From the 1965 - Number 2 issue of The Western Socialist
While walking that damp and dreary spring evening I came to a shop which, in my mind, sold odd things. At first I was interested in the things I could see in the window, then I looked beyond. After the fancy of what I saw beyond was gone did I suddenly realize there were people in the shop and I wondered what were they doing there.
The next thing I knew a young man came to the door and said, "We are having a socialist meeting. Come in, for you are welcome."
"Good," I said, "for I am also a socialist."
I sat down and (listened to a general discussion that was going on. Finally, the meeting was called to order, and the Chairman said, "This meeting is on behalf of the Socialist Party of Canada." I wondered to myself, "I have never heard of the Socialist Party of Canada."
I listened to what was said and agreed with much of it, but when he said, "Under socialism you do not need money," I thought he was mad.
At long last, he was finished. He said, "We will now have a question and discussion period, as this is part of the Socialist Party of Canada policy."
Asked I, "Mr. Speaker, what will people do without money. What incentive will they have to work?"
He replied, "Today, goods are produced for the profit motive, not for use. They have a use value, but the motivation is profit and not use. Under socialism, goods will be produced for the first time in history for the use and comfort of all mankind." I agreed and could see part of what he said, but as far as I was concerned you still must have money as an incentive. So, anyway, I bought a Western Socialist.
After reading it all, but only understanding a part of what I read, I came to the conclusion they were fairly sound. I had given up on politics as I had been to all types of political meetings and was just fed up with what I heard. My exact promise to myself was: "I am finished with politics forever."
I went back to that shop with the curious things in it and talked about the things I had read in the Western Socialist. We agreed and disagreed. The only conclusion we reached was that we agreed to disagree.
So back I went to my newly purchased reading matter. I found the more I read the more I understood. Finally, I realized they were, oh, so right, in all they wrote and said. I got mad and tore up the literature because it is hard to know the truth. Yes, facing up to reality in life as it really is is a very hard thing to do. Well, after much discussion, reading, thinking and so on. I realized the facts and the facts are these.
Socialist philosophy is not the idea of any one or more people. It has arisen from the problems which confront mankind today and are happening every day, such as poverty in the midst of plenty. Example, paying the farmers not to produce; annihilation of the human race and, whether or not people accept it, we are wage-slaves. The only means we have to live is to sell our mental and physical labour power.
Socialism offers the solution to these problems. But this is still not the reason why I joined the Socialist Party of Canada. Here is the reason.
People, today, judge a man by his wealth and it matters not how he got it, as long as he has it. Now before people can have an understanding of a person for what he is and not what he has, they must have socialism.
Today, the working class are so wrapped up in their own little world, struggling to eke out an existence, they have no time to really think about much else in life, struggling to buy a car, trying to save a little money to have a small amount of what they believe to be security... There is no security under capitalism. There never has been nor will be, but under socialism, where each will give according to his ability and take according to his need, all the goods society can produce will be available for the benefit of man, his comfort and pleasure. He will then have free access to all his material needs and will then have time to look for human relationship fulfilment, a world where men and women alike can be honest, sincere and be what they are, not like today where they are subjected to the will of the people who own the means of production and wealth.
I quote from one of long ago. His name is William Shakespeare. "He who owns the means by which I live owns my very life."
Join with us for freedom — for socialism.
RONALD YURKOSKI, Toronto