1990s >> 1994 >> no-1084-december-1994

Special Offer

Free food … free housing … free healthcare … free travel…
free clothing … free holidays … free entertainment

That’s right, you didn’t misread the headline. Not a bad offer is it but we’re not going to do anything for you, you’ve got to do it for yourselves”? In fact, you already do.

You are the people who run the factories and the farms, build the houses, look after the sick, teach the kids, operate the transport and communication networks, staff the offices, cook the meals and wash up afterwards. You already provide everything that is consumed in society. No, unlike the other parties we don’t offer to do anything for you or give you anything, we do however say that free access to everything mentioned above, and much more is available — as soon as society is organised in a sensible way. How could we possibly give it to you? You already run the system from top to bottom, you’ve got it all already haven’t you? Well, no, not quite, because although you spend your working life organising and producing everything, you give it all away.

“Give it away, surely not. My employer works jolly hard you know, he told me himself, he deserves every penny of profit I make for him. Anyway, he owns the whole outfit — started out from nothing getting people like me to work for him, and it’s stressful at the top constantly flying about calling up the accountant on the phone.”

Yes, it’s sad, we sympathise with the bosses; there’s the constant worry of what their competitors are up to, and whether the Chancellor will bankrupt them by getting his sums wrong again, in which case we’re out of a job too, aren’t we? What they need is socialism, just think, when we have it, they can join the rest of us in doing something useful.

“But what about that chap in the smart suit I voted for in the last election? He said his party could arrange things so that the employers would make more profit, and we might even be a little better off too, and he’s going to do something about the hospital waiting lists and the environment. Oh, and single mothers and the latest crime figures too.”

No, we won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that these are your views. You know as well as we do that politicians are completely helpless when it comes to making the market work in our interests. If they could they would, but over the years they’ve tried every trick in the book and they know they can’t. Don’t be too hard on them though. Look at it from their point of view — it’s a cushy job and the money’s not bad, if people are daft enough to give them power, why not? Better than working for an employer.

It’s ironic though isn’t it? If there was an election tomorrow on whether global socialism should be introduced many of these people would probably vote against it. Can you imagine after socialism has been introduced, the owning class of today and their politicians saying — ‘‘No, we want no part in your system, instead of contributing to the useful work, and taking freely what we need, we want to be employed, we want to be paid a wage which just about lasts from one pay day to the next. Instead of designing, building and living in decent housing, we want you to preserve a block of slum council flats for us to live in. Leave us out of your new healthcare schemes, we prefer the capitalist style of doing things, keep an old rundown hospital going for us, arrange for it to be kept short of beds and nursing staff and we’ll queue up for months for treatment. You can keep your socialism. We’re proud of our capitalist system.”

Perhaps not, they can’t be that stupid can they?

Nick White