What Is Socialism?, 1912


What Is Socialism?

In the first place Socialism is not a plan or policy, but a system. It is the direct opposite of our present system of conducting society. Society at present is built on the idea of individual action. That each man strive to raise himself to the highest [pinnacle] of success without more than what is called a decent regard for others. Socialism, on the other hand is the principle of [cooperative] action in the means of production and the gaining of a livelihood. Instead of each man fighting with his neighbor, the two will work together and receive the full social product of their toil.

Socialism would remove the profit from all goods produced. It is estimated by the U.S. government that the laboring man only receives 17 [percent] of the total value of what he produces. We contend that there is at present no system in production, hence the frequent so called overproduction and under production of the necessities of life, which cause so much suffering.

The Bible has this to say about the profit system: "If thy brother waxeth poor and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him; you, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner. Take thou NO INTEREST of him or increase (profit.) Thou shalt not give him thy money upon interest, nor lend him thy victuals for increase (profit.) -- Leviticus 25: 35-37. "He that hath oppressed the poor and needy...hath given forth upon interest and hath taken increase (profit); shall he then live? he shall not live; he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him." -- Ezekiel 18: 12-13.

The present system is specifically denounced by the Holy Book in many other places than above mentioned. Socialism would correct this and restore conditions in accordance with the bible. Every man would have a home which could not be taken from him. If he wished to remove to another part, the home could be exchanged.

All will have employment as the people will control and operate all tools of production and hours will be shortened so that all men will have work all the time.

Production will be so arranged that there will be no overproduction, but as this becomes threatening, the hours of labor will be shortened and the laborers get the benefit of the improved machinery.

It is estimated that under this kind of a system workers would not have to work more than three or four hours per day, while they would receive a compensation equal to about [$9.00] per day, and after reaching middle age, about forty-five they would be retired on a pension sufficient to provide them with all the enjoyments of life.

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