Workers’ Responsibilities

 Since the end of 1918 there have been numerous appeals by our masters and their agents through the columns of the daily Press to the working class to cease waging a struggle on the industrial field for improved conditions. Have they not told us of their grave difficulties through the world economic crisis, and their endeavour on our behalf to obtain contracts—even at a loss— in order to give us work?

They have reminded us of the “brotherly” feeling prevalent during the war and in the trenches, and exhorted us to live it all over again in the “piping times of peace.”

  Objections are sometimes raised that the Socialist Party is too destructive in its criticisms of the part played by the officials of the Trade Union movement and the leaders of the Parliamentary Labour Party, but any worker recognising the conflict of interests between the capitalist class and the workers realises there can be no community of interests between the robber and the robbed. Trade Union officials who urge the working class to consider the interests of the exploiters are without doubt the enemies of the exploited.

 Just recently a small journal was handed to the writer, from which he extracts the following:—

    “In addressing a meeting of women workers at York, Miss Margaret Bondfield, M.P. (Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour), gave such good advice that we are printing it for the advantage of our readers.
    “She said, as a trade unionist, she must urge them to take a full share in the responsibility for the success of the business. The times in which we lived were times of great seriousness to business people. In that factory they had an opportunity of sharing, through their Works Council, in the responsibility for the success of the business. It was a matter of definitely making up their minds to give a certain amount of thought to their work. Their employers desired to make the business a great contributing fact to the welfare of the country, and were trying to get away front the old idea that the only justification for business was to make money for certain members of the firm.
    “Then there was the tremendously important matter of their own personal development. It was not merely a question of how to earn their daily bread, but how to use their leisure time. Personally, she liked a good novel and a cowboy film. But that must not be all. She found that what was most interesting was to read about the lives of clever and important people and the biographies of people who had made their mark in the world. They must cultivate a taste so that they could open the doors of literature and so get access to the whole world. In this cultivation of personal character they must seek to serve their generation, and think less about themselves.”
    The National Amalgamated Monthly, Aug. 1924.

 There, now. Grumble no more. See Tom Mix at the movies, read of clever and important people, such as Horatio Bottomley and Lloyd George, who have made their mark in the world. Cultivate a taste for the literature of a Nat Gould, and all will be well.

The Settler

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