50 Years Ago: Objections
Two Objections to Socialism —
The avowed opponent of the Socialist movement takes up one of two positions of attack, each antagonistic to the other.
One brand of “anti” informs us, with horror, that Socialism means slavery and vile servitude; that the abolition of capitalism will involve the establishment of prostitution and horrors the like of which capitalism never knew. The other variety tells us that “Socialism is a grand ideal —far too good to be true.” They explain that for Socialism to “work” we have all got to be as heavenly as angels, and they point in despair to the touch of “the old Adam” which they discern in all human kind.
Each type has its cause, and, like most other evils, its cure also. The first is the result of the cast-iron “State capitalism” preached by the Fabian tribe under the name of Socialism, while the second is due to the prevalence of the disease misnamed “Christian Socialism.”
The “Socialism means slavery” merchant is easily disposed of, for no matter how vivid his imagination may be, he cannot discover one evil which is not found to be rampant in some form under capitalism.
Neither can he show how such evils will be increased by the advent of Socialism, which means to substitute organised social production and social enjoyment for the present chaotic “social” production and private ownership of the wealth produced. That slavery will be more intense under a system of state capitalism is for the advocate of nationalisation to deny, and has no concern for the Socialist.
From the November 1912 Socialist Standard.