Sunday, 23 October 2011

We must conclude that they do not understand Socialism...

"Owen saw that in the world a small class of people were possessed of great abundance and superfluity of the things produced by work. He saw also that a very great number - in fact, the majority of the people - lived on the verge of want; and that a smaller but still very large number lived lives of semi-starvation from the cradle to the grave; while a yet smaller but still very great number actually died of hunger, or, maddened by hunger and privation, killed themselves and their children in order to put a period to their misery. And strangest of all - in his opinion - he saw that the people who enjoyed abundance of the things that are made by work, were the people who did Nothing: and that the others, who lived in want or died of hunger, were the people who had worked. And seeing all this he thought that it was wrong, that the system that had produced such results was rotten and should be altered."

"Not only are the majority of people opposed to Socialism, but a very brief conversation with an average anti-socialist is sufficient to show that he does not know what Socialism means. The same is true of all the anti-socialist writers and the 'great statesmen' who make anti-socialist speeches: unless we believe that they are all deliberate liars and impostors, who to service their own interests labour to mislead other people, we must conclude that they do not understand Socialism. There is no other possible explanation of the extraordinary things they write and say. The thing they cry out against is not Socialism but phantom of their own imaginings..."


Robert Tressell - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

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