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Class Consciousness

A Short Story: What George Learnt


George — “You class-conscious Socialists want too much. You ought to be more reasonable.”

Frank — "Well. Socialism being justice, isn’t it reasonable to want it?”

George — “Oh, yes! But you demand the lot. I reckon that half a loaf is better than no bread.”

Frank — “Granted, my boy; but a whole loaf is better still. Besides, why ask for half when you want the whole?”

George — "Because I think you are more likely to get it. In a bargain both sides must make concessions.”

Has Trade Unionism Failed?

 

In the "Penny Pictorial” (4th March), Lord Askwith gives his answer to this question. He writes as an "expert"; for, as chief Industrial Commissioner, 1911—1919, he negotiated in more than 100 trade disputes, and whatever his knowledge of Trade Unionism, he must know a great deal about the Trade Unions. Nevertheless, his answer does not add to the discussion much that is likely to be useful or illuminating to the many workers, who, while equally interested, lack his special experience.

You, Too, Can Be Class Conscious

 There are three things that you must know before you can become class-conscious. First, you must know what constitutes a class; secondly, you must know to which class you belong, and thirdly, you must know what are your class interests. Having acquired that amount of knowledge you can claim to be a fully fledged class-conscious member of society.

 There are a deuce of a lot of confused notions about social classes. People talk about lower classes, upper classes and middle classes. They even talk about upper middle and lower middle classes and of the working classes. These social divisions are income groups, not classes. A person’s class is not determined by the amount of money that he can get hold of, but by the manner in which he gets it.

The Strike and the Vote

 Although Socialists do not exaggerate the importance of a General Election, much amusement and instruction may be derived from a consideration of the antics of the various parties involved. At the time of writing the Conservative leaders are endeavouring to insinuate into the minds of the workers that their position would have been much more favourable had several millions of them not participated in the so-called general strike of 1926.

      That Strike was directly responsible for the loss of trade and consequent failure of the unemployed to evaporate; the Labour leaders were responsible for the Strike, and have thus contributed to the sufferings of the workers.

 Thus argue the Tories.

 Of course, the leaders of the Labour Party resent this attack upon their respectability.

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