Cannon on Burns

January 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm (good people, Jim D, liberation, literature, socialism, whisky)

It’s Burns Night, so I’m having a wee dram (any excuse) and re-reading James P. Cannon‘s finest piece of writing, which closes with a Burns quote (another excuse):

“…When it comes to choosing representatives of the human race as it wants to be and will be, I’ll put my chips down on the likes of these people who will give 8-by-4 pieces of their skin for a friend, or for a co-worker who may not be a friend or even an acquintance, but just a man and therefore a brother.

“They are the heralds of the future and represent its spirit, the spirit of socialist cooperation, whether they know it or not. They and the others like them, harnessing their natural impulses to social goals, will do away with the social system which distorts and cripples human nature. They will change the world and make it fit for all the people and all nations to live together in peace and fraternity.

It’s coming yet for a’ that, as Robert Burns affirmed. ‘Then Man to Man, the world o’er shall brothers be for a’that.’ And there’s going to be a great Day.”

(From ‘To the Men Who Gave Their Skin’, published in The Militant, April 30 1951)

I’ll drink to that (and this, in the same spirit): brothers and sisters!

…(for surrealists only…).


  1. Jim Denham said,

    While checking Mr Galloway’s website as part of my “research” before commenting on his decision to stand in the London Assembly elections as the leader of a so-called “progressive list” (ie: not Respect), I discovered that (according to the date of GG’s fund-raising Burns Night Supper), Burns Night is, in fact tomorrow, Saturday 26th January. Am I a day early? If so, we have a first: Galloway tells the truth about something.

  2. Not from Dundee said,

    It is actually tonight, but many will be marking it tomorrow night, for convenience’s sake.

  3. charliethechulo said,

    Thanks for that, NfD; so Galloway even gets the date of Burns Night wrong, eh? You just can’t believe a word he says, can you?

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