Saturday, May 21, 2016

Between the Lines: Is Russia Socialist? (1989)

The Between the Lines column from the July 1989 issue of the Socialist Standard

Is Russia Socialist? 

Take a Russian journalist, a British one. a couple of Russian dissidents (one of whom spent fifteen years in a psychiatric hospital for wanting to be free of the state dictatorship), a Labour MP (who used to be a Stalinist) and a Stalinist who still is a Stalinist, and put them in a studio for three hours. Let them talk. Now, whoever put the vodka there to make the setting complete was not amongst the most far-thinking persons to be found working for Channel Four. After two and a half hours of After Dark (midnight. 3 June. C4) Denis Healey and Vladimir Bukovsky were like two empty bottles of undiluted alcohol waiting to get completely smashed.

Intoxication aside (and who is to say that it did not benefit the forthrightness of the discussion?). this was a TV debate which should have taken place fifty years ago and saved everybody a lot of wasted time since. The Russian state-capitalist dictatorship was put on trial and found guilty. Its crime is that an arrogant, centralised bureaucratic elite has dominated a population of unfree and exploited wage slaves, and done so in the fraudulent name of socialism. While Stalinists have had the audacity to sit in the West talking about the liberated citizens of Eastern Europe, "the liberated citizens" have been living as wage slaves, too frightened to complain or combine in case they are arrested for crimes against the state. Will glasnost change anything? To expect tyrants to democratise themselves is a fantasy. Despite the great optimism exhibited by the British contributors towards Gorbachev's reforms, the Russian guests were less impressed. Political dictatorships don't die, less still do they commit suicide: they must be destroyed. The fate of the brave young workers of China was showing that as the programme was being broadcast.

After three hours of fascinating and often penetrating live talk about the nature of life under the Russian Empire and the possibilities of change, not one contributor adequately addressed the question of whether all of this misery was actually socialism. Healey, the ex-Stalinist. said that it wasn't and Doyle, the current Stalinist, said that it was. but neither explained why. If only there had been a socialist present to expose the state capitalist nature of the Russian regime and to point out how Leninist statism inevitably creates such dictatorships over the working class. Instead, we had to be content with the satisfying sight of seeing Bukovsky telling Healey to shut his mouth. Pour that man another vodka—with my compliments.

Laughing at people

Ruby Wax did a documentary about Russia a few months ago. It was around the same time that she did the programme about the ridiculously empty people to be found lounging their lives away on the beaches of Miami In fact, most of what Ruby Wax has ever had to say has been about the stupidity of rather pathetic characters who are trotted before the camera to make us laugh.

Her new series, Wax On Wheels (10.30 pm. C4). is of this sort: Ruby tours round Britain looking for weirdo workers to tell their life stories in three and a quarter minutes while Wax makes faces at them. She has talked to a football hooligan and a whore and a man who lives in a hovel in Scotland so that he can find spiritual meaning—or something. The show works on the basis of the assumption that everyone wants to be on the telly, even if it's only to be set up for public ridicule. It is a horrible reflection of the alienated lives which so many workers lead that the assumption is probably true: to be seen clapping in the audience of Wogan is probably the ambition of more than a few workers—to be allowed to speak is a luxury to be bought at any human cost. So. rather tasteless TV producers have no shortage of willing victims to choose from when they are going for easy laughs.

In fairness, Ruby Wax is a witty executioner of personalities. But the fashion for this kind of insult-TV is growing, and in general the insulters are neither witty nor decent. On ITV there is a show in which workers are invited on to reveal their secret desires. One man wanted to drive a Rolls Royce. His dream came true, with a chauffeur's hat to wear, just in case he ran away with himself. A woman came on who wanted to have a bath in champagne with a rugby team. After her there came a woman whose secret desire was to be chained to a railway track. I switched off at that point.

No doubt there are long waiting lists of human targets pleading for the chance to be allowed on the box to be ridiculed. The ones who don't make it on to this show might stand a chance on Cilia Black's Blind Date where the proles are invited to line up to be abused by a TV-engineered "partner'' of the opposite sex. At 1 a.m. on Saturday mornings ITV has reached the nadir of humiliation-TV with an uncouth lout called James Whale whose principal talent seems to be the kind of abuse which would make the average fifth former seem like Oscar Wilde by comparison. Three weeks ago he had on a man from the Lord's Day Observance Society. As one watched the man undergoing his three minute ridicule session (three minutes is about the full life span of the average TV abuse slot) it became clear that, however outdated and absurd the ideas of this man are—and they are—, that is no excuse to insult him in public for having the honesty to stand up for them.

The notion that TV has a right to make fools out of people with something serious to say. or to expose as fools those people who have little or no control over their lives, is yet another part of the capitalist culture which regards workers are affable and exploitable dummies, to be milked for money and then mocked for fun. A few hundred years ago they had public hangings where you could laugh at the misfortunes of the luckless wage slave. But with Japanese game shows and Jeremy Beadle, who needs to go out of the house for a good old laugh?
Steve Coleman

Austrian Democracy (1956)

From the January 1956 issue of the Socialist Standard

In their political innocence or inexperience, a number of workers in a Vienna automobile factory left the “Socialist" - party - controlled Trade Union as a protest against the Union’s passive attitude to various grievances including a 50 per cent, increase of the city’s tramway and bus fares. Others distributed leaflets calling upon fellow-workers to join another union—with the result that the factory owners, supported by the "Socialist” trade union, sacked the malcontents. Is Vienna in Russia? No, but your confusion is pardonable for the reason that the city is called "red” Vienna, and that such things as victimising people for expressing opposite political views are thought to be typical only for countries behind the iron curtain. Let us further enlighten you and say that if such persecution does not happen here on a larger scale, it is because among the 100,000 State employees and workers of the huge “red” Vienna's municipal enterprises there are few innocent or foolhardy enough to risk their jobs, i.e., the only share of the country’s wealth that Capitalism has left them after centuries of struggle and technical progress. The mass of the workers at the Post-Office, on the State railways and other nationalized industries, on the municipal tramways and buses, in the electricity and gas works and the rest of the huge municipal profit-making concerns know that the much vaunted freedom of speech, of criticism and democracy, does not go so far as to allow open criticism of the State’s exploiting system to pass with impunity. Even though that punishment is not as severe as in "right to work’’—Russia where malcontents and those guilty of “subversive activity” are deported to forced labour camps, workers in our "free world” are wary of jeopardizing their jobs.

Let us hope that the victims, having probably been cured of their error of accepting the shadow for the substance of democracy, will now also have learned that, as far as the workers are concerned, the rest of the wordy professions of equality, freedom of association, independence and social justice are little more than illusions, deceit and fraud. .

As was only to be expected, the incidents at the automobile factory, while embarrassing to the Socialist Party., were a welcome opportunity to their opponents, who are not slow to make political capital out of it. The Federal Chancellor, whose party dealt that crushing blow to Austrian social democracy in 1934, now poses as the Lord Protector of democracy. He declined to attend the opening session of the Trade Union Congress that happened to be sitting in Vienna, "until this matter has been satisfactorily cleared up, until justice is done to the victims, and democracy restored ”!

As against this nauseating show of hypocrisy, another incident glaringly portrays the real attitude of governments towards the working class. It arose over the handling of affairs in connection with the execution of the State Treaty after the end of the Russian control over hundreds of large and small industrial enterprises. As is now common knowledge, the return of part of these Concerns was made subject to a payment of 150 million dollars to Russia in addition to a whole series of other heavy concessions (see SOCIALIST STANDARD for July 1955). With so much talk of Austria re-entering at last into possession of her patrimony (Austria for the Austrians, you know), and the ofher usual platitudes and patriotic tunes, the illusion is ever fostered that the country belongs to the people—all evidence to the contrary, as an for example their continued poverty—notwithstanding. In reality, the Concerns which had been seized as war-booty (German property) were owned by a bunch of international Capitalist investors. The American, British. Dutch interests in the Austrian oil fields and other industries are notorious, while the others are less widely known. Certainly not a particle of any of these sources of wealth belongs to the workers employed therein, and it must be a matter of perfect indifference to them whether the shareholders are Austrian or foreigners. Indeed, it would be hard for any foreign exploiter to beat German and Austrian Capitalists’ talents for organizing the extraction of surplus-value, i.e., profit, from other people’s labour.

Yet, a delegation of workers from the Austrian Fiat Automobile Works could be induced by labour leaders to go to the Finance-Ministry and demand the cancellation of a meeting of shareholders which was to formally sanction the re-transfer of the Italian Fiat’s 51 per cent, holding. Since the workers are generally acquiescing in a small clique owning and controlling all the means and instruments of wealth production and distribution, why— you may ask—should, they single out this particular Concern for their protestations? What difference would it make to them if the Fiat Works were even to renounce all their rights and titles to the factory in favour of Austria, i.e., the Austrian Capitalist State?

Of course it would make no difference to the slaves producing the goods, but the Austrian CAPITALISTS who have to pay 4,000 million Austrian Schillings to Russia for relinquishing their control over these Concerns, now fear that their money will all be “thrown out of the window." "What happens today with Austro-Fiat," the Arbeiter-Zeitung laments, “can to-morrow happen with dozens of other enterprises." In the end, they say, “ it would come to this that of all the German property for which 4 we * must pay 4,000 million to Russia, nothing is left to the Republic.** 44 We may only pay, but do not get anything for it.”

So the workers were mobilized, i.e., misused for and misled into some action (there was also a short strike) on behalf of their masters. How State employees fare under Capitalism, the railway, postal and all other workers know only too well. And as there can be no question of the Italian Fiat owners handing over to the WORKERS, it is clear that their position could not alter even one iota under any other transfer of property rights.

But, as already said, some of the workers having been persuaded that their interests were at stake, a delegation went to see the Finance Ministry to demand the cancellation of the shareholders' meeting. The reply of the State Secretary (a political rival of the S.P.) was not only a sharp refusal of the workers’ demand, but he added defiantly that he would do everything he could to ensure the holding of the meeting. He pointed out that the shares were rightly in the hands of the Italian Fiat group and that they could decide what was to be done. (The meeting has since been held.) At the same time the State Secretary bluntly told the workers’ delegates "to mind their own business.” Socialists will not be accused of holding briefs for Capitalists or their henchmen, but we must agree with this one, advising the workers to mind their own business. Their business is, of course, not to assist Capitalist cliques in fighting out their quarrels with one another, whether in State chancellories or on the battlefields, but to organize and vote for the removal of Capitalism and its managers, administrators and labour leaders, from the face of the earth.

Of the few freedoms that have not yet become mere illusions, the Right to Vote is the most important. With dependency on the employing class (private or State) for your means of livelihood, there can be no real democracy for you. Yet it is still enough, at least in the Western world, to lay the evil ghost that is haunting humanity, to exorcise the demon capital, to oust it from its nefarious rule, and to lay the foundations for a sane order of things: Socialism, whenever the people are ready and wish to . have it.

The working-class hold the overwhelming majority of the votes, and there can be no question of sacking or otherwise victimizing you for casting your vote AGAINST the continuation of the present barbaric system, and FOR revolutionary Socialism. By such action you can at the same time help your brothers behind the iron curtain to rid themselves from the Bolshevik octopus and nightmare.

Therefore, when you are again asked to vote, remember it is the most important thing in your lives! Only, to cast an intelligent vote, presupposes UNDERSTANDING of the functioning of the decrepit system under which you live—knowledge that will almost automatically introduce you to Socialism and answer the questions and doubts which may assail you, concerning its practicability. To disseminate and impart that essential knowledge, is the purpose of the S.P.G.B. and companion parties. Year in, year out, their members, pamphlets and periodicals, do their best to spread the message of Socialism.

Perusing some former editions of the SOCIALIST STANDARD, this writer chanced upon a Comrade’s "Christmas Carol" in last December’s issue, ending with the words with which I wish to end my to-day’s message:

"Understand . . . understand . . . understand”!
Rudolf Frank

Not people's power (1989)

From the June 1989 issue of the Socialist Standard

A correspondent in The Philippines analyses the situation there three years after the coming to power of President Corazon Aquino.

A demonstration organized by the trade union organization KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno, or First of May Movement) took place in Manila on March 30. Only a few hundred people turned up and so the march to Malacanang Palace, where President Aquino lives, was cancelled. Instead a rally was held in front of the Senate Building which was the assembly point and, later, at the offices of DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) located nearby.

There were a few reporters present but no account of the demonstration was published in the next day's papers. If the demonstration had been violent maybe it would have been reported, but there was no violence at all. Nor were there any police around except for two soldiers at the entrance to the Senate Building. The demonstrators were trade unionists who had been shot at and whose fellow workers had been hurt or killed on picket lines. This should make those who believe that people are violent by nature think again.

Most of the demonstrators were workers from M.Greenfield Inc and Golden Taxicab Co in Manila. They were protesting against violence inflicted on trade unionists all over the country. They were also protesting against Senator Herrera's Bill. This Bill retains the anti-labor laws of the Marcos dictatorship. but also adds new ones. Strikes against "the national interest'' are to be forbidden. Picketed workplaces will be allowed to operate. Illegal strikers can be imprisoned for up to three years. Senator Herrera is the Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). The TUCP is a right-wing trade union organization set up during the Marcos dictatorship. It competes with the left- wing KMU for trade union recruits.

It is ironic that the KMU is attacking the "US-backed Aquino government" now because the KMU was one of several left-wing organizations that supported the Aquino coup against the Marcos dictatorship in February 1986. Since then the government has governed.

In November 1986 the KMU chairman Rolando Olalia was murdered. In January 1987, 19 people demonstrating for land reform were shot dead at Mendiola Bridge on the way to the presidential palace. Six of them were KMU members. In September 1987, the Secretary-General of the leftist umbrella group BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. or New Patriotic Federation), Lean Alejandro, was ambushed and killed. In 1988 President Aquino created the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU). which are armed civilian reservists recruited to fight New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas and sympathisers. They are popularly known as local vigilante death squads. The NPA is the armed wing of the illegal Communist Party of the Philippines which is fighting to establish a state-capitalist regime in this country. Most of the cause-oriented groups, left-wing political parties, and trade unions affiliated to the KMU are labelled as "Communist infiltrated” by the military.

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP). a church-based torture documentation group, claims that at least 12,120 persons have been victims of military action from March 1986 (Aquino's first month in power) to June 1988. Of these, 507 were “salvaged" (private political killings by right-wing soldiers, police or civilians). 149 kidnapped, 137 massacred, and 11,327 arrested and detained without trial. All of the organizations mentioned above which now are strong opponents of the Aquino government were strong supporters of Aquino during the February 1986 coup. Chrispin Beltran, the new KMU Chairman, was quoted as saying; “We say this is an undeclared state of martial law with a liberal facade”. 

It is not surprising that most people ignored the call to demonstrate on March 30. The experience of the last three years has made most people disillusioned and apathetic. Exploitation cannot be removed by changing a leader. Exploitation will end when we stop giving power to leaders and instead use our power for ourselves. Let us create a world-wide society where the production and distribution of the things we want are democratically controlled by us all. Let us not be well governed. Let us govern ourselves well.

The causes of xenophobia (2001)

From the May 2001 issue of the Socialist Standard

Africans living in other countries which are not their countries of origin are grimly accustomed to invectives like "fucking foreigner"; "parasite"; "alien"; "refugee", etc. But it appears matters have been getting out of hand in recent years. Xenophobia is on the rise, making nonsense of the catchy phrase "Africa for the Africans".

In sub-Saharan Africa this phenomenon raised its ugly head with the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president who was quite continental, nay internationalist in outlook. In 1969/70 the government of K.A. Busia (which replaced the Nkrumah regime after a short period of military rule) came up with the infamous and disgraceful Aliens Compliance Order which saw the brutal and compulsory expulsion of "aliens" mostly from Nigeria and Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). In the early 1980s, Nigeria followed suit (and more brutally) by burning alive hundreds of Ghanaians in Nigeria in an attempt to flush them out as "aliens". Today it is the same story in the Republic of South Africa. And quite recently, Malians were given a similar treatment in the wake of the struggle for political leadership between Laurent Gbagbo and Alasan Watara in the Côte d'Ivoire. This prompted President Abdoulie Wade of Senegal to make the rather myopic remark that racism in the Côte d'Ivoire dwarfed that found in Europe. He obviously intentionally forgot to mention the deep hatred and inhuman treatment meted out by his stone-cold immigration officers to anglophone West Africans entering or passing through Senegal. A few months ago people in Gadhafi's Libya took up arms against African immigrants, exiling quite a large number to the "next world", all in the name of this issue of "fucking foreigners". And yet Gadhafi, after having accused his brothers in the Arab League of being sell-outs to America, is busy trying to organise a Union of African States to replace the toothless bulldog, that the Organisation of African Unity has become! Interesting, isn't it?

The unfounded truth
The reasons for these internecine expulsions and violence are almost always the same in each country. "Patriotic" citizens are quick to assert, nationalistically, that the "aliens" have come to take over their country, their resources, their jobs, their culture, and what have you.

In Ghana the raison d'être of the Aliens Compliance Order of the Progress Party was to have Ghanaians control business which the authorities claimed had been dominated by "aliens" (most of whom actually were farm labourers in the cocoa plantations). In the Côte d'Ivoire, though the xenophobic pogrom was purely political, Ivoriens attacked and looted the shops of "foreigners". In the Libyan case, and in Gambia where a few months ago bars and public houses belonging to "aliens" were vandalised, the reason was that the "aliens" were encouraging immoral and un-Islamic practices in their countries.

However the reality is that all over Africa the business, hotel and tourist industries which are the breeding grounds for alcoholism and prostitution (male and female) are mostly controlled by non-Africans. Big business is the exclusive domain of American, European and African businessmen who reap all the profits and repatriate them leaving Africa worse off. Yet they are never touched, nay, never seen.

Therefore, though the grievances of the masses may be related to economic factors, it is unreasonable to blame it on their fellow poor. This is especially so considering the fact that most "aliens" are engaged in lowly jobs which "citizens" may consider below their standard. Most non-citizens are engaged in such menial jobs as carpentry, masonry, shoe-repairing, cleaning drains and sweeping streets and markets. Those in what may be considered as decent jobs are the teachers, and no one has illusions as to the economic clout of a group who are consoled by the words that their reward is in heaven.

The real situation
As already hinted above, xenophobia cannot be divorced from the economic life of the masses. But how the one influences the other is what most people fail to understand. This can be explained from a two-dimensional plane: official policy and mass reaction.

In the first place it is important to understand that society today is divided into the rich and the poor. The rich, who are few, own the means of production and distribution of wealth whilst the poor, who are the majority, own nothing except their ability to work. Again, every political party is owned and controlled by the rich who contribute money to it which is used to canvass the support of the poor masses. Thus a party in power is in reality the executive committee of the rich people behind it. Such a party therefore rules in the interests of the owners. All its policies are consequently aimed at the welfare of the rich. Now, since there will arise a conflict of interest between the rich owners and their poor followers, the ruling party or government will have to spend huge chunks of the country's money on arms, maintenance of the army, the police, prisons, etc to hold down the masses so that the rich can make their profits without hindrance. In the process basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, education are underfunded. The little that is provided can only be afforded by the rich. The result, undoubtedly, is discontent, alienation and disobedience among the masses.

In order to ward off unrest various tactics are employed by governments. One of them is creating divisions among the suffering masses by, for instance, blaming foreigners and whipping up nationalistic feelings. This diverts attention from misrule and mismanagement. Secondly, and in response to the official lies, the masses who are hungry, sick and illiterate are taken in by the government's ploy. Now, since a hungry man is an angry man and since anger is emotional and overpowers reason, the least provocation can result in violence-often misdirected. Such violence can be vented against fellow citizens usually manifested in riots and civil wars. The violence is also invariably be turned loose on the "aliens". This is the real cause of xenophobia-the rich pitting the poor against the poor. In fact wealthy "aliens" are not usually affected.

What is to be done?
In the past when Africa did not have artificial boundaries such as there are today, wars and hatred were not as rife. Therefore it appears that dismantling the boundaries, drawn up by non-Africans, would minimise violence. But will that abolish xenophobia? No. As has been noted above, it is the problem of "the haves and have-nots" which is central to war, violence and hatred. Thus the real solution will be to eliminate the present situation of a minority owning the means of production and distribution of wealth whilst the majority owning nothing, have to work for the few. In other words money, buying and selling, commodities and the like must be done away with. Humanity must commonly own the means of production and must have free and equal access to the produce. Under such circumstances there will be no want and consequently no war and hatred.

But this type of system can only be possible when people make efforts to understand it. When they understand and want it, they can organise to usher it in.

Is Stalin a Fabian? A Priority Claim by Bernard Shaw (1946)

From the February 1946 issue of the Socialist Standard

Bernard Shaw, in his 90th year, has been trying to console himself for a mis-spent life, by affecting to see in Soviet Russia the theories of Fabianisin in operation. To understand fully what is meant by that special brand of “socialism" a knowledge of the period in which it originated, together with the working-class organisations and their leaders that were engaged in the general struggle for notoriety, would be useful.

The necessity for this background, however, is obviated by Shaw himself in his article (Sunday Express, 30.12.45) in which he repeats, for his readers' benefit, the main articles of the Fabian faith. The most important is: Government by Experts, as is fully indicated in the following quotation :—
"What new discovery had Russia made, and what lesson learnt from all this? Simply that, as all great publicists from Aristotle to de Quincey have seen, there are the two basic incomes in civilised society, one for directed soldiers and peasants, mechanics and labourers who can do only what they are told to do with materials supplied, and the other for business directors, inventors, mathematicians, philosophers, financiers, artists and rulers"
The idea of “business directors, financiers and rulers” being necessary under Socialism is more than a little cock-eyed coming from an alleged authority on Socialism, more especially as, with a few others, he started the Fabian Society some sixty years ago with the declared purpose of popularising Socialism. But there it is: "The road to hell is often paved with good intentions." On the road, too, are many shoddy counterfeits. Here's one:—
“Stalin declared for collective farming and Socialism in a single country to begin with, and at once became, without knowing it, the Arch-Fabian of Europe.”
The Fabians talked about Socialism as if it were something which was to be inflicted on the people from above. And they got themselves talked about for a time, which, perhaps was more important, for them. They were lost sight of and forgotten by most people, but now Shaw has discovered that their work had borne fruit, in far-off Russia, a country so backward that 25 years ago 90 per cent. of the people could neither read nor write. But since then, what a change! Education has even reached the stage where the people understand Fabianism, and Hewlett Johnson will have to change the title of his book from "the Socialist Sixth" to the Fabian Sixth: a title that might not be quite so misleading, as there are many people who, having heard about the Fabians, never connect them with Socialism. Lenin seemed to be one of them, for Shaw writes: —
"Webb and myself, formerly pitied by Lenin as 'good men fallen among Fabians,' remained the staunchest champions of Soviet Russia in the west. And in spite of all the surprises and delusions, we believe that Fabian Russia will pull through yet, and that as she has made all the mistakes foe us, we should take care not to make them all over again, which is the worst peril at present threatening us."
It must be already apparent that the British Labour Government is modelled on the Fabian plan, according to Shaw, who cannot permit Laski to be undisputed advisor. Hence his warning of the perils ahead.

Not the least of the perils hinted at are the trade unions and their demands: "Trade unionism in Russia has annexed the State: In England it is still fighting the State." But we are left in doubt whether in Shaw's view the trade unions, here should be permitted to go on fighting, or whether the State should allow itself to be "annexed." A further quotation from Shaw’s article is a flat contradiction of the last one, and a lurid description of Fabianism at work in Russia: —
"What do we find when we visit Russia or read the reports of travellers and witnesses? No freedom at all, everything State controlled. British liberties stamped out as treasonable, and the nearest thing to a British Parliament barely allowed to ventilate grievances for weeks at intervals of years. The strike, the only weapon of the proletariat, banned as conspiracies. Trade unions pressed into the State service, and not tolerated in any independent form. Division of society into rich and poor, manual workers wages varying in the proportion of 10 to 1, those of the brain workers 200 to 1, and the poorer workers with less cash in their pockets than in those of Capitalist England or America."
And that is Russia, after the revolution that was to have ushered in Socialism with the "catastrophic program of Capitalism on Monday, revolution on Tuesday and Socialism in full swing on Wednesday." Thus Shaw jeers at those who say : A new era for humanity will dawn on the day that the organised working-class gains control of the State by a majority vote. There is only one conclusion to be drawn from Shaw's picture of Russian conditions: That Fabianism with its central idea of government by experts leads to dictatorship.

Because nobody to-day denies that Russia is a dictatorship, Shaw in his decrepit nineties has unwittingly slain the creation for which he was partly responsible in his thirties. To his press fans he says " I have two more years to live."

Two years in which to acquire a rational outlook on social problems, to recognise the failure of the Fabian way, and achieve a knowledge of Socialism. Can he do it in the time? As one of his characters would have said, "Not bloody likely." There is just as good a chance that Stalin and Co., or any other Labour caucus, having once achieved power, will voluntarily relinquish that power before they are compelled to do so by the working-class consciously organised for Socialism.
F. Foan