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Book Review: Slaves of the Farm U.S.A.

Seldom do town workers have an opportunity of seeing for themselves the conditions of life of their fellow beings, the farm' workers. Mr. C. McWilliams, in “Ill Fares the Land” (Faber and Faber), gives valuable information regarding the conditions obtaining in rural U.S.A., that great land of “opportunity, freedom and democracy.”

 The author was a member of the La Follette Committee, which was self up to investigate the disclosures of another book, “Grapes of Wrath,’ by J. Steinbeck. That book was fiction, whereas this one is an authoritive statement on the effects of large-scale big-business farming on the agricultural community.

Rationalisation In Agriculture

 The March issue of the International Labour Review contains two very interesting and informative articles on Rationalisation in the U.S.A. and Canada, "The Economic Depression in North America ” and "More Mechanisation in Farming.”

 In the United States, between the years 1919 and 1929, the output per head in manufacturing industries increased by 45 per cent. In agriculture the output increased by more than 25 per cent., and as a consequence during this time three million workers left the land to seek employment in the towns.

 So much is American capitalism in the grip of rationalisation, that American capitalists estimate their costs and profits on the basis of providing a complete re-equipment of machinery every two or three years.

Pamphlet Review: Socialism In The Village

Socialism In The Village by C. A. Pease (I.L.P. Pamphlets 1d.)

This is the title of an I.L.P. pamphlet written by Mr. C. A. Pease for the rural workers, professing to tell them how to remake “Merrie England.” The last and most successful attempt to organise agricultural labourers has opened a new and promising field for political propaganda, and the I.L.P. no doubt hopes to compensate itself here for the loss of numerous members who could not resist the charms of the British Bolsheviki. For this purpose the pamphlet may be useful enough, but its educational value to the workers is just nothing. It is almost to be regretted that it is simply written and costs only one penny.

 To start with, there is nothing in it about Socialism.

Pathfinders: A Seasoning of Goodwill

Rather than festive, people are getting restive. In the western world post-Brexit and Trump - and doesn't that sound like a comedy duo, like Cannon and Ball or Hinge and Bracket? - liberals have lately sensed a gut-wrenching lurch towards lunacy.

But look on the bright side. People are talking about politics again because it's not boring anymore. Even kids in school are doing it. Ok, they're talking about it in a bad way, because they're appalled by the bare-faced dishonesty of it all, but at least they're engaged.

So now is when we should be stepping up our own efforts to popularise the socialist revolution. And we should do it in a way that acknowledges, in the aftermath of Brexit and Trump, that whatever intellectual debate is taking place on the surface it is the deep and visceral fears underneath that we really need to address.

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