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Wages

Wages and Nationalisation


 Mr. Cramp
, Industrial General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen, giving evidence before the Royal Commission on Transport, was asked by Major I. Salmon, M.P., whether nationalisation of the railways would lead to higher wages for the railwaymen. Mr. Cramp, who was there as an advocate of railway nationalisation, replied “Certainly not.” (“Daily Telegraph,” 17/1/29.)

 The correspondents of "The Times” and “Morning Post” also record that Mr. Cramp replied in the negative to this question, but curiously enough, the “Daily Herald” correspondent, although his report is much longer, appears not to have noticed either the question or the answer.

The Secret of 'High' Wages

Quite a number of people appear to have discovered America, including the "Daily Mail" and Mr. Oswald Mosley. "Why is it," they ask, “that the American workman is paid at a higher rate than the Englishman, yet his employers make considerable profits?" The "Daily Mail" apparently considers the subject interesting enough to dispatch a special commission of trade unionists to investigate; while Mr. Oswald Mosley has already returned with the information that better machinery is the secret. This was pointed out in the "Socialist Standard" some fifteen or sixteen years ago by our contributor A. E. J.; in fact, an acquaintance with Marxian economics would predispose one to draw that conclusion in advance of the actual evidence.

Socialists Do Stand for Equality

MARX OR STALIN?

The new draft Constitution now being considered in Russia lays it down that "to each according to the quality and quantity of his work" is a socialist principle. In the July SOCIALIST STANDARD that assertion was challenged on the ground that the principle is a capitalist one. As the question is an important one, and much confusion is likely to result from the Russian declaration, it was proposed to follow the matter up. In the meantime, the Daily Worker (July 4th) has departed from the general rule of the Communists of ignoring the S.P.G.B. by replying to the comment published in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD. While the Daily Worker’s observations are not well-informed, they will serve as an introduction. This is what the Daily Worker says: —

Roots of the Class Struggle

We have recently in this journal published a series of articles on economics from the socialist point of view. We think it would now be useful to go a little more carefully into this question of labour power. First of all, what is it? It is the mental and physical energy of the worker which he sells to the capitalist for a wage. Labour power is a commodity like any other commodity and exchanges at its value. It is unlike other commodities in that it can produce more value than it contains itself. For this reason it is the most treasured commodity for the capitalist class. Labour power is the sole creator of value. Other commodities merely transfer their own values into the commodities produced. This is made obvious by the effort of the capitalists in a world of competition to cheapen their commodities by reducing the time taken to produce them. Thus speeding up, labour saving machinery and the like.

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