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Western Clarion Sep 16, 1922

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A Journal of
Official Organ of
No. 875.   EIGHTEENTH YEAR      Twice a Month        VANCOUVER, B. C, SEPTEMBER 16, 1922.
The Genius
THERE is an idea, more evenly distributed
than wealth, that there must arise a great
man to arouse society into intelligent—or at
least comprehensive—action: that society droops,
like a lily in the sun, for lack of a Moses (or shall
we say a Genghis?) to transform its petrified apathy
into fruitful action; that indeed our case is hopeless, until the days of the conqueror shall be fulfilled.
It is an idea quite plausible, but who shall deem it
probable? It is not new, and it is eminently satisfying to our vanity—which it flatters, in its implication of values.—and to our steadfast veneration for deep-rooted custom and conservatism.
History gives little "sanction to such hope. Yet
it is no argument that what has not been, may not
be. Far from it. and none may guage the tumultuous detail of the future. There is an ever gathering complex of social circumstance which, in interaction with all that is, contrives a steadily growing
intricacy of social relation. The progress of technique, and with it the capacity for logical reason,
presents a continually changing facade of experience, on which are sculptured out and intermingled
with the relics of former experience the new forces
of the dominating present. The process of thought
is a process of growth, and like all growth it is mul-'
tiple and multiform, bringing to being as determining circumstance shall decree, the blossoming ideation of progress. And it may be, in this limitless
wealth of action and reaction, that as social climax
approaches and "outworn creeds decay," the mental process may leap forward suddenly to new and
higher vantages. A species of mental mutation
(after the fashion of De Vries).
The advent of mind is a new factor in the cycle
of development. It is a constantly increasing power
in the motive of advancement. It lives in experience
and grows from experience and stores up in the
mighty granary of the subconscious, like credit in
deposit, the living substance of experience. And in
the days to come, subtly will it unfold the harvest
of the centuries, and shower amidst the realities of
a new society the wonders of its boundless potentialities. For social evolution differs from natural
evolution in this, that whereas the latter is the entire subordination of the creature to circumstance,
the former is the moulding of plastic condition,
through the medium of the iinderstanding mind to
the benefit and satisfaction of the creature. Bourgeois commercialism—for-its greater gain—turned
the eyes of society on materialist science, i.e., on
natural evolution. Thereby it saw the dependency
of the organism on environment. In the specific
urge of increasing competition, it was forced to take
the initiative, to achieve success. Thereby it saw
the lordship of mind over mass. It saw the interaction of organism and environment—for therein
lay the way of profit. But it did not see the logical
interaction of mind and matter, for in business enterprise it found the open door to success. And,
success being the keynote of its culture, it looked no
further. And it very quickly found in the turbulence of its young career that enlightenment (in all
but the technical) was a menace to its privilege.
Consequently it has sedulously cultivated the philosophy of success, turned human conservatism to its
own ends, and harnessed social intent to its insatiate
imperialism.   In effect, it has turned society into a
festering carcase, proving with an awful circumstance of evidence the fundamental interassociation
of man and mass. That is the reason there is such
an aversion to materialist philosophy; being understood only in its physical sense, it appears to deny
the influential -control of mind. Conversely, the
philosophy of the ideal (falsely so-called) appeals
to the ethic of today, because, since it judges by the
appearance of the impress, it satisfies the egotist individualism of commercial society. They are in
both cases the results of (1) a long standing misconception of the nature of reality, and (2) the incidental subordination of progress to the narrow
orbit of temporary authority.
But all history shows—and all evolution too for
that matter—that though variation is boundless, its
direction is limited by and to all the laws and needs
of native being. An animal, a plant, a seed, may
produce a multitude of variations, but they prosper
and flourish only as they accord with the laws of
life, as they move in sympathy with the chords of
inner being. And the constitution of inner being,
determines the nature of the variation and sends it
forth, not only complexed with immemorial heredity, but motived and moving in the particular channels, (-f--i*ts own evolutionary limitations If they
run counter to that fundamental necessity they disappear. Vitally (*) different, they cannot come into
existence. So too will society, though it is not an
organism but a relation of association. I.t acts and
is acted upon by time environment. It is m idified
by time necessity. But it varies always in accordance, always in correllation with its particular con-;
stitution, always as a necessity of time-conditioned
form. It is as tropic to its organisation as a flower
to the sun. To move or progress prior to the influence or pressure of its time condition, it cannot. And
although the mind is active, mobile, potent, directive
in its centralisation of causality, it is nevertheless
a product of growth, and social growth, and flourishes by and in the progression of contemporary environment. Influential as the mind may be upon
its time condition, it is yet motived by condition,
and derivable in its thought content from condition.
The effect of time condition on individuals is as
varied as the number effected. There is no duality,
either in physical or mental temperament. The psychology of the individual is marked and peculiar to
itself. To the same circumstances at the same tim*;,
each reacts differently. Even althoug': the common interest of the moment creates a common understanding. In the particularisation of individual
concepts the cleavage of idea and reaction is sharp
and clear. The idea is born of condition; the reaction is as the time. Obviously. And as the time
concepts of today are the class concepts of capitalist
property, it is natural that the social ethic should
be the ethic of class, of private interest. Furthermore, it is natural as capitalist development that
particular groups should gravitate round particular
interests. And because of the mechanics of capitalist development—the concentration of wealth on one
side, and of poverty on the other—it is clearly certain that the social majority must reach tho frontiers of social principle. For principle is but the suh-
lination of interest.   But to reach the clear green
(*) "Vital," considered in its phyvcal sense,
not in a relative one.
hills of principle we must slough, as the snake
sloughs its skin, the heavy burden of property interest. We must leave the gods and the idols of today in the wilderness which gave them birth. For
on the plane of the civilized commune class rights
change into social equity, and individual interest
mingles in, and is conserved by, the harmony of
social concordance. And we will do this for exact
ly the same reasons as the lowly snake does—not
because we wish to, by volition—but because we
wish to under the virile compulsion of pressing necessity.
Individuals acquire their concepts of principle in
precisely the same manner as they come by their concepts of interest.   By reaction to the accrued wealth
of social experience.   But whereas the concepts of
interest are confined and narrowed down to the transient conditions and immediate wants of man or
class, the concepts of principle embrace the total
c-qntingent satisfaction of man in society.      The
former concentrate on the momentary need of self;
the latter on enduring society.   Interest always
unites on the needs of the day; principle divides on
the essentials of tomorrow.   That is why interest is
always arranged to do battle for the "right,"—the
right of class ethic,--—and why principle is the patient handmaid of progress.
The process of evolution tends to uniformity of
conditions. Daily conditions and race preservation
demand compliance with the adaptations of selection; and it is round this slowly shifting centre of
attraction that the numberless variety of form and
force circulate. There are numerous individuals
outstanding, above or below this mean level, but the
average mass conforms to the necessitarian adaptations of its day and generation. As in nature, so in
society. The individual complies with the general
usages of the society into which he is born, and
which creates both himself and his cherished customs. From society he derives his gifts of imagination and his hallowed idols of illusion; in society he
is lord or slave; by society he is lifted up or cast
down. He stands always on association; never in
individualism, and he finds his personal sustenance,
his happiness, his welfare, in the same proportion as
they are guaranteed to him and, in his time, society.
Above and below, there are outstanding examples
which complicate but do not dominate development;
which triumph or suffer (as units), as the cycle of
progress favors or uproots. But below the mean
average, the social group cannot fall and continue to
exist, because it is a reaction to conditions which
have passed away; while above the uniformity it
may not rise, for then it contains the implication of
conditions which have not yet matured.
It is the maturing of these conditions which determines the movement of progress. Their ripening depends on the conditional organisation of society, and
the reaction of the social forces at maturity is beguiled by the same conditioning. Development may
be swift; it may be laggard. It may be helped or
hindered. But it cannot be hastened by our will, or
governed to our liking. And from the birth of a
star to the birth of a soul, the sorrow of travail is determined by the vitally dominant circumstance of
constituted being. Thus the constitution of society,
being in terms of interest, in terms of interest it
progresses. In the moulding and remolding of pro-
•   (Continued on page 8) PAGE TWO
The Origin of the World
By R. McMillan.
How rapidly I have run over the origin of the
world, and what a lot of questions you would like
to ask. if you got the chance! I'll tell you what
to do. Whenever you come to a puzzle—and you
will come to many—Make a note of it; and when
you have finished the story, write and ask me all
the questions you have noted down. That will be
fair, won't it? I shall have had my say; then you
can have yours!
I hope you understand that I don't pretend'to
know all about the origin of the world, or "all
about" anything. I trust you won't take all my
figures as perfectly exact. I don't pretend to teach
you exact things, or to fill you up with facts. I
want simply to give you an idea of the scientific
explanations of the origin of the world,, and leave
you to think out for yourself. If you simply read
this as you would a novel, and then throw it aside,
you won't get much good out of it, and I don't
think you will be much interested cither. But I
am hoping that you and your grandfather are both
sufficiently interested in my story to have followed
me so far.
Now I. want to stop for a little while, and go
back—to repeat things, as it were, so as to make
them plainer. So be sure that you fully understand
what I have said.
The first mist I began with was the primal start-
of the world. The force and energy inherent in
matter were what started the whirling motion, and
gave rise to all the movements of the sun and the
planets. We saw that the moon cooled off from the
gaseous state, and grew cold and dead, and we combined and formed water and solids, and there grew
a crust over the central gaseous mass. That crust
was frequently broken by the intenser heat of the
central gas, and the poor earth had a very troublous
time in getting fairly set. The water tore the solid
earth to pieces over and over again, and re-deposited
the material in the water. The volcanic forces tended to raise hills and mountains; the rains and the
rivers, and the savage tides, tended to reduce them
all to a dead level; and this world was the battle
ground of the enormous forces of nature. The air
was dense, and full of a steamy vapour, and long
ages passed in that state, while the gases were entering into new combinations with each other, and
the waters cooled. 1 expect that the first living
things developed in the sea were simple sea-weeds
and protoplasmic jellies. That only happened when
and where the water cooled sufficiently to allow of
such combinations, because no life can occur in boiling water, and at first, all the water was boiling.
But time was on the side of change, and the water
cooled, and life began, and long ages of rock tearing
and wearing took place, and equally long ages of
re-formations, of sinking and upheavals, of strife
and stress, ensued, and Ave had several different ages
of rocks deposited, not on top of each other certainly, but in a definite order for all that. We call
that deposit the "earliest" in which the simplest
forms of life appeared. Ar.d when you come to read
the Stone Books for yourself, as Fhope you will, you
soon find that there has been a gradual development
of life from then—from the dawn of life in the sea—
up to the present clay. It is so wonderful, so true,
so simple.
Now 1 want you to image that we have seen the
origin of the world up to that time which the geologists call the Carboniferous Age. I want to pause at
that, because I think it is the most wonderful and
the most important, and the most clearly marked
of all the geological epochs.
Before we go any further, let me make this clear.
There are no geological epochs at all in nature. The
process of world-building has gone on from the first
\fire mist till now, without a pause, without a break,
without an intermission of any kind. When I speak
about the "Carboniferous Age" I only mean the
time when the coal was laid down, and the air began
to clear, and life on the land for air-breathing animals became possible. But always remember what
the Latin poet said: Natura non fecit saltum—
Nature never jumps. That was one of the first
things I learned in geology.
Now I feel that, with all this explanation, I may
do what I have wanted to do, and that is to give
you a long quotation from Edward Clodd about coal
and the Carboniferous Age. It seems .to me that he
tells us far more briefly than I could do what is
meant by the Carboniferous Age. He is a much
more learned man than I am, and that must be my
excuse for the quotation:—
"Coal is formed of compressed and chemically-
altered plants, and occurs in all water-laid rocks,
although in very different states and kinds. Sachs
remarks that every experiment on nutrition with
green-leaved plants confirms the theory that their
carbon is derived solely from the atmosphere, and
we get some idea how enormously large that derivation has been on 'reflecting that the deposits of
coal, lignite, and turf spread over the- whole earth,
and the bituminous substances, as great or even
greater in quantity, which permeate mountain formations, besides asphalt, petroleum, etc., are products of the decomposition of earlier vegetations,
which, in the course of millions of years, have taken
from the atmosphere the carbon contained in these
substances, and transformed'it into organic substance. '
"The climate and soil, during long eras of the
Carboniferous system, specially favored the growth
of plants most fitted for eoal formation. A large
part of Europe (and the like conditions apply wherever the true coal measures abound) was then covered with shallow waters, both salt and fresh, divided by low ridges, the bases of future mountain
chains, and dotted with, islands; while numerous1
rivers traversed the land, and silted up lagoons and
lakes with the derbis worn from older rocks. Vegetation flourished apace on these river banks and
marshy flats, and, with intermittent subsidence of
the soil occurring again and again, was buried under sand and mud, becoming changed into coal of
varying seams of thickness. Hence the abundance
of this mineral in the Carboniferous strata, which,
as a whole, yield more of value and variety for the
service of man than all the other systems put together. Sandstones for building, marbles for decoration, metals for machines, coals wherewith to drive
them, purest oil from muddy shale, jet for the lapidary's art, loveliest colours, exquisite perfumes, and
curative drugs from gas-tar, even sugar therefrom,
three hundred times sweeter than that from the cane
—these are the rich gifts of the deep rocks, which,
struck by a more magic rod than Moses wielded,
have given up their treasures for man's need and delight.
"Of the plants forming the eoal measures, the
larger number are obliterated; but they all belong
to the lower orders, as do the club-mosses, tree-
ferns, and other forms which, in the warm moist
atmosphere of those times, reached a gigantic size,
and had a world-wide range far into north polar
regions, where coal seams have been found. Of .the
animal life that dwelt among them we know very
littlf&i, nor do the extant fragments represent a
tithe of the forms then flourishing. In the later
deposits the lower sub-kingdoms are represented
by spiders and large scorpions; by land-snails,
beetles, cockroaches (of which above eighty species
occur), walking-stick insects a foot long, huge Mayflies, and other insects; the honey-seeking, pollen-
carrying species being still absent from the sombre
forests. The first-known land vertebrates appear
in th'e  salamander-like  and 'long-extinet amphib
ians called labyrinthodonts, from the labyrinthine
structure of their teeth. The marine remains are
still dominant. The lower types persist; the trilo-
I'ites are on the verge of extinction, but higher forms
of the same group, allied more nearly to the lobster
and the shrimp, succeed. The first-known oysters
appear, and, to the joy of the epicure, have survived
all changes until now, spreading- themselves "over
the whole northern hemisphere. Forerunners of the
beautiful ammonites are found; and the fish, while
still of the armoured species, have a more reptilian
character than their Devonian ancestors."
Next Lesson:   The  Beasts of the  Carboniferous.
The Clarion Mail Bag
CORRESPONDENCE received since last issue,
is quite satisfactory and would justify a renewal of activity on the part of any comrade
who wearies of the struggle for working class advancement.
A fine revolutionary spirit of enquiry is displayed
in a number of letters and whatever is done in the
way of encouragement is well worth while. Short
letters containing subs to the "Clarion" come from
Sydney Mines N. S. Amherst, N. S. and Ottawa.
Also a splendid letter from Com. Goudie, St. John,
N. B. containing eleven dollars for the "Clarion"
from the Reds of that city. This is a desirable form
of revolutionary action, more power to you St. John.
There is little news from Winnipeg this time, but
Brandon is better represented by enquiries, subs, and
renewals. A new reader from Winnipegosis asks for
an understanding of the "antagonism, of the international powers in the oil fiields.'' So that he may
read the daily press better. He thinks the ''Clarion''
could do this well.
A comrade in Fiske, Saskatchewan, sends a renewal of his sub, also an order for "Communism and
Christianism,"  and  "Pritchard's  Address   to  the
' Jury.''   A renewal of '' Clarion'' sub comes from
Moose Jaw.
A hearty letter arrived from Com. Chambers who
is in Tofield Alberta at present. He encloses a sub
and expresses satisfaction with the "Clarion" which
he states, enables him to read between the lines of the
capitalist papers. He hopes the masses will soon reach
the stage of intelligence to throw off their yoke. Our
sentiments exactly; but we see considerable digging
ahead. F. Cusack writes from a place on the Alta:-
B. C. boundary. He is on irrigation work and
"lives" in a travelling van with sixteen others,
"like circus animals," no lamps or light. Fall out
at 6 a.m. and fall in at 8 p.m. to sleep, perchance to
dream. He says it is a Mormon outfit and doubts
his ability to write an article under present circumstances. We seem to hear Cusack talking as we read
his letter, and the faint echo of his laugh.
Lamont writes a forceful and descriptive letter
from a logging camp in B. C. He is working in his
own way upon the slavish mentality and general
ignorance in that particular district. Sends best
wishes and two dollars for varied pamphlets.
British Columbia is well represented in the "Mail
Bag" this time.
Coin. Moore sends for the "Clarion" He is in
Lund at present and quite prepared to receive the
"mental dynamite." Com. Andrews sends notice of
change of address to Vernon, also encloses a dollar for "Clarion" renewal.
Enquiries come from Powell River and Penticton
respecting the "Clarion." Subs arrived from Prince
Rupert also from Chancellor Channel, B. C. Com.
Corlan writes from Namu, too briefly, "Enclosed
find 2 bucks, keep my "Clarion" coming." We'll
do it!
Com. Goodspeed writes from Port Hardy for advice regarding immigration to Russia, also for books
on the Russian language, also sends a sub to the
"Clarion." The best thing to do is to communicate
with the agent of the Kubas enterprise—E. Levitt,
Box 301 Seattle, Wash.
(Continued on page 3) WESTERN   CLARION
Economics for Workers
ALL through our economic discussions we have
seen that the production of a surplus value,
the creation of a profit, is the direct object of
capitalist production, in fact it is the all-compelling
motive and immediate purpose.
This profit cannot convert the capital invested into
a greater value unless the capitalist exchanges his
Variable capital for living labor and exploits this
labor. But as he cannot exploit this labor unless he
advances the constant capital along with his variable
capital, although it is only the variable capital that
creates the surplus, he slumps them together and the
actual rate of gain although produced by the variable
is proportioned to the total capital which gives him
the rate of profit but does not give the rate of surplus
value or exploitation.
The gain measured by the total capital is the
rate of profit. But the gain measured by th% variable capital is the rate of Surplus value.
Profits are a disguise of surplus value and are
defined as the legitimate earnings of capital, and
the "unpardonable sin" of Karl Marx is that he
discovered and laid bare the process of the exploitation of the worker. Marx has pointed out that
the exploitation of the worker takes place at the
point of production.
In former slaveries this exploitation was quite
noticeable, but because the surplus value is not
realized until commodities enter the process of circulation, it is assumed that the surplus arises by
buying cheap and selling dear; "but as every buyer
:g also a seller what he gains as a seller he loses as
a buyer." The laborer produces a surplus value
because the difference between the price of labor-
power and the result of the labor performed are
not quivalent values. The required amount of labor
to produce the laborer's keep (value of labor power) is below the amount of labor performed. This
surplus labor equals surplus value; in other words
it is unpaid labor. Whether this surplus value is
pocketed by the industrial capitalists or has to be
divided up with the money lender and landlord in
interest and rent is no concern of the worker. The
surplus is produced before the division takes place.
'The laborers being unable to buy back that which
they have prdftuced, we have a state called overproduction, not because of the laborers' limited consuming capacity, but because of their limited purchasing power.
Marx points out how some economists "deny the
fact of over-production of commodities and speak of
the over-production of capital instead. Marx points
out that capital consists of commodities, and an
over-production of capital implies an over-production of commodities. A commodity is produced for
the world's market, not for the locality wherein it
is produced.
The investor is not primarily interested in the
profit made on each individual commodity but the
profit on his total investment of 5, 10, or 20 thousand dollars, as the case may be.
Freight, advertisement, etc., are figured into the
average cost, not merely on the commodity that
abroad than at home, where produced; that is part
output. Very often a commodity sells cheaper
abroad than at home, where produced, that is part
of the process, but remember commodities are produced for a world's market.
Marx points out in Vol. III., p. 572-573 an instance
of selling cheap abroad with the expectation of buying tea in exchange and selling it at a profit on the
home market, to make the loss good.
The "Literary Digest," November, 1920 reviewed
s book, "The Case for Capitalism," where the writer says: "The capitalist—the man who owns the
plant and takes the risk of enterprise—does not rob
the worker of surplus value created by the latter.
because the surplus value is due to the existence of
the plant, and is shared by the laborer through the
iar better standard of life that the equipment of industry has enabled him to secure. Without the plant
the laborer could only supply himself with a bare
subsistence, if that . . It is true the most of the
plant has been made and put there by labor, but this
was only possible because the wage earners were paid
to do so under the direction of capitalists, who, instead of spending their money on immediate enjoyment invested part of it in industry, creating surplus value for the whole civilized world."
This is a "strong" case for capitalism, admitting
labor produced the capital and also created the surplus value.
. In connection with surplus value a question arises
about the "Great Contradiction." This question is
briefly stated in J. B. Cross's "Essentials of Socialism" to the effect "that if, as Marx exclaims, labor
is the creator of surplus value, and if it .is through
the appropriation that the capitalist becomes
wealthy, why is it that they are so anxious to replace
labor by the means of machinery? Or to state it
somewhat differently, how does Marx explain why a
capitalist, hiring much labor and using very little
machinery, secures no more than the average rate of
profit obtained by an employer who uses much machinery with very little labor?"
We saw in the introduction of the power-loom
the effect of machinery and how it has reduced the
necessary time to produce the laborer's sustenance,
lowering the value of labor-time, which resulted in
less hours to produce labor-power value, making a
greater surplus value through greater surplus hours
worked. The answer to the average rate of profit
question is discussed from many angles by Marx.
In "Capital" (vol. iii., p. 367) Marx says: "If the
yearly general rate of profit is 15 per cent, and the
merchant advances £100 sterling, which he turns
over once a year, then he will sell his commodities at
115. If his capital is turned over five times per
year, then he will sell a commodity-capital of 100
purchase price five times per year at 103, which will
amount in one year to a commodity-capital of 500
sold 515. This constitutes the same annual profit of
15 per cent, on his advanced capital of 100 as before.
If this were not so, then the merchants' capital would
yield a much higher profit in proportion to the number of its turnovers than the industrial capital, and
this would be a contradiction to the law of the average rate of profit."
If the industrial capital is turned over four times
a year instead of two it obtains twice as much surplus value and profit so long as the capital has the
monopoly of the improved mode of production tj
which it owes the accelerated turnover; small profits
and quick turnovers is the principle followed today
very closely, but the munitions industry illustrated
how the abnormal profits soon fell to the average
rate of profit.
Marx points out that the law of tunrovers of merchants' capital holds good in each line of commer<-'C
only for the average turnovers made by the entire
merchants capital invested in each particular line.
"The capital of A, who deals in the same line as B,
may make more or less than the average number of
turnovers. This does not alter the turnover of the
total mass of merchants capital invested in this line
But this is of decisive moment for the individual merchant or shopkeeper. He makes in this case an extra profit, just as the industrial capitalists make extra profits, if they produce under conditions more
favorable than the average. If competition compels
him, he can sell cheaper than his competitors without
lowering his profit below the average. If the conditions, whieh would enable him to turn his capital
over more rapidly, are themselves for sale, such a? a
favorable location of the shop, he can pay extra rent
for it, that is to say, a portion of his surplus proft
is converted into ground rent," We will notice this
under the discussion of rent.
Marx says, vol. iii., p. 431: "If the prices of commodities in a certain sphere are below or above the
price of production a balance is effected by
an expansion or restriction of production."
We saw this effect in gold mining and munitions
when dealing with prices,—how regulation of supply and demand operated. In the profit question thc
same law applies. Marx says: "It is by such a compensation of the average market prices of commodities to prices of production that the deviations of
specific rates of profit from the general or average
rate of profit are corrected." The rate of profit is
always smaller than the rate of surplus value because the variable capital is always smaller than the
total capital, which is the sum of variable plus constant capital.
This is the key to the secret of surplus value. This
is where the mystified surplus value as profit is dissected by Marx, and exploitation laid bare, which I
will endeavor to show in continuing Profit and Surplus Value.
(Continued from page 3)
Enquiries and subs arrived from Nelson, Nanaimo, North Vancouver and Victoria. A letter from
Com. Braes, Cumberland, was received, in which he
refers to the recent mine explosion. Two of his personal friends .were killed outright and another terribly injured. Mining slaves take terrible chances
to get the price to live. He encloses five dollars for
the "Clarion" two of which are from Com. Russell,
who in addition writes from Comox sending a renewal of sub and a dollar to Maintenance Fund.
Cheering letters from Los Angeles and San Fran-
sisco were received containing orders for literature
and subs.
Com. Thompson who is in Hercules, Cal., sends
best regards to "the dialecticians" and enquiries  ,
tor mail.
Thos. Davies writes from May City, Mich, enclosing two dollars as renewal of subs to "Clarion1.''
Things in Vancouver are steadily improving. The
weather is beautiful and outdoor propaganda meetings are drawing big crowds. Headquarters are
quiet these days, but an exceptionally good programme of classes and informal talks will be going
on soon when the boys come home. The future looks
good to us.
C. Lee $1; Joe Wedin $1.70; Hugh Russell $1 ;
J. Doughis 25 cents; Anonymous #1 ; St. John, N. B ,
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Western Clarion
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AT the recent annual conference of the Canadian Bar Association held recently in Vancouver, the utterances of the specialists in
law aroused considerable interest. The general
theme of the speeches was, of course, justice. Gather
together a coterie of lawyers anywhere and they are
s-ure to feature justice and their general anxiety
about it. Jurisprudence, they tell us, gives everybody a fair deal in the courts and guarantees impartial judgment, rendered by the very best minds
the legal profession produces, who are, they say,
appointed to the bench by reason of their proven
worth and fitness, absolutely as impartial judges.
Lord Shaw has insisted upon this being recognized. The "binding force of justice" is his favorite theme, "and it (justice) is a living institution."
Lord Shaw is a member of the judical committee of
the Privy Council. The most serious case that has
come before that body in the present year has been
the appeal case in the Grand Trunk- award, a case
which very well typifies the niceties of the law and
its function in present day society, which is to define
justice in disputes concerning property rights, in
uniformity with general State administration. In
this business the Privy Council spends most of its
lime and if, occasionally (as in the case of the Russell appeal from the decision of the Manitoba Courts)
there appears a case which is not directly involved
in determining the nature of or in identifying ownership in any specific property right, such a case can
be traced ultmately to the root foundations of society
itself today, to property rights in the essentials of
social life.
However, we are not very much impressed with
Lord Shaw's figure in the face of facts as we find
them. He appears to be a highly specialized old-
timer in the law, his head stuffed full of its fictions
and his viewpoint out of focus with the trend of
modern thought. His speeches at the Conference,
in so far as they had a bearing on the "rights" of
labor as being equal in the eyes of the law with the
employer, with whom it is "free to enter into contract," have been long since well summarized by
Andrew Carnegie:
"Now the poorest laborer in America or in England, or
indeed throughout the civilized world, whoeanhandleapick
or shovel, stands upon equal terms with the purchaser of
his labor. He sells or withholds, as it may seem best to
him. He negotiates, and thus rises to the dignity of an independent contractor. Not only has the laborer conquered
his political and personal freedom, he has achieved indus-
tral freedom as well."—(Gospel of Wealth.—Carnegie).
The "selling and withholding" takes place in West
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Montana, Albany,
Manitoba, Vancouver Island, Nova Scotia, The Rand,
British engineering trades and coal areas,—and we
recall also memories of the Homestead riots where
Mr. Carnegie very well upheld his end in the "bargaining" process.
This calls to mind the remarks of Sir Francois
Lemieux, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of
Quebec, made at the Conference:
"Many times the courts have been blamed for their supposed hostile attitude towards labor. This accusation is
unfounded and sometimes utterly baseless. They lie in the
assumption that the courts are responsible for the social
and economic grievances of labor."—"Province," Vancouver,
19th August, 1921.
"Sometimes utterly baseless," says Sir Francois,
which, of course, means "sometimes" not. A statement like that, applied particularly in the U. S. A.
at the present time, is to be regarded as nothing other
than a joke—a popular legal fiction. If the law as
constituted stands in the way of regulating labor in
the interests of capital, then the case is made to fit
such suitable section of the law as may apply. Canada imitates the course in a small way, but effective-
As to the impartial judicial mind and the manner
of its appointment to the bench, Chief Justice Hunter, of the Supreme Court of B. C. is quite candid. At
the Bar Association convention he said that "such
appointments were made on a basis of 75 per cent,
politics, 10 per cent, religion, 10 per cent, geographical location, and 5 per cent, legal attainment." Of
course it is! Nobody but the lawyers pretend to believe otherwise. The only matter that may be questioned is the matter of proportion in "attainments"
determining appointments.
Charles Dickens caused Mr. Bumble to proclaim,
'' the law is a hass,'' but it is not. Emerson said the
same thing of the devil, quite as appropriately. The
law operates as a corrective to the consequencies of
a class society. Like the divinity department administrators, the legal profession try to build up the
■ ssumption of a superior moral code. The sanctity
cf property, of whieh they are the guardians, demands it. Honorableness lies in accord with a veneration for the property foundation. But, as Bel-
fort Bax says, the one administrator of the law, the
judge, "cannot be regarded in any more honorable
light than its other 'administrator,' the hangman."
When the working people of any civilized country
prove troublesome to their masters at any time the
name of the law is at once invoked. If they are very
troublesome, all the agencies of the master class will
be employed to unite in presenting a case against
them. As workers they are to be regarded as likely
law breakers, this concept having, perhaps, a more
reasonable basis than appears at first sight. The
worker's task is to work for the profit of his master
at the master's behest. All the powers of State
regulate the performance of the task and guarantee
to the employing class the product of labor. The
law recognizes the product as the private property
of the employer. Here end labor's rights and its interest in the law. Justice is wrapped in the garments of property right, and its administration by
the law is given in terms of the standards and concepts of property right. The moral standards are
in accord. The sanctity of the law is the sanctity of
private property, the mainstay of the Honorable
THE universally observed "No More War"
demonstrations have hardly had time to adjourn when the thought of war as a likely
happening again on a big scale takes Shape. Greek
snd Turk have been contending since 1919 over
Greek occupation of Turkish territory, and the bigger interests of the Allied governments have been
from time to time brought to the surface in consequence of the various antagonisms and alignments
shown in Asia Minor.
lt has been British policy for years to control,
directly or indirectly the Port of Constantinople and
the Straits. With Turkey under German political
influence Britain appeared willing to look upon Russian influence as a lesser evil in Turkish affairs. The
Secret Treaties made public by the Soviets revealed
that fact. Since the Armistice, in the interplay of
politics in the near East the mistrust existing among
the Allies has united in mutual watchfulness in the
joint occupation and administration of Constantinople. Since then the Allies have been in divided
council, a condition which has been to the strategic
advantage of the dispossessed Turk, operating from
Angora. He has managed to find ground for agreement in some measure with France and a Treaty was
made about a year ago, the clauses of which are still
unknown. The appearance of it is that France has
"backed the winner," as the newspapers say. The
situation is a little more complicated than that how
ever. Allies have a habit of quarrelling with one
another under changing circumstances. The Turk-
Angora government last May entered into a Treaty
with Soviet Ukraine, recognising existing boundary
lines, cancelling mutual debts, entering as far as
possible into trade and diplomatic relationships and
undertaking joint resolve to secure for Russian produce freedom of passage through the Straits. Thus
Russia, recognised in 1915 by the Allies in this connection—to the extent of promised domination of
Constantinople at that time—makes the position of
the Allies more complicated than ever in Turkey.
The newspapers talk of a Holy War. Holiness has
nothing to do with the matter. It is true that religious caste and creed holds the traditional Greek
and Turk divided. Religious intolerance has been
subject to and used by political and military influence for the furtherance of its purposes, extended
toward the control of desirable territory or routes of
trade. How often have the "Turkish atrocities"
been featured, and how often have the Greek Christian horrors been suppressed in report. Cruelty is
not the monopoly of any one religious creed, nor of
any one race either. But its advertisement may be
exploited and is exploited regularly nowadays for
the furtherance of "spheres of influence" and the
sanctioning thereof by political sentiment.
#       *       #
No More War, as a cry for international peace
is attractive to those good people who don't realise
what wars v are about or what causes them.
So long as the issue or the point of possible conflict of interests remains undefined, so
long as comparatively peaceful times reveal no decisive, quarrelsome question that may on surface
appearances give cause for war, the good people
pass harmless and generally well meant resolutions.
As soon as the question takes definite shape and becomes wrapped in the garments of nationalism, bols~.
tered up with its attendant patriotism, to which is
added the support of the press, the pulpit, the business interests, all concentrated on imposing upon
the public mind a code of war morals—generally
for freedom's sake, and that on both sides—when
the question is then brought forward definitely the
good people forthwith "join up" for freedom's sake!
Quite obviously, "No More War" means nothing
at all while the conditions exist that bring war
forth. Socialists anyway have no such illusions. The
one real last war is thc class war. When that's over
we'll have peace, and not until then.
Clarion readers who have been anxiously awaiting
Here and Now totals issue by issue have been rewarded by the appearance of a total in the last
two issues (and in this one) that is a little more
weighty than in the dark days of yore. The dark
days we hope are gone, never to return.
But you can't be too careful. The totals have
been maintained largely through the efforts of comrades here and there who have managed—adroitly—
-.omehow—to extract a dollar from people who had
destined it to other purposes.
Which means to say that to maintain the totals
we depend on the interest of Clarion readers. Don't
keep a good thing to yourself.   Pass it along.
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Perry, Hugh Russell, Dr. Hawkins, W. Benoit, R.
Kirkman, E. D. Mitchell, J. Nyholt, W. Smith, P.
J. Hunt, J. Douglas, M. J. Andruss, B. Tishler, Jim
Marshall, A. G. Birch, Geo. Jackson, A. A. Siebert,
J. Mitchell, W. A. Pritchard, J. A. Goodspeed, E.
Chambers, Peter Brown, W. Lyall, P. W. L. Briar, E.
Deroll, H. Adie, Abe Karme, W. McGillivray, S.
Lewis, J. Marshall, T. McPherson, G. Andrew, T. A.
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Davies $2; M. Talbot 50 cents - P. A. Askew $3.25; A.
Corlan $2.
Above, Clarion subscriptions received from 30
Aug. to 14 Sept., inclusive, total $64.75. WESTERN   CLARION
Parliament or Cabinet—Which ?
By John A. McDonald
JN two issues of the "Clarion" which have recently reached me, there are two articles dealing with the question of Parliament from the
pens of Comrades Harrington and " R." These contributions are both useful and timely so far as they
demonstrate the necessity for a re-statement of the
Says Comrade "R" in his article, "The Will of the
People," "Clarion" No. 853, "Parliament . . is no
more than a name. - It lives on the prestige of its
ancient traditions. It is stripped of all real authority ; it has been shorn of its privileges; its functions
have passed into the higher control of the modern
cabinet, and its powers are but the mockery of ' sanctioning' what the cabinet decrees."
Comrade Harrington, "Clarion" No. 847, has it:
"Parliament as we knew it a decade ago has
changed. Today it appears as a formal body giving
legality to the will of a select committee known as
the cabinet. Members of parliament have repeatedly deplored the subordinate, if not obsequious nature of their office." (*)
Parliament is, indeed, a superflous institution. By
the same mode of reasoning could we not go a step
further and say that cabinets cease to function as
they are generally dominated by the will of one individual? A story is told of President Lincoln who,
at a meeting of his cabinet in 1864 was opposed by
all his ministers on a certain issue. Lincoln called
for a vote and announced:'' One aye and seven nays *
the ayes have it." In the American cabinet the
President dominates. The secretaries of the various
departments are his appointees, and are not dependent on the will of the people for their positions.
When an estrangement takes place between president and secretary the latter is easily disposed of.
The case of President Wilson and his two Secretaries of State, Bryan and Lansing, adequately portrays
the manner of disposal. In the English cabinet,
while the various ministers are elected by the people, or chosen from the upper house, the Premier is
the dominant character. I have heard it stated by
four different premiers, in as many houses of parliament, that a vote is seldom called for at cabinet
meetings. One strong man rules, and cabinet decisions are largely the reflex of his opinions.
But, in regard to Parliament itself I am not satisfied with the position outlined by our two comrades.
During the past twelve years I have given careful
attention to the deliberations of many Parliaments
in the five chief English-speaking countries of the
world. I have heard no members, excepting those
in opposition, deplore the subordinate nature of
their office, and opposition members have made such
declarations for a much longer period than ten years.
Comrade Harrington tells us that the statement:
"Parliament has ceased to function," is correct, "if
we view the institution as functioning in the interest of all." When did Parliament function in the
interest of all? Since its inception it appears to
have been a class weapon, serving the interests of
but one section of society. As such, it is surely nothing new to learn that it has ceased to function in
the interests of all.
Comrade "R," after declaring that Parliament is
the result of a long evolutionary process, seems to
forget that there are decisive points or revolutions in
the course of this process. The modern Parliament
is no more the logical and natural development
from the hundred moot, and the shire moot, than
*hat trades unions are the natural outcome of the
craft guilds. Social and industrial revolutions make
necessary new institutions which are not accorded
the privilege of slowly evolving out of others which
functioned in previous periods.
Prof. Jenks in his "Short History of Politics," de-
* Editor's Note: The two articles mentioned were reprinted in last issue (Sept. lst). The replies of Comrades
Harrington and "R" to Comrade McDonald's criticism now
presented are subjoined hereto.
scribing the inception of the medieval Parliament
says -. " It was not in any sense of the term a popular
institution. On the other hand for many years after
its appearance, it was intensely unpopular both with
'constituencies' and representatives. The counties
hated it, because they did not want to acknowledge
the secular authority. The boroughs hated it, because the parliamentary boroughs paid a higher scale
of taxation than their humbler sisters. And all
hated it, because a Parliament invariably meant taxation. The notion that Parliaments were the result
.'•f a spontaneous democratic movement, can be held
by no one who has studied, ever so slightly, the facts
of history."    (Emphasis original).
Through the course of several centuries the institution changed. As the trading and manufacturing
class developed to that stage where it became the
dominant class in European society, Parliament became its most important weapon in the administration of class property, as well as in the coercion of
the propertyless masses comprising the proletariat.
Parliament is; today, the instrument by which the
capitalist class imposes its desires on the people,
and controls the public forces in all countries of the
world. The fact that during the war a number of
Boards such as the Railway War Board, the Munition Board, the Food Supply Board and others were
created to attend to the various departments of administration in no way refutes the contrition that
Parliament rules. All these Boards owed tnar existence to Parliament. .It was to this same institution
that they submitted their plans and decisions, and
leceived instructions concerning their maintenance
and functions. The great responsibility of effectively carrying on a military campaign necessitated the
'construction of special Boards for the purpose but,
as these were answerable in every case to the body
that created them, there was obviously no diminution in the powers of Parliament.
The Cabinet bogey is likewise easily dispersed.
What is the Cabinet excepting a committee chosen by
.the majority in Parliament to carry out its dictates?
This Cabinet can be over-ridden or dissolved at any
time the majority in Parliament may decide. To
make the statement that Parliament does not directly
supervise the business affairs of a nation in no way
discounts its importance. One has only to glance
over the political events of the two most advanced
capitalist nations in the world—the United States
and Great Britain—to see the relationship existing
between Cabinet and Parliament. When the U. S.
Cabinet endorsed the Versailles Treaty, the League
of Nations and the Shantung "steal," its decision,
far from becoming law, was soon reversed by the
Senate and Congress, and ultimately by the will of
the people expressed at the polls. The recent events
in Britain in regard to the miners' strike and the
Irish settlement amply portray the fact that Parliament is still the lawl-making body in that country.
The roundabout method of approach is made necessary by the increasing complexity of the present
social system, but the change in method does not
obviate the fact that the power to enact or repeal
legislation resides in Parliament.
In Soviet Russia today we have the intermediary
branches of control between the Urban and Rural
Soviets, elected by the people, and the All-Russian
Congress of Soviets, in whose control the affairs of
the country are placed. But this form of structure
does not detract from the democratic nature of the
State machinery. All these branches are necessary
to ensure the desires of the people being expeditiously carried out. The workers at the base rule, and can
recall their elected officials in each department
should they fail to function properly.
While the affairs of State in highly developed capitalist countries are manipulated through the instrumentality of the Cabinet, this body is itself obeying
the wishes of its maker, or in such cases as it anticipates those wishes the sanction of Parliament must
be received before any act becomes a law of the land.
Even Orders-in-Couucil are subject to reversion by
Parliament, and have often been annulled when considered inimical to the welfare of the ruling class.
SO far as I can judge, Comrade McDonald has
not made clear where he disagrees with me
in the general view of Parliament-^-that it
does function.
I hold that Parliament is neither powerless nor
superfluous, and to combat the sentiment that it is
was precisely the purpose of my article.
In matters of fact, however, I am entirely at odds
with Comrade McDonald. He says: "Parliament
is indeed a superfluous institution. By the same
mode of reasoning could we not go a step further
and say that Cabinets have ceased to function as
they are generally dominated by the will of an individual?" Then we have a story of Lincoln which
may or may not be true of some minor matter, and
which can be regarded purely as a joke. I recollect that Seward, Cameron, and the other serious
minded men who were his cabinet ministers had their
patience tried more than once by his untimely and,
to them, unseemly jokes. But cabinets are not dominated by the will of any individual; rather by the
needs of a class. If Comrade McDonald will review
his own statements of the United States and the
League of Nations this will be apparent.
In the American Cabinet the President dominates
by virtue of his constitutional powers, which are
greater than those of any other governmental official in the world. But he is not elected by the people. Yet who does not remember the sorry plight
of Wilson in the closing days of his office, and who
shall say that he was not prompted—I might say
forced—to alter his tactics absolutely during his
second term of office.
Again, the British Cabinet is not elected by the
people or chosen from the Upper House. In theory,
the king asks someone to form a government, and
the people then accept or reject it. Actually, two
at least of the ministers, the Foreign and Home
Secretaries are chosen by the Manchester cotton
lords and the Birmingham steel lords, and in the
Foreign Office, no matter what political complexion
the government may have, continuity of policy is
and has long been unconditionally maintained.
I can very well believe, not on the say so of four,
or forty-four premiers, that a vote is seldom called
for in cabinet meetings, though not because "one
strong man rules," etc., but because the entire gang
has already received a hint, a strong hint, as to how
they are expected to act. Take Lloyd George, the
one dominator who has survived the mercurial nature of "capital today" and its requirements. Bullitt tells us that Lloyd George said to him, "as long
as the British press is doing this kind of thing how
can you expect me to be sensible about Russia?"
(Bullitt Mission to Russia, p. 66).
But let us take what the logicians call a deductive view, that is, from general conditions to a particular consequence. When I said that Parliament
had ceased to function in the interest of all, I had in
mind all those represented. When the vote was extended to the workers, with each enlargement of the
franchise, we find an increasing interest in their welfare manifested by the politicians. It is quite
patent that even in the bewildered state of slave mentality as we see it, voters will resent any intert-
ference with what they consider their rights. And
any politician from a working-class centre who dared
to consistently attack these rights would very soon
realize that, while dealing with the "lower orders"
tra la, he was not dealing with mud and clay exactly.
It is equally plain that political experience would
enlarge their political vision and demands. As these
demands came from a propertyless class, their intrusion into an institution which concerned itself almost entirely with property would, of course, cause ■i
some annoyance. When, through various arrangements, men from this propertyless class became members of Parliament, the annoyance became a positive
menace. Assuming that to withdraw the franchise
would* hardly be practicable, some action would be
required to enable Parliament to devote its energies
to the proper ordering of property relations in face
of obstruction tactics on the part of members representing and answerable to the propertyless. Maine,
the author of "Ancient Law," had all this in mind
when he said: "No multitudinous assembly which
seeks really to govern can possibly be free from it;
and it will probably lead to a constitutional revolution, the House of Commons abandoning the greater
part of its legislative authority to a Cabinet of Executive Ministers." (Popular Governments, p. 95).
The present state of the franchise makes this more
than ever necessary. When the franchise was
edged about with property restrictions, the assumption of such powers by the cabinet would have been
hazardous; while an instrument of class rule, there
were sections of the master class whose interests were
opposed, indeed, through this very fact the extension
of the franchise was, if not consummated, at least
accelerated, And while these sections contended for
political advantage, with varying fortunes, Parliament nevertheless functioned in the interest of all
Failure to observe this has caused many who pride
themselves on their Marxism to proclaim against
Parliament as obsolete and useless. Parliament is
just as potent as it ever was, for in it and it alone
rests the constitutional power to make any course
legal or illegal. War Boards have nothing to do
with the case at all. It is a question of constitutional
practice. And Comrade McDonald, when he seeks
to dispose of the "Cabinet bogey," merely ignores
it. In fact he says that the Cabinet's powers are
"the result of the increasing complexity of the present social system." But Parliament was quite
equal to this complexity until personal matters commenced to gum the machinery, and in my opinion
these powers result from an increasing danger of
working class obstruction, if not usurpation, and I
mean in matters of a reform character.
However, as regards members of Parliament—
and government members at that—deploring the obi-
sequious nature of their office, the periodic press
during the last ten years is full of it. The fight
against "Cannonism" in the United States was one
of its results. In fact there exists in the files of such
magazines as the "Atlantic," the "Contemporary,"
the "Century," the "Living Age," etc., ample material for an excellent and timely book on Parliament
if anyone has the time and opportunity to tackle
the job.
We read further that "this Cabinet can be overridden or dissolved at any time Parliament may decide." True enough, but does Comrade McDonald
not know that in this event Parliament is itself dissolved? And that sooner than permit such a political disaster even the Labor Party has voted against
its own measure in the British House?
We then have the League of Nations and the American Cabinet; but so far as I have been able to gather the American Cabinet was divided on that very
question, and the "strong man," the President, was
the sponsor for it. That doubtless will remain a
mystery for a few years yet. However, the Treaty
and the League were entirely against American interests, from Yap to Armenia, mandate, protocol
and protectorate, east, west, north and south, and
my article covers that entirely. 1 said Parliament
was in the last resort thc place where any policy
was made legal.
The British incidents mentioned by Comrade McDonald are different. The Irish question was an excellent example of the traditional British policy of
muddling through, and I question if even Wilson,
with all his stupidity (or is it lack of vision?) made
a worse job of the Treaty. The miners' strike, on
the other hand, was a superb piece of political jock-
tying. But why, reverting to Wilson, was "the
will of the people expressed at the polls" not carried out after the 1916 election cry of "He kept us
out of war?"
The people have no will. It is manufactured for
them by time proven methods. They cannot have a
will until they become conscious of the source of
their troubles. When the slaves possess a will, a
consciousness, they will give some evidence of it.
Those who rave against Parliament are, like Ajax
defying his mother-in-law, but testifying to their
own impotence.
That governmental methods have changed should
lequire no proof. But it is a matter of fact that the
British Prime Minister as such had until recently
no legal standing, no salary, no official rank except
as a Privy Councillor—and in that was outranked by
many of the Cabinet—Home Secretary, etc., and was
not recognized by any Act of Parliament. Very recently, a matter of a few years, he has been legally
assigned a position, but I am a little vague in this
and lack the opportunity to verify it. Side by side
with this usurpation of power without formal enactment but through and by precedent in Britain grew
the power of the United States courts. But as I
pointed out and Comrade McDonald, 1 think, agrees
with me, Parliament is the recognized place of
THERE would appear to be no very great dil>
ference between Comrade J. A. McD. and myself. Yet his interpretation does not accord
with the spirit of the article in question. It was
written in terms of a political issue; Comrade MclX
makes it an academic discussion. 'It was treating of
Parliament as a popular ideological concept; Com.
Me. regards it as a constitutional idealism. Surely,
in such circumstances, it would require far-reaching
qualifications to sustain the contention that "Parliament rules." However, as theory and fact must
coincide we shall look into it.
Xt appears to be the formula which Our comrade
objects to. For he says "Parliament is a superfluous institution." It is—as an expression of the will
of the people. And if Parliament is "the instrument
whereby the capitalist class imposes its desires on
the people," it can hardly be, at the same time, the
reflex of social interest. It is, therefore? the theoretical form of Parliament which is under consideration. As such we might concede our comrade's contention. But it would be an empty concession. For,
in the thing that matters—the practical operation—
Parliament has ceased to function as a living creative force. It is a pettifogger in legislation, living
only on the scraps of petty reform, uncomprehending the mighty issues, sweeping in fluxing power,
across a tortured world.
It may be that "the Cabinet is a committee chosen
by a majority in Parliament." But, in effect, the
Premier receives his appointment from the Crown
(i.e., the master class) ; and he (the Premier) also
recommends his Cabinet colleagues, i e., he chooses
them. Formally, Parliament sanctions the proceedings. But as in the nature of things, the ruling class
can always whip up a majority in the House, the rule
of Parliament has little to do with the matter. So
that, de facto, we have a Premier appointed by the
master, a Cabinet appointed by the Premier, and a
Parliament selected by the general capitalist class.
Theoretically, the Cabinet can be overridden by Parliament. (That is a very infrequent event. Is it
not?) In practice the Cabinet usually overrides both
the hypothetical Crown and the snppositionary
House. It is also an unsound argument to imply
that the "Cabinet ceases to function because it is
(sometimes "R") dominated by an individual will."
There have been occasions when particular incumbents, in particular circumstances, have imposed decisions. Palmerston did it; and Gladstone; ,and
Roosevelt, and Bismark. But they could do
so only because their action favored a dominant interest. Normally, this dominion is the expression of
business interests. The domination is similar to the
authority of a foreman in a public works, he is allowed a greater or less latitude in the methods to be
pursued for the. attainment of a desired objective.
Tn other words, he dominates but he does not rule.
Parliament (*) can question the Foreign Secretary—
(*) British.
and the Foreign Secretary can always evade. It can
vote war supplies; but Crown and Cabinet declare
the war. It can discuss treaties; but the Cabinet signs
them. True, Parliament never had much power on
those lines; but it has less now than ever. In other
countries it is theoretically different, but practically the same.
Not long ago the "Manchester Guardian" said
editorially that the country had practically passed
under Cabinet control. The London "Nation," quoti-
ing Vanderlip, says:"The world of Europe and the
lives of 440 millions of people await the outcome of
a conversation between two men."   Lloyd George
and   Pofindare,  i.e.,   the  Cabinets   of pJrit^in  and
France.   "Recently the U. S. recognised the Baltic
Republics.   Russia  and the European Powers recognized them long ago. But our State department,
its policy controlled by a group of pan-Russian exiles, has stood out and insisted that it must wait till
Russia is restored." ("Nation," N. Y., August 9.)
"All  the months  of Public  Committee  meetings,
which precede the drafting of a Tariff Bill, are the
merest camouflage.   The bargain and sale go on behind closed doors; they are no respecter of persons
or sections; and relate not at all to the real needs of
any industry.    Senate and Congress swap favors in
a cold blooded give and take for their States and
their own personal aggrandisement, and a most elaborate system of deals is worked out."    (Same paper,
same date.)    In his presidential  campaign  (1912)
Woodrow Wilson said that "a small group of Senators blocked the way to needed reforms demanded
by the people," and that "Congress was but the
foster-child of the big interests."    President Hard--
ing, speaking to Congress (August 18) on the recent
"strike atrocities," said: "I. have felt the deep current of popular resentment, that the Federal Government has been tolerant of the failure of justice .
in Illinois.    It is the regrettable fact that the federal Government cannot act under the law."   The
meaning at the back of that statement is that organized strikers are disorganizing the whole business
and industry of the country; and that those interests
are clamouring for further powers (under the law)
for the protection of workers who are willing to
work.    That is, to force starving necessity to labor
'under the ruthless dictation of the Trusts. • What
a mockery of Parliamentary representation.
Let us glance at the idealist side of it. Com. McD.
says I "forget that there are decisive points in the
evolution of Parliament,—that the modern Parliament is no more the logical development of the (medieval) moot, than trades unions are the natural outcome of the craft guilds." Quite true—as regards
Jheir class or physical form. But quite otherwise
with respect to their social idea. This is where the
misconception takes place. The trend of the matter
under criticism was to sIioav how inextricably interwoven is modern thought with the ideology of bye-
gone time, how, in spite of ourselves, we judge the
present, unconsciously biassed with the traditions
.tf the past; and because of that, how little the concept of popular representation, represented the popular will. Fundamentally the idea of popular will
is social welfare and social interest, and if the machinery of the popular will is traversed for class
privilege, it is so because of the idealist conceptions
of yesterday. That is to say, the lack of social understanding. That is the key to the vhole matter.
Did we truly comprehend social development, the administrative machinery would functio.t to our will.
But then it would not be capitalist society, and we
would not be weighted down with its biassed and
prejudiced ideation.
Those same decisive points—Magna Charter; the
Bill of Rights; the English and French Revolutions;
the Reform period; Confederation and Independence, have all left deep impressions en the social
mind. And the social mind adjudges and premises
in the static terms of its classic discipline. The outward form and show of Parliament ideally acclaimed since the 18th century as the will of all the people may still remain; but its inward spirit and first
intent have been entirely changed and controverted.
The skeptical idealists of the 18th century never
dreamed of the financial monarchy of the 20th. The
mmmmmmmmmm L
idealism of Kant and Hegel have culminated in the
autocracy of the Prussian State. The '' freedom and
equality" of 1789 quickly vanished in tbe corruption
of the "contractors" and the rule of the Corsican;
and from that to the politically entrenched bondholders of the new third estate. The Liberalism of the
mid-Victorian period, with its national aspirations
and reformist Parliament, has become—the dictatorship of the Foreign Office; and the "life, liberty and
pursuit of happiness" era of Washington has yielded
to the oligarchy of Wall Street. Surely there is a
world of difference between the Parliament of "national freedom," "individual liberty"; and "personal initiative" of the days of Bright and Cobden,
of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury, and the Coalition
cf Lloyd George. The Gladstone of "free trade"
and "Home Rule" and "Manehesterianism" developed into the standard-bearer of Imperialism; and
his political descendents now render homage to
Cromer and Curzon, to Milner and Rhodes. Surely
the Lincoln who dominated the Cabinet of the 60's
expressed a social equity that has no existence at
the political bargain counter of today. A difference
not alone in aim and scope, but also in means and
It is natural in the terms of capital that representation in the period of its growth should embrace a
wider body of interests that in its day of decline. It
is just as natural that power and control should go
with it, in steady procession, from social interest to
political trust. And no matter whether President or
King, or Parliament or man that forms the medium,
if there is privilege to save, privilege shall find a
way of salvation. From the common point of view
that Parliament represents social interest it is consequently true that Parliament has ceased to function.
It is beside the point to say it never did so completely. The relevancy is in the social belief that
it really does so, and the undoubted fact that it once
represented a wider following. The apathy of the
modern electorate would seem itself to indicate that.
With the development of business from national industry to Imperialist finance, the function of Parliament, as the bulwark of property in national industry, has been considerably abrogated and transferred, medially through the Cabinet to the Foreign
Office. For as the ruling class of today is the (foreign) syndicate and concession holder, its will and
law, its life and being, is summarized in the Foreign
Office. The Foreign Office is its hope and profit,
in the Foreign Office it holds absolute power, and
the Foreign Office is entirely beyond the reach of
Parliament—as presently constituted.
Consequently, when Comrade McD. says that "although Parliament does not directly supervise the
affairs of a nation, it in no way discounts its importance," he voices a sentiment more than a fact.
Because the affairs of the nation have given way to
the affairs of the foreign concessionaire. Because
Imperialist finance, not national industry, is the centre of social gravity; and because the export of
capital has necessitated an authority Avhose scope
has broadened from the concrete nationalism of the
19th century to the mandatory internationalism of
the 20th. That is why the Cabinet—observed in general, and no.t in isolated cases—dominates Parliament. And that is why, if one holds a preponderant influence in the Cabinet, that one (visible or invisible) will be the Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
Also, that is why Boards of Trade and Munitions;
local councils and committees; Food Control and
Railway Rating, and all the growing—but at the
same time subordinate—paraphernalia of national
affairs is committed and submitted to the care of
the National Parliament. It has been created and
equipped for local government, lit is endowed with
national powers of control, and to its care is entrusted the domestic regulation of industrial property.
But it is subservient to the greater finance, and confused and entangled with the intriguing departments and committees of foreign investments. And
in this specialized—yet interdependent—government, where the full data of affairs is centralized in
the Foreign Office, the old time natioual parliament
has no real control. For it does not know what is
transpiring in the Machiavellian counterplay of the
international chancellories. It can act—like a marionette—only after the trap is sprung; and then only
in acquiescence. -.
It is in the light of such considerations that I
se.'td—and still say—that Parliament is but a name;
that it lives on the prestige of tradition; that it is
stripped of real authority, and that its functions are
but the sanctioning of Cabinet decrees.
The Melting Pot
By Katherine Smith
THE September number of "Scribner's Maga>-
zine" contains an article by Frederick C.
Howe, former Commissioner of Immigration
port of New York, entitled "Has the Westward Tide
of People Come to an End?" Of course, with his
very unusual chances for observation and compiling
of statistics he shows a more profound knowledge of
ihe causes underlying emigration than is often
found among bourgeois writers who undertake to
educate the people on such subjects. Though his
statements are in no wise intended to confirm the
Socialist position so much straight shooting could
hardly fail to hit the bull's eye occasionally, and
throughout a very interesting article there contin-
aially creeps out the strain of economic determinism.
After reviewing in a pregnant paragraph the movement of peoples dating from the emigration of
whole nations from India and Persia and Central
Asia to Europe, to the centuries after the over-running of the old Roman Empire by the various eastern
tribes which obliterated old cultures, he has this to
"For six or seven centuries immigration came to an end.
i'upuI'i'Mon increased. The struggle for existence became
more •sev-.'-e. The Caudal system reduced the worker and
the farmer to serfdom. Wherever the conditions of life
were most difficult there the desire to escape was the
most insistent. With the opening up of America the westward movement began again, lit started from England, not
because of a desire for religious liberty so much as because England possessed ships, while conditions of life in
ISngland, following the enclosure of the common lands,
made it necessary for people to escape. The same was true
of Scotland as it was of Ireland. For three centuries old
Europe has been depopulating herself in response to the
urge oif greater economic opportunities in the new lands to
the west."
The old Puritan legend could hardly be betted dispelled by a Peter Leckie or any other Socialist writer. Then after some statistics of the quotas of the
various nations contributing of their peoples and
their priorities he says:
"Just as economic conditions in Europe crowded the population out, so economic conditions in America shaped our
attitude toward immigration and our laws on the subject
as well. We think of immigration in terms of races. We
assume that the problem is an ethnic one. Our thoughts
and our discussions run along human, religious, moral lines.
The protest of the 'old immigration' against the "new immigration' is based on the illiteracy of those who are coming now, on their lower standard of living, on their alien
culture, by many on their alleged 'different standards of
morality. More recently there has been a general assumption that the 'new immigration' was not adapted to parliamentary government and American political institutions.
The discusions in the press, in the books, and in Goftgress
have been along these lines."
Then follows a paragraph dealing with the feeling
of race superiority with the tendency to engulf the
Anglo-Saxon race by the greater fertility of those of
the Latin and Slavic races, especially the latter, then:
"Despite the emphasis placed in the ethnic side of the
question our immigration policies have been determined by
economic rather than racial considerations. They have
followed changes in the economic conditions in the older
countries. For emigration out of Europe has been shaped
by the poverty of Europe. The alien has come from coun-
/tries when the struggle for existence has been most severe. Thei filling in of America has been controlled by the
poverty of Europe rather than by any policy of our own. At
the same time our attitude toward immigration has been
moulded by economic considerations in this country. It
was largely, almost exclusively, moulded by the free lands
ol the west. So long as there was land to be had for the
asking there was no protest against immigration. Rather
every influence urged the freest possible admissions. Up
to seventy years ago, and even later, people generally felt
that the great west would never be tilled with people. It
was hardly conceivable that the land would all be taken up.
Land speculators preceded the settlers. They took up land.
They laid out towns. They owned the press. They influenced men in Congress. Western States cried out for settlers. They cared not whence they came. That was true
up to 1895. Then we began to appreciate that the land was
fast filling in. As a matter of fact there was little free
land as late as 1890.
"About this time our industries began to- take on enlarged
form. Mines, mills, and factories grew with great rapidity.
Our industrial development in the twenty years before the
war was both rapid and in the direction of massing of capital into big units. Railroads were being built, cities and
towns were growing with great rapidity. There was need
of workers of every kind, especially for artisans that we
had not trained in this country, and for unskilled workers
which were not to be had. So the employers and the contractors urged thht the gates be left open. They organized
agencies to stimulate immigration. They joined with the
steamship companies and sent runners to central and southern Europe to speed up the movement. For twenty years
our immigration policy was shaped by contrar fors, /jmploy-
ers and steamship companies. It was supported by public
opinion, in the main eager for industrial development
During these years central and southern Europe emptied
itself of 15,000,000 people, of whom one third or onefourth
returned to their native lands."
Though thc whole article is well worth while, the
columns of the "Clarion" will hardly permit it in
its entirety. However, to those to whom thirty-five
tents does not constitute a fortune, an investment in
"Scribner's" of September would afford much food
ior thought, as there is also another article on "The
immigration Problem" in the same number, which
rounds out and completes that of Mr. Howe.
Having given a fine statistical account of immigration to thc United Stales, and, incidentally, a bit to
Canada, he remarks:
"In all probability the age-long movement from the East
toward the West has come to an end. America is no longer the hospitable mother of the restless, the discontented
and the iminoverished of other worlds."
This after dealing with the laws recently enacted
to restrict immigration:
"This is a portentous fact. It is possibly the most portentous fact in cur recent history."
Then he gives the reasons, always economic, of the
trend eastward of the immigration of the future, including a neat little history of the effect of the development of machinery to the present and a prognosis of its effect in the future, always evading the
possibility of a proletarian revolution in this country,
but accentuating the probability of a great response
in the call of the east, and ending with:
"If men can satisfy their wants easier in Europe than in
America, if they can escape from the status of workers and
become owners, if they can rise in the social scale, if they
can solve the problem of life easier in some other country
than they can here they will surely do so. If the history of
man is any guide to us, men will gt where conditions of life
are easiest. They will follow the call of their stomach.
They will venture a new life as the fanners of the west ventured into Canada, as the forefathers ventured to America,
and later to the prairies of the west. There may, in fact,
be an exodus from this country within the next ten years.
Tin? history of all America testifies to this as does the history of the human race. For man has been an immigrant
from the beginning cf time. Me has eared Utile for the heat
cf the sun or the cold of the Arctic circle. He has cared
little whether he was governed by a Pope, by a King or
by himself. Given a chance to rise in the world and to
keep what he produced man has followed that call, and the
world is what it is today largely because of that fact. It
may be> that the raw material that America has received
from Europe will return to the countries from which it
came. It may be that one of our great contributions to the
future of the world will be the men who go from our mills,
our factories, our mines our cities, to contribute their training and their abilities to the re-building of tho countries
that gave us so generously of their children ln the past."
To the last of which we students of the Materialist
Conception of History can say "Amen," and to most
of which we ean irreverently say, "We told you so." •>*****
■-:<■,.   fsstprOf .: saa
..A...  ■-
~i--' "■>-•« w.
(Continued from page 1)
gressive interests, in the subjugation of man to the
means of life, of human welfare to personal profit,
the petty, the small, the weak, the unessential are
eliminated, the doors of opportunity are steadily
closed, the avenues to success and security blocked,
che pursuit of happiness made impossible; the
great seething mass, like a glacier in the mountains,
is forced to take the only path left for it to take—
the subjugation of the means of life to the use and
need of man. It is the pressure of social need that
gives us the definite vision of the thing we want.
For in spite of the mystical habilaments of an ancient tradition, the vision of society is the vision of
reality. And as that vision, that need, that reality,
are in definite antagonism to the ethic that is, society
shall set in motion the train of circumstances which
can only culminate in the social society of tomorrow,
lt is not the human equation that is important, but
the social perception of reality. That awakening is
primarily and principally a process of economic development, and the "great man" who can sway
society to his will must wait till the great circumstance has motived society by its necessity.
Consequently, the "genius" though he could and
would influence the mode of the day, could not by
the power of will or ability conjure society out of
its explicit status of time vision. He might preach
and practice, but he could not fulfil. To accomplish
is a power vested solely in the composite genius of society. It is wholly beyond the province of the individual. And it is so because society centres and
lives and has its being on the cogent necessities and
sweeping ambitions of engrossing, present interest;
while the individual draws his inspiration from an
ideal which, truthful as it may be, and glorious as
it appears is, as yet, but the harbinger of a future
society to which the present is as a "people that
walk in great darkness.''
We do not dispute the power of mind over mass,
nor the influence of ability over the prosaic. Nor do
we dispute the power of mind to react on environment in an ever growing degree. But the assumption is implicit in the admission that the mind has
acquired the consciousness of its power, the glamorous vision of its regnant ability. So long as that
consciousness rests merely on the unit, that power
remains but an ideal. It glows ruddy with eager
life only when it flashes through the awakened mind
of society. Lloyd George dominated the war period,
not by the might of his greatness but because he ex'--
pressed the socially accepted interpretations of political democracy. A quarter of a century ago the
same Lloyd George could not move Britain against
the Boer war, because he did not preach the ethics
of Dominant society. Lenin and Trotsky could influence a people conscious of necessary change, but
neither of them though they understood society as
well could perform the miracle in 1905. Because
Russian society was not ready for the task. George
Washington did not achieve American independence
by virtue of his genius but by the social ethic of
bourgeois freedom (trader's rights). Lincoln did
not free the slaves of the South because of righteousness and genius, but because the profit lust of the
great industry expounded the cost of production in
the terms of wage slavery. The great Napoleon was
not defeated at Waterloo by the "great" Wellington, but at Dresden and by all Europe, because the
upstart democracy of the Third Estate was obnoxious, alike to the commercial right of England and
the feudal regime of Europe. Knox could force himself upon the Catholic Mary of Scotland, not by the
power of a Jewish god but by the support of a Protestant Elizabeth. And he had that support because
the Protestant religion was the garb of the gods of
trade, while Catholicism expressed the sanctity of
the medieval fief. Huss was burned at Prague—
and under a safe guard of protection—for preaching the same doctrine as Luther. And the science
of today can expound with impunity principles
which forced Copernicus to silence, brought Bruno
lo the stake at Rome, and nearly entailed a similar
fate on Galileo.
Not the man that counts, but the society; not in
dividual genius, but social necessity; not idealist
perception, but time condition. When the time is
actually accomplished and the new society, grown
lusty within the shell of the old order breaks its
way out in the light of a new day, out of that pulsing mass will come the "leaders" who will guide
its first struggling hours towards the harmony of
the new society. And they will be able to do this,
not by superior ability but as instruments of superior circumstance. They may—or they may not—
stand above the crowd in detailed perception of understanding, but they are successful in the broad
circumstance of time only because they grasp in intimate consequence the omnipotence of the social
forces which in a vaguer—but.definite—way impel
the general social mind. The minds of man and
mass are gratified by the progress of social technique
and the "greatness" of leaders consists only in this
that they have been able to co-ordinate and integrate
the widely ramifying influence and wealth of ideas
derived from social progress; and their "glory"
that they are the means, in the logic of time, to accomplish the revivification of a perishing society.
That is the "genius" which will arise to lead the
world to victory, which will inspire the sordid
wrecks with fresh hope, which will electrify the
apathy of degradation, which will kindle and fan the
fire of a wonderful idealism, and endow society, in
the eagerness of enthusiasm, with the rainbow wings
of regeneration. R.
Literature Price List
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