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Western Clarion May 16, 1923

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Official Organ of
No. 891
NINETEENTH YEAR.     Twice a Month
VANCOUVER, B. C, MAY 16, 1923.
Trade and the Future of the
British Empire
FROM the early days of British Imperialism
there has always been a section of the British
Capitalists who have endeavoured to foster
the idea of the all-sufficiency of trade within the empire as the goal of their activities; that it was possible so to develop the countries which had from
time to time been conquered, annexed or absorbed so.
that they would provide an outlet for British manufactures and would in turn supply the foodstuffs
and raw material necessary to the home industrial
life. That in the main was the thesis on which the
theory of British Imperialism was built. Consequently, it was the business of the capitalists at home to
provide the capital for the development of British-
possessions which were disguised under the names of
colonies, dependencies, protectorates or Free State. .
This export of capital, when attacked by labor,
was defended on the ground that it would provide
more work owing to the orderjs.it would bring fori
* rails and steel and coal, and all the other raw ma-1
tcrials necessary for the development of the country.
n And thus British labor was led into -supporting imperialism, into becoming imperialist itself.
This theory of imperialism was, however, based
upon twojnost important premises. ,1. That it was
possible to develop the British possessions so that
they would be able to supply the home requirements;
of foodstuffs and raw materials and be able to absorb'
the surplus of manufactured goods produced at home.
2. That the British possessions would continue to,
order all their materials from England, and would
not in consequence of their industrial development
build up industries which would compete with the
home industries for local orders.
The first big blow to this theory came with the
conflict between German and British Imperialism
which resulted in the European War. But now,
when it appears that German imperialism is no longer a factor in the struggle, when British Imperialism
has increased its possessions as a direct result of the
conflict, the way ought to be clear for the increasing
development of the British Empire as an economic
unit. To achieve this, huge schemes have been initiated by the protagonists of this theory, such as
cotton growing in Egypt Australia, Nigeria and
India. Every corner of the Empire has been assiduously searched for oil. "Wheat growing is encouraged in many places - vast schemes of ports and harbours have been«put forward for Africa, and great
mineral surveys have been undertaken.
To provide money for these and other schemes,
an average of £83 millions of capital for the years
1921 and 1922 were exported to British possessions,
compared with an average of £74 millions for the
years 1912 and 1913. But as can be seen from the
figures given below, there would appear to have
been no appreciable increase in the proportion of
British trade with the Colonies. The first table
gives the percentage of the total of British imports
from the colonies, from Europe and the rest of the
world respectively for 1913-1922:
Imports to Great Britain.
1913 1919 1920 1921 1922
British Possessions    27.6% 35.8% 28.9% 30.6% 31.8%
Europe        41?6% 17.4% 26.0% 30.0% 32.8%
Other Countries ....   30.8% 46.8% 45.1% 39.4% 35.5%
The second table below gives the exports from
Great Britain to the British possessions, Europe and
the rest of the world.
Exports from Great Britain.
1913 1919 1920 1921 1922
British Possessions    39.1% 25.8% 37.6% 42.5% 39.6%
Europe      36.9% 56.6% 40.2% 34.0% 38,2%
Other countries     24.0% 17.6% 22.2% 23.5% 22.2%
In the case of imports to Great Britain the share
of the British Possessions has increased very slightly
in relation to 1913 but has actually declined in the
period covering the post war years. In the case of
exports there is practically no change in 1922 as
compared with 1913, but as with imports in the post
war years there has been a reduction of a fluctuating volume in the proportion of exports to British
possessions. Finally the actual proportions both of
exports and imports show clearly that the British
Empire has not yet achieved the position of being
an economic unit.
Let us now examine what has been the actual
process in these chief possessions of Great Britain—■
in Australia, Canada and India. In Australia, in
spite of the continual flow of capital from Great
Britain in the form of loans to the State and Federal
Governments and in the form of shares in industrial
concerns, the proportion of imports into Australia
from Great Britain as shown by the following percentages, have actually slightly decreased.
Imports into Australia.
Country of Origin 1913       1920/21   9 months to
United Kingdom     51.82% 46.9% 49.27%
United States      13.68% 22.0% 18.63%
Other Countries     34.50% 31.1% 32.10%
The position of exports from Australia has however slightly improved in favour of Great Britain,
as the following figures show.
Destination 1913 1919/20 1920/21
United Kingdom  44.3 53.9 51.1
Other British Countries .... 12.6 18.6 19.7
United  States   3.3               7.4 7.5
Other Countries   39.8 20.1 20.7
These figures make it clear that so far as Australia is concerned, which is the most favourably
placed of all the colonies as regards trade with
Britain, the proportion of intei'-imperial trade is
showing no very large increase.
If we turn to Canada we find that the position
has actually become worse in favor of America.
No actual trade figures are available for the most
recent years but the following compilation of the
per capita expenditure in Canada upon imports from
the United Kingdom and the U. S. A. respectively
will show the position clearly enough.
Per Capita expenditure in Canada on exports from
the United Kingdom and United States.
United Kingdom United States
Increase Increase
1912 1922 or       1912 1922 or
-£— s—d   £—s—d Decrease £— s—d   £—s—d Decrease
% %
3     6   1   2   14   8   —17.227 9     8 10   12   1   5        +27.8
In Canada the position has not been helped by
the flow of capital from the United Kingdom. For
practically since the beginning of the War, Canada
has obtained all her capital from the U. S. A., and
the latter in turn has been increasing her hold on
Canadian industries. So much has this been the
case, that in 1918 it was estimated that 34 per cent.
of the capital invested in Canadian industry was held
in the U. S. A., and only 9 per cent, in Great Britain.
At the end of 1919 it was officially estimated that
the U. S. A. holdings had increased to 50 per cent. •
and was still increasing.
In India the proportion of British trade is not so
small as in Canada, but it is not improving to any
appreciable extent as the following table shows.
In this table we give both the imports of India in
the years 1913-14 and 1920-22, the proportion taken
by the United Kingdom, other British possessions,
the U. S. A. and other foreign countries respectively.
Indian Imports and Exports
Imports Exports
1913 1920  1921  1913 1920  1921
1914 1921 1922 1914 1921 1922
United Kingdom 64.0% 61.0% 57.0% 24.0% 22.0% 20.0%
British Poss'ns 6.0% 5.0% 10.0% 14.0% 21.0% 21.0%
T't'l Br. Empire   70.0% 66.0% 67.0% 38.0% 43.0% 41.0%
U.   S.   A    2.6% 10.5%    8.1%    8.9% 14.8% 10.4%
Total Foreign
Countries   30.0%   34.0% 33.0% 62.0% 57.0% 59.0%
These figures also show that in India too the proportion of British Empire trade actually decreased
as regards imports and only slightly increased as regards exports from India since 1913.
In all the countries we have dealt with, India,
Australia and Canada, a large proportion of the exports of Great Britain are in the form of machinery.
Textile machinery for instance is exported to India
and general engineering machinery to Australia.
This machinery is being utilized to create competitive industries with Great Britain in the colonies
and is thus rapidly destroying the idea that the colonies are mere markets, or the producers of raw material for Great Britain.
Further, in spite of the export of capital to these
possessions of Great Britain, they are rapidly developing a capitalism of their own, whose policy is
coming more and more into conflict with the policy
of the capitalists of Great Britain. Thus in India
already protective tariffs are imposed on British
goods. In Australia the nationalized merchant ship-
(Continued on page 4) '■./-■*■-'•     -,-
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11 im- ■   i ijn>im*i   --iMiMin ii
By the Way
BEFORE continuing from last issue the exposition of my views on social reform and
my argument for the adoption of the concept
of: "function" as the basis of distinction between
working class organisations, educational, political
and economic, reformist and revolutionary, I must
thank the Editor and those who control the Clarion
policy for allowing me to express at such length
views in some particulars at variance with the official attitude of the Party. *.
There may be readers who doubt the wisdom of
opening the Clarion columns to such views, contending that, in the interest of clarity and of maintaining a consistent attitude, the Party organ should
be exclusively devoted to propagating only those
views and policies which have received the Party's
endorsation. As laying down a general rule, I think
the contention a wise one. Nevertheless, I also think
i+. wise for the rule to be lifted from time to time if
only to direct interest to fundamentals. And just
now, when there is a lull in the movement and reflection rather than activity is the order of the day,
there is offered a favorable opportunity. An additional reason for lifting the rule exists, I believe,
in the necessity for reconsidering our pre-war conceptions of the problem of social change in the light
of subsequent experiences; which, while like all new
experiences they contained features unique, were
also uncommonplace in that they were of an unprecedented scale and social significance. We have
witnessed for instance the easy reestablishment, or
rather, reassertion of the spirit of nationalism over
class solidarity among the masses everywhere: We
have experienced the (unexpected) enduring qualities of the capitalist system under, the stress and
strain of international Avar and its aftermath of economic and political anarchy, social distress, discontent and moral and physical degeneration, particularly in Europe and Asia. And we have seen
the Russian revolution and the attempt to rebuild
social life in that country on a new basis of production for use instead of for profit.
Have we, then, consciously tested our pre-war
conceptions in the dry light of reason and our new
experiences, or have these experiences passed us
by like ships in the night, leaving nothing but a
sentimental memory behind? I feel there is a self-
satisfied complacency among us of a kind such as
has ever marked the "keepers of the received
word," a complacency I am moved to disturb. For
ii is a complacency unresponsive to experience and
hostile to objective facts. Where that spirit is,
there is no eagerness to learn what new experience
may have to teach; and the habit of learning and
the acquiring of the habit of learning is discouraged.
Then there springs up a paralizing philosophy of
* Editor's Note: "The Editor and those who control the
Clarion policy" are very grateful tor any appreciative references that come their way. It will not do, however, to
let it be supposed that the Clarion columns have been
generally closed to the discussion of views expressed as
contrary to those we have seemingly adopted as our own.
Indeed, investigation would more likely reveal the contents of the W. P. B. to be made up of MSS. intended to
support—rather than to amend or oppose—those views.
So we part with the* compliment with a sigh. And, anyway, how illnatured they must be who did not respond to
the persuasive warmth of "C's" approaches in setting
forth the result of his observation and study, to say nothing of his inimitable style. We warn our readers against,
those apologies of his. They are but the weapons of a
skilled controversialist, designed to disarm unwary opponents, all, of course, for their own good.
"know-nothingism." The "keepers" have all the
facts within them they care about—a great faith,
desire and will: "All good things, Brother!" but
they are in abundance in every creed and party!
They need to be reinforced by knowledge. And no
previous generation has had at its disposal such an
accumulation of scientific criteria as ours for a
searching analysis of the phenomena of its time.
Nor by virtue of our highly organized and rapid
means of collecting and distributing news and information, has any previous generation had such
an opportunity to study at first hand and on so
grand a scale the mass reactions of men to unwonted
social stimuli.
* #       #       #
Taking as the thesis of his analysis of the main
sources of power in modern communities (beginning
in the New York "Freeman" of May 2.) that, "mental power is the ultimate source of both economic
and military power," Bertrand Russell says, "that
power, even the most monarchical, requires a popular basis, either in the opinion of some large group,
or in its traditions and habits." And he adds,
"Tradition and habit strong as they are, are diminishing forces in our kaleidoscopic world. Thus
opinion becomes the decisive factor in determining
who is to hold power in the future.''
Russell is right, I think, in so far as the question
of power is concerned; but there are still levels of
social life but little capable of being disturbed by
gusts of opinion, and where power, political or economic, no matter how strong or ruthlessly wielded,
finds itself all but impotent. It is down in the lower
levels of work-a-day life, remote from the high affairs of State, that custom and habit and private interest have their strongest grip on the lives of the
peoples, and where proposals for sweeping social
chan,ge must settle accounts with those stubborn, irrational elements of social inertia. There is more to
the problem of change than the question of power.
It is not, in this day and generation, merely a question of issuing decrees, or reforming certain points
in the politieal relations of men, but of modifying
the whole of the economic relations of society;
which is to say, the modifying of a goodly number
of age-long community habits.
* #       #       *
While writing the above I had in mind Russia
when tbe socialist ideal, "Production for use instead
of production for profit" had suddenly to materialize into something cut and dried, had to become an
engineering proposition as well as a slogan, had to
displace the old system of production supplying the
population with its every day necessaries of life.
Were there any revolutionaries, then or now, in
Russia or elsewhere, Avho thought or still think, that
when once desire and intellectual conviction for
change a*re kindled that change can proceed forthwith unretarded by the inert force of social habit?
Is it yet sensed that the active life of communities
is a web of custom, convention and habit, connected
with interests and ways of doing things that are
social, industrial, economic, cultural and political,
with relations between individuals, between town
and country, trades, villages, cities and regions?
These customary, ways of a community, formed into
a co-ordinated system through numberless generations, are the channels in which the life of thought
and activity runs, in the main, smoothly and automatically by sheer force of repetition. In that way
of looking at them these established ways of life
are acquired skills and arts whieh have also the
propelling force of habit. Without the -capacity to
take them on as such we should be for eter novices,
fumbling the game of life worse even than the Pat-
agonian thrown into the social life of a civilized
community.   For he has the rudimentary habits of
social life and the capacity to acquire new ones.
* *       #       •
Revolutions have never fully realized the hopes
of revolutionaries. Launched on tidal waves of
popular feeling, as water finding its level they have
subsided, exhausted alongside where stubborn and
settled habits refused to yield any further. The revolutions of the past have been political rather than
social and only indirectly and at long remove did
they affect the bulk of social habits: A spendthrift
debauchee or warrior monarch and his tax eating
retainers removed, or the parasitic grip of some
privileged class loosened, and industry and commerce expands and develops in the new freedom.
Together with a greater prosperity, there may come
gradually, generation by generation, a change in
the state of the industrial arts. Should this
happen it is epoch making. For not alone
do work-day habits of life change according
as the new method of production determines, but if
it endures, as time goes on it conditions and stamps
its character on all the rest of social dife, economic,
political and cultural.
Attracted by the dramatic quality of violent revolutionary changes, which, in the main may be
characterized as the last ditch stands of reaction,
we are apt to miss the continuous and comparatively-
peaceable changes and modifications that take place
ii habits of life and thought, in economic and legal
relationships, between individuals and between classes, and in political institutions. As a matter of fact,
much of our life works out its own changes without
political intervention or aid; thc big bulk of legislation is inoperative before the ink is dry on statute
books; some of it merely sanctions what has already
happened and the rest takes the judiciary, swarms
of lawyers and the army, navy and police and the
customs officers to make it effective at about ten
cents income to the dollar expenditure; not to speak
of the loss of morale in a hang-dog population who
realize they are moral  defectives in the eyes of
the law.
# #       *       *
Well, the eighteenth century brought the industrial revolution; and the world has travelled
further, belter skelter, in some ways than it had
done in the previous twenty centuries. In some
other respects it is the same old world, there are
still women and kids. Can you imagine the world
before the sixteenth century? No steam power on
land or sea, none of what we would call machinery,
no railroads, no gas, no electric power or light,.no
telegraph, wire or wireless, no telephone, wire or
wireless, no factories or hardly any, no picture shows
or theatres for the masses, no newspapers, no Bolsheviki and no starvation for the masses because
they produced too much, no motor cars, no submarines, no aeroplanes, no poison gas, no tuberculosis—a hell of a world. In comparison with our
modern social condition of world-wide inter-dependency, it was a world of self-sufficient, self-supporting local communities. Their characteristic personal elements were, in industry and commerce, the
handicraftsmen and small traders who carried on
their pursuits for a livelihood and not for profit in
the capitalistic sense; in argriculture, the chief economic interest, were the feudal barons and serfs.
"As it is now and ever shall be, world without end,
Amen!" chanted the priest; swore in his ruder fashion the feudal baron. But the world does move.
For though we are inducted into social habit, custom
tradition and dogma from birth, not all of native
impulse and energy is enchanuelled, something escapes. And so, all down the ages the young and
old sneer at each other for being old fashioned or
new fangled, as the case may be.
# #       #       •
And so, motivated by free unused impulse of one
kind or another, energies are directed to invention
and improvements in industry, and, as a result, a
greater surplus of products is set free for exchange.
Trade and commerce and intercourse between communities increases. Men pry into the secret processes of nature. Observation, experiment, analysis
and classification become principles of a new knowledge. And science, discovery, industry, trade and
commerce, side by side down the centuries shape the
world of men into what we know it: Not into what
we would like it to be. No! Still, there is yet the
Machine production has mechanized and standardized our life of thought and action. It has also
disciplined us into a stronger predisposition for cooperative activity. Its social character and the
world market has compelled us to consciousness of
a larger world than our local community, and we
have been brought to a pass where the chief problems of the local communities are all identical in
effect and cause. So far has a ground-work of new
habit been laid, upon Avhich a more extensive order
of co-operative life may be erected. And educated
opinion on the unrestricted private control of social means of life, as the source of social evils will still
further weaken the old and strengthen new habit,
fiut to propose wholesale sweep, ng changes and to
expect them to materialize in any short space of time
is to be either irresponsible or unreasoning.
*      *      *
Moreover, those schemes of a barrack-life communism will not do. They are too simple-minded
solutions. And both observation and history will
attest that there is no tyranny so detestable, so narrow, hard and unenlightened as that of the simple
minded. Even if such schemes are born of some
thought of primitive tribal communism as being the
golden age of man, it is uninformed thought, for of
all forms of human association tribal life is the
most exacting, least free for the individual and un-
progressive. Violent outbursts of passion, emotional ecstacies and periodical orgies are the only releases that inhibited, frustrated and unused human
impulses find under rigid tribal customs reinforced
by magic, ritual, demonology and dreadful penalties.
No, just as the world has shifted away from tribal
economy, by the same token it has also shifted away
from the characteristic idea that the tribe is everything and the individual nothing. (Our day has
been made familiar with a modern equivalent called
the "Prussian idea.") There is now a growing
sense of the worth of personality. And a state
where the Great Society shall flourish must be organized for more than the bare negative function of
control to prevent the anti-social excesses of economic exploitation. Social control must also include
a creative function: it must mean the organization
of opportunity for the creative spirit of men in all
the arts and activities of life: it must mean also
that men as consumers of goods and services must
find their individual tastes, preferences and appreciations making effective and stimulating demands
upon all productive activity, whether of material
goods or education. So in a social environment rich
and varied, because free experimental activity is its
essence, may personality strike root in more fertile
soil than the arid uniformity of a regimented social
•     #     #
I generalize on this matter of the future of the.
social state because a discussion of the problem of
change involves a consideration of the future, and
as realistic concept of it as possible is as necessary
as are correct concepts of the past and present. My
generalization runs along the lines it does not only
because it indicates the lines of my ideal society, but
also because it runs close to the facts of human nature. We, of the modern civilized communities, are
an opinionated people, increasingly so, and by the
time we are ready to free ourselves from economic
exploitation any government with whatever scheme
of social reorganization in which there is no tender
regard for thc factors of custom and habit, as they
prevail among the masses of men, will have a brief
career and a disastrous ending. My conclusion is,
then, from a consideration of the inert forces of custom and habit, and whatever character the struggle
for power takes on, short or prolonged, social reconstruction must necessarily be a prolonged, experimental effort. A similar conclusion is to be derived
from technical.considerations which are so obvious
that I need only to refer to the matter. Capitalism
is after all a going concern supplying the world with
the necessities of life. The credit institution is
the heart of the system, and an interruption of credits would mean a cessation of exports and imports
and so plunge whole peoples into chaos.   Picture
Great Britain with its great city populations, only
one-tenth of its population on the land. It is impossible for that people to fall back into a peasant economy as they did in Russia, though even there at a
terrible price. An animal struggle for sheer physical needs of life could only occur. In such a competitive life human beings could not think socially
or take long sighted views, and the strong, brutal,
the unscrupulous and predatory elements would
dominate the remnants of the population. The population in Great Britain have a sense of the dangers
of their position, having had them recently forced
on their consciousness at the height of the U boat
campaign during the war: "Business as usual during
alterations" might be said to express their state of
mind. No doubt temperament and the historical
traditions of the British community also support
that reasoning; for, in comparison with the history
of the French or Russian people, for instance, British domestic history, religious and secular, has largely been one of peaceful change through compromise
until reaction has finally found itself so weak in the
face of the persistent pressure of massed public opinion, manifesting itself in other ways than by military
force, as to accept the inevitable. As a people too,
their imaginative powers seem to be on a low material plane. The popular imagination never seems to
bt caught by social ideals that have not an air of immediate feasibility. Did the great Napoleon speak
Aviser than he knew of English psychology when he
said that "the English were a nation of shopkeepers?"
# *     *
To return to the question of our pre-war preconceptions. When, as a student of social phenomena,
I reflect over the course of things since that-time in
Russia, in Italy, Germany, the British Isles or America, I. do not see how any socialist could live through
those years without the social problem now assuming different aspects and proportions to what it did
formerly. In my own case, which I venture to say
is not uncommon, the period has been-marked by the
destruction of many illusions and of many assumptions which had been taken for grsnted without
much thought. I am frank to say we were out of
date in our understanding of social psychology and
of the economics of the capitalist system, considered as a going concern. In the latter study we
were handicapped by a misinterpretation of the theory of the law of value, a misinterpretation we had
inherited. (See "Geordie's" review of the "Plebs"
Text Book in last issue). For instance, we knew
(?) we knew (a priori) before the facts were gathered (consequently we unconsciously selected those
that agreed with our law and all others were merely
"disturbing" factors) that all departures of prices
from an alleged normalcy were rectified over a period of time through the law of value acting as a law
of compensation: Omniscience reincarnate. Yet
all the while the facts were against us—the world of
economic reality was the Price System; and a dominating fact in it and not merely a "disturbing" fact,
was monopoly control. Thus did misunderstanding
of a theory constrict and paralyse our efforts to analyse and explain the system of exploitation in its
full anti-social enormity.
• '■*.•'#
Here let me summarize the main points in my
argument up to now, with additional comment tack-
eo' on, as follows: (1) That owing to the social nature of modern production and the dependency of
society on the continuous working of this world
economy, the modern State was being compelled to
take on more and more .economic functions of control and operation, i.e., it is perforce invading the
field of private enterprise, directly in operation and
nationalization, and indirectly, through extension
of State credits, subsidies, franchises and by legal
enactments and the power granted arbitration
boards regulating hours of work, rates of wages, and
the guaranteeing of minimum rates of profit, etc.
Comment: Community interest and private interest
may coincide or they may not in any particular instance of this trend of State policy. But on the
whole this trend appears as partly a blind, partly a
reluctant advance to a larger State control over
social and economic processes.   How the State can
be made to serve the general body of the community
in this policy is the business of the community. In
another issue I may deal with the State.
(2) That a better condition of social affairs in
the future is not inevitable as unthinking optimists
assume. Comment: It is just a question of the play
of forces in the social process. Factors that at one
time may be undeveloped may later play a domiuat-
ing part, and vice versa. What we can point out is
that if m;m handled social forces as intelligently as
he handles natural forces there would be some surety
of the future. The future is not a distant goal but.
some thing we are always growing into; aud an intelligent handling of the facts of the present is its
only guarantee within the limits set by luck. There
are forces in man as well as in the environment
which can be developed for control.
(3). That the progressive degradation of the
working class is not in the interest of the social revolution; and that the struggle for reforms both on
the economic and political field is necessary even
from the revolutionary standpoint.
(4) That a transition period to a new order i.s
(5) That, on the workers side, the class struggle
should be waged with social concepts so that they
may become an initiating force in social change.
Trades union anti-capitalist class-struggle concepts
belong to the capitalist regime and reforms merely of an ameliorative character.
(6) That to recognize that part played in life by
"fate" and "function" constitutes a fundamental
insight into human affairs. All forms of life exist
on the basis of function, they flourish or languish or
pass away, not on their own merits or demerits as
self-contained units, but as they function in the environment or, to put it another way, the/ are functions of the environment; when the environment
ceases to use them, or to have use for .them, they
perish whatever their abstract ideal merits.
To recognize the part in life played by fate is to
recognize the vastness of the unknown, and to grasp
the more firmly that which we know and use it in
the present as our only control over the course of
tilings in the future.
These are a graceless set of notes, and I have had
little pleasure in writing them. Accept my apologies.
In next issue I propose saying something on the
nature of reforms, and what I think should be a
revolutionary's stand to them. T. propose also to
touch upon the State with a view to some social
functions it performs.
Should any readers be interested enough to write
their opinions, critical or otherwise, I. shall be glad
to receive them through the Editor. 1 could then
take up objections or suggestions, publishing
such letters, or pertinent extracts from them as
space will allow. Set articles, however, belong to
the Editor to do with as he wills. Perhaps those
who wish to deal with me in that fashion had better wait till I am through or further on with my
argument. t C.
STAR THEATRE, 300 Block, Main Street
MAY 13th
Speaker:   A. J. BEENY
All meetings at 8 p.m.
Question*. Difcuidon, ■—WlL iJnW .M'   ***** *r*a*mt
Western Clarion
A Journal of History, Eoonomica, FhiStotovtsj,
und Current Events.
Published twice a month by the Socialist Party ot
Canada, P. 0. Box 710, Vancouver, B. C.
Entered at G. P. O. as a news-paper.
Editor  Ewen  MacLeod
Canada, 20 issues     11.00
Foreign, 16 issues  -    tt-00
AAAIt this number is on your address label your
JjUyt-uibscription expires with next issue. Renew
VANCOUVER, B. C, MAY 16, 1923.
*w ~r T^ made reference in last issue to some a4
vV tention (and inattention) the "B. C. Feder-
* * ationist" has given to Com. Harrington's
first article of the present series—Revolutions, Political and Social. "Clarion" readers who do not
read the "Federationist" will wonder what it is
all about, and those who do will wonder what we
have further to say.
The "Federationist" of March 23rd contained an
article supposedly criticising Harrington's first article above referred to. The point of criticism hinged upon the supposition that Harrington described
the Russian revolution as merely a humorous incident in history. A few words from the article are
quoted. The full sentence is carefully avoided by
stating that Harrington said of the Russian revolution that it "marks one of the most humorous
episodes in.history." The words we have printed in
black type comprise what our critic would slough
off as a quotation. Thereupon follows something of
a bilious attack stretching over three columns.
This is what Harrington did say (see "Clarion,
lst February) of the Russian revolution in the sentence from which those nine black type words are
set up by our critic as a "quotation":-—
"Aside from its historical significance, which cannot be overestimated, and the unbearable suffering
endured by the Russians themselves, it marks one of
the most humorous episodes in history."
, Thereupon the article finds humor in just such
practices among queer minded communists as our
critic resorts to, and proceeds to outline the course
of Revolutions, Political and Social.   From which it
will be seen that up-to-date criticism from the pseudo
communist school simply means misrepresentation.
If we know him aright, the critic, Comrade Bennett,
is very well aware of that himself.   Even then the
labor of his misrepresentation covered the period
from February lst to March 23rd.
In a subsequent issue of the "Federationist"
there appeared a letter to the editor over Harrington's signature pointing attention to the critics
shortcomings, and apparently that letter was misunderstood, for in the issue following, one Billsack
asked "What in hell it was all about," whereupon
the "Federationist" editor in a footnote condoned
the original misrepresentation by a sneer, preferring,
as he put it, to let time determine whether the Russian revolution was a farce or not. How soon is forgotten the villany of Metcalf, Andrews & Co., in
manipulating documents to their own purposes!
At this point we introduce the following:—
Editor, Western Clarion:
The enclosed letter, which is self explanatory, was
sent to the B. C. Federationist on March 17th, but has not
been published. I am hoping that you may grant me the
space to publish same.
Editor, B. C. Federationist:
Fully realizing that butting into a discussion in which
I have previously had no part is to court disaster, I am
led into undertaking this risk as a result of reading—in
the last issue of the Federationist—the profession of density on the part of E. Billsack, together with the avowed
Inability, of the Editor, to solve the obvious,   E. Billsack
is apparently? perturbed over the meaning of a half col
umn article over the signature of Jack Harrington.
Now I do not profess the ability to unravel everything
Harrington may say or write, but possessing some little
knowledge of the subject under discussion I will attempt
to enlighten Mr. Billsack as to the meaning of at least one
paragraph in the article in question.
If Billsack will take the trouble to read—if he has not
already done so—the Hysterical article—Pardon me!—the
article on Hysterical Materialism, which appeared in the
issue of March 22nd, he will discover one of the factors
contributory to what Harringtont describes as a humorous
episode.   Humor being akin to tragedy.
, Mayhap it is the allusion, in the last paragraph, to the
Pope's soldiers and the use of the "Dialectic" which confuses Mr. Billsack.
I will attempt to explain the obvious. If the Pope's
soldiers had possessed the "Dialectic "displayed by some
members of the "Workers Party," it could not be said that
they ever ran away. They were simply running around the
earth in order to attack the enemy in the rear. In exactly the same manner that some members of the Workers' Party gave the control of the Federationist into
the hands of the reactionaries under the guise of tactics,
and have camouflaged the morass of opportunism into
which they have sunk with the cloak of an United Front.
Yours for Revolutionary honesty,
*       *       *       *
We suppose the reason the "Federationist" did
not print that was because they were not yet ready
for a second chapter of "The Parting of the Ways."
This, of course, is just another sample of that irritating humor which consumes most seriously minded
people, and we know we really should not digress so
or we '11 have Billsack in still more perplexity.
Next we have a second letter sent by Com. Harrington to the "Federationist." This is the
one we had reference to in the "Clarion" of last
issue. In it Harrington says that what appeared
above his name in the letter Billsack was worried
about was not what he wrote. The business of dragging Russia into every backyard wrangle hereabouts lent a farcical character to Russian advocates,
it stated.
The letter was published in the "Federationist"
of May 4th, and in a footnote the editor explained
that any errors in the printed letter complained of
were but printer's errors.   In the same footnote the
statement is made that"  the 'Clarion' wishes the
'Federationist' to explain why Comrade Harrington's letter was not published."   That has reference to our brief note in last issue.   The 'Federationist" people are apparently unable to understand
what they read.   They show it in what they write.
What we said was this: "As it so happens a letter
was sent to the 'Federationist' by J. Harrington
en the 23rd April, no indication of which appears in
the 'Federationist' of the 27th."   In our own editorial innocence we had supposed that an editor, challenged on documentary reproduction in the time of
controversy, would have a footnote to spare indicating that an investigation was under way.
So all this space is used up and all these explan- «
a.tions are called forth through the "Federationist"
starting something it could not decently finish.
Moral: See that your quotations and comment are
sound and fair, and thus save our good space. And
■Question: How else is a labor paper supposed to "
function anyway?
the pleasure with the fellow next door; but be sure
to get his dollar. That will list him as a Clarion
subscriber.   Here are the faithful:
Following $1 each: Parry "and Sim; A. P. McCabe, F. W. Moore, W. J. Penhale, A. J. Beeny, H.
Oppikoper, C. Crook, F. Aitken, J. Dennis, A. McKenzie, S. Lowery, E. Burke, R. Gooding, K. MacLeod,, A. Larsen, Geo. Rossiter, A. R. Pearson,
Following $2 each: F. V. Smith, Joe Naylor, J.
C. Blair, W. G. Kievell, B. E. Polinkos, Annie Walker.
H. W. Speed $3; C. MacDonald $3; G. Beagrie
$3; O. Bjune 50 cents.
Above, Clarion subscriptions from 27th April
to 10th May, inclusive, total $39.50.
Mrs. Annie Ross $1; E, Rhodes $1; A. R. Pearson $1; J. Pryde $1; J. Lott (per Jack Shepherd) $1.
A. P. McCabe $2; Fred Cocker (per W. A. P.)
$2; Progress 50 cents; Guilliamo (per Jim Jenkins)
$5; St. John Comrades (per M. Goudie) $11.26.
Above, Clai'ion Maintenance Fund receipts from
27th April to 10 May, inclusive, total $25.76.
Editor Clarion:
A Secularist Society has been recently organised
in this city.
As elsewhere the special object of this is, to
study r-eligion in the light of Science and materialistic philosophy.
The readers of the Clarion are invited to attend,
and assist in this work.
Next meeting on Thursday May 17th, at 8 p.m.
3C3 Pender St. West, Vancouver, B. C.
It is customary with the ordinary ruck of journals that with springtime on hand the subscription
list drops away out of sight. There is comfort for
us in that, in a way. Being in the forefront in all
things, we are ahead of the commonalty of journals
in that our sub. list dropped some time ago. If our
readers were as perverse as they snould be they
might, if only to be opposite, send the Clarion sub.
list away up again, spring or no spring.
We hear that there is a threat of more work coming among us again. Already the air rivetter disturbs the ear at our back door, and, as the corner
realty man has it—every stroke means a dollar to
Slabtown. Even .the slaves a<re smiling. Such a
time is the time to dig for subs.
You read the Clarion because you find in it
something worth while.   Good! Now go and share
(Continued from page 1)
ping is continually in conflict with the shipping capitalists of Great Britain, while in Canada repeated
attempts have been made to obtain a preferential
tariff in favor of U. S. A.
It would appear, therefore, that both the premises we postulated at the commencement of this
article as necessary for the theory of the self-sufficiency of the British Empire as an economic unit, are
daily becoming more impossible of fulfilment. None
of the figures we have given show that the possessions of Great Britain are approaching the day when
.they can supply Britain with her raw materials or
absorb her finished products.
The outlook therefore of those leaders who in the'
past have supported the imperialist policy will become increasingly difficult to reconcile with the
class interests of the workers. They will be faced
with the necessity of supporting a policy which obviously can only mean more unemployment, lower
wages and increasing misery for the workers, or of
making a clean break with the past, otherwise they
Prefaoe hy tha author.
181 PAGES.
Par Copy, IB Cents.
Tan eopioi mp, 10 oante
Pert PaUL
The Main Issue
GAINING a livelihood by the sale of labor
power never was and never will be an attractive proposition. We are fain to fight shy
of it, and in our efforts to avoid the necessity we
consort with the weirdest figures. Even if we do
flaunt the legend "We want more work." That is
but a symbol of our consciousness that without work
and plenty of it, we are undone. Yet, in the crazy
quilt of Capitalist antagonisms, there is no stranger
paradox than that more work is the first parent of
more unemployment.
Reform, neither by nature nor by intent, appeals to us. By experience it is proven a vain thing,
and a costly experiment. Yet in the churned waters
of capitalist competition it floats ever uppermost.
Simply because the javelins of immediate necessity,
through misery and misapprehension, urge us to
the conquest of immediate relief. A struggle which
has no other effect than distracting attention from
the main issue, and ends in "hougmagandie."
What is the main issue? Consciously or not, the
abolition of wage slavery. That the class struggle
takes on the hue of revisionism is because unconsciousness has the same quality in social relations as
in the physical world—it is oblivious to environing
material. Stated so, the question invites a clear
answer. For the abolition of wages, and all the implications of wages, means the overthrow of capitalist supremacy. Nothing less can suffice. And by
the same token there can be no intermediate political steps." Because Capitalist Society—the society
of wages—necessitates political supremacy; and in
the face of that supremacy no reform ean be inaugurated subversive of its rule and interest. The
society of wages is the livelihood of privilege. The
security of privilege is the sanctity of law. And
in the social ethic of law it is folly to dream that it
should suffer its privilege to be beguiled, or its power to be legislated away for the benefit of an impecunious proletariat, the minister of its luxuries.
True, social reform has modified class conditions. But this is no admission that reform is a
"good thing," nor does it imply an effort to obtain
it, since, being obtained, we obtain but the east
wind. The demand for social reform is the fruit of
social evolution. Its initiation is the necessity of'
class. And its effect is the foster growth of dominant interest. Naturally, since the institutions of
society are built up on the perception of class interest and with the conscious knowledge of privilege. Understanding what class form and convention signify, it is the prime business of the ruling
class, which benefits from those forms, to prevent
their overthrow; and to resist the abrogation of
principles which, to them, conserve and sustain the
"best of all possible worlds."
Political society is class society, privileged in the
means of life. And political action is action whieh
sustains that privilege—or action which seeks to
change it. Not any action is political action, any
more than any society is class society. Just as the
"run of the rig" determines the type of the vessel,
so conditioning circumstance determines the nature
of the action. A vote, to the ruling class, conscious
of its significance, is a political act: to the proletariat, conscious merely of political "democracy," it
ii an empty gesture. A strike, to ownership battling
for the control and direction of industry, is a political act. To the workers, struggling only for the conditions of contract, it is but the hammer of misery.
A delegation of manufacturers to the Government
for a revision of their trade charter is not necessarily a political act. Nor is a delegation of workers
to the same source for the application of a reform
measure. An assembly of the same manufacturers
to nominate a" member elect is very likely to be of
political import: a gathering of workers, for the
same purpose, not necessarily so.   Because the class
interests of the former are, of necessity, political
in nature and consciously 4dentified; while the latter
are sorely confused with the industrial conditions of
wage existence, conscious of the job rather than its
control. Capitalist magnates Avho countenance
"sane unions" and "safe leadership" perform a
political act. The workers who support the proposition merely perform. It is a travesty of the principles of social economy, and has no bearing on the
objective of the proletarian struggle. The color of
the act altogether depends on the quality of the understanding; and as a consequence, both social and
individual concepts are weighty with the unsocial
traditions of class discipline.
Hence political action is primarily the understanding of political status. Without the latter we
blunder on the jagged reefs of the former. The
pains and penalties of the present have always impelled us to their solution in the transient terms of
the immediate. Like primitive man we have at-
tompted the solution of problems whose founded
laws we -did not know. We have taken for granted
what had to be proved. We have grasped at the
shadow of near desire, and troubled not at all with
substantial reality. In so doing we have completely
reversed the economy of things and the age of the
ideal, unlike the eye of nature, never rectified the
original impress of perception. To see straight, the
retina of social perception must be axial with social
fact. And so long as we continue to nourish the
philosophy.of classic idealism we must continue to
entertain a prioristic "angels" unawares.
Experience is the mother of truth, and in the
light of that experience, derived from constant failures, countless disappointment and repeated disil-
lusionments we shall be forced to the analysis of
effects, tracing them backward, with achromatic
realism, to their rooted causes. We shall draw
strength and confidence from necessity as naturally
as the flower draws life and beauty from kindred
earth. And the process itself shall give us an accumulating assurance that the ways of truth and
the unity of life are coincident only with the appreciation of material reality. We are being made
to realise that the climax of capitalist society is the
climax of capitalist inadequacy to social exigency;
and that the mere recognition of its laws and economics is impotent until the more imperious recognition of its abortion flashes dynamically on the
apathy of its victims. We are being taught, through
tbe painful schools of fact, that the end of slavery
comes only with the end of political dominion; that
political dominion can be abrogated only with class
conscious understanding of social relation and necessity; and that to attempt a unity of dissociate interests or an organisation of society, witless of their
meaningfull conventions, is but an attempt to sidetrack the forces of progress. Political action is intelligent action; it is the point of departure of effective movement. For without class conscious
knowledge of status and institution we are divided
against ourselves, and lay ourselves open to capitalist vengeance "fierce as the evening wolves." The
aim of revolution is social regeneration.- But
social regeneration is the consummated blossom of
social comprehension. To be achieved we must
be economically free. To be free we must
vanquish political society. And the conquest
of political dominion, let it take form as it
will, is the conquest of social conventions, molded
by the time-needs of yesterday, controverted by the
time needs of today and refashioned in the ringing
mills of life by the modified concepts of another
humanity. R.
We regret to announce at tbe moment of going
to press that we have just received word of the
death of Comrade Tom Kennedy, an old time member of Local No. 1. Comrade Kennedy had been
lingering in the hospital for some time. His death
will be regretted among his many friends.
Comrade Editor: •
While I was visiting the States recently I made
it my business to visit the Labor Temple in the lo-
-cality near my temporary residence.
The day was Sunday and I thought your readers
might be interested to know what some of their fellow workers were passing their time in doing.
When I arrived at the temple there was a fairly
large audience sitting and a few selling literature;
in.a corner of the hall a lady was seated at a table
and at intervals she gave and received some books;
it was a free library and the literature was educational. Across another corner of the hall was a
temporary stage and a playlet by the junior labor
college students was about to be given, also one
by the older ladies entitled "The jazz of patriotism" which I was not able to see concluded.
There were several short addresses from different men, all very interesting, one showing how for
10 cents one could have the secret process of laying aluminum on steel, thus rendering it almost in-
destructable, on ship bottoms, automobiles, etc. The
process or manufacture cannot, be taken up as the
steel trust will not sell the steel nor the "aluminum
trust" their product. So there you are—what's the
use? We will have to wait till the next war in order to save on paint.
This article may not be scientific enough for
Clarion readers, but it may possibly indicate the
"Why Women Don't Write." Want of knowledge
how, or a subject with which they are familiar outside of the drudgery of cleaning, etc., for the male
wage slave.
*     *     *     •
Editor, Western Clarion:
It was the "Woman's Letter" of last issue that,
"inspired" me to write this—so don't blame me. I
don't know whether it was the antagonism expressed towards the "mens point of view," or the impatience for the revolution, or the fact that the
writer in closing stated (of wom£n) "they are,
generally speaking, apathetic."
For this last, in view of the fact that it comes
from one who knows enough to call herself a
"slave" and to admit the "drudgery" of her every
day life, I Would like to ask how she ever got the
idea into her head that eveiy other woman could
undergo precisely the same agonies and remain satisfied?
Realizing that the word "apathetic" does to
some extent apply to women it will be best to make
a definition. To begin, there are those women who
belong to what the Socialist describes as the owners
of the machinery of wealth production and distribution or, thc Capitalist class. They have no responsibility as far as house or family budget may be
concerned and, being thus economically free they
are apathetic as far as the rest of humanity is concerned.      •
Then there are the women who belong to what
we know as the producing or slave class. This
woman's existence depends entirely on her ability
to operate in some manner or other the machinery
of production and distribution, i.e., she is compelled
to work in a factory, producing things, or it may
he a department store where she would be "distributing," and in either case she receives wages.
To the woman of thc working class at this stage
in her history could be applied the term apathetic,
for in the majority of cases they are young women,
and working for wages is looked on by her as a
temporary condition; her goal is—marriage; up until now she has been dreaming of a rose covered cottage, and an end to her worries, lt is not until after
marriage that she really does any "thinking," for
now comes the struggle with the budget,—familiar
to all housewives. It is to this daily struggle, in the
course of which she is forced to see things in all
their soridness, tbat she will owe her freedom, and
the harder the struggle the keener also is her desire for change.
When we read of her activities during a strike
(Continued on page 8) PAGE SIX
Somewhere on the Western
THE current issue of the Clarion came to hand
only a few hours ago and a much shorter time
has elapsed since your editorial column was
read, and passed around to the rest of the "crowd,"
in this instance, three in all.
In order that you may properly judge our status
as writers, we want to say that not for many years,
if ever, have we been guilty of even attempting to
write an article of any discription, but your wide
invitation, that grammer, spelling, composition, etc.,
is of little moment, makes us brave enough to try
and convey, something of an idea along the lines
suggested, in your editorial invitation.
We write this with no expectation of it being
published owing to the many shortcomings whieh it
will contain, but we are satisfied to do our best in
conveying our idea of the present situation, and
leave it to the "scientific word hounds" of Vancouver whose language in stating Scientific truths
is so sublime that it frequently succeeds in obscuring them from the layman. Science is the classification of knowledge, but we believe it is the work
of the propagandist to also simplyfy it, that is, to
simplify the classification if you choose to put it
in that way.
We too, like a writer whose letter was mentioned
in a recent issue of the "Clarion Mail Bag" deplore
that the Clarion lacks circulation and is more or
less continuously hampered in its work by poverty.
The reply to the letter, that this was the enevit-
able condition of a working class paper not running
football competitions or such like, was very amusing we will admit, but not very satisfying or enlightening.
If your present attitude of "purity" keeps you
in poverty and may later lead to extinction as a
publication, then the carrying on of the work will
be left to those papers who adopt a different attitude. And they can carry on educational work
even though one-tenth of the space be devoted to
corrupting the workers morals as taught in the
capitalist schools.
However, we do not want this discussion to center around football competitions, we are merely using it as an illustration.
But looking at the thing in a general way, we
admit that the adopting of such an attitude is a
compromise, but is there not a vast difference in
compromising with the capitalist class and compromising with the lack of understanding on the
part of the workers?
We ean barken back to the days of our childhood, when in school we were taught grammer, and
could pick up the book and parse a sentence to the
queen's taste, but is it necessary to say to you who
are reading this, that outside of school both then
and now we use the most atrocious English. This,
ir, an illustration of having certain knowledge but
not knowing how to apply it.
We do not want to criticise the attitude of the
S. P. of C. in past years, even though it may be
defined as dogmatic, under the circumstances that
gave rise to it, it was no doubt necessary and bene-i
ficial; but as conditions change so must tactics
change, for while our ancestors may have hung from
tree branches by their tails is no reason why we
should try and imitate them today.
The mission of Socialists is to reach as large a
number of workers as possible with their propaganda of revolution, their failure or success is not
to be explained by the mental density or adaptability of the worker, as much as by the methods of applying this knowledge.
First and foremost, you appear as objectivists
(or shall we say teleologists?) your objective is the
revolution, but you find difficult in having the bulk
of the working class interest themselves at this time
in such an objective.
Do the working class as a whole consciously be
tray themselves to the capitalist class? We think
not; every day they struggle to better their condition and this struggle is expressed in a fight over
wages and eonditions of employment; this is the
thing that does intei'est them, and appears vital to
them at this time, and any organization adopting
the attitude that this fight is none of their affair or
concern cannot hope for much support from tbe
To interest yourselves as an organization and
actively participate in the every day struggles of
the workers does not appear to us as compromise by
any means, but is the proper tactics for revolutionists to adopt at this time, for the workers are
more technicians than teleologists.
To illustrate as best we can in our poor way, let
us say that the teleologist has the idea of moving
tbis table across the street, and on stating it to the
worker, the latter notes the stated fact, nothing
more, then concerns himself with ways and means;
he will first clear the table of what adorns it, measure the table and door through which it has to
pass, etc. Each particular in its turn appears to
him as an objective in itself, and following out this
process of working and reasoning he reaches the
objective, practically without thinking about it, or
at least not giving it in itself a great deal of thought.
This we believe is the process of producing wealth
today and the workers' process of reasoning as a
While it is good for a man to examine himself,
to see if he is a thorough going Marxian, he must
not stop at the doctrine of surplus value, exploitation at the point of production, materialistic conception of history, etc., as though this were an
objective in itself and the consummation devoutly
to be wished; he must go on applying his knowledge
to prevailing conditions, to the objective of socialism. Ways and means of obtaining the objective
are just as necessary as a knowledge of the objective itself.
I.s Socialism only a philosophy; are there no
dynamics to it? Are we just to devote our time
trying to produce a few philosophers? We fear
that the attitude adopted by the S. P. of C. is producing this result only, for we have met men who
boast of their knowledge of the tenets of socialism
as laid down by the S1. P. of C. and proclaim themselves as revolutionists, but who will not dig down
for a copper to support the movement, and even
go so far as to openly or otherwise play the master's
game, in the workers' everyday struggle, who, dis-
pite their proclamation as revolutionists are marked
as traitors by the militant workers on the job.
We could, now that we have started, go to greater length in this article, but having in mind your
request for brevity we desist, but hope we have
succeeded in conveying sufficient of an idea to start
the ball rolling towards the end tha« may create a
stronger bond between those who have attained a
knowledge of the tenets of socialism, and are now
content to sit back and wait "der tag," and those
who at least know a few of the fundamentals and
are trying to put them to practical use.
Editor's Note. The above was "set up" for last issue
but was left out through lack of space. It is apparently
intended as a response to some editorial remarks under
the heading "A Revival of Learning?" in the Clarion of
16th March last.
In making those remarks, however, we had in mind
matters other than mere Party tactics affecting either the
S. P. of C. alone or the movement as a whole. We had in
mind the generally conceived fundamentals of Socialist
thought as now coming under review in the Socialist movement itself. Our correspondents will see the point if they
re-read the article that set them going.
In connection with some remarks made in the "Mail
Bag" column to a correspondent who was concerned about
our poverty and the means of its cure we think our cor
respondents have not worried much about what was said
otherwise than merely the jest of the matter. We repeat
here that there is no warrant for supposing that simplicity
of expression—however that may be achieved, and we
do not TRY to be obscure in our utterances—betokens the
certainty of financial success. Nor can it be said that
'"purity" keeps the Clarion poor. Last month a Winnipeg
labor paper shut up shop through lack of funds; last year
a Vancouver labor paper suspended publication for a time
for the same reason!
Yes, we agree that "as conditions change so must tactics change." But that points no moral in particular unless you show that conditions HAVE changed. Nor does a
recommendation to "interest ourselves as an organization
and actively participate in the everyday struggles of the
workers" help without reference to the method of performance. We mean by that a workable, helpful method,
and not the prevailing shibboleth of leadership imposed
upon, say, a trade union membership by an outside organisation. Before agreement or disagreement is possible on
such a question as our correspondents suggest here the
element of practice must be advanced.
Surely our correspondents have met more than those
few philosophers—even in North Battleford—who acknowledge our intellectual parentage. We have no desire to
protect scalawags of any sort, but <a critical examination
of every charge is a good thing among workers, and of
every assertion also. We are not suggesting that our correspondents are suffering from the illusion but it is well
to be sure that there is no confusion between militancy
and just noise.
Our correspondents have evidently considered their
letter unworthy of publication, owing to delinquent spelling, composition and such like. There is not, of course,
anything specially meritorious in such delinquency, but we
are nevertheless hopeful that they will write again.
THE Chameleon is a lizard, but differs from
other lizards in having a shorter neck, having
only five vertebrae instead of eight. A long
neck is needed to enable an animal to turn its head
easily from side to side. The chameleon does not need
a long neck, as its eyes act independantly of each other. It can look straight ahead with one eye and sideways with the other, or up with one eye and down
with the other. Its ancestors were most likely poli-
tieans who are known to be able to fix one eye on
the people and rivet the other steadily on the main
For a long time the Chameleon was thought to
live entirely on air, but now it is known to eat insects. It is an adept at catching them too. It has
a long tongue with a club-like end to it covered with
a glutinous substance, and when it sticks that tongue out like gun shot about five or six inches and
hits an insect, that is the end of that insect's career.
But though it cannot live on air altogether, it can
live a long time. A week or two does not phase it.
I know of only one other animal its equal, or
should I say its superior, in this respect. This is
a much larger animal, and is known to science as the
American Sovereign Citizen. This animal has been
known on more than one occasion to live on on©
good fill of air, from one election to another. The
chameleon has a very big head for the size of its;
body, but not so big in proportion as the A.S.C.
The chameleon lives in Madagascar and the
warm parts of Africa, and the A.S.C. must at some
period have lived in the tropics, as, though it lives
chiefly oh air, it prefers it hot. If it had only good
sense, how thankful it would be that it has got to
its present habitat where there are so many factories able to turn out air at the right temperature
and in such quantity.
But just as it was a mistake to suppose that the
chameleon lived entirely on air, so it would be
equally wrong to think that the A.S.C. does not vary
its diet. There is a succulent weed grows luxurieut-
ly in all parts of the U. S. of which the animal is
very fond. The percentage of nutrients it contains
must be very low, as it is well known that the
more the animal depends upon it the poorer it becomes. It produces often a disease known as Lantern Jaw, which gives the animal an extremely
meagre look about the gills, and is invariably accompanied with a far-off vacant stare.
I. intended to say something about the power
the chameleon has -of changing its color, but am
afraid to trespass on your space.
Disturbing a Reviewer
AN editorial in the "Farm and Ranch Review"
of February 5th, commenting on the U. F. A.
(1923) Convention held in Calgary, makes
very interesting reading to those who indulge in
the social, political and economic studies from the
working class point of vieAv. This farm journal of
the conservative type has no reforms or palliatives
to offer to ameliorate the sufferings of wage and
farm slaves under capitalism. It stands for pure,
unadulterated, legitimate exploitation in terms of
untrammelled legitimate business, legitimate profits,
legitimate protection of private property, legitim-
ate poor and rich, legitimate everything that will
not encroach upon the safe working of the complicated mechanism of capitalism. Basing their reasoning on capitalism as a premise, they are logical
when they ridicule the annual occasion on which
the farmers display their voluminous outpourings in
their resolution factory. Be it noticed also that
they (the F. and R. R.) bewail the $15,000 or $20,000
that is spent annually by the farmers that they may
meet in convention to be relieved of a twelve months
accumulation of pent up hot air. To the "F. and R.
R." this is sheer waste of good hard cash these
hard times, when the farmers are asking for charitable aid from governments and municipalities. This
money, according to their viewpoint, should make
a nice deposit on tax arrears. To quote a passage
from the editorial in question, one can see at a
glance the logic of their argument against the
piffle that is doped out at these conventions by
freaks, quacks and ignorant sentimentalists who are
'upholders of the present system.
"The subjects ranged all the way from scrapping
our entire financial system, and adopting a new fantastic fad in its place, down to amending the divorce
laws, and calling for government inspection of the
locks on hotel bedroom doors, &c, &c." It further
says: "And yet the convention expects public men,
and the public generally, to take its formal conelu-f
sions seriously.   It is simply pathetic."
If the "Farm and Ranch Review" were not so
conservative they could see at least one bright hope
for the big capitalist interests they so ardently represent. As long as the farmers have U. F. A.
conventions and other plans of amusement wherein to spend their energy harmlessly, peddling pure
bunk, the citadel of King Capital is safe. It is a
mere safety valve to let loose the energy generated!
by stress of economic forces, which not only moves
the farmers to formulate organizations and conventions, but also moves the industrial workers to do
likewise. When ever the farmers and the rest of the
working class become conscious of their real ignorance of social and economic laws, and direct their1
attention towards scientific knowledge of how to become emancipated, the death knell of capitalism will
have been sounded. The more advanced statesmen
and other shrewd capitalistic interests realize this
fact, and instead of combating the IJ. F. A. andl
trade unions harmless activities they rather encourage them, use them, and best of all they control them
at times through their leaders and officials who in
turn become dangerous parasites on the backs of
an unconscious working class.
A passage in this luminous editorial of the "Review '' sounds rather comical to anyone who attended the talk fests of the U. F. A. I,t says: "The
frankly communistic attitude of many of the speakers, particularly during the discussion on the bank
resolutions, cannot fail to seriously affect the credit
of the province of Alberta, and every fanner living1
within it. The "red" element was apparently
largely of foreign birth, with a sprinkling of Yan-l
kee. If there has to be a "red" faction, I would1
much prefer to see it composed of Canadian and!
British born.   It would look healthier."
The scribe who saw red at the convention must
surely have been suffering from hallucinations, seeing visions of Bolshevik gold, red whiskers, other1
people's money being spent to incite the farmers to
action, insurrection and what not. If this piffle/
on the financial question by delegates at the conven-J
tion is communistic, then communism is poor dope.
It does not stand the test of scientific analysis.1
Major Douglas, the arch exponent of this financial
bug, the other day, talking before the financial com*
mission at Ottawa disclaimed all connection with-
Socialism. These so-called "reds" couldn't possibly be Marxian Socialists if they blamed all the ills
of society to the financial system. In regard to the
farmers being adversely affected by the credit ofl
the province. How can they when 97 per cent, of
them are bankrupt and have no credit? The preference of the "Review" to British born "reds" is a!
little joke. The master class ignore nationality;
these imaginary geographical boundaries are held!
conspicuously before the eyes of the slaves and generate and keep alive age-long bias, prejudice, spite
and race hatred. If the slaves lose their nationality
they will also lose their patriotism, which is so necessary to perpetuate and protect their masters' property, whether it be in Timbuctoo or in China. Millions of these so-called foreigners have been brought-
here to be fleeced by the master class. I am sure'
the working class of America did not bring them
here, and could not if they desired to. "Farm andv
Ranch Review" please take note.
The function of the workers is to produce all1
commodities and get in return the bare necessaries of
life. Profits and more profits is the constant cry of
the capitalists. He is an inveterate cosmopolitan.
Nationality and patriotism is only for docile wage
In conclusion, I may say that the U. F. A., like
all other reform movements that don't reform is not
destitute of material. The hard conditions imposed
by capitalism on the farmers for the last few years is
awakening a nucleus of the young element. This
field is fertile for the propagandists who understand
the peculiar nature of this beast of burden. This
young movement, when it gathers momentum, will'
ditch the old fossils from the movement, processes of
clarification will go on until master class farm jour-.
nals will view with real alarm the insecurity of capitalism. The dawn of day will arrive; the last vestige
of slavery will pass away forever.
Clarion "Mail Bag"
THAT small adornment of the well-dressed
lady, known as a vanity bag, would with
care contain the whole of our correspondence since the last issue. But we should worry!
Rather should we cheerfully grin while we relax and
take stock of ourselves and that which is about us.
If in the struggle for the riddance of that principle
of wage payment by which the exploitation of the
working class is most surely accomplished, our efforts have not produced the results that we all desired, no good will be served by lamentation. If
the workers have failed to recognize those rcvoluJ
tionary truths which our propaganda reveals, the
deficiency lies with them and with no others.
Cold shower baths are repellant to those of
weakened or anaemic constitution; and as unpleas--
urable to the minds of free wage-workers are tho
cold facts of capitalist society. To be enthused by
fine and glowing sentiments is yet more preferable
to informative studies.   Mankind still delights in
the spectacular and glories in the illusion; his real
motives always does he strive to hide. And he will
not be denied the keen pleasure of setting up on a
pedestal, his heroes; nor the exquisite joy of knocking them down again.
In our day the revolutionary urge will bring
forth the strange and the fantastic; religious justification may be easily procured for the removal of
property rights when the big battalions move—as
they inevitably will move. Ritual and dogma can
well be used to break down tiie intangible forces1
that resist even in this age of great achievements;
high and fancy flying, far and accurate seeing, etc.,
etc.,—and Marathon dancing.
In the necessary readjustment of social affairs,
however, and for a more equitable distribution of
wealth than obtains at present, it is certain that a-
greater degree of understanding must be in the possession of the working class.      As revolutionary
Socialists our material needs are composite, and our
activities are but the practical response to a social
urge from which, we cannot escape.   That which is
spoken of as apathy is incidental and should not be
viewed with alarm.   Like the ominous quiet in Nature, which to the weatherwise presages the coming
storm, so might we correctly observe the prevailing
attitude of indifference among the great mass of the
workers.   A fundamental break in social relationships must come, by no form of witchery can it be
avoided.   Then will apathy give way to a niighty-
struggling for balance and security.   Free access
to the means of life will furnish that security; and
around that need and its fulfilment must the warring factious rally for good or ill.   Meanwhile our
task is incomplete.   Unpopularity is not evidence
of the failure of past efforts.   The emancipation!
of the working class^ is our objective, and to those
who in the gloom are striving with us, in good faith
and fellowship we cry: "AH hail!"
Letters from Eastern Canada are few, but very
welt-ome to us. Comrades in Billtown and Cape
Breton send subs, and support for the Maintenance
Fund; also appreciative remarks concerning the
"Western Clarion." Toronto and Cochrane, Onl.,
are represented in a like manner.
Comrade Glendenning writes from Winnipeg in
reference to the state of the movement in that city..
While admitting that things are not satisfactory
just now, he is hopeful for future development. That
is the spirit we like. Stay with it Glendenning!
this camp is all for you. Battleford, Sask., sends
a sub. for the Clarion, but Alberta is without representation this time. British Columbia is in a better mood. S'ubs. come from Spences Bridge, Telkwa,
Potlatch Creek, Lund, Cumberland, also a nice letter and donation to the Maintenance Fund from
Courtenay. J. M. Wilson of Telkwa, sends regards
to Pritchard and W. Bennett.
Writing from Seattle. Washington, Com. McCabe encloses a sub. and two dollars for the Maintenance Fund, also best regards to Chris. Stephen'
son. A sub. also comes from Elnia, Washington. A
very fine letter comes from Com. .1. Knight, of the
San Francisco Labor College. Ho says in part:
"We are holding by far the biggest radical meetings
in the city at present, and although it means a lot
of work on a few shoulders, we intend to stay with
the game and do our best to promote a spirit of investigation and activity among the staves of Sunny
California." He encloses the Labor College prospectus for March and April, showing a splendid
series of Sunday night lectures, also eighteen dollars
for thc Clarion Maintenance Fund (acknowledged
in last issue "Here and Now"). Mr. Knight, you
suit us uncommonly well; don't hesitate about writing again, and give our kind regards to the rest of
thc gang. , -(.'     .. .-- .     „  ;■':■• - ■
SCIENTIFIC working-class political thought
surely leads to Socialist action. As the word's
Latin origin shows, a scientist means one who
knows and can use knowledge. Just as \\^h a dwel-
linghouse, to build the house of knowledge it is first
necessary to have the materials and, therefore, to
place those materials together into position. It is
by induction (drawing in) that we get the knowledge materials; and this avc do by means of our
five senses—seeing, bearing, etc.—in contact or experience with many sorts of objects. Having thus
gathered together our stock of knowledge, the next
step ;s to use it; which is done by deduction, meaning "1 jading down"—to truths. The more capabl*
we are of thinking deductively, the greater right
have we to call ourselves scientists; because that
means we are skilful at "figuring out." Of accurate deductive thinking, it may be said that "a little
goes a long way," for this process gives us fore
(before) and far sight, and even all-around sight.
Let a real scientist see only a fragment of bone
from some pre-historic extinct animal, and he can
describe therefrom the entire creature it once was
a part of. Sometimes it has been possible to build
up an all-embracing truth that has acted as a foundation for some beautiful and imposing thought
structure of great usefulness to mankind.
For example, a little more than five hundred
years ago it was generally believed that the earth
was flat. But Christopher Columbus knew the
earth was round. His belief, drawn from a number of proofs was an all-embracing truth or, as such
is called, a generalization. So, by reasoning from
it deductively, he "figured out" that as he was
standing on land, if he journeyed due west upon the
circular earth, he would be bound to reach some
other land again. But, as is well known, he was so
long afloat, that his crews mutinied against him.
However, being sure, a far and foresighted scientist,
he could not be hindered by threats, doubts and
fears. Therefore, on October 12th, 1492, he became
the effective (though it .seems not the only) discoverer of America!
Now, to enjoy the best that life can afford is the
most constant object of mankind's efforts; and
scientists have said that, even unknown fo themselves, the human race—suffering and stumbling—
was and is travelling, and is compelled and ought
to travel, in a certain definite direction—onwards to
Socialism! The generalization these statements are
figured out from, is called the Negation of the Negation; which is a universal three-change principle
and means that the second change negates or takes
the place of the first; and that the third change
takes the place of the second. It is important to
note that the first and last forms are alike, except
that thc third is more developed than the first. Marx'
friend and co-worker Engels in "Anti-Duehring"—
which Prof. Labriola calls a most accomplished
work of critical Socialism and containing in a nutshell its whole philosophy—devotes several pages
to explaining the principle. Here is a farming example: First, a grain of barley; when sowed becomes
(second) negated into the plant; and, thirdly, the
plant becomes negated by many grains of barley
again. Here wc see a spiral change from one grain
to many grains. In the case of other plants, Engels
points out that the third change results in not the'
same quality, but in an improved and more perfect
kind of seed than what they sprang from—as above
Take an example, now of interest to all readers
of the Clarion; nine-tenths of which is set up for
printing by a linotype form of machine. The metal
that is moulded into, not single old-style tpyes, but
a solid "line o' type," comes in long bars that can
be broken off, for convenience, into small bars—
the first form. The bar is then cast into the machine's melting pot and so dissolved—the second
negation change. Finally appears the third change
—the perfect solid type "slug" ready for printing
with. Again we have a spiral course from solid
metal in the bar, up to the perfectly moulded and,
solid slug. Then follow another series of change;1
for when the type slugs—the first form—have be-1
come printing press worn and ink soiled, they also/
are melted down—the second change—and finally
appear—the third change—as clean, perfect slugs
cast with different type matter and ready to print
with afresh. The spiral is completed from old,
dirty and worn slugs to new slugs again. In large-
scale printing where stereotyping is used, still another series of negations take place.
We also find this principle applying to mankind, who are said to be at least 250,000 years old.
Just like many species of lower animals, and for
scores of thousands of years, as Morgan points out,
man lived in the condition known as Primitive Com-
munism. This became negated by different forms
of private property and social classes—slavery,
serfdom, wage-slavery—and, with the present colj
lapse of capitalism, it is plain that we are ripe, and
meant to head, for the last negation form, which is;
tbat higher, machine-equipped kind of communism
that we mean by modern Socialism. Government,
too, has passed through and calls for a corresponding series of changes; for it was, at first, merely a
tribal economic committee; then it evolved into the.
oppressing private property, protecting and admiu.-'
istering State; and it will, as at first, but on a high-!
er scale, again become a body of social property administering experts, devoid of cruelty and graft.
Furthermore, on referring to the above printing
example, one may note that both end similarly with,
the clean, perfect, type slugs; but they begin, at. different points—one starts from the crude bar of
metal, but the other starts, higher up the scale, from
worn and soiled slugs. Now in Vol. 1, of "Capital,"
Marx himself gives an example of the negation prin7
ciple; and here he also does not commence at the,
starting point of Primitive Communism, but at a
period thousands of years beyond ir. He sp< aksi
of small, private property and individual production and appropriation by means of feeble tools.
This stage was negated by capitalist private property production, and appropriation upon the backsi
of ruined individual workers. Marx then says that,
with Ihe inexorability of a law of nature, capitalist
productk-i begets its own (the third J negation-
which does not appear the same as its starting point
—small, individually owned private property—but
spirals up till the wealth producers become individual shareholders in the tremendous powers and ac-j
quisitipns of the capitalist era; but based upon
co-operation and the possession in common of the
land and the means of production. Thus we see
he does not lead us from Primitive Tribal Communism ; but from individual ownership and well-being
up to National Ownership and well-being—in other
words, Socialism.
Having scientifically proved that the path to
Socialism is the correct one, it is both wisdom and
our duty to follow it. We are now, if we please, at
liberty to dismiss from mind the various proofs that
led us up to our belief; and then simply remember
and act upon the generalization we have now gained ; because this saves us from a lot of thought—
labor. 'Midst the difficult and stormy scenes of
capitalist life, it is certain that most of us shall often'
bo blown out of our courses. So it is advisable, as.
Shakespeare in "Julius Caesar" says, "that noble
minds keep ever with their likes; for who so firm
that cannot be seduced?" This means that if we
cannot personally mix with fellow Socialists we
should at least keep in touch with matters socialistic
by reading, supporting and spreading the proper
literature; for the latter is quite within oiu'
"spheres of influence."
The fact is that the truths of Socialism must
form for us a kind of religion—that which obliges
or binds. There are times when, as Burns says, we>
may be blinded to religion, "but when on life Ave're
tempest-driven," ((Socialist) religion ("is sure a
noble anchor!" To continue our paraphrase of this
poet; the fear o' capitalism's a hangman's whip, to
hold the plug in order; but where ye feel your
Socialism grip—let that aye be your border!
(Continued from page 5)
Ave interpret it as an attempt to express, by parad--
ing and picketing, Avhat she undergoes from day to
day, and in doing so she has already recognised a
eommon interest. True, we do not .hear much of
her and are expecting nothing from her more than
the Avord co-operation implies (though that will be
no insignificant task). To be able to co-operate
when the great change comes Ave must first prepare
ourselves for it by an understanding of the condition that we would abolish or discard, and women
of the working class, instead of "waiting 'till they
are sick" as the "Woman's Letter" puts it, will
find out what is delaying the change.
We will have to depend on "the male of the
species" for most of our information but, when
once seriously interested we will recognise that the
quarrel doesn 't lie in that direction at all and, with
the fact before us, as "R" puts it, that there is "no
royal route to victory," we will abandon the "leadership" theory, for, in the end, it is only sheep who
are lead. M. M.
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