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Full text of "Western Socialist Vol. VI #57 Dec. 1939"




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PURnPll. rSCKnTlflC-SOCIfiUSm i nTHC-llJCSTCRn-HCfDISPHCK 



(L VI - No. 57 



BOSTON, MASS. «^»" 



DECEMBER 1939 



The modern State, no matter what its 
form, is essentially a capitalist machine, 
the state of the capitalists, the ideal per' 
sonification of the total national capital. 

SOCIALISM, UTOPIAN AND SCIENTIFIC by Engeln. 



IN THIS 
ISSU 



RUSSGFINNISH 



II 



HAM AND EGGS 



It 



THE C C. F. AND 
THE PRESENT 



WHO'S NEUTRAL? 



• 



WPA STRIKES 



LEADERS LIMITED 

[Conclusion] 



THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA 

and 

THE WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY 
OF THE UNITED STATES 



Object 

The establishment of a system of society based upon 
the common ownership and democratic control of the 
means and instruments for producing and distributing 
wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole. 



Declaration of Principles 

THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA and THE 
WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY OF THE U.S. hold: 

1. That society as at present constituted is based upon 

the ownership of the means of liring (i.e., lands, 
factories, railways, etc.), by the capitalist or master 
class, and the consequent enslavement of the working 
class, by whose labor alone wealth is produced. 
2 # That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism 

of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, 
between those who possess but do not produce, and 
those who produce but do not possess. 
3. That this antagonism can be abolished only by the 

emancipation of the working class from the domina- 
tion of the master class by the conversion into the common 
property of society of the means of production and distri- 
bution, and their democratic control by the whole people. 
4 # That as in the order of social evolution the working 

class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the eman- 
cipation of the working class will involve the emancipa- 
tion of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex. 
5 # That this emancipation must be the work of the 

working class itself. 
g # That as the machinery of government, including the 

armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve 
the monopoly of the capitalist class of the wealth taken 
from the workers, the working class must organize 
consciously and politically for the conquest of the 
powers of government, in order that this machinery, 
including these forces, may be converted from an 
instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation 
and the overthrow of plutocratic privilege. 
7 # That as political parties are but the expression of 

class interests, and as the interest of the working 
class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all 
sections of the master class, the party seeking working 
class emancipation must be hostile to every other party. 
8 THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA and 

THE WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY OF U. S., 
therefore, enter the field of political action determined 
to wage war against all other political parties, whether 
alleged labor or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon all 
members of the working class of these countries to sup- 
port these principles to the end that a termination may 
be brought to the system which deprives them of the 
fruits of their labor, and that poverty may give place to 
comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom. 
Those agreeing with the above principles and desiring 
enrollment in the Party should apply for membership 
form to secretary of nearest branch or local or at 
National Headquarters. 



SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA BRANCHES 

are to be found m 

Edmonton, Moose jaw, 

Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver, 

Winnipeg 

* • 

WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY DIRECTORY 

Local Boston 12 Hayward Place, Boston 

Local New York 5 Sylvan Place, N. Y. 

(basement) 

Local Los Angeles 149 N. Douglas St. 

• • 
Activities in New York 

Sunday, 8:00 p.m. Lectures, 5 Sylvan Place (basement) 
Thursday, 8 :00 p.m. Study Class, 5 Sylran Place (basemeat) 
Near Lexington Are., between 120-121 Ste. 



Activities in Boston 

Sunday, 8:00 p. m. sharp, Forum, 12 Hayward Place, Boston 

Thursday, 8*00 p.m., Study Class. "Positirc Outcome of 

Philosophy" by Dietzgen at 12 Hayward Place, Boston. 



THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CANADA and THE 
WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY OF U. S. are prepared 
to furnish speakers for organizations desiring to hear the cas* 
for Socialism. 

Address all inquiries for arrangement* to 12 Hayward 
Place, Boston, Mass. 



The fire companion parties bound together by the common 
bond of Socialist Determination and Understanding? are : 

Socialist Party of Australia 
Socialist Party of Canada 
Socialist Party of Great Britain 
Socialist Party of New Zealand 
Workers Socialist Party of U. S. 



For further information write 
FOREIGN SECRETARY, 12 Hayward Place, Boston, Mass. 






**«*% of Texmt 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 

Official Organ of the Socialist Party of Canada and the Workers Socialist Party of the U.S.A. 



VOL. VI — No. 57 



BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 



DECEMBER, 1939 



THE RUSSIAN-FINNISH WAR 



AS we go to press, news comes that capitalist Russia 
is again on the march. The annexation of nearly- 
half of Poland, the domination of Lithuania, Est- 
onia and Latvia, and now the military invasion of 
Finland are but normal expressions of an expanding 
capitalist economy. 

The Bolshevik dictatorship, born in the Revolution 
of 1917, after a blighted youth, is now a mature, 
militant capitalist power capable of challenging its 
fellow-capitalist powers for possession of the wealth 
robbed from the workers (Russian included) of the 
world. 

Despite its proletarian pretensions, in the present 
world struggles for control of vital trade routes, 
natural resources, strategic military bases and exploit- 
able workers, Soviet capitalism supports the slaughter 
of workers (its own included). 

An examination of the Russian-Finnish War once 
more confirms these facts. 

After an unsuccessful attempt, by negotiation, to 
impose a strategic occupation on Finland like that 
imposed on the other Baltic countries, the Russian 
state resorted to a more direct and "civilized" form 
of persuasion, armed invasion. 

Let us look at the Finland which Russia so anxiously 
attempts to embrace. 

HISTORICAL 

Capitalizing on the Bolshevik revolution, Finland 
declared itself an independent country on Dec. 6, 1917. 
A titanic battle ensued within Finland between the 
anti-Bolshevik and pro-Bolshevik adherents for the 
control of state power. According to the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica, "The Finnish Social-Democrats, almost all 
Bolshevists, held a majority in the Finnish Diet and 
pinned their faith to Moscow. A hastily organized 
army of opposition under Mannerhekn proved inade- 
quate, so Germany, who hoped to erect a subsidiary 
princedom in Finland, sent an army of 12,000. With 
this aid the counter revolution, emerged the victor 
and proceeded to slaughter, at the least, 15,000 Reds, 
4,600 of whom were women and children." Finland 
served as a base for armed Allied attempts to get a 
"just" PIECE of a weakened Russia. At the Versailles 
PEACE conference, Finland was one of the countries 
set up as a buffer state to check any possible Russian 
expansion. 

Since Versailles, Finland has traveled the road of 
"the middle way". With land distribution (reminiscent 
of the recent Russian measures in Poland) creating 
thousands of small property-owners, with manifold 
"social security" measures, widespread consumer and 
producer cooperatives, and a government called de- 
mocratic, the Finnish capitalists helped to lightning 
rod the growing consciousness of the working class. . 

But the class struggle goes on in Finland as it 
does in Russia. There are the rich and the poor, and 
the even poorer beneficiaries of "cooperative" relief. 



The present call to the Finnish (and the Russian) 
workers to defend their "homes and liberties" is a 
call to the enslaved to risk their lives for the pre- 
servation of their enslavement. 

NATURAL RESOURCES 

Finland has a population of 3,600,000 and a territory 
the size of New England, New York and New Jersey 
combined. According to the U. S. Department of Com- 
merce, paper and paper pulp make up the principal 
industry and 75% of the export income (the total ex- 
port income in 1938 was $180,000,000) of Finland. 
Certainly the Finnish industries cannot be the main 
objective of Russia's war machine. Mining is being 
developed among some of the world's richest nickel 
deposits by the International Nickle Co. (controlled 
by American capitalists) in the Petsamo district, which 
has the only year-round ice-free port of Northern 
Finland. It is noteworthy that this region is now 
the scene of the bitterest fighting of the conflict. 

WAR AIMS 

The real importance of Finland to Russia is its 
geographical position. It has long been an object of 
the Russian rulers, even under the Czars, to push 
across the northern end of Europe and obtain ice- 
free ports on the upper coast of Norway. This would 
be greatly facilitated by Russian dominance of Fin- 
land. The possession of the Aaland Islands would not 
only enable Russia to block the vital German imports 
of iron ore from Swedish ports on the Gulf of Bothnia 
but also to threaten the important centers of Sweden 
itself. The acquisition of Finland would also enhance 
the strategic military and economic position of Lenin- 
grad, the second largest industrial center of Russia. 
For the sake of its profit-making interests at home 
and abroad, the Russian masters have sent the work* 
ers to war. 

SOVIET APOLOGETICS 

On October 31, 1939, Molotov, People's Commissar 
for Foreign Affairs, in a speech before the Supreme 
Soviet said .that Russia required parts of Finland in 
order to defend Leningrad, which is only 22 miles from 
the Finnish border, within the range of modern long 
range guns, and which could be blockaded in the Gulf 
of Finland. Using the same logic, England could, and 
if her economic interests required, would demand con- 
trol of Belgium because she is similiarly at a short 
distance from its shores, and could block important 
shipping lanes, "In view of this, as well as in view 
of the present situation in Europe, it may be expected 
that Finland will display the necessary understanding." 

Finland did not display the necessary understanding 
as far as Russia was concerned. The Finnish capital- 
ists, enheartened by Allied and American verbal and 



Page 76 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



December, 1939 



moral support, could not understand the acceptance 
of domination and possible extinction without a 
strugggle. 

So Molotov spoke again while Russia attacked: 
"We are compelled to take immediate measures to 
secure the EXTERNAL security of our state/' (em- 
phasis ours). The external security of any capitalist 
power can only come with the domination of the 
entire world! Forgotten is the slogan "not one inch 
of foreign soil." 

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB 

Just as the fabled dialogue between the wolf and 
the lamb, the wolf found adequate excuses for the 
licking of lamb chops, so the Soviet spokesmen and 
their foreign legionnaires in the Communist parties 
of the world find sufficient justification for "the world's 
leading force for peace" forcing workers to engage in 
a slaughter for capitalist conquest. 

Just as we were told that the Abyssinian "savages" 
poisoned wells and attacked Italian troops; that the 
Chinese provoked the Japanese ; and that Polish atro- 
cities against Germans wore down the patience of 
Hitler, so we are told that Finland, with an army of 
400,000 invaded a country with a population of 180 
million, covering one sixth of the world's area, and 
having' the largest army in the world. The Daily 
Worker reports from Moscow (Dec. 1, 1939) that: 
"RED ARMY HURLS BACK INVADING FINNISH 
TROOPS, CROSSES FRONTIER — ADVANCE 6 to 
9 MILES — The Finnish bourgeois-landlord rulers, 
incited and supported by world imperialism. . . at- 
tacked at two points yesterday morning. They were 
repulsed by the Soviet Union which took the necessary 
steps in defence of its national interests. The present 
Finnish rulers were given the assignment by world 
imperialism. . . it must be affirmed that the Roosevelt 
administration shares the joint responsibility for 
inciting the Finnish. . . to hostile acts." 



The capitalist exploiters are shocked; President 
Roosevelt is shocked; England is shocked; The Pope 
is deeply shocked ; the vultures of the world are shock- 
ed — at Russion barbarism. Russia, a modernized 
powerful capitalist state, menaces their loot the world 
over. After Finland, what next? Bessarabia? The 
Balkans? Turkey? China? The world may be de- 
manded to safeguard Russia's "EXTERNAL SECUR- 
ITY." 

The spectre of world revolution haunts the capitalists 
of the world. But they need have no fear that Russia 
will eliminate their system. Rather, Russia aims to 
save the world for State Capitalism. However this 
knowledge may be little comfort to the existing ruling 
powers who may be "liquidated" by imperialist Russia. 

The proof that Russia is no threat but rather a pre- 
server of capitalism is found in the program of the 
puppet "People's Government of the Democratic Re- 
public of Finland" set up by the Soviet Union in a 
small town which they had captured. In its declaration, 
it states its tasks as "The institution of state control 
over large private banks and large industrial enter- 
prises and the realization of measures assisting 
medium and petty enterprises." A clear cut capitalist 
program. Just as in Russia, the worker will be 
divorced from the means of production. To live, he 



will be forced to sell his labor power for a wage, 
which, on the average, is merely sufficient for his 
maintenance. Production of commodities for exchange 
in the market, money, banks, interest, income tax 
laws, inheritance, purges, dictatorship and all the 
glories of international wage-slavery will be 
perpetuated. 

When the Bolshevik Revolution took place in 1917, 
The Workers Socialist Party, the Socialist party of 
Canada, and The Socialist Party of Great Britain 
pointed out that, in view of the historic circumstances, 
it could not result in the development of Socialism. 
Socialism can only be achieved when the problem of 
production is solved and the majority of the workers 
are class conscious. These basic prerequisites of social- 
ism did not exist then, and are not present now in 
state capitalist Russia. The working class should 
apply to Russia the same test that should be applied 
to Capitalism throughout the world even through it 
parades in the name of socialism. 

G. G. G. 



NOTHING TO DO 



HEN Countess Haugwitz-Reventlow, the former 
Barbara Hutton, recently arrived in New York 
harbor on the Italian liner Conte di Savoia, 
she was informed that a picket line of Woolworth 
employees was awaiting her. 

She petulantly exclaimed to the reporters, "It always 
happens to me — that welcome home! I'm tired of 
saying I have nothing to do with the Woolworth 
stores." (N. Y. Times, Oct. 23, 1939). 

She spoke the truth. Although she is a leading 
beneficiary of the profits realized in the Woolworth 
5 and 10^ stores, having already acquired 45 million 
dollars, she has nothing to do with the management 
of this concern. In fact, she's never done a day's 
productive toork in her life. 

While thousands of girls endure the drudgery of 
Woolworth employment for from 8 to 15 dollars weekly 
(you can't "find a million dollar baby in a 5 and 10 
cent store"), the Countess has gained world-wide 
notoriety for her spending sprees ; $60,000 for a coming 
out party, $2,876,382 for the acquisition of a title 
and the Prince Mdivani, $5,000,000 to Count Haugwitz- 
Reventlow for a recent divorce settlement, $650 for 
the removal of one tooth, $10,000 for the birth of her 
child. (See Life Magazine, July 18, 1939.) 

That the parasitism of the Countess is not excep- 
tional but typical of the members of the capitalist 
class is evidenced by the statement of Owen D. Young, 
former head of General Electric, who said, "In your 
modern business organization of large size we have 
completely divorced ownership from responsibility. 
Now ownership has little or no relation to the conduct 
of business." (Review of Reviews, March, 1929.) 

Wake up workers ! Realize that your brains, your 
directive abilities, your physical energies when applied 
to natural resources are the sole creators of wealth. 
You run industry now; why not run it in your own 
interest? End the present system which rewards the 
parasites and starves the producers. 



December, 1939 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



Page 77 



The C. C. F. and the Present War 



IN our November issue appeared an article dealing 
with war sentiment in Canada generally. In this 
issue we present the official war policy of • the 
Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. (See "The 
Canadian Forum" for October, 1939.) 

The C C. F. outlines its policy on the war to be 
(1) economic assistance overseas, (2) defense of 
Canada's shores, (3) no military participation over- 
seas, and (4) the preservation of democracy at home. 
In support of this policy, the C. C. F. declares 
"that its duty, and the duty of every Canadian, is at 
all times to secure the unity and welfare of the Can- 
adian people. In this crisis we place this loyalty first 
without being unmindful of our responsibilities, as a 
democratic country, in the present world." Since the 
C. C. F., apparently, hasn't yet discovered that the 
Canadian people are divided into two economic classes, 
the working class and the capitalist class, we take this 
opportunity of calling this fact to their attention. 
How does the C. jC. F. intend to "secure the unity and 
welfare" of these two diametrically opposed economic 
groups? Also, exactly what is meant by "our respon- 
sibilities"? The working class has no responsibilities 
in the administration of capitalism, otherwise described 
as "the present world". The real responsibility that 
confronts the working class is to introduce socialism. 
"The C. C. F. believes that the same struggle for 
trade supremacy and political domination which caused 
the last war and was perpetuated by the Versailles 
Treaty is again the primary cause of the present con- 
flict." Inasmuch as the C. C. F. "believes" (in spite 
of all the evidence it does not yet know) that economic 
factors are the primary causes of war, what becomes 
of its claim that the Canadian workers owe "loyalty" 
to the economic interests of their Canadian masters? 
The C. C. F. bemoans that Canada is in the war 
because the people of Canada failed to heed its warn- 
ings "that once the principles of the League of Nations 
were abandoned and the governments of Europe re- 
verted to power politics and secret diplomacy, anarchy 
and war would inevitably follow." Further it re- 
gretted that "the Canadian people have had no voice 
in the foreign policy of the European governments 
which has brought us to the present tragic position." 
In what respects are the holy "principles" of the 
League of Nations, that the C. C. F. cherishes, to be 
distinguished from the diabolical designs of the Ver- 
sailles Treaty which the C. C. F. condemns? 

"The C. C. F. believes that since Canada is now 
implicated in the war, Canada's war policy should be 
based first on the fundamental national interests of 
the Canadian people, as well as on their interest in 
the outeome of the war. Canada should be prepared 
to defend her own shores, but her assistance overseas 
should be limited to economic aid and must not include 
conscription of manpower or the sending of any 
expeditionary force." (Emphasis their). In their 
shamefaced and cowardly support of the present war, 
they lack the courage of their convictions. They 
fall back on meaningless platitudes that serves to 
conceal the admitted economic causes of the war: — 
"We consider that in the cause of the Allied Powers 
lies a hope of building European peace on a more 
secure foundation because, in part at least, the people 
of Great Britain and France are waging a war against 



aggression", and also for "the survival of democratic 
institutions." Under the friendly protection of its 
defenders, Canada, England, and France, these de- 
mocratic institutions seem to be waging a losing battle 
for survival. Witness, the various censorships and war 
measures. The British Empire, upon whose territory 
the sun never sets, and the colonial empire of France, 
have as their foundation a history of aggression that, 
in comparison, makes the undemocratic, totalitarian 
countries mere tyros. 

The C. C. F. has gone on record. Keep in mind 
these statements being made by the C. \C. F. now. 
Let them not say, tomorrow, that different times and 
conditions demand different programs and policies. 
The C. C. F. is on trial. History will find it guilty 
of deceiving and betraying the working class and its 
interests. 

Fellow-workers, when you realize that the ONLY 
THING WORTH STRUGGLING FOR IS SOCIAL 
ISM, you will repudiate the C. C. F. and their ilk 
in otker countries. 



NONE PROUDER THAN BROWDER 

Earl Browder's speech at Symphony Hall, Boston, 
on Nov., 5, 1939, evoked plenty of comment throughout 
the country. Even the White House took note of it. 
No critic, however, rejected the principle expressed 
in the following boast by Browder : m 

"The Browder family settled in Virginia in the 
late 1600's, played an honorable role in carving a 
new civilization out of the wilderness, bore arms 
against England in 1776 and 1812, and for the 
Union in the Civil War, gained honorable mention 
in the official History of the Methodist Church of 
Kentucky in the earliest day, followed the frontier 
until it vanished, was always characterized by 
examples of public service, and never abused the 
confidence gained from its fellow citizens to amass 
private wealth. 

"I am proud of my name and of its history, and 
in my own modest way endeavor to continue the 
family tradition." (Daily Worker, Nov. 6, 1939). 
Browder proudly follows in the footsteps of his 
ancestors who performed "public service" for church 
and state. Going back to the 1600% Browder has 
about 2,000 forebears. Can it be there are no skeletons 
of tories, villains or horse thieves rattling in the 
Browder closet? m 

Socialists realize that we do not inherit ideas, 
morals or character. Our job is to induce the workers to 
get rid of the ancestor worship and its expressions 
in blatant Americanism, Aryan theories, and Earl 
Browder's boasts. 



STARVATION DIET IS INTERNATIONAL 

From the letterbox column of the New York Sunday 
News, Oct, 29, 1939. 

"Larksville, Pa. 
So that poor Stuart Rogers family that tried 
out a German wartime diet for the New York 
Sunday News for a week thinks they would even- 
tually starve on Nazi rations. 

Well, they ought to try to live on Pennsylvania 
relief rations for a while if they want to know 
what a real starvation diet is like. 

Mrs. J. M." 



Page 78 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



December, 1939 



The Western Socialist $1000. Publication Fund 



OFFICIAL NOTICE 

THE WESTERN SOCIALIST is published jointly by the 
Socialist Party of Canada and the Workers Socialist Party 
of the United States. Subscription, donations and all matters 
that are not of an editorial nature should be addressed to 
the Workers Socialist Party, 12 Hayward Place, Boston, 
Mass. U.S.A. Articles and correspondence for insertion in 
THE WESTERN SOCIALIST should be addressed to the 
National Editorial Committee, 5 Sylvan Place, (basement) 
New York City, N. Y., U.S.A. 



Subscript-ion Rates 

12 issues (postage included) 75^ 

4 issues (postage included) 25^ 

Bundle rates on application 



Vol. VI 



DECEMBER, 1939 



No. 57 



"nieriy" Christmas 

WHILE the cannons roar and workers die by the 
thousands on the battlefields of Europe and 
Asia and on the high seas ; in the midst of the 
industrial strife — strikes, lockouts, occupational 
accidents and disease — here in America as well as 
in the rest of the world, Christian "civilization" pre- 
pares to celebrate once again the festival known as 
Christmas. 

Both masters and slaves will gather in their Temples 
of Superstition to grovel before a mythical savior and 
mouth that most hypocritical of all slogans "Peace on 
Earth, Goodwill towards Men." 

And, as always, benevolent organizations will 
scatter a few drops of sweet charity amongst the 
families of those workers who are not fortunate enough 
to have exploiters. 

The workers, generally, will have an opportunity 
to enjoy a brief change from the drab monotony of 
life under capitalism. For once they will get a half 
decent meal under their belts, and exchange gifts 
with one another ; but unless they come out somewhere 
near even in the exchange, their stomachs will suffer. 
Their Chirstmas stockings will be at least partly filled, 
and the grim, constant worry of stretching their pay- 
checks far enough will be supposedly suspended until 
December 26th. 

The capitalists, on the other hand, from those who 
profit directly from sales to belligerent governments 
down through the various branches of industry and 
commerce — not to forget the purveyors of spirits, 
(Clerical and Corked) will enjoy a very merry Christ- 
mas indeed. For, while the workers slaughter each 
other in battle, business, largely as a result of these 
holocausts, booms as it hasn't boomed since 1929. 

But, notwithstanding the sordidness of the scene 
that is presented to us this Christmas, the solution 
to it all, socialism, still can be achieved whenever the 
workers desire it. The Socialist Party of Canada and 
the Workers Socialist Party of the United States 
therefore, urge you to study socialism, join our ranks 
and help us speed the day when this unattainable 
ideal under class society — "Peace on Earth, Goodwill 
towards ,Men" — will become the normal behavior 
throughout the year. 



There exists an emergency need for publication 
funds. The continuance of this journal, at the present 
moment, depends upon your financial contributions: 

We urgently appeal to you to : — 

1. CONTRIBUTE THE MOST YOU CAN 
SPARE. 

2. CONTRIBUTE IMMEDIATELY. 

3. SOLICIT YOUR FRIENDS FOR CON- 
TRIBUTIONS. 

Send all remittances for Publication fund to: 
Charles Rothstein f Circulation Mgr. 
12 Hayward Place, 
Boston, Mass. 

All contributions will be acknowledged. 



DONATIONS ACKNOWLEDGED 



Previously acknowledged $113.00*. 

A. P. (San Francisco, Cal.) $5.00; A. F. (Roxbury, 
Mass.) $1.00; Local Boston, W. S. P.) $20.00; M. K. 
(Brockton, Mass.) $2.00; B. F. (Los Angeles, Cal.) 
$1.00; F. J. (Roxbury, Mass.) $1.00; Local New York, 
(W. S. P.) $2.00; L. M. (Roxbury, Mass.) 50c; C. L, 
(Victoria, B. C.) 50c; H. M. (Somerville, Mass.) 50c; 
W. H. (Winnipeg, Man.) $2.00; I. R. (Boston, Mass.) 
25c; A. P. (San Francisco, Cal.) $3.00; S. K. (Dorch- 
ester, Mass.) 50c; D. S. (St. John, N. B.) 25c; G. G. 
(Chelsea, Mass.) 25c; E. S. (Dorchester, Mass.) 25c. 
— TOTAL $158.00. 

♦Through error $128.00 in November issue. 



ANSWER TO CORRESPONDENTS 



We urge the reader of THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 
to be very critical of its contents. Do not hesitate to 
write us for further information or regarding matters 
with which you disagree. 

We welcome your correspondence. Mail all inquiries 
to National Editorial Committee, 5 Sylvan Place (base- 
ment) , New York City, N. Y. 



LOCAL BOSTON FORUMS FOR DECEMBER 



Dec. 3 — DEBATE: Should The Workers Go To War To 
Defend The U.S.A.? 
Aff. American Action Associates (Gatt, Morrisey) 
Neg. Workers Socialist Party (Robertson, Martel) 

Dec. 5 — DEBATE: Is Soviet Russia A Capitalist State? 
Aff. Workers Socialists Party (G. Fredericks) 
Neg. Revolutionary Workers League (S. Okun) 

Dec. 10 — LECTURE: Origin And Nature Of Money 

(H. Morrison) 

Dec. 17 — LECTURE: The Russian-Finnish War 

(G. Fredericks) 

Dec. 24 — LECTURE: Socialism Utopian And Scientific 

(M. Kadish) 

Dec. 31 — LECTURE: Happy New Year (I. Robertson) 



December, 1939 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



Page 79 



\i 



HAM AND EGGS 



it 



CALIFORNIA has just experienced a unique 
election, the chief purpose of which was to vote 
on the "Retirement Life Payments", more pop- 
ularly known as "Ham and Eggs". Had it become 
law it would have amended the State Constitution and 
created a number of things, including an increase in 
chaos and confusion. All citizens with reasonable 
residence qualifications, having reached the grand old 
age of fifty years, and being neither employer nor 
employee were to receive thirty One Dollar Warrants 
each Thursday. Each week a two-cent stamp, pur- 
chased with cash, would be affixed to the back of the 
warrant. At the end of the year, such warrants bearing 
fifty-two stamps, ($1.04) would be redeemed with one 
dollar in U. S. currency. All the customary wooly- 
mindedness of monetary reformers was exhibited with 
a few new touches. The scheme required that the 
banks "create" money, either by having the govern- 
ment print it for them (currency) or by making 
"fountain-pen" money (loans). It was claimed that 
the "new purchasing power", the "Ham'n'Egg" 
Warrants would circulate rapidly because of the ex- 
penditure of two cents a week that would be required 
to maintain their validity, thus producing a quick 
turnover making for general prosperity. There would 
be "more business for the business man and more 
work for the workers". 

Realistic business men, fearing inability to restock 
their shelves emptied overnight through this snow- 
storm of paper, discovered snags in this plan for an 
economic millenium. These bales of purchasing power 
would not only be unacceptable to the banks, but 
would be of no value outside the state, even if by some 
legerdemain, not yet discovered, they were to prove 
a good medium of circulation within its borders. What 
these business men were interested in was real busi- 
ness, the sort that would stand up in capitalist 
economy. Intelligent capitalists, and the churches, 
which did not want their collection plates filled with 
fancy paper instead of real money, realized more or 
less vaguely that their "order of things" could not 
stand two different kinds of "purchasing power" try- 
ing to function side by side in the same area. The 
press, radio, and pulpit were harnessed to denounce 
this proposition as a menace, with the result that the 
Amendment was overwhelmingly defeated at the polls. 

Economic Insanity 

Existing side by side is depression and unemploy- 
ment on the one hand and shortage of ready cash on 
the other. This gives rise to the illusion that the 
shortage of money causes bad times. What seems 
necessary, thar^fore, is to manufacture new and more 
money and prosperity will return. This desire to 
increase the money in existence gives rise to all sorts 
of inflationary schemes, such as the "Ham 'n Eggs" 
every Thursday, Aberhart's Social Credit movement, 
Dr. Townsend Plan, Father Coughlin's 16 points, etc. 
This additional money, it is alleged, will increase pur- 
chasing power because it is believed that by increasing 
the amount of money a person has, his ability to 
purchaselgoods is thereby increased. The fact is that 
during boom times there is actually less currency in 
circulation but it circulates far more frequently. There 



only appears to be less currency during slumps because 
it exchanges less often. 

The basic flaw in all these money schemes is the 
failure to understand money which is a measure of 
value and a standard of price. Qnly the socially 
necessary labor time wrapped up in the commodity 
can determine its value. Increasing the number of 
yardsticks (money) necessary to measure goods 
(values) cannot increase the quantity of value. It is 
obvious that if the yardstick is reduced to 25 inches, it 
does not lengthen the article being measured though 
it requires more yardsticks to measure it. 

Though purchasing power of money may be regul- 
ated temporarily by the conditions of the market, 
such as supply and demand, it can not be legislated by 
either the California State Government or the Supreme 
Court. It can never wander too far away from the basic 
value of commodities. Economic laws, just like natural 
laws, are not governed by statute books. One might 
just as well propose that the voters register their 
sentiments at the ballot box for standard and regular 
times for tides in order to boost business for the sum- 
mer beach resorts. 

The workers possess only one commodity, their 
labor power. The money form of this commodity is 
called wages. Its value is subject to the same lawi 
as all other commodities. So far as the workers are 
concerned all that "purchasing power" means, in the 
Jong run, is sufficient food, clothing, and shelter to be 
efficient slaves. 

"Purchasing power" seems to be a most vital question 
because we live in a buying and selling society where 
all activities are reduced to a cash nexus. In reality 
the real problem confronting us is the question of 
ownership. 

Education Difficult but Necessary 

Among those who campaigned for the "Ham'n'Egg" 
Amendment were the Communists, still hewing to the 
"United Front" line of the Party (Dimitroff had not 
yet given his call for its "liquidation" and the creation 
of a new front with left wingers only) . To them the 
important thing was not whether the proposition was 
economically sound but whether it was a "progressive 
issue", and from their viewpoint it was ; it represented 
the desire of a large mass of the people, and they are 
all for mass movements as we are well aware. The 
Communists were joined in this endeavor to save suffer- 
ing humanity by drowning it in paper by various 
stripes of radicals from old time "Wobblies" — ghosts 
of a former glory — to certain "Socialists" of the 
( Boy-we-studied-Marx-bef ore-you-were-born-type. ) 

To these people capitalism is rotten, and something 
has to be done (meaning anything) . It does not occur 

to them that i* miffht bo a firood thingf co eittiiU sLlll 

for a moment and look at the matter calmly and 
objectively. When this is suggested the speaker is set 
down as a reactionary, or an academician who studies 
capitalism in the same way that a professor of ento- 
mology studies bugs. "You don't want to end the 
damned thing — you just want to see what it will do 
under certain conditions." "Marx is a little old fashion- 
ed, don't you know! The new "purchasing power" has 
been worked out by engineer-economists (whatever 



Page 80 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



December, 1939 



they are!) right here in Southern California. No 
foreign notions for us, no sir ! We don't need to 
bother about studying Marx." They are tired of books 
— wasted their time for forty years on theory. Now 
they want action ! This action, which they want, or 
at least support, is a crazy notion of increasing wealth 
for everybody by means of merging the engraver's 
art with the operation of a printing press. 

In a city which not only can boast of a greater 
number of orthodox churches than any other place in 
America, but can also rightly lay claim to the greatest 
variety of "psychologies", "Isms", "Up-lifts", "Out- 
thrusts", "Flaming altars", "Lamps of Light", "Self- 
realizers", and boot-strap hoisters generally, gathered 
together in one place for the edification and purse- 
string loosening of the weary retired pilgrim from the 
great corn belt, the difficulty of maintaining clear-cut 
propaganda may be realized. 

Much education will have to be indulged in before 
the workers will fully comprehend the fact that they 
and the capitalists have nothing in common. In time 
they will understand that capitalism alone is the enemy, 
not some piece of it, but the system as a complete 
economy — that this system can never be reformed 
in the interest of the workers. Not by new money, but 
through understanding and the conscious effort of the 
nation's majority will this system, and its hair-brained 
"Engineer-economists", pass into the limbo of forgot- 
ten things. 

Los Angeles Local, W. S. P. 



BETTER LOOK INTO THIS 



SIX 



' — What did you tell that man just now?" 
1 — I told him to hurry." 
' — What right have you to tell him to hurry?" 
1 — I pay him to hurry." 
1 — How much do you pay him?" 
( — Four dollars a day." 

■ — Where do you get the money to pay him?" 
1 — J sell products." 
' — Who makes the products?" 
( — He does." 

■ — How many products does he make in a day?" 
'—Ten dollars worth." 

■ — Then, instead of you paying him, he pays you 
dollars a day to stand around telling him to hurry." 
£ — Well, but I own the machines." 
■ — How did you get the machines?" 
' — Sold products and bought them." 
' — Who made the products?" 
! — Shut up ! He might hear you !" 



TRUE CONFESSION 



The former head of the U. S. Marines, General 
Smedley Butler says, "I spent thirty-three years and 
four months in active service as a member of our 
country^ most aerile military farce — the Marine Corps 
— and during that period I spent most of my time 
being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for 
Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a 
racketeer for capitalism. Like all members of the 
military profession I never had an original thought 
until I left the service. My mental faculties remained 
in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of 
the higher-ups. The record of racketeering is long. 
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international bank- 



ing house of Brown Bros, in 1909-12. I brought light 
to the Dominican Kepublic for American sugar in- 
terests in 1916. In China in 1927 I helped to see to 
it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested." 

("You Can't Do That" by George Seldes, p. 184.) 



Why A Capitalist Is Depressed 






THE hope of the capitalists is often frustrated by 
forces over which they have very little or no 
control. Among these forces will be found those 
of supply and demand. An overabundance of a par- 
ticular commodity often spells ruin for the capitalist. 
An example is to be found in an editorial in the New 
York Sun of November 4th, 1939, entitled "World 
Wheat Piling Up", which states: 

"A bulletin issued on October 30th by the Bureau 
of Agriculture Economics made the somewhat 
depressing declaration that the largest carry-over 
of wheat in the history of the world is in prospect 
for 1940. It is estimated that the surplus will 
reach 1,200,000,000 bushels on July 1, 200,000,000 
bushels more than the aggregate carry-over of 
July 1, 1939." 

The rest of the editorial points out that there is 
little likelihood that this enormous surplus of wheat 
will be reduced to any considerable extent because of 
the war in Europe, or that the domestic growers of 
wheat can hope for similar conditions to those prevail- 
ing towards the end of the war of 1914-1918, when 
world supplies were relatively small and prices rela- 
tively high. 

Two things interest us most in the above quoted 
editorial. First, the editorial writer's own view that 
this abundance of wheat is "somewhat depressing", 
and secondly, the inference that many growers of 
wheat see in the European slaughter an opportunity 
to make profit. Both attitudes are typical of capitalism 
and its cynical indifference to the sufferings of the 
working class. That millions of our class need this 
wheat for their sustenance apparently does not "de- 
press" the journalist. His depression is caused only 
by the effect this abundance will have upon price and 
profit. That millions will be slaughtered and maimed 
on the battlefields of Europe does not concern the sell- 
ers of wheat; their concern once again is price and 
profit. 

The Socialist has long pointed out the ability of 
our present social system to produce wealth in an 
ever greater abundance. No other period in mankind's 
history has shown such ingenuity in that field of human 
endeavor. Each increase, each new facility in wealth 
production has also brought in its train greater 
economic insecurity, and has made more conspicuous 
the great contradiction of widespread poverty in the 
midst of plenty. 

In a society organized intelligently, such increases 
in wealth production would be welcome as added means 
to satisfy human needs, and each device and mechan- 
ism that increased the flow of wealth would be hailed 
with joy. In short, the efforts of society would be bent 
upon satisfying the needs of its members by the intel- 
ligent use of whatever means were at hand. Capitalism 
is the antithesis of this. 

S. F. 
New York Local, W. S. P. 



December, 1939 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



***te 



WPA STRIKES 






KARL MARX, in his writings, predicted that some 
day the capitalists would have to take care of 
their slaves; that they would be forced to feed 
and otherwise keep alive an ever increasing army of 
unemployed workers. Modern capitalism has fulfilled 
this prediction with a vengeance. 

In this era of chronic depression millions of workers 
are forced to remain idle. Their mental and physical 
energies cannot be utilized in a society based upon 
production for profit. These unemployed workers and 
their dependents must be either left to starve or be 
given a handout in the form of a dole or work relief. 
Handouts become the order of the day because the 
exploiting class cannot kill the goose that lays the 
golden egg._ Furthermore, it is impossible to place 
these millions of workers in cold storage until they are 
again needed. The problem of what to do with these 
"useless" slaves would be rendered much simpler to 
the capitalist class if a few million were killed off in 
a war. (It must be remembered, however, that the 
capitalist nations do not wage wars with the object of 
getting rid of the unemployed.) 

The following "solution" was actually proposed by 
John D. C. Weldon in the Magazine of Wall Street, 
Dec. 1935, who said, "Ten million potential workers 
and a total of possibly 30,000,000 people are outside 
the circle of work, production, and income. They are 
not only a burden — they are an economic loss — to 
speak with grim realism, the country would be re- 
latively prosperous if they were annihilated." 

One of the mockeries of capitalism is that in the 
midst of this growing reserve army of un- 
employed, there exists a shortage of skilled workers. 
This is quite conspicuous in Great Britain and Germ- 
any. Only this month the N. Y. Times has been carry- 
ing British advertisements for skilled engineers. 
Thousands of industrial workers and farmers are being 
shipped into Germany. Even in the United States, 
there exists a shortage in many trades, notably air- 
planes, shipbuilding, and toolmaking. 

Experience demonstrates that the old method of 
private charity can no longer cope with the conditions 
resulting from widespread unemployment, and thus 
the government is forced to administer relief. Though 
many capitalists oppose relief expenditures by the 
government as "wasteful extravagance" "harmful to 
business', and that vague abstraction, "demoralizing 
the recipients", unfolding events compel the capitalist 
class, through its executive committee, Congress, to 
hand out a dole. Buying off the discontent of hungry 
workers is more efficient than maintaining an 
enormous police force or employing other repressive 
apparatus to keep the workers in subjection. Disorders, 
riots, and possible insurrections of desperate workers 
are thereby averted. 

Despite the realization by the property owners and 
their political representatives of the effective role that 
government-sponsored work relief and welfare play in 
the continuance of the status quo, their efforts are 
directed toward the reduction of the cost of relief. 
Economy measures are pushed in an effort to reduce 
the amount of dole paid welfare recipients and work 
relief employees, tending to bring the payments down 



to the bare subsistence level. Added to this is the old 
attempt to discourage the taking of welfare by placing 
a moral stigma thereon. The most recent application 
of this policy manifested itself in reduction of the 
rolls by quota cuts, extension of the work month to 
130 hours, pay slashes and "30-day starvation fur- 
loughs." These, together with the red tape, and the 
contemptuous attitude adopted toward welfare clients 
and WPA workers, are the typical methods employed 
to rid the relief rolls of idle workers. The result of 
these constant harrying attacks is to impair the pre- 
carious and already too low economic standing of the 
workers. 

The tendency is to drive the standard of living 
towards and below the subsistence level. Yet, at the 
same time, for obvious reasons, they must see to it 
that this standard of living does not fall below the 
starvation level. There does arise, however, a point 
where the workers must and do resist. Through their 
limited WPA unions and unemployed organizations 
they attempt to withstand the pressure. This deter- 
mination not to submit is inevitable and is the result 
of necessity and experience. Success can and has been 
obtained for the limited objective of resisting this 
pressure. Resistance has taken on various forms of 
activity including mass demonstrations, delegations, 
work stoppages, and strikes. In regard to the A, F. 
of L. strikes on the WPA in July 1939, there arises 
an interesting situation. The capitalist government 
ruling the U. S. A. refuses officially to recognize 
strikes on the part of WPA workers on the trumped- 
up grounds that "the people" can not strike against 
themselves. F, D. Roosevelt said, "You can't strike 
against the government." This statement becomes 
absurd in the face of the antagonism between workers 
and capitalists. 

The real objection by capitalists to strikes of this 
kind is that they indicate a tendency that may develop 
into a threat to the capitalist state. This situation 
can be compared to the sit-down strikers disregard for 
private property. Though it is not a clearly formulated 
threat to the capitalist system, it does constitute a 
definite measure of loss of respect for the sanctity 
of the state. Confronted with these WPA strikes, the 
New Deal government loses some of its glamour and 
"benevolence." The F. B. I. investigations, threats of 
arrest, removal from jobs, and the barring of home 
relief to WPA strikers betrays the real character of 
the New Deal. Whenever it becomes necessary, the 
capitalist state, as employer, confronting recalcitrant 
workers, is quick to strip off the velvet glove and 
wield its naked iron fist. 

In view of this fact, it become apparent that 
victory for the working class depends upon control of 
that power, the state, which now strives to keep the 
workers in subjection and attempts to allay their dis- 
content by offering them work relief and doles, which 
are, as other reforms, insufficient. The capture of 
"state power", rather than the resisting of "state 
pressure", must become the ojective of the workers. 

The concessions in the nature of reforms given to 
the workers under capitalism may temporarily alleviate 
but will never eradicate the misery of the working 
class. The continuation of capitalism with or without 
relief will only serve to perpetuate the hardships and 
suffering of the workers, both employed and unem- 
ployed. Capitalism has to have relief in order to exist. 
Ridding society of capitalism with its inevitable un- 



Page 82 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



December, 1939 



employment is the only solution. It can be seen that 
no amount or variety of reform will ever be able to 
abolish the workers' discontent. On the day that this 
discontent becomes crystalized into socialist under- 
standing, we will see the end of capitalism and all its 
evil effects. 

PETER MARTEL 



LEADERS LIMITED 



Part II 



IN reviewing the considered deficiences of the 
Darwinian theory we have no intention of going 
on record assuming that the man Darwin is alone 
responsible. His disciples and collaborators must 
shoulder their share of the guilt. Coming into the 
arena later, and having more data at their disposal, 
it would be reasonable to expect them to improve the 
premise that had been introduced. Instead we find a 
more bewildering trail at the end than they found at 
the beginning of the journey. 

Alfred Russell Wallace, who is credited, and rightly 
so, with being the co-discoverer of natural selection, 
had sense enough to see the grave limitations of the 
theory, and in order to cover up the shortcomings, 
was forced to resort to "ectoplasmic" selection. The 
kosher Darwinists are never tired of castigating 
Wallace for his "spookalogical" connections, but in- 
stead of being berated, he ought to be commended' 
in his discernment of the fact that, as promulgated, 
the theory was not strong enough to stand by itself. 
Better far to call in the spooks and give them a hand 
in the game than to incorporate the mysticism in a 
supposedly scientific system. Science and metaphysics 
should be kept in separate compartments. 

Herbert Spencer, too, was not quite so obtuse as our 
sciolists contend. When he got to the end of the 
scientific chapter he dubbed all the rest — "unknow- 
able". This was a big improvement over considering 
it within the limits of the explainable and then gum- 
ming the works. Spencer's greatest error was in 
being too sparing in defining the dimensions of his 
no man's land. He might well have enlarged it to 
include most of his own sociological studies, much of 
his philosophy, and even some of his biology as well. 

Ernst Haeckel is another of our shining lights in 
the field of science who managed to detour from the 
road to knowledge. He did not term his limitations 
"unknowable", nor did he attribute cosmic changes 
to the pranks of spirits. But he did, successfully to 
himself at least, smear the Almighty with daubs of 
matter that consciously think and act. He worked out 
an artful method of explaining what happens by 
injecting a force that has no communion with the world 
of reality. 

These names from the register of science do not 
represent the spurious contenders, and crackpot 
smatterers, who infest the walks of learning and who, 
through the weeding process of "anno domini", have 
been explained and exposed. They are names of out- 
standing thinkers of their time and who, even at this 
late date, are quoted and regarded as being eminently 
fitted to prove how cause and effect operate in the 
physical world. They are recognized authorities in 
the tasks they essayed, and even though their con- 



clusions may not all be acclaimed by modern students, 
their contributions to the stock-in-trade of science can 
neither be ignored nor belittled. 

To understand how species and genera graduate 
from one to another we must be able to get back 
beyond the later variations and into the intricacies of 
the life process itself. If we start here on a secure j 
foundation, where simplicity of matter and form pre- 
vails, then the more complex deviation further along 
the scale can be better recorded. As materialists we 
must seek a basis independent of religious and meta- I 
physical forces. Material factors alone are essential, I 
and, to be dialectical, the synthesis we form must rest I 
on these alone. 

The simple elements can well become our point of 1 
departure. As there are close to one hundred of these 
primal units known to men today and as all forms of I 
matter, both organic and inorganic, are composed of 
these elements in varying numbers and combinations, I 
the material basis desired is readily supplied. We 
do not have to go through the torturous mental process I 
of devising ghosts or goblins to perform the task. 

No particular form of matter contains all the ele- I 
ments. The simpler forms are made up of a lesser 
number, and the more highly developed of a greater I 
number of elements. These basic units of matter do 
not call conventions, organize credential or steering 
committees, nor pass resolutions to do the things that 
they do. They are forced to function by inexorable 
external pressure. Their surroundings coerce them I 
into expansion, contraction, and chemical combination, 
and life is the outcome of the balance between these \ 
factors. Simple enough, and yet the key to our under- 
standing. 

Darwin, in his researches, did not revert to a primal 
source in order to prove his theory of growth or change. 
He makes his debut at domestic variations and con- 
sequently, leaves behind the threshold much material 
indispensable to the proper appraisal of the life pro- 
cess. Haeckel, too, although he attempted a general 
outline of the forms of life, from the single cell to the 
complex organism known as man, never grasped the 
significance of the means by which the changes were j 
accomplished. Without a knowledge of the mechanism I 
the meaning. of the metamorphosis is lost. 

Both Darwin and Haeckel attributed the changes to I 
the influence of variation, but the causes of this factor I 
in their day were not known. Variation, natural selec- I 
tion, survival of the fittest, and even struggle for 
existence are all vague, incomplete and ambiguous 
terms unless, and until, we are able to view them in I 
proper perspective. This cannot be successfully attain- 
ed without establishing a genuine materialist basis 
emanating from a knowledge of nature's laws. Granted 
this, we can soon dispense with metaphysical elves to 
carry the ball to the enemy's line — and we can do it 
ourselves. 

j. a. Mcdonald 

***** 

The prime cause of all social changes and political 
revolutions are to be traced, not to the heads of men, 
not to their increasing perception of "eternal truth 
and justice", but to the changes in the method of 
production and exchange; they are to be traced, not 
to the philosophy, but to the economic® of the respec- 
tive epochs. 

Socialism, Utopian and Scientific 



k 






December, 1939 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



Page 83 



WHO'S NEUTRAL? 

THE repeal of the embargo on the sale of munitions 
of war to belligerent powers is an accomplished 
fact, and yet the picture, as far as the working 
class is concerned, has not changed. The working 
class is still forced to sell its energies for wages 
sufficient for subsistence only, just as it was forced to 
do before and after the fight over the Supreme Court 
Bill, before and after the Reorganization Bill, before 
and after the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Bill, and before 
and after every single measure adopted or defeated 
in the interest of the capitalist class. 

Neutrality — the fact might as well be faced — is 
a grim joke. What counts, first, last, and always, is 
Profit. Under the camouflage of high-sounding human- 
itarianism, the whole question was fought and settled 
on the same old basis of the almightly dollar. Once 
again, it is the job of the workers who have a clear 
understanding of the forces at work in society to dispel 
the illusions created by the spokesmen for the world's 
rulers. 

Just as certainly as there is a physical material 
reason why an electric lamp goes on and off when a 
controlling button is pushed, so there is a definite 
reason why wars are fought. That reason serves no 
working class interest. 

It would seem unnecessary to sing the same old 
tune with the same old words again, but such, un- 
fortunately, is not the case. The workers have still 
to realize the fundamental fact that as long as there 
i is capitalism there will be war and that neither war 
nor capitalism are in their interest. Military wars 
fought on the grand scale are but the hugely magnified 
scene of two push-cart peddlers coming to blows over 
a particularly well-trafficked and profitable street 
corner. No one in his right senses would suppose that 
the two petty tradesmen were engaged in a contro- 
versy over self-determination, democracy, or the state 
of their respective livers. What they want is the sweet 
music of minted coin jingling in their jeans. Yet 
transfer the identical situation to the world scene 
where, by virtue of its magnitude, one would suppose 
that the true picture would become all the more ap- 
parent, and we find that the opposite has taken place. 
Instead of a crystal clear understanding, confusion 
results, in direct ratio to the size of the scene of oper- 
ations. A good solid groundwork for dispelling some 
of the illusions is the realization that a possible thirty 
percent return over his investment is not calculated 
to make a member of the capitalist class neutral. But 
mention of percentage, it will be noticed, is conspicuous 
by its absence in debate on neutrality. 

Relying on the amazing capacity of the working class 
to forget, spokesmen for the masters of society have 
from time to time unburdened themselves of some very 
incriminating testimony. Examined in the light of 
events in the history of the capitalist system, the simon- 
pure idealism, professedly motivating the actions of 
the capitalist class, suffers by comparison with this 
testimony. The following is an example: 

"What do we all seek? New outlets for an 
ever-increasing commerce and for industries 
which, producing far more than they can con- 
sume or sell, are constantly hampered by an in- 
creasing competition. And then? Why! New areas 
for trade are cleared by cannon shot. Even the 
Bourse, for reasons of interest, can cause armies 



to enter into campagn." — Marshal Foch (United 

Service Magazine, December, 1918) • 

Why the "even" Marshal? 

But let it not be assumed, despite the hypocritical 
verbiage gushed in the name of neutrality, that the 
capitalist class favors war as a means of attaining 
its ends. On the contrary war, in the sense of military 
force, is undertaken only when all other means have 
failed. For war means the expenditure of wealth 
which might otherwise be gainfully employed in the 
form of capital, wreaking its normal toll from the 
sweat of the workers. No sound is sweeter to capitalist 
ears than the sound of capital wreaking normally. 

But if the master class dislikes war, the slave class 
should like it even less. If they are fortunate enough 
to survive the rigors of battle, they have served only 
to enrich their masters; if they perish, they enrich 
the soil. Little enough comfort in either case. 

The sum and substance of the matter is that in this 
question of neutrality neither the working class nor 
the capitalist class has an even chance to be neutral. 
By virtue of their very class position they are forced 
willy-nilly to be unneutral. For wherever the tentacles 
of capitalism reach there is ceaseless war and the 
opposing factions are in every case the same, working 
class against capitalist class. Whether there is ap- 
parent peace on the battlef ronts of labor against cap- 
ital or whether there is open warfare, the argument 
for neutrality is phonier than the proverbial gold- 
brick. 

Wherever in the world the master class may send 
out its slaves to do battle, the interest of the working 
class has not changed. That interest is the capture 
of state power by a socialist majority; it is the interest 
of the slum dwellers who face each other from opposite 
sides of No Man's Land; it is the interest of that 
toiling mass of humanity, the proletariat, spawned 
only to die in another's battle; it is a revolutionary 
interest. 

In this greater war, where there can be no neutrals, 
the camps are always lined up, though there be no 
division of troops. The great masses of the workers 
do not know the real enemy. The pitiably sparse ranks 
of the workers who are conscious of their class position 
need recruits. They are the ranks of scientific 
socialism, the fighting ranks which will put an end to 
captalist war and class war. 

Those who fight elsewhere fight for the enemy. 

ALLEN 



FOR THE LOVE OF THE LORD 



The November issue of The Western Socialist (p. 68) 
commented that the legal action which the Canadian 
government is threatening against the 75 Ontario 
ministers who signed a petition opposed to this and 
all other wars was another example of religious free- 
dom. The article warned that "it is just possible that 
unless the wayward wanderers repent and return to 
the path of righteousness, they will have their nose- 
bags taken away." 

The St. John N. B. Evening Times-Globe of Nov. 
20th reports that the good Christian Rev. Dr. J. S. 
MacGlashen would not be satisfied with such mild 
measures as legal action or removing nosebags. He 
declares "Let them (the 75 Ontario ministers) betaken 
out at dawn and shot like other traitors, there is 
hardly a virtue in having patience with arrant traitors 
to the highest cause on earth and in heaven." 



Page 84 



THE WESTERN SOCIALIST 



December, 1939| 



SHOULD THE WORKERS FIGHT 
FOR REFORMS? 

A debate on the above subject was held at Local 
Boston headquarters on Sunday, Nov. 26th., be- 
tween the Workers* Socialist Party and the 
Independent Labor League of America (Loves- 
toneites). 

Chester Bixby of the I.L.L.A., upholding the affirm- 
ative, maintained that socialism cannot be achieved 
by workers steeped in the worst depths of poverty, 
and therefore reforms are beneficial to the workers. 
Fighting for reforms gets workers into organizations 
where they can be spoken to; teaches them the need 
for political action ; and creates the militant working 
class necessary to achieve socialism. He alleged that 
by ignoring reforms and merely talking socialism the 
W. S. P. fails to hasten the revolution. 

Comrade Muse, of the Workers Socialist Party, in 
his main address, showed that agitation on the part 
of the workers for reforms, arises from the mistaken 
notion that their problems can be solved within capital- 
ism. Advocating reforms gives support to this false 
idea. Using as an example the social legislation of 
the New Deal, he demonstrated that reforms cannot 
halt the worsening of working class conditions. Inas- 
much as reforms are political measures designed to 
patch up the present system (quoting numerous 
capitalist sources in confirmation) our object, the over- 
throw of the system, is not furthered by fighting for 
them. However, on the economic field, Socialists must 
band together with other workers for the common 
object of fighting for better wages and working con- 
ditions. He concluded by showing that the only solution 
to the problems of the workers is the seizure of political 
power for the sole purpose of establishing socialism. 

Mr, Bixby, in his rebuttal, claimed that his organ- 
ization wanted socialism just as much as the W, S. P. 
He admitted that reforms are necessary to bolster up 
capitalism. He maintained, however, that at the same 
time the workers do benefit from these sops. Citing 
the Wagner Labor Relations Act as a method of get- 
ing" workers organized, he claimed that a measure such 
as this can be used by the workers in obtaining still 
further reforms. He . said that the I.L.L.A. seeks 
elective office only as a means of allowing successful 
candidates to challenge capitalism and "get thrown 
out on their ears" ; otherwise the ballot is futile. He 
praised the W. S. P. for its valuable socialist educa- 
tional work and regretted that organizations to which 
he had belonged did not carry on this work. In 
conclusion he stated that because socialism is not in- 
evitable and requires organization, reforms are neces- 
sary to give us that essential toe hold. 

Comrade Muse in rebuttal questioned the opposition's 
continued support of reforms in spite of their proven' 
futility. Rather than fostering a militant working 
class, they lead to apathy and disillusionment. He 
pointed out that one of the first applications of the 
Wagner Act (the only specific reform mentioned by 
Mr. Bixby, despite repeated challenges) was the jailing 
of workers for alleged violation of it. Although work- 
ers must accept reforms, fighting for them is wasted 
energy for they must still choose between capitalism 
and socialism. He referred to the ballot as the only 
available weapon in the hands of the workers at the 
present time. Although these "visionaries" ridiculed 
the ballot as a scrap of paper, they fail to present any 



other practical means of achieving power. They in-| 
volved themselves in contradictions by claiming that 
the working class, through the franchise, can force thel 
capitalist class to make concessions, yet will be unable,^ 
to achieve socialism by the same means, when a de-' 
termined majority. The fault is not with the ballot \ 
but with the fact that the working class, at present! 
insists upon using it in an attempt to reform f| 
capitalism. 

In the final five minutes allotted to him, Mr. Bixby \ 
repeated his assumption that socialism can only be 
achieved by a working class with a relatively high! 
standard of living ; therefore the necessity of fighting | 
for reforms to get this standard. 

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Socialism $ -0^8 

War and the Working Class 01 

Why Capitalism Will Not Collapse 051 

Principles and Policy of S.P.G.B J 

Czech Crisis 03* 

Conscription OSj 

Chamberlain and the Labor Party Criticized 0S1 

What's Become of the Russian Revolution (Yvon) ... .251 

The State and the Socialist Revolution (Martov) 25j 

Bolshevism (Sprenger) .15| 

Reform or Revolution (Luxemburg) . . . 2^ 

The Theoretical System of Karl Marx (Boudin) 1.25| 

Positive Outcome of Philosophy (Dietzgen) 2.00| 

Anti-Duehring (Engels) 2.001 

Feuerbach (Engels) . 6(m 

Origin of the Family (Engels) 60| 

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (Engels) 251 

The Revolutionary Act (Engels) 15| 

Crises in European History (Bang) 151 

How the Gods Were Made (Keracher) 15| 

The Right to be Lazy (Lafargue) 101 

The Evolution of Property (Lafargue) 6C 

Social and Philosophical Studies (Lafargue) 60j 

Causes of Belief in God (Lafargue) 101 

The Religion of Capital (Lafargue) 1C 

No Compromise (Liebknecht) 1C 

Marxism and Darwinism (Pannekoek) 1Q| 

Free Trade (Marx) .is! 

Letters to Kugelmann (Marx) LOOM 

The Civil War in France (Marx) 25p 

The Eighteenth Brumaire (Marx) 601 

Revolution and Counter Revolution (Marx) 60 1 

Capital, Vol. 1 (Marx) 1.001 

Capital, Vol 2, 3 (Marx) — Each 2.50| 

The Poverty of Philosophy (Marx) 1.251 

Wage-Labor & Capital (Marx) .10| 

Economic Doctrines of Karl Marx (Kautsky) 75 J 

Value, Price and Profit (Marx) .251 

The Communist Manifesto 051 

Science and Revolution (Untermann) 60 J 

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