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Essays




The Outstanding Day by Saranekha Saravanan - [839 words]
My Night by Saranekha Saravanan - [708 words]
A Lovely Adventure by Saranekha Saravanan - [1,159 words]
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The Science Of Being Alone by Andrew Parker - [158 words]
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Letter To The Editor - Keep Our Kids Safe! Inoculate! by Khuu This letter explores the dangers of not vaccinating your ... [381 words]
Staring Out The Window by Addison C Schindler an essay about our world and the things that blind us from reality [864 words]
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The Illusion Of Self by Rube My philosophy of the self [367 words]
She Likes Trains: Steel Train by Shelley Alongi Always fascinated with steel no matter how it makes you feel. [2,904 words]
Parliament? - It's History!
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She Likes Trains: Lancaster Nightcap by Shelley Alongi Oh, there's so much I left out. and, no one ever experienced railroad radi... [2,316 words]
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The Poisonous Dart Frog, Politics And History by Colin Baker - [2,477 words]
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A Fool At Fifty Three by Kennedy O Obohwemu A faulty federal system from the beginning... [1,020 words]
She Likes Trains: Riding The Slow And Poky by Shelley Alongi Nail biting, hands in the right place, cats, bells, pictures, and th... [7,178 words]
She Likes Trains: Redoxx Engineer by Shelley Alongi Kismet. Wonder what number he is? [3,367 words]
Review. Abdi Tauhid. Islam Is Left-Wing In Fact by Alexander Gachikus This article confirms our conclusion that early Islam, like Mar... [2,142 words]
She Likes Trains: North Stories by Shelley Alongi Shy? Who me? New characters and always a quest to meet more. [1,683 words]
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How It Feels To Be Vegetarian Me by Tori M Modeled after "How It Feels To Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston [1,716 words]
Bill Gates Should Take A Tip From Karl And Fred by Colin Baker Bill Gates recently criticised capitalism. Hooray! one might be... [872 words]
Britain's Festival Of The Juggernaut. by Colin Baker Capitalist Britain and the Hindu tradition of Vishnu's incarnation have m... [1,277 words]
She Likes Trains: Indomitable Train by Shelley Alongi 8705. Distractions. Indomitable train. A promise to an engineer. [2,014 words]
In 1968 - From A Letter To A Friend by Charles Turner I had arrived in New York in the same year that Robert Kennedy and Martin L... [799 words]
The Review. Muhammad Shiddiq Al Jawi. The Concept Of Civil Society In Islamic Perspective by Alexander Gachikus “The answer which Isl... [3,679 words]
What Is Proletariat? by Alexander Gachikus The questions of Islamism, of what is proletariat today and what forms and methods of the ... [4,236 words]
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She Likes Trains: Magic Train by Shelley Alongi Diverging clear. full circle. Rr cheater. Excitement, adventure, and the Magic tr... [2,155 words]
An Old Neighborhood by Lisa Diaz-Meyer Written in 1982. I won an award for this in an Essay/Poetry Press contest. I invite all to... [120 words]
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Can Marriage Really Be Defined? by Nicholas Okumu Marriage may need to be re-defined [338 words]
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She Likes Trains: Slow Order Freights by Shelley Alongi Protests, flange bite, all this between freights. [2,815 words]
She Likes Trains: Engineer Birthday Wishes by Shelley Alongi Another birthday at th efullerton station. what fun! [3,275 words]
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She Likes Trains: Engineer Numbers by Shelley Alongi All my engineers. All my numbers. [2,347 words]
She Likes Trains: Railroad Groupy by Shelley Alongi four engineers, one conductor, a couple of people I know. The Fullerton engin... [2,889 words]
The Recipe by Ryan Landry This is a short essay that describes some of the qualities that are needed in order to be a successf... [731 words]
She Likes Trains: Convincing The Engineer by Shelley Alongi I meet them all along my railroad journey and they're all important. [2,933 words]
She Likes Trains: A Hundred Engineers by Shelley Alongi Sadness, engineer laughter, new information, new names, stories, and it's... [3,675 words]
Drawing Upon Examples Of Depository And Non-Depository Institutions, Explain The Process Of Financial Intermediation And Its Importance In The Provision Of Liquidity In The Financial System by Abhijeet Singh Drawing upon examples of depository and non-depository institutions, explain the process of financial intermediation and its importance in the provision of liquidity in the financial system Every economy and financial market has its own shortcomings in regards to employment of funds. The prosperity and equilibrium of a financial market is determined by the allocation of surplus. In a huge market, most participants are unaware of others, and therefore it is crucial to have an intermediary system that will reallocate funds from the surplus areas to the places where funds are actually in demand. This gives mobility and liquidity to financial markets. Among all other participants, the role of financial intermediaries is played by the depository and non depository institutions. While the depository institutions borrow money for the surplus possessing individuals and businesses to lend money to others in need, non depository institutions don’t take direct borrowings but use other methods to gather funds and lend them to borrowers. The function of both kinds of the institu... [1,916 words]
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She Likes Trains: Slow Engineer by Shelley Alongi The man from the orange trains, love calls, waking the sleeping engineer, locom... [4,025 words]
She Likes Trains Railroad Journeys by Shelley Alongi How we got here, where are we going, all my journeys, and teasing, but this ... [4,107 words]
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Forgotten Names Of Comintern by Alexander Gachikus - [5,006 words]
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Baptism Testimony by Desi Williams - [901 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
Parliament? - It's History!
DESCRIPTION
The role of Parliament as an institution here in the UK must now radically change.
[1,398 words]
AUTHOR
Colin Baker
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[October 2014]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
clnbkr@tiscali.co.uk
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (117)
25 Years On (Poetry) - [85 words]
2 Am (Poetry) - [115 words]
A Bus Commuter's Sonnet (Poetry) - [107 words]
A Choreographed Breakfast (Poetry) - [68 words]
A Dreamer's Song (Aka Wishful Thinking) (Poetry) - [85 words]
A Fibber's Prayer (Poetry) A short poem about making good some porkies. [291 words] [Humor]
A First Class Service (Poetry) - [15 words]
A Lost Generation ? (Poetry) - [52 words]
A Pious Gent (Poetry) - [11 words]
A Restraining Order For Jesus (Poetry) - [258 words]
A Smoker's Pledge Of Allegiance (Poetry) - [98 words]
A To Z Of Adolescence (Poetry) Ever been a parent ? Of three daughters ? [21 words]
A Visit To The Planetarium (Poetry) - [31 words]
Africans, Westerners And Intelligence. (Essays) A reply to Dr. James D. Watson's recent assertion that Africans are of inferior intelligence when compared to Westerners. [7,297 words]
An Apple A Day (Poetry) Fun poetry. [36 words]
Believe In Better (Short Stories) A philosophical alternative to the current mindset. [804 words]
Beneath Her Window (Poetry) - [34 words]
Benefit Cutting For Dummies (Non-Fiction) Benefit cutting is politically and ideologically motivated. [2,411 words]
Bill Gates Should Take A Tip From Karl And Fred (Essays) Bill Gates recently criticised capitalism. Hooray! one might be minded to cry out! But all is not as straight forward as it seems. [872 words] [Drama]
Bill The Bus Driver (Poetry) - [61 words]
Blackvein (Poetry) - [103 words]
Britain's Festival Of The Juggernaut. (Essays) Capitalist Britain and the Hindu tradition of Vishnu's incarnation have much in common. [1,277 words]
By Night When Others Soundly Slept (I'd Pinch Lots Of Stuff) (Poetry) - [114 words]
Christmas Conundrum (Poetry) Christmas can be a confusing time for some children. [197 words]
Coming To Terms (Poetry) Extolling the virtues of the human brain. [177 words]
Contradictory Deliverance (Poetry) - [37 words]
Cost-Effective Indifference (Poetry) - [29 words]
Cough & Drop (Poetry) - [114 words]
Debt (Poetry) Debt, Emily Dickinson style. [178 words]
' Doc ' (Poetry) A very brief reflection of the continued erosion of free health provision in contemporary Britain. [80 words]
Douglas R.I.P. (Poetry) - [270 words]
Ends And Means (Non-Fiction) The world we currently live in is a topsy turvy place. [215 words] [History]
Evening Class For A Grownup (Poetry) - [58 words]
Favour (Poetry) - [21 words]
Fruit And Vegetable Shortages (Non-Fiction) A spurious argument [269 words]
Get On Board, Iraqi Children (Poetry) Allah's train keeps a-comin' for thousands of Iraqi children. [181 words]
Good News Is No News (Short Stories) Good news isn't always what it seems. [470 words] [Literary Fiction]
Growing Up (2006) (Poetry) - [28 words]
Hey John! How Are Things My Friend? (Poetry) - [134 words]
Hit The Sack (Poetry) - [299 words]
If I Die (Poetry) Inspired by a conversation one evening at bedtime between my 6 year old daughter and I. Suddenly, she wanted to explore the concept of dying. [129 words]
Imperialism Dear Boy, Imperialism (Poetry) Limerick on the theme of the current Gulf conflict. [27 words]
In A Seaside Street (Poetry) - [167 words]
In The Top Right-Hand Corner (Poetry) - [21 words]
In The Union Of Myanmar (Poetry) - [38 words]
It's Like Hurricane Ike... (Poetry) - [112 words]
Kidney Stones (Poetry) - [13 words]
Killing At Camp - Justice? (Poetry) - [55 words]
Labour Pains (Poetry) - [93 words]
Last Wednesday: Peterchurch, Herefordshire. (Poetry) - [31 words]
Little Donkey - Revised (Poetry) A poem for christmas [16 words] [Humor]
Lovers Walking In A Lane In Summer (Poetry) - [126 words]
Margaret Thatcher's Funeral (Non-Fiction) - [270 words]
Meop Citsigoloen A (Poetry) - [28 words]
Milton! Art Thou Dying (Again)? (Poetry) Is Milton Friedman's free-market mantra now in tatters? [28 words]
Monday Morning (Poetry) - [59 words]
Moral Instruction (Poetry) - [107 words]
My Child X 3 (Poetry) - [23 words]
Newport - Stow Hill (Poetry) - [4 words]
Norman's Unemployment Policy - Britain, Summer 1981 (Poetry) - [158 words]
Oh Jesus! (Poetry) - [18 words]
Oh La La ! (Poetry) - [118 words]
On The Beach! (Poetry) - [48 words]
Over My Dead Body (Poetry) - [52 words]
Pardon Me But................... (Poetry) - [11 words]
Partnership (Poetry) - [30 words]
Playing Pétanque (Poetry) - [141 words]
Pleasure Island (Poetry) - [114 words]
Poem Of The Cross (Poetry) - [32 words]
Poetry - No Doubt (Poetry) - [8 words]
Potential Human (Poetry) - [33 words]
Pregnancy And Politics (Non-Fiction) An argument against capitalism [1,096 words]
Prophecy (Poetry) - [28 words]
Psalm 17-30 (The Rush-Hour Psalm) (Poetry) - [261 words]
Psalm 23 (New Labour's Psalm) (Poetry) - [108 words]
Psalm 23 (The Mcjob Psalm) (Poetry) McJobs abound in capitalist society.... [122 words]
Rain Heading In From The West (Poetry) A poem written to mark the many innocent deaths brought about by Western political aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. [243 words]
Raining Cats And Dogs (Poetry) Do you believe in metaphors coming true ? [187 words]
Reflections On God's Actions (Poetry) - [62 words]
Remembering (Poetry) - [144 words]
Saturday Night Dilemma (Poetry) Saturday nights out are not what they used to be. [92 words]
Saviour Self (Poetry) - [86 words]
School (Poetry) - [107 words]
Screwball Scramble (Essays) There is a good reason for the phenomenon of frenzied shopping in the Western world. [2,381 words]
September 03, 2007 (Poetry) To mark a particular President's recent visit to Iraq [18 words]
Social Inequality Is Not One-Sided (Non-Fiction) - [1,035 words]
Society, The Family And A Thatcher. (Essays) When UK conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asserted in 1987 that 'there is no such thing as society', she overlooked all that it is to be human. [5,380 words]
Something For Nothing (Short Stories) The irony of political correctness [90 words]
Sometimes (Poetry) Sometimes, contemporary work roles seem to necessitate wishful thinking in a person. [69 words]
Spitting (At) Images (Poetry) - [28 words]
Take O Take Those Chips Away (Poetry) - [44 words]
Taking Leave (And All That) (Poetry) - [36 words]
The B B C (Poetry) - [12 words]
The Chair (Poetry) - [235 words]
The Chinese Medicine Shop (Poetry) - [43 words]
The Lords (Poetry) - [28 words]
The Poisonous Dart Frog, Politics And History (Essays) - [2,477 words]
The Religious Sum Of The Iraq War (Poetry) - [14 words]
The Retrospective Chicken (Poetry) Introspective journey of a chicken. [255 words]
The Sack Race (Poetry) A short poem, written to mark the occasion of my youngest daughter's recent triumphs in her school sack race. [207 words]
The State (Poetry) - [22 words]
The Sum Of Amon Goeth's Execution (Poetry) - [14 words]
The Valleys (Poetry) - [68 words]
The Western Alpha Bit (Poetry) Topic of Iraq [182 words]
Thoughts On The Evolutionary School Of Life (Poetry) - [177 words]
Thoughts On Youth Crime (Poetry) - [16 words]
Topsy Turvy (Poetry) - [33 words]
Up! (Poetry) - [64 words]
Up-Hill (Till M4 Junction 3, Then Head South) (Poetry) - [138 words]
We'd Sit And Sing Alway (Then Came A Barratt Team) (Poetry) Greenbelt, in certain parts of 21st century Britain, is a dwindling phenomenon. [71 words]
We'll Go No More A-Dogging (Poetry) - [70 words]
What Do We Want? Concrete Fairness! When Do We Want It? Now! (Essays) Live Aid and Live 8 failed because they made metaphysical appeals to fairness and justice. [4,232 words]
While God........... (Poetry) - [15 words]
Why And How We Spoke God Into Existence (Poetry) Have you ever wondered how God came to be? [234 words]
Why Bother At All? (Non-Fiction) Why bother struggling to save a decaying economic system like capitalism? [483 words]
Withdrawn Loners And Sparkling Drops (Non-Fiction) The recent shooting at Sandy Hook school in Connecticut USA is tragic beyond question, yet also revealing in some ways. [856 words] [Crime]
Yesterday (Poetry) (Inspired by one of Brittany's recent tree-climbing experiences, she being our youngest daughter) [177 words]
Parliament? - It's History!
Colin Baker



Ever since its birth from the baronial Great Council during the reign of Henry III, England's Parliament has assumed numerous historical forms. Nowadays, it is a legislative and executive political power-house at the heart of the British state. As Karl Marx convincingly argued through his metaphor of basis and superstructure, all institutions, organisations and the like are at root, a reflection of the dominant socio-economic relations pertaining in one or other society and at a definite stage in human history. Moreover, such institutions and organisations do not simply reflect this said material basis in some kind of benign, passive manner as an object might when placed before a mirror. On the contrary, they react back on the very circumstances giving rise to them as they daily function to consolidate, justify, defend and develop the dominant way of life of which they are a reflection. "Just as people could not carry on production without entering into definite relations of production, so those relations of production could not be maintained and consolidated without the appropriate views and institutions." The effect itself, becomes a cause.


In Britain then, this means that Parliament, just like other dominant institutions in the fields of politics, law, philosophy, religion, education etc, is a reflection of exploitative, capitalist property relations and in turn, exists precisely to defend, consolidate, justify and develop these minority class interests wherever and whenever it is able. It may masquerade (ie. be described by apologists of the system) as some kind of neutral institution but this does not devalue the fact that in reality, it does exactly the opposite. To begin with, consider the way Parliament reflects such property relations. In the sphere of exchange under conditions of capitalism, everyone is regarded by one another as one's equal. Individuals/groups freely bring commodities to market to sell or else search the market for the commodities they desire. Everyone is a buyer or seller of things and at one and the same time, regarded as free and equal by everyone else. The aggregate result of this anarchic buying and selling culminates in ever-changing patterns, and in ever-changing allocations of social labour.


Similarly in politics then, Parliamentary elections currently involve millions of impersonal individuals turning up to vote in a relatively isolated and secretive manner, the culmination of which, determines the ultimate make-up of government. Just as in the sphere of economics then, governments are arrived at anarchically, and as a natural and spontaneous consequence of myriad individual decisions rather than through consciously formulated common will. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that individual freedom in such circumstances, amounts to little more than freedom to choose. Once a government is elected, all meaningful power is deferred to a tiny clique of politicians who purport to act on behalf of everyone. Because social evolution to-date has assumed a natural and spontaneous form, people simply take this kind of activity for granted.


Of course, Parliament not only reflects the dominant economic pattern but also serves it. As Paul Blackedge suggests; "Capitalist firms need capitalist states to [continually] provide a 'pro-business' context, and states need healthy firms as a source of tax revenue. This creates a relationship of 'structural interdependence' between states and capital." Thus, we must always pay the closest attention to what social institutions actually do, to what role they fulfill in practice. In terms of Parliament itself, this means judging it for what it actually does rather than for what MPs tell us it does. Let us briefly consider Parliament's recent activity in the midst of the worst UK recession since the 1930s. Among other things, it has been busy throwing bucket loads of money at a rich, capitalist minority while simultaneously capping, or else removing all together, state benefits from the unemployed, disabled, vulnerable, poor and impoverished majority. It has been busy introducing tax breaks for the rich and a bedroom tax for the poor and low-paid. It is trying to reduce the present low-level of the minimum wage. It is refusing to close all significant tax avoidance schemes used by businesses. It is overseeing the greatest level of youth unemployment yet experienced in Britain and much more besides. In short, it is busy redistributing wealth from an exploited, often poor, low-paid, and now politically disinterested majority, to a tiny and often obscenely rich, exploitative minority.


Moreover, seeking to reform this kind of almighty, class-driven political institution while simultaneously leaving the essential character of the exploitative social relations it reflects untouched, is a futile task. The disguised role of Parliament is to protect and maintain capitalist property relations. While as an institution it has spewed out many reforms over the past few hundred years, none has even come close to denting its political omnipotence. At the turn of the 20th century, "Rosa Luxemburg...mercilessly ridiculed the idea that capitalism could be reformed out of existence, likening the prospect to chang[ing] the sea of capitalist bitterness into a sea of socialist sweetness by progressively pouring into it, bottles of social-reformist lemonade.” Luxemburg's arguments are as valid today as they ever were, especially now we are in the midst of a global banking meltdown and subsequent restructuring. Many people blamed bankers themselves for the 2008 crash, arguing that it occurred because of their reckless investment activities. More recently, the big six energy suppliers are being singled out as the source of misery for millions of people in the winter months. A few reforms may be conceded in an effort to shut people up, yet all this will achieve in reality is an all but meaningless redistribution of capital. Just like superficial, past parliamentary reforms, the fact that working people daily produce unpaid surplus value when put to work by exploitative capitalist employers is always ignored.


If weak, or even meaningless reforms are not an option, if the institution in question - Parliament - is both a reflection and a servant of the prevailing, exploitative socio-economic order, logic dictates that the only way to challenge, and one day do away with such a biased institution, is to set about transforming the material conditions of life upon which it depends. Theoretical criticisms must always be united with practical activity. Thanks to capitalism's success not least during the 19th century, production and distribution is now utterly social. However, the form of ownership and appropriation pertaining in any capitalist country is utterly private. It is this ever-intensifying contradiction between the social and the private which is now causing people to begin to think of institutions and organisations in a different, more critical light. Form then, must once again be brought back into line with function as it has been many times in the past. This is the method of progressive social evolution. Thus, corresponding human relations now need to be established along social lines and based on common ownership of society's means of production and distribution.


A blossoming of scientific consciousness is a prerequisite to such a practical, revolutionary task. If enough people become conscious of the historical role they are required to play, namely to supplant class-based, exploitative relationships based on the anarchic interaction of myriad egoistic individuals, they then have a real chance of establishing relationships based on the common ownership of their material means of production and distribution. As such a revolution in social relationships unfolds, existing institutions like Parliament will undoubtedly begin to qualitatively transform as they begin to reflect such monumental changes. Indeed, people will come to use already existing parliamentary networks to realise different ends, namely to begin to meet the actual material and cultural needs of a majority, and regardless of wealth. The kind of struggle I describe here was recently touched upon in a publication of Socialist Review which argued that in order to "…overcome…resistance from the state as well as capital requires…high levels of [political consciousness and] mass mobilisation capable of paralysing the economy and the actions of the state. To carry this through will require new and much more responsive democratic institutions to organise such mobilisations-workers' councils." Such challenges will be resisted at all levels by the tiny minority of privileged people who depend for their very existence upon such institutions as Parliament. Yet if class conflict exists, it is impossible to contract out of it. On the contrary, it must be fought to a finish if humankind is to further evolve.



{for a fully referenced version of this text please visit http://www.whats-left.org.uk/Parliament%20Is%20Dead!.html)

Colin Baker, November, 2013.


 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2013 Colin Baker
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
November 2013
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1381
 

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