THAT Socialism is growing rapidly in Great Britain is attested by the fact that at a recent convention of the British Labor Party at Hull, England, a split occurred over a socialistic resolutionmore than half representatively voting for the resolution, which read as follows:
"Resolved, That in the opinion of this conference the time has arrived when the Labor Party should have as a definite object the socialization of the means of production, distribution and exchange, to be controlled by a democratic state in the interest of the entire community, and the complete emancipation of Labor from the domination of Capitalism and Landlordism, with the establishment of social and economic equality between the sexes."
"Each delegate voted for the whole number of union men he represented, and the final vote on the resolution stood: For Socialism, 514,000 votes; against Socialism, 469,000 votes. The result was hailed as a great victory by the Socialists, who put the convention in an uproar by their frantic cheering."
Of course these leaders may not on either side fully reflect the sentiment of all whom they represented as delegates; but the proportions are probably nearly correct. At all events this shows the rapid growth of Socialism in quarters where it had almost no influence ten years ago. The importance of this item is seen when it is remembered that the British Labor Party is represented by more than forty members in the present Parliament.
That statesmen are quick to measure the influence of this growth of Socialism is shown by the comments on it by the Hon. Arthur Balfour, ex-prime minister and now leader of the Conservative party of Great Britain. He sees in Socialism the foe of present institutions and fears, just as the Scriptures foretold, "Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth." He prophesies the reformation of all parties along that linefor Socialism or against it. He is reported thus:
"Mr. Balfour, on learning of the vote of the Labor Party, at once declared that henceforth in England the political fighting would be between Conservatives and Socialists; and that the old-time Liberals and Radicals would disappear, as they are already rapidly disappearing in France and Germany."
"Since then nearly all the British papers have thrown their columns open to the discussion of Socialism. As yet the laboring men are a good deal divided, while several secessions from the Labor Party are noted. It is said that the name of the Labor Party will not be changed, and that the extreme Socialists will still keep a separate organization. England is the last country in Europe where Socialism has secured a foothold. As yet but one man has ever been led to Parliament on a straight Socialist platform. Whether the Labor Party will gain or lose by its connection with Socialism the next general election will show."
"In all the political movements of England possibly no such sudden and remarkable swing of the pendulum of public opinion has ever been witnessed as that recorded this week, when in a conference at Hull representatives of millions of British workingmen, forming the Labor Party, hoisted the flag of Socialism.
"The English public is still so dazed over the suddenness of the avowal that only a few newspapers seem to grasp the real significance of the new situation. Persons who expressed astonishment and fear when the lonesome figure of John Burnssince raised to a seat in the cabinetentered Parliament as a representative of a labor constituency many years ago have now a real reason to fear for the traditional conservative trend of British legislative institutions.
"Among other things, the latest move of the Labor Party really means that the cry of Socialism will not only be raised with a strong voice in the House of Commons [R4143 : page 68] but that the present Labor members of Parliament, who have so suddenly changed their political complexion, will be backed in pushing the socialistic propaganda by the strong organization and wealthy treasury of the Labor party, though it is true that since the Hull meeting some non-Socialist members of the party have condemned its action and threatened to break away.
"Impartial observers in some quarters declare the middle and upper classes of England, who have such good ground to fear the present socialistic movement, have only themselves to blame for the Labor party's sudden change of front. In other words, laboring men seem to be practically driven to take their latest radical step from sheer desperation at their deplorable plight, the growing rarity of employment and the rise in the cost of living. The percentage of hungry men, women and children begging bread throughout England this winter is greater than for twenty years, and the desolation in many towns and villages, to say nothing of the larger cities, is appalling.
"Labor leaders, while acknowledging the splendid efforts made to relieve suffering, point to the utter impossibility of preventing starvation and the utter indifference of the great mass of people to the condition of the poor. A typical illustration of their ground for resentment against the more fortunate portion of the community was shown this week, when the county council voted a liberal sum of money to purchase flagstaffs to be set up on the public schools rather than vote money to feed those thousands of London school children who average less than one meal a day and always go to school hungry.
"Labor leaders have wisely taken into consideration the economic conditions of the country in framing their accusations, and by so doing they strengthen the charge of criminal callousness against the prosperous sections, that are always willing to open their checkbooks to aid sentimental measuresmonument funds, funds to preserve old buildings, etc.but who refuse to interest themselves in the demands of charity."
Surrounding Windsor Castle is a large park, which a lot of idle men at Manchester, Eng., think would be more useful to them if cut up so that a section of it might furnish them with small truck and garden farms. They have no objection to being close neighbors to their ruler. It is proposed that a small army of the unemployed shall besiege and beseech their king on this subject, and a cablegram says, "That the movement is most serious is certain."
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:"Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." (Gal. 6:6.) If I bother you again with a letter please accept the above Scripture as my excuse. Thinking that perhaps you have not noticed what has come under my observation, I write you about it. In a Socialist paper about ten days ago there were several articles reporting that in different places in this country Socialist speakers have been invited into churches to address the congregations and debate the subject of Socialism. Right here in Dayton that has been the case in a church of whites and also in a church of colored peoplewith what results you can see in the newspaper clipping I send you herewith. Last week I noticed a statement in the Fort Wayne News that one Fort Wayne (Ind.) minister had been accepted as a member of the Federation of Labor, and that ministers all over the country are contemplating a similar move"to keep in touch with the working people," was the statement.
Through the Socialist press we learn that the Federation of Labor is adopting Socialismjust what we look for in the near future, that the masses will be carried away with that doctrine. Now, dear brother, do you think it likely that Babylon will accept that teaching when she sees that the greater bulk of the people will be carried away with it? Does it not look as though they will be compelled to do so if the image of the beast is to exercise all the power of the first beast? (Rev. 13:12.) How else could they do thatunless they have the majority of the people with them? The masses surely will be Socialists before long. And would not that be in harmony with the Scripture that "the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her," Socialism being the next king?
Just so: the press and the pulpit and the colleges have been on the one part preaching Higher Criticism Infidelity and Evolution, and destroying faith in a personal God, and in the Bible as his revelation; and on the other part preaching that "doctrine of devils" respecting eternal torment as the divine provision for the mass of our race and thus alienating men from the true God of the Bible; and now they wonder at the resultsSocialism and later on anarchy! Surely, as the Scriptures declare, the wisdom of their wise men has perished and the understanding of their prudent men is not visible.Isa. 29:14.
But now to the query of our Brother's letter we reply: No. Socialism will never become King of mystic "Babylon." The Scriptures most clearly teach that Babylon will be on the side of the chief captains and mighty men and kings of the earth and their armies in the struggle with which this age will close. (Rev. 18:9-15.) Just for a time Socialism will be popular with a few ministers who, sympathizing with "the submerged tenth," will seek their uplift thusnot seeing the better way of the divine plan and Word. But the majority of ministers "look every man to his own quarter," and finding that their supporters are from the other side they will trim their sails accordingly. This does not mean that they will antagonize the laboring class; but that ultimately they will oppose Socialism to the limit. Our own position is well known to our readers: we sympathize with many of the aims of Socialism, but deny the practicability of it, directing all mankind rather to the plan of God"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as in heaven." We assure the sober, intelligent Socialists that beyond [R4144 : page 69] question the end of Socialism will surely be that most terrible of all calamitiesanarchy.
"GO TO NOW, YE RICH MEN, WEEP AND HOWL FOR THE MISERIES
THAT SHALL COME UPON YOU."JAS. 5:1
The present panic has been called "the rich man's panic"; because primarily it was the rich who suffered most. In previous panics as a rule the public held the railway and industrial shares which crafty rich speculators had sold out to them at high prices: so that when the crash of prices came the rich speculators were safe and the public suffered. But this time it has been the reverse, the rich speculators held the stocks and have suffered the losses. But the influence, "lack of confidence" and "deficiency of circulating medium," has spread to safe and prosperous enterprises and caused a temporary check. This has affected day-laborers in particular. And this class now is composed chiefly of Polish and Italiansmostly ignorant, and many of them vicious, the very scum of Europe: it includes, however, some as honest and faithful as could be asked. These now number millions, and the vicious of them are responsible for the dastardly "black-hand" lawlessness of the past year, which has been directed mainly against the better-to-do of their own countrymen.
Now, however, the "black-hand" methods of extorting money by terrorizing letters and circulars are being extended to other wealthy people; and anarchists are adopting "black-hand" methods, hoping to arouse public sentiment against the "predatory rich." Thus public prints tell us of a gathering of hundreds at the City Hall, Philadelphia, to demand from the mayor work or bread. And the New York World tells of a "black-hand" circular directed against the rich men of the Wall Street Stock Exchange. It says, Feb. 20:
"What is believed to have been the real cause for the closing of the visitors' gallery of the Stock Exchange to the public became known yesterday, when Police Commissioner Bingham made public an anarchistic circular that has been sent broadcast through the city.
"The circular calls upon all workingmen to arm themselves and begin the slaughter of all rich men. Copies of the circular were sent into the Wall street district, and it is said that several members of the Stock Exchange received the notices with accompanying letters of warning.
"The explanation given when the visitors' gallery of the Stock Exchange was closed was that repairs were being made. There is not a bit of work being done on the gallery. The report is persistent that members of the Stock Exchange became aware of a "black-hand" plot to throw a dynamite bomb upon the floor of the Exchange while the members were trading.
"Deputy Commissioner Woods said: 'I cannot make the circular public just now, as it is of such an inflammatory nature that it might do harm. I have never seen a paper so threatening and vicious in my life. It is likely to cause a great deal of trouble.'
"Copies of the circular were sent to labor organizations in New York and Brooklyn. Several of these organizations have notified Commissioner Bingham of the receipt of the circular and have asked him to discover and punish the authors of it.
"There can be no doubt that the circular has caused a scare in Wall street. None of the members of the Stock Exchange will admit having received a copy of it, but they know about it. Secretary George W. Ely declared that the visitors' gallery was not closed on account of the circular."
There is trouble nearer home, too. In Sewickley Heights, one of the suburbs of Pittsburg, the residence district of some very rich and very estimable people, a "black-hand" scare has caused many of the most aristocratic establishments to be deserted except by watchmen, while detectives are searching for the lawless threateners.
None should think from these things that the majority of laborers are "thugs." Quite to the contrary; the anarchists are few and may safely be set down as victims of mental aberration, the result of unfortunate birth, intensified by an unfavorable environment, by a false secular education and an entire ignorance of the true character and Word of God. Now these anarchists are few in number but with fanatical zeal make a stir far, far beyond their relative strength: the real trouble will come when the now bewildered but well-meaning masses shall have become fully inoculated with the infidelity of the Evolutionists and Higher Critics, and fully persuaded respecting the inalienable rights of man and fully convinced that these cannot be obtained for all except by a radical change of present institutions. Then Socialism will appear to the masses the only peaceable way for obtaining social and financial equality: then Socialism will spread like wild-fire. But Socialism will fail; because money and brains will cooperate against it from selfishness and fear. Then, maddened by their failure, Socialists will en masse turn anarchists, and the direct results will ensue: "A time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."
"In an address on 'The Gospel and the New Age,' Shaler Matthews, dean of the divinity school of the University of Chicago, noted for his commentaries on the Bible, before Haverford College students recently traced the decline of Christian faith and showed how by [R4145 : page 70] a reconstructive process it can still be made to meet the spiritual needs of the age.
"'Man elects God now, not God man,'" said the speaker. 'We have outgrown conceptions of God as a king and a father. Our deity is a personality endowed with the qualities the god of an advanced people must have. We think in terms of scientific progress, and since Darwin propounded his theories on evolution we have been living under their controlling concepts, and come to look at Christianity in this light.'
"Dr. Matthews ridiculed the religious attitude which accepts outworn beliefs because 'they were good enough for a sainted mother or father,' saying that in the natural order of things children must break with traditions and get away from the religious decadence due to sentiment. He depicted the two factions at work trying to mould the religion of college men. On the one hand, old school teachers telling the youth to stop thinking and accept blindly their crude faiths and intellectual inheritance; on the other, strong men trying to adjust their faith to their judgment."The North American.
A very rich man, whom we have every reason to regard as a Christian in the ordinary sense of that title, even if not a "saint," endowed the college whose teachings are represented by the head of its faculty in the above address. That rich man, already paying his employees liberally, gave liberally of his surplus to enlighten them or others of his fellow-creatures. Not vastly learned himself, he supposed that he was acting wisely, for the good of all mankind, when he entrusted so vast a fortune to the care of the learned ministers and professors of theology of his own (Baptist) denomination. Alas! he probably did not suspect that under the name of Christian influence and education his millions would be used to propagate Evolution doctrines contrary to the Bible, and to instil Higher Criticism of the Bible to utterly destroy the Bible's influence. The size of his generous gift and the size of the resultant college give increased weight and influence to the infidel doctrines which are flooding Christendom.
We do not blame Mr. Rockefeller, but concede his good intentions; neither do we condemn the professor whose words we quote above. Ensnared of the Adversary, he is probably honest in the utterance of his convictions. The point we do make is that the wealth and learning of Christendom have for the past thirty years been carrying forward the Adversary's workdestroying faith in a personal God and in the Bible as a revelation from him.
Now the fruit of their "sowing to the wind" is appearing and shortly they with others will reap the whirlwind of anarchy. Yet they are so blind to this as to fancy that the education they are giving the rising generation is the antidote for anarchy. Alas! they cannot see that "The reverence of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom." Their educational program ignores this foundation and hence is proving injurious to the race. Discontent and not happiness is the result of such education, and its influence extends to the uneducated.
"In the reading of his paper Rev. Clayton consumed the larger part of the evening, and the large congregation present accorded him rapt attention. He pointed out how man originally existed in the form of a worm, and how he later developed into the form of an ape, and how even today he bears a close relation to the gorilla. Each one of his theories Rev. Clayton backed up with proofs obtained from the science of evolution."