A Travesty of Socialism

Undoubtedly one of the greatest hindrances to a clear understanding of Socialism is the misrepresentation to which it is subject, not only from opponents, but also from those who, at times, call themselves Socialists. Here, for example, is Mr. Jas. Parker, Labour M.P. For Halifax, which position he secured by making a compact with the Liberal Party, assuring an audience at Swadlincote Town Hall (on October 8th) that the Army, Navy, and Post Office are Socialistic institutions, and that the last Government decided to socialise the telephones. Did anyone ever hear such twaddle ? What is Socialism ? It is the ownership and control by all the people of all the means of production and distribution of wealth. It is thus the very antithesis of capitalism. How, then, can you have Socialistic institutions in the midst of capitalism ? The Army and the Navy exist for the purpose of protecting the British capitalist class against the capitalist class of other countries and to enable them to extend their spheres of exploitation. Yet these according to our I.L.P. oracle, are Socialistic ! And the Post Office is admittedly an institution where the lower grade of workers are abominably sweated in order to provide a huge profit, which the P.M.G. (Tory or Liberal) may apply to the reduction of taxation. And as taxes do not affect the working class in the least, as their exploitation takes place in the factory—they are robbed at the pay-box—(a fact which even Mr. Victor Grayson has not yet grasped) what does it matter to them whether taxes are high or low ? There is all the difference in the world between State Capitalism and Socialism. In the former the members of the working class are still wage-slaves, even tho’ their conditions may be better than under Private Capitalism, but, as has been proved by recent events at Woolwich, the fear of dismissal always hangs over their heads. In the latter, all will be workers, owning and controlling all the wealth-producing implements that they operate. They will no longer be slaves, subject to be condemned to semi-starvation at the whim or caprice of a master, but free men and free women performing their share of the necessary work and enjoying, as only a free people can enjoy, the good things of life that they co-operate to produce. To argue that certain capitalist institutions are Socialist ones is misleading and those who so argue are either ignorant or fraudulent.

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