Paris Commune

The New York Communist Reply to a Non Partisan League Farmer Do we hold that the revolution must come by violence?
To answer this question by yes or no would he uinine. It may. Again, it may not.
The left Wing, all the protest of the Right Wing to the contrary notwithstanding. repudiates Socialism by assassination The Left Wing hopes that the proletariat will conquer its enemy. the capitalist class. with as little bloodshed as possible. Except for the capitalist imperialist statesmen, we know of none who delight to bathe in blood of others. As Socialists, let us take our guidance from history for a correct answer to this question. careful perusal of the periods of revolution will show that revolutions. in themselvm, do not bring about bloodshed. There is abundant historical proof to show that it is the counter revolution that always causes bloodshed. Bloodshed only follows when the deposed regime attempts to overthrow the revolution. For us in America, peaceful AngloSaxon England, the classical example of revolutions without bloodshed or violence. furnishes par ticularly strong evidence substantiating our coats. tion. In Cromwell days no one desired civil war except the Royalists. The King fled to organize an army to march against London. By this action civil war was forced upon the revolutionary party.
Remember that only Charles treachery and in trigues forced Cromwell to carry out his threat against the King: We will cut oil his head, with the crown upon it.
The most recent proof of this historical truth is furnished by Russia and Hungary. In Russia bloodshed accompanied the Revolution because of the treachery and intrigue of the deposed regime of the bourgeoisie and landholders. bloody trail follows Kolchackis thrusts. The Red Terror was an answer to the counter revolution encouraged by Clemenceau, Wilson and George. the three great representatius of the three greatest democracies of the world.
To date there has been very little iolence in Hungary. But should the counter revolution rear iLs ugly head. the Hungarian proletariat will no doubt shows its valor and prowess. Yes! Only history can answer this question affirmatively or negatively. And in America. as elsewhere. it is the bourgeoisie who will play the leading role in this historical art. pon them alone will fall the responsibility for violence should it accompany a proletarian revolution in America.
II. Do we hold that the Revolution must come by he General Strike?
Neither can this qumtion be answered correctly by an immediate yes or no. The General Strike is no doubt a powerful weapon in the hands of the proletariat. The General Strike is without question dreaded by the capitalist class. Notice how the murderous bourgeois Socialist democracy of Germany trernbles at the General Strike. Recall the chill sent through the backs of the American bourgeoisie by the Seattle strike. Witness the consternation in the camp of Canada bourgeoisie as a result of the Winnipeg afiair. The Left Wing doesn say that the revolution must come by the general strike. But the left Wing does say that there is enough historical proof to show that the General Strike is a very valuable weapon in the hands of the working class. Should conditions demand a general strike in order to undermine the bourgeoisie, then well and good, the Left Wing is for it. It is the purpose of the Left Wing to make the proletariat of America class conscious enough to resort to the general strike whenever the situation calls for it.
III. I! so why nominate candidate: at all and enter politics?
Whether the first two questions are in he answered by yes or no only the future can tell, but whatever history answer will be. the Left Wing does believe in nominating candidates and entering politics. To the left Wing the struggle for seat! in bourgeois parliaments is a guage, measuring wotbrzg class maturity. The parliamentary method may not be a perfect method. and we certainly say that it is not perfect) of tmting proletarian hopes and readiness. We are aware of the numerous ban set up by the bourgeoisie. Yet it does show to what fervor the class struggle has hem: worked up. and to what temperature class weapons have been heated. While Communism will reject parliamentary government, it will not distroy all of its elements. Communism will make an unprevertad use of the only good characteristic of Parliametariam, the reprueutative element.
The Left Wing gladly welcomes the opportunity of participating in election campa for the immediate purpose of winning legis alive seats.
ln this sense, too, we urge the use of political action as a revolutionary weapon. real Socialim.
amegcalnpaipwilluuphaaiutheimplau a By Jay Loveatone Des. Wen have jun fiat lied reading Tl: Conuumsr of April as. in its entirety. am in hearty approval of l eny of action. but m afraid am not as well informed on Lhe subject as ouch!
to be, and am writing you for light. am a farmu and in the seven years since joined the Socialut Party. have been recognized as the most eunceaaful local organizer the Party had in this state prior to the debacle new ed by the NonAPartialn league and seem to he considered still so much of an enemy of society that many folks hereabouts thing the country would be safer i! were deported. although my highland forebears came to Mae aahueetta about 1630.
Lack of opportunity for close million with old time Socialist and dependent almost entirely upon propaganda papers for our information of Socialiet activities. we who we. the truth no much have been forced to our own inter pretatione of events and sometimu we find it my Meal: to analyre them satisfactorily.
For instance Do you hold that the revolution mt come by Violence? Or by a general strike? If so. why nominate cadidate: at all or enter politics? have proceeded on the theory that when 51 per cent of the electoral ahould vote the ticket. we could institute an Industrial regime and am certain that that idea is uppermnn in the minds of the. red handed. nervy Socialist. who organised the NonParlisan League and three years ago stole the machinery of the Republican Party in this state and have so mare ahslled the support of the workers in this state that in virtually have a state Soviet of farmers can scarcely conceive of your asserting that the ConItilutiunal amendments adopted here last fall by plehicite and the legislative am now about to be referred are not relvolurwnary. But if such is your contention pleaae up am. have refrained ea have many other Reds out here from endorsing the League until this year. But unnot help feeling lhlt our Coternur and many other atate olb ml; are standing up nobly to the job at carrying out the industri. program inaugurated by our recent legislature and deserve the earnesr support of all radicals. The Not:Psnisan League program does not encompass as much u should like. but shall ue reluoe a baby. cry for food because it cannot eat meat?
It seems to me that this is fundamental. Some of our state officials had proved traitors. but they are only in; the farmers firmer in their determination to fight the explonrrs. do not want to be found conservative if the time comes for arm but it strikes me that possibly you who have when so active a part in the struggle for liberty. have seen so Knuth abuse that yuu tail to grasp the idea or doubt the pmbiltlllly of a puuful revolution brought about at the ballot box.
it the control of the of should shift from (lamprrs In men of your cbmsiug. would you still insist on a Socialist party or would you grant that a Labor party might get more votes? la other words, would you adminiuer quinine in a teaspoon or a capsul?
Sincerely your: Tom.
ble character of the class struggle and will become a great channel for propaganda. To the Left Wing the battle for legislative seats will be a means of arousing revolutionary mass (class) action on all fields. Parliament to us is a forum for agitation. It is a means of obstructing capitalism and not a means of introducing Communism. Participation in election campaigns gives us a chance to put our case before the working class and promote class consciousness without violence.
But participation in political campaigns is not the only fortn of political action. To the Left Wing any action on the part of the proletariat which aims to undermine and overthrow the political power of the Capitalist class is political action.
Thus a mike of miners and railway workers to win freedom for the Class War Prisoners, is political act in spite of the fact that thousands of fureig ners and non voters may participate in such political action. By participating in political carnpaig ns we are also more able in expose diplomatic trickery. cheating. and knavery. What is more, the parliamentary offices can be used to political advantage for the proletariat by employing them as a means of protesting against the absolutism which hides behind the parliamentary forms.
In short the Left Wing. not being Anarcho Syndicalist, will gladly use the election campaigns to increase the latitude of its revolutionary propaganda.
IV. We have always believed that filly one per cent can vote Socialism into existence. ls that not so?
This is not so. First of all, it is most improbable that a class conscious proletariat: political party can ever gfi majority of the ballots cast. Remember that as long an capitalism lute the workers will not own their jobs. We have a notion that there is some connection between the fear of losing a job and a vote. Of course the powerful press, ever serving the master class, also as something to say as to how the ballots are to be cast. The educational institutions mould the workers minds to no small extent. And this has a marked influence upon the voter. The church and sundry other organs of public opinion complete the bourgeola task of misleading the proletariat Furthermore, poll taxes, educational, and residential qualifications, legal tediniquc. theit, corruption. and disenfranuhisemenl alwuya come to the rescue of. the hourgeoisie. Such are the insuperable barriers confront class conscious proletarian political parties.
at for the sake of argument. let us grant the almost impossible 4h the fifty one per cent vote can be secured. It most dmidedly does not follow that Socialism is thus brought into arm difi erences between Socialism and Capitalimn In so definite that the indefinite and unsteady wave of camping victories cannot determine them. If fiftyone per cent could vote capitalism out of aim in 1920, why cannot fifty one per cent. vote capital.
ism hack into existence in 1924? Why can th u prowss go on ad infimtum and mam? Truly common sense yells for help!
In Finland the Socialists won a majority of the seats in the Diet. And today the assassin of the Finnish proletariat are drilling in Labor Balk After more than fifty one per our! of the Finn! had voted Socialism into existence and CI ad of existence, the hellish White Guard the Finui Bourgeoisie began to menace Petrogad end to it a blow at the heart of the Prolaarian Republ of Russia.
Whyisthisso? Intheanawertothis lies the vital difference between modaate inlism and revolutionary Socialism or Communism.
We must look into the relationship of the new to the class struggle. Here let us again call on binary for an answer. The story of the Paris Commune is most enlightening. I! shows clearly that the proletariat cannot simply take hold of the ready made state machinery and make use of it for its own ends. Scientific investigation clearly shows that the State is not at all a power foisted on society from the outside. It is not an organ taking root in Heaven. And it dunno! be used by every one and any one anywhere at anytime and for any and all purposes. The State takes root in the material conditions and is a product of society at certain stage of evolution. The State is a real organintion of defense to guarantee and perpauate a moth of association. the foundation of which is a form of economic production. In capitalist socia y tin State is an organization for perpetuating the capitalist mode of production. The State is capitalifl society. The CupiJolth State serves the bourgeoisie as a machine for oppressiug the proletariat This holds true in a republic as well, as in a monarchy. The Modern State is only the organization, bourgeois society forms in order to support the extanal conditions of the capitalist mode of prodution against the encroachmenu, as well of he workers, as of the individual capitalist. With the development of modern industry claaa antagonism become intensified and widened. The State pom is more and more turned into an organ of Capital mastery over Labor. Of a public force organized for Social enslavetnent. of an engine of class potism.
Win em the Espionage Acts, the Orders in Counoil, the Criminal Anti Syndicalist Laws, the War Labor Boards. the State Cossacks, the use of troops as strike breakers, the citizens and witchhunting investigating committees to prom the publ The capitalist state does not and within the our walls of the Parliament building. The army, the navy, the police. the courts, the sundry justice diepensers, the prisons, the administrative and finan cial bureaucracy, and the countless agmcies of pro paganda and misinformation are part and of the capitalist State. In diort this State is the total power of the owning (capitalist) class. The declaration of confiscation of bourgeois propaty is merely a judicial act. Every eingleiemeoi will have to be expropriated ia emality vid.
ually. majority of the delegates to Congawithout the posseasion of the last auditioned agar cies will not give the working class the polit ml power or control which it must have in nth to gradually introduce Communism. Rube thl the bourgeoisie do not control these means of beffiing and thwarting the will of the masses because they have a majority in the legislative chemba.
0n the century the Capitalist clam has a majority of the votes hmause it has control of that!
means of suppressing the will of the mamas. study of the State historical develop showsthattheaocietyinwhichthaeiseStatefi hopeleast divided against itself, has tangled it self in irreconailable contradictions whach is powerless to banish. In order that these own db tione, these classes with confining mic eats. may not annihilate thanoelyee and my II a useless struggle, a power bwomm neon fly lhfl eunda apparently above society and has the powof keeping down the conflicts and maintaining II iu. And um power, the outgrowth of my. but assuming supremacy ova it andheoomsng II.
and more divorced from it, is the State.
TheStatedividediumembenhymitoI iaseld created a public power of coercion that is dia.
trically opposed to a eelf orgamaed and arud population. The State in product of clan society.
and with the division of society into clues it is impossible to have a salf organned army of the people. Hm a special power of oration hemu State.
cm. Elma Mo)