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The Communist no 54, October 1972

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The Government's proposals to deal with inflation through a national prices and income policy

Heath's first idea - breaking from the 'Butskellite' consensus and letting the free market rip

Capitalism or barbarism - 'Until the working class is capable of organising production on a socialist basis and wielding power in its own right, the bourgeoisie are correct in posing the choice as between capitalism and anarchy' 

Class struggle and intra-class struggle - disadvantages of competition within the working class

The bourgeoisie face the facts and attempt to get the working class to do the same. Reginald Maudling v Milton Friedman and Enoch Powell and the need for clear political explanation

The need to develop a habit of national wage bargaining  - or why a democratic, voluntary incomes policy represents progress even when the state is still a "bourgeois dictatorship"

The Left and the real meaning of 'profits'



"The capitalist system within which we have been operating is based on certain principles. The first principle is the maximum of freedom and of competition so that the highest reward should go to those who prove their merit in competitive circumstances. This has led inevitably to wide disparities in living standards and to the concentration of a large amount of wealth in a fairly limited number of hands. The justification for this has been: (i) that competitive conditions have produced major advances of human prosperity, and (ii) that a system which combines incentives for success with welfare provision for those who have not succeeded is morally and politically justifiable. By and large this pattern has been accepted, albeit subconsciously, by the great bulk of the people of the western democracies. But we must recognise that this has only persisted because the majority have not been prepared to use their potential economic and political power against the prosperous minority ... I believe that the fundamental situation is now changing. We have seen in the last two decades an arising consciousness of the power of organised labour. One can speculate at length on the reasons ... Whatever the compound of reasons it is the facts we must face ... I agree, therefore, that no final solution has been found to the problem either of restraining the totality of income growth or of settling the relativities between individual incomes. But I have no doubt whatsoever that we must return to the search as a matter of urgency. Unless we do this and unless we are prepared to cast aside all previous political and economic dogmas in order to meet a new political situation to which they have little relevance, we have no chance of success ... I do not believe that policies of conflict will or can work. I do not think we can now redress the balance between the monopoly power of labour and the interests of price stability by individual measures. We can do a few things here and there to make striking less attractive. I do not believe this reaches the fundamental problem ... I conclude therefore that in modern political circumstances a capitalist economy must be prepared to accept a far greater degree of systematic control over the level of incomes and prices than we have ever contemplated before." (Reginald Maudling, The Times,12.10.72)