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Economic Causes of War

Socialism or Barbarism?

 It is barely three years since the joybells of peace were ringing and yet already war is again casting its shadow over the world. Again and again we were told that peace was impossible until Germany had been reduced to a state from which it could not rise again to threaten the peace of the world. Well, Germany is certainly deep enough in the mire now, but in spite of that the spectre of war has again raised its ugly head.

 So, after all, it is not Germany that was the criminal; the real criminal was, and is, the system of production and distribution under which goods are produced for sale. It is this system that breeds the struggle for markets, for trade routes, and for sources of supply. While this system lasts, war will always be the final resort between conflicting capitalist groups.

Is Capitalism a "Conspiracy"?

 On Thursday, November 27th, there was a debate in the House of Commons about the cause of war, and in it the I.L.P. group stated their view on war’s capitalist origin. Commenting on this, the Daily Herald (November 29th) said that the I.L.P. members “tried to interpret the war as a ‘capitalist plot'—and were denounced with patient tolerance but overwhelming emphasis by their colleagues." Whether the Herald's description of the I.L.P. case is an accurate one is something the I.L.P. will look after. It need not concern us here, though it may be remarked that in the past the I.L.P. have often fallen into the error of explaining capitalism and its wars on those lines. But they were not alone, they were only following—or perhaps leading—the Labour Party and its organ, the Daily Herald.

The Pacifists and Socialism

 The Labour Party claims (sometimes) to represent the interests of the workers. An illustration of its method of doing this occurred in the House of Commons recently.

 On March 17th Mr. Ponsonby (one of the Liberal “converts”) moved that the Air Force be reduced by 32,000 men. This is, of course, quite consistent with the general attitude of the author of the “Peace Letter” on the question of Disarmament. Such a motion, however, is about as practical as asking the master-class to commit suicide outright.

Book Review: War

 War: Its Nature and Cure by G. Lowes Dickinson (Allen & Unwin, 4s. 6d.)

“War: its nature, cause and cure,” is the title of a book by Mr. G. Lowes Dickinson (Allen & Unwin, 4s. 6d.), which opens in a promising manner, but concludes in a manner decidedly disappointing, by reason of its utter lack of logic. A few remarks upon it, however, may serve to illustrate the. Socialist view of a problem of vital importance to practically every member of the working class.

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