…from the quill of Antisthenes
After I ‘penned’ (a supercilious, derogatory term the socialists like to use – so I pre-empted them) my British are revolting, where I quoted the Labour Member of Parliament Keir Hardie, I discovered additional information about the old comrade. Hardie left school at the age of seven and until he was twenty-three had worked in coal mines. He learned to preach in the Temperance Movement. Apparently the poetry of Robert Burns and religious mysticism led him to socialist ideology. Good old times when at least a few of the self-declared avant-garde of the working class had done some manual work! Of course, from then on Hardie turned an union organiser and a politician. (As an aside – Andrew Fisher was in his teenage years a local secretary of the Scottish Miners’ Union, then headed by Keir Hardie. Later Andrew migrated to Queensland to assist with the gold mining and founding of the Labor Party. In 1908 he became the fifth Australian Prime Minister .)
In 1889 there were two socialist conferences in Paris, one Marxist and the other non-Marxist, more pragmatic -”possibilist”. Hardie attended both. At one of them he declared that “no person in England believed in other than peaceful methods to achieve the amelioration of conditions”. At the time even some revolutionaries of the Marxist Second International were opposed to the use of violence in the class struggle. Throughout his career, Hardie embraced all the fashionably soft-left causes, such as pacifism, self-rule for India, and the end of segregation in South Africa. However, during riots in 1911 he showed his true, deep-red colour: “The masters show you no mercy. They starve you, they sweat you, they oppress you. Pay them back in their own coin.”
Tactical reasonableness was and still is in the totalitarians’ arsenal. Today totalitarian left turns green on the surface, and their interest in environment is on par with Stalin’s interest in human rights. Can anybody honestly believe that, for example, the future leader of the Australian Green Party Ms Lee Rhiannon really cares about our environment, human rights or Marx forbid, democracy?