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Work

Square Plugs In Round Holes


 How many working-class children follow the occupations to which they are adapted, and which would hold their interest? One could almost count them on the fingers of one hand.

 One boy is of a mechanical turn of mind and is fond of the working of machinery and contriving crude mechanical toys; he becomes a baker’s boy. Another loves the open air and the things that grow in the fields and hedges; the mechanism of plants and the ways of the bee, the butterfly and the bird are intensely interesting and wonderful to him; he becomes an office boy. The sea and the lands beyond the sea calls yet another; he longs to haunt the lonely spaces of the earth; he becomes a grocer’s boy in a shop in a populous city. Such are the instances that teem around us.

 The cause of this maladaptation is the source of the many evils that are constantly with the working classes.

Oil and Slaves


The oil age is coming. Year books, financial journals, the sharks of Throgmorton Street, together with the rest of the interested, "far seeing" exploiters and worshippers of the golden calf, are eagerly discussing the possibilities of oil as a motive force, and how much more profit they can grab by its use.

 It behoves the working class to consider the question also, because it is they who are going to suffer, as usual, from what would be a boon and a blessing to all were the toilers sufficiently enlightened and determined to make it such.

 The "Diesel" engine has already proved itself capable of propelling ocean going steamers, and will doubtless be in general use in the near future. Look at this: "The engine room staff of the 'Selandia' consists of eight men and two boys. No firemen required. No boilers needed. No loading with bunker coal for the voyage."

Common Questions Answered: (2) Incentive to Work

Q: Since there will be no money and no payment of any kind under Socialism what will be the incentive for people to do the necessary work?

Socialism and Work

When Paul Lafargue wrote his well-known pamphlet The Right to be Lazy he chose this title to parody the demand, still current today, for "the right to work", In one sense he was right. The "right" to be employed by a capitalist is not something worth fighting for (quite apart from being unachievable). Given the demeaning and exploitative nature of employment it would indeed be better to demand the right not to work, the right to be lazy. In another sense, however, this title is misleading in that it suggests social life could continue without work, not in the sense of employment but in the sense of productive activity.

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