Asked & Answered


You have yet to supply evidence of the “spiteful nature of the S.P.G.B.” Socialists cannot tolerate the actions of men who, under the guise of Socialism, support our avowedly capitalist enemies. We still await a little proof that Blatchford is a “proved champion of the cause.” Blatchford has pursued a consistently anti-Socialist path. Our chief need is to keep the issue (viz., Socialism) clearly before the working class. Anything that obscures it is opposed to the worker’s early triumph. Blatchford has knowingly played the game of our masters when he called upon them to take up arms in defence of “the Empire.” His support of Tariff Reform and almost every other nostrum of Toryism indicates the “cats-paw” nature of his service. “Britain for the British” and “Merrie England” are badly drawn up appeals for State Capitalism, Free Trade, and the traitorous Labour Party.

We (the workers) cannot defend “our country” as until Socialism comes it is “theirs” (the capitalists’). You ask “whether it is necessary to prevent this country being swallowed up by another power.” But surely that has already transpired. It has been “swallowed up” by the capitalist class. That class is not a national but an international class. The slaughter of the toilers after the Paris Commune should be daylight evidence of that, to yon. We work for the capitalists in this country now, but we do not know in these days of limited liability concerns whether our particular exploiters are English, German, or Japanese. Great chemical works, and anthracite mines in Wales, are already owned by “German,” capitalists entirely. Seeing that we are slaves whose chains are being ever more firmly fixed on us, it is hard to see where we have the “decidedly more freedom here than in Germany.” Really, to be precise on one point, the military have been used far more frequently against the English workers in times of strikes than against German workers. Perhaps that is evidence that English toilers have more “freedom”—to starve.

You fail to grasp our view of the “alien question.” The “alien” worker gets as much wages as he can. But, like the English worker in America, Australia, Canada, Hamburg, and Sweden, when faced with starvation fee is bound to accept whatever offers. Now you must remember that in trades that “alien” workers scarcely touch poverty and unemployment are terribly rife. The Cradley Heath chainmakers, the London dockers, the South Wales colliers, all these are classic examples. Important factors you overlook are (1) the use of machinery and wages-saving devices by the capitalist class. with the consequence that competition in the workers’ ranks is increased ; (2) the increased use of women and children to swell profits.

Our masters are quite indifferent to “patriotic” motives. When they wanted more profit they got black workers in the British Chartered Company mines in Africa to replace white. Then they ousted blacks and replaced them with Chinese. When English workers strike, Blatchford’s employers use the “hated” alien to break the strike if English workers are not sufficient. What is Socialism like “in small doses” ? If we are to educate the workers up to Socialism the preliminary work must be to clear their minds of all the pseudo-Socialist and capitalist-nonsense that bars the way.


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