The Sleep of Death
What ails this Nation? Why this sluggishness, this lethargy, this slumber? Why this muddle-headed paralysis and complacency?
With stark murder hanging over us, this is downtright criminal. It’s suicide.
Across the world marches Fascism. With devilish efficiency it metes out brutality and slaughter. Its ruthless military machine is fodderede by fanatical masses.
It mocks us! With strident voice Fascism jeers to the world, “Democracy, it is weak! The British are degenerate! They are finished!” And they don’t just talk – they act! They ram home their words with a run of spectacular military victories.
Nation after nation has been defeated, people after people have bent the knee, till this tide of tyranny now washes our own shores. Danger threatens our homes, our very lives…
We must awake! Yet like men in a dream, we move with leaden feet. We must unite! Yet from top to bottom this Nation lies diseased with self-interest. We must act! Yet we have bungling and muddle and red-tape inefficiency. We must be resolute! Yet we squabble and argue among ourselves. We must be ruthless! Yet the words of Crippps still hold good: we are more like spectators than participants.
Now, something’s got to be done about all this. It has to be done now. And the job will demand our utmost effort.
Agony and Bloody Travail
The main reason why this Nation is not yet fully aroused is that people have memories of “the last time.” They remember the hell of 1914-1918: the 10,000,000men who fell in battle and the 20,000,000 wounded. Disease which scourged a malnourished Europe and increased the toll by another 27,000,000 deaths.
They remember the bitterness, the destruction, the agony and sweat. And the promises…
Those wo endured this bloody travail were told of a better world to come. Happiness was to follow misery.
But the heroes found their promises meant lining up in dole queues. It meant the Means Test and the U.A.B. It meant going cap-in-hand to bow ans scrape for work which should have been their right.
They came back to mass unemployment, poverty, strikes, depression, political feuds, insurrection and war.
Utter dejection engulfed them. Degeneracy grew rampant in the form of crimes and war.
Physically, men rotted. Long confinement in factories, mines and offices starved them of sun, fresh air, and proper relaxation.
A World Safe for Vultures
Many hadn’t enough food: they were poor. The food was adulterated, commercialised. There was good business for quack medical firms.
Sexual ignorance continued. There was an increase in unhappy marriages, in prostitution, white slavery and disease.
Neglected children dragged up in drudgery and filth: fed on margarine and skimmed milk. Their minds were warped by neurotic films and books, by pubs and pin-tables. And for many of them life’s threshold was the dole queue.
Idle men, idle land, idle machines, when these resources could have fed the hungry, clothed the poor, housed the slum dwellers and – into the bargain – lightened the toil of those who did work.
Waste amid want! The burning of meat. The destruction of grain. Milk poured down drains. Oranges thrown into the sea. Rotting food. Closing of shipyards, mines, plantations, mills, factories.
The life-blood of millions had flowed to make the world safe for democracy. In truth it was safe for vultures, who put greed and self-interest before the welfare and happiness of the community.
In some nations despair gave rise to Fascism, whose words were emotional hatred, whose action was the knife and the rubber truncheon.
And these same vultures, having sunk their talons into those who has sacrificed for democracy, helped the rise of this foul and loathsome evil.
Hitler, Mussolini and Japan received backing from British and American financiers.
Yes, men have memories, and – having memories – want to know if that is the democracy we are fighting for. Is that our answer to Fascism? No! It cannot be!
The Crusade of the Common Man
What, then, is our answer? Vague promises? High-sounding phrases? The stilted declarations of politicians?
Stop this criminal nonsense! The people are sick of promises and empty words. They want results. They want realities.
Absolute Union demands those realities: demands them now.
It is mockery merely to promise a better world after the war. We must start now on the reconstruction of our National life which will make that better world a practical proposition.
Those who voice lofty sentiments about the common welfare can show their sincerity by helping us to make this war a People’s War.
It must be a crusade of the common man. Anything less is suicide!
Cut Away the Canker Within
In other words, we’ve got to quit just talking Democracy: we must start acting Democracy too. If this war is a was for Democracy, then wage it Democratically.
In this 4th year of struggle the vultures are tearing flesh from the body of this Nation. Black markets, food rackets, profiteering and self-seeking are strangling our effort.
The search after private interests brings waste, muddle, inefficiency, red-tape and neglect. Our strength is being sapped from within.
Let us ruthlessly stamp out these ugly things. The canker within must be cut away by the knife.
We’re a Democracy: yet soldiers get a few shillings, war workers several pounds. And we pay shillings and pounds to soldiers and war workers, yet allow the vultures to loot the Nation of thousands – yes, even millions of pounds!
Call a halt to this madness! Let us fight Fascism with the iron unity of a people sacrificing as one!
Away with the graft and greed! We have suffered too much from those who exploit the Nation for their own private interest.
Make this a people’s war, and make it a total war.
Our Struggle for Total Democracy
The State must take over all labour: we must unite everybody in one vast civilian army. The terrible crisis of this Nation demands a common sacrifice from each one of us.
The State must take over all wealth: the entire means of production must be centralised under Government control. They must be operated for one common aim.
That is the first essential of a real answer to Fascism.
The people of the British Nation are about to endure the most immense ordeal of their history.
In their hour of travail they must know not only what they fight against, but also what they fight for.
They must be sure about their future. Their new world must be based only on Democracy of expression, but also on practical Democracy of action.
It must be Total Democracy! i.e. our present political Democracy (People’s control of Government) with its inevitable counterpart, economic Democracy (People’s control of Production).
The Citizens and Their State
Just as political Democracy means the right of each man to speak according to his views, so economic Democracy means the right of each man to labour according to his abilities.
There will be no more idle poor, no more idle rich. No more idle land and machines. This is the practical basis for: security for all; a short working day; a five-day week; an ample pension, vast increases in living standards; extended education, with income, for those with ability.
The citizens of a Total Democracy will be able to marry and bring up a family with full security, comfort and leisure. The Total Democratic State will make extra provisions for large families.
There will be every incentive to prosperity and progress. Private enterprise will be encouraged to fulfill its true function. Its true function is to promote healthy competition, and thus serve the interests of the community.
Centralisation of the means of production under People’s control will regulate the deplorable excesses it has experienced in the past.
Real private enterprise is individual enterprise; the small shopkeeper, the artist, the carpenter, the local cobbler, window cleaner or hair-dresser.
But no man may employ others to do his work for him, since this ceases to be individual and becomes social enterprise under private control.
There will be further scope for personal initiative in that positions of public responsibility will be allocated according to ability, with corresponding renumeration.
In short, only the State will be able to employ labour, yet no man will be forced to work for the State. Just as he will be free to speak for himself, so will he be free to work for himself.
Thus Total Democracy…
But there is a condition attached to Total Democracy, and a mighty important one.
Thus They Killed Freedom
World history of the past ten years teaches a grim lesson. It is that Democracy must never again tolerate Fascism, whose declared aim is to destroy Democracy.
In country after country we have watched the old, weak democracy invoking the name of Freedom to sign Freedom’s death warrant.
The price of this lesson has been the death and misery of millions. If it has to be learned again, the cost will certainly prove beyond the resources of human civilisation.
Those who advocate violence, suppression and war, must be given what they advocate: that is an eternal law.
Never again must we relax our vigilance against those who impose their will by force. Those who believe that might is right shall get an immediate and unstinted dose of what they think is right!
Only thus can we preserve the freedoms for which we fight.
How We Can All Get Together
Now, the great task of building a Total Democracy and waging Total War calls for a Total Unity.
But we’ve not got a Total Unity. We’ve got the same political squabbling, cheating, hair-splitting and mud-slinging we have had for four years past. The men and women of Absolute Union are heartily sick of it. What’s more, they see that to maintain it is one more step towards the suicide of the British People.
We’re not dreamers. We don’t expect to wave a magic wand and have complete agreement from everyone. Further, it’s a sign of a healthy Democracy that people have differences of opinion, and express them.
But members of a committee have differences of opinion yet are able to come to decisions and get things done.
The committees of Absolute Union comprise: a Conservative, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Communist and a non-party Chairman. They’re elected to do a job of work, and if they don’t satisfy their electors – out they go!
Now, if you’re not yet a member of Absolute Union, what about it? The whole ghastly march of the Fascist monster has been made possible by Democrats quarreling among themselves. Learn the lesson – and unite!
The Great Reconciliation
And this unity must become a world unity: a federal union of Total Democratic States.
The Western Democracies and Russia, already military allies, must become completely allied politically, for each has one of the two vital elements of the new world.
Political Democracy (People’s control of Government) exists in England and America. Economic Democracy (People’s control of Production) exists in the USSR.
Total Unity against Fascism must arise not only among people and parties, but among Nations.
Our World of Tomorrow
The Common People the world over must have a concrete aim to inspire them. Britain, Russia and America must set the example. They must lead the way into the new era of mankind.
A world union of Absolute Democracy is our mighty answer to the foul, inhuman slavery of Hitler’s new order!
The peoples of the world shall unite in supreme concord.
The vast air fleets now surging to the skies shall crush the Fascist monster for ever.
And then… and then they will carry the plenty of God’s world, and make it abundantly available for all mankind.
When the task is done, they will transport – not bombs and battle crews – but people at peace. Men from all nations, visiting each others’ countries in the spirit of goodwill and comradeship.
People of Britain – the night is dark: but there glimmers on the horizon the first flush of a new and greater dawning.
Absolute Union leads the forward march to that world of tomorrow. Nothing shall stop us! We are welded together with invincible resolution.
Awake! And follow…
I, ___ solemnly realising, in this greatest crisis of our history, the urgent need for Total Unity of all Democratic people and parties in one organisation, wholehearted support Absolute Union and the efficient prosecution of a Total War to exterminate Fascism. My politics are Non-Party / Conservative / Liberal / Socialist / Communist (put a cross by the one you advocate). Signed, _____.