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Syndicalism

5 Saturday, February 8, 1919 THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE Ving of the American Socialist Movement distinction in views concerning party policies and tactics. And we believe that this difference is so vast that from our standpoint a radical change in party policies and tactics is necessary.
This essential task is being shirked by our party leaders and officials generally. In view of the impending change in the tactics of organized labor in this country, we must hurry to readjust the Socialist irovement to the new conditions or find ourselves left behind by the march of events.
Already there is formidable industrial unrest, a secthing ferment of discontent, evidenced by inar.
ticulate rumblings which presage striking occurrences.
The transformation of industry from a war to a peace basis has thoroughly disorganized the economic siructure. Thousands upon thousands of workers are lxing thrown out of work. Demobilized sailors and soldiers find themselves a drug on the labor market, unless they act as scals and strike breakers. Skilled mechanics, fighting desperately to maintain their war.
wage and their industrial status, arc forced to strike.
Women, who during the war have been welcomed into industries hitherto closed to them, arc struggling to keep their jobs. And to cap the climax, the capitalists, through their Chambers of Commerce and their Merchants and Manufacturers Associations, have resolved to take advantage of the situation to break down cven the inadequate organizations labor has built up through generations of painful struggle.
The teniper of the workers and the soldiers, after the sacrifices they have made in the war, is such that they will not endure the reactionary labor conditions so openly advocated by the master class. series of labor struggles is bound to follow indeed, is beginning now. Shall the Socialist Party continue to feed the workers with social reform legislation at this critical period? Shall it approach the whole question from the standpoint of votes and the election of representatives to the legislature? Shall it emphasize the consumer point of view, when Socialist principles tcach that the worker is robbed at the point of production? Shall it talk about Cost of Living and taxation, whicn it should be explaining how the worker is robbed at his job?
There are many signs of the awakening of Labor.
The organized Trade Unions, against the definite commands of their Icaders, are resorting to indeprendent political action, in an effort to conserve what they have won and wrest new concessions from the master class. What shall be our attitude toward the awakening workers?
On the basis of the class struggle we shall go among them, impregnating them with revolutionary Socialism; we shall teach them solidarity; we shall teach them class consciousness; we shall teach them the hopelessness of social reform: we shall teach them the meaning of Revolution. And the industrial unrest, the ferment of discontent, will compel them to listen!
Capitalist Imperialism Among the many problems immediately confronting 1:5 are those new questions springing from CapitalistImperialism, the final and decisive stage of Capitalism.
How shall the Socialist Party meet these problems?
Imperialism is that stage of Capitalism in which the accumulated capital or surplus of a nation is too great for the home market to reinvest or absorb. The increased productivity of the working class, due to mproved machinery and efficiency methods, and the mere subsistence wage which permits the worker to suy back only a small portion of what he produces, auses an ever increasing accumulation of commodiies, which in turn become capital and must be ins ested in further production. When Capitalism has cached the stage in which it imports raw materials rom undeveloped countries and exports them again in the shape of manufactured products, it has reached is highest development.
This process is universal. Foreign markets, spheres of influence and protectorates, under the intensive development of capitalist industry and finance in turn become highly developed. They, too, scck for markets.
National capitalist control, to save itself from ruin, breaks its national bonds and cmerges full grown as a capitalist League of Nations, with international armics and navics to maintain its supremacy.
The new situation the Socialist arty must meet.
From now on tlie United States will no longer hold itself aloof, isolated and provincial. It is reaching out for new markets, new zones of influence, new protectorates; not alone, and not in competition with Other capitalist nations, but in cooperation with them.
They will divide the world among them. And the Lcague of Nations will be the instrument through which they will work.
The master class of America will soon attempt to usc organizeel labor for its imperialistic purposes. liut a restless and discontented working class cannot pilc up profits. Therefore in this country we may soon expect the master class, in truc Bismarkian fashim.
to grant factory laws, medical laws, okl age pensions, unemployment insurance, sick benefits, and the whole category of bourgcois reforms, so that the workers may be kept physically and mentally fit 10 procluce thic greatest profits at the greatest speed.
Dangers to American Socialism There is danger that the Socialist Party of America might make use of these purely bourgcois reforms to attract the workers votes, by claiming that they are victorics for Socialism, and that they have been won by Socialist political action; when, as a matter of fact, the object of these master class mcasures is to prevent the growing class consciousness of the workers.
and to divert them from their revolutionary aim. Ry agitating for these reforms, therefore, the Socialist Party would be playing into the hands of rur American imperialists.
On the basis of the class struggle, then, the Socialist Party of America must reorganize iseli must prepare to come to grips with the masterclass during the difficult period of capitalist readjustment now going on. This it can do only lwy tcaching the working class the truth about present day conditions; it must preach revolutionary industrial unionism, and urge the workers to turn thcir craft unions into industrial unions, the only form of labor organization which can cope with the power of great inocern aggregations of capital. It must carry on its political campaixns.
not merely as means of electing officials to political office, as in the past, but as a ycar around clucational campaign to arouse the workers to clas. conscious economic and political action, and to keep alive the burning ideal of revolution in the hearts of the people.
For New Policies and Tactics We believe that the time has come for the Socialist Party of America to adopt the following course of action: to throw off its parliamentary opportunism and to stand squarely behind the Soviet Republic of kussia, tlie Spartacus Group in Germany, and the revolutionary working class movement in liurojus.
Thus it will be ready when the hour strikes in this country and it will strike soon to take the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat in its struggle with the capitalist class, instead of obstructing its path with the palliative of parliamentary reforms and Icad the workers forward to the dictatorship of tlic proletariat, the final phase of the class struggle, nicccssary to the ushering in of the Cooperative Commo:wealth.
Political Action Realizing that the vital difference between revolutionary Socialism and moderate Socialism lics their varying conceptions of political action, anit reallizing too that on this point revolutionary Socialists are most misunderstood and misrepresented, we append a detailed explanation of the scientific Socialist conception of political action.
Since we assert with Marx, that the class struggle is essentially a political struggle, we can only accept his own oft repeated interpretation of that phrase.
The clan struggle, whether it manifest itself on the industrial field or in the direct struggle for governmental control, is essentially a struggle for thic capture and destruction of the capitalist political state. Thus is a political act. In this broader view of the terin political, Marx includes revolutionary industrial action. In other words, the objective of Socialist industrial action is also political, in the sense that it aims to undermine the state, which is rolling less than a machine for the oppression of one cluss by another and that no less so in a democratic republic than under a monarchy.
Participation in Elections Political action is also and more generally used to refer to participation in election campaigns for the im.
meliatc purpose of capturing legislative scats. In this sense also we urge the use of political action as a revolutionary weapon.
But both in the nature and the purpose of this for: of political action, revolutionary Socialism anel m110derate Socialism are completely at odels.
ll contend that such political action is a valuable means of propaganda. and further, that the capture of legislativc seats is an effective means of capturing the political state, but and here is the vital print from the n:oderate Socialist goes na furilor We hold that this capture of the political state is merely for the purpose of destroying it. The nature oia Socialist farliamentary activity should be purely destructive. Moderate Socialisin aims to simply lay full of th:c ready made machinery and wield it for its own purposcs the attainment of Socialismi. Anil so tlie modcrate falls into the error of believing that parliamentary activity is constructive. that he can evenTally icgislate Socialism into existence.
This crror Icads to two dangerous practices. naking parliamentary activity an end in itseli: and (2. making essentially destructive polit cal action the isetrument for constructing the Socialist order. To avoid these dangers, and to strengthen Alor polirical arm, the Socialist ballot must le supported by the might of the industrial organisation of the workin class. Only the economic organization of the working class can build the new society within the franic of the old.
Revolationary Industrial Unionism Moderate Socialism constantly overlooks this fact. We must continually renind the working class that Labor cconomic organisations are naturally the school for Socialisin. All political parties, and with out ceception, schatter their complexion may lie.
Tvarm up the working class only for a seusout, iransi.
terily.
Only through his industrial organization call the worker receive training in the control of production.
It is by means of this weapon that the working class will eventually take over and hold the mines, mills and factories, not for the purpose of destroying then: lout for their permanent control and developmeni.
Thus, the only thing worth taking from capitalist society and keeping the highly developeri means of production and distribution will be won for the working class by its Retolutionary licoromic Corganisation.
Because of its constructive nature, our licinamic Arm, unlike our Political Arm, may take a little at a timc. Our economic movement is not unlike a military movement. All means are usevi 10) win a war. infantry attacks, heavy and light artillery, bardments, sieges, and guerilla figling. In the i:dustrial struggle the working class employ strikes, Ixoycotts and the like. The political movement. 1cver, has for its object only the stormin ei the political citadel of capitalist tyranny: therefore the writical Arn cannot compromise. Our political 110cmen sliould be the essence and incamation of rur revolutionary aim. With Liebknecht we say, To garlismientarize is to compromise, to log ruil, sell out.
Syndicalism and Parliamentarism la characteristic utopian fashion the Syndicalisi. Continued on page