1960s >> 1961 >> no-686-october-1961
Editorial: The Case for Sanity
We live in an insane world, one that becomes more and more insane with every day that passes.
To pick up a newspaper is to find a daily catalogue of wars and threats of wars, hatreds and atrocities, murder and violence. Over all lies the shadow of nuclear destruction.
In Berlin, the two big power groups face up to each other like squabbling children, each trying to shout “Yah” louder than its rival, each daring the other to strike the first blow. In the Congo, still rent with violence, that monument of ineptitude, the United Nations, decides to intervene and chooses to do so in a sordid scramble of colonialism mixed with petty economic rivalry, the whole sorry business made worse by the usual intrigues of the big capitalist powers.
Russia, after a short period of quiet, proceeds to explode nuclear devices at a frenzied rate, sending clouds of poison into the atmosphere to threaten the health of all the earth’s inhabitants, and of even the unborn. The United States hardly waits to do the same, its rulers weeping crocodile tears the while. Between times they have both been spending astronomical sums in perfecting the ways of delivering their bombs. Huge crowds have been cheering the astronauts of both sides for their heroism, apparently oblivious that behind it all lies the terrible threat that missiles can now be directed with pin-point accuracy to annihilate places thousands of miles away.
There is uneasy peace in Tunisia, but in Algeria the dreadful carnage goes on. Laos has dropped out of the news as quickly as it came into it, but could just as easily erupt again. In South America, Brazil looked as though it might develop into another Cuba, but has not done so, at least for the moment. In East Africa, the Rhodesias, and South Africa, things remain only outwardly quiet. The fact is that we are hardly surprised any more at anything anywhere. Such is the terrible pass to which capitalism has brought humanity.
And yet, against this background of tragedy and folly, which might be expected to reduce us only to abandonment and despair, we record with pride that, far from being discouraged, the Socialist Party has not for many years been so active in its propaganda, nor its members so enthusiastic.
We have just come to the end of an excellent outdoor season, opening up several new areas and developing old ones. Audiences have been good and generally interested and receptive. Literature sales have been high. Even more encouraging are the preparations for the winter season, the indoor programmes of branches being more ambitious than ever as the meetings advertised in this issue will show.
Most encouraging of all in these days of alleged political apathy, when even the big guns of capitalist politics find it hard to hold a good meeting, is the fact that we have run two really successful indoor rallies.
The third of these is being held this month and we are confident that it will prove more successful than those previously, a fitting conclusion to the fine summer season and an auspicious opening to an even finer winter one.
In an insane world, the issue is more than ever—Capitalism or Socialism. Let us hold fast to sanity and demonstrate for Socialism!