E. Belfort Bax


(January 1886)

Morocco, Commonweal, Jan. 1886, p.3.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

We call the attention of our readers to the fact which some of them may have overlooked that Morocco is at the present time the elect morsel of the capitalist harpies of Europe. All the “powers” are simultaneously negotiating treaties of commerce with the Moorish potentate, and it is rumoured that Germany has been pressing for permission for a syndicate of her capitalists to “open up” the country in approved fashion, though, it is, said, as yet without success.

The most, ominous sign of all however, is the appearance in the field of the capitalist’s right hand man; the professional “philanthropist”. For a long time past the press has presented us with periodical fragments of intelligence from Tangiers all tending to impress the virtuous British public with the terrible wickedness of the Moorish authorities; and above all inculcate a due sense of horror at the domestic slavery which exists there as in all Oriental civilisations.

The domestic slaves of the East, it has often been pointed out, are as a rule better off than the domestic servants of the West, while as compared with that of the factory slave, their lot is Heaven upon earth. But the capitalist’s aim is to replace the domestic slavery and hand production for use, which prevails in the Moorish Empire, by the “free contract” and factory system of the “great industry.” For Morocco is a virgin soil, invaluable not merely as a market, but from its proximity to the sea and to Europe as a field for direct industrial exploitation. Hence the meeting recently convened in Tangiers by Messrs. Crawford and Allen, of the Anti-Slavery Society, at which a local Committee was formed for the transmission to this country of reliable (?) information on the subject of the slave trade, is extremely significant. It shows the beginning of the end. Our readers may before long. expect to hear of atrocities which compel intervention on the part of the humane capitalist governments of Europe, and to read “leaders” glowing with the hues of that emotion which commercial needs engender, even as the phosphorescent tints of blue and green in some suburban swamp are engendered by the decomposition of the defunct domestic cat. Then follow “military operations,” decorations, annexations, and “occupations.”

There is a grand attraction in the shape of a beautiful “Jewess,” moreover, in this business, she alleges she was flogged two years ago! The present, if we are not mistaken, is not the first appearance of this young lady before the British public. Very nice are Morocco Jewesses – dark languishing eyes, voluptuous figures, etc., quite Arabian Nightesque. Their wrongs appeal to the man of taste so much more than those of stunted, sallow, blear-eyed factory hands at home. Slavery and flogging, too, of beautiful Jewesses is barbarous – free contract and starvation of common place factory hands is civilised!

We shall keep the readers of the Commonweal well posted up as to the main incidents in the development of this nice little Morocco plot.



Last updated on 26.3.2004