The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
The following facts are well established, viz:—That all classes who work for salaries or wages in New Zealand have practically reached their limit in earning and spending power under the present system of conducting our industries for private profits.
That when wages are advanced, the prices of all kinds of commodities are advanced proportionately.
That this advance in prices is owing to association agreements, and the federated status of the employers.
That private enterprise has proved wholly inadequate to the task of finding steady and remunerative employment for the people.
That capitalist employers aim at having a reserve of labour in this and every country.
That when production has been great, owing to the use of modern machinery and improved methods, then labour suffers most.
That the workers must then take an involuntary rest, seek other employment, work part of the time, or accept a reduction in wages.
That the private profit system is contrary to true Christian principles, sound ethics and common justice.page 5
That the workers need never expect any appreciable betterment of their condition under the system.
That the basic principle and injustice involved are the facts that capital is permitted to take, not only large salaries for ability, interest, rent, upkeep and all expenses, but also all the surplus profits made possible by the combined, direct and indirect productivity of Capital, Labour and the Consumers.
That labour is the real producer, and capital value is the thing produced.
That capital never produced anything without the application of labour.
That the capitalist system lives and thrives on the surplus profits kept back from the producers.
That the system has been handed down to us by our ancestors, and has been accepted tamely, without serious protest.
That labour is not much better off, in a permanent sense now, than it was before wages and conditions were fixed by Conciliation and Arbitration.
That arbitration awards are localised and governed by the bare cost of living.
That it is not possible or intended that labour shall ever receive, under the private profit system, more than a bare and precarious livelihood.
That most of the workers under the system are seldom removed more than a fortnight from absolute want and destitution.page 6
That the workers have not fully comprehended this important fact.
That the workers and most of the employers seem to think, in a vague way, that the Private Profit system must continue, with possibly some slight modification.
That this view is erroneous and wholly unwarrantable.
That the whole advancement of mankind, as well as our industrial advancement, has been and is now, evolutionary.
That Collectivism must succeed Capitalism just as Capitalism succeeded Feudalism, and as Feudalism succeeded Slavery.
That the private profit system must eventually give way to the humane and rational system of collectiveism or public ownership.
That the great work of ample production for all humanity has already been achieved by the use of modern machinery, organisation and improved methods.
That in the most productive countries all their home requirements can be fully met by running the factories from seven to eight months of the year.
That under united intelligence the productive power of the people could be greatly increased.
That the capitalists in all industrial countries are seeking expansion and new markets for their surplus products.
That capitalist disregard for the interests of the people is clearly shown in the fact that page 7 the capitalists of Britain have now 3,500 million pounds invested in foreign countries, regardless of non-employment, widespread poverty and destitution at Home.
That capitalist private profits are the real cause of nearly all the extensive and expensive national armaments, the supplying of our "so-called'" enemies with arms, all wars, and the consequent misery and degradation inflicted upon the human race.
That the gunmakers and shipbuilders, assisted by the navy and other leagues, are now working the oracle successfully and raking in the profits.
That under the profit system the lowest wages possible are paid, and that there the private employers seek to avoid further responsibility. That the little private employers who are competing for profits are doomed.
That the private profit system disregards every law of the Decalogue, knows no patriotism, and is satisfied only with concessions, subsidies, bonuses, cheap labour, low wages, interest, rent and profits.
That very little more can be done in New Zealand by way of legislative palliatives. This is admitted by the Minister of Labour.
That a Liberal-Conservative Government can never give the people Industrial emancipation because of allegiance to the private profit system of exploitation.
That a small percentage of the people are growing richer, while the great masses of the page 8 people need never hope to better their position by engaging in any kind of profitable business on their own account.
That a large majority of those who engage in competitive business fail, and that failure means blasted hopes and blighted homes.
That the interests of humanity demand absolutely that the mental, moral and physical welfare of mankind must be considered before private money accumulation.
That the welfare of the whole community must be placed before the personal gain of the small percentage (say 10 per cent.) of the people who take profits and are now privileged to give uncertain and irregular private employment.
That enforced idleness and want under the system is a disgraceful crime against humanity and the State.
That this year's surplus profits will be added to the capital now used for further exploitation next year.
That an Independent-Labour Government in power would meet the wishes of the people, while a Liberal-Conservative Government stands for stagnation and private enterprise.
That when the people realize the difference between Private Ownership for private profits and Co-operative Public Ownership in the interests of all, they will not cease demanding the change until it has been actually attained.page 9
That the exploitation of the people by way of private profits must be abolished.