The Old and the New
THE OLD AND THE NEW
By Viroqua Daniels.
THE Russian revolution is not a mere struggle for emancipation from an archaic form of government. .... An old order is doomed, its government, its ruling caste, its ruling ideas, its religion, its property, its forms, its economic methods and its economic power. It is a world event," says Wm. English Walling.
Why is the old order doomed? Because all of its institutions are "unfair." To whom are they "unfair"? In the broadest sense, To All, but particularly so to two classes: to the class that has no chance to live even the most barren, conventional, "decent" life, and the class which is restrained from living according to ideals in advance of conventional standards.
In every institution of the old order, a few persons assume superiority, form an exclusive circle and collect tribute from the excluded. Tribute, no matter by what name it is called nor by what method it is collected, is "unfair." Only slaves pay tribute.
The religious, political and financial "rings" not only collect tribute from the "lower classes," but they superintend their education, both in school and out of it. The worst feature of this education is its anti-social quality. The tribute gatherers have conquered—by force or by stealth—the land, and, therefore, the working people of the world. The first education had to be submission, ETERNAL SUBMISSION. Then came awe and reverence for "superiors"; respect for, and protection of, property—the training has been thorough!—and permeating everything, the love for and glorification of war, than which nothing can be more brutal.
The varieties of slavery are legion; slaves of religion, of the State, of Mrs. Grundy, chattel slaves, wage slaves, sex slaves, slaves to all species of profit-mongering— and all slavery is "unfair."
Let us hope the old order is doomed. To whom is it dear? To the masters, many of whom know they are "illustrious" only on account of deceptions practised, deceptions that are passed on from generation to generation. Is sham glory so gratifying? Is trickery so enchanting? Is the sight of huts, rags, stupidity and misery so edifying?
But I am not writing this simply to comment on the old order. That has been amply exposed along all lines, and by many students. I wish to call special attention to this: A new order, an association of free people cannot be lived by copying any part of old institutions. It is impossible for a free person to think like a slave; neither can he or she act like one. The old institutions are suitable only for masters and slaves, and are not at all applicable for associations of free persons, of comrades. An association of comrades is what the new order must be if it prove to be a new order, otherwise we will have but another variety of slavery. Those striving for the new order met with a memorable' rebuff at Paris in '7i. The skirmishers for the new order in sex relations have failed also. But the Commune and the "free unionists" discarded but a portion of the old order.
Slaves, in their struggle for advancement, have always aped their masters; their religion, codes of honor, dress, manners, etc. For that reason, and that only, are they still slaves.
When we realize that the old institutions are "unfair," because they are made up of "rings" of masters and hosts of slaves, we shall be glad to be rid of them, and begin anew on a "fair" basis.