Category: Opinions

Jobs: A National and Global Challenge

Jobs: A National and Global Challenge

We are back again to the issues of jobs, jobs, jobs!

This is one of our greatest national and global challenges today.

The other week we said machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, digitalised tractors, ATMs, and so on and so forth – have taken over workers’ jobs.

Today we pull the string a little further and examine what is really taking place.

Capitalist ideologists, apologists and some of our misguided politicians – well meaning but empty, have been trying to present the current scientific and technological advances as a remedy for social contradictions which will ensure the general welfare of our people within the framework of capitalism. Actually, however, these scientific and technological advances are exacerbating the far-reaching socio-economic contradictions of capitalism and, particularly, the contradiction between the social character of production and private capitalist appropriation.

Lenin regarded technological progress under capitalism as an inseparable and vital component of the socialisation of production and labour, the development of large-scale machine industry (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 1, p. 100; Vol. 2, p. 175; Vol. 3, pp. 524-25). The progress of science and technology leads to the specialisation of social production, and to an increased interdependence between branches. It also intensifies the concentration of production and capital in the hands of the biggest companies and the rapidly growing dependence of social production on the new branches, which are among the technological leaders in this, as these branches are mainly concentrated in the hands of a few very big monopolies.

At the same time technological progress accelerates the ruination of non-monopolised and small enterprises, which cannot afford expensive technological innovations. Enterprises have to renew their equipment almost continually to keep up with technological changes. This requires continual big capital investments, which only the big monopolies can afford.

The scientific and technological advances intensify the main class antagonism of capitalism, the antagonism between the capitalists and the workers. The working class wages a constant struggle to have the proceeds of the new technology, the increase in labour productivity and the growth in social wealth used for the benefit of the working people.

Clearly, Lenin’s conclusion that the improvement of technology intensifies social inequality is still true. The gap between the possibilities for the development of the productive forces, which have increased enormously as a result of the scientific and technological progress, and their social use, has grown immensely. New technologies make many working people even less secure, and face them with unemployment and other privations.

As a result of the growth of labour productivity at high tech enterprises, the demand for labour power drops sharply. The mass unemployment and the misfortunes high tech brings cannot be ended under capitalism. There are millions of unemployed in the United States and other big capitalist countries. Unemployment is particularly rampant among young people leaving school, college or university. Poverty has survived all the achievements of science and technology.

Many of the demands now being advanced by the working people are linked with the problem of unemployment, and the fate of workers who are being replaced by machines.

Clearly, these demands, advanced in new conditions created by the scientific and technological advances, cannot be achieved in isolation from the more general, main task – the struggle for socialism.

Capitalism is unable to cope with the scientific and technological advances completely. Its endeavours to adapt ultimately exacerbate the contradictions of capitalism even further. In order to meet the needs of the scientific and technological advances, a transition from capitalism to socialism must be made.

 

Statement on International Workers’ Day

Statement on International Workers’ Day

Revolutionary May 1 greetings to all those who toil!

May 1 is not simply a day  of celebration for the working class, their trade unions and  political parties – socialist parties.

On this day, we are reminded about why the flag of working class organisations – trade unions, political parties – is red. “Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold,” goes the traditional labour song.

We know that for the working class, its authentic trade unions and political parties the road ahead is tortuous, full of twists and turns.

Therefore, for the working class and its organisations May 1 is a day for casting away illusions and preparing for struggle. It is a time to unite all working class forces against real class enemies.

On a day like this we are reminded that not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so.

May 1 started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday. Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts.

Today, workers face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by.

But for some, instead of working too much, they can’t find work at all, or can’t get enough hours in the clocking jobs they  have.

What we need to realise is that this unemployment is not primarily due to globalised labour markets, but to mechanisation, digitisation or the shift from formal to real domination of capital.

Therefore, this struggle is for the unemployed and precariously employed people too.

To overcome these challenges is going to take serious effort to develop the working class theoretically and strategically as a class.

A big reason why so many workers are out of work is because they been replaced by machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, ATMs and so on and so forth.

In a more just, fair and humane world, it would be a good thing to have machines to do boring, dangerous, backbreaking work. It would mean that the workers have more time to learn, to be creative, to worship and develop themselves spiritually, to spend time with family and friends.

But this isn’t a just, fair and humane world. This is capitalism. Workers produce enough to feed, house, and clothe every person on the planet, but millions starve and live without homes, proper sanitation, clean water, education, health services. This is because with capitalism the fundamental reason we produce things like food, houses, and clothing is not to use them, but to make a profit for the rich.

An alternative world is possible, where workers  can produce what they  need in order to use it, and where they all have a say in what they make and how they make it. So how do workers get there? It’s through socialism and the Socialist Party!

It’s only socialism and socialism alone that can help us solve these problems and create a more just, fair and humane society.

General Secretary Cosmas Musumali on Corruption

General Secretary Cosmas Musumali on Corruption

Corruption is indeed very endemic in Zambian society, but we are not doing justice to it by merely trying to limit it to individuals; talking about: ‘this one is a non-corrupt individual, the other one is more corrupt’. I think we have to look at the entire system. If you look at the system of capitalism and look at its basic values, and those basic values are individualism, greed, and aspects of unbridled competition and consumerism. Those values are more prone towards ensuring that our society remains corrupt. You cannot handle corruption effectively under this system.

What we are trying to do on an everyday basis is to look at what is called the high level corruption. It is justified because it’s more visible and its impact is very, very serious for our society. But at the same time we should acknowledge that if the top leadership is corrupt there’s a great possibility that even the masses of our people are also corrupt. So, we live in a society that is corrupt from the top to bottom. And if we want to fight corruption, yes we can deal on the issue of policies, we can look at the issue of the strategies, we can look n the issue of changing the laws – providing certain incentives, providing education to the masses, but that in itself doesn’t help very much. What would help is to bring in new values in our politics, in the economy, basically in the entire society; and that’s where socialism comes in.

Socialism is based on the fundamental values of equity; it’s based on honesty, humility and solidarity. These are values that take away the aspect of corruption. A socialist society is not a corrupt society, a capitalist society is a highly corrupt society.

Statement on the Expulsion of Cuban Ambassador

Statement on the Expulsion of Cuban Ambassador

By Cosmas Musumali and Fred M’membe

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has initiated a process to recall the Cuban Ambassador to Zambia. This is essentially an expulsion of this Cuban patriot out of Zambia. The Ambassador, comrade Nelson Pages, is accused of having breached diplomatic etiquette and therefore crossed a “red line” by shortly attending the launch of the Socialist Party on the 31st march, 2018 in Lusaka and giving a congratulatory message. He was openly and arrogantly ridiculed by the Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Amos Chanda that the diplomat should have “known better” that opposition political parties are a “no go area” especially coming from Cuba!

The expulsion of comrade Nelson is however not an isolated act by an insecure and desperate President. Two days earlier, nine (9) international guests to the Launch of the socialist party were denied entry into Zambia. They were intercepted, interrogated, humiliated and impolitely sent away on subsequent flights out of the country. International protocol and traveling rights were blatantly breached.

This seemingly irrational behaviour of the President and his government over the launch of the Socialist Party is based on real fear. This is the fear of informed and political conscious Zambian masses, of a genuine revolutionary political formation with a credible leadership and that of international solidarity sympathetic to the plight of the people of Zambia. The Socialist Party and its leadership are bringing out all these elements. The Party is the symbol of hope and a new beginning for the suffering and disillusioned Zambia people. There is therefore a good reason for the panic exhibited by the President and his government. However, this panic mode is exposing serious faults and extreme levels of incompetency in the ability of the President to continue running this country.

The Socialist Party, on behalf of all progressive Zambian people, wishes to extend its apologies to comrade Nelson Pages and to the Cuban people. The decision by the president is not a true reflection of the aspirations of the Zambian masses. We are saddened and ashamed of this uniformed and opportunistic decision. Comrade Nelson is and will remain a true friend to the Socialist Party and Zambian people. Our victory in 2021 is assured and we look forward to receiving him back in the country.

Similarly, we would like to convey our apologies to the nine comrades that were humiliated at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA). Their commitment to the spirit of Pan-Africanism and the working class struggle was manifested by their humility in the face of all the injustice they had to endure on Zambian soil.

Our comrade Benewende Sankara, President of the Sankarist Party of Burkina Faso, who was amongst those having been deported at KKIA, is back in his country and sent us the following text message: “I mark my unwavering support for the comrades of Zambia and all people in the struggle. My moral remains high and I know victory will eventually triumph over undemocratic and anti-social forces.”

As of 10:30 hours today, the socialist party has received 79 international congratulatory messages from political parties, trade unions and popular movements of 32 countries. The messages highlight the significance of the Launch of the Socialist Party in Zambia but also condemn the behaviour of President Lungu and his government.

The responses coming from all districts of Zambia are equally confirming our resolve to fight for Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP) and for Socialism in our homeland. The process is gathering fast momentum. The fast pace is to some extent supported by the incompetency of the current government and failures of the capitalist system in our country. It is now very certain that Fred Member will be the President of a socialist Zambia in 2021.

Long live the Cuban revolution;
Long live the spirit of Pan-Africanism;

Long live the Zambian working masses;
Their victory is certain;
And the days of capitalist exploitation and mass poverty will soon end.

M’membe will be President of Socialist Zambia in 2021

M’membe will be President of Socialist Zambia in 2021

SOURCE: NewsDay Zambia

The Socialist Party says the fast pace at which Zambians are accepting the recently-launched revolutionary formation is partially due to the incompetency of the current government and the failures of capitalism in the country.

In a press release by the Socialist Party signed by the General Secretary, Dr Cosmas Musumali and his deputy and the party’s 2021 presidential candidate, Dr Fred M’membe, the SP condemned the expulsion of the Cuban Ambassador from Zambia and denying entry into Zambia to nine international guests of the Socialist Party.

“President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has initiated a process to recall the Cuban Ambassador to Zambia. This is essentially an expulsion of this Cuban patriot out of Zambia.   The Ambassador, comrade Nelson Pages, is accused of having breached diplomatic etiquette and therefore crossed a “red line” by shortly attending the launch of the Socialist Party on the 31st march, 2018 in Lusaka and giving a congratulatory message,” the statement reads. “He was openly and arrogantly ridiculed by the Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Amos Chanda that the diplomat should have “known better” that opposition political parties are a “no go area” especially coming from Cuba!”

The Socialist Party stated that the expulsion of Comrade Nelson was however, not an isolated act by an insecure and desperate President.

“Two days earlier, nine (9) international guests to the Launch of the socialist party were denied entry into Zambia. They were intercepted, interrogated, humiliated and impolitely sent away on subsequent flights out of the country. International protocol and traveling rights were blatantly breached,” they noted. “This seemingly irrational behaviour of the President and his government over the launch of the Socialist Party is based on real fear. This is the fear of informed and political conscious Zambian masses, of a genuine revolutionary political formation with a credible leadership and that of international solidarity sympathetic to the plight of the people of Zambia.”

The statement further read that the Socialist Party and its leadership were bringing out all these elements.

“The Party is the symbol of hope and a new beginning for the suffering and disillusioned Zambian people. There is therefore, a good reason for the panic exhibited by the President and his government.  However, this panic mode is exposing serious faults and extreme levels of incompetency in the ability of the President to continue running this country,” the statement read in part. “The Socialist Party, on behalf of all progressive Zambian people, wishes to extend its apologies to comrade Nelson Pages and to the Cuban people. The decision by the president is not a true reflection of the aspirations of the Zambian masses. We are saddened and ashamed of this uniformed and opportunistic decision.”

The party assured that  Comrade Nelson was and will remain a true friend to the Socialist Party and Zambian people.

“Our victory in 2021 is assured and we look forward to receiving him back in the country. Similarly, we would like to convey our apologies to the nine comrades that were humiliated at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA). Their commitment to the spirit of Pan-Africanism and the working class struggle was manifested by their humility in the face of all the injustice they had to endure on Zambian soil,” they stated. “Our comrade Benewende Sankara, President of the Sankarist Party of Burkina Faso, who was amongst those having been deported at KKIA, is back in his country and sent us the following text message: ‘I mark my unwavering support for the comrades of Zambia and all people in the struggle. My moral remains high and I know victory will eventually triumph over undemocratic and anti-social forces.’”

On the post-launch solidarity messages, the Socialist Party stated: “As of 10:30 hours today, the socialist party has received 79 international congratulatory messages from political parties, trade unions and popular movements of 32 countries. The messages highlight the significance of the launch of the Socialist Party in Zambia but also condemn the behaviour of President Lungu and his government.”

They disclosed that the responses coming from all districts of Zambia were equally confirming the party’s collective resolve to fight for Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP) and for Socialism in the homeland.

“The process is gathering fast momentum. The fast pace is to some extent supported by the incompetency of the current government and failures of the capitalist system in our country. It is now very certain that Fred M’membe will be the President of a socialist Zambia in 2021,” the statement reads further. “Long live the Cuban revolution; Long live the spirit of Pan-Africanism; Long live the Zambian working masses; Their victory is certain; And the days of capitalist exploitation and mass poverty will soon end.”