Addressing the African Society in London on Nov. 5th, the German Colonial Secretary, Herr Durnberg, eased himself of the following truths anent conditions in the German and English African possessions.

“It is not only a part of our common trusteeship towards the natives (to combat alcohol) but also good social economy in maintaining a fit and healthy body of native labour for their and our sake. For the greatest part of tropical Africa cannot be exploited by the white man alone.”
“Without a healthy and robust man we cannot colonise, and that is why we all have the identical interest to keep down and reduce the use of alcohol.”

Just so, and for similar reasons do a certain section of the capitalist class of all countries, in their home affairs, decry the rise of alcohol—because in part its use means a less exploitable worker due to his decreased effiiciency.

Brewery concerns recognise this, for whilst willing to make profit on the sale of alcoholic drinks, their staffs are enjoined to keep sober and temperate habits.

* * *

The Vicar of Lancaster (Rev. J. Bardsley) recently alluded to the declining birth-rate as “the greatest curse of the Anglo-Saxon race. Medical authorities insisted that a declining birth rate will lead to a great increase of insanity.”

Now it seems to me, that the declining birthrate is largely clue to economic conditions. The married couple recognise that the joint wages (where even both go out to work) are barely sufficient to maintain a decent standard of living ; every increase in the family meaning a lowering of the standard. And so the devil dodger’s bogey comes in.

The sore point for him, of course, is that the “curse” in question denotes the break-up of the old respect for sacerdotal authority, and with it “the end of all things” dear to the priesthood.

It should be noticed that the priestly threat of punishment upon the sinners is not of the the terrors of hell, but of earth— insanity. I had thought that this latter flagellation had been appropriated by our friends the Temperance muddlers.

* * *

Boss :—Who are you going to vote for this time, Mike ?
Mike : Devil a bit for, either !
Boss : What ! Neither Liberal nor Tory, d,ye say?
Mike : Neither : I’ve learnt something.
Boss : And what’s that ?
Mike : Why, have ye ever seen two dogs fighting for a bone?
Boss : Yes.
Mike : Ever see the bone fight ?
Boss : No.
Mike : Well, I’m the bone.

* * *

The Bishop of Manchester deplores “the light and superficial treatment of the most difficult economic problems by the younger Churchmen.” Some of the younger clergy deplore that, whatever subject they speak upon, discussion being freely allowed, they always come round to “Socialism,” and Dr. Knox is quite right to want them to get a better grip of economics because the “old controversies would become mere debates for children, almost frivolous and impatient.”

Our Cause seems to trouble the wizards, doesn’t it ?

* * *

The concealed forces of religion in politics were for a moment seen on Tuesday, Oct. 19th, when Mr. Grayson, M.P. moved the adjournment of the House of Commons to discuss the murder of Franscisco Ferrer. The Nationalist Party not only failed to act with the “Labour” Party (as they usually do), but the motion was taken by the Irish members as an anti-clericalist attack. The result of Mr. Grayson’s motion will perhaps be seen when the pronunciamentos of the clericals via the media of the Irish Associations are made at the general election, where Labour (!) candidates are contesting seats. Perhaps, however, the labour leaders can make amends.

* * *

The Pure Food Congress held in Paris during October deliberated and debated how far adulteration is allowable and can be legalised without danger to the public health.

The doctors, sanitary officers and analysts attending the Congress have not been so much concerned in opposing adulteration of any kind as they have been to reduce it to a legal minimum.

It seems we have not progressed very far, despite Food and Drugs Acts, since John Bright delivered himself of the dictum that “adulteration is a legitimate form of competition.”

* * *

Paul Lafargue in his essay on “Socialism and the Intellectuals,” states that the capitalist “directs his economists and his other intellectual domestics to prove to the working class that it has never been so happy and that its lot goes on improving.”

Proof of the truth of this statement is to hand from Germany.

Prof. Ehrenberg, of Rostock University, is an exponent of the “exact method of economic investigation,” but other teachers of economics say he is but the mouthpiece of the exploiting class. Professors Schmoller, Bretano, and Wagner are amongst those making this charge against Professor Ehrenberg.

Certain German millionaires offered to endow a chair of economic science at Leipzig University, provided that Proffessor Ehrenberg was appointed to fill it. The senate of the university, however, rejected the offer.

The Manchester Guardian, in commenting upon the case, spoke of the danger of considering sociology, economy, and history as pure sciences instead of abstract sciences and dependent upon the individuality of the teachers of them, and further says that this is an example of the crudest American methods.

* * *

Mr. Ben Tillett in Justice, 30.10.09, points out the futility of reforms as a means of bettering the workers in an economic sense.” But, “he goes on to say, “we no sooner get out of one muddle than we are plunged by the wily politician into another just as bad.” All of which is true, but Mr. Tillett lends himself to trailing the “red herring” that the workers pay the taxes, and is as guilty, therefore, of confusing the workers, as any of the political parties he rails so valiantly against—that is if the position re taxation and the working class as given in the “Socialist Catechism” is correct.

“Religious, educational, party political, or fiscal red-herrings serve their purpose to lure the wretched poor to false hopes and tragic realisation.”

Just so, Mr. Tillett. An instance comes to mind of one “of our own class dangling the herrings of their bosses before their own worker class, and act(ing) the flunkey to his masters.”—Justice 30.10.09.

The instance is a person named Tillett, who acted as an emigration tout for the Queensland Government at a time when the Australian workers were having a bad time owing to scarcity of work. I wonder if Mr. Tillett, the writer of the article I quote from, could prove it not to have been himself.

* * *

”They had tried Liberalism, and it had proved a broken reed.”—Keir Hardie at Bradford.

This must be a quite recent discovery for J. K. H., and perhaps a disappointment, for at Bristol on September 26th he spoke thus : “The Liberal Party would fight first of all for the Budget, and then it was a Budget worth fighting for.”

The first quotation seems to bear out the assertion of a popular novelist that “a cynic is a sentimentalist whose feelings have been woefully hurt.” Hardie’s feelings must have undergone a terrible shock recently. Has he a premonition that the Tories may probably be the chosen of the people at the next election, and that he has been backing the wrong horse, so to speak, in supporting Liberal measures for the past three years? Perhaps he has merely got the hump or the pip, in which case it will wear off in a day or two, and the noble virtues of the Governmental party will again fill the whole range of his vision and bring him once more to the prayerful attitude.


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