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Book Review: H. G. Wells on the Home

 Will Socialism Destroy The Home? by H. G. Wells (I.L.P. 1d.)

Two points are introduced in this pamphlet, with both of which we disagree. The first is the idea of remuneration under Socialism being relative to the size of the family. The second is the suggestion of municipal baby-farm for children of unworthy parents.

 With regard to remuneration, all Socialists will object to the proposal “to make a payment to the parents for their children.”

Young, homeless, hopeless

 It is easy to pretend that the beggars on the street are not really destitute and desperate. They are crafty kids on the make. They claim to be homeless, hut they are making huge fortunes sitting on their arses conning the vulnerable British public. No, there is no need to beg in Britain. This is a civilised country. It says so in the Sun. It says that beggars are earning £200 a day. They earn more than you do; the undeserving swines. The pretence goes on all the time. It is part of the self-delusion which sustains capitalism. But it is a huge delusion. There are homeless kids in Britain. There are thousands and thousands of them. And they will not go away by pretending that they are not really there.

Cooking the Books: Women, Work and Wages

In an interview with the magazine section of the Mail of Sunday (26 March), the author and playwright Fay Weldon provocatively claimed that, through women going out to work,  'the feminist revolution' had led to 'halving the male wage, so it no longer supported a family.'

It is of course absurd to attribute women going out to work to feminism. That resulted from capitalism's need to overcome a labour shortage. In fact, if anything, it will have been women going out to work that led to the rise of feminism. In any event, there is nothing wrong with women going out to work, apart, that is, from under capitalism this being as wage slaves (Weldon's objection is the old-fashioned one that this means that children are brought up by nursery staff rather than their mothers).

The Future of the Family

Among the reasons given by the Women’s Liberation movement for the continuation of capitalism is the odd notion that the system is held up by the family. If we could break up the “nuclear” family capitalism would collapse! A corollary to this idea is that life in communes would be much better for everyone.

It is not our purpose to give a detailed history of the family but we cannot look at the possible future pattern of family life without some comment on its past. The changes in the form of the family have in general corresponded to the main stages in human development. Group marriage was appropriate to early tribal society but with the gradual introduction of more marriage restrictions gave way to the pairing family of the lower-stage barbarians. Women still made an important contribution to the collective economy and were respected members of the community.

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