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Socialist Standard October 2011

Socialist Standard October 2011

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Published by pfbcarlisle
Socialist Standard magazine October 2011 -
Editorial: Libya - job done?

FEATURES
Banking Reform: is it relevant?
A view on the crisis: Interview with Paul Mattick Jnr
Russia wasn’t socialist
What is Socialism?
Closing in on the real scroungers

REGULARS
50 Years ago, Meetings and Contacts
Pathfinders (Science and Politics)
Material World - Gold: a strange delusion
Halo Halo! - Politics, Poverty and Gods
Cooking the Books 1 Neither Keynes nor Hayek
Cooking the Books 2 How long will it last?
Tiny Tips - Links to news stories
50 Years Ago - Fair Play for Teachers
The Greasy Pole - Speaker of the House of Commons
Voice from the Back - News items of interest culled from around the globe.

Book Reviews -
Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism - by Keiran Allen
Stalin Ate My Homework - by Alexei Sayle
How to be Idle - by Tom Hodgkinson
Socialist Standard magazine October 2011 -
Editorial: Libya - job done?

FEATURES
Banking Reform: is it relevant?
A view on the crisis: Interview with Paul Mattick Jnr
Russia wasn’t socialist
What is Socialism?
Closing in on the real scroungers

REGULARS
50 Years ago, Meetings and Contacts
Pathfinders (Science and Politics)
Material World - Gold: a strange delusion
Halo Halo! - Politics, Poverty and Gods
Cooking the Books 1 Neither Keynes nor Hayek
Cooking the Books 2 How long will it last?
Tiny Tips - Links to news stories
50 Years Ago - Fair Play for Teachers
The Greasy Pole - Speaker of the House of Commons
Voice from the Back - News items of interest culled from around the globe.

Book Reviews -
Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism - by Keiran Allen
Stalin Ate My Homework - by Alexei Sayle
How to be Idle - by Tom Hodgkinson

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Published by: pfbcarlisle on Oct 03, 2011
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2
Socialist 
StandardOctober 2011
SUBSCRIPTION ORDERS
should be sent to the address above.
RATES:
One year subscription (normal rate)£15. One year subscription (low/unwaged) £10.Europe rate £20 (Air mail). Rest of world £25(Air mail). Voluntary supporters subscription£20 or more. Cheques payable to ‘The SocialistParty of Great Britain’.
OCTOBER
2011
2011
socialist
standard
contents
FEATURES
Banking Reform: is it relevant?
10
A view on the crisis: PaulMattick 
12
Russia wasn’t socialist
15
 What is Socialism?
16
 Web resources
18
REGULARS
Path
nders
4
Letters
5
Material World
6
Cooking the Books 1
7
Tiny Tips
8
Halo Halo!
8
Greasy Pole
9
Cooking the Books 2
19
Reviews
20
Proper Gander 
21
Meetings
22
Action Replay
23
50 Years Ago
23
Voice from the Back 
24
Free Lunch
24
The next meeting of the Executive Committeewill be on
Saturday 1 November 
at theaddress above. Correspondence should besent to the General Secretary. All articles,letters and notices should be sent to theEditorial Committee.
The Socialist Party
52 Clapham High Street,London SW4 7UN
Tel
: 0207 622 3811
Email
: spgb@worldsocialism.org
Website
: www.worldsocialism.org/spgb
Blog
: http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/
UK BRANCHES & CONTACTS
ONDON
Central London branch
. 2nd Wednesday 6.30pm. Travelodge café/bar, 7-15 City Road, EC1 (nearest Tube and rail stationsOld Street and Moorgate).
En
eld and Haringey branch
. 8pm. AngelCommunity Centre, Raynham Rd, NI8.Corres: 17 Dorset Road, N22 7SL.Email:julianvein@blueyonder.co.uk
South London branch
. 1st Tues. 7.00pm.Head Of 
ce. 52 Clapham High St, SW47UN. Tel: 020 7622 3811
West London branch
. 1st & 3rd Tues.8pm,Chiswick Town Hall, Heath
eld Terrace(Corner Sutton Court Rd), W4.Corres: 51 Gayford Road, London W12 9BY
M
IDLANDS
West Midlands Regional branch
. Meetslast Sunday of the month in the Briar Rosepub, 25 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5RE. Tel: Tony Gluck 01242 235615.Email: tonygluck111@btinternet.com
N
ORTHEAST
Northeast branch
. Contact: Brian Barry,86 Edgmond Ct, Ryhope, Sunderland SR20DY. Tel: 0191 521 0690.Email: davejewell@bushinternet.com
N
ORTHWEST
Lancaster branch
. Meets every Monday 8.30pm. P. Shannon, 10 Green Street,Lancaster LA1 1DZ. Tel: 01524 382380
Manchester branch
. Paul Bennett, 6Burleigh Mews, Hardy Lane, M21 7LB. Tel: 0161 860 7189
Bolton
. Tel: H. McLaughlin.01204 844589
Cumbria
. Brendan Cummings, 19 QueenSt, Millom, Cumbria LA18 4BG
Carlisle
: Robert Whit
eld.Email: rewcbr13@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 07906 373975
Rochdale
. Tel: R. Chadwick.01706 522365
Southeast Manchester
. Enquiries: BlanchePreston, 68 Fountains Road, M32 9PH
Y
ORKSHIRE
Skipton
. R Cooper, 1 Caxton Garth, Thresh
eld, Skipton BD23 5EZ. Tel: 01756 752621
Todmorden
: Keith Scholey, 1 Leeview Ct,Windsor Rd, OL14 5LJ. Tel: 01706 814 149
S
OUTH
/
SOUTHEAST
/
SOUTHWEST
South West Regional branch.
Meets every two months on a Saturday afternoon inSalisbury.Shane Roberts, 86 High Street,Bristol BS5 6DN. Tel: 0117 9511199
Canterbury
. Rob Cox, 4 Stanhope Road,Deal, Kent, CT14 6AB
Luton
. Nick White, 59 Heywood Drive, LU27LP
Redruth
. Harry Sowden, 5 Clarence Villas,Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 1PB. Tel: 01209 219293
E
AST
A
NGLIA
East Anglian Regional branch.
Meetsevery two months on a Saturday afternoon(see meetings page for details).Pat Deutz, 11 The Links, Billericay, CM120EX. n.deutz@btinternet.comDavid Porter, Eastholme, Bush Drive,Eccles-on-Sea, NR12 0SF. Tel: 01692 582533.Richard Headicar, 42 Woodcote, Firs Rd,Hethersett, NR9 3JD. Tel: 01603 814343.
Cambridge
. Andrew Westley, 10 Marksby Close, Duxford, Cambridge CB2 4RS. Tel: 07890343044
I
RELAND
Cork
: Kevin Cronin, 5 Curragh Woods,Frank
eld, Cork. Tel: 021 4896427. Email:mariekev@eircom.net
Newtownabbey
: Nigel McCullough. Tel: 028 90852062.
S
COTLAND
Edinburgh branch
.1st Thur. 8-9pm. The Quaker Hall, Victoria Terrace (aboveVictoria Street), Edinburgh. J. Moir. Tel: 0131 440 0995. JIMMY@jmoir29.freeserve.co.uk Branchwebsite:http://geocities.com/edinburghbranch/
Glasgow branch
. 3rd Wednesday of eachmonth at 8pm in Community CentralHalls, 304 Maryhill Road, Glasgow. RichardDonnelly, 112 Napiershall Street, GlasgowG20 6HT. Tel: 0141 5794109.Email: richard.donnelly1@ntlworld.com
Dundee
. Ian Ratcliffe, 16 Birkhall Ave,Wormit, Newport-on-Tay, DD6 8PX. Tel: 01328 541643
West Lothian
. 2nd and 4th Weds inmonth, 7.30-9.30. Lanthorn Community Centre, Kennilworth Rise, Dedridge,Livingston. Corres: Matt Culbert, 53 FalconBrae, Ladywell, Livingston, West Lothian,EH5 6UW. Tel: 01506 462359Email: matt@wsmweb.fsnet.co.uk
W
ALES
Swansea branch
. 2nd Mon, 7.30pm,Unitarian Church, High Street. Corres:Geoffrey Williams, 19 Baptist Well Street,Waun Wen, Swansea SA1 6FB. Tel: 01792 643624
Cardiff and District
. Group meets 3pmlast Sat of month Cardiff Arts Centre, 29Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BA. Corres: B. Johnson, 1 Pleasant View, Beddau, CF382DT.
INTERNATIONAL CONTACTSLatin America
. J.M. Morel, Calle 7 edif 45apto 102, Multis nuevo La loteria,La Vega, Rep. Dominicana.
A
FRICA
Kenya
. Patrick Ndege, PO Box 78105,Nairobi.
Swaziland
. Mandla Ntshakala, PO Box 981,Manzini.
Zambia.
Kephas Mulenga, PO Box 280168,Kitwe.
A
SIA
India
. World Socialist Group, VillGobardhanpur. PO Amral, Dist. Bankura,722122
Japan
. Michael. Email:worldsocialismjapan@hotmail.com.
E
UROPE
Denmark
. Graham Taylor, Kjaerslund 9,
oor 2 (middle), DK-8260 Viby J
Germany
. Norbert.E-mail: weltsozialismus@gmx.net
Norway
. Robert Stafford.Email: hallblithe@yahoo.com
Italy.
Gian Maria Freddi, Casella Postale n.28., c/o Ag. PT VR 17, 37131 Verona
Spain
. Alberto Gordillo, Avenida del Parque2/2/3 Puerta A, 13200 Manzanares.
COMPANION PARTIES OVERSEASWorld Socialist Party of Australia.
P. O. Box 1266 North Richmond3121, Victoria, Australia.. Email:commonownership@yahoo.com.au
Socialist Party of Canada/Parti Socialistedu Canada
. Box 4280, Victoria B.C. V8X3X8 Canada.Email:SPC@iname.com
World Socialist Party (New Zealand)
P.O.Box 1929, Auckland, NI, New Zealand.
World Socialist Party of the UnitedStates
P.O. Box 440247, Boston, MA02144 USA.Email: boston@wspus.org
Contact Details
 
3
 Socialist 
StandardOctober 2011
THE ‘ARAB Spring’
owered in Libya in February of this year.A series of protests against living conditions, then against thegovernment, quickly escalated into a civil war aimed at remov-ing the dictator Muammar Gadda
. On 19 March, the Britishgovernment, with its American and French partners, launched abombing campaign, ostensibly to ‘protect citizens’ from Gadd-a
’s troops. Just six months later, on 15 September, the Frenchpresident, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the British prime minister, Dav-id Cameron, landed in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to declare, ineffect, ‘job done’.But what job is being done? If you’re gullible enough to be-lieve the rhetoric of politicians, then Western intervention inLibya was all about protecting citizens from dictators and help-ing revolutionaries establish democracy. But the real reason for Nato’s concern is quite obvious. The real reason is oil.You needn’t take socialists’ word for it. Mustafa Abdul Jalil,a former Gadda
henchman and now chairman of the Nation-al Transitional Council, was anxious to assure Cameron andSarkozy of the intentions of the new regime: “The supportiverole of France and Britain will have a future in
uence. Until nowwe have signed no [oil] contracts and we will honour all previouscontracts. But our friends will have a premier role according totheir efforts in supporting Libya,” he said (
Financial Times
, 15September).Indeed, it’s so blindingly obvious that the Western interven-tion in Libya was about oil that it is instructive to watch commen-tators who are obliged, for ideological reasons, to deny it.George Friedman of Stratfor.com, for example, in one of hisregular email reports (30 August), said that he “sympathised”with those who thought the war must be about oil and tried to
nd “a deep conspiracy” to explain it. But Friedman dismissesthe “theory” for the simple reason that Gadda
“loved sellingoil”, that he would simply change the arrangements about oil if pressure was brought to bear because he “was as cynical asthey come”, and it was therefore “not necessary to actually goto war to get whatever concessions were wanted”. Friedmanthen concludes that the of 
cial explanation is therefore “the onlyrational one”.It’s a daft argument. Friedman is dismissing a silly theory noone believes in – that there was a “deep conspiracy” to starta war to steal Gadda
’s oil – in order to discredit and dismissa different theory which is obviously true, but socialist, andhence to be suppressed – the theory, namely, that all capitalisteconomies have a vital strategic interest in guaranteeing their supplies of raw materials, most crucially oil, and that thereforethose countries’ states pursue foreign policies with such inter-ests in mind. Formerly, that meant installing and arming the dic-tatorships the Arab Spring rose up to overthrow. Since the ArabSpring, it has meant scrambling to come up with some other way of installing or supporting regimes that will be subservientto Western capitalist interests.And it is in this sense that, for now at any rate, the Nato in-tervention seems to be going so well. For a relatively low cost,and with relatively few Western casualties, Britain, France andAmerica looks like it has got rid of a tyrant they had struggledto control for decades, staged a brilliant PR exercise supportinga democratic revolution in the Middle East, and are about tohelp install a regime friendly to its vital strategic oil interests in acountry with the largest oil reserves in Africa. Job done indeed.The Socialist Party is like no other politicalparty in Britain. It is made up of people whohave joined together because we want toget rid of the pro
t system and establishreal socialism. Our aim is to persuadeothers to become socialist and act for themselves, organising democraticallyand without leaders, to bring about thekind of society that we are advocatingin this journal. We are solely concernedwith building a movement of socialists for socialism. We are not a reformist partywith a programme of policies to patch upcapitalism.We use every possible opportunityto make new socialists. We publishpamphlets and books, as well as CDs,DVDs and various other informativematerial. We also give talks and takepart in debates; attend rallies, meetingsand demos; run educational conferences;host internet discussion forums, make
lms presenting our ideas, and contestelections when practical. Socialistliterature is available in Arabic, Bengali,Dutch, Esperanto, French, German,Italian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish andTurkish as well as English.The more of you who join the SocialistParty the more we will be able to get our ideas across, the more experiences wewill be able to draw on and greater will bethe new ideas for building the movementwhich you will be able to bring us.The Socialist Party is an organisation of equals. There is no leader and there areno followers. So, if you are going to joinwe want you to be sure that you agreefully with what we stand for and that weare satis
ed that you understand thecase for socialism.
If you would like more details aboutThe Socialist Party, complete andreturn the form on page 23.
Libya: job done?
Editorial
socialiststandard
OCTOBER
2011
2011
Introducing
The Socialist Party

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