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"The Times" on Revolution,

I Trade Union Notes.I

ft Merthyr Rates Discovery.


Co-operative Educational Activity…


Co-operative Educational Activity in the Rhymney Valley. I PROFFESSOR HALL'S FINE SEND-OFF. AN INTERESTING SURVEY OF THE PAST, AND GLIMPSES INTO THE FUTURE. The hiost conspicuous feature at the annual Co-operative Conference held last Whitsun at Swansea was, the renewed interest there mani- fested toward Education. Judging by the re- ports from various parts of the country, this en- thusiasm has spread to several of the local Co- operative Societies. The New Tredegar and Dis- trict Society, probably under this influence, decided to form Educational Classes for the coming winter session, and with this object in view secured the services of Prof. F. Hall, M.A., the Advisor of Studies to the Co-operative Union, for a two days' visit. To excite the in- terest of the younger members of the movement a special circular was sent out inviting them to special conferences on Education, held respec- tively at New Tredegar and Bargoed. At both places very useful meetings were held ,and are entertained for the formation of clashes at ootli places. On Wednesday at New Tredegar, and Thurs- day evening at Bargoed, fine musical and educa- tional meetings were arranged at which Prof. Hall spoke. At both places the halls were full, clearly an appreciation by the members of the efforts of their committee, and an encourage- ment to proceed further in this direction. Speak- ing at Bargoed on The Worker in the State of To-day and To-morrow," Prof. Hall referred to the time, not very distant, when Britain had no factories and no workshops; no tall chimneys emitting huge volumes of smoke, but a country, rural and quiet, with few towns, comparatively small, and bad roads which, in dry weather, were often covered with two or three feet of dust, and in wet weather were impassable with mud. The village was almost self-contained, supplying al- most all its wants. The worker la boured at home at the hand loom, assisted by his. family. He also had his plot of land, at which he worked. Owning his own hand-loom the worker reaped the benefit of his labour. He was his own mas- ter, and, unlike the worker of to-day, the harder he worked the greater his reward would be. The villager worked to satisfy his wants, and only after these were satisfied would lie sell any sur- plus ijft. A great change came, however, with the series of wonderful inventions such as the flying shuttle, the power loom and the steam engine. In fifty years Britain had become the workshop of the world. The adoption of im- provements to the coal-mining industry resulted in an enormous increase in output at a cheaper cost. This re-acted favourably on the smelting industry, which had previously signs of stagna- tion for want of abundant supplies of fnel. Towns, grew rapidly. Wealth increased incre- dibly, aad side by side with this huge wealth in- crease, poverty spread. The position of the worker was now different. Industry was now being organised by persons able to supply Capital and the worker ceased to be his own master. He was also rendered landless through successive Acts of Parliament. With the discovery that strength was not essential to work the machinery came the employment of women and children in the factories, effecting a great reduction m men's wages. Children of six, five, and even four years of age were employed for long hours under bad conditions. The worker was not satisfied with his new position and rioting took place. It was soon realised by the saner section of the workers that there was no hope of relief through rioting and they set themselfes to con- structive work. Attempts were made to unite the workers in trade unions, to secure for them the vote, and to abolish Capitalism by the estab- lishment of Co-operative Societies. Success fol- lowing these attempts, the workers, in a hun- died years, had become more powerful to im- prove the conditions under which he worked and lived. To-day prices and wages-seemed to move in a vicious circle. When wages rose, prices rose to correspond. The worker was no more than a cog in a huge machine. W lat was urgently needed was that he should secure a greater con- trol over industry than he did at present. The apathy of the worker would have to be over- came. Apathy and selfishness were the two great eremies to progress. High wages and short hours were not everything. What was important -ias that both s h oii]- ? i?l-i? -zig. What was lmportqrit was that both should be wisely used. And it was necessary that the worker should do both. Was the social life in the future to be organised as at present? If not, it was now time for the'worker*; to prepare the future. If the spirit of competi- tion entered largely into our International re- lationships, this war would not prove to be the last war, but one of a long series. Society must be reorganised on a new prin- ciple; that of the Basis of Association and the Brotherhood of Man." Landlords and Capital- ists were not necessary^ There was an abundance of wealth in the country, and a decent existence was possible for all who were prepared to con- tribute to the wealth of the country. It was necessary, however, that the worker should se- cure control over industry and commerce. The community must become intelligent enough to so organise itself as to become its own Capitalist and Landlord, and thereby gain for itself the fruits of industry. This would not be brought about without some hard thinking and working. It was the duty of the worker to take advantage or Education to fit himself for these positions of responsibility, for without this control the worker ^vould continue to be merely a wage slave. uVlore education is required. The child lias a right to all that the elementary and secondary schools had to give, and the universi- ties should not be closed to anyone through poverty. The neglect to develop the latent talent of thousands of children to-day resulted in an enormous loss to the community. We anted able children—children trained in the right spirit, that spirit which encouraged ser- vice to the community rather than its exploita- tion. E ducation was discussed from many points of view at the present day. Some very promin- ent men urged that more education was neces- sary beochise we would have to compete with. Germany after the war, and it was essential that Britain should capture the markets of the world. This was quite wrong. Education should aim at something greater than the making of more efficient workers. It should exist in order to make life fuller and open out new interests in a bagger world. The worker must understand what is going on in politics and industry in oider to wield greater powers on them. The newspapers were too often allowed to do the workers' thinking for them, and had been looked upon as the expression of public opinion. The State of the future would be what the 17crkers made it": a State based on Competition or a State built on Associated effort. To-dav any increase in wages was swallowed up in increased rents and prices. Co-operation encouraged the worker to control his own industrial future, and to become, collectively, his own landlord, and capitalist. Competition to divert trade from one channel to another would be abolished only when the workers were wise enough to do so. State action after the war would cover a wider area than now. Land nationalisation would be- some practical politics, and no doubt the prob- lem of railway management and also that of mining and other industries would be solved by national ownership. Municipal enterprise would be extended, and the voluntary Co-operative Movement would assume many forms. To-day, national necessity had forced our rulers to adopt in many instances, a form of Co-operation, but they had not adopted the spirit of Co-operation. Bureaucracy and officialdom were alien to the spirit of Co-operation. What the workers want is Co-operation with a Co-operative spirit and Democratic control. They had no desire to free themselves from one tyranny to engage in an- other. A better world could not become a reality until it had been reorganised in the right spirit —the spirit of Do unto others as you would be done by." The competitive system, with its diverse interests, had no place for this concep- tion of social relationship. Co-operation, based on the eommunitv of interests, would raise the world to a height not yet reached, and would bring out the best in all men and women.

Socialism After -The -War.-