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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 10 June 8, 1938

The "Soviet Worker"

page 3

The "Soviet Worker"

Dear "Salient,"—Since R.W.B. in your last Issue has taken it on himself to sing the praises of "I Was a Soviet Worker," I should be grateful If he would explain to me the following apparent contradictions therein:—
1.Smith starts his book by telling us how he was victimised by capitalist employers; he goes to U.S.S.R. and tells the Russians how kind and noble are capitalists.
2.As far as I can gather. Smith's housemaid worked 48 hours per day.
3.Smith mentions that the price of bread was 1.75 roubles per kopeck, and fifty pages further over gives an official price list of food with bread at I rouble per kopeck.
4.He dramatically describes how at a Soviet tribunal, he threw down the party book he got on joining the Communist party In 1919; at the end of the book he publishes a photograph of an American testimonial stating that since he Joined the party in 1922 he has . . .
5.He states that foreigners were prevented from leaving U.S.S.R., and later describes how he travelled by train across the border to Lithuania to renew his passport.
R.W.B. emphasises two points:—
1.Smith is unbiassed. (Of course that is why he his written a book more imaginative than Grimm's Fairy Tales.)
2.The book is written with insight.

First. R.W.B. has not proved that Smith is unbiassed. A turncoat will excel all others In abusing what he has left. Smith is obviously making money on royalties, etc., and perhaps Is drawing a reward from his noble capitalist friends for writing the book. The number of untruthful statements is a final "damning exposure" of the biassed nature of the book.

Secondly, If Smith is biassed, his insight is worth nothing.

I should like to make it clear that, although condemning Smith's book. I am not necessarily supporting Communism. Smith could have found much wrong with the system without writing the drivel he did.

I agree with R.W.B. that "I Was a Soviet Worker." by Andrew Smith, is "a most damning exposure"—
1.Of Smith himself;
2.Of the methods employed by the cabitalist class and countries to discredit anyone who is trying to help the under-dog.


P.S.—I see that, like a true Nationalist - 1st- United - Reform - Coalition - Tory. R.W.R. professed not to know that Communism and Socialism are as alike as Marx and Mussolini.