Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 3, No. 2. 1940


page break


It is no new [unclear: competence for victoria university] College to be called, ay the outside press, names implying that its members are of a particularly ruddy hue, The very convenience of dismissing arguments as "half baked opinions from Moscow" is excellent in that it appeals to carefully cultivated opinions in an emotional way that denies or clouds any factual evidence that may the present. Such methods admit a paucity of contra argument and a reliance on emotive values that is comparable with the dictates of Nazi propaganda. "Red rot" has ever been the howl of those, who bankrupt in opposition, have opposed all attempts to improve by true propaganda (there is a distinction) the lot of the working class.

It is unfortunate that in New Zealand a government which has achieved international fame for its social legislation should be compromising with the reactionaries to such an extent that its own work is likely to be threatened. And it is significant that all discontent with this state of affairs is being termed "red", "orders from Moscow", "communist", etc. The contradictions manifest in the Labour Party are not isolated. Look at Blum's Socialist Party, the pre Hitler Social Democrats of Germany and Austria, and now the Labour party in Great Britain, and one finds similarities of action and result that are illuminating. Such internal contradictions are capital for the capitalist press. Capitalist in that through a professional fog of democracy they oppose all attempts to grant concessions to the workers and advocate status quo plus increased restrictions, [unclear: a] a monotonous regularity. A status quo and restrictions however, that become the retreat of all social democratic parties who have lost their revolutionary militancy, and become mere puppets moved at the clicking of the fingers of their capitalist masters. Compromise is admissible only when the result of ouch compromise will be beneficial to the working class. To compromise to the extent of prohibiting criticism within the working class organisation is fatal. Yet this is the case today,

The active sections of New Zealand students are not alone in their opposition to war, and Salient hopes to publish shortly a News Bulletin issued by the World Student Association, illustrating the forms that such opposition is taking in other countries. Demands for a statement of war aims, legitimate in that the present Conservative Party of Britain which is carrying on a war against fascism has in the past given the latter every assistance (China, Abyssinia, Spain, Albania, Czechoslovakia). Doubts about ministerial statements - that we are fighting for freedom and democracy. Is to the freedom and democracy to exploit and democracy for the few? Democracy is a relative term. One might say that politically and economically democracy in Great Britain is democracy' for the Conservative Party; as democracy in Germany is for the followers of the Nazi Party. Capitalist democracy is a little more subtle, however, and concedes such outlets as freedom of speech, a free press, and so on, though these do diminish in ruthlessly suppressed.

Students must therefore be vigilant to preserve such academic liberties as they possess, and appreciate that those same antagonisms present in outside society are present also in the university. Piously to hope that the University can remain an institution apart is utopian - possibly we have a greater part to play than the rest of the community, for within our grasp is the knowledge to alter and direct the struggle now and in later years, into avenues where it will be maximum benefit to a majority and not to that of a few.

M. L. B