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Who Are the Dreamers? (1912)

Peter Campbell found this leaflet in the archives at McGill University and transcribed it for the Socialist History Project

Object – The Establishment of the Co-operative Commonwealth
Method – By Capturing the Powers of Government

"Who are the Dreamers?"

"You are the dreamers!" How often we Socialists have had that thrown at us by those who believe in so-called Practical Policies, and in those days of 1918, when we look around us to study the effects of political control by those eminently Practical People, our Revered Masters, it strikes us that it might be to our advantage to look back into the records of the Dreamers (?) and see if a lesson cannot be derived for our future guidance.

Frederick Engels, one of the greatest minds the Socialist movement has ever produced, writing in London on March 18th, 1891, on the 20th anniversary of "The Paris Commune," penned the following prophetic words: —

(Reprinted from the "Introduction to The Paris Commune," by Karl Marx.)

"Does not the ‘Damocles Sword’ overhang us of a war, on the first day of which all written treaties will be blown into the wind like chaff, of a war as to which nothing is certain but the absolute uncertainty of the issue, of a race war which will expose all Europe to the devastation of fifteen or twenty million armed men, and which only hangs fire at present for the reason that even the strongest of the great military states shrinks before the absolute uncertainty of the final result."

Everyone must admit the marvelous foresight displayed in that short paragraph, and to prove that the organization which publishes this leaflet had no false "Dreams" of Peace under the rule of those "Practical Politicians" who from Pulpit, Press and Platform pour forth the subtle lies which spell Working Class submission to the rule of Capital, we now reprint an editorial from "The Western Clarion," of October 19th, 1912.

The lesson is plain, fellow-workers, so we call on you to join with us in our mission of awakening and educating the working class to their slave position in Society, so that the day may soon dawn when we will be able to throw aside the chains which bind us and stand forth FREE MEN.


Clarion Editorial, Oct. 19, 1912.

In Roman mythology, Jupiter was "the supreme deity, King of Gods and men." Temples were built in his honor, a multitude of ceremonies and bedevilments indulged in, oceans of blood shed and millions of lives sacrificed for his glory and aggrandizement and in grateful acknowledgment of the beneficence and splendor of his reign.

Of course he was a hoax, a senseless fraud, as all the rest of the mythological and speculative phantasmagoria of the ages has been, but the stunts done in his name would do credit to the power and reputation of any other of the vicious gods that have been hatched from the elastic imaginations of the world’s most cunning knaves and unscrupulous rogues.

We have been afflicted with other Gods since Jupiter’s time. In fact, each section of the polyglot tribe known as man has a more or less numerous assortment of its own, and endowed with every attribute from virtue superlative to cussedness sublime.

Of all the deities inflicted upon human kind, either through ignorance or viciousness, the God that rules the world today is the most absolute and reckless in his rule. His dominion is as wide as the earth, and his power so sweeping and overwhelming that he is pushing into oblivion all other gods that have come down to us as heirlooms from the past, however sacred and precious they may be.

Capital is the God that rules the world today, and with an iron hand. While capital, in itself an abstract thing – a term used to signify a certain social relation existing between different parts of that organized body known as human society – is little less a myth than was Jupiter of old, or his illustrious predecessors as well as successors in the God line, his rule is, however, more cruel, merciless, and complete than that of any God, either before Jupiter or since.

The world’s colossal industrial plant is the temple of the modern god. Upon its altars are sacrificed daily a multitude of men, women and children in order that the sweet incense of profit may tickle the nostrils of this divine brute. And who shall dare question his title to divinity? Is not his reign sustained by the prayers, and his divine right vouched for by the devout and faithful who profess a vision and insight into the unknowable and incomprehensible that lies beyond the confines of space and the shores of time?

Under the rule of capital the world has become an armed camp, and the daily chronicle of events reads like a continuous narrative of a "Kilkenny cat fight." In every country on the globe there is either open warfare between masters and slaves, or smoldering volcano of suffering and misery that will sooner or later burst forth in a cataclysm and holocaust of vengeance and horror. Between nations there is no peace, nor can there be any so long as human society rests upon a basis of slavery and the forcing of its proceeds upon the markets. In no other manner can the proceeds of capitalist plunder and rapine be disposed of than by an ever-widening market. This compels each capitalist nation to open the way for its expansion, by the conquering of additional markets. These can, in the last analysis, be secured only by the resort to the "strong arm" or the "mailed fist."

The whole world today is being pushed to the brink of a precipice, beyond which lies war and slaughter, with all their concomitant horrors.

Italy and Turkey fight over Tripoli; the former to seize it, the latter to hold it. All the big thieves (nations) gather around the rich Chinese platter and lick their foul chops in anticipation of the juicy repast. The outbreak in the Balkans bids fair to pull the European concert of thieves into a jackpot of butchery that will once more drench the earth with the blood of fools and other victims of class rule and roguery.

Mexico has for months been an inferno, and the end is not yet. The ruthlessly exploited peasants and other workers are making a heroic stand against the brutality and recklessness of capitalist rule. Russia is seething with revolt. In the United States the coarsest brutality and the most vicious bloodthirstiness is manifested toward those sections of the working class that show signs of revolt against the rigors of capitalist rule. A general awakening of the workers to a realization of the iniquities practiced upon them at the behest of their capitalist masters bids fair to call forth a storm of revolution in the near future that will clarify the social atmosphere and purge the Republic of that wage slavery that is gnawing at its vitals and sapping its manhood.

Take it all around, the prospects for peace are not particularly bright in any part of the earth. The God – Capital – still reigns, and slavery, rapine, and slaughter are the normal conditions under his beastly sway.

Just how long it is going to be before the workers repudiate his right to rule, rob, slaughter and kick him into oblivion along with the mythical hum-bug deities that have gone before is not known. From the signs now flashing along the social horizon, however, that time is rapidly approaching.

Let it come. Down with the modern Jupiter.

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