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World Socialist Party of the United States

A Socialist Tour

 The following brief account of the visit to this country of two American colleagues is reproduced from the September-October Western Socialist as [it's] likely to be of interest to our readers—Ed. Com.)

 Fulfilling the ambition of many years, two American comrades took a two-week trip to Britain to meet the members of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and participate in their activities.

Never to them did life in the Socialist movement seem more momentous and meaningful than those two weeks.

Here are a few of the highlights.

American Notes

 Only a few years ago articles were appearing in the press of the U.S.A., informing all and sundry that there would be no more crises like there had been in the past. Lord bless you, No! The capitalists here had solved the problem, they had adopted a new method, known as mass production and standardisation. Wages were no longer to be based on the cost of production of the labour-power of the worker (in other words, the cost of enabling the wage-worker to be an efficient wealth producer and to keep him in that condition), they were now to be based on the worker’s output. The instalment plan was also boosted as a way to get rid of surplus products. Lots of propaganda was broadcasted for the wage-slaves’ especial benefit; we were given to understand that there were no classes in this great country and at the same time that any worker who had a little ambition and grit could get out of his class with very little effort.

The Coming Election in the U.S.A.

 The two great burlesque shows recently held in Chicago are now things of the past—the conventions of the two major political parties in the United States to nominate their respective candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, and to frame their respective platforms with which each party hopes to capture political power in the coming elections in November.

 An important reason why these conventions were held in that city is that the business organisations of Chicago, through their Chamber of Commerce, offered both the Democratic and Republican parties an inducement of 100,000 dollars to defray expenses. This was done because the business interests of the city of the “Jungle” saw in these conventions a means of increasing business for themselves. The city fathers of Chicago decided to make doubly certain that their investment would reap profit by asking both parties to prolong their gatherings as long as possible.

The Campaign-Against Prohibition in the U.S.A.

 At the time of writing arrangements are being made to hold a big parade, and it is claimed that many trade unions and working men have applied for permission to march in it.

 The parade is to protest against the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition), and to demand the legalising of beer. The workers are led to believe that if beer is legalised a lot of jobs will be brought back and this will cause a demand for commodities which will put the workers on the road to more prosperous times.

 It is interesting to consider why the Eighteenth Amendment was made the law of the land. We will quote Fort, a member of the House of Representatives, in a speech made before the House concerning the economic causes of Prohibition: —

      With high-speed machinery and increased specialisation in its use, alertness of body and mind became essential for both the safety of the worker and the efficiency of his work.

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