heRevolutionary Age Chronicle and Interpretation of International Events Vol. I, No. 31 Saturday, May 17, 1919 Price Cents They Incite to Murder and Riot HERE are great actions coming in our social struggle. general and implacable clash will ﬂare up, in which victory will come to that class rhicb has prepared most adequately.
Two developments now characterize American Cap italism the development of an aggressive Tmperiah ism, and the development of an aggressive struggle of labor against capital.
American Capitalism has conquered in the great war. American Capitalism is now a world power 0ur Imperialism shares with Great Britain the dominion of the world. The United States has not only. made billions of dollars proﬁt out of the war and secured at position of economic dominance. it has equally secured great military prestige and the appetite for more military conquests. The beast of American Capitalism is being convulsed with military hysteria.
It has felt its strength, and it wants to use that strength again and more completely.
The induStrial transformation wrought by the war in the Uni ted States is unparallelled in economic history. Prior to the war. Almerican capital owed the world three billion dOIlarS: to day, the world owes American capital about ﬁve billion dollars, This country basing me. thanks to the war. the chief money marketgﬁ world: and its ﬁnance capital is now very iiiuch ﬁl. a world dictator. Moreover. the requirements of fhewar have produced a new efﬁciency in American industry. larger capacity for production: and this means either that America will have to conquer new markets, or that industry will not absorb all the available workers. and a terriﬁc. unemployment crisis arise. But capital requires proﬁts: and American capital must secure new markets. must ﬁnd the means for absorbing its surplus capital and surplus products.
This means militarism and aggression against undeveloped nations a tendency already apparent in the campaign for intervention in Mexico. This tendency is all the more dangerous. since the Peace Conference in Paris, which re divided the world among the conquerors, has recognized the priority of interest of United States Capitalism in Central and South America.
But, simultaneously, a new spirit is developing in American labor. The great revolutionary events in Europe have left their impress on the minds of our workers, an impress as yet vague in expression, but bound to assume a more deﬁnite character under the inﬂuence of eVents. But. even more important. a general unrest is developing out of deﬁnite American conditions. The workers did not share the war prosperity which created hundreds of new millionaires out of the bones and blood of the dead in Europe: and, moreover. the adjustment to peace conditions is such that millions are unemployed while the future is fraught with danger. The workers are losing their jobs. while the employed are being given cuts in wages. at a time when the cost of living. instead of declining. is actually soaring again. This condition of economic crisis is bound to become worse as Europe resumes normal production. and competes in the world markets which during the war were practically monopolized by the United States.
The new spirit in the Alucrican labor movement is expressed in many ways. it was apparent in the great general strike in Seattle. in the Butte strike. in the large number of strikes in which more aggressive tactics are being adopted. It is apparent in the upsurge of a more radical spirit in large unions of the of in the revolt of these unions against the bureaucracy and in their agitation for a general strike to compel the release of class war prisoners. And it is apparent. again. in the Left Vlng movement in the Socialist Party. which is about to conquer the party for revolutionary Socialism.
But this aggressive class spirit in the American labor movement is most clearly apparent in the violent campaign of the hirelings of Capitalism against Bolshevism and Socialism. againSt the conscious proletariat. large and intensive campaign is being carried on against revolutionary ideas. Money and talent are being mobilized in this campaign, the government and the individual thugs of the Loyalty leagues uniting in this glorious work of reaction.
But the reaction senses the fact that this is not simply a matter of words, or of propaganda; but that vital economic forces are bringing a crisis. They are desperate. They feel that much more drastic means must be resorted to to crush the proletarian menace.
And they are consciously organising a campaign of terrorism in order ta crush. the woman: proletariat in blood. This campaign has three aspects: Provocation the hirelings of Capitalism are trying to provoke an uprising of the workers which will provide them with a pretext for violent and bloody suppressions.
2; Terrorism against Socialists the law and the thug are uniting to suppress Socialist meetings and The fourteen points have become fourteen daggers thrust at the heart of the peace and liberty of the world, thrust directly at the heart of the colonial peoples and of the proletarian revolution in Germany.
demonstrations, to assault our comrades. to provoke riots. Strikes the conscious use of terrorism in strikes is being resorted to by the hirelings of Capitalism; in Seattle and Butte the soldiers were mobilized against the strikers. in Lawrence the police are using a machine gun while they and their hirelings practice violence against the strikers and their representatives.
Consider the events of the past three months. Plot aftr plot has been discovered in which radicals were to start an immediate revolution, There was the great plot in New York City; scores were arv rested; blue print plans were produced by the police of an alleged plan of seizure of the Government and the whole thing ﬁzzled out. The discovery was given great publicity in the press, the ﬁzzle was not.
Then there was the great bomb plot directed at prominent men. Dark were the hints of a nation wide conspiracy. dire were the threats against the radicals. Arrests were promised prominent Reds to be caught in net. but so far one arrest alone has been made. and that of an innocent bourgeois gentle man. This plot was obviously a plant. the work of agent: provocateur; but it provided an opportunity to inﬂame the, populace to produce and justify the terrorism used against Socialists on May Day. In this.
again. the purpose is obvious: to provoke a clash by means of which a real reign of terror may be organized by the Government.
Now comes another great plot. this time in Chicago.
Federal agents and police there have discovered a plot for an anarchist uprising, a campaign of terrorism and a series of bomb outrages scheduled for July Five arrests have been made one of them a girl characterized as Queen of the Anarchists. Sergeant McDonough. of the Cliicago police says: We regard this as an exceptionally important arrest. But the whole thing simmers down to agitation for a der monstration and strike for the release of our political prisoners.
Is there a conscious policy in all this? There is.
Capitalism is apprehensive; it feels that the crisis is coming, and that with every day that passes the revolutionary forces will acquire more power and inﬂuence.
Capitalism is trying to provoke a tort of strength at a time when it is strong and its many weak it is trying to provoke a revolt that would he suiudal for the militant proletariat. And the reasoning of Capitalism is diabolical: either our terrorism will produce a revolt, which we can easily crush: or our terrorism. will not produce this revolt. in which event our terrorism will wipe out the revolutionary niovementf Playing, both ends against the middle!
This provocative movement proceeds to a chorus from the gutter and the palace of hang the Bolshevilri. break their heads, wipe them out in blood.
The law of this country provides that inciiation to riot and murder is a crime punisbablc by imprisonmcnt. Perfectly innocent comrades of nur have been imprisoned for alleged violation: of this law. But not one of the bourgeois inciters to murder and riot have been punished. These bourgeois vinciters to violence started a murder riot in Cleveland: but it is the victimized Socialists who are being imprisoned. brutal police and a degenerate Sergeant of Police deliberately shoot down our conirades in Boston: but it is the Socialists who are being imprisoned. That vile thing that once was a soldier. Sergeant Guy Empey. publishes a magazine Treat lim Rough. in which be c0n sistently urges violence against the Socialists: but the War Department protects him. Mayor Ole Hanson of Seattle publicly urges hanging places and cemeteries for therBolsheviki and 35. but Mayor Ole is acclaimed as a here.
No! The law is class law. used against the proletariat and for the capitalists. These inciters to murder and riot are doing excellent work for Capitalism, and Capitalism protects them.
The revolutionary Socialist is a realist. Revolutionary propaganda to him is not an immediate revolulion. but waging the class struggle in accord with the particular requirements of the moment.
The times are critical. They require action that is at the same time critical and aggressive. We shall meet Capitalism in the open. and give blow for blow.
But we shall not allow Capitalism to determine our tactics. we shall determine our own tactics in our owu way. in accord with the actual strength of the revolutionary proletariat.
The vital thing is that this terrorism is used against labor. not simply against the revolutionary Socialists, who are the conscious representatives of labor. Terrorism is used against strikes which are not at all revolutionary in character; but Capitalism knows that labor.
mus sooner or later acquire the consciousness of revolutionary SDCialism. We shall neither advance precipitately, nor hesitate, nor retreat. We shall wage the revolutionary struggle in our own way and in our own time, come what may.
The bourgeois terror is a factor that we can use to awaken the workers, to organize them for the great struggle.
Capitalism can neither provoke nor frighten militant Socialism. Our answer is to intensify our revolution nry agitation, to marshal the iron battalions. oi the proletariat for action and the conquest of power.
They cannot provoke us. But we shall prepare.