50 Years Ago: The Socialist Party and Social Reform

The Socialist Party and Social Reform
In the S.P.G.B. we make but one stipulation, and that is that its members must be Socialists. The ranks of Social Reform include anybody with a pet fad who will adopt the formula: “I, too, am a Socialist, in some respects, ahem! but I think we want the Single Tax. or a paper currency, or State Ownership of the Ice Cream Carts, you know, first.” And so we find Joseph Fels, the single taxer, R. J. Campbell, the new theologian, Arthur Kitson, the currency crank, H. G. Wells, the sensational novelist, and hosts of others, representing all shades of faddism. up and down the whole gamut of puerile futility, all in the same camp and under the same many-coloured banner of “Social Reform.”


— (From the Socialist Standard, February, 1909.)


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The Purpose of Profit Sharing and Co-partnership
When trade is “booming” and the employer is making larger profits than usual, the “ungrateful” workman, despite the fact that he may be enjoying “plenty of work.” sometimes takes it into his head that he would like a slightly larger share of the wealth he has produced so abundantly, and taking a “mean advantage” of the employer, he threatens to strike unless his demands are granted. To have a strike to contend with means stoppage of production, and therefore, the losing of the opportunity of making those larger profits. The employer grates his teeth. Under his breath he curses the “wicked workers” who were not content . . .  to remain in the position in which capitalism has placed them. . . .
. . .  Here. then, are the two difficulties facing the capitalist—to get the “lazy” worker to speed up. and to prevent strikes taking place .at awkward moments—awkward, that is, for the capitalist’s profits. Labour Copartnership meets both these perils in a splendid way for the capitalist.


—(From the Socialist Standard, February, 1909.)