From the February 1999 issue of the Socialist Standard
The following is the text of a leaflet that was produced for distribution at anti-tuition fees demonstrations recently:
- Nobody should have to pay to study.
- Nobody should have to buy books or pay rent for accommodation.
- Nobody should have to pay fares to travel.
- Nobody should have to pay for heating or food or water to drink.
The organisers of this demonstration are not asking you to support these demands. They are asking you to confine your demands to the single issue of university fees. They believe that education should be free. It should—but capitalism is not about freedom; it’s about profits and costs. Education in a capitalist system is preparation for the world of being used and exploited. The demand for free capitalist education is not going to be granted. Many people here voted Labour in the hope that it could deliver a kinder form of capitalism. It was New Labour that followed the logic of capitalism and imposed tuition fees. It is naïve in the extreme to expect free services from capitalism.
Socialism has come to be a dirty word. But it’s only once we establish a socialist society of production for use not profit that nobody will have to pay—to study, for books and housing, for travel, heating, food or water. It you are opposed to a system of society where the market plays no role and there is free access to goods and services, then don’t expect free education.
If you’re interested in FREE ACCESS FOR ALL to education, goods and services, then it’s time to go beyond the pleading of this demonstration.
To go beyond the demands for freedom under capitalism, please write for free information to The Socialist Party, FREEPOST, London SW4 7BR.