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THE MORAL of SOUTH AFRICA

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THE MORAL of SOUTH AFRICA Economic Security the Reali Goal. I I ADVICE FROM MR HARTS HORN f By Mr V crncoll Hartshorn. I I What the British soldier fought for in South Africa was not. the establishment of freedom, nor the creation of a. Com- monwealth in which economic justice and sound law should prevail, but f c;r Capitalistic domination, the rule of un- scrupulous. financiers whose class inter- ests have become the first and foremost ,t,on,-iti.cratioii of the Botha Government. The events in South Africa were full of tremendous significance to the organised Labour movement all the world over, and they teach many lessons which we need to learn in this county. The ques- tion of the attitude of the State towards Trade Unions and industrial problems is coming more and more into prominence, 'and it is bound to become, ere long, far and away the most import-titt question in our National politics. THE STRIKES OF THE FUTURE. I These are, the days of vast organisa- tions and amalgamations, both among capitalists and workers. The old days of sectional struggles between employers and we,rkmt,ii-s,trugL, s which affected certain restricted area-have passed awav for ever. Trade Union action of the future will be on a larger scale. The tendciicy is towards the geueral strike. Disputes between employers and work- men are thercfcre certain in the future to demand a greater share of the atten- tion of Governments than they have ever had in the past. A struggle between employers and workmen on a National I scale, where the whole of the men em- ployed in any particular clasi of in- dustry act together, a,nd especially where a number of Trad e Unions combine, is bound to involve the Government of the day before a settlement is reached. Strikes of the future are thus bound to have political characteristics as well as industrial, and the workers will find the truth forced upon them that political power must necessarily acoompa-nv in- dustrial power if the industrial goal of the Trade Unions is ever to be reached. THE SOURCE OF POWER. I When we analyse the power of the capitalist we find that in its essential elements it is political. The power of the capitalist over the wages and con- ditions of the workers in the industrial sphere is founded on 'his ownership of the means of production. Ownership is bafed on political power. As the work- ers adopt a more and more aggressive policy in the industrial arena the nature of the task before them becomes plainer. There has been a marked tender.' during the industrial unrest of tte past few years for the employers by a more open use of their political power.' W hen the Trade Unions marshal their forces on a national scale against the Em- ployers' Associations they now ;>wbhnly find themselves faced bv th^ imj/oyers as private individuals, but by tlio em- ployers as the Government, controlling the law or suspending it ;>.i will, and using the military forces. The revelation is fast itg anchor delusion long cherished by no;i. classes—the delusion that Governments stand for the interests of the people as a whole, a.nd that the law has no class bias. They are discovering that when dealing with industrial unrest the Govern- ments of to-day stand ultimately for the preservation of the interests of the capi- talist class, and in the task of preserv- ing those interests Governments are pre- pared to go to extreme lengths, to defy the law or misinterpret it, or if needs be suspend it, and execute their own will through the medium of a. military de- spotism, ironically termed martial law. A POSITION FULL OF DANGER Labour will not commit the folly of trying to argue against a Maxim gun, and I have no doubt that the workers will learn the lesson that they must capture from the capitalist the political power he now exercises and themselves rol the Government, the administra- tion of the law, and the forces upon which are ordered society must depend in the last report. But in the meantime it behoves all citizens to watch very closely the attitude Governments may take up in industrial disputes. The pre- treut position is full of danger and if Governments are going to become mili- tary despotisms seeking to crush Labour bv the iron heel there is very serious trouble ahead. The industrial struggles are bound to go on, and, Mr D. A. Thomas proves that he has insight into the position of affairs when, he says that "Ho does not now look forward to any final mttlemotit. Until Labour and ability have won emancipation from the payment of unearned tolls on the wealth they produce there cm be no final settle- ment in the struggle between Capital ana La-bour. That will pa on until we reconstruct our economic system, and the part that Governments will play in the struggle now becomes the greatest problem in politics. ECONOMIC SECURITY As a political industrial problem, one ol the many arising out of our present economic system that Governments will have to deal with in. the future, it will become more and more promment- though not more aeute--as the State takes over various industries. It is the economic conditions that determine the nature of almost all our social and in- dustrial problems. (Continued at bottom of next column.)

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THE MORAL of SOUTH AFRICA

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