Dirty Work

Most of the objections raised are really nothing but silly prejudices that for obvious reasons are being assiduously fostered by our masters who have an interest in preventing the possibility of an alteration of the social system.


To these arguments or prejudices belongs also the ever recurring question: Who would do the so-called dirty work? It would seem that the greater part of the useful work indispensable for the daily life of the whole of society, is classified under this latter category—dirty work. One can understand that such questions are raised by the wealthy, and that any answer you could give would leave them unconvinced. But that the workers who have always done this “dirty work,’* and under conditions that will have no place under Socialism, should echo these doubts, is certainly curious. For it ought to be clear that it is only the present economic system that condemns men and women to a daily eight or more hours of monotonous toil and attaches a STIGMA or SOCIAL INFERIORITY to almost every productive work that is indispensable for the daily life of society. After the abolition of this idiotic system and the disappearance of class privileges, the stigma of social inferiority will, of course, no longer attach to any work whatever, just as even today no such stigma attaches, for example, to the medical profession. In spite of their often extremely unpleasant, unclean and distasteful work, the physician and surgeon enjoy general esteem and dignity. Much of the really obnoxious work, including the production of bombs and tanks and other instruments of mass murder, and the work of jailers, and police, will no longer be necessary. There will be no need either for any man to spend time down in the bowels of the earth digging coal and other minerals to be squandered in battleships and transport of war material to the ends of the world. On the other hand, with the daily improvement of mechanical devices, with the aid of mechanical cleaning equipment and the innumerable contrivances now available, the job of doing the “dirty work” will be considerably facilitated and become “cleaner.”


It ought to be perfectly obvious that with a radically changed social basis and background, man’s ideas and outlook on life are bound to undergo a corresponding change. As the change from Capitalism to Socialism is the greatest event in human history, ending as it will, the age-long rule of property and with it the exploitation of man by man, and establishing in its place the Socialist commonwealth where money rules no more, the change which it is bound to produce on all aspects, will be correspondingly profound.


Let the big businessmen and politicians, the Stock Exchange gamblers, dividend hunters, lottery and insurance experts, company promoters and directors, with their police-chiefs, dictators, generalissimos, executives and executioners, bishops, priests and parsons, and the rest of the lackeys of capital, laugh or weep or tremble at such “preposterous” proposals! But what can they offer as an alternative to Socialism? Nothing but the continuance of the hellish system of Capitalism! It is for you to choose.


Rudolf Frank