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human nature

During the East Coast Floods

 When Socialists outline the society that could be established with the present productive equipment, non-socialists argue that it wouldn’t work. They say it would be against human nature, that men are by nature lazy and greedy and wont work unless they are forced on with the whip or incited by some economic advantage.

 The Observer in an editorial refuted those arguments.

The Observer wrote:—

Incentive Under Socialism

 Many people are genuinely puzzled by the Socialist contention that production will go on under Socialism without the existing privileges and inequalities. “How," they ask, “will people be induced to work except under the incentive of wages and the possibility of getting into a higher-paid grade or of escaping into the ranks of the propertied class, who can live without working?" They are not much impressed with the answer that normal healthy human beings who have been educated to an understanding of the social system, and trained to perform useful work do not want to escape working. They want to work and need no more inducement than is given by the knowledge that work must be done to keep society going, and that they are playing their part in it along with their fellow men and women. One curious thing is that it is never himself that the questioner has in mind.

Human Nature?

 The critics of the Socialist case are legion, but the diversity of their arguments is very limited. At street corner or in public hall, from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, in Great Britain and abroad, one hears the same arguments, couched in similar words, from those who would refute the case for Socialism. It would almost appear as if they vied with one another in their efforts to be unoriginal.

 One of these stock arguments is the one which the Socialist designates as "The Human Nature argument.” It is frequently the first question which rises to the lips of the but recently interested worker, and it is often the last line of defence of the opponent who has been driven from every other point of vantage by the logic of the Socialist case.

Was Antonio Gramsci a Socialist?

This month sees the 80th anniversary of the death of an icon of the left – Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian political activist who was imprisoned by Mussolini’s Fascist regime in 1926 and died while still a captive 10 years later from a combination of illnesses. He was an undoubtedly courageous figure who fought difficult family circumstances when young to educate himself and became a prolific writer and editor for the emerging left-wing press in Italy in the second and third decade of the 20th century. He wrote intensively of the need for both workers’ rights and workers’ revolution and actively involved himself in the political action he advocated.

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