Editorial: The Spectre
“Nearly 4,000,000 Workers Idle.” Such is the significant headline published in that sober capitalist organ, the “Daily Chronicle.” Is there any need to urge our readers to think what it means ? Surely not! Many of you, doubtless, have the first-hand knowledge of direct victims of the wave of starvation which is sweeping over the country, and for that matter over the world. And yet—!
“Nearly 4,000,000 Workers Idle.” That would be somewhere about a third of the total number of workers of the country. It means, in all probability, that the livelihood of some 15,000,000 of the working class of the country is cut off, and they are forced to exist or die upon the unemployment dole !
So that spectre of Central Europe, which we were made to feel the presence of so painfully by humbugging charity-mongers and the hypocritical Rich, intent upon showing how much worse off the war had left the “enemy” than you, is truly with us now. Those ghastly pictures of starving women and dead children, so judiciously tucked away now that Charity has such ample opportunity at home, might be brought out to do another turn—to illustrate another episope in capitalist history, if not to advertise another “Save the Children” fraud. And over them might be printed “The Land fit for Heroes to Live in,” and under; “Is not this Worth Fighting For ?”
It is sought, of course, to put the blame on the miners, as it always, on policy, is sought by the capitalist thieves to cover their crimes by blaming the victims of them; but the truth is not very difficult to discover. The system of producing wealth in vogue today does not concern itself with the satisfaction of human needs but only with the production of profits. It is not the business of the system how much wealth it places at the disposal of the producers, but only how much it secures for the non-producers.
That is the whole secret. It is in order that you may produce profit for the master class that you live ; and when your existence no longer contributes to that end you can die.
There is but one remedy, and that lies in the establishment of the Socialist system, founded upon the common ownership of the means of living. Study for it! Organise for it! Work for it !