TWEEDLEDUM & TWEEDLEDEE.
For a month past there has been a war of words between Socialists and Communists. Were the Socialists sincere in their announced detestation of the greater evil they would be worthy of support from all men of good will, but their actions merely show that they are experiencing a certain amount of discomfort from their association with the extremists. While the means which our Socialists have it in mind to employ may not be so utterly lacking in humanity as those used in Russia, the aim is the same, and it is only when Socialists not only say that they detest Communism, but take steps quite different from associating themselves with it in other countries that we can begin to believe that they mean what they say. Until then their rebuking of sin has no conviction in it: they are too much contaminated.
The late Lord Sydenham writing in THE PATRIOT of 29 March, 1923, had a most instructive article on the activities of the late Mr Snowden who then was the big noise in Socialism. It was Mr. Snowden in particular following in the steps of Marx, who, concentrating his attacks on the capitalist system, was simply serving up a rehash of Marxian doctrines. In those days we were told by Mr. Snowden that the “Capitalist system” had failed “to deliver the goods,” that it did not “give the people a good world in which to live,” that it did not adequately “utilise natural resources and productive power” or provide continuous work at good wages for the whole population, and that it could not solve the housing problem. This is exactly what our Socialists are still telling us day in, day out: they have made no progress in their technique and the country under 2½ years of misrule has seen what a sorry substitute is the Socialist system for that of the “Capitalist” or as we should prefer to call it free enterprise.
But the point is that Marx, the founder of Communism, was the inspiration of Mr. Snowden and his followers in those days just as he is of the Socialists to-day. And here is what Lord Sydenham had to say on this point:
“The revolutionaries of the Eighteenth Century, from whom Marx borrowed all his theories, did not and could not attack a “capitalist system” in days when great organised industries had not come into existence. They did, however, promise the millennium, and they quickly found, after calculations, that it was unattainable except by a wholesale massacre of the French people, which they attempted to carry out. The Bolshevists have similarly compassed the death, by murder, starvation, and disease of nearly 20,000,000 Russians, mostly, of course, peasants and workers. Babeuf, whom Marx followed, and whom the Labour Party have copied under his instructions, held that property “had fallen into a few hands,” and that “to take the mass of citizens out of their dependence there was no way but to place all property in the hands of the Government.”
Though Mr. Snowden was eager to explain that “there was no analogy between Socialism and Bolshevism,” it was the programme of the Bolsheviks carried out in Russia with such appalling results, that he and his followers were advocating. The hypocrisy of the Socialists is still such that it will not admit the identity of purpose. And when Communism in our midst and Soviet policy are denounced by our Socialist Ministers it seems to be forgotten that during the Election in 1945 the Socialists were promising good relations between this country and Moscow with the confident assertions that their Party alone could procure those good relations, It was of course only one of the usual false promises taking no regard of the fact that Communism is a world power and that in every country their followers are under the direction of the Kremlin, whose orders and instructions have to be obeyed.