A Challenge to Scouting

Episode Four: Communism on the Scout Promise and Law

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But it is not enough to feel that Scouting and Communism are diametrically opposed to each other. We must know why they are so opposed. Let us take our Scout Promise and Law, and see where Communism stands in regards to them.

Duty to God

Communism denies the existence of a Divine Being. It does not believe that man was created by God nor that he has life after death.

In Russia members of the Communist party itself must be professed atheists, and the Churches are permitted to function only so long as they are content to obey the orders of the party.

Duty to the King

Our order of society leaves us free to hold and express our own views about politics and the Government of the day. Elections must be held every few years. The people can change the Government at any election, and can vote for a candidate of any party. In Communist countries there are no free elections – only a list of selected Communists. The individual’s freedom of conscience is gone – he exists only to do what the Government tells him to do. And at all times membership of a Communist party is rigidly controlled by a small group of men who give the orders. Communism, like Fascism, is therefore a dictatorship and in every way the opposite of our constitutional democracy.

The Scout Law

The Scout Law, as we have seen, gives us a moral code to follow. The Communists accept no such code. Anything that supports the Communist cause is right. Lying, treachery, violence are all justified, they say, if they help to spread Communism in the world. With them, honour, loyalty and truth are no virtues if they are embarrassing to their cause.

It is really unnecessary to quote examples, for they can be found in the newspapers any day. But it is wise for us to warn our Scouts against the Communists’ deliberate misuse of language. Even President Roosevelt, who was so anxious to co-operate with the Russians in the task of world-peace, was forced to admit, after his negotiations with Stalin, that the Communists “don’t use language as we do”. They claim, for example, to be a democracy, but as we have seen, their system is the exact opposite of what we understand to be a democracy.

Many other points could be added to the list, but we may perhaps leave it to Scouters to study the question and elaborate the picture when discussing Communism with their senior boys.

Final Episode Coming Shortly: What Can We Do?

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