Monday, October 23, 2023

The "Benefits of Nationalisation" (1960)

From the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard
Some long-service railwaymen, on retirement, are invited to public presentations, praised for their loyalty, and given a cheque for £5. Afterwards, British Railways deduct the money from the men's pensions. A railways spokesman explained yesterday: 
“Before nationalisation it was the custom to present long-serving employees on retirement with a cheque. A nationalised industry has no power to make gifts of that kind, but it is often felt preferable to make a formal presentation to a retiring railwayman rather than let him retire with the occasion unmarked. It is just that to comply with regulations the cheque has to be regarded officially as an advance payment of the pension.”
A typical case was that of Mr. Pat Wiggett, of Hathersage, Derbyshire, who has just retired—after 46 years’ service—on a pension of 9s. 7d. a week. It should have , been 9s. 9d. but Mr. Wiggett was handed a cheque for £5. British Railways are deducting the money at the rate of 2d. a week for 11 years.
The Guardian (8/9/60.)

The Socialist Case (1960)

From the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Socialist case is really quite simple, and easily understood by anyone of normal intelligence. However, its very simplicity may make it difficult to accept.

Modern capitalism is a very complex social system. The average person, confronted with economics, banking, currency, accountancy, the Law, etc., seems to be overwhelmed and finds great difficulty in understanding. He also believes that these are permanent and indispensable attributes of society, and therefore it is best that they are left in the hands of the highly trained specialists, the “great” men, to be safely operated. When Socialists claim that this economic superstructure, while it is necessary to capitalist society, is so much lumber in a sanely organised society, they are looked upon as people not quite sane. The simple proposal that the land, the factories, transportation and so on (the means of production) should be owned commonly and democratically controlled and operated by and for the benefit of the people, appears to the average person to be impossible. Our task, which is to convince a majority of the workers of the correctness of our case, is not therefore an easy one.

In the course of many centuries, private property based societies have evolved in several forms. Chattel-slavery, feudalism and modem wage-slavery, have been in existence; the lease of life of capitalism is not yet ended. But though the life of capitalism may be indefinite it is, fortunately, not infinite. Sooner or later its end must come.

The Socialist proposition has been arrived at after very careful investigation and analysis of the economic, social and cultural history of mankind. This proposition is that the freedom of man from economic bondage, poverty, insecurity, and so on, can only be realised by abolishing the present social system and establishing a Socialist society. Our case is very strongly supported by the facts of social evolution and the practical experience of the consequences of the operation of capitalism in all parts of the world.

Irrespective of the stage of man's development, or the particular social system, the production of food, clothing and shelter must be accomplished by man. His continuity of life and the reproduction of the. species depends upon his successfully doing this job. In common with all other animals he must obtain the essentials of life. In the course of time the method in which he accomplished this task has varied in accordance with the type of tools he has fashioned and the circumstances in which he found himself. In modern capitalism he obtains his food, clothing and shelter through the medium of wage labour.

Capitalism is a social system in which the privately owned means of production take the specific form of capital. Capital is therefore a social power which is personified in the capitalist class. The mode—or method—of production in society is the production of commodities for sale in order to realise profit. It should be noted that the primary object of producing wealth is profit, not need. Capitalist society divides people into classes. On one hand, the capitalist class who own the means of production, but do not produce; on the other, the working class who are the sole producers, but do not own the means of production. As a consequence of this class division of society a struggle between the two classes takes place over the division of society's wealth. It should be self evident to anyone that we have a social basis here in which the interests of capitalist and workers are never likely to be reconciled. An interminable class war, or struggle, of a somewhat grim character is a permanent feature. Also, as the economic keystone is profit the owning class will only permit the productive machinery to be used when they feel fairly certain of realising this profit.

It is obvious that this owning class, the capitalists, by virtue of their ownership and control are in a position to control the lives and destinies of the population. Capitalism can only function in the interests of the capitalist class. It was never intended to do otherwise.

As a result of these social circumstances the workers' access to food clothing, and shelter, is through the medium of wage labour. In days gone by, man’s struggle for survival was between himself and nature, but now he is confronted with his fellow man, the capitalist, the exploiting animal. In the industrial field, the worker is looked upon merely as an appendage of capital, a productive essential. The worker enter here in order to sell his mental and physical energy—as an engineer, labourer, etc. This energy in capitalist society is a commodity, capitalist and worker therefore meet as buyers and sellers of labour power. An agreement having been reached, the worker enters the factory where he finds ready for him machinery and raw materials. He expends his energy in producing, obtains his wages, and departs.

On the surface all appears to be quite fair and honest. No one seems to have taken advantage of the other. However, Socialists are very emphatic in their claim that the working class are robbed, enslaved and exploited. Although this claim is very true it is not quite evident from a superficial survey. A little deeper penetration is necessary. It should first be made quite clear that commodities have definite values. The amount of value contained in any commodity is determined by the quantity of abstract human labour, socially necessary and of generally average skill and intensity. We always express this value in terms of cash.

The value of the commodity, labour power, which the worker sells is determined in the same way. For example, a given quantity of food, clothing and shelter is required in order to reproduce the expended energy and to reproduce future workers. This amount may vary slightly according to circumstances. But if we take five shillings an hour as the approximate value of craftsmen's labour power, a forty-hour week would yield a total wage of ten pounds. If we now enter the factory and observe, we shall find that in the first twenty hours of labour the worker has produced new values amounting to ten pounds. Of course, he continues his work for an additional twenty hours and produces another ten pounds. Thus our capitalist has doubled the variable capital invested (wages). His ten pounds is now twenty. This is the sole source of profit, rent and interest, which cannot be obtained from any other source.

What the worker receives is the value of his labour power, not the value of his labour. His labour has yielded twice the quantity, in new values, that his labour power cost to buy As a seller in his field, the worker has nothing other than his labour power to sell. His labour in the process of expending his energy in production and is embodied in the new merchandise produced. Together with the products, it belongs to the capitalist, who sells the goods and realises his profit. The size of his profit is the difference between what the worker produces and what he receives in wages. This is surplus value, the amount of the wealth of which the worker is robbed.

Another factor of social and historic significance arises here. In former societies where commodity production took place in a small scale, it was generally accepted as a principle that men were entitled to own whatever they had produced by their labour. Modern society has enthroned its opposite. In society today the working class who are the sole producers have no control over what is produced, nor over what is done with the product. The capitalists—the non-producers--decide, direct, control and dispose of society's wealth in the manner which suits them best. In this regard the productive effort of society is in constant conflict with the form of ownership.

Our organisation for the production of wealth is social in character. It involves the constant activities of the great majority. The socially produced wealth, immediately and exclusively, is owned and controlled by a social minority. Social or common ownership of the means of production and distribution is the sole solution to this anomaly. Society as it stands is divided against itself. Private property in the means of production produces this class conflict of capitalists against workers. It places this vast productive equipment in the hands of a few and subordinates its operation in their interests. As a consequence it enables the enslavement and robbery of the producers to take place and also permits the almost complete domination and social degradation of the great majority of society. There is no prospect now, or later, of the present social mode of production being made to serve the need and interests of society as a whole.
J. H.

(To be concluded)

Voices from the Past: Gerrard Winstanley 1608 ? - 1660 ? (1960)

From the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard


“Wheretofore is it that there is such wars and rumours of wars in the nations of the earth? And wherefore are men so mad to destroy one another? but only to uphold civil property of honour, dominion and riches one over another.  .  .  . But when once the earth becomes a common treasury again, as it must . . . then this emnity of all lands will cease, and none shall dare to seek dominion over others, neither shall any dare to kill another, nor desire more of the earth than other.”

The True Levellers Standard Advanced (1649).


"No man can be rich but he must be rich either by his own labours or by the labours of other men helping him. If a man has no help from his neighbour be shall never gather an estate of hundreds and thousands a year. If other men help him to work, then are those riches his neighbour's as well as his; for they be the fruit of other men's labours as well as his own.  . . . Rich men receive all they have from the labourer's hand, and what they give, they give away other men’s labours, not their own.”

The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652).


“Shall we have no lawyers?

There is no need of them, for there is to be no buying and selling; neither any need to expound laws; for the bare letter of the law shall be both judge and lawyer, trying every man's actions. And seeing we shall have successive Parliaments every year, there will be rules made for every action a man can do.”

The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652).


“ [Priests] lay claim to heaven after they are dead, and yet they require their heaven in this world, too, and grumble mightily against the people that will not give them a large temporal maintenance. And yet they tell the poor people that they must be content with their poverty, and they shall have their heaven hereafter. But why may not we have our heaven here (that is, a comfortable livelihood in the earth) and heaven hereafter too, as well as you? "

An Appeal to all Englishmen (1650).

These extracts from the writings of Gerrard Winstanley are taken from The Good Old Cause (Lawrence & Wishart). edited by Christopher Hill and Edmund Dell.

What happened in 1959 (1960)

Book Review from the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard

Continuing a tradition now more than two hundred years old, Penguin Books have recently published World Events, The Annual Register of the Year, 1959 (10s.). In a broad sweep of nearly 600 pages it sets out to cover the main events and developments in the world during that year.

The first 56 pages recount the chief happenings in this country during 1959, and a further 300 pages are devoted to events in the rest of the world. There are subsequent chapters on developments in science and the arts, together with a section on economic matters containing some extremely useful factual information on British trade and industry. Finally, amongst some other miscellaneous items, there is a chronicle of events over the year and a comprehensive index.

Living with events from day to day, it is often difficult to see their significance as a whole. Even more's this the case when the events themselves occur so rapidly that one is hard pressed to keep up with them let alone succeed in remembering them or putting them in relationship one with the other. The virtue of a book such as this is in helping us first, to remember many things we have forgotten and second, to discern more clearly the sweep and progression of events against the background of time.

The value of the book, therefore, is for those who are constantly in need of the happenings of the past to illustrate and explain the events of the present. As such it is a useful book for all Socialists and a particularly useful one for those engaged in writing and speaking on behalf of the Party.
Stan Hampson

50 Years Ago: Socialism, Work and Beauty (1960)

The 50 Years Ago column from the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard

In the "golden age of labour“ the craftsman owned his tools and used them for the production of beautiful and useful objects, which were his when made. It was to his credit to put the best that was in him into the things he produced, and all things combined, not only to give him opportunity, but to encourage him to exercise thoroughness in the construction, and to give his work that expression of his individuality which is the very essence of art. He was his own master, free to embody his own ideas in his own product in his own time, not dogged at every step by some impatient holder of a stop-watch, and forced to inscribe on a time-sheet the moments of each stage of production.

How different is the position of the modern toiler (craftsman he cannot be called). Labour today is divorced from art. The labourer has neither right nor interest in the object upon which he labours. It matters not to him whether the article produced be ugly or beautiful, useless or useful. He is an automaton hired to do a certain task; the slave of a machine.  . . . 

To raise the workers from the level of the machine and to place them in the position of men is the object of Socialism. . . . It is our desire, not to return to the method of production of the Middle Ages, but to obtain the happiness and comfort, and the security of life enjoyed by the craftsmen of that day, by making ourselves masters, collectively, of our tools, material and time, shapers of our own destiny.

From the Socialist Standard, October. 1910.

SPGB Meetings (1960)

Party News from the October 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard

Stumbling blocks. (1905)

Letter to the Editors from the December 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

Some questions asked and answered. 

Mr. H. J. Priest (Islington) sends the following five questions, which we answer.

1. Should all reforms be opposed by the members of the S.P.G.B.?

Our members oppose no reform which benefits the working-class.

We, however, resolutely decline to barter our Socialism for some vague promise of reform that resembles the proverbial pie crust. We decline to support an enemy, who is utterly opposed to us on the most important points, because he promises some minor measure.

Further, practically the whole of the so-called “reforms” at present proposed would not, under present class rule and economic conditions, materially benefit the workers if obtained.

2. Are the reforms for which our forbears fought, useless—e.g., The Factory Acts, Free Speech, and the Education Acts ?

The reforms to which Mr. Priest refers are not useless and have never been characterised as such by the S.P.G.B. They are, however, all echoes of the last class struggle.

The passing of the Factory Acts (particularly that of 1847) was largely due to the Tory landed aristocracy in revenge for the Corn Laws, and in vain attempt to stem the rising tide of manufacture, to stop the desertion of the land for the factory, and to hinder the mill owners in competition with the agriculturists for the available supply of labour power. On the part also of the more far-seeing manufacturers and Tories alike, it was to prevent the loss to the ruling class that would follow the utter degeneration of the working-class goose that laid the golden eggs. How near this was may be judged from Engels “Condition of the Working Class in 1844.

For long the Factory Acts were rendered practically inoperative by the manufacturers, until they slowly discovered that, in moderation, the Acts did not diminish, but rather increased efficiency, output, and profits. We counsel our friend to examine the present Acts and their working; he will not find much to be proud of.

Free Speech and Education Acts were essential to the development of Capitalism, and were the work of the modern capitalist class on its advent to political power. Free Speech as a necessary corollary to free competition and the development of trade ; Education Acts, in order that the wage slaves should be more efficient and therefore cheaper.

Just as capitalist development renders Socialism inevitable, so also do many of the measures which were indispensable to Capitalism, prepare the way for Socialism in spite of the interests which promoted them.

3. Are the people in Russia fighting for phantoms in fighting for reforms?

This question hangs closely to the previous one, and the subject has been dealt with in No. 6 of this journal. Historically the people of Russia are fighting the battle of middle class emancipation. They are fighting precisely the same battle that our forefathers fought: and this is the secret of capitalist sympathy for Russian revolutionists.

It must not be forgotten how backward Russia is in economic development. Only 12 per cent. of her population live in towns, whilst commerce and great industry are largely in foreign hands. Hence the Russian industrial capitalist has still his emancipation to achieve. Though the populace is (in the towns) largely leavened with Socialist teaching, economic development is not yet ripe for Socialism, whilst it is largely a cloak for middle class aspirations. The freeing of the growing Russian industry from the strangling grasp of autocracy is the next step in social advance, and necessarily compels the support of the Russian working-class. Let our friend notice also that the work is being done by a revolutionary movement, out for the abolition of Czardom, not for its reform. Showing thereby that a revolutionary movement is far more efficacious even in the obtaining of concessions than is a timid reform movement. But reform cannot satisfy modern Russian conditions, for so long as Feudal Czardom is left in control, so long will it use its power in its own interests against the other classes in the state. Nothing but the deprival of the Russian feudal class of the control of the machinery of government can meet the present needs of Russia.

This means revolution ; it means the advent to administrative control of a new class : a class thrust forward by economic development. It means Bourgeois supremacy, leavened, (let us hope), by working-class influence.

What Mr. Priest calls reform in Russia really spells revolution ; the rise of a new class to the helm of the State, and the breaking down of the barriers to the untrammelled development of industry in that country; the inevitable, but let us hope brief, precursor of the Socialist Commonwealth.

The bloodshed and disorder which too often accompany revolution are due to desperate efforts of the ruling class to cling to power, to retain their domination over society, in their own interests in spite of the changed conditions and the will of the people.

The victory of the third estate in Russia, accomplished necessarily with the aid of the workers, will doubtless find a strong Socialist party on its feet to keep pace with the ever more rapid economic development, profiting by the experience of the more advanced countries, until the time arrives for proletarian triumph, when class distinctions are abolished, and the people come by their own.

4. Are not well fed, well leisured, well educated proletarians more useful to Socialists than anaemic, underfed, ignorant workers without leisure to read or think ?

From social history one fact stands clearly out ; that great political movements do not depend for their success upon the actual prosperity or otherwise of their participants, but upon far deeper economic causes. Thorold Rogers points out the frequency of great social discontent in prosperous times, and gives the Peasants’ War in England as an example whilst we know numerous instances of great political changes which have been effected by the people in times of direst distress. It can hardly be said that the organised and determined movement of the Russian people is connected with a surfeit of food, education and leisure.

But is it at all probable that the modern proletarians (i.e., propertyless) will become well fed well educated and leisured, persons, otherwise than by their emancipation from wage-slavery ? Is it not true that there is an alarming and continued growth in lunacy, degeneracy and pauperism ? Is not toil daily becoming more intense and employment more insecure ? Are not wages on the decline, and is not the modern worker worn out at an earlier age than his forefathers ?

There is, unfortunately, but little hope that the conditions of the working-class can materially improve under capitalist rule. The ruling-class will secure that the amount of their rent, interest and profit shall not dimmish by being expended unprofitably to themselves upon the means by which their wealth is created; and the growing intensity of competition nips in the bud any attempt at genuine aid to the workers by even the most kindly disposed. The growth of the unemployed side by side with the intensification of toil and decline in wages, are features inherent in capitalist development; and the ruling class cannot deal with these without committing social suicide.

The more capitalism presses upon the proletariat, the more nearly is the remedy placed within reach. Taught discipline in the factory, the workers will be forced to discipline themselves into economic and political organisations: whilst the concentration of wealth into fewer hands, the trustification of industry, the growing gulf between, the two classes, increasing wealth in face of spreading poverty, declining wages in face of greater productivity, all make the issues clearer to the workers and show to them that the way out of their misery is to take and hold the vast means of producing wealth, and so transform these from instruments of public oppression and private profit, into social instruments for social well-being.

Through Socialism alone can education, leisure and a material existence worthy the name become a possibility for the workers, and their physical, mental and moral uplifting a reality.

In face of the growing contradictions, and ever more glaring anomalies of capitalist society who can doubt that the toilers will, like Jonathan in the day of battle, “taste of the wild honey in the wood and find their eyes enlightened” ?

5. Are Socialists, who, while admitting that it is not Socialism, yet support reforms purporting to improve the condition of the workers, to be considered decoy birds and traitors to Socialism ?

This question is answered in our reply to No. 1. We have only to add that those who realize the truth of our principles, yet who attempt to wheel the workers into line on some petty issue behind one section or other of the capitalist party, are traitors to the working-class and should be branded as such.

ff the workers are content to support capitalism and capitalist candidates for the sake of “reforms” that are useful to capitalism (and a capitalist government will grant no other unless by fear of extinction), then, we say, the removal of the cause of working-class misery is indefinitely postponed.

The degradation and impoverishment of the workers are due to capitalist exploitation, and this, no mere reform can end. Our supreme aim must therefore be the abolition of the system of robbery.

It is less difficult to convince the average worker of the necessity for Socialism, than it is to convince him of the necessity for some dozen ineffective reforms ; while it is infinitely more useful.

Is the Materialist Conception of History sufficient? (1905)

From the December 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard
[A continuation of the correspondence between members of the S.P.G.B., the first portion of which appeared in the last issue.]
The contribution to the discussion with which you have favoured me corroborates the position taken up by Comrade R. Kent in the article he contributed some months back now to the Socialist Standard with which I found myself in complete agreement. But in a discussion with a friend of mine on the aforesaid article, he saw fit to object, that it is not possible for a man to look at the Social Problem as a man would look at a picture. And while I do not for one moment admit the impossibility of the attitude for which I have repeatedly argued, I am of opinion that to approach sociology in the same frame of mind as biology is and has been approached is, to say the least of it, difficult. The “furies of private interest” (unconscious as well as conscious), do undoubtedly act and act forcibly, and the question arises whether a man can get outside himself to look at such a question in the desired way. Is it possible to ignore the action of our individual promptings ? In many cases the wish is unconsciously father to the thought. Some wise person has said that man does not know how anthropomorphic he is, and it seems to me he does not know how far he is influenced by his own wishes, etc.

But the point that I desire to raise is that while it is undoubtedly true that the ultimate explanation of any force or condition in Society is to be found in the means adopted by men to satisfy their material wants (I never objected to that), is it sufficient, to explain their origin ? When you have explained the origin of man’s ideas as arising through economic and material channels, that does not explain the possible reaction of those intellectual forces on the economic and material conditions. We see that colonies, once the markets for an industrial and colonising country, themselves become industrial and enter the field, ofttimes in competition with the mother country herself ; or the grown chick enters into competition with its own forbear and ultimately squeezes it out of existence. Is it sufficient to say that such a country developed her industry through the action of her functioning as a recipient of the commerce of the parent ? Or is it necessary to take into consideration the reaction set up by that process ? So with our social problem. Granting that the root of the whole lies in the economic development; granting that the change must primarily be economic, it still seems that to attain the desired economic revolution, it is first necessary to revolutionise men’s ideas and men’s conceptions. In other words change the existing intellectual conditions so as to change and improve the economic conditions, in order to make possible still further intellectual advancement.

Consider the Socialist propaganda. It is, in my opinion, one of the most necessary elements towards the revolution. Yet it has little direct economic significance. It is an appeal to the ethical and intellectual faculties of the audience, and until we have made the demand for Socialism, Socialism will not come. The creation of that demand is an intellectual, rather than an economic, process.

It may be that I am mistaken, but your illustration of the clay balls seems to leave somthing out, viz., the reaction of the balls on their environment. Without overlooking the differences that may exist in the hardness or the softness of the balls, which may be taken to correspond to the varying resistance offered by individuals to the pressure of the environment, it must not be lost sight of that this “resistance” is purely “passive,” whereas the more or less conscious resistance of the individual to his environment is more active and has a modifying effect on the environment. To tell me that the intelligence of the individual which consciously resists its environment is the result of helps me but little, for I want to know how that intelligence can be so awakened as to be made to forcibly, actively, consciously, and definitely act on its immediate environment in order to alter it.

The same thing applies, of course, more or less, to biological as against sociological questions. In sociological questions you have to reckon with an intellectual consciousness that does not (so far as I know) obtain to the same extent in other scientific problems.
Yours fraternally,
To awaken that consciousness,


Comrade F. C. Watts rejoinder will appear in the next issue.

Carnegie and—Cant? (1905)

From the December 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Croesus and library vendor, has recently delivered himself of several lectures upon the horrors of War—Carnegie, the head of the great American Capitalist Corporation which raised an army in opposition to the steel-workers of Pittsburg struggling to prevent a further hardening of their already hard enough conditions; Carnegie, the head of the mighty firm that conducted a bitter and bloody war to vindicate the right of Capital to wring out of the labour of the workers a larger and ever larger profit; Carnegie, the multi-millionaire, every penny of whose stupendous wealth is stained with the blood of his workmen, slaughtered by armed Pinkertons to make Carnegie’s holiday and to help build him a reputation as a great philanthropist—this Carnegie comes to say :—”There still remains the foulest blot that ever disgraced the earth, the killing of civilised men by men like wild beasts as a permissible mode of settling international disputes, although, in Rousseau’s words, ‘War is the foulest fiend ever vomited forth from the mouth of hell.’ ”

So, “the foulest blot,” when used to settle international disputes. And yet, in international wars, the contestants meet, not infrequently, on fairly level terms. Then, what sort of blot is it when one of the parties engaged in war is without arms, without food and with no means of effective retaliation, while the other is armed with the latest and surest implements of destruction, well victualled and protected ? How Mr. Carnegie’s righteous indignation would find expression in thunderous declamation at such a case. How he would—if he has not already done so— exhaust the descriptive possibilities of the most lurid adjectives in the English language if it was an international war. And yet when it occurs at Homestead, the hell that sweats for Mr. Carnegie the millions that Mr. Carnegie’s labour never produced, Mr. Carnegie expresses his horror in—loud silence ! It is wonderful the great difference a little change in the geographical situation of the seat of war will make.

If Mr. Carnegie thinks it his business, during the few moments that he can snatch from the arduous labours involved in the distribution of Free Libraries, to ventilate his views upon the horrors of war, let him at least be consistent and include all wars. It is not wisdom to select a particular war or class of wars to fulminate against. Such a course conveys an impression that might be unjust. If wars are dreadful, then the war between classes is dreadful, not less than the war between nations. The conflict between classes, between Capital and Labour—the industrial struggle—is indeed fought out on a far bloodier and a far wider field than any upon which the armies of nations ever fought. And the disutilities are all on the Labour side. For Labour to-day is unarmed. Labour is dependent upon the enemy he is fighting for his food. He may not eat except by the leave of Capital. Capital commands every avenue of approach to the sources of wealth out of which Labour must win his sustenance. And no man traverses those avenues except by the pleasure and on the terms of Capital. And the terms are that Labour shall create wealth for Capital in return for just the sufficiency for the preservation of life. The difference between the total wealth produced and the amount consumed by Labour in maintaining his strength is the share of Capital, a share that grows larger and larger as the possibilities of machinery increase, while the number of men required to produce the wealth for which there is effective demand, grows relatively smaller. And as Labour is displaced by the incessant demands of Capital forever increased profits, he goes to join his fellows already struggling without against starvation and death to form the miserable reserve who, clamouring for permission to work upon any terms, make for C’apital an irresistable weapon of offence and defence. Incidentally too, they form that pitiable mass of humanity into which the great-hearted philanthropist, over-running with loving kindness and tender mercy for the distress that as a capitalist he has himself produced, ostentatiously pours his ridiculously impotent driblet of charity amid the plaudits of a sycophantic Press.

And so the tale will run until Labour understands and translates his understanding into action. Fain would the philantrophist believe that that time will never come. But he may not. He knows and none better that the continued pressure of bitter adversity will not for much longer be held in check by the fortuitous distribution of blankets and coke tickets. And he knows that men exist who know the whole truth of the matter—the why of the misery and the how of the remedy—and who will show the poverty-stricken the way out.

There is a potent saying of one who hailed from the land that Mr. Carnegie has left, which runs thus:—
You may fool all the people some of the time.
You may fool some of the people all the time.
But you can’t fool all the people all the time.
Mr. Carnegie will have heard the saying before. It is rather old. But it is one of those sayings that are not of an age but for all time. We commend it again to Mr. Carnegie. It will be a good inscription for a prominent position in the hall in which Mr. Carnegie delivers his next address upon the foul blot of war as a method of settling international disputes. Unless before then Mr. Carnegie includes the class war in his denunciation and expresses and gives evidence of his determination to work for its abolition. But then its abolition involves the abolition of Mr. Carnegie, Millionaire.

It’s an awkward situation !
A. J. M. Gray