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International Notes - An Interesting Experiment

Paul Grados, in the May Day number of the Guesdist organ, states that in the course of an address at Limoges in 1892, Dr. Napias - who was later appointed chief of the Assistance Publique - recalled an experiment by Pattenkofer and Voit on the degree of resistance of the human organism to bodily fatigue.

A vigorous workman was selected who could take a normal repose, and who received a substantial nourishment; then, said Dr. Napias, he was made to exert a muscular effort that was calculated mathematically and which corresponded to the expenditure of average labour - and that during nine hours.

Well, it was ascertained that at the end of twenty-four hours his organism had a deficit of 192 grammes of oxygen which he had had to borrow from his own tissues. Neither the rest that he had taken nor the food that had been given him had sufficed to completely repair the tissues used up during nine hours' work.

Ethics and the class struggle

Among the middle-class “Socialists” who run the so-called labour movement in this country, it is hardly fashionable just now to deny the reality of the class struggle; yet when it is shown how necessary it is to base working-class political action on that reality, these Utopians wriggle like eels to escape such a logical conclusion. When driven by argument from their objections on practical grounds to the class war basis, such sentimentalists often fall back on the assertion that it is immoral, that it stirs up strife and sets one class against another.

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