515 - Balfour - Russell

“From the Depths,” by William Balfour. Originally published in The Silent War, by John Ames Mitchell, copyright © 1906. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Capitalism And The Wage System

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When I saw that Bertrand Russell’s “Capitalism and the Wage System” [Dog-Eared Page, November 2018] was written in 1917, I thought it would have little correlation to today’s world. Boy, was I mistaken!

Russell appears to be talking about the current day when he speaks of discrimination and the exploitation of the poor and our natural resources. He explains how socialism, where the state would control everything, would not be productive, and how capitalism, which caters to the 1 percent, does not benefit the world. He understands that people need to be retrained for jobs that would better serve our planet and themselves. He sees how those who do good work should be rewarded instead of made to fear unemployment. And he rationalizes that not every job can pay the same — since some require more expense and training — but that every worker should be given a living wage.

And to think he recognized all this in 1917. We need his wisdom today.

Anita L. Biers Washington, Pennsylvania
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