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New International Published by THE Soctausr PROPAGANDA LEAGUE LOUISE. FRAINA. Editor Address Communications to ALFRED BURNS, 195 Lenox Avenue, New York City Socialism and Industrial Unionism HE recent state convention of the Socialist Party of New York was an exceptionally uninteresting and routine aflair. It dodged all large problems of policy, and in general straddled on problems upon which it did act. In a perfunctory sort of way it passed the following resolution on industrial unionism. Resolved, That the Socialist Party of the State of New York, in state convention assembled, recognizes the advisability of industrial unionism as the logical and efficient form of organization of the working class, because of the modern development of industry, and urges its members to bring the advantages of this form of economic organization to the attention of the working class of this country.
Bitter experience teaches us that the adoption of resolutions usually means nothing: they are conveniently forgotten. The militant Socialists in the party should make it their business that this particular resolution does not meet the fate of others. Action should be taken to have the national organization adopt a similar resolution. And it is our task to make the party propaganda include a propaganda for industrial unionism.
Unless industrial unionism becomes an active phase of the party propaganda, the resolution will have been in vain.
Moreover, it is necessary that the revolutionary implications of industrial unionismithe overthrow of the bourgeois state and thé erection of an industrial state of the organized producers should be emphasized as dynamic factors in Socialist theory and practice.
The Lehane Case HE arrest and indictment of Cornelius Lehane, recently, upon seiious charges is another expression of the general reaction. But the interesting feature of the case is the attitude of certain moderate Socialists toward Lehane.
The Central Committee and the Executive Committee of Local New York are frittering away precious time in meetings and discussions, instead of actively assisting to raise the bail money. But, most damning of all, the Executive Committee sends Edward Cassidy to Ansonia to get the facts of the indictment. Cassidy brings back, instead, an unfavorable report, declaring that the Connecticut Socialists, including the state. secretary, are against Lehane; that Lehane is a disrupter and an enemy of the party. Now, Cassidy is pro war and prior to accepting the mission had spoken against Lehane. In other words, the Executive Committee sends a biased and prejudiced individual to investigate! And, naturally, his report is biased and prejudiced. As a member of the Central Committee appropriately declared, even in a capitalist court the theory is that the jury should not be prejudiced against the defendant. And when Cassidy was bitterly criticized for his dishonesty, he sought refuge in the wail, have been a member of the party for twenty years. So has Philip Judas Scheidemann. The Scheidemanns in Germany, the Cassidys and Meyer Londons in this country, are an abomination. They must be cleaned out.
Class conscious Socialists should rally to the defense of Lehane, who, in spite of all his faults, is a vicim of the reaction and as such has a claim upon the militant Socialist. Is a Socialist who criticizes the party to be penalized by the party indiflerence when the clo ws of the reaction are at his throat?
Intervention in Russia SINISTER forces of reaction are preparing an onslaught upon revolutionary Russia.
They are eager to complete the work of counter revolution unfinished by German Imperialism and all in the name of preserving Russia against Germany aggression.
These sinister forces, actively on the job in Great Britain and France and in this country, aided and abetted by reactionary Russian emigres, do not disguise the fact that their plans of military intervention in Russia mean inevitably an attempt to overthrow the revolutionary Soviet government.
Intervention means a struggle against the Revolution, and this means a military dictatorship and ultimately the restoration of autocracy in one form or another.
The revolutionary masses of Russia are determined to resist intervention to the death; and the hypocrites who are moaning about the sufferings of the Russian people are going to increase these sufferings in order to carry through their infamous imperialistic schemes.
We are familiar with the hypocritical procedure that is part of a campaign to force intervention in the affairs of another country. Our experiencesvwi th the business forces that tried to force intervention in Mexico aregtill fresh.
in our memory. The newspapers HWwere full of wails about starvation in Mexico; and these newspa rs are to day teeming with wails a out starva tion in Russia.
Won intervention and the attempt to force Russia into the war multiply the agony of starvation by destroying the work of reorganization which is the one hope of Russia?
They speak of the hunger in Russia.
But they don speak of the hunger in France. They don speak of the hunger in Great Britain and Italy.
Russia is hungry, more than the others, perhaps; but Russia is at least free! And Russia is determined to remain free, determined to work out her revolutionary destiny in her own way.
Why don the Allies ship food to Russia, if their hearts are rung by starvation in Russia? Why don they co operate in the work of internal rcconstruction? No the sinister forces of reaction want military intervention, the restoration of the bourgeoisie, of. the rule of capital, if not of the monarchy. The initiative for intervention came from France, and the French plutocracy is not interested in the starving Russian people, but in thc billions of French capital invested in Russia, upon which no interest is being paid.
in the New York Times Magazine, récently, Lieutenant Boris Brasol, formerly of the army of the Czar, says. For the sake of self preservation the Allied Powers should pass from words to deeds; to the iron hand from the velvet glove. These Russians counter revolutionary forces are not able to unite themselves into one force strong enough to cast off the domination of the Lenines and Trotzkys. The Allied Powers, therefore, must keep in view the fact that the fight against Bolshevism in all its manifestations is part of the fight against Germanism. At present there is only one way to help Russia: The orThe Neil; International, September October, 1918 ganization of an Inter allied and PanSlavic expedition into Russia for the overthrow of the Bolshevist government.
There is the whole plot. There is the crime against civilization that is being prepared by the sinister forces of reaction. Against this campaign of calumniation and conspiracy, the forces of Socialism and of labor must immediately organize a counter campaign of truth and action against the proposed intervention.
In striking at Soviet Russia, international Imperialism strikes a blow at the workers and the cause of Socialism throughout the world.
Soviet Russia is not pro German: it is proletarian, pro revolution, proSocialism. Its attitude is determined by the requirements of the class struggle and of Socialism. Its enemy is not simply German Imperialism, but all Imperialism; and it matters not whether this Imperialism acts through a monarchy or a bourgeois republic.
Russia accepted a humiliating peace with Germany because of the temporary requirements of the Revolution. In an article in Pravda, Lenin analyzed the situation thus. The Russian Revolution, reaching a culminating point in November, when the proletariat secured the reins of government, was bound to pass through a period of civil war and internal disorder, because the propertied classes could not be expected to give up their privileges without a struggle. This means the necessity of the Soviet government to concentrate all its forces on the internal vstrugglenx The policy. of the Russian Revolution must be based on the general international situation namely, the proba bility or improbability of the outbreak of Social Revolution in the rest of Eurmediate future are slight. Therefore it is a 7mistake for the Russian Revolution to base its policy on uncertain eventualities. To sign a peace with German Imperialists is not, objectively speaking, treason to international Socialism. When workmen a re beaten in a strike, and have to accept bad terms from employers, they do not betray their class because they cannot get all their demands satisfied at once. They only accept bad conditions in order to better prepare for another struggle later. If the Russian Revolution continued the war in alliance with Anglo French Imperialism against Austro German Imperialism on the basis of the old secret treaties recently published and not openly repudiated by the Allies, then it would be prostituting itself to foreign lmperialists. As long as there is no Social Revolution in England and Germany, the Russian Revolution must seek the most profitable conditions in existence, relying as little as possible on the English or German governments negotiating one against the other. By concluding a separate peace Russia can utilize the fact that the AngloGerman lmperialists are too much engaged in a bloody struggle to attend seriously to her. She can therefore concentrate on the internal development of the Revolution. If Russia, under present conditions, attempts both enterprisesiinternally, to reap the full fruits of the Revolution, and externally to carry on the conflict. against foreign Imperialism she will lbse both her objects; but if she concentrates on internal development now. she will secure her second victory later.
Soviet Russia is not willingly allowing German encroachments; but she is sacrificing a little now in order to reap much more later. Soviet Russia may renew the war against German Imperialism; but it will be upon her own initiative, of her own choice, and not of choili e of the Allies.
And if Russia renews the war, it will be a revolutionary war against German Imperialism as the preliminary to a revolutionary war against all Imperialism.
Russia must reconstruct the affairs of the country. Russia must have peace until such time as she may have the revolutionary war. This is the great task of the workers and peasants of Russia.
And it is the task of the workers of the world to see to it that governments don inerfere. Through the class struggle against all Imperialism the prole tariat will co operate with Soviet Russia. Proletarian pressure must be brought to bear upon the governments to prevent intervention.
Socrahsm and the State THE article in this issue by Robert Dell on Vandervelde Socialism poses an interesting and fundamental problem in Socialist tactics. Unfor tunately, Vandervelde book has not yet reached this country, and we must be satisfied with Mr. Dell excellent if short review. As summarized in the review, Vandervelde thesis is as follows. The notion that Socialism can be brought about by the gradual absorption of production by the state or the municipalities that, for instance, the municipalization of the gas or water is a step toward Socialism is a delusion.
To the conception. of the organization of labor by the state, Socialism, properly so called, opposes that of the organization of labor by the workers themselves, grouped in vast associations independent of the govern: ment. Vandervelde shows that the conquest of political power y e pro will not suffice. One of the most interesting chapters of his book is that in which he exposes the failure of political democracy and the parliamentary system.
This is in accord with a lecture delivered by Vandervelde in 1914, just prior to the war, on Socialism versus the State (of which the book is probably an elaboration. in which he said. We see, with Guesde, as with Marx and Engels, that there is no confusion possible between Socialism and state ownership. They will have nothing to. do with the Capitalist state, except to fight it. Shortly afethhis was said, Guesde and Vandervelde accepted ministerial responsibility in capitalist states If they wish to master it, it is only that they may abolish it. At most, they would use the state during a transitory period of working class dictatorship.
Vandervelde is a typical opportunist and reformist, as his activity prior to and during the war amply proves. His whole policy, in spite of his theoretical realization of its futility, has been a policy of stateism, a policy making for State Capitalism, which is not and never can become Socialism. Precisely because of Vandervelde policy, his formulation of the fundamental difference between Socialism and State Capitalism is exceptionally important testimony.
This theoretical formulation of Vandervelde against stateism is nothing new, having been made again and again by the masters of Socialist theory.
But it remained a theoretical formulation, being used purely as an abstract argument when necessary. These masters (the pseudo Marxists, of whom Marx himself said, sowed dragons7 teeth, and reaped fleas. did not draw practical tactical conclusions implicit in their information, and acquiesced in a policy for the Socialist movement that