Life under modern capitalism gives rise to all sorts of anxieties, tensions and “complexes.” To start with the securing and holding down of jobs in that “increasingly competitive world,” which the politicians are constantly referring to and in the advent of automation.

The working class housing problem, keeping up with hire-purchase commitments, having relatives in Cyprus or other trouble spots; all these problems tend to produce various mental disorders.

No small proportion of people suffering as a result of society’s contradictions join the steadily expanding ranks of the mentally ill as patients, voluntary and otherwise, in the mental hospitals and asylums.

There is also an increasing tendency to resort to drugs, known as “tranquilizers” to temporarily obliviate the nagging problems. Taking sleeping pills for insomnia is nothing new of course, but these tranquilizers are a comparatively new phenomenon.

In the U.S.A. a commercial drug called Miltown (named after the town of its manufacture in New Jersey) is fourth largest selling drug in the country and, according to a Daily Herald article ((8/6/56), is becoming a “dangerous national habit.”

Again, according to the Herald there are two tranquillizers produced in Britain—reserpine and chlorpromazine, the former in some cases leading to suicidal depression.

What a commentary on present day society!

Surely it should be apparent that the very real problems which confront us are inseparable from capitalism.

In the world of harmony and co-operation that will be Socialism, the circumstances that give rise to worry and anxiety will be absent.

Where the very means of life, i.e., those of production and distribution, are commonly owned and democratically controlled, resulting in the replacement of the profit by the use motive, the constant fear of economic crises, of new industrial techniques, and the perpetual struggle, will be things of the past. Likewise the tragedies being enacted in Cyprus and Algeria, and the ever present threat of large scale war arising from capitalism’s struggle for markets, strategic bases, trade routes and spheres of influence.

Resorting to artificial antidotes in an attempt to momentarily obliviate our problems is worse than futile.

Their permanent solution, indeed the only solution to working class problems, is really self-evident, the emancipation of our class from the enslavement of capital.

Fellow workers, let us stop eternally trying to escape from society’s ailments, but face them, understand them and based upon that Socialist understanding take the necessary political action.

F. S.

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