The 50 Years Ago column from the July 1971 issue of the Socialist Standard
Socialist propaganda is only one factor in the process of enlightenment. Far more powerful is the economic development with its growing insecurity of life for everyone who lives by selling his or her services to an employer. It is this great factor that usually forces workers to listen to Socialist propaganda.
The class division between workers and employers is more clearly shown in the case of a company than of an employer who is known personally to his workpeople. It is shown more clearly by a combination, and most clearly of all by a trust. No wage slave is sure of his job under this development, and even the lordly bank clerk and the respectable teacher have been forced to form organisations of a trade union character to protect themselves against the worsening of their economic position and the growing insecurity of life.
Long before the Socialist propaganda will reach the majority of these people the growth of the contradictions in capitalism will have forced them to examine various supposed ways of escape, and they will be compelled to take up the study of Socialism as furnishing the only solution to these problems.
(From a reply to a correspondent in the Socialist Standard, July 1921).