“Justice ” of Nov. 4th, ’11, contained an article on Socialism and Social Reform. In it the one who wrote it pointed out that “not Social Reform, but Socialism, is the remedy for our Social evils. The former has been tried and found lamentably wanting. Instead of progressing the working classes (!) are going back. Even the least intelligent person must, under the circumstances, come to the conclusion that there is something radically wrong with the methods pursued to ‘better’ the social conditions of the people. The truth is, we must fall back on fundamental questions.”

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So far so good. But a little further on the writer informs us that the “Nationalisation of Railways is the most immediate task before us. The Nationalisation of our (!) mines is no less pressing . . . Of no less importance is the Nationalisation of the Land. . . . We do not mean to imply that National Ownership of Railways, Mines and Land is the goal of Socialism, however much this would help us along. These aims are only part of our policy, but they are those parts which can, and should, be immediately fulfilled.”

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This funny fellow, who wants to nationalise mines which he says are already “ours,” in the very next paragraph says :

“Statistics show that all these schemes of Social Reform have not affected the central problem—the distribution of wealth ; they have only succeeded in confusing the issue !”

Ye gods ! Was ever greater confusion than this ? No wonder Mr. H. Quelch was moved to say that “the majority of the S.D.P. do not understand what political action means.” (See “Justice” 19.2.10.) But to make confusion worse confounded, H. Russell Smart, in a “criticism” of the above (“Justice 11.11.11) says:

“But the revolutionary attitude does not exclude sound reform so long as it really is reform and not merely attempts to introduce palliatives of poverty. This has always been the handicap upon the progress of the S.D.P. Tied up by tradition to non-Socialist palliatives, it has never been able to press forward with a really revolutionary policy.”

Murder will out, you see !

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Marx says (“Communist Manifesto,” p. 27) : “A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society. To this section belong improvers of the condition of the working class, . . . hole and corner reformers of every imaginable kind.”

In order to show what the revolutionary attitude is Marx says : “The immediate aim of the Communists is the . . . formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented or discovered by this or that would-be universal reformer.” (“Communist Manifesto,” p. 17.)

One cannot help agreeing with Mr. Hyndman when he says that “the majority of that organisation [S.D.P.] were wholly destitute of political aptitude and that very much was to be desired in respect of their understanding of the basic principles of Socialism.” (See 21st. Conference report of S.D.P.) Truly the S.D.P. believe with Anna Rice that “Eberyting in dis world comes right ef yo only wait long enuff.”

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At a Suffragist meeting held in London recently, the collection realised £4,000 (“Dailv Dispatch,” 16.11.11.)

This should be of interest to labour fakers and pseudo-Socialists generally, who shout for and support the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the fond delusion that enfranchisement will give propertyless women sex equality. It serves to show which class expects to benefit the most from its institution, and who are prepared to pay in order to secure their object, viz., social power. The “Labour” candidate at Oldham, Mr. C. Robinson, proved himself as good a Liberal as the official Liberal candidate, Mr. Stanley. In an interview published in the “Manchester Guardian” of Oct. 25 he said : “On general questions I am a strong supporter of Home Rule and I am equally as firm in my support of Free Trade. With regard to the Insurance Bill I feel the principle is an extremely good one and one which it is imperatively necessary should be carried out. . . . As to commercial questions, I am in favour of the Bill which I understand either has been or shortly will be submitted to Parliament with the object of reforming the Company Law so as to get rid, as nearly as possible, of the Company Promoter and assist in enabling companies to be formed for business purposes.”

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The “Notes and Comments” writer in the “Labour Leader” (27.10.11), writing of the Keighley bye-election, said :

“The mere return of a Liberal would not add to the dignity of Keighley by a single hair’s breadth. Keighley is a labouring town, and it would simply be stultifying itself to send an antagonist of the Labour Party to Parliament.”

Then followed certain measures which. “Keighley desires” (but did not vote for). This was all very well for the “Labour Leader” if the writer had stopped there, but he commenced his next paragraph by writing :

“Needless to say, the above remarks are addressed to Keighley alone.”

which, while perfectly true, gave the show away. The return of Liberals in other “labouring towns” along with “Labour” candidates, is a horse of another colour. Halifax, Leicester, Blackburn, Bolton, and Dundee are all cases where the Liberal is the friend, aud not the antagonist, of the Labour Party in Parliament.

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When the Socialist Party have stated that the Eight Hours Day is no solution, or even partial solution, for the unemployed “problem,” they have been pooh-poohed. Many instances have, however, borne out their contention, and now here is another. Listen to Lord Furness, presiding at the BroomhiJl Collieries annual meeting on September 29th, 1911.

“The crux of the position was, however, the burning question of three shifts versus two. I wish to make it perfectly clear—speaking not only for myself but for my colleagues on the Board—that the moment the three shift system was abolished our company would be unable to work its collieries, and they proposed to close them at once. The substitution at Broomhill Collieries of two for three shifts, according to a report from the manager, would entail a loss of £30,000 to £40,000 per annum.”

Comment would spoil it.

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The “Labour Leader (3.11.11) quotes from the “Leicester Pioneer” giving Mr. J. R. Macdonald’s views on the Railway Commission, thus :

“Upon one point I can speak with some knowledge. It is stated that the men agreed to accept the findings of the Commission, whatever they were. That is not the case. The representatives of the Government impressed upon us again and again that, the report would have to be the subject of consideration, and nothing happened which makes it dishonourable or impossible for the men to reject the proposals of the Commission.”

Now one of the terms upon which the recent strike was settled was :

“Steps to be taken forthwith to effect the settlement of the questions now in dispute between the Companies and classes of their employees not included within the Conciliation Scheme of 1907 by means of conferences between representatives of the Companies and representatives of their employees, who are themselves employed by the same company, and, failing agreement by arbitration, to be arranged mutually or by the Board of Trade. THE ABOVE TO BE A TEMPORARY ARRANGEMENT PENDING THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION OF SETTLING DISPUTES.”

Judging by the conclusion, the Commission was to evolve a permanent method of settling disputes.

The Commission was to investigate the scheme of 1907 and “report what changes were desirable with a view to the prompt and satisfactory settlement of differences.” And this follows :

“Assurances have been given by both parties that they will accept the findings of the Commission.” Which makes Macdonald look a liar.

J. B. S.

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