TOWARDS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FREEDOM
By NICK GRIFFIN
THE NATIONAL FRONT embarked on a programme of ideological development at its 1980 AGM. One of the first results has been the realisation that the present Capitalist ownership structure of British industry and land is wrong. It is morally, socially and economically disastrous for the nation as a whole.
This theme has been developed in a number of important articles in Nationalism Today and New Nation: 'Industrial Ownership and Racial Nationalism' by Joe Pearce; 'The Salvation of Capitalism is NOT an NF Objective' by Martin Webster; 'We are Not Marxists, We are Not Capitalists' by Andrew Brons, and 'Land for the People' by Derek Holland.
Capitalism is the name given to the system where a tiny minority of the population owns most of the means of production ― land, factories, machinery and offices ― while the majority own at most a heavily mortgaged house and have nothing to sell except their own labour. This leaves them in a position of servile dependence on the masters and the State.
The articles already referred to add up to a complete condemnation of this system. It makes intelligent people nothing more than cogs in a machine. It leads to the accumulation of enormous wealth and power in the hands of private sectional interests, thus undermining the sovereignty of the government. It has resulted in our industry and natural resources being exploited by foreigners. It has reduced our nation to a mere outpost of Wall Street Coca Cola imperialism.
The National Front's alternative to this horror has also been developed. Three types of industrial organisation are seen as vital to the Racial Nationalist economy:
Nationalisation in parts of the economy which cannot be sub-divided and which are too important to leave in the hands of sectional interests. These will include the banks; heavy industry, such as steel; much of the transport system; and other enterprises of vital social and strategic importance.
Our main aim, however, is to spread private control as widely as possible, so producers' co-operatives will become the norm for smaller factories. Unwieldy giants such as the motor industry will be broken up to allow this sort of ownership and to encourage a return to variety and craftsmanship.
The third major way of organising production is in the hands of individual and family businesses.
Nationalisation is purely a matter of political will. Strong arguments for state ownership of the banking system were put in 'Spotlight on Policy' (NT issue 8). Contrary to the Tory myth, nationalised concerns can be highly profitable. The "inefficiency" of British Rail and the nationalised steel industry is due to crippling debt burdens, subsidised lorry transport and world overproduction. It is NOT the inevitable result of nationalisation. The advantages of producers' co-ops were dealt within the last N.T. They are productive, profitable and put an end to the division between management and labour which leads to strikes and other unrest. It is hoped that the excellent film on the Basque co-ops in Mondragon, which showed how well this can work, will be shown at more NF training seminars.
The question of small businessmen and the self-employed has not been given so much attention. Indeed some people, including those who should know better, have taken our attacks on Capitalism to mean that we are hostile to this kind of private enterprise. This is politically illiterate drivel. In fact, one of the main reasons for our opposition to Capitalism is that its take-overs and monopolies are just as deadly to the independent worker/owner as is Communism.
The self-employed are in control of their own destiny. This gives them a great deal of freedom, as well as responsibility. It is well known that people will always work hardest for themselves, so these sturdy individuals are major creators of real wealth ― goods and services ― and are vital to the future Social Nationalist economy.
Hundreds of thousands of people are self-employed today. Builders, mechanics and small shop-keepers are among the most common. But they face many problems and will need a great deal of encouragement if this form of enterprise is to prosper.
At present the self-employed face many obstacles. They are disliked by the Civil Service. This is partly because they are much harder to tax. It also reflects the collectivist mentality of State bureaucrats who object to untidy and old fashioned ideas such as freedom and self-reliance.
While giant Capitalist concerns can run tax-loss fiddles and pay nominal amounts, the self-employed have to pay higher rates of tax. But if they fall on hard times, they are not allowed to collect unemployment benefit.
The Banks are reluctant to help them because they frequently have few assets except their own skill and ability.
Most damaging of all is the fact that such a wide range of jobs are involved that the self-employed are not able to form a united pressure group to stand up for their interests.
In order to overcome these problems, the National Front must develop a comprehensive programme to help independent shopkeepers, owners of small family farms and other small businessmen. Monopolies in industry, commerce and land must be broken up. Legislation and punitive taxation must then be used to prevent their re-emergence. We must give preferential treatment to people who work for themselves.
To encourage more people to take this step to productive independence, the interest-free loans made possible by the NF's financial revolution must go primarily to such individuals.
Land owned by foreigners, Capitalist institutions and other absentee landlords must be made available to young couples who want to leave the dole queues or dead-end factory jobs. Well prepared government training schemes will also be vital to the success of this initiative.
The traditional private corner-shop has almost disappeared due to competition from the vulgar giant supermarkets of our materialistic age. This trend must be reversed by the socialisation of large stores. They should be broken up, with a lease for each section of the shop passing to an individual ― preferably the person who at present works on the same counter. The only real change would be that the profits would go to thousands of Britons, not the likes of the Sainburys and the Sieffs.
Small-scale manufacturing must also be encouraged. Modern machinery makes it possible to run mass production factories with very few human workers. This could free people to pay more attention to the quality of the goods they produce and lead to a restoration of the values of craftsmanship and durability.
We must examine the possibility of recreating a modern form of the old craft guilds, which worked to protect both craftsmen and consumers.
Today's self-employed are a hard-pressed minority. But they will form the foundations of an important part of the social and economic life of the Racial Nationalist state.
Under fully developed monopolistic Capitalism, just as under its Communist/State Capitalist mirror-image, the self-employed would be wiped out.
Under the National Front, on the other hand, individuals who own and work in their own businesses will be a major feature of industrial, commercial and agricultural organisation ― a proud and free people, in a proud and free country!