Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Letter: Boycott in West Africa (1953)

Letter to the Editors from the April 1953 issue of the Socialist Standard
A reader sends us the following letter and asks for our comments:—
S.W. London.

The Editorial Committee.

Dear Comrades,

On February 14th the West Africa weekly newspaper (published in London and of the same company as the Daily Mirror) published an amusing letter. Although no doubt their 9,000 white shareholders would nave us take it seriously.

It concerns the regional propertied interests in western Nigeria. Apparently the leader of the nationalist party of that region has imposed a boycott on the Governor because he considers that the collection of white whisky-boozers are too slow. There has been some delay in the approval of the western regional local government. Poor Sir John won’t be able to attend any more cocktail parties in the West for a while.

Instead he will probably relax in his palatial government house receiving Labour Party delegations all wanting to “save Africa.” But now, this letter raises the age-old question of how far is one capitalist group prepared to compromise with another? Mr. Haig glibly says: “ In your issue of January 10, you describe Mr. Awolowo’s boycott of Sir John Macpherson as “a clumsy weapon." Is this really all you have to say about this piece of colossal bad manners, bad psychology and bad policy? I wonder in what terms you would describe a British boycott of a leading African personality.

“Forgive me saying that this regrettable understatement of yours is typical of your growing tendency to appease the African nationalist even at the cost of good sense and common decency. It is not fair to your African readers, many of whom are inevitably short of education and experience. These readers are exposed, in their own countries, to many newspapers which distort and suppress news, and base their comments not on truth and reason but on the illogical frenzy characterising the emotional nationalist throughout the world.

“You, at least, should give them candid and honest comment based on truth and the accepted standards of Christian civilisation.

“I suggest that Mr. Awolowo’s boycott of the Queen's representative in Nigeria, and one of the best friends Nigerians have ever had, is a disgrace both to him and his party and to the traditional courtesy of the Yoruba people."

In some respects this letter can be applied generally to Africa and expresses a very unobservant
opinion although perhaps that too is an under-statement. However, would the Socialist Party of Great Britain care to examine the letter itself and answer it?
Yours sincerely,
Nigerian Student.

Our comments can be very brief. Those who administer capitalism in Britain are not interested in emancipating the British workers from capitalist exploitation nor in emancipating African workers. Likewise the West African-born Capitalist and Nationalist political parties, while interested in ending dominance by British capitalism, are not interested in emancipating West African workers from capitalism.

As Socialists aiming at the establishment of Socialism and the emancipation of all workers everywhere, we are all in favour of one kind of boycott. We look forward to the time when British, African and all other workers will join together in a boycott of capitalism, and all its political supporters and hangers- on, and will gain control of the machinery of government for the purpose of establishing Socialism.

In the meantime there is bound to be the arrogant attitude of the “Empire builders" as exemplified in the letter referred to by our correspondent.
Editorial Committee.

Ringing the changes (1953)

From the April 1953 issue of the Socialist Standard

The following quotation has a familiar ring about it.
"Their (the workers) output . . . was not enough to warrant the continuance of the high wages they were getting. The workers . . . wanted to get everything and give as little as possible in exchange. There were too many missed shifts, too many people who pretended to be ill, too many fines, too much movement of labour from one factory to another, too much stealing, too much carelessness in handling machinery." (Economist, 27 Sept. 1952.)
How often have we seen phrases like this? The familiarity of its tone, bred of constant repetition, rings in our ears like a cracked bell. We in this island are by no means the only ones to suffer its infliction. It also applies to the so-called “peoples democracies" on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

In fact, the quotation is from a report of a speech made by Mr. Zapotocky, the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia in 1948. Old history? Perhaps! But Mr. Zapotocky, like all other devout worshippers of capitalism, is never tired of ringing the changes (though needless to say we’re tired to death) or as the Economist has it: “Comrade Zapotocky has been saying the same thing at intervals ever since." No doubt he will continue.

Why he has been saying it, will make more apparent the fact that Czechoslovakia, like all other countries has a class divided society. The working class there is distressingly stubborn about accepting the fairy tales of their rulers; are exasperating in their refusal to believe that everything is for their benefit in a land that they are told is “building Socialism.” So much so, that the Trades Unions are again being “ re-organised."

After the Communists came to power in February, 1948, the Unions underwent purification.
“At that moment, which coincided with the nationalisation of nearly all industrial undertakings, the workers had, theoretically, won their victory against capitalism and the original raison d’etre of the unions— the protection of the workers against capitalist exploitation—came abruptly to an end. But instead of dissolving the unions, the Communist Party skilfully incorporated them into the state organisation and gave them the new task of 'educating' the workers into being worthy of the hire meted out to them by the politicians who have taken over from the dispossessed private capitalists."
Of course, the Communists were not likely to dissolve the unions. Well trained in the methods of State Capitalism, with the ever watchful eye of their mentor the Soviet Union guiding them, the Communists, with a copious supply of bogus Socialist theory, were able to re-organise the unions and turn them to their own advantage, under the pretence that now the “Socialist Revolution" had been accomplished, the original function of the unions had become redundant. Quite true. The nature of State Capitalism (which is the form Czech Capitalism has taken on the model of the Soviet Union) is such, that, under it, all the aspects of capitalist society are drawn into a unified whole; brought to a head. Control is centralised and complete.

Trade unionism is an aspect of Capitalist Society; Capitalism is a class Society and the interests of the ruling class predominate. Therefore, when all the aspects of capitalism are drawn into a Central organisation—the State—the Trades Unions automatically come under the control of the ruling class. They are then transformed from a protective, working class, organisation, into instruments for driving the workers to greater and more efficient production.

Mr. Zapotocky in a speech on July 18th. 1952, gave the following, as the three principal functions of trades unions in a “Peoples Democracy.” They are: “To reduce production costs.” (Wages?)
“To consolidate working discipline and develop Socialist competition.” “At present,” he added, “the unions definitely are not fulfilling their tasks. That is why they must be reorganised’.”
So far the “Stick” method has been in operation for goading the workers into production marathons. This has not proved as successful as was at first hoped. So now the more “scientific,” “carrot” technique is being employed. The Czechs are now to be “persuaded ” to produce more.

The trades union leaders have been sent on special courses of “political education ,” with the object of bringing the Czech workers into a state of mind that will make them “produce more than yesterday.”
“The workers, in short, must be ’persuaded' by hook, crook, whips or scorpions to give up the old eight hour day in favour of a system under which they must on working with no extra pay until their ’Norm' been fulfilled. They must be 'persuaded' to welcome the introduction of arbitrary and often unpaid extra weekend shifts and to give up their ‘Bolshevists Saturday* which the miners won in 1921, at the whim of the Government . . .

“When they do not close the gap between output and wages, the real wages are cut by raising either norms or prices or both alternately: in addition, the hardly-won privileges the workers fought for against private capitalism are taken away or transformed into a machine for keeping their noses well down to the nationalised grindstone. (Ibid).
The mixture as before, but more highly concentrated and with a nastier taste. Administered with a very large and efficient spoon.
Ian Jones

Party News Briefs (1953)

Party News from the April 1953 issue of the Socialist Standard

Conference, 1953. As usual, the annual conference is being held at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 3rd, 4th and 5th. Business commences each day at 11 a.m. Dance will be held on the Saturday evening and Annual Rally on Sunday evening. This is a last minute reminder.

* * *

Outdoor Propaganda commences in April and all members should make a special effort to support the meetings held by their branches and assist with the sale of literature. It is impossible to run successful propaganda meetings without the support of the members and it does stimulate the speakers if they know they have the backing of other members.

* * *

New Members may like to know that our internal party journal, “Forum” (monthly, fid.), is on sale through branches, or by postal subscription, 6 months 3s. 9d. 12 months 7s. 6d. The current issue is the seventh, and back numbers of all except the first (Oct. 1952) issue are available from H.O.

* * *

A Circular recently sent out urges every subscriber to the Socialist Standard to go all out to increase the sales of S.P.G.B. literature, and especially of the Socialist Standard. Finding new readers is an excellent way of spreading socialist knowledge, and also of helping us to increase the printed matter itself, so don’t forget to post us your order for literature.
Phyllis Howard

Socialism and Questions of the Day (1953)

Party News from the April 1953 issue of the Socialist Standard

We have now prepared a pamphlet under the above title which we are sending to the printer. Unfortunately we have no money in hand at the moment to meet the cost. Will members and sympathisers send us what donations they can immediately so that we can pay for deliveries of the pamphlet as they come. It will be a pity if we cannot have this pamphlet on sale for the summer propaganda season.

The question is urgent so send us money as quickly as you can.

Blogger's Note:
Link to the 1942 edition.

Censorship and Freedom: the Longford Report (1972)

From the November 1972 issue of the Socialist Standard

It used to be said of certain parliamentary constituencies that a sheep or a scarecrow would be elected by them if it bore the rosette of Conservative or Labour, whichever was favoured there. Likewise, it is predictable that the direst rubbish will be acclaimed by sections of the population, so long as it is rubbish supporting Christianity and seeking to put more fetters on people’s lives. And that is the essence of the Longford Report on pornography, whose long-awaited foregone conclusions appeared at the end of September. Despite the adverseness of reviews such as Bernard Levin’s in The Observer, one has actually to read the Report to find how low it is: a methodological mess, a rag-bag of contradictory allegations given the name “evidence” and ulterior motives called “conclusions”.

One example will show what the Report is at. In the general introductory section, the third chapter is headed “Violence and Pornography”. A lengthy paragraph associating social revolution and the “underground” with violence leads straight into an account of Julius Streicher and Der Stürmer. Streicher, it is said, collected pornography. The counter-information that Hitler did not is given backhandedly: “very little is known about Hitler’s own interest in pornographic materials” — i.e., being wicked he must have had some even though we’ve no evidence for saying so. However, Hitler was “probably” impotent, and his mistress (a contradiction there, surely?) Eva Braun "may, it is thought” have practised lesbianism with her sister. Over the page, and we are back with hippies and “peaceniks” playing sexual perversions.

Making Dirt Stick
The Longford Report is the dirtiest book in town, throwing and smearing mud in all directions. Some of it is hair-raising in crude audacity. The special sub-committee on advertising which finds “We are satisfied with the disciplines that the advertising industry has voluntarily imposed upon itself” comprised four members—of whom two are Chairmen of advertising agencies. The sub-committee quotes from and recommends the British Code of Advertising Practice, and points a special finger at one publisher refusing to observe it: curiously enough, Paul Raymond, proprietor of Men Only, which was raided by the police shortly after the appearance of the Report. Note should be made, too, of the nature of censorable books proposed in a chapter by Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard: “Not unsuitable because of anything: just unsuitable.”

The conclusion of the Report is a draft “Obscenity Bill”, with two prime concerns. First, a new “test of obscenity” is laid down:
For the purposes respectively of the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964 and of section 2 of the Theatres Act 1968, an article or a performance of a play is obscene if its effect, taken as a whole, is to outrage contemporary standards of decency or humanity accepted by the public at large.
The second object, with particular reference to the theatre, is that the sections of existing Acts allowing for “public good” as a defence against prosecution “shall cease to have effect”. As stated in the 1959 Act, this defence is
that the giving of the performance in question was justified as being for the public good on the ground that it was in the interests of drama, opera, ballet or any other art, or of literature or learning.
Lord Longford has denied that these changes attempt to extend censorship. Of course they do. What is the Report about, except to demand that what Longford, Mrs. Whitehouse, Malcolm Muggeridge, Cliff Richard (and eleven ecclesiastics, and Moral Rearmament) disapprove of should be banned?

Who Constrains Whom?
The Socialist attitude to these questions can be simply stated. We are against all censorship, and in favour of unrestricted expression of opinion and sentiment by everyone. There is no reservation in this statement. “All” does not mean all except that of obscenity, etc., and “everyone” includes our opponents (those involved in the Longford Report, for instance: atrocious as it is, no Socialist will deny or impede their right to say any of it). Nor is the argument one of artistic merits and the interests of the higher things in life. The position is that while any one section of society has the power to regulate what others may see, read or know, the minds of the majority are held in chains.

Part of the Longford case is that the minds of many need to be chained. Mrs. Whitehouse is quoted as saying “it has nothing to do with taste, it has everything to do with the kind of world we are trying to build”. A “senior consultant, F.R.C.P. and former Dean” refers to “the necessary function of government in preventing mental pollution by the mass media”. Masud Khan, editor of the International Psychoanalytical Library, proposes that pornography (but not censorship, however) is “inherently fascistic”. Lord Platt is recorded as having visited the Study Group to say that the Bible — “on sale in children’s bookshops, in school libraries” — contained disgusting pornographic material and was likely to corrupt children; but perhaps that is not what the Study Group wanted to hear.

Thin Air
Yet, for all the laborious efforts here to prove a case for banning pornography, it remains unproven. David Holbrook cites psychiatrists, philosophers and biologists. The American President is quoted pronouncing the non sequitur that if the mind is elevated by great works it must be lowered by bad ones. The only decently-researched item in the Report is the Appendix by Maurice Yaffé, summarising the voluminous findings of the US Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, 1970, and other recent enquiries. This Appendix is referred to several times in the main text of the Report, making one wonder if any of them (apart from Holbrook and Mary Miles, who add a disapproving paragraph) read it. For the conclusions on page after page are that no evidence exists for connecting pornography causally with anti-social behaviour or sexual crime, or for claiming any effect on children.

Indeed, there is one factor which is treated altogether curiously by the Report. Notwithstanding the impression given by phrases like “widely sold” and “big business”, the fact is that pornography is expensive and hard to get. How many of the newspaper readers have ever seen, let alone bought, it? The Report tells how Mary Stott of The Guardian went to the Study Group’s office “simply anxious to see her reactions to hard pornography”. If it were as over-accessible to the public as Longford’s crew represent, why did not Mary Stott pick up a bundle at the corner shop long before? The cheapest price for a pornographic booklet is about £3 (the same as an agency ticket for Oh, Calcutta!, with which the authors of the Report seem obsessed). In those terms, the talk of easy availability to children is a monstrous red herring. The pious question asked, “Would you like your child (or godchild) to read this?” needs a supplementary: If you would, can you afford it?

Propaganda & Capitalism
The point is not at all frivolous. Most people’s views on pornography are founded not on what they have seen of it but on what they have heard. The first chapter of the Report speaks of “the influence of literature on behaviour, with special reference to the Bible, Das Kapital and Mein Kampf”. If one grants that these books have been widely influential, the influence has not come through reading them. The first and the third have been pressed on populations among which it is difficult to find persons with more than vague knowledge of what is inside them. The number of people who have read Capital is, even today, relatively small. The influence has come from their presentation for propagandist purposes, in directive renderings to which independent reading would be an antidote. This is another side of censorship where the censor seeks to form his subjects’ conclusions for them, laying down the reaction which makes reading unnecessary and imposing social and political penalties on whoever reacts otherwise.

The purpose of censorship is to support the rule of class-divided society. Thus, though Socialists oppose it, we do not campaign for its abolition: the belief that any class government anywhere can permit this is unrealistic. Politically, the reasons why capitalism needs its Official Secrets Acts, libel laws and prohibitions on incitement to this or that are obvious enough. In the field of what is called morality, the purpose is simply to ensure that the working class gives no trouble. In this regard, the hypocrisy of the “establishment” should be seen for what it is. Despite all the talk about art and humanity, the authorities stiffen or relax censorship on strictly practical grounds and only to a marginal extent because of theoretical arguments. Considering all that goes on in our world — supported by the contributors to the Longford Report — it is the depth of cynicism to speak as if seeing a dirty book were the worst thing that could befall a child. If only it were!

Exploitive Society
Of course there is no case to be made out in support of pornography, any more than there is one for football or detective novels or jig-saw puzzles or a thousand other recreational phenomena. The condemnation that large sums of money are made from pornography comes strangely from supporters of capitalism, which exists by making money out of every human desire and need. Much bigger profits are made out of “just” wars, housing shortage, and taken-for-granted activities which poison the environment. Presumably the Hodder company will make profit from the publication of the Longford Report; Malcolm Muggeridge is paid for writing and speaking against pornography and birth-control; but no-one suggests that the viewpoints presented are thereby disqualified.

However, there is one comment on most pornography that is not made in the Report. Its nature is, above everything else, exploitive. Its subject-matter is seduction, humiliation, infliction, indignity — people persuaded or made to do things for other people’s gratification. Far from violating the values of present-day society, this picture of personal exploitation accurately reflects them. That is the real difficulty for the censors in defining pornography. Its forms may be elusive, but the content is no different from that of the allegedly respectable functions of a society based upon the exploitation of man by man. Perhaps the indignation of the Longford Study Group is Caliban’s rage at his own face in the glass. One can see in it also, however, the bitterness of disappointed Fabians. A lifetime’s social reform was supposed to turn the working class into sober, moral, acquiescent people: and here they are, as recalcitrant and randy as ever.

Freedom, not Humbug
Don’t be taken in by the Longford Report — or by the majority of its opponents. Censorship can never be in the interests of any section but the ruling class. It is not stated like that, so the arguments for it have to be specious ones invoking illusory menaces and the welfare of the young and “vulnerable”. On the other hand, most self-styled “opponents” of censorship are seeking not its abolition but its transfer — themselves to have freedom, others to be shut up. Socialism means the freedom to say, see and know without restriction. It is worth saying also that this includes not being forced to accept what one does not want; but that is a freedom capitalism won’t give us either.
Robert Barltrop

Black Liberation - George Jackson and Political Violence (1973)

From the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

In 1960 when George Jackson was eighteen, he was convicted of second-degree robbery for driving the getaway car whilst his friend robbed a petrol station of 70 dollars. For his part in this offence he was sent into the state prison system with a sentence of “one year to life”. Technically, George Jackson was liable to imprisonment for life. In practice it meant that he would serve a minimum of one year and would thereafter appear annually before a parole board who would consider his “fitness to be released”.

The preface of the book Soledad Brothers — The Prison Letters of George Jackson states: “Under this system parole is granted on the basis of the prisoner’s record within the prison, but the prisons themselves are brutal humiliating places where violent racism is commonplace; if a black prisoner resists this degradation he will be penalised and lose parole. Jackson was denied parole year after year. His friend was released in 1963.”

In January 1970 after Jackson had been in prison for ten years, seven-and-a-half of them in solitary confinement, three black prisoners who were at exercise in Soledad Prison and known to be political activists were provoked and shot dead by a prison guard. The guard was exonerated as having committed “justifiable homicide”. Shortly after this was announced, a white guard was thrown to his death from a tier of the prison where Jackson was held. He and two others who came to be known as the “Soledad Brothers” were charged with murder and faced the death penalty.

In August 1970, Jackson's younger brother Jonathan held up a Courthouse and took a judge amongst five hostages under the demand “Free the Soledad Brothers”. In the ensuing violence, both Jonathan and the judge were shot dead. In August 1971, in circumstances which have never been made clear, George Jackson was amongst a group of persons which included prison guards, who were shot dead in prison. Subsequently his co-defendants on the murder charge were acquitted.

This record of violent events which built up over eleven years against the developing political consciousness of its victims exemplifies the crude viciousness of modern American barbarism. These events cut right through the American hypocrisy and its pretensions to be the egalitarian “land of the free". They expose with murderous clarity a system where privilege is maintained by ignorance, hatred and brutality as a conscious instrument of social policy. The prolonged incarceration of George Jackson and his eventual destruction was rooted in the entire fabric and structure of American capitalism. It is both convenient and popular to see his imprisonment and death in isolation from the whole social and economic context, as something unrelated to the general pattern of society. In reality the privileges of the American rich and their monopoly of wealth and power are erected on the squalor of the American poor and where necessary, without hesitation, on the atrocity of a George Jackson’s death.

There are Crimes and Crimes
By any standards, George Jackson was a remarkable individual. He was brought up in the black ghettoes of Chicago and Los Angeles. His family background was not political. His father was a conscientious person, ill-educated himself, struggling hard as an unskilled worker to provide for his family in material surroundings typical of the unrelieved ugliness of those urban slums. This is an atmosphere which produces cynicism as a brittle response to the glaring inequalities of life. These areas after all are the concentration camps for those who are socially and economically rejected, patrolled and held down by armed policemen, and when necessary, the national guard.

More than most, American capitalism glamourizes the ownership of things and accords prestige to personal wealth. At the same time, the opportunities of millions of Americans are restricted by the economic and social conditions of the urban ghetto. In these circumstances, it is difficult for young men to avoid hostile encounters with the police. Like many others, George Jackson was one such young man, and at eighteen, found himself in prison for theft.

The general aim of the state prison regime in America is, through the application of physical and psychological terror, to force the inmates to passively accept their rôle in American society. The aim is to reduce the individual to a state of despair and insignificance. As Jackson himself put it:
This is in keeping with the overall prison conspiracy, i.e. you have no will, you have no choice or control, so be wise — surrender. There’s a sign everywhere your eyes may happen to rest, begging: 'O Lord, help me to accept those things I cannot change.’
With a sentence of “one year to life” for petty theft, the authorities combine two savage pressures. The first is the day-to-day punishment of imprisonment combined with physical assaults and personal humiliation. The second is the blackmail in saying “this year provided you behave, you may be released on parole, or next year” or the year after that, and so on for life.

George Jackson’s crime was not that he complied in the theft of 70 dollars, but that in prison he could not accept the ignominious terms on which the authorities might have released him. For this crime he was imprisoned for eleven years, seven-and-a-half in solitary confinement, and eventually in August 1971, shot to death.

Short of Understanding
In prison, in spite of the limitations of his personal background, Jackson began to read seriously, gradually seeking an explanation for the forces, social and historical, underlying his plight. Eventually, he devoured such left-wing and Marxist literature as he could get hold of. Jackson did not become a Socialist. It is doubtful whether his views would fit neatly into any political category. He became an inspiration to the civil rights movement in America, and also to the Black Power movement. Although there is much that is perceptive in Jackson’s views as expressed in The Prison Letters of George Jackson, his understanding of economic relationships and social and political institutions, fall short of a Socialist understanding. If George Jackson was anything, he was a black nihilist.

Jackson claimed to be opposed to capitalism. “The principal enemy must be isolated and identified as capitalism.” “Our enemy at present is the capitalist system and its supporters.” However, closer analysis would show that in fact what Jackson was opposed to was American-style private enterprise. Jackson sympathized with China and the emerging African states. So he ignored the fact that capitalism is a world mode of production where the means of wealth production are monopolized and controlled either by private owners or a political bureaucratic élite. In world capitalism, although the systems of administration in different states vary, basic economic relationships are essentially the same. This applies to China and the emerging African states. Wage labour is exploited, wealth takes the form of commodities marketed with a view to making profit and capital is accumulated by a minority from the surplus wealth produced by the working class. Moreover, in China and Russia, as much as in America, the capitalist system is held down by a State machine which includes the armed forces and police and prisons.

Jackson considered that political democracy was a fraud. “Of what value is quasi-political control if the capitalists are allowed to hold on to the people’s whole mode of subsistence?” He believed in leadership and elevated violence. “The people who run this country will never let us succeed to power. Everything in history that was of any value was taken by force.”

Futile to Confront
There is no doubt that if in some time of crisis Jackson’s views on leadership and violence became practical action, this would lead to disaster. It would compound crisis with death and violence with no possible hope of getting anywhere towards Socialism. The most that might be achieved on the basis of an immediate worsening of conditions would be that the political controllers might change. Modern history is littered with examples of political power being changed through violent means. But all these examples relate to States where capitalism is undeveloped. Without exception the replacement governments have all embarked on the continued development of capitalism. In the real world where capitalism dominates as a mode of production there would be no other practical alternative. In states where capitalism is more developed, political administration is stabilized either through a state capitalist regime such as Russia, or through political democracy as in Western Europe; in either case the chance of a militant minority confronting or replacing the government through violent means is nil.

The principal facts are these, that in the complex organization of modern industrial States, no government is viable unless it rests upon at least the acquiescence if not the general support of the majority. This would apply to any militant minority attempting to wrest political power. Apart from the difficulty of defeating the existing State machine in open confrontation, they could never hold power because their writ would not run. The only practical test of whether the exercise of political power is possible or not in a developed capitalist State is the degree of acquiescence or support a government can carry.

Apart from this, any movement which is going forward on a basis other than democratic action cannot be a Socialist movement. The equality that Socialists aim for is not only the equality of all men about the means of producing wealth but equality in all the processes of social organization.

Get it Right
The crucial factor which allows the establishment of Socialism is the conscious action of a majority of Socialists. Until there exists a majority of Socialists, only capitalism is possible, regardless of the form of its administration. When that majority is achieved, then it can be assumed that the establishment of Socialism will be politically straightforward.

What Jackson ignored was the regrettable fact that capitalism in America rests upon the political support of the whole population, including the millions of negro voters. His call for violent struggle may well have been an expression of his bitter frustration, but as a useful idea in creating a better world, it was a political irrelevance. It was a mistake stemming from a faulty reading of Marxism for the Black movement to draw inspiration from Chinese state capitalism. Significantly, they are not enthusiastic about Russia, yet there was a time during the earliest phase of the state capitalist revolution when it enjoyed sympathy amongst protestors throughout the world. Just as the capitalist nature of the Russian state has become more obvious year by year, it is inevitable that the same development will take place in China.

The Black Power movement will have to learn that negro workers can only achieve their emancipation along with the emancipation of all mankind.
Pieter Lawrence

Censors at odds (1973)

From the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

In November our front-page article dealt with the Lord Longford report on pornography, and stated our case that all censorship is against the interests of everybody but the ruling class.

David Holbrook, a member of the Longford committee, has produced a new book called The Masks of Hate in which psychiatric examination of some popular present-day writers is used to make an argument for their perniciousness. His targets include the James Bond novels, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter and Kingsley Amis.

What is interesting is that Kingsley Amis also contributed a chapter to the Longford Report, advocating censorship as Holbrook does. Among his recommendations was to ban books which are “not unsuitable because of anything : just unsuitable”. Holbrook finds Amis’s writings unsuitable because they are “devaluing human nature” and “present false solutions”. Perhaps a duel with blue pencils at ten paces is imminent.

However, this demonstrates one or two things. First, that what amateur censors really seek is not “social good” but the removal of what they dislike. Second, their failure to realize that governments impose or approve censorship on political grounds, and only to a very minor extent on theoretical (e.g. psychiatric) ones. And third, that proponents of social reform in general terms are unable to foresee its detailed application and outcome. Both Holbrook and Amis believe, of course, that more extensive censorship laws would be used to prevent the working class from seeing their bêtes noires; but The Masks of Hate serves to show that if it happened they might find their own books deemed “just unsuitable”.
Robert Barltrop

The Sexual Politics of Wilhelm Reich (1973)

From the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

What has prevented the growth of Socialist consciousness amongst the working class even though the material conditions for the immediate establishment of Socialism have been in existence for at least three-quarters of a century? Why, when Socialism is so obviously in their interest, do workers continue to support and maintain capitalism? Why is the political behaviour of the working class so irrational?

For Wilhelm Reich the answer could be summed up in two words: sexual repression. In his view, the restrictions on sexual activity imposed through the father-dominated family structure produced people dependent on authority and incapable of independent thought and action.

Reich was born in Dobrzynica in Galicia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) in 1897, the son of German-speaking Jewish parents. As a medical student in Vienna after the first world war he became interested first in the physiology and then in the psychology of sex. He joined the circle around Freud, the psychoanalyst, and became one of his close disciples.

Instinct and Energy
Freud had been teaching since before the turn of the century that most mental illness was caused by “sexual repression” dating from early childhood; and that every human being was born with a “sexual instinct” which had to be tamed before he could become a fit member of society and that in fact this is what, from the psychological point of view, growing up and becoming socialized meant. “Instinct” is a notoriously vague word, but for Freud it was more than just a description of how people do in fact behave; he speculated that it did have a real physical basis in the human body and that sooner or later science would discover the precise chemical formula for “sexual energy”. For Freud was, in principle, a materialist who believed that men’s thoughts, conscious and “unconscious”, could ultimately be explained in terms of some chemical change in the human body. So when Freud spoke of “sexual energy” he meant the word “energy” to be understood literally. For him sexual repression was not just the psychological process of mentally suppressing sexual ideas but was also a real physical process of suppressing or diverting real bodily energy of some sort.

Or so Freud speculated, though nothing resembling any such “sexual energy” has yet been discovered, a fact which must reflect adversely on his theories generally — and also of course on those derived from them such as Reich’s. Reich was particularly interested in this aspect of Freudian psychology and clinically investigated bodily tensions associated with sex. Later, in 1939, he was to claim — without any scientifically acceptable evidence — to have actually discovered what “sexual energy” really was: apparently it wasn’t chemical after all but electrical!

Communist Party
But it is not the years of Reich’s pathetic decline into a charlatan claiming to be able to cure cancer by means of his “orgone box” (he died in 1957 in an American jail) that are of interest to Socialists. For, while working with Freud in the 1920’s, he came to the conclusion that all the Freudian psychoanalysts were doing was to patch up mentally sick individuals and send them back into the society whose sexual code had originally made them sick. He felt that the real solution to the problem of mental illness caused by sexual misery lay in transforming society. To this end in 1928 he joined the Austrian Communist Party. In 1930 he moved to Berlin and joined the German Communist Party (KPD). At the same time he was active in groups which combined sex education and calls for an end to legal restrictions on sex with anti-capitalist agitation. Not surprisingly really, his views on sex were not always to the liking of the leaders of the KPD, partly because they regarded the struggle for sexual reform as a diversion from their struggle for political power and partly because they themselves probably harboured certain prejudices about sex. Eventually in 1932 Reich was expelled.

Reich was not simply a fellow-travelling Communist Party sympathizer but an active member during a period when the Party was violently denouncing the Social Democrats as “social fascists”. He was, and re­mained for some years after his expulsion, a thorough­ going Leninist firmly believing in the need for a “revo­lutionary leadership” to lead the masses in a violent assault on the capitalist State. His criticism of the German Communist Party for its failure to prevent the rise of Hitler, as expressed in the original version of The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933) and his pam­phlet What is Class Consciousness? amounts to a charge that because of their attitude to sex they left the way clear for Hitler to exploit the sexual misery of the masses for political ends; whereas, says Reich, this is what the KPD should have been doing and would have been doing if they had followed his advice.

To lead the Masses
It is the same with his explanation for the failure of the Russian revolution given in the later versions of The Sexual Revolution. (It is important to realize that Reich changed successive editions of his works in line with his changing views and that the English translation of this work and of The Mass Psychology of Fascism date from 1945 and so were considerably different from the original German versions of 1930 and 1933 respectively). According to Reich, Russia went off the rails because the Bolshevik government had failed to carry out properly the sexual liberation of the Russian people. As a result the Russian masses remained dependent on authority and incapable of democratic self-management so making a dictatorship inevitable.

This argument still accepts Lenin’s view that under capitalism the workers are incapable of reaching a full Socialist consciousness and so have to be led by a vanguard party and that the task of Socialist education of the majority cannot begin until after the seizure of power by the vanguard party. Reich’s criticism was essentially only that the Bolsheviks failed because they had not carried out their own theories properly — with the implication that if they had Russia would not have “degenerated” into the Stalinist dic­tatorship.

But it was Bolshevik theory itself that was wrong not its application. The vast majority of workers will have to become conscious Socialists before their political party (a mass democratic party rather than a vanguard of would-be leaders, of course) wins power. In the absence of such a Socialist majority, any minority which seizes power, no matter how sincerely they may desire Socialism, cannot but become a new ruling class because they would have no alternative but to run, or as in Russia in 1917 to develop, capitalism. The Bolsheviks’ coup was doomed, even before it was carried out, both by the economic backwardness of Russia and by the lack of Socialist consciousness (as opposed to mere mass discontent with the old order) of the Russian workers. It would not have been saved by a more liberal sex policy.

Change of Mind
Reich’s belief that Leninist tactics (which, after all, involve authoritarian leadership) could lead to a free society in which people would be able to manage their affairs without leaders was a glaring contradiction. For how, on his own theory, could people still psychologically dependent on leaders come to establish a society without leaders? When Reich was in the Communist Party and for some years after he clearly thought that after the revolutionary leaders had power it would be up to them to take steps to the masses’ psychological dependence on them by pursuing a liberal sex policy. In other words, the workers were not to emancipate themselves, but were to he emancipated by their leaders. A view quite in accord with Leninism, but equally quite opposed to Marxism. To be fair, Reich later, when in exile in America, came to see this contradiction. It led him to abandon Leninism (which he imagined to be Marxism) as the way to establish a free society. Instead he came to think that before such a society (which he now called “work-democracy” rather than “socialism”) could be established people must have ceased to be psychologically dependent on leaders and have become capable of the democratic self-management of their own affairs. In fact he even argued that, in the absence of this any attempt to establish a free society would lead rather to state capitalism. This is how he characterised Russia in his 1945 Introduction to the Third, English version of The Mass Psychology of Fascism:
“In the strictly Marxist sense, there is not even in Soviet Russia a state socialism but a state capitalism. According to Marx, the social condition ‘capitalism’ does not consist in the existence of individual capitalists, but in the existence of the specific ‘capitalist mode of production’; that is, in the production of exchange values instead of use values, in wage work of the masses and in the production of surplus value, which is appropriated by the state or the private owners, and not by the society of working people. In this strictly Marxist sense, the capitalistic system con­tinues to exist in Russia. And it will continue to exist as long as the masses of people continue to lack respon­sibility and to crave authority.” (His emphasis).
Repression or Indoctrination ?
By this time Reich had become something of a gradualist, believing that the free society he wished to see would come when sufficient individuals had cone to liberate themselves sexually. This is probably why his ideas are so popular in certain circles today: they provide a seemingly satisfactory ideology for the current rebellion within capitalism against out-dated sexual codes. However, these same people — the sexual rebels — find some of his views on sex itself embarrassing. For, as a Freudian, Reich believed that there was a biologically natural form of sexual behaviour, even though distorted by class society. He labelled homosexuality as “unnatural” (though harm­less) and argued that women needed men in order to experience full sexual pleasure — views highly embarrassing to both gay liberation and women’s liberation.

But it is precisely because Freud’s theories posit a fixed “human nature”, at least in relation to sexual behaviour, that Marxists have been doubtful about their validity. Sexual behaviour is but one kind of social behaviour and, as such, socially not biologically deter­mined. So no one form of sexual behaviour can be said to be more “natural” than any other. Ironically then, it is Marx rather than Freud who provides the better argument for sexual tolerance! But then the Socialist tradition, before even Freud was born, championed sexual freedom and “free love”, i.e., a society in which people would be free to have sex without first having to get a licence from the Church or State. The struggle for Socialism has always been, among other things of course, a struggle for a rational attitude to sex and part of Socialist consciousness is being free from prejudices about sex (the inferiority of women, discrimination against homosexuals, etc).

But what about Reich’s, or rather his followers’, explanation for the irrational behaviour of the working class in keeping capitalism going? Is it really because workers are sexually repressed by the father-dominated families they grew up in? Many uncritically accept that it is, but for this to be true so would Freud’s speculations about the existence of some measurable “sexual energy”. The whole theory of sexual repression stands or falls on the existence of such energy, even more for Reich than for Freud since all his psychological theories depend on it. Yet there is no scientifically acceptable evidence whatsoever for the existence of any such thing, only Reich’s experiments which deceived nobody but himself. Sexual restrictions are bad for people’s health but they cannot be blamed also for the lack of Socialist consciousness any more than they can be blamed for the rise of fascism or the failure of the Russian revolution. Nor is there any reason to suppose that their removal would be in any way incompatible with capitalism. The most that can be said for Reich is that he did argue a good case for a rational attitude to sex; most of his book The Sexual Revolution is well worth reading just for this.

The explanation is much simpler: the success of the ruling class in directly (as opposed to indirectly via sexual repression) inculcating their ideas into the minds of the workers through the process of learning. The workers’ acceptance of capitalist political and social ideas, like their other ideas, is learned from other people — their parents, their schoolteachers, their workmates, the press, television — and so derived from society and is not a reflection of the suppression of some biologically natural behaviour as Reich claims. It follows therefore that the struggle against capitalist ideology must be a struggle to spread Socialist ideas as such and not a campaign for sexual reform.
Adam Buick

Where Women's Liberation fails (1973)

From the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

At the beginning of this century women had a life expectation of only about 45 years; women passed their prime in reproduction and the main cause of death in the 25-to-35 age group was childbirth. Now marriages tend to start at a younger age and women are able to exercise some choice over the size of their families. The Pill has not led to a postponement of maternity; in fact the tendency is for babies to be born at the beginning of marriage. This means that a mother may now have some forty years in front of her when the youngest child starts school.

Still, for most girls, getting married and having a family is considered sufficient ambition and this is reflected in their education. Three times more girls than boys leave school at the age of 15, and 75 per cent. of all 18-year-old girls do not receive any higher education or training. Household chores are easier now than they were even twenty years ago, even if we do not have all of the latest labour saving gadgets. Whether housework is menial or not may be open to argument but it is certainly not a lifetime's vocation.

Work and Wages
Unfortunately, most wives cannot take advantage of easier housework and less time involved with infants. Those in the Women’s Liberation movement may decide whether or not married women gain some advantage from taking part in socially productive work, but for most of us the discussion is hardly relevant. For despite the myth that women work outside the home in order just to find companionship, or escape from the boredom of housework, in this consumer-orientated society there is no real choice. How else can the family take a holiday, buy that modern home equipment or simply make ends meet? One might also ask just what the "starlight” shift, popular with mothers of young children, does for companionship in the home.

Selma James is among those who have seen through the notion that women gain some kind of liberation by working outside the home as well as in it. However her suggested demand in her pamphlet Women, the Unions and Work for "wages for housework” seems a little naive. Wages are the price for which workers sell their labour power. That price will be generally sufficient to keep a worker, and his family, at a socially accepted standard. Payment made for housework, like family allowances or free transport, would act as a brake on wages. When a wife first takes a job there may be an improvement in the family living standard but her income soon becomes an integral part of the family budget.

Question of Cash
But when it is only the husband’s income which endeavours to meet the family expenses it is hardly surprising that conflicts arise about just how, or by whom, the money should be spent.
"It is a class thing, really, money is power in a husband-wife relationship where there is only one weekly wage packet”: according to Mr. Nicholas Tindall, of the National Marriage Guidance Council. (The Sun, 16.10.72)
In her pamphlet, Selma James makes a comment about a woman earning enough money "to avoid having to degrade herself by asking her husband for money for tights”, which speaks volumes on the blighting effect that money can have on personal relationships. The decision to supplement the family income, or achieve a degree of financial independence, means joining the majority of working women who are used as "little better than cheap labour, doing low-grade repetitive jobs, with rates of pay to match.” (TV Times)

Women are conditioned and, for the most part, educated for stop-gap jobs —to fill in time until getting married — and yet they form 38 per cent. of the work force. More than half of the women who go out to work are married. Many women accept the idea of getting lower pay than men and in the past few of them have joined unions. Out of 9 million working women only two million are union members.

Complaints about the type of work available to women give the impression that all male work is skilled, creative and interesting; that men do not get involved with their children or ever give help (unpaid) in the home. Of course the constant round of childcare and housework can be frustrating but what do most men, and women, get out of their employment? Only the pay packet (or salary cheque)!

Dissatisfaction with women’s rôle in society has led to some discussion of the shortcomings of the social system itself, but what a pity most members of the Women’s Liberation movement seem prepared to settle for so little. The movement, which began in this country in the late sixties, is broadly based and lacks a coherent policy. Emphasis is placed on the continuous development of ideas supposedly by learning through struggle.

Struggle for what? Despite the use of much revolutionary-styled rhetoric, members of the movement essentially seek equality with men in capitalism. When men and women compete for jobs on equal terms and the Equal Pay Act (1970) is fully implemented, plus, of course, the provision of more nursery education and free contraception, their aims will be achieved.

For women to join in one organisation because they are women is about as logical as the idea that all black people have common cause because they are black. The oppression of different groupings within the working class varies in intensity and in form. It is this variation which tends to mask the common factor which applies to all of the groups: women bringing up children alone, immigrants, the homeless, pensioners, etc., etc.

The Working Class
The common denominator which applies to about 90 per cent. of the population is their alienation from the means of production. The only viable definition of the term “working class” includes all those who, because they possess only their ability to work, must sell their mental and physical energies to an employer in return for money (wages or salary). It makes no difference whether the price for their labour and job-status is high or low. The class which owns the factories, land etc. is at an opposite pole. Its members do not need to compete for jobs. Not even for better-paid jobs in management, administration and the professions. Neither will old age or lack of employment throw them on the Social Security scrapheap.

Justification for an autonomous women’s movement is largely based on giving women’s claims priority over the achievement of Socialism, even where it is the alleged aim.

Marx and Engels both saw that when women took a decisive part in large-scale production, and were only occupied by domestic chores to a minor degree, their emancipation became feasible and that furthermore the foundation was laid for “a higher form of the family and of the relations between the sexes”. They plainly knew that, though the pre-conditions for the emancipation of working-class men and women have been met within capitalism, we cannot in fact be set free without a revolutionary change to Socialism. This revolution the world has yet to see.

True Liberation
What will the position of women be in Socialist society?

When the means for production are the common property of the worldwide community, production for use will have replaced the outmoded system of market production. We will contribute to the well-being of society as free individuals and will, without exception, have free access to those goods and services required to fulfil our own needs. (Wages for housework! Who wants wages?)

Though we cannot know exactly what form the family will take, we can say that the “nuclear” family will no longer be the economic unit of society. Men and women will live together because they mutually wish to do so, the bonds between them and their children being neither legal nor financial. Children will be a social responsibility and even a chance pregnancy will not be cause for alarm.

The working class is already armed I with the only weapon a politically- aware majority will need to abolish capitalism and replace it with Socialism. Whether or not we are in unions, or in employment, we have the vote!

A Single Aim
Women’s Liberation is yet another movement dividing the working class. This time with the absurd notion that female oppression is caused by male domination, while in fact but a special aspect of human oppression under capitalism. Even when the end of capitalism is recognised as the only demand “not co-optable” it is dismissed in favour of a reformist struggle.
The movement is largely anti-capitalist and as such assumes the distortion of everybody’s life and potential today. But such generalities are moral, not political, and though everyone wants liberation for all (men and women) this cannot but be Utopianism unless at this stage, we organise around specific oppressions. (Women’s Estate, by Juliet Mitchell, p. 58)
We in the Socialist Party of Great Britain have but one object because the demand for Socialism is of itself a call to end specific oppressions. The demand for Socialism is of itself a protest against war, against poverty and against the frustration of millions of lives only half lived. But more than that, the demand for Socialism recognizes that we can only solve these problems by ending the social system which causes them.

We will not settle for less.
Pat Deutz

50 Years Ago: On leadership (1973)

The 50 Years Ago column from the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

The leadership idea has cursed the working class movement from the beginning. At an earlier period those supporting the idea had motives of benevolence, its later supporters have also benevolent motives—but the benevolence is directed towards themselves. They make stepping stones of their followers to reach comfort and security.

In France in 1793 Babeuf and his friends sacrificed their fortunes and lives in the attempt to relieve the misery of the mass of oppressed. The method was a sudden attack upon the central seat of power by a courageous and determined minority . . . Babeuf’s intentions were excellent, but his method was rotten at the root. Instead of first getting the mass of the people to understand and desire the new programme, he proposed to force it upon them from without The idea being that the intellectual few knew better what was good for the masses than the masses did themselves. 

In 1836, an association of working men was formed in London that blossomed out into the first national movement of wage workers. This association took the name of ‘The London Workingmen’s Association’ and published an address, the concluding words of which put forward a new outlook for the oppressed, telling them to have done with leaders and trust only in themselves:
‘Be assured that the good there is to be must be begun by ourselves’.
Marx has put the case more definitely, as follows:
‘The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working-class itself’.

In working out his emancipation, the worker must study the conditions that surround and oppress him. He must look to ‘great principles’ and not to ‘great men’ in the struggles.

From an article “Abandon the Idols” by G. McCIatchie, Socialist Standard, May 1923

Lonelyhearts: A Parody of Living (1973)

From the May 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

“The sexiest years of our lives” the News of the World called them, reviewing the changes which have occurred in sexual customs and behaviour during the last twenty-five years. “ ‘Today’s teenagers have burst open the sexual cage. They will never be driven back to the old taboos’, says the Sorensen Report on Adolescent Sexuality” — shouts The Sun. Film-stars boasting that they were not legally married to the fathers of their children. Over a million British women “on the Pill”. Stage productions like Hair and Oh, Calcutta! with completely starkers casts. Every pub, almost, with its Go-Go girls and strippers, and Saturday-night “divorced and separated club” dances. Family planning is free for all, screams the poster on the wall — make sure they are really wanted. The Borough of Camden actually pays taxi fares of girls needing advice urgently.

Forty-five years ago Dr. Marie Stopes (authoress of Married Love and pioneer of the first free birth- control clinic for working-class women in Islington, London) had her book suppressed and a six-month prison sentence which, however, she never served. With all this new-found freedom and frankness, discarding absurd Victorian prudery and hypocrisy, we should all be as happy as sandboys, as free as the air, having it away like rabbits without a care in the world.

But what is the truth? We live in the era of the broken marriage. Divorce and separation have reached staggering proportions, leaving behind them a legacy of grief and anguish hard to visualize. Children become “latch-key kids”, some “juvenile delinquents”. The matrimonial courts are snowed-under with cases, and the jails hard-pressed to cope with the 250,000 maintenance allowance defaulters. The weeklies reap a rich harvest running hundreds of adverts by men seeking women, and women the companionship and sociability of men. This writer remembers well buying a copy of Der Abend in Frankfurt, to find more advertisements by lonely men and women seeking partners in Germany, than in England.

These adverts along with Compat, Duet, and “divorced and separated” clubs are a peep under the lid of a seething cauldron. They are the harrowing heart-cry of the victims of a vicious and depraved society, capitalism, which denies many the exercise of those elementary physical functions which even lower animals enjoy instinctively.
A desperately lonely bachelor seeks an attractive lady.

“Surbiton Surrey’ ’is longing to make somebody happy.

A lonely English bachelor seeks lady for friendship and marriage.
And so on, page after page after page. Neither is it true that the advertizers are merely, or even mainly, interested in sex. Many go out of the way to state their social interests: “dancing”, “walking”, “music” — in fact, "Lonely Teacher” declares himself a “genuine socialist”.

Incidentally, nearly all the males advertized by Marriage Bureaux are “nearly” six feet tall, which doesn’t say much for us shorties who can only muster about five feet eight. Some have not only motor-cars and “good positions”; they are “cultivated”, “travelled”, “intelligent” and “humorous”, they own town and country houses, boats and caravans (one even has his own private plane) — and are still unhappy. One widow advertizes “a good home” for the lucky applicant. Such inducements can only arise in a private-property society where possessions are considered the criterion of contentment. Nevertheless one bright spark announces:
A gentleman, 46, tall, indolent, with no material possessions seeks a lady, whose religion is unimportant.
On the other hand:
A Continental lady with small capital would like to met an understanding gentleman for early marriage.
She probably got a flood of replies asking how small is “small”.

How paradoxically absurd that men and women, who are crammed together like sardines in public transport, homes and employment, have to advertize their frustrations. Hundreds of thousands are milling about like the exploding electrons in an atomic pile, crashing into other marriages and threatening their stability in a social chain-reaction.

Compare the unhappy plight of these “intelligent”, “cultivated”, car-driving bachelors and divorcees, forced to advertize their poverty of companionship, with the joyous freedom of the primitive savage, secure in the knowledge that all the women of the opposite Gens were his lawful, rightful wives, while all the men were the husbands of his Genswomen.
. . . the law enabling the strange Papuan, thousands of miles from home to find frequently, from Tribe to Tribe, women who will without resistance guilelessly surrender to him.
(Engels, Origin of the Family p.54) 
One can hardly restrain a smile at the quaint Victorian terminology still used by even such an iconoclastic pioneer as Engels. The idea that women “surrender” to men is exploded even under capitalism nowadays.

The absorption of women into commerce and industry has made them less economically dependent on men as Engels, Bebel and others predicted. This, and the cheap efficient small car instead of the pram, the washing machine in place of the wash-board, central heating and electrical machinery have partially emancipated women from drudgery in the kitchen and submission in the bedroom. Socialism will continue this process by emancipating women completely.

Lewis Henry Morgan’s great merit lay in his realization that our attitudes change with changing economic conditions, and that the family as a form of social organization evolves. Under slavery, male slaves had no sex life (officially, anyway). All female slaves were automatically the Master’s concubines, if required. Under feudalism sex was confined by the Church, for the lower orders, to the marriage partner for life. To the aristocrat the marriage was to land, not a bride. In this way the Hapsburg dynasty gained control over half of Europe. This form of repression inevitably produced prostitution which, however, never flourished then as under capitalism now, where literally everything is on sale for money.

For primitive man the choice was wide and free. Children were the social responsibility of the whole tribe. The absurdly individualistic private possessive relation to their own children of many proletarian mothers today was unknown. With the extension of knowledge and culture comes the advent of individual sex-love, although Engels held that it was impossible before the Middle Ages:
It goes without saying that personal beauty, harmony of inclinations, intimate intercourse, awakened a longing for sexual intercourse, but from such relations to our sex-love is a long way yet.
(Origin of the Family p.92) 
Sexual relations will be decided after a new generation has come to maturity, a breed of men who have never had occasion to buy the surrender of a woman for money, and women who have never had occasion to surrender to any man for any other reason but love. Once such people are in the world they will not give a moment’s thought to what we, today, believe should be their course.
(ibid., p.100)
Relieved of all economic problems, unsatisfactory unions will be dissoluble immediately on the simple decision of one or both parties. Mental compatibility and mutual achievement will gradually supplant physical satiety as the years pass. The individual family of private-property society will be superseded by the great social family of all humanity.

Hail to our sons and daughters! who, learning from the fumbling blunders of their stupid and clumsy parents, will attain a noble happiness we can never know.