by Ken Ferguson • This 500th edition of the Scottish Socialist Voice marks a major landmark both for the paper and the pro-independence socialist politics it stands for.
It is a happy coincidence—one comrade suggested that it was Marxist magic—that we mark this milestone in the same week as the 100th anniversary of the epoch making October revolution which we cover elsewhere in this Voice.
Of course October was one of the most significant events of the bloodstained revolutionary 20th century with echoes still resounding in the current period.
The official narrative is that the revolutionary era ushered in in 1917 ended with the collapse of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin wall and that we all now live in free market democracies where consumer choice and prosperity is the order of the day.
However it was this complacent pro-capitalist fairy tale—first sold by Thatcher, then endorsed by Blair’s New Labour—which the Voice has opposed, campaigned against and exposed over its 500 issues.
From the ghastly toll of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and so many others which sparked the mass misery of the refugee crisis to the brutal reality of insecure work, zero hours contracts, privatisation and a chronic housing crisis, we have posed a clear socialist alternative.
However despite the spectacular crash of 2008 which cruelly exposed the reality behind the boasts about an end to boom and bust the mainstream parties still to a greater or lesser degree accept that neoliberal capitalism is the “only game in town.”
In the case of the fractious Tories this is complicated by the split between the full blooded market solution favoured by—under cover of contrived bumbling by Johnston, Rees Mogg and those like Hammond and Ruth Davidson clinging to a big capital friendly EU.
Welcome as the leftward shift of Corbyn Labour is their proposal still endorse big scale cuts in spending, commit their party to Trident and remain wedded to the politics of Better Together in opposition to independence.
However it is the SNP which currently faces the most difficulty as on the one hand they embrace globalised capital—as confirmed earlier this year by First Minister Sturgeon on her US tour—and floating policies such as a public bidder for railways and a publicly owned energy company as a progressive challenge to rampant free market capital.
Sadly these policies in reality fit into a category widely utilised across Europe known as “symbol politics” aimed at creating the impression that action is being taken but in reality falling far short of what in needed.
This approach was cruelly exposed in the June election with the fine sounding but ultimately meaningless stronger for Scotland slogan.
Throughout its 500 issues, the Voice has stood firmly on the reality that Scotland, like the wider world, is a country divided essentially on class lines with its vast wealth in the hands of a small minority not the majority whose work creates that wealth.
For us this is a truth which cannot be ducked or papered over with slogans about the national interest and so forth.
Indeed it was the belief that the radical socialist change needed to open the way to a people and plant before profit society is best advanced by independence that underpins our support for an independent socialist Scotland.
Like the SSP, the Voice stands on the slogan of independence, internationalism and socialism as the essentials for winning a new Scotland meeting the needs of the majority not feeding the to profit gluttony of the few.
If you agree with that aim, we invite you become a regular reader—subscribe today.