The Western Socialist
Vol. 28 - No. 221
No. 3, 1961
Esquimalt-Saanich Federal Constituency
Your Opportunity To Help Solve Your Social Problems
What can the party you intend to vote for
DO to make this a better world for you to live in?
Not long ago the experts were telling us that the days of booms and depressions were over, that governments, knowing more about such things, would never allow them to happen again. But something went wrong.
According to some calculations the unemployment total for the province of B. C. in mid-January was 82,000, or 17% of the working population. The figure for Canada was 719,000, or 11.3% of the labour force, the highest since the 1930s. Soup kitchens are with us, as they have been many times before.
Other parties propose to raise or lower tariffs, increase government spending on public works, establish productivity councils, expand technical training for workers, "plan" production and lower interest rates.
The provincial C.C.F., Social Credit and Communist parties, and sections of the Junior Chamber of Commerce have favoured trade with China as a way of cutting down unemployment.
The record of the other parties has been one of failure. The hodgepodge of palliatives, serving only to bolster capitalism, has never effectively dealt with but has often accentuated the problem of unemployment.
But do the CCF and Communist parties, which profess to be friends of the working man, have some magical formula that could be used to cure unemployment if they ever formed a government? Experience of similar parties in other parts of the world do not support this. The British version of the CCF, the Labor Party, formed a government in 1929 that had no effect on the progress of the great depression of the thirties; and in Russia it was officially conceded that there were 1,310,000 unemployed workers in 1930.
They tend to heal a rift in one place and start another elsewhere.
During the hungry thirties some of the reform groups urged government spending to create more jobs when warehouses were already overflowing with wealth that couldn't be sold. They advocate the same thing today.
These parties also propose increases in unemployment insurance and welfare payments. The Labor government in Britain in July, 1931, introduced a bill to reduce unemployment pay! There is a difference between administering capitalism and telling others how to administer it.
Unemployment is not a result of good or bad government. It arises out of the way wealth is produced and distributed in modern times. If goods were produced for use, there would be no over-production problem. But they are produced for sale for profit.
So the owners of the means of production find themselves at times accumulating too much; too many factories, too much copper, too much lumber, wheat, butter, autos, furniture, in short, too much wealth. More than can be used up in the biggest arms race in modern history, more than the parasite class can dissipate, more than can be wasted in a myriad of useless tasks needed to keep a chaotic, cash society functioning.
All other parties in this country oppose us; they all support capitalism, which means anarchy in production. This arrangement can provide no permanent solution to unemployment.
The principle that governs production today is exchange for profit. When goods cannot be sold to realize a profit, there is no sale. The goods pile up, No sale means a closing down of some industries, a curtailment in the production of others, and workers out of work. This applies wherever capitalism prevails, including Russia, whose owners now have idle aluminum factories, a surplus of oil and are looking for markets for lumber, tin and other base metals.
The SPC advocates that production be carried on for use, not for sale. This is the only way that the recurring problem of unemployment can he solved. When a new society arrives where people are not forced to sell their energies for a price or a wage, they will cease to he pawns of a fluctuating market. They will be free from such economic laws as those that govern the movements of sugar and soap.
Unemployment intensifies the poverty that workers normally suffer while working for wages. The job is not an effective answer to poverty. Last year over 60% of Canada's population had an average consumer debt of $2,780 each. This was near the end of a period of "prosperity," which to workers meant full employment.
Capitalism is a world-wide social system involving every section of civilization. The social conditions imposed by this system are largely responsible for the misery that plagues so much of suffering humanity.
On top of this lies the threat of nuclear war. Wars are not fought in the interest of freedom for all. They are fought over markets and resources. Capitalism's greatest depression was overcome by the major nations engaging in the most destructive war man has yet known. But the "solution" was only temporary. Are we going to allow the present growing impasse to be solved in the same way?
If you are satisfied with capitalism and its insecurity, misery and violence, then we don't want your vote. A vote for capitalism should go to any of the politicians who propose to tinker with effects, to promise, to plead, to deceive and finally to preserve things as they are. But if you wish to see an end to this monstrous nonsense, your vote must come to us.
Our proposal is simply to place the productive apparatus of the earth, which is already socialized in operation, into the hands of all society.
General human happiness and harmony is not possible until these economic forces are also in harmony.
We don't mean government ownership. With government ownership there is still exploitation of one class by another, with all its unpleasant effects. The wealth produced by the workers will still belong to the capitalists. Nothing is basically changed. Capitalists merely exchange shares for interest-bearing government bonds.
We mean social equality, a condition in which people are not divided into owners and producers, but where there are no classes and production is organized to provide for the needs of all at all times.
This is not an idle dream. It is the logical and necessary outcome of thousands of years of social evolution. We hope you'll take every opportunity to vote for it.
The Candidate for Socialism
Victoria Local Secretary: C. Luff