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! A Handful of Pamphlets I


A Handful of Pamphlets I PRODIGIOUS OUTPUT OF MARX CENTEN- ARY MONOGRAPHS. Karl Marx, His Life and Teaching," oy Zelda Kahan Goates, a Centenary commemoration pamphlet. B.S.P., 2d. Marx and Modern Capitalism," by J. T. Wal- ton Xewbold, LA, B.S.P., 2d. Solidarity Amongst the Shipowners," by J. T. Walton Newbold, M.A., with a foreword by Tom Mann. Reformers* Bookstall, Glasgow, 2d. War or Revolution," bv Leon Trotsky. S.L.P., 3d. If we had to thank Marx for nothing else, we should owe him a. debt for the wonderful way in which the Centenary of his birth has stimu- lated our press these last few weeks, and that despite the difficulties of obtaining paper that press in particular upon the Socialist presses of the country. As I look back over that sentence I realise how Irish it is, for if we had had to thank him for nothing else there would have been nothing to thank him for now, for there would have boon nothing in his centenary to celebrate, b11 t Irish or not it will do as well as another to introduce this paragraph. I wrote I some fortnight ago about the excellent little biography and summary of the Marxian theory that the Glasgow Plebs had published from the pen of A. E. Cook, and the "Pioneer" of that week was scarcely on tho machines before Zelda. Kohan-C/oates' monograph on the same themes arrived from the B.S.P. Office. In a clear, readable style that we can heartily commend Miss Kahan-Coates cleverly works her outline of .Marxian doctrine into the biographical struc- ture of her story in its proper place. It is the sincere work of a.n earnest foltower of Marx, and its weaknesses, such few as they are, are .the weaknesses of ardent disciples-hip, that will be readily forgiven by all the readers of this little pamphlet who enter into the spirit in which it was executed. • NEWBOLD'S NEW ISSUES. j J Simultaneously them arrived two new produc- tions from the pen of the indefatigable Walt-on Nerwbold. In Marx and Modern Capitalism" (B.S.P.)-whieh is excellent as a follow-up to "Karl Marx, his Life and Teaching" just noticed above,—Walton Newbold takes up the Materialist Conception and proves it from his own investigations into the Iron and kindred trades. In a style slightly more narrative than is usual with Mr. New bold, he follows the lines of Boudin in Socialism and War," only giving us definite IJamcs and faet" relative to the deadly clutch of the iron and steel magnates and the transportation lords, where the great Americ-an works out his theories on broader ab- stractions on the consolidation of Capital and its necessary outcomes. THE SHIPOWNERS. I In his second pamphlet, Solidarity Amongst the Shipowners (Reformens' Bookstall)—of which Tom Mann in his foreword declares that in it is to be found Mich an abundance of high explosive ammunition as will enable all to be immensely more effective than we possibly could be witho'ut it "—our author returns to his old style of reciting names and facts in a form that does not make for easy reading to-the average man. I am the last person in the world to dis- count the importance of the work that Newbold is so singularly assiduous in collecting and pre- senting, but I find that the presentation is not easy, whilst its utility is more valuable to the student than the general reader, who does not want to be bothered with an investigation into iron and steel, or shipping in order to compre- hend the concentration of Capital, and the tre- mendous powers that go with the control of key industries, and means of communication by a relatively small circle of financiers. Coal—Iron and Steel—(especially Armaments)—railways— shipping, this pamphlet shows how inter-related are all these, and the moral is to point out how enormously the economic and political power of the capitalist class, has been enhanced by the ?woi-l<i-ii-ide industrial unionism of the fhipown- ing and railway magnaws. The fourteenth page is particularly interesting since it deals largely with South Wales interests, and the as- sociation of P. H. Thomas—nephew of Lord Rhondda—with the shipping octopus. R-onghly summaxised Mr. Newbold reduces the great group of shipowners in Britain to five, and then further reduces these to two: the Cunard- P. & O.-R.M.S.P.-Ellerman group and the Furness-Withy interests. an ideal illustration of the con cent rati on of capital, that will be very effective to Socialist lecturers, to whom in particular we commend the volume. Walton would reap more credit for his achievements if he would cultivate in his economic writings the romantic storyteHervein that, he undoubtedly possesses if one may judge from the Author's Note." In this note Walton tells us how he collected his information, and his touch here is that of the best school of detective fiction when, after telling us of the capitalist sources from which he has culled his facts, he adds "checked and supplemented by a careful reading of brass plates on office entrances, name-plates on wa.g- gons, and by other uses of a certain faculty of observation. I like that, and wish that t-liat art of conjuring up a vivid little monochrome of a Socialist sleuth trailing wagons, and seniti- nsing back-stair office doorways, had been ex- tended to the body of the work. LEON TROTSKY'S SOCIALISM. I But the best and most scholarly work of all is Leon Trotsky's "War or Revolution" (S.L.P.) in which the Commissary of the Russian Peo- ple's Government admirably cites the experi- ences of Democratic history internationally to trace the development and antagonisms of Socialism land Capitalistic Imperialism. Says -,t i c Imp?ei- i a l l,,ni. Saya Trotsky, The whole globe, land and sea has become one economic workshop, the differ- ent parte of which are inseparably connected with each other. The present war is at bot- tom a revolt of the forces of production against the political form of nation and state. It means the collapse of the national state as an independent economic unit. The nation must continue to exist as a cultural, ideologic and psychological fAct, but its economic foundation has been pulled from under its feet. The real objective significance of the war is the breakdown of the present national economic centres, and the substitution of a world economy in its stead." Hence, the outcome of the struggle is that the victorious great power shall become the World Power of Capitalist Imperial- ism. This struggle has led the nations into a chaos the most prodigious in history. Tho first wave of events rallied the peoples around i national governments and armies, with an en- thusiasm hitherto unknown to history, but equally, the revolutionary reaction of the masses will be the more powerful, "the more prodi- gious the cataclysm which history is now bring- ing upon them." Not, national aspiration but imperialist interest, it is argued, has mobilised 2o million soldiers on the field of battle, but in the pot has boiled out all the unsolved political racial problems of the past. Ii Tn these historical circumstances the work- ing-class, the proletariat, can have no interest in defending the outlived and antiquated na- tional "Fatherland," which has become the main obstacle to economic development. The task of the proletariat is to create a far more powerful fatherland with far greater power of resistance—the Republican United Spates of Europe, as the foundation of a United St.aM! of the World. The only way in which the proletariat can meet the imperialistic perplexity of Capitalism is by opposing to it, as a practical programme of the day the Socialist organisation of world economy. War is the method by which Capitalism, at tho climax of its development seeks to .solve its insoluble contradictions. JDo this method the proletariat must oppose its own netbod. the method of the social revolu- tion." This is briefly the text upon which Trotsky preaches his sermon, and lie preaches it won- derfully powerfully. It will be seen that the basis of Trots ky's Socialism is the class division and consciousness that will give reality and co- hesion to our International professions, and that will engender the growth of tho revolution- ary spirit, that. has flared up in history so fre- quently oflly to burn itself out ineffectively because under ite, ideology has not been a snffi- t cientlv practical programme, based upon a re- cognition of fundamental facts in social and economic evolution. The collapse of the second Intel-national is diio to the fact that "ortho- dox" Socialism had become ingrained in the national states, which economics had outgrown. The crash of the nationalist state, brought down the national Socialist parties also. But the watchword "Immediate Stoppage of the War" is one around which Socialism may reassemble its scattered ranks. A Socialism with a. real jnter- national consciousness, and an international tional econoimc policy.

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