Eric Butler was a keen student of History and Communism and in O.T. 8 October 1965 wrote:
“In his address to the Melbourne Anglican Synod this week, the Most Rev. Dr. Frank Woods, Archbishop of Melbourne, fostered the most dangerous of the many fallacies concerning the true nature of Communism, that which postulates that Communism is primarily the product of physical poverty. This is generally known to matured students of Communism as the “empty-belly” theory. His Grace is reported to have said, “Poverty is the seed-bed of Communism”. Poverty is, of course, a relative term.
The Australian pioneers did not possess motorcars, refrigerators, washing machines, electric power or other amenities, which today are regarded as essential for a reasonable standard of living. Compared with their descendants, these pioneers lived in poverty. But they did not readily accept revolutionary doctrines aimed at the undermining of the foundations of society. The history of the Communist conspiracy reveals that from the time of Marx, the son of a well-to-do German-Jewish family, and his famous collaborator and financial supporter, Engels, a wealthy “capitalist”, down to the present day, the overwhelming majority of the leaders of Communism have never suffered poverty. Even the leaders of the Chinese Communist tyranny are products of the wealthy Chinese merchants class, not of the peasantry.
The great architect of Communist strategy, Lenin, did not teach that the leadership of the Communist movement should be recruited from amongst the waterside workers, but from the student intellectuals of the world. Millions of human beings have known hardships without feeling that this justified traitorous activities against their own nations. One of the leading traitors involved in the Canadian spy trials just after the end of the Second World War, Dr. Raymond Boyer, was one of the wealthiest men in Canada.
Communism is a type of disease, and its so-called philosophy of dialectical materialism makes a powerful appeal to those who reject all religious values, and who see themselves as gods sufficient unto themselves.
It is a great pity that Archbishop Woods apparently does not understand the real nature of the Communist challenge, the result being that he thinks that Communism can be halted primarily by economics.
People suffering real physical hunger, or some injustice, can certainly be manipulated by the Communists. Christian social and economic programmes are important. But this truth should not be permitted to divert attention from the diabolical nature of the Communist conspiracy.”