Page Eight to Japan to teach the workers there how to organize. Opera bouflel Many Socialists also made this gross error, in spite of Comrade Katayama expose in the New York Call of the real character of Susuki and his labor organization.
In the coming great work of reconstruction, the Socialist Party should recognize and emphasize the vital importance of the Japanese American issue, and make it a central feature of its agitational and educational propaganda. Indeed, this is all the more necessary considering the temporary weakness of the Japanese movement, a weakness due to definite historical circumstances. Why could not the Party make an appropriation to assist our comrades in Japan? Why not more intimate ontact between the two movements? And, surely, the Party could make use of an appropriation for special propaganda among the Japanese in this country, could avail itself of the services of a Sen Katayama.
a. Comrade Sen Katayama is an interesting personality. At sixty years of age, he retains the enthusiasm and idealism of youth; forced to make a living for himself and his daughter, as an ordinary worker, he devotes all his spare time to the cause to which he has dedicated his life. Katayama is unpretentious and democratic; the fan fare of heroics makes no appeal to him. He is a worker in the workers movement, accepting the worker lob that is all; but that is all a man can do.
It was at the Amsterdam Socialist Congress in 1904 that Katayama participated in a symbolic act. Japan and. Russia, the Russian and Japanese autocracy, were at wars The chairman of theCOngre ss was speaking, when Kata yama and Plskhanoiif zimsmaziflJnWQQ view of the audience7 shook ham symbol of that international proletarian. solidarity which will yet prove mightier than cannon and chauvinism.
Sen Katayama was born December 7, 1858, of peasant parentage, and the story of his life is the story of the Japanese labor and Socialist movement. He worked on a farm, studying at home, with only short intervals of school education. In 1882 Katayama went to Tokyo, working in a printing plant ten hours a day at 71 cents a day; by working overtime he could earn 50 a month. The ordeal of these days made Katayama a permanent proletarian with the aspirations of the militant proletariat.
For a time, Katayama worked as a janitor in a Chinese University, and studied the Chinese classics in his spare time; then he came to the United States to study not subsidized by the Imperial government, as so many Japanese students are, but entirely upon his own resources, which consisted of exactly one dollar upon his arrival in California in 1884. Katayama studied English in a Chinese Mission in Alameda, entered John Hopkins Academy at Oakland, from there went to Marysville College, Tennessee, and in 1889 entered Grinnel College, graduating in 1892.
Two years at Andover and one year at Yale were spent in the study of social problems. And during all these years Katayama had to work for his living and his tuition, the ordeal of it all preparing him for the activity of a militant rebel.
About this time, Katayama began to study Socialism, starting with Ferdi nand Lassalle, who inspired him with a love for the practical work of organization. After a short stay in England studying social problems, Katayama returned to the United States on his way to Japan, where he immediately became active in the developing labor movement, and soon became its central figure. In 1904 he went as a delegate to the Amsterdam Congress, and after a tour of the United States returned to the Amsterdam Congress, and after a tour of the United States returned to Japan, to find the movement dominated by petil bourgeois intellectuals and per secuted bitterly by the authorities. His activity in a big strike in Tokyo caused his arrest and nine months imprisonment, which greatly impaired his health; and upon his release, his every move was interfered with, detectives were always with him wherever he went, and he was compelled to leave Japan, again coming to the United States. This persecution was largely due to the intrepid attitude against war with Russia adopted by the Japanese Socialists.
But in America the apanese Consuls and detectives, upon instructions from the Imperial Government kept watch of ii, The New International, September October, 1918 Katayama, making his life unpleasant and his organizing work impossible.
His friends were intimidated by. the consuls, who possess great power. The Japanese Day Laborers Union, of which Katayama was an oiiicer, was compelled to denounce him; one of his friends was actually kidnapped, sent to Japan, and imprisoned for eighteen months.
Katayama was compelled to leave California and come to New York, where he has since been publishing a paper in Japanese and English, The Heimin.
49 W The central characteristics of Katayama activity and personality are an uncompromising class consciousness and internationalism. He greeted with joy the proletarian revolution in Russia, as did his comrades in Japan; and he is firmly convinced that the revolutionary Socialism of the Bolsheviki must become the basis of the New International. At sixty years of age, Sen Katayama looks to the future, and not to the past to the immediate future of the Third International, the International of revolutionary Socialism, of the final, unconquerable struggle against Capitalism. initiated by the proletarian revolution in Russia. History, says Trotzky, is a mighty mechanism serving our ideals. And contemporary history is preparing the way feverishly and swiftly for our final struggle. In this struggle the international solidarity of the proletariat is an indispensable requirement. May Sen.
Katayama book on the apanese Labor movement prove a factor in promoting this solidarity! May Sen Katayama revolutionary conception of Socialism prove a factor in the revolutionary reconstruction of Socialism. Vandervelde Socialism THE ordeal through which we are passing here makes it almost impos sible to give one mind to anything but the war. But the other night, having been awakened by the alarm of an air raid at three in the morning, began to read a book that had just come from the publisher, seSocialisme contre Etat (Berger Levrault, Paris. by Emile Vandervelde, the distinguished Belgian Socialist and president of the International Socialist Bureau.
The title will astonish many people, for it is a common fallacy that Social ism is identical with Etatisme why is there no English equivalent for that useful word? Vandervelde? purpose is to combat thatiallacy, which, as he sldlxailF. J13ré51 1lv many Socialists. or persons claiming that title. He has no difficulty in showing that the Socialism of Marx and Engels, for instance, far from being etatiste, was exactly the contrary, for it aimed at the abolition of the state as we know it.
If they admitted the conversion of certain services or industries, such as the railways, into state monopolies, it was only as a measure of transition, not as a final aim.
And they never supposed that a state monopoly was Socialism. Many of their followers have even opposed all state monopolies as dangerous to the proletariat, on the ground that they paralyze the action of the working class and strengthen the bourgeoisie. Vandervelde admits the danger if, for instance, the employes of the state are prevented from organizing themselves and are deprived of the right to strike.
The notion that Socialism can be brought about by the gradual absorption of production by the state or the municipalitiesithat, for instance, the municipalization of the gas or water is a step toward Socialismiis a delusion. bureaucratic state Socialism, such as is conceived by some of the leading members of the English Fabian Society, would produce a servile community in which the worker would be the wage slave of a state official instead of a capitalist. To this conception, that 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 government.
State control of industry has been so enormously extended by the war that this book is very opportune. That extension has been hailed by many Socialists as a triumph for their ideas, and is feared by many opponents of Socialism for the same reason. It was necessary to demonstrate that these hapes and fears are alike mistaken, and vincing.
Vandervelde demonstration is conIn fact, state control of industry of the workmen and hampered their collective action, and it might easily be used to reduce them to complete subserviency and to make efforts at economic emancipation more difficult than ever.
It is a maxim of social democracy that the workers should aim at the conquest of political power, so as to obtain control of the state in order to get rid of it. For the government of men Socialism would substitute the administration of things. But Vander velde shows that the conquest of political power alone will not be sufficient.
One of the most interesting parts of his.
book is that in which he exposes the failure of olitical, democracy and of 1. me It is a wholesome corrective to the notionthat, if Germany would only adopt the system of a government responsible to a parliament, all wouldrbe well. In fact, as Vandervelde shows, the people have very little more effective influence on the government in the countries called democratic than in the others. Perhaps, as Mr. Vandervelde says, no country in the world is so completely dominated by the financial interests as France, which has, in form, the institutions most nearly democratic of all the great nations, not excepting the United States.
It is much to be hoped that this book will be translated into English. mn95ocial and Syndicalists in a.
his. and?
for it is quite the most yaluable Work of the kind that has appeared for a long time. It would be impossible to give in so small a compass, for the book is quite short, a clearer exposition of.
what Socialism means and does not. mean. Vandervelde has an admirable style and makes his subject interesting to the least specialist or readers; the book is essentially a popular one.
Incidentally, it should do much to reconcile with the Socialists those revolutionaries, or radicals, as believe you call them in America, who rightly.
dread the restrictions of individual liberty that would result from a system of state monopoly. The difference beFrance is o neeof method, there is every sign of a raprochement between them, due to the dis st of the younger Socialists wit. sz mermfl. ism and with the etatiste tendencies of some of the leaders, who are much nearer to the Italian Reformists and the English Fabians than to the International Socialist Party. A schism between these bourgeois Socialists and the adherents of the revolutionary Socialism, seems, sooner or later, inevitable. In any case, revolutionary Socialism is likely to be stronger than ever after the war, and, whether one agree or not with its principles and aims, it is desirable to know what they are. That knowledge can be obtained without difficulty from Vandervelde book. The Dial. Timely and Neccessary Book!
By LOUIS FRAINA REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALISM Study in Socialist Reconstruction Chapters: XII The Proletarian Revolution.
This book is a real contribution to Socialist Literature, an analysis of the new tendencies and ideas now at work in International Socialism.
Ifilntroductory; IIiImperialism, New Stage in Capitalism; Illiclass Divisions Under Imperialism; IV The Death of Democracy; Fundamentals of Socialism; VI Socialism in Action; VII The Great Collapse; VIllisocialist Readjustment; IX Class and Nation; XiProblems of State Capitalism; XI Unionism and Mass Action; 176 pages; 60c a copy.
195 Lenox Avenue, New York City.