Friday, July 21, 2017

The Anti-Socialist Front (1958)

From the September 1958 issue of the Socialist Standard

"Make certain we keep the Socialists out next time—this is what we ask you to do."

Almost every day some new group or sect thrusts itself upon the political scene. “A New Workers’ Party” is born one day; “A League for the Defence of Freedom against the tyranny of Trade Unions” the next. They come—and go. The latest appears to be “The Anti-Socialist Front"; an organisation sponsored by a long list of “homy-handed sons of toil” and well- known champions of the working class, which include the Earl of Mexborough, Lord Moynihan, the Dowager Viscountess Trenchard, Sir Alexander Anderson, General Sir Evelyn Barker, Lady Katherine Beresford-Peirse, Air Vice-Marshal Donald Bennett and many other Sirs, Major-Generals and Colonels.

Being a brand new group they felt that it was their sacred duty to let the “general public,” their fellow-workers, hear the good news. The world must be told “the truth.” Therefore, rumour has it, Major Duncan Keith-Shaw removed his top hat (or was it his deerstalker?) and asked for a few coppers (£1,000 cheques will do!) from each of those present. Well . . .  to cut a long story short, by tremendous sacrifices (such as cutting down on fags and beer) our “Front” members ultimately scraped up a mere £2,650, and invested in a full-page advertisement in the Daily Telegraph of July 15th, 1958.

The crusade had begun.. At last die world had been told the awful truth! “Most of the evils of our time stem from Socialism, either the full-blooded kind of a Socialist administration or the watered down concoction favoured by the present Government.” That’s the stuff. Expose that “red” MacMillan! Purge the “Socialist Revolutionary.” Dr. Charles Hill! These “Socialist infiltrators” in the Conservative Party are ruining the country, losing the Empire and weakening private enterprise, by gad! But worse is to come. For despite “most of the evils” which we are told are caused by this non-existent Socialism that our Anti-Socialist Front imagines exists in Conservative-run capitalist Britain today, we are also warned that “Under a Socialist Government we might well become bankrupt!” Now this complicates matters somewhat, because we are not quite certain what is meant by this rather startling remark. If by a “Socialist Government” our “Front” really means a Labour Government, which we suspect, then it seems very unlikely that “we (meaning our lord- and ladyships) might well become bankrupt.” For, as far as we know, very few concerns became bankrupt under previous Labour Governments. On the other hand during the last two Labour administrations, the number of millionaires increased, which only shows how ignorant our so-called Anti-Socialist Front can get. Still, if the Dowager Viscountess Trenchard, Major-General Sir Basil A. Hill or any other sponsors of the Anti-Socialist Front is a reader of this journal, we can give them some information—quite freely. In a Socialist society they will be bankrupt in the sense that the employing class will no longer exist; that is as an employing, exploiting class. They won’t even have any bank accounts, no banks to go to. For, like the rest of the community, they will —we hope!—work, to the best of their ability, and will get from society not rent, interest or profit, but like everyone else, just what they need. Or is such an idea, such a state of affairs, beyond the ken of these “ Anti-Socialist ” crusaders? To these people, as with many others, workers included, Socialism means government control, nationalisation of industries, bulk buying and the like. And because of this they liken the Labour Party to Socialists. They even call the British Labour Party a Socialist Party—the Socialist Party.

“The Socialist Party,” we are told, “is only the political end of the trade union movement, with its tyrannical and selfish aims.” Tyrannical and selfish aims! Because some trade unionists understand their subject position in our present society, because some workers continue to fight for better conditions and more pay, these Major-Generals and Dowager Viscountesses consider them selfish! Its a pity some trade unionists—and other workers—are not a little more selfish.

What, then, is the solution to the evils of “Socialism” (i.e. Conservative and Labour administration of our capitalist society)? How does the “Front” intend to save us from “Socialist tyranny”? Firstly, it is “to bring home to the general public the disastrous consequence to every man, woman and child in the country of nationalisation or renationalisation”—which, as we have previously said, has nothing to do with Socialism. Secondly, to prevent Conservatives and Liberals (they all worry about the dead-but-it-won’t-lie-down Liberal corpse) from splitting the “Anti-Socialist” (read Labour) vote in marginal constituencies, by adopting the following formula:—
—In Conservative-held marginal seats no Liberal candidate to stand at the next General Election, and Liberals to vote for the Conservatives.
—In Labour-held marginal seats no Conservative candidate to stand and Conservatives to vote for the Liberal.
And the Anti-Socialist Front's third bright idea for solving “most of the evils of our time . . . ” is “to persuade the Government to give an undertaking that it will include the alternative vote in the programme on which it will fight the next General Election.”

These, then, are the “revolutionary” proposals that the Anti-Socialist Front considers is worth £2,650 to advertise in the Daily Telegraph. And for those who may be interested they intend raising an “initial” Propaganda Fund of a mere £100,000. For our part, without the thousands of pounds, we will continue to propagate Socialism (not the spurious invention that the Anti-Socialist Front calls Socialism) as the solution to “most of the evils of our time . . . ” We do not expect any help from retired Colonels, Air Vice-Marshals or Lords and Ladies. Only capitalism can expect such help.
Peter E. Newell

Socialism and Perfection (1958)

From the October 1958 issue of the Socialist Standard

The aim of the Socialist is to achieve perfection, and perfection is unattainable—so goes the argument. The assumption is that somehow human beings are to be transformed into supermen and women, all virtue and no vice, once the millenium has been reached. This approach to the problem is the wrong one and very misleading.

The improvement in human behaviour which we envisage is not an abstract conception of how people might behave in a better world, but is based on our observation and knowledge of how people actually do behave. It can be seen that sometimes people react in a truly human way to each other, and sometimes the reverse. An objection here may be: “What do we mean by truly human, surely all the actions of human beings must by definition be human? ” If we can agree that men are primarily social beings, that everything they do and think is connected in diverse ways with, and affected by, what others do and think (even in matters of sex), that what we recognise as human as opposed to merely animal is the result of thousands of years of social evolution; of living together in mutual dependence, then the act of, for example, saving life is more human than destroying it

We may ascribe changes in our behaviour to each other to quite arbitrary vagaries of human nature, but once an analysis has been made of the conditions and circumstances in which our actions occur, we will see that a definite causal connection can be traced. A man who is worried about his relations with his employers and fears the sack, is possibly not going to be easy to live with as when he is relatively safe. (Assuming for the sake of argument no other disruptions.) Meeting such a person for the first time we might say: "What an unpleasant man Smith is.” Or if we heard he had been beating his children; “What a brute that man Smith is.” We would have implied by our remarks that the trouble was entirely with Smith, and not, as in this case, the result of a conflict between Smith and the owner of the means of his existence. Though it is interesting to note that if we knew him, we would probably say: “I wonder what has got into old Smith? ” Here the implication is the reverse, we have recognised a contributory factor. Once this point has been agreed upon, it is not a far step to realising that if the conditions of society were changed the circumstances (e.g., labour and capital relationship) producing undesirable human behaviour would disappear. If asked what proof we have of this apart from the logic of the argument, it would suffice to say that if mankind is capable of behaviour conducive to social well-being some of the time, it is capable of it all of the time and in all spheres of human activity.

This is no perfectionist myth which implies the singular development of man along the road of constant progress. The perfectionist idea implies also that man is now inferior to what the would-be perfectionists might make him. In some cases it takes a mechanistic form, too; that is, it conceives men as living together by agreement or contract, that society is a man-made utopia rather than a social growth. That Socialism would be a distinct form of society and unconnected with Capitalism, a Minerva springing complete from the heads of the idealists rather than being born of the society existing prior to it and bearing the marks of its origins. All this is a fallacy. What we as Socialists aim to do is to organise society in such a way that there will be no fetters and restrictions on the desire for peaceful and purposeful co-operation, the desire of millions of people caught in the maelstrom of Capitalism, who as yet see no way out. It is on the basis of our knowledge of what man is that we want to change the world, not from some abstract concept of what we imagine would be nice: simply extending our own preferences on to society at large.

The important question now arises: at what point does the change in human behaviour take place; before the revolution in the social structure in order to change it (in which case it would then seem unnecessary), or afterwards, which would be an impossible absurdity, like a baby begetting its parents in order to be born. To quote Marx (Capital, Vol. I, page 157.): “By action on the external world and changing it. he (man) changes his own nature.” It is in the union in time and place of the desire and the action of its fulfilment that man will become truly human in the complete sense. It follows from this that mankind as a whole must make the effort. There are no means by which the Socialist Party of Great Britain alone can do this, nor are there any verifiable laws of nature, society or history to help, or for that matter to hinder the attainment of Socialism. The only laws are the exigencies of the immediate social condition, the state in which we find ourselves and the power of social consciousness.

Man makes his own history, albeit according to the conditions of the time. Conditions which have today raised problems not only of the fundamental relationships of simply living together, but of even the very survival of the human race. Problems which have got to be solved.
Ian Jones

"The Defiant Ones" (1958)

Film Review from the November 1958 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Defiant Ones (Directed by Stanley Kramer)

In 1948 Stanley Kramer formed his own film company with Carl Foreman. He produced a number of films that were, to quote “Sight and Sound"—“courageously off-beat.” In 1950, under agreement with Columbia, he produced more “off-beat” pictures, among them “Death of a Salesman.” The critics began to take notice. Eight years later, film-goers are catching up, and his latest film “The Defiant Ones,” which he produced and directed, has not yet received an adverse review.

Kramer has now become one of America’s leading producers with an eye to controversial subjects and new methods. Posters for “The Defiant Ones” carry a list of newspaper blurbs that would make Cecil B. De Mille envious. The film has in fact even been serialised in the Daily Express, so setting the seal on success. It seems that Kramer is now established after an erratic beginning. Audiences now know him and want for more.

The Defiant Ones” is a story of two convicts, one a negro and the other white, who defy the written and unwritten laws of the land (The American South) by making for freedom and making for friendship. They are Joker Jackson (Tony Curtis), a brash white youth whose aggressive attitude results from being pushed around by rich men, and whose bigoted hostility to Noah Cullen, the negro, is a result of being brought up in America; and the negro (played by Sidney Poitier). an embittered, cynical man whose bitterness lies in the whole racial issue.

Chained together, they both escape from the state police after a road accident. Moving through rough country they are pursued' by a sheriff with state police and sworn-in deputies from surrounding farms. The convicts flee to the North, all the time with their antagonism graving. Though it is the general opinion that they won’t go five miles without killing each other, they manage to stay on the loose, narrowly avoiding a lynching party and ending up with a lovesick woman and her son. The woman takes a fancy to Jackson and suggests they both escape in her car to the big city. Her husband has left her and she is full of get-away-and-go-places dreams (which have no place for the negro). Finally, they all agree upon it, and Cullen makes his own way North, leaving Jackson with the woman and her son. Later. Jackson discovers that the woman has given the negro directions that will lead him into a treacherous swamp.

Negro and white are together again when Jackson realises the friendship that he has for his companion. They both travel towards the railroad and wait at a bridge to jump a freight to freedom. Cullen scrambles on to the train, but Jackson, who was shot by the woman’s son when he ran from their house, has no strength left, but grasp’s the negro’s hand (as in earlier shots of the two hands chained together) and tries to pull himself on. They end up by toppling down an embankment to be captured by the police.

The film is from beginning to end an allegory. A scratching upon the surface of the race problem that gets nowhere, but shows that both black and white workers are pushed around all their lives. In the dialogue, the two convicts are discussing their ideas of the world. The white is bitter about his old job as a garage attendant where he had to say “thank you" for a living. The negro talks of the land he once tended with his wife, dispelling Jackson’s ideas of “a farm of your own.” Cullen worked hard all day, but was still hungry. They argue and Jackson, slighted by this, makes believe that when they are free he will go into a large hotel, but throws at Cullen, “you will have to go in the back door,” with Cullen rejoinding, “while you go in the front door just low enough to collect your tip.” This sums up the situation that both black and white workers have to work all the time or starve. Race prejudice on the part of white workers towards black or Jewish or Chinese workers is but a reflection of their own insecurity and ignorance of Capitalism.

No film has been made that shows racialism for what it is, one of the group antagonisms of Capitalism, but “The Defiant Ones” is about as far as any film maker can get with the colour problem. It is, though, a film of great qualities. Kramer is a director of merit, with ideas and techniques that make this film, which could easily have been a flop, a success. The handling of the posse sequences, with police, hounds and rock 'n' roll from a portable radio accurately give the atmosphere of the lawful hunting the convicts, the dangers to society. The superficial aspects of race prejudice are expertly presented with feeling and understanding. The episode of the lovesick woman also indicates this.

The Defiant Ones” contrives real tension and suspense in a record of a pathetic attempt by two men to escape from the law. and their success in defying the prejudice that they have always known. Their escape is summed up by a character who lets them free after they have been captured by a lynching mob. He watches them escape with the words. ‘‘Run chicken . . .  run! ” The racial issue is summed up by Cullen and Jackson just before they are captured. They both lay exhausted, and the negro sings a bitter blues that has run throughout the film at intervals. Gun in hand the sheriff of the posse approaches then puts it away when he sees the fugitives together nursing their wounds and thinking they have had a good run for their money. He stares quizzically and the negro spits out the final line of the song at him, smiling contemptuously.
Robert Jarvis

Life or Death, 1958 (1958)

From the December 1958 issue of the Socialist Standard

There is something cold and detached about the world of statistics, for it forms a part of a science based upon self-evident truths and abstract relationships, and there was certainly something chill about the proceedings in the Central Hall, Westminster, on the evening of September 22nd.

On the platform were three eminent scientists—Professor Linus Pauling, of Pasadena, U.S.A., Professor Marcus Oliphant of Australia, and Professor Powell of Bristol University; three men whose contribution to science is acknowledged as great within their own lifetime. They were there at the invitation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, to be cross-examined “about nuclear and hydrogen bombs and the responsibility of the Scientist in the Nuclear Age.” Their interrogators were two journalists, a liberal politician, and a Q.C.

In expert and erudite terms—terms which any layman could well understand—Messrs. Pauling, Oliphant and Powell explained with the cold compulsion of science the horrors of living in this nuclear age. To have been unmoved would have been to deny that one was a human being. To have accepted their conclusions would have been to deny the very “scientific method” that they had earlier evoked to their aid.

What did they say?
They told us that the genetic mutations caused by radiation from one 20 megaton bomb would cause the birth of 15,000 deformed children, and that consequently mankind had already mutilated 150,000 of its future offspring; and that there is no defence against a nuclear weapon, as indeed there is no defence against high explosives or bullets, save not to have them.

They told us that a limited nuclear war is impossible. That once a nuclear weapon is exploded, retaliation is certain. It had been estimated that even if 630 H bombs were dropped on the U.S. (which number would kill 150 millions of the total population of 175 millions by direct action alone), America’s retaliation potential would not be seriously impaired. This because U.S. missile bases were spread throughout many parts of the globe, and atomic weapons are standard equipment carried by patrol aircraft and submarines.

They told us that though it was possible to detect nuclear explosions and control the making of nuclear weapons, it would be impossible to detect a store of nuclear weapons already assembled. Nuclear materials can be buried conveniently underground, and a plot of earth 30 foot square could house enough nuclear potential to blow the earth out of the universe.

We were told that clean bombs are the starting point for all conventional nuclear weapons. That a clean bomb can be converted into a dirty bomb of twice the power by the simple expedient of changing the nature of the outer compartment metal. And that far from cleaning its bombs, the U.S. was at the moment removing all its nuclear weapons from stock and dirtying them up, by adding something to them. According to Professor Pauling, such a dirty bomb if dropped on London would kill the populations of Manchester and Liverpool by the direct fall-out of radioactive material.

They told us that in a matter of a few years the number of nations which possessed nuclear weapons would be doubled. That a nuclear weapon could be exploded anywhere without anyone having the slightest idea where it came from.

And one thing was said which shows the barrenness of supporting campaigns like the one organised by the nuclear disarmament people. Even if it were possible to destroy all stocks of nuclear weapons and prevent the manufacture of more, even then, in the event of a war, it would take but a year to re-assemble the knowledge of the past and make further bombs. As Professor Oliphant said: “You cannot banish nuclear war without banning all war.”

What is the answer ?
Our three scientists thought that international agreements and pacts, designed initially to ban the further testing of nuclear weapons, were the starting point. From this, they thought, growing confidence and mutual trust would finally make complete disarmament a possibility.

Such, a position is untenable because it is unscientific. If, as our scientists admit, nuclear disarmament cannot be divorced from the problem of war itself, a solution of the former can only be accomplished within a general solution of the latter. War is no act of God, no manifestation of human nature. War is a product of the nature of society. A society whose basis, private ownership of.the means of living and_sale of goods for a profit, is the cornerstone of man’s inhumanity to man. It is the result of international competition by groups of property-owners for raw materials, markets, and strategic positions. Though the players may be disguised and masquerade as governments, the game is just the same, the spoils just as large, the rules just as ghastly.

What place has mutual trust in a world which exhorts the act of legalised plunder and pillage as its premise? Where a sense of growing confidence as half the world’s population dies of slow starvation? What price international agreements with a ballistic missile levelled at your head?

It is difficult to conceive the horrors of an H.B. war; to realise that each bomb is 20 million times bigger than the biggest block buster used in the second world war. Who can imagine London lying obliterated and the peoples of Leeds and Birmingham dying by the same act? Such things are almost beyond the grasp of human comprehension. And yet they may become reality tomorrow. The choice is yours. Is it to be Capitalism or Socialism, private property or social equality, war or peace, life or death? 
Michael Gill

The Correspondence of Marx and Engels (1937)

Book Review from the January 1937 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Correspondence of Marx and Engels pp. 534. (Martin Lawrence, Ltd., 12s. 6d.) 

The above letters, dating from 1846 to 1895, and numbering over two hundred, cover a wide range of subjects, topical as well as theoretical.

Industrial developments in various countries, and political movements arising therefrom, coupled with conflicting economic theories and philosophical methods are all brought under review. It is, of course, out of the question that such a collection should make smooth, connected reading or that all parts should be of equal value. Some of the letters are of outstanding merit and well worthy of preservation. An almost equal number are of only historical interest as illustrating the development of their immature ideas and the points on which they erred even later in life.

Among the most interesting of the former class may be mentioned the letter of April 18th, 1883, written by Engels to Van Patten. Engels here declares that it had always been the view of Marx and himself that “the working class must first take possession of the organised political power of the State and by its aid crush the resistance of the capitalist class and organise society-anew.”

In opposition to the anarchists, who proclaimed the abolition of the State as the first and last word of the revolution, Marx and Engels always insisted on the necessity, to the workers, of political power. This would be the means whereby the revolution (i.e., the substitution of common ownership for ownership by the capitalist class) would be carried out. The disappearance of the State would result from this. It was thus regarded as an effect of the revolution, not its primary condition. (Lengthy extracts from this letter were reproduced in the Socialist Standard in January, 1935.)

Other interesting letters are the six written by Marx or Engels to Danielson on the development of capitalism in Russia. They argued that a Socialist revolution in Western Europe was the only means by which Russia could escape the normal development of capitalism.

Of particular value is their joint letter to the leaders of the German Social Democratic Party, written in September, 1879, dealing with the internal condition and unsound policies of that organisation. The following extract might have been written this year about the British Labour Party, which is deeply engrossed in the problem of winning over the so-called ”middle-class” by pandering to their prejudices and ignorance: —
   In the opinion of these gentlemen, then, the Social- Democratic Party should not be a one-sided workers’ party, but an all-sided party of “everyone imbued with a true love of humanity.” It must prove this, above all, by laying aside its crude proletarian passions and placing itself under the guidance of educated, philanthropic bourgeois in order to “cultivate good taste” and ‘‘learn good form . . . .” Then, too, “numerous adherents from the circles of the educated and propertied classes will make their appearance. . . .  ”
   German Socialism has “attached too much importance to the winning of the masses and in so doing has neglected energetic (!) propaganda among the so-called upper strata of society,” and then “the Party still lacks men fitted to represent it in the Reichstag.” It is, however, “desirable and necessary to entrust the mandate to men who have the time and opportunity to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the relevant materials. The simple worker and small self-employed man . . . has the necessary leisure for this only in rare and exceptional cases.” So elect bourgeois!
   In short: the working-class of itself is incapable of its own emancipation.
Patching up Capitalism
Then Marx and Engels went on to ridicule the notion, familiar to-day in Labour Party—I.L.P.— Communist circles, that it is necessary to concentrate on immediate demands and leave Socialism to the future.
      “Let no one misunderstand us”; we do not want “to give up our Party and our programme, but think that for years hence we shall have enough to do if we concentrate our whole strength and energy upon the attainment of certain immediate aims. . . . ”
This is what Marx and Engels had to say about that: —
     The programme is not to be given up, but only postponed—to an indefinite period. One accepts it, though not really for one’s own lifetime, but posthumously as an heirloom to be handed down to one’s children and grandchildren. In the meantime, one devotes one’s “whole strength and energy” to all sorts of petty rubbish and the patching up of the capitalist order of society, in order at least to produce the appearance of something happening without at the same time scaring the bourgeoisie. There I must really praise the Communist, Mique, who proved his unshakable belief in the inevitable overthrow of capitalist society in the course of the next few hundred years by heartily carrying on swindles, contributing his honest best to the crash of 1873, and so really doing something to assist the collapse of the existing order.
The letter contains much more of the same kind, Marx and Engels urging that if non-workers join the Socialist Movement “the first condition is that they should not bring any remnants of bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, etc., prejudices with them, but should whole-heartedly adopt the proletarian point of view.”

Considering the time and circumstances under which it was written, the letter to the leaders of the German S.D.P. is a fairly vigorous statement of the case against “reformism” as a basis for a political party.

Bernstein, however, its foremost representative, became editor of The Social Democrat within a year or so of this letter. Marx and Engels appear to have swallowed their threats to sever connection with the Party. Marx died two or three years after; but during the following decade Engels developed a most ill-founded optimism concerning the Party they had jointly criticised.

Marx and Engels on War
It is when we come to their letters on the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1, and Engels' letters to Bebel in September and October, 1891, on the coming European conflict (page 488 et seq.) that we find lacking in moments of practical crisis some of the brilliance which marks most of the theoretical passages.

During the Franco-Prussian War they appear to have been hypnotised by the supposed necessity for national defence.

Socialists, who remember to what uses the doctrine “national defence” was put in 1914-18, will find the arguments of Marx and Engels, in this connection, extremely unconvincing, and it is interesting to notice that Lenin, of all people, appears to have swallowed them (see footnote, pp. 297-8). Just as “liberty,” in the mouth of the capitalist, means his freedom to exploit the workers, so does “national defence" mean the protection of his share in the international swag.

As the war progressed Engels appears to have developed doubts as to its "defensive" character, but twenty years afterwards (September, 1891) he still cherished similar ideas. Anticipating the wider outbreak of hostilities, he wrote to Bebel (p. 490), “If we (Germany) are victorious our Party will come into power. The victory of Germany is therefore the victory of the revolution, and if it comes to war we must not only desire victory, but further it by every means. . . .” (The end of the sentence is omitted in the volume.) If, then, the Social Democratic Party in Germany, like the Labour Party in this country, betrayed the interests of the working class in 1914, they did but follow the path indicated by Frederick Engels.

They could, however, have recalled the words of 1847 to the effect that "the workers have no country," "they have nothing of their own to fortify and secure," "they have only their chains to lose" and “The executive of the modern state is but a committee of the capitalist class" (Communist Manifesto).

These words have encircled the globe in numerous languages, while the lapses of Marx and Engels into ideas of national defence have sunk into obscurity. It may restrain some workers from a tendency to hero worship and to suspension of their critical judgment, to be reminded that Marx and Engels could go badly astray on certain questions.

In general, it is, of course, also necessary to remember that this is a volume of letters written for private reading, not for publication. They were for that reason often in the nature of “thinking aloud," a groping towards conclusions rather than a statement of definite conclusions.

The volume is well indexed, and the text is illuminated by numerous biographical and historical footnotes. The student will, however, need to be flushed with more than ardour, in view of the price.
Eric Boden

The Labour Government in New Zealand—No Change (1937)

From the February 1937 issue of the Socialist Standard

The New Zealand Labour Party reached the acme of its political aspirations on November 27th, 1935, when it gained control of the treasury benches, having won 53 out of 80 seats at the general election.

The result was the cause of a wide-spread atmosphere of expectancy and buoyancy among a large majority of the workers; their problems were solved; there was no need for further struggle; while some members of the master class, in their ignorance, expected a drastic change. However, after the smoke of the political battle had cleared away, the stark realities of capitalism still remained, and the Labour Party immediately commenced to administer capitalism in their own peculiar way.

Mr. Savage, the new Premier, hastened to assure the people that the sacred rights of property would be strictly observed.

The first act of the Labour Government was to issue a bonus or Christmas box to the unemployed and relief workers in the shape of an extra week’s pay and other small concessions, so that they might enjoy a good Christmas. The rest of the year, of course, does not count.

The inquisitive methods of the Unemployment Board and questions on relief application forms were to cease. While the Unemployment Board has ceased as such, the inquisition still persists, and the Labour Party still find it necessary to ask why a person seeks relief, while applying a means test for which they denounced the last Government.

The natural tendency of capitalism is centralisation, hence the legislation of the Labour Government is along those lines. The first Bill to be brought forward was the complete control of the Reserve Bank by the State and the buying up of the shares of the private shareholders at the highest market price.

The Hon. R. Semple’s policy for Public Works is an example of how the Labour Government can obtain a greater amount of surplus value from the hides of the wage-slaves in a more highly efficient manner—the co-operative system of work.

This system of work has been bitterly fought by the Miners' Federation for many years; for it demands only the very best and fittest of workers and totally eliminates some of the less fit; incidentally giving the master a good job at a low cost to the detriment of the worker, as the fast pace set soon wears him out and at an early age he finds himself on the human scrap-heap of industry.

However, the appeals of the Labour Government to the people to give them a chance have been successful in so far as there have been no major disturbances or disputes to date; the workers in general are suffering in silence until such times as the Labour Government relieve them of the effects of capitalism. This they cannot do. When the workers realise that the Labour Government differs little from other Governments administering capitalism there will be a rude awakening.

The childlike faith of the majority of the workers in the Labour Government is hard to understand, despite the fact that its leaders are continually appealing to everyone for their backing and co-operation. Their pre-election attitude was “We can and will!"

Is it that they find it impossible to administer capitalism in the interest of the majority of the people, which is the working class, or is it that they have now realised their ambition—the position of Minister of the Crown, with all its privileges and advantages?

According to their election manifesto, in which they promise "Higher Wages," “Guaranteed Prices," “Pensions for All," all they need is State control of credit and currency to enable their programme to be carried out. They now have control of the Reserve Bank but apparently that is not sufficient; for they find the co-operation of everyone is also necessary. The question is: Can the capitalist and the workers co-operate in common interest? An understanding of the position of these individuals in society proves the opposite.

If it were legislation that could bring about that state of society of which the Labour politicians dream and vaguely refer to, then they have all they need; an overwhelming majority of seats in the House.

However, they have no mandate for Socialism, while they do possess the mandate to administer capitalism. This can be done only in the interest of capital and the capitalist class.

The New Zealand Labour Party in power has proved itself little different from capitalist Parties; in fact it has simply advanced new methods of extracting more surplus value from the workers, and is attempting to put them into operation. Everything is being centralised and placed under State control where possible; legislation has been rushed through; in fact, records have been made in this direction, but none of it will in any way alter the fundamental position of the workers of New Zealand. They will still have to sell their labouring powers in order to live, the wages, or price of these, will be determined by the value of the necessities required to produce, develop, maintain and perpetuate the labouring power, or in the event of the inability of the labourer to sell his power he will be forced to throw himself upon the charity of the master, that is, eke out an existence on sustenance or other means of relief.

The Socialist Party of New Zealand holds that Socialism is the only cure for the effects of capitalism. While capitalism continues so the workers must suffer from its effects and their condition become worse, so we ask the workers of New Zealand to join us in the work of propagating Socialism and organising for the overthrow of capitalism. Socialism is the only solution to their problems.
Socialist Party of New Zealand.