G\JV A. ALDR^
GUY ALFRED ALDRED 1886 - 1963
Guy Alfred Aldred was born in Clerkenwell on 5th November, 1886 and died in Glasgow just a few weeks short of his 77th birthday, on 16th October, 1963.
This small presentation, containing a few random quotations, has been produced to coincide with the 80th Anniversay of the birth of this great and wonderful man, a man of true genius who vigorously and untiringly devoted his life to the enlightenment and uplifting of the people, and to the bringing about of Socialism - a society of equity and justice.
His own lite was one of great personal hardship and struggle; he was constantly reaching beyond his physical powers - caught up in the greater struggle of the well-being of aJl mankind.
Th". quotations gcven here in no way do justice. Although <-ou1d capture all moods and had his own skilled original style, he did not write as an essayist practising
an art. Like Michael Bakunin, of whom he wrote a splendid short biography, before him, he was too much a man of action to ponder over and dress each word and sentence. His writing was that of purpose; clear, logical and inspiring but complete.
Although in himself a most kindly man, full of sympathy and understanding, he wrote with great attack. His crusade was earnest. He would not stand sham and hypocrisy. He resented careerism; the political 'leader' rising at the people's expense. The avowed anti-militarist, he was at constant war with the wrongs of society. A true people's champion.
An objective study of his life and writings prove him a man of such immense character, knowledge and ability, courage, vision and humanity that to all lovers of liberty and progress, his name and his writings should be remembered for all time. The man and his
message are immortal.
* * * *
All available writings of Guy Aldred can be obtained from The Strickland Press, 35 Montrose Street,
Glasgow, C. 1.
FROM GUY ALDRED'S WRITINGS
Each one of us should, and must, belong to ourselves. The individual is greater than the nation. If each individual will insist on belonging to him or herself, and will express truly their view of things, a true relationship will spring up and unite in bonds of harmony the men and women of all lands.
(On The Socialism of William Morris, "Pioneers of Anti-Parliamentarism'1)
We are constantly cast down only to rise again. The Word has to be uttered in the shadows before it can be proclaimed from the housetops. (The Spur, 1917)
If we are devoted to humanity, yet look for appreciation, we shall find ourselves crushed and transformed into careerists through the ingratitude of our fellows. Ingratitude will not hinder us if our inspiration is truth - without regard to recognition. Struggle must be its own reward. (The Word, 1950)
I do not wish to sec the purple parade of history. I am not interested in kings and queens, except when they fall and show some heroism. Then I would rescue them personally. I do not bow to accepted monarchs. I would not execute fallen ones- I am neither toady nor executioner. In their hour of suffering I would welcome ex-kings and ex-queens into the commonwealth as fellow-citizens and would do them no personal harm. I would wish them a long and happy life. Why not?
("No Traitor's Gaitt", No. 1---- 1955)
There is no democracy outside of Socialism and no Socialism which is not democracy.
(The Spur, 1917)
What the people need is to study the principles of jurisprudence and relate those principles to the lawless activities of the bandits who secure power through the aid of universal suffrage and the operation of corrupt political machines. (The Word, 1950)
Life is a race. If we are to play the game we must start fair. And if we are to start fair we must have equality. And if we are to have equality we must have socialism. (The Spur 1917)
Christianity is not what the divines say it it. Jesus did not teach Redemption. He preached emancipation.
(Historical and Traditional Christianity)
Fleet Street, to me, is a memory of evil enchantment, a byway of falsehood and corruption controlled by vermin. Here genius was destroyed and talent prostituted. But it had its pleasant places. In these odd nooks and crannies I paused to vision the#passing of the capitalist press, the doom of commercial journalism, and the dawn of a new civilization. I often though of Richard Carlile and his heroic shopmen and shopwomen who had sanctified the site and I prayed, if that be the correct term for intense hopeful dedication and consecration of one's energies, that I might tread in his footsteps. (The Word, 1942)
Labour Parliamentarism is but the shadow and not the substance of working class emancipation. It is the shadow that masquerades as the body and sets up in opposition to the body, proclaiming the body to be the shadow.
(Socialism and Parliament, Part I )
Let us vision this world as it is. The sordid mocking reality which mocks reality by its very realism of wanting realism; its deep and intense insincerity; its cynical failure to sound its own cynicism; its profound and disgusting shallowness. This quagmire of evil out of which only good to man must come finally. This chaos of falsehood out of which veracity must take its origin. This ignorance from which wisdom shall be begotten. This despotism whose aftermath shall be liberty. Let us understand and rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is the destiny of humanity. Where we see nothing but fate and mischance to-day, to-morrow shall be witnessed purpose and well-being. (The Spur 1917)
Could I decide the future it would be a free earth and a free humanity; an earth of joy; brotherhood, and service. One day that will be the decision, not of a small minority of pioneers, but of the great majority of mankind, the great common people in a mood of great common sense. (The Word, 1942)
Human equality should know no sex, religious, race or political discrimination.
Although egotism is a stronger characteristic than vanity, actually it is the negation of vanity, and has much virtue in it; nevertheless egotism is a blemish and acts as a lessening of one's worth.
(The Word, 1952)
I am the declared enemy of those who flourish on wrong and by the maintenance of wrong.
The men who accomplish revolutions are not candidates for the House of Commons.
Truth is great and will prevail I
Parliamentarism cannot solve, and does not seek to solve, the only problem that matters, the key problem of all human misery, the problem of class society. Its aim is to perpetuate Imperialist, or exploiting, society. It is a legacy of Roman Imperialism, a remnant of the Roman code. (Socialism & Parliament.Pt l)
I am no pessimist. I view my fellow men and sister women without cynicism. Their lives are one huge pathetic tragedy, a comedy not of errors but of tears. (The Spur, 1918)
I am the unconquered and the unconquerable enemy. The grave will silence me. My body will be burnt but my writings will light a fire that will destroy reaction.
We do change the world. The hopes of yesterday's heroes and martyrs become the inspiring slogans of the martyrs of to-day and by them are passed on to the heroes and martyrs that will be to-morrow. (The Word, 1961)
Jesus was a pioneer of human society* nor the founder of a sect. He was a prophet, not a priest. His divine society was no mystery beyond the skies. It was a simplicity on earth, beyond the myths and the clouds that arise in. men2? minds from false worship and theology. Jesus was a humanist and his divinity consisted of his intense humanity. (The Word 1952)
Beside the grave 1 have no tongue for eloquence, no gift for speech. I would bury the dead in silent meditation and keep the memory of their heroism green in my heart, and borrow their courage to sustain rr»y spirit. J have not the words with which 1o point the moral o1. the dream that is rounded by two eternal sleeps.
(On John MacLean)
1 have no other interest than to use my talents to serve the cause of the working class struggle, and to assist in establishing a free society in which every citizen shall have an equal right to happiness and well-being. (The Word, 1950)
2 have turned neither to right nor to left, but have persisted with one purpose - the purpose of bringing truth and emancipation to the people. (The Word, 1952)