SOCIALISM AND MUNICIPAL TRADING.
[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPROTATOR:1
Sin,—I have just been reading the article in last week's Spectator in which you try to remove the doubts of a corre- spondent who fears lest the campaign against Socialism may imply hostility to municipal trams and washhouses. Socialism, as expounded by Marx and other authorities, involves two demands. First, that all capital shall be socialised, and private capital shall cease to exist. Second, that the whole product of associated labour, after replacing this capital, without interest, shall be shared among the labourers. It is worth remembering that the establishment of municipal washhouses and trams satisfies neither of these requirements. (1) The capital employed is not socialised capital, but private capital lent upon interest. (2) There is no division of the profits, even after paying interest, among the labourers employed. Municipal trading may or may not be desirable, but it is so far removed from Socialism that it has always surprised me to find Socialists advocating it. If it were successful on a large scale it would simply make the Socialistic solution unnecessary. I express no opinion upon municipal trading. But at all events it is not Socialism.