1940s >> 1944 >> no-482-october-1944

On a holiday

A visit to a Holiday at Home entertainment in the local park provides the Socialist with much food for thought. Can it be possible that the rather amateurish playing and singing, the rides on the two long-suffering donkeys, and the many swindles to aid one or more parts of the armed forces are compensating the workers for their fifty weeks of long, arduous toil ?

They certainly, at first glance, seem happy enough, and yet the careful observer could fancy that under this assumed mask of gaiety there was still the realisation that even this poor, short interlude would soon be over, and they would be back again busily amassing wealth for the capitalist class. They are, for the most part, unconscious of this tragic clown’s mask, but these stirrings in the workers’ mind provide material for the propaganda of the Socialist, and small is the step from the subconscious stirrings to the realisation of the idea.

Truly the worker is a source of wonder in that he continues to accept gratefully anything and everything that the capitalist condescends to give him—even in his entertainment.

Does the worker ever think, whilel partaking of these miserable few hours of enjoyment, either in the local park or at some more distant point (if he has enough energy left for enjoyment after standing for hours in a packed, stifling train) of the members of the master-class having their holidays at some “select” seaside resort, or shooting and fishing on some fellow-capitalist’s estate?

When the workers, on their return to their toil, instead of inevitably grumbling and leaving things at that, begin to ask themselves, and their workmates, why . . why . . .WHY? then things will start moving; then the Socialist will come into his own, and it will be up to him to provide the answer—namely, that this system of exploitation continues only because the majority of society (i.e., the workers) are not fully conscious of the fact that they are exploited by a minority (the capitalist class). When this class-consciousness has been achieved, and the ” Why ?” of the workers has been replaced by “What next?” then the task of the Socialist will have really begun. Whoever understands the set-up of the capitalist system cannot fail to agree with the object and principles of the S.P.G.B.

L. YOUNG.

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