EDITORIALS

How to Help The Communists

June 1 1948
EDITORIALS

How to Help The Communists

June 1 1948

How to Help The Communists

EDITORIALS

WE REMARKED last month on the unwisdom of too much libertarian scruple in dealing with Communists, who are not mere political dissidents but the agents of a hostile power. There’s an equal and opposite danger, though, that gets small attention these days.

Communism, in and by itself, is an ugly doctrine that appeals to few. But if we shriek “Communism” every time anyone, anywhere, strikes a blow at the established order, we do the Communists a favor they don’t deserve. We identify Communism with change, with the redress of intolerable grievances and the overthrow of indefensible pretensions.

Here in lucky, wealthy Canada the issue hardly arises. Our grievances are so few, so trifling; the Communists are reduced to such absurdities as the organization of schoolboys to protest against the eight-cent candy bar. But even in Canada there are patches of poverty, of exploitation, where those who profit by the status quo are quick to cry “Communism” whenever an attempt is made to correct these abuses.

There is usually some grain of truth in these smear campaigns, because Communists naturally seize upon grievances that’s their trade. But if we let ourselves be blinded by our fear of Communism to the need for orderly reform; if we shirk the job of curing real evils, correcting real grievances both at home and in threat to free democracy; if we fail now to make our democracy work for the benefit of the ordinary man, we make the eventual triumph of Communism inevitable.

Thanks, Yanks !

MAYBE IT’S a commentary on the mores of our times that hardly anyone, least of all in the United States itself, has said much about the most outstanding characteristic of the Marshall Plan—its generosity.

For some reason, it seems to be bad politics to tell the American people they have just approved an act of astounding magnanimity. They pride themselves on being hardheaded, unsentimental realists. Marshall aid, they insist, is not generosity at all, merely enlightened self-interest.

Of course this is true, too. The United States does need a reasonably prosperous free world, for her own prosperity and security. But it might be well for an outsider to point out that never, in all history, has any nation achieved such an enlightened view of its own interest as this.

Only a generation ago, Calvin Coolidge’s answer to pleas for the war-debtor nations was “They hired the money, didn’t they?” From this to the concepts of Lend-Lease, UNRRA and Marshall Aid is an enormous stride. That great change in the American mind and heart will probably be the salvation of the free world.

There ought to be more and warmer votes of thanks from the beneficiaries, and the beneficiaries include us Canadians.

Et Tu, Barbara Ann!

T) ARBARA ANN is not considering any professional contracts. She considers herself a good Canadian, but sees no reason why she should work terribly hard and then have to turn most of her earnings over to the Government.”

This statement by Mrs. Clyde Scott on behalf of her illustrious daughter is one of the most significant we’ve heard in a long time. We trust its significance—and its irony—will not be lost in Barbara Ann’s home town. It is from Barbara Ann’s home town that most of our taxes are imposed. It is from Barbara Ann’s home town that certain of the politicians and bureaucrats who live off them have been known to suggest that the only people who are really against high taxes are frustrated profiteers, chronic whiners and incompetents who lack the brains and energy to organize their lives in such a way that they needn’t even notice their taxes.

We would remind Barbara Ann’s neighbors that B. A. is neither a sinister self-seeker, a malcontent, nor a failure. She has, indeed, been voted one of the five most wholesome young women in the world. For our part, we thank her for reassuring us—and dropping a ladylike hint to those neighbors of hers—that it is not unwholesome to rebel against the staggering cost of Government.