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Western Clarion Nov 16, 1922

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 A Journal o:
Official Organ of
No. 879.
EIGHTEENTH YEAR     Twice a Month
Soviet Russia, from the S. P. of C. Viewpoint
Editor's Note:—The length of the manifesto precludes
the possibility of its printing all in one issue. The other
half will appear in next issue and will include, following
from the sub-divisions of the subject herein presented, the
Socialist Party Attitude Towards Soviet-Russia; The Process of Revolutionary Change; The Effort to Re-establish
Foreign Relations; Soviet Mistakes. The reader is asked
to keep the present issue by him until the appearance of
the next, and to study the Manifesto in its appearance as
a whole.
AS a perspective or point of view on social life
drawn from the Socialist philosophy, it is
realised that what is outlined below falls far
short of what might be, both in conception and execution. Taking courage, however, of the knowledge that individuals and parties are never so great
as the causes they fight for, the contents of his manifesto are published in the hope that they may assist in a general readjustment of views toward unanimity of working class opinion on Soviet Russia,
8S well as on the general social problem.
For the purpose stated above, a detailed survey
and analysis of Russian affairs might be most effective but is for the present beyond our compass. In
any ease, such a treatment would lose some of its
interest and value as the future brought on its
changes. The Party perspective here submitted,
however, is offered as a permanent standpoint of
valuation, which the reader may acquire and further improve by a study of the Socialist philosophy,
and from which he may in the shifting course of
future events be enabled to evaluate them and form
his judgements.
Naught in what follows is set down in a censorious spirit. When it is taken for granted that there
prevails a habit of reasoning from wrong principles,
or it is implied that opinions may be derived from
other than rational considerations, it is so done in
the belief that a frank recognition of the sources of
error is essential before a readjustment of views is
possible and unanimity of opinion reached.
Truth about Russia necessary
To know the truth about Russia is more than ordinarily necessary because that country has, to use
a figure of speech, conducted a reconnaissance into
the Socialistic future. The taking thought of and
discussion of the experiences of that venture and
its successes and failures, credited to whatever factors or combinations of factors they may be—influences domestic or foreign, or to facts of administration—should be of great value to the working
class movement everywhere and to society at large.
Yet the truth, prosaic and matter-of-fact, has
been hard to come by, not because its materials were
hidden, but because Russian affairs have not been
viewed clear-eyed, objectively. In the main they
have been seen through a perspctive of subjective
passions and prejudices, for the most part unconsciously motivated by material interests, and blind
unreasoning partisanship aroused by the revolution's challenge to deep-rooted social habits. It is
probable that no other event in history has ever
evoked such a mess of "faked" reasoning, emanating from all sides in the clash of dispute it brought
The deplorable lack of unity on the Russian
question in the working class movement itself, is
due to lack of a common perspective rather than to
misinformation; subjective biases rather than objective  considerations, have, in general, been the
bases of opinion. What is especially unfortunate,
even the class-conscious revolutionary section of that
movement is but little less at fault in that respect,
and with less excuse. Much of its thought on Soviet
Russia has tended to degenerate into romantic sen-
timentalism. And this, largely because revolutionary ends have been kept in view, to the exclusion of
any studied and rational regard to the means, always conditioned by circumstances of time and
place. Sentiment is not here decried, for it is recognized as having a survival value in the struggle
lor existence; but its value is as a stimulating, sustaining influence, not as a substitute for intelligence strengthened by knowledge, without which it
is blind, impotent for good, and often a sign of
weakness and a-source of danger.
There should be, then, an effort of detachment
from all influences that would prevent an objective
consideration of Russian affairs. As the basis of the
manifesto's argument, it is taken as a general truth
that the differences of opinion on the Russian question are due to differences of perspective. From
the standpoint of the Party perspective, or line of
thought, by which it throws historical forces, human
nature and human conduct into perspective-in. the
social flux, and which is submitted as a truly rational
perspective, what must be regarded as erroneous
opinions are to be attributed to faults of perspective.
The exposition will open up by outlining the
nature and origin of social perspectives in general,
and of the Party perspective in particular. As a
whole, the exposition will also serve to illustrate
why the Party recognizes and supports the Soviet
regime as a revolutionary administration.
Nature and origin of mental perspectives
It is often said, as clinching an argument, that
"facts are facts." Yet the saying seems inadequate
in that it conveys the impression of ignoring the
quality inherent in facts, and of stressing mere
quantity. Opinions differ on social questions, in the
main because varying points of view lead to varying estimates as to the relative importance, or quality, of the facts considered. Where emotional interest, or material interest, or both combined are
strongly engaged too, facts maybe are very often
under or over-estimated, distorted out of semblance
ot reality, or altogether ignored.
But even when such irrational interests are the
motives, equally as when the reasoning process is
free from such ulterior influences, there are always
preconceptions held in common to which resort is
had as a basis of rationalization for conduct or opinion. These preconceptions are social standards
and principles of knowledge and belief, and of law
and morals, as to what is fact and credible and what
equitable and good. By a people of any social epoch,
such principles and standards of judgement are
regarded as matters of common-sense, eternally right
and good and true; they are, in fact, the common-
sense ideas of the epoch and make up what is known
as its point-of-view. So we can speak of the point
of view of antiquity as differing from that of medieval times, as does that of the latter from that of
modern times. In such wise, that witchcraft, sort-
eery, miracles, the casting of horoscopes, etc., once
believed in, are now no longer held credible in the
modern point of view.
Points of view are habits of thought unconsciously acquired, which become orthodox under the
long enduring and unremitting discipline of habits
of life enforced by the material conditions of social
life. In particular, among these forces of habituation, the facts of industrial use and wont must
be regarded as fundamental, conditioning the growth
and scope of culture and giving character to the
scheme of institutional facts which may obtain.
These latter facts in turn, react back upon the state
of the industrial arts and, as in feudal and predatory
states, where the social relationship between the
graded classes are those of status or mastery and
servitude, the high institutional character of the
society stamps its marks deeply in the culture of
the time—religion, philosophy and such science as
may be, betraying its influence.
So soon as new material eonditions of life appear, including a change in the state of the industrial arts sufficiently profound, enduring and comprehensive in character as to enforce new habits of
life, then there is a •corresponding growth of new
habits of thought; a slow upward infiltration of new
principles and standards into the general body of
soeial concepts takes place. The old concepts may
continue in force as traditional concepts gradually
losing force, or they m*ay perhaps disappear by displacement, those sections of the population upon
whom the new material conditions bear with greater force being the first to give evidence of the new
habits of thought in a changed and unorthodox
point of view. Thus, the character of the "idea"
appears as a matter of material causation or, as the
response of an organism to the stimuli of its environment. As it has been said: "The history of
man shows that, collectively, he has learned by
habituation rather than by precept or meditatior."
Or again: "While man may, to a great extent be
the creator of ihe world..he lives in; he will always
be its mirror."
"Tie Machine Proletariat.
Cultural Basis if its Viewpoint.
Intellectually, in so far as new habits of life have
weakened or have displaced traditional habits of
thought with new ones, the modern pro'etarian wage
workers are creatures of the modern method of production. As b cultural factor domina.u in their
daily life, dhectly, the modern productive process
has two aspects. In one aspect, that U, technically,
the character of the process is a mechanical process.
For that reason it is known as the machine process
ol production, even so when in some branches of industry mechanical appliances may not be used. It
is a question of the "character" of the process. In
its other aspect, the productive process is large-
scale, the work being carried on co-operatively; it
is "social" production, world-wide in its scope and
This "social" nature of modern production, in
its cultural effect on those engaged in the process,
begets a habit of thinking on social affairs in social
terms rather than in individualistic terms. In the
other aspect of its processes, being mechanistic in
character, the work of attending to or taking
thought of the processes inculcates a habit of reasoning in the mechanistic or materialistic terms of
material cause and effect. "The machine throws
out anthropomorphic habits of thought" as being
useless for the work to be done.
The chance interventions of daemonic powers
(Continued on page 3) PAGE TWO
The Origin of the World
By R. McMillan.
THE things you read out of a book are not
half so interesting as the things you see for
yourself, and all book-reading is intended to
sharpen your powers of observation. If you do not
think and observe for yourself, you will be very
little better for all the books you read. In fact, I
have known people to read themselves stupid. I.
feel I would like to tell you some of the things I
have seen myself, and, while they may not be as
clever as the things I have read in books, I am sure
they will interest you quite as much.
When I was about eighteen or nineteen years of
age I was living in a little town in Peru, named
Tumbes, and I used to spend a good deal of time on
i the banks of the river watching the alligators and
the iguanas, and wondering about things in general.
I knew nothing at all about natural history, so of
course I learned very little; but all the same I acquired quite a lot of knowledge, unconsciously. I
saw that the lizards liked the banks of the river, but
they never went into the water; and I remembered
the snakes in Manila, in the Philippine Islands,
which had taken to the water. We used to catch the
snakes in Manila when we were fishing, and very
disagreeable things they were till you got accustomed to them.
These gorgeously-coloured "guanas" on the
Tumbes River liked to live near the water, but they
never went into it. It seemed to me then that the
lower forms of ilfe, like frogs, snakes, and iguanas,
could take to the water very easily, and become
either land or water animals, as necessity arose. But
that was only a vague notion. I did not really
think it out, but the idea was there.
About 500 miles from Tumbes, away out in the
Pacific Ocean, right on the equator, there is a group
of islands called the Galapagos Islands. They are
nearly all volcanic, and they ara set in the deep,
deep sea. If I had understood the laws of nature
then, I could have learned such a lot; but I did not
know anything about science, so I missed my opportunity. I knew the islands were made of lava, because they were mostly hard and black, or dark
brown, and the '' soil'' cut our boots to pieces. There
were no mammals on the islands, no warm-blooded
animals that suckled their young (that is what mammals are), but there were plenty of birds and tortoises, and the sea was swarming with fish and big,
hungry sharks.
I had no idea of asking why there were no
warnr-blooded animals on the islands. You see, I
had no idea of the way the world had grown, and
if you had asked me then as to the origin of the
world I would have told you tbe wrong thing, and
been quite sure that J, was right. But now I know
how the world really originated, and I realize the
vest mystery of it all and its incomprehensibility,
and I never laugh at anybody's ignorance. I know
my own! I had not, in those days, read even Tennyson who tells the story in The Princess.   He says:—
This world was once a fluid haze of light,
Till toward the centre set the starry tides,
And eddied into suns, that wheeling cast
The planets: then the monster, then the man;
Tattoo'd or woaded, winted-clad in skins,
Raw from the prime, and crushing down his mate;
As yet we find in barbarous isles, and here
Among the lowest.
You see that is just the story I haye been trying
to tell you, and if I had read Tennyson then I might
have known enough-to ask questions about the Galapagos Islands. But I had no knowledge at all, so
I was dumb before the mystery of the volcanic islands, the fierce tides, the rugged hills, and the
strange living things thereon. It was only when I
read Darwin's books, years and years after, that
the veil fell from my eyes, and I. saw the miracle of
the lonely oceanic islands.
There were iguanas on the shores of all the
iijlands; but they were not !the bright-coloured,
swift-moving things that lived on the banks of the
Tumbes River. They were big, black, horrid-looking things that made you shudder to look at, and
they were very sluggish—on the land. They were
absolutely helpless, and seemed to have no idea of
either fighting or running away. I had chased the
"goanas" in Peru; but they were too swift, for me,
and now I.could lay hold of these, horrid ones, by
the tail, and they would scarcely struggle. If you
stood on the edge of a cliff and threw one into the
sea, it appeared to wake up, and would swim as
fast as lightning to the shore, and come right back
to your feet and let you throw it in again. Why?
Mr. Darwin told me! These iguanas came from
the mainland, ages ago, on the roots of floating trees.
The tough, leathery eggs of the iguanas stood the
trip, and were cast on to these rough, volcanic shores.
Then the little iguanas found nothing to eat, and
they were very hungry. The only green thing
about was the green laver, a sort of sea-lettuce, in
the salt water; so the poor little beggars had to eat
that. And they lived—at least, some of them did—
and their children learned to like the green laver
(if they did not, they died); and so through the
ages the family learned to go deeper and deeper for
the laver; and they learned to swim very fast, for
the sharks came and caught them, and ate them up
if they were not pretty quick at getting ashore.
All the slow iguanas were eaten up by the
sharks, especially the coloured ones; so colours went
out of fashion, and the only iguanas tbat survived
were the sombre-skinned ones, and the ones that
could swim fast. The only danger that was recognized by the "goana" was the shark; for its poor
little brain could contain no other idea, and that
meant getting ashore as quickly as possible. When
man came and flung it into the water, its little brain
was too-sluggish to understand that men were worse
than sharks. So, as soon as it struck the water, it
came right back to the shore, where the man was,
thinking it was safe on the rocks.
Do you observe noAv how the law was working
out ? The iguanas loved life—as we all do—and, in
the struggle for existence, the only ones that survived were the ones that adapted themselves to the
new conditions. That, is to say, the survivors were
the ones that had varied in a direction that was
favourable to continued existence. The coloured
ones—such as I used to admire in Peru—were soon
eaten up; therefore the coloured variety soon died
out. Then the slow swimmers died out, and the only
ones that lived were the dark-coloured ones and the
swift ones. They were the ones that brought forth
young, which inherited the parental tricks and appearance ; so that in the struggle for existence, on
the Galapagos Islands, the survivors were the ones
best fitted for the new conditions.
It was not through any cleverness on the part of
the iguanas themselves, but just owing to the operation of very simple laws. The laws of Nature are
simple in the extreme; but we will keep on thinking
that they are complicated. They are no such thing.
The entire world originated in response to those
simple laws, and is kept on its course by them, and
we are what we are by their operation.
I hope you see what I mean, and how things
work? If you do, and care to study the matter carefully, read good books, and keep your eyes open and
your mind alert, you will come'to understand the
origin of the world.
'The Galapagos Islands were furnished from the
mainland" of South America by drifting timber,
carrying the eggs and seeds of living things which
found a resting place on the volcanic islets, and
found means to live there. But the change was very
great from the mainland to the islands, so the living
things that survived had to adapt themselves to the
new conditions, just as the iguanas did. Thus it
has come to pass that nearly all the island life—
birds and tortoises, turtles and insects, snails and
trees—are different from those on the mainland. But
not much different. They are all South American,
with a difference. They have varied a little, owing
to the changed conditions of life on the islands; but
they are the same sort as they have in America,
only different.   You see what I mean, do you not?
There are differences, also, between the forms of
life on the various islands, because the water separating the islands is of oceanic depth. It forms a
barrier between island and island, except to the
fishes, which appeared to me to be the same all round
the islands. The abysmal depths of the ocean, and
the fierce tides whieh sweep between the islands,
have made the forms of life on them vary in each
placed Taking them full and large, the Galapagos
Islands are the best examples I know of the law of
development and variation. But you will see the
same kind of thing wherever you go, and as clearly
in Australia as in the Galapagos Islands.
We had no rabbits here (*) till somebody brought
them from England. Why were there no rabbits
here? Because they did not develop in this continent. But as soon as ever they were let loose here
they developed into a pest that threatened, at one
time, to ruin the pastoral and farming industries.
We have spent millions of money in fighting them,
and I am not sure that we have got them down now.
If you think out the rabbit problem and the briar
question, and the prickly pear and the Bathurst
burr, and a lot of these things, you will see that my,
story of the origin of the world is necessarily true.
Next Lesson:   EARLY  MEN.
(*) The book was written in Australia.—(Ed.)
COMRADE James A. Teit died at Merritt, B. C, on
Oct. 30th, of cancer, a disease which had been undermining his constitution vigorously, particularly of
late years. His death is a loss directly, not alone to the
Socialist movement specifically, but to the world of investigation in natural history and racial development, and
cultural advancement generally. He had lived in British
Columbia about 40 years, landing on this coast from a sailing vessel which had brought him from the Shetland Islands, where he was born.
Since the inception of the S. P. of C. he had been actively associated with its work, especially those branches of
it which, in the educational field, bordered on the investigation of primitive forms of society, in the written work
of past stages or in the records of present researches in
tribal forms and kindship, customs, ceremonies, folk-lore,
etc, in which field of enquiry he had accomplished much
among the various tribes of Indians on the coast and the
inner and upper country of B. C. He was known among
the Indians everywhere from the U. S. boundary to tbe
Stikine country and, possessing the "language faculty",
he spoke over twenty tribal dialects, besides Norwegian,
Danish and French.
His researches, unfortunately, have been cut off, but
we hope the collected records of his unfinished work
will be preserved. His "The Thompson Indians of British
Columbia," (1900) and "The Shuswap" (1909), both published by the American Museum of Natural History, have
proved to be useful contributions to anthropology. The
reader of this note is referred to "Primitive Society," by
Robert H. Lowie, (1920. Boni and Liveright). In this
work, and in "Culture and Ethnology", Mr. Lowie is critical of some of the conclutions of Lewis H. Morgan's "Ancient Society," a work which has served somewhat as an
anthropological text book for many years in Socialist study circles. The work of comrade Teit, brought to the
use of this investigator, proves itself invaluable, coming as
it does from the field of practical research and and personal association, and tends somewhat to modify that critical treatment which, in any case, is essential although
not necessarily altogether tenable, as a present day treatment upon a work written in the day when a certain dogmatic attitude was allowable, induced as no doubt it was,
by the then prevailing "fixity" ideas of orthodoxy.
We conclude our obituary note with the record of that
keen sense of loss in the comradeship of association in
our common cause which is the feature attending the passing out of any comrade. In addition, we extend our
earnest sympathies to Comrade Teit's wife and children. ' yjv<r*-"'-t-l iii*SSii'i*lfflii'<**'<*t^au^-*«**-»''».''^- .
,""^;-"««****'-^*°— ""•= '■«!»«*-»".»-^—-j-. -_- -
"*"- (-■**! 1*6*1
"jyasr^" %'■• -^ *-
(Continued Irom page 1)
familiar to superstitious ages, the personal will, li'.es
and dislikes once attributed to things, the rule ot
thumb, are ail ruled out of the machine process,   it.
is no longer even largely a question of the arbitrary will of the worker, lie but attends on the process whose detail working out is calculable and set.
beforehand.   Thought on the process is in terms of
mechanical force, pressure, strain, velocity, chemical
reaction ' is in terms of quantitative precision, known
end calculable factors, standarized processes    and
materials and predetermined output. As is the practice in the application of the scientific method in
enquiry into natural phenomena, "the machine process compels attention to phenomena of an impersonal character and to sequences and correlations
not dependent for their force on human predilection
nor created by habit and custom."
This habit of mind, of thinking in the materialistic terms acquired in work-day activity, tends to
pervade all thinking.    It asserts itself even when
thought is taken of religion, the propositions of which
are bf another, alien order of thought.   The much
ado about supernatural powers in religious thinking,
*to the materialistic habit of thought, seems '' so much
adc- about nothing." ln likewise, social institutions
and conventions become subject to  other criteria
than "make-believe".    With the passing of time it
becomes less and less generally accepted that they
are eternally sacred, or have any justification for
existence at all, by mere right of prescription, immemorial custom, authorative enactment or divine
ordinance.    To the materialist conception, institutions and conventions are   social   habits,   habitual
ways of response in which human energies and instinctive impulses are enchannelled; they are a social
apparatus of ways and means, instruments for furthering human welfare and, as they function in that
respect, well or ill, their right to exist is rated accordingly, ii   j
Those interested in the dicipliue of habituation
as a social force, particularly as a causal factor between industrial use and wont and    institutional
facts, are referred to the "Instinct of Workmanship"
and other works of Veblen.   His development work
in that phase of the "Materialistic conception" is
proving the virility of that foundation tenet    of
Marxian theory.
Economic Basis of the Class Struggle.
In many other ways the modern productive process has brought into being conditions of life which
tend to foster a habit or settled frame of mind inimical to the traditional institutions of the present
order. Chief amongst these ways is the conflict of
economic interest between tbe proletarian masses
and the capitalist class.
The growth and development of large-scale machine production out of small-scale handicraft production, has divorced the once independent producing masses from ownership in the means of production. Thus have been created vast armies of proletarian wage-workers whose only means df securing
a livelihood is to sell their labor power to the capi-
list owners of industrial plants. Hence there arises
a conflict of class interest over conditions of work
and wages. Another factor contributing towards
this conflict of interest is, that the means of production are not operated primarily to provide a livelihood for the workers or the community at large.
Industries being owned by the capitalist class, the
rate and volume of output are necessarilly restricted
to such point as the market price will guarantee promts for capital investments. As a result there is increasingly a condition among industrial workers of
part-time labor and unemployment, low wages and a
low standard of livelihood, due to excessive competition on the labor market. Hence, the feeling,
and the ideas which correspond to it, on the proletarian side of the conflict tend to take on the nature
of a challenge to the institution of capitalist ownership of society's means of wealth production.
Jn so far as the point is reached of antagonism to
the present order, consciously or unconsciously, for
very often the revolutionary implications of the
standpoint of criticism are not recognized, the new
habits of thought furnish the principles and standards which are the standpoint of criticism.   Thus, it
is coming to seem a common-sense proposition, not
to be objected to with any show of reason, that the
means of production should be instrumental in furthering nothing less than the welfare of society as
a whole; and that personal labor alone should constitute a claim on the product of industry and not
absentee-ownership, whose only evidences of connection with industry are stocks and bonds    and
shares. Yet the tendency of thought of that "common-
sense" is not in the direction of a redistribution of
capitalist property, though, as a relic, there is a theory that by raising wages to the point of each worker
getting the full product of his toil that end would be
achieved. The tendency of thought, however, is towards taking over in common to society as a whole,
such industries as are basic, large-scale and operated socially.   Among those who are consciously revolutionary to the established order, the new principles and standards of criticism are conceived of
as the institutional foundations of the future order
of society.
Socialism is of this modern proletariat and, in the
domains of social theory and social program is an
intellectual reflex of the same compulsion of things
in the social environment, elaborated by the findings
of modern science in the study of man, his institutions and social organizations. Significantly, socialist theory and program receive greatest acceptance
among those laboring in the strictly mechanical
The cultural background of the socialist perspective, or so much as is given by the current situation in the social environment (as so laboriously
sketched above), gives to that perspective a social
consciousness or a sense of society as a unity: a habit of reasoning along lines of material causation,
and of rating institutions according to their functional capacities. So equipped, the Socialist should
be peculiarly fitted for taking an objective view of
Russian affairs. Nor need his sympathy for a
people struggling to reconstruct a new, order of life
bias his viewpoint; rather, his insight should be
keener because he is able to recognise the integrity
and social idealism of their motives: because he has
an aquaintanee with them, in respect of social theory
and ideals, intimate and confidential, to which other
men are strangers.
The Point of view.
George Bernard Shaw once said that, to an Englishman, there are only two classes of people in the
world—Englishmen and Foreigners. That piece of
satire is recognized as a caricature of the English,
but yet as performing good service in holding up to
ridicule a national trait. If not equally so, yet with
almost equal truth the same may be said of all nationals. Shaw's satire serves as a text for the next
few remarks.
In studying Russian affairs we must be on our
guard against measuring Russian ways of reacting
to Russian problems with the yardstick of our own
preferences, preferences acquired under racial and
individual experiences far different from those of
the Russian people. Our standards, being the product of habituation to a different economic, political and social environment, will hardly form a basis for an intelligent criticism of the Russians.
Russian social environment, compact of institutions, and Russian pcychology, should bc taken into
account. The half-feudal, absolutist character of
those institutions had been a dominating fact in the
lives of the Russian people to the eve of the revolution, and their character, through the centuries, has
left its impress on Russian psychology. It is generally recognized by Russians themselves, as well
as by those acquainted with them, that though they
are a people capable of rising to moods of high exaltation and under that influence to states of intense
activity, that yet, perhaps beyond most people
of the temperate zones, their characteristic state is
one of fatalistic resignation and social inertia. Consequently, when the first white heat of revolutionary ardour had cooled with the passing of the crisis
which had called it into being, and with weariness
of war and social strife, old social habits began to
reassert themselves.    The    Soviet    administration
then fell heir to an enormous drain on its energies
m the effort necessary to induce that widely distributed population to continue to see Russia's problem whole, and to enthuse and organize that population for social reconstruction and defense of the
revolution. In such a posture of things, what wonder that centralization of power, that bug-a-boo of
idealists, blind to the compulsion of circumstances,
should naturally take effect.
All of which is to say that in discussing Russian
affairs we ought to remember we are foreigners
discussing the domestic affairs of a neighboring
people, a people, moreover, who had inherited dire
distresses from Czarist times prior to the revolution
which the old methods of action, the established
social institutions, had failed to relieve. In fact,
being the root cause of the distresses, those institu-
should naturally take effect.
It is to the fact that Russia's problems were institutional problems, as are all social problems at
bottom today, that they assume such a baffling and
stubborn character. The social process has reached
a pass demanding a basic change in the purpose of
organized social life in the interest of further progress and human well-being. Things, as it were, are
ready—a highly developed state of the industrial
arts, modern science, more than a sufficiency of expert technicians, production economists and production managers who even new are directing and
overseeing the industrial processes though under
the discretionary control of the profit seeking business class—things are ready, but the peoples stand
inert in the grip of old social habits and loyalties
while the calamities, inherent in the capitalistic organization of social life, prey on them.
The dead hand of the past on the forces of progressive social change!   That is why, for one reason,
in studying Russian or any other country's affairs,
we must apply  thle*'historical method.    By that
method we may discover the underlying forces that
work against social progress.   Behind every social
situation there is a historical background out of
which it evolved.   Thus every present is related to
the past as effect to a cause.   All societies are compact of such things as institutions, customs and tradition, conventional habits of life and thought whose
influence in retarding change must be considered.
Besides the internal factors in the Russian situation, there are also external influences affecting it.
It must be viewed as an arbitrarily selected section
of a larger whole, as a part of a world process in
Which incidents, events, and social movements are
surface indications of underlying forces of which,
in this age, the great characteristic forces are economic.
Much of present anxiety, or of exultation as the
ease may be, would not prevail at the so-called Soviet compromises with capitalism if the habit of a
large,  detached,  historical perspective  were more
prevalent.   In that respect, it may be well to quote
the historian John Richard Green: "Writing of history," he says, "or its interpretation, needs philosophic insight   or   it   becomes a mere chronicle of
events.    .    .    .    Proportion is apt to be forgotten
and the greater currents of history to be lost, while
intellectual and moral forces which tell only on long
intervals of time are overlooked in the crowd of
minor incidents which affect human action directly and at once."   Or, we might quote Premier Lenin,
when, in one of revolutionary Russia's darkest hours,
because he was capable of rising to a historical perspective, he, calmly, in seer-like mood made the following affirmation to Colonel Robins, United States
chief of Red Cross in Russia:
"This system is stronger than yours because it
admits reality. It seeks out the sources of daily
human work-value and, out of those sources, directly, it creates social control of the state. Our government will be an economic social control for an
economic age. It will triumph because it speaks
the spirit of the age that now is. . . You may see
foreign bayonets parading across Russia. You may
see Russia, dark again .as it was dark before. But
thc lightning out of that darkness has destroyed
political democracy everywhere. It has destroyed
it not by physical striking it, but simply by one
flash of revealment of the .future."
(To be concluded in our next issue) PAGE POUR
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. O. as a newspaper.
Editor , Ewen  MacLeod
Canada, 20 issues     $1.00
Foreign, 16 issues     $1.00
H ft |tIf this number is on your address label your
Hl|l|iiU)bscription expires with next issue. Renew
IT would appear to be obvious that as there is a
recognized antagonism between wage worker
and master in the field of production, that antagonism must find recognition and must manifest itself
in the body of thought in the community at large.
lt would seem that since in the workshop the wage
worker is in constant dispute with his master over
rates of pay, hours of labor, protective devices and so
forth, and has come to distrust the workshop viewpoint of the employing class, he would readily get
to the bottom of that viewpoint on the outside. But
it is not so, and because it is not so, or because it is
insufficiently so, the S. P. of C. study classes in history and economics are promoted. If the employing class bring their resources to bear in suppressing
workshop aspiration toward material betterment in
any sense, it is reasonable to suppose that they will
also order to the same end all the agencies at their
(Command in the educational field, or in any or all
of the avenues of instruction, news information or
general institutional administration. We know that
they do, for instance in school and college, press,
pulpit and in the political arena. The worker's viewpoint, considered in relation to these institutions, is
still the viewpoint of his master and it is the chief
among their functions to keep it so. The aim of our
educational efforts, therefore, is to uncover an altogether different viewpoint than that which expresses harmony and identity of interest and ideas between wage worker and master. Our aim in education is to find the fundamental class antagonism that
exists, to be able to recognize it, to understand how
it arose and to find its solution.
Education—the word itself—appears to be something formidable to the average worker. He is not
yet familiar with the course of education as presented by the socialist. A first acquaintance with that
course brings out, as a general rule, all the antagonism and conflict of the preconceptions and prejudices set in his mind and fostered by the agencies we
have already referred to. He discovers that, particularly concerning such like matters as religion and
patriotism, his ideas and our explanations are far
apart. As his study and observation proceed, and
his understanding and knowledge develop, his attention is devoted to the realism of life and the observable facts of his everyday experience are recognized and accounted in the order of his ideas.
God, king and country, the "ever was and ever
shall be" ideas of religious supernaturalism give
place to the idea and understanding of social change
in society's development, and the supremacy of man
in harnessing to his use the forces of nature as a
gradual and unfolding process. Reliance upon the
superior man, the great man, charged with ideas
supposedly self-conceived, gives way under an acquaintance with the historical process of development to the appreciation of the influence of social
forces, broadly considered, in influencing change
and moulding the characters in whom it finds its advocates.
Thus, a consideration of the facts of life in present day society at once directs our attention to the
past. It is obviously true that present day society,
considered in relation to the manner of its wealth
production and distribution, performs that function
insufficiently well to satisfy the needs of the com
munity as a whole. It is a fact apparent that the
working class position is subjective, that its condition is miserable at the best of times, employed or
unemployed. At the present time, the "system" itself (so-called) functions only in such a manner as
to manifest its own weaknesses. Thus our new student, interested very likely in the condition of the
members of the working class as these weaknesses
affect them, will find himself at once, through the
pressure of present events, thrown into a consideration of the past. The process of accounting for capitalist and wage worker will of necessity bring
to his attention patrician and plebian, chattel slave
and feudal lord, the day of serfdom, of guild masters
and journeymen, of propertyless and property-
owning, the historical background of proletarian and
Only by establishing the connecting thread between past and present will present events be un-
understood.   The weakening structure of bourgeois
society appears now to be beyond repair, otherwise,
that is, than beyond argumentative repair.   The hollow speeches of the "great men" representative of
the present ruling interests in the British elections
are devoted entirely to a defence of capitalist administration.   If there is a ruling class confidence today it is surely inspired by working class ignorance.
Positively nothing else can. explain, not only working     class     approval   of   their   point   of     view,
but    the    confidence    of   their    own     impudent,
audacious       and     barefaced     lying     in     support of it.   In support of their property right it is
no doubt natural that the master class, through their
spokesmen, should present this as "the best of   all
possible worlds," "our country and our empire," of
course, being the most favored areas contained in
tt.   Mr. Lloyd George, for instance, a political porch
climber of considerable skill and repute, in support
of capitalist property right in the essential means of
social wealth production portrays acquisitiveness as
this property instinct, an inherent and deep rooted
quality in human nature. That is to say, in actual
fact, this instinct is satisfied in but a very small pro
portion of the population (the capitalist class) at the
expense—forever and all time, we are to suppose—
of the greater proportion (the working class). This
nice, innocent, natural and harmless instinct which
supposedly expresses itself in the washwoman's half
crown in savings is presented to cover the greed,
covetousness and hoggish indecency of what we know
as the capitalist class, rulers of what we are to consider as a natural order.   Their property right is to
be "let alone," as a natural right.   There is an instinct of which these apologists prate not quite so-
much—on their own behalf—the creative, or   constructive instinct which, in the social sense, is expressed in the fields, factories and workshops of social production, and is monopolized entirely by the
workingclass.    In the eyes of our capitalist it is
the outstanding virtue of the worker that he active^
ly exercise this latter instinct.   How else could the
capitalist property instinct find satisfaction?
This is perhaps a digression from the course of
our discussion, but it is illustrative of the flimsy
apologeties of the defenders of capitalism, the substance of which is, concerning property right as a
subject under general enquiry nowadays, that the
working class have a "right" to property, but if they
have none—and it is agreed that they have none—
that is simply incidental!
The hold of the ruling class on their system loses
its grip proportionately with the inability of that
system to furnish the means of procuring a livelihood to its workers. If the process of production
cannot smoothly continue, the maintenance of the
workers devolves in some fashion upon the rulers
of society. The workers themselves have no surplus.
The system is brought to the point where the production process is seriously out of gear. It is usual
for the working class to attend to the material wants'
of society at large; if the rulers are now to attend
from their store to the feeding of the workers, the
whole structure of the capitalist order is challenged
and thus Ave have the present tendency toward enquiry into its fundamental principles,.,and the consequent tissue of more or less convenient accomoda
tions mouthed by Lloyd George & Co., with their usual hard faced attitude, amid a welter of such general
community miseries as should welcome a universal
and wholesome proletarian damnation.
It would appear that we are educators with a prejudice. Well, we deal with matters of fact. We are
appreciative of the circumstances surrounding us
and of the trend of events. We make no false pretensions. Such theories or interpretations as we harbor are useless to us if we cannot find theiv corroboration in the world of reality. Such a matter, for
instance, as the identity of interest between employ--
er and employee is clearly disproved in the everyday
experiences of employer and employee. Our student will find in economics the theoretical expression of the fact. There is no desire and no need to
add color to it.
Onr new student may find education to be unattractive and to contain no pleasurable appeal, although we hope not. He may be a good observer
whose contact with the multiplicity of events has
impressed him as being sufficient for his understanding, in keeping with his needs as a rule-of-
thumb, practical man. Our educational courses will
prove interesting to him. They are certain to be useful. He may present the common excuses that he
cannot with confidence master the terrible words.
Certainly he will find all sorts of excuses for indolence if he sets out to look for them. He may already have sagacity and no "learning", or he may
have some learning and little sagacity. In any
case, he will most readily appreciate and understand
a treatment of those things he already has a practical acquaintance with.
His class-room skill will eventually parallel his
skill in the workshop and, unlike the uses to which
his workshop skill is devoted—the profit of his master—his class-room skill he will be able to bring to
bis own use and the use of his class.
COMRADE LESTOR reports good meetings already
held in Alberta at Trochu, Swallwell, Collingwood
and Aberdeen. Carbon was unfortunately missed
through his misunderstanding of the arrangements, aid'-d
by a slight attack of sickness on Comrade Lestor's part.
He reports bankruptcy on the part of the farmers in the
sense of financial health, but he records, nevertheless, and
asks us to extend appreciation of the hospitality extended
to him all round. Other meetings to be held in Alberta
beyond the schedule given in our last issue, are:—Deer. 5.
City Hall, Medicine Hat. Deer. 6. Seven Persons. Deer. 7.
Whitla. Deer. 8. New Dale School. Deer. 9. Winnifred.
Deer. 10. City Hall, Medicine Hat. Deer. 11. Thompson.
Deer. 12. Many Berries.
The comrades in those districts will, we hope, bring
to the meetings as many of their friends as they can induce to come.
Calgary reports the resumption of class study work
with the oncoming of the hard weather.    Two or three
weeks will see the Comrades there back to their   usual
winter activity with the usual good educational results.
We regret that the "Clarion Mail Bag" feature is
crowded out this issue through pressure on space and last
minute hurry. This, however, will allow for a wider treatment in next issue.
Western Clarion office and D. E. C. address, 1305 Tower
Building, 500 Beatty St., Vancouver, B. C. address all mail
matter to P. O. Box 710.
Local (Vancouver) No. 1. Headquarters address,
Rooms 11 and 12 Flack Block, 163 Hastings Street, West,
Vancouver, B. C. Business meetings every Tuesday, 8 p.m.
History Class every Thursday, 8 p.m. (Present textbook,
"Socialism, Utopian and Scientific"). Economics class,
every Sunday at 3 p.m. (Present text book, "Wage-Labor
and Capital"). Propaganda meetings every Sunday, 8
p.m., Star Theatre, Main Street. Every encouragement is
offered to new students in class work, and every effort
should be made, and the invitation is here extended, to
bring as many workers as possible to attendance.
Following $1 each:—J. Mitchell, C. Bright, A. M. Davis,
Mrs. Annie Ross, J. G. Brown.
Norman McAulay $2; John F. Maguire $2; B. H. L. $5;
Local Ottawa (per Peter T. Leckie) $3.50. Comrades of St.
John, N. B., (per M. Goulie) $12.50.
Above, C. M. F. receipts, 27 Oct. to 14 Nov., inclusive,
total $30.
 '" '""""" "■"■■1
Setting Us Right
South Vancouver, Nov. 4th, 1922.
Mr. E. McLeod.
Dear Comrade:
In your editorial of the issue of Nov. lst. you quote the
following: "Incidentally it recently ejected through the
members' expulsion route J. Kavanagh and J. G. Smith.".
This excerpt is in relation to the Workers' Party. I
wish you to give publicity to my denial of this statement. Comrade Kavanagh, myself and several others resigned from the Workers' Party on account of the action
of that party in regard to the "Federationist". A perusal
of the columns of the "Federationist" for the last few
months will give sufficient explanation of our action/
Yours for Progress,
James G. Smith.
S. Vancouver, Nov.  3rd,  1922.
Editor, "Western Clarion," City.
In your editorial, appearing in the last issue of the
"Western Clarion" you make the statement that J. Kavanagh and J. G. Smith were ejected from the Workers'
Party via the members' expulsion route. That statement
is untrue. Your source of information for the same was
either malicious or ignorant, probably both.
I resigned from the Workers' Party for reasons fully
explained to its C. E. C, and which, in view of recent happenings locally, must be apparent to anyone laying claim
to a modicum of proletarian understanding. I trust you
will give this denial as much publicity as the statement
of which it is a contradiction.
J. Kavanagh.
Editor's Note:—We had understood it to be a case of
expulsion, whereas it appears to have been a case of resignation. Comrade Smith will, no doubt, appreciate a
reminder that "those who never do anything never make
The point we had laid under stress, it should be noted,
was not the matter of expulsion particularly but of divided
opinion, which, on any fundamental principle of cohesion
renders unity useless in organizational practice. As a slogan of working class appeal, with a surface appearance
of plausibility and solidity, it has been lately carried to
popular favor in working class sentiment. Momentarily,
it is a kind of "intoxicating self-deception." It is, in fact,
as at present used, an importation from the literature that
has come out of the Russian Revolution and, as Marx
said of the French literature (following upon 1830) imported to Germany to the use of the "philosophers" of that
country, its practical significance is lost through the
fact that the social conditions of the country out of which
it arose have not immigrated along with it. We stress
the point again that unity of form is dependent, in practice,
upon a uniformly accepted and understood point of view
and common purpose. Without that, disintegration will
sooner or later show itself in any organization. The circumstance of resignation or expulsion is altogether a
minor detail, a matter of form secondary to and dependent
on that condition. To be brief: its importance is only a
matter of personal importance.
Vancouver, B. C, Nov. 2nd, 1922.
Editor Western Clarion,
I was amazed (on reading your editorial in the issue
of November lst) at the dogmatic manner in which you
allude to the activities of the S.D.F. of forty years ago and
since, for only a person entirely ignorant of the propaganda
of the S.D.F. of that period could so flagrantly mis-state
the case.
The present writer, and the late P. Curran, M.P., were
the two first in Scotland to join the S.D.F., and as we
grew stronger, and enthusiastic to emancipate the world,
we had not the slightest or corrupt thought of compromise or affiliation with other parties.
Hoping you will publish this and show your readers
by avoiding in the future such palpable errors, and therefore a more trustworthy guide of public thought.   I am,
Yours fraternally,
Joseph Cairney.
Editor's Note: The Social Democratic Federation, formed in 1884, was an extension of the Democratic Federation
of 1881. The late H. M. Hyndman was active in the formation of both. The D.F. (1881) was largely an embodiment
of the views of political radicals and followers of Henry
George. Nationalization of the land was its most important feature. The S.D.F. (1884) took on a decidedly Socialist complexion, extending its programme toward socialization of the means of wealth production, distribution and
exchange. It is worth noting that before the S.D.F. was
a year old William Morris withdrew in disagreement with
its policy and was active in the formation of the Socialist
League. (Many writers have ascribed the division to personal reasons, but while splits and divisions give vent generally to a measure of personal feeling, only surface observers fail to see that there is an underlying variation in
ideas and a reason for it.) Morris undoubtedly entertained a deep dislike of politics in its practical and some
times personal expression, and he did not see it as an essential course. The Socialist League devoted itself to
Comniunist propaganda, alienating itself from promoting
practical, political measures, and lived for several years.
Morris, we seem to remember reading somewhere, afterwards supported Hyndman's candidature for Burnley, acknowledging a change in his ideas.
In 1893 the I.L.P. was formed. Later (1900) the Labor
Representation Committee of trade unions, Socialists (including the S.D.F.) and co-operative bodies was formed
to discover ways of maintenance for political representation. Payment of members of parliament by the state
was not at that time a practice in Great Britain. The L.
R.C. became tlie Labor Party, following upon the general
election of 1906, at which time the L.R.C. candidates met
with success, forty Todd) of them being returned, which
represented about 80 per cent of their nominees; the
majority were trade unionists. Over the years the S.D.F.,
in face of the uncertain and indefinite policies it pursued
and in face of the growing favor accorded the I.L.P. and
trade union combination, found itself out of favor among
those who saw the need for a clear and independent policy
free from compromise and at the same time shut out from
success in the political arena by the policy of the I.L.P.
At the same time it was common to find members Who
belonged to both parties and speakers who spoke in agreement on both platforms. Arising out of this there naturally grew such parties as the S.L.P. and the S. P. of Gt. B.
In the meantime the S. D. F. had followed the policy, for
whatever reason, of changing its name, and became in
turn S. D. P., National Soc. P. and B. S. P. It is now again
the S. D. F., and as far as we are aware its influence is
not great. It did good work in what were really pioneer
days in the modern expression of the Socialist movement. It would be foolish to overlook that fact. It would
be equally foolish to ignore the lesson of its errors.
When we mentioned the S. D. F. in last issue ofthe
Clarion we had in mind that the chief lesson to be learned
from the history of the S. D. F. as a party was that in
seeking to merge itself in action with other bodies, by
lack of a certain rigidity, it had lost its identity as a useful organization in a day when a definite and intolerant
socialist expression was sorely needed in what was a time
of early development and consequent confusion.
We have no wish to treat our correspondent unkindly
or to belittle in any way the strenuous efforts of forty
years ago. That credit being extended (and it was never
witheld) we are unable to see wherein Comrade Cairney
finds cause in our remarks for his disturbing amazement.
Not only the beginning, but the present appearance and
the in-between periods must be taken into account in
considering any organization and its histrory. It seems to
us that our correspondent has failed to appreciate that
fact, which must serve as our excuse for entering a note
of this length.
Alberta and Saskatchewan P. E. C. of the S. P. of C.
Secretary, R. Burns, 134 a 9th Avenue, West, Calgary, Alberta.
Local Calgary. Same address as above. Business meetings every alternate Tuesday, 8 p.m. Study class in Economics every Thursday at 8 p.m. Correspondence from
all parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan is earnestly invited
from all comrades interested in the organizational and
educational work of the Party, and attendance at the classes and interest in their development and usefulness will
be welcomed.
SPACE PRESSURE eliminates any elaboration on the
tlie wheedling process this time.   The figures themselves, however, are eloquent of the good work and
interest of many comrades.
Following $1 each:—Peter T. Leckie, A. W. Osterberg,
T. W. Nevinson, F. Shaw, R. C. McKay, J. Cunningham, M.
S. Grott, J. Mitchell, D. Mclver, G. Helliar, Cumberland L.
and A. Assn., A. M. Davis, T. B. Roberts, C. Bright, E. Col-
lings, W. McQuoid, A. Whitechureh, A. Lescarbeault, J. M.
-Sanderson, M. Goudie, G. Hubbard, T. Hanwell, S. J. Rose,
J. G. Brown, Jim Fletcher, S. Oliver, C. Lestor, B. C. Provincial Library, Norman MacAulay, Fred Harman, Geo.
Silk, C. A. Stein.
E. Anderson $1.12; M. Zusire 50c; C. F. Orchard $1.50;
Mrs. M. A. Lewis $1.50; H. G. Mingo $2; M. Farrell $2; Dr.
Inglis $2; H. Judd ?2; J. A. McDonald $2; A. A. McNeill
$3; Roy Addy $2.50; Jim Cartwright $4; W. A. Pritchard
Above, Clarion subs., 27 Oct. to 14 Nov. inclusive, total
— of tht —
(Fifth Edition)
Per copy 10 otots
Per 25 copies"   *2
Post Paid
The Moscow Trial
SOVIET RUSSIA has had its first brush with
treason, and the trial, lasting for days, has
awakened more response outside Russia than
inside. Whieh is significant, both of the temper and
perception within Russia, and the mind and intent
of the Western world. For were the Russian people
alarmed by the event, it would be proof of the same
•confusion of mind as exists among the "advanced"
democracies of "this freedom." And because they
are not so feared and worked up explains the fear
or the anxiety of the bourgeois rulers, conscious of
its inner meaning.
The fundamental charge against the 20 unfortunate social revolutionaries was for receiving "western
gold" and assisting the Western Governments, for
the purpose of overthrowing the Soviet Government.
They were alleged to be in league with the reactionary agents and forces of the Capitalist world, who
Avere blockading Russia, invading and pillaging her
territory; bringing famine, disease, pestilence, in the
desolate wake of attempted conquest; bringing
death to unnumbered thousands; hindering the reconstruction and organisations of the Soviet regime,
and challenging the legality of the Soviet Government. The summary of Krilenko—the representative of the people—painted the result in terrible
colors, clearly establishing the connection between
the Revolutionaries and the capitalist agents; bringing home—to some of the accused at least— conscious collusion and understanding; involving their
dupes in the same toils of participation; and concluding with a demand for a capital penalty. It is
all so pitifully tragic.
Representatives from the yellow-pink Internationals of the several countries attended the trial.
But they shortly left—disgusted with the "travesty
cf justice.'' There was no excitement, no emotion,
no enthusiasm. Nothing but the ominous calm of an
austre realism, and cold precision of reasoning. Moscow was quiet as a rural village. Patriotic palaver
there was none. Nor the pomp of capitalist legality. Nor political oratory. Nor the chaos of "moderate" revisionism. It was an atmosphere wholly
unsftiited to the fastidious constitutions of "labor
But there was no travesty of justice. Every opportunity was given the defense; every freedom of
means and choice and counsel. Nothing was disallowed. Nothing suppressed. Every point and
counter was weighed and balanced with the simple
deliberateness of single purpose. Against Moscow
no claim can be sustained that justice was voided,
or right denied, or truth destorted or suppressed.
What those "socialist" representatives saw was
the superficial purpose of internal politics; the cross
play of party interests, necessarily interwoven with
the deeper issues at stake. In the broad politic
of Soviet reality, they saw only the narrow occasions of a sordid necessity. The confused ideals
and wavering tactics of their own misconceiving reformism. Aurora-like, fleeted in trembling folds
across the subtler fundament of Soviet purpose.
And they were altogether blind to the intermingling
of the fact of accomplished revolution; with the
plain failure of political idealism. And that revolution—successful though it was, and conscious of its
own wrath and purpose—striigglinj; desperately
with political necessities, and a sluggishly misunderstanding proletariat, steeped in the ethic of political radicalism, they utterly failed to grasp the inherent and inviolate antagonism between the ideal
and purpose of logical communism and the "practical" policies of moderation.
What those representatives did not see was the
workers' Republic, fighting for its life in the maelstrom of Capitalist diplomacy. They did not see
that its success was the ideal of completed com-,
rmnism. They did not see that its triumph was the
earnest of the triumph of the world proletariat.
They did not see the social democracy in the Soviet
dictatorship, mustered in martial array against the
Cohorts of militarism. And they could not see
(Continued on page 8) page six
"What is the I.W.W.?"
IN this article we will examine a few extracts
from the pamphlet, "The Lumber Industry and
Its Workers," as I stated in my last article on
the same subject. But before doing so, a few words
concerning the pamphlet itself will not be out of
It begins with a very good short history of the
development of the lumber industry on the American continent from the earliest times down to the
-present. Following this is a review of the conditions, good, bad and indifferent, mainly bad and indifferent, in the various camps throughout the country in which the lumber workers live and work,
which is also true to life. Next, we are informed as
to what the I. W. W. has done to improve those
conditions in the past, and what it plans to do in
the future, all of which is open to discussion. And
lastly, we are given a further statement of the principles, objects, methods and "beliefs" of the organization. This last is the only part we are concerned with here, so without further preliminaries
1 will quote a passage from page 72, regarding governments :—
"The I. W. W. is non-political. It is not concerned with
the empty forms of a fake political democracy. Industrial
unionists know popular government can never be anything
but a fraud and a sham under a system of industrial autocracy. Knowing the industrial government is the real government they refuse to waste time electing the hirelings
of Wall Street money kings, but aim straight at the root
of all human power-control of industry."
Again, on page 87 we find another spasm concerning governments.
"The objection is often made to the I. W. W. that it
does notbelieve in government. This is a mistake. The
I. W. W. believes in the most efficient form of government
possible. Some revolutionists object to the word government on the ground that it implies a governing class
and a class that is governed. The word government is
used here in the sense of self-government, or administration of their own affairs by the workers."
It would appear from the above that there is a
multiplicity of governments. A whole liock of them.
We have governments to the right of ns, to the left
of us and in front of us, in short, governments to
throw at the birds. Amidst all this volley and thunder about governments one is tempted to ask a few
questions. First, how many senses can the word
government be used in? Second, if. a popular government can never be anything but a fraud and a
sham" would an "unpopular" government be the
genuine article under a system of industrial auto--
cracy? Third, does the I. W. W. adnvt that there
is a governing class and a class that is governed?
If such classes exist then it stands to reason that
the Avord government cannot possibly imply anything else. On the other hand, if human society is
not divided into two classes, "a governing class and
a class that is governed," then the word government does not imply anything and all this talk of the
I. W. W. about the governments it "believes" in, is
bunk. In other words, Avhen there is no longer a
"governing class and a class that is governed" the
Avord government will be obsolete.
HoAvever, let us forget about the "word" government for a feAV minutes and examine the condition or state of affairs that the Avord government
"implies." It is generally agreed by authorities on
the subject that all government is based on armed
force. In fact, no person of any intelligence would
dispute the statement. And armed force, as far as
human society is concerned, is the court of last appeal. But Avhat is armed force? Bodies of men
armed with weapons of various kinds. Now remember, the I.W.W. itself has told us that "bullets
and political revolution" are means of political action. And don't forget that bullets are used not
only -for revolutionary purposes but also to suppress
revolution.    What more do we need than this to
BY F. J. MjcNEY.
prove that all government is political?  •
When Ave come to theories regarding the use and
function of government we do not find the same
agreement.   Among the many and various ideas and
"beliefs" ^n this respect we find three main theories
Avhich Ave will examine here briefly.    The first one
Ave Avill take up is the most ridiculous one of all: the
theory that the function of a government is to govern itself; in other words, "a government of the
people, by the people, and for the people."   This
theory agrees with the "self-government"  theory
that the I.W.W. "believes" in.   Let us see Iioav it
Avorks out.   Here Ave are, the whole population of us.
We are going to govern ourselves in our own interests.   We Avill arm ourselves with rifles and machine
guns and make ourselves do as we want ourselves
to do, even if we have to use force.   And if ourselves
refuse to do as ourselves want ourselves to do we
will turn the rifles and machine guns on ourselves,
and kill ourselves off.    Noav it is obvious that no
reasonable person could doubt the "efficiency" of
such a government.   There is only one possible objection to it, namely, that it does not exist, it never
did exist, and it never could exist.   In short, it is a
Next, Ave have the theory that the function of a
government is to protect the rights and interests of
the good, honest, virtuous, pious, peaceful citizens
against the treachery and duplicity of the bad, vicious, avaricious, blood-thirsty scoundrels who seek
to destroy everything that is good and beautiful,
out of pure perversity.   These natural born criminals, fiends of iniquity, are supposed to< exist in considerable numbers Avithin our own borders, not only
that, but also outside of our own country there are
Avhole nations of them awaiting a favorable opportunity to spring upon us, hence the need of government to suppress the scoundrels within, and protect
us against   aggressors  such   ae   "blonde beasts,"
"yellow perils," and "Mohammedan hordes" from
Avithout.   Now if this theory applies at all, it must
apply to all countries.   But here is the rub.   If the
government of every country is a government for
the protection of the good people against the bad,
then Ave must assume that the good people are in
control in every country and are able to keep their
own bad people in subjection.   Where then are the
cut-throat nations that are  likely to  attack any
country from Avithout?    On the other hand, if we
assume that the bad people are in control in some
countries then the whole theory falls to the ground.
To save space 1 wilt leave this question open for the
present.   Think it over.
Lastly, we come to the theory that appears to exasperate the I. W. W., the theory that a government
(not the word) "implies a governing class, and a
class that is governed." In other words, wherever
Ave find a government we find tAvo economic classes,
one class governing the other. The suppressed class
is either governed for the purpose of exploiting it in
the interests of the governing class, or else it is a
class that was at one time a governing and exploiting class itself and is suppressed for the purpose of
keeping it from starting any more monkey business
of that kind until all classes have been abolished.
This theory also explains the cause of war betAveen
nations or groups of nations, which is not a case
of good, honest, pacific nations merely defending
their culture and religion or their "right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and so forth
against the attack of cut-throat nations who are devoid of all these things, but in capitalist society is
purely a question of commercial rivalry, a conflict
between different capitalist groups fcr control of
the world's markets in order that they may have a
place to dispose of the surplus Avealth produced by
their wage slaves. Or to put it another way, the
conflict beteAveen either classes or nations is not a
question of ethics, but is purely a question of the
conflict of economic interests which must sooner or
later come to a head and eventually be decided by
political action, the final and ultimate form of which
is the application of armed force,   lt is hardly necessary to point out that a government of persons by
armed force, which is the only Avay they can be governed, is one thing, and the "administration of affairs" or things is another.   Bodies of armed men
are not required for the administration of affairs,
but they are required for the government of persons.
There is another theory of government that I
have not included in the above classification, for
the simple reason that it is not of earth, earthy, and
therefore requires special treatment.   I refer to the
"shadow" theory.   If a government, "popular" or
otherwise is a mere shadow, '' a fraud and a sham,''
a poorly informed person might wonder what it was
maintained for at all.   '' Industrial unionists know,''
however, that the capitalist class spends millions of
dollars annually to support an army and a police
force just to ornament the landscape with pretty
uniforms. Come to think of it, this "shadow" theory
of government reminds one of Christian Science.
If a policeman strikes you oyer the head with
his club you are not actually struck, you just think
you are.   If he takes you by the collar and throws
you into jail you are not in jail at all; that is a
mere  hallucination.    If  a  soldier  shoots you  or
sticks his bayonet through you, don't worry; you
are not shot or struck, you just imagine you are.
It is all "a fraud and a sham."»"There is no such
thing as matter: nothing but divine mind."
That Avill be enough about government for the
present, Now we will have a little economics for
a chaser. It is strange, indeed, that a working class
organization which puts so much emphasis on the
need of "economic action" would not try to make
itself conversant with, at least, the elementary principles of Marxian economics, which is the only school
of economics of any use to the working class. Many
people, no. doubt, imagine that all veil informed
members of the I. W. W. are Marxists. Let us see.
On page 84 of the pamphlet, "The Lumber Industry
and Its Workers," we find the following passage:—
"Labor is the creator of capital, and existed before
capital; but without capital, labor could produce only on
a very limited scale. On the other hand, capital without
labor could produce nothing. The I. W. W. does not propose to abolish capital. What it does propose is to abolish
capitalists. A capitalist is one who owns capital and
lives off profits produced by workers. Capital is necessary
to society; but the private ownership of capital is not
necessary; on the contrary, it is responsible for most of
the evils from which society suffers today. If all capitalists were to pass out of existence industry would go on
as usual, for it is run entirely by workers. With a system
of industrial democracy capital will still exist but it will
be owned and controlled by the useful members of society
instead of by a parasite class."
Noav. you Marxian economists, keep your shirts
on. Will somebody please hold Peter Leckie by the
coat tail for about five minutes? I have a few remarks to make myself. I am not going very deeply
into economics, I merely wish to state that the passage just quoted is about the best exposition of the
capitalist class conception of capital that I ever
read, namely, that wealth or the means of wealth
production is capital, at all times and under all circumstances. Let us try and get this. "A capitalist
is one who oAvns capital and lives off profits produced by workers." Good! "Capital is necessary to society;" and will still exist Avith a system
of industrial democracy, but it Avill then be owned
by the useful members of society. Good again. Then
we will all be. capitalists and live off profits produced
by ourselves. I hope Peter will be able to unravel
this tangle, it is too deep for yours truly. Oh! I
almost forgot that we started out to answer the
question, "What Is the I W. W.? Well, you can
search me,'' I give it up. I am stuck. Send and get
the pamphlets, read them, and figure it out for yourselves. WESTERN   CLARION
A Talk With New Students
Approach to the study of History and Economics. Their relationship and functions.
Factors bearing upon the studies. Importance of the studies, their application
and essential usefulness to workers.
HISTORY and economics, as studies are inseparably related to each other because, if
history may be said to be a record of man's
past experiences, a record of Avhat men have thought
and done, the science of economics deals Avith the
conditions of economic existence which underlie and
determine the scope and method of men's thoughts
and actions. In their broad cultural aspect those
studies should cultivate a scientific habit of mind,
history in particular inculcating a sense of proportion, and thus increasing our powers of judgement,
through the study of racial experiences. Experience is a necessary factor in all skilful activity;
otherwise we should remain forever novices in all
the arts of life, those of industry as equally those of
politics or the strictly cultural. Specifically, these
studies should be brought into relation with the conditions Avithin the current social situation. What
follows is in the nature of discussion of that specific
To commence with, economics and history may
be defined briefly as follows: Economics, is the
science which deals Avith the laws governing the production of wealth and of its distribution among the
respective classes in society. A study of history
looks to the discovery of the laws of social development; as a record of man's past experiences history enables us to add past to present experiences,
and thus to form new syntheses of thought and ae
It has been charged against orthodox economists that their treatment of economic phenomena has
resulted in a science that bears little or no resemblance to the realities of the world of actual experience: that as a help to understanding social
problems it Avas practically worthless, whatever
might be its due as a somewhat tedious mental
dicipline, or as a body of business maxims useful in
the quest of profits. Hence, no doubt, the bad name
of economics as "the dismal science." The science
has, it seems, mainly concerned itself with the classification of economic phenomena, looking to "states
of equilibrium" or "normality" towards which all
things in their movement are supposed to tend.
Hence its economic laws, as traditionally conceived,
"are laws governing the accomplishment of an end
—that is to say, laws as to hoAv a sequence of cause
and effect come to rest in a final term." Orthodox
economics is thus, it is claimed, a science of statics
rather than a true evolutionary science looking to a
continuous process, a science Avhich should explain
phenomena in terms of an unremitting process of
consecutive change in which the sequence of cause
and effect are cumulative. Other apparatus of exposition characteristically used by orthodox economists have been "conjectural" history as a substitute for a true genetic account of economic phenomena as, for instance, on the origin of capital; an
"economic man," a pure individualist who, coldly
'calculating, balanced present pain of abstinence
against the advantages of future pleasure to come
from an increase to his savings loaned to a needy,
generally a thriftless, producer.   Thus, the critics.
We shall, however, claim an exception to those
strictures on the method of the orthodox economists
in behalf of Marxian economics. Marx's treatment
of economic phenomena lends itself easily to an explanation of social affairs. In regard to the study
of history, Ave should guard ourselves against falling
into the easy habit of reading history merely to
gratify either curiosity or a sentimental interest in
the past.   As well as may be, Ave are to strive, in
both our studies, to make causal connection between
the responses of man in thought and action at whatever period in history and the conditions of his
social environment, industrial, economic and political.
The Marxian system of economics is especially
helpful to the student of social problems, especially
helpful to the understanding of those that bear most
heavily on the working class, because the profit
feature and the process of labor exploitation, the
most characteristic features in the economy of cap<-
italist production and most far reaching in their
effects on social life are the main concern of Marx.
An enumeration of a feAV of the matters discussed
by Marx may in degree indicate hoAv "close up" his
science is to working class experiences:—
Origin and nature of Capital; Primitive accumulation of capital in so far as it is not due to the
transformation of slaves and serfs into Avage-work-
ers is due to the dissolution of private property based
on the labor of its OAvner; source of modern capital
since, due to exploitation of propertyless (in the
means of production) wage laborers; process of exploitation explained in Marx's theory of surplus
value; dependence of Avage-laborers on capital - causes of periodic industrial crises described; unemployment; part-time employment, effect on wages, low
standard of living, poverty—effect on population
mentally, morally and physically; control over all
industrial and economic processes exercised in the
interest of capital investments; rate and volume of
industrial output regulated by business needs of a
profitable price; social knowledge of Avays and means
and capacity for producing goods and services of
unknown dimensions, but exceeds what is possible
under the limits imposed by the needs of capital for
a profitable price, perhaps by a thousand times;
over population, or "population encroaching on the
means of subsistence" has reference to the limits
imposed on production by the needs of capital, but
has no meaning in relation to social capacity for
producing goods and services; Avages, their nature
discussed • competition as a principle in social life;
commodity nature of labor poAver Avhen sold on the
labor market; rent, interest and industrial profit as
component parts of surplus Values accrue to capitalist class by virtue of "right" of OAvnership;
knowledge of the industrial arts (technology) as of
all the other arts of life, in large part inherited from
the past and is carried by society as a whole, chiefly
by the productive portion of it; is a social product;
yet the advantages of an advance in the state of the
industrial arts accrue to the owners of the means of
production; on the other hand, such advances make
the workers more and more dependent on capital
and loAver their economic and social status in relation to that of the owners of large capital.
While studying the impersonal facts of the
social environment, we should not forget Socrates'
admonitory "Man, knoAv thyself." The human element in the complex of things postulated by the
orthodox economists, as has been said, Avas an "economic man," a Avholly rational creature whose conduct in reaction to his economic environment was
based on lightning yjalculatiioris in pleasure-pain
equations. A science of economics based on such a
conception of human psychology can lend but little
aid to an understanding of man's responses to the
conditions of his environment: Man, in fact, is fundamentally a many-sided, composite creature of unlearned and unchanging instinctive tendencies to
action, which, functioning as his egoistic and herd
interests, have had and have now a survival value
in the struggle for existence. It is they that make
anything Avorth Avhile that is to be done; determining the ends of activity, they are the initiators of
action and supply the driving power. Built upon
this groundwork of non-rational instincts, emotions
and desires, the rational faculties are relatively superficial, biologically of later development. This
would imply, as the psychologists assort, that man is
not primarily a rational animal, but is a rationalizing animal.
The Aveakness of the old psychology Avas that it
laid too much emphasis on the intellectual faculties
as factors in man's responses. Let the reader ask
himself, however, Iioav much of the apathy among
the masses of the people on social affairs at present may be due to purely rational considerations;
or, on the other hand, how much of it may be due
t) fear, that great inhibitor of action? Sensible of
the precarious state of social affairs and ignorant
of causes and a solution, daunted by the complexity
and stupendous nature of the problem, may not fear,
a moral coAvardiee, paralyse in some degree both
the mental and physical activity required to meet
the situation? In the immediate affairs of our lives
also fear haunts both the employed and the unemployed, the one that they may lose and the other that
they may not find employment.
Again, Avhat of the fear of being thought orthodox?   Man is a herd animal, gregarious, and in the
main conforms willingly to the herd laAV, its conventional moralities, norms and standards.    When,
through individual interests or intellectual conviction, or through loyalty to the interests and standards of a partial herd Avithin the larger he departs
from the herd law, he does so with timidity as a
rule and with many a backAvard look, fearful of the
disapprobation of the herd falling upon him, maybe
in  drastic  Avays.    Add to  the  natural  instinctive
pull and influence of the herd the situation in a pecuniary society Avhere social prestige is based on
success in acquiring wealth: Avhere the possessor of
wealth draws the same easy, natural, spontaneous
homage to a believed superior worth as did military
proAvess in feudal times, or as intellectual poAver received from the scholars Avho conversed with Socrates, or moral poAver from those Avho, denouncing
the things of this Avorld put off from them wordly
wealth, and folloAved the "Man of Soitoaa7s."    ln
effect, then, the Avealthy, the successful accumulators of Avealth are honored in our social life as the
natural leaders of the herd by all of its members
Avhom habituation to the ways of life and thought of
such'a pecuniary society has led to feel that Avay,
which is almost all its members.   It is the moralities
that conserve the interests of this Avealthy class,
their standards, tastes and preferences that dominate the schools "and echo thence from press and
pulpit, bench and rostrum into the streets of life,"'
thus reinforcing the herd compulsions toAvards conformity.
What of that non-rational humility that is prevalent among the producing class, due to inferiority
of pecuniary status? Docs it exist in such intensity
as to be such a psychological "fixation" as an inferiority obsession? Ahvays there is insidious propaganda carried on to create that feeling, to break
down our pride and self-respect in the interest of
the parasite ruling class. The latest fad in this direction is the psuedo-scientilic chattering about the prevalence of morons or undeveloped mentalities in the
population- Responsible scientists, however, are beginning to discredit the purely arbitrary tests used
and the interpretations put upon the data so obtained.    (See "Survey" for Oct)
There is also the matter of interest in religions of
various kinds. How much of that interest is a compensatory interest, a substitute interest for other interests frustrated of normal expression? Is not religion to many people a substitute activity? Arc
not its emotional "states" of religious experience
and ecstatic exercises, its easy, thoughtless babble
of milleniums here or hereafter, all modes of escape
from an alien and unfriendly world of complex social
problems that involve a strain of perplexity and
A study of humanity and its behavior in face of
the conditions of its social environment Avill sheAV
the social problem, as the psychologists contend, to
be one of maladjustment betAveen a fixed human nature and the economic conditions and institutions in-
continued on page 8) *****3**0
Continued from page 5)
themselves, the visionless tools of that militarism,
betraying every hope, blinding every purpose, sacrificing every ideal of the lion-hearted, but chloroformed proletariat. And they were errant even
superficially. For those 20 social Revolutionaries
were traitors, not only to the Soviet Government,
but to their own .principle; They plotted the doAvn-
fall of the former Avith an enemy they pretended to
despise. They Avere "giving comfort" to powers
they were leagued together to destroy. And they
were assisting the foes of a regime, sanctioned (as
they could not but knoAv—as their outside relationships proved), not by the illusionary majority of
capitalist politics, but by the real majority of Soviet
What would happen to us on this American continent in like circumstances? What Avould Press
and Pulpit say? What happened to the political
nondescripts during the late war? Hoav fared it
Avith Kirkwood and McLean? What happened to
Roger Casement, to the Irish Nationals? to Haitian
patriots? to Edith Cavell? to the Dutch danceuse
whom the French trapped in the toils? And Avhat
did those scourgers of Socialism do, those haters of
tyranny; the Gompers and Vanderveldes, the
Rosenfelds and Brantings, the Walkers, McDonalds
and Snowdens—what did they say to the "White
Terror" of Mannerheim? to the excesses of Horthy?
to the iron handed Fascisti? to the plundering of
the Far East? to the slayers of Liebnecht and Luxemburg? to the torturers of Georgia? to the thimble-
riggers of Johannesburg? to the mandated "protectionists" of Africa? What? Why, what one
would expect them to say: Nothing!
The Moscow trial has passed almost without comment, almost without notice. Yet it is more momentous to us than all the spectacular foamings of capital. It preaches the stern gospel of revolution. It
shoAvs its realities, stark and clear and conscious.
Its unwavering solemnity of purpose, its unimaginative simplicity, its dispassionate logic, its cold incisive reason. It points the moral of unity; the
value of understanding; the futility of direct action
without direct comprehension. It demonstrates the
forces arrayed against us; it speakes with an authority there is no mistaking. It may outline the fruition of hope and thrill us with the glory of its ideal.
But it also determines the volitions of action, and its
undeviating earnestness of principle. And clear and
unflickering as a rain-washed sky it declares that
having put our hand to the plough of revolution
there is no looking back; no recession from the necessities whieh confront us. R.
(Continued from page 7)
herent in the capitalist organization of society. The
folloAving generalization about human life, if true
to the facts of human nature, as it seems so to the
Avriter, can leave no doubt of the utter failure of
modern civilization to fulfil its terms:—
"That human life is dynamic, that change, movement, evolution, are its basic characteristics.
"That self-expression, and therefore freedom of
choice and movement are pre-requisites to a satisfying human state."
But why has civilization failed to realize those
terms? The question is rather too large an order to
answer here. HoAvever, consideration is called to
man's poAver to acquire habit and to the inertia of
old social habit in the movement of all things else.
Such a consideration will go far to furnish the answer. NeAv material conditions of life may appear,
brought on by a change in the state of the industrial
arts, Avhich demand a reorganization of institutions
or social habits, a new adjustment of customs, conventions and institutions to conform with the needs
brought on by the change. But ahvays there is the
lag leak and friction of social habit, the inertia of
traditional habits of thought and stereotyped, conventionalized methods of action in Avhich our instinctive impulses to action are enchannelled.
But also, it is just here, in respect of man's habits,
that the possibility of social change depends.   It is
because these concepts, customs, conventions and institutions are at bottom habits of thought and action and, like all other habits, capable of change,
that social change takes place. Habits of thought,
as such, are ahvays in process of change and, if the
neAv drift of the material conditions of life sets in
strong enough and endures long enough, sooner or
later action will follow thought and human activity
will find itself exercising along certain new stereotyped channels which Ave term custom, convention,
institutions, ways and means of socially organized
To sum up: i have tried to show thc human factor as standing in causal relation betAveen the material conditions and the institutional facts of a social environment, and that human being are the active agents through which social change is accomplished.
In these days, it is the accident of historj that
the Avorking class are to bc the agent of great social
changes. Our studies of man, his history, and of the
economy of his society, will sIioav us upon Avhat lines
the education of that Avorking class should proceed,
and to Avhat of its defensive and constructive instincts Ave should appeal. So, against the inertia
of old tradition and social habit, Ave may set knoAvl-
edge and the scientific habit of mind; and pride and
self-respect against a fear born of ignorance and a
humility unworthy of the only useful class in society.
Literature Price List
Socialist Party of
"Wa, tka BooiaUat Party of Oan-tda. affirm our all***-
lanca to, and aupport of tha prlnotplaa and pro-pmmina
of Mia ravolutlonary working olaaa,
L»bor, applied to natural reaouroaa, produoaa all
wealth. Tha present economic ayatem la tmeed upon
oapitaliat ownerahlp of tba meana of produotion, oonee-
quantly, all the producta of laibor belong to tba oapitaliat olaaa. The oapitaliat la, therefore, maater; tba
worker a slave.
So long aa the oapitaliat olaaa remalna in poaaeaalon
of tha reins of govern-neat all th* powera of th* State
will be used to protect and'defend Ita property rlghta In
tbe meana of wealth produotion and Ita eontrot of Una
product of labor.
The oapitaliat aystem -fives to the oapitaliat aa aver-
awaUlng etream of profits, and to tho worker, aa arar-
inoreaalng measure of misery and degradation.
Tho Interest of the working olaaa lies ln aettlng itaelf
free from capitaliat exploitation by the abolition of tha
wage aystem, under which thla exploitation, at tbe point
of produotion, la cloaked. To accomplish thla neoesslt-
atea the transformation of oapitaliat property In the
meana of wealth production Into eoolally corn-trolled eeonomie forces.
Tha Irrepressible conflict of Interest between the oapitaliat and the worker neoeaaarlly axpreaaea Itaelf aa m
etruggle for political supremacy. This la tha Claaa
Therefore wa call upon all workera to organise under
the banner of the Socialist Party of Canada, with the
objeot of conquering the political powera for tho purpose of setting up and enforcing the economic programme of the working olaas, aa followa:
1—Tha transformation, aa rapidly aa possible,
of oapitaliat property ln th* meana of
wealth production (natural resources, faotor-
torlea, mills, railroads, *to.) Into oolleotlre
meana of produotion.
I—The organisation and management of industry
by the working claaa.
I—-The establishment, aa apeedUy as possible, of
produotion for use Instead of produotion for
Socialist Party of Canada
STAR THEATRE, 300 Block, Main Street
Speaker: W. A. PRITCHARD.
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Make all moneys payable to E. McLeod, P. 0. Box
710, Vancouver, B. C.   Add discount on cheques.
All above literature can be obtained from J. M.
Sanderson, Box 2354, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
(This is as handy a way as any *o send your subs.)
Western Clarion, P. O. Box, 710.
Vancouver, B. 0.
Official organ of the S. P. of C.   Published twice
a month.
Subscriptions: Canada, 20 issues, $1; Foreign:
16 issues $1.
Enclosed find
Send "Western Clarion' 'to


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