Saturday, March 10, 2018

If this be Nationalisation—! (1920)

From the November 1920 issue of the Socialist Standard

The labour leaders and others who, through the Press and public platforms, have been urging upon the working class the necessity of nationalising industries (the mines in particular), have surely turned the blind eye in the direction of the Post Office. Starting as a commercial enterprise, it was nationalised and became a Government institution, to-day employing more than 100,000, and being run for profit exactly as the mines and railways are now, but belonging to "the nation."

"The nation," surely, needs definition, and it has been left to the Socialists to define the term.

Workers, it means practically the capitalist class, and the Post Office is owned and controlled by that class, just as the means of life, the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, are owned and controlled. It needs no gigantic brain with directive ability to discover so much.

The workers of the Post Office are not wealthy compared with other workers because their particular business is "nationalised."  On the contrary they are a sweated section of the working class, and kept the more easily in subjection by the cunning method of ''grading," one grade competing with another for a bigger plum in the shape of higher pay, and being urged on by their immediate superior.

The rank and file have yet to learn that even their immediate superior is but a wage slave, living by the sale of his labour-power, in the same manner as themselves, the difference being that the supervisor receives a salary, not mere wages.

If this is nationalisation and it is applied in other industries, the working class will soon realise the uselessness of such a palliative. The only remedy is Socialism! Private ownership must give place to social ownership, and the working class must ever be confronted with the fact that the power is theirs and no other power can say them nay when they will it.

A little study each working day will convince even the most corpulent of the salariat.

Workers, think it over !

1 comment:

Imposs1904 said...

There is a chance that 'W.A.G.' is William Arthur Griffin, who joined Tooting Branch of the SPGB in 1919, and who rejoined the Party - via Becontree Branch - in 1926. (No mention of when he lapsed/resigned either time.)