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F. J. Webb

The Strong Man (A Study)

 The following study of the character of a personal friend (recently dead) of the writer is, in a way, rather outside the scope of strict Socialist propaganda. It does, however, open up the question as to how far a powerful personality—even though used beneficially—should be allowed to dominate its weaker brethren. In practically all men there is but one thing as great as, or greater than, the desire to live, and that is the desire to dominate; and this “Will to Power” is one of the greatest dangers that Socialism has to face. It is the progenitor of “leaders” and the forerunner of a cleavage between a few more richly endowed intellects and the rank and file, which must stifle free expression, and lead to a sullen acquiescence or a sheep like docility on the part of the rank and file, either of which is calculated to wreck the whole organisation. Such is the writer’s apology for the following:

"Independence" and Sentiment

 The leaders of the Independent Labour Party have assuredly found the right way to deal with any of their followers who attempt to kick over the traces. Understanding the sentimentalism with which the I.L.P. is pervaded, J. Ramsay Macdonald, Keir Hardie & Co. are able, by working upon this feeling, to sway any assembly of I.L.P-ers in which they find themselves to practically whatever position they desire. An illustration of the success of this manoeuvre can be seen in reading the report of the recent I.L.P. conference at Birmingham. The whole tone of the meeting was such as would have been more applicable to a dormitory of love-sick young ladies than to an assembly of Members of Parliament and self styled economists and politicians. During the debate following the report of the I.L.P. Members of Parliament there were several outbreaks on the part of certain members of the rank and file.

The Quarrel 'Twixt Mr. A. And Mr. B.


      “They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other’s neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because one of them had ‘Dum' embroidered on his collar, and the other ‘Dee.’ ‘I suppose they’ve each got ‘Tweedle’ round at the back of the collar,’ she said to herself.  . . .
      “Of course you agree to have a battle?’ Tweedledum said in a calmer tone.
      “ ‘I suppose so,’ the other sulkily replied.’’

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