The Editor of Justice informs a correspondent (5.12.08) that mnicipalisation of certain concerns has not been done by the S.D.P. members on local governing bodies, but that “we wore the first to advocate them, and the fact that our opponents, in spite of themselves in many instances, have been constrained to put such measures into practice, proves our forecast of the trend of development to have been a correct one, and also that in many cases we have assisted the development by forcing the pace.” Then the “Immediate Reform of Public Ownership of Gas, Electric Light, and Water Supplies, as well as of Tramway, Omnibus and other locomotive services,” in-so-far as it forces the pace of capitalism, does not “reform” the present system, but makes it worse. Unless the Editor of Justice would have us believe that “greater material and moral facilities for the working class to organise itself and carry on the class war” may be attained by permitting the capitalists in any local area to combine together in order to exploit the workers to a greater extent, in those concerns which can no longer be carried on in their class interest as private concerns. “Public” control does not arise under municipalisation any more than under trustification or private trading. In each instance a paid expert runs the business, and increases in his salary are often decided by his ability to carry on the concern at the lowest expense.

Unless the Editor of Justice considers socialisation and municipalisation to be one and the same thing,—which I cannot imagine,—he is wasting time by troubling with municipalisation at all, for we are told that “the emancipation of the working class can only be achieved through the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and (!) exchange, and their subsequent control by the organised community in the interest of the whole people.” (S.D.P. programme.) That last clause could mean that the process of socialisation is performed by one class who are superseded by the workers subsequently when they take control: probably, however, “consequent control” is meant, because the emancipation is not complete, any more than the socialisation is, until the “organised community” has control.

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There is a machine known as the Owens Glass Bottle Making Machine. There are 18 of these machines in America, the annual maximum output of which exceeds 100,000,000 bottles.

The machine is said to be the only one on which the whole process, from glass-making to the finished bottle, can be carried out continuously. The glass furnace is in direct combination with the blowing apparatus, and the molten glass flows into a revolving chamber, from which it is removed by suction through six vents, to be then shaped, blown, and delivered automatically. After exhaustive trials had been made at Trafford Park, Manchester, the European Glass Bottle Syndicate was formed. They purchased the European patent rights for £600,000. The number of machines AND THEIR OUTPUT have been fixed for each member of the Syndicate, and the change from hand labour to machine work is to be made gradually during the next ten years, in order to minimise any disturbing influence on labour and capital already engaged in the industry.

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“There is, however, nothing remarkable in the attitude of the Labour Party to the unemployed, as nothing effective can be done to remedy unemployment without seriously affecting capitalist class interests. Therefore no capitalist Government will do anything effective unless absolutely forced to do so.”

No, gentle reader, the above quotation is not from THE SOCIALIST STANDARD. In that case it would be sheer “impossibilism,” while appearing as it does in Justice, (9.1.09), it is, of course, a level-headed statement of fact. Doubtless that is why the S.D.P. spend so much time and energy more or less organising the unemployed to ask the capitalist Government to do that which “no capitalist Government will do,” namely, “anything effective” for the unemployed. But hush, thou wrecker! The very next sentence puts the matter in order from the S.D.P. standpoint. Listen !

“Now Mr. MacDonald and other Labour Party chiefs dare not allow their Party to apply that force, because of the understanding between them and the Liberals regarding seats.”

When we have said the Labour Party was indebted to Liberal support for their seats we have been told we were using ”vile abuse and slander.” Of course, when Justice says so it is merely “fair criticism.” The point just now, however, is the remark that the Party chiefs “dare not allow their Party to apply that force.” The Labour Party number 31 members in the House of Commons out 672 ! What force do they possess ? Merely the force, of protest—nothing more. Fully in keeping with the position of the reform parties, however, is the suggestion that a small minority can obtain anything useful to the workers. And this in spite of the fact that a few lines previously it was stated that the Government would not do anything “unless absolutely forced.” Will Justice please explain how 31 members can force the, other 641 ?

“If the Labour Party were to apply force to the Government on any question affecting capitalist interests that understanding would be ruptured, with the result that every one of the Labour Members would find themselves opposed by Liberal candidates at the next elections. Such opposition would be almost certain to result in the defeat of the Labour candidate, and defeat means the loss of a salary of £200 a year, together with sundry fat perquisites which the letters M.P. added to their names bring them for their lucubrations to the capitalist press.
“Indeed, it is quite probable that the money-value of the letters M.P. affixed to the name of a ‘Labour’ writer to the capitalist press has a great deal more to do with the attitude of MacDonald, Snowden, and Co. than is generally supposed. I know for certain, at any rate, that those two magic letters have brought the ‘Labour’ writer entitled to affix them to his name as much as £5 a time for a daily column of stuff to papers which would not have accepted it gratis without those two letters affixed to the name of the writer.”

Et tu Brute. What does the Labour Party think of this—not from the “narrow, intolerant bigots” of the S.P.G.B., but from their “neutral, friendly critics,” whose member, Will Thorne, is in the ranks of the Party thus criticised ? Fortunately, the leaders of the Labour Party have met this point by anticipation, when they have denounced the “dogma of material interests being the driving force in human actions” as a “blighting creed of withering materialism.” What that brilliant remark may mean is carefully kept to themselves—to prevent overloading the minds of the rank and file with information.

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