Hybrids and things

“Nature abhors hybrids.” Thus inditeth VAUOC. Vauoc is not a hybrid. He is a writer in the Referee. There are other words that more truly describe him, but we remember this is a family journal and refrain. Under the elegant sub-title of “Mixtures of Mud” he dwells upon the antipathy and loathing expressed toward the offspring of inter-racial marriages or unions. The analogy Vauoc would like his readers to draw is that much of the Liberal-Nationalist Socialism (whatever that is) of to-day is pretty much the same in respect to thought—a mixture of undesirables. “They are intellectual half-castes, quadroons, mestizoes, and octoroons.” Well, Liberal-Nationalist Socialism may be all that, but what is this multi-named monstrosity ? A Liberal in one who stands for the continuance of the present system with its unemployment, poverty, prostitution and periodical breakdown, for ever and ever, amen. A Nationalist is one who is out for the same sweet condition of things applied more particularly to the Emerald Isle, and who resents the interference of the English capitalists in what he considers his home affairs. A Socialist is one who considers hunger and nakedness out of place and villainous in a world overflowing with food and clothing. He proposes to end the anomaly. Vauoc’s use of the three categories as an all embracing whole requires a little elucidation. Has anyone ever heard of a Christian-Atheist ? A Liberal Socialist or Nationalist Socialist is about as reasonable.

Whilst classifying everyone who is not a Conservative as an intellectual half-caste, a mixture of mud, he is generous enough to say that there certainly is something to be said for Socialism. As witness :

“The one considerable plea for Socialism is the contrast between the misery in our midst and the plethora of ill-spent wealth that is often ill-gotten. A walk through the mean streets of London, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool ; a shilling seat at a cup-tie match ; an hour spent at Liverpool Street or Baker Street Station from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. as the trains disgorge the manual workers of the Great City are enough to show that an alarming proportion of the British townsmen is degenerating. The cause of much human decay is want of proper nurture, housing, food, warmth, ventilation, exercise, pure milk and sound mothercraft. Drink, heredity, and improvident marriage account for much, but the fact remains that the people of the mean streets of England are the physical inferiors of those in the same class of life in Germany. It does not follow that what one autocratic beaurocracy has done to grade up the people a popular Government may do, but it does follow that the existence of millions of stunted and hungry people side by side with Yankees or cosmopolitans who give dinners at £60 a head and live idly in riotous profusion engenders discontent that takes the form of desiring revolutionary change. To the hungry, no change can be for the worse.”

The remaining space at Vauoc’s disposal he does not use to point out a way by which this state of affairs might be remedied, but in gentlemanly references to “bastard Cobdenism, the rodent ulcer of Socialism,” and “sich.” But we at least may find solace in the fact that nature has also kindly provided a place in her antipathies for Vauoc. It is quite open to question whether Nature does or does not abhor hybrids, but there is no gainsaying the fact that “Nature abhors a vacuum.”


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