Answers to correspondents
T. Mosley (Notts).—We have no trace of a previous letter asking about trade unionism. Your suggestion that the weakness of our position lies in our aloofness from the trade union movement is not supported by any evidence. The aim of trade unions is not Socialism and, therefore, the principles and policy of The Socialist Party is quite distinct from those of trade unions.
Trade unions are organised within capitalism to “collectively bargain” with employers terms of wage slavery. The Socialist Party’s aim is to abolish wage slavery and establish Socialism.
We recognise the necessity of trade unions under capitalism, and, therefore, endeavour to make them more effective by urging the workers to recognise the class struggle and its implications. The spread of Socialist knowledge is the best antidote to the poison of “labour-leaders,” and is the only policy to hasten the abolition of wage slavery which trade unions are powerless to accomplish.
W. C. E. (Leyton).—Your question : “What is the relative economic position of the worker compared to 50 years ago?” will be dealt with in an article at an early date.
S. Warr (Southend) asks the following-question :-—
“As value is determined by social necessary labour power or time, what then would be the value of gold as means of exchange if its production were unrestricted and of great volume ?
“I ask this as the machinery, science and organisation of mines to-day has very greatly increased the production of gold; also the knowledge of its location.”
(Answer).—The effect of the reduction ot the value of gold due to less labour being required to produce it is that more gold has to be given in exchange for other articles. In other words, there is a general rise in prices. If gold could be produced with relatively very little labour, it would make it less suitable as a medium of exchange. It still contains, however, a large value in a small compass and, therefore, serves the purpose of a medium of exchange better than any other commodity.
(Socialist Standard, September 1925)