The True Antidote

The true antidote to revolutionary Socialism, said Lord Milner to the Surrey Unionists on October 30th, is practical social reform, and he counselled his hearers to be more and not less strenuous in removing the causes of the revolutionary propaganda, while resisting it to the utmost. Commenting upon his speech, the Daily Chronicle asserted that revolutionary Socialism must be opposed by Liberal and Conservative alike. Quite so, but “social reform,” such as old age pensions, better housing, town planning, sanitary conditions of labour, the extinction of sweating, the physical training of the people, continuation schools, and other items constituting “an excellent program,” should be pushed forward by all parties opposed to Socialism, in order to remove the causes of the revolutionary propaganda ! Most of the items quoted above are found in the programs of the S.D.F. and I.L.P., and thus the capitalists will assist these bodies to carry them into practice knowing that they are “the true antidote to revolutionary Socialism.” Surely such an avowal should open the eyes of the organisations referred to and lead them to discard a policy which is helping the master class and which is supported by the master class because they know it will head back revolutionary Socialism. The owners of the means of wealth production do not fear Social Reform because it will leave them in possession of the power to exploit, but they do fear Socialism because that will deprive them of the power to exploit. To the Socialist then, the course is clear: advocate Socialism and leave its opponents to push reform.

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