1960s >> 1968 >> no-770-october-1968

50 Years Ago: Morals and Socialism

The Socialist’s opposition to the bourgeoisie and the capitalistic system for which they stand by no means springs simply from a recognition of the misery, slavery and degradation which capitalism entails, though being human and not mere automata of logic, Socialists are naturally strongly influenced by such facts. They know, however, that capitalism has been a necessary and useful stage in the evolution of human society. It is because the system is neither of these today, because it can be shown that the functioning of wealth as capital is now a hindrance to economic and therefore to social and intellectual progress, that the Socialist regards capitalism as an obsolete and evil institution.

 

If the Socialist holds exploitation and class oppression to be morally wrong, it is because, for the first time in history since the formation of class divisions away in the remote past, the material means are now available wherewith these, together with all their consequences, may be eliminated from human institutions. It is because this latest existing phase of class society, capitalism, is the great obstacle, holding mankind back, so to speak, on the very threshold of a new and splendid era manifesting untold developments in the material, social and mental triumphs of the race, that the Socialist holds this system and all the agencies which uphold or tend to perpetuate it, in hatred and abomination.

 

From an article by R. W. Houseley, Socialist Standard, October 1918).