Friday, August 31, 2018

This Month's Quotation: William Morris (1941)

The Front Page quote from the July 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
  “Healthy and undomineering individuality will be fostered and not crushed out by Socialism ”
William Morris

This Month's Quotation: Gerrard Winstanley (1941)

The Front Page quote from the June 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
  "Riches give men power to oppress their fellow-men and stir up wars.”
Gerrard Winstanley—(“The Law of Freedom,” 1652)

This Month's Quotation: Karl Marx (1941)

The Front Page quote from the May 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
  “To appeal to the working men without strictly scientific ideas and concrete doctrine is tantamount to empty-headed and conscienceless play with propaganda."
Karl Marx, 1883

This Month's Quotation: Socialist (1941)

The Front Page quote from the April 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
   Forces have been released in the world the working out of which no fraction of society can control. Only under the conscious control of society itself can these forces be harnessed for the common good

This Month's Quotation: Wilhelm Liebknecht (1941)

The Front Page quote from the March 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
   “Ever advancing with science and economic development, we are what we were and we will remain what we are”
Wilhelm Liebknecht

This Month's Quotation: Wilhelm Liebknecht (1941)

The Front Page quote from the February 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
  “Every power outside ourselves on which we seek to lean is for us only weakness ”

This Month's Quotation: Charlie Chaplin (1941)

The Front Page quote from the January 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard
  "You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful—to make this life a wonderful adventure ” 
(Charlie Chaplin in the film "The Great Dictator”)

Rear View: The Mainstream Media Matrix (2018)

The Rear View Column from the August 2018 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Mainstream Media Matrix
One of many examples is the BBC – Broadcasting Bourgeois Canards since 1922. Their advertisements want us to believe otherwise, to swallow the lies with little or no question. 'Take away the noise, the fury, the fighting voices, the distortions, cosmetics, the colour and the flashy effects, but most of all, you can take away the lies, the slander, the misrepresentations that seek to pull us apart, and then ... you can find out what is actually happening, and when you find that, then you will find BBC News[peak].'

Stop consuming their canards – take the red pill of socialist understanding instead.
'All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind' 'He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race' (The Communist Manifesto, 1848).

Campaign for real socialism
'Lookups for socialism spiked on June 27, 2018, following the Democratic primary victory for a congressional seat in New York City by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley' (, 27 June). 
But unsurprisingly the same dictionary defines socialism as 'a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies,' and democratic socialism [there is no other kind!] 'is a form of government in which state regulation (without state ownership) would ensure economic growth and a fair distribution of income.' Socialism, as originally used by the followers of Robert Owen, appeared for the first time in their Co-operative Magazine of November 1827 and later made famous by Marx, will be a system of society where production takes place directly for human needs, where money, governments and states do not exist. This is still the only sensible way of understanding socialism, and not the Alice in Wonderland world where words mean whatever anyone says they mean. Ocasio-Cortez is better defined as a social democrat, a term associated with the German politician Eduard Bernstein. He rejected socialism's revolutionary and materialist foundations and advanced the position that it should be grounded in ethical and moral arguments and achieved through gradual legislative reform.   

Not so strange bedfellows 
“There’s no way around it, Socialism and Communism are kissing cousins. The only difference is when this concrete strategy begins to fail, that’s when somebody grabs a gun and Socialism goes to Communism. Socialism really is just diet-Communism,” said Glenn. “Putting ‘democratic’ before Socialist … makes it seem, I dunno, a little less Stalin and more Bernie Sanders” (, 29 June). The spectre haunting the likes of Glenn Beck is not that of socialism or communism but state-capitalism. He and Ocasio-Cortez are clueless. During one of her interviews she at 'first tried to argue there was a significant difference between her beliefs and socialism.' Indeed, but finding herself in a hole she started digging: '. . .  there's a huge difference between socialism and Democratic socialism . . . Democratic socialism, and really what that boils down to me, is the basic belief that I believe that in a moral and wealthy America and a moral and modern America, no person should be too poor to live in this country' (, 29 June).

Defenders of the status quo
Main stream media, Beck and Ocasio-Cotez support the status quo. They are opposed to the revolutionary nature of socialism (or communism – Engels & Marx used both terms interchangeably). Here the 170-year old Communist Manifesto again remains relevant.
'There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc, that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience. ' 'The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.' 'Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries unite!'

The Trump Circus: Don in Trumpton (2018)

From the August 2018 issue of the Socialist Standard

And he went Trumpety, Trumpety, Trumpety, Trumpety, Trumpety, Trumpety, Trump! Trump! Trump!  The ever predicable Trump was in inimitable trumpeting form during his – almost, but not quite – state visit to the UK.  After a little warm-up trumpeting at the NATO conference in Brussels, demanding European countries increase military spending to 4 percent of GDP - none of that wishy washy 2 percent target of his predecessors – he was in trumpeting hyper-drive by the time Air Force One touched down on British soil, announcing: Theresa you’re fired!  ‘I told her how to negotiate Brexit but she just wouldn’t listen!’  Boris you’re hired!  ‘I think he would make a great prime minister!’  Sadiq Khan you’re fired!  ‘I think he has done a terrible job as London Mayor.’

 Trump came over to the Old Country determined to demonstrate that he was the Supreme Leader and hardly any of our feckless politicians put up a fight.  His torrent of trumpeting generated the usual theatrical outrage amongst commentators and pundits.  But why all the fuss?  Trump was merely affirming the Special Relationship, whereby the UK is America’s poodle, but in more brazen fashion than former US presidents.

The highlights of the buffoonery
 Trump’s trip amounted to a golfing weekend at his beloved luxury resort in Scotland, preceded by the berating of all and sundry in line with his idiosyncratic style of diplomacy: shoot first and ask questions afterwards.

 On arrival Trump flew over London to the sanctuary of the US embassy fortress in Regent’s Park, the helicopter rotors drowning out the chants of protestors on the ground and the giant baby blimp grimacing at him through the porthole window; an organiser of the London demonstration excitedly proclaiming: ‘It’s going to swamp his Twitter feed!’  Revolutionary foment no less, but only of the virtual kind.

 Then on to the reception at Blenheim Palace (but not a Royal Palace of course) with hosts Theresa and investment banker hubby kept waiting ignominiously in the courtyard, looking like a couple of schoolchildren nervously anticipating the arrival of the headmaster to give them a good spanking.  Then on to Sandhurst the following morning to see the US and UK’s Finest in action; to Chequers in the afternoon for what was described as ‘bilateral talks’ – i.e. Trump gives Theresa May another good talking to – followed by a press conference, an opportunity for even more trumpeting; then afternoon tea with the Queen.  Then to Scotland and down to the serious business of golfing, replete with a cordon of 700 Scottish Bobbies to contain a group of 50 placard waving protesters, including an impromptu fly past by a Greenpeace paraglider with banner streaming below displaying the incendiary message: ‘Trump, well below par.’ Early to bed on Sunday evening ready for yet more trumpeting with President Putin on Monday.  And that was that!

 After all the shilly-shallying around – would he, wouldn’t he, should he, shouldn’t he – it was all over in a flash; the millions of words of print and thousands of broadcast hours consigned to the wrappings of a fish and chip supper.  But not before the mainstream media had dutifully spewed their superlatives to bolster the anachronistic spectacle of pomp and pageantry that sought to flatter The Man Who Would Be King; although, given the narcissist that he is, Trump will not forget the snub of the less than Regal welcome.

 Notwithstanding the insipid character of this un-Regal occasion the mainstream media was at its obsequious best in the main, trying to whip the punters into a frenzy of adulation.  This included on the BBC, where the woman commentator was almost orgasmic:  ‘We now have the pictures of The Beast coming up the hill.  Look at that!  The Beast roaring over the horizon!  If you want a projection of power around the world there are few better ways than…’  It wasn’t clear until the end that she was referring to the armour-plated limousine rather than its occupant.

 Amid all the hyperbolic superlatives thrown around like confetti no one seems to have stopped to consider whether this mock aristocratic spectacle is any longer appropriate fodder for the public in the twenty first century.  But what do the media care about such niceties.  They are too busy using Trump as a cash cow, whilst berating him for his buffoonery; salivating like Pavlovian dogs awaiting the next early morning Tweet so that they can splash it around as click bait.  One certain legacy for Trump is that he will have received the most media coverage of any person in history.  Like the wicked witch in the pantomime he might get the most boos, but he also gets the most reviews.  Whilst the media chew over every Trump morsel the man himself is deliriously happy, astride his monopoly board of world proportions, rattling the dice and taunting his opponents that he always throws a double six, with the dice suitably weighted of course.

 His latest wheeze to fix the game is the flatulently named: Fair And Reciprocal Tariff Act (ordinarily referred to by its acronym, the FART Act) which if passed (no pun intended) by Congress will give Trump dictatorial powers to vary any US tariff on any country at will; thus effectively tearing up WTO rules.  The other players in this giant monopoly game could be forgiven for throwing in the towel.  Trump is a man who knows how to play hard ball.  He cut his teeth in the days when he was building Trump Tower in New York, doing deals with the Mafia to secure the huge amount of concrete he needed to erect his phallic symbol.  But those who describe Trump as an imperialist or a Fascist bestow upon him too much of an accolade.  He doesn’t have the intellectual acumen or ideological inclination to be either.  He is just a simple businessman - with all the pejorative connotations that the word entails - and a second rate one at that; albeit one that has some big toys to play with nowadays.

So what does all this Trumpery amount to?
Trump is a racist, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexual predator, a xenophobe, a homophobe, an Islamaphobe, a reprobate and, to cap it all, a birther to boot; with his incessant taunts about Obama’s pedigree.  As the Yanks say: ‘he might be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch!’ and that makes all the difference.  Trump is the 45th president of the United States and the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on Earth, with a multi-trillion dollar arsenal of deadly weapons at his fingertips which he is prepared to lever into any deal to make an offer that can’t be refused.  Trump might yet achieve the ultimate legacy - if anyone is left to write it - as the president who, through nuclear Armageddon and/or climate meltdown, had the most profound impact on the world of any that came before him.  No, Trump should not be written off as an irrelevance.

 Putting these apocalyptic possibilities aside Trump is relevant in other ways too.  In the early days of the presidential campaign the capitalist elite – the bankers, the military industrial complex and other ne’er-do-wells – realised the dangers of a Trump presidency.  Like the drunken slob at a wedding they knew that he could embarrass them by exposing their game; especially when they had wallowed in the luxury of the smooth operating front man, Obama, for the previous eight years; a consummate performer capable of delivering the most bitter pills of capitalism with a sugar coating.  On the other hand Trump, not being one for decorum, will say and do anything to make a fast buck, as will any good capitalist.  But Trump does it with a megaphone.  It is this raw meat characteristic of Trump that has the capacity to inflict damage on the capitalist brand.  

 But as all good entrepreneurs know every problem can be turned into an opportunity.  Ironically, whilst Trump has been busy scapegoating everything in sight to explain away the ills of United States society, the liberal media, egged on by their corporate paymasters, have been moulding Trump into their very own scapegoat by branding him as the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ and thus subtlety inculcating the corollary: that there is an ‘acceptable face of capitalism.’  As with all marketing ploys it matters not that it is a fabricated concept, so long as it sells well.  And it seems to be selling like hot cakes, as indicated by the burgeoning movement of anti-Trumpeteers.  Under cover of this flak the ruling class hope to buy time to select, or manufacture, another snake oil salesman like Obama to re-launch the brand.  

 This is not to say that the demonstrators are wrong to protest against Trump.  For some it might be cathartic.  But they should not succumb to the fiction that Trump is the product of some evil gene.  Some of the more discerning commentators are beginning to eschew this genetic interpretation in favour of a more nuanced position.  Owen Jones, of Guardian columnist notoriety and an organiser of the London anti-Trump protests, is the latest to pick up this new baton, imploring us to: ‘don’t just protest against Trump, but protest against Trumpism’, which he loosely characterises as neo-liberal globalisation.  But it’s not Trump or Trumpism, or neo-liberal anything.  The problem is capitalism, pure and simple.  Alternative explanations only lead people down blind allies and encourage them to take their eye off the ball.

 Whether or not the establishment succeed in giving capitalism a temporary facelift its pernicious features are hardwired into the system and its apocalyptic course is set.  Capitalism is incapable of taking into account the need to preserve and nurture the essential live-sustaining elements of our society.  Its destructive force on humanity has been well documented over the years: the enslavement of people in a system of production where the wealth produced by the workers is creamed off by a decadent elite, thus perpetuating an antagonistic mode of existence which impoverishes the human spirit by chaining it to this perverse economic machine.  But it is only in recent years that the full cataclysmic implications have been understood.  Capitalism fetishises money by knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.  The obliteration of the rainforest, the acidification of the oceans, the pollution of the air, the annihilation of species, the contamination of the soil and all the other destruction unleashed upon the natural environment are euphemistically referred to as ‘external costs;’ that is they don’t appear in the profit and loss account and so, as far as the capitalist is concerned, they are of a no consequence.  The abolition of capitalism is no longer merely socially desirable, it is an ecological necessity.  

 Despite this the death cult of capitalism continues unabated, like a raging bull, oblivious to the destruction it leaves in its wake.  The corporate capture of the faux democracies of the world ensures that our elected representatives shamefully step aside and allow the bull to stampede unhindered.  Like a demented rodeo cowboy Trump is astride The Beast, digging his spurs into its belly and urging it to go ever faster.  And the modern day Roosevelts – the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyns – who promise to step into the path of the bull to slow it down or deflect its course will find that they are quickly trampled underfoot.

Is Trump good for socialism?
Trump should not be dismissed as a parody, or a caricature, or an aberration.  He is the real McCoy.  He is the manifestation of raw unadulterated capitalism.  But Trump is only a carrier of the disease, he is not the disease itself.  He is the child of the system, not the parent and, in this sense, Trump is a victim like everyone else.  But it is not Trump or Trumpism, or any other contrived representation of our current malaise that ought to be the focus, it is the system of capitalism itself.

 Trump helps the cause of socialism by ripping away the sticking plaster to expose capitalism in all its raw festering septic state.  The capitalist elite is busy trying to put the sticking plaster back.  The task for those who advocate socialism is to dig away at the wound to ensure it remains open and exposed.  This should be made easier by the ever accelerating concentration of wealth amongst a tiny degenerate elite and the relative impoverishment of everyone else.  As Marx argued, unfettered capitalism is potentially a revolutionary force.

 But Trump’s usefulness, in exposing the raw meat of capitalism, is only one side of the coin.  The other side is the opportunity he presents to promote socialism as a positive alternative and to ensure that it comes about before the social and ecological tipping point is reached and before people’s conception of life becomes so muted by the oppressive weight of capitalism that, like the caged hamster on the wheel, they can conceive of nothing else.

 As a species we have the intelligence and the imagination to create a better society, if only we had the will to do so.  Throughout history we have demonstrated our incredible resourcefulness and creativity and, in recent times, capitalism has been a significant driver of such progress, but always at an unacceptable cost to society and, we now know, with catastrophic consequences for the planet itself.

 The alternative cannot be found under such fatuous labels as ‘liberal’ ‘progressive,’ or ‘radical.’  Nor is it going to come about by bandying around lazy slogans such as: ‘real change’, ‘real democracy,’ ‘change we can believe in’ or jingoistic calls to ‘make our country great again!’  Systemic failure requires systemic change and that change is socialism: a class-less, moneyless, borderless, state-less, society where private property is abolished in favour of being held in common for the benefit of all; where power is widely diffused to facilitate participative democracy; where work is an integral and enriching part of life, rather than a necessary chore to sustain it and where everyone can choose the way in which they contribute to the community: from each according to ability, to each according to need.  Under socialism war becomes impossible because there are no nations to wage it and no private property to fight over.  Without nation states and borders the so called ‘migrant problem’ evaporates.  Without money there are no markets, no debt, no poverty, no financial hardship and none of the huge wasteful financial state and corporate apparatus through which the money system is controlled.  Every person has the opportunity to become what they have the potential to be, rather than what the capitalist machine tells them that they are.  This is the positive socialist message which the Trump era can facilitate.  Trump bashing should be a side-show for therapeutic and recreational purposes only.  It should not be the main event.

 What of Trump and the rest of the capitalist class after the socialist transformation?  They will be liberated from their chains like everyone else; free to take up more wholesome pursuits like painting and basket weaving and probably much happier and content for it.  Trump might decide to learn to play the guitar and become a folk singer; in which case he could be welcomed back in his rehabilitated form.  Until then it would be preferable if he stays away.
Tim Hart

Nationalisation is Still Capitalism (1969)

From the June 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard

Many trade unions had a warm regard for the apparently benevolent, paternal State Electricity Commission (SEC). Even its own employees did, believing that under its wing they had a snug, safe refuge from social confusion, insecurity, and discomfort. However, militancy is now becoming a noticeable feature of these state employees.

The onward rolling wheel of capitalist development and expansion is forever killing off illusions, and unionists, militant or otherwise, are continually having to face, on widening fronts and at increasing speeds, the nasty reality of the class struggle, even against their own illusions about 'Socialism’.

Increasingly during the past year the SEC, the main source of industrial and domestic electrification of the state of Victoria, has made no bones about assuming the traditional ’bad guy’ role of the master capitalist in its dealing with its employees.

Dr. Connolly, in an address to the Morwell Chamber of Commerce last October 31, directly lends us his aid in the task of exposing some of the "widely held misconceptions about the SEC.” Says he:
   On the capital side, we have the continuing problem of raising enough money in an increasingly competitive money market. We have also to service our capital expenditure and. pay interest on money borrowed, and this enters into our operating costs—it is perfectly obvious that the SEC cannot operate inefficiently simply to provide employment: nor build a new power station that is not economically justified simply for the purpose of making a job for contractors to maintain a high level of construction employment.
Thus, in the holy name of ’problems and efficiency of capital’ invested in the SEC, he justifies the shutting down of briquette-coal-processing factories and removal of old plant from service, the closing down of camps or raising of accommodation rates, and the downgrading of workers to lower jobs with a corresponding fall in the hourly rate of wages.

Conditions of employment, accommodation, industrial and trade status, and wages fought for over many years and gained during periods of labour scarcity now are cut back as labour scarcity becomes changed into a glut as a direct result of rising productivity. Here again, state capitalism, on an impressive scale, exposes the once popular fiction that wages can be raised only as a result of rising productivity. On this Marxists have always been aware that increasing productivity has never been for the amiable purpose of raising wages, but for increasing profits and protecting capital. Ceaselessly we have exposed the fact that the workers' share of wealth produced constantly has to fall. In the present case, rising productivity leads directly not merely to a relative but also to an actual fall in living standards and a deterioration of working conditions.

How does this SEC treatment of its wage workers differ from that of the traditional capitalist? There is no difference. And why? Dr Connolly advises the Chamber of Commerce on the nature of State Capitalism and in doing so repeats what we have long been shouting from the rooftops. He says:
   We have the same problem, the same challenge as every other manufacturer in this competitive age;—we must hold down our unit cost of production and distribution. We must, in fact, strive by every means possible to reduce the cost of supplying a kilowatt hour of electricity to consumers.
C. P. Furey 
(Socialist Party of Australia) 

Branch News (1963)

Party News from the July 1963 issue of the Socialist Standard

With excellent sales of the May Socialist Standard plus sunny weather, comrades in many branches are greatly stimulated and are very busy keeping the circulation figures high. Canvassers are out regularly and in many instances are having record successes. Our roving salesman in the West Country reports "bumper” sales of Socialist Standards and pamphlets during his travels in Cornwall. In addition he distributes Party leaflets.

Ealing Branch. The outdoor meetings at Earls Court have got off to a promising start, with reasonable weather, good audiences, and encouraging literature sales. All members are asked for their support to these meetings which are held every Thursday evening at 8 pm. Will members kindly note that the Branch will, as usual, be closing down for a brief recess this summer. There will as a result, be no meetings on Fridays during July.

Lunch-time meetings at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. These are held between one and two o'clock and the meetings are well attended, and if literature sellers supported the meetings they will be assured of excellent results. Literature is always available at the meetings, it only needs a few members to spare a little of their lunch hour to sell it!

Bloomsbury Branch will meet as usual during July but will close during August as Conway Hall is closed for that month. Wood Green & Hornsey Branch has changed its branch meeting place, full details in the Branch directory. From this month the addresses of the Branches and Head Office of the World Socialist Party of Ireland will appear regularly in the Socialist Standard which is now the official Journal of the WSPI as well as the SPGB.

With the arrival of the May Socialist Standard, Wembley Branch stepped up their canvassing. Manpower was limited, unfortunately, but despite this, three canvasses were run and over six dozen extra copies sold, this time in Fulham. The Branch will visit the area again later, for obviously there is plenty of scope here and it was most encouraging to see how well the May issue sold. The Branch has kept busy in other ways, too. There was a public meeting on "Housing” in May and a film show scheduled for June 24th—title: “Nine Centuries of Coal." The outdoor season started in June, with meetings at Earls Court every other Friday. Two propaganda trips to Southsea have also been planned, one in June and one in August. 

Please note.—There will be no branch meetings on July 8th and 15th—holidays!
Phyllis Howard

You Have Got What You Voted For (1974)

From the May 1974 issue of the Socialist Standard

In the last few weeks the politicians and commentators have been disputing about what the electors wanted, what the new Government will do, what will be in its next budget, will the policies work and will it mean more “socialism” or less. They are wasting their time and yours. The main outlines of your future in the next few years are already determined, and it would be just the same with a Tory Government, a Tory-Lib. coalition or a three-party government — a little more there, a little less here but nothing essentially different.

Thirty one Million Voters all Agreed
On a superficial view the electors who voted on 28 February wanted different policies, Tory, Labour, Liberal; or Scottish, Welsh and Irish Nationalism. What in fact they voted for is capitalism, with small variations of no importance. Capitalism with a face lift; capitalism inside or outside Europe; capitalism with a degree of autonomy in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The electors wanted capitalism not Socialism. They have got what they voted for.

What about Nationalization ?
But isn’t the Labour Party different? Does it not stand for more nationalization? Indeed it does. As a result of the work of the Attlee Government after the war we have had a quarter of a century of nationalization in a number of major industries. A quarter of a century for the workers to discover that it doesn’t make a ha’porth of difference. Nationalization is State Capitalism; the so-called “mixed economy” is a mixture of private and State capitalism. Nationalization solves no problem for the workers either here or in Russia and other State-capitalist countries. It has nothing to do with Socialism.

One small event in the recent election shows what kind of party the Labour Party is, for that life-long Tory, Enoch Powell, a dedicated supporter of capitalism, found it possible to vote Labour and tell others to do the same merely on the issue of keeping British capitalism out of capitalist Europe.

Back to the "Good Old Days''
A farcical aspect of the present situation is that these parties of capitalism, Tory, Labour, Liberal and Nationalist, have been forced by capitalism itself to abandon their belief in the futile doctrine of managing capitalism so as to make life better for all. In fact, if not in words, they have had to admit that they can’t manage it and that the best hope they can offer is to go back to the mythical “good old days”.
  • Replace a prospective 15 per cent rise of prices by perhaps getting it down to 12 per cent or 10 per cent. Back to poverty on £20 a week instead of poverty on £25 a week.
  • Get unemployment down to the level it used to be.
  • Go back to the “happy” days before the Prices and Incomes policy and the Industrial Relations Act.
  • Get house-building up to the levels of a few years ago.
  • Not forgetting that permanent feature in the speeches of every Prime Minister at all times and in all countries — call on the workers to work harder!

Nothing can be done to make capitalism satisfactory for the working class. Socialism is the only hope, not only for Britain but for the world.
Edgar Hardcastle

William Morris Quotations (1934)

William Morris (1834-1896)
From the August 1934 issue of the Socialist Standard
“We Socialists are often reproached with giving no details of the state of things which would follow on the destruction of that system of waste and war which is sometimes dignified by the lying title of the harmonious combination of capital and labour. . . .  To this Socialists answer, and rightly, that we have not set ourselves to build up a system to please our tastes, nor are we seeking to impose it on the world in a mechanical manner, but rather that we are assisting in bringing about a development of history which would take place without our help, but which, nevertheless, compels us to help it; and that, under these circumstances, it would be futile to map out the details of life in a condition of things so different from that in which we have been born and bred. Those details will be taken care of by the men who will be so lucky as to be born into a society relieved of the oppression which crushes us, and who surely will be, not less, but more prudent and reasonable than we are. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the economical changes which are in progress must be accompanied by corresponding developments of men's aspirations; and the knowledge of their progress cannot fail to rouse our imaginations into picturing for ourselves that life at once happy and manly which we know social revolution will put within the reach of all men.

" . . . Serious occupation, amusing relaxation, and more rest for the leisure of the workers, and withal, that beauty of surroundings, and the power of producing beauty which are sure to be claimed by those who have leisure, education, and serious occupation. No one can say that such things are not desirable for the workers; but we Socialists are striving to make them seem not only desirable but necessary, well knowing that under the present system of society they are impossible of attainment—and why? Because we cannot afford the time, trouble and thought necessary to obtain them. Again, why cannot we? Because we are at war, class against class and man against man; all our time is taken up with that. . . . Under such conditions of life labour can but be a terrible burden, degrading to the workers, more degrading to those who live upon their work. This is the system which we seek to overthrow and supplant by one in which labour will no longer be a burden."
(From "A Factory as it Might Be."—1884.) 

#    #    #    #

SPGB Pamphlet 1907.
"Well, I will now let my claims for decent life stand as I have made them. To sum them up in brief, they are: first, a healthy body; second, an active mind in sympathy with the past, the present and the future; thirdly, occupation fit for a healthy body and an active mind; and fourthly, a beautiful world to live in. . . . It is not we who can build up the new social order; the past ages have, done the most of that work for us; but we can clear our eyes to the signs of the times, and we shall then see that the attainment of a good condition of life is being made possible for us, and that it is now our business to stretch out our hands to take it. And how? Chiefly, I think, by educating people to a sense of their real capacities as men, so that they may be able to use to their own good the political power which is rapidly being thrust upon them; . . .  to get people to see that individual profit-makers are not a necessity for labour, but an obstruction to it. . . .  I admit that the work is long and burdensome; . . . people have been made so timorous of change by the terror of starvation that even the unluckiest of them are stolid and hard to move. Hard as the work is, however, its reward is not doubtful. . . . That claim for equality of condition will be made constantly and with growing loudness till it must be listened to, and then at last it will be only a step over the border and the civilised world will be socialised; and, looking back on what has been, we shall be astonished to think of how long we submitted to live as we live now."
(From “ How We Live and How We Might Live."—1888.)