50 Years Ago: “The Menace of Socialism”

The Daily Express endeavours to make capital—or rather profit—out of the prominence which the word “Socialism” has attained during the past few years. The character of its attack upon what for its purpose it chooses to consider as Socialism, is quite worthy of the traditions of “yellow” or capitalist journalism.

In heavy type on its leader page the Express published the following:—

“Why not look the facts in the face? The issue is do longer liberalism against Conservatism. It is, instead, Constitutionalism—which signifies unity of Empire and the rights of property, law and order—against Socialism, which stands for disruption, for loot, for the elimination of individual enterprise, and the incentive to do great things; for laziness, for Atheism and Free Love.”

Here wage-slavery, the exploitation of the mass of the people to supply the luxuries and ease of wealthy drones, appears disguised as Constitutionalism, Empire, Property. Law and Order! Whilst Socialism is disguised also, but in a different way, as Disruption, Loot, Laziness, Atheism and Free Love!

But who, pray is it intended should be frightened by these scarecrows? Is it the worker? Or is it the leech to be applied to some scared capitalists for the benefit of the free and glorious Press?

(From the SOCIALIST STANDARD, August 1907)

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