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Jack Houston’s Editorials in the OBU Bulletin: 22 November 1919

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The Canadian Clubs

Lord Milner, of Boer-War fame and one of the most sinister figures in political life, because of his autocracy and imperialism, was the man who gave the lead in starting the Canadian Clubs. Sanford Evans of Winnipeg took up the lead and systematically started clubs in every considerable city in Canada. The Canadian Club is now an institution in many of the cities of England, and the United States. Whenever a noted imperialist comes to Canada he must orate in the Canadian Clubs. Whenever a new imperialistic move is to [be] initiated some notorious elderly diplomat or statesmen is imparted to set the pace. Any occasion is good for some word-juggler to spill imperialism.

Winnipeg’s silver-tongued, elderly Demosthenes Isaac Campbell, emerged last week to do his bit for Imperialism, the need being, the danger of the workers winning out in the coming civic elections. Isaac spilled the required dope, all right. The local V.C’s [recipients of the Victoria Cross] were invited to the club, as the Ancient Romans prepared their gladiators, to make a stage setting. The V.C’s below the rank of captain were, of course, absent. We wonder why?

The elderly lawyer in his address showed the same evidence of senility that has been so spectacularly displayed by the elderly statesmen who met at Paris to make an enduring peace. One and all these men think in terms of the eighteenth century, and not in terms of the twentieth century.

“Never again let us be caught unprepared” (for war) the orator quotes with highest approval. This wooly-headed idea is in line with the principle that was the driving power back of the inquisition during its whole history.-- Never tolerate a religion which would be intolerable if it obtained power. It is also in line with the principle (habit of thought) which is the way to stall the attempts to throttle a militant labor organization which is attempting to better the conditions of labor. It is the principle of Czarism, Kaiserism and entente imperialism. This principle is the cause of all past wars.

“There are, after all, no great essential differences between the poor man and the rich once the prime necessities of food, clothing and shelter are provided.” This was another example of oratorical slush, supplied for the delectition [delectation = enjoyment] of this better class audience. The same day that this oration was being delivered the city daily papers featured the story that over twenty nine per cent of all children born in Winnipeg required aid and assistance from the Children’s Aid Society. Then there are the many hundreds of children born in the city who die from malnutrition. What about the unemployment existing in this severe weather? What about the black list? What about the closed and sabotaged industries?

The orator’s salt into economics in which he quoted, the Father of Anarchism, M. Proudhon’s historical saying that property was theft, revealed in the argument that the orator was also of the same school of economics as Proudhon. The case cited from Russia that technicians, highly trained and skilled, had to have better pay than the common worker, as usual, begged the whole economic question, which is, not how labor should be paid, but, that labor being human wanted security of opportunity to live by work, which the present economic system, nowhere, no how, makes and provision to secure.

We have no objection to these superior people making their arguments, not even to their beclouding and befogging every social question, but we want them to take notice of that the workers resent all their patronizing piffle which is intended for propaganda on workers who today are their superiors as students of social and economic questions. The more they cut such stuff from their published addresses, and the cleaner they make their fight, the more respect they will have from the workers. The worker likes a clean fighter.

Page revised: 27 July 2013

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