From the December 1974 issue of the Socialist Standard
On the introduction of Socialism millions of people will be released from currently useless, harmful and degrading jobs to undertake all kinds of useful work of their own choosing. There will be no shortage of labour in the form of interested minds and willing hands liberated from such occupations as the armed and police forces, the armies of insurance and other salesmen, accountants and income-tax workers, to mention just a few, necessary under capitalism.
It is interesting to speculate how the changed circumstances might affect occupations with the advent of Socialism. There would be no leaders in a Socialist society, since leadership implies the blind following by a majority of a minority and under Socialism the majority would be politically conscious and mature. The leaders of capitalism will be replaced by the delegates of Socialism. Those with a flair for administration might well become the servants of Socialism in the work of distributing wealth and organizing services in the interests of the world society.
Erstwhile accountants would no longer have to spend most of their time balancing the books of capitalism’s looting systems. Men and women good at figures would be required to calculate the needs of society and to make sure that the outputs of the various industries were always in good supply everywhere and that all resources were most efficiently used.
The degradation of “cheap lines” would not happen in a Socialist society; only the best would be produced, and for all. When people visited for instance a clothing store, no worry about money would be involved and the tailor would be able to offer his advice upon, and make to measure, the best man could produce.
Artists and writers would no longer have to struggle along in poverty whilst being compelled by their calling to carry on at all costs. They would not only be free to express what they wished without fear of persecution, but also to spend all the time they needed to satisfy their own urge to communicate.
Currently a doctor’s calling involves him in ministering to the needs of the wealthy so that the latter might enjoy their wealth, and patching up the workers so that they can continue to supply it. Research workers seeking the cure for today’s incurable diseases have to tolerate the painfully slow progress of their efforts because of lack of funds, whilst watching enormous resources being expended in military and space research. Under Socialism all the achievements of medical science would be devoted to the enjoyment of good health by all.
Architects in Socialist society would find their scope infinitely extended. No more cheese-paring, no more graft and chicanery; a free and full horizon would be laid open to them to produce beautiful and functional buildings to meet the varying wishes and needs of people.
Workers in hotels and restaurants would choose their job because they enjoyed rendering that particular service. There would be no servility nor class distinction about this, no ingratiation, no bitterness caused by “inadequate tipping” and the worker would enjoy the same good living as the diner.
Just what would be the fate of those unfortunate individuals at present condemned to stand at the top of escalators punching holes in tickets is hard to speculate. Certainly they could do nothing so useless and degrading. Even the most simple contribution to creative work would enrich and alter the lives of so many so radically.
One could multiply indefinitely such examples of the fruitful and satisfying work open to men in a sane order of society.
Only Socialism can offer this.
R. B. Gill