Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How Can We Help Make Progress?

John Courtneidge 

11 Mrach 2014


In the articles in the CCPA 'Readings on Co-operative Socialism' (see http://www.interestfreemoney.org/papers/), I offer some thoughts on action: local as well as national/global.

Here I'd like to talk about a twin-track approach to political party politics.

The point is that a political party is set up to acheive what its supporters want - in large part, then, what its pay-masters want.

To take a case in point:

The Co-operative Party (of which I'm an active member in the UK, as well as being an active meber of The Labour Party - true Labour, that is, not the New Labour hijackers of Toney Blair, Peter Mandelson etc) was set up and funded by the Co-operative movement during the First World War - because the, then, 'National' government ( a coalition of the two capitalist parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals) were actively harming the Co-operative Movement.

So, back to Canada, just as in the UK, there is an effective a coalition of the two capitalist parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals - sure thay strut and blow but their objective (what their backers pay for) is the continuation of capitalism.

You might have seen Tommy Douglas's great speech on You Tube, 'Mouseland'.

Which brings me to the point:

The CCF was set up, initially, by poor(er) people, to advance the cause of poor people.

It largely adopted the democratic socialist approach of the Fabian Society - based in the London School of Economics in London, UK - which was to have a mixed economy of capitalism and government-owned monopolies (with a sprinkling of co-ops in the margins).

As it has turned out, this 'middle-of-the-road' approach meant - and means - that you end up as road-kill: clobbered bfrom both directions.

The CCF was attacked from both the bully left (the Marxist communists) and from all of the pro-capitalists (the Liberals, the Conservatives and their extreme wings, the Libertarians and the Social Crediters respectively - BTW the Social Crediters are an interesting story but that for another time).

And so the CCF fell away, to be rescued by the Unions as 'The New Party' - the NDP-NPD.

Now, as I understand it, there was one voice - that of a prominent co-operator - who spoke out and voted against the Fabian CCF plan.

For rme, Fabian-directed (and so-called democratic) socialism has run its course - we ended up being run by a new set of bosses and poverty and unemployment still existed in the 1950's, 1960's and onward - in the Fabian-inspired dream: the so-called Golden Age of Left-liberal John Maynard Keynes's economics (ie borrow don't tax) and Left-liberal William Beveridge's welfare state (or, more accurately, paid middle-class bullying of the poor - too strong for some? Ask kids who were caned at school, and families whose children were removed to residential/prison homes, etc).

So, here we are - with two choices - to either get our Labour/Co-operative/NDP-NPD parties back on the right (ie, left) side of the road - going in the true progressive direction - largely experiential, definitely horizontalist: producing income equality for all. Or, set up a Co-operative Socialist Party of our own to do these things.

Now, I'm much more for a variation/development of these: a twin track of pressing on the existing truely progressive parties from within (eg getting a Federal Riding association of the NDP-NPD to adopt a motion for Co-operative Socialism - as per the CCPA Readings document at http://www.interestfreemoney.org/papers/ - along with a single-focussed community-based political campiagn group outside, pressing for income equality - which, I guess, is essentially what NCAP is.

So, the work here - to build up NCAP numbers is so vital - and a focus:

= that focus being, perhaps, on presing the NDP-NPD or ?new party? to adopt (greater and permanaent) income equality as its main objective - with it committed to implementing a Living Income for Everybody as a base income and an income maximum, socially-determined annually, as the income more than which no-one should take/receive).

Sorry - it turned into a long reply!

Hope it helps.

Best - equally! - for all!



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