The Peace Society
A Demonstration was held on Thursday, October 13th, at the Central Hall, to further the agitation for Disarmament. It should be obvious that the Capitalist Governments of the world arm against each other because they must, war being the logical and necessary outcome of their economic rivalry. While, therefore, the prospect of economising, by mutual agreement to limit expenditure, is attractive to the employing class who have to bear the burden, to appeal to a national group of Capitalists to give up their only defence against their like-minded predatory neighbours and against the workers from whose robbery the privileged position of the Capitalist Class arises, is to ask them to commit suicide, and will naturally be given the amount of consideration such a proposal would deserve. Is it to be expected that our Capitalist rulers, armed to the teeth to defend their private property, will scrap their armaments and voluntarily sacrifice their hold on the world’s wealth merely in response to an appeal from muddle-headed reformers?
This is the measure of the futility of the well-meaning people who support such ventures.
The Bishop of London, distinguished for his Christianly ferocious thirst for blood in the late war, asked God’s blessing on the Washington Conference, meaning, no doubt, that he hoped the Empire would find favour in the sight of the Lord and get a thumping big share of the spoils in the partition of China. The speakers, ex front-line, front-page, and front-bench warriors, were no doubt doing their duty by the Ruling Class in talking platitudes about peace in the present interlude between the last “last war” and the next “last war,” because at the moment it is desirable to distract Working Class attention from the lining-up for the conflict to decide the mastery of the Pacific.
There were the usual jibes against the workers for their failure to oppose the war, from the lips of one-time recruiting sergeants like MacDonald; and Mr. Edo Fimmen, who, as Secretary of the International Federation of Trade Unions, only a month or two ago was explaining to Sam Gompers that when his Federation talked about “Socialisation,” it distinctly did not mean Socialism, and had the impudence to claim the right to speak on behalf of the Socialist workers of Europe.
The slogan under which the meeting was advertised was: “Rally in your thousands to support the war to end war.” This must have brought back to the speakers happy memories of the dope they were handing out to the workers in 1914.