Editorial: Lord Wolmer and Socialism

Lord Wolmer’s recent book (“Post Office Reform”), in which he attacks the present organisation of the Post Office and demands that it be handed over to a public utility corporation and be managed by business men, has a certain interest for Socialists, although we are not the least bit concerned with the question whether the Post Office should remain as it is or be handed over to a private company or public utility corporation. What interests us is Lord Wolmer’s belief that in attacking nationalisation he is attacking Marx. (See Chapter IX, “The Problem of Socialised Industry,” particularly p. 281.) To be fair to Lord Wolmer it is hardly his fault that he does not know any better. How should he know what Socialism means when his knowledge of the subject is probably limited to the printed and spoken propaganda of the Labour Party? Misled by this, Lord Wolmer supposes quite naturally that the “problem of socialised industry” is the fight between that wing of the Labour Party which stands by the old demand for Capitalism on State enterprise lines like the Post Office and the other wing—represented by Herbert Morrison, Major Attlee and others—which wants its Capitalism run on public utility lines. That issue is of interest to the capitalists who line up with the two groups, but it has nothing whatever to do with Marx and Socialism.

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