Saturday, June 7, 1919 reunion of all radical and vital forces of Socialism and labor in all countries.
The rejection of the Communist Congress ade quately characterizes this proposal. It is counter revohitionary, a betrayal of the tasks imposed upon Socialism by revolutionary events.
The complaint that the Communist International IS one sided is characteristic. One side alone is represented in this New International. and that is revolutionary Socialism. It excludes the reactionary Labor Party of England; it excludes the pro war, compromising majority of the French Socialist Party; it excludes the bloody traitors of the Ebert Scheide mann Party and the hesitating. compromising Independent Socialists of Germany: it, excludes Morris Hillquit, Victor Berger Co. the official Somahst Party; but it includes all the vital clcmentr of rctvoluf tinnary Socialism the Bolsheviki. the Spartacans.
the Communistsof Hungary. the revolutionary S0cialist parties of Italy and Norway, the Left leg of our party. These alone can form a Communist International, revolutionary. aggressive, organizing the proletariat for the conqu85t of power. We do not want a chop suey International, with traitors. to Socialism and butchers of the proletarian revolution together with the rebels they assassinate.
Hillquit wants another International. It can consist of nothing else than the elements rejected by the Communist International. These are the Hendersons, the Brantings, the Renaudels. the Longuets, the Eberts and Scheidemanns, the Kautskys, traitors to Socialism, all! In this international revolutionary crisis, shall the American Socialist party afliliate with the betrayers of the Revolution? Shall our Party come to the rescue of the Eberts and the Scheidemanns, the Hendersons and the Brantings, all of whom are rejected by the revolutionary proletariat, all of whom accepted an imperialistic war and intrigued against the proletarian revolution? Or shall we unite with the makers of the proletarian revolution the Lenines and the Liebknechts?
It is infamous, this proposal of Hillquit. It is the measure of his small soul. of his petty ideals, of his craven and compromising policy. The party must repudiate this policy of the corner grocer!
The International that Hillquit and the propose is a compromise International, a miserable travesty of the real thing. It would not be an International of revolutionary Socialism, since all the revolutionar elements accept the Communist Intemational. The dregs of moderate Socialism would coalesce in this new international. the yellow International of the bourgeois liberals. of the reactionary trades unionists. of the masters of words and poltroons in action, of that Socialism which betrayed the proletariat and Socialism.
No! This is not the International for a revolutionary Socialist Party.
There must be no reaction. There must be no crying after the dead, no return to the past. Socialism has been revolutionized by the proletarian revolution in action; the Socialist Party has been transformed by events and by the agitation of the Left Wing, it shall affiliate with the Communist Intemationall Let Hillquit 8: Co. join the Labor Party and then affiliate with his proposed yellow International.
In this matter. Hillquit is pursuing his usual opportunistic policy, of compromise and playing both ends against the middle. He was always a centrist; two years ago Comrade Lenin branded him as a centrist, and in this problem of the International Hillquit is still a miserable centrist. The centre is the worst enemy of revolutionary Socialism, as is proven by revolutionary experience. This is Lenin opinion of the centre: The centre is the heaven of petty bourgeois phrases.
of lip internationalism. of cowardly opportunism. of compromise with the social patriots. The fact is that the centre is not convinced of the necessity of a revolution against the government of its own country; it does not preach that kind of a revolution. it does not wage an incessant fight for the revolution, and it resorts to the lowest. supeHMarxist dodges to get out of the difficulty. The members of the centre group are routine worshippers. eaten up by the gangrene of legality. cormpled by the parliamentary comedy. bureaucrats accustomed to nice sinecures. Historically and economically they do not represent any special stratum of society: they only represent the transition from the old fashioned labor movement. such as it was from I871 to mu. tn ll lt new movement which was objectively ncccssary at the time of. the first worldwide war of Imperialism. and which has inaugurated the social revolutionary era.
This is fundamental um: movement is necessary.
Socialism must be reconstructed. The implications of accepting the Communist International are revolutionary the reconstruction of the policy and practice of the Socialist Party. The moderates reject this vital task of reconstruction, hence they reject the Communist International. Clear the decks!
The slogan of the moderates isr Split the Party for moderate, petty bourgeois Socialism, for the yellow International. The slogan of the Left Wing is: Conquer the Party for revolutionary Socialism, for the Communist International!
Declaration issued a! Chicago by Kamrfeld and Wagmlmechl. minority members; Ruthcnberg, Secrt lary Local Cleveland; Louis Fraina. Secretary Local Barlan: lumcr Larkiu, Left Wing Salim:. orialirl Party a New York City; John Kcrarlu Stale Sern lnry Michigan Socialist Party; and Ill: tumbler secretaries of the seven expelled Federations.
IOLATING every principle of fair play and square dealing and disregarding every constitutional provision to the contrary. the National Executive Committee at its session in Chicago, May 24 to 30th. expelled the state organization of the Socialist Party in Michigan constituting nearly 000 members.
without a trial: suspended the Russian. Lithuanian.
Polish, Lettish. Hungarian, Ukrainian and South Slavic federations of the party, constituting more than 30, 000 members and worst of all, and let it be said to their everlasting shame are autocratically holding up the national membership referendums for the election of a new national executive committee. international delegates, international secretary and the holding of a national convention.
Never before in the history of the Socialist Party have party officials been so lost to all sense of decency, and democracy. lA wilfull group of seven members out of a total national executive committee member ship of fifteen, ten of whom attended the meeting, usurped power which the constitution does not grant them and which the Socialist Party membership never did intend any servants of the party to have. This wilfull group of seven did not however act as servants of the party, but as dictators and tyrants to defeat the expressed will of the membership and to perpetuate themselves in office.
Unbelievable as it may seem, seven officials of the. party had the monumental cffrontery to assume the right to expell and suspend 40, 000 members. Think of it! That such a dastardly deed should ever be perpetrated upon the rank and file of our organization is actually beyond the conception of every party member.
And yet, it was done it was done by those whom you elected to serve you. Instead they are betraying you, disrupting the organization and their every act at the meeting denies the right of the membership to fully and freely express itsel upon the question of party principles and tactics.
The objects of the autocratic seven are as plain as daylight. Like a tidal wave, the demand for the tactics and principles of that kind of Socialism which stands true to the working class at all times has swept the party. The thousands of comrades of the party who were sincerely attempting to convince the party members that a more revolutionary kind of Socialism was necessary were known as the left wing faction. This left wing in our party understood clearly that the Scheidemann brand of Socialism stands for the betrayal and defeat of the working class and that only the Socialism of Liebknecht and Lenin had within it the potentialities of success and victory. It was to rescue the party from this left wing faction, to clean out of it all who stood bravely against pure and simple reformism. that the seven tyrannical national executive members threw 40, 000 members out of the party.
The following course of events seems to have been determined by the autocratic seven very largely by caucusing outside of regular sessions and voting as a unit: T hey started with an attack upon the Socialist Party of Michigan. They sensed the fact that the outcome of the referendum elections of a new National Executive Committee was doubtful. They knew that Michigan would vote overwhelmingly against all members of the wilfull seven running for re election. So they trumped up the charge that the decision of Michigan not to make campaigns on the basis of reform measures constitutes a violation of the Party Constitution.
There was no trial, no opportunity for defense offered to the Michigan comrades. motion to allow Michigan a chance to interpret their action was voted down. The right to appear at a trial was denied.
Expulsion meant throwing out over three thousand Left Wing votes. On with the expulsion of Michigan! But the expulsion of Michigan was apparently not sufficient to decide the elections in favor of the reactionary moderates. At a subsequent session, accordingly, it was decided to destroy the whole election.
The instructed the Secretary not to tabulate the vote or to make it public. They nullified the referendum vote, destroyed the will of the membership in order to retain control and most of these members are out for re election. interested parties.
There were absolutely no valid grounds for this drastic action of sabotage. No proof of alleged irregularities was offered. The action was based upon the fact that the members of these Federations had voted solid against the moderates.
This sabotage of the will of the membership was camouflaged as an investigation of the ballots, the investigating committee consisting of three of the most reactionary Right ingers. The next monfing, rc. lizing how raw the deal looked, one comrade was addzd to the committee whose name deserves respect.
This action is a violation of the party constitution.
which specifically prohibits executive officials from interfering with the processes of the membership.
It is a violation of the spirit of the party, an attempt to isolate the party from the currents of revolutionary Socialism now vitalizing every Socialist Party in the world.
The action is equivalent lo stealing the elections. The party must act sternly to rebuke this official chicanery. After this betrayal of the Party the wilful seven seemed to fear the results of the National Con vention, which had been called for August 3olh. way must be devised to control the Convention.
Happy thought: Suspend the federations that have endorsed the Left Wing, and ave are safe. Another caucus held. Results: suspension of the Russian.
Letish, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and South Slavic Federations from the Socialist Party. over thirty thousand members An attempt to assure the election of reactionary delegates to the National Convention to approve the abominable actions of the majority.
No written statement of all the charges against them was given the translator secretaries. Their reuest for two weeks time to communicate with their xecutive Committees was voted down. No real trial was granted them. They were unceremoniously kicked out.
The purpose was clear. It was conscious. It was a deliberate move to crush the revolutionary spirit now prevailing in the Socialist Party. Feeling that despite these suspensions the left wing might still find itself in the majority at the coming national convention, in fact, Confessing that it would, they then proceeded to fonn a corporation, the majority directors of which are of the same stump as the wilfull seven, and into the hands of these directors is to be placed the entire property of the Socialist Party including the new headquarters building upon which 10, 000 has been paid. These directors can not be recalled by the party members, can not be removed by the national executive committee and only in case these directors leave the Socialist Party or are by chance expelled do they cease being directors.
One member of the confessed openly that they wanted such arrangement that they could control the property for Socialism even if the Convention was captured by the opposition.
When we remember that most of the wilfull seven are candidates for re election to the national executive committee and candidates for election as international delegates, who knew themselves defeated and fully understood that official machinery of the party wasyabout to pass into the hands of the left wing. the revolutionary element. then these acts to retain control become doubly despicable. Then, although unconstitutional, they are also shown up as hysterical attempts on the part of the present inactive, inefficient ofiicialdum to perpetuate itself in office against the will of the party membership.
But these desperate tactics of the right wing members of the national executive committee must not be contrued alone as a frantic effort of defeated officials to retain control of the party. This is part and parcel of the controversy upon principles and tactics in the party.
It is the struggle between the right wing and the left wing, between moderate petty bourgeois Socialism and revolutionary pmletarian Socialism.
The moderates on the national executive committee show no realization of the problems of the international revolution. They do not see the need of reconstructing the party policy in accord with the experience gained bydour comrades in Europe, or do not act toward that en.
The crisis is serious. It affects the future of Socialism and the proletariat. We are confident that revolutionary Socialism will conquer the party. It will prevail despite the sabotage of the wilfull seven. Let no comrade feel disheartened. Not one member should quit the party. In fact, every member should work with might and main to get members and build, build, build. We know the game of the moderates. They want the left wing to desert the party. leaving the party machinery and property in the hands of the autocrats.
They will be disappoined in this. livery radical Socialist will stick and stick to the end.
Insist that the referendum votes upon the election of a new national executive committee be counted and made public. Insist that the expulsion of Michigan and the federations shall not prevail. Second the referendum motions to reverse the acts of the wilfull seven, acts unconstitutional and most outrageous. Rally to the left wing, comrades, for to the left wing belongs the future of Socialism.
The slogan of the moderates is Split the party for moderate petty bourgeois Socialism. The slogan of the left win is Conquer and unite the party for revolutionary. ialism, for the Communist Inter national.