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PAGE 10. THE TOILER SATURDAY, NOV. 13, 1920.
Patriotism, Old And New
By S. Macaulay.
When the war was at its height, acts were of the slaves, the idea should arise that, not hav
committed in the name of patriotism, which in ing any "rights" in the community, they should
ordinary times would have been severlly punished demand rights. History is full of instances of these
by the very persons who condoned them during demands. And the true history of the human race
the crisis. It is on record, for instance, that girls is the record of the struggles of the slave class to
who submitted themselves to soldiers were not to secure "rights".
be looked upon as having transgressed any law, The old communal spirit is still strong in man.
either moral or otherwise. They were considered Its animal origin is to be noticed in flocks of birds,
classes also developed. From the taking of cap- of sheep, in herds of cattle, schools of fish, etc. But
it may be noted that this is an instance of how it has been prostituted; it has been diverted from
moral "laws" change to suit the needs of the rul- its original simple purity,
ing class. The place of the old tribal leader has been
Patriotism in early days, meant loyalty to the taken by the ruling class of modem society, for,
tribe. The derivation of the word itself is sign- no matter what the form of government, moharch
ificant; "pater", a Latin word meaning "father", ical or republican, the ostensible head of it is sup
is the root. The chieftainship of a tribe was often ported by the real rulers, the bourgeoisie,
vested in one family, and the head, or fathei of it has been the task of the master class to
that family was looked upon as the father of the keep alive the idea of patriotism, or loyalty to the
tribe. At this early stage of social development, tribe ; but having imposed themselves between the
the property of the tribe was held in common ; it slaves and the ruler, any support given the ruler
consisted mainly of cattle, which were often used must support them. All modern wars have been
as a means of exchange. Instances of the exchange fought for the aggrandisement of the bourgeoisie,
of cattle for other commodities are common in an- but the workers, the slave class of old, have to
cient history. The point to be observed, however, suffer.
is that the property was communal, that each m te no doubt that the modern form
member of the tribe had a personal interest in of patriotism is dying. It can be included in the
defending it against the attacks of enemies. Not casuaity list of the still unfinished world war. But
only was this so, but it was considered the duty in its place is arising a new patriotism CLASS
of members of the tribe to so defend it. PATRIOTISM. It is not a new patriotism to the
Here again may be noticed the economic foun- masters; they have been patriotic to their class
dation of "morality". That which was an obliga- in the past. But it is new to the workers; It has
tion to the tribe was "right", the tribe had a been forced upon them. The utter failure of the
"right" to the fulfilment of that obligation ; what ruling class to efficiently manage the affairs of
was good for the tribe was right, what was bad society he whe runs may read has demonstrat
for it was wrong. We see, therefore, that in those ed the necessity of their removal from the mana
early times, patriotism and morality were practic- gement, and its assumption by the workers the
ally synonymous terms. 0nly useful class.
As society developed, its subdivision into And let us not delude ourselves. It is not to be
classes also developed. From the taking of capi expected that after centuries of power, the master
tives in was, arose the putting of these captives to class is going to step grace fully down and out.
compulsory labor for the victors, the demarkation Nor that, having been PUT down, that they will
of the social relations between the members of "stay put" without a struggle,
the victorious tribe and the vanquished prisoners. The transition from the capitalist to the com
These prisoners or slaves were seldom ad- munist form will have to be accomplished by a
mitted to membership in the tribe, and the class DICTATORSHIP of those members of the work
line, having been drawn, has remained. ing class who are competent to perform this great
It is not to be wondered at that, in the minds task, who SHALL perform it.