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Casualties of War

A Duke on Hard Work


The “Daily Chronicle” of December 11th ult. gave us the following intoxicating toothful in spite of the no treating order:

    HARD WORK THE REMEDY
      According to the Duke of Northumberland the only firm foundation for reconstruction was self-denial and hard work, and politicians should draw attention to this instead of trying to persuade people that they could get something for nothing.

 One would hardly have thought that the noble gentleman would have deemed it necessary to point the way to politicians just at the present moment, at all events, for ever since “reconstruction” showed its head above the political horizon politicians have done precious little but preach toil and abstinence on the part of the workers.

"The Glories of War" by a soldier in the trenches.


    We are indebted to the Editors of "The Ploughshare" for permission to reprint the following sketches, which appeared in the March issue of the Quaker Magazine of Social Reconstruction.— Ed. Com. Socialist Standard.

We guarantee the genuineness of the two sketches which follow. They are written by. a soldier known to us, one who expresses himself as grateful for the work we are doing. Shame on us to accept thanks for this when so much more could be done!

I. GOING INTO ACTION.
The glories of war! How this great illusion has been kept up in former days! What volumes of romance have been written about it! But now war is stripped of all its glory and romance; it stands bare and hideous in the sight of thinking men, and to the soldiers it is an indescribable horror, breaking the mind and body and eating into the soul.

Vietnam and the Anti-War Movement

Vietnam will one day take its place beside Hiroshima and Auschwitz as an example of a time when the sickness of capitalism exploded into a kind of psychotic nightmare. It is no mere piece of sensationalism, either, to compare Vietnam with Hiroshima and Auschwitz, for there is a direct parallel between the causes, method, and results of all three events. Their causes can be traced to capitalist society. The method in each case amounts to genocide: the slaughter of as great a number of a population in as short a time as possible. The results thus far have been to create a world that looks like something out of a nightmare. For how else are we to regard a country that invests a quarter of a million dollars in the death of every “communist’  guerrilla, when close to one- third of its population lives in poverty?* How else are we to describe a system where announcements of the latest Viet Cong body count come over the radio and TV networks in the U.S.

Benny

A few weeks ago my closest friends were killed in an air raid. They were a small working-class family—father, mother and two young children. Benny and I knew each other very well. He was not a Socialist but nevertheless always professed working-class sympathies. His life was comparable to millions—poverty while in work and long periods of unemployment. An emigrant from Poland, he began work in this country at the age of thirteen. From that time onwards until his violent and tragic end all he experienced was that well-known Churchillian curse, "Blood, sweat, toil and tears."

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