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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. 

Marx's Conception of Socialism - Part 2

The second part of a talk transcribed from a recent conference. [Part 1 can be read here]

There is a useful book — David McLellan's Thought of Karl Marx, (Macmillan 1971) — which has a chapter in which has been brought together a number of Marx's references to socialist society. One of the points mentioned is Marx's view that in socialist society you would not have workers tied to one job all their lives, that it would be possible to change from one job to another. Marx used a very fanciful example. He said it would be possible to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening and criticise after dinner. But I don’t think we should take this literally. (I don’t know if he put in the hunting because Engels was fond of fox hunting, but the basic idea is alright.)

Editorial: The Colossal Waste of Capitalism

"The colossal waste of capitalism.”

A phrase that for all its truth has become a cliche of the Socialist case. Words we use so often that they cease to have an impact.

We talk of the ludicrous waste of buying and selling: of the criminal waste of capitalist war and preparations for war: of the useless waste of potentially productive hands lost in clipping tickets, totting up accounts, filling in forms. But only now and again does the utter lunacy of the whole system pull us up short and make us see it as though for the first time. We are again struck with wonder at the way the human race can go on tolerating a world so out of keeping with its real needs and interests.

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