The Greater War: Our Appeal For Recruits
To the members of the working class:
For the moment the anti-Socialists have triumphed, and Europe is plunged in anarchy and bloodshed, while over the seas pillage and death have spread their wings. The much vaunted “intellectual development of society,” the great “progress of capitalist civilisation,” the “directive ability” and the “administrative powers” that the master class are supposed to monopolise, have resulted in a vile and vicious struggle between them as to which can murder most of OUR class—the WORKING CLASS.
This is your reward for trusting your enemy; for when either or both sides become exhausted in this conflict, the master class will patch up their little difference, but will continue the Greater war—the subjection and robbery of the working class.
“Peace, perfect Peace,” sing the churches; but “pieces, golden pieces,” chirp the masters, and in their fight for markets in which to realise the wealth stolen from the workers, the Christian croakers and peace praters find their answer as the bullets find their billets in the sons of God, and leading church divines draw dividends from the sale of powder.
This is the reward of those who have foolishly placed reliance on religion.
But meantime the workers have suddenly become important, and particularly the strong, young men. To them appeals are being made; threats even, and hints of probable unemployment are given; while the “superior persons” vie with each other in flattering the possible recruit to their murdering machine. “Your country is in danger, fight for it and maintain your liberties!” Such is now the cry of the masters to the young men of the working-class. Strange, is it not, that the masters should now be so concerned with our country and our liberties? The perjured, lying hypocrites! It is their own country and their own interests that are threatened.
The working class have no country (they must go where they can get a job), nor have they any liberties it would hurt them much to lose.
The lot of the working class in this and other countries is just to be allowed to exist for the convenience of the master class. The workers’ portion, in England as elsewhere, is to be ground down in the struggle to gain the pittance to eke out a miserable existence.
Under the Union Jack or other national flag the workers are the slaves of those, who own and control the means of life. Here, in times of peace, THE GREATER WAR still rages: the relentless, bitter struggle against poverty and starvation. Here we have sweating, low wages and brutalising toil, child-labour and cheap female-labour, unemployment, shoddy clothing, slum dwellings, and adulterated food.
Here we have strikes and lock-outs, and the military machine used in the interests of the masters when the workers, fighting for a living, are batoned, shot, and starved into subjection. Poverty and prostitution ever increasing—degradation ever deepening : such are the liberties, such is the system you are asked to risk your lives in defence of. But a far better thing to do is what we ask of you—that is to stay at home and think.
Realise that the only party of the workers in this country is the Socialist Party of Great Britain—all other parties have misled and betrayed you—all other parties are at present betraying you. Get to understand the economic enslavement of your class. Enlist in the army of the Social Revolution. Your OWN class needs you, let the master class see to itself.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
‘The great appear great to us because we are on our knees! Let us Rise!’ (Desmoulins)