July 1917, and the bloody butchery of world capitalism had been unleashed for nearly three years. Workers in their masses were being sacrificed as human offerings to the insatiable god of profit. The recruiting sergeants, in different countries and different languages, poured forth the propaganda of nationalistic hatred.
The following letter came from a contact who apparently chose not to read the literature sent to him, or assumed that the literature did not represent the actual ideas of the World Socialist Movement (WSM).
For as long as there has been human oppression there have been dreams of the oppressed. Oppressed people have not usually had access to the means of recording their dreams, so too many of them have been lost.
1. THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY UNDER CAPITALISM
Housing is one problem of capitalism which has been a constant source of difficulty and is part and parcel of working class life. Few members of our class escape some aspect of housing trouble. Whether it is the complete crisis of homelessness, or the stress involved in keeping our homes through paying rent or repaying a loan. Most members of our class live in relative poor housing, some of which is within the bounds of adequacy, while the rest reflects the worst in living conditions.
Classic reprint from the Winter 1986-7 issue of the World Socialist
The following classic statement of the socialist case at election times was issued as a leaflet by the Victoria Local No. 2 of the old Socialist Party of Canada at around the time of the First World War.
The whole Leninist theory of imperialism turns on two or three major concepts: the twin notions of super-profits and super-exploitation, monopoly (defined in a strictly legal sense) and investment strategy. In Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), Lenin pretended to have discovered an ultimate and final stage of capitalism, and this discovery has been widely attributed to his astute grasp of the materialist conception of history. Reading his pamphlet between the lines, however, we discover the existence of at least five acutely unMarxist tendencies:
Capitalism is basically an economic system, one in which production is oriented towards the accumulation of capital out of monetary profits realised on the market, the source of these profits being the unpaid labour of those who produce the goods that are sold. Production for a market, the accumulation of wealth having a monetary value, and even the exploitation of wage-labour had existed since ancient times but as more or less isolated practices rather than as a complete economic system.
In 1871 a German biologist, Ernst Haeckel, coined the word "ecology". It derives from the Greek word "Oikos" meaning "house" or "habitat" and can be defined as the study of relationships between organisms and their environment or natural habitat.
The novelist and poet, D. H. Lawrence, who died in 1930, was born one hundred years ago, on 11 September, 1885. He was not a socialist and did not profess to be one, but there can be no doubt that he possessed some excellent ideas about what was wrong with the money-wages-profit system and what sort of society would be fitter for humans to live in.