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August 1914

Editorial: Our Tenth Volume

 With this issue we close the 10th volume of the Socialist Standard. When the history of the final struggle for working-class emancipation comes to be written, the history of these ten volumes will form so integral and by no means uninteresting part of those records. The story of the bold shouldering of the heavy responsibility, both financial and journalistic, of the production of such an organ, by the few men and women who founded the Socialist Party; the struggle to maintain the paper against the attacks of those who saw in it a working-class weapon that was to be feared, and therefore hated; the long and bitter fight for the foremost place in working class political papers: all these are phases of working-class striving that will not be forgotten when the struggle is over and classes are no more.

A Socialist Survey

 We were taught at school that England is a free country. On reaching maturer years, however, we discover this to be a distortion of the truth. It all depends upon a person’s economic status, if he is rich he is free — comparatively. He is free to sweat and grind his poorer “brethren,” to maim and murder them in mines and pits, to butcher them in shunting yards, to drown them in over-burdened ships, to torture and burn them in rubber forests, to run them down and leave them mangled on the highways, and to starve and outrage and seduce them at will, within very wide limits and at a very low price. If he is poor, however, he possesses no freedom in any sense of the word. He is not free to work; he is not free to starve; he is not free to beg; he is not free to steal. He is even “pinched” if he tries to get off the earth.

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