Christmas and The Socialist

Mauritius Times – 60 Years

By Peter Ibbotson

Does Christmas carry any special significance for the Socialist? Is this season, secularised into a season of giving presents, exchanging greeting cards, having parties, and putting up Christmas trees, anything more than a festive season for the majority, or than a religious occasion for the devout minority?

I believe that Christmas does carry a special message for the Socialist.

First, let me say that there is no conflict between the Christian and the Socialist. The traditionalist points to the “contradiction” between the song of the Angels on the first Christmas Day — “Unto you is born this day a Saviour” — and the song of the Socialist in the Internationale today — “No Saviours from on high deliver.” But the traditionalist is wrong, whether he be a traditionalist politician or a traditional Christian.

There is no conflict; the emancipation of man, which we call Socialism (on the political plane), can be realised by the hundred per cent application of Christian principles. The aims of Christianity are that man shall find fulness of life, abundance, and peace; the aims of Socialism are precisely the same: fulness of life, abundance, and peace.

Christianity stems from a 33-year Plan for the rescue of humanity; not from on high but from alongside. God’s method was to leave Heaven and come to earth incognito; St. Paul said of Christ that “though He was rich, yet He became poor that ye through His poverty might be rich.” Christ lived really poor and unknown. He was born in a stable; He and His earthly parents were the victims of imperialism and a housing shortage, like so many people still today. He and His earthly parents were right from his start pushed around in their native country, on their native soil just like any African in Kenya or South Africa today.

An English Christian Socialist has summed it all up in these words: “As we gaze on the infant Christ in the manger on Christmas Day, craddled in poverty, weakness and suffering, we see also in microcosm the whole divine-human plan for the rescue of man — identification with the outcast and poor, the struggle with the powers that be, but beyond defeat, final victory.”

Christmas thus serves for the Christian Socialist, and for the Socialist Christian, as a reminder that the poor Christ served His life in order that they might become rich.

And not only spiritually rich. Said Christ Himself: “I come that they might have it more abundantly.” He shared our humanity to show that the spiritual and the material are not two separate worlds, but part and parcel of each other. Thus poverty, degradation and enslavement affront the spirit, whereas elevation of the spirit must involve elevation also of material things. Christianity must therefore challenge — indeed it cannot help challenging — any social order which in the midst of potential plenty keeps the masses poor. It must challenge any social or economic order in which the few enrich themselves at the expense of the many; in which there is gross exploitation, underpayment of workers, and unemployment.

By the same token, Christianity must support and actively work for a new social order; one in which the bodies, minds and spirits of all men, women and children are given the opportunity of maximum development. In the new social order, there will be common ownership which means production for the common good; there will be, too, peace among men of goodwill, because they will no longer be forced into antagonism by the conflicts of a class-divided society. There will be a new Heaven and a new earth, for the former things shall have passed away; the dream of the Evangelist will be realised and there will be no more sorrow, neither weeping.

For in the new social order men will be motivated by the dynamic of Christianity; by the dynamic which brought God to earth on the first Christmas Day; by the dynamic which lies at the basis of the two great commandments, that dynamic is Love. ” Love God” is the first and great commandment; and the second is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

‘Where love is, God is’ is the title of a powerful short story of Tolstoy and love is the mainspring of Socialism as it is of Christianity. Because of this there is a bond between Christianity and political action which demands a fuller life for the poor and underprivileged.

What did Mary sing as she awaited the birth of Christ? “He hath filled the hungry with good things but the rich he hath sent empty away… He hath put down the mighty from seat and hath exalted the humble and meek.” Christians today echo Mary’s words; so do Socialists; and Christmas is the time when Socialists rededicate themselves to the fulfilment of the basis of Christianity: that men might have fulness of life, abundance and peace.

5th Year – No 229
Friday 26th December, 1958


The following promotions in and appointments to the Public Service during the week ended 30th July, 1959, are released from the Colonial Secretary’s Office:


Mr D.H. Near-Crouch, Architect, promoted Deputy Chief Architect.

Mr M. Bell and Mr A. Busawon, Higher Clerical Officers, promoted Executive Officers.

Messrs D.K. Salemahomed, P.B. d’Argent, J.H. Duval, S.K. Ramlogun, R.N. Chetty, B. Seetha, S. N. Ponambalam, P. Murday, P.S. Rangan, H.R. Cuniah, M. Appasamy, A. Teck Young, K. Sumodhee, B. Veerasamy, G. Narayanassamy, R. Pilly-Mootanah, Clerical Officers, promoted Executive Officers.

Messrs. L.J. E. Juste, M.R. Aumeeruddy, C.L. Hermelin, Clerical Officers, promoted Higher Clerical Officers.


Mr H. Fraser appointed Assistant Conservator of Forests.

Dr. L.G.S. Bourdet appointed Medical Officer.

Mr L.A. Bouquet appointed Radio Monitor, M.B.S.

Miss S. Cassimally and Messrs I. Aumeerally, J.S. Finette, L. Bisasur, C. S.K. Chan-Yam and L.J.G. Clarisse appointed Clerical Officers.

Mrs S. Pyndiah, Miss D. Choo-Foo and Messrs D. Gooljar and H.J. Sewtohul, appointed Clerical Officers.

Mrs W.M.T. Rae appointed Clerical Officer.

Miss M.G.C. Bell appointed Nursing Officer Grade ll.

Messrs R. S. Lecordier, K.L. Assame and S. Sooben appointed Prison Officers.

Mr Y. Nagamootoo appointed Time-keeper, Telecommunications Department.

Miss D. Mignot appointed Temporary Typist.

Misses S. Boodhoo and R. Moutia appointed Temporary Telephonists, Telecommunications Department.

Mr R. Coothoopermal appointed Temporary Messenger.



Mr G. Ramasawmy, Assistant Secretary, to act as Principal Assistant Secretary.

Mr R. Fanchette, Education Officer, to act as Assistant Director, Central Information Office.

Mr G.Y. Gnany, Senior Executive Officer, to act as Assistant Secretary.

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 22 December 2023

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