Monday, August 13, 2018

The M.C.H. Again. (1926)

From the August 1926 issue of the Socialist Standard

We call it the M.C.H., familiarly, and easily, because it does not seem such a mouthful as the Materialist Conception of History. Now the M.C.H. presents a difficulty to Mr. F. W. Wood, who writes us from Hackney, a difficulty of a quite peculiar kind. He asks us to publish his letter, and for the benefit of himself and numerous friends, requests our reply. We regret his letter is too diffuse to publish in its entirety, but his point can quite fairly be condensed into a short statement. Here follows the condensation. Mr. Wood has been a supporter of the Socialist Party for years. He thinks he can now claim he has a clear insight into the position of the S.P.G.B. With an unfortunate exception. It is this: He accepts the Materialist Conception of History in its entirety. He is a materialist first, last and all the time. But he finds he has to apply his "materialism” to capitalist society. He further finds that the working class at present seem determined to try the Labour and Communist route to the Promised Land, rather than ours. He agrees, the condition of the working class will get steadily worse, but deplores that the time when they will be compelled to take revolutionary action is inconceivably remote. This brings him to his main point. "If Socialism is still in the dim future, why should I spend time, money and energy in propagating and expounding Socialism, when I sincerely think I will never survive to see that new social order." Mr. Wood asks for a reply "free from vindictiveness,” and not making a butt of him. He shall have it, though we are mildly curious as to why he should make such an observation. Does our journal strike anyone as vindictive? Perish the thought. Honest expression of opinion, and integrity of thought and motive, have nothing to fear but similar qualities from ourselves.

However, to get back to the difficulty. May we suggest, without vindictiveness of course, that our correspondent is a little at sea with his terms. He is a materialist, he says. What does that word mean, precisely? We have found it mean different things to different people. It is often used as a synonym for selfishness. It is often given a sinister twist by 'being coupled with "grossly”—grossly materialist. It is sometimes applied to a plain, matter-of-fact individual who responds to no sentimental or idealist appeals. But these are all colloquial meanings. In philosophy it has a fairly definite meaning, but as Mr. Wood is not concerning himself with philosophy, that need not detain us. But a materialist in any of these senses need not necessarily subscribe to the M.C.H. We think it reasonably certain that Mr. Wood is using the term in the anti-sentimental sense, for he says, why should he give his time, money and energy to educating an unresponsive, inert, working class. There is only one reason, friend, and it is this: You will remember the famous cartoon depicting Ole Bill in a shellhole, up to his armpits in water, and the comforting remark of his pal in an adjoining shell-hole, "If you know of a better ’ole, go to it.” The workers are up to their armpits in the slough of capitalism. We, who can see an inch or two farther than our fellows, tell them how they got into the mess, and how to get out of it. We show that they can only get out of it by united action, as a class. Here and there an individual may climb out by his own exertions, usually on the backs of his fellows, but for the working class to climb out by all becoming capitalists, is obviously absurd. If any individual thinks it a waste of time to urge his fellows to free themselves from slavery, knowing that his own freedom is bound up with theirs, he is quite at liberty to resign himself to his fate, and explain the matter to himself under any heading he pleases. Why not become a capitalist? If the workers won’t move on their own behalf, climb on their backs. But remember there is only limited room. Every rich man means so many thousand poor. You can have a flock of sheep and one tiger, but you cannot have a flock of tigers and one sheep.

Let us hasten to assure Mr. Wood that we are not abstaining from becoming capitalists for purely sentimental reasons. If he can tell us of a fairly expeditious way— (we are past our first youth)—of taking our place with the captains of industry, we shall be delighted to hear of it. But, as a "materialist,” surely he does not ask us to believe he is deliberately avoiding the pleasure of becoming a capitalist, whilst he sacrifices himself in the service of his fellow worker’s enlightenment. Is it not rather the clear recognition that we, the working class, will never be anything else that irresistibly compels us to revolt.

We make that revolt intelligently and consciously, knowing the futility of any other course. We realise we can only revolt as a class, and we must organise as a class. We took the first steps by joining and organising a party to represent the aspirations of our class. If our fellows are dull, or deaf, they are damned, and so are we. We cannot rise without them.

One final word on the M.C.H. A materialist need not necessarily support the Materialist Conception of History. Quite often the contrary. Although at first sight a cumbrous title, it really stands for a very simple thing. History is the written record of the doings of mankind in the past. Thousands read it, few study it. Of the students some think they discern some driving motive or source of action that has driven society through its successive stages, to the present blissful epoch. Some would ascribe the major credit to the work of the Church, others to the wisdom of kings, some to the ability of statesmen, others to a succession of heroes and great men. The M.C.H., however, the supreme work of the genius of Marx and Engels, says that there is something greater than all these. The superstructure of society, it says; its laws and institutions are fundamentally based on the material conditions in that society. As Mr. Wood says, he has read the Socialist Standard for years, he will readily recollect frequent articles on the subject, several quite recently, so there is no need to go over the ground again. Let him get away from the “superior person" attitude and the viewing of the working class as some entity which does not include ourselves. We are in it; we are of it; we are the working class. The only individual question we should permit ourselves is, "What am I doing about it?’’
W. T Hopley

Trade Unions and the Employers. (1927)

Editorial from the August 1927 issue of the Socialist Standard

While we support any move which will eliminate the existing craft outlook and other barriers which separate trade unionists, we do not make the mistake of supposing that the problems of the working class will be solved by the mere substitution of one great union for many smaller ones. What is of much greater importance is to get the workers to see that capitalism itself is the enemy. The remedy, Socialism, means, not high wages or low wages, but the abolition of the wages system. Trade unions, whether few or many, could not achieve this end, even if the members desired it, which at present the majority do not. A useful corrective to attaching too much importance to a mere change of the form of organisation is contained in a remark made by Mr. Bevin in a speech advocating trade union amalgamation at the conference of the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
  Nobody welcomed their amalgamation more than the employers, who now met one body instead of dozens, with their internecine friction (“Daily Herald,” July 20).
Trade union amalgamation requires nothing more than some small adjustments in the administration of the employers’ industries. Socialism means the end of the employing class. Employers, therefore, under certain conditions, welcome amalgamation. Under no conditions do employers offer such a welcome to the work of the Socialist Party.

The I.L.P's Confession (1928)

From the August 1928 issue of the Socialist Standard
  The I.L.P. is certainly not committed to advocating “the overthrow of the Capitalist system." Its Socialism in Our Time programme (and I think I have done a little to defend it against its critics) is a carefully reasoned out programme which, as the I.L.P. states in its resolution, “aims at the immediate raising of the standard of life of the working classes and the transference of the key sources of power within Capitalism to the community.” That is a line of policy which does not mean the "overthrow of the Capitalist system.”
The Acting Editor of Forward—the I.L.P. journal—writes the above in the issue of July 7th. It is a very candid and timely confession on the part of these gentlemen of the I.L.P. that they do not stand for the overthrow of the Capitalist System. “The immediate raising of the standard of life” is one of those general phrases which will easily fit into any reformer’s programme and means practically nothing.

The Russian Upheaval. (1905)

From the December 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Pseudo-Socialist Press and organisations, who here at home are preaching social reform and palliation as bona fide Socialism with impunity, have naturally not the least compunction in presenting international labour struggles or national working-class action in other countries in the light of the reform movement. Their accounts and criticisms of recent Russian events have been so grossly misleading and exaggerated as to the real proletarian position that it becomes necessary to place before the workers of this country, however briefly, the situation in Russia from the Socialist standpoint.

Some of the aforementioned critics have asserted that large numbers of those Russian workers who have been and are now engaged in strikes and demonstrations against the Government are class-conscious Socialists fighting the “social battle” of the working-class; others have praised the principles of the General Strike as deserving emulation by a “United Socialist Party in Great Britain” and especially as a prelude to the “Social Revolution”; and others again, particularly those who, believing in the emancipation of the workers by a long series of reforms enacted by a Liberal-cum-Labour party, have expressed their admiration of the intelligence and tact displayed by the Russian toilers in “working so gallantly hand-in-hand with the other forces of progress and revolution in the corrupt Empire of the Czar” for, as they call it, the “freedom of all”.

No one can gainsay the fact that the Russian workers have in the present upheaval shown great power of organisation and class solidarity, but, on the other hand, nobody understanding even in the smallest degree the causes of the great Russian crisis can honestly assert that the struggle in which the Russian workers now are taking part by means of strikes and demonstrations is distinctly working-class in character.

In order to obtain a clear conception of the real meaning of the whole outbreak it is necessary to consider briefly the historic course and present stage of Russian economic development.

Although factories and workshops in Russia date from the period in which Peter the Great ascended the throne (1696), the beginning of modern capitalism, the industrialism of this epoch, can be distinctly traced to the sixties of the nineteenth century. When in 1861, Alexander the Second by an imperial ukase abolished serfdom it was not for the purpose of uplifting the toilers, but this breaking of ancient ties, so vociferously applauded at the time by the bourgeoisie of other countries, had become an economic necessity. Russia, whose industrial activity had until then almost exclusively been given to agriculture, was suddenly roused to the fact that the new world with its virgin soil, its highly developed machinery and scientific methods of production was becoming not only a formidable competitor in the international markets of agricultural produce, but that Russia ran the risk of being altogether cut out, unless it encouraged and helped on agricultural production on modern capitalist lines. Above all was the “Liberation of the serfs” directed towards the creation of a working-class, free to sell its labour power to the highest bidder, a class which, being without property and unable to find employment on the land, would migrate to the towns, there to enable the bourgeoisie to develop industrialism like the rest of western civilisation.

At the present time two-fifths of the land in Russia is held by the State, consisting mostly of forests and wasteland; one-fourth is owned by land proprietors, and one-third by peasants. Of a population estimated at 140 millions, about half belong to the peasantry, and quite 20 millions to the agricultural labouring class employed by the land proprietors. The industrial population of the towns, including railway workers and miners, does not exceed 15 millions in number, that is to say, there are only about 3 million industrial workers throughout the whole of Russia.

And now as to the economic position of the working population. The peasants’ conditions of existence are becoming more and more intolerable owing to their intense exploitation by means of imperial and local taxes, direct and indirect, and to the keen competition of the large agriculturists in Russia and abroad. The only means of keeping the peasant in subjection is a sop of a little more land to increase the scope of his income. But this remedy is impossible for a length of time and applicable only sectionally with the aid of the aristocratic land proprietors, who run in fear of losing their lives should the peasantry rise in rebellion against them. The agricultural labourers working for the farm proprietors are gradually reduced in circumstances. Great numbers of them, having been thrown out of employment, migrate to the towns, and still more congest and overcrowd the industrial labour market, making the conditions of the industrial workers more and more deplorable. Competition is increased, the level of subsistence is lowered, and very little new capital is being invested in industrial undertakings owing to the financial insecurity of aristocratic rule, the exploitation of all those producing is becoming unbearable. The largest proportion of the wealth exploited from the peasants, the agricultural labourers and the industrial workers finds its way into the pockets of the Ruler and his family, the aristocratic land proprietors, the bureaucracy, and the merchant princes. The smaller capitalists of the bourgeois class, denied the opportunity of exploiting labour without let or hindrance, owing to the privileges and powers of mediaeval origin possessed by the ruling class, make common cause with the workers, whom they induce, by means of the strike, to fight out the political battle of the capitalist bourgeoisie.

Now it must be borne in mind that although Feudalism was formally discarded in Russia in 1861, the social and juridical changes that have in every other country accompanied the economic revolution ushering in the capitalist system of unhampered competition were stubbornly withheld. Capitalism without universal capitalist conditions in the social and juridical respect must naturally produce economic dilemma, and in Russia the thirty years of capitalist industrialism in an economic atmosphere nourished on the social and political soil of autocracy were bound to bring this pronounced contradiction to a head, an unhappy, disastrous war completing the chain of economic failure. Thus it is that we have on the one hand the peasants sucked completely dry by the ruthless taxation, the agricultural labourers despoiled to starvation level, many deprived of employment altogether owing to aggravated competition within the country and from abroad; the industrial workers collapsing under the super-human burden of oppression, over-work and starvation pay, more and more influenced by the growing number of unemployed agricultural labourers pouring into the towns in search of work, and on the other hand ever more wealth accumulation on the part of the Autocrat and his henchmen, the archdukes, aristocrats, large land-owners, high officials, merchant princes, and big capitalists.

The disgusted and envious bourgeoisie comprising the manufacturers, merchants, and professionals in Law, Art, Science and Literature forced to stand by and see the wealth scooped in by their superiors in privilege, corruption and violence, raise an outcry for capitalist liberty and equality, and the revolutionary spirit seizing the enraged and oppressed working-class, they join the revolution in sheer despair, hoping to gain some amelioration by participating in the fight for a “free capitalist Russia”.

The bourgeoisie by the aid of working-class strikes and demonstrations succeed in removing the terrible contradiction in the semi-capitalist system, a constitution is granted and all capitalists, small and great, and their hangers-on rejoice, for now at last will they be able to flourish in the enjoyment of free competition.

But for the working-class there is nothing but a return to wretchedness and the outlook of gloom and despair and unless indeed they have learned the lesson of reliance upon no other class but their own to effect that amelioration in their condition that they desire, so only will they attain to that class-consciousness with its appreciation of the universal solidarity of proletarian interests that shall presently deliver them and with them the whole human family from the throes of slavery for evermore.
Hans Neumann

"Verily, 'tis a great country." (1905)

Snippet from the July 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

Major Roper W. Caldbeck, delivering an address before the Army League, said that every year 8,869 men were invalided, 7,162 deserted, 2,903 were discharged for misconduct, 1.563 were discharged as not likely to become efficient, and 21,943 were committed to Military Prisons (excluding India), and and the Army Estimates for 1905-6 provided an extra sum of £95,000 for “additional prison accommodation." Verily, 'tis a great country.

Party Notes. (1906)

Party News from the July 1906 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Quarterly Delegate Meeting will be held at The Communist Club on Saturday, July 28th, at 6.30pm. The Quarterly Report and Financial Statement will be sent to branches immediately the Branch Return Sheets are all received at Head Office, to enable the Report to be completed.

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The Islington branch deserve a few words mention of their splendid literature sales during the quarter. Of The Socialist Standard they have taken 156 copies of April issue, 377 copies of May and 533 copies of June, making a grand total of 1,066. During the same period they have taken 650 copies of the S.P.G.B. Manifesto.

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Of course, we know that all branches cannot go and do likewise, but the sales by other branches clearly prove that nearly all are doing better this season than last.

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The E.C.  have been in communication with Mr. H. J. Wishart, of Woolwich I.L.P., who has publicly expressed his desire to debate the policy of the S.P.G.B. Full particulars will be announced later.

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By the Lecture List it will be seen that meetings have been restarted at Watford. The action of the police will be awaited with some interest.

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Back numbers of The Socialist Standard can be had through any Branch Secretary or from the Central Offices of the Party, 28. Cursitor Street, E.C.

An Open Letter to Robert Blatchford: Wanted — A Party. (1907)

From the July 1907 issue of the Socialist Standard

My Dear Robert,

If it isn’t a rode question, where have you been living for the past three years? 1 did hear you had been in London most of the time, but 1 can hardly credit that. Unless, indeed, you have “sported the oak” of your reading room to the exclusion of all information from the outside world. But that can’t be, for I have observed articles from your pen on current topics. You must have kept in communication with London affairs, and as you call yourself a Socialist, I take it you have kept touch with the Socialist movement in London. Or relied upon somebody to keep you in touch. If so, if you have relied upon somebody, he has let you down and made you look silly. He has made you write: “We want a real Socialist Party . . . we have an S.D.F. and an I.L.P. and a L.R.C. and a Fabian Society; but we have not a British Socialist Party. What is to be done ? ”

What is to be done? Well! Had you asked me I should have answered—wake up! If I, as a London Socialist writer, said, “we have a Justice and a Labour Leader and Daily Mail but we have not a Clarion,” you would think that my education in such matters had been neglected.

Everybody in London professing Socialism knows of the Clarion, and by the same token everybody in London professing Socialism knows of The Socialist. Party of Great Britain, or their education in such matters is defective.

We have not a British Socialist Party! Why, I’ve been a member of the British Socialist Party three years. This paper is issued by—just the Party you are enquiring for, a real Socialist Party.

And you didn’t know of its existence. Oh! Robert, Robert, where have you been buried ?

No, don't thank me. This is the fellowship. I confess to the greatest astonishment that you were ignorant of this good thing, but the discharging of my fellowship obligation in sending you the news calls for no thanks. Only mark that “Socialism” is not S.D.F’ism or l.LP'ism or Fabianism or even Clarionism. They are quite different things, as we show in our “Manifesto,” and in this journal. It was precisely because we had discovered that S.D.F’ism and the rest did not make for Socialism that we anticipated your desire for
A Real Socialist Party.
We are very emphatic on this point, and you will readily see how necessary such emphasis is. The clear duty of a real Socialist Party is to work for real Socialism. It has no justification for existence apart from that.

It is urged that conceptions as to what constitutes work for real Socialism may properly differ, Conceptions on this point among Socialists should not differ: do not in fact. The only work a Socialist can do is to preach Socialism. He can never preach anything that conflicts with his Socialism while he remains a Socialist; for that is to obscure his Socialism and to stultify himself as a Socialist.

Suppose he becomes an advocate for Payment of Members as the S.D.F. member does, a little Women's Suffrage, after the fashion of the I. L.P'er, Municipal Public Houses, like unto the Fabian, what then? In the first place his Socialism has receded, however temporarily, into a secondary position. Socialism is not being preached — the working class crying for bread is given— a stone. Secondly he is doing work that needs no Socialist Party at all. Thirdly the particular reform worked for will not appreciably affect the condition of the working class as such. Fourthly  it will therefore have wasted the working-class strength concentrated upon realising it. Fifthly it will, because it has effected no material improvement in working class conditions, have bred disappointment, and, from disappointment, apathy. And finally it will have made existing confusion worse confounded in the minds of the working class.

Therefore I contend that preaching Socialism and explaining the phenomena of industrial development in the light of Socialism is the proper work of a Socialist. If he does any other propaganda work he is not a Socialist.

In the issue of the Clarion which contained your note already quoted, you plead for the all- sufficiency of the logical method. You say “If we overleap logic we overleap ourselves and land in a bog of confusion and disappointment,” which is very true. I am all for the logical method, therefore, I think that the argument I have submitted is strictly logical. If yon think otherwise perhaps yon will confute me.

Now will you turn to our Declaration of Principles on the back page and read it closely. It is an important pronouncement. So important that we reproduce it in every issue. It is important to you if you want a real British Socialist Party, because it is the base of the real British Socialist Party—which you will have to sign before yon can realise your desire. Perhaps you will point out wherein we overleap logic.

I will anticipate one objection you may raise. It is raised by your non-Socialist S.D.F., I.L.P., F.S. and the rest. It is our statement of hostility to all other political parties.

You may think we are too narrow, too doctrinaire. You may think it an impossible position, as the others do, but is it? I ask you, Robert, to proceed with your examination logically, without regard to the feelings of members of other political parties; without concern for the probable effect upon the sale of the Clarion. Proceed as you did in your examination of Christianity.

We are only interested in the maintenance of truth. Truth can only be maintained inside the logical method. "If we overleap logic we overleap ourselves and land in a bog of confusion and disappointment.’’ Therefore,—the truth, even if it means that we become for the time as voices crying in the wilderness.

The cause of working-class misery is private ownership of the means of life. The interests of the workers, who do not own the means of life, are opposed to the interests of the capitalists, who do own them. This clash of interests is the class struggle. I presume we may take that as read.

These things continue because
The working class are ignorant.
Although their interests continually clash with those of their masters, they do not understand that this is inevitable. Nor do they understand that their masters' ownership of the means of life is at the bottom of the trouble. We may take this as read also.

Now why, with this continual conflict of interest, do the working class remain ignorant ? And why are they so desperately apathetic? Is their ignorance not because the truth has not been told? And is their apathy not born largely of disappointment with the results of past efforts of their class to secure some amelioration of their condition?

We need not enquire for the moment into the honesty of working-class teachers and leaders. We need only deal with the teaching and leading.

The school instruction of the working class is not such as would enable the child to get a glimmering of the truth of the position. It would be surprising if the capitalist class, dominant in the legislature (because dominance there is essential to the maintenance of their economic ascendancy) should take steps to instruct the children of the working class concerning working-class poverty, So we will consider the teaching and leading the workers receive alter they have entered the industrial and political arenas.

Now do the majority of working-class teachers | teach that the working-class position is inevitable under present conditions? that there is no name given under heaven whereby the working class may be saved except Socialism? that until Socialism there can be no cessation of the clash of interests between Capital and Labour?—that the class struggle persists unflaggingly? 

Leave out of account those who do not claim to be Socialists. If Socialism is the only remedy, and they are not Socialists, their teaching cannot be right because they do not teach Socialism. That’s agreed, I think.

But what of those who profess Socialism? My answer is that although they talk of it occasionally, they do not teach it. Nor do their leadings square with their occasional professions.

The important thing in a teacher of Socialism is that it should always be Socialism that he teaches. If he does not explain every manifestation of class conflict in the light of his Socialist philosophy, he is little, if any, better than the non-Socialist misleader. His teaching is neither logical nor consistent. He lands his audience in a bog of confusion.

And if, as very frequently happens, his actions directly conflict with his
Occasional Socialist Professions;
if he mouths the class straggle and the fundamental importance of its full appreciation, what time he is doing those things which can only obscure the appreciation of the class struggle, I submit that he can only be classified under one of two heads. Either he is a fraud or a fool.

These be hard words, Robert, but they are not bitter, for I also am a Determinist.

However, the working class ignorance and apathy which must be dispelled before Socialism can be realised, so far from being effectively combatted by working-class leaders and teachers are contributed to by most of them. For example. If I were to tell the unemployed that unemployment must last as long as capitalism and were then to recommend them to send a deputation to the representatives of the capitalists to ask that they [the capitalists] should abolish unemployment, I should either be a knave or a fool. 1 should have cut myself off from logic and landed my audience in a bog of confusion and disappointment. If I argue that capitalist representatives are in control of the political machinery to conserve their own interests as against those of the working class (as we all agree is and must be the case); and that we must regard capitalist representatives always as a hostile force against whom war must be waged unceasingly until they are utterly vanquished. And if in face of that I suspend hostilities and enter into alliance with them, I overleap logic and land my followers in the bog of confusion and disappointment.

If I postulate that poverty and misery must last till Socialism, that until Socialism nothing can materially or permanently affect the position; if I say that palliatives are therefore of little use, so little use indeed that I must have a party that shall concentrate upon the thing that matters (Socialism) rather than the things that do not matter (palliatives); and if notwithstanding I secure that my organisation, founded because palliatives were not good enough, shall concentrate working-class effort upon the realisation of palliatives, I am riding rough-shod over logic and doing my level best to engulf my followers in the pit of impotence and despair.

Well, dear Robert, that is precisely what your S.D.F., I.L.P., Fabian Society, and—yes, and your Clarion are doing. If you want details I have told you already where you can get some. If you want a special list of
Clarionese Fatuities
say the word.

You think highly of the Clarion, naturally. I think myself it is an excellent pen’orth too— sometimes. But it is not a Socialist paper. It is written to please those who fancy themselves “advanced’’ and caters for the organisations to which the “advanced” person belongs. It will give space to anything or anybody bearing one of the many recognised labels. But it wont give space to the S.P.G.B. representative who wishes to reply to a misleading reference to his Party, which is the more curious because you are enquiring for the Party.

The “Clarion” is not a Socialist Paper.
It is a jumble,—a gorgeous, inconsistent, illogical jumble. Which wouldn’t matter tuppence if it didn’t help throw the workers into confusion.

But the pity of it, Robert, the pity of it! You might do good work for Socialism if only your vaunted adherence to principle was a matter of fact instead of a figment of fancy. With your fine literary sense, your faculty for the selection of the apt phrase and the illuminating quotation, the appeal of your imagery, the grace of your style these powers might make a mighty instrument in the education of the working class. Instead of which you handle pitch and are defiled; you persist in the folly of emphasising non-essentials and scamping essentials until I begin to fear you must for ever remain a stumbling block and a rock of offence.

That’s what I had in my mind when I said that having had the Socialist Party of Great Britain, the party you are enquiring for, brought to your notice, and having decided that it is the party you must apply for membership in, you must do all in your power for Socialism, as distinguished from S.D.F’ism, Clarionisin, and the rest. “We are all Socialists now,” quoth a certain knight now dead, and I suppose he spake as truly as he knew. Yet he was absurdly wide of the mark. Not every one who proclaims himself Socialist shall find place in the ranks of the Socialist army. Not those whose desire is personal aggrandisement, nor those who aspire to superintend the workers’ activities, nor the experts nor the superior persons nor the palliators, nor the compromisers, nor the hosts of the otherwise damned are of the confraternity of working-class educators. Rather are they conscious and unconscious perpetuators of ignorance, workers of evil, misleaders, and false friends. But those who, understanding the working-class relation to the economy of production; understanding the forces that have been at work through all history to present in this the twentieth century that appalling anomaly of a starving people in the midst of a riot of wealth of their own creation; understanding how the physical and intellectual well-being of the workers is conditioned by the measure of their control of the means by which they live; understanding that control of these means of life can only be secured by workers similarly enlightened; those who understanding these things and the necessity for eliminating every factor tending to confuse the issue in the working-class mind, have set themselves steadfastly to the task of translating their knowledge into clear, logical, consistent action to the end that their fellows may the more readily acquire the knowledge that shall make them free, only these are the Socialists and only these can form in England or elsewhere, the Socialist Party.

And that, Robert, is all I can say to you today, and I hope it will be helpful if not to you at least to some others and lead them to come over and help us. At present the labourers are few. You if you will may help to make them many. If you will not, well, we must needs do without you. This is the fellowship.

And so no more at present from—
                                                                                                                                     Yours truly,
'Filius Populi'