Wednesday, October 26, 2022

“Nationalisation is Obsolete.” (1929)

From the October 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Mr. Walton Newbold makes a discovery.

Mr. J. T. Walton Newbold, M.A., who has been preaching nationalisation of the mines for nearly 20 years, has decided that it is now obsolete. He contributes to the Miner (August 17th) an article in which he argues that the grouping together of South Wales mining, iron and steel, wagon building, electrical and banking interests,
“Makes obsolete the whole notion of nationalisation of the mines. Actually, that panacea of the propagandists of the last twenty years has been as dead as mutton for half a decade.”
Although this is not by any means the first time Mr. Newbold has discovered his politics to be obsolete, and we shall not be surprised if, as on previous occasions, he shortly swallows his words, it is interesting to have this direct admission from one of the purveyors of obsolete remedies. It is still more interesting to hear why the secret has not been disclosed before. Addressing1 his remarks to the miners, he writes :—
“Every Marxist has known that, though, I grant you, most of them have been too fearful of your disapproval to tell you the honest truth. Socialists are supposed to be guided by science. Actually, they are all too often swayed by the most sloppy sentimentality.”
To that statement we would like to put in a protest and add a question. We deny that those who understood Socialism ever had any doubts on the question or ever believed nationalisation to be a panacea for working-class problems or deserving of any support whatever from the workers.

Newbold, the reformer, in his unstable passage through the Fabian Society, the Labour Party, the I.L.P., the Communist Party, the I.L.P. again, and finally the Social Democrat Federation, might have thought that nationalisation was a panacea; and Newbold, the carpet-bagger, when he learned differently may well have kept his thoughts to himself for fear of the disapproval of those whose votes and financial support he was seeking. Socialists never made the original error, nor had the need to be dishonest about their objects.

The question we would like Mr. Walton Newbold to answer is this :—
“What are his reasons for believing that Nationalisation, before it became “obsolete” half a decade ago, would have proved a panacea for the workers ?”
It would appear that Mr. Newbold still finds it expedient not to risk the disapproval of those who supply the funds and the votes. At the last election he fought as a Labour candidate, committed to support of the Labour Party and accepting its programme of nationalisation and its string of capitalist reforms. But although Labour Party rules definitely prevent Labour candidates from running as Socialists, we notice that when Mr. Newbold appealed for funds through a Canadian journal, his candidature suffered a strange transformation. In Epping he was a Labour Candidate seeking the non-Socialist votes of the Labour Party’s supporters. In Winnipeg, he became a Socialist, and the votes he polled were “votes for Socialism.”
Edgar Hardcastle

A Queer Party. (1929)

From the October 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Mr. David Kirkwood, M.P., writes a letter to the Daily Herald (19th September) giving a corrected version of a speech he made on his party—the I.L.P.

These are his words :—
“The time was not far away when they would have to decide whether their aims could be realised within Capitalism or not. He did not believe that they could. If they could be realised under Capitalism, then there was no use for an I.L.P.”
One can only gasp in amazement at the spectacle of an alleged Socialist organisation which, after existing for 36 years, has not yet found the time opportune to consider whether its aims could be realised within capitalism or not. We implore Mr. Kirkwood to tell us how far away the time for decision is.

Birth Control, Wages and Private Property: The Attitude of the Catholic Church. (1929)

From the October 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard
Birth-prevention is a dodge of the rich man against the poor. The only defence of the poor lies in their numbers. The rich are afraid, hence some of them, with devilish ingenuity, advocate birth-prevention to rob the poor of his only strength. It was loudly proclaimed in the Rotary Club at Leicester that if the poor will practise birth-control they will be content with smaller houses and lower wages. The poor, gullible crowd, is walking into the trap set for them by a few cunning fellows. It is always awkward to have to use machine-guns on the mob; teach them birth-control. It is just as effective. It does not soil your hands; in fact, you will be hailed as a benefactor by the poor dupes.

* * *

I am asked what nature orders a starving and penniless man to do when passing a baker’s shop. I answer : To take as much bread as will fully satiate his hunger. The Catholic Church teaches that nature abolishes all private ownership in the extreme and immediate need of one’s neighbour.

(The above extracts are taken from a letter written to the Daily News, September 5th, by Dr. J. P. Arendzen, M.A., D.D., D.Ph., a noted Roman Catholic writer.)

A Correction. (1929)

From the October 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

By an oversight the words “working class” were printed as “working-classes” on page 7, line 6, column 2, of the September “S.S.” There is, of course, only one working class.

The correspondent who writes drawing our attention to this also points out that we allowed a contributor to write “God help the men” in the last paragraph of the article, “Aspects of the Woman Question.”

The correspondent is afraid that we may be thought to have deserted Socialism for Christianity, and are advising the men to seek the aid of a non-existent deity. We assure him, with due solemnity, that the words were “writ sarcastic.” We thank him for his zeal and commiserate with him on his apparent lack of a sense of humour.
Editorial Committee.

SPGB Meetings. (1929)

Party News from the October 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Plimsoll Line. (1929)

From the September 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard
“Only the older generation remembers the long struggle conducted by Samuel Plimsoll—to whom at last a memorial is to be erected on the Embankment Gardens—to make legal his famous safety load line, now marked on the sides of every British Ship.”—(Daily Chronicle, August 16.)
Though we do not advocate dependence on others where workers’ interests are at issue, and though we are not hero-worshippers, we can appreciate the sterling worth of men like this champion of the seamen’s cause. Inseparable from the history of Plimsoll’s struggle is the record of a dastardly deed worth recounting, inasmuch as it shows the mercenary nature of capitalist society. Plimsoll was no mere notoriety seeker, but one of the men of his day who could rise above place and pelf. He had a wholesome respect for the working class, especially that hard-working and long-suffering section who sail the seas. In his book, “Our Seamen,” he says :—
“Riches seem in so many cases to smother the manliness of their possessors . . . their sympathies are reserved for the sufferings of their own class and also the woes of their own class. They seldom tend downward, and they are far more likely to admire an act of courage than to admire the constantly exercised fortitude and the tenderness which are the daily characteristics of a British worker’s life—and of the workmen all over the world as well.”
Entering the House of Commons in 1871, Samuel Plimsoll met with bitter hostility from the vested shipping interests and was ejected from the House for denouncing the ship-owners as “cold-blooded murderers.” Hear the words of an eye-witness on the occasion :—
“Most of the house and most of the front benches were as ignorant as bull calves of the ways of the merchant service.

Mr. Plimsoll was a very quiet and quaker-like man. Perhaps there was not a fighting man in the house to back him except half-a-dozen Irishmen. Did he sit down in silent funk? Did he admit that the lives of British seamen were of no urgent importance? I can see the brave man now as I saw him then. In half-a-dozen strides he was in front of the mace at the table. With clenched fist and furious voice he threatened and he denounced, “Were the sailors to go down in coffin ships during another winter’s storms when the Bill could be passed this session. By God! It must be passed, though all the murdering insurers of rotten ships were there to stop it.” It was no use shouting, “Order, order,” or “Send for the Sergeant-at-Arms”; Samuel Plimsoll all along meant to save the sailormen and he called out to all England to have the Plimsoll mark made law.”—(Quoted by the Sphere, August 17th, 1929, from the writings of F. H. O’Donnel, 1913.)
As a result of this agitation, and the consequent feeling aroused, by one man mark you, the Government was forced to push through a temporary bill. So strongly did the vested interests resist the interference with their “right” to murder helpless seamen that it was not until 1890 that the Load Line was fixed by Act of Parliament.

And now for the dastardly deed referred to. In 1906 came the great Liberal Government, with 54 Labour members, and Lloyd George, President of the Board of Trade. Among its wealthy members and supporters were the following shipping magnates :— Lord Pirrie, director of Harland & Wolff’s, White Star Line and other shipping companies ; Lord Furness, director of six shipping concerns; Sir Owen Phillip, Mark Palmer, Lord Joicey, Lord Rendel, Sir Walter Runciman, Sir William Bowring, R. D. Holt, Lord Mulburnholme, Russel Lea, Hon. J. A. Pease, and so on, and so on, profit without end. Now will you need to ask why David Lloyd George, ambassador of God Almighty Capital, amended the Merchant Shipping Act, permitting vessels that could least afford to load deeper to do so, to the extent of 7 and 8 inches. The object was to save the ship-owners from the expense of building extra vessels, and the result was very soon apparent in the number of founderings and the consequent enornous loss of life. Numbers of ships went out to sea and were never heard of again. But in this day there was no Samuel Plimsoll, though there were 54 Labour members, who, for the most part, sat silent through it all. Greatly to their credit the late Keir Hardie and H. M. Hyndman carried on a vigorous campaign of protest, the latter even challenged Lloyd George to prosecute for the accusations he levied against him, but the Welsh lawyer was too busy “climbing.” We live in a commercial age, and the object of these lines is to call attention to the rottenness of a society in which the noble deeds of the dead can be turned to account, and even honoured, by those who batten and fatten on the living.
W. E. MacHaffie

Thoughts at the Pictures. (1929)

From the September 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

We thought our town was well supplied with cinemas, but three months ago another opened. This was really a grand affair, with everything right up to recent date. There was a beautiful copper dome, surmounting an artistic tiled front, and when all the lights were twinkling and reflected in the small lake before the building, it was like a dream palace. And then you walked through the polished doors and up the marble stairs,, helping yourself along with the heavy brass handrails until you came to the paybox. Here stood an ambassador (I am sure he was an ambassador, for he was covered in gold lace), who always made the same mistake. He always assumed that we were either American oil-kings or else ex-sergeant-majors, for he immediately called out, “Seats at 5/9, 3/6 and 2/4.” He never mentioned the 6d. and 1/- ones. He made us feel somewhat cheap, but we found he was paid to do that and thus increase his master’s takings, so we paid our shillings and went in. And inside ! What a vision ! To the great majority of people in our town, whose homes are furnished by Tallyman, Gombeen and Tick, Ltd , and decorated by Woolworth’s, the new cinema must appear the last thing in the palatial. Gilt and tinsel, plush and velvet, silken curtains and orange glow-lamps, all go to make the nearest approach to fairyland most of us have ever known. There was a cinema organ capable of making 591 different kinds of noise. I will not venture to express my own ill-balanced and highly prejudiced opinion of it, but will simply state that the majority of my fellow citizens were brought into a state of ecstasy by it. And then there was the orchestra of about twenty musicians. I mention this feature last, because we were assured that it was a highly efficient body under the baton of the well-known conductor, Mr. So-and-So. One must admit that when they played music they were a joy, a pure, unrestrained joy, but when they introduced those orgies of hoots, squeals and death-rattles that are miscalled dance music, they were not a joy.

However, I mention them last for another reason that will be presently apparent. I did not go to the cinema again, because I found that in spite of the fairy-like exterior, the beautiful interior, the organ, the orchestra and all the rest, there appeared upon the screen nothing but the slushiest of slush. One is not entertained by slush.

But there came a day when the owner of the luxurious building informed his “esteemed patrons” and the world at large that, true to the policy of keeping abreast with modern developments, and sparing no expense, he would inaugurate the newest scientific wonder, the talking picture.

So as soon after the opening night as possible, we again paid a visit to the hall of luxury. There were the shaded lights, the marble floor, the painted sky on the ceiling, the courteous attendants as before, and, as we entered, the organ was playing one of the Indian love lyrics. It was not until the great feature, the talking picture, came on, that we noticed a difference. The orchestra had disappeared. Where previously had sat some twenty men in dress suits, producing melody of charm and vigour, there was a boarded expanse, covered with coloured bunting and artificial flowers. Yes ! Gay bunting and paper roses. He had “spared no expense” with a vengeance. It was the tomb of the orchestra. All its members had been sacked. Instead of their merry fiddling, all the noises that are intruded to charm a cinema audience, proceeded from a machine situated in the orchestra’s tomb. I need not tell you what I thought of the film, or of the talkie device, which has obvious wonderful possibilities. But I could not keep my mind from reverting to a little argument I had had with a friend during the day on unemployment.

He had retailed the old, time-worn phrases as to its cause and cure that the Press provides each day for the satisfaction of its readers. He had admitted, willingly admitted, that the introduction of machinery displaced labour, but urged that effect was only temporary as, owing to the cheapening of costs, prices fell, leading to a bigger demand than ever, when the displaced workers were rapidly re-absorbed. I tried to apply this line of reasoning to the sacked orchestra but I am afraid it did not fit. And yet my friend was only saying what the Capitalist Press says. Another statement he retailed from the same source was that men displaced from an industry by the introduction of machinery, eventually found work in the making of that machinery. There seemed to be a flaw in this reasoning, too. I could not conceive of those twenty musicians selling their instruments in a glutted market, and setting out to find the place where the wonderful talkie machines are made, in the hope that their skill as makers of melody would avail them as makers of machines. Had they been so exceedingly simple as to act upon those lines, it is quite possible they would have been unable to get near the factory for crowds of other musicians similarly made redundant, and crowds of real engineers already seeking employment.

Another argument he used, or rather quoted, was that unemployment was caused by cheap foreign labour. And yet these machines were the product of highly-paid American labour. I heard later that a British talkie is now being marketed costing but a third of the American product. Even this information did not seem to me to be of great comfort to the starving musician. Whether the machine was made by labour aristocrats or sweated coolies, the effect on the musician seemed the same. However, thinking over these things interfered with my appreciation of the film, and as my friend was not there I could not ask him to explain his ingenious theories in the presence of the awkward facts. I must recommend him to make a little study of the case of the cinema musician and his sudden and dramatic displacement by the machine, and then go over his theories over again. Perhaps he will see that the reason the musicians are sent out to starve, whilst a machine does their work, is because the cinema is privately owned and it is to the interest of the proprietor to substitute a cheaper music maker if he can, for he thus enlarges the amount of his profit. It is nothing to him that the human musicians starve if they cannot find a hirer. He will tell them he is not a philanthropic institution. He is not in business for the good of his health or the good of his employees. If they are wise, they will take him at his word. He is not in business for their benefit. Then they must see that the private ownership of their means of livelihood is incompatible with their good. They will see further, that the whole of this society of ours is run upon the same basis, and that their unemployment is not to be distinguished from unemployment in general. Their problem is only part of the whole problem, and the whole problem can only be solved by a universal remedy. We say that the only remedy suggested, so far, that has stood every sort of criticism, is Socialism. All our means of livelihood are privately owned, and all of us workers are liable to be sent packing whenever our hirers can find a cheaper substitute. How long are we going to stand it? Why should we not own our own means of livelihood? Why should a relatively small and parasite class dictate to the vast mass of people when they shall work and when not? Let us take possession of the things that are vital to our very existence. We make them, we operate them, we repair them and renew them. We do everything but own them. Without us the whole of the machinery in the world, beautiful as it is, clever as it is, ingenious as it undoubtedly is, is so much junk. Let us make the land, the factories, the machines and the tools of production, common property, and then perhaps, instead of a machine making men into paupers, we shall welcome every machine that lightens labour, for it will bring us holidays and increased leisure. The system wherein the means whereby all live are commonly owned and administered, is called Socialism. That is what we are aiming at, and we want a million workers to say definitely they want it, and are prepared to help get it. Will you be one?
W. T. Hopley

All Quiet on the Parliamentary Front. (1929)

From the September 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

As the evenings draw in, it is more and more evident that Socialism will not be here by Christmas. This, we must agree, is disappointing. True, the Labour Government has done its best, but what with the lack of rain, and the holiday season coming on, one must not expect too much. Photographs of Uncle Arthur at Scheveningen, looking the reverse of revolutionary, have appeared in the papers; others of Ramsay in flying kit, so anxious to achieve Socialism in Our Time that he has to resort to the airplane ; others again of Snowden, scowling, sneering or smiling. Delightful little paragraphs have appeared depicting the charming home life and complete domestic harmlessness of the Labour Cabinet. Altogether they can be said to have had a good press. Even when they disguised Sidney Webb in the fustian of a Lord, the jeers were fairly restrained. And now, after three months of office, we find capital going further still and saying, “the whole Empire is behind Philip Snowden.” Here is a revolution indeed. Three months ago they were disrupters of the Empire ; to-day, Snowden talks of its prestige and its rightful foremost place in world affairs.

What has happened? It is very simple. There is no need to expend a great number of words in explaining. During the great European war, the Labour Party was on the side of Capital. In 1924, when they were “in office but not in power,” their most outstanding achievement was to threaten revolting workers with the Emergency Powers Act. In 1929 the first jobs they tackle are the safeguarding of capitalist rights in Egypt, the cheaper running of the Navy by arrangement with capitalist rivals, and the squabbling with European capitalists over the sharing of German reparations.

We submit those are not the actions of a party whose object is the overthrow of Capitalism. Briand, Stresemann and Snowden meet round the table as equals. They are equals. Each represents a separate capitalist entity. The workers will realise this as the months and years roll by and their lot remains the same. They will realise that to vote for a working man because he is a working man, and for no other reason, is the height of futility. Capitalism, administered by working men, differs in little from capitalism administered by capitalists. The workers must learn that it is not the individuals, it is the system that is at fault, They must grasp this fact and hold on to it, that changing the name and not the thing achieves nothing. They must cease to believe such tosh as that recently published in the New Leader, wherein the workers were urged to admire Socialism in practice at Bournemouth, Brighton and Blackpool. We hope to have many opportunities of commenting upon the career of foolishness that is now before the Labour Party. The problem is a simple one. The workers who produce all wealth are poor in the midst of plenty. A million of them cannot find a master. Their condition is acute. The remainder are poor, permanently poor. We shall see that the Labour Government has no remedy.
W. T. Hopley

Aspects of the “Woman Question.” (Part 3) (1929)

From the September 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

(Based on Notes of a series of Lectures on “The Sexes in Evolution.”)

It is not surprising, perhaps, that during the ages when no scientific knowledge existed, when nothing was known regarding the development of life on the earth, that man should have regarded himself as an infininitely superior being, possessing mental and physical qualities which were peculiarly “masculine.” Neither is it remarkable that woman, who was supposed to have appeared later on the scene as the result of a surgical operation performed upon him, should have been regarded simply as an adjunct, a being created to satisfy the requirements of the masculine nature. But when the scientific age dawned, when it became possible to trace through the ages the evolutionary development of the human race, it might be thought, especially in the light of modern knowledge, that these antiquated prepossessions would disappear. This is by no means the case.

When man was compelled to turn his attention to the crude agricultural pursuits which woman first of all developed, the so-called superior qualities which he possessed —acquisitions of war and the hunt—enabled him gradually to improve on these rudiments. The changeover from matriarchal to patriarchal forms necessarily involved changed conceptions of relations, both sexual and political, and man’s power over woman received the necessary sanction of custom and law. And there it has stood, with slight variations, ever since, with the blessing of the Church behind it. Even when we turn to the most advanced scientific writings we find that the old prejudices are by no means eradicated, and any discussion of the sex question still reveals traces of the old prepossession of man’s superiority over woman. Scientists have even, on occasion, gone out of their way to justify the subjection of women

Now that suffrage is practically universal, there are those who deplore the extension of the franchise to women on the grounds that as women outnumber men they may sweep the board at any and every election in the Labour interest, since the majority of women belong to the working-class. On the other hand, Labour politicians are jubilant, believing it to be a likely consummation. Strangely enough, the Conservative Government, which conceded this “power” to the women, depended upon them to support their class out of gratitude for the concession. At the time they pointed out that they were democratic enough to recognise and appreciate what the women had done for the country. Since women worked and suffered and paid exactly as the men did, it was only right and proper that the same rights and privileges should be extended to them. Selah ! In other words— women had proved their worth as citizens, which, by the way, apparently implies that up to that point they hadn’t.

In presenting what is, after all, merely a rough outline of the position of the sexes in society, the interpretation can, of necessity, only be a sketchy one. In the opinion of the Socialist the hopes and fears engendered by the extension of the franchise to women are by no means justified. The Liberal and Conservative Parties seek the support of the women, because they believe they can be bluffed. The Labour Party counts on the women’s support also, believing they now possess what the men have long possessed—political liberty—and that the moment has now come when woman will assert herself and strike a blow for social freedom. It is quite true, of course, that the employing class has always opposed any “rights” for women, probably actuated by fear that the labour market might suffer, and that, by and by, through a possible extended organisation on the part of men and women an end would come to class rule. Though their fears, at the present stage of working-class political education, are groundless, it was probably this aspect that the Liberal and Conservative Parties had in mind when they solicited the support of the enfranchised women. The mistake made by the Labour Party has been to assume that women were politically intelligent to a certain degree. They are not— for how can women be expected to attain a condition which men have not yet reached after years and years of agitation and education? The sad fact remains—the majority of men and women of the working-class are positively indifferent to the political an industrial welfare of their own class. Many there are—men and women—who have fought for years to improve the conditions under which workers live, and have given of their best to the end, that some day the workers would wake up and take what was rightly theirs. But ask them—has the task been an easy one? Have they perceived any tangible change in the workers’ attitude ? Have they received any encouragement even?

It might be asked—did the Socialist not see any usefulness in the extension of the franchise, since the vote is the only sensible weapon with which the working-class can emancipate itself? To which the Socialist might retort—the franchise for a great many years gave the males the power to effect any purpose, but so far it has been utilised to maintain their masters in political power. That means that workers have used their votes against their own interests. Why? Because of political ignorance. The vote is a mighty weapon, used intelligently. But in some respects it is like a razor—one can shave or cut one’s throat with it. So that the importance of the vote lies not in the securing of the vote itself, it is in the way it is used. What matters most is the recognition, by men and women alike, of their class position. That can come only by education and study along Socialist lines.

Much of the credit for the women’s “victory” has been claimed by those who support what is euphemistically termed the “women’s movement.” But a more obvious factor was a Government facing disaster. And when a Government, facing the probability of defeat, introduces complete enfranchisement, it can only be because they count on swelling the total number of votes to such an extent as to increase their chances of victory, knowing, as they do, that the already existing electorate is anything but politically wise.

It has been called “The Awakening of Women.” If that is true, then God help the men !
Tom Sala

Living the Double Life. (1929)

From the September 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard
“So hard it seems that one must bleed
Because another needs will bite.”
In one of his books, Fabre, the noted French entomologist, gives a wonderful description of the manner in which the Sphex wasp stings its victim in three places in order that its grub, when it wakes up, will find an adequate supply of fresh, living food immediately available.

This is a case of simple, or partial, parasitism, of which there appear to be several degrees existing in nature. Sometimes an organism will be parasitic for only a portion of its career, others are completely parasitic for the whole of their existence. Whatever the degree the association is generally specific and is bound up solely with the problem of nutrition.

Parasitism may be defined as one organism living upon another without rendering any useful service in return. When one individual directly kills another, the relation is called predatism ; when one party feeds upon another, without killing it directly, the relation is called parasitism. Various theories have been advanced to account for the origin of parasitism, but perhaps a good covering explanation would be that parasitism arose as a consequence of the discovery of the successful application of the law of least effort. Whatever their origin, the existing forms probably represent degenerate forms of former useful species.

This brings us to the consideration of another and more intimate phase of the subject, easily recognised by the discerning worker—social parasitism. Essentially this is the same as the organic variety so far as the end result is concerned—the acquisition and accumulation of the means of subsistence and enjoyment without effort. There is, of course, no moral involved, the question does not enter at all. The ability on the part of one section of society to extract the productive power of another section and to appropriate the results of the application of that power, is based entirely on the relatively unchallenged possession of the requisite machinery to enforce subjection. In nature parasitism on the part of certain organisms is known to possess what is termed “survival value,” that is, this feature plays a successful part in the struggle for existence. Not so in human society. Parasitism in human society owes its success to the fact that those who practise it control the means of enslaving their victims while at the same time permitting them sufficient to keep them from dying and so ensure an abundance of material to serve their needs. Though there are two classes in society—a slave class and a parasitic class—and though one class occupies what is termed a higher social rank, it is not because of its biological fitness to survive, measured by nature’s laws, but merely because in the course of the development of society certain individuals have seen their opportunity to relieve themselves from the necessity of providing a living by their own efforts, and in the course of time to improve the opportunity by introducing the necessary legal sanction in accordance with the degree of development.

It was mentioned that the organic parasite was generally specific—so is the social parasite. Yet he is not so discriminating in the choice of his victims. The wasp will select a particular caterpillar as its prey, but to the social parasite all are victims— red, black, yellow or white. One animal species, instead of killing its prey, will often subdue another and compel it to perform some service for it, as is the practice among certain ants. On the other hand man is the only instance known to Biology of an animal preying on its own kind. This is specificity with a vengeance !

As already suggested, this parasitic impulse is not by any means a primitive feature of human society. It does not appear in savage society to-day, any more than do the regular features of civilised society—slavery, robbery, murder, etc. It is essentially a product of “civilisation.” In another particular the social parasite resembles the Sphex in that he rarely fails to provide an abundance of material for the sustenance of his progeny. The only difference between the victim of the Sphex and the victim of the social parasite is that the former is stung in three places and the latter in one—but quite as effectively nevertheless. Despite the beliefs of many of those who claim to have the cause of the workers at heart, an accurate examination of the factors at work reveals the fact that the working class are exploited once, and once only—that is, at the point of production.

Man’s conquest of his environment has made possible a remarkable increase in the productivity of every kind of material wealth. But hand in hand with this development has gone an appalling increase in the differences of prosperity and well-being. This concentration of wealth into the hands of a relatively small section of the human race has meant the demoralisation and degradation of literally millions. It is quite true, as history will testify, that the emphasis upon luxury, idleness and extravagance has been just as demoralising to those who hold the wealth, but such an outcome is only in keeping with a system where slavery is practised. Degeneration is the natural corollary of a parasitic mode of life.

All sorts of remedies are forthcoming whenever the question of the extermination of organic parasites arises. Even the individual whom we are trying to reach will instantly produce a remedy for the elimination of parasites on the physical body when required, but appears to be at a loss, even if cognisant of its existence, when it comes to the question of eliminating parasites on the body politic. Hence the Socialist Party of Great Britain.
Tom Sala