BC Historical Newspapers

BC Historical Newspapers Logo

BC Historical Newspapers

Western Clarion Jun 1, 1920

Item Metadata


JSON: wclarion-1.0318924.json
JSON-LD: wclarion-1.0318924-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): wclarion-1.0318924-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: wclarion-1.0318924-rdf.json
Turtle: wclarion-1.0318924-turtle.txt
N-Triples: wclarion-1.0318924-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: wclarion-1.0318924-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

P7PI f. y, jtr/fot
A Journal of
Official Organ of
Number 820.
Twice a Month
Vancouver; b. c, june 1st, 1920.
DESPITE the fact that the history of the human
race records many striking examples of retrogression in social development, of civilizations
destroyed and of peoples fallen backward into barbarism—such examples are, in truth, more frequent
and spectacular, as Veblen has somewhere pointed
.out, than of those where the life and culture of
peoples have been saved from such a precarious
institutional situation, such for instance, as now
threatens the peoples of the modern capitalist
world—yet, it is indisputable, viewing history as a
whole, since the days of primitive man to the present, that there has resulted a progressive, if uneven, development. Whatever .slowly evolving
forces or sudden calamities may have operated to
sweep civilizations out of existence, and their peo-
.ples out of leadership in progress, something at
least of value, prior to the complete wreck of productive and cultural life, appears to have been
passed over to or appropriated by other peoples,
and so saved for the race as a whole.
The art of writing,- for instance, survives though
its inventors have passed out of the knowledge of
men; the dial on our watches reminds us of Ancient
Babylon, and the uses we make of algebra calls to
mind a debt we owe to an Arab civilization long
passed away. By means of the art of writing, the
preservation of knowledge was made easier and its
diffusion tremendously stimulated. The influence
of this art is recognized as one of the factors featuring the beginning of civilization, and, in great
degree, contributing to continuity and comparative
rapidity of social progress. 'The slow development
of pre-historic times, which practically synchronize with pre-writing times, may in pari be ascribed
' to the lack of such a medium of preserving and
diffusing knowledge; for, though should all.material evidences of progress be destroyed in some calamity, yet, if knowledge is preserved the injury
will not be irreparable.
Not the least of the benefits accruing from the
art of writing is the preservation of past experiences of the race. This is true in spite of two extremes of opinion tending to degrade our estimation of the study of history, that of the ultra-constitutionalists, obsessed by historical precedents
and that of those they have driven, in hysterics, to
the extreme reaction of seeing no value in the study
of history whatever.
History may be said to be the corporate memory
retained by the human race of its experiences and
to be as essential to methodical social progress and
well-being as is memory to the individual. Reflection on these social experiences shows us the
moving forces and changing material conditions
which constitute the basis of historical movements
and events, and which determine the nature of political, philosophical or religious ideologies, the
modes of social and institutional development, and
the successive forms of social organization. For
the- purpose of understanding present society and
its problems we study the past out of which it grew
organically and in which it stll has roots. We study
the phenomena of both past and present, not as
things separated, finished and given, but as things
in a cumulated sequence of cause and effect, interdependent and in ceaseless change, and, as such,
impregnated with the germ^ of future life, with
potentialities, tendencies, and the necessity of soc
ial adjustments whether for human weal or woe.
But history, as it has been and is written, must
be read with discrimination. Consideration must
be given to the historian's natural bias for or
against a particular country or race, to his class
connections, and to his political, religious and pro-
% fessional affiliations. Further to be considered is
' the period in which the historian liveq^ or lives; for,
just as there is a history of ideas, philosophical, re-
lgious, political, etc., so there is a history of the
changing methods and purposes of presenting history, as for instance, during the interval that separates the Annalist of the ninth century, A.D., to the
historian of the present day.
The great works of the classical literature of ancient Greece and Rome were lost to the World during the dark ages following upon the fall of Roman
civiRzation. Out of social disorganization slowly
and painfully emerged the feudal order; and out of
a welter of ignorance and superstition as painfully
and slowly emerged another dawn of intellectual
light and learning. Intfellec'tualism continued to
extend its influence until it began to question the
truth and threatened to destroy the influence of
the superstitious concepts and absurb dogmas of
organized Christianity. It was then that, in the
fourteenth century, all the terrors of the "Holy
Inquisition" were brought into play, and all free
enquiry, discussion and the utterance of speculative
ideas were suppressed: bigotry and intolerance,
fire and fagot, rack and thumbscrew reigned su-
, preme. The human mind had now to struggle
against more than its own natural limitations along
the road of intellectual enlightenment; it had also
to free itself from the poisonous cloud-vapors of
authoritarian dogma, accumulated during priest-
ridden centuries and enforced by ruthless political
For a knowledge of Europe in the centuries following the fall of Rome on to the ninth century, we
have to depend on the crude records of the Annalist,
mostly monks, whose aim was to set down the disconnected events they narrated as simply marks of
time to prevent the confusion of one year with another. But some progress in method began to appear with the lapse of time. The chrofiicler, who
followed the Annalist, placed the mere distinction
of time in subordination to the narrative of events,
though he told them in mere order of succession
without reference to their causes or relations in the
present or the past.
A modern historian, John Richard Green, places
the birth of historical presentation, in the modern
sense of the term, in the twelfth century. Says he:
"The growth of civilization brought reflection with
it—still more as the recovery of the greater works
of classical literature suggested larger views ot!
man's social and political relations, and, at the same
time, furnished models on which new thoughts which
they suggested might frame themselves In a
word history had begun, but it seemed to be born
only to vanish away the space from the close
of the thirteenth century to the Reformation is a
mere blank in historical progress." Referring to
the state of historical enquiry in England, he says:
"But although a happy instinct taught the English
scholars of the seventeenth century to select what
really were the most important records of the past
.... no instinct could teach them the true principles
■ on which the study of these records had to be based.
On the contrary they were led away by the theological spirit, which in every department of knowledge
has been the bane of all true progress, and the wider
questions of national or social' life were subordinated to the miserable controversies of warring sects."
Nevertheless, he points out, that the very controversies which blighted historical enquiry and method in
England were the means of giving birth to its development on the continent. The Jesuits, were, strangely enough ^unconscious midwives when they instituted the compilation of the lives of the saints ito
order to "overawe the Protestant world with a
gigantic panorama of the life and effort and perpetuity of the church which it defied." The labors of
this enterprise developed in certain of those engaged
in it a more 'scientific spirit than had hitherto obtained, and their influence infused fresh life and
vigor into historical research, and into the presentation of history.
What is said above touches as briefly as the writer
was able on methods of presenting history. Of
much more importance to the student, however, are
the various theories upon which historians have attempted to base an explanation or interpretation of
the movement and events of history. But this phase
of our subject is too important to be dealt with in
the space at disposal, and brief notice only must suffice
There is little except antiquarian value in the theories of the Annalists and the Chroniclers. Their
historic horizon was extremely narrow and they
viewed the world as a complexity of things ready
made. The pages of their annals and chronicles are
cluttered with reports of supernatural intervention,
beneficial and malevolent, into what were, after all,
often little more than tribal affairs. Alongside
those, as worthy of even less consideration, we must
place a class of histories rampant down to our day.
These are the familiar, vulgarizing ' 'drum and trumpet" histories of our schools, which are cooked to
inculcate national prejudice into the plastic minds of
the young. It is chiefly by means of these "histories" that tht extreme forms of the "great man" theory of history are fostered.
Of higher interest to the student of history and of
sociology in general, are the two modern conflicting
theories of history, the Idealistic and the Materialistic conceptions.
For the former conception it may be said that those
who hold it ba*;e their interpretation of history on a
concept of the power and self-sufficiency of the
idea, and, that thus, social progress and well-being
arc based upon man's better insight into supposed
eternal truths and to an increase of his sense of justice. To them, history is a record of good and evil
deeds, fundamentally a record of conflicts between
1he upper and the nether worlds of spirit and carnal
In another part of this issue of the "Clarion" will
be found fiabriele Dcville's brief summary of the
Marxian "Materialistic Conception of History," f.nd
of the interdependent theory that class struggles are
the historical instruments of political progress. The
reader is referred to the summary as an introduction
to a study of that theory of history. Deville pays
attention to the Anarchists, as a branch of the idealist school of historical thought, but also with them
must be grouped all bourgeois schools of political
conviction, including Liberals, Radicals, and also
Socialists other than Marxian Socialists. 0. S. ;
Economic Causes of War
Article No. 5
FRANCE entered the war for no other purpose
than to recover Alsace-Lorraine, because of its
valuable natural resources in coal, iron and other
minerals. She was convinced that Britain would
come to her aid, not only on account of the obligation arrived at in 1912 quoted in the British
"White Papers," but also because of the conference between Sir Edward Grey and the French
ministers, held in Paris in April, 1914.
Why had the antagonism between Britain and
France then subsided when they had been commercial rivals for centuries? Even as late as the Boer
war of 1899-1903, the British press wanted to roll
France in the blood and mud in which her press wallowed, and take her eolonies and give them to Germany and Italy. Tardieu in his book "France and
her Alliances," tells us as late as 1903, quoting the
"Temps" of December 24th, 1903, that "England
has never been, and can never be, an ally for
France." Why this change? Tardieu answers,
page 67: "The fear of Germany was responsible for
the Entente Cordiale ..... the King Edward visit
to Paris, the English fleet's visit to Brest, the French
fleet at Portsmouth, the Paris Municipal Council's
stay in London, last of all, Mons. Falliere 's visit to
London ..... the strengthening of the Entente is not
due to those; all such fetes have been effects, not
causes.,The cause must be sought in Germany." Page
46: "Neither in England nor in France is the principle of understanding to be sought. Rather was it
the fear of Germany." Page 57:' 'In London, therefore, the Franco-English rapproachment appeared to
be the best means of coping for the joint good of
trade and the empire. On the French side economic
interests counselled this reapproachment and political interests were not opposed to it." On page 59, Tardieu tells us that on the 14th Sept. 1901, the Associated Chambers of British Commerce passed a resolution advocating a Franco-British treaty basing their
vote on the immense advantages to the commercial relations between the two countries. In 1903, during
a visit of French M.P. 's to London, Sir Edward Sas-
son said: "Our aim should be to arrive at an Entente which is really stable, that based on material
The whole history of the past century is a continual conflict of French and British commercial interests. The Syrian question in 1839-40 brought French
and British policy in. direct conflict. In Africa they
were at loggerheads on many occasions, compromising by neutralizing the Congo Free State (of rubber
fame) to promote their own imperialistic policies of
exploitation; Britain endeavoring to obtain territory for her Cape to Cairo railroad. France utilized
the Congo Free State railway and steamers to transport Marchand and his troops, munitions and stores,
in his attempt to contest British supremacy on the
Upper Nile. The result of these conflicting interests in that region was the Fashoda incident of
1898, where France backed down because her ally,
Russia, failed her. In negotiating the Anglo-French
African Convention, of June, 1898, Lord Salisbury
stipulated that no differential treatment of British
trade should be enforced in the French dependencies
of the Ivory Coast and Dahomey for a period of
thirty years. France and England's commercial
interests conflicted in India, Canada and Africa, on
numerous occasions. The monopolistic economic
policy of France in Tunis, Madagascar, French Congo, and the French Somali coast has been a fruitful theme of recrimination between the French and
British governments. Egypt is in itself sufficient to
recall half a dozen acute crises between these two
nations. In fact, it led to the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1891. The French loans to Russia strengthened the alliance, the first loan of 500,000,000 francs
being made in December, 1888, and others as under:
700,000,000 francs and 1,200,000,000 francs in 1889.
300,000,000 francs and 41,000,000 francs in 1890.
320,000,000 francs and 500,000,000 francs in 1891.
178,000,000 francs in 1893.
454,000,000 francs and 166,000,000 and 400,000,000
francs in 1894.
400,000,000 francs in 1896.
424,000,000 francs in 1901.
800,000,000 francs in 1904.
1,200,000,000 francs in 1906.
I think this explains why France has been the
greatest antagonist of the Bolsheviki.
All friction in Africa was over the great natural
resources of raw material for the requirements of
modern industrialism, such as timber, infnite in variety, oil palms for manufacturing oleomargarine,
rubber vines, precious gums, resins, and oil-bearing
plants and fibres. The method pursued was issuing
charters to merchants forming companies who made
treaties with the native chiefs, assisted by explorers
and missionaries. Sometimes the local competition
of zealous officials pulled up the. flagstaffs whicii
rivals of some other countries had erected in the
towns and villages, and these differences were often
aggravated with disastrous consequences for the
natives, by the sectarian animosities of the competing religious sects. Uganda ran red with native
blood owing to the quarrels between the French
party, composed of French Catholic Fathers and the
British party composed of Protestant missionaries.
Those were the days when Lord Salisbury sarcastically referred to the Gallic cock scratching the
sands of the Sahara, when Chamberlain raspingly
advised France to mend her manners, and when the
"Daily Mail" wanted to roll her in blood and mud.
The treatment of the natives, although anything but
ideal in the German eolonies, has never yet reached
the stage of the atrocities practiced in the French or
Belgian Congos.
Friction between France and Britain was occasioned by the fiscal policy of France over any territory she acquired, because she created a special
economic preserve by means of tariffs for the exclusive benefit of French trade. This differentiation connot be charged against Germany in her colonies, as every British merchant knows who has traded with them. The great estrangement between
France and England arose over their conflicting interests in Morocco, which I hope to deal with in
more detail later. Britain began to court France
and thejr entered into an agreement over Morocco
in 1904. Tardieu says in the book I have mentioned,
page 194: "England, who if France had been willing,
would have made war in 1905." Morel, in his
"Diplomacy in Morocco," says that Lloyd George
issued an ultimatum to Germany when addressing
the Bankers' Association ^in 1911, but Germany
backed down because her bankers refused. France
was in a quandary during the Russo-Japanese Avar
when the Russian fleet fired on the British fishermen in the North Sea; she was afraid it might draw
her into a war with Britain, as Japan was Britain's
ally. Tardieu says: "Britain and Russia remained
at peace. For one thing, there was to be considered the importance of the Anglo-Russian trade. . . .
The English sales in the empire of the Czar were
from eight to fourteen millions sterling, and their
purchases from fifteen to twenty-five millions
Their consuls pointed out that Russia was an admirable field opened to their commercial progress,
whicii" everywhere else was hampered with Germany. Moreover, although Japan's ally, England
had no intention of handing the Far East over to
her ally. Russia might be a useful counterweight
against a friend that was too strong, while- also
offering an outlet for English industry."
The policy in colonizing is to alienate the people
from the land making the natives depend on selling
their labor power. France in Tunis abolished the
Tunisian constitution and passed the lands, which
had been previously owned collectively according to
Mohammedan custom, into the hands of the government. Then she sold the land at ridiculous
prices to French colonists, thrusting the Tunisians
into the ranks ofthe proletariat. The great abundance of manual labor has reduced wages to a very
low level, with the truck system prevailing and an
organized system of fines still further reducing
wages. The Tunisian laborer is in absolute serfdom.
Thus we find Africa a great continent for the exploitation of native labor and natural resources,
with France and Britain dominating 9,000,000
square miles out of a total of 11,000,000 square
miles; France 4% millions and Britain 4*4 millions.
It is quite clear that the flag follows trade, exploiters and missionaries. Read this, an advertisement
in the "Record of the Home and Foreign Mission-
work of thei United Free Church of Scotland,"
December, 1919, page 267: "The purpose of the
missions is not to develop trade, but trade is inevitably developed by missions. They steadily increase material needs; soap, oils, cloths, sewing machines, books, tools, follow hard on mission enterprise. Missions teach thrift, industry and honesty
in commercial dealings. It is worth while for business men to support missions if from no other motive than that they create new, larger and better
markets for their goods.''
Following One dollar each: H. Hanmer, L. R.
Taylor, A. Nordin, T. Faulston, N. H. Tallentire,
W. Smart, A. S. Willis, J. Smith, Mrs. Mathiesqn, ]
T. J. Davies, A. J. Kivi, J. Robinson, N. T. Sachle,
J. J. Albers, R. M. Alexander, Mrs. E. D., Neil
Shaw, Sandy.
Following, Two dollars each: Wiley Orr, B. E.   \
Polinkos, Hedley Metal Miners, Jack Shepherd, J.
A. Harris, R. Burns, W. A. Blake, C. Bordenhagen,   J
Roy Reid, A. A. McNeil.       ,
R. C. McCutehan, $3; Trevor Maguire, $3; F.
Harman, $4; H. Roberts, $4; H. Vindeg, $1.70; C.
C. Weelerman, $1.50; J. A. McD., 50 cents.
Total subscriptions .received, 11th to 26th May,
inclusive, $55.70.
Socialist Party of
We, the Socialist Party of Canada, affirm our allegiance to, and
support of, the principles and programme of the reTolutionary
working class.
Labor, applied to natural resources, produces all wealth. The
present economic system is based upon capitalist ownership of the
means of production, consequently, all the products of labor belong to the capitalist class. The capitalist is, therefore, master;
tbe worker a slave.
So long as the capitalist class remains in possession of tbe reins
of government all the powers of the State will be used to protect
and defend its property rights in the means of wealth production
and its control of the product of labor.
The capitalist system gives to the capitalist an ever-swelling;
stream of profits, and to the worker, an ever-increasing measure of
misery and degradation.
The interest of the working class lies in setting itself free from
capitalist exploitation by the abolition of the wage system, under
which this' exploitation, at the point of production, is cloaked. To
accomplish this necessitates the transformation of capitalist property in the means of wealth production into socially controlled
economic forces.
The irrespressible conflict of interest between the capitalist and
he worker necessarily expresses itself as a struggle for political supremacy.   This is the Class Struggle.
Therefore, we call all workers to organise under the banner of
the Socialist Party of Canada, with the object of conquering; ths
political powers, for the purpose of setting np and enforcing tba
economic programme of the working elass, as follows:
1. The transformation, as rapidly as possible, of capitalist
property in the means of wealth production (natural
resources, factories, mills, railroads, etc.) into collective means of production,
2. The organization and management of industry by tba
working class.
8. The establishment, as speedily as possible, of production for use instead of production for profit. WEST'ERN      CLARION
The Science of Socialism
Article No. 8.
RUDOLF Eucken, the great German philosopher,
rejects the basic principles of Socialism because '' Socialistic culture directs itself chiefly to the
outward conditions of life, but in care for these it
neglects life itself."
He tells us, with great eloquence, that the great
aim of humankind is to pass from the natural to
the spiritual plane of life, and "This particular way
is not a mere development, but a self-development.
The aim of the spiritual is to develop its own self
through the human being. In this way man is given
the possibility of developing a self, a personality in
a very real sense."
This self, personality, or soul of man, is of the
highest importance. Its suppression means infinite
loss not merely to the individual, but to society as
And it is because Socialism is purely materialist
and "directs itself to the outward conditions of life"
(meaning, thereby, the food, shelter, and clothing
which are essential to life), that Rudolf Eucken rejects Socialism. He finds in its principles the negation of all that which is noblest and best in man, the
ruthless suppression of the spiritual life of the individual and of society.
This contention, so ably and so eloquently placed
before the world, is considered by many to be unanswerable, and to dispose of Socialism once and
for all. Let us examine the relations of Socialism
to this spiritual life of man which Eucken deems to
be of such paramount import.
In the first place, the Socialist contends that the
most important task of men's lives is in the provision of ample food, warm shelter and adequate
clothing. They further assert that until these
primary needs are supplied it is useless to talk of
the soul of man and to appeal to the spiritual life
of human kind.
There can be very few persons who will deny
the above assertion. Everywhere do we find that
hunger, and squalor and misery are the foes of the
highest and the noblest in human life. When the
wolf of hunger stalks through the front door, the
inspiration of the spiritual slinks out of the back
door. *
Who can say that the conditions of life and of
work which obtain today are such that the highest
and the noblest in man can gain supremacy? Who
dare say that the spiritual in man can live and have
its being under the deplorable conditions of the existing social order?
Think, for a moment, of the existing condition
of affairs. The overwhelming mass of the people
in every country find themselves condemned to a
life of toil. Early and late do they work. They
are summoned to their tasks in the morning by the
strident tones of the factory whistle ,and in that
factory—which is often extremely unhealthy—they
turn a wheel or tend a machine under the watchful
eye of the foreman. Their home-life is spent in
surroundings whicii bear the ugly impress of commercialism, and where the soul of man gives place
to dollars and cents. Insufficient food, unhealthy
homes, the direct want and anxiety always on the
door-step—is there one man Avho dare say that art
and science, philosophy and culture can thrive in
such conditions. Modern Capitalism, in its ceaseless search for profit and still more profit, crushes
beneath its iron-heel1, the souls of men and women.
The highest and the best, the purest and the noblest,
all that which raises man above the brute beast of
the forest and the jungle, all this is ruthlessly suppressed. Capitalism is the direct antithesis of the'
spiritual in man.
The Socialist is in the forefront of those who de-,
sire the development of the soul of man, and who
want for the personality of man an opportunity for
By H.*M. Bartholomew. ,
a wider and fuller expression. And he asserts,
that this development can take place and this desideratum be gained only when there is a change
in the economic basis of society. He demands that
the material needs of every man, woman and child
be amply supplied, confident that by so doing the
soul will have ample opportunity to function.
As we have seen in previous articles, the history
of the human race has been the story of class-
struggles. Man has been striving, practically aimlessly, to satisfy his material needs. This struggle for bread and butter has excluded, to a very
large extent, music and science and art—all that
whicii makes life worth living.   Says Engels
"In every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of econ-'
omic production and exchange, and the social organization
necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is
built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual- history of that epoch; that consequently
the whole history of mankind .... has been a history of]
class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited,
ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class-
struggles forms a series of evolution in which, now-a-days, a
stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed
class—the proletariat cannot attain its emancipation from the
sway of the exploiting and oppressing class—the bourgeoisie
—without, at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, expression,
class-distinctions and class struggles."
Thus does Engels proclaim, in a sentence which
has become classical, the historical basis of Socialism, and point the way to the spiritual emancipation of man. As long as exploitation and oppression continue, so long must the personality or soul
of man be in thraldom.
The history of mankind" is rich in its lessons.
Since the establishment of private property in land,
the history of mankind has b$en one long and sordid series of class-struggles. Man has been the servant, of his environment, the slave of the conditions
which he himself has created.
Especially is this so today. The "tool-using
animal" has invented many and complex machines
to do his bidding and to satisfy his needs. The last
fifty years have witnessed a wonderful increase in
the power of man over the great forces of nature. By
the development in his power he is enabled to create
mountains of wealth and to pile up riches greater far
than those of Fortunatus.
Despite this increase in wealth-producing power,
however, the great mass of the people are working
early and late for a bare pittance, are compelled to
struggle against each other for a crust of bread, are
forced to become the slaves of the tools and the machines which their fellows have created.
Never in the long history of the human race, was
man so much and so helplessly the slave of material
conditions, the hapless victim of his social environment. In other words, the struggle for a living has
become so intense and the warfare between the two
classes has developed such bitterness that altruism
is almost dead and the soul of man a hollow sham.
Man has yielded to the gold-lust and has descended
to the level of the tiger in the jungle.
There can be no manner of doubt that the personality of man would be rapidly developed were it not
for the egotistic forces of economic competition forever assailing him. It is for Socialism to remove
those adverse influences which have been accumulating under Capitalism to allow for a greater expansion in the spiritual life of man.
We are far too busy passing from one grey street
to another groy street to add up figures or to swallow patent medicines to think that life can be lived
nobly, burningly and brightly, for great ends and in
great passions. We have been so absorbed in trying
to gain a livelihood that we have forgotten how to
It is the aim of the Socialist to remove the root
causes of economic oppression ,and by so doing, to
emancipate man from the galling slavery of materia]
tyranny. He realises that so long as man must strug
gle for a crust of bread, just so long will the soul
of man lack adequate expression.
The action and re-action of material conditions
upon mind is patent to all. There can be no question that slums, bad food, long hours of labor, and all
those conditions of life and of labor which obtain
today stunt the bodies and dwarf the minds of the
overwhelming mass of the population. And there
can also be no manner of doubt that these wretched
conditions which are productive of such evil results
are themselves the bitter fruits of the private ownership of land and of capital. Crime and insanity,
the low (almost bestial) morality which characterizes modern life in the main—these spiritual blots
upon our social life are the inevitable products of
that system of wealth production and distribution
known as Capitalism. Until Capitalism is abolished, the soul of man can never be free to function.
That is the duty of the scientific Socialist. Having analysed the economic structure of society and
having studied the experiences of past times, he
knows that there can be no material progress towards human freedom, no striking advance in the
mental emancipation of human-kind so long aa the
essentials of wealth production are in the hands of
a privileged class. .
With the birth of the  Socialist  Commonwealth
the  struggle  for individual  existence   disappears.
Then, for the first time, man, in a certain sense, is
finally  marked  off from the rest  of  the  animal
kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions
of existence into really human ones.    The whole
sphere of the conditions of life which environ man,
and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and the control of man, who for
the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of
Nature, because he has now become the master of
his own social organization.    The laws of his own
social action, hitherto standing face to face  with
man as laws of Nature foreign to, and dominating
him, will then be used with full understanding, and
so mastered by him.    Man's own social organization,  hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by necessity and history, now becomes the
result of his own free action.    The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history,
pass under the control of man himself.    Only from
that time will  man himself, more and more consciously make his own history—only from that time
will the social causes set in movement by him have,
in the main and in a constantly growing measure,
the results intended b^y him.
'It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of
necessity to the kingdom of freedom."
That is the reply of the scientific Socialist to
Rudolf Eucken and his followers. Socialism does
deal with the soul of man, does strive to re-mould
the intellectual and moral life of the people. It
does this, not by means of preaching an impossible
idealistic morality, but by going to the root-causes
of economic antagonisms, and by removing those
causes, emancipating mankind from the galling
servitude of economic necessity.
Next Article:  "Social Control."
Local (Winnipeg), No. 3
George Armstrong,   R. J. Johns,   W. A. Pritchard,
R. B. Russell
Campaign funds are needed. Collection Cards can
be secured from, and donations made to:
P.O. Box 1762
Winnipeg, Manitoba. PAGE FOUR
Western Clarion
A  Journal  of  History,  Economics,  Philosopihy,
and Current Events.
Published twice a month by tho Socialist Party of
Canada, 401 Pender Street East, Vancouver, B. C.
Phone Highland 2583.
Editor      Ewen MacLeod
Canada, 20 issues   $1-00
Foreign, 16 issues  $1.00
ft 4% 4   If this number is on your address label your
II M1   subscription expires with next issue.   Renew
Warn A promptly.
VANCOUVER, B. C, JUNE 1st, 1920.
NO system that shall be valid in all ages can ever
be formulated by us today. The truth of this
observation is thrust home to the student of economic enquiry, the history of which may be observed
in three periods, the ancient, the mediaeval and the
modern worlds. The earliest of our records bear witness to the need for honesty in mutual dealings, just
weights and measures, the true observance of contracts and the reliability of man upon man.
Every thinker is a child of his time, and such judgment of him as we may pronounce must be tempered
by a consideration of the period in whicii he lived and
the circumstances by which he was surrounded. His
conclusions, arrived at through the examination of
the basis and structure of society as he found it, cannot be isolated from that period in which he lived.
The institution of slavery was so entirely in harmony
with the life of the Greeks that the Greek thinkers
regarded it as indispensable and inevitable, and such
observations as their investigators made in economics that are of particular moment to us are mainly
happy, and sometimes striking, anticipations of the
pronouncements of later periods, and in which the
influence of geometry perhaps had considerable bearing. The Romans gave evidence of little that was
not borrowedjfrom the G*eeks, in economics as a subject of enqury.
While it is essential that we examine the past records of investigation in this study in order to quicken our comprehension, and awaken our perceptions
to its position today, we must bear in mind
that circumstances, co-existent and sequent,
must have existed in proportion great enough to
permit, of scientific generalisations being laid
down, and the investigators must have been equipped with the aids and instruments essential to proper research, before conclusions could be reached
that would affect our present-day life and aid us
in understanding present-day problems. The march
of all science is marked by the interdependence of
each of its branches upon the* other, and the relations they bear to the changing needs of man, the
practical exigencies required to be met by him, and
the organs he produces to the conservation, maintenance, and perpetuation of society.
Co-existent with the ancient, mediaeval and modern periods of human development we have the records of their enquirers into economic research, and
not until the last mentioned period is reached do
we meet what has come to be known as the historical school. The gradual unfolding in the middle
ages of a civil system was occupied with direct military organization and control, and the final elab.
oraticfa of feudalism was characterized by institutional forms devoted to public defence, based upon
territorial property. Its dominant class was unsympathetic towards the industrial arts and held
the handicrafts in contempt, except those subservient to war or war-like sport. There was within its
bounds little room for manufacture, less for commerce, and family needs constituted the essential
factor underlying production. In such a society
economic research must necessarily reflect the restrictions imposed by its field of examination.
The modern period is filled by a development of
successive phases which, in their gradual approach
to the age of machinery, commercial relations, and
the well established features of commodity production generally, somewhat characterize our own
time. A wider field of investigation has brought in
its train a broader application to the investigation
of affars of human concern, and necessarily, the
field of economic research has occupied the attention of increased numbers of investigators ,so that,
while in the first confirmed appearance of capitalism as a generally operative system, economic research has been characterized in its method by almost wholly abstract considerations, its later characteristics have betrayed a leaven of human interest, as its problems have gradualy unfolded an explanation of the true nature of the institution now
understood as capitalism.
The succeeding phases have produced succeeding schools of thought, and, otherwise than its
name might suggest, the historical school has its
work outlined, not in confining its interest to the
work of former investigators but to the furtherance
of endeavor toward the same stated objective,
which is to find the laws underlying the industrial
progress of human society, and to formulate an
outline of the processes through which they must
operate. v
The valuable work done in economics in the last
fifty years has been accomplished by men who are
directly under the influence of the historical school,
whether they are professed adherents of that school
or not.
However earnest may be our interest in any subject of interest to mankind, and however far removed may be our personal interest in sectarian
strife, if we proceed along the way that generates
knowledge of the conditions of human existence
there arrives the moment when we surely must take
issue on behalf of one side and against another.
And, mainly, the real obstacle that has always obstructed the way to open acceptance by the economists of today of the outstanding principles featured by the historical school in its dissection of
the economic laws of capitalism, lies in capitalism
itself, as an institution based upon private property
and the explanation of labor. In such a society—
a society of private gain through private ownership,
there must arise private prejudice in the custodians
of its institutions of learning, which, in turn must be
supervised for its defence and maintenance. The
positive nature of the historical method in explaining human society practiced by the strong influences that now assail our houses of learning, so incontrovertible, so sound, and so completely are they
in accord with the gathering array of sordid facts
presented by the active life around us that they pronounce their opponents as mere quibbling apologists
who are subject to the suspicion of interested conservatism, if not to private personal gain. Political
economy today, for a clear analysis of the stage of
society we find ourselves in must lay down its principles, upon its fundamental basis, and its problems
must be stated in the terms of the contradictious and
antagonisms arising from it. A system of private
ownership means propertyless people; a people exploited in production means a slave class and a master class and a master and a slave class constitute a
class antagonism, and that cannot be eradicted until
the circumstances that breed it are overcome and
abolished forever. And not until then can we expect disinterested research in this field to be advanced.
THE recondite profundity of some of our present
day savants is so overwhelming that we are
sometimes reduced to a state of hopeless despair, induced by the thought that we can never hope to appreciate (much less understand) the processes, or in
plain words, the steps and stairs whereby they reach
their altitudinous pinnacle of learned isolation. From
that eminence they propound their theses with a
scholastic adroitness, the objective of which is as
elusive to the hungry truthseeker as its wordy dressing is repell ant in its undesirable, and obviously
sacred obscurity.
In our endeavor to follow the pronouncements that
emanate from some of our labyrinthian institutions
of learning however, we are sufficiently earnest in
our quest to,arrive at a point where we become bold
enough to take issue with the sage in his conclusions,
that is, with the reservation advanced that the conclusions are by us properly understood, in- patient
toleration of their circumlocutory' and pedantic
wearisomeness. Indeed, just at this point the obscurant influences bear so heavily upon us, that a
plain word of evident meaning looks threadbare and
hungry if released without a Multiple qualification,
and a sentence that is easily distinguishable jjrom a
clause in a drug-store prescription is too easy to
The consideration that between science and common knowledge there exists a fundamental difference, we hold in dispute, but that they manifest different degrees of complexity in the processes whereby they achieve their previsions we readily agree.
Common knowledge, is in many respects exact and
precise ,and science does not thereupon impose any
increased definiteness or precision; it but reduces
other knowledge to the same degree. Common
knowledge, however, is in general derived from the
surety of direct perception respecting simple matters
of easy accessibility, whereas science extends its
researches into, and lays down its consequent prescience upon dependent complexities that are inaccessible to immediate observation. And in science
itself there are wide degrees of difference between
its positive stages, differences that, again, are not
fundamental, but that are manifested in the interrelations between certainty and completeness of prevision, and that are precisely identical1 as stages
along the pathway of science with that common
knowledge which results from the observation of
those objects or combinations directly cognizable and
invariable in their nature. The surety of the scientist's foreknowledge max be measured by his knowledge of the laws governing the subject matter of his
observations and predictions.
Any effort to outline the important and essential
bearing science has upon modern life must trace its
affiliation with common knowledge and show the
manner of its extension from it. It must recognize
the inevitable stages of its progression and its
dependence upon the changing requirements and accomplishments of man towards his material well-
being. Without that it must remain enclosed within
those gray walls resting upon arbitrary standards
that cradled the outworn illusions of the past; its
teachers must look not for reverence but rather for
appreciative understanding from the great mass of
the people, from whom in the long run its sustenance is gained,' and by whose interested co-operation
its advancement may be furthered.
N. Lunacharski, at the recent Soviet Congress at
Moscow, gave a detailed report of the position of
education amongst the people. We give some
points from his speech.
''The idea of a uniform workers' school has been
abandoned. There are in the Soviet Republic,
schools which are accessible to all workers. The
schools are of two categories, those of the first
category for children of 8-12 years old; those of the
second/for students from 13 to 16 years old.
"A gigantic programme has been worked out
which will involve considerable expenditure. The
results already obtained are, in spite of great difficulties, very good. The number of schools grows
continually, and at the present time there are of
the first category almost 50,000, and of the second
category 2,000.
The number of scholars in the schools of the first
category reaches 2,618,000; that in the Schools of
the second category is 200,000. Of 9,000,000 children of obligatory school age 27 per cent, attend
school. The Budget is always growing, and at the
present time each Government receives for educational purposes approximately 140 million roubles
yearly. Legal faculties have been replaced by faculties in social science.
"The Commissariat has authorized for the current half-year an expenditure of 400 million roubles
for the higher schools. The number of students is
about 158,000 and the number of professors about
5,500. ,
"In Moscow there are nearly 2,000 new students.
In a few months they will be sufficiently far advanced to move into the University with the other
students. In Petrograd, Moscow, Voronesch,
Kasan and Saratov there are numerous 'Free Art
Schools' attended by nearly 4,000 students." ,
—'' Internationale Jugendkorrespondenz,''
April 3,1920 WESTERN     CLARION
What Commerce Means
IN accordance with the rules of the game of exploitation, the wealth produced by the workers
passes first into the, possession of the industrial capitalist. The division of the spoils is in his hands.
In order to occupy this position, and maintain the
system of production as a properly functioning organization, he must share the surplus-values extracted from his laborers in the sphere of production, with other sections of the dominant class called
landlord, financier, merchant, etc. The portion of
the wealth contributed to -these various factions is
determined by their legal status in modern society.
When8a!l just claims have been satisfied, the industrial capitalist still has at his disposal a goodly
share of the wealth produced, granting, of course,
that the capitalist in question is a fair representative of the owning class. Part of this can be consumed by himself and Iiis family in the form of-necessities and luxuries of life such as are commensurate with his social position. The remainder is offered for sale.
At this point we have the condition necessary for
commercial transactions. Unless a surplus remained after the wants of producers and owners had been
attended to in conformity with the laws governing
the distribution of wealth, there could be no complex mechanism of trade and commerce such as we
find today in capitalist society.
In previous systems of production*there was no
incentive for commerce on a large scale. The great
problem was to produce enough of life's necessities
to satisfy the simple needs of society. It is true
that even as far back as Grecian, Phoenician, and
Egyptian societies commerce was carried on to a
certain extent. The tin taken from Britain was
shipped to Greece and exchanged for ornaments or
pottery, or else traded for cutlery from Damascus, or
gold and pearls from the Orient. But still production was essentially for use, and commerce never
extended beyond the stage of being a side issue.
Through the middle ages, while merchant's capital dominated the channels of civilization, and invaded the sphere of production as well, nothing more
than the rudiments of manufacture for sale had
been noticed. Only with the aid of machine inventions, geographical discoveries, and an abundant
supply of propertyless proletarians could we have
the inception of modern industrialism.
Under our present mode of production, then, we
produce things in excess of what we are able to consume to such an enormous extent that the greatest
problem confronting the international capitalist
class is the discovery, or acquisition, of markets in
which to stow away the surplus commodities. We
think we are safe in saying that, even with our present state of efficiency in agricultural and manufacturing industry, were the producers of the wealth
given an opportunity to satisfy their needs out of
the mass of things produced there would be little
difficulty in finding ways and means to dispose of
the residue. Certain it is that such elevating campaigns as have been waged in the past few years
would have been quite uncalled for.
However, the access to the pie-counter of those'
who toil in field, forest, factory, and mine is entirely
out of the question. We live in a form of class
society where the wealth producers are wage-slaves
of those who control the means of production and
distribution. They have no rights and privileges
excepting the limited ones allotted them by the ruling class. Every institution in existence functions
as a prop to maintain intact this system of class
ownership, and to extract, through force, the major
portion of the things produced by the occupants of
the lower strata.
Overproduction is the scientific appellation given
to that state of affairs where the workers are, not
allowed to consume, and the owners cannot possibly
consume, the mass of products that remain on the
market. Some aspiring economists have classified
this phenonenon as under consumption. This is
erroneous.   In all the slave empires of the past there
was less consumed than would keep the producers
in even a considerable degree of prosperity. Their
expenditures never expanded beyond the bare necessities of life. Still, before the appearance of modern
capitalism, industrial crises and financial panics
were altogether unknown. It is impossible to attribute their existence to a condition that prevailed
throughout the ages without any such result. They
must be regarded as the logical sequence of those
changes in the mode of producing and distributing
wealth peculiar to an epoch of machine industry.
The replacing of the tool by the machine was speedily followed by the liberation of many thousands of
manual laborers whose function could be performed
by comparatively few machine hands. With a decrease in the numbers employed went an increase in
the commodities produced. So well had the machine
acquitted itself, that soon the discovery of markets
failed to keep pace with the progress of production.
Something now took place that could never happen
in past societies—the workers became too productive, and industry must cease till markets are relieved.
But in this frenzied attempt to find corners of the
earth where the product of our toil can be safely
stored has the capitalist class solved the problem
of over-production? Let us see! When capitalist
England exports a consignment of goods to capitalist America, true, the market is relieved for the
moment. But this consignment is not a gratuitous
contribution to the coffers of her altruistic colleague. Another shipment approximately equal in
value must be niadeMn turn on the part of America.
The proposition is in no degree modified by changing the port of call for the British cargo from New
York to Calcutta. The commodities purchased by
the Hindus, Chinese, Hottentots, or Patagonians can
only be paid for by trading off some other commodities of which they have an excess supply. Value
for value is the basis of exchange.
Even should some secluded corner be discovered,
by penetrating the astral planes or milky way, where
an insatiable desire on the part of the ethereal inhabitants for earthly goods was manifested, then,
the problem would still be the same. Shipping successive consignments of cotton, shoes, copper and
wheat, without getting something in return might
have a favorable result from the standpoint of recreation but as a business policy its efficacy is easily exploded. Then again should these Martians
or Jupiterians, possess an inexhaustible supply of
acceptable materials to give in return for the commodities mentioned, the whole transaction would result in our capitalists having as great a surplus as
ever on their hands, providing that our supposed cus-'
tomers were acquainted with the law of value and,
if not, the over-production malady would obviously
be augmented rather than relieved. The shipping of
p-old in payment, in lieu of raw material or manufactured articles, would in no wise render a satisfactory
solution, as the gold, while it may from surface
indications appear to be in a different category
from shoes an, wheat, is yet a commodity whose
value is determined by the socially necessary labor
lime required for its production, and consequently
its presence would spell a surplus of goods on hand,
precisely as in the case of other commodities.
Looking at the matter from any angle we will
there is no possibility of foreign markets assuaging
the growing pains of over-production. So long as
industrially undeveloped areas exist, these can always afford an outlet for capitalist investors from
thoroughly exploited centres to get rid of a portion
of their surplus through extending the means of production, transportation, communication, etc. But
from the standpoint of solving the market problem*
this investment merely serve's as a palliative measure
that can, at best, only stay for a brief period the inevitable collapse. Undeveloped areas soon become
developed ones with all the requisite equipment for
competing with the others, and the earth's surface
being extremely limited, new fields for development
are becoming harder to find.
It is well known to those who have outgrown their
economic swaddling-clothes that the export and import trade of any capitalist country do not necessarily coincide during any given period. Conditions
have changed since the days when handicraft workers traded the products of their shops for articles of
food, clothing, or other necessities required for their
personal consumption. Even though this transaction was consummated through the medium of gold
or silver, it was still an equitable exchange of values with no holdovers left in the balance 'till a future
day of reckoning.
In the modern system of credit economy, much
buying and selling is done between individuals and
nations on the strength of being able to equilibrate
transactions at a more propitious season. In those
countries where the natural resources have been
fully exploited, and surplus capital is seeking investment in foreign channels, the balance of trade is
generally found to be what is termed adverse. Britain, for instance, has long operated under a decidedly adverse balance of trade. During the year just
past British imports were three and a quarter billions
of dollars in excess of the exports, and a somewhat
similar condition extends back over the past century.
But there are plausible reasons why the accountant's
figures should show this result. Billion of dollars
were invested in foreign fields from which was an
enormous interest return. With almost* half the
merchant tonnage.in the world to her credit, Britain
has long been regarded as the international sea carrier, and her insurance and banking houses carried
on business in all sections of the globe. These, and
other items, more than suffice to offset the trade
balance. These "invisible exports," far from showing signs of abatement, are more substantial today
than ever. The British Board of Trade Journal estimates the net income for 1920, from foreign interest, at close on 500 million dollars. Deducting the
1919 invisible exports, and making a conservative
allowance for increased income this year, leaves the
score practically evened between imports aral exports.
On the ether hand, those nations that possess rich
untapped resources, offering ample security and returns on invested capital, are found to enjoy balances of trade considered as favorable. The United
States is a typical example of this class. For upwards of forty years the exports of raw material
and manufactured articles, have been considerably in
excess of what was imported, in the form of commodities, from other lands. The favorable position of
the United States during the early years of the war
added materially to the advance in this direction
already registered. But selling without buying cannot proceed beyond certain defined limits. The
enormous business advantage accruing to American
capitalists in the war period has readied the end of
its tether, and recently there has been noticed a
marked increase of imports relatively to exports.
This readjustment of the trade balance could be temporarily modified, and postponed, by further grants
of foreign credits; by investments on a large scale
in foreign securities; and increased expenditures of
American travellers abroad* The nature of the imports on which there has been an increase during the
past year is worth observing. The greatest increase
has been made on diamonds, art works, laces and embroideries, silks, high grade cotton and woollen
goods, kid gloves, and olive oil. These importations
can scarcely be attributed to abnormal desires, and
fastidious tastes, on the part of the proletariat. They
rather serve to emphasize what we have already contended—that all the workers can hope to obtain so
long as class society exists, whether periods of prosperity or depression prevail, is barely enough to
keep their labor-power on the market in a suitable
condition for their masters' purposes. The huge
bulk of the wealth produced finds its wgy into the
(Continued on page 8) PAGE SIX
The Materialist Conception
of History
Gabriel  Deville's preface to his "The People's Marx."
This work was Deville's epitome of the first volume of
Marx' "Capital," which as he states, was undertaken on the
invitation  and  executed  with the  encouragement  of  Marx
/fT\ Y study, and  by observation of the phen-
djCf  omena   of  ignorance  and   organic   Nature,
Man becomes conscious of their relations of cause
and effect and becomes more and more the master
of his own development.
"Before co-ordinating his ideas and grasping
their different relations, man acts. This is true,
both in the childhood of the individual and the
race. But it is only from the time that it becomes
subordinate to deliberate thought that his action
ceases to be incoherent and becomes really and rapidly effective. And what is true of every other
kind of action is true of revolutionary action. It
must have science for its guide, or its puerile eforts
will produce only abortive effects.
"No matter what the subject may be, to maintain
that science is useless or that study has had its day,
is only an idle pretext to avoid study or an attempt
to excuse wilful, persistent ignorance.
"It is evident that the study of social life, alone
and of itself, will not modify the social form and
will not furnish, elaborated in the smallest details,
the ground-plan and elevation of a new society;
but it will disclose the constituent elements of the
present society; their essential combinations and relations, their tendencies and the law which presides
over their evolution. This knowledge will put us
in a position, not 'to abolish by decrees the natural
phases of the development of modern society, but
to shorten the period of pregnancy and to mitigate
the pangs of child-birth.'
"By preaching the thorough study of society,
Karl Marx did not pretend to be the creator of a
science unknown before him. This is proven by
the numerous notes to his work, which is on the contrary, based on the labor of the economists who preceded him, and he had the courage and candor, in
the case of every proposition, to cite the author who
first formulated it. But no one has done more than
Karl Marx to make plain by their analysis the true
meaning and tendency of social phenomena. No
one, therefore, has done more for the emancipation
of the working-class, for the emancipation of humanity.
"Yes, without doubt, others, before him, felt the
social injustices and grew, righteously indignant
Many were those who dreamt of remedying these
evils and drew up on paper admirable projects of
reform.Inspired' by a laudable generosity, having
in most cases a very clear perception of the sufferings of the masses, they criticised with as much justice as eloquence the existing order of things. But
as they had no exact conception of its causes and
its evolution they constructed (on paper) model
societies that were none the less chimerical because
tHeir architects had some coriject intuitions. If
they had the universal welfare as a motive, they
did not have reality as a guide.
"In their projects of social renovation, they entirely disregarded facts, pretending to have recourse only to the pure light of reason, as if reason,
which is only the co-ordination and generalization
of the ideas furnished by experience, could be, in
itself, a source of knowledge—knowledge external
and superior to the cerebral modification's of external impressions.
"Tn a word, they were idealists, just as the anarchists are today. Instead of making reality the
starting point of their reasoning, they attribute
reality to the fictions born of their particular ideal
of absolute justice.
"Finding, from the speculative point of view,
that the most agreeable of all social regimes would
be that which would permit the most unrestricted
freedom to the blossoming of individuality, and
which would have no law save the free will of individuals, the anarchists preach its realization without troubling themselves to enquire Avhether the
economic necessities permit of its establishment.
They do not suspect the retrograde character of the
extreme individualism, the unlimited autonomy,
which is the essence of anarchism.
'' In the various order of facts, evolution is invariably accomplished by the transition from an incoherent form, from a state of diffusion to a state
of concentration. And, as the concentration of the
parts   becomes   greater,   their   reciprocal   interde
pendence increases, that is to say, that more and
more they cannot extend the range of their own
activity without the co-operation of the other parts.
This is a general truth that the anarchists do not
suspect. Poor fellows! They pretend to see further than anyone else, but they do not even perceive
that they are marching backwards.
"For all these fanciful conceptions—although
more or less well meant—Marx was the first to substitute the study of social phenomena based on the
real conception — the materialist conception. He
did not sing the praises of a system more or less
perfect from the subjective point of view. He
scrupulously examined the facts, methodically arranged the results of his examination and drew
the conclusion, which was and is the scientific explanation of the historical progress of humanity,
and, particularly, of the capitalist period through
which Ave are passing.
"History, he has shoAvn, is nothing but the history of class conflicts. The division of society into
classes, which made its appearance Avith the same
social life,of man, rests on economic relations—
maintained by foijce—Avhich enable some to succeed in shifting on to the shoulders of others the
natural necessity of labor.
"Material interests have ahvays been the inciting motives of the incessant struggles of the privileged classes, either with each other, or against the
inferior classes at whose expense they live. Man is
dominated by the material conditions of life, and
these conditions, and therefore the mode of production, have determined and will determine human
customs, ethics and institutions—social, economic,
political, juridical, etc.
"As soon as one part of society has monopolized
the means of production, the other part, upon Avhom
the burden of labor falls, is obliged to add to the
labor-time necessary for its own support, a certain
surplus labor time, for Avhich it receives no equivalent,—time that is devoted to supporting and enriching the possessors of the means of production.
As an extractor of unpaid labor, A\Thich, by means
of the increasing surplus-value Avhose source it is,
accumulates every day, more and more, in the hands
of the proprietory class the instruments of its dominion, the capitalist regime surpasses in poAver all
the anticedent regimes founded on compulsory
"But ,today, the economic conditions begotten
by this regime, trammelled in their natural evolution by this very regime, inexorably tend to break
the capitalist mold Avhich can no longer contain
them, and these destroying principles are the elements of the new society.
"The historic mission of the class at present exploited—the proletariat—Avhich is being organized
and disciplined by the very mechanism of capitalist
production, is to complete the Avork of destruction
begun by the development of social antagonisms.
It must, first of all, definitely Avrest from its class
adversaries the political power—the command of
the force devoted by them to preserving intact their
economic monopolies and privileges.
"Once in control of the political poAver, it will
he able, by proceeding to the socialization of the
means of production through the expropriation of
the usurpers of the fruits of other's toil, to suppress the present contradictions between collective
production and private capitalist appropriation,
and to realize the universalization of labor and the
abolition of classes.
"Such  is a summary sketch  of the irrefutable
theory taught by Marx.     His constant aim is to
enable every reader to judge of its truth and valid-*
ity for himself.
"As thought is nothing but the intellectual reflex of the real movement of things, he has not for
an instant departed from the material foundation
of his thought, from external phenomena; he has
not separated man from the conditions of his existence. He has observed, he has stated the result of
his observation, and purely by the depth of his analysis he has complemented his positive conception
of the present order by the knoAvledge of the inevitable dissolution of this order."
Supplies to Locals.
Dues Cards, per 100, $1.00.
Letterheads, per 100, 60c.
Platforms, per 100, 50c.
Constitutions, per 100, $1.50.
Western Clarion Sub. Cards, free.
The Essence of
THE historian and ethnologist have uncovered
the past sufficiently to reveal the fact that
codes of morality have been,as varied and numerous as the different forms of society under which
man has lived. We have only to compare the rules
of conduct prevailing in different sections of the
globe today to see that there is no eternal standard of morality, but on the contrary that ideas of
morality vary according to time, place and conditions. A code of conduct only becomes necessary
in group association, for, obviously, if man could
live alone and apart from others of his race, it
would not be necessary to respect or recognize anybody's desires but his OAvn. Out of mutual dependence, hoAvever, greAv the recognition of mutual
Man's primal needs remain constant throughout
the ages. The instinct of self-prevervation demands a certain amount of food, clothing and shelter ,and the needs of race preservation force man
to seek sexual companionship. Where a state of
society exists that is controlled by every member,
and rights go hand in hand with obligation, there
the individual needs of each man become the social
needs, and there is no conflict between the social
code of morality and the individual's requirements.
We have an example of such a condition in a feAV
savage and barbarian tribes still existing on the
globe where private property has not come into existence ; and in the researches of L. H. Morgan, it is
clearly shoAvn that most of the Indian tribes living
on the American continent at the time of the white
man's arrival lived in this state—Avhich is termed
primitive   communism,   the   social  unit   being  the
gens,  an   association  of kin.
Socialists do not look baclr upon the days of
primitive communism Avith futile regret or wish to
wipe out of existence all the material progress that
has been made, and hark back to the days of
primitive simplicity. The foundation stone of all
slave societies (including capitalism) has been the
right of private property, and Avhile the time has
come Avhen private property is no longer essential
to the needs of society in general' and actually a
clog in the Avheels of economic progress, this advance in the means of supplying the necessaries of
life, could not have been accomplished without the
private initiative and unrestrained greed for individual poAver obtaining in the past. When Ave understand the foregoing, then Ave are better able to inquire into the subject of morality, for the morals of
any society reflect its point of economic development, and in class society are necessarily fashioned
by the dominant interests in order that the existing
social relationships may be maintained.
Perhaps no greater revolution in morals oceured
in the Avorld's history than at the inception of
private property. The idea of the exclusive and
permanent right of one man to one Avoman supplanted the sexual freedom that formerly prevailed, and by sexual freedom is not, meant a state of
chaotic sex relations, but of voluntary sexual association. The monogamic marriage Avas desired and
instituted by the first property OAvners in order that
their children (and their children only) might inherit their property, and religion, pliant servant of
those in poAver, early incorporated the doctrine of
womanly chastity, and monogamy then, as noAv, implied the faithfulness of the" Avife, but not necessarily of the husband.
Within the old gentile group, there Avas no laAV
against stealing, as such a thing Avas impossible,
owing to the fact that the wealth of the members
Avas meagre and used in common. But Avhen man
reached the stage of the domestication of animals,
an enormous addition of wealth Avas thereby added
to the group, Avho at first owned the early herds in
common. Private appropriation soon shoAved its
avaricious head, and then a struggle took place
Avhich broke up the cohesion and unity of the group,
and neAv associations based on property qualifications usurped the authority of the kindred group. WESTERN     CLARION
"Thou shalt not steal," was the pronouncement of
the propertied class, who imposed themselves upon
the rest of society as a ruling class, and religion
took up the cry against stealing, which was placed
in the category of divine proscription.
But hunger and love are not suppressed by man-
made morals. Those who glory in the fact that
monogamy is the only sexual association sanctioned by the state surely shut their eyes to conditions
that exist beneath the surface. The favorite charge
hurled at socialism is that of "immorality"—yet if
the mask of monogamy as it exists today is torn
aside, we see among the rich, unrestrained adultery, and among the working-class the distinctly
capitalistic contribution to human progress—prostitution controlled by the trust or syndicate. Because Socialists Avould sanction and make possible
voluntary sexual association, AA'here capitalism
erects a barrier against it in the form of economic
considerations, Socialism is branded as immoral.
Socialists know that the marriage institution under
capitalism is merely a property relationship— a
means of acquiring more wealth and of bequeathing
it to the children of the possessor—Avho thereby acquire the privileges and poAver that go Avith Avealth.
The essence of all morality is proscription, but the
motive that inspires it is not always the same. Under primitive communism, sexual relations could
not take place between the members of the same
gens, Avhich was composed of blood relations. The
proscription Avas undoubtedly founded on the recognition that inbreeding loAvered the vitality of
the new generation, and as strength Avas indispensable in primitive society, the limitation Avas really
beneficial to the group.
It is more than likely that the early morality or
code of conduct of primitive society will in a great
measure be restored when private ownership has
given Avay to social OAvnership. Then once again
will the needs of each member be the interests of the
whole, for no group will be economically more important than another. The social tools which private greed and quest for gain have brought to perfection call for co-operative effort and mutual dependence. The Avealth of the Avhole, being produced and controlled by the whole, shall benefit the
whole. Economic influences will no longer play a
part in the individual's sexual relations. The
morality of the future will again be based on the
welfare of the Avhole. A. C.
A Philosophical  Retrospect.
Literature Price List
Communist Manifesto. Single copies, 10c; 25
copies, $2.00.
Wage-Labor and Capital. Single copies, 10c; 25
copies, $2.00.
The Present Economic System. (Prof. W. A.
Bonger).   Single copies, 10c; 25 copies, $1.5.0.
Capitalist Production. (First Nine and 32nd
Chapters, "Capital," Vol. I. Marx). Paper, single
copies, 50c; cloth, single copies, $1.00; cloth, 10
copies, 75c each.
Socialism, Utopian and Scientific. Single copies,
15c; 25 copies, $3.25.
Slave of the Farm. Single copies, 10c; 25 copies,
Manifesto, S-. P. of C, single copy, 10 cents; 25
copies, $1.50.
Red Europe. (F. Anstey, M.P.). Single copies,
50c.   Ten copies or more 30c each.
The Story of the Evolution of Life. (T. F. Palmer).   Single copies, 10c.
Evolution of Man. (Prof. Bolsche). Single
copies, 20c; 25 copies, $3.75.
The Nature and Uses of Sabotage (Prof. T. Veb-
len).   Singles copies 5 cents, 25 copies $1.
Ten Days that Shook the World.    (John Reed).
Per copy, $2.00.
The Criminal Court Judge, and The Odd Trick
(E. B. Bax).   Single copies, 5 cents; per 25 copies,
Evolution of the Idea of God (Grant Allen), 55c
per copy.
Capital) (Marx), vols. 1, 2 and 3, each $3; the set
complete, $8.50.
Ancient Society (LeAvis H. Morgan)   $2.00
Make all moneys payable to E. MacLeod, 401
Pender Street East, Vancouver, B. C. Add discount
on cheques.
WITHIN the capitalistic system the inequalities
are of so glaring a character that even the
veriest dubb can observe them. Dull as are many
Avorkers, this glaring inequitableness is being
brought to his notice more plainly as the system develops. But Avhile it is easy to say "it isn't fair; it's
not right or just," it takes a little study and mental
exertion on the worker's part to know that he is
the one Avho helps produce the surplus Avealth,
eA-idences of which Ave see on every hand.
Due to the Avorks of Marx and Engels on the one
hand, and men like Dietzgen, Labriola and Lafar-
gue on the other, Ave are able to call Socialism a
Marx in his Avorks on Capitalist production, laid
bare the honey-pot from which the parasitic drone
of society sucks his honey.By pointing out Iioav surplus values are extracted from the Avorkers, he laid
hare the secret of capitalist "accumulation," and
"thrift." For such a breach of etiquette Marx
Avas ostracized, and Avas on the verge of starvation
more than once.
The joint production of Marx and Engels, i.e.
"The Communist Manifesto," written in 1848, contains the key to» the socialist's method of explaining social'phenomena and the ideas that permeate
any given stage in the development of society.
The proposition set forth therein is: "That in
every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the
basis from which is built up and from which alone
can be explained the political and intellectual history of the epoch."
This is the lense through which the socialist vieAvs
past and present social phenomena, and as long as
Ave adhere to it, Ave need have very little fear of being led astray. At the same time, in order for us
to use it correctly, Ave have to analyze the methods
of production and exchange of the essentials for
human existence.
No more do Ave look upon the great man as the
Moses to lead us out of the land of Egypt. Herein
Ave differ from our bourgeois metaphysicians, Avho
are always looking for the Man, Avitness the attempts
of the American bourgeoisie in their efforts to elect
as president "HooA'er, the man Avho knoAA's Iioav."
Our method of dealing with the history of mankind causes us to divide them in ethnological and political periods. Engels' "Origin of Family and State, '
Morgan's "Ancient Society," and Jenks' "History
of Politics,'' Avill give anyone Avho cares to take the
trouble of reading them a far different insight and
understanding than Avill the history books used in
schools. From the stage of primitive communism
doAvn to the present method of capitalist production, Ave are able to sIioav the property basis of the
diferent political states. Chattel slavery, feudal
serfdom andcapitalism are the names by Avhich these
political societies are known.
The Roman Empire is the classic example of a system based upon chattel slavery. Following upon its
decay, and betAveen our present period and theirs.
Europe and the domination of the Roman Catholic
Church typifies feudalism. The evolution of England
since the days of Cromwell displays to our view all
the stages of the development of capitalism and its
attendant superstitions, from the Protestant faith to
spiritualism. By analyzing these different systems
Ave can see the contradictions which lead and are
leading to their destruction.
Marx, by analyzing capitalism, has shown us that
the inherent contradictions contained within it must
bring about its fall. Private ownership of the machinery of production and distribution, once necessary for progress, have iioav become a fetter upon
production and iioav retard progress. The bourgeoisie, once a revolutionary class, have iioav become
Joseph Dietzgen, in his "Positive Outcome of Philosophy," says: ''Progress is moral, and morality is
progressive" (page 154).   Hence our ideas as to the
right and Avrong of certain social phenomena, which
have their origin in the class OAvnership of the machinery of production.
Social production on the one hand, and private
OAvnership by a small and ever diminishing few, of
the things produced, on the other, are bound to
lead to a state of affairs whereby our moral impluses
are outraged.
When the state, which is controlled by the owners
of the wealth of society, acts in such a manner a§ to
imprison individuals because of their activities
among those of their class, such actions are to be
fully expected. We can hardly expect them to be-
stoAv bouquets upon those who are detrimental to
their interests. If the powers that be think that by
eliminating an indvidual here and there, they can
stop the surging tide of discontent they do but express their bourgeois ideology, Avhich still lauds the
individual and individual enterprise. By virtue of
this hero-worship, its opposite expression is bound
to be given vent, and the individual is blamed for all
the ills of society.
(To be concluded in next issue).
Frequently the writer has the painful experience
of meeting superficial "thinkers" Avho deem it their
bounden duty to question the originality of some
articles appearing in the "Western Clarion."
These carping critics usually have anything but a
profound knoAvledge of the subjects on Avhich they
are Avont to dilate, yet they assure us that the articles are plagiarisms, evidently forgetting the ancient dictum "There is nothing neAv under the sun."
Although the subjects are admittedly not neAV,
their mode of treatment not infrequenetly gives the
reader a more or less original presentation which
usually proves most helpful to further study.
VieAv-points are important factors; the authors of
these much criticised articles supply us with most
acceptable perspectives.
Moreover, they are not generally written with an
exhaustive intent; they customarily take the form
of "digests," leaving the reader to amplify and verify the author's arguments.
A word of advice to the critical—study! When
you consider yourselves competent, pray grant us
the boon of perusing the product of your original
thinking—your original thought. J. S. L.
The "Western Clarion" is on sale at:—
W. Love, Hastings St. E., Vancouver, B. C.
Columbia News Stand, cor. Hastings and Columbia
Streets, Vancouver.
John Green, Carall Street, Vancouver.    -
News Stand, B. C. E. R. Depot, New Westminster.
Alexander News Stand, 204 Eighth Aveenue West,
Calgary, Alta.
S. Feigleman, 421 St. Lawrence Bldg., Montreal
Frierman and Baranowski, 12 Ontario St E., Montreal, Que.
Onward Book Stoie, 196 Gold St., Buffalo, N. Y.
Raymer's Old  Book Store,  1330 First Avenue,
Seattle, Wash
Viking Book Store, 264 Bay Street, Port Arthur, Ont.
Raymer's Old Book Store,  1317 Pacific Avenue,
Tacoma, Wash.
D. Goodman, Blind News Agent, Queen and Chestnut Streets, Toronto, Ont.
Labor Lyceum, 580 St. Paul Street, Rochester, N. Y.
Labor News  Stand, 814a—2nd  S!treet East,  Calgary, Alta.
Reformers'   Book  Agency,  222a Phoenix Block,
Winnipeg.     (Open evenings). PAGE EIGHT
The Cause of Social Change
fISTORY is not a mere chronology—a table of
doings of political factions, successive royalties, conquering heroes or struggling patriots. It
is an infinitely weightier matter, and carries a far
deeper significance. It is, in reality a record of
man's social development, the processional of economic progress which is the cause of the continual
shuffling on the checker-board of society.
Our classical histories, unfortunately, deal largely
with the spectacular in the march of events, and
ignore, or are ignorant of the gallant deeds they relate. Harold Fairhair voAved to cut netiher hair
nor nail (or some such rash oath) until he was ruler
of a majesty sufficiently attractive to his ladylove;
but the imposition of ''scot" upon the surrounding
tribes was a more cogent reason than the favor of his
Norse maiden. The "romance" and "misfortune"
of Queen Mary has awakened many a tale of imagination, yet the "romance" lay in the preservation of
the status quo of privilege, i.e., living on plunder,
and the ''misfortune" was her inability to co-ordinate the various factions around her, all striving in
the same "romance," the continued slavery of the
Scotch peasant. Urban II. preached the first crusade for the capture of the Holy, Sepulchre, but he
cared as much, really, for the Holy Sepulchre as I
for Mahomet's turban. The subjugation of Leo in
the Eastern Empire was nearer his heart. Napoleon
drove the Austrians from Italy in the name of "freedom," and made excursion on Egypt on the same
pretext, but possession of the trade route to the
east was more like the fact. Germany, in our own
day entered the lists for the same far east, under
the banner of "freedom" for Russia from Czardom.
Britain, and, later, America, contended for the same
east, one under the flag of "the rights of small nations," the other, to "make the Avorld safe for democracy." One can have nothing but the bitterness of
scorn for the miserable subterfuge of statecraft.
To live, man must eat, and the manner in which
he gains that livelihood mainly determines the character and institutions of the state of society at any
period of time prevailing. But the same state of
society cannot maintain itself forever. It may endure a long time, but that particular form comes to
an end. SIoav as evolution seems, it ever goes on,
bringing in its train new modifications, new energies, and in consequence, neAv ideology. And because
of the disintegrating effect of neAV forces proceeding out of its inevitable growth upon the form of soc-
ety wheh generated the new form, the urgent need
of new exigencies compels the dissolution of the old
social life as inexorably as the bursting bud displaces the withered leaf. The conflict cannot be staged;
it is the laAv of the cosmos—the laAv of being and becoming, and that conflict will hurl down to disaster
whatever form of society is not in conformity with
the productive forces within itself.
But how do the productive forces become out of
harmony with the society in which they grew ? now
does natural law abrogate what it has brought into
being? And the answer is: cosmic progress: the
throb and urge of the passionless law of change.
The inception of the political state synchronises
with military aggression. The appearance, therefore, of government, not only broke down the old
tribal associations, but also introduced new impulses of social being, new ideas based upon the now
historic environment through which arose another
manner of life*foreign to the old society. The military conqueror had to secure the object, of his aggression—tribute, thereby changing the current of
the thing produced. He had to defend himself from
other aggressors who coveted that tribute. Hence,
troops had to be levied, armed, fed and clothed. But
levying troops involved official organization, a new
feature in the social life. Equipping them with arms
and clothes generated forms of production. As
fighters, they were,not producers, yet, being mortal,
•     their physical needs had to be appeased.     All of
Avhich not only created further division of labor, but
further divisions of classes in the social body. Increase of population, itself a result of improvement
in production, demanded yet more efficiency. Organized religion created still further divisions in
society, and still further necessities for wider products i.
In this manner, out of the material conditions of
the day a particular political superstructure was
built up, based upon the prevailing methods of
Avealth production. And because the old tribal
usages clashed with instant necessities and menaced
the safety and stability of the new social organism
and its own necessary and particular method of life,
tribal associations became a thing of the past. The
tribal chief was transformed into the feudal lord;
the village moot into the national parliament; the
Avandering tribesman and his tent into the local yeoman and his house; the whole fabric of society utterly changed.
But society did not stop growing. Excess population overtaxed the skill of the pastoralist, and
' agriculture received a forward impulse. Mineral
deposits were discovered, bringing a neAv demand for
labor. The historic voyages of the 16th century offered neAv necessities of conquest and labor. The
crusaders touched the culture of the Saracens, thereby widening immensely the mental horizon. Printing became known; gunpoAvder was discovered;
growth in every direction. Contact with strange
peoples brought intercourse of new product; exchange of ideas, refinement of method, invention of
maehanical appliances increased the volume of production; Avidening markets became a necessity, competition keener and sharper came to being; capital
arose; change upon change, each one the effect of
prior cause, each one the cause of subsequent effect.
But while all this social growth of production was
progressively and continuously pressing onward, the
old political organization was not. And just as before, the*military aggressor found himself utterly
at variance with tribal usage, founded on immemorial custom; so the new industrial aggressor fouud
himself at variance with the law of the fief, founded
upon the necessity of the conquering hero. And
just as the military state collided Avith tribal organization, because of the imperious condition under
which advancing society was compelled to procure
the means of life, so, in the same manner, and for
precisely the same reason capitalist democracy clashed with the feudal regime. And the feudal regime,
of necessity, went down—because the nature of capitalist production was consonant with the developed
social forces—by absorption as in England, by the
red fury of '89 in France, both methods the result
of the same force but differently influenced by local
Capital hurled away feudal restrictions; tore down
its trade barrages; trampled its charters and its
rights; violated its institutions, threw its laws into
the discard. And instead, it built up its own political
superstructure, using its own methods, fighting with
its own developing weapons, in accordance with its
OAvn ideals and necessities.
But again society stayed not. It progressed
OAvnership passed from the man to the class, production from the individual to society. Collectivism
became the neAv necessity of society, of its manner
of living, social production displaced national society, with jts narrow prejudices, its limited ideals,
and forged the Avhole world into an international unity, with one single aim, economic freedom. But
Avhile production has become social, the distribution
of the thing produced is still on the ancient terms of
its hoav obsolete political superstructure. The statutes and constitutions of an ancient social form hamper the further progress of the neAv social development ; bound it on all sides and directions, producing
of course, its inevitable bitter fruit of social conflict,
, —the class struggle.
This struggle is, in reality the urgent necessity of
society, under the compulsion of its evolved economic progression, of satisfying the material needs of
life in a method or system of production which denies all access to the means of that satisfaction, unless under the terms imposed by capitalist production for profit—or in other words, unless the social
forces of production yield to the capitalist class—
which has appropriated the material and machinery
of production—the entire product of industry, receiving in return the puny requisites of necessary
life, food, clothing and shelter, society shall be
denied all means of acquiring even that puny necessity. And since capital has no market, and therefor cannot produce the- necessities of life, and since
society has no access to the means of life, which are
capitalist property, society in the midst of the bounteous plenty of its own industry, faces starvation.
This, • then, is the cause of the coming social
change. Socialized industry has brought capitalist
anarchic profit production to an end, because tho
productive capacity of that industry has created a
surplus far in excess of the world market demand,
developed and exploited to its limit by capital.
Hence capital without this market cannot feed its
slaves. Yet since physical necessities must be satisfied the mighty and complicated machinery (political) of capital, now become a menace to society,
must disappear before the new potency of the social
society, the civilized commune, the only means under the historic circumstances of satisfying the life
demands of modified society.
The historic condition is ripe for the change, the
crucial hour has come. Ahd while everywhere our
masters are .like the men among the tombs, groping along in the darkness of ignorance of their OAvn
system and its tremendous forces, frantic with fear
of impending change striking, purposeless, like a
rattlesnake at whatever comes within reach, for us,
tlie producers, the future opens out sweetly as flOAV-
ers to their life fountained sun, smiling with the
teeming abundance of our skill and handiwork.
Labor Defence Fund
Send all money and make all cheques payable to
A. S. Wells, B. C. Federationist, Labor Temple, Vancouver, B. C.
Collection agency for Alberta: A. Broatch, 1203
Eighth Avenue East, Calgary, Alta.
Central Collection Agency: J. Law, Secretary, Defence Fund, Room 1, 530 Main Street, Winnipeg,
D. Campbell, $1; Dick Burge, $2; N. Schacter,
$1; G. R. Ronald, 45 cents; Jack Chapman, $1; W.
R. LeAvin, $1; Robert Burns, $1 ;S. Wagner, $1;
Neil ShaAv, $1.
Total, 11th to 26th May, inclusive, $9.45.
(Continued from page 5)  i
possession of those who have contributed nothing to
its production. When too large a balance results
to the exploiting section of one nation, as we see in
the case of the U. S. and Europe, there must be a
consequent cessation of trade for a period, together
Avith a vast increase in the importation of articles of
luxury, until Avhat goes out approximately equals
what comes in.
The whole system#of trade and commerce, as well
as all the pomp, glory and magnificence emanating
from class ownership of the means of life, hinges on
our ability to produce, and 6ur inability to understand our miserable position. J. A. McD.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items