical ideas and quick fix solutions often leading astray or up the garden path.
Once decisions are made there has to be collective agreement to carry them out. This is essential to weld together the class outlook and unity. This embodiment in a properly constituted Workers’ Opposition becomes an entity and example for the rest of the traditionally organised working class. Decision-making and discussion over issues are related to each other. Decision-making and the application of decisions require a discipline. Taking principled stands and holding fast to positions require a steadfast approach.
Alternative principles are opposed to capitalist notions of privatisation, bogus austerity, efficiency and competitiveness, anti-social schemes, paying the rich, war. The Alternative principles for the economy are; “More into the economy than is taken out” and “Stop paying the rich and increase funding for social programmes”.
The most effective solidarity slogan of the working class and for the working class has always been, “An injury to one is an injury to all” linking all the separate strands into one and opposing capitalist divide and rule.
In the Health Service the notion of “efficiency” has been used to throw a hand grenade into the NHS and take it down the path of destruction and selling it off to the private sector. This is the opposite of safeguarding its future. Efficiency and productivity was used to destroy the manufacturing base of the economy and the coal industry in the eighties. The same has been used to set back the progress of education putting the blame on “inefficiencies” and “standards” in opposition to investment in the public sector schools system and preferring privatisation at all costs.
The Workers’ Opposition must contain within it and part of it the mass working class party. It is therefore essential that it trains the most reliable and most politically aware workers. These workers maintain the most developed proletarian consciousness. The mass working class party in essence is a Mass Communist Party that is Revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist because this is the most scientific and tested working class ideology. Modern Marxism-Leninism works on its theory and develops modern definitions within the concrete conditions and complexities of today. The Revolutionary Marxist- Leninist mass Communist Party in Britain (RCPBML) is the most conscious in terms of theory and has the proven best practice. It therefore is the most effective general staff of the working class that develops the strategy and tactics to achieve the workers’ goal.
The Constituted Workers’ Opposition in the final analysis becomes a mechanism. It is a mechanism for change, for empowerment and constituting the workers as the nation. It therefore will not only look after today’s resistance but tomorrow’s governance. It is the only solution to changing the political and economic direction of the country. There is no other effective organisation for change.
Old notions of politicians in parliament, middle class movements and campaigns along with groupings of pragmatists, institutions of worn out “Representative Democracy” and limited protestations etc; All fail. Only the Working Class with its outlook and organisation can be seen as effective and as a powerful force with the potential and capability to completely turn the situation around.
Since the workers conditions in the various places are much the same, the “truth about the life of the workers” stirs everyone.
Renovation of the Trades Councils to meet the needs of the day:
Traditional Working-class political organisation needs to be strengthened because of the worsening economic conditions on the one hand and the capitalist offensive on the other. Organisational principles cannot afford to remain in the past and new blood must take up responsibility by coming forward from the movement.
The experience of Trades Councils on the Isle of Wight continuously look at its organisation and renovate where necessary to update its effectiveness and professionalism. This is ongoing as natural processes take place. Activists retire and prepare for the organisation to perpetuate. Modern techniques are adapted and modernisation is highlighted as a necessity.
Their Scope and Work
The Trades Councils are the existing local central bodies. Through them, and through them only at the present time, can complete local working-class solidarity be achieved.
Modern Trades Councils consist of delegates from Trade Union branches in the locality, branch secretaries, regional secretaries, shop stewards, line reps and individual workers.
Electronic mail and publishing is used using computers wherever possible.
The Trades Council concerns itself generally with all matters of interest to the workers. It supports working-class candidates for municipal bodies and for Parliament. It works on all political issues affecting the people including community issues. It carries on agitations in favour of housing, parks and open spaces, cleaner streets, more conveniences, libraries, schools and public institutions. This includes integrated transport publicly owned and controlled. It supports the NHS. It defends local hospitals and local services and safeguards the future of the NHS.
Trades Councils support the local economy on the basis of more into the local economy than is taken out. It develops alternative politics as opposed to the status quo politics of austerity and cuts. It does not favour privatisation or private finance initiative schemes but supports pro social programmes. It supports policies supporting the general public not in favour of paying the rich but instead investing in social programmes. It is interested in a future that really works.
Trades Councils support the claims of the workers on the added value made on all forms of production where labour is used in production. As wealth creators workers must have the first claim on the social product as wages and for social investment. Monopoly right should be restricted and public right upheld.
- The Trades Council opposes any forms of racism and fascism.
It is internationalist and anti-war.
It is anti-imperialist and pro-socialist.
In the event of one of its affiliated branches being involved in a dispute of any kind, a strike or lock-out, the Trades Council rallies all the Trade Union forces of the locality to render moral, and, if necessary, material support in the struggle. It expresses itself, by resolution, on all the public questions of the day.
Today the Trades Councils have a wider sense of their functions. Long-views are taken as to the future scope of their activities. A general plan of development is conceived.
Realising the full potentialities of these bodies is the order of the day.
Thousands of members should be at its disposal for all purposes being informed and possibly rallied under all circumstances. No effort should be spared to interest them all, individually, in the work of the Council. They should be rallied for electoral contests: such as elections to local or general Town Councils, or in support of Parliamentary candidates. They can be rallied to participate in all social functions organised by the Trades Council. They can be rallied to support all agitations. They can be roused in the event of a national strike. And they are there to play their part in the event of a crisis of a deeper and more significant character.
The constitution of the Trades Councils should permit the affiliation of all bona-fide working-class organisations in the locality.
In this way the Trades Councils can become the supreme and single central body in the locality. It will assert its position as covering the entire local organised working class. It can be transformed from a Trades Council, with peculiar and limited industrial functions, to a Workers’ Council and its claim to express the needs, desires and aspirations of its constituents in all the manifold aspects of their lives—as citizens and workers. It thus could become a mechanism for the empowerment of all workers with the maximum amount of power afforded to it.
The more Trades Councils should include genuine workers’ organisations and the more organisations need to affiliate to it, the councils would then naturally attract to it much more working-class attention, its debates would be followed with greater interest, and its reputation and general strength increased.
Having thus secured the active support of the working class the Trades Council, informed and inspired by the best working-class spirits in the locality, would naturally take the lead in all agitations. Every propagandist opportunity would be seized upon. The day-to-day struggle of the working class would find greater and greater expression. It would formulate its slogans, plan its campaigns and voice every grievance and give articulate expression to every desire.
Circumstances will determine the best means of doing this. If it is necessary to appoint special sub-executives for the respective industrial and political sections by all means let it be done. If other committees or commissions are necessary let them be appointed, with powers subject to the decisions of the Council.
Workers should aim eventually to control the municipal administrative bodies: the Town or Borough Councils. Let us, first of all, well realise what these bodies are. They are the local organs of capitalism. Their function is to ensure the smooth-running of the locality as an integral part of the capitalist system.
While, for the actual bureaucratic authority and unelected administration, there is much in their technical machinery for lighting and cleaning the streets, ensuring proper sanitation, and so on, by salaried and waged personnel, eventually, the transformed Workers’ Councils, which will locally express the needs and requirements of the workers, could supersede them.
One of the first aims of the Council should be to get an efficient information bureau established. By careful gathering of all the information about everything in the locality, filing and tabulating it, the Council puts itself in a position to plan its campaigns properly. Information should be gathered, particularly, about the municipal bodies and their constitution, limitations, methods of working the machinery of local government.
Particularly as to the running of buses, essential transport, lighting of streets, and other municipal undertakings, information should be carefully gathered about all the workshops and factories in the locality: their methods of working, the contracts they carry out, their general business, management and control. This information, besides being of infinite ultimate value, will prove very valuable during times of local dispute. Then a mass of information should be collected and filed about the local capitalists, shopkeepers and their financial and business ramifications.
While realising the limitations of the municipal bodies it should, nevertheless, aim at eventually capturing them. By doing so it extends its influence and power, and gains in administrative experience.
If possible, with the development of its strength, the publication of a magazine or newspaper, blog or website, should be undertaken. A strong spirit of comradeship should be developed amongst the active workers of the Council, and a sense of loyalty and discipline to the Council should be built up, strengthened and deepened, so that its work, its decisions and everything in general connected with it will command the greatest respect and consideration from the workers.
Developing thus, it should reach out in all directions. The Trades Councils should develop under their auspices a number of social and cultural things: libraries, study classes, educational societies, dramatic clubs, sports clubs, singing and choral societies, gymnastic clubs, music bands etc.
These undertakings are in the line of the natural evolution of the Trades Council.
Sponsorships from Trades Unions should be actively pursued to finance, support from union memberships and levies from meetings should help finance the Trades Councils.
The best secretary should be elected and eventually endeavour to make him or her, a full-time paid official. This is absolutely necessary as more and more of their time will be absorbed by Trades Council work. An active person, free to devote their whole time to the work, and imaginative as to the Council’s possibilities, is sure to build up around them elements and agencies from which income can be derived.
The first secretary should be a competent and dedicated organiser, learn public speaking techniques and master the rhetoric.
The secretary should be supplied with office space a telephone, a laptop and printing facility. The secretary needs to create a good filing system operate good security and secrecy of confidential documents and files. There should be a good legal brief on hand. A modern meeting room with adequate public space should be obtained.
The Trades Councils should support shop stewards committees and genuine Works Councils, which should affiliate, supply delegates and financially support the local Trades Council.
Exposures agitate; they evoke demands for the removal of outrages and are roused in in support of just demands usually with strikes.
Exposures are an important lever in the struggle and they will continue to retain this significance as long as there is capitalism. Abuses exposure still serves as a starting-point for the awakening of broad class-consciousness, for the beginning of a trade union struggle, and for the spread of socialist ideas.
Taken by itself, though, is in essence still not communist or Workers’ Opposition work – it is simply just trade union work.
The struggle, though, is not only for better terms for the sale of labour-power, but for the abolition of the capitalist system.
Economic exposures should not be the predominant part of activity to develop consciousness. Communists must actively take up the political education of the working class and the development of its political consciousness.
The question arises, what should political education consist of?
Can it be confined to the propaganda of working-class hostility to the powers that be? It is not enough to explain to the workers that they are politically oppressed; Agitation must be conducted with regard to every concrete example of this oppression.
There must be organisation of the political exposure of class rule in all its aspects in order to carry on agitation round concrete instances of oppression.
Revolutionary Communism has always included the struggle for reforms as part of its activities. It utilises “economic” agitation for the purpose of presenting to the government, not only demands for all sorts of measures, but also the demand that it should be democratic.
It subordinates the struggle for reforms, as the part to the whole, to the revolutionary struggle for freedom and for socialism.
Concessions are possible and are made in the sphere of legislation but they are not solutions. Economic concessions are the cheapest and most advantageous from the Government’s point of view, because they are a confidence trick. For this very reason, communists never create grounds for the belief that we attach greater value to economic reforms.
The State organised figures from the Office of National Statistics are the chief source of lies about unemployment. JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) figures are the greatest source of disinformation designed for creating false social consciousness.
UK unemployment is supposed to have ‘fallen’ to its lowest rate since July 2008, according to one-sided official figures.
The number of people signing on ‘dropped by 76,000 to 1.84 million in the three months to February, 2015,’ the Office for National Statistics said.
Job seekers allowance claimants aren’t the only measure of unemployment, as we know, but even so the figures show we have highest claimants in the country.
The “measures” for the relief of unemployment because ‘more jobs are being created’, demands for legislative and administrative measures, like the minimum or living wage, are much talked about as providing ‘solutions’. Cutting immigration and at times increasing immigration is supposed to be a solution but it never has solved it. Free movement of Labour, the proletariat free only to find work in order to eat has long been a feature of capitalism.
Conservatives election leaflets are very deceptive and self-serving with their confusing notion that it is ‘lower business taxes’ that are creating jobs. This idea is hurtful to the poor.
Yet the inseparable connection between unemployment and the whole capitalist system exposes the wrecking of the Welfare State, cuts in benefits, wrecking of state education and the NHS.
The notion that the Government is interested in jobs is a deceptive illusion. We know what they are talking about with all of these “new” jobs. As Austerity is more than a thing, it is a neo-liberal process and an offensive. Therefore it is not about a few cuts to services, libraries or buses, these are consequences thus far.
The Conservatives were re-elected in the General Election of 2015 on the basis that their method for dealing with the economic crisis was ‘working’, that there was no alternative, that they are now the party of ‘working people’. Of course we know that these things are ludicrous. Austerity is not working here or anywhere else.
The Workers Opposition is combining action with analysis. In the first place the Government is talking about ‘productivity’ as number one in the Queen’s Speech, it is also preparing the next budget. We have been dealing with the privatisation of the NHS with the NHS England and local strategy. Secondly the impending job cuts and productivity exploitation issues affecting workers at all levels. The fact that they are treating the wealth producers as a “cost”, it masks its attitude to higher and fire workers, disregards the fact that workers are the sole wealth producers, add value and under no circumstances should they be considered a “cost”.
Trades Union legislation, limiting dissent, anti-strike laws are all meant to tie workers down and move towards greater and greater exploitation and enslavement.
What no-one is talking about is the fact that capitalism always has a competitive, “reserve army” of labour used as a lever against workers’ wages and organisation. It is a necessity feature and condition of capitalism and so there is never full employment. As long as you have such a system, you have got unemployed.
There is propaganda and there is agitation
The propagandist on the question of unemployment explains the capitalistic nature of crises, the cause of their inevitability in capitalist society and the necessity for the transformation of this society into a socialist society. The crisis and recession of 2008 has been exacerbated by the financial crash on Wall Street initiated by sub-prime mortgage risk. This crisis along with political Austerity measures initiated and carried out by neo-liberalism has kept the longest recorded crisis going with economies moving into negative growth or flat-lining at 0% GDP or thereabouts.
Lenin in his, What is to be Done?, differentiated between the roles of propaganda and agitation;
“The propagandist presents many ideas, so many in fact they will be understood as an integral whole only by a few. Whereas an agitator will illustrate the same point and put it concisely as single idea for the many.
For example, the senselessness of the contradiction between the increase of wealth and the increase of poverty is a point in question. The agitator will rouse discontent and indignation among the masses against the injustice. The propagandist gives a more complete explanation or analysis of this contradiction to the propagandist.
Consequently, the propagandist operates chiefly by means of the printed word; the agitator by means of the spoken word.
The propagandist requires qualities different from those of the agitator.”
The EU and the rest of the world place import duties on products outside of the association just as NAFTA does and TTIP proposes. The liberal theoreticians write research articles on tariff policy, with the call for commercial treaties and for Free Trade. The revolutionary lifts the fog and exposes the organisations of monopolies and demands struggle against them.
The propagandist does it in the press, and the agitator in public speeches.
Concrete action of the masses may take the form of signing petitions against raising the duties because it affects supply and prices of essential products for consumption. The call for this action comes indirectly from the theoreticians, the propagandists, and the agitators, and, directly, from people who take the petition lists gathering of signatures. Some are propagandists, while those who get the signatures are agitators.
Sanctions are an act of war that go further than acts of diplomacy and are indeed political usually hitting the ordinary people of a particular country and blockades are even greater. It affects trade and consequently affects workers of the instigator as well as the affected country. They are used by Imperialism against countries to pressure regime change and act against the independence and sovereignty of small nations in particular. Today we have seen these actions against Palestinians, Cuba, DPRK, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and others including Russia over the Ukraine and Crimea.
These days the internet and various international media beemed directly to their own homes enables workers to learn, from topical, political facts and events, many are discussed from watching television news items. Advanced workers and communists provide analysis as specific and essential things occur. Exposures follow close upon what is going on about us at a given moment; upon what is being discussed. Also the media spin on events has to be taken into account used to mislead and sew confusion.
The task of the communists is not exhausted by political agitation on an economic basis; their task is to convert trade-unionist politics into revolutionary political struggle, to utilise the sparks of political consciousness, which the economic struggle generates among the workers, for the purpose of raising the workers to the level of communist political consciousness. Yet today it is the predominance of political struggle that comes to the fore over and above economic.
Workers want to know everything that others know; they want to learn the details of all aspects of political life many take part actively in political events.
The Working Class As Vanguard Fighter For Democracy
At shop-floor workers’ meetings discussions still rarely ever, go beyond the limits of relations between workers and employers but these days there are discussions held on the history of the revolutionary movement, on questions of the Government’s home and foreign policy, but the position and status of the various classes in modern society and privilege needs more work.
Every trade union secretary still helps to conduct “the economic struggle against the employers and the government”. But this is still not Communism. Workers themselves must become Worker Politicians.
The workers’ political leaders must become acquainted with and master strategy and tactics. This is a key aspect of revolutionary consciousness.
The highest form of consciousness for any worker is gaining the science of Marxism-Leninism and the dialectical method of analysis. With this the human factor/social consciousness is at its optimum. Using Marxist-Leninist theory accompanied by practice, using it as a basis of its ideology it can engage in polemic and can develop sharp and correct analysis based on facts, it then can proceed from analysis to action and back again to sum up. In this way it serves the working class cause.
The organ of the revolutionary opposition, the main one being Workers’ Weekly, which exposes the state of affairs in our country, particularly the political state of affairs, in so far as it affects the interests of the most varied strata of the population, this is the purpose of its existence.
This is how we elevate the working class to the level of communist politics.
We are in a position to provide a tribune for the nation-wide exposure of the government, and it is our duty to do this. That tribune must be a Revolutionary Communist newspaper. It is Workers’ Weekly, Line of March (magazine) and the Workers’ Daily Internet Edition.
It is the working class, which is first and foremost in need of political knowledge, and is most capable of converting this knowledge into active struggle.
As Lenin pointed out;
“Political exposures are as much a declaration of war against the Government as economic exposures are a declaration of war against the factory owners.” [Lenin; What is to be Done?]
“Political exposures in themselves serve as a powerful instrument for disintegrating the system we oppose, as a means for diverting from the enemy his casual or temporary allies, as a means for spreading hostility and distrust among the permanent partners of capitalism.” [Lenin; What is to be Done?]
Why is there not a single political event that does not add to the authority and prestige of communism? Because communism is always found to be in advance of all others in furnishing the most revolutionary appraisal of every given event and in championing every protest against tyranny.
For workers to realise that they have no political rights and that the concrete conditions unavoidably impel the working-class movement on to the path of revolution.
The organisation of a revolutionary communist party must inevitably be of a kind different. The organisation of the revolutionaries must consist first and foremost of people who make revolutionary activity their profession.
Any worker who understands the need to unite for the struggle against the employers and the government should join a trade union. Unions have an aim, it is not revolution it is basically economic defence and these days maybe a little bit more in terms of social reform. The aim even of trade unions would be impossible to achieve if they did not unite all who have attained at least this elementary degree of understanding.
Unions are of enormous value in developing and consolidating the economic struggle, but will also agitate in our favour and direction.
We need a few talented people and they are are not born by the hundreds, professionally trained and schooled by long experience.
Every once in a while, discontented people emerge who want to protest, and want to assist in the struggle. Yet there is a constant problem that we have no people, because we have no leaders, no political leaders, no talented organisers capable of arranging extensive and at the same time uniform work that would employ all forces no matter what their capabilities are.
With Working Class Consciousness, there is the subjective factor and there is the objective. The subjective factor is reflected in its organisation. The Subjective tends to lag behind the objective;
The growth and development of the revolutionary organisations” lag, not only behind the growth of the working-class movement, but also behind that of the general democratic movement among all strata of the people.
Our very first and most pressing duty is to help to train working-class revolutionaries.
Attention, therefore, must be devoted principally to raising the workers to the level of revolutionaries.
It is not at all our task to descend to the level of the working masses or to the level of the average worker, far from denying the necessity for popular literature, not vulgar, for the especially backward workers.
It is our duty to assist every capable worker to become a professional agitator, organiser, propagandist, literature distributor, etc.
“Try to place every capable working man in conditions that will enable him to develop and apply his abilities to the fullest: he is made a professional agitator, he is encouraged to widen the field of his activity, to spread it from one factory to the whole of the industry, from a single locality to the whole country. He acquires experience and dexterity in his profession; he broadens his outlook and increases his knowledge; he observes at close quarters the prominent political leaders from other localities and of other parties; he strives to rise to their level and combine in himself the knowledge of the working-class environment and the freshness of socialist convictions with professional skill, without which, the proletariat cannot wage a stubborn struggle against its excellently trained enemies.” [Lenin; What is to be Done?]
Developing the scope of work he also says;
“If, however, we proceed from the concrete conditions, we must come to the positive conclusion that a strong revolutionary organisation is necessary precisely for the purpose of giving stability to the movement and of safeguarding it against the possibility of making thoughtless attacks.” [Lenin; What is to be Done?]
Newspapers for instance;
“Should take up Matters like local councils, hospitals, schools, workers’ newspapers should not ignore municipal affairs in general.
But it can degenerate into actual concern with trivialities, lead to a weakening of the consciousness of the importance of a national assault upon capitalism.
Examples of successful strikes in a given region, information on higher living standards, on improved working conditions, in one locality, would encourage the workers in other localities to take up the fight again and again.” [Lenin; What is to be Done?]
Appendix (1): Specific examples and cases of raising consciousness through political exposures:
Appendix (2): Agitational Leaflet
Workers’ consciousness develops in time and space
“…Life is short, they say, this meant that we must make the best use of it in the short time available.
Time was measured in accordance with how many things, and at what frequency and speed, could pass through the body. Time was of the essence, as they say. Consumer society was born….buying a few things on credit….What a thrill it turned out to be, scrounging around paying it back for a whole year…” (88)
Political exposures in day-to-day life enhance Workers’ Consciousnesses
Serious debates erupt these days about eliminating debts and deficit financing. People are blamed for not living within their means. We are sunk if the debts are not paid, international credit rating companies (Moody’s etc) lower our creditability. The option of writing off the debts is shrieked at, Prime Ministers and Presidents seem to go hysterical. Finance Capital has meaning only if it is accompanied by production of things. Banks grow by lending, writing debt off can stop it and the beauty of it is, when you write off Finance Capital it doesn’t touch production one bit. The banks stopped lending for ages yet the producers who kept going kept on producing, even now.
Compare the economy to a temporary sickness, which can be cured. Is cutting welfare or services good medicine as it is proposed? It is clear that the economy that is in crisis is not the same; there might be a cure for human sickness but not for cutbacks. Another thing is you can avoid sickness but not capitalist economic crises. According to Conservatives there is no avoiding the Austerity medicine but there is no alleviation to capitalist trade cycles and down turns. What happens when people turn and say that they are not prepared to take anymore?
Oppression is not an abstract thing. It can be located in individual experience precisely and locally. Class oppression occurs in everyday life. Society and not the individual cause stress but it is an epidemic and is treated as a personal problem and not a social or political problem.
People are told that they should confine concerns to their family life and insist on family values, but how can family values exist in isolation from society? How can an individual abandon social responsibility? The implication is conservative; the status quo is kept by avoiding changes in society.
“…a great deal of power and energy would be released in the working class if people can grasp the possibility of rejection: ‘This society, this consumerism, this U.S. cultural aggression, this decadent educational system, this capitalist society must be rejected.”
“The thing with analysis, and with rejection within the essence of analysis, is that it must give rise to synthesis. Neither analysis nor synthesis can exist in a one-sided manner, separate one from the other. Synthesis must proceed along with analysis.” (89)
… “I hoped that the idea of rejection would lead people to conclude that communism was the next stage of society.” (90)
Ordinary questions can be powerful, they can be profound and thought provoking. Cause and effect, implications and ramifications affect consciousness and can change things. These things can move from the simple to the complex or from the ordinary to the intricate. Reducing individualist approach and anti-social and anti-society notions of one-sided mechanical and self-serving approaches and replacing them with social consciousness not only seeks to create and enhance new enlightenment but also is transforming in its collective approach to society.
Lying is prevalent in capitalist society and the monopoly masters pull the strings of the deceiving puppets in Government. Distortions of the truth, disinformation perverts social consciousness and it is incumbent on humanity to combat lies with facts and truth.
“Lying is an organised assault on society to protect the status quo, something that comes naturally to the financial oligarchy. It hires prize fighters, to do a good job at it, to turn lying into a profession and a way of life” (91)
Flicking across the media would substantiate the constant bombardment of lies that passes for news.
Lessons for class-consciousness can be found in the simplest of things. Picking up and dropping off for the local school run or sports day is an example. The rat-run with all of the dangers associated with children going to and coming from school. Parking, traffic accident, violence, abduction are all ills of society. Yet even in the friendliest social environment surely the picking up up or dropping off could be much better organised? Can these things not be provided by society?
Many people worry about food or food banks or the price of food at different times. Standing back and trying to see the wood for the trees would surely see that society could be better organised to ensure the basic essentials for its workers? A social system that plans its collective or socially owned farm can be managed to provide an ever-increasing quantity and quality of produce. It can plan for surplus and provide for a social market. In this way, guarantees of price reductions and not price rises will be established.
What is to say that a worker in a community or estate has to provide out of his wages a large proportion for himself and his family? Why not publicly organise a place or a restaurant that has a varied menu both healthy and affordable in every community of a certain number of people that is not for profit and run by workers who are paid? A place where time and drudgery of meal preparation are removed from workers lives who need to expend their energies elsewhere.
We know the benefits of adding value to workers’ lives, productive capacity and living standards by good public transport that should be free for workers travelling to their workplace and for leisure or carrying our various tasks and social duties. Not only these things are beneficial to their health and well-being but also to the environment and reduction in private cars.
What of the point of capitalist production? In manufacture the production of luxuries and flunkies are part of the decadence of bourgeois society. The relationship between material needs and cultural requirements is considered. Thoughts of, “Why am I here in this dead end job?” is most common amongst workers. Mystical “Fate” is the religion of the bourgeoisie. ‘You are here because you are’, or, ‘it is your destiny as it is ours to own and to rule, you are born to serve us and to work’. This is the relationship between worker and capitalist. It is when workers are sceptical and class conscious that the contradiction between Master and Slave kicks into action.
Workers have consciousness because of their places of work
The active minds of young workers in particular must find monotonous production line work debilitating in a modern factory. Watching the clock go round slowly and wishing away lives to hear the sound of the factory hooter to register ‘time’ is a perpetual problem it seems. It has been called ‘soul destroying’ but it is in reality and attack on the self and on social consciousness. Mind numbing behaviour inflicted on the human psyche is really anti-consciousness because of its attempt to contain motion by freezing the brain in stasis. It is an artificial attempt to freeze time and close off space. It is impossible; space must be opened up, increasingly dilated.
We can say that this is part of the conditions of work and workers have always fought to better their conditions. Labour wants to be efficient it demands to make time work for it. It also demands space, consciousness and physical working space. An active mind is part of their mental health. Just like an active body is part of physical health. It’s different in some occupations but when workers can gain the education and training to develop skills or change occupation it tends to alleviate some of the boredom. Technical revolution negates part of the contradiction but inability to gain new employment can be as onerous as being stuck in a ‘dead end’ job. The capitalist crisis, which periodically has a tendency to boom or slump, lays off workers and swells the reserve army of labour. Decent jobs can become scarce and there is competition for them. It also creates the situation where workers are faced with being satisfied with what they have.
There is the issue of living for work or working for a living. These two contradictory notions have the contradistinction of the capitalist version of reason for working class existence and the workers own version. It has played out in the subject status that capitalism and its sovereignty versus the position of the workers who want to extend theirs. The Victorian class ethic of work applies only to the workers and not the idle rich in that work pays or in what way does it really pay? Hard work does you no harm (providing it is you that has to do it). At the same time, ‘work is freedom’ in the Nazi proposition of slave labour in a concentration camp. Whereas work in a pro-social sense, working for society and Socialism does pay and benefits all. The context therefore of escape is a capitalist contradiction in ‘living for work or working for a living’. It transforms into its dialectical opposite – that the abstract thing in itself becomes a thing for us, when it is freed from the private narrow restrictions as there is no necessity for the parasitical capitalist but there is a necessity for the working class to have control over its labour and its life.
Technical revolution, robot technology, has been seen for some years now in car factories. It replaces one form of production to another, but labour time and transfer of value is a product of the transition. Revolutionising of production and machinery with computers has made many workers redundant. The requirement has caused production to change more towards the production of the means of production. The labour crystallized in the value of a robot is transferred to the product. The demand on labour is higher and requires renewed training in skills, which become short. Revamping the education system and a renewed interest in education is becoming a priority. It is to accommodate the latest scientific and technical developments and has once more been elevated by the workers up the political agenda. It is another contradiction that arises out of negation of the old method and the coming into force of the new enhanced productive force. At the time of the industrial revolution the workers’ consciousness was much less sophisticated and resorted to ‘Luddite’ machine smashing or wrecking. It obviously did not alter the growth of capital and was abandoned. Today the workers administer and control many of these things yet it intensifies the antagonism between the classes on the basis of ownership and control over the means of production.
Many workers, tied long term to their employment, must consider the constant changing of management quite annoying. Obviously knowing ones way around a product or a method of production is important in the life-long experience of workers. It affects their consciousness and understanding of directing production. Managements and owners come and go but often the workers remain. Workers appreciation of political economy and the marketing of the product become understood as they not only monitor the market but also become consciously aware of their own predisposition to political economy. Workers have witnessed many capitalist booms and slumps and overproduction crises. They know what to do about training new skills, apprenticeships, passing knowledge to the younger generation when changes occur in market conditions. Experienced workers, older workers know that new techniques require careful consideration and testing, often workers are sacked and have to be reinstated because managers are not connected with what is not always viable and have to rely on the tried and tested. They know about quality and performance and how to manipulate these things when there is demand. Workers have built up industries over long periods and generations so it is they that have created what is there and not the owners. Workers operate the cost offices, sales and marketing. Workers organise the accounts and keep the books, execute and write the computer programmes. Workers calculate the production figures and plan production tweak the track speeds and deliberate over their colleagues quality control functions. For many years workers and their Trades Unions have been part and parcel in taking part in joint management meetings and discussions over the direction of production.
Haphazard changes to the workforce, shift cuts, wage reductions, enforced overtime are seen as lengthening the working day or attempts to raise productivity by intensifying the working day. These are reflections of the relations between workers and capitalists and often class struggle hinges because of these contradictions in interests. The capitalist and its managers still take provocative actions against workers to exploit or create conflict in industrial relations. They cut workforces and lose skills for the future and damage production. They say that labour is a “cost” whereas it is only labour that produces wealth and would not be employed if it ever was a cost, which it cannot be. The fundamental question of profit versus wages remains and filling the pockets of the rich by extracting as much surplus value as possible to maximise profit and force down wages is the same as ever. This contradiction between workers and capitalism remains at the heart of the struggle between the classes. It manifests itself today between what has been produced by social labour versus the individualistic capitalist and it is in the form of demands on the social product. The demands are from three distinct areas, first the Monopoly Capitalists, second the Government and third the Workers’ wages. It will only be finally resolved by abolishing the wages system altogether where the working class will decide on whose claims are viable and whose are restricted or abolished.
Often, because the Monopoly Capitalists want to export capital because they want to take investment abroad or to where they subjectively perceive even greater profits for themselves to increase their power. Export of capital has caused much of the uprooting of capital and reduced industry and manufacture. These are the reasons Capital ups sticks and moves out regardless of the effects it has on the local and national economy. Workers are always looking over their shoulders because of this conflict of interests and oppose such moves with intent. The massive reduction because of Thatcherite neo-liberalism and imperialist design in the 1980’s has raised this political question to an everyday issue. It is to do with what happened to the coal industry, car production particularly at British Leyland, steel production, shipbuilding, textiles and large-scale engineering and production. It is the demise of these great industries that has heightened the whole scale working-class consciousness.
Workers may think about what they are producing, who they are producing it for and why? If it is military, should it not be peaceful production and not for imperialist war. Is my work and is my labour suiting the financial oligarchy? Essential bank workers are forced into an unjustifiable dilemma of whether they are working for the social economy or finance capital’s profit. Just like factory workers they are in competition with others in the Global system and their labour is exploited for the benefit of the monopoly few. These are moral questions too but have become increasingly political. Workers are worried about the environment where they live and where they work. They are concerned about emissions into the atmosphere. Workers reflect deeply on the great disasters around the world by their international class brothers and sisters. This is why the infamous Bhopal disaster in India, the various nuclear disasters caused by capitalist energy and nuclear weapons production is of close concern.
Philosophers have interpreted the ‘I’. Whether it’s the Ego or being, the absolute ‘I’ or, I think therefore I am, the will, there is much to do with the ‘I’. The ‘I’ must move to the We.
If we consider the ‘We’ then we can come away from the subjective condition of the I. The work on the ‘I’ has developed our thinking and influenced human understanding of consciousness and the motivation of the individual. The ‘We’ influences and develops the understanding of the consciousness and motivation of the collective. The modern world requires philosophy to develop the collective thinking to move art and science forward.
The ‘We’ in thinking can make the necessary progress, which is lacking.
The crisis in philosophy has inhibited development culminating in the post-modern notions of the montage of individual thinking and practical application. The hodgepodge of nostalgic thinking accommodates every notion across the spectrum. Each notion can have its own motion whether useful or reactionary towards progress. The ideas of progression in the past are re-vamped as are the inert or even fascist. The crisis of postmodernism creates anarchy or dissolves into non-entity.
The ‘We’ can rescue philosophy by its collective ability. The ‘We’ is able to contemplate less subjectively. There is no collective ego. There is no collective existentialism. The will is democratic.
The ‘We’ can rescue philosophy by improving it and not rejecting all that is past.
The ‘We’ moves by co-operation and constructive criticism. The ‘We’ moves by a dialectical interaction of its component parts.
In art the ‘We’ does not start out to vanquish the various schools that make up its development. In fine art the ‘We’ can work out its own school and in practice can collectively apply the paint.
In music the situation is similar with the score. It is well known the achievement of the soloist and the orchestra. The ‘We’ does not detract from the achievements in music but compliments the movement by conscious application of the collective.
The ‘We’ is not inert. The ‘We’ does not hamper development but spurs it on. The ‘We’ is motivated by collective criticism and the desire to work together to achieve.
In drama the common desire and the script can be written together. The novel can be influenced, written and produced by the collective ‘We’.
In science the big experiments and the theory is already moving towards the ‘We’. The grand theories of the universe and the proof through scientific experiment require their development to proceed by the co-operation of the ‘We’. To solve the great problems in Physics, Biology and Chemistry require greater collective approaches.
In social science, economics and politics requires the application of the collective ‘We’ to solve the theoretical and practical problems, which face us.
(92) [Kenneth Knapman, Cultural Review, August 1999]
The Workers’ Collective Consciousness
The social consciousness of the workers is the ‘We’ and not the “I”. Workers collectively discuss in their groups, meetings and assemblies. After discussion social and collective consciousness is raised from the outcome or conclusion of the discussion. In their discussions the dialectical method is the best method.
This method is the best because contradictions can be resolved by synthesising opposite tendencies and ideas. Dialectical motion takes place through time and space, allowing quantity to change to quality and the old is negated, passes away, while the new comes into being. In dialogue, based on individual participants adding to the discussion they hold dialogue and arrive at various truths.
The principles and truths established in their dialogue can become the basis of action and decision-making. The process operates on the basis of a proposition being placed as a thesis the issue or problem is discussed on the basis of facts. The antithesis to the argument is usually placed on the basis of doubts and willingness to resolve problematic issues. Antithetical views are in opposition and contradictory. When the problem is resolved through careful debate and consideration of the points raised there is a synthesis.
The synthesis takes understanding to a higher level, the act of discussion in a conscious way helps the individual, as part of the collective, to gain a qualitatively higher form of consciousness. In much the same way various perceptions, which add up quantitatively can help the collective to reach a higher conceptual appreciation.
We think therefore we act.
When ‘We’ reach a conclusion this form of consciousness is social and the compounded nature of this quality of consciousness is superior to the individual consciousness, which is subordinate. This subordinate position can be seen when clarification comes as a first step and action may be required as a next step. In this way there is democratic discipline that comes into operation. This discipline is based on the unanimity of view obtained in discussion and of itself becomes powerful and authoritative. When action is required of the analysis obtained the minority, if there is one, submits to the majority. There is also the example of the critical approach. Criticism in the collective is the basis of moving forward, making progress; this is where the thesis and antithesis can arrive at synthesis and agreement. Synthesis makes decisions concrete and confident and hence makes the actions derived from agreement successful.
Some might say that organising is about taking professional minutes or putting out rules, others might say it’s about ‘democratic centralism’. The reality is that people need to be organised with coherent discussion and decision-making. There can be basic organisation of a Communist Party and there can be basic organisation amongst the masses, they complement each other.
Organising the people in basic organisation is not a complicated issue. Yet organising often fails or never takes off. Therefore it is important to look at some fundamental problems in organising.
An organisation is an organised body of people with a particular purpose or aim. Yes, aims should be clear and unambiguous.
Basic organisation includes aims and objectives and also it has certain essentials. It is fundamental in being basic to be simple. The method is not overcomplicated. It must be sustainable. Often when organising around issues it has to be kept going and not fizzle out. People have to recognise that it is for the long haul not becoming a flash in the pan.
What holds it together? When objectives are achieved making sure they are maintained or pushed further to progress aims. With volunteers there has to be and be seen to have a common aim so people can unite around it.
There has to be adequate considerations, weighing up the pros and cons with careful thought. Argument must be logical. Supposition and conjecture is useless, it is a question of getting the facts right. Most importantly it is being and acting together. No one is above anyone else it is not about being egotistical. Instead it is about doing the right thing for people not oneself. It is about thinking things through and involves being resolute and not giving up and it often requires being dogged, tenacious, persistent, determined and unwavering and on top of this – principled.
It is not about individuals being pushy, intolerant or territorial but it should involve everyone and not trying to do it all oneself. Don’t pile all the responsibility on one person but share the workload. The attitude of letting someone else do it, “I’ve done enough!” is simply not good enough and will liquidate work. None of this is for gaining prestige or personal gain.
Setting the agenda should be everyone’s participation. Bullying or personal agendas are not right or putting individuals down. Once the majority reaches a decision, it is incumbent on all to take the responsibility to implement the decision.
Motion is essential if progress is desired. Progress is preferential to stasis. Stasis happens when discussion becomes convoluted. Clarity can be obstructed or blocked. It happens when facts are distorted or there is disinformation. Only genuine information and facts can provide a truthful outcome. The desire to resolve issues also ensures progress can be made instead of remaining in stasis or sterility.
Hegel explained how the consciousness of the slave against its master develops in the phenomenology. The slave goes from standing still while the master lords over the subjected slave. This is the stoic mode, but the slave develops consciousness and becomes sceptical. Consciousness becomes unhappy. The sceptic slave is only in transition because the slave desires liberty and realises that the only way is to violently remove the master. Consciousness is qualitatively moving from one level to the other.
Marx also understood this under the conditions of the rising proletariat and the moribund bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century. The old philosophic consciousness had new boundaries at this time and the working class of the time needed to gain social consciousness of the then new conditions. The growth of capitalism also created the growth and association of the working class polarising society into the rich and poor. The contradictions of society were sharpened. The individual bourgeois was set in opposition to the collective working class. There was individual appropriation of wealth and collective creation of wealth. The mode of production was such that large-scale manufacturing made production organised and social while the distribution was anarchic. The workers produced surplus value dividing wealth and demand against the social product between superprofits for the rich and minimal subsistence wages for the workers. The conditions of the working class developed social consciousness up to the point of successfully overthrowing the bourgeoisie in the Revolution of Soviet Russia in 1917.
Today the conditions are different again and new scores need to be settled with the old philosophic consciousness. Today the situation is such that global capital has created a consumer society, which has totally degenerated. This society wants itself to cease of being society, take civilisation back to pre-history and such barbaric circumstances that cannot be tolerated. The ruling elite today is saying that this is the end of history and that there is nowhere to go. They face people with confusion, disinformation and sterility. This is the condition the powers that be want to inflict on the workers.
Workers consciousness today develops in a progressive fashion. It is one of higher levels of consciousness.
1. Workers cannot live on their wages and living standards are squeezed (thesis) Profits are made by the employer at the point of production (antithesis) so workers fight for higher wages (synthesis).
2. Workers have fought and continue to fight to achieve a definite standard (new thesis) Workers see that the capitalists are reaping super profits and are becoming richer and richer with privileges (antithesis) so workers fight to remove privileges (synthesis).
3. Struggle against class privilege reaches intensity and exposure of monopoly capitalist right (new thesis) Monopoly right fights to retain privileges in the face of opposition (antithesis) Workers struggle demands the end of the system that sustains Monopoly right and wage slavery (synthesis).
What are the discussions that are to take place for the workers to reach the second level of consciousness and place them in a position to reach the third level? The third level is where the workers face off with the bourgeoisie and has maximised and exhausted level two and a transition is due. Workers taking the step from rudimentary level one consciousness can only then reach the second level.
To cross between level one to level two the workers initiate the political phase of consciousness. It is a realisation that fundamental problems of exploitation are not the only motivator in history. It is blatant privilege that also becomes a source of class struggle too. Privilege is based on exploitation yet in itself is offensive. Privilege seems initially untouchable where nothing can be done, but this is temporary. Monopoly right is special right, the right of inheritance and the right of ownership. Constitutional right and law protect it; parliament protects it, which in themselves all of these are political. What about the rights of the none-privileged? What about a different constitution or law? Ownership is glorified and presented as time honoured and inevitable by the bourgeois media or bourgeois state controlled ideological apparatus? But this is also political and can be challenged. These brazen rights fly in the face of justice and reason. They are similar to the blue-blooded aristocratic rights of a long–gone feudal past they are obscene rights seen as superiority. Inevitably these rights get the backs up of the workers. Why should they be allowed to get away with it? These privileges must be curtailed. One by one they are discussed and eventually as a whole are considered.
Exposure of privileges is discussed, they escalate and consciousness about them quantitatively mounts up to the point where there is the qualitative leap in consciousness to the third level where the aim is set to remove these privileges altogether.
(93) [Kenneth Knapman, RTUC, 24th Feb. 2007]
“Social consciousness is not only conscious of itself, but also mainly conscious of society.” (94) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; About Animals and Human Beings,, 24th,, January, 1996, p.81-82]
In ancient times dialectics was the art of arriving at the truth by exposing the contradictions in arguments of opponents and overcoming these contradictions. They thought that the clash of opinions was the best method of eventually getting to the truth. Since those times dialectics has been applied to nature, natural science and social science to analyse and divulge the contradictions within them.
The motion of matter is dialectical. The integration of negation of negation with quantity into quality and the conflict of opposites can be seen in the thesis – antithesis – synthesis process. In Hegelian philosophy the thesis is the proposition forming the first stage of the dialectical process. The antithesis is the direct opposite in contrast to the thesis. The synthesis is the final stage in the Hegelian dialectical process that resolves the contradiction between the thesis and antithesis. The synthesis is a higher order and new quality, which may negate aspects of the previous parts.
Instead of the old style working class modern definitions are required. The modern proletarian has replaced the old style proletarian of the nineteenth century.
The modern proletariat independently and of its own volition develops its own new ideas and elements of enlightenment. The modern proletariat is shaping the world in its own image.
The modern proletarian has replaced the culture of the bourgeoisie who limply reminisce of its literature and even fears its own classics. The modern proletarian is seen everywhere in the dramas films and on television, a media it has long dominated. It has its own writers. No longer is the proletarian the old illiterate class but holds sway as the best in highest of art forms in performers of opera, popular singing, composition, ballet and modern dance, fine art and sculpture and writing in all its forms.
The modern proletarian has long developed technological and scientific skills growing out of electrical and manufacturing engineering since the first industrial revolution. The modern technical and scientific revolutions in electrical and electronics and then computer technology have coincided with the growth in ability of the modern proletariat to develop and use them. Today there are many modern proletarians developing their educational skills with degrees and doctorates working side by side with colleagues with different levels of education. All of the important posts and functionaries in enterprise, banks and the state have been taken by the modern proletarian. The dignity and status of the modern proletariat calls out for it to take its rightful place and lead society out of the old order and into the new order.
It has to be said at this point that there is a relation between the Modern Proletariat and a Modern Mass Communist Party. The modern proletarian has formed its Modern Communist Party because it acknowledges that Modern Communism is the highest aspiration of the proletariat. The communists still are the most resolute contingent of the proletarian class as they were when the proletariat first came into being and formed the first communist parties. The Communist Party pushes forward all others. The Modern Communist Party bases its guiding principles on modern definitions of Marxism-Leninism as its guide to action. The Modern Communist Party has the advantage of theoretically and practically the means to clearly understand the line of march towards a new society.
The average price of wage-labour once was a minimum wage, i.e., that was subsistence pay, which was the absolute basic necessity to keep the labourer maintained as a functioning worker. It was that which was sufficient for bare existence. Today the modern proletarian has a dignified standard; a standard, which is an expectation of all and guarantees a highly civilised level that, not only includes the basic but also is set at a high level to meet all material and cultural requirements. Today the modern proletarian claims against society and its social product so that it has the means to widen and enrich its existence.
The privateers and individualists bore the modern proletarian. Today the highest set of rights and ideals have been put in place as the proletariat has raised itself to greater heights. It asserts that society should maintain the highest standard of education for all free at the point of delivery along with a Health Service. Many other social programmes are expected by the modern proletariat for the benefit and welfare of all citizens in society.
The modern proletariat requires political supremacy; it is a must that now it has to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation.
As the modern proletariat sweeps away the remnants of capitalism and imperialism it will end all forms of exploitation of people by people and nations by nations. It will end all wars and there will be governments that will no longer support war. All contradictions and conflicts between peoples will be solved peacefully and without resorting to war.
Dispensing with the moribund bourgeoisie as a class entails winning the battle of democracy. It demands democratic renewal of the political system. Renewal means that the anachronism of Representative Democracy should be replaced with the Direct Democracy of the people. To do this the modern proletariat takes centre stage and gains political supremacy.
By degree the modern proletariat takes from the grasp of the monopoly groups, the financiers and the state their rights to claim on the social product. The restriction of monopoly right to claim on the social product is asserted and instead, giving to those that produce and to society as a whole, the proclaiming of the majority right to claim on the added value of society.
Old style capitalism cleaved society in such a way as the working class produced all of the value and was only paid a subsistence wage in order to survive, whereas the individual capitalist and factory owner claimed surplus value or profit. Today we have added value at the point of production and the claims are obscured by shareholders and debt collectors in banks, but the biggest claimants on added value goes to the government out of which it finances wars and the oppressive instruments of the state. This situation can no longer be tolerated and the modern proletariat will make sure that the first claim on the social product will be those that produce it. All forms of parasitism and privilege will be eliminated.
The actions of the modern proletariat will be based on a complete alternative to the status quo politics. It will break the monopoly of the dominant political parties that represent in one form of another the obsolete interests of the bourgeoisie in other words it will finally sweep away the influence of the elitist parliamentary cartel.
The general resistance of the modern working class and its opposition take care of the present and future of the modern proletarian movement by the organised Workers’ Opposition.
In most countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable:
1. The end of the privatisation of any social programmes including the transport system, health and education communication, water or energy.
2. Public ownership of all social programmes.
3. The end of taxation for war.
4. The end of export of capital.
5. The establishment of anti-war government, the solving of contradictions by peaceful means
6. Centralisation of credit in the hands of a new state, by means of a national bank.
7. An environmentally friendly economy that takes into consideration the future of mother earth.
8. An end to payment to the rich and full investment in social programmes.
9. A general principle established where more has to be put into the economy than is taken out.
10. An end to the bullying of small nations and an end to capitalist globalisation (along with the trade blocs that support it).
The Modern “Thinking” Proletarian has to be Communist
We think therefore we are becomes we think and then we act. Thus scores are settled with the old philosophical conscience and hence the new condition of the proletarian creates the Modern Thinking Proletarian.
Thinking is the substance of mental activity and is the necessity for further action. Action reciprocates and then there is understanding; that is the cause of new thinking at a higher level and the effect is new action. This takes place in the new condition.
Modern definitions are required for the Modern Proletariat. The birth of the proletariat, epitomised in 19th century England, was due to manufacture and industrialisation. Consciousness of the conditions of production and relations were rudimentary. Class-consciousness and Trade Union organisation and the tendency towards Socialism characterised the outcomes for the then proletariat. Now it is different. There are similarities but it is not the same.
The proletariat, once upon a time, required assistance to give coherent thinking to its collective consciousness. This came from outside of the class because of lacking in education and theory. Scientific Socialism specifically came from the work of Marx and Engels, both of whom were from bourgeois background.
The theoretical outcome of the class struggle came to be represented in the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Socialist revolutions of the Paris Commune and the Soviet Union enhanced the condition out of the transition from capitalism to socialism and the consolidation of the new system.
The Modern Proletariat benefits from the experience of the past but also the new conditions of the present.
The modern condition and the Modern Thinking Proletarian have changed. The Modern Proletarian no longer requires outside assistance. The Modern Proletarian has matured to the point where it thinks about itself and thinks for itself.
The proletariat needs its Proletarian Party more than ever.
The Proletarian Party is where the Modern Proletariat collectively does most of its thinking and acts through the basic organisation of the Party.
The highest form of thinking is Communist thinking and therefore the Modern Proletarian Party can only be a Modern Mass Communist Party.
Why is the Modern Proletarian Communist?
The answer lies in the fact that a Communist is a most advanced proletarian, the most advanced proletarian becomes a Communist. The most advanced thinking is collectively Communist and not just Socialist as in the past. It is collective social consciousness at its highest form and reflects the being and condition of the Modern Proletarian.
The old thinking was only of socialisation of the means of production. The production process was the creation of the bourgeoisie whereas today the years of development of the process of production has been influenced greatly by the proletariat. Also the existence of social programmes alongside production such as health, education and welfare has developed the new condition. This of course does not mean that Socialism, as a lower phase of Communism, is jumped over, it remains a necessary pre-condition for the higher phase of Communism.
The new conditions did not even exist in the former Soviet Union.
It is therefore the modern conditions in the Western world, in particular, that have developed the necessity for the modern definitions categorising the Modern Proletariat.
With the modern condition comes the higher form of embryonic Modern Communism and Modern Proletarian thinking. The Modern Proletarians have to be more sophisticated than the early proletarians in their thinking. This is because society, production and civilisation have developed so much since the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
Why does the Modern Proletarian have to be a “thinking” proletarian and why do the youth and students have to think?
The answer is because thinking is reasonable. To analyse facts and apply logic is what characterises human behaviour above all. The thinking of a class acts of itself and for itself and therefore requires the highest form of thinking. We tell our children not just to accept everything they are told as gospel. We ask them to behave in such a way as to listen but to “think for themselves” and not blindly accept what they are told but that they should weigh up the facts and then decide on what is true and what is false.
The mature Modern Thinking Proletarian has gained many facts and resources today. Therefore the Modern Proletarian is well equipped to think.
How do Modern Proletarians think?
They look at facts about the world around them and they analyse them and form conclusions. The method of thinking about things is dialectical. Why is this? The answer is again reason and it is the highest form of logical thinking about facts. Dialectical thinking is a living phenomenon and the best way to deal with facts and reality.
Everything moves and is in process going through transitions from a lower to a higher quality through small quantitative steps to higher leaps. The old gives way to the new by negation, new situations, new science and technology, new systems, new social conditions and even completely new societies come into being. Opposite forces clash and contend and one thing triumphs over another. These are some aspects of the truths of dialectics. Even some of our thoughts are caste away clash and change when new discoveries, scientific or social developments take place. Therefore we say that the proletariat and its Communist Party think dialectically.
What do Modern Proletarians “think about”?
There are many constants in modern thinking and there are many modern definitions too.
Workers are always thinking about their changing conditions and relations in production. Modern Proletarians think about society and how and by whom it is governed. They think about progress of civilisation. Workers watch the news and naturally think about the nation and the international situation and politics. The Modern Proletarian thinks about strategy and tactics and how to empower itself. They think about their interests and their families and political economy and how claims are made against added value to the social product. They think about democracy and political representation and how a modern constitution should be formed. They think about issues of war and peace. They think about modern definitions of human rights. They think about the rights of nations and sovereignty, proletarian internationalism and about equality amongst races and women’s rights. With this in mind Modern Proletarians think about becoming Worker Politicians and sometimes establish themselves as the Organised Workers’ Opposition.
The Modern Proletarian thinks about problems and solutions. The ongoing blocks, which are put in the way of its development as a class, have to be tackled. The anachronisms considered that take place such as reactionary laws, capitalist austerity, neo-liberalism, bourgeois ideology, privatisation, public right versus monopoly right. Also the changing arrangements put in place by the state and institutions to execute measures. Meeting the politics of the Westminster Cartel with the counter politics of the working class and people and working out the politics of the alternative to stop paying the rich and increasing funding for social programmes. Taking on the issues of the Welfare State and defending the health and education of the people are significant and complex questions requiring much thought and developing strategies and tactics to concretely deal with them.
Repudiating the measures to limit or criminalise dissent and also criticising and opposing wars and proxy wars that favour imperialism and jeopardise ordinary people’s safety.
Most of all the Modern Proletariat thinks about the possibilities for its future and its children’s future. It considers the alternative to the status quo, it considers change and in particular communistic change because that is the biggest indicator coming from the present social conditions that gives hope and makes it optimistic for the future.
The modern productive establishment has created even greater means for the Modern Proletariat to be conscious of because of ergonomic and higher social arrangements of the spaces of production in manufacture, workshops and offices. The technical and scientific revolution, the internet, mobile communications, sophisticated education and training, participation in management, auditing, statistical analysis and data collection; all are solely in the realms of control of the modern working class.
These new conditions are the grounds of Modern Communism and communistic thinking.
The collective production and labour has been significantly enhanced ever more pressing to be extended to society at large with the contradiction in mode between social production and individual appropriation sharpened to the utmost revealing the absurdity of the present anachronistic set up. The first claim on wealth through value added, above the monopoly capitalists who should be restricted and other claimants like the government through taxation, these days should be going to the workers as prime claimants against the wealth they create.
The Modern Proletarian Thinker is communist because it criticises and restricts bourgeois right. Bourgeois right is individualistic whereas Proletarian right is collective. Proletarian right is epitomised by the dictatorship of the proletariat as opposed to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This starts in the bosom of capitalist society where individualist traits and self-motivation for personal profit and gain is criticised. This operates on a daily basis. In certain situations self-satisfaction holds no sway whatsoever and the discipline of the working class dictates the terms. Therefore capitalist society, pregnant with the new communistic form of society, already practices the restriction of bourgeois right and wants to extend this to society at large.
Workers are self conscious about their own integrity and the dignity of their labour and skills. They have always made sacrifice for their fellow workers in struggle. They consider what and by whom they are thought of and think about others. They have always made huge self-sacrifices for their cause and for their families and loved ones. The working class desire dignity for senior members of their class. The Modern Proletarian ethic and values are not about accumulating wealth but realise there is greater motivation in life than money. They are not concerned about pursuance of consumerism but claim on the basis of necessity for high standards of life. They have a great sense of community. They have deep disrespect for the corrupt bourgeois politicians and the decadent idle rich. In the episodic battles with the bourgeoisie there is often great courage and conviction shown to principle.
The proletariat prefers a peaceful world without fascism and war but it thinks without delusion, it knows that there is reactionary violence and has no compunction in dealing with it in like for like fashion. In the backs of the minds of the proletariat is the final conflict where an end can be envisioned to this mammoth and epic struggle to end all class struggles. It evermore appears towards the front of strategic proletarian thinking as the Modern Proletariat and its Party prepare for the coming revolutionary storms. In a word the Modern Proletariat would prefer a world created in its own image, which is a world apart from the lifestyles of the bourgeoisie.
Then there is the inner life of the Communist Party where in the basic organisation of the Party exist the means made available to play out the discussion and take thinking to its highest proletarian form. There is no place for individualism in the Communist Party. It is where all things are worked out and plans are made and the blueprints drawn up. The place where the struggle to think, Marxist-Leninist ideology comes to the fore, given modern definitions and is defended. It is where innovation and vision is displayed and theory is based upon practice. It is where action with analysis is combined. It is where youth meets experience and the interaction between members takes place.
The Modern Proletarian Thinker, the communist intellect, is the perfect place for the highest form of thinking and this new intelligence can only be communist and proletarian and it is in the here and now.
The Modern Proletariat and the Modern Proletarian Party
For the modern proletariat to lead society out of capitalist crises and pave the way for a new society, it is essential that first and foremost the most conscious take part in the activity of building a Modern Proletarian Party under modern conditions with modern definitions. It is imperative because above all other organisations the vanguard must be organised.
A modern communist party brings together the Human factor and Social Consciousness in its own specific space. Collectively it can be creative in that space and abstract absence.
The working class in its struggle cannot operate without leaders.
Economic and political exposures are good. Such things must be done. However, if the working class does not have its own programme, if it does not wage ideological struggle to realise it, today it would get nowhere .The working class has to wage the ideological struggle in order to convince all sections of society that it has an alternative. This alternative is socialism.
The working class has to prove that the main reason the crisis persists in society is because its programme is not being implemented.
Socialist planning might be the answer in the economy but to demand that investments in education, health and social programmes be increased. In the political sphere, we demand the democratic renewal of the political process. When they fail then we can say our programme is not being implemented and that this is the problem.
If we say more should be put into the economy than is taken out, we are know that this is a socialist measure that capitalism is contrary to. They take out profits from wealth creation and added value they take out taxes, they do not invest in production as is needed, nor do they pay decent wages, they do not create enough jobs. There are no grants for local Councils and economic funding is sabotaged. Yet to argue these things alone would be reactive, we must be proactive. We must talk about the alternative and lay the foundations for it.
The working class will have to argue that society must accept the claims of all individuals and establish the economy and its foundation on this basis. It will have to provide arguments that the very release of the productive forces necessitates it. Society cannot afford to have massive productive forces being destroyed on an on-going basis.
Each person is born to society, so society has to be held responsible for everything and thus arises a modern definition of the human factor. People have modern fundamental rights.
Merit and ability are no longer key. Today there is social consciousness that has arisen out of civilised development. We continue progress in a new way. Efficiency measures and modern technological or management technique is not providing for all. Human beings must be put at centre stage.
Modern conditions demand modern definitions and modern ways of doing things. Conditions have changed. There is a jobless recovery, downward pressure on wages and working conditions, and the promotion of the notion that people must fend for themselves, the socialisation of the production process is still going on, which is also changing conditions on the subjective side.
The space for political renewal which the working class has to occupy exists objectively you don’t have to create the space. Its creation is part of the objective processes. It is because people fight for their rights.
The comrades who make up the Modern Proletarian Party have to be in the forefront of the ideological struggle that exists independently of individuals. Ideological struggle is an aspect of the class struggle.
It is the role of the Modern Proletarian Party to consider where these ideological issues arise and where it is necessary to highlight and enhance the ideological struggle so that it has effective outcomes.
Mixing action with analysis the Party comes together to discuss and unite around a programme and make plans. Intentions emanating from social consciouness are crystallised and concretised in programmes and plans. These are spaces opened up in practice to test political ideas. The party reaches unified decisions and carries out tasks and assists in organisations the people set up, organisations like political forums and mechanisms for people’s empowerment. Organisation represents consciousness and is effectively part of it. A mechanism imparts that consciousness for the benefit of empowerment. Empowerment is the force of the human will.
The Modern Proletarian Party does not divorce itself from the majority of the working class where it draws its ideas and strength, summarises work and formulates its ideas. These ideas form the basis of its policy and clarify the positions and stands concerning the alternative politics. The Modern Proletarian Party encourages Worker Politicians within the ranks of the working class to become people’s tribunes and stand for parliamentary elections. The Party encourages Worker Politicians to come together under the umbrella of the Modern Proletarian Party.
The Party is the advanced detachment of the working class absorbing all the best elements of the working class. The Party is also the political leader of the working class.
In the difficulties of the struggle of the working class, of the complicated conditions of the struggle, of strategy and tactics, of reserves and manoeuvring, of attack and retreat, who can see clearly in these conditions experience and science give correct guidance to the proletarian millions. Leadership has a relationship with consciousness. In leadership there is specific understanding through experience and practice. It is made up of high quality thinking and skills based upon politics and ideology but specifically analytical with an aptitude and competence towards strategy and tactics. The proletariat creates leadership and command, only the Party of the proletariat can serve as a General Staff.
The Modern Proletariat has great pride in its ability to create such a high level of organisation. The aim of the Modern Proletarian Party is to become a mass party of the class in total contrast to the elitist cartel parties.
Unity of programmatic, tactical and organisational views is the basis on which the Modern Proletarian Party is built. It has to be pointed out here that working out strategy and tactics are key aspects of the Party’s work
Strategy and tactics can be seen as the science of leadership in the class struggle of the proletariat.
Strategy is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat the elaboration of a corresponding plan for the disposition of the forces a bit like military science (main and secondary reserves) and is the fight to carry out this plan.
The Objective stage of proletarian class struggle today is: the struggle to establish the working class as the nation. The main force the proletariat, the immediate reserves: the middle strata. Direction of the main blow: the isolation of the liberal bourgeoisie, which is striving to win over the people. The plan for the disposition of forces: alliance of the working class with the middle strata.
The proletariat must invigorate struggle for the democracy, render ineffective the resistance of the reactionary and fascist right and paralyse the instability of the bourgeoisie.
Tactics are the determination of the line of conduct of the proletariat in the comparatively short period of the flow or ebb of the movement.
Tactics are a part of strategy, subordinate to it and serving it. Tactics change according to flow and ebb.
When it comes to turning things around, to take things from ebb to flow. From defensive to offensive the subjective factor, the human factor/social conscience is in its element in time and space. Turning things around involves examining and analysing the flux, the plasticity of the transition. The influence is dialectically specific and the change is profound.
To turn things around, the thing to do is analyse what is going on and decide what it means and act on the basis of that analysis. In such a case action speaks louder than words. Turning things around is easier when the conditions exist. Empty conversations based on what someone hears in the news or the agenda for discussion set by them is no good, it is not conducive to changing the situation.
Slogans are important as they inform plans and programmes. Slogans change and are worked out by the Party at specific moments reflecting where offensive tactics or retreating tactics are necessary. “Stop paying the Rich and Invest in Social Programmes” are strategic demands that inform tactical struggle. It lays open a broad and popular requisite that differentiates between the interests of both classes and points towards the kind of society that can solve the contradiction in society. “Oppose all attempts to make the working class pay for the economic crisis”, points to areas where tactics can be used when identifying capitalist “attempts”. “Make the Rich pay” is a slogan for the offensive.
Tactics will change several times during any period. Offensive tactics, when the tide of the movement is rising and on the upgrade and tactics have to proceed from this fact. Local political strikes, political demonstrations, the general political strike and even uprising, fighting slogans — such are the forms of struggle that replace each other during a particular period. These changes in the forms of struggle are accompanied by corresponding changes in the forms of organisation for example Factory committees, strike committees, political councils, new mechanisms for empowerment.
Organisation reflects consciousness and in turn supports consciousness in time and space it can speed up the movement and it opens up the space for change.
The Party is compelled to resort to tactics of retreat when we then experience a decline in the movement or temporary ebb and tactics necessarily have to take this fact into consideration. The forms of struggle, as well as the forms of organisation, change accordingly. Slogans change, instead of general political strikes – partial economic strikes, or simply a lull in activities. Cultural and educational work may be prioritised. A slogan can condense an aim and it reflects a more immediate aspect of consciousness. It can effect a transition and speed up a movement in time and space.
The Human factor/Social consciousness includes opening up a space because people first unite, first they organise, and only then do they go into battle.
In using strategy and tactics in day-to-day pre-revolutionary struggle, it is about concentrating forces at the opposition’s most vulnerable spot at the decisive moment in time and space. People’s decision-makers need to assess what is decisive and where the main blow should be, it therefore becomes a conscious act in weighing up the pros and cons. The particular is in the general so an issue out of the movement and a victory may be the spur for the greater overall struggle against the capitalist offensive.
If an offensive or counter offensive action is going full-steam ahead it may be an issue to rout. In the anti-austerity movement, now, it may be a single issue where a victory is possible to be won. When the opposition decides where its main blow may be it should probably rally the broadest masses of the population around the workers’ organised opposition. When beginning an offensive struggle it should go to the end if it can. Concentrate forces, motivate allies so we have numbers and hit the point decisively, otherwise, who has the advantage of better preparation and organisation, will break the opposition. Any action should be with the greatest determination, its all about timing, without inappropriate pause or hesitation and by all means, take the offensive.
Take the opposition by surprise if you can. Seize the moment when they do not expect the scope and depth of the organised opposition and when they are in disarray or scattered. Sometimes strive for minute-by-minute, hourly or daily success.
To be decisive means the particular struggle has fully matured the class forces hostile to us have become sufficiently entangled, are sufficiently at loggerheads, have sufficiently weakened themselves in a struggle, which is beyond their strength.
All the vacillating, petty bourgeois, elements are exposed in the eyes of the people and have sufficiently disgraced themselves. Among the people there must have developed a mass sentiment in favour of supporting bold action.
Failure to observe these conditions leads to loss of tempo. Tempo is important because it is organised time. Tempo can be controlled by the human subjective factor and with momentum it can deliver change. Speeding up the tempo may be about not missing opportunity and delivering the decisive blow for victory if missed can lead to set-back, lost initiative or defeat.
Giving views is not the same as giving opinions. Often opinions are not informed or based on facts and are used to divert, deflect or even block activity. “Opinionating” is a bourgeois activity asserting the “right” of everyone to hold “an opinion” and thus give that “opinion” and so the proletariat doesn’t recognise it as a bona fide right; the Modern Proletariat recognises views are given on the basis of work and experience and class interests. Policies and theses are arrived at because they are recognised as how they serve the class. Views are often given on the basis of objective experience to elucidate principles and support positions in the spirit of unifying and strengthening them. The opposite is subjective and individualistic unsupported “opinions” and serves to retard progressive discussion. Sometimes these “opinions” can seem to be supported but this is usually by rhetoric or demagogy.
As has been said already ideological struggle takes place outside of the wishes of individuals. It is not an intellectual question if issues exist but it is the role of a political party to recognise what the issues are and ideologise them further, this is called ideological consideration.
When it is agreed what the key aspect of the ideological struggle is and it is the task of the Party to work to raise the issue even higher so that political struggle can take place. An example may be a constitutional issue or a democratic reform. The political struggle may take the shape of forming or joining alliances to block arrangements the capitalists want in place or fight to establish new arrangements that favour the people’s cause. The tactics used may require parliamentary or extra parliamentary struggle, which has to be decided by the Party.
The Party has to render accounts to the people it represents. It does it internally and externally. The Party mainly does this through its work and its actions. The relationship between what it says and what it does shows the connection between consciousness and ideas and closes the gap between theory and practice – that is why the Party says that its word is its deed. This is the true relationship between thinking and being in the real world and in time and space. Ideological, theoretical and political work and struggle are the foundations of the Party of the working class guided by advanced Marxism-Leninism with modern definitions.
Another aspect of the Party’s work is economic. The economic struggle is part of the class struggle in society. The Party supports a number of things on the economy that affect the people. One is a general issue, which discusses and analyses for the working class and people all aspects of what is put into the economy and what is taken out. This aspect differentiates between capitalist individual private profit and nation building on the basis of supporting investment into a social economy.
It determines that the social economy and the social product are priorities in terms of where investment is made and includes social programmes such as health, education, transport and communication etc. It also includes the production of wealth through building the manufacturing base. Second is how the Modern Proletariat creates the added value to the economy and who is claiming against it. The workers have a right to first claim on the social product, the monopolies and finance capitalists have no right to claim, their claim is based on property rights in a capitalist system and not social right. The strategic task is to restrict monopoly right. The claims made are by, on the one hand the workers who produce the wealth and the other hand the monopolies in the form of profit and the government in the form of taxes. The role of the Party is to combine action with analysis around these issues and how to resolve them by working out tactics and waging political struggle.
Stop paying the rich and increase investment in social programmes
The working class has the right to modern and progressive Social Programmes. Social programmes including, health, education, public transport, postal services have been established as rightful investments for the people. The social gains made and incorporated in the welfare state have ensured the social protection of the people. This is why the Modern Proletariat and its Party are opposed to neo-liberal cuts in public expenditure to bail out the rich and their system in times of capitalist economic crisis. Investment should be maintained in all social programmes and where investment is taken out in order to pay the rich the Party will fight and campaign against such measures and will demand also that they remain in the public sector and not be privatised.
What issues out of the movement are so important that they can challenge the system of capitalism and replace it with socialism? One key issue is likely to centre on the Health Service because this particular asset is dear to the people’s heart and the demand has been, since its inception, to protect it and improve it. If the neo-liberals attempt to encroach on the health service and undermine it or privatise it the working class and its Party will challenge the capitalists in order to block their arrangements. It will work out tactics in order to be successful. Society is likely to become polarised over the issue of health and sensitivity over the issue is liable to lead to clashes.
The political nature of the health service defines the type of preference of society. This struggle becomes more profound, the debate over the type of society people desire will be between one that takes care of the collective well-being of the people as opposed to one that serves the individualistic privileged elite. It is here where the workers’ hankering for socialism as an alternative system will become more obvious.
The battle to win the struggle for democracy is an ongoing struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Since the first reform act of the 19th century there has been no nation-building project in Britain. There is still no proper written constitution.
The model created in Britain for parliament has been based upon the system of Representative Democracy. This anachronistic form has had its day and any various reforms proposed to salvage it cannot divert the struggle for Direct Democracy. This is the bottom up form of democracy as opposed to the top down approach. The Modern Proletariat is keen on a direct democratic process that enables it to become empowered and finally constitute itself as the nation. It is for this reason that a Modern Proletarian Party wages ideological and political struggle to form the new arrangements necessary to bring this into being. It engenders worker politicians within its ranks and trains them to become the people’s tribunes with this project in mind.
It promotes the idea that those candidates for election should be selected from the various collectives and communities and workplaces and in the final analysis that there should be no election without selection.
The Party works amongst the people to build their own mechanisms for empowerment, forming committees, forums and new organisations, which enable them. These organisations are for democratic renewal and are outside of parliament.
The Party engages in the struggle for a modern constitution. The struggle for rights is part of fighting for a modern constitution to enshrine those rights. Rights are defined in a modern way too and develop as society develops, such as the modern right to a Health Service or Education free at the point of delivery.
The rights of collectives such as women, youth, pensioners, national minorities and workers are all examples of collectives that make up our nation and people. Establishing rights enshrined in a modern constitution is part of the Party’s aims. The Modern Proletarian Party works inside and outside of the parliament to achieve its strategic aims.
In terms of developing policy and asking the question, “What kind of society do we want?” The Party is initiating the real big discussion. This consultative discussion encourages all of the people to engage in discussion based on their own experience, asking the pertinent questions from their work or specific areas where they live and on the nature of how it should operate and develop.
In education, the question arises, “What type of education system is needed, what kind of curriculum or pedagogy?”
What are modern definitions of Public Ownership?” “What kind of taxation should there be?”
“What type of public transport system should operate locally and nationally?”
Also on the environment and the protection of Mother Earth, what kinds of energy replacements do we need such as nuclear or wind turbines?”
There are many questions and the onus for the solutions should come from the people themselves and become reflected in the policy of the Modern Proletarian Party. In this way the Party becomes a truly Mass Party.
Fascism and war
The worst form of egocentricity is the fascist; they only care about themselves.
Fascism starts from a person’s being, and it is important to go into its genesis and tendencies.
Hardial Bains talks about how it works in “Necessity for Change”;
“When idealists talk of fascism they usually refer to the murderous crusades carried out as a result of social, political or religious dogmas. They picture dismembered bodies and recall all kinds of physical killings that have taken place through the centuries. They recognise fascism when somebody has been physically killed or when somebody is being physically killed. History-as-such teaches us that all of a sudden somebody, some class of people or some society went crazy and started killing others. We would suggest that this is an easy definition of fascism, a comfortable rationalisation that allows us to ignore the genesis of fascism within ourselves and within our society. It is an easy definition because it does not take into consideration the reality of the human situation”.
[Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]. 
Defining fascism cannot be done on the basis of half-truths.
When the man on the Tunisian beach machine-gunned down tourists in 2015, it was said that he was “brain washed” by ISIS. People do not become murderers all of a sudden; the recruits took up the discipline of the fascists without finding out.
When Hitler recruited to his organisation he did it in the euphoria of the situation created by apparent success.
The expansion of ISIS is similar. ISIS is a fascist organisation born of the uneven development of capitalism. These gangsters were supported initially by the United States in its war against Assad of Syria, its fifth column amongst others. It has been supported against Iran.
The powers have created spaces for fascism to occupy and develop; any such spaces need to be closed down.
Which oil rich absolutist, feudal monarchist states have assisted in the creation of such reactionary fascist organisations that strut the world in the name of Islam? The main instigator and perpetrator can only be Saudi Arabia. On behalf of Imperialism, it stood against Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War, it supported George Bush in the second, it stands today against Iran, punishes the people of Bahrain in support of the United States Navy and attacks Yemen. It stands against its own people and restricts their human rights.
Who has not seen the pictures of the fascist SS placing the Luger pistol, without cause, at the head of a victim only because of a whim? Is this not the barbaric arbitration of the beheaders?
The Nazis in Germany took up the name of “National Socialist” because of the name of Socialism. They even pretended to be against the excesses of Capitalism. They portrayed themselves as the defenders of the working poor. Is this not true of ISIS, supposedly defenders of the youth and women’s rights, who pretend to defend against the anti-Islamic nature of some of the western imperialist countries and their political leaders?
Yet the fascist organisation, does what fascism does, it takes away cultural and personal identity, it destroys the heritage and history of the people like Iraqis. It treats them as non-human.
It talks about freedom to take away rights. It wants to start over by suppressing the will of its recruits by its own will and control the individual. “Come to us”, it says and, “we will destroy the enemy and establish a Caliphate, a strong state that you will help to build to rival these other capitalist states and in turn you must accept its discipline”.
Hardial Bains explains;
“Beliefs devoid of experiential validity, the accumulated prejudices of society, constitute the dogma which gives rise to overt fascism. During the Nuremberg Trials, Herman Goering remarked: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders; that is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country..
…Fascist tendencies operate when beliefs are held without question…”
[Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]. [94a]
For their own strategic ends the old imperialists oppose people in the local areas of the Middle East and progressive people abroad who want to form brigades against fascism, as they did against Franco in the 1930’s, they provide disinformation to weaken the resolve against something the Western leaders themselves have created. They made the conditions by their proxy wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and their covert and open actions against the sovereignty of Syria. A mess they have left for the people to clear up.
The British bourgeoisie want to limit “ideological struggle” to British values versus “Islamic fundamentalism” as a means to an end to marginalise the competition’s ideology. This limitation diverts the capitalist and fascist ideology away from itself.
The British monopoly bourgeoisie and their political representatives for example, are not interested in opposing fascism organised by the caliphate proponents. They only want to address the contradiction caused by the emerging competition for strategic control at the same time, work to establish equilibrium in their favour.
In fact they are interested in the reactionary march to establish fascism at home to ‘resolve’ their domestic problems.
The essential work to form the united front against the growing fascism, particularly of the state, causes the Party and its activists to seek unity in action with people of all political persuasions to oppose and block the path to fascism.
Where there are moves to bring in fascist arrangements, the Party organises to block them by forming alliances and united fronts and works inside and outside of the parliament.
When the British Home Secretary talks about passing laws against “extremism” it really means the extension of a programme to include the people and their organisations like the Trades Unions, who she wants to suppress further with new laws.
The Party works at all levels to prevent imperialist wars and strives to establish anti-war government that states in its constitution and laws that international differences should not be solved by war but by peaceful means.
The pragmatism of the bourgeoisie spills crocodile tears over injury if it continues to wage certain wars except when it suits, but is not afraid to curb its opponents by bombing from 30,000 feet.
Foreign policy should be based on mutual respect for countries and the rights of nations to constitute in whatever social system they choose without interference in their sovereignty. It should not be the proponents of regime change against self proclaimed, “failed states” who is and who isn’t, creating anarchy and destruction and the conditions for reactionary groups. Reactionary forces and states should not be allowed to re-draw the map in their own interests.
The interference by the European Union of the monopolies who are undermining Greece, who are interfering in the Ukraine by supporting fascism there for its own predatory gains, must stop. Its reactionary programme is there to prop up the EU and its own particular existential crisis.
The Modern Proletariat, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, unites with all workers of the world to defeat the global capitalist agenda and the British working class demands withdrawal from the EU, the union of the monopolies.
The End of Imperialism
Classical capitalism, Laissez-faire, no longer exists. In fact imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, has been the phase that capitalism entered into over a century ago. Modern definitions show that the world of globalisation is revealing that the world has been divided and re-divided and that all superpower imperialist states and alignments are in irreversible decline. The destiny of the map showing the dominance of imperialism is due to become shapeless in the course of time.
Imperialism has reached an existential crisis in time and space. Time may be up but it hasn’t timed out yet.
The United States is in decline and all of the old European big powers cannot regain their old positions in the sun that their colonial pasts gave them. The European Union of the monopolies cannot hope to form itself into a European super state or a United States of Europe. The crisis of its currency, the Euro, particularly over Greece, has all of the indications of becoming a terminal illness, which threatens the very existence of the EU project. Whatever the outcome of current difficulties, no amount of patchwork will overcome the damage.
The epoch of the end of imperialism and of potential revolution with the modern proletariat at the head is inevitable.
The concentration of production and capital and the monopolies has almost reached maximum point it leads to the almost inevitable merging or absorption of small enterprises by the powerful ones. A consequence of this is the mass concentration of the work force in big trusts and concerns. These enterprises have also concentrated in their hands huge productive capacities and resources of energy and raw materials of incalculable proportions.
These monopoly giants are not just national but transnational and multinational. They have become international global organisms.
They have taken on whole branches of industry; they privately own practically all energy producers and distributors and control whole transport networks in all countries. These billionaire capitalists have liquidated small owners and industrialists in many cases. There has been an end to the practice of competition and the notion of “free market” because of the transformation of competition into monopoly. It is a most important phenomenon today. It is both typical and commonplace.
Initially monopolisation concentrated production and large conglomerates had huge productive forces, workers and machinery. In Britain there were a number of motor manufacturers today this has almost diminished.
In the US the big companies like Ford and GM became huge international concerns and in Germany, BMW and in France, Peugeot. Since companies engaged in productivity drives and overproduction crises caused many economic problems, companies have scaled back immensely. Ford at Dagenham in the 1970’s had 26,000 workers on site as well as the British Leyland factory in Birmingham having similar numbers. Today the Ford factory is a skeleton of its former self and British Leyland ceased to exist along with 99% of the Longbridge site. Imperialism embarked on destruction of the productive forces, skills were wiped out and factories and manufacturing diminished.
In 1975, the US General Motors Corporation had a total capital in excess of 22 billion dollars and exploited an army of nearly 800,000 workers. Today it has nowhere near that amount of workers employed. At one point it was on the verge of its own extinction and declared bankrupt and had to be rescued by the US state. On March 29, 2009 The U.S Treasury committed to fund a government guarantee of General Motors’ warranty liabilities, up to US$ 360.6 million. GM now employs 209,000 people and does business in some 157 countries. The U.S. government owns a 27% stake in the company, and the Canadian government owns a 12% stake in the company. The Ontario government has owned a 3.8% stake in the company since 2009. GM had filed for Bankruptcy under the US bankruptcy code known as Chapter 11. On June 8th, 2009. Shareholders were left worthless, without access to assets from GM who owned assets in Asia or Europe. On July 10, 2009, The Company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange again on November 18, 2010 following a US$33-a-share initial public offering of US$23 billion, including preferred shares.
In 1976, there were nearly 17 million people, representing over 20 percent of the employed work force, employed in the 500 biggest US corporations. Sixty-six percent of all the goods sold came from these corporations. Today manufacturing in the US has diminished as it has in Canada, Britain and the rest of Europe.
In Britain, in the 1970’s, The British Steel Corporation accounted for over 90 percent of the, steel production of the country. Now this has ceased to exist. Steel production in Britain was decimated and now only a handful of companies are producers one of which is Tata the Indian based steel monopoly.
The top ranking companies in the UK in 2011 according to the Financial Times were:
(1) Royal Dutch Shell Oil & gas producers valued at £142.318.1billion
(2) HSBC Bank valued at £113.501bn
(3) Vodafone Group Mobile telecommunications valued at £91.034 bn
(4) BP Oil & gas producers valued at £85.372bn
(5) Rio Tinto Mining valued at £66.287bn
(6) Glaxo-Smith-Kline Pharmaceuticals & biotechnology valued at £61.511bn
(7) BHP Billiton Mining valued at £53,328bn
It can be seen from this that the top two companies dominate the values of all companies with twice as much as the number 5 company.
Some of these monopolies are extremely diverse, to the point; ignoring the problems of economy of scale, entire branches of industry operate within conglomerates.
The economic power of the monopolies and the concentration of capital, include big financial enterprises and groups. Extreme sharpening of competition to the point of overwhelming domination, has assumed colossal proportions particularly with the mergers and takeovers in the capitalist world that are passing towards a finite end in many cases with little or no competition in existence.
The monopolies not only try to eliminate competition between the enterprises under their control, but also to monopolise all the sources of raw materials, all the regions rich in important minerals, like coal and copper, etc. This process is going on nationally and internationally. For example the United States has gone to the extent of creating wars over strategic oil interests in the Middle East on behalf of the Texas monopolies who wish to control all of the world’s oil resources. There is a great struggle with China and India as well as other emerging economies over coal and steel supplies including other strategic raw materials like copper.
State monopoly capitalism means the subordination of the state apparatus to monopolies. In this way the state intervenes directly in the economy in the interest of the financial oligarchy.
In Britain in the 1980’s much of the State owned industry and infrastructure was hived off as profitable segments into the private sector. It led to the destruction of British Leland motor manufacturing with profitable parts being kept and sold off to the highest bidders. Some brand names were sold off a number of times to American, German, Indian and Chinese companies. British Steel was sold, the National Coal Board was broken up and many mines closed down after the great miners’ strike of 1984-85. These passed from State monopoly into private monopoly. Today we see the reversal of this trend with banks being nationalised because they are “too big to fail” and then again hived off to the private sector at a loss to the tax-paying public. In the US, GM was re-capitalised by the government. All of the re-capitalising and nationalising of debt has meant that the burden has been placed upon the taxpayer and workers who have had to prop up these enterprises. In the EU all of the major countries have had to use the state to finance the debt and prop up industry to cover debt and deficit.
The property owning class is the moribund and superfluous bourgeois class. State monopoly property, is the most characteristic basic element of state monopoly capitalism. It is not individual capitalist property but state property. It remains the property of this class even though it is in the hands of the state because it is still a capitalist state.
Now concentration and centralisation of production has become Global and has reached an inter-state level. The EU, which represents the union of monopolies, also realises this practice.
Regarding the forms of international monopolies, the cartels and syndicates, there are the multinational and transnational companies. These companies carry out their activities in many countries. They expand through the absorption of local companies and firms, big and small, which cannot cope with the savage competition. These companies are global in one sense but they are based in one country. For example the American banks like, Goldman Sachs, operate throughout the world and carry out financial transactions affecting the economies of practically all countries. They also infect economies with their poisonous “toxic” loans infiltrating mortgage and housing markets where the poorest people in the world have become affected such as in the sub-prime mortgage scandal.
In terms of the billions of dollars that the multinational companies, including banks, are worth, this is more than the total Gross Products of many small nations. The power and influence of these types of companies has caused them to pressure countries to favour them by changing laws. They have forced the countries, through the IMF, to privatise or bail out banks and parts of the infrastructure and utilities that were in the hands of the state. Siemens, the notorious German Monopoly, has corrupted Government ministers in EU countries like Greece and demanded energy contracts instead of direct government investment. The monopolies dictate the internal and external policy, the economic, social, military, and other policies of countries.
Multinationals and financial monopolies have been levers of imperialism but the people and local governments are waking up to them and are attempting to restrict their monopoly rights of plunder and exploitation. Penetration of economies has been the way to operate on a neo-colonialist basis where they have attempted to infiltrate and undermine national sovereignty and independence.
The concentration of production and capital under imperialism has meant that the condition of the socialisation of production has taken place but the Marxist theory remains valid that appropriation remains private while production remains social and therefore the social means of production remains the private property of the few.
Therefore it goes without saying that the monopolies and multinational companies remain great enemies of the modern proletariat and all of the people, worker or smaller capitalist.
Concentration in the hands of big banks, finance capital has absorbed the money capital of the monopolies as well as of small producers and investors. In this way, the banks, which are in the hands of the capitalists and serve them, become the owners of the main financial means.
Now we have big banking concerns. In today’s mergers and takeovers is the fact that not only the small banks but also the middle-sized and the relatively big ones are involved. But the grave crisis of the financial and monetary system of the capitalist world has revealed that even the biggest bank monopolies and financial institutions are failing. Lehman brothers and the Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac corporations in the US are good examples. On top of this the Lloyds and HBOS and Halifax merger in Britain was so wrapped in toxic debt that the end product was failure accompanied by predatory behaviour. It has led to partial nationalisation and the bailing out by the taxpayer.
Banking capital is interlocked with industrial capital. Today the directors of banks and monopoly enterprises are members of one another’s boards of management. Everyone is talking about how low manufacturing in Britain is compared to what it used to be. The fact of the matter is simply that the financiers do not want to lend to industrial manufacturers in Britain. It is easier to export capital in these areas abroad and concentrate on what is seen as more profitable credit. The credit crisis has seen massive amounts of money exchanging between central banks and other banks in the form of bonds with high returns of interest attached. The money is literally going round in circles and increasing all the time for the speculators, trading companies and investors. Not only that Bank of England and other central bankers thoughout the world have increased “Quantitative Easing” supposedly to stimulate growth and investment in the productive economy. Yet hardly any investment takes place only the growth can be recorded in money supply due to, in effect, ‘printing’ cash.
Manufacturing is less than 11 percent of GDP in Britain and manufacturing is low as a proportion of GDP in both the rest of Europe and the US.
Workers’ pension funds, the people’s savings, are often turned into capital. Pension funds were, together with insurance companies, the largest institutional investors in global financial markets in 2007 (Source: LaVoce, http://www.lavoce.info). Fund performance affects the well being of millions of citizens and influences financial markets as well as macroeconomic stability. The largest 300 pension funds collectively hold about $6 trillion in assets.(Global investment review) In January 2008, The Economist reported that Morgan Stanley estimates that pension funds worldwide hold over US$20 trillion in assets. As of 2005 the U.S. was the largest market for pension fund investments followed by the UK.
People’s debts to the banks and money-lenders have greatly increased. There are Payday lenders like “Wonga” and many racketeers operating “legally”. Colossal profits from exorbitant interest rates are often charged. If people turn to loan sharks in desperation often their meagre savings and incomes are threatened even to the point of Bailiffs being called in. Therefore, in many cases, debtors are bound hand and foot to creditors and capitalist firms.
In the United States, in 1976 the indebtedness of the population from credit had reached the sum of 167 billion dollars, as against 6 billion in 1945. Today Average credit card debt per household with credit card debt: $15,799. There are 609.8 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers. (Source: “The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010) Total U.S. consumer debt: $2.43 trillion, as of May 2011 (Source: Federal Reserve’s G.19 report on consumer credit, released July 2011). In the second quarter of 2011 US credit card debt was $771.7 billion Source: Card Hub credit card Study) United Kingdom credit card debt (March 2009) was £64.7 billion (Source: British Bankers Association)
Finance capital means that a small group of bankers and finance capitalists not only accumulate great wealth but also concentrate real economic and political power. The bankers call the tune and pull the strings of politicians and government ministers. These all-powerful people are those who head the monopolies and banks and constitute the financial oligarchy.
Today, private financial groups still operate in the imperialist countries. Their role as sole family fortunes and absolute owners is diminished. Morgans, Duponts, Mellons, in the United States of America; the financial groups of the Rothschilds, Samuels, etc., in Britain; Krupp, Siemens, in Germany.
The end of imperialism is a condition that does not resemble capitalism in the old sense. Finance capital possesses industrial capital in many ways today. The big families have given or are giving way to the financial controllers, the financial plutocracy; those that wish to hang on to privileged status. They are the financial class that is divorced from all including many business people. The financial oligarchy has established its economic and political domination over the entire life of the country. It has even subordinated the state apparatus, now a tool in their hands transformed to carry out their behests. The financial oligarchy dismisses and appoints governments, dictates the internal and foreign policy of most countries.
The situation today proves that the monopoly bourgeoisie can only oppress. The financial oligarchy, being moribund and anachronistic opts for fascist methods to maintain its privileged position. Now the contradiction between the modern proletariat and the bourgeoisie is becoming deeper. At the same time, the financial expansion, along with military expansion, has further exacerbated the contradictions between the peoples and imperialism, as well as the contradictions among the imperialist powers themselves.
Banking capital is global: The EU banks, Wall Street, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Shanghai and London now takes place, not in the context of one country, but the whole world.
Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism is characterised by the export of capital.
The biggest exporters of capital in the world have been the United States of America, Japan, the Russia, Germany, Britain and France.
Capital is exported abroad in the form of investments and loans. Imperialism and monopoly capital, invests in the undeveloped and poor countries, because there production costs are low, while the level of exploitation of working people is high. It invests in order to secure raw materials, to monopolise markets and sell products.
Since the 1980’s rationalisations, productivity drives and wholesale factory closures have taken place in Britain, Europe and the United States in particular. Japan exported large amounts of capital even into the already industrialised countries. Now we see that India and China are doing this to a certain extent. In the past it has been the other way round. We saw many profitable companies, manufacturers in particular, up-sticks and move capital abroad. This was done to maximise profits. Now manufacturing, as a proportion of GDP, is lower in the old industrialised countries.
Imperialism as the final stage of capitalism means that powers contend over the division of the world, to capture markets. The problem of oil, for instance, which bas become acute throughout the world, is, first of all, the domain of the big American monopoly companies, but British, Dutch, and other oil companies are also involved in them. The Americans are manoeuvring on the problem of oil in order to have a complete monopoly of it. They have invested big capital in the oil producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia and have got the ruling cliques of these countries into their clutches, by corrupting sheiks, and Imams with dollars. Nevertheless other big powers are not sitting idly by as can be seen with the roles of France and Britain in the Libyan war against Gadaffi.
How much oil do the top oil producers produce a day?
Amount of oil produced per day:
Saudi Arabia* – 8.1 million barrels per day;
*Including share of production from the Neutral Zone
Former Soviet Union – 6.9 million barrels per day;
United States – 6.5 million barrels per day;
I.R. Iran – 3.6 million barrels per day;
China – 3.2 million barrels per day.
(from OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin: 1996).
Saudi Arabia possesses 18% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum.
Which countries have the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves?
Countries that had the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves in 1996 were:
Saudi Arabia (261,444 millions of barrels);
Iraq (112,000 millions of barrels);
United Arab Emirates (97,800 millions of barrels);
Kuwait (96,500 millions of barrels);
IR Iran (92,600 millions of barrels).
(From OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin: 1996). http://www.opec.org/faqs.htm
North Africa has been a region of Russian, Gazprom’s strong presence. This primarily refers to Libya, which is the largest holder of proven reserves of light sweet crude oil (5.1 billion tons) in Africa and the fifth largest among OPEC member states (after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Iraq). Libya also possesses abundant gas reserves.
Characteristic of present-day neo-colonialism, in order to be able to exploit the riches of some countries to the maximum, imperialism makes some cautious concessions in favour of the bourgeois-capitalist, or feudal ruling groups. These concessions are wearing increasingly thin and threaten the basis of neo-colonialism as well as the impoverished people languishing in these countries that demand an end to corrupt puppet regimes sold out to their imperialist masters. People are rising up in various countries demanding their sovereignty and genuine independence.
The big oil companies, for them, it has become normal to completely control all the capital and production of this branch, to control governments, etc., in the countries where they have invested. This is why the big foreign companies oppose the efforts of the local capitalists to get a bigger share in the profits than the investors of imperialist countries allow them.
US companies in Europe, Canada, Asia and Africa are being challenged over control over their economies. As the US declines the great fear by others of the United States of America is starting to wane. The EU, China, India and Russia are in contention with each other and in particular with the US.
The US tried to takeover the European economy, but the Europeans do not want to be on rations to the US. The US disputes the role of the European military and protection of markets. China is also in contention with the US over protectionism. Many countries are questioning the credibility of the US dollar and also US debt. Countries in South America, like Venezuela, openly call for a new currency alignment away from the US dollar. This also threatens the existential crisis of the economic system dominated by the US. The world is looking at whether the fiat currencies can hold sway much longer or whether traditional fallback measures, such as the Gold Standard, can actually work. In time and space the timeline is disrupted now for the US.
The Russian economy has now become integrated into the system of world capitalism. While American, German, Japanese and other capital have penetrated deeply into it. Russian capital is being exported to other countries. Countries that are forced to stay as Russian satellites are held economically, politically and militarily in its grip. Russia dominates energy to some parts of these economies such as through GAZPROM where huge pipelines are built through their territories and even spreads towards Western Europe. The oil reserves of various Baltic States are held by Russia. Now Russia is competing and contesting with the other capitalist states for markets, spheres of investment, for the plunder of raw materials. States, such as Japan, Britain, Germany, France, not only export capital to former colonial countries, but also to the East European countries which were under the tutelage of the former Soviet Union.
The exporting of capital is a solid basis for the exploitation of the majority of the nations and countries of the world.
This economic division of the world, the domination of monopolies, their dictate over the life and economic development of other countries is making the contradiction between labour and capital, as well as the contradictions between the peoples and imperialism, and the inter-imperialist contradictions, much more severe. The existence of the EU is evidence of the economic division of the world, which exists today.
In his analysis of imperialism, Lenin pointed, out that, with the transition of pre-monopoly capitalism to its highest and last stage, the stage of imperialism; the territorial division of the world among the great imperialist powers is completed.
“…the characteristic feature of the period under review is the final partition of the globe, final not in the sense that repartition is impossible; on the contrary, repartitions are possible and inevitable – but in the sense that the colonial policy of the capitalist countries has completed the seizure of unoccupied territories on our planet. For the first time, the world is completely divided up, so that in the future only re-division is possible, that is, territories can only pass from one ‘owner’ to another….” [Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism][94c]
The old imperialist society is under threat once more as new revolutionary movements’ demands for independence and sovereignty are taking place. The US domination and hegemonistic plans are facing challenges throughout the world.
Power, founded on the maximum exploitation of the peoples, has encouraged it to set up numerous military bases and caused it to establish pro-American political cliques in many of those countries of the world, which had allegedly gained their freedom and independence.
The coups and military juntas set up by the US in South America, which operated throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, are fast disappearing. Countries are demanding the closure of military bases on their territory.
The policy of war is being brought to question both inside and outside of the US. The war in Iraq was not a success and the war in Afghanistan has proven to be an unmitigated disaster. Other proxies like Libya and the interference in Syria have proven to be the same. These pro-war policies to establish new boundaries of US imperialist strategic interest, protection of US economic interests particularly in terms of oil have failed.
There are numerous calls to end the system of Veto in the United Nations and democratise it away from the control of the big powers. The time is coming to an end where war, as an extension of politics by other means, is utilised in order to force the imperialist will onto other nations and their peoples. People are looking for peaceful solutions to problems and issues between countries and desire governments that enshrine anti-war policies into their constitutions.
Attempting to keep the peoples under their domination imperialist powers, old or new, incite wars among neighbour states, or among different social groups within a given country, and then, in the role of the judge or the supporter of one side or the other, interfere in the internal affairs of others. This has been the experience in Afghanistan and Libya. Only when the people rise against foreign invaders, when they rise against the local capitalist bourgeoisie, which is closely linked up with imperialism, is this a just, liberation war.
Whenever the big powers have meddled in the internal affairs of other peoples, the problems have remained unsolved or the result has been the consolidation of the positions of imperialism in these countries.
In analysing the fundamental economic features of imperialism, Lenin also defined its place in history. He stressed that imperialism is not only the highest stage but also the final stage of capitalism, the eve of the proletarian revolution.
Lenin pointed out:
“Imperialism is a specific historical stage of capitalism… is
(1) monopoly capitalism
(2) parasitic or decaying capitalism
(3) moribund capitalism
[Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism]
Monopolies are powerless to overcome the contradictions of the capitalist economy. Lenin linked the parasitism and decay of imperialism organically with the tendency of monopoly to inhibit the development of the productive forces in general, to deepen the disproportional development between branches and of the national economy as a whole, to fail to utilise the human and material productive capacities, with the tendency to hinder the application of the new developments of science and technology to the benefit of the masses and the progress of the entire society. It has to be said that these days the productive forces in major internalised countries has faced destruction in terms of Labour skills, factories, certain branches of industry and even the pollution of land rendering it useless for agriculture and other uses. What you have is destruction of Necessities and with this you see the existential crisis established.
Expenditure on research and the development of science in the field of industry, and especially the war industry, in the United States of America, for instance, increased from 2 billion dollars in 1950, to almost 11 billion in 1965, and about 30 billion in 1972 but rose astronomically in following years.
Military expenditure, 2010, % of GDP, 2009
This list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database for 2010 (in constant 2009 US$). It also includes military expenditure data as a percentage of (GDP) in 2009.
Rank Country U.S. $bn, % of GDP
1 United States: 698,105,000,000; 4.7%
2 China: 114,000,000,000; 2.2%
3 France: 61,285,000,000; 2.5%
4 United Kingdom: 57,424,000,000; 2.7%
5 Russia: 52,586,000,000; 4.3%
War industry tops the list, as it is here that the rate of profit is highest. For example, in 1964 the United States of America invested 3,565 million dollars in scientific research in the sector of aviation and missiles.
One of the biggest factors for bankrupting the former Soviet Union in the mid 1980’s was the arms race. The cost of Strategic defence initiatives and Star Wars was a precursor to the US winning the cold war.
Britain replaced its old Polaris nuclear system with the then updated Trident system, which has also been rendered defunct and has been pinpointed for upgrade by successive governments. The total acquisition cost of the Trident programme was £9.8 billion, or £14.9 billion at 2005 prices, 38% of which was incurred in the U.S. In 2005/2006, annual expenditure for running and capital costs was estimated at between £1.2bn and £1.7bn and was estimated to rise to £2bn to £2.2bn in 2007/2008, including Atomic Weapons Establishment costs. Just one missile costs £17m. According to the New Statesman in 2013,
The MoD put the build cost of the “Successor” submarines alone at £20-25bn, which, given its track record of delivering major projects around 40 per cent over budget, might be more accurately predicted as £28-35bn. The maintenance costs will be £3bn per annum (not factoring in inflation) for 30-40 years according to former Minister for the Armed Forces Sir Nick Harvey MP. Then there’s the estimated £25bn decommissioning cost.
£100bn is now a considerable underestimation of Trident replacement costs. It is clear it will be more.
Since Trident became operational in 1994, annual expenditure has ranged between 3% and 4.5% of the annual defence budget, and was expected to increase to 5.5% of the defence budget by 2007/2008.The Vanguard submarines, which carry the Trident D5 missiles, were built with a 25-year life expectancy. Plans have been announced to replace the four vessels as they reach the age of 25 (possibly to be extended to 30) years. Trident’s D5 missiles, leased from the USA, are expected to continue in service until at least 2042 following an upgrade.
(National Audit Office. 29 June 1987.
[Research paper 06/53 (House of Commons Library)]
Now, the emergence of new weapon systems has added to expenditures. Smart weapons, stealth technologies on aircraft, ships and tanks, cruise missiles, military satellite networks and pilotless drones have played a big part in the militaries of the powerful countries. The US, Britain, France and others have continued to stockpile weapons and sell them to third countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel to further their strategic interests.
Unfortunately for Imperialism, dominance over these weapons has not only been challenged by Russia, China and India but also other countries defences like Brazil, Venezuela, Iran, DPRK (Korea), Pakistan and other countries.
In today’s conditions the militarisation of the economy, as a manifestation of the decay of imperialism, has become a characteristic feature of all the capitalist countries. In some cases it has become practically the only source of manufacturing.
Britain has been faced with a decline of 2.7% of GDP in 2009 in military expenditure from highs of nearly 5% in 1988, (Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators). With the shift away from manufacturing and sidelining of its finance industry it is hard to see where the recovery in its general economy can come from.
The banking crisis has meant that the United States has had to rely more than ever on military sales of products and expansion of its imperialist ambitions through war. With these areas being challenged it shows that the contradictions and contentions from abroad do not ensure the future of the US as a Superpower and adds to the general decline of the imperialist system as a whole as its influence is replaced. It signals the end of imperialism.
Social democracy, the “bourgeois workers’ parties”, the opportunist leaders are all being challenged. Imperialism is linked with opportunism. The opportunists assist to try and preserve imperialism. The old Labour parties and Social democracy came to an abrupt end and was replaced by openly bourgeois neo-liberal politics. In Britain the “third way” politics of Tony Blair has become discredited. Openly in support of the war in Iraq, Blair and various others have become declared as war criminals along with George Bush etc.
The old capitalist parties historically organised themselves away from elitist and cartel origins, they organised as mass parties, but of late have returned to becoming elitist. They have organised themselves in bourgeois parliaments as cartel contingents and exclude the working class. The order of the day is for the working class to come out of the margins of society and challenge the status quo. The modern proletariat and its modern mass revolutionary communist party will establish the new mechanisms necessary to carry forward society out of the grip of imperialism and into socialism.
The decay of imperialism is clearly seen also in the growth and intensification of reaction in all fields, and especially in the political and social fields. As practice confirms, when the monopoly bourgeoisie sees that the class struggle is becoming acute, it casts off all disguise and denies the working, masses even those few rights they have won by shedding their blood. Arbitrariness and fascism become the options of the bourgeoisie.
The rotten capitalist system, which includes the system of banking, is in a chaotic state, is propped up and protected by the state. Special riot police forces are set in motion to prevent or suppress any kind of resistance. Protest becomes criminalised.
In some bourgeois states, gangsterism is being developed like in Russia, Italy, Mexico and the United States and is becoming widespread. It is used to terrorise the population.
In Britain moneylenders and loan sharks, against people’s property and household possessions including their cars, use bailiffs. Drug cartels and drug runners operate inside and outside of the country; threats of extradition and eviction are used for spurious reasons. In many capitalist countries corruption is rife among politicians.
The capitalist order itself is an expression of degeneration, a reflection of the desperation and confusion to which the bourgeois system of oppression and exploitation gives rise. The bourgeoisie tries to prevent those cases of gangsterism, which cause it problems and worry the bourgeois state. But it incites and uses gangsterism to terrorize the broad working masses that live in poverty. The bourgeoisie allows anarchy and gangsterism a free hand to operate in order to prepare the situation for, and justify the staging of, a fascist coup d’ état.
As a result of the contradictions eroding it from within and people’s liberation and revolutionary struggles, the whole of world imperialism as a social system no longer has that undivided power to dominate it once possessed. This is the dialectics of history and it confirms the thesis that imperialism is on the decline, in decadence and decay.
People can gain liberation only through struggle and through effort and through leadership. This leadership is the modern proletariat of each country. The modern proletariat and the modern mass Communist Party make thoroughgoing political, economic and military analyses, weigh everything in the balance, make decisions and define the appropriate strategy and tactics and prepare the revolution. We cannot have any illusions about imperialism because from its nature it creates the conditions for economic and political expansion, for unleashing wars, because its character is essentially exploitative and aggressive.
This is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. The people are preparing to turn ebb into flow. The world is going to advance towards a new society, which will be the socialist society. Imperialism will become even more decayed and will come to an end through the revolution.
“Imperialist ideology also penetrates the working class. No Chinese wall separates it from the other classes”. [Lenin][94d]
The main features and requirements of the fundamental economic law of present-day capitalist imperialism are,
“…the securing of the maximum capitalist profit through the exploitation, ruin and impoverishment of the majority of the population of the given country, through the enslavement and systematic robbery of the peoples of other countries, especially backward countries, and., lastly, through wars and militarisation of the national economy, which are utilised for the obtaining of the highest profits”.
[J.V. Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., 1953][94e]
Capitalism has entered the phase of its decay. This situation is arousing the revolt of the peoples and impelling them to revolution. Imperialism will not finally fall of its own accord it has to be pushed. As economic crises enter into political crises they will also become revolutionary crises, where capitalism cannot rule in the old way and the people will refuse to be ruled in the old way.
The struggle of the peoples against imperialism and the capitalist system is building up in various forms, with varying intensities. Quantity will inevitably turn into quality. This will happen first in those countries, which constitute the weakest link of the global imperialist chain and where the consciousness, in time and space, and organisation of the working class have reached a high level, where there is a deep political and ideological understanding of the problem.
Despite all the efforts by imperialism it will find no stability, now or in the future. It cannot find stability because of the awakening consciousness of the working class and the masses of oppressed people who want liberation.
[94f]Kenneth Knapman, [2011, re-edited 2015]
Creating and opening spaces are both important for people.
There are many ways human beings can create space for its politics, economics and its ideology.
In the theoretical sphere settling scores with the old philosophic conscience in time and space can do it. The questions of being and consciousness in terms of human existence have developed in time and have opened up in space. Change from individual to collective consciousness; grasping the material essence of thought, reciprocation between cause and effect and the material history of the universe, as prime movement and infinitesimal, have all been constituent.
Ideological struggle consistently takes place as part of the class struggle in time and space. Ideological considerations, ideological work and struggle take place in order to occupy the space for change.
The economics of all civilisations, from slave society, feudal society, capitalism and socialism have initiated and occupied the space for change in finality. Communism will do the same.
Communism is the space for all human beings as class society is eliminated. The space created for communism already exists in capitalist society and even was present in ancient times. Communism has its own history in time and space and its own actuality in the present. Communism will one day occupy the entire space.
When classes disappear this will be the space for all humanity. Until then the revolutionary class will lead the space for change for communism, which is of course – the modern proletariat.
Even today all human beings, by dint of being human, have modern rights because of the fact that they are human.
Since the Second World War, the space for change has seen modern human rights enter in. The formations of the United Nations, the World Federation of Trades Unions, the European court of Human Rights, the International Convention of Human Rights have all been established. These important things came about as a consequence of defeating fascism. It has altered the make up of states and even right wing regimes have not been able to operate state power in the same way.
The Soviet Revolution had wide consequences for humanity but it was the defeat of fascism that had the widest implications for international human history. It is why the reactionary bourgeoisie try its utmost to not only reverse the implications of Soviet socialism but also the consequences of the Second World War and deny its significance and victory won. This is why it wants to cover up and re-write history as to the contribution to the defeat of Nazism by the Soviet forces in particular.
Human Rights, the right to speak out against injustice and hold political views and views of conscience are firmly established on the agenda. Political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are the concern of everyone these days. The right to dissent, hold progressive and revolutionary views, the right to assemble, congregate and demonstrate are the values of democracy and yardsticks for it. This is all part of the legacy of the victory over fascism. This has been fruit of the struggle of the 20th Century.
A new focus and milestone needs to be crossed. A new strategic goal and aim is being established for our period.
Today is the point in time and space to enter into Democratic Renewal. This is where the political system of representation is overhauled. Representative democracy is an anachronism. Only direct democracy empowers and encompasses all. This is the most up to date consolidation of the demands of the day. This will be the focus at the beginning of the 21st Century.
What space for change will be entered into today? Today has the possibility of completing the people’s hegemony over the entire space. It is the time of organising for people’s empowerment to consolidate rights, through mechanisms for change that becomes an entity to change and such things as modern constitutions to consolidate people’s rights permanently. Today, learning from the experience of the past, bringing things up-to-date for the present, the foundations for the mechanisms for change, the fundamental transition in society through revolution will be created. A most radical and revolutionary phase is beginning to open up in time and space a fissure, or a rupture, is beginning to show as cracks in the edifice of the continuum.
Human activity in creating and opening up space for itself
The human factor means that the recognition that all people have rights by virtue of being human.
“By social consciousness is meant the recognition that society must harmonize and reconcile the interests of its individual members with their collectives, and the individual and collective interests with the general interests of society.”
(95) [Hardial Bains, Historic Initiative. November, 1994]
Human activity has entered into cyber space. The possibilities for opening up various fora on line through blogs and websites as well as social media have been realised. The space for discussion and opinion forming has long been monopolised by vested class interests, this has been reduced by production within the digital world where concrete data and facts has challenged disinformation with real time reporting and visual media. The instantaneous communication has enabled people to react immediately to events as well as becoming pro-active in organising for change.
Petitioning on line through e-petitions is one new form of activity as well as calling people to action another. Calling for all-out action has been a feature for occupying spaces in the physical world. It has heightened the social consciousness that has become a modern phenomenon of our times.
Precise slogans for the time and for the place are the concise summation of the instance of the time tide, the offensive and the defensive strategy and tactics to gain ground in the spaces.
Extra parliamentary activity has opened up the space for consistent and regular political activity by the majority. The mass human activity, the mass action, is the mass political force for change that raises demands and pressurises the powers that be. It is a force that holds politicians to account. It creates the conditions for debate outside of the parliament and is part of the consultation process.
Today the regional space is becoming a part of the force for change, for devolvement, constitutional change and with this comes the powerful demands for the rights of nations such as Scotland, Wales and the north of Ireland.
Devolvement can be utilised for communism if it is approached properly. Localism is used by capitalism to physically occupy the space for change using volunteer free labour and a source of adding value. Decentralisation of some powers to countries, cities, towns and villages has become a popular demand but control of decisive power remains centralised through the state. The intention is to manipulate devolvement and provide new utility for privatisation under the auspices of a “big society”. A cloak and a mask is to be used to avoid transparency and feed anti-consciousness into the formulation; thus perpetuating a failing system hanging on in time and space.
Alternatively it can create the conditions for empowerment, a space of experience and conscious development and a new space for pro-active engagement. The detachment of the state from civil society enhances the already pregnant and over-ripe capitalist system for change. It is where the tentacles of the state are stretching out but these tendrils are in danger of becoming severed. The trend is to free up labour but the intention is to maximise exploitation the notion is local people are instead empowered to provide services usually maintained by local authority and central Government. Other aspects of the economy such as the socialised economy and social programmes, health service and education, involved in ‘outreach’ into communities are embraced. Small business start-ups are encouraged assisted by local parishes and energy provision and utility. All of this alteration to the economic base is intended later to be made available for monopoly takeover but at the same time changing the constitutional condition. The change in the condition and the possible severing of ties, as labour power takes on new challenges and demands to be free, allows organisation to add weight to consciousness. Empowerment allows for the restriction of monopoly and property right, as opposed to public right, in the space opened up. The danger for the elite power is that the human desires will be to become collective. The quaint mystical connection of the parish, in its subjection to the divine right of absolutist order, will want to be a commune of the people with its own autonomy of economy and decision-making, on all matters that concern it. The conflict between the occupiers of the space for change once more comes into flux.
The contradiction between the ‘want to be’ occupiers, the factors for opposing camps, is the motivation and transition created within the flux. It is the living dialectic that will work its way through, it will be the contradictions between the ideologues and practitioners of the status quo, the neo-liberals and privileged on the one hand and the community minded pro-social and collective thinkers and actors on the other. It is set to pass, human beings, who constitute the wills of the majority; it is them that will take the centre stage.
The profiteers will stake their claims, buy up property and control leases on land. They will demand access to revenue and subsidy. They will concoct their private contracts to occupy many public spaces and assets. Estates and mortgages guaranteed by law will be the battlegrounds over public versus private ownership. The demands for constitutional changes and rights of the public will heighten, as the essence of society must change. Once more it will be the wealth creators, the modern proletariat, who will take the lead as the most revolutionary class to preserve what is theirs and expropriate the expropriators. It will be the working class who takes the lead in fighting for the rights of all human beings. As always, the shyster mentality, the petty traffickers, the wheeler-dealers and the lumpen elements, that will be the focus for the appeal of capitalists. The barren ground will be the space created for the fascists to disrupt, spread audacious fear and scapegoat minorities and spread rumour and blame for difficulties. The modern proletariat and the Communists will stand as the advanced detachment to defeat once and for all the detractors and liquidators of progress. It is them who will ensure that the space is opened up for all human beings to enjoy the fruits of their labour, their inheritance and sovereignty over their resources and assets.
The aim of an arrow between two targets defines specific limits in time and space. Aim is only useful if it has intent, which is to close the gap and the arrow reach the target propelled by the tensioned string of the bow. To aim true is to test the flight through the speed distance and accuracy. The archer develops the skill through practice. Without the archer and the target there can be no aim.
The aim of society has direction and intent too. Human consciousness guarantees the trajectory, estimated measurement and the human action or moment required to move towards a specific target or goal. It is the human consciousness, epistemology that develops the skill through practice. It is the experience of history, the calculated measurements, the concrete circumstances and the ideological and theoretical positions that determine the possibilities of outcome.
There has to be an aim. Consciousness and putting the weight of it to travel through time and space, requires strategic goals long and short-term aims. These may be deemed as relative and absolute targets along a path.
It emerges from the interests of the people in History, at the same time; it is according to the aims of the society at any particular time in history. Therefore aim is contextual and positions and repositions accordingly in time and space.
A class aim would generally be to emancipate the working class, which would emancipate all humankind advancing society from one stage to the next.
Within the general there is the particular. The working class is confronted with the problems of democratic renewal. This has highlighted the necessity because of the ebbs and flows of revolution, specifically retreat.
Organised labour at present has an aim to keep the capitalist system going. This creates passivity, diversion and disarray in the working class movement. It blocks or holds back progress. It opposes changes that could weaken the hold of labour leaders.
In Britain this leadership has presented itself for many years as rightful owners of the workers movement and regards it has their constituency. This has been the Labour Party, which many are now rejecting.
One subordinate aim therefore is to avert confusion in class battles, which lie ahead. It becomes incumbent upon the Communist Party to end the state of ideological and political confusion and organisational demobilisation.
People no longer trust politicians and the political process has increasingly become discredited. As the demand grows for having control over their lives, people question whom the decision-makers are. They start to demand change. People might not immediately be looking for revolution but want to make changes to some of the most brazen and glaring excesses within the present set-up. One such demand is an end to class privileges. Privilege favours the rich who become ever richer while the poor get ever poorer. Privileges, which exist because of the condition of being rich, find their expression in politics as well, especially when it comes to the electoral process.
Abolishing class privileges does not mean eliminating classes.
Also the same population sees organised labour establishing class privileges for itself, seen in the fat salaries labour leaders provide for themselves as well as in the anti-democratic manner in which they run the unions.
The empowerment of the people is one of the most important problems, which have emerged but not the only one. This aim is not the be-all and end-all.
Empowerment is a means to fulfilling aim and is a requirement.
Ending class exploitation and the system of wage-slavery is another problem.
The Aim Is a New Society
Already the twentieth century gave rise to a new society based on socialism, but socialism was transformed into pseudo-socialism.
The Soviet Union showed that pseudo-scientific theories assisted those whose aim was to restore class privileges and class exploitation.
The general feeling, which exists for a new society means that the population is ready to listen to proposals, which could assist them to create a new society.
In other words, the workers must be very eager to see this work advance.
Once the aim is forgotten, however, and individuals relegate the problems of change, nothing can clearly emerge as an aim.
The aims and strategic objectives need to be worked out with specific plans in time and space. Consciousness and the subjective factor, appreciating and including aims, plans, strategy and tactics; need to come into line with the objective situation.
Hardial Bains has clarified what it means to hold the centre ground;
“Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in their famous Manifesto of the Communist Party, revolutionised thinking and put the working class at the centre-stage of history. Now revolution has to occur so that the working class can place all human beings at the centre-stage of history.
Looking back from the present into the past, both immediate and distant, it becomes clear that at each stage of development there is a centre-stage. This centre-stage has never been vacant, except in those periods when it has become superfluous. During such times, a new centre-stage is called for which will be occupied by new forces.
During this entire period of the 20th century, the centre-stage in the sphere
of the economy and other important spheres has been held by those who are the producers of all the wealth of the society but do not expropriate the fruits of their labour. However, they have never occupied the centre-stage when it comes to the political sphere. The centre-stage in the sphere of political affairs continues to be occupied by others.
Today, when the fight is to occupy the centre-stage of history in all domains, those who are the producers must also capture the centre-stage of politics. The period, which has just passed, has created working people of different kinds, whether they carry out manual or skilled labour or constitute the intelligentsia, the professionals or those who are in trade and commerce on a small level or in agriculture and fishing. These working people are the producers of all the wealth of the society. Nonetheless, when it comes to the centre-stage of politics, they are nowhere to be seen, save for a few who are directly linked with those who constitute the dominant force in the economy and other spheres.
The fight is not against this or that individual or this or that group, but over whether this state of affairs is permitted to continue, in which the people are pushed off the centre-stage of history and those who occupy it and the political process itself have become superfluous.
It is this act of becoming superfluous, which is forcing those who still want to remain at the centre-stage, even though their time to leave it has come, to speak about democratic renewal for the explicit aim of maintaining the status quo. The definitions of what is democratic renewal, who should be at the centre-stage and what form the centre-stage itself should take, and many other related issues, have become the object of the fight. When one stage of development passes, it gives the impression that it will remain forever and that the next will never come. However, such an impression itself signals that a new stage in the development of society is just around the corner”.
(96) [Hardial Bains, Historic Initiative]
The Space for change
The space for change itself operates within the general aspect of time and space. It is the specific defined area within the flux that is objective but can be influenced by the subjective it is the crucial point of transition. Only by investigating the contradictory process of opposites within the flux can quantitative changes lead to a qualitative leap. It is where the human factor and the collective ‘we’ intercede, take stands, step up to the mark and advance. It is here where turning things around for the alternative can take place.
As history starts in the present motion can take place by creating any movement. It requires concrete aims and objectives and strategy and tactics.
One such hinge might be to juxtapose the issue of Austerity with the Alternative in placing a growing pro-social economy in contradistinction with a crisis ridden one. In effect step up the ideological struggle as the main blow to win an aim. Second to specify the struggle in fighting for the rights of all. These are factors for democratic renewal and for civilised progress. It requires taking forward the anti-fascist and pro-democratic struggle to a new stage. It also requires anti-war government to end imperialist aggression once and for all.
At every stage of recent struggle the people have upheld the necessity for Health and Education and have carried forward the requirement for social programmes. People have stepped forward to oppose the wrecking that has been taking place and have defended and demanded safeguards. The pro-social agenda must be stepped up where the working-class programme must be implemented. The formula of “Stop paying the Rich, Invest in Social Programmes!” is as valid as ever. Restrictions on Monopoly Right and demanding that, “More is put into the economy than is taken out!” characterises the nature of local and national economy and not only points the finger at the Monopolies but also at the responsibility of the Government.
The British Government, Chancellor Osborne, wants one rule and behaviour for some and another rule and behaviour for another, depending on how rich you are. They want to be strict and severe with those who do not comply and punish them by removing the means of subsistence.
People don’t want diamond necklaces or decadent luxury so much as they want food and a roof over their heads. By comfortable living it means they do not want the pain of poverty, a simple lifestyle without anxiety, this is what prosperity should bring not privilege for the rich.
Anti-austerity is the space for change and the hinge that all European and American peoples are currently dependent upon. The Necessity is the Alternative, which is growth and growth is substance. It is this necessity we must be conscious of because it is the subject and object of change. Without the quality of austere capitalism, capitalism with an existential crisis, transforming into the quality of the alternative, political and social economy can go nowhere. Within time and space, at present, the resolution of these two qualities, in contradiction with each other, lie the conditions to turn things around.
Capitalism, here, is entering into an existential crisis.
The Tuppny ‘apny jobs are not going to provide the wealth.
Manufacturing with high paid jobs is the wealth creator but it’s been 10% of GDP in Britain since the 1980’s. The financial crash in 2008 put paid to that sector as a solution.
We must make things and sell them. But which political party has even mentioned really investing in manufacture? We are passing the point of no return when it comes to finding cash for investment and ‘taxing the rich’.
The problem lies further back in history though, with the quality in the quantity of high paid jobs.
It is not so much spending as is often pointed out by modern day Conservatives in criticism of Labour; it is about wealth creation and who claims on the product.
The workers’ claim is wages. Therefore it comes down to the role of manufacture as the means to add value. Regarding poverty, child poverty, family poverty or any other has its essence on the claim and possibility to work and make that claim.
Only in manufacture and production can we find the means to solve the problem let alone alleviate it. Within this crucial economic factor we endeavour to find a sustainable and healthy solution.
This is the key link to poverty and work. There is a direct correlation between wages and related poverty. This is where the solution must be sought.
Why has Austerity failed?
Austerity is severe medicine administered by the minority for the majority, hence the notion of being, “All in it together” in practice is false. It is the Victorian bourgeois values of hard work not hurting anyone, providing it is you and not the idle rich who have to do it. It is the medical potion of the mountebank delivered alongside the whip hand of the likes of British Politician in charge of Welfare, Duncan-Smith, across the unruly backs of the “underclass” as they like to portray a section of the community. The potion is like a slow death poison administered by unscrupulous agencies such as in the ‘welfare state’, which anyway the neo-liberals are in the process of dismantling.
What is Austerity supposed to do?
Keep the workers in check, curb pay rises, maintain profits and put the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the people and not the rich. It is to bail out the banks, save financial institutions that carried toxic debt.
The banking crisis of 2008 caused the lack of lending and liquidity in the current Global Capitalist economic system. Starting in New York, on Wall Street, with Lehmans, Freddy Mac and Freddy Mae and others, it spread across the world and caused a near run on the Northern Rock Bank and the partial nationalisation of Lloyds-TSB and RBS. Lack of cash flow as a result made the world enter a deep recession. The Global-Capitalists, with no other ideology at the helm but neo-liberalism, set about “shock and awe” tactics to carry out the worst of their privatisation programmes and social spending cuts. The already worst aspects of monetarism and the Chicago School and Milton Friedmanism was to be rolled out further, already discredited as an economic re-hashed pseudo “laisser faire” market led economic set of pragmatic theories.
Does Austerity work?
No it has clearly failed, that is why Greece wants to abandon the policy set by the EU. Even economists and some political leaders want to stop doing it. In Britain, Scotland is clearly saying that it wants to be independent and abandon this disastrous policy.
Many regions of the country want to stop it and re-establish the funding known as “grants” to local authorities who cannot make the service cuts and do not want their local democracies dismantled because of outsourcing to private companies or bigger outside authorities.
Austerity covers local jobs, Social programmes like the NHS and Schools. It covers wages, pensions and housing and all services. It even aims at taxation. Jobs are being lost, the NHS is being dismantled and not “ring fenced”, schools are losing staff, wages held down and pensions attacked. The housing shortages, costs of rent and mortgages are too high, deposits are also too high and there is low stock. Local Government grants are reduced so low budgets are causing loss of jobs. Services are outsourced or lost with authorities being reduced to mere commissioning councils.
Austerity has failed because it has not delivered on cutting the debt or deficit. The sham pre-election budget delivered by George Osborne for the Con/Dem Government is a made up piece of nonsense that has little or no credence. Chancellor George Osborne’s budget was a political act of disinformation. The budget announcement was an attempt to give the impression that things are improving, that the “sun was starting to shine again”, thanks to austerity (though even in this, the Chancellor had to resort to trickery, such as the inclusion of one-off asset sales such as that of Northern Rock in meeting their targets). People are not “Walking Tall” the debt has not been cut significantly and Deficit has not been reduced either. GDP growth was all about “projections” and speculations.
Debt is an historic issue. In 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, British Government debt reached more than 200% of GDP. Thatcher was going to pay it off, then Gordon Brown then Cameron. The National debt has never been cleared since, without borrowing going up again by all Governments. Borrowing is used to fund various Governments spending instead of sorting it out through the social product. In this way Debt funds deficit too.
Deficit is dependent mainly on closing the trade gap and in Britain through balancing trade by exporting more than it imports. ‘Keeping costs down’ to compete is just a call to profit, it cannot work in market economies the world over. Work hard now benefit later, pain to gain, is only a ruse. Cost has nothing to do with wages or claims on the social product. Cost is due to supply and demand in the market and price fixing by multinational cartels and hoarding. Therefore trade is influenced by trade barriers or embargoes enforced by Monopoly Trade organisations like the EU, NAFTA and powerful states like Britain and the US. Productivity increases value of labour through exploitation but not necessarily output, which is governed by control over supply and capacity in production facility or machinery and technology, increase in capital is dependent on investment.
The present deficit was caused by trade decline due to worldwide crisis and recession. It was exacerbated by the bank crisis in 2008 due to a freeze on investment by bank lending. Government capital programmes have not prepared the economy for growth. Austerity conflicts with capital projects and investment in social programmes.
In the run-up to the 2015 General Election the capitalists tried to say that growth was suddenly back to 2006. This is also a fraud. If growth as a proportion of GDP has increased by this amount then there should be a corresponding reduction of deficit, but where is it? Austerity should be no longer an issue if capitalist logic is to be believed.
There is no growth affecting the economy concerning the people. Where is the growth? The Isle of Wight is an example, there are no new jobs and manufacture is in fact being exported in some sectors. The Capitalists are coming to the rescue in the media, mainly with propaganda to support Conservative rhetoric. Foreign multinationals like Honda, in Swindon, are saying that they are going to invest, Tata Jaguar in Birmingham, repatriate their profits into their Asian bank accounts. Japanese companies like Toyota, Nissan and Honda are doing the same. The Americans, like Ford, have always done it as well as Germans like BMW in Oxford. These are just car companies but Siemans do the same just as British companies like BAE.
What kind of growth is there? Growth in bonds? Growth in money supply due to Quantitative easing? Growth in bank profits? Growth in interest payments to finance capitalists? Is the growth sustainable? Who benefits from Crossrail in London? Is it the financial districts and Canary Wharf? Who benefits from HS2 the districts and regions or the capitalist investors? Who benefits from Trident? Is it the Americans?
Within Time and Space there is human history and the space for change has opened as the necessity for change has been appreciated. Each epoch changing event has required the space for change first being opened and the forces for transition have played through the contradictions and involved negation of the old to bring about the new.
When civilisation came out of barbarism it developed different civilisations to do it. The famous opening Statement of the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels looked at the opposing class forces that gave rise to new society and social systems;
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes”. [Marx & Engels: Library: 1848: Manifesto of the Communist Party https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/%5D
That is, all written history. The space for change, in time and space, Marx and Engels recognised that it was the class struggle that was the motive force in history. The essence of the contending force was class society in antagonism right up to the point of Communism representing the end of classes in human society.
Each epoch has opened up the space for change and the space for the Alternative. Whether it was the English Revolution or the French Revolution or the American war of Independence, each bears out the occupation of the spaces, as did the Russian Revolution. Each social system took up less time in history to establish, consolidate and get replaced. Slave society took up ancient history for much longer than Feudal or Capitalist whereas Socialism is comparatively new on the planet. Capitalism itself is only hundreds compared with the feudal millennia.
The space for changes at various times has also varied, such as the Renaissance in Europe with its many political and cultural as well as scientific revolutions. The Enlightenment and the English Industrial Revolution, which had wide implications not only for science and technology but commodity manufacture and on a world scale as others followed. The technical and scientific revolutions have continued to operate and influence great social and political changes, such as computers and the Internet.
The Second World War also became a pivot for the emerging victorious forces against fascist reaction and instigated the many democratic changes and gave the impetus for modern human rights.
Since the Second World War, the great cultural changes affecting the youth and minorities, anti-imperialist movement and liberation of old colonial nations occurred. The 1960’s saw the economic, political and social changes affecting Health and Education, it opened up a new era in the space for change and new space for Communism against the pseudo socialists of the Khrushchev period.
The relatively long period since the 1980’s with the collapse of Eastern Europe today the new dawning of a new period is in motion. The ebb of revolution of the period is turning around into a new flow in time and space. The period categorised as the Reaganite /Thatcher period of neo-liberal counter offensive has entered into the final demise of the Great powers started by the fall of the old Soviet system and Eastern block, symbolised by the breaking up of the Berlin Wall. Today we have the spectacle of the United States Empire on the brink as it enters its last efforts in the attempts to hold back its demise. Unfortunately for it, that demise is already happening and has already started showing through. Its economy is faltering, its massive military machine is starting to break, internally its own people are entering into civil conflict, starting with its black population long held in exceptional oppression, its manufacturing base, as that of Europe and Western influence is in the same boat, in decline, in existential crisis for capitalism, its financial systems in mayhem since the collapse started on Wall Street in 2008. On top the competition from China, India, Brazil and other countries including Russia.
Today, the possibility of escaping, through vast imperialist global war, is tentative. Anti-war Government is the demand breaking through from the people. If wars, including proxy wars break out, the evidence is clear since the last war that bankruptcy follows as it has since Afghanistan and Iraq, having wide consequences for imperialism and the empire. The devastation of nuclear conflagration is obvious for the entire world’s people and the political establishment itself.
Today we have the last fling of neo-liberal economics centred on cuts and Austerity. Austerity and anti-Austerity is the hinge to change. The capitalist offensive and the counter-offensive are determining the occupiers of the space. Across Europe and in Greece in particular, the contradiction is widening and deepening. Greece is becoming the weak link and of massive strategic importance. The future of the European union of the monopolies is focussed on it.
In Britain it is faced with the demands for the rights of the People of Scotland and the other nations surrounding England are not content. Today republicans from the north of Ireland speak at anti-Austerity rallies in London because of the growing discontent.
And what of the offensive and Austerity?
Defending social programmes is one thing, also public services, but what about the basic livelihoods of people. The Capitalists and their cartel politicians have no answers, they grope around and talk about solutions of growth through cutting debt and deficit through Austerity cuts. Their offensive against the workers is through “productivity” and squeezing the last drops out of manufacturing decline. They do not want to invest; in fact the monopolies are in total control and refuse so the Government is powerless in the face of Multinational and Transnational Corporations.
The capitalist offensive against the workers contains within it “Productivity” and capitalist competition points to France or Germany being more productive than Britain. In no way do they explain growth through investment, only greater exploitation of existing productive forces. Increased use of machinery leading to productivity eliminates jobs. That is the point of productivity, to reduce the living work-time while producing the same quantity of goods and services.
Certain businesses using more machinery such as robots generate greater productivity. Car production at the German owned firm BMW in Oxford uses Scandinavian Robots, Programmable logic controllers and German monopoly Siemens software and electronic equipment. The first Robots in British Leyland were not developed at home, even though some were invented here and used as prototypes back in the ‘80s. The ones at Jaguar cars used Italian built Robots initially, then some Japanese equipment, American Modicon and Honeywell have been introduced and superseded by others, there is hardly any British innovation. This new and intensified technology will mean that they will not only eliminate jobs within their own companies but may wipe out competitors destroying even more jobs.
The government has no plan for increased unemployment and enforced idleness due to greater productivity.
Productivity is to do with workers, the means of production and machinery. It is to do with “transferable value” in the process of adding value, the essence of which is the wealth producers.
“Productivity” means, as it always has, cuts in jobs, closures, squeezing the existing workforce, one person doing two or three jobs, it means increasing the working week, getting the maximum out of skills, paying less, cutting pensions, dismissal of older workers, intensifying the working day, cutting back on health and safety, the workplace environment and conditions, introducing technology to undermine jobs, getting the maximum out of all productive forces including machinery.
Productivity means less not more. This is in terms of growing the nation’s economy. There is no room for investment in the kind of wealth creation necessary to finance social programmes. Manufacture is left off the agenda as a branch of the economy that is crucial for survival; therefore it has entered a new phase where we now have an existential crisis, a crisis of the kind we have never seen before in the history of British and Western Capitalism.
The end of the second decade of the second millennium is marked by a new era of change. Today Austerity will be the hinge where the turnaround will be marked and the next period will transform into the new beginning. As the new decade approaches after the halfway mark the beginning of the new epoch will start its journey into the next decade. The 2020’s will be the decade of organising to complete the Alternative and bringing the new arrangements of society and people’s empowerment into place.
A new human-centred political economy is required for the modern age.
Marx, long ago pointed out;
“Exchange value, at first sight, presents itself as a quantitative relation, as the proportion in which values in use of one sort are exchanged for those of another sort, a relation constantly changing with time and place”.
[Karl Marx. Capital, Volume One Part I: Commodities and Money,Chapter One: Commodities.]
Common to all commodities is labour, in the abstract, the social substance crystallised is what we determine as value. Value itself has different qualities. One such quality is use value. It can be measured quantitatively, by the quantity of the value-creating substance, the labour contained in the article. The quantity of labour is measured by its duration, and labour time in weeks, days, and hours. So this also can be quantified in time and space.
Artisan skills in the past might have been qualitatively different productive activities, but uses human brains, nerves, and muscles, and in this sense it is still human labour.
Yet generally it is not the only thing that is affected by time and space, for example production, can be ‘normal conditions’ with the average degree of skill and intensity prevalent at the time. We are talking about an average sample. These days human labour, due to advanced technique, is more reliant on developed and developing skills.
For productive human labour to develop the element of time and space has to be considered even more.
Productivity has the ability to drive production, so that labour time varies with every variation in the productiveness of labour.
Consciousness; thought, logic, knowledge, experience are all factors affecting skill. Skill has different connotations today rather than simple dexterity or even expertise. The knowledge of an expert, in a particular field, in some cases is a higher form of discipline. It is what differentiates human labour from other productive forces that has a tendency to be ‘fixed’ in time and space. Labour has a tendency in modern production to emphasise the use of skilled labour and there has been a transition, in large-scale manufacture and other industry, to semi-skilled and skilled. The transitional trades have been replaced to a degree in the qualification of ‘skilled’.
A machine is a fixed asset representing actual value waiting to be transferred to new production of goods or services. Human labour and its consciousness alone, can manipulate nature and time and space. This is the inexhaustible capacity of human beings, which no robot can emulate in its capacity up to now. Human beings are the only productive force capable of abstracting absence when it comes to seeing what is required to advance productivity.
Productivity is influenced by the state of science and technology and social organisation, amongst other things. Collective consciousness, collective application through division of labour, enhances the capabilities of human labour.
There is a contradiction in the control of ones own labour due to the employment by Capital. The problem of employment is one where people cannot get into the socially productive environment due to under investment. Under the capitalist system, the capacity to work has become irrelevant, that is why there is under-employment or unemployment.
Employers will not employ workers unless their capacity to work makes the capitalists rich. The existential crisis becomes more profound as the system cannot provide the necessary means for labour to produce.
Balancing the Economy through Proportional Development and putting Commodity Production in its place
Laws of political economy operate independently of the will of people. They are objective laws, reflecting processes of economic development. Its laws, unlike those of natural science, are impermanent, that they, or at least the majority of them, operate for a definite historical period, after which they give place to new laws. However, these laws are not abolished, but lose their validity owing to the new economic conditions.
Much is talked about by the Con/Dem Government about “Balancing the Economy” They excused the financial crisis, the credit crunch and banking crisis, as one not of aggravating the General Capitalist crisis but confused it with “balance” with the rest of the economy like the industrial sector. They deliberately diverted the issue to being one that people are “living beyond their means”.
Yet it is necessary to have a genuinely balanced economy because anarchy in the market place, the “Boom and Bust” or “Bubble” nature of the economy are in contradiction with the organised character of production, which is based on maximum profits.
It is a necessity for balanced (proportionate) development of the national economy in our country and there is an economic law operating that determines the balance.
Plans for the British economy must take into consideration a balanced, proportionate development of the national economy. The law of balanced development of the national economy arises in opposition to the law of competition and anarchy of production – predominant particularly where Monopoly prevails. Solutions to the economic crisis lie in shifting the emphasis towards the economic law of balanced development of the national economy. This is determining a new direction for the economy.
In order to turn the possibility into actuality, it is necessary to study this economic law, to master it, to learn to apply it with full understanding, and to compile such plans as fully reflect the requirements of this law. It cannot be said that the requirements of this economic law are reflected by the existing political cartel operating in Westminster.
It is not the case that the economic laws operating, including the law of value, will be “transformed,” or even “radically transformed,” Laws cannot be “transformed”. The laws of value operate and must continue to operate and add value particularly in the social production sectors of the economy.
The laws of political economy are objective laws, which reflect the fact that the processes of economic life are law-governed and operate independently of our will. People who deny this postulate are in point of fact denying science, and, by denying science, they are denying all possibility of prognostication and, consequently, are denying the possibility of directing economic activity.
Some say that it is people “living beyond their means”, “overusing credit cards” or “Consumerism” being the cause of “Bubbles”. These sweeping generalisations disregard the economic laws governing anarchy of production and competition and the economic law of balanced development. It leads to policies that either tries to alleviate the ills of capital centred economics by stimulation, trying to patch up “Bubbles” or printing money through “quantitative easing” etc, to “get people spending again”. Some even demand no growth or even consider banishing commodity production!
There is no mileage in going backwards; in fact it is ludicrous because all pre-existing societies had some form of commodity production. To advocate this kind of command economy disregards the gap between rich and poor and the material and cultural needs of people in society.
Some people are talking about nationalisation not of part, but of all the means of production, that is, the conversion into public property of the means of production not only of industry, but also of agriculture. Today, with the decline of Britain in a post colonial period, where Manufacturing is close to only 10% of GDP, the Monopoly Capitalist Economy is in decline then modern definitions need to be considered on principles regarding the concrete conditions.
Certain parts of the social economy should definitely pass back to the public sector that have been privatised and have proven to be ineffective, Monopolies that operate in a cavalier fashion or are loose cannons and should indeed be restricted. Banks need to be totally taken under state control. Once upon a time Britain developed capitalism and the concentration of production both in industry and in agriculture where it had reached a high point of concentration. Now production has been somewhat dismantled (particularly under the Thatcher years and the EU programme) and is in decline compared to bigger powers. It is also being abandoned by global capital to other parts of the world where profits from capital and resources are cheaper. It is therefore necessary to re-evaluate and carry out measures that can re-new and regenerate the economy and provide a path forward under the new conditions.
There are indeed very dangerous conditions and circumstances arising out of the present economic crisis. Factors where certain sections of capital and the ruling elite are hell bent on shifting the entire burden of the crisis onto the backs of the people. Under these circumstances Workers, pensioners, youth and even small and medium producers are faced with ruin. There are dangers of fascism and war. If certain sections of the elite, Monopolies, financiers and aristocracy do not heed the warnings then the working class should lead the entire people and assume power without waiting until capitalism has succeeded in destroying the economy. All means of production by Industrial Monopolies, the banks and high finance should then be expropriated and converted into public property. As to the small and medium individual producers, they should be gradually united in producers’ cooperatives, i.e., in large agricultural enterprises, and agricultural monopolies brought under state control.
It is said that commodity production must lead, is bound to lead, to capitalism all the same, under all conditions. That is not true. Not always and not under all conditions. Commodity production must not be identified with capitalist production. They are two different things. Capitalist production is the highest form of commodity production. Commodity production leads to capitalism only if there is private owner-ship of the means of production, if labour power appears in the market as a commodity which can be bought by the capitalist and exploited in the process of production, and if, consequently, the system of exploitation of wageworkers by capitalists exists in the country.
Commodity production must not be regarded as something independent of the surrounding economic conditions. Commodity production is older than capitalist production. It existed in slave-owning society, and served it, but did not lead to capitalism. It existed in feudal society and served it, yet, although it prepared some of the conditions for capitalist production, it did not lead to capitalism. Commodity production can similarly serve socialism. State, or publicly owned production and state enterprise, the means of production and the product of production are national property.
The Law of Value
Wherever commodities and commodity production exist, there the law of value must also exist. In Britain, the sphere of operation of the law of value extends, first of all, to commodity circulation, to the exchange of commodities through purchase and sale, the exchange, chiefly, of articles of personal consumption. Here, in this sphere, the law of value preserves the function of a regulator. The law of value is not confined to the sphere of commodity circulation. It also extends to production. It influences production, and this fact cannot be ignored when directing production. As a matter of fact, consumer goods, which are needed to compensate the labour power expended in the process of production. The law of value also regulates surplus value in private monopolies and the claim on added value produced by labour as well as the tax claims by government. In this connection, such things as cost accounting and profitableness, production costs, prices are important in enterprise. Consequently, British enterprises cannot function without taking the law of value into account.
The law of value trains business executives to conduct production on rational lines and disciplines them. It teaches executives to count production magnitudes, to count them accurately, and also to calculate the real things in production precisely. It teaches executives to look for, find and utilise hidden reserves latent in production. It teaches executives systematically to improve methods of production, to lower production costs, to practice cost accounting, and to make their enterprises pay.
The trouble is that business executives and planners are poorly acquainted with the operations of the law of value, do not study them, and are unable to take account of them in their computations.
But does this mean that the operation of the law of value has too much scope? Must it be limited? Must certain commodity production be restricted and placed within definite bounds?
In this same direction operates the law of balanced (proportionate) development of the national economy, should it gain parity or even superseded the law of competition and anarchy of production?
In Britain the law of value, does not need to lead to crises of overproduction, in other countries as in Britain today, this same law, whose sphere of operation is very wide under capitalism, does lead, in spite of the low rate of expansion of production, to periodical crises of overproduction.
It is taken too much for granted that the law of value is a permanent law, binding upon all periods of historical development, and that if it does not lose its function as a regulator of exchange relations. Should it retain its function as a regulator of the relations between the various branches of production as a regulator of the distribution of labour among them? Value, like the law of value, is a historical category connected with the existence of commodity production. If commodity production does diminish then the law of value will diminish also.
The amount of labour expended on the production of goods is measured through value and its forms, as is the case under commodity production, but directly and immediately – by the amount of time, the number of hours, expended on the production of goods. As to the distribution of labour, its distribution among the branches of production will be regulated not solely by the law of value, but out of the balanced sectors of a multi-branched economy and the consequent growth in society’s demand for goods. Production will be regulated by the new requirements of society, and computation of the requirements of society will acquire paramount importance for planning bodies.
If the law of balanced development of the national economy rises against the law of value regulating the “proportions” of labour distributed among the various branches of production, then light industries, which are the most profitable, might be developed to the utmost, and preference might be given to heavy industries, which are often less profitable, and some-times altogether unprofitable. A multi branched balanced economy needs heavy industry and it might be incomprehensible if a number of heavy industry plants which are still unprofitable and where the labour of the worker does not yield the “proper returns,” are closed down, and why new light industry plants, which would certainly be profitable and where the labour of the workers might yield “big returns,” are not opened. It may also be incomprehensible if workers are not transferred from plants that are less profitable, but very necessary to our national economy, to plants, which are more profitable.
Obviously, we should have to cease giving primacy to the production of means of production in favour of the production of articles of consumption. What would be the effect of ceasing to give primacy to the production of the means of production? The effect would be to destroy the possibility of the continuous expansion of the national economy, because the national economy cannot be continuously expanded with-out giving primacy to the production of means of production.
It would be wrong to draw the conclusion from this that the law of balanced development of the national economy annuls the principle of profitableness of production. That is quite untrue. It is just the other way round. If profitableness is considered not from the stand-point of individual plants or industries, and not over a period of one year, but from the standpoint of the entire national economy and over a period of, say, ten years, which is the only correct approach to the question, then the temporary and unstable profitableness of some plants or industries is beneath all comparison with that higher form of stable and permanent profitableness which we get from the operation of the law of balanced development of the national economy, which save us from periodical economic crises disruptive to the national economy and causing tremendous material damage to society, and which ensure a continuous and high rate of expansion of our national economy.
Without Necessity there is no substance and to deny substance is to deny materialism. There is change and there is the Necessity for Change. We must recognise and appreciate Necessity. If there is a social necessity then it must be sustained or developed.
The substance of any functioning system contains the Necessities within them. If the Necessities decay, or are removed, then these are the particular elements of a general existentialist crisis.
If certain plans or programmes, as a matter of policy, are blocked, if they are attempted to maintain existence and ameliorate an existential issue, they may be blocked because they are detrimental, (such as school academies or private health schemes) then this can exacerbate the existential crisis. This might also be true regarding war as a ‘solution’ to crisis, criminalizing dissent to avoid democratic protest and raising consciousness or opposing Trade Union legislation. It might be opposing the shifting of the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the people by opposing Austerity or productivity drives as part of a capitalist offensive challenged by a working class counter offensive.
“It is an acknowledged truth that freedom is the recognition of necessity, and human beings, as the product of definite conditions, must recognise the necessities of the times and circumstances so that they can be free of the natural and social forces that enslave them…”
(97) [Hardial bains. Thinking about the Sixties. (Chapter 6, ‘1967’) Volume 1, The New Magazine Publishing Company. Toronto, 2005]
There may be a Necessity to change the situation, to turn things round and to do this might be by aggravating the existential crisis.
The various necessities operating affect change through the existential crisis and are pivotal factors being effective functions in the flux. The materiality of the qualities of the necessities and the flux itself influences time and space.
The capitalists and their political representatives are saying that the existential crisis of their system is ‘terrorism’ or ‘unsustainable immigration’ rather than admit that there are inherent existential problems within it. They are misleading and diverting people from the real problems of societal existentialist crisis.
There is a Necessity to change the direction the economy is headed. There was a Necessity for Feudalism once but then it changed to the Necessity for Capitalism. Now there is a Necessity for Socialism. We have seen this Necessity fulfilled in the Soviet Union but it became pseudo-socialism, Socialism in words only but its actions and economy changed back from a planned Socialist economy into a capitalist anarchic economy. Today the economy has to be fought and hinged upon the necessity to put more into the economy than is taken out. The class struggle and the working class waging struggle, is the struggle of modern political economy where the claims on the social product should restrict monopoly Right and the first claim should be the working class. The social income to invest in Social programmes instead of paying the rich is also part of the claim.
There is a Necessity for a Health Service and Public Education system; it must also be modern and developed too. Without certain Necessities today there would be an existential crisis. Wrecking or undermining causes the existential crisis of capitalism. Therefore the people have asserted that these are modern rights.
There must be a new direction for the economy, there must be a Health Service and Education system serving society. Not only must there be a health service but negation of negation means that there must be modern education and modern health.There is a Necessity for Public Housing; a Necessity for a Post Office, Communication network, a national energy supply, A National Railway network, there is a Necessity, because of these things and other things, to fight for the rights of all. There is also the important question of the Necessity to oppose Austerity and pose the Alternative, which is the Necessity for Growth. There is the necessity of Public versus private, opposing Monopoly Right and Upholding Public Right, there is also the question of public ownership versus privatisation and in turn public ownership. There is the Necessity of a fully branched economy and the Necessity for a Manufacturing Base. There is a strategic Necessity to properly utilise responsibly the natural resources. There is a necessity for a decent state pension, a Necessity to protect the rights of minorities, workers, students, women and children. There is a Necessity for modern welfare. There is a Necessity to end poverty amongst all sections and put an end to unemployment. These are Necessities of the present in time and space.
What is the History of these Necessities and how should they be presented in what we call the Alternative? This must be examined and from which we must abstract absence. Realisation of these demands in time and space is the human and class struggle of our time as fundamental to achieving victory in the rights of all.
The Necessity of an NHS
In the here and now, the existence of the NHS poses itself as a need to safeguard that existence and its future, without which the NHS will fall into decay and eventual abandonment. Behind this relation of cause – the existence of the NHS, a product of history, and effect – the need to continue that existence in the present, there is a totality of reciprocal relations that contains within itself the necessity of the NHS. Without appreciating this necessity, safeguarding the NHS is a purely pragmatic issue, where action remains purely re-active against the continued and ever-more intense attacks on the NHS.
The existence of the NHS is itself an effect; it came into being out of its necessity in a form and at a time determined by the conditions following the Second World War. Its necessity was expressed in those conditions, with specific characteristics according to the particularities of that time; its forerunner organisations and the actual forces involved in its creation – in particular, the interplay of the class forces in society at that time.
An Act of Parliament established the NHS in 1946. Yet this itself was a realisation of the more general necessity existing throughout the history of humanity: to put human health under conscious control. This necessity for a health service presents health as a cause taken up by humanity; the effect of which has been the NHS as established, a one-sided, conditioned and particular realisation of this necessity.
With the development of humanity and human thought, the appreciation of nature moved from the mere presentation of the object to the senses to what lies deeper; through investigation, practical activity and the development of theory, thought moved beyond appearance to the essence of the object, breaking down the boundary between the “thing in itself” and the understanding. The presentation of nature as a given collection of objects moved to substance and its processes, matter in motion. This motion is not haphazard but governed by laws; matter evolves with a certain necessity. There is necessity in the need for human beings to understand these laws. The involvement of human beings transforms the “thing in itself” into a “thing for us”. One such process of study is health. Health becomes a “thing for us” through the understanding of biological laws.
Humanity frees itself from disease by appreciating the necessity to understand, and actually coming to understand, the necessary actions of the laws of nature (the reciprocal interaction of causes and effects in nature and the body); this allows the bringing of these laws under human control.
Thus there was the state of the human body and the state of mind at any one time and place. The necessity to understand the human body to embark on the road to health became an act of investigation, involving much anatomical study and experiment. It involved the development of physicians, thinkers and practitioners, such as Hippocrates in ancient Greece. Aristotle was among the first natural historians; he observed and studied the organic features of plants and animals.
The necessity to study the mind was similar but not the same. The early investigation involved analysis of thinking, ideas and concepts, such as the dialogues of Plato or the Logic and categories of thought of Aristotle. The study of the mind also involved the health of the mind and the analysis of mental illness. Part of the study of mind was also the study of emotions. In early days the function of the brain was not understood. The causes and effects of mental illness have therefore lagged behind the understanding of other physical illnesses.
Health and well-being of all has been a cause of humanity. The effect at different stages has been to organise the various streams of health and social care in some basic form moving to a higher level at various times. The quantity and different kinds of streams of health science and health care were developed, a development that has reciprocated back into the cause and repeated at a higher level. To care for the individual, as part of the collective, has become a prime motivator for mankind. Today there is a general cause for an NHS, while the effect – in particular – is the NHS as it has been established and that actually exists in the present.
Health and social care has become part of the culture of human beings. Seeking scientific truths from scientific facts to serve humanity has been the cause and effect of health care to this day. The cures and treatments have been organised in various forms to reflect the content of the many streams and established in various faculties and clinics. Freedom from disease and disability has been the appreciation of a deterministic necessity, as it has become the motivator.
The space for change and the duration of the transitional changes has been the context of all previous civilised societies. The economic basis for change and the political will to make the necessary advancements is a reflection of class society. The level of health and its hiatus between ruling elites and the masses of the general population has been measured by such things as: access to private physicians, personal attendants and nursing, medical attendants to the hierarchy, kings and emperors; as opposed to the general population’s access to doctors, midwives, medicine, treatment and surgery.
Modern class society is the division between workers and capitalists. Victorian capitalism in England was divided between bourgeoisie and proletariat. The manufacturing elite of industrial capitalism furnished itself with hospital establishments and clinics such as Harley Street. The working class, many of whom were reduced to pauperism in times of economic crisis, were allowed only limited access to medicine through apothecaries and mountebanks, charlatans and back street chemists. Paupers admitted to workhouses were occasionally taken into workhouse hospitals and mental institutions where they and their relatives were committed. Harley Street is owned by the de Walden family and managed by the de Walden Estate. Through their substantial London property portfolio, the Howard de Walden family is one of the wealthiest families in Britain, with a net worth of over £1 billion.
The necessity for public healthcare came out of the need to improve a healthier workforce with better conditions to improve efficiency and productivity. The post Industrial Revolution period saw the requirement to maintain and develop various skills along with education, physical and mental health. Alongside this were necessitated improved public works, sewerage systems, clean water supplies, nutritional levels, shorter working days, factory reform (targeting child labour in particular including also rest breaks, some health and safety, working hours, temperature etc.), vacation, public recreational parks and cleaner air as well as better housing.
Connected with this was the need to eradicate epidemics and wider pandemics, spreading and affecting all classes without discrimination. In this era, cholera, malnutrition, pneumonia, tuberculosis, vitamin deficiency, deformity, industrial injury and disability had to be tackled.
New drugs and other pharmaceuticals, prosthetics, modern cures and techniques were developed. In times of war, field surgeons and military hospitals to maintain human resources were established.
The necessity for a pro-social and public health service became a prime object, substance and process. The necessity had already developed into an imperative for the maintenance and cohesion of society, a part of the social fabric, which would degenerate and fall apart without it. It was both not only an objective necessity, but also subjective. A cultural necessity became engrained deep in the psyche of the populace and remains so in the permanent psychology of the nation. This permanence is part of the developing objective situation, because the conditions that gave rise to it are causes and effects reflecting back to create a higher quality cause, and so the necessity is ever present as it goes from the lower to the higher form and content. The future coherence of society depends upon it. That is why health care has to remain public; modern society has to appreciate the necessity for a National Health Service in the here and now.
The National Health Service in England was created by the National Health Service Act 1946. Previously the working class were generally required to pay for their health care. Free treatment was sometimes available from teaching hospitals and charity hospitals, such as the Royal Free Hospital. Some local authorities operated local hospitals for local ratepayers (under a system originating with the Poor Law). The London County Council (LCC) on 1 April 1930 took over from the abolished Metropolitan Asylums Board responsibility for 140 hospitals, medical schools and other medical institutions; the Local Government Act 1929 also allowed the LCC to run services over and above those authorised by the Poor Law and in effect to provide medical treatment for everyone. By the outbreak of the Second World War, the LCC was running the largest public health service in Britain.
Systems of health insurance usually consisted of private schemes such as Friendly Societies or Welfare Societies. Under the National Insurance Act 1911, introduced by David Lloyd George, a small amount was deducted from weekly wages, to which were added contributions from the employer and the government. In return for the record of contributions, the worker was entitled to medical care, though not necessarily to the drugs prescribed. To obtain medical care, he or she registered with a doctor. Each doctor who participated in the scheme thus had a “panel” of those who had made insurance under the system, and was paid a capitation grant out of the fund calculated upon the number. This imperfect scheme only covered certain trades and occupations, and was known as “Lloyd George’s Ambulance Wagon”. Moreover, due to cuts during the 1930s, many were unable to obtain treatment.
Prior to the Second World War, there was already consensus that health insurance should be extended to the dependants of the wage-earner, and that the voluntary and local authority hospitals should be integrated. A British Medical Association pamphlet, “A General Medical Service for the Nation” was issued along these lines in 1938. However, no action was taken due to the international crisis. During the war, a new centralised state-run Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employed doctors and nurses to care for those injured by enemy action and arrange for their treatment in whichever hospital was available. The existence of the EMS made voluntary hospitals dependent on the Government and there was a recognition that many would be in financial trouble once peace arrived.
The demand for an NHS was linked to a public necessity and a fulfilment of a historic process both inevitable and an epitome of social development. It was a stage in the fulfilment of a necessity, a cause with an inevitable effect. It gave the rise to the new cause and effects, which encompassed the continuous improvement of the process going from a lower to higher outcomes; it gave the NHS a present and a future. The objective situation arose out of the conditions of the Second World War where the prestige of the Soviet Union was high and revolutionary transformation of society was high. The advanced system of health was being tackled in Soviet Russia and producing results.
The enhanced condition for revolutionary transformation was offset by Social Democracy and the promise of some social reforms such as the establishment of an NHS. The subjective arrangements had to be put in place as a pre-requisite for the whole of social cohesion and general economic development and thus organised a social contract to keep the capitalist system intact and offset social revolution. The onset of further economic crises put this arrangement in jeopardy.
It could be said the NHS that was a particular (one-sided and indeed compromised) realisation of an objective necessity.
There is necessity for the NHS, yet we see that it was set up in opposition to the conditions. The establishment of the NHS was partly realising the objectively-existing necessity for universal health care at the highest level society can provide and funded at state level, but partly and in opposition to the full realisation of that to offset the condition for revolutionary transformation; the NHS as established contained this contradiction, as did all of the other post-war welfare state arrangements.
Today, the major onset of the latest crisis of neo-liberal capitalism, starting around 2008, has resulted in the bogus “austerity” dogma, having the consequence of various all-round failures to solve the recession in which it finds itself. Because the NHS is part of the very fabric of our society and culture, notions of reducing spending has produced an inherent problem leading to the economic tactic of “ring fencing” and keeping the NHS “safe” in various political hands. This has turned into empty rhetoric, as no such guarantees can be put in place by any established Westminster force in the political cartel. Complaints about “cost” and advice about its “mistakes” are based on a pragmatic, a-historical outlook of a moribund class with a complete lack of viable strategy. The inadequacy is masked by its anti-consciousness and egotistic standpoint. The opposite of this is an alternative approach marked by the pro-historic, principled positions obtained by the working class outlook with the Workers’ Opposition as the motive force for this change. This encapsulates the collective will of the people, the human factor/social consciousness, as opposed to the individualistic capitalist and elitist anti-consciousness.
Modern developments, including the struggle for production and scientific experimentation are trapped within old relations held in place by the capitalist system. It includes the development and progress of the NHS.
The contradiction between public and private health is a struggle between a pro-social and anti-social environment. This has been the context of the condition in time and space. By condition we mean existence; the possibilities could go either way but, in the last analysis, it had to go the way of public. Possibility thus suspended is the issuing of a new actuality. Conditions are simply what exist, subjectively and objectively. In our conditions of life we respond to what we have in place, to what we require and to what is missing. Development is the “struggle” of opposites – in this context public versus private – and this is what the necessity, cause and effect has to work within to develop its quality from a lower to a higher phase. It is the condition where the form reflects the higher content and can only develop within this framework. It is here where reciprocity reflects from the effect of higher organisation into its renewed cause.
The notion that the NHS can revert to being an individualistic “private” service is an anachronism; it cannot succeed. The failure to develop the NHS and project its future would register the failure of an irresolvable crisis and breakdown of the capitalist system. Society and production as well as general coherence would not only be reduced but would be in danger of falling apart if the NHS was dismantled because Health and Social Care is so much integrated within it. Therefore, turning the clock backwards on Health Care is not an option; it is as ludicrous as ending civilisation and returning to barbarism itself.
The necessity for the NHS is confirmed in the conditions of every country in the world and every country has tackled the problems of healthcare in some form or other and to some degree. Even the United States with its so-called “private model” health insurance monopoly system is a kind of corporate system. The differences in development are superficial in the sense that the private market, which operates within its health service system, is only differently developed in contrast to the marginally superior run health systems in other countries. In the United States, further development has also reached the agenda in Congress as a pressing necessity today. Privatisation and accidental “market forces” is a dogma based upon pragmatic ideas, which cannot work.
Formulations, which include removing co-ordination structures, infrastructures, Primary Care trusts, cannot simply be removed without consequences. These have to be replaced by other cosmetic bureaucracies to co-ordinate and facilitate. Closing of certain hospitals and exporting services has had repercussions already. The closure of accident and emergency in a locality on the basis of financial saving or efficiency without regard for proximity and fulfilling adequate service has led to social upheaval as in Lewisham.
Take for example one location, the Isle of Wight. There are now 422 organisations at present dealing with health issues. Some have only recently come into being in the NHS and outside in the private sector. Will they succeed? Obviously there is no guarantee as new business start-ups can fail very early. They will not succeed if they are profit-motivated ventures linked closely to market capitalism. A separate NHS co-ordinating bureaucracy has already been set up at a cost to link them all to a superstructure. Doctors who before went to the NHS to solve issues now have to fathom from a chaotic network of healthcare organisations, which the GP may or may not know exists or what its function is.
The cause is the NHS and the effect remains with the continuation of the NHS in the here and now. Health and well-being of all is a fundamental cause of humanity. It has become a prime motivator for mankind. The contradiction between public and private healthcare is a struggle between a pro-social environment and anti-social environment. The economic basis for change and the political will to make the necessary advancements is reflection of class society. The necessity had already developed into an imperative for the maintenance and cohesion of society, a part of the social fabric. The demand for an NHS was linked to a public necessity and a fulfilment of a historic process both inevitable and an epitome of social development. Modern developments, including the struggle for production and scientific experimentation are trapped within old relations held in place by the capitalist system. It includes the development and progress of the NHS. The notion that the NHS can revert to being an individualistic “private” service is an anachronism, which cannot succeed. Privatisation and accidental “market forces” is a dogma based upon pragmatic ideas, which cannot work. Only the working class and its pro-social outlook can provide direction based on its alternative. Only this class can ensure the future for the NHS.
(98) [Kenneth Knapman, 2013]
An Overview of the Necessity for Education
General deterministic necessity in England and specific Cause and effects throughout its history:
Preliminary observations from historical materialist development:
From early indications separation of religion and secular education was a contradiction. Types of school such as early Grammar schools, which were not the same as contemporary Grammar schools, independent schools, song schools, chantry schools were amongst the first.
The earliest schools were for the upper classes in society.
There were issues of curriculum introducing ancient techniques such as rhetoric and early dialectic along with religion. Natural sciences came later in the curriculum. The division of classes and schooling for the poor were there even in the earliest times but became more pronounced later. There was also the gender contradiction that was marked from the earliest times.
Mass education out of the necessity to improve production and productive techniques was highlighted particularly after the industrial revolution. The need for literacy and numeracy, reading and interpreting data, office work, counting and algebra in engineering were some specific issues.
The tiering of education and its concrete building are features of development in reality. For example Utopian Socialist and Chartist Robert Owen in 1816 opened the first infant school in New Lanark, Scotland.
Qualitative curriculum developments created new conditions and timely leaps, in the general context of educational development, this led to new specific causes and effects and necessities.
Throughout the development of education to modern necessity, class division, reciprocation and reaction have marked education. Such notions as, ‘education of the masses leads to disaffection’, can be recorded by various representatives of the bourgeoisie in parliament in the not too distant past.
The slow process of appreciation of the necessities for changes in education has led to a cumbersome and often faltering progression.
The contradiction between Public and Private Education has been a fundamental transitional element, which still today is has not been settled through reform. Older forms of Public school, elite education, Independent Schools and certain faith schools have attempted to continue to thrive as opposed to State schools. In this category of private, semi-private or elite accommodation has seen the Grammar schools. The rest of society was divided by the 11+ system of selection between Grammar Schools, Technical schools and Secondary Modern. Also modern attempts have been to create schools based on selection as a criteria for dividing pupils into achievers and none achievers, ability or not so able, bright or not so bright. Various attempts to nullify this problem have been through various cognitive techniques and mixed ability schooling. Some of these highlighted in the 1967 Plowden Report Children and their Primary Schools: arguably the best known of all education reports, it promoted child-centred education and was much maligned by traditionalists.
The general issue of educational development and elimination of class divisions has been the process of Comprehensive schooling and the State maintained system.
Current reaction to this development has been seen through privatisation, Grant Maintained Schools, Trust schools, Academies and now Free schools under the Swedish model.
The General crisis in education and the turning point in counter development has been the mid 1970’s culminating in the 1976 Callaghan Ruskin College speech, which began ‘The Great Debate’ about education. Also the “Black” papers issued at that time. The Crisis and General election of 1979 led to the formation of the Thatcher Government and the sweeping changes and general decline in the education process that had historically culminated in that period. The steps in education have been retrograde in terms of state education ever since.
The Blair years of “New Labour” attempted to resurrect the Callaghan debate about the future direction of education but took it in a different direction of reconciliation with the backward agenda even under the slogan of, “Education, Education, Education”. This did nothing to alter the neo-liberal agenda of privatisation of education but on the contrary embarked on the same road and furthered it. This took in various aspects of the National curriculum and school re-organisation on a pragmatic basis developing along the Joseph notions of “Standards” rather than progress.
The necessity for modern definitions and an alternative approach probably needs to take up the issues from the point of Callaghan’s “debate”, which never happened. The modern analysis and decision making has to be based on where mass education and proper public education left off, this of course is the working class agenda and the basis of its opposition. The issues of moving forward on the comprehensive experience and model as well as selection have to be finally settled.
*(See Appendix (3): Timeline of some important education events in Britain).
In terms of setting for events, occurring in time and space, we have context. The surroundings or milieu at a particular place in time the location and necessities of the conditions or area encompassed are particular to time. As the variables change or their significances alter, or are negated, then the context changes.
Modern dialectical and historical materialism has the advantage of written history compared to the logic of the ancients and their categories. The advent of written and recorded history allows experience to be taken into consideration through context in time and space.
The ability to project and abstract absence in human consciousness takes into consideration the changing material conditions of context. Thus context is a marker of the materiality of the changing conditions in time and space. Politics, strategy and tactics alter because of context. They are a cause and effect and their is reciprocation because of these things and can alter context in time and space.
Technical and scientific breakthroughs, such as in physics with theory and practice of spacetime, are one such objective reality. DNA has affected context. Manipulation of molecular structure in material science has affected context.
Each epoch change such as the “Atomic age”, the “Jet age”, the “Space age” has affected context. There is a suggestion that the transformations in media and news coverage through wireless and television has changed context. The Industrial revolution and technical revolutions such as digital science and computing has affected context.
The Renaissance and the Enlightenment were periodic breakthroughs in order that affected context.
Revolutionary transformations of society, from Barbarism and Savagery through Slave owning society, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism and Communism affect context, as does the age of Colonialism and Imperialism and their decline. Also World wars and invasions have contextual influence. Within these the changes from absolute monarchy, autocracy and democracy represent contextual stages as well as conditional changes.
In the world equilibrium of power and superpower politics or different social systems are forces operating within context.
In 1979 the debate between Keynesian and Monetarist economics marked a contextual change.
In British politics in particular, Thatcherism along with the Chicago School and the monetarism of Milton Friedman, marked a stage of neo-liberalism and the capitalist counter offensive to Socialism and the workers’ movement.
In recent times 9/11, the destruction of the New York Twin Towers, changed the context of international politics, the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on Terrorism are what are known as “Game-changers”. Anti-Austerity could be seen as a game-changer in the modern context.
The old Cold War and the new Cold war can only be compared in context. The Ukraine, the role of the Maidan, the interference of the European Union and NATO, the division between East and West, the position of Russia, the war, the fascists are all contextual.
In military Science, with the development of warfare as politics by other means, the writings of the ancient Sun Szu (d. 496 BC) and Clausewitz are contextual. The battle tacticians, Alexander of Macedon, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Gaius Marius and Napoleon Bonaparte were limited to the field techniques or technology available or recorded. Since the warfare of the long or cross bow, the cannon, the warship, the submarine and the aircraft there is now the new context of the stealth, the cruise missile, the smart bombs, battlefield nuclear weapons and the drones. Modern warfare has the benefit of hindsight, but there is negation too, there is the strategy and tactics of modern warfare. This includes the Guerrilla warfare of Mao, or Che Guevara, the experience of Stalingrad and the urban warfare of the cities.
The origins of diplomacy are in the strategic and competitive exchange of impressive gifts, which may be traced to the Bronze Age and recognized as an aspect of Homeric guest-friendship. Thus diplomacy and trade have been inexorably linked from the outset.
Ancient India, with its kingdoms and dynasties, had a long tradition of diplomacy, as did the Chinese dynasties. In ancient Indian history, Arthashastra is a complete work on the art of kingship, with long chapters on taxation and on the raising and maintenance of armies. It also incorporates a theory of diplomacy. Reflected in India’s philosophy and myth, Krishna, in the epic Mahabharata, acted as a divine diplomat and statesman between the Kuru and Pandava dynasties.
Byzantium’s, “Bureau of Barbarians” was the first foreign intelligence agency, gathering information on the empire’s rivals from every possible source. While on the surface a protocol office—its main duty was to ensure foreign envoys were properly cared for and received sufficient state funds for their maintenance.
In Europe, early modern diplomacy’s origins are often traced to the states of Northern Italy in the early Renaissance. Yet French diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754–1838) is considered one of the most skilled diplomats in time.
In diplomacy, medieval Machiavellian skill, and relations between states; peaceful solutions and negotiation techniques as well as international agreements, UN resolutions, are included as the development of the alternative politics to warfare. All particularly and in the main are mid 20th century.
The rise of the United Nations after World War 2, agreements over Sovereignty and Rights of nations including the UN Charter of human Rights, as well as the European Convention came out of the context of the Second World War. Modern definitions of rights, democratisation and expansion of the Security Council has emerged as issues to develop the UN in the present context.
The rise of China and large countries, formerly know as the Third World, such as Brazil, India and South Africa are altering the factors of the present and future context.
Only with the benefit of hindsight can modern strategy and tactics develop and depends upon how materialism moves with context. This is how civilisation moves and how the human factor and social consciousness has become more relevant.
Democratic renewal of the political system is the democracy issue of the period and is contextual. The system of Representative Democracy is an anachronism in this respect and a system of more Direct Democracy would be more appropriate to the times and the present context.
Corporations, Rich individuals, finance capitalists and employers’ organisations should be banned from making political contributions to political parties.
We need to reform the electoral process so that people have the strongest voice in our democracy. There must be equity and fairness to election financing, which represents just the beginning of efforts to renew democracy.
Candidates in elections need to talk and listen to citizens to gain their support instead of relying on donations from organisations. It will help to ensure that people’s voices are heard in Parliament and assure voters that political contributions from organisations weren’t a deciding factor in a candidate’s success.
Our political system has been far, far too dependent on funds from a narrow range of donors with deep pockets and too far removed from the interests of ordinary people.
Once upon a time political parties were “catch all” that tried to appeal across the board to voters. They were mass parties but now they are only parties for an elitist few. Once the role of parties was to politicise the electorate around issues, but not any more as their news releases, statements and leaflets show. This should still be the role of political parties to politicise the electorate.
Very few people are now members of political parties. Therefore how can these parties justify selecting candidates? Why should the parties and their candidates only receive funding? This situation needs to change so that the process is funded not the parties.
Why can there not be election committees set up in constituencies, funded by the Government to assist the process so that candidates are put up and endorsed by people and not parties? If the party candidates do not perform well on the hustings they could be excluded regardless of their political party affiliation.
Already the first past the post system has shown its failure by failing to allow candidates from smaller parties to produce MPs for parliament despite the large amounts of votes gained. Hence the demand has been raised, once again, for a more proportional voting system.
The victory of Cameron in the 2015 British Election is a hollow victory, in that the Conservatives have no mandate to carry out the austerity agenda.
The people have set their sights on the right to participate in governance, and they cherish the right to have control of their own lives.
In terms of economics there has been a number of issues surrounding the context of the 2008 financial crash and recession. Many have placed the context in terms of the neo-liberal agenda, Globalisation and various other context changers such as the European Union as significant. Others quote the new deal politics of the 1930’s, financial regulation, the Gold Standard, the Helms Burton agreement, Keynesian economics as “Out of Context”. In other words experience has not provided Capitalism with a solution.
When discussing the past and experience one always has to consider context in order not to repeat mistakes.
Nationalisation is returning to the political agenda these days.
To talk about whether a nationalisation is “good or bad” is neither here nor there. So it it is ridiculous for anyone to say whether one is for or against it or make sweeping statement of whether it “works” or not. Nationalisation and state monopoly was a natural capitalist tendency after capitalism turned to monopoly. Planes and boats and planes practically all turned to state monopoly on the whole. Utilities, railways and communication became naturally publicly run.
Privatisation and hiving off, particularly the profitable parts were all cherry-picked and gifted to capitalism mainly in the 1980’s, including the TSB and building societies that became adjuncts of banks.
Whether or not to nationalise today is a context issue. It is not a question of reform or revolution but one of necessity or even existential crisis or resolution. Compensation or not may be considered only a measurement of degree but does not really alter the quality.
Nationalisation is not Socialism but it can be one of those conditions for Socialism.
In many cases, historically in Britain, without the move towards State capitalist monopoly, industry would not have survived or endured for so long. Even so Coal mining didn’t survive anyway nor many ship yards, car plants or most of the steel industry.
British Leyland was the “bogey” when Thatcher confused its demise by calling nationalisation a form of Socialism and masked its state capitalist character. BL would have ended up defunct sooner if it had not been nationalised. In the end the profitable parts were broken up and privatised, some survived and some didn’t. The classic example was Jaguar, Rover, Triumph.
Growth through infrastructure, energy and manufacture as a proportion of GDP will probably only come through nationalisation or state control of industry as no private monopoly or bank will finance it.
The rise of the United Nations after World War Two, agreements over Sovereignty and Rights of Nations including the UN Charter of Human Rights, as well as the European Convention came out of the context of the Second World War. Modern definitions of rights, democratisation and expansion of the Security Council has emerged as issues to develop the UN in the present context.
The rise of China and large countries, formerly know as the Third World, such as Brazil, India and South Africa are altering the factors of the present and future context.
Only with the benefit of hindsight can modern strategy and tactics develop and depends upon how materialism moves with context. This is how civilisation moves and how the human factor and social consciousness has become more relevant.
See Appendix 4, British nationalisation timeline of key events, The United States and France.
Point of View and Perspective
In philosophy, a point of view is a specified or stated manner of consideration, an attitude how one sees or thinks of something. In this meaning, the usage is synonymous with one of the meanings of the term perspective.
Parmenides and Heraclitus discussed the relation between “appearance” and reality, i.e., how our points of view are connected with reality.
Relativists do not necessarily start from the standpoint of facts but opinions. They argue that the concept of the “point of view” is highly multifunctional and ambiguous. Also they conclude that many things may be judged from certain personal, traditional or moral point of view (as in “the beauty is in the eye of the beholder”). Also take a variable pragmatic position that our knowledge about the reality is often relative to a certain point of view.
The internal structure of a point of view may be analysed similarly to the concept of a propositional attitude. A propositional attitude is an attitude, i.e., a mental state held by an agent toward a proposition. Examples of such attitudes are “to believe in something”, “to desire something”, “to guess something”, “to remember something”.
Perspective is an aspect of space and time operating in four dimensions including time. It adds volume rather than flat space. Perspective can be where one fits into the observable universe or in a particular time frame.
When occupying a space for discussion it is necessary to be all sided in that discussion. One person is liable to be one sided and two people can often formulate the same opinion. Three is less apt to be one sided but a weak individual can still be ineffective. A quorum or five is best. All sided discussion leads to better decision-making.
In mathematics the geometry of a 5-sided polygon (Pentagon) inscribed within a circle allows the calculation of the contained space to obtain an ideal conception. It is analogous to the appropriate space required for multi-sided discussion where proponents sit ideally, or archetypally, around a circular table with 5 people proportionally sitting and focussing at the centre. In Euclidean geometry, a regular polygon is a polygon that is equiangular (all angles are equal in measure) and equilateral (all sides have the same length). A pentagon has the sum of the internal angles, in a simple pentagon, of 540 degrees. A regular pentagon has interior angles are 108 degrees. A pentagon may be simple or self-intersecting. A self-intersecting regular pentagon (or star pentagon) is called a pentagram.
Point of view or perspective is not the same as context but is affected by it.
In narrative the first person or the third person are usual points of view but characters have their own perspective. Omniscience is the all-knowing author detached from the plot. The point of view from the perspective of an individual brings with it any social deterministic characteristics and cultural experiences or schooling. Narrative in fiction usually tries to replicate or reflect what happens in reality and the advent of the novel was revolutionary in this respect as an art form, which can in turn assist reality. In certain types of fiction the speculations can also provoke abstraction of absence.
Perspective in art exemplifies the space with the added quality of depth. The vanishing point creates the extent of that depth. Movement in a motion picture also can be observed as an analogy to real movement as can a mirror reflection.
In opinion forming based on facts and decision-making in democracy, dialogue or contradiction in argument may form an agreed position but point of view and perspective may not always involve contradiction. Context and negation of negation, in terms of essence, can determine principle.
We can talk of shaping our world or society in the present or the shape of the future and we can compare with the shape of the past or the shape of history.
Time and space have shape. The shape of space can alter in time and spacetime has shape and the material operating in the condition of spacetime causes the distortions in the materiality of spacetime.
Specifically, space can be filled by an area or volume in quantity of content equal to any change in the quality of the geometric form. Euclidean geometry and non-Euclidean geometry has measurements of circumference, angles and areas or volume. Also a triangle or a square or a circle can contain areas of equal quantity in comparison despite their angles being changed or transformed. Homologous shapes have an essence contained within their lines or perimeters, two-dimensional shapes have areas and three-dimensional shapes contain volumes.
Concentration and Compression
Shapes can have strengths depending on their context. Wedge shapes, circle and spheres can all have functions in the material world and have scientific and technical value. Surface area can have specific heat retaining or cooling qualities if it is dimpled for example. Concentration or shape of the crystalline structure of certain materials can alter tensile strength. In the example of ‘buckyballs’ or ‘buckminster fullerine’ new material qualities of new Carbon allotropes have been discovered. C60 solid is as soft as graphite, but when compressed to less than 70% of its volume it transforms into a super-hard form of diamond. C60 films and solution also have strong non-linear optical properties; in particular, their optical absorption increases with light intensity (saturable absorption). These attributes correspond to the quality of shape. Weakness can often be observed in expansion or inflation.
Spatial awareness is the human ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organised knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationship of these objects when there is a change of position. It can therefore be said that the awareness of spatial relationships is the ability to see and understand two or more objects in relation to each other and to oneself. This is a complex cognitive skill.
Conscious awareness of where we are in space is developed alongside spatial awareness. As babies we reach for objects and learn how far we need to stretch to reach the distance of an object. The next time we would have learned something about the amount we need to stretch and the distance of the object. This can then be applied to a similar object at a similar distance another time. We become familiar without having to look. Distances, speed and placement are integrated so that we know what they can reach and can’t reach. Certain parts of our memory in our brain locks in certain memories that are not “conscious” as such like riding a bicycle or driving a car or learning to swim. They are never forgotten once learned.
We learn the concepts of direction, distance and location. We understand that when we walk to an object, the object will become closer to our body. We learn that objects that are far away appear smaller because of their distance. We begin to appreciate the space around ourselves, and the proximity of others around us. As we grow older our movements become more controlled and constrained around others as we become more aware of personal space.
Knowledge through the senses is a factor in learning in time and space.
When we struggle to learn mathematics, it is due to the abstract concepts of the subject especially where shapes, areas, volume and space is involved. We may initially have problems reproducing patterns, sequences and shapes. We overcome our difficulties through practice and experience. Some people do it faster than others to start with, but this can change in time and space. History and memory play a part.
Some find using multisensory methods can make them excel. The act of finding out can produce variations that appear one sided but this may be temporary at different times and in changes of method or environment. A multisensory way of learning may benefit certain learners and not others.
It is difficult to categorise because things may be in flux but recognition of strengths such as logical reasoning abilities, spatial awareness, good auditory memory skills, speaking and listening, communicating, management, organisational, technical, language, strategy and tactical skills, comprehension, verbal and non verbal reasoning. All strengths find their way through in society and weaknesses are overcome and developed to some degree where necessary.
In sport there may be athletes who have honed specific skills. It may occur in estimation of targets or obstacles or timing. On the football field the spatial awareness of the players, the pitch and the marked areas, all are spaces to occupy and command, the shape of the formation; the flanks, the centre ground and the defence are all needed to have shape. The movement in the space and the tactics or substitutions are designed to keep their shape to produce an effective body in attack and defence and connection through the midfield. The flow of play may be command of the midfield space. Changes in oppositional tactics affect the conduct or shape design.
In military terms the General Staff and the Generals work out the strategy and tactics in a similar fashion. The Generals usually are expected to have the aptitude and are best at moving the troops into position, and are particularly spatially aware, good at maps and monitoring movements in attack and retreat. Without recognition of strengths and ability to deploy forces properly each battle or campaign would be doomed to failure.
In military science, shape of army formation in battle has known quality throughout history. The phalanx was a Macedonian military formation where a body of troops touched shields in a tight group. The thin end of a wedge was driven into ranks to weaken one section in order to weaken the rest. The shape of the front-line, the rear and reserve forces as well as the flanks are all key factors in making up the strategic and tactical potentials for battle confrontation. Maintaining shape in terms of attack or retreat is essential. Being courageous and resolute, instilling confidence are all essential, gaining advantage, winning minor skirmishes, occupying the high ground should all be taken into account. Disruption of the shape of the opposition forces and battlefield arrangements are crucial in attaining victory. Deployment of superior forces and executing the main blow are key offensive tactics. Disruption, confusing the oppositional ranks, creating fear with lack of resolve, fragmentation and annihilation of shape are carried out by pincer movements, division of opposing forces and encirclement. Examples from Hannibal to the Spanish Armada to Stalingrad are all military historical examples.
In geo-politics, particularly in the distinction between multi-polar forces and world equilibrium, is dependent on various political and strategic influences determining the shape of balanced forces. The political shape of the map changes as the spheres of influence or hegemony fluctuates in time.
The shape of society is determined by the shape of classes and is also influenced by national boundaries, political constituencies, language and common culture. The working class and its workplaces are also constituencies determining shape as well as its minorities. Britain is made up of England Scotland and Wales and the national question alters the shape and space we call Britain. The island of Ireland has specific influence over the shape of its neighbour, Britain. The shape of England itself has imbalance because of disproportional economy and the established social status of the North compared with the South or the regions compared with London.
Any revolutionary strategy has to take into account, altering the shape of the space contained within the framework of the existing country and the contradictory forces within that can affect that shape. Time and space and shape are connected and the human factor/social consciousness has to consider its deployment in a timely fashion. It cannot be a last minute consideration but must shape up early on.
The continuity of the shape of the status quo is held together by its infrastructure, its communication and transport links as well as its state and military co-ordination. This has much to do with the control over the apparatus that holds together the sovereignty of the established ruling elite. For empowerment and for the working class to establish itself as the nation with sovereignty invested in it, then it must recognise where the crisis in the shape of the nation exists and organise to exploit the capitalist existential crisis. It must mobilise and distribute its weight behind its consciousness and build the mechanism for change in the appropriate spaces that can disrupt and fragment the general shape of the reactionary force.
In the working class movement it is recognised that a unified body is essential in any strike. An’ injury to one is an injury to all’ and ‘unity is strength’ are maxims based upon keeping the strength and steel-like unity of its ranks. Divisions and splits are contrary to maintaining shape.
For the working class and its organisation, the shape of its General Staff, its Revolutionary Communist Party and the Democratic Centralist shape of its organism and its basic organisational structure, must be of the highest standard in creating the most defined and essential order. Then we can say that the general shape of the working class and all of its consciousness and order are concentrated and ship-shape!
The mechanisms for change, the form and content must fit with the modern context. They must be the organised form best known from experience and practice. They must contain the norms that are capable of ensuring empowerment and the future requirements of society that guarantees the sovereignty of the working class. They must have consistent, shape in space and time.
Socialism, the New Beginning
Socialism has been called the first phase of Communism; “From each according to their ability, to each according to their work” and the second phase, or higher stage of Communism it changes “… to each according to their need”. Each occupies a different space in time. Socialism is what we need to address.
The real Alternative for Britain is the Necessity for Socialism. The existential crisis for capitalism is challenged and concluded through the revolutionary transformation of society whereby the current society, pregnant with the new society awaits its destiny.
Socialism is where the socialisation of the means of production is achieved after the proletariat seizes control of state power.
The existential crisis in Britain contains within it the contradiction fundamentally caused by the competition it created. The very existence that capitalism attained, through revolution over the feudal system of medieval serfdom, followed by the industrial revolution that brought manufacture to its predominance, this existence is threatened. The death knell of capitalism in Britain is to be sounded in time and place.
Britain and other countries cannot sustain themselves through competition anymore.
For the working class and people there is no “new deal” the only real deal is Socialism. There has to be a disappearance of competition in favour of co-operation. Socialism and Communism are the only spaces where time can properly work for us. Already science and technology manipulate time right down to the quantum level. The scientific world has long known that velocity or speed is distance divided by time. From the vastness covered by relativity and spacetime down to the quantum microscopic particle level time and space is of the essence. The essence of the fabric of time and space, as all things, is matter in motion. The humanisation of nature and the universe is related to its being and operation in time and space. Already the rapidity of the technical and scientific revolution is affecting time.
For a country like Britain it cannot compete. The revolution that enabled it do so is long over. Other bigger countries have not only caught up but also overtaken Britain.
Today the new period of Socialism is impending quickly. It needs to establish at the utmost speed for society to survive. The Necessity for the new Socialism has to be appreciated.
The experience of the Soviet Union was where the organisation of modern techniques allowed its speed to be exponential. It removed the capitalist fetter on production and expanded at rapid rates achieving greater than the giants of capitalism themselves. Between 1917 and the Second World War rapid development in agriculture and industry created even better conditions in the Socialist space. Modern manufacture was adopted and technical attainments were unprecedented up to the 1930’s. In only eight years after the war the Soviet Union re-built and further developed in what was perceived as no time at all.
The new Socialism, in the present context, represents a new beginning.
With the experience of Socialism and modern technical and scientific developments in the capitalist world today, already the potential and even actual exists to rapidly affect time and space. Put this together with consciousness and the working class effect has the capacity to move into the future at a phenomenal rate.
Monopoly Capitalism has destroyed much of the manufacturing economic base of the economy through global policies, which have exported capital or folded it completely. Apart from this multinational and transnational corporations have disregarded national boundaries for their own profit driven aims. The economy must be aligned on a Socialist basis and set a new direction for nation building.
In Britain, nationalisation of industry as a form of state capitalism, already a tendency at various times, has been undertaken as a means to keep capitalism operating. Initially in the Soviet Union at the onset, it was necessary as a tactical solution with socialism as a strategic goal to allow a system of mixed economy permitting private individuals to own small enterprises, while the state controlled banks, foreign trade, and large industries. In today’s world it would require legislation to curb monopoly right to export capital and disrupt the economy for its own profit motives.
The premature downscaling of traditional raw material supplies and eradication of heavy engineering has to be reversed. Iron and steel production should be reinvigorated; these are the necessities of our time and for the moment. Coal production needs to be re-instated on a large scale and old mines restarted and modernised. This should not be done privately but on a nationalised basis. It is false to suggest that coal and its by-products are of no use, there is much still to be gained from this valuable resource and we should therefore re-instate coal gas to supplement supplies of North Sea Gas. It has become apparent that private capitalist economy will not do this and only socialised industry and Socialism as system will.
The privatisation of utilities should be reversed. It has not guaranteed supply to meet demand at low cost. We should re-nationalise electricity, gas and water.
Nationalise North Sea Oil explore new oilfields and increase production and the same for North Sea Gas.
Prices should be reduced for fuel and energy to support industry and domestic use.
It is important to generate electricity through all means. Restart Coal fired power stations, use clean coal technology, use the safest nuclear technology available and use some oil and gas for generation. The effects of the environment need to be addressed as there are limited resources and pollution will disrupt the effect on time and space, it will bring production to a grinding halt if it is tied to unsustainable and finite resources on the planet. We must produce modern insulation to save energy and increase wind and wave technology and solar. It is necessary to upgrade and extend the national grid and substations.
Human beings are dependent on their living quarters for maintaining themselves in a healthy fashion. Decent, modern housing affects the efficiency of the producers and affects the growth of consciousness. The house is a space and the occupiers must have a developed space. If the working class and people can improve their environment and their space, it will enhance their conscious approach and reciprocate as a result.
The mansion is a poor space as it cannot be fully occupied or is occupied by useless flunkies. The workers and their families dwelling, in reasonable space, can develop their culture and their culture affects time and space. The science of ergonomics and social science ascertains the correct and most effective dimensions for a home as a living space. It stipulates scientifically the individual and private spaces for human beings to grow and flourish over specific periods of time. It calculates the number of rooms required, the functions and equipment necessary.
There is a materiality in culture that has cause effect and reciprocation within the materiality of time and space. The rhythm of life is like the human pulse and its routines are dialectical. The human family and working class collectivity is vibrant and the human space for a child to grow into and occupy affects the collective consciousness and its effectiveness.
There must be an immediate initiation of a decent Council House or local authority-building programme. Recruitment of builders, building labourers, bricklayers, plumbers, plasterers and electricians and apprenticeships tied to these trades is essential. There must be the setting up of brick building enterprises, building material production in regions supported and owned by the State. There must be procurement of steel and other equipment for scaffold etc from state sponsored steel works. There must be sufficient concrete and cement supplies from state sponsored enterprises in the public sector. Other production facility must include other essential materials such as copper conductor supplies from state sponsored and owned suppliers and also electrical and plumbing equipment as well as gas supplies ensured from similar procured sources.
There must be a Labour Standards Act to set maximum hours and minimum wages and a real living wage for all workers including youth. Also it is imperative that there is an agreed State Pension and pensionable age. There must be an end to fuel poverty and there must be equal pay for equal work for all women.
The aim must be for zero unemployment. Under employment is not an option. Effective employment is essential if the time and motion is to be optimised. Jobs in manufacturing must increase; capitalist manufacturing output has decreased and is at its lowest level of GDP at currently around 10% and decreasing in Britain. The majority of work should be in manufacture and socialised production in terms of commodities and the means of production indicating that GDP and GVA (Gross value added) should be at a maximum. Jobs in finance and services should be a much smaller portion of GDP. Work in health and education should increase. Research in Health, prevention and cure investment should be appropriate.
Crossing the goal of material abundance is an essential condition in time and space so that human effects on time and space can proceed even faster.
Infrastructure should be seen as effective conduits, as spaces in themselves that can have enormous consequences for speed and time.
It is necessary to include a broad category of infrastructure projects, financed and constructed by the Government, for recreational, employment, and health and safety uses in the greater community. They include public buildings (municipal buildings, schools, hospitals), transport infrastructure (roads, railroads, bridges, pipelines, canals, ports, airports), public spaces (public squares, parks, beaches), public services (water supply, sewage, electrical grid) and other, usually long-term, physical assets and facilities. Though often interchangeable with public infrastructure and public capital, public works do not necessarily carry an economic component, thereby being a broader term.
Public works is a multi-dimensional concept in economics and politics, touching on multiple arenas including: recreation (parks, beaches), aesthetics (trees, green space), economy (goods and people movement, energy), law (police and courts) and neighbourhood (community centres, social services buildings). Essentially, it represents any constructed object that augments a nation’s physical infrastructure.
Municipal infrastructure, urban infrastructure, and rural development usually represent the same concept but imply either large cities or developing nations’ concerns respectively. The terms public infrastructure or ‘critical infrastructure’ are at times used interchangeably. However, ‘critical infrastructure’ includes public works (waste water systems, bridges, etc.) as well as facilities like hospitals, banks, and telecommunications systems and views them from a national security viewpoint and the impact on the community that the loss of such facilities would entail. However what is not ‘critical’ cannot be seen as inessential.
Reflecting increased concern with sustainability, urban ecology and quality of life, efforts to move towards sustainable municipal infrastructure are appreciated in developed nations.
Public works programmes
A public works programme has been conceived of as provision of employment by the creation of predominantly public goods at a prescribed wage for those unable to find alternative employment. These are makeshift or makeover programmes sometimes as alleviation rather than a necessary infrastructure programme. More often than not they are artificial. They at best mark time or are a hold on progress.
Investing in public works projects in order to stimulate the general economy has been a popular policy measure since the economic crisis of the 1930s. More recent examples are the 2008-2009 Chinese economic stimulus programme, the 2008 European Union stimulus plan, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Creating a social product
Social production is the type of production that produces commodity or means of production, such as machinery useful to society and its progress. This type of production produces added value. The fact that it is social is an attribute of its effectiveness in time and space.
Added value is claimed in the form of wages by workers, in the form of tax by Government and can be used to invest in social programmes. The third claim in the current system is made by Monopoly Capitalists for profit. By restricting the claim of the capitalists then general social well-being can be improved and investment made in the economy. If these are the proportions and production increases then it can only be the case in time and space that they are actual and real and there is nowhere else for these values to go or the Government stores them.
Both industry and agriculture can be restored in a comparatively short space of time. This can be done, and must be done. It becomes the cardinal task to re-industrialise the country.
In the restoration period the task will be to revive agriculture to guarantee a secure food programme to feed the entire nation and prevent hunger. Before all else, so as to obtain raw materials and foodstuffs this has to be carried through.
Next priority is to restore and to set going the mothballed industries or the existing factories that are slowing production.
But in the restoration period there are three major shortcomings: First, some factories are old, equipped with worn-out and antiquated machinery, and might soon go out of commission. The task now is to re-equip them on up-to-date lines.
Secondly, industry in the restoration period rests on too narrow a foundation: it lacks modern machine-building plants absolutely indispensable to the country. Hundreds of these plants have to be built. The task will be to build these plants and to equip them on up-to-date lines.
Thirdly, the industries have been reduced to light industries. These can quickly be put on their feet. But, beyond a certain point, the further development even of the light industries meet an obstacle in the weakness of heavy industry, not to mention the fact that the country has other requirements which can only be satisfied only by a well-developed heavy industry. This is what Britain had in the past.
It is necessary to build up a large number of new industries once more such as shipbuilding, which should be re-established fully on the Clyde and North East.
These are industries, which have existed before. New machinery is required using high tech robot techniques, machine tool, automobile, chemical, and iron and steel plants re-establishing the centres of steel production in Wales, Sheffield, Corby and the Black Country. Electronic and computer hardware and software investing in manufacture and design expertise has to be increased.
Organising the production of power equipment is essential, and increasing the mining of ore and coal. These materials are still in abundance as a national resource and are essential in any production.
It is necessary to re-build tractor works and plants for the production of modern agricultural machinery, as well as securing the existing ones for the nation and to furnish agriculture with these machines.
To count on foreign loans is out of the question, for the IMF refuses to grant loans without massive interest and strings attached. We have to build with our own resources without foreign assistance.
Imperialist and colonialist countries as a rule built up their heavy industries in the past with funds obtained through colonial plunder, or by merchant bank loans. This can no longer be the case. The funds have to be found inside the country.
The state should take over the big monopolies and banks and all the means of transportation like the railways, all utility companies and communications. The profits from the state-owned factories, oil and energy etc should further the expansion of industry, and not go into the pockets of a parasitic financial oligarchy or casino banking system.
The Government should annul the debts, on which the people annually pay billions of pounds in interest alone. All workers on low wages, small businesses, small farmers, savers should not be paying taxes, Released from this burden, people have more spending power to assist the necessary production of necessary commodities.
All that is needed is a business-like approach, the strictly economical expenditure of funds, rationalisation of industry, reduction of costs of production, elimination of unproductive expenditure, etc.
Thanks to a regime of strict economy, the funds available for capital development will increase from year to year.
We must once more build our own trains and rail track from our own hands and our own machinery. New state of the art collieries and blast furnaces must come into being. Machine-Building Works, Chemical Works, fertiliser plants, iron and steel mills, the appropriate amount of big automobile plants giant tractor plants, agricultural machinery plants (like Massey Ferguson in Coventry), manufactures that have to be supported or re-built for a fully branched economy.
New collieries must emerge in Wales where there are known coal seams and mines as there are in Yorkshire and the Black Country, which must be re-opened to tap the resources we know exist.
Pharmaceuticals must be taken over by the state and joined onto the Health Service so that appropriate drugs can be developed and distributed at a proper price without profit attached. Investment should come from the state funds.
When heavy industry and especially the machine-building industry has been built up and placed securely on their feet, and it is moreover clear that they were developing at a fairly rapid pace, the next task would be to reconstruct all branches of the national economy on modern, up-to-date lines. Modern technique, modern machinery has to be supplied to the fuel industry, the metallurgical industry, new materials technologies, the light industries, the food industry, the transport system, and to agriculture.
Unless the major branches of the national economy are reconstructed, it will be impossible to satisfy the new and ever growing demands of the country and its economic system.
The question of technique had thus become of decisive importance. The main impediment is not so much an insufficiency of modern machinery and machine-tools—for our machine-building industry is currently in a position to produce modern equipment—as the wrong attitude of capitalist business executives to technique, their tendency still is to underrate the importance of up to date technique and still stingily invest in it.
They still consider the workers cannot interfere in business even though most are from working class backgrounds. They have to be “experts in the field”, have business or economics degrees. Technical and scientific qualifications do not matter or engineering or shop floor experience. This attitude must change.
Boards must be made up of Trades Unions, shop stewards and not just office bureaucrats pushing paper around. Workers can acquire knowledge and expertise in business matters and do in fact trump the “experts” on most occasions, given the opportunity and they are capable in directing industries.
The age-old problem of unemployment can be eradicated forever. The Trade Cycle can come to an end. The three-day weekend, the seven-hour day in the vast majority of enterprises can become a possibility and not just a dream once more.
Once started the New Economic Policy for Britain and a new Nation Building project can see a third industrial revolution on the island of Britain and beyond.
An immense scope of new capital construction work could ensure the complete technical re-equipment of all branches of the national economy. It could lead to:
• A new plan for the technical reconstruction of the means of transport and communication.
• A new plan for the extensive employment of scientific agricultural methods.
• A new School and education programme.
• A new University programme with re-invigorated science and technology, research and development.
Timeline of some important education events in Britain
600-1800 Beginnings, 597 St Augustine influence. 598 First grammar school established at Canterbury. 776 Alcuin established school at York. 871 Alfred became king of Wessex and showed ‘concern for education’. 1016 Canute became concerned about the education of poor boys. 1066 Norman invasion: French replaced English as vernacular medium for teaching Latin. 1096 Oxford University 1209 Cambridge: scholars arrived from Oxford.
1249 Oxford: University College established, followed by Balliol 1260, Merton 1264.
1384 Grammar school opened at Wootton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire: first chantry school. 1382 Winchester founded: independent school.1440 Eton founded: independent school.
1693 Locke: Some Thoughts concerning Education. 1700 Charity Schools for the poor.
1775 Industrial Revolution began to create demand for mass education.
1800-1860 Towards a state system of education. 1802 Peel’s Factory Act.
1816 Robert Owen opened first infant school in New Lanark, Scotland.
1824 David Stow founded the Glasgow Normal School.
1825 Liverpool Institute opened: other proprietary day schools followed (King’s College School 1829, University College School 1830 etc).
1832 Representation of the People Act (The Reform Act) gave one million people the right to vote.
1836 Home and Colonial Institution (later Society): founded to establish infant schools.
1836 Central Society of Education: aimed to keep religion out of schools altogether.
1836 Thomas Wyse: Education reform or the necessity of a national system of education.
1839 Education Department established: Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth appointed as first Permanent Secretary.
1841 Five School Sites Acts passed between 1841 and 1852 facilitated the purchase of land for school buildings and allowed for ‘Parliamentary Grants for the Education of the Poor’:
1843 Governesses’ Benevolent Institution: campaigned for better education for girls and women.
1846 Committee of Council on Education made grants to schools of industry.
1846 Government began making annual grants to Baptist and Congregationalist schools.
1848 Woodard Society: provided Anglican boarding schools.
1848 Queen’s College in Harley Street: for women.
1851 Great Exhibition revealed lack of facilities for technical education in England.
1852 Department of Practical Art created under the Board of Trade.
1854 Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 facilitated the establishment of institutions for the promotion of literature, science and the arts.
1855 School Grants Act 1855 laid down stricter conditions relating to Parliamentary grants for education.
1857 Oxford Local Examinations.
1858 Cambridge Local Examinations.
1860-1900 Class divisions
1861 Newcastle Report: recommended provision of ‘sound and cheap’ elementary education, led to 1870 Elementary Education Act.
1864 Schools Inquiry Commission: (Volume 1 Chapter 6 Girls’ schools)
1865 Girls admitted to Cambridge Local Examinations.
1868 Public Schools Act 1868: made various changes at Eton, Harrow, Winchester etc as recommended by the 1864 Clarendon Report.
1868 Endowed Schools Act 1868: paved the way for the 1869 Endowed Schools Act.
1868 Taunton Report: recommended a national system of secondary education based on the existing endowed schools, led to 1869 Endowed Schools Act.
1869 Endowed Schools Act 1869: made changes to endowed schools as recommended by the 1868 Taunton Report.
1869 Headmasters’ Conference established (independent schools).
1870 Elementary Education Act 1870: the ‘Forster Act’ introduced compulsory universal education for children aged 5-13 but left enforcement of attendance to school boards.
1870 Girls admitted to Oxford Local Examinations.
1871 Code of Regulations: created an infant stage below Standard 1 for the 5-7 age range.
1873 Elementary Education Act 1873: amended various provisions of the 1870 Elementary Education Act.
1873 Endowed Schools Act 1873: extended and amended the 1869 Endowed Schools Act.
1874 Endowed Schools Act 1874: made further amendments to the previous Endowed Schools Acts.
1874 Infants Relief Act 1874 made unenforceable contracts entered into by infants.
1876 Elementary Education Act 1876: made further provisions regarding elementary education, including new rules on child employment.
1878 Maria Grey Training College for women teachers founded.
1878 London University opened all its examinations and degrees to women.
1879 Elementary Education (Industrial Schools) Act 1879: a brief Act extending the powers of school boards in relation to the establishment and extension of industrial schools.
1880 Elementary Education Act 1880 (the ‘Mundella Act’): tightened up school attendance laws.
1884 Samuelson Report: Royal Commission on Technical Instruction.
1888 Local Government Act 1888 created county councils and county borough councils which later became the framework for educational administration.
1888 Cross Commission: reviewed the working of the 1870 Act and recommended public funding for the secular curriculum in church schools (implemented in the 1902 Education Act).
1889 Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act 1889 (pdf text 291kb) wide-ranging Act including restrictions on the employment of children.
1889 Technical Instruction Act 1889: sought to improve the provision of technical and industrial training.
1891 Custody of Children Act 1891 included a section on religious education.
1891 Army Schools Act 1891 a brief Act extending certain endowments to army schools.
1891 Elementary Education Act 1891: elementary education to be provided free.
1892 Technical and Industrial Institutions Act 1892 (pdf text 60kb) new rules to facilitate the expansion of technical and industrial training.
1893 School leaving age raised to 11.
1895 Royal Commission on Secondary Education (Bryce Report): reviewed the progress made since the 1868 Taunton Report.
1896 Consultative Committee Report on The registration of teachers.
1896 International conference of socialists: delegates (including Keir Hardie) argued that all working people should receive a full education.
1899 Board of Education Act 1899: established the Board of Education and provided for a Consultative Committee.
1899 School leaving age raised to 12.
1899 Cockerton Judgement: limited powers of School Boards.
1901 Trade School for Furniture and Cabinet-making: founded at the Shoreditch Technical Institute.
1902 Education Act 1902: the ‘Balfour Act’ established a system of secondary education integrating higher grade elementary schools and fee-paying secondary schools; abolished school boards and established local education authorities (LEAs).
1904 Secondary Regulations: introduced a subject-based curriculum.
1904 Consultative Committee Report on Examinations in secondary schools
1905 Board of Education report by women inspectors on the admission of infants to public elementary schools.
1906 Education (Provision of Meals) Act 1906: allowed LEAs to provide meals for undernourished elementary school children.
1906 Dyke Report Questions Affecting Higher Elementary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): made recommendations regarding the role, staffing and curriculum of Higher Elementary Schools.
1907 Elementary Code: improved quality and aims of elementary education.
1907 Education (Administrative Provisions) Act 1907: among other things, this Act introduced a scholarship/free place system for secondary education and required LEAs to provide medical inspections of elementary school children.
1908 Acland Report School Attendance of Children Below the Age of Five (Board of Education Consultative Committee): made recommendations regarding the provision and content of nursery school education.
1908 Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded.
1909 Acland Report Attendance, Compulsory or Otherwise, at Continuation Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): argued that LEAs should be empowered to require under 17s to participate in some form of post-elementary education.
1910 Education (Choice of Employment) Act: foundation of careers service.
1911 Acland Report Examinations in Secondary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): this was the Consultative Committee’s second report on exams (the first – not online – was published in 1904). It argued that the existing system needed simplifying.
1911 Central schools opened.
1913 Acland Report Practical Work in Secondary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): argued that secondary schools should provide teaching in ‘some branches of Educational Handwork’, and should make them an integral part of the curriculum.
1913 Board of Education Regulations for new category of ‘Junior Technical Schools’.
1914 Education (Provision of Meals) Act 1914: extended the powers of local education authorities to provide meals for undernourished elementary school children.
1917 Secondary Schools Examination Council: established to administer the new School Certificate and Higher School Certificate.
1917 Lewis Report: proposed school leaving age of 14 with no exemptions, followed by attendance for at least 8 hours a week or 320 hours a year at day continuation classes up to age 18.
1918 Education Act 1918 (Fisher) wide-ranging Act extending education provision in line with recommendations of 1917 Lewis Report.
1919 Burnham Committee: established to decide on teachers’ pay.
1919 Ministry of Health Act 1919 created the Ministry of Health and transferred to it some of the powers of the Board of Education.
1920 Unemployment Insurance Act: government given power to link benefits to training but no national funding allocated for training courses, which were instead developed locally.
1920 Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act 1920 enacted the conventions agreed at the 1919 meeting of the International Labour Organisation of the League of Nations.
1921 Education Act 1921: consolidated all previous laws relating to education and raised school leaving age to 14.
1921 Newbolt Report The Teaching of English in England.
1923 Hadow Report The Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls Respectively in Secondary Schools.
1923 Secondary education for all became Labour Party policy.
1924 Hadow Report Psychological Tests of Educable Capacity and their possible use in the public system of education.
1926 Hadow Report The Education of the Adolescent: proposed junior and senior schools with transfer at age 11, secondary education for all, and increase in school leaving age to 15.
1927 Child Guidance Council established: beginnings of recognition of maladjustment.
1928 Hadow Report Books in Public Elementary Schools.
1929 Wood Report Report of the Mental Deficiency Committee: made recommendations regarding the classification and education of ‘mentally defective’ children.
1929 Local Government Act 1929 wide-ranging Act including the provision of education.
1931 Hadow Report The Primary School: set out the committee’s vision of primary education.
1932 Royal Commission on Unemployment Insurance: recommended that ‘Attendance at a Junior Instruction Centre or at a Course of Instruction should everywhere be regarded and enforced as a normal condition in respect of unemployment, whether through the Insurance Scheme or in the form of Unemployment Assistance.’
1933 Hadow Report Infant and Nursery Schools: the last of the six Hadow Reports.
1936 Education Act 1936: raised school leaving age to 15 and authorised building grants of up to 75 per cent for new denominational ‘Special Agreement’ senior schools.
1937 Physical Training and Recreation Act 1937 provided for National Advisory Councils and a National College of Physical Training.
1937 Factories Act 1937 wide-ranging Act including limitations on the employment of young people in hazardous environments.
1938 Spens Report Secondary Education with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools: recommended tripartite system of secondary schools. Also said school leaving age should be raised to 16 – didn’t happen until 1973.
1941 Board of Education Green Paper Education after the war.
1943 Norwood Report Curriculum and Examinations in Secondary Schools: backed the tripartite system recommended by the 1938 Spens Report.
1943 White Paper Educational Reconstruction: formed the basis of the 1944 Education Act.
1943 Sex Education in schools and youth organisations: Board of Education Pamphlet No. 119.
1944 McNair Report The supply, recruitment and training of teachers and youth leaders: recommended rationalisation of teacher training provision, a three year course and salary increases.
1944 Fleming Report The Public Schools and the General Educational System: considered how independent boarding schools might be integrated into the post-war education system.
1944-1951 Post-war reconstruction
1944 Education Act 1944 the ‘Butler Act’ set the structure of the post-war system of state education.
1945 Model Articles: set out duties of school governors.
1945 Percy Report: made recommendations regarding technological education in colleges and universities.
1945 Scotland’s Advisory Council on Education recommended a comprehensive system for all secondary pupils aged 12 to 16 with a common core curriculum and a common leaving exam.
1945 The Nation’s Schools: government publication explaining tripartite system of secondary schools.
1946 Barlow Report: recommended more university places for science students.
1946 Education Act 1946 set out arrangements for the management of voluntary and controlled schools.
1946 Free milk provided for all pupils.
1947 The New Secondary Education: government publication reiterating its commitment to tripartite system of secondary schools.
1947 Clarke Report School and Life: the first report of the newly-created Central Advisory Council for Education (England) was an inquiry into the transition from school to independent life.
1947 School leaving age raised to 15.
1947 Area Training Organisations: 13 ATOs were established in England and one in Wales to coordinate teacher training.
1948 Employment and Training Act: established the Youth Employment Service. Training would not be a condition of benefits.
1948 Nurseries and Child-Minders Regulation Act 1948 (pdf text 200kb) laid down rules for the regulation and inspection of child minders.
1951 General Certificate of Education (GCE) introduced.
1954 Horsbrugh stopped LCC from closing Eltham Hill Girls’ Grammar School and transferring pupils to the new (comprehensive) Kidbrooke School.
1954 National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers (NACTST) fourth report: training of special needs teachers.
1954 Gurney-Dixon Report Early Leaving: a report by the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) which examined the problem of premature school-leaving in England.
1956 Teachers (Superannuation) Act 1956 (pdf text 572kb) amended previous legislation relating to teachers’ pensions in England and Wales and in Scotland.
1956 Colleges of Advanced Technology: selected technical and FE colleges were upgraded to this status. In the mid-1960s most of these became the ‘new universities’.
1958 Carr Report: employers overwhelmingly opposed to vocational instruction provided by schools.
1958 Local Government Act 1958 (pdf text 1.9mb) wide-ranging Act including provisions relating to education.
1959 Primary Education: Suggestions for the consideration of teachers and others concerned with the work of Primary Schools. Ministry of Education publication.
1959 Education Act 1959 (pdf text 68kb) gave the Minister greater powers relating to grants and loans to aided schools and special agreement schools.
1959 Crowther Report 15-18: recommended raising the school leaving age to 16 and the provision of further education for 15-18 year olds, questioned the value of day release provision for apprenticeships.
1960 Beloe Report Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE: the report of a Committee appointed by the Secondary School Examinations Council which led to the introduction of the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) in 1965.
1960 Teacher training course: extended from two years to three.
1962 Education Act 1962 required LEAs to provide students with grants for living costs and tuition fees; placed legal obligation on parents to ensure that children received a suitable education at school or otherwise – failure to comply could result in prosecution; made LEAs legally responsible for ensuring that pupils attended school.
1962 Curriculum Study Group: set up by the Minister. Opposition to it led to the establishment of the Schools Council in 1964.
1963 Newsom Report Half our Future: the education of 13-16 year olds of average and less than average ability.
1963 Robbins Report Higher education: recommended a massive expansion of higher education to cater for all who had the necessary ability.
1963 Middle schools: championed by West Riding of Yorkshire CEO Alec Clegg.
1963 Children and Young Persons Act 1963 (pdf text 1020kb) extended LEAs’ responsibilities for the welfare of children.
1964 Labour manifesto promised to abolish selection.
1964 DES: The Ministry of Education was renamed the Department of Education and Science and the Minister became the Secretary of State.
1964 Education Act 1964 (pdf text 64kb) the ‘Boyle Act’ allowed the creation of middle schools.
1964 Lockwood Report: established the Schools Council to disseminate ideas about curricular reform in England and Wales.
1964 Industrial Training Act: central government became directly involved in employers’ training practices.
1964 Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) established.
1965 Remuneration of Teachers Act 1965.
1965 Circular 10/65: requested LEAs to submit proposals for comprehensivisation. (Withdrawn later by Circular 10/70).
1965 Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) introduced in England and Wales (see the 1960 Beloe Report).
1966 Local Government Act 1966 made various changes in funding between central government and LEAs. Section 11 dealt with the funding of education for immigrant children.
1966 Polytechnics established.
1967 Plowden Report Children and their Primary Schools: arguably the best known of all education reports, it promoted child-centred education and was much maligned by traditionalists.
1967 Education Act 1967 gave the Secretary of State greater powers in relation to grants and loans to aided and special agreement schools etc.
1968 Newsom Report The Public Schools Commission: First Report: like Fleming in 1944, made recommendations about integrating private boarding schools into the state education system.
1968 Summerfield Report Psychologists in Education Services: the first government-commissioned report on the work of psychologists.
1968 Dainton Report Science and technology in higher education: prompted by reduction in numbers of science students.
1968 School Meals Agreement: teachers were no longer obliged to supervise children at lunchtimes.
1968 Education Act 1968 laid down rules about changing the character of a school (eg to comprehensive).
1968 Middle schools: the first opened in Bradford and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
1969 Haslegrave Report: promoted technical and business education.
1969 Children and Young Persons Act 1969 gave LEAs responsibilities for children not receiving education or in need of care and control.
1969 Fight for Education: A Black Paper edited by CB Cox and AE Dyson.
1969 Black Paper Two: The Crisis in Education edited by CB Cox and AE Dyson.
1970 Donnison Report The Public Schools Commission: Second Report: considered the part independent day schools and direct grant grammar schools might play in a state education system which was in the middle of comprehensive reorganisation.
1970 Circular 10/70: Conservative government circular withdrawing Labour’s circular 10/65. LEAs were no longer compelled to go comprehensive. (Withdrawn later by Circular 4/74).
1970 Education (Handicapped Children) Act 1970 transferred responsibility for education of severely handicapped children from health authorities to LEAs.
1970 Durham Report The fourth R: Church of England report on church schools and religious education.
1970 Black Paper Three: Goodbye Mr Short edited by CB Cox and AE Dyson.
1971 Education (Milk) Act 1971: limited the provision of free milk in schools (and led to the jibe ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher).
1972 James Report Teacher Education and Training.
1972 White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion: promoted diversification and rationalisation.
1972 Local Government Act: reduced the number of LEAs from 146 to 104 (implemented in 1974).
1972 Children Act 1972 (pdf text 44kb) the minimum age at which children could be employed was not to be affected by changes in the school leaving age.
1973 Russell Report: adult education.
1973 Education Act 1973 (pdf text 296kb) provisions relating to certain educational trusts and local education authority awards.
1973 Education (Work Experience) Act 1973 (pdf text 52kb): allowed LEAs to organise work experience for final year school students.
1973 Employment and Training Act 1973 (pdf text 1.5mb): required LEAs to set up careers services; established the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) under the Department of Employment, the Employment Service Agency and the Training Services Agency.
1973 National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 transferred the school health service from LEAs to Area Health Authorities, but LEAs still responsible for dental and medical inspections.
1973 School leaving age raised to 16.
1973 Employment of Children Act 1973 new regulations and supervision by local authorities.
1973 Circular 7/73: halved the number of places for student teachers.
1974 Circular 4/74 reaffirmed the Labour government’s intention to proceed with comprehensivisation.
1974 The William Tyndale Affair: chaos at a badly managed school gave ammunition to the writers of the ‘Black Papers’ and helped prepare the way for Callaghan’s 1976 Ruskin Speech.
1974 Swann Report The flow into employment of scientists, engineers and technologists.
1974 Assessment of Performance Unit (APU) established by the DES to ‘promote the development of methods of assessing and monitoring the achievement of children at school’.
1974 Local Government Act 1974 (pdf text 2.2mb) wide-ranging Act including some provisions relating to education.
1975 Education Act extended the provisions of the 1962 Education Act relating to student grants.
1975 Bullock Report A language for life: major report on the teaching of English.
1975 Sex Discrimination Act: had effects on school admissions, appointments and curricula.
1975 Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations: indicated how grants for these schools were to be phased out.
1975 Black Paper 1975: The Fight for Education edited by CB Cox and R Boyson.
1976 Education Act 1976 gave the Secretary of State the power to ask LEAs to plan for non-selective (ie comprehensive) secondary education (repealed by the Conservatives in 1979).
1976 Jim Callaghan’s Ruskin College speech began ‘The Great Debate’ about education.
1976 ‘Yellow Book’ commissioned by Callaghan, produced by DES, widely leaked.
1976 Neville Bennett’s paper Teaching styles and pupil progress attacked ‘progressive’ education.
1977-82 Matters for Discussion A series of 15 discussion documents from HMI:
1 Ten Good Schools (1977)
2 Classics in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
3 Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
4 Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Secondary Schools (1977)
5 The Teaching of Ideas in Geography (1978)
6 Mixed Ability Work in Comprehensive Schools (1978)
7 The Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped (1978)
8 Developments in the BEd Degree Course (1979)
9 Mathematics 5 to 11 (1979)
10 Community Homes with Education (1980)
11 A View of the Curriculum (1980)
12 Modern Languages in Further Education (1980)
13 Girls and Science (1980)
14 Mathematics in the Sixth Form (1982)
15 The New Teacher in School (1982)
1977 Education in schools: a consultative document: green paper requesting LEAs to review their curriculum policies as part of the ‘Great Debate’.
1977 Taylor Report A New Partnership for Our Schools: recommended major changes in the management of schools, implemented in the 1980 Education Act.
1977 Black Paper 1977 edited by CB Cox and R Boyson.
1978 Oakes Report: management of higher education.
1978 Warnock Report Special Educational Needs: major report on provision for children and young people with special needs.
1978 Waddell Report School Examinations: recommended a single exam at age 16 to replace the GCE O Level and CSE. (The first GCSE exams were taken in 1988).
1978 Youth Opportunities Programme introduced for 16-18 year olds.
1978-85 HMI surveys: In response to Plowden’s suggestion that the quality of education in England should be reviewed every ten years, HMI produced, between 1978 and 1985, five major surveys covering the whole school age range.
1979-1990 Thatcherism: the marketisation of education
1979 Education Act 1979 (pdf text 40kb) repealed Labour’s 1976 Act – allowed LEAs to retain selective secondary schools.
1979 Mansell Report A basis for choice: recommended rationalising provision of non-specific vocational courses for school leavers.
1979 LEA Arrangements for the School Curriculum: required LEAs to publish curriculum policies.
1980 Education Act 1980 instituted the assisted places scheme (public money for children to go to private schools), gave parents greater powers on governing bodies and over admissions, and removed LEAs’ obligation to provide school milk and meals.
1980 A Framework for the School Curriculum HMI publication.
1980 ORACLE survey (Galton and Simon) Observational research and classroom learning: important investigation into teaching and learning.
1980 White Paper A new training initiative: a programme for action set out the first plans for the Youth Training Scheme (YTS).
September 1981 Sir Keith Joseph
1981 Rampton Report West Indian Children in our Schools: interim report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups. (The final report was Swann 1985
1981 Education Act 1981 based on the 1978 Warnock Report, gave parents new rights in relation to special needs.
1981 The School Curriculum DES publication advising LEAs on curriculum development.
1981 Employment and Training Act: abolished the Employment Service Agency and the Training Services Agency.
1982 Cockcroft Report Mathematics counts: major report on the teaching of maths.
1982 Employment and Training Act: removed trades unions from decisions about the costs of training to employers.
1982 Industrial Training Act: set up a regulatory framework for industrial training boards.
1982 Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) launched: aimed at 14-18 year olds, administered by MSC.
1983 TVEI: pilot schemes began.
1983 Youth Training Scheme (YTS): one year scheme introduced.
1983 Education Act 1983 (pdf text 36kb) provisions relating to university fees and grants for non-UK students.
1984 Education (Grants and Awards) Act 1984 introduced Education Support Grants (ESGs) – central government funds given to LEAs for specific purposes.
1984 Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) established to set standards for initial teacher training courses.
1984 Schools Council abolished: its work was shared between School Examinations Council (SEC) (nominated by the Secretary of State) and School Curriculum Development Council (SCDC) (not to ‘concern itself with policy’).
1984 Green Paper Parental influence at school: proposed more parent power.
1984-9 Curriculum Matters: A series of 17 discussion documents from HMI
1985 White Paper Better schools: proposals implemented in 1986 (2) Education Act.
1985 Better Schools – A Summary: DES booklet summarising the White Paper.
1985 Quality in Schools: Evaluation and Appraisal: DES publication based on surveys by HMI of practice in a small number of schools and LEAs.
1985 Swann Report Education for All: final report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups.
1985 Green Paper Education and training for young people: announced major expansion of YTS from April 1986.
May 1986 Kenneth Baker
1986 General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE): common 16+ exam system replaced GCE O Level and CSE.
1986 Education (Amendment) Act 1986 (pdf text 37kb) brief Act increasing education support grant limits and removing payment for lunch duties from the 1965 Remuneration of Teachers Act.
1986 Education Act 1986 required LEAs to give governors information on funding.
1986 Education (No. 2) Act 1986 (pdf text 1.6mb): required LEAs to state policies, governors to publish annual reports and hold parents’ meetings; laid down rules on admissions, political indoctrination and sex education; abolished corporal punishment; ended Secretary of State’s duty to make annual reports.
1986 National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) established.
1986 YTS extended to two years.
1987 Specific Grants for INSET (In-Service Training).
1987 The National Curriculum 5-16: the consultation document in which the government set out its plans for the introduction of the national curriculum and associated assessment procedures.
1987 Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act: abolished the negotiating procedures set up by the 1965 Act – Secretary of State imposed teachers’ pay and conditions until 1991.
1987 White Paper Higher education.
1988 Youth Training Guarantee: all 16 and 17 year olds were to be in education, employment or training.
1988 Black Report National Curriculum Task Group on Assessment and Testing (TGAT): set out structure of tests and school league tables.
1988 Kingman Report: The Teaching of English Language.
1988 Local Government Act 1988 included the notoriously homophobic Section 28 (which was repealed by New Labour in November 2003).
1988 Employment Act 1988 (pdf text 229kb): introduced bridging allowance for young people waiting to take up YTS place. MSC renamed the Training Commission.
1988 Education Reform Act 1988 major act establishing the National Curriculum, testing regime, Local Management of Schools (LMS) etc.
1988 Higginson Report: review of A Levels recommended a broader five subject structure. The government rejected the proposal.
1988 White Paper Top-up loans for students.
1989 Cox Report English for ages 5 to 16: the report which formed the basis of the English component of the new National Curriculum.
1989 Elton Report Discipline in Schools.
1989 Employment Act 1989 (pdf text 352kb): abolished the Training Commission.
1990 ILEA abolished (1 April): responsibilities transferred to London boroughs.
1990 Education (Student Loans) Act 1990 introduced ‘top-up’ loans for higher education students and so began the diminution of student grants.
1990 Rumbold Report Starting with Quality: Committee of Inquiry report on the education of 3 and 4 year olds.
1990 YTS renamed Youth Training.
1990 Language Awareness and Foreign Language Taster Courses: an HMI survey of secondary schools.
November 1990 Kenneth Clarke
1991 School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act 1991 (pdf text 172kb): established a review body but gave the Secretary of State the final say.
1991 Religious Education: A Local Curriculum Framework: a National Curriculum Council paper offering advice to LEAs.
1991 Parents’ Charter: gave parents the right to information about schools and their performance (updated in 1994).
1991 Training Credits/Youth Credits (Employment Department): pilot schemes began.
1991 Polytechnics: granted university status.
1991 White Paper on higher education: recommended expansion of student numbers.
1992 Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (pdf text 1.6mb): removed FE and sixth form colleges from LEA control and established Further Education Funding Councils (FEFCs), unified the funding of higher education under the Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCs), introduced competition for funding between institutions, abolished the Council for National Academic Awards.
1992 Education (Schools) Act 1992 (pdf text 4.2mb) new arrangements for the inspection of schools led to the creation of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education).
1992 Discussion paper Curriculum Organisation and Classroom Practice in Primary Schools: A discussion paper (popularly known as the ‘Three Wise Men Report’): commissioned by Kenneth Clarke.
1992 DFE: the Department of Education and Science was renamed the Department for Education.
1992 White Paper Choice and Diversity: A new framework for schools: formed the basis of the 1993 Education Act.
1993 Spiritual and Moral Development: a discussion paper produced by the National Curriculum Council.
1993 Education Act 1993 changed the funding of GM schools, laid down rules for pupil exclusions and for ‘failing’ schools, abolished NCC and SEAC and replaced them with the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA), defined special educational needs.
1993 National Commission on Education (independent of government): published final report Learning to succeed: a radical look at education today and a strategy for the future.
1994 University of London Act 1994 (pdf text 61kb): made new provision for the making of statutes for the University.
1994 Warwick Evaluation Implementation of English in the National Curriculum: within a year of its introduction, concerns about National Curriculum English prompted this investigation.
1994 Dearing Review The National Curriculum and its Assessment: Final Report: the Tories’ National Curriculum and assessment arrangements were hopelessly complicated. Ron Dearing was called on to sort out the mess.
September 1994 Chris Woodhead became HMCI/Head of Ofsted
1994 Education Act 1994 established the Teacher Training Authority (TTA) and laid down new regulations relating to student unions.
1994 Labour Party Opening doors to a learning society: education policy document prepared for the party’s annual conference in 1994 – Tony Blair’s first as leader.
1994 Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs came into force.
1994 Modern Apprenticeships: pilot schemes announced.
1995 Modern Apprenticeships introduced.
1995 Youth Credits introduced – Youth Training name dropped.
1995 DfEE: the DFE was renamed the Department for Education and Employment.
1996 Education Act 1996 huge act mainly consolidating all education acts since 1944.
1996 School Inspections Act 1996 consolidated previous legislation on school inspections.
1996 Nursery Education and Grant-Maintained Schools Act 1996 introduced unsuccessful voucher scheme for nursery education (later withdrawn by Labour), and allowed governors of GM schools to borrow money.
1996 Education (Student Loans) Act 1996 extended the provision of student loans.
1996 White Paper Self-government for schools.
1996 Dearing Report: review of vocational qualifications for 16-19 year olds – its recommendations were largely ignored.
1996 Jobseekers Act: laid down rules about the relationship between study and eligibility for the Job Seeker’s Allowance.
1996 Tony Blair’s Ruskin College lecture: given on 16 December 1996 to mark the twentieth anniversary of Jim Callaghan’s Ruskin College speech (see 1976 above).
1997 Education Act 1997 (pdf text 996kb): wide-ranging but much watered down because of the forthcoming general election. Abolished NCVQ and SCAA and replaced them with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
May 1997 Tony Blair (‘New Labour’)
May 1997 David Blunkett
1997 Education (Schools) Act 1997 (pdf text 92kb): abolished the assisted places scheme and proposed binding home-school agreements (the latter not implemented).
1997 Dearing Report: review of higher education.
1997 Kennedy Report: reviewed under-participation in further education.
1997 National Traineeships introduced.
1997 White Paper Excellence in schools formed the basis of the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act.
1997 Investing in Young People announced by DfEE. Its aim was to increase participation in post-16 education.
1997 Literacy Task Force The Implementation of the National Literacy Strategy: report of the working party under Michael Barber appointed by David Blunkett in May 1996.
1997 Green Paper Excellence for all children: Meeting Special Educational Needs set out five year plan.
1998 Green Paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change New Labour’s first Green Paper on the teaching profession.
1998 Education (Student Loans) Act 1998 transferred provision of student loans to the private sector.
1998 School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (pdf text 940kb): encouraged selection by specialisation, changed the names of types of schools, limited infant class sizes, established Education Action Zones etc.
1998 Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 (pdf text 836kb): established the General Teaching Council (GTC), abolished student maintenance grants and required students to contribute towards tuition fees.
1998 Crick Report Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools recommended that citizenship education should be a statutory entitlement in the school curriculum.
1998 Select Committee Report Disaffected Children: looked at the 14-19 age group.
1998 Education Action Zones: the first 12 EAZs were established.
1998 National Literacy Strategy: launched in September.
1999 Modern Apprenticeships expanded to 82,000 places. Investors in Young People developed further and renamed ConneXions.
1999 Moser Report Improving literacy and numeracy: a fresh start (summary and recommendations only) set out National Literacy Strategy and National Learning Targets.
1999 The National Curriculum: Handbook for primary teachers in England (pdf text 1.6mb) information and advice for teachers from the DfEE and the QCA.
1999 Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA): pilot schemes aimed at greater take-up of and achievement in post-16 education.
1999 Fresh Start scheme: aimed to revitalise ‘failing’ inner-city schools.
1999 Excellence in Cities (EiC): three year initiative began.
1999 National Numeracy Strategy: launched in September.
2000 Ripon Grammar School: survived the first parental ballot on selection.
2000 Care Standards Act 2000 wide-ranging Act including provisions relating to children; created the post of Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
2000 City academies: David Blunkett announced the government’s intention to create a network of academies – effectively private schools paid for by the state.
2000 Learning and Skills Act 2000 (pdf text 484kb): established the Learning and Skills Councils for England and Wales, allowed city technology colleges to be renamed city academies.
2000 Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 more duties for local authorities, replacing section 24 of the 1989 Children Act.
2000 King’s Manor School, Guildford: first state school to be privatised (September).
2001 Green Paper Schools: building on success New Labour’s rewriting of the history of the comprehensive school.
2001 DfES: the education department was renamed the Department for Education and Skills.
2001 White Paper Schools: achieving success: formed the basis of the 2002 Education Act.
2001 The Learning Country (pdf text 508kb): the National Assembly for Wales announced its intention to create a fully comprehensive system of secondary schools.
2002 Green Paper 14-19: extending opportunities, raising standards set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum.
2002 Education Act 2002 wide ranging Act which implemented the proposals in the 2001 white paper.
2002 Education (Middle School) (England) Regulations 2002 (pdf text 45kb): specified whether middle schools would be classified as either primary or secondary schools.
2002 City academies: the first 3 opened.
2002 Languages for all: languages for life: the government’s strategy for the teaching of foreign languages.
2003 Green Paper 14-19: opportunity and excellence set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum taking into account responses to the 2002 Green Paper.
2003 White Paper The future of higher education (pdf text 627kb): controversially proposed allowing universities to charge variable top-up fees and formed the basis of the 2004 Higher Education Act.
2003 City academies: 9 more opened.
2003 Workforce remodelling: government initiative aimed at reducing teachers’ workload by employing more unqualified classroom assistants.
2003 Green paper Every Child Matters: led to the 2004 Children Act.
2003 Ofsted/Audit Commission Report School place planning: The influence of school place planning on school standards and social inclusion (pdf text 98kb): warned of social divisiveness of parental choice.
2004 (January) MPs voted – by a small majority – to allow universities to charge variable top-up fees (see 2004 Higher Education Act).
2004 Smith Report Making Mathematics Count (pdf text 926kb): report of Professor Adrian Smith’s inquiry into post-14 mathematics education.
2004 Building Schools for the Future: massive schools rebuilding programme launched
2004 Children Act 2004 based on the 2003 green paper Every Child Matters.
2004 Higher Education Act 2004 allowed universities to charge variable top-up fees.
2004 Welsh education minister Jane Davidson announced that tests for 11 and 14 year olds would be scrapped in Wales.
2004 Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners formed the basis for the 2005 white paper Higher standards, better schools for all.
2004 Academies (the ‘City’ had now been dropped): 5 more opened.
2004 Tomlinson Report 14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications Reform
2004 Building Bulletin 98 Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects (DfES).
2004 Building Bulletin 99 Briefing Framework for Primary School Projects (DfES).
2005 White paper 14-19 Education and Skills (pdf text 524kb): rejected most of 2004 Tomlinson Report’s recommendations.
2005 White paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All proposed independent trust schools. Led to 2006 Education and Inspections Bill.
2005 Education Act 2005 (pdf text 648kb) mostly concerned with changes to the inspection regime.
2005 Steer Report Learning behaviour
2006 Education and Inspections Act 2006 very controversial – passed only with Tory support.
2006 Primary National Strategy Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics.
2006 University top-up fees: UCAS revealed that 15,000 fewer students had started university compared with the previous year.
2006 2020 Vision Report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group, chaired by Christine Gilbert.
2007 School leaving age: government announced its intention to raise the SLA to 18, possibly in 2013.
2007 Ofsted became ‘The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills’ (as decreed by the 2006 Education and Inspections Act).
2007 QCA published plans for more flexible Key Stage 3 curriculum.
2007 Teaching 2020: paper setting out the government’s vision for schooling in the future.
2007 GTC called for all national school tests for 7, 11 and 14 year olds to be scrapped.
2007 Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16 (pdf text 344kb): argued that all young people should stay in education or training up to the age of 18.
2007 Ajegbo Report Diversity and Citizenship pupils should have the skills to ‘participate in an active and inclusive democracy, appreciating and understanding difference’.
2007 Education department split in two: Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF, Ed Balls), and Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS, John Denham).
2007 Faith in the System: faith schools agreed to ‘promote social cohesion’.
2007 Further Education and Training Act 2007 new arrangements relating to further education and the Learning and Skills Council for England.
2007 The Children’s Plan ambitious plan for all future government policy relating to children, families and schools.
2008 Sale of Student Loans Act 2008 allowed the government to sell off student loans.
2008 Special Educational Needs (Information) Act 2008 amended the 1996 Education Act in relation to the provision and publication of information about children with special educational needs.
2008 Children and Young Persons Act 2008 new arrangements for the provision of social work services.
2008 Education and Skills Act 2008 (pdf text 672kb) raised the education leaving age to 18; Key Stage 3 SATs effectively abolished.
2008 Education for All: final report of the Nuffield Review of 14-19 education and training.
2008 Testing and Assessment report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee (CSFC).
2008 NUT members staged one-day strike over pay (24 April).
2008 Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator): launched on 16 May, led by Kathleen Tattersall.
2008 National Challenge launched by Balls: targeted 638 ‘failing’ state secondary schools.
2008 SATs fiasco: widespread IT problems; delayed and inaccurate results; QCA chief executive Ken Boston resigned.
2008 Academies: 51 opened in September.
2008 Tories’ free schools policy announced by Michael Gove (shadow education secretary).
2008 IRPC Interim Report Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum (pdf text 2.1mb).
2008 School Admissions Code: revised version published in December.
2009 Cambridge Primary Review Towards a New Primary Curriculum (interim reports): Past and Present and The Future
2009 Homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools: report by Stonewall.
2009 CSFC Report National Curriculum (pdf text 1.5mb) report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee.
2009 IRPC Final Report Final Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum
2009 Steer Report Learning Behaviour: Lessons Learned follow-up to the Steer committee’s first report Learning Behaviour (2005).
2009 Macdonald Report Independent Review of the proposal to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education statutory.
2009 SATs: boycott proposed by NUT and NAHT.
2009 DIUS abolished after just two years: responsibilities transferred to new Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
2009 Eleven plus abolished in Northern Ireland, but grammar schools (mostly Roman Catholic) vow to set their own tests.
2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 created a statutory framework for apprenticeships.
2009 White Paper Your child, your schools, our future wide-ranging proposals including the removal of central government prescription of teaching methods and reduction in the use of the private consultants to improve schools.
2009 A New Framework for Higher Education (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills): set out ten to fifteen year strategy.
2010 Cambridge Primary Review Children, their World, their Education: final report.
2010 Steer Report Behaviour and the role of Home-School Agreements advice on implementing changes to home-school agreements as specified in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.
2010 Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 (pdf text 124kb): based on 2009 white paper but much reduced because of the impending election.
2010 Equality Act 2010 (pdf text 745kb): wide-ranging Act which replaced nine major Acts of Parliament and almost a hundred sets of regulations which had been introduced over several decades.
2010 SATs: a quarter of all primary schools boycotted the tests.
May 2010 ‘Coalition’ government of Tories and Liberal Democrats led by David Cameron (Conservative)
May 2010 Michael Gove
2010 Academies Act 2010 provided for massive and rapid expansion of academies.
2010 Budget cuts: government proposed cuts of up to £3.5bn in the schools budget.
2010 IRPC primary curriculum proposals: scrapped.
2010 School sports partnerships: Cameron called for a review of the decision to scrap the scheme.
2010 Diplomas: Labour’s flagship policy scrapped.
2010 QCDA: scrapped.
2010 Extension of free school meals: pilot schemes mostly scrapped.
2010 Building Schools for the Future: scrapped.
2010 Browne Report Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education recommendations mostly ignored.
2010 Higher education: fewer places and vastly increased tuition fees, the latter despite Liberal Democrat pre-election promises.
2010 White paper The Importance of Teaching wide-ranging document covering teaching, leadership, behaviour, new schools, accountability etc.
2011 Education Act 2011 increased schools’ powers relating to pupil behaviour and exclusions, further diminished the role of local authorities, further expansion of academies etc.
2011 Tickell Report The Early Years: Foundations for life, health and learning made recommendations relating to the EarlyYears Foundation Stage.
2011 Bew Report Independent Review of Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability recommended that published test results should be more comprehensive and seen as a part of a bigger picture.
2011 DfE The Framework for the National Curriculum a report by the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review.
2011 All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education Report of the Inquiry into Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy
2011 HCEC Report Participation by 16-19 year olds in education and training a report by the House of Commons Education Committee.
2011 HCEC Report Behaviour and Discipline in Schools a report by the House of Commons Education Committee.
2011 HCEC Report The English Baccalaureate a report by the House of Commons Education Committee.
2011 Green Paper Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability
2011 White Paper Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System
2011 Training our next generation of outstanding teachers discussion document from the DfE.
2011 Wolf Report Review of Vocational Education
2011 Henley Report Music Education in England (pdf text 827kb). See also the government’s response to the review
2011 DfE/DCMS The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education
2011 Training our next generation of outstanding teachers implementation plan from the DfE.
2012 Equality Act 2010: Advice for school leaders, staff, governors and local authorities non statutory advice from the DfE.
2012 Admissions Code: Admissions Code (pdf text 418kb); Admission Appeals Code
2012 Ofsted Report Moving English forward: action to raise standards in English.
2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education (pdf text 672kb): the interim report of the Independent Review Panel.
2012 HCEC Report Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best a report by the House of Commons Education Committee.
2012 White Paper Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs
2012 Henley Report Cultural Education in England an independent review for the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education the final report of the Independent Review Panel.
2012 Statutory Framework for the EYFS: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five
2013 EYFS Profile Handbook published by the Standards and Testing Agency
Specific examples and cases of raising consciousness through political exposures:
The Attack on Firefighters Pensionable Age is a Reflection of the extent of the Capitalist Political Crisis.
Raising the pensionable age for Firefighters is ludicrous. It shows how close the capitalist system is to becoming reckless. From any logical point of view the Government’s policy is wrong and should be blocked. If this particular policy, and a whole number of other policies, is not curtailed then the situation will develop the general political crisis in time. How on earth can a proper fire service operate effectively when Firefighters have to work until 60 instead of 55?
FBU members have gone on strike four times in recent months in protest against changes to pensions and their retirement age. The union argues that older firefighters face losing their jobs if they fail fitness tests as part of changes to the pension age from 55 to 60.
In Dorset, the FBU brigade secretary Karen Adams, said: “It’s time that politicians understood the real damage that their cuts are doing, and a merger with Wiltshire will not resolve the key issue for fire and rescue services, which is funding.”
In fact the Government knows full well the implications of its actions and that is why they ignore talks.
Fire brigades are a modern necessity so that society can function safely. Yet if the ruling elite is prepared to undermine an essential service it shows that it is travelling along a dangerous path towards actual wrecking or going very close to the edge. In these conditions it can be a measure of the extent of the economic crisis and the impending political crisis.
When the political crisis crosses a certain threshold it comes to a point of social breakdown. It is when the government and ruling elite cannot rule in the old way and the people turn to refusing to be ruled in the old way. It is a transitional point due to the failure to solve the crisis.
This point has not been reached yet but the failure of austerity to deal with the crisis exacerbated by debt and deficit coinciding with near to zero growth shows how precarious it is becoming for the capitalists.
The Firefighters, like many other sections of the working class, are in the same boat. Many of the essential services and social programmes are threatened. Health, Education, Post Office services, Transport, Council run services, Utilities and energy are all necessities that are under threat. Most have moved out of the Public into the Private Sector as a “solution” but the new arrangements are not so good. The very maintenance and effective continuation or smooth running of these functions is so precarious that many are hitting problems of sustainability. Each area is in danger of hitting its own specific crisis.
The Fire Brigade is an essential emergency service and the change in the pension age should not take place and the Government should not pursue it any longer.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat government are always trying to indicate “green shoots” of recovery in the fortunes of the capitalist economy but this has not been forthcoming. It is for this reason that the genuine alternative direction in politics and in the economy has to be fought for and a real political opposition has to develop within the working class.
The decision to not pay the living wage has to be reversed!
The recent pay talks between unions and the Council (3/3/2015)
The recent pay talks between unions and the Council have reached a poor settlement. Low paid workers on the Council cannot afford to live on the pay packets awarded them for their hard work.
The excuse that the authority cannot afford to pay is a travesty and should not be accepted. A Living Wage is a right and the essential work that these workers carry out must be sustained.
The people of the Isle of Wight and other workers realise that money must be found for essential social programmes and public services. Workers in all sectors are interested in the rights of all. They also know that an injury to one section of workers is an injury to all. Standards cannot be allowed to fall.
Some workers are now either having to rely on supplementary benefits, which often cannot be obtained. In some cases family support, food parcels and other assistance if it is available. This cannot be allowed to pass. Some cannot afford their cars and have given them up, or cannot afford the high bus fares. The situation is becoming intolerable.
The employment committee recently signed off the poor pay deal with 1,266 employees receiving a pay rise and 455 receiving a pay cut.Of these 86 will lose 10% or more of their pay.
Union negotiators have said that there wasn’t much on the table to make a deal with. The current estimate of the Living Wage is £7.85p per hour but the authority management is refusing to implement it.
This decision by the employment committee has to be reversed urgently.
The real injustice is that the £130,000 required by the Council and worse still has been put down to “affordability”. The schools must find the money to pay their workers and so should the Council by other means if necessary.
The decision-makers are ducking and diving around the issue and basing their present position on avoidance of uncomfortable decisions that only serve the Government and its Austerity programme.
The correct decision should be made by preserving the valuable jobs by paying for the workers’ right to exist in these occupations. The idea that one person’s pay increase is another person’s job loss is an old hat that doesn’t hold water argument. In fact improving job quality through pay is the biggest argument for sustaining them and creating more. Outsourcing jobs usually means buying in expensive labour with less skill attached. These jobs and employments at the moment are clearly not sustainable under these pay arrangements and must be altered.
The real decision-makers must be the people instead of the narrow opinions of the local authority management.
Teachers and the October strike struggle:
September 3, 2014
Wrecking of Public Education Is the Wrecking of the possibilities for a Modern Nation-State in Britain.
The Con/Dem Labour pact for privatisation through Academies and Free Schools are dismantling our Public education system based upon Local Education authorities. Neo-liberal Government has incessantly attacked public education since the inception of the neo-liberal agenda in 1981. Public education is a necessity and a right in a modern state. The disinvestment in public education has led to well-documented deterioration of the working conditions of teachers and the learning conditions of students. It is the difference between the Capital centred approach to education and the human centred approach.
To their great credit, the teachers organised into the Teachers’ unions have been in the forefront of resistance to this wrecking of public education and hence the nation.
They have waged strikes and other struggles in defence of their rights and public education. They have used their collective funds to challenge the Government policies set by Gove and the present head of education, Nicky Morgan. They want to deny denying teachers to fight for better pay and conditions and isolate bargaining across the Academies for auxiliary staff.
The wrecking of public education is a sign of the decay and rot that has set in with the coming to power of neo-liberalism. Public education is one of the founding elements of the modern nation. The value teachers and other education workers create is embedded within their students and transferred when they work into the service or good they produce. Education value raises the standard of living of all within society. To attack and depress this value and allow companies to refuse to realise (pay for) it creates a dangerous situation of more intense and longer economic crises and a general collapse of the living and working conditions of the people.
The Government has taken a position that the economy can continue without increased investments in public education and without recognising the rights of teachers to wages commensurate with their work and to a say and control over their working conditions and learning conditions of their students. The retrogressive political stand of the Government stems in part from neo-liberal globalisation and the desire of the rich to protect and entrench monopoly right and class privilege.
Public money is being diverted from social programmes because of the “Austerity foisted onto the backs of the people. Subsidies and other pay-the-rich schemes serving the global monopolies and banks has become the main motive for investment. They refuse to ensure that the education value embedded in publicly-educated workers must be realised by those companies that employ them.
Together with the Government, they are pursuing the theft of educated workers from other countries without realising the education value contained within those workers. They promote private education for those sections of the people that can afford to pay leaving, society bereft of the broad high level of education and culture necessary for a modern nation to function.
The nation-state exists only in name for neo-liberals whose practical politics effectively wreck the nation, such as the wrecking of manufacturing and public education in favour of monopoly right and global imperialist predatory wars and theft.
If allowed to continue, the future under neo-liberal rule will mean the continuing destruction of the factors for a modern nation-state and its foundation including public education, and greater attacks on the rights of all. It will lead to solidified class privilege, endless wars to protect and expand Anglo-U.S. imperialism and a refusal to renew democracy to empower the people thus concentrating power in the hands of a ruling executive unaccountable to the people.
The struggle of public educators and the impending struggles this October, is a major front in the resistance to neo-liberal wrecking of the factors for a successful modern nation state state and absorption into the EU and U.S. imperialism. To defend themselves and the future of their children the working people and all others who have a stake in the country must do all they can to ensure the neo-liberal government loses the fight against teachers and public education.
The Teachers’ Fight Can Be Won! It Must Be Won for the Sake of All!
All Out to Defeat the Government Attack on Teachers
and the Wrecking of Public Education and the factors for a modern Nation-State!
Teachers are suspending the pre-Christmas strikes
October 26, 2013
What is not widely appreciated is that the recent strikes were political strikes. This is because of a number of reasons to do with the general workers mobilisation by various unions because of government attacks on various sections as well as the general “Austerity” initiative.
Secondly the Teachers are not simply raising specific economic issues facing themselves but the direction of education in general.
It is therefore necessary to recognise that the political strike was an extension of other forms of protest to demonstrate their non acceptance of marginalisation in the education debate and process.
It is therefore absolutely correct for the Teachers’ organisations to suspend strike action.
The powers that be, the national media, right wing politicians etc. are left floundering by this response. How can it be that the “left” are not in favour of strike, strike, strike? The accusation itself falters in the face of strategy and tactics that do not fit in with the prescribed formula and expectations of the opposition. The wrong footing of the opposition becomes even more unstable as the workers themselves awaken and become even more political. It is this engagement that the capitalists fear more than strikes in themselves, which are only one form of struggle.
The most acute example is the recent activity surrounding Grangemouth refinery and Petro-Chemical plant. The workers are not nearly political enough and have been naively misled. They have been used as a political football and they do not know it. The teachers have not fallen into this trap.
Teachers have achieved much already.
Teachers in England are to suspend a planned national strike after ministers agreed to discuss the dispute.
Two of the biggest teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT, had planned to stage a one-day walkout before Christmas in a row over pay, pensions and conditions.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The public demonstration of the anger and frustration of teachers and the commitment of members to the action have secured the prospect of talks with the secretary of state”
Now, there is much to be discussed and debated. The development of the argument for the alternative direction in education to that of Gove must continue at an even higher level so that the entire population will see the necessity of the proposals put forward by teachers.
Why not start from the people’s standpoint – that Healthcare is a Right?
February 10, 2015
How can it be said that a particular commentator, scrutinising the local NHS management is showing a complete lack of knowledge with relation to roles and responsibilities and a duty of care within the NHS? How is the counter argument justified? By simply by stating it as a given.
The point is that the local NHS executive has been set up to represent the Government position and manage it like a business. This is left out of the false logic of the opposition’s thinking, it is not objectively based but a sleight of hand to dismiss the origin of such ideas eminating from the Public centred thinking.
The buildings for sale at St Mary’s Hospital for example, have been discussed, even up to the point of being part of public assets and Government and Conservative intentions to sell off land and buildings as they do with all local authority buildings. It is ideologically led and is part of the privatisation programme.
To see the standpoint of one commentator is easy enough, it is the standpoint of capital centred economics and neo-liberal privatisation at that.
The standpoint of NHS workers who stood on their picket lines recently is the opposite.
This standpoint was clear and they talked freely about their experience of the use of these buildings. It was also discussed fruitfully at the recent Public Meeting on the privatisation of the NHS. It was clear that capacity was there for use.
The question of costs is another misunderstood context for funding. The current executive, in its actions on staffing has decided, wrongly that labour is a cost, disregarding that it adds value. It wants to argue efficiency and productivity as if the NHS should be considered like a profit making business. This misapprehension is wrong too.
The NHS should not necessarily, along with other social programmes, be treated as profit based enterprises instead they should be seen as Public Services.
The funding required for the NHS nationally has been estimated at £13bn otherwise it will start to collapse. Even the Labour Party wants only to provide £2.5bn. Why is Austerity taking precedence by all cartel political parties?
It was after 1945, the last austere situation that Britain faced, that investment in Social programmes were put in place and helped to secure the necessary growth needed at the time.
The ideologically driven arguments provided by capital centred economics are beholden to the business-oriented myth. Buildings ‘Not fit for purpose’ is conjecture spread by the ones ‘in the know’ that only business executives and supremos know the answer to utilisation of assets. Are these not assets utilised effectively for similar purpose in the past? Is not the proximity to St Mary’s and its locality the best-placed space? The problem with these pragmatic arguments is that they in fact do not hold water; they are sleight of hand remarks that are of no use. And what are these arguments about energy costs? Do other buildings elsewhere not have heating costs at St Mary’s or elsewhere? Are these kinds of arguments credible or should we remove funding from elsewhere on the basis of heating provision? Is this serious argument?
Who says the buildings are unsafe? Some of the refurbished buildings had safety issues in the past, they were made safe and they were modernised and equipped. The issue is whether you want them or not.
Solent Grange wasn’t just a short-term measure to get over the dire situation that has occurred this winter as stated. It was chosen for a purpose. The ideological motivation was for a place in the private sector. This why the question was raised about the use of this place and its organisation in the first place.
Arguing that the funding within the NHS has changed with money being allocated to the CCG to the detriment of the local NHS and St Mary’s is starting to take up the issue of what is happening to our NHS from the people’s perspective and their pro-social interests.
‘Knocking’ individuals like CEO’s or managers are neither the point nor the intention. The problem is seeing what these executives do in the world and the way these leaderships and decision-makers in the NHS are tools to carry out the privatisation programme. How the new structures, like CCG’s instead of the previous PCT’s, have become ideologised mechanisms to take the NHS in a different direction.
The whole point is to decide where decision-making lies and where it should be. The decision-makers should lie with the public that supports the NHS and not the privateers.
The Wrecking of the NHS Cannot Be Accepted!
Workers’Weekly On-Line Volume 43 Number 1, January 13, 2013.
[Health Care is a Right! A Victory at Lewisham Hospital is a Victory for Everyone!]
The mass-based campaign to Save the A&E and Maternity at Lewisham Hospital appears as a crucial battle in the movement against the wrecking of the National Health Service and in defence of the public good and public services.
It is a battle that the people of Lewisham, together with the health staff and their unions, health professionals and GPs, community organisations, and the Save Lewisham Hospital Workers’ Group, are determined to do their utmost to win. It is a battle which has a significance for the whole of England in determining that when the people say No to the dismantling of the NHS they mean No!
Under threat at Lewisham is the A&E Department, Intensive Care and some children and maternity services. If these go then the whole hospital is threatened with closure.
The background to the threat to Lewisham Hospital is that last July, Andrew Lansley, the then Health Secretary, appointed a Trust Special Administrator to take over South London Healthcare Trust. He was appointed under the “Regime for Unsustainable NHS Providers” to deal with the alleged £150 million debt which the Trust was said to have run up. The very name is redolent of the outlook of those in power for whom investing in the people’s health care comes a poor second to ensuring a healthy bottom line for the financers.
Two things should also be noted. Firstly, this “Regime” was set up by the previous government under the 2009 Health Act. And secondly, Lewisham Hospital is not itself part of the South London Healthcare Trust, which was formed on April 1, 2009, by a merger of the three hospital trusts of Queen Mary’s Sidcup NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust and Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust. But not only did the trust administrator, Matthew Kershaw, recommend in his report, published in January 8, that the SLHT be dissolved. His report recommends that Lewisham Hospital close its A&E together with the children’s wards, critical care, emergency and complex surgery units, and perhaps the maternity services. As the website of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign explains: “He then wants to sell off Lewisham Hospital’s empty buildings for £17million, only £5million less than this year’s A&E refurbishment.”
The website goes on to say: “The administrator believes closing Lewisham A&E will force patients through the doors of the heavily indebted Queen Elizabeth Hospital, thus increasing its income. However, this trick has already been performed once, when Queen Mary’s Sidcup A&E was closed two years ago, and currently up to 1 in 5 patients wait over four hours for treatment in Queen Elizabeth A&E. It will overwhelm the indebted Queen Elizabeth Hospital, at a time when the administrator also recommends it makes £100million of further cuts.”
The explanation continues: “If the newly-refurbished Lewisham A&E closes, the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley (population 750,000) will have one accident and emergency to share. Lewisham has the lowest male life expectancy in London. This is not a ‘difficult decision’ that the government is making; it is a ‘deadly decision’.
“South London Healthcare has inherited immense debts caused by political mismanagement – unaffordable bank loans were taken out at the same time rules were introduced to ban the NHS distributing money from profitable areas to those that were in need. So, despite excellent rates of infection and low mortality, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Queen Mary’s, Sidcup, Princess Royal, Farnborough and Orpington Hospital were deemed failures.
“The NHS is now structured so that individual trusts cannot receive surplus money from other areas, but when it comes to savage cuts, the opposite applies. The government is using semantic arguments about why £4billion pounds of NHS cash reserves can’t be used and why Lewisham A&E should close. The fact is, if you have a road accident on the South Circular, Jeremy Hunt is happy to risk that you could die on your way to hospital so that he can repay the banks without using NHS reserves. Indeed, the Treasury has taken back £1billion from the NHS, punishing it for savings made in the last few years.
“The recommendation to close Lewisham A&E is part of an ideological assault on the NHS. The administrator’s plans to make cuts and close local competitors is designed to make South London’s services more attractive to private healthcare. Although some NHS Trusts have expressed an interest in running South London’s services, so have many private companies. Jeremy Hunt, not the administrator, will oversee the tendering process. It is likely to be focussed on cost and servicing the debt, rather than quality. So although headlines are focussed on local trusts, private health companies are at an advantage when they compete on cost, because they don’t bear the costs of A&E’s, intensive care, or training medical professionals.”
This fight is one to reverse the direction in which the government is taking the NHS. It is a fight to safeguard the right to health care.
No Means No!
The Wrecking of the NHS Cannot Be Accepted! Defend the Right to Health Care!
Our NHS! Our Future!
Appendix (3) An Agitational Leaflet:
To the Working Men and Women at Vestas
[On the workers’ occupation of the Vestas’ monopoly’s wind turbine plant on the Is;e of Wight and their impending eviction by the state.]
29th July, 2009
Working men and women of the Vestas Factory!
29th July should be memorable days for all of us…. the day of the court subpoena. You Wind Turbine Workers, by your solid resistance to the employer’s pressure have proved that at a difficult moment there are still people in our midst who can uphold our common interests as workers that employers have not yet succeeded in turning us into slaves.
Stand firm and steadfast and carry on to the very end, let us remember that we can improve our conditions only by our common struggle. Do not be intimidated by the employers the state and its courts and police protectors.
Above all, comrades, don’t fall into the trap so cunningly prepared for you by Vestas. They reason as follows:
Come out and we won’t be so hard on you. We can return to the closure status quo with a pittance of redundancy to go home with and maybe a reference.
If we keep to our previous working conditions we shall not get the profits we got previously…. And we are not ready to take anything less…. So then, we’ll have to tighten up on the workers, let them shoulder the cost of the British market. So we will have to export capital to the USA.
We can’t deal with this situation on our own; we must call in the authorities to help us as they usually do. That is their job to protect private property and business rights. But now we have to be clever because these workers have stood up and occupied our premises. So we need to use divide and rule, offer a few titbits and give a few a job at the research facility. If we tackle all of them at once from now on, they will all rise up at once, and we shan’t be able to handle them. So we shall first dupe some of them and break their solidarity.
Working people can never accept the reasoning of these kind of employers!
These Vestas employers never gave us decent working conditions whilst production was going. They never allowed us to unionise. They sacked those that protested too much and dared to organise.
Don’t forget, that all over the Isle of Wight it is considered enough to pay a minimum wage or thereabouts. We must force them here, to cut down their greed.
They should not be able to simply up sticks and move out. In defending these demands, we are not rebelling at all; we are merely demanding that we be given what all the workers of other factories should enjoy by law, the return of what has been taken from us by those who placed all their hopes on our inability to uphold our own rights.
British nationalisation timeline of key events:
1868 Nationalisation of inland telegraphs under the GPO
1875 Suez Canal Company – the Government bought The Egyptian share in the company.
1912 Nationalisation of inland telephone services under the GPO, apart from Portsmouth, Hull, Guernsey, and Jersey. The Portsmouth telephone service was nationalised the following year.
1916 Liquor Trade – The nationalisation of pubs and breweries in Carlisle, Gretna, Cromarty and Enfield under the State Management Scheme; mainly an attempt to restricting alcohol consumption by armaments factory workers. The scheme was privatised by asset transfer in 1973.
1926 Central Electricity Board introduced under Electricity (Supply) Act 1926 established the National Grid and set up a national standard for electricity supply.
1927 British Broadcasting Company (a privately owned company) became British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), a public corporation operating under a Royal Charter.
1933 London Transport.
1938 Nationalisation of UK Coal Royalties under the Coal Commission.
1939 British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), later British Airways (BA) – combining the private British Airways Ltd. and the state owned Imperial Airways.
1939 At the outset of World War II, much of British industry was subjected to State regulation or control, although not nationalised as such.
1943 North of Scotland Hydro-Electricity Board.
1946 Coal industry under the National Coal Board (later British Coal); Bank of England – the latter had had private shareholders who were bought out by the state.
1947 Central Electricity Generating Board and area electricity boards, Cable & Wireless Ltd – the latter had had private shareholders who were bought out by the state.
1948 National rail, inland (not marine) water transport, some road haulage, some road passenger transport and Thomas Cook & Son under the British Transport Commission. Separate elements operated as British Railways, British Road Services, and British Waterways, also health services created (as England and Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland) taking over a mixture of previously local authority, private commercial and charitable organisations.
1949 Local authority gas supply undertakings in England, Scotland and Wales
1951 Iron and Steel Industry (denationalised by Churchill’s following Conservative Government).
1967 British Steel.
1969 National Bus Company, combining former interests of the British Transport Commission with others acquired from the British Electric Traction group.
1969 Post Office Corporation created.
1971 Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd – The strategically important aero-engine part of the recently bankrupt Rolls Royce Limited.
1973 Water Act 1973 nationalises local authority water supply undertakings in England and Wales.
1973 British Gas plc Corporation created, replacing regional gas boards.
1974 British Petroleum – the combination of a 50% stake bought by Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty after World War I with around a 25% stake acquired by the Bank of England from Burmah Oil made the government directly or indirectly BP’s majority shareholder, though commercial independence was maintained. The shares were all sold during the 1980s.
1975 National Enterprise Board – a State holding company for full or partial ownership of industrial undertakings.
1976 British Leyland Motor Corporation – became British Leyland upon nationalization. Later became known simply as the holding company “BL Ltd”, it was later reorganised into several standalone businesses – the best known being Austin Rover, Leyland Trucks, Freight Rover, Land Rover and Jaguar.
1977 British Aerospace – combining the major aircraft companies British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley and others. British Shipbuilders – combining the major shipbuilding companies including Cammell Laird, Govan Shipbuilders, Swan Hunter, Yarrow Shipbuilders.
1981 British Telecom (later styled as BT) created, taking control of telecommunications services from the General Post Office (GPO).
1984 Johnson Matthey – purchased for a nominal sum of £1 by the Thatcher government.
1997 Docklands Light Railway – John Prescott announced to the 1997 Labour Party Conference that he had nationalised this, although it was already in public hands anyway.
2001 Railtrack – The owner and operator of the railway infrastructure, Railtrack, was not nationalised as such. However, its replacement Network Rail, whilst not a state-owned company, has no shareholders (company limited by guarantee) and is underwritten by the state. Prior to this the government began to make use of a residual shareholding of 0.2% (including voting rights) in Railtrack Group Plc left over from the original sale.
2008 Northern Rock – announced by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 February 2008 as ‘a temporary measure’. The bank will be run at ‘arm’s length’ as a commercial business and sold to a private buyer in the future.
2008 Bradford & Bingley (mortgage book only) – announced by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29 September 2008. The loans part of the company was nationalised, while the commercial bank was sold.
2008 In October, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the newly merged HBOS-Lloyds TSB was partly nationalised. The Government took approximately 60% of RBS (later increased to 70%, then 80%) and 40% of HBOS-Lloyds TSB as part of the £500bn bank rescue package. The Lloyds Bank and TSB businesses were operationally demerged in 2013 in preparation for a full demerger and reprivatisation.
2009 On 13 November, Directly Operated Railways, a government company, took over the Inter City East Coast franchise that National Express East Coast had been awarded in 2007 with £1.4 billion premium to be paid over seven years. The nationalised service operates as East Coast and includes services from London to York and Edinburgh. It has been stated by the government that their control is a temporary measure, initially to last two years.
2013 In December it was acknowledged that Network Rail would be reclassified as a “public sector body” in 2014 with its financial liabilities now formally included as part of the national debt. Much debate continues however, whether this still constitutes “nationalisation” in a broader context.
Nationalisation was a key feature of the first post World War II Labour government, from 1945 to 1951 under Clement Attlee. The coal and steel industries were just two of many industries or services to be nationalised, while the formation of the National Health Service in 1948 entitled everyone to free healthcare. The subsequent Conservative Governments led by Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath allowed practically all of the nationalised industries and services to remain in public ownership, as did subsequent Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. However, the election victory of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives in 1979 saw the vast majority of nationalised industries, services and utilities privatised within a decade.
1917: All U.S. railroads were nationalised as the Railroad Administration during World War I as a wartime measure. The United States Railroad Administration was returned to private ownership in 1920.
1939: Organization of the Tennessee Valley Authority entailed the nationalisation of the Tennessee Electric Power Company.
1971: The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a government-owned corporation created in 1971 for the express purpose of relieving American railroads of their legal obligation to provide inter-city passenger rail service. The (primarily) freight railroads had petitioned to abandon passenger service repeatedly in the decades leading up to Amtrak’s formation.
1976: The Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) was created to take over the operations of six bankrupt rail lines operating primarily in the Northeast; Conrail was privatised in 1987. Initial plans for Conrail would have made it a truly nationalised system like that during World War I, but an alternate proposal by the Association of American Railroads won out.
1980s: Resolution Trust Corporation seized control of hundreds of failed Savings & Loans.
2001: In response to the September 11 attacks, the airport security industry was nationalized and put under the authority of the Transportation Security Administration.
2008: Some economists consider the government’s takeover of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and Federal National Mortgage Association to have been nationalization (or renationalisation). The conservatorship model used with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is looser and more temporary than nationalization.
2009: Some economists consider the government’s actions through the Troubled Asset Relief Program with regards to Citigroup to have been a partial nationalisation. Proposal was made that banks like Citigroup be brought under a conservatorship model similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that some of their “good assets” be dropped into newly created “good bank” subsidiaries (presumably under new management), and the remaining “bad assets” be left to be managed under the supervision of a conservatorship structure. The government’s actions with regard to General Motors in replacing the CEO with a government-approved CEO is likewise being considered as nationalisation. On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed for bankruptcy, with the government investing up to $50 billion and taking 60% ownership in the company. President Barack Obama stated that the nationalisation was temporary, saying, “We are acting as reluctant shareholders because that is the only way to help GM succeed”.
Nationalisation dates back to the ‘regies’ or state monopolies organized under the Ancien Régime, for example, the monopoly on tobacco sales. Communications companies France Telecom and La Poste are relics of the state postal and telecommunications monopolies.
There was a major expansion of the nationalised sector following World War II. A second wave followed in 1982.
1938 Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) (originally a 51% State holding, increased to 100% in 1982).
1945 Several nationalisations in France, including most important banks and Renault. The firm was seized for Louis Renault’s alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany, although this condemnation was without judgement and after his death, making this case remarkable and rare. Privatised in 1996.
1946 Charbonnages de France, Electricite de France (EdF), Gaz de France (GdF)
1982 A large part of the banking sector and industries of strategic importance to the state, especially in electronics and communications, were nationalised under the new president François Mitterrand and the PS-led government. Many of those companies were privatised again after 1986.
The Paris regional transport operator, Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), can also be counted as a nationalised industry.
(1) [Hardial Bains: [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; daily reflections on social consciousness and other matters; The new magazine publishing company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2012, If you love your class, On Finding two new planets, 19th January 1996, p.71.]
(2) [ibid: intro: p.11]
(3) [Hardial bains. Thinking about the Sixties. (1960-!967) Volume 1, By Way of Introduction. Page 24-25). The New Magazine Publishing Company. Toronto, 2005]
(4) [V.I.Lenin, MATERIALISM and EMPIRIO-CRITICISM,Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy,( Chapter Three: The Theory of Knowledge of Dialectical Materialism and of Empirio-Criticism. III) 5. Space And Time.]
(6) [Engels, Anti-Dühring, 5th Germ. ed., S. 41]
(7) [Engels, Anti-Dühring, 5th Germ. ed.]
(8) [V.I.Lenin, MATERIALISM and EMPIRIO-CRITICISM]
(13) [Hardial Bains, If you love your class, A question of love, 5th, November, 1995, p.23]
(14) [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel “Lectures on the History ofPhilosophy,” Volume 1]
(20) [Hegel:Logic: Doctrine of being]
(29) [Hardial Bains: Necessity For Change]
(30) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; daily reflections on social consciousness and other matters; The new magazine publishing company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2012] [intro: p.15]
(31) [Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy; Section Three: Recent German Philosophy; C. Fichte.]
(32) [Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]
(42) [Hardial Bains, Necessity for Change]
(43) [HB,If you Love your Class]
(45) [Brief History of Time Chapter 2]
(46) On 17 March 2014, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics announced the apparent detection of the imprint gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, which, if confirmed, would provide strong evidence for inflation and the Big Bang. However, on 19 June 2014, lowered confidence in confirming the findings was reported; and on 19 September 2014, even more lowered confidence. The Plank Satellite probing windows in the galaxy observed by Arctic and Keck telescopes, found that bright imprints formed by charged particles were more likely to be dust rather than from gravitational waves. Since the Hubble observations and calculation, the notion of zero time and a ‘big bang’ have brought about questions surrounding inflation and the creation of matter and have implications for cause and effect. New explanations about the origins of the universe or a pre-universe have come into discussion and include multiverse theory, branes and string theory. Yet there are different possibilities for the sources of gravitational waves due to huge shocks, counter shocks and immense explosive events.
(47) [Marx: The German Ideology]
(48) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; About Animals and Human Beings,, 24th, January, 1996, p.81-82]
(49) [Marx: The German Ideology]
(74) [Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific]
(84) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; Lack of Space, 3rd, January, 1996, p.55]
(85) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class, On Finding two new planets, 19th January 1996, p.71.]
(86) [Lenin, What is to be done?]
(87) [ibid, intro: p.11, Hardial Bains: If you love your class,]
(88) [ibid intro: p.15, Hardial Bains: If you love your class,]
(89) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; Lack of Space, 3rd, January, 1996, p.55]
(90) [Hardial Bains: If you love your class; Lack of Space, 3rd, January, 1996, p.55]
(91) [ibid, Hardial Bains: If you love your class; Lack of Space, 3rd, January, 1996, p.55]
(92) [Kenneth Knapman, Cultural Review, August 1999]
(93) [Kenneth Knapman, RTUC, 24th Feb. 2007]
[94b] *Henry Sturgis Morgan (October 24, 1900 – February 7, 1982) was an American banker. He inherited from John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. His father was the son of J. P. Morgan; and his mother was the daughter of Boston banker and mill owner Henry Sturgis Grew. Morgan had two sons. He co-founded the company Morgan Stanley in 1935, together with Harold Stanley. His son Charles Francis Morgan, Sr. was an advisory director at Morgan Stanley & Company in New York. He died on February 7, 1982. In 2000 Chase Manhattan, which was looking for a merger to improve its position in investment banking, merged with J.P. Morgan to form J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
DuPont is a global science company that employs more than 60,000 people worldwide. In 2005, the Company ranked 66th in the Fortune 500 on the strength of nearly $28 billion in revenues and $1.8 billion in profits. Various members of the family managed the company well into the twentieth century and to this day family trusts constitute a substantial portion of the company’s ownership. Théré du Pont is a remaining family member on the DuPont board of directors.
The Krupp family was a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, a steel producing industrial bourgeois family. The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp, was the largest company in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. As the eldest son of Bertha Krupp, Alfried was destined by family tradition to become the sole heir of the Krupp concern. He was an early supporter of Nazism among German industrialists, joining the SS in 1931, and never disavowing his allegiance to Hitler. Confiscated German business was given back to bourgeois families after the Second World War. In 1999 Krupps merged with Thyssen AG to form ThyssenKrupp AG, a large industrial conglomerate.
Siemens & Halske was founded by Werner von Siemens on 12 October 1847. Preceding World War II, Siemens was involved in funding the rise of the Nazi Party and the secret rearmament of Germany. Siemens had many factories in and around notorious concentration camps. Ernst Albrecht von Siemens (9 April 1903 in Kingston upon Thames – 31 December 1990 in Starnberg), the son of Carl Friedrich von Siemens, was a German industrialist and one of the successors of his family’s company. Ernst von Siemens was given the company after World War II. It was under him that Siemens & Halske AG, Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG and Siemens-Reiniger-Werke AG were merged in 1966, forming the company known today as Siemens AG. Ernst von Siemens was unmarried and had no children. Today there are no more Siemens family executives on the board.
Paris Orléans S.A. is a financial holding company listed in Paris and controlled by the French and English branch of the Rothschild family. Paris Orléans is the flagship of the Rothschild banking Group and controls the Rothschild Group’s banking activities including N M Rothschild & Sons and Rothschild & Cie Banque. It has over 2000 employees. Directors of the company include Eric de Rothschild, Robert de Rothschild, and Count Philippe de Nicolay.
Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted JP (5 November 1853 – 17 January 1927), known as Sir Marcus Samuel, 1st Baronet between 1903 and 1921 and subsequently as The Lord Bearsted until 1925, was the founder of the Shell Transport and Trading Company, a precursor to Royal Dutch Shell. In 1907, Samuel’s company combined with the Royal Dutch company of the Netherlands to create the company today known as Royal Dutch Shell. M. Samuel & Co., having transformed over the years to a merchant bank, merged in 1965 with Philip Hill, Higginson, Erlangers Ltd to create Hill Samuel, which is now a part of Lloyds TSB. Major Peter Montefiore Samuel, 4th Viscount Bearsted MC TD (9 December 1911 – 9 June 1996) was a British peer and former Deputy Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading.
It is worth noting that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. is a Japanese bank holding financial services company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It holds assets of around US$2.4 trillion (JPY 200 trillion) as of March 2010 and is one of the main companies of the Mitsubishi Group. It is Japan’s largest financial group and the world’s second largest bank holding company holding around US$1.6 trillion (JPY 135 trillion) in deposits as of March 2010. The Mitsubishi Group of Companies is a Japanese conglomerate consisting of a range of autonomous businesses, which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy.
(95) [Hardial Bains: Historic Initiative]
(96) [Hardial Bains: Historic Initiative]
(98) [Hardial bains. Thinking about the Sixties. (Chapter 6, ‘1967’) Volume 1, The New Magazine Publishing Company. Toronto, 2005]
(99) [Kenneth Knapman, 2013]