Saturday, February 27, 2021

Neither coal or dole (1993)

From the February 1993 issue of the Socialist Standard
  "The underground mining of coal is an arduous and potentially dangerous occupation, even using modern mechanised methods . . . the mining of thermal-grade coal could, in theory, be eliminated"—scientific report quoted in Independent, 30 November.
Imagine today’s headlines in a future, sane society. “Savage Government Axe Kills 30,000 Mining Jobs” screams the headline. How would someone from a future society, one based on common ownership of all the worlds resources, view such a message?

The first difficulty would surely concern trying to decipher the language. Such words as "Government" and "Jobs” would be as anachronistic as Middle English is to us today. Once the problem of defining the meaning of these words had been overcome the more difficult task of interpreting the meaning of the message and the various reactions to it would have to be tackled.

In a sane world the news that 30,000 people would be liberated from a tiresome and dangerous task would surely occasion great rejoicing. Imagine, then, people from a sane society trying to make sense of the storm the government announcement of the loss of 30,000 mining jobs has caused. They would have great difficulty in doing so if they were not well versed in the peculiar absurdities of the present system we live under.

Firstly, it would come as a great surprise to them that it was the miners themselves who objected most to the news that they were no longer needed to go down the mines. If our friend from the future assumed from this that miners were some kind of masochistic martyrs to an obscure cause she could be forgiven.

"The miners are upset because they will not have to go down the mines any more” does not really tell the truth though, even though our friend from the future might be led to believe this by reading and listening to some of the media coverage of this issue. The miners are upset because they are being denied use of their one marketable attribute in a world that is one big marketplace. They are being denied the chance to sell their labour power because their employer has decided that it is no longer required.

Cartoon by Peter Rigg.
Our friend from another place will need some help in understanding the forces at work here. In the sane society where she comes from work is only undertaken if society as a whole decides it is necessary or if it gives pleasure. There are no economic factors to distort the issues against humanity. If energy is required to sustain a desirable way of life then ways are sought to obtain that energy in a way that is most convenient to most people. If people decided that coal-mining was an option they would like to use then the work could be done on a rota basis by as few people as possible for as little time as is needed.

However, coal-mining would be unlikely to be an option humans would need to undertake since either machines could be developed to do the work or other forms of energy, such as wind and sun power could be developed. In a sane, moneyless world the development of such energy sources would not be hindered by the financial interests of a small powerful minority or by the workers who depend on obsolete industries. In such a world we would not see people who had hitherto had to do unpleasant tasks for the benefit of all complaining that their burden had been lifted.

Having been completely baffled why the liberation of people from a dangerous and needless toil should be such a contentious issue our friend from a sane world would then have to try to cope with the even more baffling arguments each side put forward in defence of either keeping the mines open or closing them down. Here our friend would once again have to master terms completely alien to her own environment.

Arthur Scargill argues that mining is more economical (for “economical" read profitable to the ruling class) than other forms of obtaining fuel and that therefore the miners should be allowed to continue their thankless task. Our friend, on discovering the meaning of this strange word "profit”, would be surprised to learn that Scargill was putting the case for the miners.

Divorced by time and experience from the propaganda of the profit era, she would see profit for what it plainly is— the robbery of the working class by their employers. Scargill's assertion that it is more profitable to exploit miners than other types of workers in similar industries would seem like another reason why the miners should wish to discontinue their occupation.

The employer's stance would be equally baffling. To blame lack of productivity for the closure of the mines in a time of recession would take a jump in logic that our friend would find well nigh impossible. Outside of the warped logic prevalent under capitalism historians would have a clear understanding of what caused periods of recession.

Our friend would know that a recession, purely a historical phenomenon not affecting her own era of a sane social system where goods are produced only to satisfy human needs, was caused when workers had produced too much for their masters to sell. Recessions, and all the hardships these entailed for the working class, only occurred when the warehouses of the world were overflowing with the goods that the people who had produced them were in need of. Our friend would probably become dizzy if she tried to follow the verbal gymnastics of those who apologized or endorsed the system that made these recessions inevitable.

I doubt if she would be able to come to grips at all with the contradictions of capitalism. Anyone brought up in a sane world, where all the technological advances that had been made under the adverse conditions of enforced scarcity had been utilized for the benefit of the whole of mankind, would never be able to understand why it took so long for the majority of people to do away with a system that denied them so much when an abundance of all that was necessary for a pleasant and fulfilled life was there for the taking.

The mining fiasco, along with such things as the war in the former Yugoslavia and the starving millions in various countries around the world, are but the latest details in the rich tapestry of bitter lessons the dispossessed majority have had to endure in their acceptance of the capitalist system. Only when the majority of people come to fully appreciate the wonderful future that it is within their power to create will "our friend” cease to be a figment of our imagination and become the people around us. Until then the tragedies brought to us every day on the news will remain.

Irish Labour in power (1993)

From the February 1993 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Irish general election which took place in November has been generally described by the political commentators as a “watershed” and “mould-breaking”. The Irish Labour Party achieved its best result ever, winning its largest percentage of first preference votes (19.3 percent) and its highest number of seats in the Dail. It made breakthroughs in parts of the country where it never had Dail representation before. By contrast, a major rival, the nationalist Fianna Fail party saw its share of the vote fall to its lowest level since 1927.

As no one party achieved an overall majority at the election, discussions got under way between the various leaderships on the formation of the next government. It was clear that Labour, with their increased parliamentary presence, was going to be a significant part of whatever government emerged. In the event Labour went into coalition with Fianna Fail under the outgoing Prime Minister Reynolds. Labour, which identified unemployment as the single biggest issue facing the working class in Ireland, will thus now be attempting to manage capitalism to tackle this problem. It will not be its first attempt at this task. Nor the first time it will fail.

Trade union appendage
The Labour Party was founded by the Irish Trade Union movement in 1912, ten years before the establishment of the Irish Free State. For its first twenty years it was an appendage of the union movement and did not in fact organizationally become independent from the Trade Union Congress until 1930. Until this time it was unashamedly “a party of trade unionists for trade unionists” (Mitchell, The Irish Labour Party) ; and in fact remained so in spirit until the 1960s. Although two noted Irish left-wingers, James Connolly and James Larkin, were involved in its foundation, the party was entirely reformist and unlike the Labour Party in Britain did not even propose a nominal socialist reconstruction of society. It contented itself with ultra-incrementalist measures like “an extra half ounce of tea for all agricultural workers”! (Gallagher, The Irish Labour Party in Transition).

Electoral support for Labour remained weak: it typically received 10 percent of the vote at general elections. Surprisingly its strength in Dublin was traditionally low, until it broadened its appeal to include “progressive" elements. Notwithstanding Labour's union connection, most Irish workers opted for the populist corporatism of Fianna Fail. The party’s parliamentary composition consisted of conservative rural deputies, having little interest in or knowledge of socialism, and surviving electorally by the effective use of favoritism. Many of these politicians used the Labour banner simply as a flag of convenience. So much so that in 1967 the more ideological Dublin branches felt it necessary to demand that parliamentary candidates “should have a basic knowledge of Labour policy” (Irish Times, 19 September 1967).

Labour has participated in government four times in the last half-century; twice in the 1940s and 1950s, and in the 1970s and 1980s. On each occasion it was the junior partner with the avowedly pro-capitalist party Fine Gael. Unemployment has been an endemic economic problem for Ireland for most of this century. Labour has always identified it as a particular priority though it has increased significantly during all of their periods in power.

Abortion issue
Why then have a large section of the Irish working class turned to Labour this time? Undoubtedly a part of its support is due to dissatisfaction with the economic policies of the previous government; unemployment has grown inexorably to 300,000, which at 19 percent of the working population is amongst the highest in Europe; and almost a third of the population are subsisting on some form of social welfare. Also a judicial tribunal into the operation of the beef industry revealed an embarrassing web of corruption, involving major capitalists in that industry and prominent members of the ruling Fianna Fail party.

However support for Labour also came from a secular section of Irish society. The election was held simultaneously with a constitutional referendum on abortion. An absolutist position, completely outlawing abortion had been enshrined in the constitution. at the urgings of the Catholic hierarchy after an earlier referendum in 1983. The more recent referendum was an attempt to humanize the situation; allowing women the right to receive information on foreign abortion services, to travel abroad to avail themselves of these services and to permit abortion in Ireland in some very restricted cases. Needless to say under capitalism, humanism and civil rights were not the only issues. The European Court had found the existing Irish position to be a violation of EC free trade laws, whereby a national of one member country is entitled to avail themselves of services in another. The referendum was passed and Labour perceived as having greater anti-clerical credentials picked up electoral support on the issue.

After the election, in spite of their campaign rhetoric, the Labour leadership quickly commenced negotiations with the other parties about the formation of the next government. They obviously forgot their previous denunciations of these same parties as "the failed parties of the right”. In coming to a deal with Fianna Fail behind closed doors Labour, which during the election had made noises about the lack of openness and ethical behaviour in Irish politics, was seemingly oblivious to the anti-democratic fact that the next government policies were created by secret backroom deals.

Socialists can immediately tell the Labour Party that their attempts to actively reduce unemployment and promote "equality” are doomed to failure under the current economic system. Indeed, even some capitalist commentators doubt Labour’s plans to produce growth by borrowing, given that a large part of financial policy is constrained by the Maastricht convergence criteria. This is the EC-wide mechanism by which the currencies of each of the member states (except Britain and Denmark) will converge to produce monetary union sometime at the end of this decade.

How then do socialists view political developments in Ireland? The futility of Labour-reformist parties trying to ameliorate capitalism has been exposed many times this century. This is even more apparent in Ireland given that Labour will be in coalition with Fianna Fail and that in any case the parameters governing the Irish economy are very dependent on EC decisions. It is expected that some liberalization will occur, under Labour’s influence, over social issues such as abortion, divorce, homosexuality and contraception and socialists will welcome this wholeheartedly.

However our greatest interest in the election arises from the fact that a significant change has occurred in the Irish political arena, albeit within the confines of capitalism. The task of persuading a majority of our fellow workers of the necessity of a complete change in our social system can be pursued more vigorously in a dynamic political climate where old certainties are beginning to crumble.
Kevin Cronin

1994 Euro-elections: appeal for funds (1993)

Party Appeal from the February 1993 issue of the Socialist Standard

We are planning to contest at least 2 and maybe 3 seats in the elections to the European Parliament which will take place in June next year. To do this we shall of course need money.

At the moment the amount in our Election Fund—left over from contributions made for our general election campaign last year—is £1419. We shall need at least four times this amount to pay the deposits and run a credible campaign.

We are therefore appealing again to all those who wish to get the Socialist message across—contesting three seats would allow us to put the case for socialism to three-quarters of a million voters—to contribute to building up our election fund. In fact the final decision as to how many seats to contest, if any, will partly depend on how much we have in our Election Fund by the end of the year.

Any contributions should be sent to: Election Fund, the Socialist Party, 52 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UN. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ”the Socialist Party of Great Britain”.

Labour Foreign Minister Bevin and his predecessors (1946)

From the February 1946 issue of the Socialist Standard

Those who take on the responsibility of running the capitalist system have not much choice in the way they do it; their policies are largely determined by the system itself. In theory the Labour Party profess to recognise this. In their “Programme of Action ” published in 1934 under the title “For Socialism and Peace,” they declared that “the choice before the nation is either a vain attempt to patch up the superstructure of a capitalist society in decay at its very foundations, or a rapid advance to a Socialist reconstruction of the national life. There is no halfway house . . .” They recognised, too, that anarchy in the relationship of nations is as much the result of capitalism as is economic anarchy—“both spring from the fundamental and incurable anarchy of capitalism.” Their Programme made the following claim:—
   “Because it is a Socialist Party, the Labour Party believes in the brotherhood of man. The advance of science has bound the peoples of the world together by a thousand ties. It has also produced instruments of destruction so potent that the institution of war has become incompatible with the survival of civilisation: The Labour Party regards war as senseless and wicked, a blasphemy against the human spirit. It detests natural and racial as much as class barriers.”
Now that the Labour Party is in power its promise to introduce Socialism at home and to pursue the “brotherhood of man” abroad is being put to the test. Instead of attempting to introduce Socialism (for which it did not receive or even seek a mandate at the election) it is extending state capitalism by nationalising various industries while retaining all of the basic features of capitalism—the wages-system, production for profit and the exploitation of the workers for the benefit of the owning class. The only difference is that some of the owners are in future to hold Government Stock instead of company shares and are to have no hand in management of the undertakings.

Being thus confined within the limits set by capitalism their foreign policy is likewise pre-determined in all its broad lines. With the “brotherhood of man” on their lips they are engaged, like all their Liberal and Tory predecessors, in a high-powered drive to capture foreign markets for British exports. On taking office as Foreign Minister, Mr. Bevin was reported to have said: “British foreign policy will not be altered in any way under the Labour Government” (“Evening News,” 26th July, 1945). This continuity means carrying on the centuries-old policy of controlling trade routes, holding down colonies and protecting foreign investments. All the other Powers, no matter what the political complexion of their government, are engaged in the same cut-throat struggle. Some Labour Party supporters—willing enough to accept the continuity of capitalism at home—are naive enough to imagine that there can be a change of policy abroad. They are becoming suspicious of Mr. Bevin as Foreign Minister. Mr. Harold Laski, Chairman of the Labour Party, is one of these.

Speaking at St. Pancras on 14th November, 1945, he said: “It is a matter of regret and bitter shame that British and Indian troops should be used to restore tyranny in the Pacific areas” (“Daily Mail,” 15th November). He went on to say that they had not fought to free Holland so that financiers in Amsterdam should be allowed to continue exploiting the people of Java, and declared that there was still a marked absence of real will to help in the making of a free India. “We have to decide,” he said, “whether we are capable as a Labour Party to go forward swiftly to the proud day when we can claim to have assisted in the freedom of a great people. I can think of no more acid test of the bona fides of our party than its willingness to go forward in this task of emancipation.”

Mr. Ernest Thurtle, Labour M.P., illustrates the doubts some Labour M.P.’s have about Mr. Bevin's foreign policy by the observation that during House of Commons debates on foreign affairs Mr. Eden, former Conservative Minister for foreign affairs, got more cheers from Labour M.P.’s than did their own Foreign Secretary, Mr. Bevin. The applause for the latter came, he said. “mainly from the Opposition ” (“Sunday Express,” 25th November, 1945). Mr. Thurtle, who goes on to say that “on all the really big international issues Britain presents a united front to the world. And it is a good thing that it should be so,” fails to realise that this united front on foreign affairs means the representation of capitalist interests. The alternative—a policy based on the common interest of the workers of the whole world against the world capitalist class—would mean opposition to British capitalism at home, not acceptance of it.

Another Labour supporter, Mr. Hannen Swaffer, writing in the “People” (30th December, 1945) takes a different view. With his customary superficiality he finds in Mr. Bevin a very successful Foreign Minister. “Ernest Bevin undoubtedly is the Man of 1945.” Swaffer goes on to compare Mr. Bevin with Mr. Arthur Henderson, who was Foreign Minister in the Labour Government of 1929-1931, and declares “ . . . Henderson’s work at Geneva was monumental, and Bevin is today the most influential man in world politics. Very largely it was he who made the Moscow meeting a success. Yet., not long ago, people talked of ‘the ruling classes’.”

The most interesting thing about Mr. Swaffer’s praise of Bevin and Henderson lies not in what he said but in what he forgot to say. He forgot to mention that exactly the same kind of empty claims were being made (notably by Mr. Swaffer among the rest) for Ramsay MacDonald, who was Foreign Minister as well as Prime Minister in Labour’s first government, 1924. Subsequent events, including MacDonald’s lining up with the Conservatives, have amply shown that the claims were baseless. Time will do the same with Mr. Bevin’s reputation. The “Labour Magazine ” (November, 1924, published by the T.U.C. and Labour Party) claimed that “it is no exaggeration to say that Mr. MacDonald’s activities as Foreign Secretary set the seal upon Labour statesmanship. It was a wonderful thing to succeed where his predecessors failed in reconciling France and Germany, and bringing Europe as a whole to accept the Reparations plan as a practicable method of testing the economic possibility of paying reparations without injuring the organised life of the nations concerned. The work of the Labour representatives, headed by Mr. MacDonald, ail the Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva was even more fundamental. It brought world peace and reduction of armaments into the field of practical politics . . . War has been recognised as an international crime.”

We have had the second world war since then, and again the Powers are working hard to be prepared for another. As a footnote to the claims made for Mr. Bevin, the following extracts from the Press need no comment.

Mr. Bevin, in the House of Commons when announcing his policy for Palestine on 13th November, 1945: “I will stake my political future on solving this problem ” (“Daily Telegraph,” 14th November).

Report from the “Daily Express” next day: “The outbreak [of riots in Tel Aviv, Palestine] started as a mass demonstration, broke up shouting 'Down with the White-paper government. Down with Bevin.’ ”

Time will show that the contradictions of capitalism will be no more amenable to the wishes of Mr. Bevin and his Labour Party supporters in the future than they were to his predecessors, Henderson and MacDonald, in the past.
Edgar Hardcastle

The Workers and the State (1946)

From the February 1946 issue of the Socialist Standard

The world’s workers have been conscripted, categorised, rationed and regimented by the power of the State, ruthlessly should they live in dictatorship countries, by their “consent” in the democracies. In spite of this the Socialist view that the State is “the executive committee of the ruling class” is contested by many. Let us therefore take a swift survey of the evidence of history.

The Social institution called the State had its genesis in the advent of private property, and its beginning took place after thousands of years in man’s history, during which he had no concept of private property as such. From these misty eons of time we find that man, and the word includes woman, in the unequal fights against the forces of nature, banded together in tribes or clans in which all implements and provisions were the common property of the whole community, and no trace has been found by philologists of the words mine and thine in use during this immense period of primitive communism.

The tribes practised complete economic and social equality, there being therefore no classes, no law or state, only the observance of the tribal rites and customs; everyone took part in the common tasks of the day and had an equal voice in the election of officers. An injury to one was an injury to all in this democracy where the social relation was that of kinship, and the greatest punishment, banishment to the world of terrors outside the tribe.

Writers on this period of man’s development (Engels' “Origin of the Family”) describe how the “means of production” evolved and changed man from the savage hunting the animals for food armed only with crude weapons, to that of barbarian who now domesticated the animals and became a pastoralist, the period which ushers in the dawn of civilisation, and private property.

So close was man always to the edge of famine that the need for moving to new hunting grounds inevitably brought him into conflict with other occupants and during these forays captives were taken and killed; sometimes they were eaten. Man later learned that the captives could provide many meals if put to attend the pastures and cattle he had acquired.

So the enslavement of man by man aided by the increasing knowledge of agriculture begun the private ownership of the means of life.

This new method of production gave rise to wealthy families and poor families and in place of the communal family group there came the inferiority of woman as the mere “help meet” of her lord and master, for only through him could their issue inherit the family property, now protected by the law and force of the State.

The age-old tribal communism had been broken down by the needs and institutions that were set up and given the sanctity of authority by the class which owned and controlled land, cattle, money and slaves. The city states which eventually arose in the congenial Mediterranean area were based on this class ownership and were the scene of the violent class-struggles which fill the history books, and it is a sobering thought that the philosophy, architecture, and oratory of Rome and Athens were only made possible by the labours of a slave class whose toil gave the owners the comfort and leisure to pursue those studies.

The republic of Rome was organised on a military basis and had a constitution drawn up which divided the population into six classes, each class holding votes according to its property strength, whilst for defence each vote in the legislature carried the duty of providing a centurion or officer over a hundred men drawn from the populace It is a commentary on modern war that the poorest of the proletariat, having no property, were not asked to defend their “way of life”; they being classified as mere breeders by the Roman state.

Thus the possessing class held political power during the time of Rome battling against its Italian tribal neighbours and later as the centre of an empire holding the greater part of Europe and Africa in its grip. The slave system ate into the heart of the Roman state and brought ruin and decadence in its train; the slave taken in war. or made so by debt, was considered a chattel that had no legal right to properly, to marry or enter into a contract. Slaves often provided a Roman holiday as gladiators trained to fight each other in the arena, a training which served them in good stead in one of the several Servile Wars that broke out. Spartacus, joined by the gladiators' school, roused the slaves, trained them and inflicted defeats on the Roman army for four years, the revolt being finally crushed and its supporters brutally burnt or crucified in thousands by the victors.

Reform in the late days of the Empire allowed the slave to buy his freedom, or as a serf to farm a plot of the broken up estates, for work had become a degradation in the eyes of the Romans, and by now the large landowners had ruined the small owners by estates run entirely by slaves brought from the imperial wars by a paid proletarian army. Rome became filled with discharged soldiery, freed men and proletarians, demanding bread and land from a ruling class replete with the plunder and tribute of the wars and colonies. No the state gave them doles, circuses, and more wars. Furthermore, the state declared the “public ownership" of the slave's religion, Christianity, long persecuted for hinting that the slave was as good as his owner—in heaven. Yet nothing could allay the rot of such a slave economy, and Rome offered little resistance when beset by the Teutonic hordes from outside.

The fall of Rome's military power saw the splitting up of Europe into many principalities and kingdoms which owed their existence to the usurping of the tribe and clan system by the warrior and land owning class, assisted now by the spiritual inheritor of Rome's power, the Roman Church, headed by the Pope. This epoch called Feudalism was one of chronic warfare over land in which the remnants of communal society were stamped out by the lauded chiefs, and where the Church as an arbiter became a great land-owning and political force used in bemusing and enforcing class rule on the enslaved class, the serfs. The theory of the state was one of service, and pyramidic in structure; the. king holding all land in his realm and granting its ownership to his subjects under bis protection, they swearing loyalty to him and his law while providing him with arms and soldiery according to their status. The serfs farmed their lord's land not as the uneconomical slaves of Rome but with the added interest of raising their own keep on strips of land granted them by the lord of the manor. Revolts, but more the need of the state for money, later gave the serfs the liberty to rent small plots, notably in England, as peasants.

Meanwhile another class was growing, that of the merchants and manufacturers, who resented the king’s power to tax and squander money on wars whilst they had no voice in the council of barons and king, and thus arose in England the Parliament of Commoners which the king summoned as he thought fit, generally for money, or as a lever in his quarrels with the barons. The townsmen or burghers grew more insistent against the church and king as the latter were fettering their ever-growing commerce by state restrictions and the ban on usury. This clash of interests found expression in religion, and Protestantism was adopted by the merchant class from the anti-Pope doctrines of Luther of Germany. Tactically they backed Henry VIII in his quarrel with the Pope over the breaking of his marriage vows, sacred to the feudal church, a schism whereby the crown “requisitioned” the church lands and wealth, thus severing its power.

The class struggle of the rising capitalist class went on through the reigns, and finally culminated in a civil war in which the Parliamentarians recruiting the yeomanry and townsmen ended absolute monarchy by defeating the Royalists and beheading their king, Charles I, in Whitehall.

With the state in the hands of the capitalist class we enter the era of industrial capitalism, where abroad the capitalists grab colonies and roam the world for markets and raw materials, while at home their allies the capitalist landlords drive the peasants off the land and into the towns where, as "free'’ men, they enter the factories to a new slavery, wage-dom, a revolution still pursued with variations in India and Russia to-day. The new mode of production, the hiring of labour power to operate power-driven machinery, places the whole wage class in subjection to the owners by virtue of the monopoly of the means of production in their hands. Furthermore, over and above the total wage bill it leaves in their possession enormous surpluses of commodities which they must trade abroad, therefore the state increases and jealously guards the spheres of influence and foreign markets for this overplus, for out of its sale comes the new capital to repeat the process of profit making. Should an actual threat by rivals arise the state invokes its power over propaganda, arms the wage workers and with many patriotic slogans urges them to annihilate the enemy of the national interests. These wars, local at first, have increasingly involved all in misery and destruction while with the advance of science the technique of war is revolutionised by new equipment and weapons.

To-day the state, with two world wars to its credit, becomes more authoritarian by the needs of modern total war, and must even in the "peace” retain in its hands the power to regiment workers and direct industry in readiness for a possible world war 3. Hence the long view of some capitalists in favouring nationalisation plans so beloved by the "left.”

We have made a case for the class and military nature of the state. Yet is it possible to end the state and the exploitation of man by man ?

The wars and poverty of capitalism are an unnecessary contradiction which grown-up mankind should not now tolerate, in view of the titanic output of wealth possible if society was freed from profit and class rule.

Socialists advocate the democratic social ownership of all means of wealth production, a return in fact to man's earlier practice, but on a mach higher plane, his forays for example were caused by hunger, not by surpluses.

The owning class is not fitted mentally to accomplish this great social change, it must be the work of the majority the now enfranchised workers, and they must not waste precious time reforming their masters' system but grasp the need for ending it before capitalism hurls us all into another conflagration which will leave surviving mankind the inheritor of mere dust and rabble.
Frank Dawe