Letters: Asked and Answered
We have been asked by the writer of the following letter to reply to it in the Socialist Standard.
Maida Vale, W.9.
The Socialist Standard.
I have heard it stated by socialists who are members and non-members of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, that a person cannot be a socialist and a doctor at the same time.
Their reason is that the activities of doctors hinder in the efforts of obtaining Socialism.
By this they mean that drugs and other chemicals which doctors use have in the long run detrimental effects on the human body.
They continue by stating that the medical approach to disease by suppressive methods, such as drugs, lead to other dangerous diseases.
All this they claim has also a detrimental effect on the brain-functions.
I have always accepted the view that doctors were members of the working class and that their intentions, in the main, were the same as the rest of the working class, namely, because of their property-less position, they have to sell their abilities in order to live, hence their interests were in common. I would, therefore, like to frame my question as follows:—
Can a socialist become a doctor, and vice-versa?
Where do nature-cure socialists “draw the line”?
Do you think raw carrots, cabbages, wage-labour, and Capital à la Karl Marx a good combination.
Our first thought on reading the letter was that our legs were being pulled. On the assumption, however, that the questions may be intended seriously we reply that membership of the S.P.G.B. is open to those who agree with the Declaration of Principles and act in accordance with the Party’s rules. The S.P.G.B. exists to secure the establishment of Socialism and not to control the kind of civilian employment its members are compelled by Capitalism to take, or with the views they hold on medical practice, nature cure, football, chess, music, beer-drinking, etc., etc.