1920s >> >> no-185-january-1920

Have We?

Our attention has been drawn to a book review which was published by our contemporary The Communist under date 9.12.20. The book reviewed was “Communism and Christianism,” by Bishop William Montgomery Brown, D.D., published by the Bradford-Brown Educational Co., Ohio. “The Communist” says that the author, “in the course of his farewell, explains his point of view in the following very definite terms :—

 

  ”‘The contradiction in terms known as the Christian Socialist is inevitably antagonistic to working-class interests and the waging of the class struggle. His object is the conciliation of classes,—not the end of classes. His avowed object indeed is to purge the Socialist movement of its materialism and the means to purge it of its Socialism and to direct if from its material aims to the fruitless chasing of spiritual will o’-the-isps,’ “

 

It is a funny thing, but if the reader will turn to page 21 of our pamphlet “Socialism and Religion” he will there find the following passage:

 

   “. . . But the contradiction in terms known as the Christian Socialist is inevitably antagonistic to working-class interests and the waging of the class struggle. His policy is the conciliation of classes, the fraternity of robber and robbed, not the end of classes. His avowed object, indeed, is usually to purge the Socialist movement of its materialism and this, as we have seen, means to purge it of its Socialism, and to divert it from its material aims to the fruitless chasing of “spiritual Will o’-the wisps.”

 

Except for some obvious printer’s errors in the first the difference between the two isn’t great, is it? In fact they are near enough alike to reveal their connection and to establish the need for some acknowledgment on the part of the ex-bishop of the source of the passage. He may, of course, have made such acknowledgment, or he may have palmed it off as the fruit of some brain wave of his own—not having seen the book we do not know ; and, by gosh ! we do not care.

 

But it would be interesting to know whether our brochure has really converted a bishop from the benighted purveyor of spookism into a real dispenser of light and learning. He might do worse than send us a copy of his book for review, in which case our publishing department might be prevailed upon to return him the 3d. he paid for our brochure, “Socialism and Religion“—if he paid for it.

 

(Editorial  Committee.)