Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

Letter to Robert Blatchford on the Socialist Ideal
(S643: 1907)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to Robert Blatchford, editor of The Clarion (London), regarding an article by Blatchford entitled "The Socialist Ideal." Included in further commentary by Blatchford under the same title, printed on page 1 of the paper's 16 August 1907 issue. To link directly to this page, connect with:

My Dear Mr. Blatchford,--

     I have just read your article "The Socialist Ideal," and I feel I must write to thank you for it. I am with you in every word of it. I, too, have wished that some two or three of the Socialists in Parliament, who can speak so as to be listened to, would speak such burning words as yours, again and AGAIN, and AGAIN. I could wish that some of these speakers would collect such cases as you quote, and which I see every day in the "Daily News"--which does do a Socialist's duty in bringing these continually before its readers--and on every occasion of petty sham reforms force the House to listen, and ask it again and again "when are you going to stop such shameful things as this?"

     And when they ask, "how can we do it" say, by compelling a minimum wage of one pound a week, and work, in the production of food, clothing, warmth, and healthy homes for all those who ask for such.

     So soon as this last is thoroughly applied and properly organised, the first--1 a week--will be unnecessary, for no one will then be found to work for it!

     If they ask--as they will--where is the money to come from? Reply--take the surplus of all incomes above 20,000 a year, and half the surplus of all incomes between 10,000 and 20,000--and you will have plenty--and in a few years more than you want for that purpose, because the productive work once properly organised will be productive: will absorb all the surplus labour in the country, and be self-supporting.

     That, I know, is not all Socialism, but it will absolutely abolish starvation, and, therefore, do the first and most urgent work of Socialism, and render all the rest comparatively easy.

--Your friend and admirer,
Alfred R. Wallace.
Broadstone, Wimborne.

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