Mary E. Marcy

Are You a Socialist?

(August 1911)

The International Socialist Review, Vol. 12 No. 2, August 1911, pp. 106–107.
Transcribed by Matthew Siegfried.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

IF YOU working men and women understood what Socialism really is and means you would flock into the Socialist movement like a policeman going out to get his share in a graft divide. You would scheme just as hard for the advancement of the Socialist movement as any capitalist ever schemed and sweat and fought for profits. You would cling to Socialism like a starving dog hangs to a bone, BECAUSE SOCIALISM IS THE ONLY HOPE IN THE WORLD FOR THE WORKING CLASS.

But you are an intelligent workingman. You have been fooled too long to be satisfied with WORDS. You want proofs. You want to know now what Socialism proposes to do. You want to be SHOWN.

Socialism is the international movement of the working class to abolish the wage system. It is a revolutionary movement OF THE WORKERS, BY the workers and FOR the workers. And these workers are not to be side-tracked by anything under the heavens.

They propose that every working man and every working woman shall get-the full value of the things they make. They do not intend to leave any rake-off or profits or velvet for those who do not work.

You know that you work for a boss because he owns the factory or the mine or the mill in which you work. If he were a penniless workingman and your father had died leaving you the owner of the mill or the factory HE WOULD HAVE COME TO YOU FOR A JOB. You would be his master. He would have to work for you or for some other boss in order to get wages to LIVE.

The man who works for wages is a slave. He is worse than a slave, for a slave can always look to his master to feed, clothe and house him. The wage-worker is forced to get a job – to sell his working strength to a boss or beg, starve or steal.

Men and women can never be free or independent as long as they have to beg the idlers for a chance to work. The man who owns your job owns you. Generally he will pay you barely enough to live on, while he keeps for himself all the things you make.

And we workers make everything in the world. There is nothing fine, valuable, beautiful, or useful that is used by men and women, no matter who they are, that is not made by the hands and the brains of workingmen or women.

But we are not permitted to enjoy these things. The bosses claim them all. They only give to us (in wages) enough to eke out a poor existence.

The whole secret of our slavery lies in the fact that a few people OWN THE FACTORIES, the MINES, the MILLS, the LANDS and the RAILROADS.

Socialism proposes that the workers who operate the industries shall OWN them collectively – that men and women shall work for themselves and shall own the things they make without DIVIDING UP with any idle property owners. Socialism proposes that the workers themselves shall be the collective owners of the factories, mines, mills, lands and railroads.

When you are joint owner of a mine, you will always have a job in that mine. And the coal or gold you dig will be your own property and not the property of any BOSS.

This is Socialism in a nutshell. If you are a miserable workman living from hand to mouth and in constant fear of losing your job, it ought to sound good to you.

Socialism will give every worker a job and every idler a chance to do some useful, honest work, if he wants to share in the good things workingmen and women produce.

Study Socialism. Send for our book catalogue. Read up on this subject. Socialism is the movement of your class, the WORKING CLASS. Join it and help yourself and every other workingman and woman to free themselves from wage-slavery.

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Last updated on 31 May 2022