The present sanguinary struggle caused by rival groups of the master class, and their orgy of rampant militarism, has shown one thing clearly at least It has shown that men who, in pre-war times, were wage slaves, display—in righting for their masters’ interests—courage, often of a most conspicuous kind. Had they, as wage-slaves, before they were compelled to be warriors, but shown as much courage in fighting collectively for their own interests perhaps they could have averted the present world-catastrophe !

For the fact remains that moral courage, and that of the physical kind, are different, brands in every way. Physical courage on the battlefield is very common. Moral courage amongst the wage-slaves of industry in asserting their “rights,” or in other words in striving to advance their own class interests, is often conspicuously absent.

Capitalism, no doubt, is responsible for the present abject docility of the masses. The latter will put up with anything !

Capitalism has kept most of them ignorant and slavish, and has crushed the best out of them. We see the workers cringing as wage-slaves, and in the role of slave-warriors defending their masters’ interests, brave to excess. O Irony !

They are apparently quite satisfied to serve the ruling class as doormats !

Now a doormat is a very useful and generally despised article. It accumulates dust and dirt which others want to dispose of. It lies there ready for use ! In fact it is indispensable !

The Uriah Heep attitude is a very prevalent one. “I’m so ‘umble” is the obvious mental state of many. The workers, if they but realised it, are all-powerful. Nothing can withstand their concerted efforts. They collectively, with complete class-conscious solidarity and organisation, can effect their own emancipation. The goal is Socialism, and the capture of the machinery of government will place the key of emancipation in their hands.

At present we are being spoon-fed with specifics for “Industrial Unrest.” We are dosed with “soothing syrups” to allay the “present discontents” and establish “harmonious relations between Capital and Labour” (the latter is always spelt with a capital “L” in the capitalist Press now-a-days). We read thus : “Olive Branch to Labour.” “Workers invited to share in government of Industry.”

The period of the war has seen a greater enslavement than before of the workers. Trade union rights and customs have been waved aside ; Free Speech (so-called) has been denied us ;the limited Liberty of the Press is a thing of the past. We have been registered and ticketed ; our homes have been broken up by a ruthless militarism, and the sinister hands of industrial and military conscription are seen restlessly working everywhere. To crown these triumphs of capitalistic effort we find our “democratic” politicians allowing the profiteers to plunder us systematically, explaining with sheer effrontery that it is simply a matter of obeying the laws of supply and demand.

We are told to “Wait and see.” One Food Controller follows another, but the plunder by the food brigands goes uncontrolled. And all the time we are told that we are fighting for “right and liberty.”

The present colossal war, which, big as it is, is but an episode in the bloody history of capitalism, has dragged ruthlessly on for three years. Over 50 million men have been swept into the fratricidal arenas to slay each other at their masters’ behest, and for capitalist interests alore. Over 10 million men are dead; 12 millions maimed for life—one Titanic devastation ! The rival groups of money-mongers, scoundrelly speculators, financiers and “captains of industry”—whose machinations started this ruinous war—are still free to prolong it ! Little attempt has been made by the peoples of Europe to get at the root of the trouble. Perhaps nothing but a “victorious conclusion” after repeated “big pushes” and “offensives”—the crushing of an opposing militarism by sheer force, with terrific losses to the crushers themselves—-will ever teach some people the futility of this damnable war.

Meanwhile it proceeds unchecked. Militarism springs up to crush militarism ; but let us not forget that this is the “War to end War” ! “There must be no next time,” our masters say. After this orgy comes the “Golden Age.” ” Social Reconstruction” is the next item on the Capitalists’ agenda. Labour is to have a glorious time. Lloyd George wants Labour to be, as he says, “audacious.” May Labour take him at his word. !

But capitalist politicians are for ever prattling, and it all means treachery to their working-class dupes. What have they done to check the profiteer ? What can we ever expect them to do, since we know that their interests as masters and ours as workers are diametrically opposed ? Let us answer that, for that is of paramount importance. It is the crux of the whole question.

If we have a capitalist government we must expect capitalist legislation, and for the interest of CAPITAL ALONE. The workers have long ago given their masters a blank cheque ; they have left it to their rulers to dispose of their lives and liberties. The ruling class act on the knowledge that the workers will take things lying down. The profound and growing contempt of the ruling class for the masses is apparent to all who can see. Unfortunately so many of the workers seem to wear mental blinkers ; they see only what is pointed out to them by the capitalist Press, which hides whatever it can of political and economic truth.

Anything which is subversive to the present regime is a dangerous theory ! Socialist literature is designated “poisonous,” and the finest, and perfectly practicable, programme of Marxists is styled “nebulous” and “nonsensical.”

And those of the workers whose thinking is done for them by “Daily Mail” hired scribes become steeped in the philosophy that well becomes docile and industrious slaves of capital. They scorn the idea of there being a Class War or class interests, and forget that just previous to this business war their masters got together a fighting fund of 50 million pounds to smash trade unionism in Great Britain !

The workers as a class do not think anything like enough of themselves. They are fundamentally all important. The parasitic upper class consider they have an inalienable right to abundance of leisure, liberty, and luxury. What do we, the workers, the wealth producers of the world, think about it ? Answer that, and according as you answer you proclaim yourselves freemen or slaves in thought.

Think as the capitalist Press tries to persuade you to, and the result is an arrested development of mentality.

Think for yourselves ! Study Socialism, and the all-important interest of YOUR OWN CLASS, the working class. It is the refusal to scrap obsolete ideas, and to accept new ones, that keep back the steps of progress.

“Reconstruction,” with a menace of even greater slavery, is looming ahead. You as a class can alone affect any reconstruction that benefit you—a reconstruction founded on your emancipation. Enough have you had of the wage-slavery institution, without any “reconstruction” thereof to strengthen its tottering walls and lengthen its evil days. Get together ! Organise for the capture of the powers of government ! That is the key to your destiny !

Socialism can, and will, only be brought about by the efforts of organised, class-conscious workers. The socialisation of all the means of production must be your goal. Control of the political machinery will alone realise for you. those splendid desires on behalf of an enslaved humanity.

You might be masters of the world did you but know it. Leisure and liberty, world-wide peace and undreamt of happiness and prosperity will be yours only by the establishment of SOCIALISM.


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