The Party Situation in New York THE INQUISITION l lf the rise to power of the Left Riv Ving organization within the Stn cialist Party in New York City. the local officialdoni instituted a variety of new reirulutions and Committees governing those within the Party and those who would within the Party the. Not the least offensive of these was the creation of a committee of three for the purpose of grilling applicants for membI rship in the Socialist Party.
ln the past Il ll party has been very lax hum lint. the admission of new motnhers.
practically any one who signed an application blank being admitted without question This fact has often lrccn pointed out by many ui those members who now constitute the ft ing. but without result. But thirst ho suggchtctl II change in the method of admitting. new members had no idea of funding lllr untrul of the growth of the party it. this city over tn a fcw handpicked individuals The most common suggestion made tank that hunches should exercise, through thcir merutive or membership committee. a stricter control in this matter.
The «cation of this committee. or Star Chamber Extraordinary as it now functions.
at this time. is Clearly not a matter of coincidenre. it is a tlll t attt mpt it) those at present in control In perpetuate ll lfnlet t.
Apparcntly the Right ing heliet es that the present ll nll of event. in the world at large will result in thi rist of such revolutionary sentiment, that it lDCiHKlV CS the Party to he very careful in atlniittinpv new members. lest the infltu of revolutionary l CnlllS over whelntJhe present. fiiciuldnin and give the Left ng control of the party. The net result of the crratiun of this Star tfhamher is the holding up of hundreds of applications and the consequent loss to our movement of th. scrt ires of men and women whose eyes have been opened to their economic conditions throngh the pressure of world events. The fact that over 90 per cent of flit. hundn tls of applicaan so held up are work ing mm and women, members of that class in society which we claim to he the voice.
merely strengthens the assumption that this whole proceeding is a political more in the interest of the machine. hile some of the questions arikcd by this amateur Overman Commiitt e clearly show that the applicant knowledge of, or sympathy with. the SocialA ist movement is not the real point at issue.
The following is an account of these third degree methods by one of the victims: Together with several nuuld be mmrades, waited one Sunday morning.
before locked door: at the appointed hour.
for those annninted of the Lord to arrive.
to put us though our tests. hile waiting. we exchanged experiences to how many times we had come before. etc. u as told haw the Sunday prnious fifty or more working men had waited in vain for over an hour. and finally had gone run with their ohject unachieved. One llllll ullt remarked. They don want us in the Party now. hut just as was heginning to lose all hope of being a Party member. our (hit Examiner arrit ed and unlocked Room 505. e filed in and whilrd away the time reading our Soeinl and waiting for Chief Examiner No. Finally he too arrived. find the Holy ol Holies was opened. and in we went, one by one. to meet our fate. Why are you joining the Party now?
was the first question. Remembering the law of the land. that one is assumed to be innocent until pmycn guilty. we took courage and replied: Because it seems the psychological moment. This seemed In pass, and we waited breathlessly for the next test. which was, whether we wrrt horn in this country. Reassuringly hulwarked hy the fact that our ancestors sir tr if something had been born here.
and we likewise. we answered in the affirmative. hether we stood by the stateint tit printed on our pink application curd.
which was talent from a box where it had lain for some seven weeks. was also answered in the affirmative.
Here the examination ucmed to be cr. and we were told there would apparui er. and we were told there would he apparently no further difficulty as to our membership. We prepared to leave, when suddc 1r. hicf Examiner No. 1, who had. stoml ixy silentlyr during the proceedings.
shot out the question, Do you know anyone in the 3rd, 5th and 10. ranch? Remembering our conversallnll with the comrade who had assured us that we were not wanted in the Party t St fitllllllt frantically in our brains for some innmuoussounding Anglo»
Sn names. carefully avoiding all of (chic origin. and found two. These rtnwl also to pass.
MI ith a tugh of relief we left the building. feeling: sure our red card was as good :is in our pocket: but to flat: twu months since application ave are still cardless REPRESENTATION IN THE CITY CENTRAL COMMITTEE mung to the fact that the machinery or the Party is in the control of the Right Ving many opportunities occur whereby the machine consolidates itt elf. Vhile all branches known to havc a majority of Right Hing. members an git n their fttll quma uf tit legume to the. entf al Committee, ill itl lll known Itil controlled by the cht g or suspected of harboring aintrong minority of Left ing members are wherert inixsihh deprived of their full representatitnt This especially applies to tho variutts Russian language branches. For example. the first downtown branch of the Russian Federation was given only two rlek gatcx after protest by the branch it was git cu three delegates, although its full representatinn is at least four if not fiye delegates.
The 20th Branch of the Ukrainian Federa tion has only two delegates. although according to the Ivy lens it is entitled to tour or five, GERRYMANDERING Another of to methods rt ccutly brought ithW play hy the Right ing of the party rlve (ierrymandcr a tactical manoeuvre which calls forth volnhle denounciation hy the Socialist Party when practised by eithcr oi the old parties. Tltc Gerrymander is a scheme of reorganizing districts was to divide the turn of the upwsition.
It is not a pattirularly one political move and. indeed. in capitalist circles has come to he looked upon as one «if the little privileges of the party in power. Pint the majority fixialists have always affected righteous indignation whm tin y were thr victims and is profess to believe that it is a yieiaus mothod of foiling the will of the people. Now, however. that officialdom faces insurgenty it immediately discovers in the Gerrymauder a friend indeed, and it proceeds to attempt the reorganization of antral handles in order, if we are to believe its previous arguments. to foil the will of the people, who in this particular case are thc membership of the Socialist Party. The wound Jewish Bra rich has been so reorganized and the 17th Branch is at present in the throesof the Gerrymander. herc the case is so hopeless that 11 Gerrymandcr is useless more violent measures are resorted to; as it the can of the 3rd. 5th and toth and 8th Branches, both of which have charge: pcnding against them which it is ainecrdy hoped (hy the Right Vingy will result in their expulsion from the Social t Party.
Although on: of the immediate point at issue between the Right and Left ings is the ownership and control at the party press; the Right Wing taking the attitude that the status quo scnuld he maintained to all intents and purposes the machint within the Party controls the press with it Come: to matters of Party policies and tactics. Officialtlont is invariably in the position of the stand patter. Thus when the Party press remains silent on the matter it is playing the game of the machine.
In all appeals for moral and financial support which from time to timc an» qu hy Party papers one of the strtnigest artmments advanrctl is that the. Cl ship will hart paper which will present its views and hicth. by virtue of tbcabscnce of financial Control through subsidies or advertisements. will present the truth on All occasions. Yet when powerful minority arises u in the Party the official press refuse. to acquaint the membership with the fact. The C61. through its Board of Management, has refused to give any publicity to the Left Wing organiutinn: fl going to the length of Rfusing t4. advertise rut clings held under its auspices as such, and the Left Ving can only insert notices of its meetings by camouflaging undrr the name of a committee or some other body The Call says in effect we will accept your advertisements but we will not print the name of your organitation and thus it maintains the fiction of a free prt ss for which it is always ostensibly fighting.
The Jewish Daily Forward, an official organ of the Socialist Party. takes much the same attitude towards the Left ing hut in other matters it goes so far to the right as to refuse to print the names of party members who may have fallen under the dittpleasurc of the government. It refuses to advertise the Navy Ilir, the official organ of the Russian Federation, altehough this body is pm of the Socialist Party. i1. fact occupies in relation to the Party exactlv the name position as does the Jewish Federation.
Local Hronx has held two meetings hr the discussion of the Left iflg flmifeeto and Program and will hold a third meeting. Friday. April, 18th in London ssauu. 3375 Third rho. at punt.