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I-Those 1000 New Members

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I Those 1000 New Members THB excellent spirit with which the Merthyr I.L.P. has launched itself upon itis campaign for a thousand new members by Easter, 1918; the completeness of the preliminary organisation, and the excellence of the result of the first ap- peal, made last Sunday, when 32 new members were enrolled, all give promise of the successful termination of the laudable task which the branch has set itself to perform. Nor do we see that the branch is too ambitious in its aspira-j tions. We see no reason why the ciaimp,aign should stop at 1,000 by Easter, for even with that number drawn inside the movement, there would still be ample scope for pioneering work for membership amidst a populace that is largely sympathetic towards the Party. Merthyr ought to boast the strongest numerical membership of any I.L.P. branch in South Wales, and with a continuance of the effort so well started it will do so. All that is necessary to' bring in large numbers of our populace is to show them the tangible advantages that come from active par- ticipation in the life of the Socialist circles of the town; as distinct from the mental satisfac- tion of all attending Sunday afternoon meetings and voting" right" at Parliamentary and Muni- cipal elections. What are those advantages? Primarily we should ourselves put the highest value upon the revolution that a conception of the Socialist synthesis spells to the student- of sociological ten dencies. In place of a chaotic and nebulous philosophy of life, partitioned into water-tight compartments labelled ethics," history," "economics," and so forth; each of them so encrusted with meaningless technical terms and phrases that professional politicians and economists have to be sought to interpret the simplest of social problems, the Socialist stu- dent finds them all worked out in a scientific system so complete that the growth and expan- sion of his mentality comes as a new power in life; illumines the dark places, and irradiate.s with the saffron of a new dawn the eastern sky of to-morrow*. To the average man who has con- sciously attempted to find his way in the ortho- dox economists, and who later attaches himself to the Socialist Plarty, the most wonderful thing to him is the complete, all-pervading nature of the Socialist outlook. He finds that those things that were strictly ruled out of economics by the Capitalists apologists of the university and the popular Press, are all brought within the survey of his new science; that Socialism takes the dry bones of politics and enwraps them in the healthy, beautiful flesh of humanity. In place of the old Frankenstein of the anti-Socialist school he finds that the Socialist's sociological method has produced a masterpiece of beautiful aspect, perfect parts, high mentality and pure ethics; and that because it has no reservations to make in its search after truth. Its philoso- phers are not compelled to seek a justification for the existence of a parasitic, non-producing class, and to explain the laws underlying social acts in the light of that justification, but are free to traverse the past with the historian and the biologist; and search the present for the un- derlying causes behind things. And what is the moral result of such a search, and such a synthesis as is found at the culmination of such a search in Socialism? We have said above that ethics fall into its proper play under Socialism, as the part of a glorious whole, and not a thing apart; but listen what non-Socialist moralists have said about the present system and about Socialism's promise of a better moral order. Pro-, fessor Cairn es has declared that the results of the present industrial system are not easily re- concilable with any standard of right generally accepted amongst men," and quotes Shakes- peare as being on his side. Professor Sidgwick, an eminent writer on morals, has said If the former method (the Socialists') of providing for the progress of Industry could be trusted to work without any counterbalancing drawbacks the perpetuation of the inequalities of distribu- tion that we see to be inevitably bound up with the existing system would be difficult to recon- cile with our common sense of justice!" It seems needless in these days of war, which have. seen the Socialist principle of industrial government so perfectly justified even in its adoption as part of a system to which it is antagonistic, to dwell upon Professor Sidgwick's "if." So that even the professional moralists in their serious state- ments are compelled to admit the justice of the Socialist conception. It is this justice founded, upon sane scientific laws of criticism and pro- gression that has given us a majority of the really great minds of modern times. Amongst the artists from Wilde to Shaw the best among them have seen that art can only be truly great when given the freedom that Socialism alone offers to development, in the realm of the na- tural sciences the most thoughtful have accepted Socialism as the only scientific sociological sys- tem in consonance with the evolutionary char- acter of modern scientific methods and findings. Ferri and a host of others have demonstrated this; and Grant Allen with his usual careful cri- ticism, has told us that it is because Socialism will preserve the natural inequalities of mankind, that the present machine system destroys in its search for uniformity that compelled his march- ing forward with the great army of Socialism. In religion, too, it has long been recognised by hard thinkers that Socialism alone is compatible with the Sermon on the Mount, and that until the day when the Red Flag shall fly over every capitol in the world Christianity is a ehimera when it is not a conscious hypocrisy. It is to know these things in their detail; to feel the good breath of the future reanimating the jaded and hopeless being of ourselves that it is good to be in the Socialist iife of our centre' of activity. Because from thence a& from a miraculous font we may draw the strength and the courage to face life's troubles, and in the light of the knowledge that is the most priceless heritage of Socialism to examine, reject &nd re- construct the whole of the social system in con- tact with which we are every moment of our lives compelled to live. From the sympathetic contact with the minds of Socialism our minds broaden, our lives sweeten, our determination draws inspiration to do the work of giants, and so we further the day that will herald the dawn of all. It will be a glorious privilege to be one of that thousand who will climb the mountain's peak, and survey the world anew, while they breathe for the first time the pure air of free- dom. Will you be one to breathe it? No matter that you do not live in Merthyr, or that in your locality no special effort is being made. There is a branch near you, full of the good things that will recase your life whether in the work- shop, or the bigger world beyond its walls.

I Mr. Asquilh's Speech

Freedom or Victory ?

Dick Wallhead's Appearance,

IBriton Ferry Notes. I

I. Palestine for the JewI

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