Theory & History

How capitalism works

Capitalism is based on the private ownership of production - the firms, workplaces and finance system. Under capitalism everything is a commodity that can be bought and sold. Basic necessities like food, water, clothing and housing all must be paid for and are a source of profit to the bosses or capitalist class - sold for more than they cost to produce or supply.

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70th anniversary of the assasination of Leon Trotsky

Seventy years ago the greatest living revolutionary of the time, Leon Trotsky, was murdered by Josef Stalin’s hit man Ramon Mercader. There had been a number of failed previous attempts on Trotsky’s life but this time a fatal blow from an ‘ice pick’ successfully destroyed the ‘brain’ of the working class and the symbol of implacable opposition to capitalism and totalitarian Stalinism. This event, celebrated in the Kremlin by Stalin and the bureaucratic elite he represented, also brought joy to the capitalist governments of Europe, America and the world.

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Is “human nature” a barrier to socialism?

The world is a mess. War, poverty, and oppression are now part of the daily lives of billions round the globe. Even during the last boom 80% of the world’s population - 5.4 billion people - lived on less than $10 a day. Now that the world is in the midst of this crisis even the head of the World Bank has said it will result in “a human and developmental calamity… the number of chronically hungry people is expected to climb over 1 billion this year”. The wars in the middle east, enviromental destruction and worsening economic turmoil are only the most recent striking examples of the crises facing humanity.

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Capitalism has failed us – The case for socialism

Wages have been slashed, unemployment has exploded and our public services have been cut savagely as the economic crisis developed in Ireland. All of this is the result of the policies of the right-wing government and the actions of a small group of speculators, bankers and developers. Here Paul Murphy outlines the socialist alternative.

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Review: Labour in Irish History – One hundred years of a socialist classic

The publication of James Connolly’s Labour in Irish History 100 years ago this year was a landmark in the development of a socialist and Marxist understanding of Irish history. In this book James Connolly sought to outline the key social struggles of Irish working people uniting all religions and to explain why the struggle for national liberation against British imperialism was inherently linked with these movements.

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The socialist alternative to the crisis

WE ALL have to share the pain” has become the mantra of the entire establishment, from right-wing economists and political parties to much of the trade union leadership, as working class people are made to suffer to protect the profits and power of the bosses. This article critiques this orthodoxy and argues that socialist policies offer the only alternative to the vicious attacks of capitalism.

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Marxism and the second world war

Seventy years ago, the major powers plunged humanity into the horror of world war.
by Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party, cwi in England and Wales

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How capitalism works

Capitalist firms produce commodities, that is a good or service produced for sale only. Every commodity has a use-value for people. That means they are useful to someone otherwise they could not be sold.

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Capitalism in crisis!

SR Technics leaving factory

By Stephen Boyd

SOME POLITICAL and social commentators have begun to bemoan the continual stream of bad economic news. However for the working class and the middle class in Ireland and around the world the impact of the bad economic reality is unavoidable.

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Socialism – the alternative to the failed market

By Kevin McLoughlin

SOCIALIST POLICIES are needed to solve the economic crisis and its devastating effects on the living standards and lives of ordinary people.

Socialist policies are relevant to the key problems facing people today, the draconian pay cuts, the housing crisis and looming mortgage crisis, the vicious cutbacks in health and education, and crucially the emergence of mass unemployment.

The tax hikes in the budget represent a universal pay cut and are part of an overall desire of the government and bosses to slash general wage levels by up to 20%. They are intent on imposing a race to the bottom. The Quick Service Food Alliance, which is made up of the main fast (bad) food outlets, are attacking some of the lowest paid workers, demanding that they give up payments for Sunday working etc. The minimum wage is also being attacked and undercut by bosses.

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