1910s >> 1919 >> no-181-september-1919

On Trivialities

Though, of course, the capitalist system is inexorably doomed to perish as other systems have perished, its longevity is considerably aided by the ignorance and gullibility of the working class. The capitalist class, naturally enough, are only too ready to seize upon the undiscerning working-class brain and to chloroform and cloud it with “stunts” worked up by the Press. And we find that even as late as this in the world’s history the fetish of Royalty still serves the turn of the masters as a means of keeping the mind of the proletarian from considering and endeavouring to eradicate the system of slavery and misery which exists today. Thus you find that the Press is full of articles and photographs concerning the tour, of the Prince of Wales who, we are told, is engaged in the “unification of the Empire’’—whatever that may mean.:

We have no quarrel with any individual whatsoever: our quarrel is with the capitalist system. Though the actions of this particular young man have figured largely in the Press for some years we know for what reason he exists. And we know that as soon as the capitalist system, has no longer need of kings and princes they will cease to function.as such. Therefore we are not concerned with them. We are not, on that account, prepared, like some, to argue that a certain “scion of a noble house” did not go “over the top” times out of number. Personally we Socialists see no reason why he he should not! He is a capitalist and performs a definite function in the system of capitalism, and the war was fought in the interests of capitalism. What we do object to is that millions of other young men, but of the working class, went “over the top” times out of number, and we see no reason why they should!

But you will find pseudo-Socialists and red-flag waggers howling themselves hoarse upon amy event that happens along, imagining that they are helping along the consummation of Socialist teaching, when all the time they are only serving to perpetuate the present system by keeping the minds of the working class focussed upon its trivialities. Which is just what the capitalist class desire.

On the other hand, the Socialist does not fill the columns of his Press with diatribes against “profiteers,” Royalty,” and’ the like, and eulogies of Bolshevists, ” simple-lifers,” or others, He just, all the time and every time, uses his energy and his ink in showing the workers wherein lies their salvation from the poverty and misery that is their lot.

Thus we tell the working class that the capitalist system is served as well by a description of the Empire tour of the Prince of Wales in the “Express” as by an outburst against the menu of the Ritz Hotel in the columns of a “Labour” paper, and we warn them not to waste time in discussing either; but to concern themselves only with the abolition of the existing system of society. All else is of no account.

The main object of the worker should be to achieve his emancipation, and to do that he needs must think clearly. But so long as his brain is switched from one passing phase to another by jingo “stunts” or labour “stunts” he will remain the slave he is to-day.

Stanley H. Steele