Editorial: Middle-Class ‘Socialism’

In a communication to the Magazine of Commerce, Mr. H. G. Wells, whom the Clarion hails as a “prominent Socialist,” gives his views as to whether a capable business man stands to gain or lose by the coming of a Socialist Government.

    “I submit,” says Mr. H. G. Wells, “that, on the whole, he stands to gain. Let me put down the essential points in his outlook as I conceive them.

    ” Under a Socialist legislation:—

    ” He will be restricted from methods of production and sale that are socially mischievous.

    ” He will pay higher wages.

    ” He will pay a higher proportion of his rate-rent out-goings to the State and municipality and less to the landlord.

    ” These items in his outlook the business man may contemplate with doubt, but, on the other hand,

    ” He will get better educated, better fed, and better trained workers.

    ” He will get a regular, safe, cheap supply of power and material. He will get cheaper and more efficient internal and external transit.

    ” He will be under an organised scientific State, which will naturally pursue a vigorous scientific policy in support of the national trade.

    ” He will be less of an adventurer and more of a citizen.”

As with other so-called Socialists of the middle class, Mr. Wells makes it plain that his conception of Socialism is a middle-class heaven wherein, although higher wages may be paid, yet only so because it is the price of a more efficient and more profitable labour-power. Wherein, in fact, the capitalist will get cheap labour, cheap material, cheap power and cheap transit and where he will sell at an advantage because “the State will pursue a vigorous scientific policy in support of the national trade.”

We commend the utterances of Mr. Wells to the careful attention of our readers for it illustrates yet again that the “Socialism” professed by middle-class would-be leaders of the workers is directly opposed to the interests of the working class and is as much the enemy as Liberalism or Toryism. It is, indeed, but capitalism with a thin disguise of bunkum. It is a state of society specially designed to provide greater profit and power to the decaying middle class, where the Trust shall cease from troubling and the Receiver be at rest, and where also the wage-slaves shall be more efficient and profitable to the end that the “intellect” and “ability” of the middle class, rescued from bankruptcy by the “Labour” movement, may scoop in all the profit.

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