Answer to correspondent
Mr. W. E. Bell (Le Havre, France).—We have your letter and your comments on money, production, etc. Our observations on the latter can only usefully be directed towards the underlying ideas.
You find the Socialist doctrine of the class struggle hard to understand, because you do not go far enough below the surface. The great majority of the population possess little or nothing, and they must therefore live by being employed or as dependants of those who are employed. On the other hand, the minority who own practically all of the accumulated wealth are able to live on incomes from property, i.e., on the backs of the propertyless producers of wealth. The two classes have opposing interests, just as slaves and slave-owners have opposing interests.
Your idea that the capitalist manufacturer is “half financially strangled” is not true in fact. The great bulk of the huge fortunes are in the hands of manufacturers and traders, not of bankers. It is also based on a fallacy, the belief that over the whole field of capitalism there is a shortage of purchasing power. We agree that “all we require is access to the earth’s bounty,” but, unlike you, we see that the propertied class (landed, industrial and financial) will stand as one-man to prevent the dispossessed majority from gaining that access.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS
Owing to pressure on space, answers to several correspondents are unavoidably held over. Letters are acknowledged from: M. C. (Glasgow), E. J, (Highgate), W. T. Fielding (Shrewsbury), W. E. Bell (Le Havre), J. L. D. (Woodford Green), Mr. Stanley Owens (Highgate).