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The New York Communist Why Political Democracy Must Go By John Road mon.
arty Socialists VL America have always prided wyrelfon strict by the City Council of Minneapoiis against the So obedience to laws, even when do not like them.
THE foundation of the Socialist Party of Amer. The American Socialists were opporod to our entry TI cialists.
ica proved that Socialism had become accli. into the war, bot to were many Republicans and Detoo But after all it is not these examples of the failure matized. Born of Populism, Greenbackism, crata in and out of Congress.
of Socialist official. in office which forms the most The American Socialists held to the wise counsel of damning demonstration of the failure of old stylo and Trade Unionism, it was grafted on to a Socialist George Washington, Thomas Joierson, James Monroe and Socialist political action. The War intensified and tradition whos, most important ancestor had been the teachings of Ferdinand Lasalle, imported into That is the reason wby we demanded legislation do brought out the real nature of political power and this country shortly after the Civil War. It was priving any citizen or corporation of all probts from the control. For example, in cases where the Socialists sale of war supplies for the American government.
dominated by the prevailing American belief that the in office actually tried to follow Socialist principles, ballot controlled the State, and that the Siale could Many Republicans and Democrats believed and suid capitalist action was swiſt and merciless. In Minthe same.
be conquered for the working class by the ballot. Now Socialism is not Bolsheviam.
neapolis. for instance, Mayor Van Lear having me At the beginning it was still revolutionary that is Socialism is the collective ownership of the means of nifested a mild hospitality toward free speech, the to say, it aimed at the capture of political power. scial production and distribution while Bolsheviom, u State government promptly took away his polico Af hand it had a native economic organization of far I understand it, is Communism combined with sya power and governed the city through State Coun dicalism. the workers the American Federation of Labor The Communist want to produce and consume in comcil of National Defense, which was composed of the already grown powerful. Instead of trying to cro representatives of big business. Mayor Hoan, So ate a rival labor organization, it realized that this Socialism, however, wants to control only productive cialist Mayor of Milwaukee, was completely divested was impossible, and set out to capture for Socialism capital not a property Socialist commonwealth will of his power as a city executive by the business in the organization already existing but only with the individual ownership of socially Decor terests of Wisconsin acting through the Governor and Council of National Defense In Cleveland In all respects, therefore, the Socialist Party was My capital. Communiem denios individual ownership of all prop two Socialists were elected to the City Council; apparently equipped to enter the political struggle with the capitalist class for power. And this it pro The Bolsbevisis discourage parliamentary action. They twelve months before he had been heard to say that one was disbarred, because a woman reported that ceeded to do at once, with results which justified its prefer direct action and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
belief that at last the combination had been discov.
he did not believe in the Red Cross and the other aed by which Socialism could be made attractive and start anew. The Socialists do not believe that a comCouncilman was expelled because he belonged to plete break is either possible or desirable.
the to American workmen. If we are to remain politically free porple the inevitasame political Party as his colleague. Victor The first national campaign that of 1900 ble outcome must be that the people must take possession Berger ran for United States Senate in Wisconsin tabulated 87, 814 votes for the Socialist Party. collectively of the worial means of production and distribu in the Spring of 1918. In order to prevent him tion and use them for the nation as a whole and that is Debs, who was very popular with the workers be from taking his seat, the business interests of his cause of his activities State and of the country at large secured his inthe American Railway called Socialism The meanures that the Socialists will takemust close dictment in the Federal Courts, on charges much Union, made a series of spectacular campaigns for ly. coupect with the present system and evolve from it.
the Presidency, culminating in 1912 with the coun. The Socialists believe that everything that is neccesary less grave than those upon which many try wide tour of the Red Special, when the Party within the nation the nation is to own and manage. for the life of the nation for the enjoyment of everybody had already been acquitted. Berger then ran for rolled up almost a million votes. And this last Everything that is necessary for the life and develop for still further indictments. He was elected by the House of Representatives. This was the signal campaign was carried on in the face of Roosevelt ment of the state the state is tr own and manage.
dramatic crusade for social justice, wherein the Everything that he does for the life and develop clapped upon him: and after the armistice had been an overwhelming vote and another indictment was Progressive Party had incorporated many of the planks from the Socialist platform Everything that the individual can own and manage signed, Berger was tried and convicted, and son best the individual is to own and manage There will be At the same time the Socialists in various parts of plenty of enterprisce left for the initiative of the indi.
tenced to twenty years in jail.
the country elected several members of State Legis vidual.
At the height of the Socialist Party career, in latares, city aldermen and administrative officials. This is nothing but State Capitalism in its most 1912, more than nine hundred votes were cast for The most striking example of Socialist political complete form. Mr. Hearst will cheerfully endorse its Presidential candidate about one fifteenth of succes was in the City of Milwaukee, where Berit in it there is not a word to indicate that the pro: ballots cast for Woodrow Wilson, the winning canthe entire vole cast for President and one sixth of the Seidel was elected Mayor, with a large proportion Maix points out, break down the capitalist State didate. Roughly, the Democratic and Republican of the City Council composed of Socialists. For e apparatus and re build anew the entire machinery ally to their Presidential vote; but the Progressivos time, indeed, Milwaukee was looked up to by American Socialists as a shining example of what little difference between this ideal and the indus the Party of the rebel small property owner Socialist political action could do. just as, before trial organization of Imperial Germany before the was not represented in proportion to its vote; and the war, Germany dominated the International be war.
the Socialists, with one. fifteenth of all the ballots, cause of its powerful party organization and its Meyer London career in Congress began little got one Congressman, although on the face of it better. Io a speech supporting the Jones bill giving Congressional Districts had no elections in 1912 they were entitled to about thirty. True, many The real emergence of Socialism upon the arena citizenship to the Porto Ricans, London threatened but this does not alter the essential truth of this of the political fight, however, did not occur until that if Congress denied the ballot to these people it statement. Europe the development of such the House of Representatives for the Fifth Wiscon revolutionist and the assassin knife. Imme political strength by any party would have im.
sin District, and for the first time a representative diately the House was in an uproar; the members mediately showed in the legislative body; this is true even in Germany, in spite of restrictions to the Congress of the United States, the highest law Socialist Congressman unless he withdrew his re the franchise. But in America it can be readily making body. He sat for two terms, and then, marks, o Socialist Congressman Meyer London seen that, although political democracy more or after lapse of two years, Meyer London of New apologized and ate his words.
less accurately reflects the comparative strength of York succeeded him as as Representative, to be fol From that time on, outside of a few speeches conthe bourgeois parties, it operates to block the ado lowed again in 1918 by the re election of Berger. cerning the housing situation in the District of Co quate representation of all clasecs contending with the great capitalists for State control.
It is not necessary here to go into the record of lumbia and other minor matters of that sort, Con.
Why is this so? Why is it that in Europe the Victor Berger as first Congressional Representative gressman London remained silent. On the roolu.
of the working class Party. His first act was to tion declaring war on Germany, he voted nay.
On political Socialist movement was able to develop the military appropriation, however, he did not vote. great strength in the legislative bodies, and ever cast his vote for a substitute to the direct election of Senators. His maiden speech contained not one Finally, the fearful pressure engendered by the cise an important influence on the Governments?
This results from the fact that nowhere in the single reference either to the Socialist International war, and the sarage patriotic persecution in the world is the capitalist class so strongly organized and so firmly intrenched as in America. In America, was a purely reformist criticism of the capitalist that in 1918 he was the Congressman selected to de.
state. The most salient feature of his tenure of liver an address of eulogy commemorating the third from the first, the capitalist clas controlled the anniversary of ofhce was the introduction of mild social reform legof Italy entrance into the war! Suate, and there was no other clau in society a.
islation, of which his Old Age Pension bill is char. Taken to task by his comrades in New York for cept the working class In Europe the capitalist acteristic. For example, the pension was to accrue his chauvinistic utterances, Comrade London de class had to fight against the remnants of the feudal only after the worker sixtieth year and it is a clared that although born a foreigner, he had been class. Almost up to the Great War, in some parts well known fact that the average life of Ameri made in America, and he would be true to his of Europe there was a dual revolution going on: the capitalists were striving with the dying feudal can industrial worker is forty years. It was to be country; furthermore, he added that he was re system to gain control of the State, and the rising denied to anyone convicted of a felony even sponsible to all his constituents and that these such a felony as that of which Victor Berger now constituents were not only Socialists (working men)
proletariat was also beginning to battle for power.
Both feudal class and capitalists used the working stands convicted by the capitalist courts. It was to but all the people of his district. The disastrous be denied to anyone, no matter how old, who had records of Socialists elected to office are endless. class against each other, and thus the Socialista bo came an important factor between the two conan income of six dollars per week. And finally, all Mayor Seidel of Milwaukee appointed many nonAnd thus, above all, the unnaturalized aliens. which compose the vast Socialists to posts in the city administration, and tending class faction.
majority of the most exploited section of the Amer. when criticized, declared that he represented all tho capitalists were compelled to fight in two direc ican working class, were barred.
peoplo not merely the Socialist Party. Mayor tions at once, and in the meanwhile, to give con Add to this Berger opposition to Woman Suf Lunn of Schenectady did the same thing; when cesetion to the working class in return for its aid taken to task for his un Socialistic behavior, the against the feadal system inated by religion, and would therefore strengthen Mayor proudly resigned from the Socialist Party or to divert the capitalists from their wa ugainst the. the reactionary political forces; and later, his advocacy of Intervention in Mexico; and we have a the chief pro War Democratic Congressmen working class. More than that, the ballot enabled picture of a man in some respects less revolutionary Mayor Van Lear of Minneapolis, after election to the American capitalist claw to blind the workers than the bourgeois Jeffersonian Liberals. office of an anti War program, joined Samuel Gomwith illusions of democracy distil they had pas.
In full consciousness of the desperate situation pers Alliance for Labor and Democracy, which was facted their hold upon the thront of the republic.
in which Victor Berger now formod by the of the America fod For the last decade the history the American full respect to his courage, do not wish to mis cration of Labor to support the War; and when Socialist Party has shown a continuous tendency quote Berger or misstate his position. shall thero the Non Partisan League put up a candidate in to draw away from the proletariat. The policy of fore quote extracts from his recent pamphlet, Open local election, Mayor Van Lear made a public boring from within in the American Fooration Letter Addressed to His Colleagues in Congress. speech in favor of this candidate, although a can of Labor resulted in the virtual capture of the in order that he may speak for himself: didate of his own Party was running. His last act Party, for a period, by the Federation which by am one of the founder of the Socialist Party of in office was to refuse to veto Rod Flag law passed that time bad become a definitely wago conecioch in