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I Does Peace Matter ? I

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I Does Peace Matter ? I GUY ALDRED SAYS NO," UNLESS AC- I COMPANIED BY SOCIAL REVOLUTION, The visit of Guy A. Aldred to the I.L.P. Institute, Merthyr, on Monday, was an event which many of us had looked forward to, and the realisation of which wasi nvigorating. The plucky Editor of the I I Spur and well-known Anarchist lecturer, propounded ideas that can- not help but provoke thought, hewevar much we /may disagree with many of his conclusions. "Does Peace Matter?" was the subject of the address, and very few of us had anticipated the conclusion that even Peace was of little conse- quence if it did not result in the Social Revo- lution. The Editor of the PIONEER was in the chair. At the outset Aldred emphasised the fact that the whole of the nations claimed that this was a war for Liberty, a claim which led the German to say that he preferred a home- made Conscription to a, foreign despotism, a remark which the Britisher was rapidly learn- ing to repeat. At all events it was agreed that it was a war for Liberty, and that being so we should expect that it would give us a sense of dignity such as we had never known before, and our Cabinets, politicians and pub- licists would exhibit a sense of truthfulness and of dignity such as they did not exhibit in times of peace. As a matter of fact, it was the very opposite to this that we had experienced and for this reason that it had produced lies and deceit instead of the dignity and truth that we should expect, he held that the war was not worth while. It was not worth while sac- rificing human life in France and Flanders in order that the Governments might go on with the game of deceiving the people all the time. Why, the very lying recruiting posters that we had all seen right throughout this war were a contradieLtlOn to the Liberty that we were sup- posed to be fighting. In this war we were asked to give, without qualification, our life blood, and surrender every vestige of civic and industrial freedom to the powers that be. But. what was meant by Liberty? Surely, if it was a war for Liberty, our generals would possess a different mental and moral make-up from what they did? He could understand a Defence of the Realm Act which was to help save us from Zeppelin bombs, and enemy at- tacks but he wanted that Act to be dignified, and to offer the least possible inconvenience to the people who lived in the Realm, but a sec- tion of the Act that we had concerned itself with the defence of the King's Majesty, and defending the capitalistic class from disaffected subjects, and not from foreign foes. Who were the disaffected subjects? They were the strik- ers, the workers, against who mthey had seen the soldiers bungled out. They had never seen 'the soldiers turned out against those with mo- ney. fCheers.) That Act vas not passed to pre- vent attacks on the Government or against the Liberal Government, as had been clearly proved by the Times," and the rest of the Northcliffe press, which in pursuance of those intrigues, had said things likely to pre- judice the British arms bv enheartening the enemies against whom those armies were ar- rayed; no, it was to suppress any suggestion of the Labouring classes having any independence of thought as had been demonstrated by the seizure of the Labour Leader "and "For- ward." Following that, we had had the in- famous Registration Act, and the Munitions Act. by means of which men had been set ag- ainst their feiLows to bring about the conscrip- tion of men for military and industrial pur- poses Every vital promise given to the work- ers had gone by the board, and every hum- bug promise given to the reactionaries 'had been kept so faithfully that its result had been far beyond what anyone ever understood that it would mean. When Governments acted like that, he wan- ted to know whether war mattered. It was not a war for Liberty as the people understood it since a capitalist war for markets and con- trol oould not effect the liberties of the worker one way or the other. When the day of settle- ment came, the people would see the masters of the belligerent countries making up their quar- reI. and the Royalty of Europe fraternising as of old. And when that day had come, woe betide the Socialist who dared to print' the li- bellous cartoons of the Kaiser that appeared -'■m bv day in the capitalist press of this land. It was time the workers realised that they had no war to fight except the war, not on one militarism, but on all militarism. But did Peace matter e,itlierp What had we done in the years of Peace that made it mat- ter? We had gone in for our wage disputes, and had been driven only to think of living as the soldier did. Some of us had been driven into the army to get the wherewithal to live, others had been forced to set up the type that spread the lies that helped the war, and others as working journalists had been com- pelled to write the lies that stirred up racial hatred in ordelr that our wives and children might live. If the coming Peace was to mean the same Peace that we had had before, then the coming Peace did not matter: it was not worth while, any more than the present war. If the Peace that was to be was to be a Peace such as we had lost, then we should agadn become slaves to the system of ca.pitalism that fed war. We should work not for a capitalist peace, but for a social revolution. We should fight for a Peace under which the workers would no longer come back to their political ignorance, their social darkness, and their in- dustrial slavery, but a Peace under which they would stand together with intelligence, claiming the right of citizenship, and not of subjectship, and the right to know what was being done in their name. Aldred will again address the branch on Sun- day night.

Merthyr Miners and Strike.

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IMerthyr Crime. j

Opening of the Peace Campo…

[No title]

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The Knights of the Round Table.