1910s >> 2018 >> no-85-september-1911

Answers to Correspondents: Democracy and Organisation, & Crisis, Interest and Surplus Value

E. WALTERS (Holloway).—We fail to see how organisation is incompatible with democracy. Rather we would say that true working-class organisation is impossible without it.

Democracy means everyone having an equal voice in affairs. Those appointed to carry out the wishes of their electors are but delegates, and only become dictators if you let them.

Our August issue deals with the question and its connection with Anarchism.

J. B. (Manchester) — (1) Government passes away along with the State when the working class institute Socialism. It is replaced by “the administration of things and by the conduct of processes of production.” We have to convert the powers of government from agents of oppression into agents of emancipation. The latter function will be the last act of the Government (or State).

(2) We do desire to obtain Socialism immediately. The economic forces are ripe for Socialisation and it but waits upon the conversion of the workers. Parties with programmes of “immediate demands” do not help us, since Socialists must be recruited for Socialism, and not for these ” immediate demands.”


REPLY TO J. RANDALL (Paddington).

Your statements are entirely inaccurate. Actually, when a crisis is in existence there is more gold in circulation than at other periods— as the records of the Mint and the Bank of England show.

Interest is a portion of surplus-value—that is a portion of the wealth produced by the working class, but stolen from them by the capitalist class. The rise or fall of interest, as such, has no concern for the workers. Neither does it affect them in any way, as it is an effect of economic movements, not a cause.

However, you completely give your own case away when you desire a medium of exchange based upon “saleable products,” or on “Merchants’, Miners’, and Manufacturers’ property.” Evidently this would exclude the working class, because they are propertyless and have no “saleable commodities” other than their labour-power.

What the Bank Charter of 1844 has to do with merchants and manufacturers “converting their goods into gold” is not apparent, either from your statements or from the facts.


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