Argus — The Socialist Technique

The Socialist Technique

by Eric Butler

Melbourne Argus, May 3, 1949.

The most important aspect of ex-Communist Cecil Sharpley’s recent series of articles on Communism is the fact that Mr. Sharpley says that his Socialist views remain unmodified.  Mr. Sharpley still considers a centrally planned economy the key to genuine progress.  He believes that Socialism can and should be introduced democratically through the ballot-box, and is looking forward to taking his place in the Labor movement for the purpose of furthering what is generally termed “democratic Socialism.”  In other words, Mr. Sharpley still believes in the same objective as the Communists, i.e., Socialism — but he now disapproves of the Communist methods of reaching the objective.

No doubt Mr. Sharpley, like large numbers of other Socialists, is quite sincere in his belief that a centrally planned economy can be implemented without destroying the individual’s rights and liberties.  But in practice the centrally planned economy, irrespective of whether it is termed Socialism, Fascism, Nazism, or any other “ism,” leads to the complete Monopoly State.  “Democratic Socialism” in Great Britain is leading to the very economic conscription operating:  in Soviet Russia.

Compulsion of Labor.

On February 29, 1946, Sir Stafford Cripps said in the British House of Commons that “No country in the world, so far as I know, has yet succeeded in carrying through a planned economy without conscription of labour.”

Cripps and his fellow-theorists were going to demonstrate how to solve this problem by reconciling individual liberty with centralised planning, but by December of 1947 the results of their planning were used as the excuse for the necessity of direct manpower control under the Control of Engagement Order.

While it is true that the Communists denounce the Labor-Socialists and their “democratic Socialism,” they welcome the inevitable chaos which all centralised planning creates.  They then take the lead in demanding still more planning and controls to deal with the chaos.  The Communists in Great Britain played a leading role in urging that the British Socialist Government introduce manpower controls.

John Hladun, a former Canadian Communist Party member who had been sent to Moscow for special training, made the following statement on November 26, 1948:

“In a Socialist economy, one control tends to cause another, until, as a logical result, the State controls and finally owns everything.  Out and out Socialism cannot help developing into Communism … Socialism is a dangerous experiment — forerunner of Communism.”

The greatest danger confronting the people of this and other British countries today is that while resisting the approach to the Monopoly State along the Communist road, they will succumb to the plausible argument that if they travel on the “democratic Socialist” road they will reach a different destination.  Slavery can be introduced via the ballot-box and the perversion of the Parliamentary system just as effectively as it can be introduced by direct violence.

An individual can have his property taken from him at the point of the bayonet, or a political party with a temporary majority in Parliament can achieve the same objective by nationalising all property.  What is the difference?

No doubt Professor Harold Laski, one of the recognised prophets of Socialism in all English-speaking countries, had the above point in mind when, after seeing Stalin in 1946, he said he was convinced that Socialism in British countries was leading to the same objective being sought by Stalin and his associates.  Laski is the man who has also said that while it is true that “democratic Socialism” necessitates the Government compensating in money individuals who have had their properties taken from them by nationalisation the Government can then deprive these individuals of this money by heavy direct taxation.

The Canadian Socialist journal, People’s Weekly, in November, 1946, published the following:  “Josef Stalin, Prime Minister of the U.S.S.R. … in a two-hour conversation in the Kremlin, told Morgan Phillips there were two roads to Socialism — the Russian way and the British way.”  “The British way to the Monopoly State was specially devised to meet the obstacle recognised by Karl Marx when he said that the British would never make their own revolution.  The Fabian Socialist Society, the fountain head of Socialism in English-speaking countries, was brought into being for the purpose of perverting the Parliamentary system, breaking down constitutional safeguards, and introducing Socialism under the guise of democracy.

The Webbs, whose writings were studied by Lenin, and other pioneers of the Fabian Socialist conspiracy deliberately set out to encourage Governments to increase their powers to such an extent that these powers would have to be delegated to a growing army of permanent officials, empowered to make regulations having the force of law.  Professor Laski has outlined the technique as follows:  “The necessity and value of delegated legislation –… and its extension is inevitable if the process of socialisation is not to be wrecked by the normal methods of obstruction which existing Parliamentary procedure sanctions.”

Here is a clear admission of what should be obvious to any thinking person, that as centralised planning is extended to cover more and more of the nation’s economy, the all-powerful officials doing the actual planning must be given authority to make their own regulations as they proceed without having to consult Parliament.

In his famous book, The New Despotism, published in 1929, the former Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Hewart, warned the British peoples of the menace confronting them:

“A mass of evidence establishes the fact that there is in existence a persistent and well-contrived system, intended to produce, and, in fact, producing, a despotic power which at one and the same time places Government departments above the sovereignty of Parliament and beyond the jurisdiction of the Courts … The whole scheme of self-government is being undermined, and that, too, in a way in which no self-respecting people, if they were aware of the facts, would for a moment, tolerate.”

Sovietisation by Stealth.

Genuine democracy cannot survive unless the Fabian Socialist programme of Sovietisation by stealth is exposed and opposed.  Electors must realise that “democratic Socialism” is a self-contradictory term.  One of the basic features of democracy is responsible Government.

Every new Socialist measure passed by Parliament inevitably furthers the destruction of responsible Government.

If carried to its logical conclusion, every aspect of the community’s affairs must be governed by regulations passed by the central planning authorities to suit their own requirements.  Parliament as now understood would then become a hindrance and could be abolished.

Speaking to the Oxford Fabian Society in 1944, the famous English Socialist, Mr. G. D. H. Cole, said:

“I do not like the Parliamentary system, and the sooner it is overthrown the better I shall be pleased.”

Perhaps Mr. Sharpley might not agree with this version of “democratic Socialism,” but, nevertheless, if he continues to work for Socialism he will be furthering the task of destroying self-government which he started as a Communist.

The Labor-Socialists cannot claim to be fighting the Communist programme until they abolish from their platform their Socialisation objective.  At present they are merely arguing with the Communists about different methods to reach the same objective.

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