Editorial: The Only Way To Win
The war on the world’s workers has been far fiercer and more prolonged recently than for many years past. From the Norwegian fiords to the sunny shores of Spain it has affected capitalism in all its climes. The railwaymen of John Bull’s other island”; the miners of Wales; the cultivators of the grape in “Fair France”; these are but a few of those who have been driven to strike.
From all over the civilised world, too, comes the bitter cry of the toilers against the ever-rising prices of commodities, more particularly of the essential necessaries of life, the items of the working-class fare.
France has abolished the Monarchy, separated Church from State, and parted with her House of Nobles. Portugal has dethroned and exiled her king and installed a capitalist Republic. Germany has Tariff Reform and working class “salvation” in State Insurance. The United States of America have Protection, no conscript army, State Church or House of Peers. Ireland has the “lavish” Land Acts of the Liberal party, and both Eighty Club and ugly Ulster unite in protesting that “Ireland is prosperous.” Yet despite these things ; despite the fact that all the reforms lustily shouted for by the workers here are in operation in one country or another, there is war, bitter, bloody, and brutal, between the toilers and their masters.
The workers, asking for higher wages on account of the famine prices in France, Austria and Belgium are being shot down and massacred by the Gendarmerie. In America the “Trust busters” and the trustifiers have entered into a conspiracy to smash the unions, the latest act being the imprisonment of the union secretary. McNamara, on the trumped-up charge of blowing up the office of the “Los Angeles Times.” In modern Mexico ex-President Diaz finds a worthy successor in the Liberal, Madero, who, true to Liberal traditions everywhere, is drowning every aspiration of the toilers in a torrent of blood.
In England, too, the masters are rallying for a smashing blow at the workers. A new force of mercenaries—a permanent body of special constables with a retaining fee of £5 per annum and a wage when they are actually called upon to do their filthy, black hundred’s, work—is being raised. Signs of what the capitalist ghouls contemplate manifest themselves in their persistent demands that picketing shall cease, and perhaps still more definitely in the working-class enslavement Bill recently introduced by that capitalist henchman, Will Crooks. Soldiers and police are being drafted to all parts of Ireland as in Gladstone’s “golden” days. The united force of man and gun is being used to conquer the slaves of Erin.
The lesson conveyed by all these cold, staring facts is not a very subtle or elusive one–in fact it is as blatantly, obtrusively plain as the facts themselves. It is this: The only way for the toilers to triumph is by fighting for Revolution, not reform. Social reform is powerless to affect materially the conditions of toil. Social Revolution alone is the remedy. The recent railway strike in Ireland sufficiently proves this contention. Those strikers support the Home Rulers. But under Home Rule they will be sweated and robbed, even as they are now, because they will still be, what they are under the Saxon heel, proletarians—property less.
Home Rule is a question for rulers, not for the ruled—for priests and landlords and capitalists, not for working men and women. How little the Home Rulers help the workers was shown by their eloquent silence during the Belfast massacre in 1907. None of the sturdy independence they boast of was seen upon that occasion, and they showed plainly enough that the Home Rulers’ wind and fury centres around the question of who shall suck the Irish working class orange—that the Irish working class shall be an orange, to be sucked dry by somebody, is an article of faith of Home Ruler and Unionist alike.
Remember, too, that the Irish party’s chief whip. Sir T. G. Esmonde, is a director of the Great Southern and Western Railway—the most bitter against the men. Mr. Willie Redmond also urges the men to go back to work (“Daily Chronicle,” Sept. 26th.)
No, Home Rule, like the other reforms, has proved powerless to help the workers, wherever it has been tried.
Revolution alone is the hope of the toiling masses, and not Reform. For Reform—whether political or social —does not affect the cause of the workers’ troubles. Change the entire conditions of social life and labour by the capture of the political machine by au educated and organised working class, and use it to abolish wage-slavery for ever, and to establish society upon a basis of common ownership in the means and instruments of production and distribution. Thus only can, then only will, the ills and anxieties of the wealth producers cease.
Rally to the ranks of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, for it has one Object—Socialism ;one method—Revolution.