Wake up and Live

In these days of peace-talks and war preparations, Socialists are amongst the few who remain unenthused on learning that the four major capitalist powers are going to meet and “ talk things over.”

When the radio and the newspapers build up hopes of “lasting peace” or “friendship and co-operation” socialists listen with a critical ear. From past lessons we know the strength of peace treaties when markets are endangered by the cheaper goods of a competitor. So when the big bad wolves of capitalist society face each-other over the conference table, we don’t expect anything but a patch-up job, a stalling action which can only postpone the evil day when hostilities break out once more.

Each side claims to be the true pursuers of peace and each is ready with excuses to blame the other if at any stage the talks break down. The working class of each country will be given a running commentary by their respective masters so that if the talks achieve temporary settlement the Russian workers will be told how brilliant diplomacy and love of peace on the part of their delegates was responsible. If no agreement is reached, that will be due to “American and British Imperialist warmongers.” The American, French and British workers will be correspondingly hood-winked by their respective rulers.

If workers really want to know what all this diplomatic nattering is about they will be well advised to read the pamphlet “The Socialist Party and War”; this will tell them all they need to know about it and enable them to see through the wordy, smoke-screen laid down by the ruling class which sends millions of workers to their deaths under the false pretences of “democracy,” “freedom” and “better worlds” etc. When markets, raw-materials, ports and trade routes which make vast profits for their capitalist owners, are threatened, no peace treaty is worth the paper it is written on. As the result of economic causes, Germany attacked Russia while a so-called peace-treaty was in operation.

The pamphlet mentioned gives scores of other examples where political leaders have come right out with their intentions which are always guided and motivated by the economic interests of the class they represent. In 1925, Britain’s Tory Home Secretary, the late Lord Brentford, said without any qualms, “we did not conquer India for the benefit of the Indians. I know it is said at Missionary meetings that we conquered India to raise the level of Indians. This is cant. We conquered India as an outlet for the goods of Great Britain. We conquered India by the sword and by the sword we shall hold it.” The French Marshal Lyautey was equally frank about the aims of the French capitalist class in Morocco, namely to extend their trade. Profits once more—not ideals.

If Russia’s stooges in Malaya expand and snatch Malayan wealth from the British master class it would be members of the British working class who would go to defend it, to “hold it by the sword” and they would be told not only at missionary meetings but by the press, screen and radio that they were struggling for freedom against aggression. The same thing applies to any other “ trouble spot” in the world when a similar position arises. The Gromykos and the Jessups can talk till they gasp but they cannot talk themselves out of capitalism with its economics which lead to war.

While goods of every kind are produced for sale and profit, markets to sell them in and the raw-material to make them will always have to be defended at the cost of working class blood. The remedy for this terrible state of affairs rests in the hands of those who suffer most, the workers, for when the earth’s resources are the common property of all mankind and they are used solely to satisfy man’s needs, wars and the diplomats who go with them will be a thing of the past. Once more, regardless of the word-spinning at Capitalist conferences, the Socialist message holds good. Workers of the world unite for Socialism. You have nothing to lose but your chains. You have a world to gain.

H. B.

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