- 5 No doubt increased mechanisation, automation, one-sided and limited
education for the vast majority of the population tend to complete more
and more man's "subsumption" under the machine; and further growth of
monopoly can only lead to the increased political restrictions that have
invariably proved to accompany that other distortion of the original form
of private enterprise, and result in a further distortion of the already
stunted human standards by which creation counts for nothing and possession
Add to that the growing domination by monopolies of opinionforming media, the press, the wireless, TV and the cinema with its enrichment of technicali ties at the expense o.f substance, and uniformity and
inhibition of individuality cannot fail to increase.
The only people who under such conditions are capable of a certain
amount of individuality are the workers who identify themselves with their
class - and members of other strata genuinely embracing their cause - and
who, accepting it, fight for the classless society, the only form of
society where individuals cease to be shaped by their class position,
where the freedom of all is the prerequisite for the freedom of each,
whore private ownership of the means of production (including the mass
media), and the stiflingd:iY'ision of labour connected with it, is abolished,
and the opposition between individual and society, a subject preoccupying
the present, capitalist society more than any before it, ceases to be a
major problem for humanity.
In that society there will be general
freedom of truly individual development.
On August 4th it will be exactly 70 years since the first independent
Labour members and avowed Socialists, John Burns and Keir Hardie, took
their seats in the House of Commons.
There had been working men in Parliament before this time, but they had been Liberals.
As long ago as 1869 the
Trades Congress had expressed the view that there should be representation
of the trade unions at Westminster,and nl874 Thomas Burt and Alexander
Macdonald wero elected, to be joined in 1880 by Henry Broadhurst.
though these men obtained, under great pressure from outside the House, a
few useful ~odifications of oppressive anti-working class legislation, their
general political outloolc did not differ from that of Liberal capitalists,
and the latter welcomed their co-operation.
By the mid-1880's the inadequacy of this "Lib-Lab" representation
(as it was dUbbed) was becoming more and more sharply felt. On the one