1990s >> 1992 >> no-1050-february-1992

50 Years Ago: Trade Relations After The War

The other side of the New Order is the insistence on the desirability of raising the standard of living of the world’s population. Here you find the Conservative Times and the Labour leader, Mr. Herbert Morrison, agreeing about the form of words to be used. The Times (October 4th. 1941) says that the old conception of “Wealth of Nations” is “finding more positive expression in ‘the welfare of nations,”’ and Mr. Morrison suggests “the conception of human welfare as the avowed aim and object of international post-war policy” (Times, June 7th, 1941). But the magic word “welfare” and seeming agreement get us nowhere. Before human welfare can be the aim and object of international policy that aim and that object have got to be adopted by those who control the Government and that cannot be while capitalism is the established order of society. The aim of the capitalist, whether individually or through capitalist trading and industrial associations or through Governments, is and must continue to be the production and sale of goods for profit.

Governments may come under the control of men or parties which profess other aims, but so long as they have the task of administering capitalism it will be the profit motive, not the idealistic aim, that will and must determine their conduct and policy at home and in the international field.

(From the Socialist Standard, February 1942.)