Story type: Essay
Personally, I blame the poor for boozing less than I blame the rich for “jazzing.” If I had to live the lives which millions of working men and women lead, and amid the same surroundings, and with the same hopeless future–I would booze with the booziest. You can’t expect the poor to respect themselves when the rich do not respect them. Without any feeling of human responsibility in the wealthier classes, you cannot expect to find any human responsibility in the lower orders. And by human responsibility I do not mean some vague thing like “Government for the People,” or subscriptions to hospitals, or bazaars for the indigent blind, or anything of that sort–though these things are excellent in themselves. I mean something more practical than that. Hospitals should be state-owned, and the indigent blind should be pensioned by the state. These things should not be left to private enterprises, since they are human responsibilities and should be borne by humanity. I mean that all owners of wealth should be made to realise their moral responsibilities to their own workmen–the men and women who help to create their wealth–and that with poverty there should not go dirt and drudgery and that total lack of beauty and encouragement to a cleaner, finer life without which existence on earth is Hell–Hell being preached at from above.