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I Bargoed Notes. !

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I Bargoed Notes. The Study Circle. The btudy Circle met as usual on Vv hit-bun- day evening to discuss the latest I.L.P. leaflet on who is to pay for the war, and how. Comrade Matthews led off as usual, pointing out that, un- der the present system those who could best afford to pay, escaped, or found means to sim- ply pass it on. Among other things, the super- tax was not raised any further, on more than £lü,OOO. Comrade Pope urged that, if the Capitalist was done away with, we should still have to pay for the war, through the withdrawal of pro- ducers. as well as the destruction that had been wrought. The Capitalist system passed the bur- den on to posterity; we were still paying the in- terest on George III. 's debts. He urged that death-duties should be so raised that, when a rich man died, nearly all his wealth should re- vert to the State, leaving his family only enough to live decently on. Also drastic graduation of income-tax, after allowing for the support of a family, so as to take practically the whole of that part of an income which exceeded £ 10,000. The Church Party, in opposing disestablishment and disendowment, alleged that Sir A. Mond had £ 60,000 a year. Then the land, especially in Scotland, is mainly the pleasure-ground of the rich, so that we have to import our food instead of growing it. And much of this imported food is interest on our rich people's investments abroad. So lie would also propose a drastic tax on undeveloped and under developed land. An Aberbargoed comrade, who looks like coming to the front (in the real war; Ephesians, 6-12), urged that Russia is less aeveloped econo- mically, has only got half through the first, warlike, stage of Capitalism (see Boudin for the three stages of Capitalism; and Stepniak for why Russia has till now been an aggressive mili- tary state). And Capitalism was necessary at a certain stage, to make greater production pos- sible between the introduction of machinery on the one hand, and the centralization and organi- sation of Capital and Labour on the other. I asked if it was necessary for every people to pass through every stage: might they not learn, from our experience, what to avoid, and so skip a stage (just as, though the different beds of the geoolgicai series are always in the same order, some of them are missing in some places) ? The French Revolution was the result of a long j series of wars. into which the old nobility of France had plunged recklessly, counting that, whatever happened, they would get any glory and profit, and the people would get the losses; also, though nearly all the wealth of France was locked up in their hands, they were altogether exempted from taxation, bv the privileges which they obstinately refused to give up; so a point came at last when no more could be squeezed out of the unprivileged and then, sheer bankruptcy and famine brought the revolution, an effect of which, so I have seen it stated, was to quadruple the resources of France within a few years, by unlocking the wealth of the nobility and making it available for use. As for the nobility, instead of the very moderate taxation they refused to submit to, they got confiscation. Our Aberbargoed comrade replied that the French Revolution was only a half-success, be- cause its economic basis was too unstable, as the development of Capitalism in France had yet to come. Other comrades asked if we could get M.P. honest enough to make those pay who could best afford it. To which it was replied that some of our Labour M.P.'s were, indeed. worse than the Capitalists, as being traitors to the people but some trust was needed to make democracy pos- sible. Also, prudence sometimes has the effect of honesty: it would be harder to buy over 370 M.P.'s than 40.

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