From the September 1952 issue of the Socialist Standard
Behind the thrill and excitement of motor racing, lies yet another example of the means used to satisfy the ever growing necessity to maintain and increase export markets. The constant stream of vehicles pouring out of motor factories must be disposed of, and what better advertisement is there for a firm in pursuance of this purpose than to show prowess on the race track. This year’s Le Mans, the 24-hour race for production cars, ended in a triumph for the German Mercedes-Benz Company, and Mr. Robert Raymond, writing in the Picture Post (28th June) has this to say on the matter:
"The result of the Le Mans 24-hour race comes, unfortunately, not as a shock, but as a confirmation of an uneasiness many thoughtful people feel about the British attitude to motor racing.
“One can make out a case for the casual and truly amateur British attitude to most sports, but motor racing is more than a sport, it is a business—a big and serious business.
“And success or failure in an international race has far-reaching effects on one of our biggest export industries.
“Remembering this, one cannot shrug off Le Mans . . . After the B.R.M. fiasco this débâcle has done untold damage to our prestige and exports abroad.”
Mr. Raymond has obviously no illusions as to which aspect of motor racing is the most important. The race track, besides being the scene of first-class driving, is also a battle-ground of commerce, where the friendly rivalry of sportsmen is overcast by the dark shadow of the profit motive, producing rivalry of a very different kind, which often ends in disaster, and sometimes—greatest disaster of all—war.
Behind the careering chariot of Capitalism in its race for markets comes the working class, chained by their ignorance to a system which does not and cannot run in their interests, but is only the cause of their troubles. It is time you broke the chain, took the wheel yourselves, and drove all out for Socialism.
It is up to you.