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J. Fitzgerald

Bungling Bernstein

Evolutionary Socialism. By Edward Bernstein. Published by I.L.P.

Often when a certain theory or hypothesis is laid down in any science it has been found after a time, that a number of facts are discovered which the theory does not adequately explain. A revision of the theory is then necessary, or a new one, even, may be required.

On other occasions it has been found that the new facts were not accurately taken, and upon this being corrected the theory has been found sufficient for the needs of Science. Isaac Newton’s theory of the Law of Gravity and Lamarck’s theory of “Transformism” are classical cases in point.

In sociology Karl Marx and Frederick Engels were the first to formulate the theory that material interests are the driving force of human actions, in the mass, while the methods of production and distribution of wealth formed the basis, and determined the form of society.

The Tyranny of Usury

The Tyranny of Usury; A Plea for the Nationalisation of Exchanges,  by John McLachlan. Manchester, Leventhulme. 1d.

Superstition dies hard. Driven from the human mind on the religious side it endeavours to find entry on another, and no subject has brought forward so many cranks, faddists and maniacs as the subject of the above pamphlet if we except religion.

The author, who, by his praise of Keir Hardie, is probably a member of the I.L.P., first defines usury as the total surplus taken by the capitalist class, and then narrows it down to the ordinary definition of interest, or the amount charged for the use of money or forms of credit. By a shuffling of these two definitions, when it suits him, he is able to skim over awkward points and give his case some small appearance of being worth consideration.

The bogey of the taxes

A great  cry is being raised at the present time by two sections of the capitalist class about the question of taxation in relation to Import Duties. Mr, Chamberlain and his Conservative friends have suddenly discovered that a large amount of poverty, misery, and want of employment exists around us among the working-class. This is due, says this section, to the foreigner “dumping” his goods on our markets, underselling the home producer, and thereby bringing about unemployment by preventing the home trader from disposing of his goods. The latter cannot retaliate upon the “foreigner’s” market owing to the tariff wall erected around it to keep him out. At once the remedy comes to the front: Tax the foreigner’s goods and keep them off our market, then the English manufacturer will be able to employ more “hands” and raise prices, to the benefit of the whole community.

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