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Capitalism and Technology

Review: The Festival of Britain

In 1947 the British Government decided to inaugurate a series of celebrations and displays to commemorate the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The various entertainments and exhibitions spread over Great Britain all through the centre months of this year are the result. The centrepiece of this festival is the exhibition now staged on the south bank of the River Thames at Waterloo, London. The guide book to The South Bank Exhibition, issued by H.M. Stationery Office, claims that this exhibition is “neither a museum of British culture nor a trade show of British wares." It would be more true to say that it is not an ordinary museum and not apparently a trade show.

Socialism and Materialism

 Any person lacking previous knowledge of the subject can hardly fail to be confused by the contradictory pronouncements issued in the name of Socialism regarding the basis of society. A few days ago, for instance, Mr. Robert Young, M.P., speaking at a Brotherhood meeting, pleaded for a “new society based upon Christianity." This represents the prevailing attitude among the “Socialists” (so-called) of the Labour Party. On the other hand, we find supporters of that Party claiming to be atheists or materialists, and professing to derive their “Socialism" from some abstract ideal of “justice” or “brotherhood."

Oil and Slaves


The oil age is coming. Year books, financial journals, the sharks of Throgmorton Street, together with the rest of the interested, "far seeing" exploiters and worshippers of the golden calf, are eagerly discussing the possibilities of oil as a motive force, and how much more profit they can grab by its use.

 It behoves the working class to consider the question also, because it is they who are going to suffer, as usual, from what would be a boon and a blessing to all were the toilers sufficiently enlightened and determined to make it such.

 The "Diesel" engine has already proved itself capable of propelling ocean going steamers, and will doubtless be in general use in the near future. Look at this: "The engine room staff of the 'Selandia' consists of eight men and two boys. No firemen required. No boilers needed. No loading with bunker coal for the voyage."

Book Review: 'Architect or Bee?'

Shape of things to come

'Architect or Bee?' by Mike Cooley, (Langley Technical Services, 1980)

This is a tantalizing, awkward but informative little book. The question that Cooley does not answer is whether and in what way a socialist society could use the new technology—that is, automation, chips, computer aided design, computer-linked robotic production and so on. But he skirts around it and answers a hundred other related questions, so that all may find something useful here.

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