1900s >> 1908 >> no-49-september-1908

Sans ceremony

The effect of the recent decision of Mr. Justice Neville in the case where action was taken against the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants by one of its own members, on the ground that contributions by the Society to the funds of the Labour Party were illegal, is that any association of the working class has a right to do what it likes with its own. According to Lord Wolverhampton (Daily Chronicle, 21/7/08) “the whole complicated machinery of civilisation is carried on by the working class,” “upon whom society depends.”

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The whole of society depends upon the work of the working class. The working class is entitled to do what it likes with its own—the wealth it produces as a result of its work. Therefore it is established that the working class may legally proceed to expropriate Lord Wolverhampton and the rest of the dependent capitalists who, without legal title, annex anything between two-thirds and four-fifths of the wealth produced by the workers.

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As law-abiding and right-respecting citizens, Lord Wolverhampton and his fellow capitalists will, of course, cheerfully resign themselves to the process—I don’t think !

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Much outcry has recently been raised by “humanitarians” against the method of feeding pythons in the Zoological Gardens with live kids. The Socialist outcry is against the capitalist python feeding upon live children. “Humanitariamsm,” when distinguished from Socialism, is cant or ignorance.

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Mr. Vanderlyn, F.Z.S., claims against the “Humanitarians” that the feeding of the Zoological pythons is a satisfaction of Nature’s demands which has for its result “the survival of the fittest.” The anti-Socialist “Humanitarians” in the field of human effort make the same claim.

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The survival of the fittest is an expression of a natural law operating under all conditions. The conditions prevailing at any given time determine the character of the product of the law. Under conditions of exploitation the biggest robber survives. Under conditions conducive to the production of muddle-headedness, the “Humanitarian,” the “Ethicist,” and the rest of them survive. Under Socialism the workers survive. Natural law justifies nothing. It explains many things.

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Mr. Th. Rothstein, S.D.P. Executive, quotes (Justice, 11/7/08) from the organ of Bronterre O’Brien, this passage: “Oh, Baring, Baring! (Baring was the Chancellor of the Exchequer of those days) many a better man than you was hanged at the lamp-post; and our sincere prayer is that no Englishman may ever again suffer for burglary or sheep stealing so long as enormous culprits like you cheat the gallows of its due.”

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We have a weakness in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD for downright language. Our delight is to call spades, spades, but when we do, we are, according to Mr. Rothstein’s fellow members of the S.D.P., merely abusive. Nevertheless, Mr. Rothstein properly applauds the “robust fashion” of Bronterre O’Brien’s criticism, and thinks it a “sickly generation” that is too respectable to emulate it. I hope now, that Mr. Rothstein will lead the S.D.P. to see that we are doing them a power of good by shewing them in “robust fashion” the error of their ways. Because they are still miles out of the proper track, and not being a “sickly generation” we shall not be too respectable to tell them a lot more unpleasant truths before we are through. I should be glad to know they are in a mind to appreciate the force of our criticism. Perhaps Mr. Rothstein will drop me a line when the conversion is complete.

ALEGRA

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