BC Historical Newspapers

BC Historical Newspapers Logo

BC Historical Newspapers

Western Clarion Jul 3, 1923

Item Metadata

Download

Media
wclarion-1.0318985.pdf
Metadata
JSON: wclarion-1.0318985.json
JSON-LD: wclarion-1.0318985-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): wclarion-1.0318985-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: wclarion-1.0318985-rdf.json
Turtle: wclarion-1.0318985-turtle.txt
N-Triples: wclarion-1.0318985-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: wclarion-1.0318985-source.json
Full Text
wclarion-1.0318985-fulltext.txt
Citation
wclarion-1.0318985.ris

Full Text

 STERN
Official Organ of
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA
HISTORY
ECONOMICS
PHILOSOPHY
No. 994
NINETEENTH YEAR.     Twice a Month
VANCOUVER, B. C, JULY 3, 1923.
FIVE CENTS
An Antiquary's Log-Book
THE 18th OF BRUMAIRE
A comrade asks me to explain tlie meaning
of Marx's title "The Eighteenth Brumaire." Any decent history of the French
Revolution will give the meaning of the phrase. To
those not well acquainted Avith French history the
title is somewhat bizarre and undoubtedly puzzling,
more especially to those who have merely read extracts from or references to the book in question.
It is certainly not a brilliant" title for a popular
book, however clever the aptness of the phrase to
the subject matter might be. - Who but a specialist
in history would bother to carry in his mind the circumstances of an event that happened on a particular date which none but a student of a particular
field of history knows anything about? This especial 18th Brumaire was November 9, 1799, when, by
means of intrigue and conspiracy, the creatures of
Napoleon Bonaparte, alleged representatives of the
French people in the "Council of Ancients," succeeded in removing the seat of Government from
Paris to St, Cloud and in pitchforking the arch-
plotter himself into the post of military dictator. It
Avas the first important political preliminary to his
assuming the Emperorship, and the first nail in the
coffin of Republican Government. After the fall of
Napoleon the Bourbons returned to the throne of
France. In 1848, however, a revolution drove Louis
Phillipe into exile and a somewhat similar set of
circumstances as those which operated in 1799 gave
the Bonapartists an opportunity of imitating the
coup d'etat of Napoleon the First. This was accomplished on December 2, 1851, and in due time Louis
Napoleon became second Emperor of the Bonaparte
dynasty. Marx gave his masterly analysis of the
situation the title of "The Eighteenth Brumaire of
Louis Napoleon."
As Clear tos Mud.
I can imagine some young readers exclaiming,
"But what on earth is a Brumaire?"—after the
manner of the young lady's query, "What are
Keats?" As the repetitions occur in books, historical and romantic, of 18th Brumaire, the Law of
Prarial and the Insurrection of 9th Thermidor, etc.,
etc., it will perhaps be a service to the movement
generally if I explain not only these terms but the
mystery of the calendar altogether. One is apt to
get confused on the question of dates if one isn't
aware, of the various changes which have been made
in our reckoning of time. For example, Charles lst
Avas beheaded in January, 1649, but at that time the
neAv year didn't begin until March, consequently
Ave read in contemporary accounts of the execution
that he was beheaded in the year 1648. Again, the
Bolshevik revolution took place on November 7,
1917, but at that time in Russia it was not November 7 but October. 25. Russia, having brought her
calendar into line with the western countries, now
uses the same date as we do and celebrates the anniversary of the Revolution on November 7. Let
us see if we can clear things up a bit.
The Calendars of Antiquity.
Many of the ancient nations, such as the JeAvs,
divided the year into twelve lunar months, adding
a thirteenth eVery now and then in order to accommodate it to the seasons.   The Egyptians, who were
By JONATHAN OLDBUCK
celebrated for astronomy, made their year consist
of twelve months of thirty days each adding five
supplementary days at the year's end. This is Interesting, as will be seen later on. Solon the Greek
(B.C. 594) altered the month's length to twenty-
nine and thirty days alternately, introducing an intercalary month occasionally to restore equilibrium.
The Romans had a year of 304 days long, but in the
time of Numa two extra months named February
and January were inserted every second year. Later
on these two months occupied different positions,
January coming first. During the period known as
the " Decemvirate" (B.C. 452) the arrangement was
monkeyed with again, and nobody knew exactly
Avhere they were. The time calculations became in-,
sufferable. An individual in power could abuse the
calendar at will by knocking out days or inserting
them to suit his election arrangements. This led to *
fear|ul corruption, whole months being filched from
the "calendar" by autocrats to suit their political
ends. *
Enter Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar,'' the foremost adulterer of Rome,''
reformed the Roman calendar. He probably had as
much to do with it as Lord Carnarvon had with the
discovery of Tutankhamen. Sosogines was the real
time-merchant. He made a scientific discovery, to
Avit, by taking a definite point on the path of the
sun it will take the sun 365 days, 5 hours, and nearly
49 minutes to return to that point. Therefore that
if. the sun's true year. The thing to do was to try
and get the "civil" year to keep in step, "as the
sayin' is," and to keep on keeping in step. All years
cannot possible contain the same number of days if
the point at which the year commences remains
fixed, so Csesar decreed that every fourth year
should be a "leap year" containing 366 days while
every other year should contain 365. In Numa's
time the vernal equinox occurred in March, but in
the years of confusion it happened any time. Caesar
next restored the vernal eqilinox to its correct position by adding another tAvo months to the calendar.
Thus was born "July" (Julius) and "August" (Augustus) and "the last year of confusion" saAv the beginning of the Julian calendar. The Julian year began on January 1, B. C. 46. The first, third, fifth,
seventh, ninth and eleventh months all contained
thirty-one days. The others contained thirty each
except February, which only had twenty-nine. Every
leap year one day was added to February, \vhich
made it thirty days long like the rest. This was a
sensible kind of arrangement, but it didn't last.
When Augustus (adopted son of Julius) began to
reign he objected to the month named after him being* one day shorter than the month named after
Julius. His despicable egotism Avas the cause of the
present idiotic arrangement. To make August
thirty-one days long he annexed a day from February and stuck it on to August, February became
tAventy-eight days long and has remained so ever
since. Caesar's attempt to reform the calendar was
splendidly scientific, but it had one drawback. The
civil year still remained faster than the solar year
by eleven minutes and fourteen seconds. This
amounted to one day in 128 years, so in the course
of a few cenutries—centuries filled with thc bitter
ness of Christian sectarian bigots disputing the correctness of certain dates for the celebration of religious festivals—the calendar again became a laughing stock. In the 16th century the vernal equinox
Avas occurring perilously near the beginning of the
year and fresh calculations were rendered necessary, in consequence Pope Gregory XIII. ordered
them to be made.
Gregory's Mixture.
A man, called Christopher Schlussel, better known
as "Clavius," was the brains of the new reformation... He was a German and a Jesuit, and the "Gregorian Calendar,'' now in use, was the result of his
investigations and computations.
In the year 1582 ten days were omitted from the
month of July. In other words, 15th July was made
to become 5th July, and a marvellous new rule was
ordered to be observed —"Every year of which the
number is divisible by four without a remainder is
to be a leap year. When the year is a centurial
year, and it occurs four years after a leap year, it
is not to be a leap year itself unless its two left hand
numbers are divisible by four." Thus the years
1600,1892,1896, 2000 are all leap years. The years
1700,1800,1900 (centurial years) are not leap years.
That is why there was not a leap year between 1896
and 1904—the tAvo left hand figures of 1900 did not
"divide by four." This is a wonderful arrangement.
An idea of its perfection will be gathered from the
result of a little calculation. So exactly are the civil
and solar years made to correspond that 4000 years
from now the civil lst of- January will be almost exactly the same distance from the vernal equinox in
point,of time as it is today, for the year is only
twenty-six seconds faster than the sun, which equals
a solar loss of one day in 3323 years. The reason
for the confusion regarding old dates is due to the
fact that the "Gregorian Calendar" was not adopted
by Germany until 1700; Britain, 1752 (Scotland,
1600); and Russia, 1902-1918. Most Catholic countries adopted it in the year of its birth (1582).
• The Revolutionary Calendar.
During the French Revolution, Fabre d' Eglantine was authorized to "revolutionise" the Calendar. The effort resulted in the picturesque "Revolutionary Calendar," of which 18th Brumaire is a
date, Fabre began his "year" on the 22nd of September, anil ended the first month on the 21st October. Thii first month was called "Vendemiaire
(vintage month). On the 22nd October began the
second month, called "Brumaire" (foggy month).
The third month began on 22nd November, and was
called "Frimaire" (frosty month). In due succession, as above, followed the other nine months in
this order: Nivose, Pluviose, Ventose, (snowy, rainy
and windy months), Germinal, Florial, Prarial (budding, flowery, and pasture months), Messidor, Thermidor, and Fructidor (harvest, hot, and fruit
months). Each of these months began on the 22nd
of the old month, which Avas called the "lst Vendemiaire" or lst Brumaire," as the case might be.
Each month has 30 days, and at the year's end five
days were added which belonged to no month. This
Avas identical with the system of the ancient Egyptians. The months were divided not into weeks, but
(Continued on page 7) PAGE TWO
WESTERN   CLARION
The Superiority Complex
HOKUM   APPLIED.
SOME little Avhile ago the Editor extended an
invitation to all and sundry to take part in a
"revival of learning"—as he expressed it. I
am not sure whether this invitation was intended to
.include an attempt to reconsider the Party's "tactics" in the light of modern contributions to sociological thought. But I get the impression from
recent issues of the "Clarion" that such an attempt
Avould be regarded at least Avith slightly less disfavor than hitherto. Perhaps it is that the Avish is
father to the thought. However that may be I feel
the impulse to Avrite a little piece along those lines
and, who knows, it may get by the Editor and I
may once again experience that subtle exhilaration
that comes from seeing oneself "in print."
Obviously the Party's tactics can only be intelligently considered Avith reference to its objective.
It is only by considering what effect a man desires
to produce that I can judge as to whether his methods are sensible. Despite a fairly long acquaintance with the Party I am not at all sure that I knov*
just what its objective is. However, one must start
someAvhere so perhaps I will be permitted, for the
sake of discussion, to assume that the Party's objective is approximately what presents itself to me
as being implicit in the circumstances.
The Party is frequently described by active members as being a purely "Educational" party—in the
sense, I take it, that while it endeavors to dispense
certain information, to propagate a certain doctrine, to inculcate a certain social viewpoint having
as its objective a certain Social Reorganisation it
does not propose, as a Party, to take any more active
part in such reorganisation.
It is one of the articles of the Party's faith, so
to speak, that out of the material conditions of a
given society is born the society that shall succeed
it.   If this were interpreted in its narrowest sense a
purely "educational" party Avould be not only unnecessary but quite futile.   The change would be
such as material conditions determined and would
occur Avhen and how material conditions dictated
quite  irrespective   of  whatever  mental   condition
might be.    (There  is room,  of course, for much
argument as to the precise significance of the term
"material."   But,  if it means  anything, it  must
surely be opposed to "mental.")    Obviously then
the Party believes that mental conditions can affect
the anticipated change in some degree as to its
nature or the time and manner of its occurence. So
that it would seem that the Party hopes by propagating what is sometimes called "Socialist Philos-
phy" to bring about the desired change more surely, or sooner,   or easier  than it   would   otherwise
occur.   But as this "Philosophy" can conceivably
be effective only by its influence upon the minds of
the workers, the Party's immediate objective, then,
it to get this doctrine to the workers in a manner so
convincing as to substantially influence their current conduct.
Now the manner in Avhich this has been, and I
suppose is still being, attempted admits, I believe,
of no doubt. It is a matter if not of common knowledge at least among those of radical thought of
notoriety. It is, with perhaps a majority of the
Party's members, even a proud boast, It consists
in general of plain and—should I say simple ?—exposition of theory, of Socialist Philosophy—which,
of course, to all good socialists is Truth—together
Avith such sociological information as supports its
conclusions, leaving the Avorkers—such of them as
will listen to it—to accept if they will and to act as
it may move them. It will have no truck with reforms, no pandering to sentiment or emotion. Just
the plain, unvarnished Truth.
There is a certain austere dignity about this attitude that, at first blush, seems positively awesome.
It seems so virtuous, so chaste, so—so Holy that it
feels almost like sacrelige to question it.   Neverthe
less this "Tactic" considered in the light of modern
thought—or for that matter in the light of Marxian thought—and in relation to the objective as
stated is, I am convinced, quite hopelessly ineffective.
The belief in its efficacy would seem to rest
upon two assumptions, neither of which will bear
a moments reflection. First, that there is something inherently compelling in the Truth. That
it has only to be proclaimed to be accepted and only
to be accepted to influence conduct. Second, that
man is so crassly materialistic an animal and so
foresighted withal that the prospect of material betterment however distant will occupy his mind and
influence his conduct to the exclusion of all sentimental or emotional factors.
Now, without raising here the vexed question
propounded by that shrewd old rascal, M. Pilate,
it must be fairly obvious that, in the matter of
Truth, one man's meat can easily be another man's
poison. One may offer information which one is
convinced is of a nature most profound and positive ; one may offer evidence, argument, proof which
seems to leave no possible ground of objection unmet, but if the proffered Truth should happen to
conflict with some immediate material interest or
some emotional complex of the listener it has about
as much chance of acceptance as one would have of
persuading a sufferer from hay-fever that golden-
rod is not an invention of the devil. Further, supposing there exist no such barrier to its acceptance,
unless it connect itself Avith some immediate material interest or appeal to some sentiment or emotional
complex it will influence the acceptee's current conduct about as much as the Truth about Betelgeuse
influences mine.
The fact is that in matters appertaining to his
material interests the average man is still the shortsighted animal that he seems always to have -been.
He sees only what is right under his nose. The only
truths which have any compelling influence on his
current conduct are such as connect themselves with
his present needs. In the light of that classic The
Materialistic Interpretation the whole of history is
full of evidence of this. But one need look no further than the field of religion for confirmation. The
average man may accept, more or less indifferently,
certain sublime Truths regarding the riches that
await him hereafter if only he will forego some of
the good things of the present. But that these
Truths influence him but little even under favorable
eonditions and that he frankly disregards them at
such times as they run counter to his immediate
necessities is a matter of such common knowledge
that one hears it now even from the pulpit.
Further, he is so rank a sentimentalist that he
will swallow even the bitter pill of'immediate ma*
terial disadvantage providing it be sufficiently well
coated with the sugar of sentiment and emotional
appeal. Consider Iioav cheerfully withal he endured
the hardships arising out of the late European unpleasantness, in large part because of the influence
of such sentimental pish-mish as would leave intelligent men such as you, fond reader, and me quite
cold. Think of the risks of death or disablement
into which he permitted himself to be herded in his
hundreds of thousands rather than face the slightly
more certain unpleasantness contingent upon resistance. Consider the animal in the light of near
and remote history. What are the strings by whieh
he may be moved? Apart from actual coercion,
Avith which we are not at the moment concerned,
briefly they are two—immediate material interest
and the appeal to emotion. At their behest he will
endure the unbearable and believe the incredible.
The lure of immediate material interest and'emotional appeal cunningly compounded and artfully
varied to meet local conditions formed the base of
that astonishingly successful propaganda which
forced him into the late war and kept him there for
four appalling years, which in a few brief weeks
completely reformed the collective opinion of those
fellow numskulls our neighbours to the South. - And,
if we search the records, we shall find that approximately the same may be said of every unpleasantness into which he has permitted himself to be led
for the benefit of his master That is the kind of
animal he is. He sees only what seems to his immediate interest and a little hokum judiciously applied will obscure even that.
All this, of course, you will be protesting fond
reader, is nothing neAv. I admit it. I do not suppose for one moment that I am here bursting into
the limelight with some hitherto undiscovered Truth.
But I have a feeling that the fact and its implications with respect to socialist propaganda have
not been fully appreciated. One hears so much of
the alleged efficacy of "hewing to the line," "peddling the straight dope," "sticking to the facts"
and so on that one falls almost insensibly-into the
belief that the well known "average man" spends
bis earthly existence in a feverish search for some incorruptible body such as the S. P. C. which will
tell him the plain truth Avithout trimmings. One
hears so much of the exemplary virtue of this tactic
that one almost believes that the sinister forces of
Capitalism all are leagured to seduce us from this
sacred duty. Such would seem to be the plain inference. Whereas precisely the contrary is the case.
Should we ever desert the straight and narrow path
we have held for so long and commence to make use
of those powerful weapons by which the elect of
the earth have so long held the rest of us in submission it is then we should come to realise just how
jealous our masters are of their control over the
minds of their puppets. As it is they leave us for
the most part severely alone. Evidently they do not
share the Party's belief in the potency of its tactic.
And I am coming to entertain a suspicion that they
are excellent judges of the means by which their
slaves may be influenced. And as for the average
man's yearning for plain, unvarnished Truth. The
very idea moves one to great gusts of abdominal
laughter. The poor boob is as suspicious of any
truth that is not garnished with the usual hokum
as he is of a liver pill bereft of the customary sugar
coating and is as little likely to swalloAv the one as
the other.
To such an animal the Party's "Education"
seems somehow remote. The prospect of a great
social betterment to come sometime, somehow does
not enthuse him. There are a thousand and one
problems of immediate need which harass him and
in solving these the Party offers him no help. As,
whatever else he may be, he is not a hypochondriac
the Party's occasional disquisitions upon the iniquities and injustices of Capitalism, with which he is
quite familiar first hand, do not interest him since
they offer no prospect of immediate relief. Their
rigid avoidance of all emotional appeal leaves him
cold. He will flock to this lecture or that in his
thousands from the Psychology of Salesmanship to
Divine Healing, be profoundly impressed and contribute liberally. But if he should happen to wander into the Star on Sunday evening—assuming him
not to be a regular pew occupant—he will arise and
curse lustily in the middle of the sermon and in
making his way out display an uncanny facility in
avoiding the collection plate. In brief the Party's
preachings attract him not at all except for such
rare occasions as they touch upon some matter concerning his immediate interest—such an occasion,
for instance, as when the Party held anti-conscription meetings, which action, I understand, is still
held by some active members to have been a regret-
able departure from the straight and narrow path.
That is the kind of animal he is. It is a pity—perhaps. But damme if I can see what is to be done
about it—except take him as he is and do the best
we can with him. 00*
WESTERN   CLARION
PAGETHRJBl
Considered in principle the problem is really
absurdly simple. No blacksmith in the exercise of
his art would be perplexed by it for one moment.
Knowing that iron is amenable only to certain treatment he would, if he were compelled to use iron,
work upon it in accordance with the treatment to
Avhich it would respond. He would not waste his
time and effort treating iron as if it were brass. So
Avith the problem of influencing the mind and eon-
duct of the human animal. We must, if we would be
successful, work upon him in accordance with the
treatment to which he will most readily respond.
If this were a "stove-pipe" discussion I. should
undoubtedly be interrupted at this point by some
such question as, "Do you mean that the Party
should peddle Reform, Commodity Struggle, Sentiment and all that bunk?"
Well as a matter of fact I do not suggest that the
Party should do any other than it desires to do:' I
hold that there is no duty incumbent upon the Party
to be other than it desires to be. And here it occurs
to me that all this may be, as Comrade Saklatvala
would say, just so much tosh. I have been arguing
from the assumption that the Party desires to "actively influence the minds of the workers to the end
that the Social Revolution be brought about sooner
or easier or more surely than it might otherwise be.
It may well be that this assumption is false. On
the'whole I would not be surprised if it were. It
may be that the Party is really no more concerned
about the Social Revolution than—than I am, for
instance.
There is a peculiarly keen satisfaction to individuals of a certain type in belonging to a more or
less exclusive set, removed from the common herd.
Would it be impertinent to ask how many members
of the Party are attracted to it by some such consideration? How many of us regard it as an intellectual group in which one may find refuge from
the banalities of the boobery? Indeed may it not
be a pertinent question to ask in how large a part
some such consideration contributes to the cohesion
—such as it may be—of all Socialist parties? It is a
commonplace to state that the more of an individualist one is the more one tends to withdraw from
the main group and seek the more congenial atmosphere of some smaller group of like kind. How
many Socialists are Socialists mainly because they
are Individualists? Come, Comrades! Open confession is good for the—subconscious mind. I will
race you all to the penitent bench. For what, indeed, could constitute a more effective barrier
against the common herd than a doctrine sufficiently profound to be unintelligible to the majority, delivered in a manner suffiently remote from the immediate realities of life to be uninteresting to all
but the faithful few ? And what could be more congenial to individuals of this particular type than the
freedom, so characteristic of all socialist parties,
to attack every other god but our own—and even,
in moments of exhilaration, to doubt even Him?
The idea intrigues me. Already I, am half convinced
that if the Party was not actually conceived in this
image it has since, by force of selection as it were,
evolved into it.
However that may be I must not appear to evade
my hypothetical questioner. So I will say to him
that this "bunk" appears to be in large part the
stuff of which life is composed for the great majority, Again, it is a pity—perhaps. But there it is.
I will say further, arguing always, of course, from
my assumption, that it is necessary for the Party
to critically review some of the things it appears
hitherto to have accepted without question. And
one of them is the notion that "Education" in
the sense of the mere dissemination of certain alleged facts, which socialists believe to be true and
which they are convinced have to do with the ultimate betterment of mankind, will have some particular efficacy in influencing current conduct—"Ye
shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set ye
free." We seem to have been taking man at his
own valuation. We have been under the impression,, that he accepts or rejects statements of fact
because they are true or false.   The fact is he calls
them Truths when he has accepted them and lies
because for some reason—not necessarily rational—
he cannot accept them. And he is influenced in his
beliefs by numerous and diverse factors of interest,
emotion, custom, tradition, habit, instinct and what
not. The important thing for us to discover is what
are the factors which influence him to accept a doctrine with such fervour and enthusiasm that it shall
manifest itself in his conduct. To this end I would
recommend the study of Psychology—not that it
may form the content of socialist propaganda but it
may inform the propagandist.
I would argue further that if the Party really desires to influence the Avorker to a certain end it
must needs go about it the only way in which experience has shown he can be influenced. It must
coat its pill in sugar. It must present its plain unvarnished Truth in terms of sentiment and emotion. It must describe its distant paradise in terms
of immediate needs. It must coax, persuade, cajole,
lead, drive—whatever you will—the working class
out of the pit of ignorance, stupidity, superstition
and economic subjection, a step at a time since they
cannot be induced to interest themselves in the ultimate objective. Further, since I am inclined to
agree with "C" that revolution is probably only the
effect in historical perspective of the totality of a
number of smaller and seemingly insignificant reforms, I would say that the Party should modify its
position with regards to reforms. For this last
authority may be found in the writings of Marx—
assuming he is still held to be an autnority.
Ii, now, the Party cannot bring itself to consider
seriously some such change of tactics as I have here
attempted briefly to suggest then I would say that
to me it would appear as evidence that the Party
ia not nearly so much concerned about getting its
doctrine to the workers as a whole as it is in retaining its position as a somewhat unique and esoteric
cult.
Frankly I do not suppose the Party will consider
any change Avhatever in its position or tactics. Nor
for my part would I have it do so. The Party suits
me very well as it is. It provides an atmosphere of
psuedo intellectuality that at times I find very refreshing. A party actively interested in endeavoring
to influence the working class to move consciously
toward the Social Revolution avou!d of necessity be
compelled to- deal in sentimental and opportunistic
flub-dud such as Avould bore me to distraction—as
it probably would most of" the present members. Nor
A'-ould such a party tolerate upon its premises one
such as myself.
As it is the Party has a "stove-pipe" circle which
is unique. Therein one may discuss Avith a straight
face questions such as—What is Capital? Was
Marx a Reformer? What is the Class Struggle?
What is the M. C. H. ? And so on—questions which
provide inexhaustible material for entertaining discussions Avhich have the added merit of committing
one to nothing very serious.
All of Avhich is quite alright Avith me. I like it.
Hut, frankly, are Ave really a Revolutionary Party?
C. K.
ORGANISERS.
WHO knows the duties of an organiser? I
hear you say every one can answer that
question; all he has to do is to go from
place to place addressing meetings, visiting local1*
and trying to form neAv ones; he must be Avell read
in all the activities of the movement and keep himself informed regarding past history and current
events. One would think this is all that is essential
to make a successful organizer. For the cities no
doubt this Avill suffice, but will it fill the bill in the
country districts? Try it and see, or if you have
not the necessary qualifications, nor the aptitude for
speaking, listen to the comrades and you will soon
discover that an organizer has to be a man of many
parts. I have heard of young men who are so intellectual that while on the circuit they spent their
spare time reading, leaving the ashes to pile up in
their rooms. True they were orators, well-informed
and witty, but these accomplishments did not leave
such a lasting impression on their hostesses as the
circumstance of the ashes piling up. I have heard
of others who made quite a hit throughout the provinces because they were good dish Avashers, they
could chop wood, clean the stove and pump water,
they could hold the baby and help the school children with their lessons. Nor is this adaptability all
that is expected from an organizer. In order to be
truly popular Avith the young as well as the elderly
he must know how to conduct himself socially so
that he may be kept in remembrance, not so much
for his instructive speeches but because he is a first
rate dancer. Such visitors are held iu high esteem
on the prairie. We will do well to bear in mind
that such a varied programme requires a man of
iron constitution. Travelling on the prairie is n.»
holiday, even in the best of weather. In the light
of such reports we need not wonder Avhen Ave hear
of some speakers Avho have toured the prairies Avith
a repertoire of but one speech. That was a matter
of necessity, they had not the opportunity while on
the circuit to prepare or to rehearse another. We
cannot advance the claim that these domestic and
social attainments do not concern the movement,
since we are told that our movement embraces every
phase of human activity. So then, organisers, Avhen
you leave Vancouver with the blessing of the Harrington Academy, and peradventure $5.00 for travelling and other expenses, it will be well to see that
you have qualified yourself for the pioneer life of
the mountains and plains.
A. H.
Knowledge Comes
First
BY R. SINCLAIR.
BURNS did truly say "The best laid schemes
of mice and men gang aft agley." Since the
Russian revolution and up till the present
moment there is a note of dissatisfaction among a
section of the militant proletariat. The main reason behind this discontent of theirs is the apparent
Aveakness of the various movements throughout the
country. Our minds have been keyed up to the
highest pitch by great historical events such as the
overthrow of the monarchy in Russia and the substitution of a form of government which measures
higher and is more in harmony with Avorking class
ideals than any other change recorded in past history. And there was the ending of a great war
which for brutality of purpose and loss of life has
been unequalled in the annals of world events.
Crowned heads have taken the route Avhich society
saw fit. The right of God Avas rejected for the
power of man. Uprisings of the Avorkers have taken
place all over the world. And they stood out more
prominently in Finland, Poland, Austria and Germany. Governments changed over night and some
of the changes were not for the benefit of the workers either; the time is too short to forget the Avhite
terror and its stern methods of suppression. Strikes
took place of such magnitude as to strike fear and
consternation into the hearts' of the bourgeoisie.
Arrests and deportations were the order of the day
for hundreds of Avorkers, and jail sentences Avere
imposed on as many more Avho are still in the jails
for tbat heinous offence, Les Majesty.
It is not to be wondered at Avhen the excitement
has subsided and a general survey taken that we
fiind many whose hopes and dreams Avere rudely
shattered by the lull that noAv exists all over. They
had idolised Russia as the foundation of all liberty;
all their appeals have been based on its behalf. As
a rallying cry Russia has electrified their minds
and dulled their masters on more than one occasion. The ultimatum from the British workers
was a case in point, "Hands off Russia." But noAv
the glamor is gone. They are Avorking out their own
salvation in Russia as will have to be done else-
Avhere. We do not lack any admiration for AA'hat
happened in that country, but admiration for others
doesn't solve our problem; Neither does it solve
theirs, and the increased number which Avas thought
(Continued on page 7) PAGE FOUR
WESTERN    CLARION
Western Clarion
A Journal of History, Etoonomlos, Pb-OMCi-7.
and Current Events.
Published twice a month by tbe Sooi_M_t Party ot
Canada, P. O. Box 710, Vancouver, B. C.
Entered at O. P. O. as a newspaper.
Editor. Ewen  MaoLaod
SUBSCRIPTION:
Canada, 20 issues  —   *100
Foreign, 16 issues    >100
..-It this number is on your address lalbel your
HUhiubscriptlon expires with next issue. Renew
WWMprompitly.
VANCOUVER, B. C, JULY 3,1923.
SECRETARIAL NOTES
LAST issue we referred to the efforts of the committee appointed by Local (Vancouver) No. 1
to raise funds to obtain permanent headquarters for the S. P. of C. in Vancouver. The committee
have had drawn up circular letters which are self-
explanatory, the subject matter being introduced,
thus:—
SOCIALIST PARTY OP CANADA
P. 0. Box 710
Vancouver, B. C,
lst May, 1923
Dear Comrade,—
We are sending to you the enclosed subscription
list to bring to your attention a matter of serious importance to all Comrades who are interested in con-;
tinued Socialist propaganda, a matter which we consider to be worthy of your earnest efforts and
support.
The need for the spread of sound education of*
such a character as that spread by the Socialist!
Party of Canada is emphasized the more at the pre-'
sent time through the appearance of apathy and indifference into which the movement at large has fallen, not alone locally but throughout the country and
in the world at large.   Though this indifference is in-,
duced in a measure through reaction from a previous
somewhat surcharged enthusiasm, there is warrant,
for supposing that a vigorous and sound educational,
programme will again assert itself as a balancing fac-j
tor in the general body of thought in the ranks of
the producing elements everywhere.
It has long been recognized that Vancouver, B.C.,
is a centre of much importance and influence in the'
educational field among, principally, the ranks of
labor, and even the opponents of the policies of the
S: P. of C. readily lodge the weight of that influence!
at the door of the Socialist Party of Canada. We are'
not registering any claim upon a monopoly in the;
realm of understanding. Indeed, we are ever learn-i
ing, and we are determined that (with your help, we
hope) the workers shall learn with us.
And so we come to the point of our discourse:
Every line of human endeavor ultimately resolves itself, considered as a practical matter, into a matter
to be decided upon in the light of every day detail.
Thus we come to a consideration o^ the purport of.
our subscription list enclosed, whieh is, that by rais-'
ing enough money to build or buy premises suitable)
to the uninterrupted carrying on of the work of
Socialist enducational propaganda we shall get rid of
the hindrance that stands in the way of that work
now.
The principles involved are worthy of our greatest efforts; therefore, as some Comrades, for certain
economic reasons, cannot take an active part in the
work of the party, the least they can do is to pay
whatever they can afford in order to help make the
lot of our speakers, organizers, editor and Dominion
Executive more conducive to their efficiency, to the)
betterment of the propaganda, the official organ and1
work of the party in general. So do your part in the*
greatest of all causes—the cause of Socialism, the one*
and only hope of the human race.
We are in hope that you will be able to interest
others and that you will help our project if you can.'
We send you a subscription list herewith, and wej
shall be glad to send you a receipt book also. Thei
undersigned committee is appointed by Local( (Van-(
couver) No. 1 of the Socialist Party of Canada.
Please make all moneys payable to Ewen MacLeod,^
P. 0. Box 710, Vancouver, B. C.
For Local (Vancouver) No. 1, S. P. of C,
Headquarters Committee,
James Lott, Chairman.
There has been a measure of response to the com-
mitteee 's efforts, as witness the following:—
Cash Received
R.Jones $10.00
A. R. Snowball ( collected)  6.50
Mrs. Mathieson (collected)   1.00,
J. Lott  25.00
J. C. Blair  50.00
Harry Grand '...- 10.00
Total cash received $102.50
Promises to Pay.
R.Jones *?. $15.00
Com, Tiderington  25.00
Geo. Jackson  25.00
ErAvin Bros and friends . 100.00
C. Stephenson  25.00
Chas. Butt  25.00
C. O'Brien  25.00
C. C  25.00
W. G. Kievell  25.00
Mrs. Wright 100.00
Sam Buch   25.00
Com. Dorril,  25.00
A Warburton  10.00
Outstanding promises to pay $450.00
The measure of success in this venture depends
upon the amount of interest taken in it and the
energy expended in seeing it through. Get a subscription list and lend your help. If we are not successful in this we are forever on the run from one
back room to another, forever moving on, dissipating;
good energy in the service of the landlord. We
never know what can be done till we try. Here's!
one thing we never tried before.   Let's see what can
be done—with your help.
# #     *
PICNIC PICNIC
SUNDAY, JULY 1.
At Kitsilano Beach
Directions: Assemble at noon. The Avomen folk
are requested to bring sandwiches and cake only,
and to leave the family plate at home. Tea and
coffee, ice cream and fruit will be provided by Local
Vancouver No. 1 S. P. of C. and a collection taken
to defray expenses. Arrangements have be*en madft
for children's sports.
All people who can make friends among Socialists are welcome to attend.
• *     »
Medicine Hat District, Attention!
Following is the schedule for C. Lestor in and
around Medicine Hat distarict:
July 15th, Medicine Hat; July 16th, New Dale;
July 17th, Prosby; July 18th, Turtle Plains; July 19,
Whitla and Seven Persons; July 20, Winnifred; July
21, Bow Island; July 22nd, T. O. Nesting (picnic);
July 23, Red Rock; July 24, Bob Hostil  (school
house); July 25, Orin; July 26, Many Berries.
* #     •
Comrades in Alberta and Saskatchewan should
communicate with R. Burns, secretary Alta P. E. C,
27 Central Building, Calgary. Comrade Burns reports that Lestor is at present on a three weeks"
speaking tour on the C. N. R. Good meetings
up to date. It is expected that Comrade Tree will
go to Edmonton at any early date and that a new)
S. P. of C. Local will result.
• •     *
The Clarion columns are the poorer this issue ipi
tbe absence of "C". What with speaking on the
street corner and in the theatre, arranging crockery
ware, ice cream and general detail matters for the
picnic, "C" has been mixing philosophy and fact
too busily to spill ink for this issue. A note here
to Comrade B. Tamarkin: "C" is glad to have your
criticism, and promises to deal with it as soon as
time warrants.
S
Clarion Mail Bag
OME enquiries regarding the Clarion have been
received since the last Mail Bag opened, not-t
able in Sidney Mines. Com. C. MacDonald
has been active in getting subs, in Kentville, and is
always camping on the doorstep of his friends worrying subs, out of them. Parry and Sim, Clarion
readers for sixteen years in and around Billtown,
N.S., threaten that with a good fruit crop in that)
region, there should fall a good Clarion crop of subs.'
M. Goudie and the St. John comrades send $9 to the
C. M. F. (acknowledged last issue).
Apparently the "Untidy States," as Goudie hasi
it, are to be people by the folk from the maritime
(Canadian) provinces, judging by the exodus. They
go where the job is, Goudie, and if Canada ever gets
a job outside of the newspaper offices they '11 be back
again.
Subs, from Stratford, Ont., and Transeonaa, Man.
Com. Glendenning, sending subs, from Winnipeg says
the S. P. local there has held meetings in Victoria
Park during the past three Sundays, but at the moment of writing were having difficulty in getting the
usual permit from the civic authorities. They are
still speaking on the market square. The W. P. be-J
tray no activity in Winnipeg at the present time.
Another Winnipeg comrade, a Ford employee,—
working for Henry is the popular way to say it, and
those who work for Henry cannot afford advertisement—says that Geordie's Plebs Economics Text
Book Review has knocked nearly all the ideas he
had on Politieal Economy out of his head. And
others too. Good! He suggests that questions would
be in order. All right, like Barkis—we're always
willing'.
Subs from Regina and Glenbrae, Sask., Scotfield,
Alta., Calgary, Meeting Creek, Oxville, Barrons and
Morningside. Com. M)cKenzie of Beverley, Alta., is
appreciative of the past and present work, of the S.
P. of C, and comments favorably on Lestor's efforts
recently in Edmonton. J. J. Albers of Meeting Creek
arranged two meetings for Lestor there, with good
result in general interest.
An unsigned letter reaches us from New Westminster. Letters and articles should bear the identity of the writer, even if not for publication. We
have said this before, of course. Subs, from Graham
Island, Notch Hill, Victoria, Lock Port, Redonda
Bay, Nanaimo—all in B. C. Our old friend Abe
Karme says the slave animal around his area are
more interested in the log market than in the slave
market.
The Clarion "foreign" Mail Bag is quite a hefty
package. It has always been a big part of our function to educate the heathen abroad, hence the correspondence. Subs, and many enquiries this time
from Frisco, Indiana, Cleveland, Ohio, Pittsburg,
Pa., Butte, Montana, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles,
Plummer, Idaho, Chicago, 111., and Niagara Falls,
N. Y. Also Wellington and Blackball, New Zealand. From the last mentioned place Annie Balder-
stone writes appreciatively of the work of J. A. McDonald while in New Zealand, and in support of his,
outline of conditions in New Zealand as it appeared
in the Clarion columns.
The Winnipeg comrades are spread all around
the country. Many are in Chicago. Charlie Stewart writes from there. He has been listening to
Charlie O'Brien speaking, and says Charlie is good
for manyv years of good work yet. Likewise Alex,
Shepherd, also a resident of Jungle Town.. "Sandy"
is entertaining neuritis in Frisco, and growls in a
very commendable way.
Here we end the Mail Bag column for this issue. WESTERN   CLARION
Tactics
PAGE FtVl
IN TWO PARTS.
Part 2.
IF this position it at all correct, the purely revolutionary parties will be discounted, their
tactics labelled unprogressive, their perspective
impossiblist,—their Avliole propaganda "damned
with faint praise." While the sentimentalists, Communists, and post baste actionists, carried on tbe
Swelling Avaves of discontent and voicing the demands of immediate redress will appear as the protagonists of a new order of things. And this comes
about, not because they are right—the process may
be necessary—nor because they are in line. Avith progress—though they may be so acclaimed. But because, basing their hopes and calculations almost
Avholly on the strained economics of Capitalism,
and ignoring the dead weight of social inertia, they
acquire the ear of the first Avreckage of that economic—the machine displaced Avorkers of monopolist reconstruction. And also being enthused by
tlie Russian revolution, regarding the Moscow International as the '' genius'' of the proletarian International, and inspired by the viewpoint of its very
different conditions, their impatience fomented by
their own long suffering and anticipation, they confidently expect every periodic rupture in the "terms
of contract," every political flurry, foreign or domestic, to flare up into the red flame of desperate
revolution. It may, of course—for the potential of
reaction of growing man to his developing environment is quite unknown. But of visible evidence to
support the contention there is little.
Besides, this fashion of looking at the social situation only from thc economic point of vieAv leads
to the demand that "tactics must change with
changing conditions." But although the theory is
true enough, the demand is not. That is, it isn't
rational. For, while the economic conditions of the
world have changed—by the development of monopolist power and efficiency—and involving corresponding changes in labor organisations in the daily
fight for existence, yet the general social conditions
and ideation are still rocked in the cradle of the
deep seas of illusion. Economically, society is in
the grip of a financial oligarchy, but ethically it is
still imbued Avith the bourgeois "romanticism" of
yesterday. That is a contradiction that must be
squared before a change of tactics may be assumed.
No change in tactics can resolve tbat contradiction.
On the contrary, the changing ideal ion of changed
material conditions will very potently leaven the
lump of growing revolution, and order its forces in
the lightening day of appreciating conviction. Immediate suffrage (by which Ave mean the "advanced" activities of the day) and minority aggressiveness, may be good slogans for laborist interests, propagated as circumstances ripen their occasion. They
may be good rallying cries for the unstable organisations of trade depressions. But as weapons for
the freedom of slaves; as means for the overthrow
of capital; as propaganda for the control of the
job—the crux of the whole matter—they are of
little avail. To control the job means the necessary
progress of social enlightenment. This progress
may be forwarded by "soap boxing" and kindred
Avorks of art, but mainly it will be the product of
Imperialist interdictions, leashed to its own foreshortened technology, and shattering the constitutional creations of its social virility. This impulse
for neAv tactics is but the first reflex of those maturing conditions. But portrayed in the garb of economic associations, and hindered in their effect by
the friction of social inertia, they stifle the demands
they aim to redress. The problem of social revolution is the problem of proletarian class-consciousness, internationally moulded; and the tactics for its
consummation must also be the tactics of circumstantial occasion. To dream of a social society when
society does not want it, i.e., does not understand it,
i;-i idle. And no minority, however aggressive, can
sway the human tides of society beyond the boundaries of conviction, or guide it, unseeing, into the
new Avays of an entirely new order of social relations.
Machine industry, by developing the social mind
in technology, has at the same time developed its
capacity for groAvth in other directions, and fostered
the potential conditions for its ultimate dominance.
This explains—or partly explains—two apparent
contradictions of today. Why (a) although the social mind, through its necessary control of social policy, is the dominant power in social organisation,
yet the individual mind, grown latently more developed and therefor more creative, aspires to the
greater privilege of social expansion derived from,
that social organisation, why, in brief, the advanced
ego is so obdurate in the face of established and,
changing conventions; and (b) why although the
capitalist economic has forced social masses, into
deep—and deepening—degradation they do not re-*
act fireily and drastically (after the dreams and,
hopes of fervent actionists) to the sharp vicissitudes,
of apparent necessity. Because social intelligence
has increased, because there is a wider comprehension of social relationships and social responsibili-.
ties, and all the ramifying interconnections of modern life, and because as a result of this it is harder
than ever before to move society through the lurid
ways of blood and thunder revolution. Society, under the modern conditions of modern times, will
not lightly venture into the anarchy of civil war.i
If it does it will be Avith a unity so massive as to render any real opposition so apparently futile that it
could not be long continued. Nothing is without its;
compensations. And while modern force has increased in superlative desctructiveness, it has also
recoiled repulsively on the social mind. And if its
growth has debarred proletariat groups from its
use, its use by the poAvers that be involves the ruin
of society. Society will finally be compelled to ask
its capitalist parasites to step down from the seat
of authority—and force them to obey—but it i^
seemingly, likelier than not, that its force Avill be
exerted less through the spectacular display of
massed revolt and much through the equally strenuous struggle to command its social institutions.
Armed force has but little show without the force
of social sanction. With that sanction—socially
conceived in tbe terms of fundamental reality—it
calls for but little display. Even Russia—the great
communist exemplar—points the same lesson. The
force of Russia operated—and triumphed—through
its social institutions, controlled by its people arf
they understood them. The "red" army was directed almost entirely against foreign aggression.
That is, in effect, against proletarian masses who,
misunderstanding their social institutions, could not
control them. Force is likely enough to be the final
arbiter, but it is the force of a society welded into
unity by tlnvarted necessity, organised on the common perception of political dominion, understanding
itself, and therefor conscious of the realities of life
and the meaning and objective of its long and bitter struggle for better conditions.
The constructive policy of revolution, the tactics
that strike at the prime cause of social differentiation, the tactics that further the progress of enlightenment, and therefor of society, will in the end prevail. For tAvo reasons: (1) The discontent that
struggles for the amelioration of its impoverished
conditions, impelled though it be by the sharpened
rivalaries of commercial depressions, will yet find
itself side-tracked on  its basic misconceptions  ofi
social relations.   It will find that class dominion,
organised   and   entrenched   in   political power, ia
stronger by far than mass organisations pitifully
uninspired  by any clear understanding of social
status.   It will find that the tactics of alleviation accumulate but the interest of misery; that laborist
negations of bourgeois individualism accrue only to
the greater glory of capitalist oligarchs.   And that
if it fails to become its "brother's keeper," if it refuses to accept reality as its task master, it will
finally be driven, through dreary disillusionments,
to its next—and last—"immediate step"—the unambiguous recognition of the first cause of its miseries—capitalist property in  the social means of
life—and its only way  of escape—the undivided
control of the institutions through which society
lives and functions, by political supremacy, temporarily, by social equality, permanently.    (2) The
poAver of the mind to control human destiny is in
the ascendant: Because the knowledge of human
conditions and social relationships is relevant to the
social needs of today and because progress itself—
which awaits the bidding of none—is the more or
less revolutionary recession of the stabilised means'
of yesterday.   That is to say that the nature of re-i
form through the motive impulse of progress tends
to cut deeper into the fabric of social reality; tends,
by the growth of Capitalist monopoly on one side,
and the consequent development of the class strug-,
gle on the other, to strike straighter at the exposed
roots of privilege—and of misery.    Which is but
another way of saying that daily experience of the
struggle for life demonstrates the futility   (as a
class benefit) of all remedial reform; and by the
same token, their inherent hostility to social interest.
For example, "profit, sharing,'"' "factory management," "welfare cities," capital levy's,—even the
adjustment of foreign affairs in the interest of the
"people."   Such things, while incident to its char-,
acter, are Avholly foreign"to the nature of exploiting!
capital, and they preclude the unity of society and
its movement.
But as they groAv and develop, recognition of
reality will grow Avith them. For revolutionary
Socialism they are neither means nor ends, and to
dally Avith them is to dally with reaction. They
have no bearing on the common control of social
institutions and they do not advance that control.
That advancement arises from the incidence of -progress, which, through reluctant Avays of class interest, flourishes the social perceptions of disrupted
class society. It makes no real difference that they
are the need of the moment. They may be the necessity of exigency; but they need not be the necessity
of society. And they are not the necessity of reality.
They are of the political earth, earthy; and the regeneration of society does not sprout from the opportunist parings of capitalist privilege, but only
from the abolition of class dominion. Thus the tactics of recognition is tlie tactics of revolution. To
forward, through the circumstance of time, the
understanding of realtiy, the conscious perception
of the inherent antagonism of political society,—I
that is true revolution, and the true tactics o_
triumph. R.
ECONOMIC CAUSES
OF WAR
By PETES T. LECKIE.
HOW READY.
Prof aot hj tho author.
131 PAGES.
Ptr Copy, 16 Otata.
Ttn eopitt up, tO ttntt tath.
Pttl PtU. PAGE BIX
WESTERN   CLARION
Revolutions: Political and Social
Eighth Article.
WE now return to France, which we left that
night in February 1848 when the rain sodden Avorkers danced in the Tuilleries to the
Marseillaise played on the Queen's piano.
There is a painting, I forget by whom, of the
Duchess of Orleans presenting her two sons to the
Chamber of Deputies, the morning alter the revolution; one of these boys, aged nine Avas king of France
by the abdication of old Louis Phillippe; the Duchess
was Regent. This idyllic scene Avas interrupted by
a mob of uncouth and unsentimental creatures, lacking in dramatic sense, and Avhose tear glands had
been excited so long by their own sorrows that they
were unequal to the task of weeping over the troubles
of a Queen mother. The Duchess and her boys Avere
roughly handled, and any one else Avho, by his grave
countenance indicated his descent. When finally extracted from the mob the latest King departed from
his kingdom to Claremont, in Italy; the deputies fled
and the Rengency ended ere it had begun.
The creation of a government was the next order
of business.
The revolutionary gentlemen Avho had carved
a symbol of revolt upon the boulevard tree, of course
prepared to enter into their well deserved reward.
A provisional government was installed at the Palais
Bourbon which included but one name connected
with the extreme radical movement, Ledru-Rollin.
Louis Blanc had been nominated but his name Avas
removed. Gamier Pages, the rebel you remember
who had asked his friends to do the symbolic carving,
(see Clarion 889), Avas on the list in spite of opposition by the workers- who Avere assembled. Meanwhile the socialist, republican and anarchist groups
met at the office of the Reform newspaper, and drew
up a Provisional Government of their oavu, which,
by a coincidence, contained only one Liberal, Arago
the astronomer. This group seized the Town Hall.
Their proclamation counselled the people to retain
their "arms, positions and revolutionary attitude."
Thus on the morrow of the revolution a civil Avar
Avas quite in order, since tAvo different governments
could not very well survive in the same toAvn. The
matter was adjusted, however, Avithout further
blood-shed, principally through the efforts and
eloquence of Lamartine the poet, aided by the tremendous enthusiasm displayed on the boulevards
by all classes. Generous sums were subscribed by
tlie wealthy for the relief of those Avho had been
wounded at the barricades, and for the dependents
of those avIio had been killed. Lo! Baron Roth-
child leads all the rest.
Were a big bellied, rosy faced, well dressed gentleman to place his hands on your shoulder, having
just donated a large sum to the "cause," and mingle his voice with yours in chorusing a revolutionary
song, however, emaciated and ill-garbed you might
be you Avould scarcely feel like disemboweling him;
at least so it Avas in Paris on February 25, 1848, and
the compromise of the boulevards Avas reflected in
the council chamber, and out of the two governments Avas formed a third. Marrast, Blanc, Floeon,
journalists, and a worker, Albert, became secretaries
to the Palais Bourbon selection. Lamartine had
suggested that his government was prepared to
solve the troubles of labor, and a proclamation Avas
drawn up by Louis Blanc and signed by him as secretary and by Gamier Pages as Mayor of Paris (the
rest of France Avas as yet silent), Avhich read: "Tho
Government of the French Republic pledges itself
to guarantee the livelihood of the worker by labor;
It pledges itself to guarantee work for all citizens;
It recognises that the workers should form associations among themselves to enjoy the legitimate
profit of their labor; The Provisional Government
returns to the Avorkers, to Avhom it belongs, the million which falls into its hands from the Civil List."
The Tuilleries was turned into a hospital for
BY J. HARRINGTON
Avorkers injured in industry. All articles were to be
returned to their owners if less than ten francs
value, and the Republic to sustain the loss. The establishment of national workshops was decreed.
An auspicious day for labor!
But  the  next  day,  February  26th,  the  sordid
facts of the real world Avere made manifest.    Tbe
happy harmony dissolved in a realization of past experiences.    Baron Rothchild and  his rosy friends
heard with concern the tulmult in the Republican
Clubs,  and the  keen  February  Avind revived  the
chill in proletarian homes, not to be in any wise
relieved by the reminder of his lean and hungry
spouse that the larder was empty.   Blanqui, a man
of dauntless energy, sour and suspicious, reported
to the Central Republican Committee that he had
been rebuffed by the government, that they refused
to adopt the Red Flag and that they should reject
the compromise.   While in London, a pale faced adventurer with a unique trim of whiskers, later to
be  known  as  "imperial,"  sat till  midnight  con-
fering Avith an Italian banker whose historical foresight Avas not questioned by the unfolding scroll
of fate.   His midnight visitor became Napoleon ILL
Emperor of France.
■   The national workshops upon which the Socialists placed so much reliance Avere the first indications that the Provisional Government had acted
more in fear than in sympathy.   Thomas, who had
charge  of the plan,  evidently desired to  accomplish something but the commercial crisis, the famine, and now the revolution had left France stagnant, and it required more than rhetoric and good
Avill to call prosperity back "to home."    In Parisi
factory after factory closed down for lack of orders,
so the problem of starting government factories was
quite apparent.
In March there met at the Luxemburg an assembly of workers which became knoAvn as the
Socialist Parliament, to consider means for solving
the various troubles Avhich afflicted them. A sim-
iliar assembly of employers also met. However, the
Avorkers' assembly had this to say among other
things—"To the business men who find themselves
today faced with disaster and come to us to say:
'Let the State take our establishment and step into
our shoes,' Ave reply:' The State consents. You shall
be generously recompensed. But this recompense
which is your due cannot be taken from the insufficient resources we have to our hand: hence the
State bonds bearing interest, and creating a mortgage on these very establishments, to be repayable
by annuities or by redemption.' " Sure enough the
consent of the business men to this arrangement
might have led to an amicable solution. But the
experiment Avas never tried. A government that had
sprung from a successful working class revolution,
composed entirely of members belonging to the master class (tlie four socialist members Avere not of
the government, they were merely secretaries),
could not be expected to vieAv working class domination Avith enthusiasm.
Thomas has happily left a very complete and
frank account of his administration, in which is the
record of a conversation which took place between
himself and Marie, the Minister of Commerce. Louis
Blanc had demanded the establishment of a Ministry of Labor and Progress, with himself as Minister. Marie told Thomas that they* had refused,
believing such a move would give Blanc a position
of great power. They had however given permission to form a Commission, of Workers (Luxemberg
Assembly), as there "he could disorganise labor
only in intention and not in fact.'' Also, '' M. Marie
told me that the definite intention of the government was to permit this experience ,National Workshops), that in itself it could only have a good result since it Avould prove to the workers themselves
all the inanity and falsity of these inapplicable
theories, and cause them to perceive their disastrous consequences for themselves." Nor was this
the limit of a Avise and generous policy.    Blanqui
(Avhom readers of Marx's "Civil War in France"
will remember as the man Avho in his opinion could
have  given the  Commune a lead  and  for  Avhom
the Commune offered to exchange all its hostages)
had headed a demonstration to protest against the
early election.    Blanc had been against the early
election.   Blanc had been chosen to meet them and
had succeeded in pacifying them with a two weeks'
delay; this on March 17.   In such times as we are
considering, where the state is yet unstable, a mob
of any kind can easily become a revolutionary army,
in fact Blanqui had often said tAventy-four hours
is enough to start a revolution.   Just a week following this Marie again called Thomas to his office
and had a whispered conversation with him.   Five
millions had been granted for the National Workshops.    Could Thomas rely on the Avorkers?    He
thought he could, on those he had, but the members
Avere growing and his direct contact diminishing.
"Never mind the number, said the Minister; if you
have them in hand it can never be too great, but find
a way of attaching them sincerely to you.   Do not
spare money, if need be we will even allow you a
secret fund." *
They further told him to have them armed: "It,
may be the day is near when it Avill be necessary to
march them into the street."
.    Conspiracies of this kind are worth while studying.
The Socialist Assembly, hoAvever were not entirely engrossed in solving their masters' problems. On
the first of April they issued a proclamation, and
by the way it contains a curious sentence peculiar
to all the speeches and proclamations of the day,—
"The revolution surprised us"—however they admit
the difficulties ahead and suggest that each industry
send three delegates to a Central Workers Committee for the purpose briefly:—
" (1) To assume the maintenance of the popular
Republic by giving centralization and a common
aim to workers hitherto isolated.
" (2) To assume the triumph of democracy in
elections by careful examination of candidates and
by giving its recommendation to those who seem
to it trustAvorthy.
" (3) To prepare the organization of labor, particularly by the serious study of the technical processes of each industry, and the classification of the
industries which are mutually indispensable for the
making of the finished product."
This will no doubt shock some people who have
already fathered the idea of representation by industry upon their various gods.
The Provisional government continued to pass
enlightened laAvs and repeal measures of a purely
restrictive character. Taxes on salt, Avine, meat, and
such evident indirect taxation of the workers were
repealed and incidentally as enormous sums were
required such were saddled directly on the property
oAvners, of whom many were peasants. We have not
read any conversation relating to this, but it was duly
felt and duly resented a little later. The elections,
based on universal suffrage, were set for April 9.
the workers kneAv that this meant a reactionary victory. On March 17 a postponment until April 23rd
had been forced, and now a further postponment
was sought. Hassall in his "The French People"
says—"Though the ignorant voters were perhaps
as capable of knowing what was best for their interests as were Barbes, Blanqui and Louis Blanc,
these latter determined to bring about a postponment of the electors." Hearnshaw says the Parisian mob realized the elections meant their defeat,
and it did its best to prevent them being held. (Europe in the 19th Century.)
(Continued on page 7)

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.wclarion.1-0318985/manifest

Comment

Related Items