Certain writers in the capitalist press are telling us that Bottomley was a canting hypocrite. What a study for the cynical philosopher? This erstwhile defender and champion of capitalism is now “down and out,” he therefore better than any other can be used as a scapegoat, a means to delude the working-class into the belief that the methods he employed were unusual, were contemptible, and therefore to be con­demned. Was Bottomley, during the war, with his highly paid patriotic speeches, a greater hypocrite than his satellite recruit­ing sergeant, Ben Tillett? Was Lloyd George with his “Land Fit for Heroes” make-believe, or Asquith unsheathing the sword and spending his last shilling less despicable? They knew that they lied, that their words were dope for war victims. What of the flood of nauseating hypocrisy that is launched during a strike, the tears of anguish from the smug and complacent fat bellies for the consequently suffering women and children; even while the same gang at the same time, fight bitterly to reduce the workers to the lowest possible standard of subsistence consistent with the maximum output of wealth. What is all the lying pretence and the soft-soaped promises given to the long-suffering worker at election times by capitalist politician and labour misleader alike, if it is not the quintessence of cant and hypocrisy? The Socialist claims that this insidious form of working-class chloroform is an essential attribute of a now useless and parasitic capitalist class. That they may justify their luxurious and leisured life and your inhuman existence with the consequent antagonism between the two conditions, they pretend sympathy to blur class cleavage; they buy your votes with honeyed words that you shall give them the power to rule you; they insult you with the return of a little of the wealth you alone of the human factors produce, and call it charity. Though you are the only useful class to-day, you have still to become con­scious of the fact. When you understand Socialism you will be proof against the cant and, humbug of all sections of the capitalist class and their agents, whether it be priest, politician, or pretending sympathiser.


(Socialist Standard, October 1922)

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