English Hypocrisy and the Russian Outrage
The huge wave of indignation that has lately been sweeping over the country on account of the massacres in Russia is typical of the hypocrisy of the capitalist-class and the ignorance of the man in the street. Big headlines and stirring articles have proved effective in arousing a strong and quite unjustified feeling against Russia. The English attitude towards Russian affairs has long been intensely pharissical, and its real origin, imperial and commercial jealousy in Asia, has been quite lost sight of by the public. First of all, at the beginning of the war, there was a popular expression of sympathy towards Japan, as being the “little nation,”—England’s treatment of “little nations” has been exemplified in South Africa! Next came a patriotic frenzy because some panic-stricken Russian seamen saw visions and killed or wounded a few defenceless fishermen: the killing and wounding of thousands of defenceless men, women and children by defective machinery, deliberate starvation and disease brought on by neglect, barely call forth any protest, save occasionally for political purposes. Finally, we have now a great shriek of horror arising because the capitalist and bureaucratic-class in Russia is determined, as it is in every country, to use every means to keep the working-class in subjection.
This feeling is quite unjustified from a capitalist point of view, and further it is only hypocritical, for no one, except a Socialist, can with honesty support the working-class in its efforts towards freedom. Yet we find the same people that would cheerfully starve out English strikers or shoot them down if more convenient, that ignored the fearful outrages in Colorado, and that approved the recent shooting of strikers in Italy, pretending to be horrified at the actions of their fellow-capitalists in Russia!
Perhaps it may be argued, as in the “Daily Mail,” that the Russian worker is more down-trodden than the English, and that, moreover, it is not a working-class revolt. But the fact that the Liberals use the present time to put forward their political claims, does not detract from the fact that it is the Russian worker who is revolting and suffering for it; and, as regards the Russian being more down-trodden, he only lacks the political freedom of his English fellow, and that political power used, as it is in England, to strengthen the hands of his masters, counts for nought, and only leads the worker to a false sense of liberty, for the economic slavery remains as binding in England as in Russia.
This pretended sympathy is therefore arrant humbug or cant, calculated only to dupe the British worker and reconcile him to his slavery. It is quite time that he should realise that he is being deceived and that the aims of the working-class are the same all over the world.
If any worker is really anxious to support his class in Russia, England, or any other country, let him declare his allegiance to working-class politics and join The Socialist Party of Britain.