(British Columbia Provincial General Election, 30 September 1963)
FREE! The best of everything you may want, need or desire . . .
on approximately two hours of work per day, or shall we say twelve per week? Or
whatever short working day you and the rest of society decide upon – on the basis of
“From Each According to Ability, to Each According to individual needs”. A wageless,
moneyless, warless world of abundance and harmony. This state of affairs has not only
been necessary, but has been practical and possible for quite a long time.
This is the way of life THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA offers the wage-working
voters in the current election campaign. But the decision remains with you and the
majority of ordinary people whether you choose to retain the present dreary world, or by
acquiring an understanding of it, learn of the alternative which must flow out of it.
Would you like to take a holiday for two years?
To any part of the earth you desire? With no expenses? With the best of everything? Or
would you like to travel in space? Or have more time to grow roses? Or are you a
pensioner who would like to visit your homeland? There are lots of travel facilities to get
you there. You have no money? Well, that’s the obstacle. There are so many things so
many people would like to do, but they haven’t got the money. Under capitalism
everything that is done must pay. The aeroplane that could take you to the “old country”
is quite capable of taking you there without any money entering the operation at all. But
not while capitalism is here. A profit must be made, directly or indirectly, or the airliner
never leaves the ground.
The same thing applies to the average of 10,000 men, women and children who die of
starvation in various parts of the earth every day. They have the brains, the hands and the
ambition to provide for themselves and the resources are there, but – it just doesn’t pay,
right now. A profit cannot be made from their labor, they cannot be used, so they waste
There is no physical barrier to a world almost as full of the good things of life and as free
as the air and water is now. The automated factories, farms, mills, and technical
knowledge around us are sufficient to provide a complete life of abundance, self-expression, security, social belonging or happiness for every human being on earth.
But they are not used for this purpose today, because they are privately owned by a
minority and used only for their profit.
The issue in this election
The issue for the ordinary people, the wage and salary earners, is not a mere change in
government. This has happened before. What is needed is a change in society. Not the
terms over which the B. C. Electric ought to be nationalized, nor whether Canada should
retain Confederation, nor high taxes, a balanced budget or high prices. These are
capitalist problems they want us to worry about. They help to act as a smokescreen to
keep our minds off our problems, their causes and how we are to solve them. These are
the issues that will be advanced by all the other parties.
The real issue at all times for the majority is whether they are to continue producing for a
small minority at the top or whether the people of the earth are to have the freedom to
provide for themselves.
Wage-workers will never have enough of the things they want and that are available so
long as they own only their energies or social skills and sell them on the market. The
purpose of wages is to see that the workers do not get what they produce, (except for
enough to keep them producing,) so that the employers may appropriate all the rest,
taking the form of rent, interest and profit. Generally, there are only two ways to live in
modern Society, by working for wages, or by living off those who do.
Wage-labor and capital naturally follow out of minority ownership in an industrial
economy. Monotonous labor and insecurity will be the lot of the many until they
establish common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and
distribution by society as a whole.
This is the issue for all those who exist for the convenience of employers, and it will not
be mentioned by any of the other parties in this campaign, if they can avoid it.
After the camouflage is cleared away, the other parties are offering nothing for
We offer a way to get something for something.
They want – your vote, and your labor for employers, who will keep everything you
produce, except enough to keep you producing, that is, capitalism and exploitation as
We want – your vote, for Socialism, where, instead of existing for the personal
convenience of an absentee and remote class of owners, you may provide for you and
yours, develop all your capabilities in co-operation with humanity in general.
Our so-called high standard of “Living” is an illusion. Almost everyone spoken to on this
subject either wishes he had more to consume, wishes he were a millionaire, or has ideas
of what he would like to do if he won the Irish sweepstakes.
Nine out of ten Canadians owe money. Eighteen per cent of all take-home pay is paid out
on debts. Less than one half of Canadians own a title deed to a home. Appeals for charity
to aid the destitute are more prevalent today than ever. Elderly workers, in their so-called
“golden years” exist in quiet desperation on a dole called a pension. The shelves of stores
are still loaded with goods after a weekend of “shopping”. Poverty and insecurity in the
midst of potential abundance are a constant companion to the vast majority every day of
their lives. This problem is either not mentioned by the authorities, looked upon in a
sympathetic manner with charity and political promises or it is compared to the
conditions in other parts of this exploitative world where wage and salary workers are
worse off than they are here. Then we are told to consider how fortunate we are.
The general destitution of unemployment is an extension of the poverty of employment.
When human energy is sold as a commodity, the economic law of supply and demand
interferes, as it does with other commodities. Sometimes the supply exceeds the demand
for labor-power from the market, and unemployment results. No one can buy unless he
sells. This applies to the worker and the capitalist. But to the worker his existence is
reduced to a commercial transaction and his individuality alienated.
Over a hundred years ago Charles Dickens sat in the Press Gallery of the British House
of Commons and complained about the unemployment prevailing then. It is still a
recurring problem, and will continue to co-exist with the employment problem, that is, the
private ownership of the means of production, where the many sell their skills to the few,
and in the process give up unpaid labor to expand their masters’ wealth and power to still
War – international competition
The surplus commodities that are piled up in the possession of employers must be
converted into cash in order to realize the profit. To sell goods abroad is essential to
every country. In attempting to overcome competition from other sellers, the various
governments threaten and bluff. But when the threats fail, they go to war. Wars are
fought for economic reasons, for markets, for sources of raw materials, for trade routes
and military bases. The workers of the world own little but their abilities to work. Wages
are won by one capitalist group over another according to the evidence available.
All other political parties supported the wars of the past, because they support various
capitalist interests. Only the Socialist Party of Canada and its companion parties in other
countries opposed war in wartime, because they identified themselves with the genuine
interests of the wage-working majority who have nothing to gain from the economic
competition that goes on between their rulers.
The technological advances and automation made necessary by competition for markets
has increased the amount of wealth the useful section of society can produce for the
owning section. Men like J. Paul Getty, who receives $11,000 per hour of unearned
income, do not need all of this tremendous wealth. And we the producers do not need the
control over and against society that men who belong to this class exercise by virtue of
These individuals are on permanent social welfare. They luxuriate on the welfare of
society. Santa Claus really exists for them. Every day is Christmas Day.
The average profit in Craigmont Copper last year, per employee was $35,666. In the Pulp
and Paper Industry in B. C. enough goods are produced in the first hour of work to pay all
the wages for one day’s operations. Depreciation and materials accounted for 3 hours
more. The rest is a gift to the owners of the plant, for which they pay nothing. There is
almost no limit on what could be produced, if it was produced for use. We think the poor
should stop supporting the rich. The able-bodied wealthy should be given the opportunity
to go out and live the natural life of providing for themselves, along with the rest of
Automation reduces the number of employees needed to produce a given amount of
commodities. Any increased production goes to the employers, while surplus workers
take a drastic cut in subsistence by being laid off. Conversely, when the means of
production is owned in common, any innovations will benefit all mankind, through
shorter working time for all or more goods for all.
The purpose of government
It matters very little to us whether the current government is honest or corrupt, whether
its political members “line their pockets” or not. The function of all governments is to
preside over this profits-poverty or legal looting process for the employing fraction of
society. It follows that the size of the sessional indemnities of MLA’s or MP’s has
nothing to do directly with the destitution of old age pensioners. They are poor because
their lives have been devoted to providing for the rich. If the state did serve all the
people, in this age of science and technology, the majority would not be so badly off. The
state functions as the executive – the humble servant of the fraction who own and rule,
that combination of all the businesses in the country which makes up the nation.
The only time that government will not be used to facilitate the game of exploitation is
when the majority sends Socialist delegates to the Legislatures. Then it will be used to
institute Socialism, which will replace the state and its force with democratic
administration, representing society.
Capitalism is the antithesis of democracy. Millions of people do not live in servitude and
poverty by conscious consent. Socialism means that people will knowingly control all
their affairs democratically.
Individual incentive and initiative
Those who do most of the work and produce the wealth for society acquire little or
nothing, except for the necessities of existence, while generally those who acquire
everything do not work.
Natural incentive plays very little part in the production of modern times.
Nowadays the stimulus for production amounts to nothing more than the “stick and
carrot” for the many, and profit for the few who do not work. The reason for effort on the
part of the worker is mainly compulsion arising out of poverty, plus the promise of petty
reward for greater energy.
Quality and quantity of artifacts are determined by what will bring tribute. High grade
articles for those who can afford them, and shoddy junk for those who cannot.
The greatest degree of individuality usually is to be found in the species which have the
highest social organization and co-operation. This will apply to human beings in
Individual self-expression, self-interest and social responsibility are the natural incentives
for human activity, and will prevail in the sane society.
Greed, and “human nature”
The supposed greed of human nature has never been a barrier to Socialism, or human co-operation of any kind, when co-operation was necessary. But private property has made
some selfishness compulsive. Greed is the direct result of scarcity next door to plenty.
The contaminated air we breathe today is in plentiful supply, but we do not see people
fighting one another for it, or hoarding it.
Greed was unknown in the co-operative ages of the past. It has only existed as a
noticeable phenomena since civilization and slavery entered upon the social scene, that
is, for about one-half of one per cent of the time man has prevailed as a species.
The Nature of Man is Biological, intelligent, social, reasonable and energetic in his own
The Behavior of Man is Social, – a product of his nature in inter-action with his
environment, and depends upon what he thinks or knows to be in his interests, which
depends upon what level of development his productive powers are. In the primitive
stage men worked together for the individual good based upon common interests because
of their inability to provide more than enough to satisfy immediate needs. In Socialist
society Homo Sapiens will co-operate for the opposite reason, because of his ability to
The successive stages of slavery between these levels have been competitive, transitory
and necessary, bringing out selfish behavior, rather than actions based upon self interest
alone. But not entirely.
Every day we can read about or see acts of kindness by people satisfying the urge to help
others more unfortunate than themselves. The huge charity campaigns would be
unsuccessful were it not for this unique facet of the nature of humans.
If a man in a primitive community enters a hut and takes a loaf of bread, he is acting
normally. But if a man enters your home and takes a loaf, he is stealing. The only basic
difference between these acts are of social circumstances.
A study of the circumstances that mould history will show that man moves according to
necessity and change, that though he makes his own history, he does not choose all the
material conditions, but must work with what he finds at hand, with what has come down
from the past. In the co-operative society to come, made necessary now by change, greed
will become unknown again.
A free environment of free people will have no private property, consequently no
exchange of property, therefore no need for a medium of exchange. If money distributed
goods, as so many think, then no one would be without goods who needed them now.
Money is needed to realize the profit that has been taken away from the producers. Any
distribution that does not take place is only incidental to the expropriation process, and
merely benefits those who have money. Money does not distribute food to those who
starve every day.
Once again the choice is, shall we work for wages for 8 or more hours per day all our
days and accumulate relatively nothing? Or produce for use with very little time and
effort and satisfy all our wants? So many people are so busy now making a living that
they have no time for living.
With no private property held aloof from the “have-nots”, most crime will disappear, as
will the type of infractions that derive from emotional upset and mental unbalance, since
most of the stress and abnormalities of capitalism will have accompanied this system into
history. And it will be found to be quite impossible to steal that which belongs to you.
Everybody has a chance?
If everybody has a chance to become a success”, which means to escape insecurity and
become a member of the owning elite, why is it that the majority avoid doing it? Well,
for one reason, if everybody became a capitalist, who would do the work to support those
who do not have to work? Parasites must have something to feed upon. The condition for
the security of those on top is the insecurity of those below, the condition that Socialism
is a solution for.
With the unabated efforts of millions of wage-earners to break into the ranks of the
privileged section of society, the consistent failure of all but an insignificant few to make
the grade points to a simple conclusion. The majority of individuals have approximately
as much chance of escape as they have of being struck by lightning.
Small business – a lesson in failure
The recognized and accelerated trend in production today is toward bigness – for
efficiency for cheaper commodities in the desperate struggle for markets. In a recent
year, 71% of all small businesses in Canada were failures. An economist has noted that
small business accounted for only 12% of the gross national product in 1961. And of all
people who work, just 18% work for themselves while 80% work for wages, according to
a recent release by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
The Horatio Alger saga is very romantic – and very outdated.
The anti-socialist “socialist” parties
The so-called “Communist” Party is loyal to Russian capitalism first, which happens to
be graced with every institution of exploitation that exists here. Their program is largely
geared to Russian foreign policy, while locally their policy is nothing more startling than
a preference for Columbia power development rather than the Peace River scheme, with
no mention of the fact that both projects are part of the general subservience-as-usual
nature of extant society.
There is nothing unusual in the news that this is part of the policy of the Liberal Party
also. Nowhere in the electoral proposals of the “Communist” Party can be found a
recommendation for common ownership and democratic control of the means of
production by and in the interests of society. A conservative could join this party without
sacrificing any of his basic principles.
The New Democratic Party, formerly the CCF, tries to run capitalism in the interests of
the workers. That this cannot be done can be seen by the statement of T. C. Douglas that
73% of their original program has now been brought about, yet the troubles that beset
most people remain.
Advocating approximately the same reforms as the Liberals and the Russian patriots, they
find themselves often holding an empty election platform, most of their projects having
been enacted by the admittedly capitalist parties, including in this locality, the
nationalization of the B. C. Electric, over which the investors and business men of the
province, and elsewhere have been jubilant.
Government ownership merely changes capitalists from private shareholders to
government bondholders and exploitation and profit remain as usual.
In advocating state ownership the old CCF was only adapting its program to the trends
and needs of capitalism’s historical development, and by calling this “Socialism” got
votes from some of the working people. In 1953, Liberal newspaper columnist Elmore
Philpot said that the Saskatchewan CCF Government was the best Liberal government
that Canada ever had and pleaded for a fusion of the two parties.
During the 1930’s, when the warehouses were overflowing with goods and children were
going hungry, the capitalist class, operating through its state, increased the size of the
police force to insure that workers could not gain access to the bounty they had produced.
Private property had to be protected and excluded to all but the owners.
One would have thought that because the CCF called itself a Socialist party it would have
advocated through political action that this private property be made the common
possession of mankind, so that all people could consume the fruits of their labor. Instead
they urged a continuation of the private-property master-servant relationship by
campaigning for more jobs so that workers could pile up more surpluses for their bosses
and poverty for themselves.
However, the Socialist Party of Canada advocated the obvious solution in those days, as
it still does today.
Highways for the people?
An election these days is seldom complete without some promises of “public” works for
votes in exchange for the permission to perpetuate servitude. More roads and highways
for the people? This is like saying that the poultry farmer, builds chicken coops for the
chickens, when in reality he builds them so that his chickens will lay more eggs.
Certainly the chickens use the shelters and eat the grain, as the workers use highways and
consume the necessaries of existence. But in both cases the object in view is a means to
profit, and not the welfare of the chickens or the workers.
An increasing proportion of the labor force is devoted to acting as domestic servants to
keep capitalism going, and producing no products or services. A growing number of
people such as police, convicts, judges, jailors, guards, priests, armed forces, munitions
workers, salesmen, civil servants, money counters, bankers, lawyers, and a host of others
all wasting their talents. Add to this the unemployed at the bottom of the social scale and
the ten per cent who are unemployed at the top – the rich, and we see more waste.
There is enough food wasted in the U. S. A. in one day to feed the hungry of China for
several days (and the hungry of the U. S. for longer than that). A few years ago during the
rice famine, the Chinese government was exporting rice to pay for imports of machinery.
It turns out that the fraction of society known as China is capitalist too, and privilege
comes before human needs.
An estimate in the daily press reported that the nations of this planet in their inevitable
struggle over markets and resources were spending an average of $14 million per hour on
arms, – equivalent to a $14 million automated factory going up in smoke – 24 times a
day. A sane society would see these people producing useful things.
One world – of many divisions
This is a provincial election, but capitalism is world wide. Our interests are identical with
all the exploited of the world – our problems basically the same. Unfortunately this
system divides the earth into administrative fractions called nations, which are divided
again into provinces or states. When a tropical storm in Pakistan upsets the stock
exchange in Vancouver there is little doubt of the universal economic integration that
prevails today. But barriers are erected between peoples, language and ethnic groups, by
capitalist power sections of the world, both east and west, as a casual look at a map of
Europe alone will testify. A class divided and therefore frontier divided planet. -
Exploitation and aggrandizement induce three and one half billion people to slaving,
trading, lying, cheating, murdering, peddling, arresting, incarcerating, haggling in trying
to scratch a livelihood, when plenty could be assured for all.
The problems of the universal, but as they form Socialist parties, they must contest
elections that are national or provincial, as our affiliated parties have done and will be
doing in Glasgow, London, Dublin, Melbourne and Auckland and as we are doing here.
The circumstances allow no other way.
Upon establishing a world fit for humans, an enlightened people will have to dismantle
the old institutions of money, capital, wages, armies, Berlin walls and frontiers, doles and
others that serve this acquisitive arrangement and set up new administrative organizations
to serve society, that is, establish democracy.
Strive for reforms
A large proportion of wage-earners vote ostensibly for the purpose of improving their lot
in this society. But they have heretofore voted only for changes in government, reforms
or promises. The evidence all around us shows that in comparison to the present
potentialities, these efforts have been nearly useless.
Medicare – sound business proposition
The benefits that arise out of this reform are infinitesimal in comparison to the total evils
of capitalism. The worry over hospital bills is exchanged for the worry over instalment
plans or mortgages, while other worries remain untouched. It could be compared to
patching up a hole in a boat, while we work on one leak, three more leaks appear. We
may take one step forward and slide back two.
Research on sicknesses such as cancer and heart disease (54 per cent of all deaths in the
U. S.) is financed by dimes collected from door to door while 75 per cent of the world’s
scientists work on weapons of destruction.
On the other hand big business is learning of the value of medicare to stock and
shareholders. State medicine in Britain, Germany (since the 19th century), Russia,
Saskatchewan and other places has been a cheap, efficient insurance in keeping workers
on the job. Many treatises have appeared about the “economic” losses, or the high cost in
lost manhours due to sickness among workers. Many businesses have private plans and
Medicare has been advocated by branches of the Chamber of Commerce.
But the overall well-being of the majority in the Medicare countries has not been found to
be superior to the well-being of the people elsewhere.
Investigate – compare
The candidates of the other parties and their big financial backers are confident that they
will receive a lot of votes, even though many of them will not be elected. They know that
most people support the present way of doing things, that workers have been taught that
it has always been this way, and encouraged to think that there is no constructive
But the ordinary people are more skeptical these days. They tend to think more of
themselves, and less of the plutocracy. Millions support some of the ideas of the Socialist
Party of Canada, but only a few support all of them – so far.
We suggest that our ideas be investigated further and be compared to those of the status
Dominated by the past
Like all other things in the known universe, human society evolves. Today the past
dominates the present. Capitalism has been a useful system. Production for sale for profit
was necessary in our grandmother’s time when industry was lowly developed. Today this
system is old-fashioned, has outlived its usefulness. While being tied to capitalism,
Modern industry must waste a large part of its restricted output, in order to keep going.
Its immense potential cannot be used, its providence distributed.
The next logical step in social evolution is the one that fits in with the circumstances. The
huge socialised means of production ought to come into socialised ownership – utilized
for mankind. The people to do it are we who have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
What is now physically possible can never be made financially possible. We are
advocating what is available today, a world fit for humans to live in.
All past changes were due to humans acting in their interests. We have the opportunity to
act in ours by marking our ballots for a protest against capitalism and a vote for socialism
in this election.
The Socialist candidate in Saanich
John George Jenkins.