Letter to the Editors from the August 1947 issue of the Socialist Standard
(We publish the following letter from a reader for the interesting and instructive story about the late J. K. Jerome, but we confess our mystification about the point of the last sentence.—Editor Comm.)
Although our ultimate success is assured I doubt if any of us are satisfied with the crop of Socialists that arise from our efforts. Some are inclined to sit back and wait for the blind forces of economic development to affect the social revolution, rather than seek to promote that change by cultivating the minds of their fellows to achieve this purpose. They do not realise that these so called blind forces may grope about for a thousand years without producing any marked change. On the other hand we have the over optimistic who in consequence of being in the forward line imagined that they could score a goal in North Paddington. Maybe such “Royal Stand-backs” as myself can see more of the game than they can. I read your admirable publication, the “Socialist Standard,” and although I have not had the pleasure of attending any of your propaganda meetings, I am aware of the fact that your immensity consists in your minority. Of course the number of people you are able to speak to is very limited and the “Standard,” even if the paper restrictions were removed, has only a small circulation. You cannot afford to print more. Everyone knows that it is the adverts that pay for the capitalist papers. Naturally they determine the policy. We all remember the old "Clarion” and its cycle trade adverts. But the classical instance is poor old Jerome K. Jerome. He ran a weekly called “To-Day.” It had a good run. It was then I think that Jerome discovered H. G. Wells, as he published probably Wells’ first story, “The Lady in Grey.” Then Jerome slipped. He printed Marx’s “Value, Price and Profit” as a serial. His advertisers dropped him like a hot potato and Jerome went bankrupt. In face of all this is it to be wondered that some of us cast envious eyes upon that powerful weapon of propaganda, the Radio, and desire to harness it to our cause? We know all the obstacles that stand in our way to achieve our purpose, believe me the financial side is the least But we must not be dismayed, our need is great and I would draw attention to a recent remark by some member of the Jewish community who claimed that it was not illegal for Jews to enter Palestine, but that it was illegal to prevent them doing so.
F. L. Rimington.