A Socialist Survey

A correspobdent writing to tb.e “Daily Citizen” (4.6.14), gives information of a singular occurrence in a signal box on one of the main rail­ways. The box was visited by a company of soldiers, who were admitted in batches of nine. They were accompanied by the district inspector and a plain clothes officer, who instructed them in the art of railway signalling and block working, much to the surprise and discomfort of the signalmen on duty.

Yet the “Daily Citizen” and its supporters are always howling for the nationalisation of the railways !

* * *

When the “Storstad” arrived at Montreal after her disastrous collision with the “Empress of Ireland,” she was at once seized by the sheriff and placed under arrest. When the writ was nailed to the mast Captain Andersen demanded to know: “By what authority do you board my vessel and arrest her?” The sheriff replied (probably because the “Storstad” was a “for­eigner”) that his authority was “the authority of the British Empire.”

Under that authority, of course, anything could be “pinched.” That’s how Eugland became “great.”

* * *

Keir Hardie appears to believe that the emancipation of the workers is but of secondary importance. Capitalist measures should receive prior attention. He told his audience at a labour demonstration at Lesmahagow (Lanark) that the Labour Party were out to unite the working “classes,” but before this could be done the Home Rule question had to be got out of the way.

The Socialist Party, I might point out, are also out to unite the workers, but with this difference—they are out to unite them for Socialism. And of the various obstacles in the way of this unification they have had to encounter, one of the biggest is, not Home Rule, but—the Labour Party !

* * *

At a recent meeting of the Blackburn Board of Guardians it was stated that the sum spent in out-relief during 1913 was £2,000 less than that paid in respect of officials’ salaries. I am beginning to see why there is such a rush for these jobs.

* * *

Mr. Rockefeller’s millions appear to bring him endless trouble. He is now expecting to be called to give evidence before the Inter-State Commission which is investigating the affairs of the Newhaven Railroad, U.S.A. In one por­tion of the evidence a Mr. Millen, ex-president of this concern, said that enormous losses were made through financial trickery. He alleged that over £2,000,000 were juggled away by the late Mr. Pierpont Morgan.

We often read, in stories of the old buccaneering days of the Spanish Main, where pirates used to cheat each other out of their share of the plunder, and which invariably ended up in a fight and a lot of blood-spilling.

Similarly, to-day, the industrial pirates quarrel over their share of the booty. Whilst agreed that the manner of acquiring it is satisfactory (to them), yet, as soon as they begin to handle the loot they cheat each other mercilessly, and invariably wind up in a fight—not a bloody fight, but a legal one.

In this case blood is spilled in order to get the booty—not the blood of the pirates, but that of the toiling millions who are bludgeoned and battered into turning it over to them.

* * *

Many meetings have been held of late to pro­test against the employment of Chinese and other “foreigners” as seamen on board British ships. Yet one thing seems to have been left out of account. That is that “Sea Scouts” are now being shipped as deck hands on board British vessels. Possibly it is only to gain ex­perience—but experience of what ? Is it the same experience that Boy Scouts are undergoing in connection with the military forces ?—expe­rience that may be turned to account “should any danger threaten the Empire” from within or without ?

The scout law says : “A Scout must be loyal to his King, and to his officers, and to his parents, his country, and his employers. He must stick to them through thick and thin against anyone who is their enemy, or who even talks badly of them.” In other words the “Scouts” are there to be used as the tools of capitalism against the workers. That fact is obvious enough, at any rate. They are well organised on land ; now they are turning their attention to the sea, and the introduction of a few Scouts on board merchant ships also marks the intro­duction of the thin end of the wedge. Of course, there may be nothing in it, but I “hae ma doots.” It opens up possibilities.

* * *

The Rev. A. G. Waldron tells the “Daily Sketch” (12.6.14) that : “Modem Socialistic philosophy has had a bad effect on many peo­ple. They want everything done for them.” Which causes one to wonder what the reverend gent does for a living, that he can afford to talk like that. My experience of these professional medicine men is that they don’t do anything for a living. They live on the product of other people’s toil. To use this pulpit thumper’s own words, they “want everything done for them”—and thanks to the unmitigated foolishness of those workers whom “modern Socialistic philo­sophy” has not yet “spoiled,” they get “every­ thing done for them.”

Waldron also said that he had “tried the experiment of allowing questions to be asked after the sermon, but it was a failure. Only the fools asked questions in church.” I suppose every person who asked a question was consi­dered a fool. Well, perhaps he was. Only fools and rogues are to be found in churches, and it is the height of a fool’s folly to question a rogue concerning his roguery.

* * *

How is this ? Have the workers of Tonypandy already forgotten the treatment they got at the hands of the capitalists’ butchers ? It would appear so, judging from a picture which was published in a recent issue of the “Daily News and Leader.”

It seems that the Prince and Princess of Teck had paid a visit to Tonypaudy. Of course, they went about the mines, where their presence created great enthusiasm (which, by the way, is a very useful element, and quite necessary now-a-days to the capitalists’ game of bleeding the workers), so much so that, instead of going home, they lined up at the pit-mouth, all in their dirt and grime, just as they had come up out of the bowels of the earth, and sang with feeling and gusto, “Land of my Fathers.” This is distinctly good, only the wording of the hymn appeared to me to be inappropriate. It should have been “Land of my Masters.”

* * *

How terrifying is that oft-maligned and much misunderstood phrase, “the class war” ! How soon it will disturb the even temperament of a respectable congress ! For instance, the International Textile Workers held their congress during the second week in June at Blackpool. The congress was asked by the foreign delegates to say that the International Congress would only accept those unions for membership which stood by the principle of the class war. The English section, however, did not like the phrase, “because in England it had rather a bad repute, and was only connected with one small part of the Labour movement.” (This is where the Labour Party chuckles.)

In face of this refusal the Continental dele­gates were compelled to seek another expression, so they hit upon the phrase “organisations that combat the present capitalistic state of things.” This was accepted.

What surprised the Continental delegates, said one of them, was that, far from looking down upon the workmen, the English employers treated them on a fraternal footing, and with the ordinary politeness of human intercourse. That will explain the repugnance of the English section to the introduction of the class war principle. Naturally, if they are so pally with the bosses, the class war won’t exist for them.


Leave a Reply