The New York Communiat an 560 New York COMMUNIST Ofieial Organ of the Left Wing Section, Socialist Party Owned and Controlled by Local Greet: New York loaNRacii. Editor Eanuosn MacALrim. Auociate Editor MAXIIIILIAN Comm. Business Manager Editorial Board Houamca Zucxrn WOLFE Wusnxm Published Every Week.
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43 West 29th Street. New York City Phrases and Facts Friday, Mav 30th, after expelling some fortythousand members from the Socialist Party because they believed in Bolshcvism, the National Executive Committee wound up the proceed»
ings with a statement on Party policies issued to the world, which is a mixture of lies and hypocrisy in about equal proportions. This statement condemns the Peace Treaty of Paris, declares its support of Soviet Russia and Communist Hungary, protests against intervention. repudiate? the Berne Conference. and goes on record as being in favor of. industrial unionism instead of craft unionism. From this it would appear that the National Executive Committee had adopted Left Wing principles until one analyzes the document.
The statement begins with the declaration that the Socialist Party at all times consistently and uncompromisinglv apposed war. But we know that many of our Party leaders. including the Socialist Congrwman, were at times in favor of the war to save Russia. for example. It supports wholeheartedly the Soviet Republic of Russia and the communist goternment of Hungary, and vigorously protests against intervention, etc. But it opposes just as wholeheartedly any tendency toward Bolshcyism or Communism in the United States, and expels all Bolshcvists or Communists, stigmatizing them as anarchists. In Germany, Austria and countries similarly situated, its sympathies are with the more advanced Socialist groups (in America it expels such groups from the Partyl. in their efforts to force their gaivernmerus into a more radical and burned»
ate realization the Socialtxl program, This I!
either a verbal trick to deceive the Party rank and file, or it betrays the real incapacity of the National Executive Committee to Understand the situation in Germany, and the Social Revolution in general.
The Spanacides and Communists are not making efforts to force their governments into anything; they are attempting to get control the governmerits. lt realizes the necessity of reorganizing the Socialist International along more harmonious and radical lines. The Socialist Party of the United States is not committed to the Berne Conference, which has shown itself retrograde on many vital points, and totally devoid of creative force. But also it is not affiliated with the Communist Congress of Moscow. Certainly not! The rank and file won stand for the Born: Conference, to which, nevertheless. the made a determined attempt to commit us. But again, the Moscow Congress is dangerous so we better wait for a harmonious International. In the field of domestic policies, the Socialist Party is utterly opposed to the reactionaiz of leadership. In vague terms, the hope!
for the industrialization of all national and inter national unions. Not a word for the unskilled and the unorganized. Complete silence about the Certain abuses have crept into more Local: of the Party, due to an over valuation of the importance of practical olitics. but on the other hand. the political activities of American Socialism must neither be abandoned or emulated. Whatever that may man. We presume that this is an unqualified endorsement of the Party Congressional Platform for 1918, which doc: not apply to certain Locals, but to the whole Party. This is the kind of thing which has destroyed the Socialist IIIDV euient in America; and amount of statements from the on the one band, on the other hand will blind the rank and file of the movement to the evils of political weial reformiam any longu.
The statement closes with declaration concerning the necessity of renewed organization and propaganda, to profit by the protest, discontent and smouldering revolt mgendered by the reactionary policies of the ruling class and its government But this is a general statement It leaves it to be inferred that all the discontented eiementa in the country must be brought into the Party; nowhere does it mention the working class as the only class with which the Socialist movement iii concerned.
Six months ago the would not have dreamed of mouthing such revolutionary phraseology. It is now doing so only because the rank and file of the Party is determined upon winning the American Socialist movement to revolutionary Socialism. But no one can talk the language without meaning it, or at least understanding it. And by this time the Party membership know enough to distinguish between phraea and facts.
Departing the Alien: HE National Executive Commiuee has hastened to obey Hillquit call for a split in the Socialist Party by the arbitrary suspension of seven Language Federations, approximating some 30, 000 members, or onetliird llic eiitiie membership of the Party. This action is taken without any notice and no hearing has been held to decide on the facts in the case. The chief crime of Mlllclt these federations were guilty, according to the hold story emanating from the National Office in Chicago, was an organized systematic attempt to carry pending referendums in the interest of the Left Wing. In other words the punish». the Language Federations for agitating for their ideas, just as the capitalist courts punish Socialists for propagating their philosophy.
We are informed that this action was taken after nearly two days had been giVen to the matter, and that it followed the consideration of a mass of documentary material accumUIated in the National Office. We can imagine the bowl about democracy which would go out from this same office if the District Atlomey announced that after consid ering a mass of documentary material for nearly two days he had decided to indict the E: Surely there are enough famous lawyers on the to know that this method where the prosecutor, judge and jury are one and the same, and where the defendant is not even apprised of the fact that he is under charges, much less given a hearing is not in accord even with the bourgeois conception of justice. It is claimed that Stilson of the Lithuanian Federation, appeared and acted for the whole seven groups, but even the most gullible will find it hard to believe that on such an important question the seven Federations would agree to only one representative, and particularly a representative of one of the numerically smaller groups, to state their respective cam.
The whole matter stands revealed as a shameless piece of bureaucratic high handednesa and. in view of the way in which the vote for the new Executive Committee is swinging to the Left, an eleventhhour attempt of the old conunittee to perpetuate itself in office. If the rank and file of the Socialist Party condones this action, then we can congratulate the seven Federations on being removed from the contamination of a Party which is diagracing the name of Socialism. and is attempting to drag the movement down to the level of the worst element in American machine politics.
In itself the action of the is enough forever. to condemn its perpetrators, and the weak chauviriism of the excuses it puts forward for that action merely adds to the offense. It has been charged says The Call, that the Party has been helpless and defenseless in this campaign of mi:representation owing to the inability Englishspeaking members to read the various language ublicatioru and reply. Thus the Party has been hlelpless because the English peakin members did not know it was being attack: and therefore could not reply. The foreign speaking members, we suppose, arc incapable of judging facts for themselves and are completely at the mercy of corrupt foreign writers because fonooth no English speaking comrade stepped forward and set them right. Poor, ignorant foreigners, no wonder the National Security League deapieel you!
When the American Governmt beano deport alien agitators The Call put a little picture of the Statue of Liberty on the front page much as Mr. Hearst puts little American flags in hia paper and began to cob about democuey. but now that the National Executive Committee decides to doport the foreigners from the Socialist Party, The Call reveals its true sentiment. in its headline over the story. Suspends Defiant Groups of Foreign Born, it ahrieka, melting the not that these groups are aliens, and implying that foreign born grou will only be tolerated if they are not defiant. is is exactly the National Security League idea forei note can only remain here no long as they are a iuive.
Interview in the capital pru givli by ber of the Right Wing who apparently desire to have their names kept secret, emu hint that there is to be an Americaniution of Sociali Party. and that the Bolahevik elements are to be eliminated.
The Tribune, tell: how it learned at Tl!
People House that It in the demand of the Party leaders and the Right Wing an a whole, that the American Socialist movement be not free to develop in accordance with American conditions, with American reality and American psycholo.
Just as when Walling, Bohn, Russell. St ea, Spargo et a left the Party they used the prevailing psychology to incite the people against the mavo ment, so today the Right Wing is attempting to use the rage worked up by the capitalist reaa against the foreigners to discredit the Left ing. But they are misrepresenting the American section of the Party. All through the country the Socialist Party is swinging to the Left, irrespective of notionality. Just as the Socialist Party has hem a composite of all the nationalitia in the country, so the Left Wing is composed of all the nationalities in the Party. The Americans are not behind the others. We of the Left Wing are not concerned with the nationality of the membership, nor do consider that nationality is one of the issues now being fought. Americans understand Socialism as well as any other nationality, and in the nature of things it is Americans who will dmninate the Socialist movement in America; otherwise the future of the movement in this country would be my black indeed. But in the past many Americana who mistook Socialism to be a return to the ideals of Jelfersonian democracy wandered into the Socialist Party, and naturally these will remain with the Right Wing, and will ultimately swing it into a future Liberal, or if they become radical, Labor Party. For the loss of such as these we have no regrets. Their place is not in the Socialist movemerit and the sooner this is made clear the bats for both them and the movement.
The American working class must be the backbone of the Socialist Party, and we of the Left are indifferent as to whether the members of that class are direct descendants of the Pilgrim fathers or are the latest immigrants from the outside world.
Socialism is not a matter of nationality; it is these very leaders who encouraged the division of the Party into Federations for their own political ends, who are now endeavoring to discriminate against these very Federations. The Socialist Party in the future will be a party of the workers in America, and no divisions will be necessary, save perhaps an occasional language branch where the non Englishspeaking members will be taught English and then turned over to function directly in the movement.
The Capitalist Press and the Party Crisis ALL the capitalist papers are devoting a great deal of space to the fight in the Socialist Party.
For instance, last Sunday the New York Tribune had a two column story headed, drolly slough, Socialist Party Seeks to Purge Itself of Roda.
One of the grievances of the Right Wing!! against the Left Wing is that we are alleged to have carried the Party fight outside the Party. and confided our wrongs to the general public.
During the past few weeks our editorial ofioe and headquarters have been besieged by reporters from the great prostitute new: apen, beseecliing us to give them a story on e Party situation. This we have repeatedly refused to do, because we consider it none of the public a husiniss what goes on internally in the Party. Home, what we refuse to comment on Party afiaira, the reporter: invariably say, Well, suppose we ll have to go It to the Rand School and get it from Gerber or Lee.
From the atoriea in the paperl. thin is evihltly what the reporters have done. The Tribune story above referred to given the Right Wing argum in detail, including all the ridiculous and provocative accusations that the Left Wing is compound of anarchists. that it is out to me violence. and that it expects the Revolution tomorrow. It contains, moreover, good deal of intimate good which is evidently bein whispered between load)
as when they meet. or le, the meant that the arty leaders eu that Italian Fads.
tionmayhavetobeexpelled, uitllbeginnmgh chow signs of left winginn.
The enenttowhich The Tribunal inbuidenoe of the Right Wing my be judpd fruit the following paragraph. The expelled foreign Eda time. according to such leaders as Morris Hillqait. Julius Gerber, Algernon lee, George Goebel and Adolph Gama; havelon bmamreapotoutheSoeiali woHeidi. be. bod Raul be but It may in may in the United Smeé. they aay. And we a the attempt of people who are ignorant of America and her problems to dictate to u: how we shall run out u.
And otheNnianlEncnfiwCommItteeb Ib.
polled sews foreign ted nice from the Party.