1920s >> 1922 >> no-220-december-1922
Letter: Have We Socialisation?
To the Editorial Committee of the Socialist Standard.
An article appearing in this month’s Socialist Standard over the initials J. D., entitled “Remedies,” needs your careful attention; an otherwise admirable article is marred in its conclusion by the astounding statement that the remedy for unemployment, poverty and overwork suffered by the working class is the socialisation of the means of production and distribution. Since how long has the socialisation of those means been the one remedy for the above mentioned social evils, poverty, etc. ? Seeing that capitalism and its mode of production has long since achieved the aforesaid socialisation of the means of production and distribution, what is there to trouble about; and why, like other journals still working for this end, such as Justice, Labour Leader, Socialist, continue to agitate and advocate and waste time over bringing about what is already accomplished? It is better to be exact than misleading in our teaching, and if J. D. and yourselves will show in our next or some succeeding number of the Socialist Standard that the only remedy for poverty, unemployment and overwork lays in the direction of social ownership and democratic control of the means of producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community, you will have done what is necessary so far as the article needs correction; and in the interest of truth, and of the hitherto good name of the Socialist Standard, I trust you will see the necessity of giving the correction as prominent a place as the statement that caused me to write you.
P.S.—The exactness I mean is not in the metaphysical sense.
Mr. Martin has discovered a mare’s nest. The means of production are socially operated because the laws, methods of management, and the interaction of the various members of society who take part in wealth production, are all adapted to serve the present economic system.
But both the means of production and the products are privately owned. Hence there does not exist the Socialisation—or the making into a social system—of the means of production and distribution. This can only exist when social operations are combined with social ownership of both means and results of production. In other words, when Socialism is established.