Wanted! A Napoleon of Labor to lead the reform forces of to-day.
Labor and Leadership FIND THE MAN
A DOPED AND DUPED DEMOCRACY.
HERE’S THE HOUR—FIND THE MAN.
The moment has arrived—where is the man? The Allies have proved that they are lacking in the one great essential; in the one thing that matters. Their campaign of some two and half years has developed no great general whose name is on every lip; no leader of men and consummate strategist equal to the superhuman task ahead. And, running on parallel lines, we find the Australian democracy lacking the possession of a great magnetic leader; a man whose very appearance on the platform should be worth, like Wellington’s proboscis, full 50,000 extra followers. The Australian Tories are badly led; otherwise they would wipe Democracy clean off the slate with the brutal weapons so handy to their cause—the bludgeon of the militarists, the bogies of a slave driven jingo press, the help of a swarm of Judases in the Labor camp, and unlimited capital of a particularly corrupt nature. The leaders of the Democracy must actively educate the somnolent mass while trusting to luck in dropping on the Redeemer or evolving him from amongst their various unions and leagues; anything at all so long as he isn’t imported.
The Labor Party must educate its masters and pastors. Wisdom comes, through sorrow and pain. As pain precedes progress, so progress must be the outcome of wisdom and construction. In Britain, capital is brother-in law to the House of Lords. The House of Lords is the step-father of Mars. Both are next-door neighbors and next-of-kin to church and capitalist State—twin enemies of the people. Capital is King Absolute at St. Stephens. King George reigns only at St. James, for he is not allowed a seat in the Cabinet. He is ruler of the social realm. Capital is the ruler of the universe. Modern aggression is commercial, not military, with 10 per cent, as the incentive. The House of Lords has no chairman, but is more orderly than the Commons. There are no “scenes” there, because there is more liberty for the individual. Each peer perseveres to preserve his privileges, without terrible tongue duels, wrathful riots, or “girls in the gallery.”
The House of Commons is the hand-maiden of the House of Lords. Capital rules the Cabinet; the Cabinet rules the House of Commons; the House of Commons can’t bear the voice of the people-—and still the people believe in the gods of their forefathers. They are governed by the tomb. The dead hand of the past paralyses the brain of the present. The moral of this problem is, the people must not put their trust in politics nor Parliament, but trust themselves before they can be free. It behoves the people to look round for a leader who has certain requisite qualities; such a one has heretofore not yet appeared on the horizon, His task will be the work of organising and clearing the mental cobwebs still festooned around the thinkeries of the toilers in the capitalistic vineyard. The man lives somewhere in Australia. The problem is to unearth him. The Liberator must be found, for it is to Australia that the less enlightened Old World Will look for a lead.
This search for a leader will be some task. His like only strikes the earth once in a thousand years, but he does appear, and to the demand, appears the man. Wanted! A Napoleon of Labor to lead the reform forces of to-day. Must be possessed of psychic insight, wisdom to know and brutality to do. A man who is not afraid to break the Sabbath, the Ten Commandments, or anything else, he can lay his hands on; a sort of Bovrilised Brutus, with a head to contrive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute. He must possess the patriotism of Kingston, the audacity of Chamberlain, the verbosity of Gladstone, the wisdom of Disraeli, the persistency of Keir Hardie, the enthusiasm Of Blatchford, the wit of Bernard Shaw, the lungs of John Burns, the vivacity of Tom Mann, the insight of Machiavelli, the strength of Sandow, the analytical powers of John Norton, the eloquence of Ingersoll, the thoroughness of Bradlaugh, the magnetism of John B. Gough, and the brutality of Iceberg Irvine.
He must not possess the cankered soul of an exotic, with his heart in a foggy island on the other side of the planet. He must be Australian born, and unused to lisping from childhood that “Home” means some bit of earth he is never likely to see. He must not be an embezzler of union funds or a convicted poisoner of the fount of justice—therefore he must not be a W. A. Holman or a Richard Denis Meagher. He must not be a white-livered quibbler like a Cook, a Hughes, or a Lynch: neither must he be a nice young Sunday school nincompoop with white gloves on, such as a Burchell. He must not be one of those dirty and disreputable shufflers who consider wholesale murder, a fixture in the calendar because nobody has expressly prohibited it from being placed there. In making any bargain whatsoever he must cultivate the habit of looking on the side likely to profit the country of his nativity: a return to first principles must be his guiding star in every crisis. Shoddy quibbling must be foreign to his make-up; he must not blench when the impeachment of a traitor is necessary; his constellation must be the Southern Cross: his slogan “Australia will be Here,” and his administration the quintessence, of retributive justice.
The most pressing need of the workers is power—economic power. They can talk about rights till the cows come home; dream dreams of the coming of Socialism; vote Radical or Labor till the Second Coming; but all their protesting, dreaming and voting are so much hot air unless they have the might to back up their wishes. As a class the workers are only entitled to that which they can take and hold. This law effects all classes and is written in letters of blood across the pages of industrial History. That only which appertains is constitutional; that only which can be maintained by force is legal. If the, employers can force the workers to work a ten-hour day for ten pence that will be both right and legal. If the workers, can secure a two-hour day for two pounds that also will be right and constitutional. It is all a question of power—with a Big Man behind the gun instead of a shrimp-souled parasite of the Hughes type.
Truth (Perth), Saturday 30 December 1916