Dora B. Montefiore 1912

How “Labour” Party Bluffs the People


Source: Daily Herald, November 15, 1912, p. 2;
Transcription: Ted Crawford.
HTML Markup: Brian Reid.
Proofed: and corrected by Nicole McKenzie.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.


The HERALD article of November 9 by G.R.S.T. is particularly interesting because the so-called Labour Party in Australia (which is only one of the capitalist parties which has bluffed the people that it stands for their interests) has had a very nasty hit lately over their policy of attempting to smash the trusts.

I write advisedly “attempting” because, as trusts rings and combines are in the order of capitalist evolution, those who try to smash them are twentieth century Mrs. Partingtons, attempting to keep back the tide with a broom. “Labour” politicians are notoriously uneducated where economics is concerned and those in Australia, with Mr. Fisher and Mr. Attorney-General Hughes, have not yet learnt that the trust method of production is scientific; it is only its method of distributing the product which is out of date. They have therefore, at the expense of the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, declared war on the Coal and Shipping Combine: and after trial lasting seventy two days, and a High Court appeal of seventeen days, they have found themselves completely beaten by the combine, while the taxpayers will have to foot a bill for 50,000, which goes into the capacious pockets of the lawyers.

Capitalism the Enemy not the Trusts

Last year when a referendum was taken on the subject of giving more power to the Commonwealth government to enable it to “smash” the trusts, we Socialists pointed out in our press organ, “The International Socialist” that it was not the trusts but the capitalist, system which was at fault. We showed that Australia was only at the beginning of her industrial evolution and that the onslaught on the trusts was being made in the interest of the small capitalists who were the mainstay of the Labour party. These small capitalists are in Australia being forced downwards by the power of trustified capital into the ranks of wage-slavery; and under the forcing process they are squeaking out, and appealing to the only god they have been taught to trust in—the Parliamentary Labour Party.

What sort of god that is those of us who have studied the Trinity-in-Unity of Craft Union Leaders, small capitalist and lawyers on-the-make know, and how little of economic light and leading the workers have to hope for in that direction. Why, it was the miners themselves who, when the coalowners were competing against one another and miners’ wages were at starvation point, urged the miners to combine and increase prices so that wages might also be increased. No sooner was this natural evolution in capitalism effected than the Commonwealth “Labour” Attorney-General came along and said: “The Trusts must be smashed and competition must be unrestricted”; and whenever our great and powerful Labour party finds two corporations which refuse to wage a war of extermination against each other, proceedings shall be taken against them with the object of making them cut each other’s throats.

This is just about the same business that President Wilson is going to inaugurate in the United States. And we who laugh at the silly (or is it corrupt?) Commonwealth “Labour Government, who are bluffing and bleeding the workers of Australia, know that we shall soon have a similar laugh at the workers of the United States, because they have not elected Debs, who knows what to do with the trusts, but have elected a representative of the master class, who, even if he does know what to do with them, is not going to do it. The last thing President Wilson is out for is a scientific reconstruction of Society and the abolition of wage slavery. That is what Debs and the International Socialists all over the world stand for; and that is the workers of the world will some day stand for, when they have tried every other way and find it leads up a blind alley. The great combines, like labour-saving inventions, are here to stay. The question for the workers is how to combine industrially and politically to got hold of the combines and distribute their products throughout the whole community, according to the needs of those who have worked to produce. It’s so simple! Why do the workers continually refuse the fence?