Editorial from the July 1922 issue of the Socialist Standard
Under the title of “A Call to the Churches," an article appeared in the Daily News (19-6-22) from which we learn that "just at this moment the history of international relations is entirely upon a critical chapter.” The "international relations" referred to are the tricky, treacherous, and avaricious manipulations of different groups of financial magnates, through the medium of various political and other lackeys, for control of the different markets of the world.
There is another chapter in the social book, however, that is of far more interest and concern to the workers than the one above mentioned; and this chapter is also critical, as witness the following quotation from the article to which we have already referred :—
“The relations between nations are more rather than less strained. Hundreds of millions of money are still being spent upon armaments, while unemployment is widespread, social reform is at a standstill, and in many lands starvation and disease are ripe.”
Unemployment, starvation, and disease are indeed widespread. As time passes, this chapter not only appears to become more critical, but even appears to have no end— at least, no improvement in the general situation is in sight. The passing or easing of the crisis is delayed, not by the "failure of Genoa,” as the Daily News would have us believe, but by the hothouse-like growth of machinery and processes of production brought forth by the war. In other words, wealth is produced in such abundance that the effective demands are overwhelmed. That there is no shortage of wealth is clearly demonstrated by the rapidity with which new capital is subscribed and over-subscribed whenever shares are advertised for subscription.
The article upon which we are commenting provides a rather humorous thrust at the policy the Daily News has been advocating for some time. With much use of fine phrases and lengthy "argument,” this paper has frequently sought to prove how advantageous the League of Nations would be. Whole-heartedly it has backed the movement and idolised its founders. Now, however, we read :—
“If before the League is complete a counter league or group of powers is formed sufficiently powerful to be independent of it, then we shall surely have the old balance of power in another shape and the embryo of another world war.”
In other words, League or no League, the question of war lies in the hands of the powerful combinations of capitalists. Yet in spite of this, self-appointed "leaders” of the workers declaim eloquently on the necessity of supporting the campaign in favour of this side-tracking idea.
Such Will-o'-th'-wisps are attractive, but they lead to disillusion, disappointment, and apathy. When the workers leave these ideas on one side and stick firmly to the hard facts of life which are constantly forcing themselves upon us for examination and explanation, they will be on the broad highway to a knowledge and understanding of their present condition of slavery.