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novna Krupskaya. In quiet unspectac- had added its strength to her perular submergence of her personality in suasion. the cause Krupskaya is a classical figure 'Don't waste money on pompous among the Communist leaders. Clad in monuments which Lenin himself would sandals and old unfashionable clothes, have despised,' she said in substance. stout in form, her large face lined with “Let your sorrow for Lenin go into the the marks of physical pain, Krupskaya building of a new life for our country. can often be found addressing obscure Let it find expression in the creation of conferences of teachers and librarians, schools and homes for orphaned chilthrowing all her strength into the ardu- dren and hospitals for our war sufferers.' ous task of bringing a little order into It may be disputed whether Stalin or the Russian educational system and a Zinoviev or Kamenev is Lenin's oldest little light into the dark, backward disciple; but there can be little doubt peasant villages. Indeed, nothing could that Krupskaya represents the true have been truly finer than her appeal embodiment of the selfless Communist shortly after Lenin's death, when grief spirit.
THE FUTURE OF ENGLISH LIBERALISM
BY E. T. RAYMOND
POLITICAL Prophets, as Mr. Chesterton
on the platform and in the press but it
reputation to their habit of predicting meaning. as likely to happen in a dozen years or So it is that when one or another rises so something that indubitably did hap- to tell us of the approaching demise of pen a dozen years or so ago. Were they Liberalism in England, interested multo turn their attention to matters with titudes scan the heavens above and the which the ordinary person is familiar, earth beneath for confirmatory portheir methods would soon expose them tents. And when a Liberal candidate to ridicule. If after some weeks of sum- runs third at a by-election, and forfeits mer rain they were to hint that wet his deposit money for polling no more wickets would shortly be the rule, or than a trivial number of voters, great that the trade in muslin frocks might honor immediately accrues to the combefore long be affected, they would call pany of prophets. What the public forth the smile of derision. But in poli- does not notice is that the prophets are, tics they are free to be wise after the in fact, simply prophesying the past. event, because, with nine people out of Liberalism, the creed of Bright and ten, political knowledge is merely ver- Cobden, the dogma of laissez faire, bal. The public has by rote a number laissez aller, is dead already. As to the of words that are frequently repeated precise date of its death there may be argument, but certainly it did not sur- mount so high unaided; go to Heaven vive the guardianship of Lord Rosebery by their own chosen roads, or, if they in the nineties of the last century. chose, to the Devil, provided it was not Even earlier it had shown signs of in- the Devil which publicans dispersed on ternal decay. Gladstone's intervention Sunday afternoons. When all is said in Egypt, as well as his alternating poli- and done, the creed was less brutal than cies of boons and coercion in Ireland, it sounds. It rested on the assumption had been serious departures from the that humanity was, in the lump, good. golden rule of ‘least done, soonest The advent of Lord Rosebery mended'; yet it had been possible to wrought a change. It meant that the overlook them. Pure Liberalism, it exception in regard to alcohol was to could be urged, was the fine flower of become the rule in regard to all human English civilization and not an article existence. The new leader called himof export suitable for men of color and self a Liberal mainly because he came Popish peasants; and the Home-Rule of Whig stock, resented having to sit in scheme was a return to the letter of the House of Lords, and had a personal the law, needing no sophistry for its affection for Gladstone. He was, in justification. Home Rulesplit the Party, fact, a cross between a modern Conbut it kept the true doctrine alive; for servative and a Fabian Socialist. In all no idea could be more thoroughly Lib- directions he was activist, while the eral than that of ending England's Irish very essence of true Liberalism is, first difficulty by allowing the Irish to go to clear away all obstruction to the free their own way — although it might be play of forces, and then to give those a rather bad way.
forces the freest play. Lord Rosebery Quite un-Liberal, on the other hand, was Imperialist, and, despite all that were the concurrent plans for making ingenuous writers have said, there is the public sober by Act of Parliament. a profound incompatibility between That the precisians came to accept Imperialism and Liberalism. He was them without question is a standing Socialist, in the sense that he desired proof that in this world political phim to make the State, not merely the losophies will always yield to personal defender against foreign enemies, the prejudices. If so disposed, a Liberal keeper of domestic order, and the encould, without violating his orthodoxy, forcer of contracts, but also the creator proclaim that ale was the Devil in solu- of happiness and prosperity. The tion, and that sensible people would, dream was, and is, attractive, and pertherefore, eschew this Hell-brewed liq- haps it is wrong to call it a dream. But uor, while the foolish died to the benefit it was not Liberal. “Social Reform, of the body politic; but it was sheer whatever can be said for it, — and noheresy for such a Liberal to control by body nowadays dares to say a word legislation the public taste in taps. All against it, — does mean forcing some the same, it would be true to say that people to do what they dislike, and also if the late Gladstonian Liberalism was forcing them to abstain from doing in this direction obviously corrupt, it what they do like. And it is mostly was, taking a wide view, recognizably based on the assumption that humanLiberal. It stood for the theory that ity is, in the lump, bad, and the very men were free and equal; must be alpoor, rather worse. lowed to make their way in the world When the Liberal Party came to on their own feet, and occasionally on power in 1906 with its sweeping victothe shoulders of others if they could ries, although there had been a consid
erable resurrection of Liberalism in the his private principles by taking the line country, there was less in the Cabinet. of least resistance. The vote for Free Trade and against In justice to the leader and all condenominational education, as well as cerned it must be admitted that to an the condemnation of the Unionist poli- extent, at least, they were the slaves of cies in South Africa, seemed to show circumstances. The great Liberals of that the average man was anxious for a the nineteenth century had seen very return to old ways. Sir Henry Camp- clearly as far as the tips of their noses bell-Bannerman himself would have — and not one inch farther. When been quite agreeable. “Trust the peo- they proposed that Government should ple' was the foundation of his states- confine itself to keeping the peace and manship, and he probably would have coining money, they did not mean that given it as his opinion that the English things and people required no further had as much right to freedom as the regulation whatsoever. On the conBoers. But few of his Ministers shared trary, they believed that there was in his views. Among them were men such the world, independent of Kings, Minas Mr. John Burns and Mr. Lloyd isters, and assemblies, a great regulatGeorge, whose desideratum was bu- ing force as constant as the sun and reaucracy; others, such as Sir Edward tides, and they called it 'Competition.' Grey, in whose programme the needs of There was, they said, no need to legisEmpire stood first; and there was Mr. late on such problems as prices, wages, Haldane who, being at once Fabian and hours, and conditions of labor, because Imperialist, could be Liberal neither at competition would duly and satisfactohome nor abroad. Mr. Asquith was by rily settle these matters. The idea that temperament a Simon-pure, but in a merchant could be what is now known practice ever ready to be swayed by as a profiteer did not occur to them. whoever made the most noise. Lord Other merchants, as far as they could Crewe and the other peers were Whigs. see, would always bring him to order by Lord Morley, indeed, had been Liberal- selling at a more reasonable price. Still ism incarnate, if the expression may be less did they imagine certain workmen employed in regard to one who himself bringing an industry to ruin by deseemed somehow incorporeal; but he manding more for their labor than the was sent to the Indian Office where, industry could produce. Other workafter a spell of dealing with seditious ers, they held, would always be ready Hindus, he wrote down the chief to take their places on more reasonable clauses of his former credo as a series terms. of ‘abstract catchwords.'
In brief, the old Liberals did not foreNor did Mr. Asquith's attainment of see how competition was in almost the premiership change the character of every sphere to give way to combinathe Government. True, he preached tion. To-day it is obvious that their laissez faire in Parliament and on the philosophy is in practical politics platform, but he practised it mainly in no longer tenable. The Government the Cabinet, and when Mr. Lloyd which acted on it, professing to leave George in the plentitude of his vigor the people free, would in fact be consuggested measures for turning the ferring freedom on sundry powerful country upside down, and then regi- corporations only, and delivering ordimenting it on German lines, the Prime nary men, women, and children to a Minister, while doing lip service to the tyranny the like of which has never Radical philosophers, remained true to yet been known. A few, a very few Conservatives are now the sole uphold change would, no doubt, alter the presers of the individualism that was the ent face of politics; among other things essence of Liberalism in the Victo it would make a Centre party permarian age.
nent in Parliament. But it would do II
nothing toward a Liberal resurrection.
For the genuine Liberal is neither a From all this, two salient facts timorous wobbler nor a respectable emerge. In the first place, Liberalism trimmer; neither a moderate Tory nor as understood in the nineteenth cen- a mild Socialist; but one who is bound tury is a thing of the past. Secondly, to take strong views on all subjects, the Party which retains the name of and on some to be an extremist. Liberal is out of favor with the country, Even at the present period of the because, having lost its principles, it Liberal Party's degeneracy, its memhas nothing in particular to offer. bers show by an occasional kick that ‘Politics,' said an American divine of they do not hold their duty fulfilled in last century, “is the science of exigen- maintaining the middle way. Thus, in cies'; but though this view may be their opposition to Protection or Preftaken by the spiritually minded man erence, with few exceptions they are who contemplates mundane affairs, as absolutely firm; whereas in the Labor well as by the complete cynic, it does ranks there is schism, doubt, and hesinot commend itself to the multitude. tation. Those Laborites who were Tadpole and Taper, eternal types of the graduated in the Liberal schools, and wirepuller, may be very disrespectful read from the primer of Mill before behind the scenes when principles are embarking on an advanced course in mentioned, but they know better than Marx, may still be Free-Traders. They anybody else that a principle at the hang to their thin relic of a childish faith time of a general election is a sine qua as Vautrin clasped his soiled rags of non. It is the plank on which your virtue; but the genuine Socialist, comparty man stands; without it, he will be monly a Scot, has none of this weakfor a moment in mid-air, and the next ness. Thus Mr. Johnston, editor of the sprawling in the mud. He who does not Clydeside Forward, declared the other profess belief in some perfectly definite, day in the House of Commons for a comprehensible principle is naturally prohibitive tariff against the goods of suspected like the candidate in the ‘Big- countries which did not adopt a fortylow Papers.' Mr. Lloyd George's Coa- eight hours' working week, and for 'the lition fell because it could not be recog. finest possible preference' to Australia, nized as fish, flesh, or fowl. The Liberal where a high minimum wage has been Party is moving toward collapse for enforced in all skilled trades. Pledged the same reason
to international solidarity of the proleOf the three Parties in the State, it tariat, his associates must either sup shows, as a Party, the least character, port him or avow a derisory inconsistand to-day is generally regarded as ency. The logic of Socialism, as of nothing but a halfway house betv.een Conservatism, leads inevitably to fiscal the Conservative and Labor camps. Its discrimination, just as surely as the members, instead of attempting to dis- logic of Liberalism means an open sipate that notion, encourage it by de market. manding a change in the electoral sys. Again, at several stages of the recent tem which will, or may, bring them debate on the London Traffic Bill, Laevery voter's second vote. Such a borites and Tories have been seen
the hit by the appea
working hand in hand. This measure
III for the control of the shockingly congested streets of the British capital Yet chances of the Liberals regaining appeared wise and necessary to both the ground lost of late to the Socialists It had been drafted under Mr. Bald- ought by no means to be ignored. In win's Government, and with some the main, the appeal of the newer party minor alterations it was accepted by has always been religious or emotional. Mr. MacDonald's Government. The 'Socialism,' wrote Mr. Wells, “lights up Liberals, on the contrary, fought the certain once hopeless evils in human bill on the ground that it would rivet a affairs and shows the path by which estraffic monopoly on the metropolis, and cape is possible. ... Socialism is deprive the “pirate' - otherwise the hope.' But with Labor in office Socialowner of one or a dozen omnibuses - ism has become hope deferred and is of his liberty to ply a trade. And, what rapidly making the general heart sick. ever the merits of the problem, there should Labor attain to real power the can be no question that they were fight- hope may be destroyed. The Party, it ing for elementary Liberalism when would seem, is in the fairly near future they pleaded the cause of green, blue, bound to evolve in one of three direcand chocolate omnibuses in competition tions. It may settle into the jog trot of with the red vehicles of Lord Ashfield's solid Trades-Unionism, concentrating dominant combination.
on the problem of raising the condition On the increasingly rare occasions of the workers, and far too intent on when the Liberal stands by his guns bread and jam even to dream of the the taunt of pedantry is often raised millennium. Or it may become revoluagainst him. The taunt would lose its tionary — in which case the bread and sting did he stand by them less seldom. jam will probably be sacrificed to a Advocacy of freedom is certainly not dream ending in blood and hunger. Or, pedantic, but there is a touch of buck- again, it may come to be directed by ram sentimentality about the politician the coterie of intellectuals, which would who continues to insist on free imports mean a kind of lay theocracy and, conwhile agreeing to every other sort of sequently, a very horrid tyranny. interference with the laws of supply Should the Trades-Unionists prevail, and demand. Equally, it is absurd to there would certainly be a split in the demand freedom of the streets while party. The eager visionaries, the seekvoting for laws which will enchain a ers after eartbly paradises, could never man under the roof he may not call his accommodate their mental pace to the own, worry him in bed or at board, speed limit which a Henderson or a weigh upon him at business or at play. Walsh would impose in practical affairs. Apart from merely partisan attacks, Should the revolutionaries take the lead the charge of pedantry is not made it is equally sure that the English workagainst the modern Liberal because he ingman would, after a few steps, refuse wears a calico shirt of the pattern of the to follow. Whether unity could be fifties, but because he takes such in preserved under 'intellectual' direction ordinate pride in a garment so scanty would depend almost entirely on the and worn so thin that it cannot cover personal abilities of the directors, and his nakedness. If he had maintained at the moment the prospects are the full Cobdenic wardrobe — adapted scarcely bright. Mr. MacDonald has a sufficiently to the new time — all good presence, fluent command of would have been well with him. commonplace, self-satisfaction, Parlia