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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 10. September 20th, 1949

Drums of Revolution

Drums of Revolution

For the contents of this book are of more than historical interest to us today. They are still vital.

So much of what Frank Anstey wrote 30 years ago has been corroborated by the passage of time that we can well read again the last page:

"During the early part of 1919 President Wilson rose up and said: I want to utter a solemn warning. Great tides of the world do not give notice that they are going to rise and run—they rise in their majesty and might and those who stand in their way are overwhelmed. If we cannot now . . . see how to regulate the affairs of the world . . . there will be no hope and therefore no mercy.'

"But this coming struggle will be different in its manner, character, and purpose from anything previous. No longer undisciplined mobs but masses disciplined by war will give a practical application to Lloyd George's 'success in proportion to audacity'. Centuries old, obsolete, out-of-date machinery of centralised bureaucratic authority will go with a crash. In its place will come machinery adapted to modern needs. It will be there where the people live, where they can watch its operation. All power' in its scope, the right of each locality to work out its salvation, lands, homes and industries, local action, direct action, action quick and on the spot; emulation, stimulation, rivalry, and efforts to the common good, the fore- most are beaten to the backward. The national directory will function for purposes which the localities cannot handle. Banks will function for the people. Finance will be the handmaid of industry—not its master. Security will give the right to currency!—not the whims and wills of a predatory clique. The impatient world will wait no longer. The frail-ties of men, the soul-pawning for the prestige of an hour, the desertions of the timid, of the Iscariots for cash, will furnish no despondency. They will count as part of the inevitable loss in the battle-line.

"Capitalism listens with quaking soul to the drum-beats of the armies of revolution. Those beats grow louder—they draw nearer and nearer."