1930s >> 1934 >> no-354-february-1934


Such is the title of the paper published by the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit, and the following quotations are taken from an article in issue No. 20, dated the 25th November, 1933.

Some of the headings to this article read as follows:—”Men of Britain,” “Fight or Starve.” “Votes are Useless,” etc., and the quotations thus: — “This is Britain under the domination of Threadneedle Street through a corrupt Parliament.” “Insurrection the only way out.” “The Green Shirt Movement is welding the workers and unemployed of this country into a fighting weapon which will soon, on the streets of every town and city in this country, throw down the challenge to the Bankers’ Combine.” “We must fill the country with trained men willing to sacrifice all in this final bid.”

These extracts briefly explain the object of the Green Shirt Movement, and, in spite of such nonsense, if we believe them, the movement is growing.

The absurdity of the idea that the country is under the dictatorship of the Bankers has been dealt with in the SOCIALIST STANDARD in three articles under the heading of the “Douglas System,” and on many other occasions. Such misleading propaganda put forward by these people is a menace to the working-class movement. “We have tried constitutional methods of changing things,” they say, “but now, after fifteen years of the most hellish peace the world has ever known, we are once again forced to fight.”

Who is meant by “we” is not stated, but neither the Green Shirts nor the workers in this or any other country have ever tried to remove capitalism (which is the root of their troubles) by Parliamentary action. Yet these fanatics are planning to “train the workers” to fight one of the most powerful fighting machines in the world, namely the armed forces of the State. After the last great blood bath is it necessary to remind the workers of what this consists? Battleships, aeroplanes, tanks, machine guns, poison gases, and huge numbers of highly efficient soldiery. Does history count for nothing? Repeated insurrections have been dealt with ruthlessly and murderously by the ruling classes, and rivers of working-class blood have flowed to waste.

How the Green Shirts intend to train the workers to combat the almost limitless resources of our masters we are not told. Perhaps it is the “Communist” way, the peashooter and knuckle-duster, etc., or an appeal to the War Office for all the obsolete weapons as a result of the “Disarmament” Conference. Do they not know that it is extremely difficult to obtain even a firearm licence.

The Green Shirts are merely another organisation appealing to popular fancy and obscuring the real issue. Surely everyone knows that we have poverty in the midst of plenty, colossal unemployment, and a thousand other contradictions. What they do not know is the way out. To get the workers on to the streets is the easiest way for the ruling class to knock all the revolutionary spirit out of the masses, and here the Green Shirts become the agents of the master class, consciously or otherwise.

The workers must first realise that the present system, based on the private ownership of the means of production, is the cause of their misery and insecurity, and their enslavement as a class, and no false notions regarding economics and armed insurrection will achieve their emancipation. The vote is not useless if backed by a class-conscious understanding. The workers certainly must organise, but it must be for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of Socialism in its stead. They should study the “Declaration of Principles” of the Socialist Party, and ” Clear a path through the present confusion.”
H. P. D.

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