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Production for use

Production Solely For Use


 A writer signing himself "Pep" has an article called "Production for Profit—or Use" in "Everybody's Weekly" (August 8th, 1942). He challenges what he believes to be the Socialist case and argues that there is not and cannot be anything else but production for profit—"no one at any time does anything whatever except for profit." It is necessary to emphasise the point that Pep's attack is on what he believes is the Socialist case, for he has neglected to state correctly what is the Socialist. Here is a passage which shows Pe's line of argument:—

Why there is Not Enough to go Round

 The Daily Express, which boasts that it has the largest circulation and the most up-to-date manner of presenting news and views of all the daily papers, has certain merits. One is that its reporting of the Spanish civil war, though concerned only with what editors call “news value," and therefore, scrappy on occasion, has been unusually fair and unbiassed. The second merit — the one which concerns us here—is that the editorials are often models of terse and lucid statement of fact and opinion. So much so that when they contain glaring falsities of argument it is difficult to avoid believing that the twist is deliberate. The issue of August 13th is a case in point. Here are the key sentences out of a three- paragraph editorial: —

The Slaughter of the Innocents

 A Neo-Malthusian Fable

 It seems strange at a time when proletarians are being butchered by millions, to find Neo-malthusians still advocating the reduction of the population as the cure for all social ills; yet such is the case. In a booklet ['How to Prevent Pregnancy.' G. Hardy, Paris, 19l6.] recently published in English it is roundly asserted that the limitation of births “means simply the suppression of misery, the solution of the social question.” Simply that!

 Socialists are in no way opposed to the diffusion of complete scientific knowledge in sexual matters; they fully recognise the right of men and women to limit the number of their offspring on grounds of personal health and comfort. Neo-malthusians, in fact, have a wide field for useful activity, but their ambitions outstrip their means. They offer a check pessary for the earthquake!

A World Without Commodities

In explaining the conditions under which commodity production and money exist, Marx helps us understand the characteristics of a new society in which they would no longer exist. 

A new society without commodity production, money, and markets? A society where production is carried out solely to meet our human needs, with all the social wealth held in common. Why is this idea still so widely ridiculed as a utopian daydream, even by those who are deeply dissatisfied with the ‘status quo’? ‘That sounds nice but it’ll never work’—is the predictable response we hear. 

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