Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

When Labour leaders er, gave a lead to labour

Dear Comrades,

Victims of Capitalism

All around you there are masses of people, including perhaps friends, neighbours and even your own families, who are plunged in poverty, forced to dwell in slums, driven down by unemployment — vainly struggling under the pressure of economic and social insecurity to make life worth while, for however much they sacrifice and however carefully they contrive, they are unable to escape from these terrible conditions.

They must endure or go under.

There is something wrong — radically wrong. Men are not rich or poor, employed or unemployed, hungry or satisfied, at peace or at war, happy or miserable, by God's decree.

These are inequalities and evils that are inherent in the system under which we live — a system which puts profit and private property before the economic security and well-being of the people.

Nature is bounteous in her gifts to mankind. Modern science and constantly improving machinery and methods enable wealth to be produced in far greater abundance than was ever dreamed of in days that are gone.

There would be enough for all and to spare if wealth were properly distributed and used.

Capitalism's Criminal Waste

But the world as we know it is at once a vast storehouse abounding with plenty and a vast poor-house overcrowded with distressed humanity.

Crops are burnt and fish is thrown back into the sea because it does not pay to sell them. And millions go hungry because they cannot buy.

These things are wrong; they are stupid and criminal. No one but a fool would try to defend or justify them. But they go on only because the people like you and others allow them to go on. The Labour Party wants to put them right. The Labour Party will put them right once the nation gives it power. It is going to build a sane Society within which there will be work, security and opportunity for all in an efficiently organized and well-directed State.

George Lansbury [then leader of the British Labour Party], 'An Appeal on Behalf of the Labour Party League of Youth', 1933.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home