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wage slavery

Women's Freedom

 How many of the slaves who sing with swelling breast that "Britons never never” ever give thought to what they mean by freedom. It is a word that is given a different interpretation as many times as it is used. Thus the capitalist free trader desires freedom to sell his goods in every market of the world regardless of the fettered millions who have produced them. Freedom to him means freedom to trade and make profit. The so-called free worker under capitalism finds that his freedom leaves him free to starve when he cannot find a boss. The “down and out” under a recent Act of Parliament is now free to sleep under the stars without incurring the wrath of the powers that be and without the doubtful hospitality of a police cell that used to be free to him. The suffragettes fought for the freedom of the vote so that they could have their say in the laws governing their property.

Letters: The Socialist Forum: Are the Workers Robbed?

 A correspondent (“Jason,” Balham) questions the accuracy of the statement that the workers are ” robbed.” He refers particularly to three phrases used by us. The first was used in the War Manifesto reprinted in the August issue, and is as follows:

      . . . the workers’ interests are not bound up in the struggle for markets wherein their masters may dispose of the wealth they have stolen from them (the workers) . . .

Our correspondent objects that this statement is not derived from Marx and is not correct. He writes :—

       When Marx refers to the capitalists as the robber class he has in mind the original source of their capital—the primary accumulation obtained from robbing the Spaniards and Portuguese of their loot from Mexico, Peru and the Malay Archipelago, plundering Africa and the Indies, and expropriating the peasants, etc.

Short Story: Heard in the Train

 Morning, Dick! Just enough room for you before “she” goes. We’re lucky this morning; only twelve standing. Was just reading in the “Wail” that all the hotels in St. Moritz are booked up for visitors for the ice sports, and that London is "empty.” Wish this carriage was a little more "empty,” don’t you? Always moaning? Surely, Dick, you are not satisfied with conditions in general, are you? It is a poor horse that hasn’t a kick when it is stung with continual whipping, and you are in a worse predicament than that beast of burden, for to buy a horse needs money, but as for you—there are two million workers wandering the streets seeking a master, willing to work but unable to do so, desirous of producing the very articles we are so badly in need of—food, clothing and shelter.

What D' ye Lack

 It was the cry of the ’prentice of three and four hundred years ago, selling his master’s wares from the shop doorway. I am reminded of it when I pass you, fellow worker, mornings and evenings. In my thoughts I echo the question, and answer it in your name. What do you lack ?

 Food, plentiful and pure; yet it is you who grow, carry and prepare the delicate meal for the rich man’s table. Clothing, adequate and beautiful: though by your toil your master’s person is protected and adorned. A dwelling fair and well provided: yet your hands raise palaces and fill them with comfort. Leisure you have not, though your service makes other lives one holiday. Nor travel, though you build planes and ships. Nor peace for your mind to roam and your limbs to rest.

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