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Alienation

Dressed Up—For What?

It was a pleasant evening in early summer, still quite light, warm and balmy, the air laden with the scent of flowers from the park across the way. For what was normally a busy London suburb, there was surprisingly little traffic and this lent an atmosphere of tranquility—something all too rare nowadays.

 Then I saw him. He was standing in a shop doorway, a well built young man of about 23, handsome in a coarse way, and one who obviously took great care of his appearance. From his thick, brushed hair to his gleaming shoes, he was a picture of smartness, reminding one of the photographs appearing in male fashion magazines—but without the usual smile.

The Age of Sedatives

 The 21 years between 1918 and 1939 have been called the Aspirin Age. They were the years of jazz and the flappers’ new morality, of sensation and unemployment, when society first pressed down in earnest upon the accelerator. The years when a world in crises and turmoil turned for comfort to—the little white tablet. A future historian may likewise seek to describe the period since 1945 in terms of the problems and panaceas of the day. He might well consider calling our times the Pheno-barbitone Phase.

Machinery?

 Many objects! in class society stand as a monument to the foolishness of man. One of these in present society is that infernal machine the Underground Railway.

 At certain times during the day, a surging mass of humanity descends upon this particular means of transport, as it seems to be the quickest way of getting to and from work, speed being the order of the day.

 The first delay that must be taken into consideration in our measurement of time, is the long queue of people who wait for an employee of the London Transport, to present them with a ticket in exchange for money. Then we meet that effigy of wasted labour “The Hole Puncher.” After our ticket has made the acquaintance of his Instrument of Office, we put it into our pocket, for it has nothing to do with the running of the train anyway.

Letter to an Unpolitical Man

 Fellow Worker,

 Do not mistake me. You are a menace to yourself and to society. Our opponents we can deal with, be they Labour, Liberal, Tory, Communist or hot gospeller, for we can meet them on common ground and bowl them out. With you there is no such common ground. You’ve always had a roof over your head, a job and a wage and have thus been able to continue your miserable existence undisturbed. Wars have come and gone. You are still alive. Booms have grown into slumps. You have been lucky. No issue affecting your immediate self has shaken you from your lethargy. As a result you skulk behind your limited horizon and vegetate.

 Were you not so dangerous, one might even feel sorry for you. How stunted your imagination must be. Do you really consider that as a member of the working class, that section of the population which runs the present system of society from top to bottom, you are living in the best of possible worlds ?

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