Vanguard October 1915

“German Gold”

Source: J.D.M. (James D. MacDougall), Vanguard, October 1915, p. 5;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

It has come at last. The “Evening Times” the other night did not openly say, that would be too honest a way but slimily insinuated, that the trade unionists who still believe in fighting their employers and the Socialists who have consistently adhered to their principles during the war, are being subsidised by German gold. At that rate, we supposes that the British Government has subsidised Karl Liebknecht to vote against the War Credits in the Reichstag, and that the reason why our two valiant comrades, Rosa Luxemburg and Klara Zetkin, are today lying in the Kaiser’s goals, is that they have an unfortunate weakness for British gold. In the same way we might explain the conduct of the five Social Democratic deputies to the Duma, who, for opposing the war; have been exiled for life to Siberia. We might! If we were the ignorant fools the “Evening Times” takes us to be. But, alas for the “Times,” the game they are so unsuccessfully trying to play is, if not quite so old as the hills, yet ancient enough.

When Republican France was fighting England, an internal revolt against the government broke out in La Vendee. Immediately, the revolutionaries assailed the rebels as traitors bought by “English, gold” sent over by that scoundrel Pitt. But though Pitt endeavoured to use this revolt for the purpose of defeating France, there can be no question that it originated quite independently of his plans and desires. La Vendee was a province so economically backward that the relations between the serfs and their lords were fairly comfortable. Religion in such a district was firmly rooted, and all the waves of Eighteenth Century rationalism failed to disturb it. Therefore, when the revolutionary government attempted so unpopular a measure as the introduction of conscription, it was easy in the name of the “King and Religion” to raise a formidable rebellion which took all the power of the Republic to crush.

The Russo-Japanese War was raging, there was much popular agitation carried on by the Social Democratic Party in Russia, and many strikes were organised against the Government of the Czar. The popular cry raised by the brutal reactionaries against the Socialists was that they were tools of the Japanese Government, and were being subsidised by Japanese gold.

Many other instances of this trick being used by parties in power to discredit dangerous opponents could be given. It is not required in this instance, for the “Times” has blundered. The militant workers on the Clyde can be under no misapprehension as to where our “gold” comes from – they themselves supply it.