-Says Barbara Ward C.S.G. WEEK AT
" FASCISM IS IRRATIONAL, IT HAS NO COHERENT PHILOSOPHY OF ITS OWN . . . IT HAS BEEN DRIVEN BACK TO THE OLD MODEL OF THE MILITARY STATE," SAID MISS BARBARA WARD, B.A., SPEAKING ON THE RUSSIAN AND GERMAN REVOLUTIONS AT THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL SUMMER SCHOOL OF THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL GUILD, WHICH CONCLUDED THIS WEEK AT OXFORD.
By contrast, she said, Communism, granted its assumptions, was rational system, but, socially, it was a spent force.
Mr P. J. Serrarens, Member of the Dutch Parliament and Secretary of the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions, declared that in Russia, Germany and Italy, labour has not the right of association.
He pleaded for the combination of national economies into one international organism.
Mr M. P. Fogarty spoke on Housing and formulated five suggestions to remedy the present situation.
Mr John Eppstein dealt in an able lecture with the claims of Nationalism.
From Our Own Correspondent
The Catholic Social Guild at Oxford, a lively gathering with students from all parts of Great Britain and some from overseas, has been engaged on a study of two fundamental human societies, the family and the State.
As reported in these columns last week, Mr E. R. Roper-Power, Ph.D., lectured on " Population," and Mr J. R. Kirwan on " Wages and the Family." The thread was taken up by Mr M. P. Fogarty, RA., on "Housing," Miss Barbara Ward, discussing the Russian and German Revolutions, suggested that Communism was spent as a social force, for people had seen that it but reproduced the worst evils of capitalism.
"It will still, however, continue as an alternative to religion," she declared. "It will continue to fill the personal vacuum left by loss of faith."
Fascism and Nazism had developed like Communism, she thought, because people had come to see that capitalism, as it developed, was an irrational system. Permanent unemployment, financial collapse, the disappearance of markets and the overhanging and reasonless threat of war, had driven people to despair. But Fascism, unlike Communism, had waited to formulate its principles until after It had come to power.
Communism, granted its assumptions, was a rational system, Miss Ward continued, but FaReism• was irrational. Having no coherent philosophy of its own, in its reaction against capitalism, of tehich little was left in either German.y or Italy, it had been driven back to the old model of the military State.
Discussing why it was that the Church was, in so many minds, associated with Fascism, Miss Ward suggested that the long conflict with rnaterialieic Communism had somewhat obscured the issue.
"Catholics," she declared, "get to a point where they use their religion as an excuse for not practising it."
Mr J. Eppstein, continuing the discussion, pointed out that modern nationalism is the complete indentifica tion of State and nation. This identification was muddied thinking.
An effort was needed by Catholics, he concluded, to face the national principle and integrate it properly into human society. We must not merely denounce it, for there was a place for IL
An International Whole
" If instead of preparing for war," declared Mr Serrarens, " we would combine and unite into one organism, if we could combine national economies into an international whole, we could lift up man ' to that higher standard of life which, provided it be used with prudence, is not only of no hindrance, but is of singular help, to virtue.' " This could not be obtained, he continued, under capitalism.
Fascism, Mr Serrarens went on, was as revolutionary as Communism, but that did not make it morally better. In Italy, he pointed out. the whole system of so-called corporations depended upon the State. There the Trade Unions were instruments of the State and under no circumstances were they meant for the working classes.
"In Russia, Italy and Germany," he declared," labour has not the right of association."
"In the totalitarian States there is domination of society by the State, of the State by the Party, and of the Party by a small group of men. The fact of human dignity is completely forgotten by capitalism and energetically denied by the totalitarians."
Housing Mr Fogarty, in his lectures, pointed out that our post-war housing problem derived from two sources: the lack of a housing policy before 1914, with its consequence of slums and streets not fit for civilized human beings to live in, and the stoppage of all building during the war.
Between 1911 and 1921 there had been an increase of 120,000 in the number of houses, but in the same period 1 he number of families had increased by 700,000.
Much. had been done, the lecturer went on, to meet the shortage, but though. two-fifths of the people sn England and Wales lived in post-war houses, of which 4,000,000 had been built, there were still needed. 200,000 houses for slum clearance and 500,000 for overcrowded large families.
In addition, despite the imminent fall in population the demand for houses would go on rising for some time.
The srogramme he outlined, he declared, would probably not coat much more than the present policy of building expensive and unsatisfactory blocks of flats—and for this purpose. a much higher cost would be justified.
Regarding remedies for present evils, Mr Fogarty made five suggestions:
1. The control of the prices of building materials and the taxation of land values
2. The suggestion Cardinal Manning made more than forty years ago for Rent Courts should be carried out.
3. Local authorities should be allowed to build for normal needs without the aid of subsidies.
4. To help poor families, rent rebates. These were, he recognised, a palliative, but something had to be done in the absence of a living wage.
5. A law obliging builders to register with the National House Builders' Registration Council, 'a voluntary body which guaranteed standards of house construction, and a backing of the individual builder's guarantee by a. Builders' Guild representing the whole industry.