1960s >> 1965 >> no-732-august-1965

50 Years Ago: The Impossibility of Social Harmony under Capitalism

“Nothing can prevent a war throughout Western civilisation between the possessors and the dispossessed—nothing except the dominance in the mass of individuals, or at least in the leaders of both classes, of intelligence and of the ideals of peace and brotherhood . . .  If the governing class will keep in touch with all classes; if those in authority in law, in industry, in education, in religion will seek for the public good: if all classes will seek to keep open the means of understanding and sympathy with all other classes, there will be no more need of revolution as n means of social progress than there is of children’s diseases in individual development”.

(From The Social Problem by C. A. Ellwood.)


Neither in the working class nor in the ruling class can the soulful humanitarian ideals upon which he relies become dominant. Our social circumstances destroy them. Present economic conditions sow hate, not love. Figs cannot grow on thistles. If it were necessary to wait for a complete moral regeneration of the working class; if the mass had first to overflow with love and charity for our oppressors, our case as well as the Professor’s would be utterly hopeless. Fortunately, it is not so. Economic development is with us. On it our essential case rests. The propaganda of revolutionary Socialism is a direct effect of present social conditions. Capitalist conditions indelibly stamp the ruling class with the selfish, cruel and hypercritical qualities of the exploiter: and we know what a little part sentiment plays in the struggle.


(From a review of Professor Ellwood’s book in the Socialist Standard, August. 1915.)