From the May 1980 issue of the Socialist Standard
Workers continue to support a system of society that kills deliberately and efficiently, not only in wars, but also by hypothermia in the aged or malnutrition and outright starvation. Capitalism is responsible for so many of the illnesses common to-day, either directly as their cause or because funds are refused for research into their origins and possible cure.
Harry Smith was a salesman, married with a nine year old son, when he died of a coronary at the age of 41. That was in 1951. Recently his son Howard died at the age of 36, leaving a young wife and two children. On the advice of his doctors he had lived carefully; but he did not even attain his father’s age. Medical research had hardly progressed in the intervening 28 years.
Tragedies such as those of the Smith family are part and parcel of capitalism. How long will we allow this inhumanity to continue? The choice is ours — capitalism, coronary and cancer on top of all the other evils workers suffer under the system, or the establishment of socialism a world where all will live in harmony, producing only for use and not for profit.
Such a society will eliminate the stresses and strains which are responsible for many of today’s illnesses, and all the resources necessary for research into and the cure of such illnesses as may still exist will be readily available. Doctors and scientists will no longer be hampered by “cut backs” and the lack of research facilities and everyone will avail themselves of necessary treatment when they need it — not, as so often happens today, months or even years later — sometimes too late to be of help.
These things are readily available now — if you can pay for them! Eric Morecambe and Peter Sellers did not have to wait for their operations. Tennis pro. Arthur Ashe recently had the arteries to his heart replaced and hopes to resume his career in the near future. The only difference between Howard Smith and these people is that they are wealthy and he was not. With enough money he too could have had the best medical care and advice and might be alive today. Are we prepared to put Howard Smith’s children at risk too? How many more lives must needlessly be lost under capitalism before we, the workers, the vast majority who suffer under the system, decide to get rid of it and introduce a sane society - socialism?
G W Featherston