” . . . Instead of combining to make the public pay an economic price for papers, they” [the newspaper proprietors] “combine to cut wages and then throw at the head of the public not only a commodity at a cost which scarcely covers productions, but also valuable prizes, insurance policies, supplements, etc., etc., etc. The consequence is that many papers cannot pay their way. But what of that ? Many papers are not intended to pay their way. If they pave the way for someone to political power, or the peerage, they will have done all that is asked of them.
“It is a curious fact, and one worth pondering deeply, that while the banks during the last year or so have held up credits for industry in general, they have allowed huge overdrafts to newspapers. (I am assuming for a moment that all the tales of woe told by newspaper proprietors are as veracious as they are pathetic.) General trade for the home markets and export have gone to rot. The banks would not finance enterprise to enable cheap textile or other goods to be made for export. But they have financed newspaper proprietors to enable them to produce cheap newspapers. Why? Is it that the bankers believe that the newspapers are necessary to instruct the public as to how it should behave, how it should think, and how it should vote ?”
—General Secretary, N.U.J., “The Journalist,” February, 1922.
Well, well, well ! Did you know that, Mr. Worker? Did you know that many papers were not intended to pay their way? Did you know that the bankers have allowed huge overdrafts to the proprietors of newspapers to enable the papers to be sold at a price within reach of the workers ?
Of a surety, do the bankers believe it is necessary for the workers to be instructed as to how they should behave, think, and vote.
And why? Well, dear worker, so long as you behave along the lines of conduct laid down by the bankers and their class, so long as you vote with them and for them, so long will they be able to maintain their position in society to the detriment of your class.
The things required to satisfy the needs of the world are to-day wrested from nature by one section of society, the working class. The other section, the master class, appropriate the results of the workers’ efforts, the wealth produced, by virtue of the fact that the workers have “behaved” and “voted” in such a way as to enable the masters so to do. Thus the master class determines who shall have, who shall have not, and in what proportion—determine who shall eat and who shall starve.
The remedy? Well, fellow-worker, you really must, behave, think, and vote differently. You must think for yourself, instead of absorbing the dope dressed up to look like real knowledge. You must vote for your own class, and not that of the banker. You must see to it that your fellow-worker has the real position of the working class laid in front of him, instead of the dope issued by the banker-financed “Press” daily. The Socialist Standard is the instrument for your purpose ready to hand. Bring it to the notice of your mates in the mine, mill, factory, or railroad. Push its sale for all you are worth.
Written by workers for the workers, it is the safe antidote to the poison pushed into the minds of the workers. It cannot, it attempts not, to “pay-the-bill-while-you-are-ill.” The Standard’s only mission in the insurance line is to point the way to the workers by which they can insure against the evils of capitalist society, by ensuring a speedy termination of the system that robs them of the fruits of their labours.
Get on with the job, then—AT ONCE.