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Western Clarion Nov 1, 1922

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Array ,   ^ ■-■'., ,       *
A Journal of
Official Organ of        ■
No. 878.
EIGHTEENTH YEAR     Twice a Month
I HE immediate problem of the Near East is
the reconciling of the old Turkish status quo
with the growing Imperialist business^ of
Greece; the appeasement of the rival ambitions of
Turkey and Greece for sovereignty over the lands
and peoples of the Near East. The desire for this
sovereignty springs directly from the desire to possess the natural resources within such territory; that
desire, in turn, being fostered and compelled by the
exigencies of capitalist society. And as long as
capitalist society exists that ambition shall be the
driving impulse of every economic—and in great
part of every social—problem, and the arch of every
international crisis.
To be successful capitalist business must expand; ultimately that expansion assumes the proportions of Imperialism, in rivalry.for commercial
supremacy. Those rival Imperialisms are vast net
works of diplomatic, intrigue and interlockng mono •
polies, originally, perhaps individual and national;
latterly, wholly international in scope, in organisation and personnel. Through this intrigue of business and politics runs the red thread of national
ambition and dynastic sovereignty, absorbed in its
own exclusive interest, hiding, pleading, fawning,
obstructing, conciliating, as it counters and encounters the .subconscious currents of native custom and
social discipline, and the invisible forces of foreign
intervention. Now appearing on one side, now on
, the other, as the turn of events favors its prime ob-
! Active, sailing, like Ella Wilcox's ships, "East and
West, with th© selfsame winds that blow;'' but
•continually scheming for the furtherance of its central ambition and never, however contradictory the
actions appear, forgetting thc "main chance."
The main chance is business: the control of peoples and resources: the fundamental assurance of
tribute. As business entails growth, growth entails
contact with external sources, and the particular
conditions of the country determine the nature and
direction of the relationship. And inevitably that
relationship involves particular interests,—with the
sure accompanyment of particular power. So the
concession and syndicate obtrude themselves subtly
and inconspicuously against the old national interest; the commerce of the Imperial Empire dominates the trade of the national domain; and the life
and activity of the society of the people is farmed
for the behests of the society of finance. And just as
the wealth, the power, the influence ©f the vertical
trust ramifies in countless directions and its potencj
is maintained—yet concealed—through subsidiary
associations and interlocking directorates, so the
spreading flag of the Empire overshadows all the
activities of the financially subsidiary little nations,
biding the iron hand of control beneath the velvet
glove of a skeletal "majesty" or the mask of an
"elected" chief.
The evidence is everywhere abundant: so abundant it is wonderful it escapes general notice. In all
times, in the daily press, world wide. The "freedom" of Napolean draped the traders of the 3rd
estate. The same principle was crowned at Sadowa
—at Versailles—at Sevres. The national aspirations of Serbia concealed the rival aggressions of
Russia and Germany, of Britain and France. The
Balkan Wars were but minor eruptions of the underlying competition of the "AllRed Route" and "Deu-
tchland Uber Allies.'' The ups and downs of Mexican
politics reflect the counterplay of Standard oil and
Royal Dutch. The land of the Incas presents the
same pull to the same powers. Monarchical or Republican China is the manifest of vested interests,
ln the Transvaal, and in Haitii we saw the little
people in the dark toils of giant finance. In India
and in Egypt we see independence, "with gyves
upon its wrist." In lovely Tahiti, in "mandated"
Naura, amongst the fisher folks of Saghalien and the
untutored tribes of Africa exploitation reaches out
and drags down. Feisul rode out of Syria—for overstepping the limits of French "protection". Britain
made him a "king"—and he is now tripping the
beatific dance of freedom under Sir Percy Cox.
We said that the problem of the Near East was
the settlement of the national differences of Turkey
and Greece. It -is. Nevertheless that would be a
false impression, left unqualified. Certainly the
problem is ii-e composition of the Graeco-Turkish
quarrel, but it involves the settlement of the deeper
quarrel of Imperialist rivalry for commercial supremacy. Behind Greece and Turkey are Britain
and France, the primal participants for Empire—
and with them the whole world will participate in
the final issue. Three quarters of the Turkish debt
(about £150 million) is in French hands. And the
security from that debt is precisely the question at
stake—the resources of Asia Minor and its hinterland. Greek eapital is interlinked with British capital in the lucrative Eastern traffic, in fruit, corn
and cotton. Greece and Britain are in collusion in
the cotton enterprises of Egypt. Their common interests are deep, and for Britain momentous. Consequently, if the Greek drove the Turk clear of
Europe and out of Asia Minor, Greek nationality,
i.e., the royal and merchant charters of capitalist
Greece, would triumph.—--and British influence would
be in'the ascendant. But Turkey would disappear
as a catspaw nation and her defeat would involve
the dividend bearing bonds of the Parisian money-
lords. France, thwarted in reparations, stripped of
her Russian investments, partially dependent on
Britain for oil and opposed by Britain in her Met-
ternichian scheme of hegemony is in no mood to
calmly suffer the further looting of Asia minor. If
the Tui> vanquished the Greek that would make
little material difference to Greek capital; but it
conld eliminate Greek ambitions of sovereignty—
and might seriously menace the luscious fruits of the
British Empire.
During or after the war the Allies partitioned
the Turkish Empire among themselves. To France
was awarded the "mandate" for the "protection
of Syria and its Christian populations." To Britain
came Mesopotamia, and Greece was "awarded" a
rather precarious footing in Western Asia Minor.
But the "protection of Chritian minorities" in Syria
—or elsewhere—carries with it exactly the same
obligation as the protection of British freedom in
Canada—the exploitation of the natural wealth of
the country. And the independence which Britain
presented to Irak was—as Karl Radek pithily puts it
"independence from the naptha deposits of Mosul."
While the holy Greek, in pursuance of his Christian
principles pushed the Sick Man back to the fastnesses of Angora. Here the young Turks succeeded in
halting the Greek "Drangosten," subsequently in
stituting a vigorous offensive. Britain averred that
those man-eating monsters the Bolsheviks supplied
their brother terrorists the Turks with the golden
means for^ that purpose. Miserable people. But
Britain—wise in the ways of the dove and the serpent—was partly right. For in 1921 there was a
bumper wheat crop in the plains of the Turkish
East; and as Russia was a land of famine there was
a ready market for the golden staff of life. Rus-
paid for that wheat in good metal roubles of gold,—
enabling the Kemattsts to fortify their hopes and
their hands with the bounteous products of Schneid-
er-Creusot. Truly it would be a doubtful shekel
that failed to tickle the eye of Sir Christian Capital.
So the tables are completely turned. During the
war, when the main business of life was the annihilation of the "corps-stewing" Hun, Tino was deposed
—as a possible emissary of enemy machinations—
and Venizelos "guided" the Republic—the mediating Pope of Graeco-French capital. When the
Turks were flying from the proselytising Greeks
there arose a clamor in the land of the Olympian
gods for the beloved Tino. For does not Royalist
Greece fly the house flag of English finance? With
the Turk once more overlooking the storied fields
of Thrace the good Cretan casts darkling looks on
the place of the throne. These incidents are the indications of the undertow of the rival Imperialisms
of Britain and France. They are insignificant in
themselves; and the local suffering they cause is the
direct—and foreknown—result of a mendacious diplomacy in the interests of the rulers of the world.
The atrocities of Armenia, like the atrocity of war,
is the inevitable sequence of capitalist privilege in
wealth production; and whether those atrocities
eventuate in Armenia, or China, or Timbuctoo, they
happen always with the long cognisance and direct
connivance of world finance. It is not chance and
it is not a calamity. It is the studious fostering and
the studied direction of national and international
misunderstandings for the seizure, or the maintenance, or the further extraction of privilege and
profit in the common means of life.
But there is a deeper significance to the question.
"Oil,"  said  Briand,  "is the key to the future."
Mosul, the oil centre of Syria is more securely in
French influence with the demise of the Greek from
Asia Minor. And since Turkey is linked with French
interests on one side, and with Russia on the other,
it might be that France dreams of a contact with
Baku—direct or indirect.   With thc Turk reinstated
in Constantinople, tlie hinterland  of  Thrace,   and
with Thrace, Bulgaria  cannot but be a fertile field
for intrigue.   In that intrigue the chief prizes will
be the right-of-way of communication, and the oil
wells of Rumania and Macedon, now controlled by
Anglos-Persian.   And with Central Europe in the
leading strings of France—and partly of Italy, an
associate of France—with French post war necessity, the failure of reparations, the burning of Russian bonds and the necessity of salvaging Europe
for and to her own supreme interests there can
be no   amicable  relations   between   France    and
Britain fought the good fight of Empire through
the medium of Greece because it was probably cheaper that way; because she was invisible in the affair
(Continued on page 7) PAGE TWO
The Origin of the World
By R. McMillan.
It seems very easy to talk about the way that
things change, but we see little or no change in the
things about us, do we? The horse was always a
horse, and the donkey was always a donkey; just
as the sheep was always a sheep, and a man was always a man. Yet here I am saying that everything
has changed, and that all we see and know, even
to the solid and mighty hills, was developed from
the white fire-mist which once spread out in hazy
mystery in the realms of space. If you believe that
the world was really developed from the fire-mist,
then you are compelled to believe that all things
have developed on the earth, although it seems difficult. It would take such a long time for all things
to change from a fire-mist, a simple fire-mist, to the
complicated things that are on the earth today.
It would take a long time, of course; but time is
plentiful in eternity!
We have made time a real thing with our clocks
and watches and calendars, but that is all human
imagination. There is no such thing as time, really.
What we call time is just the sequence of events.
The world turns round in twenty-four hours, and
we call that a day; but a day is not a real thing. It
is only the revolution of a ball. How many times
will the ball revolve before it gets tirejl? The number of revolutions will give you the age of the
world. We think that it is an important matter,
but it is not, really. You have to change your point
of view when you dare to ask how the world originated.
You think of the horse as a fixed type of animal,
and so it is, relatively to other animals. All the
same, a horse has developed, just as everything
else has, and we are only now finding it out. I
remember when Professor Marsh found the fossil
remains of the horse in America, and yet we used
to think there never had been any horses in America till the Spaniards took them over, after
1492. That was the date when Columbus discovered America. Think of Spaniards taking
horses across the Atlantic in their little ships, over
four hundred years ago. We bring horses from
England to Australia now, 13,000 miles; but we
carry them in steamships, and we know how long
it will take, almost to the hour. When the Spaniards'took horses across the Atlantic they had to
trust to the wind, and they never knew how long
they would be, and the ships were very, very small,
and storms were just as frequent then as now. Yet
they took the soldiers' horses to America.
When I was a little boy, and read about Cortes
and Pizarro conquering South America, I remember what an effect the sight of the horses had on
the natives. They thought tbe horse and the man
were one animal, and when the man fired his gun,
and they saw the flame and heard the report, their
terror of the new animal was complete. That was
how the small band of Spaniards were able to conquer Mexico and all South America. The point
I want to make here is simply that horses were quite
unknown to the people in America. They had
never seen or heard of one, and when the Spaniards
came with their horses they were terrified at the
sight of them. When the Spanish horses escaped to
the great level lands of South America—the "Pampas" they call them—they flourished exceedingly,
and grew wild, and galloped over all the land in
enormous droves, like the waves of the sea.
You wonder why the horses had never appeared
in America when they had been so common in all
historic time in Europe and Asia. When you learn
that the bones of the fossil horse were discovered
in America afterwards, when men began to study
geology, you wonder still more. Tho horse was
very common in America "once upon a time," be
fore men had ever seen America. The ancestor of
the horse was developed in America, and must have
been very widespread on that great continent.
But how did it get from its home, in what we now
call America, to the other parts of the world? -Once
you start thinking about this subject, you will find
that there is no end to the wonder and to the curious things in connection with it. There must have
been a great change in America to destroy-the equine
life entirely, but what that change was I am quite
unable to explain. I want you to understand that
the mystery of life and the world is greater to me
than it can possibly be to you, for I have found out
what a lot of things I do not know, while you are
ignorant of your ignorance, to some extent at least.
An old-world poet named Lucretius, who lived
in Italy before the time of Christ, must have known
that all things change, for he sang:—
Time makes mutable the whole world's mass,
Which on from phase to phase must ever change;
Naught keeps its native likeness; all things pass,
All things by Nature's laws must shift and change.
When I first read the history of the horse, as
written in its own bones, in the Peabody Museum, in
New Haven, Connecticut, U. S. A., I was too much
surprised to understand it. X had always thought
that the horse had been a hors© from the commencement; but when I looked at the bones in the
museum I saw that there had been a time when the
horse was not a horse, as we understand the word.
The geologists found the bones of the horse in Western America, buried in the rocks and clays and
stones of an ancient world. They found that the
horse, as* we understand it. was an old animal in
point of time, but—they discovered something else.
They" discovered that there was once a horse with
three toes instead of the single hoof which it has
now. They saw that an animal like the horse had
existed in the Upper Miocene times, but, instead
of having one toe, it had three. They called it the
hipparion, and they studied its character, Then, in
the Upper Eocene, they discovered thc ancestor of
the hipparion, and it also had three toes; but the
side ones were longer than in the hipparion, and it
showed other differences as well, and they called it
the anchitherium. Then they discovered the ancestor of the anchitherium, which they called the
orohippus, and it had four toes; and there was another named eohippus, but I forget when it came in.
Now look at the bones of the horse's feet, and tell
me what difference you see! I have seen the bones
themselves, and have read a good deal about them;
and I am quite certain that these bones are the bones
of the horse and its ancestors; and I am also quite
certain that the horse of today is the descendant
of the horses that lived in America long, long ago.
But now, you look at the bones!   *
At the top of the foot marked A you will see
four bones, one for each of the fingers, or toes, whichever you like to call them. At the top of the three-
toed horse's foot you see three bones: but at the
top of one marked D—the modern horse—you will
see that there is only one big bone, and two very
little ones. Now look at the foot and ankle of a
horse, and you will find that the splint bones—as
they call them—are the relics of the big bones that
existed long ago. The horse has developed one
toe, and the others have all disappeared except the
splint bones, which are but the milestones to direct
us back to the horse's ancestors.
I have not shown you the foot of the five-toed
horse, for the simple reason that I did not see it
myself; but I have no doubt at all about its existence.   There was once a five-toed horse, but it was
* This has reference to the illustrations in the
book which, as we have already said, we are unable
to produce owing to the matter of costs.—Ed.
no larger than a fox or hare; it was a swift little
creature, that flourished in the western parts of
America a very long time ago—millions of years
ago—and it grew bigger and stronger and swifter
all through the ages, and gave rise to the quagga,
and the ass, and all the varieties that exist today.
It died out in America. You can read all that I
have been telling you in the stone books of geology;
but you cannot read why the horse died out in
America, nor how is reached Europe and Asia, nor
can you read—as yet—where and when the changes
took place in the varieties of the horse, but—there
are the bones in the New Haven Museum to show
you that the changes have taken place.
The development of the horse is but the sign and
token of all changes that have taken place in the
world since first began the flight of time. I do not
know what exterminated the horses from the American continent; but Sir E. Ray Lankester, one of
the greatest naturalists in the whole wide world
"It is not a far-fetched hypothesis that the disappearance of the whole equine race from the American continent just before or coincidently with the
advent of .man—a region where horses of all kinds
had existed in greater variety than in any other
part of the world—is due to the sudden introduction,
by means of some geological change, of a deadly
parasite which spread as an epidemic and extinguished the entire horse population."
No explanations explain much; but there you
have the problem—for you to solve!
This year's harvest is belived to be adequate to
satisfy all the requirements of Russia's population
in food and seed, and. even to provide a considerable
surplus. The question as to whether any of this
surplus of grain should be exported abroad has been
much discussed. However gratifying it would be
for Russia to resume her place once more as a grain
exporting country after having been a needy importer for the last year to two, there are nevertheless good reasons for retaining this surplus in the
country. In pre-war years there were always substantial reserves of grain, in the hands of merchants
and peasant*, carried forward from harvest to harvest. Since the war this stock has been completely
consumed. It is of vital importance that new reserves should be built up, not only as insurance
against famine, but to stabilize the price of food.
The existence of grain reserves will afford welcome
relief to industry, which for two years now has suffered from tlie repeated food shortages. On the other
hand, some regions, such as the Ukraine and the
south-east, will have comparatively large surplus of
grain, which from transport considerations it might
be just as profitable to export as to retain, and
which would serve to purchase abroad articles much
needed by the peasants. A certain quantity of Russia's surplus grain may therefore seek the foreign
In conversation with Lloyd George at Genoa,
Chicherin said jokingly that it was not fair to demand repayment of the war loans, as Russia had
not received her part of the bargain—Constantinople. Of course, he* added, Russia would at once
return it to its rightful owner, Turkey. A special
correspondent of the "Manchester Guardian" discovered this statement recently, and embellished an
article on Russia and Constantinople with the remark that "seing how quickly the political mind in
Russia is changing, what was yesterday a joke might
tomorrow be a settled policy." Five days later
(September 27) the "Manchester Guardian" developed this as "the present Russian Government has
made known its claim to Constantinople. The claim
was made by M. Chicherin at Genoa. "....The rolling
joke certainly gathers moss!
—Russ. Info, and Review, (London) *£L^CZ£i*«&f*'**^'*-^^
J* *z
Parliament or Cabinet
Which ?
EDITOR'S NOTE:—The following replies by comrades
Harrington and "R" conclude the discussion with comrade
J. A. McDonald under this heading. The course of the discussion may be followed by reference to Western Clarion issues of Sept. l«t and 16th and Oct. 16th.
IN my last attempt at'this question, I conceded
Comrade McDonald that in theory Parliament
was the wiil of the people, but maintained that
the concession was barren. For in practice, Parliament never effects what the people really want and.
what they really vote for—the amelioration of their
social conditions. Com. McDonald admits that, I
think. I, said further, that I was writing apropos
of a pending election, the object being to show that
the elective machinery was in fact not the expression of the social will, as popularly understood, but
as an apparatus to safeguard the property right of
the capitalist class through the illusion of electoral
freedom. Our comrade will admit tbat too, I think.
Com. Mc. avers, as we do, that Parlianment is a
class institution, and parliamentary procedure the
prerogative of class privilege; and he implies
through quotations that the capitalist class has little
to fear from the election of a Labor Government.
Clearly, therefore, in practical effect—the objective we had in view—Parliament is not the reflex
of the will of the people.
Com. Mc. says I regard Parliament as without
eyes and teeth, etc. Pardon me, I do not. But its
eyes are fixed exclusively on class interests, and its
teeth are invariably used to bite the workers, who
vote for it. And because it does so it delimits its
functions—not in theory but in practice—as the
rendition of Ceasar's things to Ceasar.
Let me try to explain again the contention that
it has lost its ancient powers and privileges. Genetically—not politically—considered, Parliament is
the modified descendant of the tribal assemblies and
communal moots of people in the completely different association of Gentile society and primitive fued-
alism. Those assemblies gathered together to consider the customs and duties, the common rights and
privileges of the-social organisation, and for all practical purposes they really represented the total community. With the advent of political concepts, engendered through the slowly changing years, the
ancient customs and traditions changed form and
hue through the pressure of immediate condition,
and those free assemblies gradually acquired definite
complexions of class law. The definite advent of
capitalist condition entailed a new rendering of
class law, and the old idea of compounded custom
and law was modified by thc new need, in the new
form of political practice. Political change and industrial revolution have hidden both changing form,
varying concept, and transitional stage; while the
general hardening of economic conditions very naturally drapes and colors the socially misapprehended past, lt is the confused traditions of the past, intermingling with the misunderstood present, that induces the empty concepts of present thought. And
from that thought, laden with prejudice and preconception, results the chaotic volitions and meaningless terms of the present reality. Hence, in this
transmitted light of social idealogy Parliament is
stripped of its ancient privileges and lives in traditional prestige.
Strictly speaking in the terms of political Par- .
liament, although the theory remains unaltered its
character has changed with changing times, and its
application with changing conditions. Does the present not afford bounteous proof of that? Fifty
years ago parliament certainly represented a wider
body of interests and was more strictly sensitive to
peculiarly parliamentary principles. Today the
corruption of parliament is a byword, its legislation
the scorn even of its administrators.   And if, by the
book, the cabinet is the creation of parliament, by
the. book parliament is the registrar of a multitude
of D.O.R.A.'s, emergency acts, radical jockeyism
and general Imperialist legislation. •And as business
has developed from the individual interest to the
vertical trust and international combine, so representation has passed dominantly from the national
trader and liberal manufacturer, to the purse-holder
of foreign securities and international banking. And
as foreign affairs are not in the natur3 and beyond
the scope of the national parliament, so its oldtime
prerogatives are changed with its new personnel;
the superior departments which it theoretically
creates and governs become its dictators, leaving
it the "privilege" of blindly—and faithfully—endorsing the policies of foreign continuity and Imperialist accumulation. It is social ignorance, of
..course, that returns the representatives who support the system; but it is the underlying economic
development that energises the changed method and
decreasing social right.
If the idea behind parliamentary representation
is the emancipation of the wage worker, it is doomed already. Class consciousness is far superior in
political domination than in proletarian organisation; industrial condition far ahead of social understanding. And through the irresistable necessities of its gathering, yet restrained forces, it will
probably impel an issue by other means than the
ballot. Circumstances, by the colossal impounding
of political reconstructions may drive the workers
in general, in the unity of social need, to seize the
powers of government. But in seizing them the
class nature of parliament will be abolished, and the
new state will have as its foundation, not the privilege of class, but the administration of social necessity. That is to say the state will be seized only to
abrogate the exploitation of the state. And in doing
so the will of the people, consciously, will find its
real expression, and its social administration resume,
in a higher form, its lost traditions and long extinguished privileges.
SO far as I can see, no fundamental difference
has been raised in this discussion, and I have
neither time nor inclination to enter into a
'tis and 'tisn't argument. I too have an alarm-
clock. If comrade McDonald can see no difference
'between Wilson and his second election promises
and performances and a horse and its stable, then
I 11 let it go at that.
Concerning the matters oi detail 1, touched ou,
the facts are articulate enough and can speak for
The President of the United States is elected by
the Electoral College, the seven million votes notwithstanding. The constitution provides for that,
and twice in actual practice the College vote has
killed the popular vote: In 1876 Hayes beat Tilden
on it, and again, in 1888 Harrison beat Cleveland.
The Prime Minister of Britain takes precedence next to the Archbishop of York thanks to
King Edward who "is not" in matters of legislature; not by act of parliament. He is not selected
by the victorious Party. Parliament cannot dismiss
him or his Cabinet. There is no law on this matter,
only precedence, and as one sapient historian has
it: by accident.
* A group of a little over a hundred aristocrats
meet in the Carlton Club and take a vote; Lloyd
George, without a word from Parliament or a word
to Parliament resigns. The King, without a word
to Parliament asks Bonar Law to form a Cabinet;
the latter, without a word to Parliament says he
will await a vote taken in the Hotel Cecil, where
400 autocrats select him and he is Prime Minister.
He, in selecting his Cabinet, out of the eleven so
far chosen of the nineteen required, includes two
who are neither members of the Commons nor the
Touching the Labor Party voting against their
own measure and the comments thereon, I am sure
that "gulling" the workers as an explanation is
not going into the matter much below the surface.
And whatever relation a Bach fugue or Handel
sonata may bear to the result, the fact remains that
had the Labor members voted for their amendment
Parliament would have been dismissed, not by law
but by precedent or, as our aforesaid Sapience says,
by accident. ,
The Conference at Chang-Chun, between the
Jananese Government, the Far Eastern Republic,
and Soviet Russia, opened with favourable prospects of success. The Japanese Government appeared to have realised that the continued occupation of the territory of the Far Eastern Republic
could lead to no permanent advantage, political or
economic, in the face of determined opposition from
the great bulk of the population. From the very
opening of the conference, however, the attitude of
the Japanese representatives showed clearly that
the Japanese Government was actuated merely by a
desire to cut its losses, and not by any motive of
principle. The Japanese delegation at first attempted to prevent the participation of the representatives of Soviet Russia. They then reverted, to the
terms of a Japanese ultimatum which resulted in the
breaking off of the Dairen negotiations five months
ago. Finally, the Japanese delegation refused to
give any definite undertaking to evacuate the northern half of Saghalin Island, which is as indisputably
part of the territory of the Far Eastern Republic as
are the Maritime provinces, which the Japanese are
prepared to evacuate?
• • •'•-•;
The conference has therefore broken down, as
the essential basis for any possible agreement must
be the evacuation by Japan of all territory now
wrongfully occupied.   It appears clear that the Japanese were only willing to evacuate those portions
of the mainland which they had found uutenable,
but hoped to retain their dominion over the northern.
half of Saghalin, with its immense mineral and timber resources.   The position at Vladivostok is not
clear, but on September 22 the Japanese command "
Nikolaevsk formally transferred authority to t !
provincial assembly of citizens, pending the arriv.
of the Far Eastern Republic forces.
y    —Russian Information and Review. (London)
8nt by
es Rus-
The conflict in the Near East places Soviet Russia in a peculiar situation. The Soviet Republic cannot help rejoicing in the lowering of the prestige of
British imperialism which with the help of Greek
cannon fooder was going to convert thc entire Near
East into an English colony. But it is also far fr
full and unrestrained enthusiasm for the other •!
tending party. The object of the struggle **%L
only the question whether thc Straits should be controlled by the Black Sea nations or by Great
Neither is it exclusively the struggle of
trodden Oriental nation against enslavemj
European imperialism. In either of these ca<
sia's sympathies would bc entirely with tht
of England. But tlie problem is complicated.by.the
fact that the main backer of Turkey is France whose
intentions are just as honourable as those of itjfcii'j'tr-
fidious" rival. The Russian oil fields of the Caucasus are in close proximity to Turkey's North-
Eastern frontier, and they have been ior years the
object of unsuppressed desires of German and Turkish, as well as French and English imperialists. A
successful Franco-Turkish collaboration against the
British might possibly have as its sequel a similar
collaboration against Soviet Russia "for the liberation of the Moslem peoples from the Russian yoke"
and for implanting of French capitalist rule in the
Caucasus, on the Russian Black Sea shore and iii
This is the reason why Soviet Russia, while viewing with sympathy the justified demands of Tur-
key, has nevertheless decided to adopt an attitude of
"watchful waiting."—"Soviet Russia" (N. Y.) PAGE FOUR
Western Clarion
A Journal of History, Economics, Philosophy,
and Current Events.
Published twice a month by the Socialist Party of
Canada, P. O. Box 710, Vancouver, B. C.
Entered at G. P. 0. as a newspaper.
Editor.    Ewen  MacLeod
Canada, 20' issue* .     |1.00
Foreign, 16 Issues     $1.00
*\***g*lt this number is on your address laJbel your
KYUinibscriptlon expires with next issue. Renew
v ■ "prompitly.
iF the fellow next door persisted in visiting you
three times a day for several days, asking the
same questions to which you had already replied,
or making the same proposals which you had already declined, you would very likely conclude that
he was "hard o' hearin' " or that his understanding of your attitude required speedy adjustment.
By recent advices from the secretary of the Winnipeg Local of the S. P. of C. (Conarade W. Ashton)
we learn that the Workers' Party in that neighborhood has been manifesting similar characteristics to
those possessed by our supposed fellow next door,
as above.
The matter in question is of course (as before)
unity: this time in connection with the forthcoming
Winnipeg civic elections. Last time T,he Provincial
elections provided the occasion. .Then the W. P.
had a string of immediate reform measures on its
political platter—the dish was scorned by the'electorate—and this time the dishv is similarly garnished. The question-from the W.P. to us now
(as before) is will we unite with' them to secure these
immediate reforms?   Our answer (as before) is no.
This, we suppose, will be again received and recorded as evidence of our unbrotherliness, our im-
poiable position, our meagre addition of the sum
of; olass loyalty, our leftism, our theoretical purity,
onr lack of political initiative—and all the rest of
it In short, it will be seen by our misguided friends
that we are a Socialist Party.
The successful conclusion of a unity programme
on a reform.basis should be easy enough to accomplish. Obviously it should be directed exclusively
toward reform parties. There are many of them in
this country east and west and it is not easy to see
what keeps them apart, the W. P. among them.
There is no use denying the reform nature of a party
whieh has a reform programme. The appearance of
the programme itself makes this conclusion per-
rity within, we suppose, precedes unity with-
it certainly should, at any rate, although a
eory examination of recent events in the W. P.
self inclines us to the view that while it is much
concerned over unity without it has something to
worry about in disruption within. For instance, it
showed no uniformity whatever in support if its
three candidates in the last Manitoba Provincial
elections. It has been the home of dissention since
the day of its inception, members' resignations or
members expulsion being constantly a busy order of
business. It has proven a keen disappointment to
many an enthusiast. In the day of its inception it
aimed at comprising '' a synthesis of theoretical
Marxism with revolutionary practice." It was to
be "a party of the masses and not a mere educational club." It professed a fine revolutionary disdain
for our "academy." Incidentally it recently ejected
through the members' expulsion route J. Kavanagh
and J. G. Smith, these being two of the four signatories to "The Parting of the Ways," a document which some nine months ago expressed that
disdain with an air of finality—its authors having,
as they thought, found political salvation. It is
quite apparent that unity may be achieved by reducing the sum of your membership as well as by
increasing it through party alliances. The W. P.
folks practice the principle at both ends, although
we suspect they donM; quite see the logic of it.
This solicitude for unity is not newly born. In
the Socialist movement of the English speaking
world it has been persistently voiced in the political arena for forty years anyway, and forty years
ago there were not so many parties as there are
now. Its main prop has been political accomodation,
irrespective of divergent viewpoints. Form without substance has been its practical content. From
a Socialist standpoint it has shewn an amazing capacity for adaptation to the shifting scenery of practical politics, and there the Socialist standpoint has
yielded place to those policies which have followed
immediate- advantage. The history of the»S. D. F. in
Great Britain well enough bears this out.
We know very well that the cry for unity meets
a widespread response in working class ranks.
Class sentiment invites it. Unity is strength, the
basis of organization and the principle of its advocacy. But by counting noses you do not prove
the strength of a Socialist organization. The war
demonstrated that. The parties of the masses were
too little acquainted with the educational club. They
were used to do their master's bidding and they harbored mutual hatred for class loyalty. A little understanding, wherever it manifested itself, was of
more use to the working class than much organization and no understanding.
The logic of the Socialist position allows for no
political trimming. If you understand what you are
at your foolishness lies in adjusting yotfr case to
accomodate your master's convenience. His convenience lies in the way of reform and when you
play that game you play the game that suits him
Marx's dictum: Workers of the World, Unite!
itn> these late days has come to be inscribed on the
board of common palaver. It imposes the breaking
strain on human patience to see it recruited to the
miserable service of petty reform.
NOVEMBER 7th, 1922 will mark the fifth year
of governmental control by the Soviets in
Russia. The years that have followed 1917
have borne to world attention events charged with
anxiety for the rulers of society, and for the toilers
the augury of their hopes.
The pathway to working class emancipation has
been beset by almost every possible obstacle. Four
years .of incessant struggle with the armed invader,
culminating in the appearance of famine in the
autumn of 1921 held the Russian workers to a task
that laid claim to an abundant store of courage,
energy and resource. The fifth year has brought
Russian representatives to the council tables of the
outside nations, for the first time since Brest Litovsk.
The November revolution has been the most auspicious event in working class history. The years
that have gone have sustained Soviet power in administration against all odds. The moment at hand
finds that power, at the dictates of social necessity, in consultation w}ith the cominerciaAism of
the commodity world.
The practical, administrative side of the Soviet
forces provides the most interesting study in the
whole field of world politics today. The matter of
sitting in judgment—in the doctrinaire sense—is far
short yet in the duration of time. It will be found,
we think, that the conduct of affairs in any social
sense is not to be imposed by the book. The bare
process of marshalling the facts must be accompanied by interpretation, and that, in turn, must
be the impulse toward understanding. The S. P. of
C. outlook on the present Russian situation will be
set forth at an early date.
OUR attention has been drawn to: a letter in
the "B. C. Federationist," Oct. 20th, 1922, by
T. A. Barnard,1 in Which it is stated that the
S; P. of C. adopts tactics which are hard to defend,
even by those adopting them.
We cheerfully extend the courtesy of a couple
of Clarion columns to the writer in which to set
forth his case, to which no doubt we shall have a
word or two to say in reply if the call warrants it.
COMRADE C. Lestor left Vancouver on the
26th October on the way to Calgary and points
east. He will be in Alberta a month, perhaps
more, speaking at various points under the direction
of the Alberta P. E. C. Comrade R. Burns (secretary Alta. P. E. C.),.134a 9th Avenue, West, Calgary,
Alberta, will be in touch with him until December,
and enquiries, if any are forthcoming, should be addressed to him as to the places of call. This has particular reference to points in Saskatchewan which
could very well be covered by Com. Lestor on the
way to Winnipeg. His address in Winnipeg will be
in care W. Ashton (secretary Local Winnipeg, S. P.
of C.), P. O. Box 2354, Winnipeg, Man. ,
The local press contains news of the Japanese
evacuation of Vladivostok. It does not say a word
about the landing there of American marines, the
excuse for which action by the U. S. is the protection
of U. S. nationals and their property.
Here   is   the   time-table   of Lestor's route in
Nov. 27:—Leaves Youngstown for Excel 9.55 a.m.,
arriving Excel 12 noon. Comrades there might arrange two or three meetings.
Dec. 3:—Meeting in Calgary at 8 p.m. Details
Dec. 4:—Leaves Calgary 7 a.m., stopping off at
Seven Persons. Comrade Polinkos will arrange
meetings there.
We hope the Locals will facilitate Comrade Lestor's movements and take advantage of his tour for
the good of the movement in every possible way.
Novr. 2:—Leaves Calgary at 9.40 for Swalwell.
Comrade Beagrie will make arrangements.
Novr. 3:—Trochu. Meetings may be held at Col-
lingwood school and Finnish Hall, Trochu; Aberdeen, Innisfail. Lestor will remain in this neighborhood for a week. Comrade D. MacPhersion will arrange meetings.
Novr. 12:—Meeting in Calgary, possibly in the
Empress Theatre 8 p.m. Details later.
Novr. 13:—Leaves Calgary for Hanna at 6.10 a.m.
Comrade Roberts will make arrangements for that
Novr. 18:—Takes 12.34 a.m. train for Stanmore,
arriving at 1.06 a.m. Comrade Donaldson will make
Nov. 22:—Leaves Stanmore 8.35 ,a.m., arriving
Youngstown 9.55 a.m. Comrade Mrs. Hughes will
arrange for meetings in Youngstown.
#       »       #
Local (Vancouver) No. 1, will hold its organizational meeting of the class for the study of History
on Wednesday, November 1st, at 8 p.m. at Rooms
11-and 12, 163 Hastings Street West. The organizational meeting of the Economics class will be held
(at the same place), Sunday November 5th at 3 p.m.
We had intended to say something as to the importance and practical uses of such studies as these,
and to set forth the nature of the studies and the
manner of approach. The students themselves, perhaps, will provide us with an outline before we go
to press again. One feature of class work we would
emphasize as worth serious consideration: the matter of essay writing. This is of importance to the
students. It helps the students to find their own
errors, and it will help theni along the way to the
habit of ink-spilling. We cannot have too many
speakers. The need is evident and growing. Writers are needed also. Every eneouragemnet is offered
toward a good crop by the method suggested.
We are run out of space, of enough^ at anyrate,
to enter a sufficient treatment of the subject this
time. Both in History and Economics the subject
matter studied will provide good ground work for
writing between classes. The first consideration,
in each department, no doubt will be "The Nature
of the Study." May we hope for short articles
accordingly thereafter? WESTERN   CLARION
Parson I
WHO of us that have addressed Socialist
meetings has not been interrupted by someone in the crowd declaring that the evils
of which we complain are "due to over-population,
and that they can be cured only by restricting the
number of births, and not by Socialism or Communism? These people call themselves Neo-Malthus-
ians, and they take their name from the Rev. Malthus, who in 1798 wrote -' An Essay on Population.''
His disciples used the arguments set out in that book
to attack the early trade unionists and Socialists by
means of the Wages Fund Theory and the Iron Law
of Wages Theory.
Now, Malthus certainly made an important contribution to thought by indicating the importance of
the population question; and we only put ourselves
in a weak position if we deny this. Malthus' theory
may for,simplicity be divided into two parts £--
(1) He stated that population always tends to increase faster than the food supply. Tho number of
mouths to be fed will increase faster than the
wherewithal to feed them." Tbis is due-to the exist-'
ence .ef the Law of Diminishing Returns on land.
This laAV is that in the absence of new inventions an
increased food supply can after a point only be obtained at an ever increasing cost in labor-power expended. After a certain point moro potatoes can
only be got from that piece of ground at the expense
of a great increase of time and trouble—so great as
to make it possibly worth while to extend the size of
the allotment, rather than to go on crowding the existing plot. Malthus showed that this tendency for
population to grow faster than the lood supply
would involve poverty and a low standard of life, unless population was checked in either of two ways:
(a) by positive checks—wars, famine, Iufantile mortality, etc.; (b) by prudential checks—late marriages and conscious restraint. (Since Malthus' time the
use of contraceptive methods has added another effective prudential check). Malthus showed that
if over-population is not checked by (b), (a) would
inevitably come into operation.
(2) Since there was a "natural law" of population, viz., that a population of human beings tended
to double itself every thirty years, poverty, disease,
and wars were inevitable, said Malthus, unless by
late marriages or sexual continence people voluntarily restricted increase. Hence all social reforms,
Socialism, and trade union action were not only useless, but they would defeat their own ends. An increased standard of life among the masses would
merely enable them to breed and rear more children;
and the population being increased, poverty would
ensue again. Hence poverty, infantile mortality,
and bad social conditions were not due to the social
system, but to a law of nature.
Now (1), as a mere description of facts and a
tendency, is a truism, but is none the le^s important.
True, there may be inventions and discovery of new
sources of food supply; but inventions are uncertain,
whereas increase of population is certain, and the
food supply per head would be greater if the population were smaller. (2), however, is completely fallacious for the following reasons:—
As Marx indicated'in his reply to Malthus, there
is no natural or absolute law of population. The
ratio between population and food supply tends to
be different at different stages of historical evolution. Both rate of increase of production, and rate
of production are relative to economic conditions.
For instance, in a predominantly peasant and petit-
bourgeois society like France, the population is stationary. On the, other hand, as Dr. Marshall points
out, it was the bad conditions under which the proletariat of the early 19th century Avere forced to live
that was chiefly responsible for the immense increase
in the birth-rate in this country at that time. Moreover, prevalent codes of private and social morality
exercise a powerful influence, and as Marxists we
understand the relativity of morality to economic
conditions.   At the present time orthodox bourgeois
religious morality is one of the greatest obstacles to
the spread of birth-control. Imperialist ideology
directly encourages a high birth-rate. The mother
of sixteen children is complimented by jingo magistrates on rearing sons for the Empire; and gets her
photograph in the "Daily Mirror." One of the chief
arguments against concerted restriction of population is always the Imperialist one that it would
weaken the nation's military position. Instances
abound of the fact that Imperialism is a factor making for a large birth-rate, e.g., Imperialist propaganda foi increase of population in France, iegal
restrictions on birth-control propaganda in U.S.A.,
and in Germany before the war; prohibition of public lectures by Mrs. Sanger in Japan. The law of
population is not, therefore, a law of nature, a tendency fixed for all time. It is itself largely the effect
of the economic system.; a change in the economic
system will iLange the ratio of population to food
One of the most important things written on this
subject recently has been the article by Prof. Bren-
tano in thc "Economic Journal," Septe'vo*;*", 1910.
The facts and figures given there abundantly prove
the contention I have just made. He proves both
that the birth-rate is higher among proletarians than
among peasants, and that a rise in the standard of
life tends to decrease the birth-rate, and probably
to decrease it faster than the decrease of infant mortality (i.e., ihe survival rate decreases also). lie
gives the following interesting facts: —
The birth-rate in the industrial departments Nord and
Pas de Calais has fallen only very slightly during the 19th
century; in the department Seine-Inferieure it has even
risen; while in the more prosperous departments, Yonne,
Cote d'Or, Garonne, Maine et Loire, Charente* etc., with
their well-to-do peasant population, it has diminished by
one-half. On the other hand, in Brittany aji well as in the
department of Corisca and Losere, where the peasant population is poor, the birth rate is as high as in the industrial districts. . . The more proletarian the department
the higher the birth-rate , ., (and) fertility decreases
with increasing prosperity.  •
l-orin i'.K] resses the matter clearly in bis chapter
on populati'n in "Contemporary Social Problems":
lt is a remarkable fact that those departments of
France in which the number of children to a family is
smallest are precisely those in which small holdings of
land are most general; while the birth-rate is much higher
in the departments having a large wage-earning population. . . When the workman is insufficiently paid he
procreates madly. . . Precisely because it is owing to
economic factors peculiar to the wage-system, the excess
of population is an essentially historical phenomenon.
The following are figures of the rale of increase
of population during the last fifty years in Great
'1871—5. 1901—5.   1912.   1917.
Birth-rate  35.5    (per 1,000) 28.1       23.8       17.8
Death-rate    22.0   (per 1,000) 16.0      13.3
Net increase  13.5   (per 1,000) 12.1       10.5
These figures show that the rate of increase of
population has been on thc decline, though slowly,
during the last fifty years. The following figures
also show that the higher the standard of life the
lower tends to be the birth-rate:—
Births per 1,000 married,
males aged under 55.
Upper and Middle Class  119
Intermediate     132
Skilled Workers   153 "
Intermediate 158
Unskilled Workers  '. 213
This is not to say that the population question is
not an important one. It will certainly be a problem
to be tackled in a Socialist community. But only
in a Socialist community will it be a primary interest
of society that there should be a rational restriction
of population, so as to secure the maximum social
welfare. Under capitalism the ruling classes are
not primarily concerned  with limiting  the  num
bers of the working class, although they may be interested enough in practising birth-control themselves. A large labour supply is good for capitalists;
cannon-fodder is desired by the Imperialists. The
economic emancipation of women in a Socialist com-.
munity will also be an important factor in the restriction of prolific increase.
The Malthusian claim that excess of population
is the cause of Imperialism and war, is supported
by so great an authority on the population*question
as Mr. Keynes. But the facts do not seem to support this view very adequately. At any rate, the
Marxian interpretation of Imperialism is a "working hypothesis" which explains the facts much more
adequately. First, Imperialist policies are formulated and carried through by the ruling class. An
increase of population among the workers does not
harm the interests of the ruling class, except indirectly through social unrest*caused by poverty. On
the contrary, it benefits them by affording a cheap
labour supply. Therefore it seems much more likely
that the cause of Imperialism lies in some factor
touching directly the interests of the capitalists,
rather than in something affecting thc interests, not
of the capitalists, but of the workers. At the present
time the Imperialism of France is producing propaganda in'favour of increased population. In such
a case the tendency to increased population is rather
an effect than a cause of Imperialism.
Second, an important fact working against the
Malthusian interpretation of Imperialism is that the
percentage increase of world population was greatest during the pacifist, Cobdenite period of 1840—•
1870, and began to decline between 1860 and 1870,
when modern Imperialism began. The rate of increase in the United States had steadily declined
since 1860, while the United States has become
steadily more Imperialist.
Percentage Increase of:—
World Popn.    Popn. in Eng.   Popn. in U.S.A.
These figures are not themselves sufficient to do
more than throw a doubt on the Malthusian claim.
But what is a stronger argument is that when modern Imperialism began round about 1870, the tendency to diminishing returns on land was not in operation, owing to the development and opening up
of new fertile land in the Middle West of America.
Not till after 1900, as Maynard Keynes himself admits, was "the Malthusian Devil, for half a century
chained up and out of sight . . loosed again."
"After 1870 the pressure*of population on food . .
. became for the first time in recorded history
definitely reversed. . . Up to about 1900 a unit
■"f labour applied to industry yielded year by year
a purchasing power over an increasing quantity of
food" (Economic Consequences of the Peace, pp. 7
and 8). Therefore "the Malthusian Devil" cannot
be an explanation of the sudden change round about
1870 from the pacifism of the Manchester School to
the Imperialism of the Birmingham School.
Once again, therefore, Ave see that wiiereas bourgeois economists flounder among partial truths,
among "absolute principles" and "laws of nature"
tinged by metaphysical assumptions, Marxism alone
provides a scientific working hypothesis to correlate
the complex facts of social evolution. Marxism alone
enables us to dispense with the old a priori, absolutist conceptions in social science by viewing history as a process, and realising the relativity of
social events, to this historical process.
P.S.—-The current number (No.6) of The Reconstruc-
(Continued on page 7) **%\w
"What is the I.W.W.?"
DURING the last year or so two pamphlets
have been issued by the Industrial Workers
of the World, both of-which throw considerable light on the organization. That is, they
propound and illuminate a great problem, but do not
by any means solve it, although it appears to have
been the aim of the publishers to do so.
One of-the pamphlets has for its title the question: "What is the I. W. W.?" and the pamphlet,
apparently, is an attempt to answer the question
propounded. It is, we are told, "A Candid Statement of its Principles, Objects and Methods." The
other pamphlet is entitled, 'The Lumber Industry
and its Workers."
As both pamphlets are published in Chicago at
the headquarters of the organization, 1001 West
Madison Street, we may consider them official and
authentic documents and, consequently, while criticizing certain statements made therein, we cannot
be accused of holding the organization responsible
tor statements made by members who are not thoroughly conversant with its aims and principles.
Before proceeding with our criticism, however,
we must give credit where credit is due and admit
that the I. W. W. has discarded a few of its worst
fallacies. For instance sabotage is n-*t once mentioned in either of the pamphlets, so we may assume that when Bill Haywood migrated to Russia
he took the wooden shoe along with him. Also, we
are advised to keep out of jail if possible; that is a
great improvement on the old slogan S'fill the jails."
Furthermore, the I. W. W. has at last realized the
fact that working class education is the great need
at present and that there is no short-cut "across
to the bread basket." It admits that any attempt to
organize the Avorkers for their emancipation Avhile
they do not yet understand their class position is
foredoomed to failure.
These changes in the policy of the organization
are very good and are to be commended, but, on
the other hand, there are a number of old fallacies
to which the I. W. W. still adheres as well as a
few neAv ones it has attached recently some of
Avhich we will examine as Ave go along, and we do
not have to read very far in the above mentioned
pamphlets before we find something worthy of examination, ln the pamphlet entitled. "What is the
I. W. W. ?" on pages three and four we find the fol-
loAving astonishing statement:—
"The I. W. W. has absolutely nothing to do with political revolution or with political action ot any kind, as
you will easily understand when you have read further.
We do not ask a man what his politics are no more than
we ask him what his roligion is or Avhat the color of his
skin is. That does not interest us. In fact, so disinterested are we, as an organization, in political, religious or
race problems that we prohibit all such propaganda within
our organization, as tending to distract attention from our
objects and conductive to strife and disruption."
There you are. You may talk to the ghosts Avith
Lodge and Doyle, or Avait till the spirit moves you
with the Quakers. You may bathe in the holy Avater
with the Roman Catholics, or in the blood of Jesus
with the Salvation Army. You may roll with the
Holy Rollers, or hoAvl "Good Lord deliver us" with
the Episeopelians,. You may be a liberal or a conservative, a democrat or a republican. You may
vote for the man Avho keeps us out of Avar or for
the man Avho kicks us into war and still be a
member in good standing of the I. W. W. All of
which is, no doubt, a Avise and necessary policy for
any union, craft or industrial, but hoAv any organization composed of individuals holding such
reactionary and superstitious vieAvs and opinions
can imagine itself to be revolutionary is a mystery
to me, and how such an organization, for fear of
strife and disruption, can prohibit all propaganda,
and must, for the same reason prohibit all discus-
sion and criticism of religion and politics, and still
at the same time consider itself an educational organization is "The Riddle of the Universe."
It must be pointed out before going any further that this haste and anxiety to build up a large
and powerful labor organization, and to try to keep
it together by the prohibition of all discussion and
criticism of religion, politics or anything else that
may have a tendency to disrupt it, is opportunism
pure and simple. The same old reef that Avrecked
the whole fleet of Sociaist parties known as the
Second International. Opportunism, mark you, not
the fact that they were political organizations.
Evidently Nicholas Lenin knew what he was talking about Avhen he said that Syndicalism was the
twin brother of opportunism, for the American I. W.
W. admits the fact that it is a near relation to the
Syndicalist movement in other countries.
With regard to the attempt made to draw a parallel betAveen a man's religion, or his politics, and-
the color of his skin, it is the worst kind of bunk.
A man may be a revolutionist no matter Avhat the
color of his skin is, but it is not logical to suppose
that a Avorker who is an adherent of any of the
above mentioned religious sects or political parties
can, at the same time, be a revolutionist. When a
worker thoroughly understands his class position
he does not believe in nor support any brand of
superstition, and he certainly will not support any
political party of the capitalist class.
On page 14 of the same pamphlet Ave find a few
definitions which are interesting to say the least,
so it may be well to examine them at some length.
Here Ave are informed that:—
"Political or indirect action is that kind of action which
the workers use when they seek to attain their object
by securing influence over or control of the governmental
machinery. Such action may consist of ballots, lobbying,
bribery, so-called mass action, bullets and political revolution. These are all means of political action. The I. W.
W. rejects all these methods of attaining the aims described above."
"Economic or direct action is that kind of action which
the workers use when they seek to attain their object by
securing control of the place of work, the factory, the
mill, the shop." '
"Direct action is such action as you use when you try
to improve your conditions by acting in person, jointly
with your fellows on the Industrial field."
"Indirect action is such action as you use when you hire
or elect representatives to improve your conditions."
It Avill be noted in the first place that political
action and indirect action are here considered synonymous terms, that is, they are supposed to mean
one and the same thing. Likewise econo'mic action
and direct action. Now if the words political and
indirect mean the same thing on the one hand, and
the words economic and direct mean the same thing
on the other hand, why is it necessary to use the
words direct and indirect at all, and why is it necessary to give them separate definitions after political and economic action have already been defined?
Again, it will be noted that these definitions explain nothing if Ave except the definition of political
action alone, Avhich covers the point in a kind of a
Avay but does not make it clear by any means.
In the definition of political action we are told,
among other things, that "bullets and political revolution," are means of political action. We are
further informed that the I. W. W. reject all such
methods. If the phrase "bullets and political revolution," means anything as a definition in this
respect, it means the application of armed force,
Avhich certainly is the main and basic form of political action. If, therefore, the working class cannot
emancipate itself without the use of armed force it
is doomed to wage slavery forever, for the I.W.W.
reject all such methods. This pacific attitude is
a. new one for the I. W. W., and appears to have been
swiped from the Socialist Labor Party.
As I have already pointed out, the above definitions explain little or nothing, so, instead of criticizing them I will give my own definitions of the terms
mentioned, and my reasons for defining them so.
To begin with, Ave must understand that action of
any kind is a result of the application of some pow- \
er. The first thing to be considered, then, is Iioav
the meaning of the Avord poAver is limited, or modified, by the addition of another word known as an
Noav, Avhen Ave use an adjective to describe or i
qualify the noun power, it means one of two things;
it either refers to the manner in Avhich the power is
generated, or it describes the purpose for which it is
applied, regardless of hoAv it is generated. It is
obviotis, therefore, that the adjectives economic and ,
political, used in connection with the noun power, j
refer to the purpose for which the power is applied.
Economic power, then, is poAver applied for an economic purpose. But what is an econimic purpose?
We find that the Avord economic is an adjective,
relating to the noun economics, Avhich the dictionary
tells us is the name of "the science that investigates the conditions and lavvs affecting the production, distribution, and consumption of Avealth, or
the material means of satisfying human, desires."
Consequently, economic poAver must be the power
to produce wealth. The power of man over nature.
The power of man, individually or collectively to
transform nature given material into things fit for
human consumption.
Economic action is the result of the application
of power to the natural resources of the earth for
the purpose of producing Avealth: The action necessary to the whole process of economic production
and exchange. If this is not economic action, Avhat
kind of action is it?
Political power, is the povver to govern: Tht
power of man over man: The poAver used by one
class to keep another class in subjection.
Political action, on the part of the capitalists,
as far as the workers are concerned, is any action
they consider necessary (yes, even "lobbying and
bribery"), to maintain their position as a ruling
and exploiting class.
Political action, on the part of the Avorkers is
any action they-may find necessary (yes, even "bullets and political revolution") to overthrow the
political power of the capitalist class. To establish
a proletarian dictatorship, or something of that
nature, and maintain it until all danger of counterrevolution is past and until all the means of Avealth
production, now the property of the capitalist class,
have been transformed into social means of production, to be operated in the interests of the whole
If the term "direct action" means anything at
all it means efficient action. The easiest, quickest,
the most efficient, or the only way to accomplish any
purpose, no matter what that purpose may be. This
applies to both political and economic action. The
most efficient or the only possible economic action
is "direct action," even though indirect methods
must be used. Likewise, the most efficient or the
only possible politieal action is also '' direct action,''
even though indirect methods must be used. When
this is understood, the term "direct action," taken
by itself, has little or no meaning; it is superflous, a
confusing and unnecessary term.
If the term "indirect action" meana anything at
all it means "direct action." This statement appears paradoxical does it not? Let us see how it
Avorks out. It will be granted by every revolutionist that our aim is to abolish wage slavery. Well,
why don't we fly at it? The I. W. W. gives the
answer to this question on page 23 of the same pamphlet.
(Continued on page 7)
  *.     ■       ■  ; -
(Continued from page 1)
(of vast importance to the credulous Philistine);
because it freed her hands, somewhat, in the delicate mendacities of diplomacy; and because of the
scruples of a troubled Moslem world. But with the
failure of Greece to hold the line, Britain was forced
to* show her hand. Under the guise of "Allied occupation" she held Constantinople—for herself. With
the prop gone she was compelled to hold it openly.
That was why Curzon was sent to Paris—to surface,
the rough edge of Imperial necessity and secure—
for the moment—French compliance, through the
medium of French need or cupidity. Britain holds
the Straits for the same reason as stfe has troops in
Mesopotamia—oil and communication. She carved
out Irak as she fashioned Kiloit—as a counter-check
in the grim struggle of Imperialist development.
She could keep watch on Egypt on tvvo sides; she
had a vantage to counter hostile movements in the
Levant and its littoral, and the whole historic battle
grounds of the old world. She held the cotton of
Egypt and the hopes of Anglo-Persian secure, and
she wedged herself insidiously near to the indispensable pipe lines—and betAveen them and her
That is why the "freedom of the Straits" figures so prominently in the news. It is the smoke
screen that hides the "gushers" of Avorld supremacy. .It is now one of the keys of Empire, And as
Czarist Russia and Ottoman Turk aud Cassellian
Greek have vanished from their place, the "anointed of Israel" must fill the breach. It-is a part of the
question of the freedom of the seas and in ultimate
reality means the "freedom" of British Imperialism.
That is why the whole Atlantic and Mediterranean
fleets are in Eastern Avaters. The issue is life or
death. It is true that France lends support to "the
freedom of the Straits." For to France also they are
the gateway of Empire; the oil of life, the freedom
of transport, the security of communication.
But she wishes Turkey to hold the city. Since,
thereby, the Turk will be practically returned to
"business as usual." And with Thrace and Bulgaria and the "Little Entente" in front and the
Moslem ranks in the rear France will hope to play
her off in the general service of rivalry against her
immediate foe, and to ensure her particular service
in the climax of gathering Avar. That political fra>-
ternity is of infinitely more account than the economic kinship of indebtedness.
But the war cloud is not ready tc burst. The
Dardanelles is but a spluttering fuse. Before the
"issue" is touched the line up must be advanced,
the necessity clear, the material ready. These things
are not yet. Press and power (or its reflex of identity) are at variance on the issue in all countries;
the barbed entanglements of trade are not apparently stiffened enough. But they are nevertheless,
quietly coiling round the stricken civilisation of
capital. The fighting units of France are seemingly
in good shape and well equipped, and all that appertains to militarism, active. But financially she
is sore afraid, her oil supplies are insignificant and
her cotton needs unguarded. Clearly, France is
not able to face the issue—alone. With Avhom then?
Britain is by all odds the first power. But, like
all Europe she has her back to the wall and is coming face to face Avith her supreinest struggle. Unemployment is rife, taxation intolerable, the burden of Imperialism sapping the whole life of industry. Business is stagnant; is declining. India
has been "peacefully" pacified; but Lancashire appears to have derived no benefit. The henchmen
of Cassel and D'Erlanger have quieted Egypt, but
the cotton boom is not yet. The market of Europe
has gone by the board; the coal trade is ruined. The
steel industry is still; shipbuilding dead; freight
rates cut by four, the merchant marine swinging
to anchor in the bays of the "tight little island."
Over the water, "in God's country," America has
substantiated the tariff against "foreigners"—striking hard at capitalist Britain—the "workshop of
the world." She has subsidised shipping, organised
production and transport, cut wages to meet the
"prosperity" of cheap production, slashed deep into
what remains of a world market, gathered in some
of the coal trade, established foreign banks and
facilities, and is the first creditor nation.
America controls the present supplies of oil;
Britain apparently has secured the future.    And
as organisation for cheap production and efficient
handling is the order of the day in Britain, as in
Amtrica, the grim struggle of productive costs presages the grimmer struggle of "iron" persuasion.
Obviously, Britain and America are antagonistic.
Will they settle the matter alone?  Both are equipped, both preparing, both have vast  resources to
draw on,—but America is probably the more secure.
America has kept out  of European entanglements so far, but future oil and cotton may ask a
sudden question.   The condition of Europe is daily
becoming more desperate; of Prance more precarious.    There a conclusion cannot be long delayed.
If that conclusion favors the general interest of
Britain and Europe it must antagonise France. And
if   France propounds the problem,—Avhat     then?
France, as we saw, can hardly meet the issue alone.
She is antagonistic to Britain.    And America is
being steadily driven against the same power.   Will
America, with present oil, and cotton, and finance,
and shipping, unite Avith a France who has neither?
The hope of the one, immediate salvation; of the
other, the future?   Would Japan, who has neither
steel nor coal, nor oil nor cotton, come to the support of Britain, Avho can supply her with them all,—
I wink at her transgressions of the "open door"?
The immediate advantage of Britain, the future of
Japan.   Britain Avould doubtless wish Germany to
come into the fold, for that might affect Lorraine
and Briey; but the German claims in American industries might prove another link in the chain of
Stinnes and Lubersack.   And finally, if the issue is
forced on France can America afford to see her only
ally crushed, as Germany is crushed, knoAving that
she alone would be required to face the swollen
power of a victorious Britain?    The not  distant
future will settle all those worries, Russia alone
being about the only reasonable certainty, and even
that is risky.
It is said that war between the Anglo Saxons is
unthinkable; and it may be that the "black Douglas" will not catch us. We are no prophets. But
there are the facts. Like Hump and the cook on the
"Ghost" the nations are sharpening their Aveapons.
The social forces of production are in sharp conflict Avith the social forces of humanity; but the
former are so far the stronger. Because they are
conscious and cognisant; the latter are not. Thus
it is not the question of the freedom of the Straits
that is at stake. Nor Turkey and .Greece, nor
Britain and France, nor right and justice, nor Christian nor Moslem. But tAvo world groups of Imperialist finance, politically entrenched in the means
of life, farming society for privilege and profit,
deadlocked in Titan struggle and crushing the Avhole
world in the steely tentacles of their insatiate ambitions. That is the spectre lurking in the dark shadows of the Dardanelles. R.
In my next article on the eaine subject I will examine a few passages from the pamphlet, "The
Lumber Industry and L.- Workers."
I Continued from page 5.)
tion Supplement to the Manchester Guardian Commercial
(Is.), is C "Oied to this Question of Population and the
Food Supply. The a priori approach tu the problem, to
which I have referred, is in i laces in evidence, when social
politcies are under discussion. But the articles by Keynes
on Malthus, by Dr. .""ownlee on The Census, by Sir H, Rew
on the World's Grain Supplies, by Prof. Sering on the
Agrarian Revolution in Central Europe, and by Louis
Levine on the .'.t-rarian Problem in Russia contain much
useful information.--M. H. D.
—MAURICE H. DOBB; (The Plebs.) London.
(Continued from page 6)
"Thus ignorance is the greatest obstacle we have to
overcome, many times greater than capitalist persecution. ... An illiterate workingman is as dangerous to
the aspirations of the workers in these trying times as a
small-pox or bubonic plague patient would be to our
And Avhat is the only cure for working class ignorance? Working class education; the I. W. W.,
admit that much. And Avhat is education in this
respect but a means to an end? And using means
to an end is an "indirect" method of doing something that cannot be done any other Avay and, consequently must be "indirect action." But if it Is
the only way it can be done it is also the most
"direct" way and, therefore, must be "direct action." Let us have done with this rot about "direct" and "indirect" action, once and for all.
W.tl hav't* nothing bright and startling to enter upou the record this issue. Dust and
ashes, not to mention deep humility, overtake us as we set these figures up one by one. Our
vocabulary of expressive Avords in swelling. If the
figure ■ could only keep pace With that   .   .    !
Following $1 each: M. Raport, R. Thomas, H.
tfindeg, Harry Johnstone, M. Safzer, G. Elliot, R.
Green, J. .Donovan, W. Grant, G. Crosetti, A. Mathieson, 0. Mongol, W. Coleman, W. Mitchell, B. Tam-
arkin, T. Hughes, G. Wallack, II. Arnold, Jack
C. Johnson $2; Nels Sorlie $2; Alex Shepherd
$3; S. E. White $3; C. F. Gale $i.20; R. Inglis $5;
W. A. Pri-rhard $8.
Above, Clari'On subs received from 13th to 26th
October, i- elusive, total $43.20.
R. Thomas $1; Nels Sorlie $1; \Y. Grant $1;
G. Gro -tti $2: Ilarry Johnstone $4; R. Inglis $5.
Abo\ C. M. F. receipts from 13th to 26th Oct.,
inclusive,    »Ui1 $14.
Socialist Party of Canada
STAR THEATRE, 300 Block, Main Sti st
Speaker: W. A. PRITCHARD.
AU meetings at t, *,.—.
Questions. Discussion.
Preface by the author.
132 PAGES.
Per Copy, 16 Cents.
Ten oopies up, 20 oento each.
Port Paid.
— of too —
(Fifth Edition)
Per eopy 10 oento
Per 25 copiet   $2
Port Paid
:v .:■*: ■   ■■■■-'" ■    -r?.   , PAGE EIGHT
The Clarion Mail Bag
CORRESPONDENCE received since last issue
though smaller than usual, is of considerable
The most interesting letter from Eastern Canada
comes from Com. R. Inglis, Fort William. It contains suggestions for a reorganization of the Party,
and submits the slogan of "Sacrifice, Discipline,
Action." Comrade Inglis is of the opinion that
many class conscious Avorkers throughout the country who are noAv apathetic toAvards the revolutionary movement, would be up and doing if a few
travelling propagandists could be kept going. He
considers that there are at least two hundred rebels
in Canada who might be got to pledge financial
support to this much needed work*. The district in
whieh he lives is rotten ripe for the propaganda of
Scientific Socialism, and he pleads for a policy of
action at once.
This is the letter of a true rebel and an enclosure of ten dollars evidences the good faith of the
Avriter. We shall welcome further comment along
these lines from the movement at large, for indeed,
the matter is of paramount importance to the working class of Canada. Com. Charles Lestor is leaving
Vancouver this Aveek on a propaganda tour, but it
will be confined to points west, of Winnipeg until
Christmas time. We imagine Com. Lestor would
willingly take advantage of an opportunity to get
acquainted Avith the movement in the fertile districts, of Eastern Canada.   How about it, Reds?
Two letters have been received from Winnipeg,
one from Alex Shepherd who encloses three subs.
for the Clarion and comments upon the Labor movement in that city. The other letter is from Charles
Stewart who expreseses irritation at our previous
remarks regarding Winnipeg as a future revolutionary centre. We suggest a further reading of our
statement on this matter and some reflection. Com.
Stewart is enthusiastic about the movement in Winnipeg and so are we. In the clash of opinions now
prevailing there, much good will emerge; of that
there is no possible doubt. Com Stewart also states
that the consensus of opinion among the boys in
Winnipeg regarding the articles on "Ourselves and
Parliament," is that they arc anything but clear;
particularly disappointing being,' the first contribution of J. A. McDonald, ln so far as clarity of
expression and an incisive style, Com. SteAvart refers to the "Socialist Standard," as a shining example. His letter also contains some humorous and
philosophical comment upon the literary and verbal
debates with Avhich the Avorkers of Winnipeg are
being entertained. In fairness to those Avho have
contributed to the question of "Ourselves and Parli-
ment," we think that specific objections clearly set
forth by those in disagreement, would be more in order than the vague references to lack cf clarity, disappointment, etc.
Com. R. Burns of thc Calgary Local sends word
of their activities and the handicaps under Avhich
they labor. They hold outdoor propaganda meetings every Sunday Avith good results, and in which
neAv speakers are taking part. Stay with it, Calgary! G. Elliot sends a sub for the Clarion, from
Delburne, Alta.
From Demaine, Sask., comes a sub from II. Vin-
deg who implores us to keep kicking We Avilll
Writing from Milden, -Sask., Nels Sorlie encloses
three dollars for sub. and Maintenance Fund and
hopes for the success of thc movement. Two subs
come from Chas. Johnson, Chase, B. C. Com. Andrews sends notice of change of address from Vernon, B. C. He is hunting for a master at present,
and if he doesn't find one soon, says he Avill have to
dig roots for soup.
Com. J. Cartwright sends in tAvo subs from East
Wellington, Vancouver Island. He says the system
is getting top heavy and wants to know Avhat is to
take its place. The answer to which is enshrouded
in the mists of futurity.   Com. W. Raport writes
briefly from Petaluma, Calif., enclosing a snb with a
promise of more to follow- From Puyallup; Washington comes a sub and an order for literature. An
order for literature also comes from Magnolia Beach
A renewal of sub to Clarion conies from Cleveland, Ohio. A bright letter wishing success to the
good Avork and enclosing a sub was received from
Com. Antijuntti, Houston, Texas. W. MitchtilJ
Avrites from Ithaca, Ncav York, enclosing one dollar
for the Clarion and sending regards to Frank Williams and Peter Leckie. A letter was received from
Bishop Brown of Galion, Ohio,,enclosing a copy of
his reply to the House, of Bishops of the Protestant
Episcopal Church regarding his publication "Communism and Christianism."
A remarkable letter comes from W. J. McGibbon,
Juneau, Alaska, commenting at considerable length
upon tlie article "A Corporation With a Soul,"
Avhich recently appeared in the Clarion. The Avriter
of the article is urged to '' get Avisdom,'' also to " do
a,little more thinking before judging." The letter
sets forth the opinion of the Avriter upon the forms
of vice in ethical principle, too much sentiment and
too much reason, and closes Avith an appeal for common sense. The "writer also says that his letter
would stand revising.   We agree with him in this.
A long and interesting letter comes.from Com.
E. Staples, Davenport, Auckland, N. Z. He refers to
the affairs of the New Zealand Communist Party in
Auckland" and expresses much disappointment at the
failure of Jack McDonald in not speaking in
that district where his efforts would have been
greatly appreciated. Com. Staples states that Auckland has always been a good field for propaganda,
and that any speaker coming that way would not
consider the time spent in it as wasted. He sends
best wishes to all Vancouver comrades.
Literature Price List
The Avorkers of today have not an atom of claim
upon the wealth they produce: That is sufficiently
self-evident to call for no proof. And while they
may not be actually compelled to work for any
given master, they must work for some master. They
are therefore slaves in the proper sense of the word.
And, indeed, the conditions of their servitude are
in the main more severe than under previous forms
of slavery. They are exploited of more wealth—that
is to say, the masters obtain from their labor greater
returns than did the masters under any other form
of slavery.
Socialist Party of
/   "Wa, tha Socialist Party of Canada affirm our alloc-
lane* to, and. support of   th* principles aad programme
of the revolutionary working olaaa.
Laibor, applied to natural resources, produces all
wealth. Tho present economic aystem la baaed upon
oapitaliat ownership of tbe meana of produotion, consequently, all the produeta of labor belong to tbe oapitaliat olaaa. The oapitaliat la, therefor*, maater; tlie
worker a slave.
So long* aa the oapitaliat olaaa remains la poeeeaalon
of the reins of government all th* powers of tlie State
will be uaed to protect and'defend Ita property rights 1b
the meana of wealth produotion aad lt« control of the
produot of labor.
The oapitaliat aystem gives to the oapitaliat aa ever-
awelMng stream of profits, and to the worker, aa ever-
Increaslng measure of misery and degradation.
Tho Interest of the working olaaa Has In setting Itaelf
free from capitalist exploitation by the abolition of tho
wage system, under which this exploitation, at the point
of produotion, ls cloaked. To accomplish thta necessitates the transformation of capitalist property la the
means of wealth produotion Into socially oaatroiled <
omlo forces.
The irrepressible conflict of Interest between the <
Italist and tho worker neoessarlly expresses Itself as a
struggle for political supremacy. This Is the Class
Therefore we call upon all workera to organise under
the banner of the Soodallat Party of Canada, with the
object of conquering* the politloal powers for the purpose of setting up-and enforcing the eeonomie programme of the working olaaa, aa follows:
1—The transformation, aa rapidly aa possible,
of capitalist property In th* means of
wealth production (natural resources, factor-
torles, mUls, railroads, ete.)j Into collective
meana of produotion.
I—The organisation and management of Industry
by the working olass.
I—The establishment, as speedily aa possible, of
produotion for use Instead of production for
profit. -1
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