A world of waste

Perhaps the chief characteristic of the present regime is the production of colossal wealth by the workers of the world. In no period has the earth been so ransacked for its potential riches; in no age have the forces of nature, and scientific knowledge, been so utilised to extract wealth as during the last fifty years. In the domain of earth, sea, and air, man exerts wonderful power. Ultimately he may even prevent earthquakes from being a menace, make plagues impossible, and turn the uncontrolled force in the lightning stroke, and the energies of the sea and the sunlight, to the common good.

Man, alas ! has assisted in his own enslavement. The wealth he has shaped has diverted him from the destiny that should be his. With all his great heritage, wielding untold potency through science, he should be happier far than those of ages gone. Health and real happiness, knowledge and power, should be his in excelsis were he but the real possessor of his own productions, the disposer of his own powers.

But a blight has settled over Society—the blight of capitalism ! That which blossoms and promises abundance for all is turned to foulness, and the fruit it bears is bitter.

And so we see the saddest spectacle of the ages—the vast masses of the people, who are the wealth producers, surrounded by gigantic wealth yet themselves in stint and wretchedness.

Poverty, ceaseless toil, disease, and misery are theirs. Slaves without knowing it are most of them, contented with their chains. Without hope and bereft of ideals, their lives sunless and shorn of imagination by this system that exploits and finally “scaps” them, they exist only as beasts of burden. The epitaph of millions might justly be : “In the grip of the capitalist system they were compelled to waste their very lives.” For capitalism, with all its Midas-like power, produces, from its very nature, the most terrible waste imaginable. It is, indeed, in the final and real sense, the essence of wastefulness and misdirected energy.

Let us consider now some aspects in which this is presented.

The children of the workers suffer from malnutrition—due to the inability of their exploited parents to supply them with the necessary food. Often they come into the world the offspring of ill-nourished parents, thus being handicapped from the start. They grow up puny, and continue to be ill-fed, and the most important fundamental is missing from Society : healthy, strong children. The wastage of potential citizens and wealth producers through capitalism is enormous.

Then they are educated. And what an edutation it is ! What efforts are made to develop them physically, to make them sturdy, robust, so that existence becomes enjoyable ? Their own innate tendencies are but rarely encouraged ; their talents are rarely discovered and developed. Individuality is crushed out of them by the system of education, and the imaginative faculty is looked upon as something to be eradicated ! A smattering of this and that is given them, and many of the most valuable kinds of knowledge are denied them altogether.

Thus they are turned out of the schools, half-baked products of capitalistic instruction, with minds impaired by narrow national prejudices, designated “patriotism.” They are given only enough “education” to make them docile and industrious wage-slaves. All knowledge that would be dangerous to the present system, and all history of the struggles of the workers in the past to gain freedom, are glossed over, lied about, or hidden from them.

Now consider the hap-hazard employment of children under the system, and their development into full-grown wage-slaves.

Few of the workers can exercise a choice worth calling such in the profession or trade of their children. They take what presents itself. The medical, legal, and scientific professions are excluded by lack of opportunities. Money paves the way. The one idea is to so place them that they may “make a living.” The consequence is that the potential artist, scientist, author or architect becomes a mere drudge.

The world will never know what a wealth of intellect and power is thus dissipated and lost.

Socialism, with its utilisation of human ability for the world’s Commonwealth, alone is the remedy. It alone presents the opportunities.

The youthful workers become innured to the system, and generally everything that is is taken as a matter of course. The workers’ lives are spent in creating wealth. Their very lives are not their own. They become mere drudges. A fatalism is engendered that makes many end their slave existence as they began it—by blindly accepting it. Others may understand their trade interests and become trade unionists, yet never possess the key to emancipation—class-consciousness.

One final word on the gigantic waste manifesting itself in a thousand ways. Through their hellish system the masters are compelled to maintain huge fighting forces to conserve their interests. Intetests of rival groups of capitalists clash and war is precipitated, and air, sea and land become the scenes of hideous waste—waste of life and wealth.

Millions have been slaughtered, millions maimed for life. Desolation, ruin, and famine cover the earth. War has created a wilderness of untold waste.

Workers, the one remedy that lies in your hands is Socialism. Organise for the establishment of that system in order that human energy and ability shall no longer be run to waste, in order, instead, that you may reap the fruits of your labours and peace and prosperity be yours. So shall you become masters of your own destiny ; so shall man come into his own and realise his infinite capacity to make this globe worth living on ; so shall be established, as never before, happiness and liberty for the multitudes of [all nations, founded upon the wealth that flows like water from their concerted efforts.

“Isn’t this worth fighting for” think you?


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