Editorial: The Powder Trust and Peace

We cull the following curious note from the daily paper of December 14th.

“The Powder Trust as an agency for the prevention of war was the curious anomaly disclosed in the Federal investigation into the Gunpowder Trade Association just concluded at Cleveland, Ohio.
The members of the Trust declared they possessed the power to obviate war by refusing the supply of gunpowder to the nations. As late as 1905 the firms constituting the Trust bound themselves under a heavy penalty to make no sales to Governments without the consent of all the firms. They also fixed the price at which the Governments might acquire powder, thus establishing the fact that ‘the nations of the world are the playthings of a Trust.'”

As in most bourgeois reasoning, however, there is an important flaw in the above association of the Powder Trust with peace. Peace means bad trade to a powder Trust. War means good trade and high profits. The Powder Trust is formed, not for philanthrophy, but for high profits. It wants to increase the use of gunpowder, hence the very economic basis of the Powder Trust clearly determines that it shall, like the army, the navy, the makers of artillery, etc., throw the whole of such influence as it possesses against peace and in favour of war. Whatever good intentions the members of the Powder Trust might have, they all vanish before material interests, and even on the subject of good intentions one is forcibly reminded of the concentrated cant and humbug of the “peace” conferences at the Hague.

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