1940s >> 1941 >> no-443-july-1941

Editorial: Who Will Do the Dirty Work Under Socialism?

There are still people who think that they have put a real poser in the question, “Who will do the dirty work under Socialism?” Their favourite example, thirty or forty years ago, was the crossing sweeper. Since then, with various mechanical developments, road-sweeping has ceased to be a useful example from their point of view, because nowadays road-sweeping can be done, and usually is done, in the larger towns by motor-sweepers.

Now, owing to the calling-up of men for the Army, some London Local Authorities are employing women for road sweeping. Others are employing women to do the laborious work of clearing away air-raid debris. This is how capitalism answers the superficial questions of its defenders.

Under Socialism the task will not be that of deciding which individuals shall be compelled by economic or other pressure to do laborious and unpleasant work, but of finding ways and means of abolishing or lessening such work for all.