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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2017

The Socialist inbox

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

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Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.

Reader's comment: Top capitalist economist says his profession failed

photo Wikimedia/Creative Commons

photo Wikimedia/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Laurel Fogarty, north Wales

The Bank of England's chief economist has blamed the failure of capitalist economic models on ordinary people behaving in a way that was "deeply irrational."

The top economist said that standard models were built in a time when people behaved 'rationally,' causing the models to blunder time and again - largely failing to predict the 2008 crash, and the economic impact of the Brexit vote.

However, it is clear that capitalist economists are out of touch with the motivations and needs of the ordinary people on which their models rely.

Marxists, including those in the Socialist Party, had long predicted a crash following growth based on rapidly ballooning debt.

We maintained that such growth could not continue indefinitely, even as most capitalist economists and politicians heralded the end of 'boom and bust' economics. Ultimately, their economic models continue to flounder because they cannot grasp or accept the fundamental relationship between labour and capital, or the motivations and actions of ordinary workers.

The failure of their models may leave many economists red faced. But workers pay the real price in the form of falling pay, poor housing, unemployment, cuts to public services and other attacks as recessions worsen. Unplanned and chaotic capitalist economies will remain prone to crises, plunging more workers into poverty.

Only a planned economy under the democratic control of ordinary people, where production is geared to meet social need, can ensure that the capitalist cycle of boom and bust comes to an end. A socialist society would mean the working class as a whole claiming the wealth produced by its labour, putting an end to the fragile, mismanaged, and deeply irrational capitalist system.

Fenton festivities

I was delighted to read the piece in issue 927 about the Unison benefit gig at the Fenton pub in Leeds ('Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig').

I recently read the excellent book 'Rip It Up and Start Again' by Simon Reynolds, which charts the post-punk movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Reynolds mentions in this book that the Fenton was something of a left-wing hotspot during this period, where band members from local big hitters such as Gang of Four, The Mekons and Delta 5 would mix with regular punters, and where many young Leeds socialists cut their teeth over lively conversation.

This had got me thinking what became of the place; I had assumed that it was likely to have long since closed, or at best been converted into a soulless chain bar. So it was great to hear that not only does it still exist but that it still seems to be something of a socialist hub popular with Leeds youth and maintaining links to the workers' movement.

That saved me some research and ensured I'll be making the short train journey over from Manchester at some point to have a look at the place, soak in the socialist vibes, enjoy a pint or two and hopefully be able to stick 'Mind Your Own Business' on the jukebox.

James Hinchcliffe, Manchester

Brexit bind

Before her big Brexit speech, online petitioner Avaaz had sent around an email with a petition calling on Theresa May to reveal her Brexit plans.

The simple reality that they and many of the left don't see is that the Tories are at each other's throats over Brexit, and May didn't dare say anything concrete on the matter in case it shattered them.

By pressurising, really pressurising the Tories on concrete policies, Corbyn's Labour Party and the trade unions could quickly find themselves on top.

Geraint Thomas, Nottingham

Castro cant

Fidel Castro in Washington 1959

Fidel Castro in Washington 1959

The death of Fidel Castro brought out the usual vitriol from the likes of Donald Trump.

Cuba is an undemocratic, one-party state. But Castro also helped give its people free healthcare and free education, something Trump will never ever give the American people.

It's a concept beyond his understanding. Trump, like the Tories, was elected by a minority, such is the nature of the respective voting systems. The crimes of the vicious dictatorship in Saudi Arabia are swept under the carpet because many grubbers like him are making billions of dollars from arms deals.

That's their idea of freedom and democracy, 'democratic' election by a minority and the freedom to kill, maim, and exploit for their god, profit! Trump wants Cuba to be playground of the rich again.

The Socialist Party is building to help the workers of the world rise off their knees and rid themselves of all forms of dictatorship, and usher in a democratic socialist world of peace and harmony. To quote John Lennon from his great song Imagine, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

Bill Buchanan, Nottingham

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In The Socialist 18 January 2017:

What we think

Labour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Tories torn in two on single market

Resist Trump

Resist Trump

Inaugurate the resistance

We can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks

International socialist news and analysis

Mexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

USA: Seattle activists win housebuilding programme website to launch

Socialist Party news and analysis

'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

Eight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

Northern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Millwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal

Workplace news and analysis

Billions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Liverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

Manchester: BA cabin crew pay strike

London: Taxi drivers gridlock City of London

Southern Rail strike continues

Unite the Union elections

PCS union national executive elections

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

Protesters surround Sheffield's cutting council

Fracking protest in Sherwood Forest

Residents protest at plans to close nine community centres

Anger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

Socialist Party national committee agrees document for congress

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Theatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

John Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

Socialist artists invite others to exhibit work

The Socialist inbox


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