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Socialism

The Social Environment of the Worker

 When the industrial revolution occurred in this country, roughly between 150 to 175 years ago, its champions, the merchant manufacturing class preached the gospel of work. These commercial highwaymen and their followers, the aristocracy, the priest and the politician, were all loud in proclaiming the “virtues and glories" of work. Not being fond of it themselves, they were able to let others enjoy the “honour." In those days there was little else to engage the time of the workers— except the prisons and the stocks, if obstinacy made them prefer the open-air life to the foul fumes of the “workhouse." Because it must be remembered that the wholesale confiscation or enclosure of the common lands which had previously taken place, had driven the small peasant farming class and their motley following off the land. Those who failed or refused to find masters were treated and branded as criminals, vagrants, etc.

Letters: Socialism and Insurance


Reply to a Correspondent.

 Miss Hilda Brock (Leyton) writes asking us to explain a passage which occurred in a recent article on ” Socialism and the Middle Class.” The passage is: “What need of insurance clerks in a world where risks are borne by society instead of by a special section with a view to making a profit.”

 Miss Brock is of the opinion that under Socialism insurance and bank clerks will simply be transferred to the service of the State, which will take over these institutions, and that there will consequently be no labour set free for productive work.

 It is evident first of all that Miss Brock falls into the common error of supposing that Socialism is merely an extension of State ownership. In fact, State Capitalism and Socialism are irreconcilable, and the Socialist Party accordingly opposes parties which advocate the former, such as the Labour Party.

Our Case in Brief

 We have seen how the whole structure of present-day, or any other society, rests upon and takes its shape from the property base; and now we can proceed to consider what, broadly, must he the result of the carrying out of the Socialist proposal to change the social basis from private ownership of the means necessary to satisfy the economic needs of the community to one in which these things are owned and controlled by the whole of the people.

The Need For Action

 There are quite a number of people claiming to agree with the principles of Socialism who imagine that all that is necessary for the cause is to understand something of the subject, to get some idea of the future state of society, and then patiently wait for the day of emancipation to arrive.

 Some are of the opinion that it is quite unnecessary to preach Socialism, believing that the purely economic conditions alone will suffice to convert the working class to our doctrines. They arrive at this erroneous conclusion from the fact that the material conditions ultimately determine the ideas prevalent in society.

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