A look around

We have often stated that the housing “problem” is insoluble within Capitalism. After the Lord Mayor’s Show comes the Bishop of Ripon. Saith he :—

“At the present rate of progress new generations will be born and will die in the existing slums. Before the present slums are abolished new insanitary areas will have come into being.” (Nineteenth Century and after Magazine—June.)

Likewise the Daily Chronicle, August 8th, 1928 :—

“The centre point of the housing problem today is not that of building new houses, but of building houses in which the working-class can afford to live.”

This, according to the Bishop, is equivalent to saying that at the present rate of Capitalist “progress,” some of us will not be able to afford to live even in the slums. But the Bishop and the Chronicle reckon on the assumption that you will remain blind to your own interests for ever. See to it now. The price of our pamphlet “Socialism” is two pence, it gives the remedy for housing, and all the poverty problems of the working class.


“For Society jaded after the fatigues of the season, Goodwood is at once a rest cure and a tonic, for the fine air of the Downs is marvelously invigorating.” (“Evening Standard,” 30/7/28.)

Poor dears ! how tiring! they need a change ! Apparently others, too, have been jaded with the fatigues of “looking for work,” for in the same paper we read that at Bethnal Green “2,000 unemployed beseige a workhouse.” These contrasts obtrude everywhere. The Daily News, July 12th, 1928, tells us in heavy headlines of EIGHT MILLION PEOPLE ON POVERTY LINE—LUXURY TRADES BOOMING. This latter condition, is what is termed in our masters’ press, “Our improving Trade,” “National Prosperity,” and so on. Any attempt to alter such arrangements is heralded as a threat on the life of the “Nation,” “Public,” or “Community.” For all such terms issuing from Capitalist sources, read Capitalist or Parasite Class.


“The root cause of the present suspicions and antagonisms lies in the separation of those interested in industry into the two classes of capital-owning profit takers, and ownerless weekly wage earners.”

This admission comes from a high-class Capitalist business publication (Business Organisation, June). At the same time it is interesting to compare one of the latest publications of the Labour Party. They tell us :—

“The workers are not a class, they are the nation. Talk of the class war is obsolete.” (Labour Encyclopaedia, Vol. I, p. 117.)

The correct and scientific point of view we have given in every issue of the SOCIALIST STANDARD since we were an organisation. It will be found on the back page, paragraphs one and two, of our principles.

The Liberal Party possesses some wonderful minds. Think of the mental strain involved, and the disturbance of the grey matter, in putting this lot over :—

“In the long run the cure for unemployment must be found in expanding opportunities for natural work. . . . ” (Sir John Simon, “Manchester Guardian,” 30/7/28.)

This, mind you, in an age when, through privately-owned wealth, we must restrict its output and compel millions to cease production. The learned Liberal after years of office and opportunity, can propose nothing better than an aggravation of the causes, Capitalism remaining unchanged. Read the following carefully, and then reflect upon the ease with which we could produce wealth to-day if the needs of the producers, and not the Capitalist’s profits, were the object of production :—

“At the end of the 15th Century a peasant could provision his family for a twelvemonth by fifteen weeks of ordinary work. An artisan could achieve the same result in ten weeks.” (Six centuries of work and wages, p. 389, Thorold Rogers).


(Socialist Standard, September 1928)

Leave a Reply