- Capitalism and Alternatives -
Religion of Socialism, or Don' worry, be happy.
Posted by: Frenchy on December 10, 1999 at 00:33:58:
The ff comes from 'The Real Truth about Socialism, A Treatise', E.C.L. Schulze, Concordia Publishing House, 1916, pp. 77-78
3. What Socialism teaches regarding labor is unreasonable.
a. "Labor is an evil," says Bax in his Regigion of Socialism. On p. 94 we read: "To the Socialist labor is an evil to be minimized to the utmost. The man who works at his trade or avocation more than necessity compels him, or who accumulates more than he can enjoy, is not a hero, but a fool from the Socialist's standpoint. It is this necessary work which it is the aim of Socialism to reduce to the minimum."
This is folly, indeed; but the most arrant nonsense in this respect seems to have been produced by P. Lafargue, son-in-law of Karl Marx, in his brochure, The Right to be Lazy, which has been translated into English by Charles H. Kerr, and the dissemination of which is recommended by the Socialist Party; in the catalog of 1913, p.18, you will find it mentioned among the books recommended. Lafargue has chosen as his motto the words of Lessing: "Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy." The sum and substance of the book is as follows: Through "the love of work, the furious passion for work", the common people have degenerated, and brought upon themselves much suffering and many evils. To effect a change here, "the proletariat must trample under foot" all present-day ethics, proclaim the rights of laziness, "return to its natural instincts," and "accustom itself to working but three hours a day, reserving the rest of the day and the night for leisure and feasting." (p.29) The entire pamphlet of sixty-two pages is nothing but a severe condemnation of labor as an evil, and a scurrilous, blasphemous hymn in praise of laziness. Now you will probably say: Though Lafargue and other Socialists write thus, their inidividual opinions are not Socaialism. We reply; Dear Mr. Wiseacre, why, then, does the Socialist party spread books of this kind? Is it seeking to destroy itself? Moreover, everyone knows that this is one of the chief promises of Socialism: Labor, which is to be regarded as an evil, and prevents mankind from enjoying life, must be reduced to its minimum, so that as much time as possible may be gained for rest and recreation.
This theory is altogether unreasonable. Though, in consequence of sin, there is trouble and hardship connected with work, yet work in itself is a blessing. Even if man had not fallen, he would have worked, as we learn from Gen. 2, 15. And what would become of the human race if there were no work to do? man would degenerate both physically and morally. "Work is one of the conditions of life. Whosoever needlessly ceases to work must perish. Even an animal will become sulky and ill when idling in its stall. Idleness in a curse. Industry is honorable. A life without labor, how laborious!"