Saturday, January 20, 2024

The Extinction of Petty Enterprise. By Karl Kautsky (1906)

From the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

Translated from the German by H. J. Neumann and revised by the Author.

3. The Capitalist Mode of Production.
In the course of the Middle Ages handicraft developed more and more in Europe; division of labour in society increased, weaving for instance being split up into wool weaving, linen weaving and flannel weaving, and several processes connected with weaving, such as cloth trimming, became separate trades. Skill increased and the methods and tools of production were considerably improved. At that time commerce developed, mainly in consequence of improvements in the means of transit, particularly the advance of shipbuilding.

Four hundred years ago handicraft was at its height. This was also an eventful time for commerce. The over-sea route to India, this fairyland full of immeasurable treasure, was found, and America with its inexhaustible store of gold and silver was discovered. A flood of wealth which European adventurers had amassed in the newly discovered countries by commerce, fraud and robbery, was poured out over Europe. The lion’s share of this wealth fell to the merchants, who were in a position to equip ships and man them with a numerous, powerful crew, whose members were as daring as they were unscrupulous.

At the same time also developed the modern state, the centralised state of officialdom and militarism, first of all in the form of absolute monarchy. This state met the requirements of the expanding capitalist class, just as it needed their support. The modern state, the state of the developed production of commodities, does not obtain its strength from personal services but from its financial income. The monarchs had, therefore, every reason to protect and to favour those who brought money into the country, viz., the merchants, the capitalists. In return for this protection the capitalists lent money to the monarchs, to the states, made them their debtors, subjected them to dependence on them and thus forced the state, in order to serve capitalist interests, to safeguard and extend traffic routes, acquire and retain colonies abroad, make wars against rival commercial states, and so on.

Our elementary economic primers tell us that the origin of capital lies in thrift, but we have just now observed altogether different sources of capital. The vast amount of wealth of the capitalist nations can be traced back to their colonial policy, that is to their plundering of foreign countries; it can be traced back to piracy, smuggling, slave traffic and commercial wars. Up to the present century, the history of these nations furnishes us with sufficient examples of such methods of obtaining capital by” thrift,” and the assistance of the state proved a powerful means of enhancing this” thrift.”

But the new discoveries and roads of commerce did not only yield great wealth to the merchants—they also rapidly extended the markets for the products of industry of the seafaring nations in Europe, particularly of the industry of England, which became the ruler of the sea. Handicraft was unable to satisfy the rapidly and extensively growing demand of the markets. Sales on a large scale demanded production on a large scale. The large market demanded production which entirely answered to its requirements, that is to say, a scale of production which could be undertaken only by the merchants.

The merchants were greatly interested in establishing production on a large scale to meet the extension of the markets; moreover, they were possessed of the financial means required to purchase in necessary quantities everything needed for production, raw material, tools, workshops, labour power. But whence was the latter obtained? Slaves that one could purchase no longer existed in Europe. A workman who possessed his own means of production or belonged to a family possessing the necessary means of production, would not sell his labour power. He preferred working for himself and his family so that the whole product of his labour should be his or that of his family. He sold the product of his labour, but not his labour power. Here it must be pointed out that one should beware of the expression” selling one’s labour.” Labour, an activity, cannot be sold. The word labour, however, is commonly not only used for the purpose of signifying an activity, but also for the purpose of designating the result of this activity, the labour product, and for describing labour power the expression of which is the activity in production. This application of the word labour enables all those economists who wish to leave the workers and the petty bourgeoisie in ignorance as to their condition, to mix up things and make them very much alike. This means that we have to watch these gentlemen very closely.

But let us return to the merchant whom we left in search of workers. The owners of petty industrial concerns and their families were of no use. The merchants had to look for workers who did not possess means of production, who possessed nothing but their labour power so that they were compelled to sell this in order to live. The development of the production of commodities and of private property had already brought into existence such men without property, as we have seen. There were, however, but few of them in the beginning, and most of them, unless they belonged to the family circle of a petty concern, were either unfit for work, cripples, invalids, old men, or men afraid of work, sharpers, and tramps. The number of workers without property and free to sell themselves was very small.

At that time, however, when there was a great demand for workers without property, kind Providence played its part by causing a large number of workers to be expropriated and turned into the streets, there to be readily picked up by the wealthy merchants. This was also the consequence of the development in the production of commodities. The extension of the markets for urban industry had a reflex upon agriculture. In the towns a demand for articles of food, raw material, timber, wool, flax, dye stuffs, etc., increased, hence agricultural production too became more and more production of commodities, production for the purpose of selling.

The peasant got money into his hands, but that proved his misfortune, for it roused the avarice of his exploiters, the landlords and rulers. So long as his surplus had consisted only of natural product they had not taken therefrom more than they needed for their own consumption. Money, however, they could always make use of, the more the better. The more the market extended for the peasant and the more money he obtained for his goods, the more he was skinned by his landlords and rulers and the higher rose his taxes and duties. Soon his masters were no longer satisfied with the surplus over and above the cost of the peasant’s subsistence, they filched even his necessaries. No wonder that the peasants were seized with despair and that many of them, especially after all attempts at resistance in the Peasant Wars had been crushed, left hearth and home and sought refuge in the towns.

Then another circumstance often arose. As in the towns through the extension of the market the necessity for industrial production on a large scale made itself felt, so developed the need for agricultural production on a large scale. What the merchants endeavoured to do in the towns, the landowners sought in the country. The landowner, who until then had been as a rule only a peasant in a large way, tried to extend his farm, and as he knew how to force the peasants to enter his service, he did not lack an ample supply of labourers; often he did not need fresh workers. The production of wool or timber, pasture farming or forestry required far less workers than agriculture. Where the landowners gave up agriculture in favour of pasture farming or forestry they made agricultural labourers superfluous. But what the landowner was now above all in need of was more land than he had possessed until then, and this he could secure only at the expense of the peasants in his immediate vicinity. He had to drive them off their farms if he wished to extend his own, and he suffered no pangs of conscience in pursuing such a course. The hunting down of peasants began and continued on a large scale until a century ago. Whilst the merchants enriched themselves by the exploitation of the colonies, the aristocracy and the rulers amassed wealth by exploiting their own subjects. And the feudal lords showed as little reluctance as the capitalists in using fraud and physical force, robbery and incendiarism whenever they seemed necessary for gaining their ends. History thus teaches us most peculiar methods of “thrift.”

What were the crowds of agriculturists without property to do, after having fled to escape taxes or duties or having been driven from hearth and home by fraud and violence! They were no longer able to produce for themselves, as they were lacking the means of production from which they had been driven and divorced. Being no longer in a position to take commodities to the market, nothing remained for them but to take themselves there, to sell the only thing of value that had been left to them, their labour power, for a short or long period, that is to say, their services were hired for wages. Some took employment as agricultural labourers, sometimes with the same master that had driven them out of their homes. Others joined the army to assist in the robbing expeditions of their masters who had plundered them. Others became submerged in beggary or crime. But many, and probably not the worst of them, turned to industrial enterprise for employment. The handicraftsmen endeavoured to stave off the deluge of additional labour, of fresh competitors, by restricting the entry into their trade Guilds. This course of action, however, more readily forced the crowds of men deprived of every shred of property into the arms of the merchants who were seeking wage workers for their industrial undertakings. Thus was created the basis of capitalist industry, of capitalist production, by expropriation, by a revolution unparalleled in history for its bloodshed and cruelty. But, of course, it was a revolution of the rich and mighty against the weak and poor, and for that reason the period of that revolution is cherished as the era of humanitarianism and intellectual freedom, and to-day, strange to say, most of all by those who are loudest in proclaiming their horror at the revolutionary intentions of Socialism.

The divorcement of large masses of workers from their means of production, their being deprived of all property and thus becoming proletarians was essentially a presupposed condition of capitalist production on a large scale. The economic development demanded it. But as always, the ruling classes were also in this instance not content with calmly watching the self-created effect of this development, but they resorted to physical force to safeguard their interests and thereby hasten the course of development, and it was physical force in its most brutal and most cruel form which assisted in the birth of capitalist society.

4. The Death Struggle of Petty Enterprise.
Externally, the new method of production differed at first but very slightly from the old. Its original form was that the capitalist supplied the workers whom he had hired, his wage workers, with raw material, for instance, with yarn in the case of weavers, which they worked up at home in order to deliver up the product to the capitalist. Of course, already in this form, which was the nearest approach to handicraft, capitalist production marked a vast difference between the handicraftsman on his own account and the wage worker producing in his home. We intend to consider later the change in the position of the worker caused by the new method of production, and shall, therefore, here deal only with the development of the latter.

The capitalist next ceased to allow the workers to perform the work in their own homes. He made them work in his workshops where he was better able to watch and drive them. This first of all created the basis of the real industrial capitalist enterprise on a large scale, and also the basis for that evolution of methods of production which has since been going forward with ever more rapid pace. Only by many working together in the workshop was division of labour made possible in production. Under the reign of petty enterprise division of labour had caused an increase in the number of trades and a decrease in the variety of articles which each producer made. But each one produced an entire article. Division of labour in bakeries for instance meant that each baker no longer produced every kind of bread. Some produced only white bread, others only brown bread. But everyone produced whole loaves of bread. Division of labour in large concerns, however, has the effect of distributing the various processes necessary to the production of an article amongst certain workers who are working into each other’s hands. The individual worker is more and more limited to a few single processes, which he repeats continually. A large concern where production is carried on in this way is a manufactory. The productivity of the labour of each individual worker is thereby increased. But another effect has proved to be of still greater importance. The division of labour in a particular trade having progressed so far as to divide the production of one article into its simplest processes and to reduce the worker to a mere machine, the replacing of the worker by a machine was only a small step.

And this step was taken. It was favoured by the development of natural science, above all, by the discovery of the motive power of steam, which for the first time provided a power quite independent of the elements and entirely subservient to man.

The introduction of the machine into industry signified an economic revolution. Through it the large capitalist concern obtained its highest and most perfect form, the factory. In the machine capitalist production was given its mightiest weapon, which easily conquered all resistance and made the course of economic development a great triumph of capital.

In the seventies of the Eighteenth Century the first practical machines were invented. They were introduced into the textile industry in England. From that period also dates the invention of the steam engine. Thenceforth the machine conquered one industry after another. Up to the forties of the last century capitalist industrialism outside England was insignificant. In the fifties it developed extensively in France; in the sixties and particularly in the seventies it conquered the United States, Germany and Austria. In the course of the last decades it has seized even upon barbaric Russia, East India and Australia. It already begins to spread to Eastern Asia, South Africa and South America. What are the great world empires of past centuries compared with this gigantic empire which capitalist industrialism has succeeded in subjecting to its domination?

In 1837 there were in Prussia for industrial purposes 423 steam engines, with 7,500 horsepower. In 1901, however, there were 70,832 such machines alone permanently installed, and the horsepower in industry and agriculture in Prussia comprised over 4,000,000.

The work performed by the steam power of all the steam engines in the world was more than ten years ago estimated to be equal to that of 200 million horses and 1000 million men.

By the use of the steam engine, the entire mode of production has undergone constant evolution. One invention, one discovery superseded another. On the one hand, the machine conquered new fields which hitherto had remained reserved for handicraft. On the other hand, in branches of industry already subjected to the factory system, old machines are every day becoming superfluous owing to the introduction of new and more capable appliances; indeed, by new inventions, new trades are quite suddenly created and old ones doomed to extinction! Already thirty years ago a worker on a spinning machine produced a hundred times the amount of a woman’s product by hand, and according to the statistics of the Department of Labour in Washington, the capacity of the machine in the textile industry had in 1898 become 163 times greater than that of hand work. The machine was already then producing in l9 hours and 7 minutes as much yarn (l cwt.) as a woman could produce by hand in 3,117 hours and 30 minutes.

Of what significance can be the petty enterprise of the craftsman placed beside the industry aided by machines?

Even in its lowest stage, that of the industry carried on at home and exploited by the capitalist, capitalist enterprise is proved superior to the handicraft enterprise. We do not here take into consideration the fact that the former leads to specialisation, which naturally enhances the productivity of labour. Far more important is the advantage which the capitalist as merchant has over the handicraftsman. He buys his raw material and other means of production on a large scale, he surveys the market far more perfectly than the handicraftsman, understands far better how to take advantage of the moment to buy cheaply and sell dearly, and he also possesses the means to wait for this psychological moment, and thus the advantage of the capitalist over the handicraftsman becomes so great that the latter cannot maintain the competition, even in the industries carried on at home, when production on a large scale, production for commercial purposes, comes into question. Even in those branches of industry in which handicraft performed in the home of the worker is the only prevailing method of production, the independence of the worker ceases when these become export industries. To change handicraft into an export industry’ meams to destroy handicraft, to change it into home industry exploited by the capitalist. One can see how” artful” those social reformers are who wish to save a threatened industry by extending the markets for its products.

Thus, from its beginning, capitalist production, although quite simple, has proved in the case of production on a large-scale superior to handicraft. The machine makes this superiority completely crushing.

Handicraft survives only in those industries where it is not yet a question of production on a large scale, but one of petty production for a market still limited.

But the machine has not only changed industry but also the means of transit. Steamers and railways reduce more and more the freights on goods, establish further communication between the remotest and most secluded places and the centres of industry, and extend from day to day the markets for each of these centres. Only in this way is the full development of the machine in industry possible. The tremendous increase of production caused by the introduction of machinery demands also a proportionate increase in the disposal of the products.

In the same measure in which the means of transit are extended and perfected, in the same measure in which the market for particular industries is widened, by that same degree is the scope of handicraft getting limited. The number of trades and places where handicraft is still able to exist is already inconsiderable and diminishing perceptibly. The factory prevails and the days of handicraft are passing away.

But what holds good with handicraft applies also, if not in equal measure, to peasant farming. Wherever agriculture, whether on a small or large scale, has become production of commodities, production for sale, not for use, the large enterprise even if not more capable possesses from the beginning the same advantage over the petty enterprise which the capitalist has over the handicraftsman, namely, a better understanding and control of the market. The large landowner or his tenant possessed of capital is able to make the enterprise more fruitful than the peasant, and is also in the position to use better implements and tools, better breeding and working cattle, better manure, better corn for sowing, etc. The technical and commercial supremacy of agriculture on a large scale in Europe has during the last two decades been somewhat restricted owing to the agricultural competition from abroad, which proved a greater hardship to European agriculture on a large scale than to petty agricultural enterprise, firstly because it expressed itself principally in the raising of corn, a branch of agriculture in which the technical supremacy of the large enterprise over petty agriculture is most pronounced. In the large enterprise corn growing prevails, and this suffers most through the competition of the bonanza farms of America. Secondly, the large enterprise suffers more through foreign competition because it produces more with a view to the market, whilst the petty enterprise consumes a great portion of its own product and is thus less dependent upon the market than the large enterprise.

But these favourable conditions for petty enterprise can be only temporary. Foreign competition does not remain restricted to corn growing; it extends also to the development of cattle raising, and production for self consumption with the peasant declines and becomes absorbed by the production of commodities, the production for sale.

It is principally the development of the railway and taxation system, which favours the extension of the production of commodities in agriculture. Through the railways the peasant obtains communication with the markets of the world. The taxes force him to go to the market, as he is unable to pay them without selling a certain quantity of his products. The higher the taxes, the more the peasant depends upon the market, the more his production becomes production of commodities, and the more he is affected by the competition of the large enterprise. To no class of our population is the increase of the taxes so disastrous as to the petty peasant.

Militarism constitutes to-day by far the most important cause for the increase of the taxes. Yet the same people, the large landowners, who pose as the best friends of the peasant, are the most active supporters of militarism. To the large landowners militarism offers only advantages. It necessitates enormous deliveries of victuals for men and horses, gigantic deliveries which can be best effected by the large enterprises, and to the sons of the large landowners militarism offers numerous highly paid positions as officers. Militarism deprives the peasant of his best worker, his son, and in his stead it burdens him with heavy taxes and drives him on the market, where he is oppressed by the competition of the large enterprises at home and by the bonanza farming of foreign countries.

The ruling classes see in the peasantry and the military the only safe pillars of the present social system. They fail to see that one of these pillars rests upon the other and crushes it by its increasing weight.

(To be continued)

Cranks. (1906)

From the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

There are people about who actually take pride in being called cranks. Crankiness (or is it crankery?) bids fair to become an established cult: it already has one periodical, The Crank, as an official organ, and there are hundreds of newspapers and magazines, daily, weekly, and monthly, that preach it under one or other of its hundred forms.

On the cover of “An Unconventional Magazine” a crank is defined as “a little thing which makes revolutions,” but the dictionary gives us a much less flattering account :—”a crook or bend ; a conceit in speech ; a whim.” Into the composition of the modern crank all these constituents would seem to enter.

The crank is a man (or woman) who sees a part as the whole, a triviality as all important; his mind is so filled with his particular whim or fad that, nothing else has place there. He looks at it so closely that he cannot see beyond it, like a man who holds a small object so near his eye that it obscures his view of everything else.

To set forth all the classes and subdivisions of cranks is impossible in a short paper, for they are “as the sands of the sea shore are multitude,” but we all know and have suffered from, among others, the health crank, the food crank, the religious crank, the land reform crank, the municipal crank, the education crank, the social reform crank, the temperance crank, the political crank.

All these people have recognised that there is something wrong with existing conditions, but instead of analysing these conditions as a whole in order to seek a remedy, they have all and each seized on some particular detail and made reform thereof a hobby horse to be ridden to death. And so there are hundreds of little sects of cranks, each trying to remedy some little social evil. Enormous quantities of ink and paper are wasted every year in voicing their views; each little group completely ignores all the others, and each has its own little patent panacea for the evils of Society.

“Reform” is the watchword of them all, and they have it in common that they all devote their attention to eliminating some effect of economic conditions while leaving those conditions themselves unchanged.

The Socialist, on the other hand, has regard to the whole rather than to any particular detail. He analyses all social conditions and traces them back to their economic root; he recognises that to alter effects is impossible without eliminating causes. In a word his method is the direct opposite to thatof the crank !

The Socialist proves that all the evils from which Society suffers have their origin in the class ownership of the means (land, machinery, mines, etc.) by which the necessaries of life are produced, and the consequent wage-slavery of the great mass of the people; he shows that from this one great economic wrong at the basis of Society arise all the other wrongs, social, political, and moral, and that therefore to right these, it is necessary first of all to change the economic basis of Society by bringing the means of production and distribution under the ownership and control of the whole community. To the Socialist it is just as sensible to try to rid a garden of nettles by picking off their leaves as to attempt to reform the social edifice while the rotten foundations remain untouched.

The Socialist therefore is not a crank.

But there are many cranks who call themselves Socialists. Sometimes these add a distinguishing epithet as “Christian” Socialists. When they do not do so, however, they can only be judged by their words and works. The crank Socialist is always going to do great things for Socialism after his own pet fad is achieved as a first step. To give a full list of these “first steps” would be impossible in the space at my disposal, but among the most familiar are :—Female Suffrage, Adult Suffrage, Payment of Members, Reversal of the Taff Vale Decision, Solution of the Unemployed Problem, Free Maintenance of School Children, Old Age Pensions, etc, etc. “Reform” is the magic word of the crank Socialist by which all these things are to be conjured up out of nowhere, while wage-slavery is still to remain, though shorn of all its ill effects by successive acts of Parliament, and capitalism, though still existing, is to become a kind of metaphysical entity, an evil thing with no evil properties ! This is the dream of the crank Socialist, but it is not Socialism.

Unfortunately, crankery is not only humorous, but, harmful. Thousands of the working class who should be organising for Socialism have been drawn off to follow the will-o’-the-wisp of reform in search of the paradise of cranks.

If this were not so, and if crankery were confined to the bourgeoisie, we could afford to laugh at it; but as things are we must fight it and destroy it as perhaps the most dangerous obstacle in the path of Socialism.

Blogger's Note:
From the same issue of the Socialist Standard see the snippet entitled, “The Earth for all?"

I initially thought 'The Crank' was a made up title/journal for the purposes of the article. A catch all title for all the reformist journals from that time, with their 'do something now and we will think about socialism later' proposals but it turns out it was very much a real magazine, published by C. W. Daniel, and rooted in Tolstoyan and Pacifist principles. 

Sadly, there is not a lot of information about it on the net but reading through Daniel's wiki page it does conjure up images of that famous sneering quote from George Orwell about the "fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England . . . ” from The Road to Wigan Pier.

“The Earth for all”? (1906)

From the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

Under the heading “The Earth for all” The Crank proposes to publish a series of papers on political economy. The introductory article says “under conditions where there was no private property in land extremes of poverty and wealth could not exist.” Couldn’t they ? If the writer proposes to show that extremes of poverty could not exist under a system of nationalized land only, we shall await further contributions with interest.

Blogger's Note:
From the same issue of the Socialist Standard see the article, 'Cranks'.

Doubts and Difficulties: Individual versus collective well-being. (1906)

The Doubts and Difficulties column from the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

Some time has elapsed since last I made my bow before the audience–or should I say voyance—of the Socialist Standard. Before the pressure of more urgent matters it has been necessary for me to leave many doubts and difficulties unsolved. One difficulty indeed I must frankly confess my powerlessness to solve. It came in simple guise. “What is the difference between the Liberal and the Tory Party ?” Thus ran the question ! Of course, I at once sat down to answer it. But, alas, for human vanity !

* * *

For weeks the question haunted me. Meal—the scanty meals of a worker—went neglected ; my face got haggard and wan ; I shrunk visibly—no, no, Mr. Editor, this is not an advt.—and yet no solution would come. The difference was one which I could not discover. A happy thought struck me. Yes, I should read their literature. I should explore the mysterious depths of comparative politics.

* * *

I have read their literature. For weeks past I have been wading through the mire of their party press. Pamphlets, election addresses, speeches of Parliamentary candidates have been perused and still the difference between these two parties is to seek. The same trickery is common to both. The same avowed desire of working-class welfare, joined with the same desire to wring as much profit as possible from the labour of that working class. But enough of the unsavoury subject. Let us proceed.

* * *

A General Election has come and gone. The result has been a remarkable victory for the capitalist class. They have rallied round them with the help of the Labour Party (sic) an unexampled enthusiasm. Peer and peasant, and the wives of peer and peasant have made a triumphant, rally under the capitalist banner, and henceforth all will be well.

* * *

Unprecedented is the only word which can describe that election. Mrs. Smith, the docker’s wife, pawning her jewellery to help the candidature of the big commercial magnate (she tells me she got ninepence for her bangle, and sixpence for a nickel chain which was a family heirloom) was a sight for gods and men.

* * *

The pity of it ! The working class, with their minimum of education, misled as to their true interest by the press and by pretended working-class leaders, have again been betrayed, for the present Government have already shown clearly that so far as the workers are concerned, no material improvement will result. Pious resolutions are passed in favour of reforms, but “the public exchequer is empty” and nothing can be done.

* * *

I cannot say that I am sorry for this failure of reform. The capitalist class interests are not seriously threatened. Why then should the capitalist class throw sops to the worker. Only when the worker says plainly that reforms will not do, will reforms be seriously offered to him. Then the legislators of the present riding class will try to wean the worker from a determination to stop at nothing short of revolutionising the entire basis of Society.

* * *

The time for this has not yet come. The worker does not realise that he is a slave. He is not a free man. Any man who is compelled to obey another who holds possession of his means of livelihood is to all intents and purposes a slave to that other. This is the position of the working man. There is no freedom for him during the period of the day for which he has sold himself and beyond that period the needs of the body for rest restrict the individual freedom.

* * *

To us the whole business seems so simple. The means of sustaining man in life are material. The food the worker desires to eat belongs to the owner of the soil; the clothing he desires to wear belongs to the owner of the factory ; the house he wants to live in belongs to a landlord. The worker has been trained to a standard of comfort which demands these things. Without them he could not live. He would cease to exist.

* * *

The owners of these various goods have no use for them. They wish to get rid of them, but not for nothing. They want to sell the goods they possess to those who can use them. The bulk of those who can use them cannot buy them until they possess something to buy them with. The only goods the working class possess with which they can buy things is their power of working. They are, however, in the unfortunate position of having only particular methods of exercising their power of working, and these methods are not wanted by the owners of the goods.

* * *

The worker must find some one who wishes to buy his particular kind of labour power, and sell it to him for the universal equivalent of unspecialised labour power—money. But his desire for food, clothing, and shelter are always with him and the number of men possessing his kind of labour power is always in excess of the demand. Therefore, the tendency is, through the operation of the laws governing competition, for the amount obtainable for labour power to sink to a minimum. That minimum—the minimum to which the average wage of the worker ever tends to fall, is that amount which will just provide the barest subsistence for the working man and his family.

* * *

The man is considered as a machine. So much money is required to keep this mechanism going, but, like every machine, man gets worn out and has to be replaced. The method of replacement for man is exactly the same as for any other piece of machinery. A certain amount is set aside for the purpose of replacement. For the ordinary machinery it appears, in the accounts as “wear and tear,” but for the human machinery it is manifested in a slightly higher wage than would be necessary if the working class could live at their normal working strength for ever.

* * *

The working man is but a slavish mechanism—a mechanical slave. He is docile and he is ignorant. He has, however, a latent power which will one day become active and he will recognise that it is possible to organise the industries of a country in the interests of the people of the country. He will see that it is necessary for man to work because it is necessary for man to eat. But he will also see that because it is necessary for every man to eat, it is no less necessary for every man to work. He will see also that the end of all work is the satisfaction of men’s material requirements, and he will work directly towards that end.

* * *

To-day, however, all this is far from clear. The end which is secured is less the satisfaction of man’s needs than the establishment of a class apart which is enabled to monopolise the wealth and power of the country and only parts with a portion of its monopoly in order to increase and maintain them.

* * *

This leads me to the difficulty which I set out to deal with. I was discussing recently the important question of population, when the remark was made that it was conceivable that a small family was good for an individual, but that it might not be good for the community as a whole. But no, it was objected. A thing cannot be good for an individual without being good for the community. A community is the sum of all its individuals.

* * *

I am not here concerned with “limitation of family” ideas. What I wish to combat is the pernicious doctrine that in our modern society whatever is good for the individual is good for the community. The doctrine is untrue and it is harmful. The very essence of the structure of capitalist society is that the good of one individual, the comfortable living of one person prevents or militates against the happiness and welfare of others.

* * *

Riches have their necessary counterpart in poverty. Men get rich because men are kept poor. It is the very first principle of modem society. This society is indeed divided along economic lines and into economic classes. The working class which produces the whole of the wealth over against the capitalist class which owns the whole of the wealth. The class which gets its income from profit, rent, and interest—that is. from the unpaid labour of the working class, is called the capitalist class. The class over against the capitalist class which labours under the most unhealthy conditions and which creates all profit, rent, and interest is the working clans.

* * *

The individual good of the capitalist involves the living in slums, the wearing of shoddy clothing, the eating of adulterated food for the worker. The good of the worker when he gets a higher average wage modifies the good of the capitalist.

* * *

So, too, with the sectional differences within the two classes which divide the community. The individual worker who finds an employer and the consequent means of living keeps some other worker out of a job. The individual capitalist who monopolises some new labour saving machinery and thereby “scoops” the market, proves anything but a good to his competitor of the same class.

* * *

In only one society which the human mind has been able to conceive could the good of the individual prove the good of the community. In that society the selfishness and the altruism of the individual would be one and the same. The desires, the actions, and the happiness of all men would be harmonised, for a society would have been evolved in which an identification of the interests of all men would have arisen. Such a state of Society is one in which the economic foundation would be that of common property, and the political life would consist in the administration of the Commonweal. Such a society would be a Socialist society and the coining of such a society, which is as certain as the coming of tomorrow’s sun or of the next issue of the Socialist Standard, would be the harbinger of joy to all living men and may one of those who lives to see that day be–

A Look Round. (1906)

From the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

Last month the “Progressive” London County Council took over the tramways of the North Metropolitan Company and immediately signalised the march of “progress” by withdrawing a privilege that passengers had hitherto enjoyed.

o o o

Under the Company management two-journey tickets were issued at the rate of three-fourths of two “all-the-way” fares. The return portion of the ticket was available by any route at any time ; but, so soon as ownership and control by the public capitalists was substituted for that of the private ones, notices were exhibited in each car stating that these would be available on the day of issue only.

o o o

Such is the “progressive” policy of Messrs. Benn, Crooks, Burns, Isaac Mitchell & Co.

o o o

Eastwood & Co. have introduced a new process of making bricks at their works at Conyer, near Sittingbourne, by which bricks of good quality are now turned out by machinery in seven days, against three months under the old hand-made process.

o o o

There are “reformers” who, amongst other wild ideas, propose to solve the “problem” of the unemployed by a revival and extension of the apprenticeship system. By it, for example, they would increase the number of expert brick-makers, and then, even before then—along comes a machine which does all their work in one-thirteenth of the time !

o o o

Some people would argue that it would be better to put aside the machine and make the bricks by hand ; but these are usually people who have never made nor attempted to make any bricks. They are not Socialists. Socialists are working for the elimination of waste, for the greatest economy in the production and distribution of wealth. The difference between Socialism and Capitalism as regards machinery is that under Socialism machinery will be a real labour saver, reducing the hours of necessary work of all the wealth producers in the community, whilst under Capitalism machinery simply reduces the wages bill of the capitalist and intensities the unemployed question.

o o o

It is not, of course, wise to dogmatise as to the extent of the reduction of hours of labour that will be effected by the industrial organisation that will obtain under Socialism, but it is easy to see that when all useless occupations, such as those which are the necessary concomitants of the competitive system, are eliminated, and those engaged therein are performing their share of the useful labour ; when those who are now chronically unemployed or are in the ranks of the predatory professionals (or should it be the professional predatorists ?) are also helping, what an enormous reduction of each worker’s hours will be possible.

o o o

It is sometimes suggested that people under Socialism, having reduced the necessary labour to a minimum, will not know what to do with themselves in the leisure hours. It doesn’t strike me that way. In the summer time, at any rate, I can always enjoy a “laze,” stretched with my “back-to-the-land” by the side of a stream or the sea, and if I were living under a Socialist State, and had done my fair share of the necessary work, I don’t think time would hang very heavily on my hands. I have yet to learn that I am constituted much differently to other folk.

o o o

A book which is often mentioned when discussions arise concerning the hours of labour under Socialism is “Our National Resources and how they are wasted.” It was written by William Hoyle and published in 1871. The writer said (page 50), “Assuming every person did their share, a total of 1¼ hours’ daily labour would suffice to supply us in abundance with all the comforts of life.” He added, “The progress of invention and the increasing application of machinery, are daily reducing even this amount of labour, so that the part which has now mainly to be played by man is simply to superintend the machinery which does the work.” That was nearly 40 years ago.

o o o

Speaking of Wm. Hoyle reminds me of the shock which the rabid teetotallers have recently received. They glibly assert that “drink is the chief cause of crime,” and that “drink fills our prisons,” etc. Dr. Emile Keich has proved, by quotations from the United States Census Report on Crime, Pauperism, and Benevolence, that total abstainers committed more crimes than drunkards, and now we have a Special Correspondent of The Tribune declaring that, as a result of his investigations at Dartmoor, “the bulk of these specialists in crime, who represent the Genius of Evil, are confirmed teetotallers.”

o o o

Farther than this, the Daily News, the anti-alcohol, pro-cocoa, organ, last week reviewed the Criminal Statistics for England and Wales in 1904 and said, “Summarising the results, drunkenness is regarded as stationary, but minor offences of dishonesty and serious frauds and breaches of trust have increased, while offences of the vagrancy class are declared to be growing rapidly.” And if “drink fills our lunatic asylums” how is it that the consumption has seriously declined in recent years, but the number of lunatics has considerably increased ?

o o o

“The deepest root of the evils and iniquities which fill the industrial world is … the subjection of labour to capital and the enormous share which the possessors of the instruments of industry are able to take from the produce.” J. S. Mill.

o o o

Those who think that imprisonment for debt is one of the barbarisms of the past may be interested in the fact that 19,217 debtors went to prison in 1904, the figures for the four previous years being 17,598, 15,710, 13,635, and 12,875 respectively.

o o o

The recent earthquake and resulting fires in San Francisco have considerably affected the shares of many British and German Fire Insurance Companies. In these countries, as well as in America and others, the workers are exhorted to “support home industries,” “keep the money in the country,” etc. But these considerations do not weigh with the employing class. They know no lines of demarcation, whether geographical, national, or racial. And American capitalists are quite as willing to pay premiums to British Insurance Companies when it suits their purpose as British ones are to invest in industrial concerns abroad to compete against British productions.

o o o

But the fact that a seismic upheaval, as the “penny-a-liners” have it, occurring miles away, has caused the price of certain British shares to considerably decline on the London Stock Exchange, has a greater interest for the working class than at first sight appears. It shows the internationalism of capitalism.

o o o

This has of course been shown before. When Mr. Joseph Leiter was operating in Chicago with the object of cornering the world’s wheat supply, the price of wheat, flour, and bread rose, not only in America, but all over the civilized world, and in Southern Europe starving workers who were parading the streets unable to obtain bread, because of the prohibitive prices, were shot down by the national defenders of international capitalism. This was dealt with in detail in the article Invasion or Starvation,” which appeared in the Socialist Standard in July last.

o o o

Capitalism has long since ceased to be local and national. It is international. The workers are hoodwinked by the capitalist class and their henchmen into thinking that workmen of other districts, of other countries, of other races, are their enemies. But the capitalists draw no distinction. They set out to exploit the working class irrespective of race, creed, or colour. They organise, but as a class against the working-class. The working class have not yet learned the lesson placed before them by their masters.

o o o

It is to the capitalists’ interests that the workers should be disunited, but that if organised they should be organised sectionally, even to the extent of workers in different departments of the same industry forming separate Unions and often blacklegging each other. This suits the so-called Labour Leader as well as the employing class. The more Unions the more jobs, the more joint conferences with the employers, and the more drawings of expenses by the “representatives of the men,” etc. And when some Trade Unionist arises to urge that so many Unions are inadvisable and prejudicial to the workers’ interest, that they involve more paid ollicials than are really necessary and are used by the capitalist class against each other, the “leaders” always find insurmountable difficulties against amalgamation, and if something must be done, they effect a Federation, and create some more well-paid jobs for their own kidney.

o o o

The “General Federation of Trade Unions” job will be fresh in the minds of most readers.

o o o

There is no hope for the workers until they became class-conscious, that is, until they recognise that their interests, like their masters’, are not sectional, trade, or national, but class, and that they must organise, as a class, as the international proletariat, “to the end” in the words of our Declaration of Principles,* “that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.”

o o o

Writing in the Labour Leader the Gateshead I.L.P. express the opinion “that the reason that Socialism is not making the progress we have a right to expect is largely to be found in the matter served up to their audiences by our I.L.P. Lecturers.”

o o o

Truth will sometimes out ! If the I.L.P. lecturers were Socialists, intent upon imparting to the working class a clear understanding of the principles of Socialism, the matter served up would be different. But, as we have proved, to go no further back than the General Election, the I.L.P. leaders threw over their principles when they found that if they adhered to them they would fail to reach the above-all-things coveted seat in the House of Commons.

o o o

“Thank God,” writes the editor of the Labour Leader, “we are not logicians.” Thank God, say we, we are guiltless of laying that charge to their door.

o o o

In the course of the recent action for slander brought by Mr. J. Pitt Hardacre against Mr. Joseph Beavor Williams, a Labour member of the Manchester City Council, and prominent by his connection with the Musicians’ Union, the defendant admitted that when addressing meetings at Openshaw, in Manchester, he had not confined himself strictly to the truth.

o o o

It will go hard with lying labour “leaders” when the workers get hold of the truth !
J. Kay

Editorial: Et Tu Brute. (1906)

Editorial from the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

After Bebel—Lafargue. Writing to Justice, our comrade says:—
“The Socialists of the two worlds unite fraternally in heart and voice with English Socialists in celebrating the electoral victory of the working class of Great Britain. Its victory is the victory of International Socialism. . . . The Trade Unionists . . . understand at last that in order to ameliorate their lot and to benefit by the wealth which they alone produce, the workers must form themselves into a class party for the purpose of expropriating the capitalist class from political and economic power.”
Which is precisely what they do not understand. As Lafargue himself unwillingly admits, ”the movement is confused, uncertain, unconscious.” And it is unconscious and confused because the Trade Unionists do not understand the necessity for the formation of “a class party for the purpose of expropriating the capitalist class.” How, therefore, Lafargue can hail the electoral victories of a confused, uncertain and unconscious movement as victories for International Socialism we fail to understand, while to talk of “the cool energy of the British working class that no effort will weary and no defeat discourage,” is to attribute to us virtues which are certainly not the conspicuous or peculiarly characteristic possessions of the British working class. We fear that Comrade Lafargue has allowed his kindly May-day desire to say something nice and appreciative to lead him to express himself in terms provocative of the idea that his acquaintance with English conditions is unhappily superficial—an idea which, knowing Lafargue’s high standing in the international movement and being acquainted with his exceedingly valuable contributions to Socialist thought, we are loth to entertain. We cannot agree that the election of the nominees of the Labour Representation Committee were working class victories. We have shewn them to have been achieved partly in alliance with capitalist Liberalism, and wholly by a class-unconscious vote. Does our comrade believe that because Trade Unions stimulated into political activity by certain legal decisions having the effect of endangering the financial reserves of their organisations, have entered into a loose association, for the purpose of recovering a position they had thought themselves secure in, that, therefore, they have established themselves upon a definite class basis in opposition to the political expressions of capitalist interests ? Why, every indication gives a flat denial to the supposition. Their leaders dare not formulate a programme that would emphasize the antagonism of interest and dare not even if they desired it, proceed in such fashion as would bring them into sharp conflict with the capitalist parties, because the membership of their organization have not yet withdrawn their allegiance from those capitalist parties. These leaders, some of whom at times profess Socialism, frankly drop their Socialism to secure the support of the Labour Representation Committee on the ground that to urge Socialism would alienate the Trade Unionists who are not Conservative ! And, so they proceed with halting steps and no little trepidation along the tortuous and unprofitable path of reform legislation, which, as our Comrade Lafargue will not be inclined to dispute, is not calculated to effect that sound class organisation of the workers which it is the sole purpose of the Socialist propagandist to facilitate, but is, on the contrary, more likely to result in confusion and apathy, because the attention of the working class is diverted to the consideration of immaterial issues. We need only add here a quotation from a speech by one who is regarded as among the most advanced thinkers, directing this new pseudo-labour organisation, which Lafargue regards so favourably. He may see in it an indication that the Trade Unionists of Great Britain are still far from recognising, “that their ideal of a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work recedes in proportion to the development of capitalist production.” Thus;
“For years the Association he represented had been trying to organise the town of High Wycombe. They were not doing that with any animosity towards the employers or the capitalists. Whatever might be their opinion as between capital and labour, as practical men of the world they knew that under present circumstances capital and labour had to co-operate in production . . . They as Trade Unionists said that if the principle of combination was good for the workmen it was good also for the employers. As workmen they wanted to see as strong a combination amongst the employers as it was possible to get. And why ? Because if the employer wanted to conserve the interests of his capital, the only possible way to do it was to prevent unfair cut-throat competition. The only way he could do that was to combine with his fellow capitalists, so that they might come to an understanding with the organisation representing labour, that there should be a bed-rock set of conditions that should determine the prices at which they should put their goods on the market . . . He believed that if there were 75 per cent. of the workmen in the Trade Union at High Wycombe and if there was a strong federation among the employers, they would double their wage in five years.”—J. O’Grady, M.P., made organizer of the National Amalgamated Furnishing Trades Association, reported in the Society Circular for April, 1905.
And this is one of the “Socialist” leaders of the new “Labour” Party, one of the victors in the electoral contest which achieved “a victory for International Socialism.” He is a fair type of the new movement’s fore-front men, and his views a fair sample of the views of the “extremists ” of the Party. How long then, Comrade Lafargue, will it take, think you, to build up a working class party on these lines ? And where in this speech is the idea of mutuality of interest between capital and labour, which is the hallmark of class-unconsciousness and continued working-class enslavement, combatted as one would expect it combatted by an organizer of victory for International Socialism ? It is not combatted at all of course either by O’Grady or any other leader of the new Party. It is deliberately fostered, and while that continues to be the attitude of the leaders of the Party acquiesced in by the rank and file, it is idle and mischievous to endeavour, as both Bebel and Lafargue have done, to invest the movement with an importance that may only be correctly applied to an enlightened proletarian organization on well defined class lines.

Editorial: That Blessed Word—Unity! (1906)

Editorial from the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard 

With Easter comes the Annual Conferences of those bodies which, with fine contempt for the meaning of words, call themselves Socialist, and with the conferences come also the customary demands, appeals, and entreaties for unity. And, indeed, there is no real reason why these bodies should not unite, seeing that in practice they do not differ. It is true the S.D.F, say they could not join the L.R.C. if it were ever so, because the L.R.C. is a non-Socialist body and an alliance might involve them in non-Socialist action. But as the S.D.F. is continually taking, not only non-Socialist, but anti-Socialist, action, that does not seem an insuperable objection. True again the I.L.P. say that they cannot join with the S.D.F. because the S.D.F will not join the L.R.C.—a sort of argumentative circle which might be vicious were any vital principle involved. True again neither S.D.F. nor I.L.P. will join with the Fabian Society because George Bernard Shaw, who is the Fabian Society, often makes it clear that “he dunno where he are,” nor would they, presumably, join that other “Socialist” organisation called the Clarion Cycling Club, whose many thousands of members may also be members of Liberal or Tory Party, although S.D.F., I.L.P., and F.S. may and do support at their discretion, Liberal or Tory candidates.

Therefore we say these objections are not very strong from our point of view. We only venture to remark that the unity of these bodies would not affect the question of Socialist unity because they are not Socialist organisations. A Socialist organisation is one which, starting from a clear understanding of the position of the working class, and their irremediably antagonistic relationship to the capitalist class, translates that antagonism into clear and consistent action to the end that the unenlightened working class, having a clear issue set and kept before them, may the more readily comprehend that issue and the more rapidly organise themselves for the specific object of the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Socialism. If there are any members of other Parties endorsing that view, their place is clearly with the Party that holds it—the Socialist Party of Great Britain. There is no other Party in Great Britain whose name so unmistakably expresses its position; there is no Party whose principles are more clearly defined or whose actions have always so consistently, logically and unequivocally translated those principles. Socialist unity, therefore, is achieved by membership in the S.P. of G.B. and although it is true, as the Countess of Warwick has so accurately pointed out in a contemporary, that the S.P. of G.B. does not include the S.D.F., the I.L.P., the F.S., the Clarion groups, and the others, there is no reason why, if the members of those organizations desire Socialist unity and not only the unity of non-Socialist Societies, and are prepared to adopt a Socialist attitude, they should not withdraw from their various separate bodies and enrol themselves with us. We only insist that they shall sign a declaration of adherence to the principles set out in column 1 of the first page of this Journal and never depart from the position such adhesion involves, even though the chances of “getting their man in” were never so rosy. Who then is for SOCIALIST unity ?

Editorial: A Terrible Outrage. (1906)

Editorial from the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

The “Labour” members were very indignant. “Mr. Snowden was white with anger.” Mr. Jowett was disquieted. Mr. Macpherson and Mr. Barnes said the stupid exhibition had put the movement back 10 years. And Mr. Burns, brave, bold and brotherly Mr. Burns, said if it had been his sister, he would have boxed her ears ! Such an outrage upon the dignity of a legislative assembly. Such an affront to the “Mother of Parliaments.” Such a disagreeable departure from all precedent, They ought to be ashamed of themselves. And to persist until a posse of fat policemen hurried them out of the gallery ! The hussies ! Let them think themselves fortunate they did not belong to Mr. Burns, he would have spanked them—if only to retrieve the prestige lost by running away from the elderly gentleman who responded to his bumptious challenge to a boxing bout.

Apart from that and the ludicrous disgust of the “Labour” members so anxious to deserve the praise lavished upon their moderation and respectability and regard for the forms of the House, we confess to considerable admiration for the energy and determination with which the women suffragists have forced themselves and their demand for votes upon the attention of stodgy statesmen and a Parliament apathetic toward all things except the interests of the capitalist class, and concerned only to dodge demands not regarded by them with approval. We do not agree of course that this agitation for votes for women is worth while, for the reasons we have several times given ; but the persistence and determination in the teeth of opposition, and the fine disregard for Parliamentary procedure and respectability which the women who are conducting the campaign have displayed, compel appreciation. They are worthy of a loftier cause. These women have recognised that in a fight the best thing to do is not to make your opponent as comfortable as possible ; and anyhow they have set an example which their masculine fellow pedlars of reform might well follow if they think, as we assuredly do not, their short sighted and in effectual objects are worth while striving for.

From Our Branches. (1906)

Party News from the May 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

West Ham.

West Ham is neither dead nor asleep, although so far as branch reports in our Organ are concerned some comrades might he justified in having come to that rash conclusion. Neither he “with lips of livid blue” nor his fraternal relative “rosy as the morn,” has been reigning here. The fact is we are poor, and have been experimenting on silence to see if it be golden. We have empirically demonstrated the hollowness of the platitude : all we can say in its favour is that silence seems to be cheaper than speech, seeing we are in debt for our branch advt. Like the bears, the dormice, and other sweet children of Nature, however, we must confess to a more somnolent attitude during the hybernating period than in the season of out-door propaganda. In Winter we can get no raw material on which to exercise our propagandist power; sensible men, the kind we want to convert, will not stand to be frozen, so all we can do is to drill, to sharpen our weapons, and otherwise get ready for the Summer campaign. We have done a bit of that, and are now in the streets carrying on the war. Several successful skirmishes have already taken place, and an assault in force was made on East Ham on Saturday 21, led by Comrade Anderson. Several supporters of the brewing section of the capitalist class turned up as usual and opposed in their usual undisciplined manner, but also some “bonnie fighters” appeared, and were bonnily fought. Anderson hits straight and hard. He is coming back : so are some of his opponents when they have recovered.

At our Forest Gate station we seem to have struck a better vein this year than last; and one of our apprentice-lecturers has drawn a strong opponent—a Mr. C. Quinn—who objects to our revolutionary attitude, claims to be a Socialist himself, believes and is prepared to demonstrate that Socialism is only to be established through a long series of reforms, only useful in their educational effect and as stepping-stones to Socialism. As this gentleman has signified his readiness to debate the whole question with a representative of our Party, the Branch is arranging a meeting.
G. C. H. Carter (Branch Reporter.)


Still young and still vigorous, going right out for Socialism as the only remedy for the condition of our class, carefully avoiding everything likely to mislead and confuse, what time we do all that we may to combat the influence of those who seem, deliberately and of malice aforethought, to adopt exactly opposite methods.

We have received an invitation from the local Trades Council to send delegates to a conference convened to draw up an ideal programme suitable to all sections of the Labour Party. We know those conferences and those ideal programmes and have respectfully declined to accept the invitation. Our members are quite satisfied with the Party programme as expressed in the Declaration of Principles, and from our intimate knowledge of the Trades Council gentlemen (whose ideal programme at the General Election consisted in an appeal to the workers to vote Liberal) the outcome of their earnest deliberations is not likely to embody an improvement upon our present position. For the same reason we are not drawn to assist “Clarion Van” propaganda. We prefer to remain Socialist propagandists all the time, thank you.


We promised ourselves that at the forthcoming Urban District Council Elections we would make ourselves heard and—it was so. We issued a manifesto, and pressed into it as simply and directly as possible a statement of the working-class position, and some of the reasons why we were obliged to deliberately range ourselves in opposition to every candidate standing for election, even those specially claiming to voice working-class interests. In the result the pseudo-labour gentlemen whose pretentions we particularly directed our argument against were all defeated by large majorities.

As to how far our Manifesto helped to this end we do not pretend to say, but we know that the possibility of the issue of such a document was regarded with much misgiving by some of the “Labour” candidates’ followers, who have not hesitated to lay the responsibility for their catastrophe at our door. We accept the responsibility. We would accept far greater responsibility if such were incurred by telling the truth that alone can make the workers free. We have no concern for “victories” gained by cloaking facts. Our business is to disseminate facts, all the facts and nothing but the facts. It was to facts that we confined ourselves in our manifesto. Therefore if the “Labour” candidates were defeated through our manifesto it was because the facts against them were too strong; because they were in conflict with the truth.

The incidents connected with the issue of our leaflet may be interesting. One is specially noteworthy. While our secretary was arranging with the printer, the editor of the little monthly sheet which the “Labour” party here issue, called. Subsequently the printer, who was also printer of the little journal mentioned, intimated that he had found he could not do our job. Why ? Because he had received instructions to keep the “Labour” journal “up,” and so could not use the type to print our manifesto ! Here was a predicament ! We had only a day or two to get it out. We tried half a dozen local shops. Only one could do it in the time, and the price asked was 100 per cent. higher than the first firm’s ! As a last resource we posted the MSS. to a London printer. It was turned out at top speed. We had no time to read a proof (which will account for one or two sentences reading awkwardly). We had the copies wet from the press and rushed them out the same night. It was a near thing.

We mention all this for two reasons. First to call attention to the act of the “Labour” journal’s editor which temporarily stopped our manifesto against the “Labour” editor’s party. Secondly, as an answer to those who, we hear, are alleging against us that we went to a “rat” shop for our printing. We don’t know whether our printers were trade union or not, although an objection of that sort coming from persons who are probably clad in sweated garments and certainly use some articles produced by sweated labour, does not perturb us. We only point out that even were our alleged offence as heinous as some of the “Labour” Party, for lack of other ground for criticism, would have it believed, they themselves by the act of their representative are responsible.

Heartiest thanks to all comrades and friends who lent us such ready assistance. No room for more this report.
The Branch.