Mass unemployment has undermined the living standards of millions of working people and their families, has eroded many essential services and has been used to justify a major assault on hard-won trade union and democratic rights.
For these reasons the restoration of full employment must necessarily be, and be seen to be, the first objective of a new Labour Government.
That task cannot be achieved unless we are ready to make substantial changes in the way we work, and in the way we think.
In this book Labour's Socialist Campaign Group argue that unemployment is not inevitable or insoluble; nor that policies to resolve it, if pursued resolutely, could be frustrated; nor that it could be overcome by a bit of fine-tuning that left market forces in charge.
The arguments set out here should give hope to millions of people who are now in despair, and those in the Labour movement will recognise them as the authentic and legitimate inheritance of our democratic and socialist traditions.
For all these reasons this pamphlet should be widely read, studied and publicly discussed, as a basis for more detailed work.
The surest way to win the majority support which we must have if we are to end the present nightmare, and re-establish our society on a basis that is fair to those who create the nation's wealth is to give full employment the priority it needs if it is to be achieved.