G. O. D. in a lecture on REVOLUTION


G. O. D. in a lecture on REVOLUTION

Gerald O'Conel Desmond in a lecture on Revolution.

The Edmonton Daily Bulletin, June 6, 1910


                      MOVING PICTURES


Following Socialist Lecture on Revolution Audience Saw Pageant of Kings and Queens—Speaker Declares State Controlled by Capitalists, and Object of Socialists is to Get That Control.

G. O. Desmond, organizer of the Socialist Party of Canada, addressed a large audience in the Orpheum Theatre Sunday evening.

“The State,” said the speaker, “is here, not for the benefit of the whole community, but for the benefit of the capitalist class.”

If his hearers knew how the policeman and the soldier came into existence, he said, they would have less respect for them. By a somewhat original exposition of history he attempted to show them that the policeman and the soldier came into existence with the institution of slavery, their duty being to guard the slave.

“They are her for the same purpose now,” he said.

The State he continued, is the greatest force in society. If you strike for five cents an hour and are turned down, you find that you cannot hold a peaceful street meeting to give public expression to your views of the system. At every turn you are up against organized authority.

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State Controlled by Capitalists.

“If you are a Socialist you believe in the public ownership and management of the means of life. Why is it, you ask, that these things are privately owned? The answer is that this institution, the state, is in the hands of the master class.

“You do the work that produces the world’s wealth and the boss, who does no work, gets the biggest share of the profit.

“You have to work for wages. Take any trade, boot making for instance. The machinery with which boots are made are so costly that you cannot buy them and so complicated that you could not run them if you had them. You have to go to the owners. They have the raw material and need your labor. You want the most you can get for your labor, and they want to give you the least you can be forced to take. The owners are able thus to control the means of production, because they control the state.

“The object of the Socialist movement is to capture the state. The political revolution will end class society for good and all, and it will end the state. Let it go, and good riddance to it!”

Referring to distinctions of right and wrong. The speaker made the following statement, which was warmly applauded by a section of the audience: “I don’t care how right a thing is unless it is right for me. I would rather get it and be wrong than go without it and be right.”

Referring to the modern working class as “a pitiable object,” Mr. Desmond recalled an unemployed demonstration he had seen some time ago and heaped ridicule upon the appeal, “Give us work,” which, he said, was written upon the banners carried in procession.

Revolutions of the Past.

“When people rebelled in the past,” he said, “they did not rebel to get work. What they wanted were the good things in life. All history is the record of man’s efforts to get along with as little work as possible. And we, who have been trying to get away from work, pike the streets asking for it.”

“Everywhere we turn we find restrictive laws,” said the speaker. “I have a kind of dislike for government and laws—always did have.

“Socialists are revolutionists because they are out to capture the powers of the state. They propose to take away from the present owning class their ownership to the working class.”

The speaker, who for one hour had preached revolution, and the audience who had greeted his remarks with frequent applause, remained at the close of the meeting to see the moving pictures of the funeral procession of King Edward VII., the Peacemaker, advertised as a procession of “kings, queens, princes and ambassadors of every nation in the world.” The moving picture show was apparently as fully appreciated as the address.