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The Great Depression

American Notes

 Only a few years ago articles were appearing in the press of the U.S.A., informing all and sundry that there would be no more crises like there had been in the past. Lord bless you, No! The capitalists here had solved the problem, they had adopted a new method, known as mass production and standardisation. Wages were no longer to be based on the cost of production of the labour-power of the worker (in other words, the cost of enabling the wage-worker to be an efficient wealth producer and to keep him in that condition), they were now to be based on the worker’s output. The instalment plan was also boosted as a way to get rid of surplus products. Lots of propaganda was broadcasted for the wage-slaves’ especial benefit; we were given to understand that there were no classes in this great country and at the same time that any worker who had a little ambition and grit could get out of his class with very little effort.

Editorial: About Ourselves

 The present world depression is like all the depressions that have gone before in the effect it is having on the workers and their organisations. During a depression events move fast, and opinions are quickly changed when adversity stimulates interest in political and economic theories. Capitalism during its crises presents its more deadly aspects, and the most optimistic exponents of the “getting better and better” type of self-deception become apologetic and admit that there is something amiss. It is then that the Labour parties have their testing time. And how they have fallen! The world is strewn with the debris of reform programmes and reform parties.

The Coming Election in the U.S.A.

 The two great burlesque shows recently held in Chicago are now things of the past—the conventions of the two major political parties in the United States to nominate their respective candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, and to frame their respective platforms with which each party hopes to capture political power in the coming elections in November.

 An important reason why these conventions were held in that city is that the business organisations of Chicago, through their Chamber of Commerce, offered both the Democratic and Republican parties an inducement of 100,000 dollars to defray expenses. This was done because the business interests of the city of the “Jungle” saw in these conventions a means of increasing business for themselves. The city fathers of Chicago decided to make doubly certain that their investment would reap profit by asking both parties to prolong their gatherings as long as possible.

A Diary of Labour Government

 Here in Great Britain, about twenty-seven years ago, there was a sharp difference of opinion. There were those who held that there was but one cause of working-class poverty, and one only, and but one way to end it. These formed the Socialist Party of Great Britain, with the aim and object of capturing political power and achieving Socialism. There were others who denounced this as a dream, too far removed from present needs to be practicable. What was wanted, they said, was something now, something tangible, something realisable, something which we could see in our time. These supported immediate reforms, palliatives, and the Labour Party. They have been wonderfully fortunate. In a mere twenty-five years they have achieved their practical object and seated a Labour Government in Parliament.

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