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50 Years Ago: The Nemesis of Labour Government

The dilemma facing this Labour government is one that must face every Labour government. It is one to which there is no solution and it must result eventually in the collapse of the experiment; for there is nothing a Labour government can do to end the workers' discontent with capitalism. There are, of course, some Labour Party supporters who give what they think is the answer. They will admit that the workers can never secure lasting satisfaction within the capitalist system but will reply that the solution is the abolition of capitalism. Socialists agree with the latter but the dilemma still remains for the Labour government, because it is not in their power to introduce Socialism. Socialism is at present not a possibility because the mass of the electorate do not understand or want it. Anyone who considers the matter knows that this is so. The electors who vote Labour want all kinds of things but they expect them to be obtained within the framework of capitalism, through the efforts of the Labour government. (. . .)

The Socialist aims of abolishing the wages system, production for profit, buying and selling, property incomes, etc., in short the abolition of capitalism, is something quite outside the conceptions of the Labour Party.

(From Socialist Standard, July 1949)