1900s >> 1908 >> no-51-november-1908

At Random

“May I say there is a good deal of nonsense talked about capital ?” Thus Lloyd-George at Swansea. And at once adds more “nonsense.” As thus: “The greatest capitalist in this country is Nature.” The implication that all wealth is capital should commend itself to Clarion Vanner (by the grace of Blatchford) Hick.

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This product of what he himself described as the “stately cloisters of Oxford,” told a motley gathering of I.L.P’ers, S.D.P’ers, etc. in Peckham that capital was “wealth used to produce more wealth.” He affected to be much concerned when a member of the S.P.G.B. referred to him as a “catspaw of the capitalist class,” and cried aloud for proof of the charge, hastily adding, at the same time, that no Socialist would be allowed on the platform in opposition.

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Cumulative and damnatory evidence could be given until further orders, that this brand of political quack is effectually doing the work of the master class in several directions, but the mere fact that one of the high-priests of Capital and the Vanner should be engaged in confusing the mind of the worker on vital points is sufficiently significant of itself.

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Nothing suits the game of the capitalist class better than to point to the worker’s pick, his shovel, his dinner-pail, to apostrophise his mental qualities, his endurance, his etc., etc., and call them “capital.” For why ? it blurs the class struggle.

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“Capital does not consist in tie fact that stored-up labour is used by living labour as a means to further production. Capitalism presupposes the existence of a class which possesses nothing but labour-power. It is the lordship of realised labour over living labour that transforms stored-up labour into capital”—Author of pamphlet, “Karl Marx.”

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Kautsky, in the second section of his brilliant work, “Das Erfurter Programm,” (issued by the Socialist Party of Great Britain in pamphlet form as “The Working Class,” price one penny, honestly and correctly translated into English.) has pointed out that modern capitalism has developed a sorry type of proletarian—-the educated wage-slave. The death of Churton Collins, a distinguished scholar and acknowledged authority on Shakesperian lore, is one of frequently occuring incidents which emphasises his miserable positon who must prostitute his intellect to make a living, and hire out his commodity—education—to the highest bidder. The professor, dying by his own hand, was fearful as to the future maintenance of his children.

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Meantime, a correspondent of the Daily News is suggesting that, to meet unemployment of teachers in London, the L.C.C. shall “reduce present salaries,” and prevent teachers doing both day and evening work !

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The Review of Reviews is concerned about “The Winter Feeding of Starving Children.” (It is not going to let the S.D.P. monopolise that pitch.) In the September issue, p. 295, it says “It would be well if other firms were to follow Messrs. Allen & Hanbury’s example by a systematic endeavour to educuate the public in the general principles of the scientific feeding of children.” On p. 303 is a long advertisement crying up the wares of the above named firm. The Review of Reviews “invites the aid of ‘helpers.'” Helpers for what? Who said “alliances” ?

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From the same source we learn that it has been ascertained that the children “could be fed excellently well at a penny a meal, with a extra halfpenny for dinner.”

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Crouch low, you discontented dogs ! Listen to the I.L.P. “Socialist,” Liberal Stead at elbow, telling you the master class can provide sumptious meals for your poor little kiddies at a penny a head, with a extra half-penny chucked in for dinner. Then, begone ! run to your houses, fall upon your knees, pray to the tuppenny gods to intermit the plague that needs must light on “your” country for the ingratitude displayed by the Socialist Party of Great Britain in denouncing such a sorry combination of mouthing knaves and tricksters.

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F. H. Rose, in the Clarion of 18.9.08 writes, with regard to the cotton dispute, “The masters bribe away the best and most knowing of the operators’ officials by giving them better jobs and bigger salaries. It is a ghastly business. Yet if I were to say what every employer knows, I should be charged with ‘giving the game away.'”

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Judged by his own words, F. H. Rose is a traitor to his own class. A deliberate charge is made against unions’ officials which, unfortunately, is no doubt only too true. What plea can he bring forward to justify his silence or the matter ? If fears for endangering his own chances as union official and “Labour” member, why take the pains to emblazon abroad his cowardice ?

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A significant cutting from John Bull. We pray you, note, aye, nota bene ! “Just as the franchise is the political specific for revolution, nationalisation of the public services is the antidote to Socialism.” Instead of which, that egregious political combination which is neither “independent” in action, nor “labour” in spirit, and which exists as a “party” only by grace of anonymous donors (see Manifesto p. 3) and middle-class “symsathisers,” at its last Annual Conference passed the following resolution : “That in the opinion of this Conference the time is ripe for the nationalisation of railways, and that our representatives be asked to urge forward a measure to that effect in Parliament.”

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that pensions in Germany had not only raised the standard of life, but had had “the important result of improving the quality of the workman.” Exactly. Read “Bountiful Bournville” in last month’s issue of this paper in connection with this statement. Further comment would be what the Book of Common Prayer simply and beautifully calls “supererogatory.”

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The Manchester Guardian recently wrote “Mr. Hudson repudiated any alliance with the Liberals, but he had heard the good news which Manchester sent on the first night of the election in the not uncongenial atmosphere of the Liberal Club. Being called on for a speech, he said he most earnestly desired to see Mr. Cairns (Liberal) in as well as himself.

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Mr. Hudson is a “Labour” M.P. The “Constitution and Organisation” section of the Manifesto of the “Labour” Party contains the following : “Candidates and members must abstain strictly from promoting the interests of any Party not eligible for affiliation.” Is the Liberal Party ”eligible for affiliation” ? Verily, in the words of their own Chairman at the Belfast Conference, “The Labour Party were a queer party and they are a queer party.”

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At a “Socialist” demonstration recently, J. R. Clynes, another “Labour” M.P., and I.L.P’er to boot, said “The unemployed are a waste to the country. Would it not be better to enable a man to work for his maintenance and something over for the country.”

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“Something over” = profit.
“The country” = the capitalist class.

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In spite of protestations to the contrary, the “Labour” Group is out to maintain the present system. Its actions speak louder than its words, which, Heaven knows, should be loud enough to wake the somnolent wage-slave to a recognition of the real position.

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“Radical Socialism,” “I.L.P. Socialism,” “Labour Socialism”—in short “Bourgeois Socialism”—all were summed up fifty years ago in the most luminous little working-class work ever penned (the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”).

“Free Trade—for the benefit of the working class, Protective duties—for the benefit of the working class, Prison reform—for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois Socialism. It can be summed up in a phrase the bourgeois is a bourgeois—for the benefit of the working class.”

A. REGINALD

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