Author's General Foreword
lished. Particulars of publication and date (March, 1938) are found in text of the pamphlet.
The 1919 Foreword to Trade Unionism will be found at the beginning of that pamphlet. I have written a 1940 Foreword to Socialism and Marriage.
Except to the very slight extent explained in this general introduction, there has been no alteration made in the text of these essays. My desire has been to bring them together as a contribution to the propaganda literature of the working class movement. Radical alteration would have defeated that purpose.
The reader will understand that the author termed himself "a Communist" in 1906. He uses the term in the sense he then employed it, in the sense that William Morris employed it, the sense of world harmony, social love, service, and commonweal. Soviet Terrorism has made the term "Communism" identical with dictators hip and totalitarian oppression, assassination, and darkness. To this, the author is opposed. To 'Communism as thus understood, he pledges his uncompromising hostility and denies that it is Communism in the true, historic sense of the term. The pioneers of Socialism and working-class struggle never intended to inaugurate a reign of terror. Their aim was to destroy war, uproot violence, remove injustice, establish freedom, and make the world at once a garden, a playground, and a workshop. One day, this dream will become reality. Meantime, I gaze towards the promised land. Perhaps, like others who went before me, I shall die ere humanity ends its march of travail and homicide by entry into the long-sought commonweal. That matters little, so long, as after many false dawns, the true dawn comes at last.
Generations of humanity have hungered long and wearily. The night must end. The day of freedom and security, of calm wellbeing, must arrive at last.
Glasgow, May 15, 1940. GUY A. ALDRED.
The Case for Anarchism
The prophet of despair is ever with us; and to him there is no silver lining to any cloud, no promise of sunshine after the storm, no people so fair and upright as to be able to act honourably unless force or fear are brought to bear upon them. To him the whole social horizon is shrouded in darkness, and not a ray of freedom's son is there to separate cloud from cloud. Humanity is inherently bad, and is for ever doomed to be divided into dominated and dominators. Governments based on fraud and coercion, a representative system founded on legislative corruption, a poverty to offer the contrast to an equally immoral bestial luxury: these things are the ends of all being, the tombs of all aspirations, the alpha and omega of the social serf's existence. To dream of a society not founded on the "law of constructive murder," of a social state in which all are brethren and peace and good fellowship prevail, of a society founded on truth and freedom, is to become an enemy of the society that is, and to be regarded as a dreamer of the most fanatical type. And in the eyes of your "practical" and "business man," no less so that in the eyes of any other prophet of despair, to dream of anything other than of personal success or Mammon is an unforgivable offence, socially, like unto the theological sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
What these deprecators of idealism fail to realize is that all social progress turns upon the continual striving of the individual and the community after something better, the continual being and becoming of the whole of Nature, the eternal discontent underlying the most practical of human endeavour. It follows, therefore, from a recognition of this fact that no serious argument can be urged against the propaganda of the communist on the score of his idealism. For, if by idealism be understood the yearning after some state of society or of individual being, and the moulding of the present to realize your dream in the future, then surely there is a touch of the impracticability of idealism about the operation of Wall Street and Stock Exchange financiers. And yet they realize their dreams. Why, then, if the socially maleficent dream of the millionaire can be realized? Is it that behind the forces of Nature there exists and omnipotent power for evil, and that not God, bud Devil, reigns o'er all? If so, whence the sweet fragrance of the flowers, the artistic culture of the race, the rich verdure of the fields, the impressive heights of the mountain ranges, the beauties of the undulating plains, the luxury of Nature's foliage? Does not the evil in Nature counteract the good? Is it not obvious
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