Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25. No. 12. 1962
View from the Left
View from the Left
Sir,—The President of the Socialist Club, Mr G. R Hawke, appears to have forgotten the definition of Socialism adopted at the Annual general Meeting of his club viz "The common ownership of the wealth of the world by the people of the world Had he remembered, he might the avoided confusion in understanding the traditional meaning of Equality. I believe that a great deal of the confusion that exists in interpreting the meaning of socialism today arises from the fact that parties such as the Labour and Communist Forties, which once appeared to have championed it and still claim to act under its auspices, have now taken up anti-revolutionary positions ion the Right in the case of the Labour Party this is a compromise with the forces of capitalism while in that of the Communist Party it is a totalitarian state capitalism.
The early socialists, inspired by revolutionary idealism saw in Liberty the right of the individual to achieve the fullest development of his personality Recognising that all are born equal in dignity and right they asserted that each had a role to play in society which could not be evaluated in terms of superiority or interiority Thus Equality was defined as above with the added implication that all would share equally in the fruits of the earth, without regard to profession or occupation Finally, Fraternity, denoting mutual aid was the cohesive force to hold humanity together in peace and love, replacing the sordid jungle of survival of the fittest and mad rivalry which was the cause of war and degeneration.
Mr Hawks commits the fatal error of the materialist when he attributes to socialism an overriding concern with controls. The theme of those who hoped for a better social system was emancipation with the eventual arrival of an era of freedom embracing the concepts of Liberty. Equality and Fraternity as defined above. Yours etc.,