50 Years Ago: No future for the co-operative movement

Unfortunately for the idealistic Co-operator, it is a world of realities and not ideals that has to be dealt with. Capitalism has possession of this world at present, and hallmarks productions with the capitalist stamp as products of slave labour. Though such products may be produced by a Co-operative Society and sold in a Co-operative shop, still they are none the less articles produced by people who own no property but their power to labour, and who have used up this power to labour in the production of Co-operative products. In return for this expenditure of energy they have received no more than in any other capitalist concern — the average cost of production of such labour power. In other words, whether the work is done for a Co-operative Society or a joint stock company, the worker is still a wage slave, whatever be the fanciful title applied to his wage.

As we are organised to abolish wage slavery, we are opposed to the Co-operative movement.

(From an unsigned editorial, Ideals and Reality, in the SOCIALIST STANDARD, September 1923)

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