50 Years Ago: The Inefficiency of Capitalism

Is it efficient to have millions of workers seeking employment while the machinery of production is standing idle? Is it efficient to put checks on Nature because she yields too generously of her bounty? And yet this is what happens in the production of rubber, tea, jute etc. Is it efficient to have trawlers dumping cargoes of fish into the sea in order to keep prices up? Is it efficient to fatten and pamper a useless few while half the people are on the verge of starvation? Is it efficient to be doing jobs which are not necessary for the ordering and use of society? Yet nearly the whole of the clerical profession are thus occupied. What need of insurance clerks in a world where risks are borne by society instead of by a special section with a view to making a profit. Solicitors’ clerks, what need of them except to haggle over private property? Abolish money economy, and what a reserve of labour is made available from the ranks of the bank staffs. Whichever way you look at it, this system is rotten, inefficient and destructive of the best potentialities in man. Social progress demands its overthrow, a task which only the working class can perform.

(From an article “Socialism and the So-called ‘Middle Class’ ” by A.L.T., Socialist Standard, February 1925.)