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Editorial: Has Conscription Come To Stay?

 Ever since honest, open, above-board, avowed, unblushing Conscription took the place of the filthy, taunting, “What will ye lack, Sonny?” “Go or be sacked! ” form of compulsion, the labour leaders whose treachery undermined the position of the workers and made organised resistance to the encroachments of militarism impossible, have been trying to cover up their renegade footsteps, in order that they may escape the accusing finger that sooner or later will mercilessly point out to the outraged working class who the real arch-fraticides of this stupendous shambles really are. One of their devices is to clamour for the immediate removal of that instrument of tyranny “so foreign to the traditions of our country” (to quote their flowery Pekoe), Conscription, when the war is finished.

Book Review: 'Playing Them False - A Study of Children's Toys, Games and Puzzles'

War games

'Playing Them False: A Study of Children's Toys, Games and Puzzles'. By Bob Dixon. Trentham Books. £11.95.

From earliest age children’s toys are clearly divided into boys’ and girls’: the boys’ miniaturising outdoor pursuits, construction and “manly” activities while the girls’ are based on the kitchen and domestic activities.

Adventure kits for boys as young as three are intended to "make little men out of boys” with gear appropriate to various aggressive roles. Take you pick from, among others, the Para Kit. Assault Kit or Tank Commander. Speaking of tanks. Bromley Council in 1981 purchased for its playgrounds fighter plane and tank climbing frames; on the latter there's a gun which you can fire in the turret.

Editorial: Waste Amidst Want

This is now a world of potential plenty. Yet all but a few are deprived in some way and many starve. At the same time part of the world’s resources are used up in making weapons of war and in training men and women to use these weapons. How is this terrible paradox to be explained ?

The technical basis of modern society is large-scale, mass-producing industry which can only be operated by co-operative labour. By its nature it draws into the work of producing things millions of people the world over. These millions work not on their own; they work together. No man makes anything by himself; he only plays a part in the co-operative labour through which things are today produced. Farms, factories, mines, mills and docks are only geographically separate. Technically they depend on each other as links in a chain. They are only parts of a world-wide productive system. In other words the world is one productive unit.

Material World: No Peace in the Pacific

Material World

After Costa Rica’s civil war in 1948, Jose Figueres, the then president of Costa Rica, abolished the army, took a sledgehammer and began the demolition of the nation's military headquarters. That fundamental decision was enshrined in the 1949 Constitution. To this day, Costa Rica has no army, navy or air force, no heavy weapons of any kind but instead they have the Fuerza Pública (Public Force) responsible for law enforcement and border patrol.  

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