Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

11 articles on this Page

Concerning Political Action.…


Concerning Political Action. I A DISCUSSION WITH MARK STARR. I TO THE EDITOR. comradej—In last week's "Pioneer" Mark S air asks whether political action is necessary .101' the the emancipation of the working-class, answers the question jn the affirmative, and en- deavours to prove his case. I hope to be able •to show that that endeavour etacieci in taiiure. In trie first place, it is well to be clear as to' the proposition of which the proof is sought. It that political action is necessary tor the traajielpa-Lion of the working-class. The question -of any palliation of past or present conditions 00es not arise therefore, except m so far as such filiation may ensure tne rree development of lvjlat, your contributor agrees to be the prime tostoricai lorce, viz., the economic. Through a ^acii 01 seilrcnticism which allows him to deviate lroni the point at issue, lie later states his aim to be: to prove that in the past, present and future the organised workers have oeen, and will lee, forced to take a part in politics in order to secure the workers' industrial betterment and safe expansion of their industrial activities .111 the tace of the Hostile use of existing political lorces by the Capitalist ela*s." This is such a infusion of the issue as a scientific consideration «)f the facts can by no means allow. To state t&at, m part, he intends to prove that in the future the organised workers will forced to take. a part in politics in order to secure the workers' industrial betterment Its differing from being forced to politics in order to protect the forces making for our emancipa- tlsiij.—to state that intention might quite con- ceivably, and actually did, assist him in develop- J'Ug a plausible case, out it has the demerit of so altering his primary aim as to render much of what follows the statement inappropriate to the ^ain contention, which was that 11 political ac- tion is necessary to our emancipation." It has Another and greater detraction in that each ar- gument in its support throughout the article Whilst needs present the appearance of supporting the original proposition. It would not surprise ■JQe therefore to find that many uncritical readers thus captured. Your contributor states that" the Trade Union Bill (1913) and the recent Bill to make "^flaalgajnatipn easier are examples of the reflex economic tendencies on the political held. j-hen why not concentrate on the development of the economic forces? As he says, the economic political fields are not worlds apart, and we %ay rest assured that any call louder than a Whisper from one or more *f our powerful Labour Unions would soon be, and many already have n, heard and considered in Downing Street .;tnd in the Committee Rooms of Westminster. He further says that no action political or Inustrial can go far without the active support f the workers." True. But in which of the l*o fields is the greater support secured? Un- ??estionably in the industrial. Then why fritter ??y both time and energy in an endeavour to ?concile the irreconcilable—the ideological fac- ti*las among the workers? Let us "keep our y«s on the main chance and give our a ttGn- jons to that field where the worker can, and ig'Blle,i,allv does, when complications are absent, the identity of his interests with those of the other MQ-bers of his class. There lies the Possibility cf unitv ?l dealmS with the future, Mark Starr en- Inr fS Siorious possibilities of the day '?vkell t e Labour M.P. will be nominated,  a controlled by his industry union." Thl %orr+tiuy aBd regenerated person's functions are to ? ma,ny, diverse and various. He will do and ^i^ compel and prevent to the heart's content  his poor dear constituents. All these ?ngts will he willingly do, even though the ^pitalist will pav him ?400 a. year for doing ?thing? Lord, what faith m man! Eminently ^sirable as the foregoing method of gaining -? respect of the State would appear to be, a Poetical method would be better. With all "?Hty I would raise mv wee voice in favour ?? th Unions da!ing the State to interfere with th,? rights and liberties of the workers without  direct consultation through their Unions  the workers concerned. The stronger tini- ons are, already, in a position to do it. What niore, in certain respects they have already Id'olle it Thus would we make the fullest use of ieceii.t developii)ents of class Govern- ??siderations of time and spoo pre- oelf u ? anything like fair treatment to this phase of ? "be question.  posing hi? article Starr propounds some qll%ti, Oils to ? opponenœ (?). All too briefly I '-s h ? it? 1 sh lI ?deavour to deal with the most import- tof those which have not already been an-  d ?ve, or that will be answered in a final "quotaf** 011 I shall give from his own al'ticle Ion which I shall ??ive from his own  il the danger of developing an ? iRdustry W°USness to the prejudice of the more de- f ^^ass-consciousness. A remark has been 'Passed O'-V' SOmeRe to the enect that we act first +i, k afterwards. The formation of Trade ?Bd ??Sen?ered more than a negligible quan- tity Pf class consciousness. The Industrial ^nion (needless perhaps to state, I mean by thl. l lv h -t thE? ,,Ord,, tb e.s,e l ve, iiiiply) in its full- this t^1e words themselves imply) in its full- "I%tlicatiod as a method of organisation of the  as workers comprises the unification of th? Tj? °?- There will you have class-cohscious- n° W^lct^lej' all past political eSor-ts have 1ess ? helping forward the workers. ?ossiM? ??o? t. But if great improvements which ?6q? ? ?ecade? of agitation to bring about "{ e. g th trial "? Factory Acts) can be equalled by indus- ria.1et0,,o ac i a few months (e.g. the Minimum  eP-t) ? lesson is obvious. Even grafting tbe con? ???? implied in the quesHoB, the Modern ???ation of industrial force by the Workeris n T- h can be wielded against the Capi- ^Ust Parliament -provi d es a means which ?Ust j +? Parliament provides a méaThS which ,?obA ,,? tea ?the need for a round-about method. Starr J?k whether the repressive power of the ^tate is j 6nied. In so far as the past is oon- ?'Bed, wh? ?th' e workers' right was unaccom- ?anied'b T?wneildl '? ? ?Sht, it is not denied. In the future e"tillue to be more and more limited t ever-gi()?wing industrial power of the Worker as n ? require, even now, an Ezekiah to foresee 1^ + So well did o^ ^ination. 0 welid Starr begin his article as to make olq 'Ocni--lude-it is exceptional to be able to say Jfis of him h ? ??? he left off at the end of first nuT. a^raPh any criticism from our side S^ hld have v, ^fiat have b ?? nothing out commendatory. So ??'? t Ivest ha?S???? did he handle the question t I shall e, l",e his denial of his position by I .ql' lot1. 119 the P'allgr?Lp,h almost in its entirety, ?e, either fr??? ? quite immaterial to the either fr6M viewpoint or mine. Speak- 1"gOf him ?elf Ile savs: "He believes that the S?try umon wm ?"???te the creation of sur- fn118 value C+V>rTcs I^lna'tG the creation of sur- ? h?en ??<???? Revolution win then t'a ? tra?fo?? 1'? th? in the nght it a1 be transformSO- C16^ Thus the or skale- Of the ?,.ri +u_ ?'?- Thus the transition the Old -to the new w•i. ll ? eSected without awkward interval OT the slightest jar. He does not think that we as workers can cap- ture the political machinery of the Capitalist cOass and make it serve our purpose. The State, fie organised instrument for the defence of pri- vate property will disappear when the working-class is the ruling class and cla-ss rule will cease; then political government becomes superfluous, for through their industry unions the workers will control m'oduction." That is the true Mark Starr.—I am, yours fraternally, I Treherbert. Treltel'h"l't. liliYN JONBS.

Public Meeting at Ynysybwl.

IIndustrial Unrest Commission.

Cardiff War Parcels Depot…


Awake ! Trade Unions.


The Theatre Royal. I

"Les Cloches de Coi-neville"…

Why Has Will Thorne Lied ?

Conscientious Objectors.