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Full text of "Fifty years of American Marxism, 1891-1941 : commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Weekly people."

iseopir. 




FIFTY YEARS of 
AMERICAN MARXISM 



1891-1941 



Commemorating the 

Fiftieth Anniversary of the 

Founding of the 

Weekly People 



Published by the 

^SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY. OF AMERICA 

1941 



k 



FIFTY YEARS 



ADV0C7\T£. 




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The TVorhmen's Advocate was the first newspaper published in English by the 

Sociaylist Labor Party. Founded in December, 188i, it was published weekly 

until replaced by The People in April, 1891. The issue reproduced hails the ' 

first International May Day celebration, ordered by the International 

Socialist Congress which met in Paris, August, 1889. 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



UniversfJy of Tew 
Austin, Jexat 



The Role of the 
Party Press 



B^ JOHN TIMM 







f JB ' HE sword of the Socialist Labor Party is 
I |*\ its press. For fifty years it has carved 
V|/ into shape "a potent movement destined, 
^*^ certain to remove from the race the all- 
around disgracing existence of slavery." For fifty 
years it has struck at error within and without the 
ranks of the workers 'Svlth ever more unerring ac- 
curacy, with ever increasing force, and with ever 
greater relentlessness." For fifty years it has been 
beating clown the pretenses of capitalism and point- 
ing to the goal of forward-looking humanity, the So- 
cialist Republic of Labor. 

The People, both Daily and Weekly, has a rec- 
ord unmatched by past or contemporary newspapers. 
Many capitalist papers are older and as consistent in 
upholding the interests of a class. Many "labor" 
papers have larger circulations and are as consistent 
in befuddling the workers as The People is in setting 
them right. But no other paper has wielded such an 
influence, has played such a part in working class 
development, has so valiantly upheld principle as this 
paper that answered Marx's plea for "an organ that 
should be beyond taint of corruption, invulnerable 
against attacks and inspired by men who feel it their 
mlssion to teach the truth that they have acquired 
by hard toil and bitter sufferings." 

On the masthead of the New York Times there 
appears the slogan, "All The News That's Fit to 
Print." On the masthead of the Weekly People 
there appear two slogans, the first the coinage of 
Karl Marx, the second that of Daniel De Leon. The 



Weekly People makes no pretense to print "all the 
news." A careful reading of the New York Times, 
an examination of its history, an analysis of its slo- 
gan will convince the reader that it, too, makes no 
such pretense. 

"All The News That's Fit To Print," as activ- 
ized by that greatest of all capitalist newspapers, 
means the pubhshing of that portion of the news that 
is considered "decent," that keeps its capitaHst read- 
ers informed of national and international, pohtical 
and economic trends likely to affect their pocket- 
books, and that does not create too great a disillu- 
sionment with capitalism when read by workers. 
Conversely, the slogan of the Times means the cen- 
soring, or "doctoring," of that portion of the news 
that gives the yellow capitalist press its "sales ap- 
peal," that divulges the war and industrial-feudal 
plans of the policy-makers of capitalism, and that 
furnishes the working class with too many reasons 
why capitalism must be destroyed. 

Unlike capitalism's leading newspaper, the organ 
of Socialism, the Weekly People, is activlzed by prin- 
ciples that force it to publish social truths even when 
these are considered "harmful" by the apologists of 
capitalism, that force it to keep the workers informed 
of the trends that threaten their lives, their liberty, 
their hopes for the future, and that force it to pub- 
licize the reasons why Karl Marx spoke for progress 
when he proclaimed that "The workers ought to in- 
scribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, 
'Abolition of the wage system!' " 



671528 



FIFTY YEARS 



The People was not the first journalistic attempt 
in the United States to organize the workers for so- 
cial betterment. In his study, "Daniel De Leon — 
Pioneer Socialist Editor," Arnold Petersen has 
traced the history of the American labor press from 
the founding of The Mechanics Free Press, prior to 
1829, to that of The People in 1891. The years be- 
tween saw many papers, like the Free Enquirer in 
1830 (when Karl Marx was a boy of 12), asserting 
that "what distinguishes the present from every other 
struggle in which the human race has been engaged, 
Is, that the present is, evidently, openly and acknowl- 
edgedly, a war of class, and that this war is univer- 
sal." (Frances Wright.) 

But none of these, Daniel De Leon showed in 
1900, could crystallize into the powerfully effective 
weapon that The People did. "They were premature 
endeavors; unsustained aspirations, that evaporated 
into sighs of impotence. What was desirable was 
out of sight ahead of what was possible. Not so 
now. The material possibilities of the race have now 
moved forward, placing what is possible abreast of 
what is desirable. In our generation, for the first 
time in the history of the race, KNOWLEDGE and 
FEELING support each other." 

The People had its roots in Marxian science from 
its very founding. Its insistence upon soundness has 
enabled it to weather social storms that have sunk 
every "competitor" for the title of THE organ of So- 
cialism. Pedantry had no part in this insistence. The 
knowledge that truth unites and error scatters was 
sufficient to make science the guiding star to the So- 
cial Revolution. 

In 1897, De Leon wrote the obituary of a "la- 
bor" paper that may well serve as the type-form 
obituary for the several thousand "labor" papers 
that have died since. For the light that it casts upon 
the principles adopted by the organ of the Socialist 
Labor Party, for the light that it casts upon the lack 
of principles gloried in by pretended Socialist papers, 
its salient points are here reproduced: 

" 'Labor' [the generic name of the fraud] was 
constructed upon three principles that were carefully 
chosen so as to be the exact opposite of corresponding 
principles on which The People is built. 

^'The People maintains that, to teach Socialism, 
scientific economics and sociology have to be taught; 
undeterred by the giddy and pampered taste of the 
public, it undertook the task. ^Labor' said 'Nay.' It 
proceeded on this head from the same principle that 
conceited ignorance always does; it sneered at sci- 
ence; sneered at learning; and sought to teach Social- 
ism by shouting 'Hurrah for Socialism!' 'Three 



Cheers for Socialism!' etc., etc. The unthinking, be- 
ing more numerous than the thoughtful, ^Labor 
spread its net for their support, confident of a large 
haul — but the fry for w^hich it fished slipped off. 

^'The People maintains that the Socialist Revolu- 
tion needs men who are in intelligent opposition to 
the ruling system; it aimed from the start at organ- 
izing this intelligent opposition, and, consequently, 
had no use for and incurred the welcome hatred of 
the soreheads. 'Labor* did not know the difference 
between intelligent opposition and soreheads. The 
noise of soreheads deceived it; it thought they were 
legion, and did not know that soreheadism is all froth 
and no substance. It deliberately gave them asylum, 
thinking to gain thereby ample support, and to profit 
by 'the mistakes' of The People, Every intellectual 
or moral crook who ran up against the soHd organi- 
zation of the S.L.P., and was lashed for his crooked- 
ness, or believed himself or herself unappreciated, 
ran to and was received with open arms by the col- 
umns of 'Labor.^ The columns of 'Labor* rang with 
anathema against the Party. Every pretentious ig- 
noramus, whose windbag we punctured, shouted 
'Boss!'; every liar, whom we convicted, shouted 
'Czar!'; every schemer, on w^hose trail we camped, 
yelled 'Pope !' Thus 'Labor* went on, swimmingly, 
as it thought, until the hard fact struck it amidships 
that the very quality that makes the sorehead dis- 
qualifies him for effective work. 

''The People maintains that labor 'celebrities,' 
who are wrong, are more dangerous than capitalist 
adversaries; consequently, it sails right into such 
'celebrities,' undeterred by the following they may 
have. 'All wrong,' said 'Labor/ and illustrated its 
action by throwing up its hat with the unthinking at 
John Burns, for instance, and having nothing but 
praise for this misleading lightweight, who said, 'I 
am a Socialist, but will go with anyone who will give 
me something.' The subscribers w^ho, attracted by 
this course, were expected to flock to 'Labor/ never 
flocked. A few^ lightweights 'approved' it or 'con- 
demned' The People, and there 'Labor*s* profits 
ended. 

"The three cardinal principles in question and 
their opposites were submitted to an ample test. Net 
results — The People flourishes; 'Labor* sinks." 

The Skyrocketing Reformist Press. 

The People never reached the 5,000,000 circula- 
tion claimed by the Appeal to Reason, the 1,000,- 
000 claimed by the New York Call, the 500,000 
claimed by the Chicago World. But, because The 
People w^as founded on science, on the development 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



h 



Daily W People 



wrAT:-22-r.C5 



VOL 6 Ko. 62 



NEW YORK. THURSDAY. AUGUST 31, 1905. 



ONE CENT '" "^n' »■'' 'T*- 



riro CEXTg. 



ORGANIZE YOUE 



FORCES! THROW OFF YOtJR SH 



ACKLES! FREE YOURSELVES FROM WAGE BQMPACE! 



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KSFOat FBOM LIBAU SHOWS EF 
FECI OF M0BtLI2AT10» 

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far ll»nchuti* , ^ , „,..,„. ^ 

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lUNilJlRIKEIlS 

DISGUSTED WITH TREATMENT 0» 
MURPHY S CONIRACTIHO CO. 



Pij her of Tinmany Leidct I)enouBC«4 
let Memncss Tovla^d Employes- 
yen on Mnnture Rsilw.y ii P- «■ 
R lutw Waiu Defer Condition*. 



Facsimile of "Daily People" 

The first daily Socialist newspaper in the English language. Edited by 
Daniel De Leon from its founding on July 1, 1900, until its suspension on 
February 22, 19M. Its tradition as an arsenal of facts and logic m the 
service of the American working class is carried on by the Weekly People. 



of character, and on the exposure of all elements 
harmful to the interests of the workmg class, it flour- 
ishes In this day of capitalist decay as the one organ 
in the English language printed in the United States 
that calls, uncompromisingly, for the "Abolition of 
the wage system." 

The Appeal to Reason, the New York Call, the 
Chicago World, the Milwaukee Leader and the nu- 
merous other organs of the so-called Socialist party 
are dead, and, being dead, are more useful to the 
working class than they ever were while alive. 1 hen- 
death, and the wasted effort of their lives, prove that 
a Socialist paper (granting, for the moment, their 
editors' claim to the title) cannot, as De Leon has 
said, proceed upon the policy of first "roping m 
readers with all sorts of claptrap, and then, having 
caught the readers, turn them into Socialists. 

When is the period for Socialist articles when 
new readers are constandy nibbling? Shall Socialist 
articles be put off until the "nibblers" are hooked? 
De Leon answered these questions, which constantly 
plagued those who believed that Socialism could be 
taught gradually, by pointing out that fresh nibblers 
can always be seen at the heels of the early comers. 

The time to publish Socialist articles, De Leon 
determined when he became editor of The People in 
iSq'', a little more than a year after the papers 
founding on April 5, 1891, is NOW. Strange as it 
seems, this idea was new to American Socialism, its 
emergence as a paper, under the original editorship 
of Lucien Sanial, was in an endeavor "to make of it 
a paper that would reach and be attractive to all 
members of the family"— a more popular presenta- 
tion of its predecessor, the Workmen's Advocate, 
founded in 1887. The theory on which that plan 
was based, De Leon later wrote, was false, and in 



April 1892, one year after its founding, The People 
was made a strictly and exclusively Socialist and new 
trade unionist organ for agitation and education. 

The assertion that The People, Weekly and 
Daily, proved to be the only paper in the United 
States to publish Socialist articles is no idle boast. It 
is substantiated by the fact that only the movement 
it served developed Socialists, intelligent opponents 
of capitalism who have unfailingly shown the work- 
ing class the road to peace, freedom and plenty. 

These men and women readers of The People 
were never trapped by the reform bait of capitalism. 
They knew that, as workers, they were exploited at 
the point of production. They knew that in society 
there prevails a class struggle that cannot be com- 
promised, that separates the working class from the 
capitaUst class by the interests of the first being dia- 
metrically opposed to those of the second. They 
knew that the horrors of capitalism can be ended and 
the security of Socialism attained only by the correct 
organization of their class. They knew, and know, 
these things because, for fifty years, they have been 
nurtured on iVIarxian science. 

The fount of Marxian science was made avail- 
able to the readers of The People. Works, that in 
many cases had never been available in the English 
language, were presented in translations by De Leon 
and others. The "Eighteenth Brumaire," "The 
Gotha Program," the basic Marxian texts on histori- 
cal criticism and Socialist tactics. "The Development 
of Socialism from Utopia to Science," "The Revo- 
lutionary Act," the brilliant analyses by Frederick 
Engels. "Value, Price and Profit," Marx's own con- 
densation of his economic theories. "The Class 
Struggles in France, 1848-50," Marx's first attempt 
to apply the materialist conception of history to "a 



L 



FIFTY YEARS 



THE MONTHLY PEOPLE 



VOL. 1. No. 9. 



NEW YORK, JUNE, 1903 



TEN CENTS A YEAR 



PUBLISHED MONTHLY 



SOCIALIST 



-ABOR PA'lT'i 



lMPtR^[J^ IK IMPERIO 



THE KISHINEFF MASSACRE. 



f K LfF a gnal uumbcr oi micmfiojtd. 
1 1> txgan to be restless. A dap ia- 
(. 13X I amonf thea could grow mco 
lu 1 lUG :> DUtbreiic. "RoiBors tctc 



t. olutonlrr RitSiU N«- 4> "U 
nc poicd arc prcpamag tke 



OTiBi to tie lo« price at which thlt 
paper ia pabluhed, we caaDot underta^« 
t* ckaaft an; cddiesses. If you ciuui{« 



PAnC WAGES vs. PKOSPEEIIT 

WAGES. 

la attaBfCiac to nmbat Ui* Socialiat 



Facsiinile of "Monthly People" 

Published for slightly more than one year in an endeavor to reach readers 
to whom the Daily and Weekly People were not readily available. Con- 
tained outstanding articles of agitational and educational value. 



segment of contemporary history." '^Crises in Euro- 
pean History," the successful portrayal of the events 
that have shaped our time. These, and many, many 
more classics of Socialist thought, served as the tools 
that developed the true Socialists of the land. 

The People, however, has never been the medium 
through which Its readers obtain mere abstract under- 
standing. Since De Leon's editorship it has been the 
analyst of the events that impinged upon the consci- 
ousness of the American working class. In every 
issue, the important news of the day was, and is, 
weighed. Wars and the alarums of war; reforms 
and the lies of reformers; labor strife and the plans 
of labor fakers; exploitation and the industrial feudal 
plans of the exploiters; frauds and the postures of 
so-called Socialists and Communists. Issues that af- 
fect the working class were, and are, brought into 
the light of day for that class to see. 

De Leon's interpretation of world events in the 
period 1892-19 14 constitutes the most realistic view 
of the causes of the present turmoil in society. A 
small fraction of his day-by-day observations is avail- 
able in book and pamphlet form. A great treasure, 
belonging to the working class, lies in the bound vol- 
umes of the Daily and Weekly People. 

It is safe to say that the unique ability of De 
Leon has never been equalled. By means of edito- 
rials and addresses that were brought to the larger 
audience of The People^ he created a modern litera- 
ture of Soci^ahsm that guides present-day Sociahsts. 

''What Means This Strike?", the classic presen- 
tation of the class struggle principle, the primer in 
Marxian economics that has grounded thousands in 
the methods of capitalism. "Reform or Revolution," 
the presentation of unanswerable arguments why the 
workers must destroy capitalism. "The Burning 
Question of Trades Unionism," the guide-book to a 



better order of society through tactics and forms of 
organization that fit the American scene. "The So- 
cialist Reconstruction of Society," the fruition of 
Marxism, the proof that the cry of Marx that the 
wage system must be abolished can be achieved onlv 
by the application of that other mast-head slogan of 
the Weekly People, the De Leonist principle that 
"The might of the revolutionary Socialist ballot con- 
sists in the thorough industrial organization of the 
productive workers." 

What wonder that the readers of The People 
became Socialists, that they became wary of the traps 
of capitalism! Their intellectual diet, of which the 
above is a sample, was, from the beginning of De 
Leon's editorship, the one diet designed for an un- 
derstanding of society. Today, by means of reprints 
of De Leon's editorials, by means of the issue-by- 
issue use of the Marxist-De Leonist method, that in- 
tellectual diet is still available. He who would under- 
stand the Industrial-feudal and war plans of the mas- 
ters of society, who would understand why the re- 
formers, the liberals, the so-called Socialists and Com- 
munists are supporting capitalism, who would under- 
stand why all opposition to capitalist reaction but 
that of the Socialist Labor Party has collapsed, must 
read the Weekly People, THE organ of Socialism. 

The Pioneer Step in Working Class 
Unionism, 

The history of The People spans the develop- 
ment of the American labor movement. Indeed, that 
which is new and of sound growth in the American 
labor movement first saw light in Its columns. That 
history is one of struggle, of a struggle that still goes 
on, that will go on until the workers, having rejected 
the propagators of false principles, attain the Social- 
ist Republic. 



FIFTY YEARS 



In 1895, The People recorded the first major at- 
tempt to organize the working class on class lines — 
the formation of the Socialist Trade and Labor Alli- 
ance. This forward step in working class develop- 
ment, we are told, created consternation in the ranks 
of the dishonest trade union leaders of the Knights 
of Labor and the American Federation of Labor. 
The S. T. & L. A., like the Industrial Union, was the 
child of De Leon's recognition that the pure and sim- 
ple trade union (of the C.I.O., as well as A. F. of L., 
type) organized the workers to impotence, of his rec- 
ognition that the workers must organize industrially 
for Socialism. That act saw a broadening of the 
class struggle, a broadening that encompassed the So- 
cialist Labor Party itself. 

Labels are often deceiving, as can be noted today 
In the support of American capitalism's war plans by 
such ^'Socialists" as Abe Cahan, Louis Waldman, 
Jasper McLevy and Daniel W. Hoan, by such ''So- 
cialist" publications as the Jewish Daily Forward 
and the Nezv Leader. It was these men and papers, 
and/or their Socialist Labor Party antecedents, Mor- 
ris Hillquit, Alexander Jonas, Algernon Lee, the 
Volkszehung, that accepted the challenge to capital- 
ism involved in the creation of the S. T. & L. A., and 
that attempted to wreck the Socialist Labor Party in 
their endeavor to save capitalist unionism. 



That class struggle was waged against Socialism 
with The People as the immediate target, or, rather, 
that class struggle was waged against Socialism with 
the scientific principles, and principles of sound or- 
ganization, advocated by The People the immediate 
target. 

"A privately owned press is like a man's coat," 
Avrote De Leon in 1909. "The coat may cover an 
S.L.P. man today, and tomorrow an anti-S.L.P. man. 
There is no safety except in Party ownership." 

The Ideological Parentage of the 
'\SociaUst Party:' 

In 1899, The People Avas owned by the Volks- 
zeitung Corporation, the publishing agency of the 
Party. That corporation was privately owned, made 
up as it was of individual part-owners Avho were re- 
quired to be members of the Socialist Labor Party 
before they were permitted to buy shares. Whether 
they remained members of the Party or not, whether 
they remained loyal to the Party or not, Avhether they 
uncompromisingly pushed the Party's program or, as 
actually happened in many cases, "played ball" with 
Tammany Hall mattered not to the corporation. 

Few of the members of the Volkszeitung Cor- 
poration could, or would, read The People, for they 
were, Avith few exceptions, emigres from the antl- 




VOL..I 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON AND ISAAC KNAPP, PUBLISHERS. 



tNO. 24, 



Boston, Massachusetts.] 



OUR COUNTRY IS THE WORLD — OUR COUNTRYMEN ARE MANKIND. 



[Saturday, J une 11, 1831. 



Facsimile of "The Liberator" 

A predecessor of the Daili^ and Weekly People in the struggle for human 
rio'hts. Its mission was completed by Lincoln's signature to the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation. Its editorial policy was summed up in William Lloyd 
Garrison's famous words: 



"The standard of emancipation is 

now unfurled. 
Let all the enemies of the persecuted 

blacks tremble. 
I will be as harsh as truth and as 

uncompromising as justice. 



I am in earnest. 
I will not equivocate; 
I will not excuse; 
I will not retreat a single inch; 
And I will he heard. 
Posterity will bear witness that I 
was right." 



FIFTY YEARS 



Socialist laws of Bismarck, their minds thoroughly 
German, their prejudices thoroughly anti-American 
(in a snobbish sense), their sentiments unaroused by 
the manifestations of capitalism on the American 
scene, their language that of the land of their birth, 
their politics that of a nation three thousand miles 
from the nation of their residence. 

Their organ — that of the Party in the German 
language — was the Volkszehiing^ a paper that w^as 
constitutionally required to be edited in accord with 
the principles and tactics of the S.L.P.^ as w^ere all 
the publications of the Volkszeitung Corporation, or, 
to give it its legal title, the Socialistic Co-operative 
Publishing Association. Its refusal to do this, its in- 
sistence that The People should be edited in accord 
wuth the ^'principles" of the Volkszeitung Corpora- 
tion brought the class struggle into the ranks of the 
Socialist Labor Party. 

Retrospectively, the waging of that struggle, and 
the moral and physical victory for the w^orking class 
elements in the Party, must be viewed as a turning 
point in the history of Socialism. Without that strug- 
gle, without that victory, the Socialist Labor Party 
would not have been able to cast off the petty-capital- 
ist elements that confused their need for the reform 
of capitalism with the zvorking classes need for the 
destruction of capitalism. The struggle and the vic- 
tory enabled the Party to drive straight ahead, un- 
hampered by the dead-weight of the unattainable re- 
form goal espoused by the V olks%eitung-T>th^ crew 
at the formation of the so-called Socialist party in 
1 90 1, by the split-elements of the ^'Socialist" party 
at the formation of the so-called Communist party 
in 19 19, by the various splinters of each at the for- 
mation of the numerous Trotskyite parties. 

Capitalism cannot be reformed. The failure of 
the Folkszeitung element to recognize this is shared 
today by the victims of the "radical" parties. Like 
the organs of these latter*^— T/z^^ Call, the A^^^' Lead- 
er^ the Daily IFoj^ker, The Militant, Labor Action — 
the Volkszeitung taught the workers that they are 
exploited as consumers and as tax-payers, thus mis- 
leading them into believing that cheaper prices and 
lower taxes w^ould help the workers as well as the 
capitalists, that cheap government (the capitalist 
ideal) is in itself a good thing — wath the inevitable 
result that the workers who believe the nonsense 
come to the conclusion that a community of interest 
exists between the two antagonistic classes in society 
and that capitalism must be saved. 

De Leon exposed the fraudulent economics in the 
columns of The People, thus accepting the challenge 
offered. Li a series of masterly editorials, he showed 
that in a commodity-producing society in which the 



Afereement , nade betweeii the Socialist J^Dor Patty 
d.n tne Socialistic Cvjperative Pubiis.^iufc Associatiou, 

It is ^i^.vyj i.v.reii; 
I. l>\j o)-:-! -St .^iuor P^ny i^re^s to iiS';o;.t,iiiUO ti.e pub- 
filc^tij.. o£ the TBarknttiis Aivocate wit in. the Issue dated March 
28. 1891, aa;d to traiisf*r the subserlptioii list of the same 
to the Soc. CxTp. i^Mbi. Assooiatioa. 

IX, The Soc. Coop. Publ. Association ati^ee-js to publish on 
April 5, 1891, the first issue of 'The People* aad to fill out 
the uiidischattjed baiaiice of all prepaid subscriptions of the 
forkmeiis Advocate. 

III. The Soc. Coay. Publ. Association agrees to reserve so 
much of the fifth page of the Peoole as tf*e S.L.P. may desire 
for its official use; that the first column of the said fifth 
page shaLL be headed: "Workinftiis Advocate, Official Organ of 
ihe Socialist Labor Party*, and the space used by the S.L.P. 
shall be under the sole and exclusive control of the said 
S.L.P. or its i\atiOiial Executive Conmitte, 

IV. T/.e Chief-Euitor of The People shall be electea joint- 
ly by tne Kationai Executive Comnitte of the S.L.P. aiiU tr.e 
loatd of Trustees of the S.C.P.Ass, a.nd a ::}aj :rity :f each of 
said Boaras sund shall be requirea to elect. In case tr.e sj 
Boards caiiT.ot agree on an Editor, a general vote of the ir^e::.- 
fters shall decide. 

A 

V. The S.C.P.Ass. a^'rees to set asiue all i.et profits that 
nbay be realized, cy the putiication of The Peo;ie, after all 
Its outlays and e^^pei^ses are paid, as a separate fu:,d not to 
fle used ejccept for the publication of Tr.e Peopxe as a daily 

newspaper. - 

dated, March //^ 1891. 

TBE SOC. GO-OPER, PUBIC ';^^ 




ly^ 



Photostatic Reproduction of Contract with 
Volkszeitung Corporation 

Made between Socialist Labor Party and publishing asso- 
ciation after model originated in Germany to protect the 
Party's press from anti-Socialist laws. Note that "the 
space used by the S.L.P, shall be under the sole and exclu- 
sive control of the said S.L.P. or its National Executive 
Committee," and in case of tie vote for election of Editor 
"a o'eneral vote of the members of the S.L.P. shall decide." 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



Tbe liate on whicfci youf nib- 
Kriptioa expires wi>^ be jouiid oo 




l^topk 



vBfaJd Mibsnptiaa Kst m br 



igenh likaowiedgtd. 



NEW YORK, JUNE 17, 1900. 



Came tliat an S. I. P. flr- 

ganizei is Raising. 

Tl Hilk I I I t 10 t 1 ictM i, 

lich PIdtr II — S ncl T ^ 1 
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lO 



FIFTY YEARS 



battle of capitalist competition is fought with lower 
production costs the cheapest commodity of all is 
labor power, and that the tax question is of no inter- 
est to the working class because taxes are paid by 
capitalists from the wealth produced by workers and 
stolen by capitalists. More, he pointed out that the 
tax question raised by the Volkszeitung was raised 
because material interests determine men's views, and 
that the views of the Volkszeitung crowd Avere those 
of capitalists. 

Admittedly, that paper could not live without the 
support of the conservative trade unions, unions that 
accepted the anti-working class principle that capital 
and labor are brothers. From these it obtained ad- 
vertising revenues that were supposed to support the 
Party press, but which, in reality, went to the build- 
ing of an institution that paid large salaries and that 
catered to the economic interests of small storekeep- 
ers, saloon-keepers, small manufacturers, etc. 

Again, like the supporters of the fraudulent par- 
ties of Socialism and Communism today, the support- 
ers of the Volkszeining dreaded the revolutionary 
implications of the Party\s stand on trade unionism. 
Official capitalist unionism— then the A. F. of L. and 
what was left of the Knights of Labor, now the A. F. 
of L., the railroad brotherhoods and the C.I.O.— 
was untouchable, to be propagandized from within, 
perhaps, but, definitely, not to be exposed for what 

it was and is. 

Jobs could be procured within trade unions then 
as now. Often these were easier to secure when the 
job-hunter had a ^^reputation" as an active Socialist. 
Ostensibly, the job would be sought for the purpose 
of ^'educating" the workers within the union. Ac- 
tually, whether it was a Joseph Schlossberg (or an 
earlier S L.P. renegade), or the "revolutionary" for- 
mer editor of The Call, Gus Tyler, the pretenses that 
Socialist work could be carried on better when the 
sanctity of capitalist unionism was accepted as a prin- 
ciple were invariably exploded when the "borers 
from within" became part and parcel of the corrup- 
tion, and, like those mentioned, became as belligerent 
in their capitalist warmongering as the most degen- 
erate unpaid mouthpieces of the system that must be 
destroyed if there is to be peace. 

Their principles being capitalist principles, the 
Volkszeitung crowed used capitaUst methods in their 
fight against the Party and against The People. ^ The 
members of the SociaHstic Co-operative Publishing 
Association were merely the trustees of the Party, 
the National Executive Committee showed on June 
6, 1899. This was demonstrated by the known facts 
at the time of its creation and by the very words of 
the constitution of the Association. The trustees 



were "especially appointed to create and develop a 
Party press, subject at all times to Party control, re- 
gardless of any property rights which the capitalistic 
law of the State vested in them, and which, by the 
superior law of Socialist ethics, they were bound 
never to enforce, claim, or even mention." The Par- 
ty retained the right to name the Editor. 

The Volkszeitung element showed its disregard 
for all Socialist ethics, and even capitahst law, by 
peremptorily "dismissing" the Editor on July 12, 

1899. EarHer, on July 10, they "deposed" the Na- 
tional Executive Committee of the Party, and raided 
the Party's headquarters with the intention of cap- 
turing by illegal physical force that which fraud 
could not accomplish. 

The People remained the property of the Party. 
Daniel De Leon remained its Editor. Illegality was 
shown for what it was. The National Convention of 

1900, acting in response to the recorded votes of the 
membership, reasserted the right of the Party to call 
itself the Party of Socialism, and formally placed the 
control of the Party press where it belongs — in the 
hands of the Party itself. 

Marxian Science Advances. 

The Daily People was launched on July i, 1900. 
A new era in Sociahst journaHsm began. For almost 
fourteen years, the events of the day were analyzed 
daily by the most inspired pen in the history of the 
American working class, by a man who soon proved 
his right to rank wath Marx alone as a Socialist 
thinker. 

A remarkable development in Socialist thought 
took place, inspired, not alone by the daily attention 
to the needs of the working class but also by the ob- 
servation that capitalist development had reached the 
point where all power resided, potentially, in the 
hands of the workers in the workshops. On April 
21, 1904, De Leon delivered his famous address, 
"The Burning Question of Trades Unionism." The 
columns of the Daily People carried it far and wide. 
From coast to coast, workers who had been shown 
the need for revolutionary, for working class, unions 
became aware of the "organization and tactics neces- 
sary for the Socialist and Labor movement to adopt, 
as it approaches the time of the social revolution." 
The idea with which the Socialist Trades and Labor 
Alliance was pregnant was born — the idea that the 
union must be an organization through which the 
workers "can directly and effectively carry on the ad- 
ministration and operation of industry when capital- 
ist usurpation has been unseated," and that that "un- 
seating" is the joint task of such an industrial union 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



II 



and the political expression of Labor's right to revo- 
lution, the Socialist Labor Party. 

On July lo,^ 1 905 7 De Leon delivered another 
address that was carried in the columns of the Daily 
People. "The Preamble of the LW.W.," later en- 
titled the '^Socialist Reconstruction of Society," has 
been tested by time and its principles found correct. 
Delivered less than a fortnight after the convention 
that established the first organization of the workers 
into Sociahst Industrial Unions, the address supple- 
mented and gathered into one integral whole the 
principles of organization, tactic and aim that De 
Leon had propounded in his daily editorials. 

The Industrial Workers of the World was the 
product of De Leon's genius. Its destruction was 
the work of men who ignored the sound principles 
upon which it was built, who, unable to escape from 
the capitalist training that taught them that physical 
force tactics were the tactics to be used in bringing 
about social change, played into the hands of the 
State power that has much more physical force at its 
command than have the assorted romantics who visu- 
alized themselves as great "leaders." 

Industrial Unionism, however, was not destroyed 
by the acts of petty men. It continued, and continues, 
to be advocated in the columns of The People. No 
more than the need for social change can the method 
of obtaining that change be destroyed. 

"Parliamentary Idiocy" has shown itself to be 
exactly that. The experience of the workers in Eu- 
rope prove that political action alone cannot give the 
workers power. Barricade romanticism has shown 
itself equally barren of results that benefit the work- 
ing class. In Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Austria, 
in France, In Great Britain, the workers were or- 
ganized politically for the alleged purpose of win- 
ning power by the ballot, or by the bullet. "Labor" 
parties, "Socialist" parties, "Communist" parties 
promised things to the workers. Reforms now; rev- 
olution later. Instead, the workers were thrown into 
Industrial feudalism and war, precisely the "gifts" 
of capitalism that the workers of America will re- 
ceive unless they recognize that De Leon was right 
when he wrote in the Daily People that "without the 
integrally organized Union of the Working Class, 
the revolutionary act is impossible." 



"In the ears of The People/' wrote Daniel De 
Leon In 1898, "rings the cry of an outraged work- 
ing class — children, women and men — held in the 
bonds of wage slavery and scourged by all the mis- 
eries and woes of the capitalist system; while even 
above that cry rise the peals of laughter from the 
bacchanalian orgies of the capitalist class. Its heart 
fired by the sentiment of humanity, and its head cool 
in the conviction that exact knowledge and science 
impart, The People's blows for freedom will rain in 
the future as they have done in the past with the 
same, or even increasing, vigor upon the devoted 
head of the capItaHst exploiter and his multifarious 
pickets and outposts." 

The Weekly People has a great tradition, a tradi- 
tion that it will not dishonor. Time has not blunted 
its conscience. "Failure" has not made it cynical. 
The actions of cowards have not discouraged it. The 
unfolding of the plans of capitalism has not intimi- 
dated it. As in the past, so in the future, while the 
capitalist system of exploitation, poverty and Avar ex- 
ists, the Socialist Labor Party press will continue to 
educate the working class, will continue to expose the 
bestiality of capitalism, will continue to blaze the trail 
to the classless society of Socialism. 

Capitalism Must Be Destroyed! Of that the 
Weekly People, the official organ of the Socialist 
Labor Party, Is more determined than ever. Fifty 
years of observation have convinced it that De Leon 
spoke for sanity when he said that capitalism cannot 
be reformed, that every attempt to do so is in reality 
a concealed measure of reaction. 

In the difficult times ahead, the Weekly People 
will continue to speak for sanity. Its message must 
be spread far and wide. The uncompromising Party 
of Progress will see to It that each of its issues is 
filled with facts, and conclusions from those facts, 
facts that show the working class that only Socialism 
can save civilization from barbarism. 

The future challenges classconscious workers. 
The present prods them on. The past assures them 
that hopes can be realized. The Weekly People arms 
them with material that must be used In freeing their 
class. 



12 



FIFTY YEARS 



By 

Arnold 

Petersen 




Theocracy or Democracy! 

The moment religion organizes into a specific creed it becomes a political force. 
From Moses down to Brigham Young, every creed-founder has been a state- 
builder. Creeds being in their essence political, they fatedly reflect economic 
and social, in short, material conditions — and struggle for the same. As a 
final consequence every creed, like every political party, naturally and sincerely 

holds all others wrong, itself alone right It is important to realize this 

great historic fact. It tears away the mask of religion behind which political 
aspirations love to conceal themselves. The tearing away of the mask serves 
the double purpose of thwarting deception, on the one hand, and, on the other 
hand, promoting a spirit of intelligent fair play on the part of any one political 
ibody toward all others, including, of course, the unmasked political bodies as 
well. — Daniel Do Leon: "Ultranwntanism." 



? 




TATIUS, a Roman poet who lived during 
the second half of the first century after 
Christ, enunciated in stately Latin the 
truth that ''Fear was the first creator of 
gods in the w^orld," ("Primus in orbe deos fecit 
imor.") We are told that God created man in his 
own image. Considering the multiplicity of multi- 
varying gods since man first trembled at the specter 
of lightning and thunder, and considering the great 
variety in human beings — their different appearances, 
shapes and tongues — the acceptance of this theory 
has ever placed a heavy strain upon the credulity of 



those otherwise intelligent persons who seek desper- 
ately to cling to the faith of their fathers. It is much 
easier to accept the theory that man created his gods 
in his own image. "The god of the cannibals," said 
Emerson, 'Svill be a cannibal, of the crusader a cru- 
sader, and of the merchant a merchant." The w^ise 
Goethe, with his usual perspicacity, said: 

"Wie einer ist, so ist sein Gott, 
Da rum w^ard Gott so oft zai Spott." 
("As a man is, so is his god; 
Therefore was god so often mocked.") 



Austin 



OF AMERICAN' MARXISM 



And as long ago as the sixth century before 
Christ, the ancient Greek-Italian philosopher, Xeno- 
phanes, ridiculed his contemporaries, and criticized 
Homer, for making their gods in their own image. 
In one of the fragments surviving of his writings, 
Xenophanes said: 

''Yet men imagine gods to be born, and to have 

raiment and voice and body, like themselves 

Even so the gods of the Ethiopians are swarthy and 
tlat-noscd, the gods of the Thracians are fair-haired 
and blue-eyed Even so Plomer and Hesiod at- 
tributed to the gods all that is a shame and a re- 
proach among men — theft, adultery, deceit and 

other lawless acts Even so oxen, lions and 

horses, if they had hands wherewith to grave images, 
v/ould fashion gods after their own shapes and make 
them bodies like to their own." 

For a philosopher to have been able to see and 
express in simple words all this at so early a period 
indicates a mind of superior order, and it helps us 
today to pereceive even more clearly the truth that 
man does, indeed, make his gods, now as in the past, 
In his own image, and obviously not the other way 
around. 

Fear is the result of ignorance. Man cowers in 
the presence of the unknown, especially the unknown 
which threatens his life or security. Man's gods, 
then, are created in his frightened mental, or, if you 
like, spiritual image, as well as in his own physical 
likeness. And once fashioned, man's god, like a 
Frankenstein creation, possesses and dominates man, 
and while the form and character of his deity (or 
deities) may change in the measure that man grows 
in knowledge and understanding of natural forces 
(and, in our days, of social and economic forces as 
well), this god has remained, on the whole, a sub- 
ject of his creator's fears. 

However, in the degree that man has conquered 
and therefore understood nature, in that degree he 
has ceased to become the terror-stricken prey of na- 
ture and of nature's violence. Knowmg now that 
thunder and lightning are but the uncontrolled mani- 
festations of the controlled force which now supplies 
him with light, heat and motive power, he no longer 
seeks to propitiate the gods of thunder and lightning. 
Rather does he seek to trap that Avhich to him was 
once the expression of his deity's wrath— to trap it 
and to run it into the ground, spent and impotent. 
Jove's thunderbolt and Thor's mighty hammer, be- 
fore which man once crouched in abject terror, be- 
come the subjects of charming legends for use in the 
nursery room. But if man has gready mastered and 
understood nature, he (in the mass) still stands un- 
comprehending before the manifestations of social 



forces. These social forces inspire modern man with 
varying degrees of wonder alternating with appre- 
hension and often with terror. And just as his prim- 
itive ancestor eons ago cowered before the elements, 
and later prostrated himself before the graven 
images of the gods born of his fear (or salaamed 
before the priesthood of his self-created gods), so 
now he cowers, trembles and prostrates himself when 
great social catastrophes shake him out of the dull 
complacency too freequently attending the dreary 
routine of his everyday tasks. 

Hence, in times of such great social catastrophes 
(and usually in times of war) man turns to mysti- 
cism. Speaking of the earlier social cataclysmic 
changes, Dr. Gustav Bang says^ : 

"He [the oppressed] felt himself abandoned to 
social forces which he could not combat. He saw^ no 
way out of misery, neither through individual efforts 
nor through a united class struggle .... His thoughts 

struck the road to mysticism A Savior was 

dreamt of, one Avho should come and redeem human- 
ity through supernatural means.. ..." 

And so now. Mankind today faces the greatest 
social catastrophe in all history. Tremendous forces 
have been released which (mainly uncontrolled) are 
bringing death, destruction and disaster to the world, 
and terror to the mass of humanity. In vain does the 
average man and woman seek to understand, to ex- 
plain this terrible holocaust, more dreadful in its form 
and substance, and in its foreshadowed awful conse- 
quences, than anything experienced by man in earlier 
crises. The explanation is to be had — the remedy is 
at hand — but the mass of humanity knows nothing 
of either, and for all practical purposes what is not 
known has no present reality or existence. And so 
man again — urged by the priesthood — implores his 
gods for mercy and succor, for peace and salvation. 
The modern priesthood, and the ruling class gener- 
ally, know that a remedy is offered. If they reject 
it, it is primarily because that remedy is recognized 
as a menace to their private vested interests and 
class privileges And the greater the social upheaval, 
the more intense their efforts to turn the mass mind 
from the practical ways and means presented to soke 
the great problem, the more feverishly they labor to 
turn that mass mind toward everlasting "salvation" 
and peace — beyond the grave! The priests and the 
polidcians invoke the aid of God, pray to God, urge 
ways and means of appeasing, of propitiating God. 
And they do this, not as helpless primitive creatures 
in the realm of nature, but as supposedly intelligent, 



^"Crises in .European History." 



671528 



14 



FIFTY YEARS 



creative beings in a man-made world! And they do 
this, some in their blindness and naivete, but most of 
them in order to protect, and (if possible) to pre- 
serve and prolong the social system by which they 
benefit at the expense of the mass of humanity — the 
working class of the world; they do this in order to 
preserve their class privileges and the ease, leisure 
and superfluities that go with these. "He was a wise 
man," said Euripides of old, 'Svho originated the 
idea of God." Wise, indeed, old son of Athens! 
And wise also was he who conceived the idea of a 
priesthood to act as the mouthpiece of the invented 
deity! On the occasion of the birthday of our great- 
est President, the creed-less and noble Abraham Lin- 
coln, a prominent ecclesiastic, William T. Manning, 
Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, ad- 
dressed this supplication to the Christian God: 

"Help us all to realize the great dangers which 
now threaten us. Overrule by thy Almighty Power 
the forces of tyranny, cruelty and aggression and 
grant that the nations now^ enslaved may be liberated 
and restored to their freedom and their rights. 

''In this hour of world crisis, grant that our whole 
nation may stand united, that we may give our ut- 
most aid to Great Britain and all Avho stand with her 
for justice and human liberty, and that we may do 
this without delay for the defense of our own land, 
for the preservation of Christian civilization and for 
the sake of all mankind." 

There is no doubt in Bishop Manning's mind that 
the deity is on the side of the British, despite Napo- 
leon's Insistence that "God is on the side of the 
strongest battalions" ! Nor has he any doubt about 
the British Empire's salvation being also the salva- 
tion of civilization — our "Christian civilization," the 
Bishop calls it. "Christian civilization" — let us pon- 
der that a lltde. Let us see if we can define the 
phrase and discover its inner meaning, its real conno- 
tation and full implicadon. 



IL 

In his annual message to Congress delivered Janu- 
a^T 4> 1939' President Roosevelt made a departure 
from the subject of his message (which was supposed 
to be "on the state of the union") and entered upon 
a brief discourse on matters ultra-terrestrial. For a 
few moments he discarded the robe of king ("rex"), 
and donned that of priest ("pontifex") . In one of 
the opening paragraphs of his message he said: 

"Storms from abroad directly challenge three in- 
stitutions indispensable to Americans, now as ahva\s. 



The first is religion. It is the source of the other two 
— democracy and international good faith. 

"Religion, by teaching man his relationship to 
God, gives the individual a sense of his own dignity 
and teaches him to respect himself by respecting his 
neighbors." (Italics mine.) 

A little later the President said: 

"An ordering of society which relegates religion, 
democracy and good faith to the backgrounci can 
find no place within It for the ideals of the Prince of 
Peace. The United States rejects such an ordering, 
and retains its ancient faith. . . .The defense of reli- 
gion, of democracy and of good faith among nations 
is all the same fight. To save one we must now make 
up our minds to save allJ^ ( Italics mine. ) 

Mr. Roosevelt's repeated enumerations of reli- 
gion as being among America's "indispensable insti- 
tutions" (note the significant phrase "Institution"), 
and that it Is the source of democracy and world 
peace, constituted not merely a departure from his 
very secular subject, but it constituted an attempt — a 
surreptitious, but nonetheless bold, attempt — to effect 
a departure from one of the most settled American 
traditions since the founding of the republic, the 
tradition of a strictly secular government, unrelated 
to, and completely divorced from church, creed or 
general religion. So strongly did the fathers feel on 
this subject that the very first of the ten Amendments 
added to the Constitution shortly after its adoption 
expressly forbids Congress to make any law which 
w^ould provide for the establishment of religion — 
mark this: "religion" in general, not merely a par- 
ticular creed, but religion. The part of the Amend- 
ment referring to religion reads: ^ 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an es- 
tablishment of religion, OR prohibiting the free ex- 
ercise thereof. ..." 

This is crystal-clear: It means that the Constitu- 
tional fathers relegated religion to the status of a 
strictly private matter. No American w^as to be de- 
nied the right to w^orshlp as he pleased and what he 
pleased, OR NOT TO WORSHIP AT ALL IF IT 
SO PLEASED HIM! The right to practise a par- 
ticular religion was to be held no more sacred than 
the right to refuse to practise any religion. It meant, 
and has always meant, that among the inviolable 
rights of Americans Is the right to believe in a God, 
and to deny the existence of a God; the right to ac- 
cept as holy and revealed, or to reject as nursery tales 
and myths, the Bible, the Koran, the Hindu scrip- 
tures, the Buddhist scriptures, the Confucianist scrip- 
tures, the Taoist scriptures, the Zoroastrian scrip- 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 















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i6 



FIFTY YEARS 



tures, etc., or any of the claims made by the follow- 
ers of the various deities and their prophets, from 
the oldest down to Brigham Young and Mother 
Eddy! When President Roosevelt (in expounding 
the nature and form of our government, and the 
rights the people enjoy, and the responsibilities they 
owe under that form of government and the Consti- 
tution) insists that there can be no democracy with- 
out religion, or, conversely, that there can be no reli- 
gion without democracy, he is guilty of perverting 
and misrepresenting the principles upon which this 
republic was founded. Whether he did so deliber- 
ately, or whether he was merely expressing himself 
carelessly, is of no great moment. 

The assumption is justified that he knowingly at- 
tacked the first Amendment to the Constitution for 
reasons that are not as yet clear. In part, at least, 
it seems to have been done to placate the ecclesiastic 
powers generally, but chiefly, no doubt, the Roman 
Catholic Church. If Mr. Roosevelt's amazing rec- 
ognition of religion as an American institution, and 
as indispensable as American democracy, was in- 
tended merely as a passing and polite reference to a 
powerful pressure group, and not as an attempt to 
subvert the traditional American political principle 
of secularism, he would undoubtedly have rebuked 
or refuted those who saw in his utterances the pro- 
clamation of a new policy w^hich would commit this 
country to a revival of the ancient theocratic concep- 
tion of government. For though the President did 
not openly avow theocracy, that is what his claim 
amounts to, and that is what it inevitably w^ould lead 
to if he Avere to follow consistently the logic of the 
position he laid down. 

Whether or not, then, the President's remarks 
were made with sinister intent, with the intent to 
initiate a new social polity, his statement was seized 
upon with glee by ecclesiastics of different denomina- 
tions and faiths, and by those omniscient and ubiqui- 
tous oracles, the capitalist press columnists — and not 
necessarily fifth-columnists ! The mouthpiece of the 
plutocracy par excellence, Mr. Walter Lippmann, ex- 
pertly caught the ball throAvn by the President, and 
the lesser practitioners of Mr. Lippmann's calling 
quickly followed suit. On January 7, 1939, Mr. 
Lippmann hailed Mr. Roosevelt's declaration as "a 
landmark in the history of Western thought." A 
landmark, no less! Mr. Lippmann has no hesitancy 
in recording his acceptance of the President's "new" 
policy in the most emphatic and unqualified terms. 
The declaration, Mr. Lippmann says, "registers a 
change of ideas which is absolutely fundamental ..." 
It marks, he says, "the reconciliation. .. .between 
patriotism, freedom, democracy and religion." 



Mr. Lippmann wants to assure us that he does 
not regard the President's remarks as "a convention- 
al tribute to religion." He goes on: "But that the 
President, who is the most influential democratic 
leader in the world, should recognize religion as the 
source of democracy and of international good faith 
is not a mere matter of words; it is a fundamental 
re-orientation in the liberal democratic outlook upon 
Hfe." 

Mr. Lippmann is no naive simpleton, nor is he a 
professional Sunday school teacher. When he im- 
plies that he believes with the President that religion 
is the source of democracy, he really means that it 
would be splendid if the idea would be generally ac- 
cepted. He recognizes the fact (though he may not 
understand what caused the fact) that a cohesive 
force is needed in a political society to keep the 
masses in control, to keep them in disciplined obedi- 
ence. He sees that the era of competition has come 
to an end. During the period when capitalism was 
growing and expanding, ever seeking ntw outlets, 
new opportunities to thrive, competition furnished 
the checks and balances which somehow kept the 
capitalist system functioning, both with respect to the 
production and exchange of commodities generally, 
as well as with respect to the commodity labor powd- 
er. However wasteful and anarchical, however much 
labor suffered through the cycles of "prosperity" and 
crises, through the seemingly never-ending process 
of expansion and recovery, ever and anon a sort of 
equilibrium was restored, though each new expan- 
sion, each ntv^ recovery, led to ever greater crises. 
But world capitaHsm can no longer expand; competi- 
tion has virtually come to an end — where it still sur- 
vives it is of no real effect on capitalism basically. 

Thus, since capitalism can no longer be counted 
upon to regulate the habits and conduct of the wage 
slaves as of old, a super-regulating force is needed if 
society remains on a class rule and private property 
basis — that is, if society remains political. Some- 
thing firmer, more compelling than the laissez-faire 
principle of old is required. If the mass of the peo- 
ple (specifically the working class) can be induced to 
accept the theory that religion is the source of de- 
mocracy (i.e., bourgeois democracy), and under- 
standing by that democracy a way of life which prom- 
ises good wages, "reasonable" hours of labor, kind 
employers, and all the rest of the social program 
jointly formulated by the '*New Deal" and the papa- 
cy, it follows that the workers, in order to preserve 
and defend this "democracy," must defend religion, 
and vice versa. And a basis is thus provided for 
that Industrial Feudal Order which ruling classes ev- 
erywhere, instinctively or consciously, blunderingly 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



»or with careful design, are seeking to introduce when 
a semblance of peace and order may have been es- 
tablished. 

Mr. LIppmann shows that he is not naive, but 
that he clearly sees the implication of the President's 
proposed "fundamental change," and keenly per- 
ceives the trend toward the establishment of a mod- 
ern theocracy — a theocracy which (while based on 
the same principle, and charged with the same spirit 
as the earher theocracies) will (if successful) be as 
different from these latter as SociaHsm will be differ- 
ent from ancient communism, though the basic prm- 
ciples and spirit of the latter will reappear in the fu- 
ture Socialist Republic. If successful, it will be a 
theocracy as cruel in spirit, and as destructive of 
freedom, as was the old theocracy; but its form will, 
of course, be molded by the machine age, its means 
of compulsion will be more subtle and refined, but if 
anything it will be even more destructive of the mind 
and spirit of the economically enslaved masses that 
are meekly expected to submit to its rule. And it 
will be more paralyzing in its effect on the zvill, and 
more deadening on the aspiration of these masses so 
far as an otherwise realizable new and higher society 
of freedom and genuine culture may again eventual- 
ly be visualized. 

How does Mr. Lippmann translate — and prop- 



erly translate — the President's words into ruling class 
realism? Mr. Lippmann does so in the following: 

"And so, whereas formerly the masses to whom 
the President speaks held that social reform could be 
achieved only by the class struggle, in this message 
he tells them .... that the class struggle must stop if 
the masses are to improve their lot Where for- 
merly they believed that rehgion is either negligible 
and antiquated, or that it is, as the Communists say, 
'the opiate of the people,' he tells them that on the 
religious traditions of the West, and on no other 
foundation^ can human liberty be maintained." (Ital- 
ics mine.) 

We shall give a httle thought later to these "reli-, 
gious traditions of the West," but meanwhile it is in- 
teresting to note the admissions, and the implications 
of the words, of this cold-blooded, calculating and 
cynical would-be high priest of this nascent pluto- 
cratic theocracy: There is the admission of the exis- 
tence of the class struggle, and that the masses have 
acted in obedience to its terms — consciously or not is 
immaterial here. There is the thinly veiled threat 
that the class struggle must stop: Mr. Lippmann 
might learn from the example of King Canute who 
knew that he could not sweep back the waves and 

(Continued on page 55.) 




On to the Protest Meeting! 



Caricature on the clerical schoolteachers as the guardians of the rural population. 

^By Arpad Schmidhammer ("Der Scherer," Innsbruck). 



FIFTY YEARS 



TKe 'Nineties with De Leon 



By Bertha C. De Leon 



r* A ^TE^ spending a few days in Stamford, 
V/V Connecticut, we went to 1487 Avenue A, 
£J^ now York Avenue, near 79th Street, New 
York, where we lived for twenty years. 
Our home was a railroad flat, a type of apartment 
long since outlawed by the building code of the city, 
having all the conveniences of its type and time ! We 
lived in such an apartment, not because we chose to, 
nor because we thought it character-building, as Di- 
ogenes might have thought, but because the stipend 
the Party could manage to pay the Editor allowed 
us no choice. De Leon wished to spend all his time 
and energy on work for the Party and the People. 
Occasionally he was asked to speak for some organi- 
zation seeking information on the social question, 
or to write an article upon the same subject, for which 
he would be paid. In every instance these fees were 
immediately turned over to the Party's funds. Some- 
times our forced economies afforded us no little 
amusement and, in the main, we succeeded in ignor- 
ing or overlooking any hardships imposed upon us 
by circumstances; we could grin and bear them. But 
it was hard to accept denial of opportunities to our 
children. We never felt, how- 
ever, that we were martyrs or 
that we were sacrificing our- 
selves. De Leon always strenu- 
ously denied that any work done 
to further the advent of the So- 
cialist Republic could, under any 
circumstances, be called a sacri- 
fice. The hour seemed to have 
struck for the spade-work of So- 
cialism to be done, and De Leon 
seemed marked as the man to do 
it. That Avas all — nothing else 
mattered. 

As I look back upon the scene, 
the social picture of the decade 
that had just begun seems incred- 
ibly confused and chaotic. Fifty 
years of education and propa- 
ganda by the Socialist Labor 
Party have somewhat clarified 
the relations of the "haves" and 



"have nots," the exploiters and the exploited. An ar- 
ticulate few now understand that the social problem 
will not be solved until the workers create the Social- 
ist Industrial Government wherein all society, includ- 
ing the members of the present exploited and exploit- 
ing classes, is producing for use only, and every work- 
er receives the full value of what he produces. 

At the beginning of the i 890-1900 decade, there 
were millions of harassed men and women all over 
the country, who resented the distressing conditions 
under which they were living, but most of them were 




OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



19 



unaware of the cause of these conditions, or how to 
remove them. The distressed ones knew that they 
could never succeed in reaching even the comparative 
plenty and security they longed for. They realized 
that no matter how hard or how long they worked, 
under the prevailing conditions life could never grow 
safer or richer, but, on the contrary, steadily bleaker 
and more insecure. Capitalism had developed so 
fast since the Civil War— and that war lay as far 
behind them as World War I lies behind us — that 
people were dazed at the stupendous changes in agri- 
culture and industry and the consequent unemploy- 
ment. They had begun to see dimly that if these 
crushing conditions were ever to be removed, they 
and they alone would have to do the job. But a so- 
ciety wherein free men and women were at work 
upon chosen tasks, receiving full value for all they 
produced, was the vision of few. 

So, in accordance with the particular background 
and environment of each individual, the rebellious 
fell into the various loosely formed, visionless reform 
groups of the day, insistently demanding that some- 
thing, almost anything, be done to better the condi- 
tions of the times so patently out of joint. The largest 
and most vociferous group was, of course, the fa- 
mous Populist party, practically a farmers' party, in- 
sisting on cheap money as a major concession. It 
went up like a rocket to the cheers of millions of 
hopeful supporters, but came down like a stick to the 
great disappointment of the distressed farmers. With 
practically no sources for economic education for the 
dissatisfied at that time, there were many startling 
notions extant. A Popuhst State Committeeman of 
Kansas believed or so stated that "These plutocrats 
are ignoramuses. They claim that money must have 
intrinsic value when every one knows that intrinsic 
value means the power or value of food to sustain 
life." The Prohibition party came with the claim 
that drinking was the cause of much of the poverty 
in the land and that it also lowered the moral stand- 
ards of society in various ways. The Prohibition party 
believed that the prohibition of the manufacture and 
sale of liquor would automatically banish the poverty 
of the drinker and his family and benefit the nation 
as a whole, both economically and morally. Of the 
economic aspect they forgot that the rich, propor- 
tionately to the number in their class, drink far more 
than the poor and still can scarcely be said to suffer 
from poverty! The results of Prohibition, when it 
came, must have been a blow to those who had be- 
lieved it would bring economic relief to the poverty- 
stricken and raise the moral standards of society. 

The Woman's Suffrage party, though by no 
means a new party, was coming into greater prom- 



inence at this time and growing fast in point of mem- 
bers and sympathizers. As to economic questions, it 
relied upon the belief, or hope, that women, if en- 
franchised, would bring new power and prestige^ to 
the ballot by instinctively voting ri^ht, thus bringing 
a new and better order into the political scene that 
would right the economic wrongs of the times. Few, 
if any, of the Suffrage party searched further for an 
answer to the burning economic question, though 
among its leaders were many sympathetic and able 
women who must have been surprised and mystified, 
when, upon reaching their long-sought goal, there 
was neither relief from economic ills nor cleansing 
of corrupt political conditions. The enfranchise- 
ment of women was an obvious but tardy justice to 
women, but it brought the solution of the social prob- 
lem not one minute nearer. 

Workers' ''Leadership'' — the Mercenary 
and the Muddled. 

Among the schemes for bettering the situation 
of the desperate, "colonies," as a prospective refuge, 
played their part. Their sponsors proposed to build 
cooperative commonwealths, economic paradises, 
right then and there in the midst of capitalism. Natu- 
rally, they all failed completely and their only effect 
was to discourage and muddle still more those strug- 
gling to find a way out of the economic thicket. One 
of the groups wanting to better the situation declared 
that "secular" efforts were bound to fail and advo- 
cated the practice of the Golden Rule, insisting that 
it would solve the problem. Even its proposers soon 
found how impractical the scheme was. They could 
not aboHsh poverty, without also aboHshing profits. 
The Single Tax party, though beginning to decline, 
was still active, and had many adherents, some of 
whom were alienated by the stand taken by the 
Single tax organ on the sentences imposed on the 
Haymarket victims. It said, rather piously, "The 
law must be upheld." These victims were anarchists 
and their creed of violence surely pushed them to- 
ward their fate, but they had been framed by the 
Chicago police and were later proved innocent of the 
bombing charges. Many workers saw in the sen- 
tences a warning to the working class to submit meek- 
ly to the powers that rule. The Knights of Labor, 
once a powerful organization, founded by Uriah 
Stevens, on the principles of the class struggle, was 
sinking into pure and simple unionism despite the ef- 
forts of some of its classconscious members to save 
it. It expired before the middle of the decade. 

The A. F. of L., although only adolescent, was 
already infested with labor fakers. Gompers lead- 



20 



FIFTY YEARS 



I 



! 



ing, there Avere also Mitchell of the Miners and Ar- 
thur of the Railroad Brotherhood, and all were adept 
at deceiving the rank and file and ingratiating them- 
selves with the employers. These and the lesser 
fakers hated the idea of classconsciousness, and the 
battle between them and the S.L.P. has not yet ended. 
The successors of this brood of vampires, the Greens, 
Lewises, Wolls, Murrays and Hillmans, are trying 
to blind the rank and file to the fact that they are 
headed for industrial feudalism, unless they become 
classconscious and organi/x Into Socialist Industrial 
Unions. In the meantime, these fakers are feather- 
ing their nests while the picking is so good. 

Amid this din and confusion came the tramp, 
tramp of Coxey's and Kelly's and many other smaller 
''armies," whose "soldiers" knew nothing of the 
burning issues except that they were hungry, cold and 
ragged. Most of them never reached Washington, 
their destination, and, although the capitalists were 
frightened temporarily, no lasting good was accom- 
plished. 

Early in the decade Debs, the idol of the railroad 
workers, and an honest man devoted to the working 
class, had begun his work. Unfortunately, he caused 
much confusion in his day. Had he been as realistic 
as his enemies, the railroad companies, he would 
have accomplished something for the workers. The 
following story I found In an exchange and clipped 
for De Leon. During a long-drawn-out strike in the 
Midwest a reporter called upon a representative of 
a railroad to learn hoAv the strike was progressing, 
when it was going to end, etc. "And who is going 
to win?" said the reporter. "The railroad," said 
the representative. "It is like this. If you lay a sil- 
ver dollar on the shelf for three months, at the end 
of the time you have still a good silver dollar. Lay 
a man on the shelf for three months and you have a 
corpse." 

Could the workers' situation be put more clearly 
— or brutally? 

And this decade, with its misery, hopelessness, 
helplessness, and its pitiful attempts at revolt, is 
called the Gay Nineties by social commentators! The 
gaiety was all in the ruling class. The riotous revelry 
and dissipation of "Society" almost rivalled that of 
the late twenties that preceded the crash of '29, that 
ominous cracking of the shell of capitalism. 

Literature of ''Revolt'' vs, the Party. 

From this whirlwind of rebellion, a veritable 
blizzard of the literature of revolt, radical and re- 
form books, periodicals, papers and labor organs, 
letters asking and offering advice, information and 
floods of misinformation from all parts of the coun- 




1487 Avenue A, New York 

Where De Leon Lived from 1887 to 1913 
(Third story^ two windows to the left) 



try, and in various languages, fell upon the JFeekly 
People and headquarters. Socialism was occasionally 
commended but more frequently criticized. It aimed 
too high, wanted too much, was Utopian, dangerous, 
materialistic, impractical, unworkable, a destroyer of 
the family and home, un-Godly, un-American and 
what not. The Party, still very young, had to lean 
against the wind from within as well as from without. 
It was pestered by the freaks, frauds, "filosofers,'* 
charlatans, the mistaken and misguided, whom De 
Leon called "the lunatic fringe," and to these might 
be added a "shady fringe" of the morally weak and 
repellent, in short, the riffraff who always camp close 
to a new movement until they are cast out by the 
growth and vigor of the movement. The problem 
raised by these elements consumed time and energy 
that would otherwise have been expended on propa- 
ganda. Added to this hurly-burly and these ob- 
stacles was the unending and partly futile quest for 
financial support. 

Into this maelstrom, or maelstrom it seemed to 
me, plunged the orderly De Leon and attacked the 
work with characteristic energy and vigor, through 
long and arduous hours, then and thereafter, though 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



21 



he had always the happy faculty of "resting hard" 
when an hour or a day could be snatched from the 
routine he set for himself. I was eager to make 
myself as useful as possible and enjoyed reading and 
clipping the daily papers and the People\^ exchanges. 
I read proof of the Weekly People and all the 
printed matter that De Leon turned out, on down or 
up to the earlier Sue Books, continuing as much of 
the work as I could manage, till our growing family 
claimed all my time and attention. 

In reading letters and exchanges that came to the 
office I was indignant and astounded at the abuse 
and vilification heaped upon the Party and De Leon, 
which amused him not a little. "You will learn," 
said he, ''that the only weapons the enemies of So- 
cialism have to use against it are slander and abuse. 
Should the logical enemies of the Party and me speak 
well of us, we w^ould immediately take stock to find 
w^here we had made a misstep. The curses of the 
enemy are compliments; his compliments would be 
curses." I soon learned this, and, consequently, could 
read the most abusive attacks very calmly. 

Early in his editorial experience there sprang up 
a legend that De Leon was unapproachable, awe- 
some, soured. "Does that man ever smile?" was a 
not infrequent question to the National Office. This 
amused his intimates, who knew that he had a deep 
vein of humor, a large fund of humorous stories, and 
the accompanying temperament. Several years later 
when Precht did his excellent portrait of De Leon, 
the children quickly settled for all time whether or 
not he ever smiled. He had taken some of them 
with him to the office where he sat for Precht and 
they were all very much interested in "papa's por- 
trait." They were disappointed, however, w^hen it 
came home. "Oh, but papa is always smiling and 
here he looks so sober, almost sad," they chimed, 
practically in chorus. 

Critics Dissected and Contemned, 

There were many people who were ostensibly in- 
terested in the Party and its program, and even some 
Party members, who wavered before De Leon's logi- 
cal thought and accurate speech and written word. 
"Why be harsh or intolerant or seem abusive or vin- 
dictive or despotic?" they would say, and admonish 
him that "vinegar never catches flies." Unruffled by 
this criticism, he would explain, with a chuckle and 
the irrepressible twinkle in his eye, why all "these 
bouquets" were show^ered on him. "If I prove," 
said he, "that an apple cannot be divided in such a 
manner that each of two persons can be given the 
larger share, the A's who, for some reason known 



only to themselves perhaps, wish to deny that fact. 
say Lm harsh. If I say that the absence of color 
means black and no other hue, the B's, whose interests 
lead them to wish it were not black, pronounce me in- 
tolerant. If I show^ that two plus two equals four, 
nothing more and nothing less, the C's who wish to 
flee that fact insist that Fm despotic. If I say that, 
when I see a rat's head on the left, a rat's tail a cer- 
tain distance from it on the right, there must be a 
rat's body connecting them, and that that is a rat, the 
D's, who wish to escape that inescapable and perhaps 
embarrassing or even incriminating fact, loudly pro- 
claim me abusive and vindictive. As to the vinegar 
proverb, w^hat on earth or in heaven has that to do 
with the Party and its program. Of course, vinegar 
never catches flies, and, contrariwise, sugar or honey 
always catches flies. But the Socialist Labor Party 
is not engaged in 'catching flies.' Its purpose, above 




Some of De Leon's Summer Playgrounds 
at Milford, Connecticut 

Sweet House, Pond Street, 1895-1896 and 1898-1900: 

Capt. Ford's House, Lafayette Street, 1897; 

Feltis's House, Seaside Avenue, 1901-1906. 



22 



FIFTY YEARS 



all things, is to draw to it not flies, but men and 
women, mentally and physically unafraid and self- 
respecting, who long to, and are determined to, tear 
from themselves the shackles of wage slavery, and 
it will take truth, hard truth, naked truth, and not 
'sweet talk,' to show these men and women how to do 
it. The truth may be unpalatable to some at first, 
and perhaps wholly unacceptable to others, but it is 
truth alone that will show them how to free them- 
selves.'* 

Apropos of unpalatable truth, an amusing little 
incident occurs to me. I had a friend in the West who 
wished a friend of hers, then in New York, to be- 
come acquainted with us. She called and, finding me 
away from home, went to the office to see De Leon. 
Reporting upon the call to her friend, she said, "I 
simply cannot unclerstand hoAv such a sheet as the 
Weekly People can come from the hand of the culti- 
vated and charming individual I found Mr. De Leon 
to be." The young lady, herself a charming and an 
apparently sympathetic person, w^as a social worker 
and obviously a reader of the People. She evidently 
shrank from the fact that Socialism states and proves 
that the class to which she "ministered" is robbed of 
its share — all — of the economic apple, by the class 
that furnished her liveHhood and the charity she "be- 
stowed" on its victims; found it strange and discon- 
certing perhaps that a "cultivated and charming" 
person could believe and utter such an unpalatable 
thing — truth. 

Industrial Union Idea Born During 
'92 Campaign. 

In the fall of 1892, the Party nominated De Leon 
for Governor of New York. One of his campaign 
speeches was entitled, "What I shall do when I be- 
come Governor of New York." One Ben Tucker, a 
"philosophical" anarchist and professional Atheist, 
said in his organ, The Truth Seeker: "Dan De Leon 
is roaming the state telling people what he is going 
to do when he becomes Governor. Now, Dan, why 
don't you tell them w^hat you are going to do when 
you become God? The chances are about even." We 
thought it was a smart quip, and not so distant from 
the truth. We enjoyed it and laughed heartily over 
it. But thereby hangs a tale of far-reaching signifi- 
cance and implications. I am convinced that, be- 
cause of the thoughtful repetition of that speech, a 
conception of the futility of political action alone en- 
tered De Leon's mind and planted there the seed of 
the Industrial Union idea that several year later was 
to sprout and grow. And what a potent and fruitful 
jdea it was! An idea by which we may take advan- 



tage of the gift bestOAved upon this nation by the 
Founding Fathers, at its Revolutionary birth; the 
priceless gift of the right and privilege to change our 
form of government in a peaceful anci orderly man- 
ner whenever it becomes destructive of our birth- 
right, the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of 
Happiness; a gift never before bestowed upon any 
nation in the history of the world. What an idea ! 
An idea that will enable humanity to found a civiliza- 
tion based upon the brotherhood of man, a civiliza- 
tion that will blossom with a beauty and a glory far 
beyond our subllmest dreams. 

To De Leon and me this klea was full compen- 
sation for any harclships we may have encountered 
and experienced. Who would not feel compensated, 
warmed and uplifted by the majesty and grandeur of 
the idea and Its Implications! 

De Leon was an omnivorous reader and seemed 
able to find "ammunition" for his work In everything 
he read, and he and the Party officers desired to en- 
able all the Party workers to do the same. There 
being practically no native Socialist literature to bring 
before them, it was necessary and desirable to place 
in their hands solid European Socialist literature. 
De Leon had put into English, early in 1892, "The 
Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science" 
by Engels, and he now began the translation of the 
series of Kautsky pamphlets, a minor task physically, 
but most Important In propaganda. He did the work 
at home and I wrote In English In long hand at his 
dictation. I could help little as I don't know German 
and it Is needless to say that De Leon knew my na- 
tive tongue better than I. But I did know the slang 
and idioms of English and could give him a lift there, 
if needed. He liked to use a certain amount of slang, 
saying that it is picturesque and often illuminates an 
idea as nothing else can. Fifty years ago this was 
more or less heretical among those who spoke, wrote 
and enjoyed hearing good English. Like many an- 
other I have always admired De Leon's style. His 
case was built up of solid blocks of facts, with often 
a little humor or satire for mortar, set squarely, one 
upon the other, until the apex, the climax is reached, 
and the argument stands foursquare, unshakable, un- 
answerable. While this is the aim of every writer 
or speaker of serious Intent, I think De Leon excelled 
in It. It seemed natural to him and he obviously cul- 
tivated it, in order to make clearer than clear the 
principles and tactics of Socialism. It is hardly pos- 
sible, he often said, to place enough emphasis upon 
the vital necessity of each and every Party member, 
and all others who can be reached and Interested, 
being thoroughly educated and grounded in the pro- 
gram of the Party. "Agitate, Educate, Organize" 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



23 



was no repetitious, deadening-duU slogan Avith De 
Leon, but a throbbing, living call to action, and this 
call, it is very apparent, was the underlying idea of 
every editorial, every article, every speech of his. 
This thorough education of the working men and 
women in the Party, and others if possible, he said, is 
necessary to enable them to stand their ground men- 
tally against the force of the stream of miseducation, 
misinformation and falsity, direct and indirect, that 
is poured out upon the workers, camouflaged some- 
times in sympathetic and patriotic language, from 
press, pulpit and schools — and today the radio. The 
worker must learn how to discern w^hat is to his in- 
terest as a member of the exploited class, and what 
is to the interest of his economic enemy, the exploit- 
ing, the capitalist, class. He must learn how to dis- 
pel the fog with which the exploiting class tries to 
envelop him intellectually. He must be educated and 
trained to reject absolutely the capitalist bait of re- 
form measures that is always dangling before him. 

In July, 1893, De Leon attended the Interna- 
tional Sociahst Congress in Zurich, as delegate from 
the S.L.P. of the United States. He got a disturbing 
impression there: He sensed a lack or an error in 
their underlying ideas that seemed to spell defeat 
and disaster for most of the movements represented. 
He wrote me of this from Zurich and repeated it 
when he returned. He said that "notwithstanding 
the lack of numbers and prestige we have here, it 
looks as if the first Socialist Repubhc will be set 
up in the United States." But, as he commended 
those movements in the "Reform or Revolution" 
speech in Boston in 1896, he must have sometimes 
thought or hoped that he was mistaken. However, 
when Victor Funke translated "Reform or Revolu- 
tion" into Swedish in 1903, De Leon heartily agreed 
with him that the course of conduct followed by the 
European movements had compelled a drastic revi- 
sion of the reputations they formerly deserved, and 
that they had definitely turned from the straight and 
narrow path of Socialist philosophy and tactics, which 
revolutionary movements had to follow if the work- 
ers were not inevitably to meet with defeat and dis- 
aster. 

Summers in Milford^ Connecticut. 

While De Leon w^as in Zurich, I, with Solon and 
Prima, who had made her bow in March, 1893, had 
spent the hot weeks of summer in Sag Harbor, Long 
Island, with the Comrades Langner, with whose fam- 
ily we still enjoy close relations. We were with them 
the next summer also, but by the summer of 1895 
they had removed to Milford, Connecticut, and we 



m 




^S^" 



iS®^<«?S55W^^--aC 



Daily People Building 

2-6 New Reade Street, 'New York City 
First Home of the Bmily People, July 1, IQOO-May 1, 1907 

followed, upon their recommendation. They found us 
unfurnished rooms and we made most of our fur- 
niture out of packing boxes and orange crates. Our 
dining table w^as made from the crate that brought 
the show case to the Langners' new bakeshop. In 
our backyard was room for a garden, and I, born on 
a farm and loving the earth — and fresh vegetables — 
immediately began to plan a garden, De Leon as 
immediately began to enter strenuous objections. 
"The work is too hard for you." "You can find no 
time." "Gardening by an amateur will be expen- 
sive. Carrots will cost five cents each instead of five 
cents a bunch as at the market," etc., etc. I had 
many times remarked to De Leon, after an argument 
over differences, that he had an irritating habit of al- 
ways being right, but this time I knew I was right, 
though I needed his admonition to keep an accurate 
account of the cost of seeds and tools, and had the 
satisfaction of proving by figures that I w^as right, 
for once at least. The first picking of every vege- 
table paid for the whole packet of the seed planted. 
We all enjoyed the garden. I enjoyed the outdoor 
work. Prima loved playing at gardening and Solon 
had his pranks. Looking out of the window one 
day I saw him and a neighborhood chum rolling on 
the grass in gales of laughter. In some way I sensed 
a joke on me and bided my time. A few days later 
beans came up in a flowerbed, and the secret was out. 
The boys had thought that, until the beans appeared, 
I would imagine that they were rare and wonderful 
flower plants. De Leon knew less than nothing 
about gardening but became interested as soon as our 
vegetables appeared on the table, and, as the years 
went by, became a very enthusiastic gardener, doing 



24 



FIFTY YEARS 



much of the necessary work, and enjoying the exer- 
cise and recreation it afforded him. 

Milford proved to be a very pleasant place with 
its beautiful village green shaded by huge old elms — 
almost destroyed, alas, by the hurricane of 1938. 
There is also an enchanting little river, spanned by 
two or three bridges, meandering through wide, slop- 
ing green banks and occasional old trees, down under 
Memorial Bridge to the harbor. On either side of 
the upper river is a Avhite church, and lower down a 
lovely Colonial Town Hall is reflected In its waters. 
It all makes a charming, peaceful scene that follows 
one everywhere. The river is the Wepawang, named 
for the earliest inhabitants of Milford, the Wepa- 
wang Indians, who should rank above those of the 
Mayflower's passenger list as early Americans. 

To all this was added a then uncrowded beach 
with good bathing. There was also good fishing— if 
you were a good fisherman. We shared a bathing 
house with the Langners, which was set high on stilts 
and furnished shelter from the sun. This made it 
possible to spend whole days at the beach, if weather 
and mosquitos permitted, which they often kindly 
did. The long days at the beach were pleasant and 
restful. The mothers mended, sewed, knit or read, 
and joined the fathers, when they could be there, in 
discussing Party affairs and the coming Socialist Re- 
public, as they smoked and played with the children 
who were having the good times of all children at 
the beach. De Leon enjoyed swimming and the 
freedom from clothing, lounging all day in a bathing 
suit. He always stressed comfort in clothing. Even 
those who never saw him may have noticed in his 
pictures that his neck was dressed very unconvention- 
ally. In that benighted time there were no "don't 
starch" collars; they were all abominably stiff and 
high. One unusually warm night in summer, a hall 
in which he was speaking became very close and he 
felt as if his collar and tie were choking him. He 
took them off then and there and brought them home 
in his pocket, saying he would never wear the darn 
things again. I was startled and wondered what 
could be done about the matter, how his neck could 
be dressed somewhat presentably. However, the 
next morning, between us, we devised a substitute 
for the offending articles that looked fairly well. We 
folded a large white handkerchief diagonally, and 
pinned it to the neck of his shirt in such a manner 
that the V gave his throat the freedom and comfort 
he desired. Never again did he wear a collar and 
tie. Fortunately, his beard almost concealed the 
neckerchief and, apparently, it attracted little atten- 
tion, though an over-officious headwaiter in a train 
once refused him, to his amusement, entrance to the 



dining car because he wore no collar, and the head- 
waiter had to be reported to the conductor before 
De Leon could be seated at table. 

''Dare to Be a Daniel.'' 

I have always thought that I have a modern view 
of most of the circumstances of life, but I was old- 
fashioned enough to want to rock my children to 
sleep when it was becoming not modern and unwise 
to do so. I wanted to rock my babies to sleep as I 
had been rocked to sleep by my mother, with no dis- 
cernible harm. I enjoyed it and so did the babies, 
so I rocked and sang all my children to sleep. As I 
had been a churchgoer and liked church music, I 
sang the famihar hymns and songs I had learned 
from my mother and father and those of my own 
generation, often having to laugh at De Leon's quips 
and jests about his "psalm-singing wife." But, after 
a while, in spite of his bantering, he came to like 
some of the songs I sang, liked both words and mu- 
sic. One set of words, in a song based on the Bibli- 
cal story of Daniel's adventures and behavior In the 
lions' den he liked so much that It became as nearly 
a slogan as he ever had. 

Dare to be a Daniel, 
Dare to stand alone. 
Dare to have a purpose firm. 
Dare to make It known. 

At that time there were many who imagined they 
sympathized with the Party and its program who 
wished to have the idea of Revolution soft-pedalled 
in order not to starde and alarm people who were ap- 
prehensive of new ideas. The notion that a move- 
ment should try to conceal its goal or intentions, in 
order to attract timorous people, or for any other 
reason, De Leon considered simply suicidal. He 
hammered at the folly of this course incessantly, as 
he was convinced that the Party's position on this 
point could hardly be made clear enough or too 
strongly emphasized. Believing that Ferdinand Las- 
salle's "Franz von SIckengen" told well the story of 
a classic example of the disastrous effects of a cow- 
ardly or dishonest position In a social movement, 
De Leon felt under compulsion to make the tragedy 
available to Party members and did the translation 
in 1904, using again in his preface the familiar 
phrases of the stirring Sunday school song. ^ 

Of course, there were never-ending skirmishes 
with the fakers. Some of the unions would occasion- 
ally ask the Party for a speaker to explain its position 
on the unions and their leaders. The fakers liked 
this not a bit and there were frequent rows in the 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



unions over the matter. One Saturday morning a 
neighbor brought in her morning paper, the leading 
yellow sheet of New York, to show me an article 
that interested her. When she went home she left 
the paper. I looked it over and came across a star- 
tling item. It told how the Socialist, De Leon, had 
incensed the members of a certain union by his at- 
tack on union leaders, and that the union members 
had summarily thrown out and beaten him. Knowing 
the temper of the union leaders, their control of the 
unions and their hatred of the Socialists, I was very 
much disturbed and sent a telegram of inquiry to the 
National Office. A few hours later I was Informed 
that the telegram could not be delivered. We were 
never able to learn the reason. By this hour it was 
time for De Leon's train, and the children and I 
went to the station. He did not arrive until the sec- 
ond section came, but then stepped off the train look- 
ing very much unbeaten. "Why should you have 
worried?" said De Leon. "Don't you think I would 
be very good at taking care of myself in such a situ- 
ation?" 

Naturally, since the politico-economic field was 
in such turmoil and confusion, the Socialist Labor 
Party, still young and inexperienced enough to admit 
to membership any who professed to be "Socialist," 
suffered from a penetration of the motley elements 
that for ten years were a millstone hanging on the 
neck of the Party. These were the elements that, 
unused to discipline, were surprised and enraged that 
in the shelter of the Party fold and under the Party 
banner they could not spout any nonsensical reform 
stuff they happened at the moment to be Interested 
in, and call it Socialism. These were the elements 
that could not be made to understand the real mean- 
ing of a Revolutionary movement and the necessity 
for a Party-owned press. These were the elements 
that showered the "bouquets" upon De Leon when 
he insisted upon facts, facts and more facts. These 
were the elements that thought it not dishonorable 
to use the labor movement in general and the Party 
in particular to further their own economic interests. 
These were the elements that would have made of the 
Socialist Labor Party the thing that the Socialist 
party is, a "rope of sand," a party afraid to say "The 
Workshops to the Workers," "Capitalism Must Be 
Destroyed." (Perhaps this is a mistake; perhaps 
the Socialist party doesn't want capitalism to be de- 
stroyed!) These were the elements that, since they 
were absolutely unable to become bona fide Socialists, 
split off in the Kangaroo episode In 1899, and the 
Kanglet affair in 1901-02, to the lasting benefit of 
the Party. 

As the seasons and years came and went, the 



tapestry of our lives was woven of things significant 
and insignificant; the little things that are such trifles 
compared with things eternal, but so important to 
the Individual at the moment of occurrence. The 
long summer days In the setting of old trees, the 
shining, rippling river, long sunny hours at the beach; 
the arrival of Secundus in 1896 and of Tercera ex- 
actly two years later, a pair soon to be reckoned 
with; Solon learning to swim, Prima learning to read, 
news of the progress of Party affairs, a baby's new 
tooth, a baby taking a first step, the success of the 
garden, all were parts of the pattern. In New York 
there were woven in trips to the Parks, visits to the 
Zoo to see the animal friend of each child, particu- 
larly in the monkey cage, kindergarten, school, Party 
news, good and not so good, days at the museums 
of Art and Natural History, the Aquarium and Bat- 
tery Park, junior membership cards in the neighbor- 
hood libraries, the annual Thanksgiving affairs, occa- 
sional and much cherished visits to "papa's office," 
sleigh rides, and that greatest of all events, Christ- 
mas and the Christmas tree ! 

The Turn of the Century, 

The Gay Nineties have been described more 
fully, perhaps, than any other period of our social 
history, but I am sure that a New Yorker of today 
set down in the New York of that time would be sur- 
prised and amused. It Is a long road back to that 
older New York, measured by the calendar and 
longer yet measured by commonplace everyday cus- 
toms and things. Our children saw the lamplighter 
making his evening rounds, and rode in horse-cars 
to the boat that we took to Milford. It was a very 
different New York from that of today, but the older 
New Yorker, knowing no other, liked it; and we took 
what we could of what It had to give us. Added to 
music and art and library facilities were the intensi- 
fied activities of the Party, important meetings, 
speeches and articles on Party affairs, the Internal 
dissension in the Party, and, in the later years of the 
decade, discussion and plans for the projected Daily 
People, hailed by all. The opportunist dissension in 
the Party was part of the pattern, but affected it sur- 
prisingly little. De Leon wrote many of his edito- 
rials on the subject at home, and I knew, day by day, 
all that was going on, but the matter had much the 
effect of a storm. The wind whistles wildly around 
the eaves and dashes rain or snow against the win- 
dows but does not ill affect the scene within; it does 
not diminish, but intensifies, the enjoyment of the 
comfort and cheer of the fireside and lamplight, and 
the music of children's voices. 



26 



FIFTY YEARS 



We reached 1900! engulfed capitalist world, so clearly foreseen and 

The children, upon their urgent requests, were told hy the Socialist Labor Party and the Weekly 

awakened to join us in drinking, in grape juice, to People for fifty years. Let us hope that long before 

the happiness of the ncvj century and the Little New the century passes, that w^hich w^e strive for, the So- 

Year. What would the new century bring ! cialist Industrial Republic, wnll have arisen, with 

What would the century bring to this weary, war- "healing in its wrings." 



Daniel De Leon As a Campaigner 



De Leon's ability as a public speaker w^as as great 
as his ability as a writer. Trained for the lecture 
platforms of the universities, he presented the mes- 
sage of Socialism from one end of America to an- 
other from both the street-corner '^soap-box" and 
the auditorium stage. 

His first tour for the Party w^as undertaken in 
1 89 1. It injected a new note in Socialist agitation 
that quickly transformed the Party. Unfortunately, 
most Socialist speakers of the time were long on sen- 
timent and words and short on logic and facts. The 
example of De Leon's mastery of his subject spurred 
the other speakers of the Party to attain a similar 
degree of mastery of the Marxian science that alone 
could lead the American workers to Socialism. 

The same year (1891) De Leon demonstrated 
that his campaigning was as vigorous as his organ- 
izing. Nominated for Governor of New^ York State, 
he convinced more than 13,000 workers that the So- 
cialist Labor Party was their party, a feat that had 
never been accomplished before. 

His greatest campaigns, however, were for of- 
fices of less prestige. The 1897 campaign in the 
Sixteenth Assembly District of New York City is still 
remembered by the "old-timers" as one of the great- 
est of all time. Under his tutelage, many of the Par- 
ty's most effective speakers received their training on 
the street corners of this district, as he w^ent from 
one meeting to another. 

Organizer, campaigner, lecturer, De Leon soon 
became a debater of the first rank. His first prom- 
inent victim was Job Harriman, a supporter of the 
A. F. of L. type of capitalist unionism. The subject- 
title, "The Socialist Trades and Labor Alliance versus 
the Pure and Simple Trade Union," attracted an au- 
dience that filled the Grand Opera House of New 
Haven. More prominent victims of his debating 
skill wxre the Attorney General of New York State, 
Thomas F. Carmody (who is said to have broken 



out in tears at his inability to meet De Leon's facts 
and logic), and the ex-State Treasurer of Pennsyl- 
vania, William H. Berry (w^hose cure-all for the ills 
of capitalism was the "trust-busting" that De Leon 
proved umvorkable). 

In parliamentary debate, too, De Leon proved 
himself without a master in the American labor 
movement. Time after time, when crackpots and 
more deliberate saboteurs attempted to disrupt the 
Party, De Leon showed a knowledge of Socialist 
principles and parliamentary procedure that entrap- 
ped the disrupters in their own plots. The minutes 
of meetings at which he took a prominent part, no- 
tably the first and second conventions of the Indus- 
trial Workers of the World, could easily serve as 
textbooks in the parliamentary application of Marx- 
ian tactics. 

A public speaker because of the need to agitate, 
educate and organize for Socialism, De Leon was no 
prima donna deliberately playing to the galleries. 
More than one observer, wathin and without the Par- 
ty, has noted his impatience with applause and hero 
worship. With him, they agreed It w^as w^hat he said 
that counted, not the applause he received. 

— John Timm. 



Reproduction of Socialist Labor Party 
Campaign Poster 

Used in De Leon's campaign in the Sixteenth Assembly 
District, New York, in 1897. The capitalist candidates in- 
cluded the notorious Republican ward-heeler, and later 
leader of the "anti-Tammany forces/' Sam Koenig. By ac- 
tual admission of the official watchers, De Leon gave Mr. 
Koenig an unmerciful beating. "Officially," the Tammany 
candidate "beat" De Leon, though it was well recognized 
that when a Tammany candidate "won" by the slim margin 
counted over De Leon, the counting of votes was more dis- 
honest than usual. 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



27 




ot\M.\st imR Party 

/^^ Vote ukder { / \ J^] this emblem 



^6tf Assembly D\st 




LMANOELKBRN. 



^OR AgSEMBty 




P^™ 




i^ili ^/i^ 





>y i«P 




28 



FIFTY YEARS 




The Socialist Labor Party 
and the Internationals 



B)' Eric Hass 



^ J| 'HE spirit of internationalism among the 
■ I *\ toilers of the world is not dead. It can- 
Vl/ not die. It hves despite the stupendous 
^!^ efforts of ruling classes of all countries to 
implant in their subjects the baneful spirit of nation- 
ahsm. It lives because the conditions which gave it 
birth, which first inspired the dream of a brother- 
hood of man, are present and cannot be eradicated. 
Capitalism is international Mutual conflicts between 
capitahst producing States and economic antagonisms 
inseparable from capitalism seem to belie this. As 
long as these conditions survive, they do indeed frus- 
trate any real and lasting International fraternity. 
But even as economic antagonisms between ruling 
classes developed and fanned the flames of interna- 
tional enmities, capitalism blazed and cut a way for 
InternationaHsm, an Internationalism that will one 
day effloresce in the International Socialist Republic 
of Labor. 

It was the bourgeoisie who battered down the 
provincialism of the Middle Ages. In the picturesque 
language of the "Communist Manifesto'': 

"The need of a constantly expanding market for 
its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole 
surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, set- 
tle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. 

"The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of 
the world's market given a cosmopolitan character to 
production and consumption in every country. To 



the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from 
under the feet of industry the national ground on 
which it stood. All old-established national indus- 
tries have been destroyed or are daily being de- 
stroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose 
introduction becomes a life and death question for 
all civilized nations, by industries that no longer 
work up indigenous raw material, but raw material 
drawn from the remotest zones, industries whose 
products are consumed, not only at home, but In ev- 
ery quarter of the globe. In place of old wants, sat- 
isfied by the productions of the country, we find new 
wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of 
distant lands and climes. In place of the old and 
national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have inter- 
course in every direction, universal interdependence 
of nations. And as in material, so also In Intellectual 
production. The intellectual creations of individua! 
nations become common property. National one- 
sldedness and narrow-mindedness become more and 
more impossible, and from the numerous national 
and local literatures there arises a worid literature. 

"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid Improvement of 
all instruments of production, by the immensely facili- 
tated means of communication, draws all, even the 
most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap 
prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with 
which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which 
it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of 
foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



29 



pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of 
production; it compels them to introduce what it calls 
civilization into their micist, i.e., to become bourgeois 
themselves. In one word, it creates a w^orld after its 
own image." 

While the capitalists thus penetrate the further- 




UUllv 



Karl Marx 

Founder of scientific Socialism and leading spirit of 
the First International. 



most portions of the globe, they endeavor to enclose 
their respective working classes within the confines 
of narrow nationalism in order to preserve dominion 
over them. But the struggle between the exploiters 
and the exploited, hke a taunting shadow, pursues 
capitalism everyw^here, awakening the w^orkers to a 
lively consciousness of their common interests and 
immunizing them to jingoistic appeals. 

Many factors tend to transform the instinctive 
internationalism of the working class into conscious 
internationalism. Paradoxically, one of these is war 
in which capitalist nationalism finds its highest ex- 
pression. For while w^ar, at its inception, may be 
the means of engendering chauvinism, its horrors, 
impinging w^ith special violence on the w^orkers, 
arouse in them first resentment, then rebellious oppo- 



sition to war and to the ruling class responsible for 
it. Rapidly it dawns upon the workers of each bel- 
ligerent nation that their *'foe," the working class 
aligned against them, is also the victim of ruhng 
class chicanery. Across the scarred battlefields an 
invisible bond connects the struggle each working 
class must conduct against its own despollers, be- 
tokening the fraternization of a new day. 

The final disillusionment comes when ruling 
classes unite against the threat of proletarian revolu- 
tion. After the experience of the Paris Commune 
seventy years ago, w^hen all the European Govern- 
ments attested to the international character of class 
rule by uniting to suppress it, Marx wrote: "Class 
rule is no longer able to disguise itself In a national 
uniform; the national Governments are one against 
the proletariat!" 

To say that instinctive, or even conscious, inter- 
nationalism among the workers was entirely respon- 
sible for their attempts to form international organ- 
izations, however, falls to tell the whole story. The 
International Workingmen's Association, the first 
international to have a distinct proletarian charac- 
ter,' for example, was inspired in some degree at 
least by the immediate material interests of the Brit- 
ish trade unions. The threat of imported labor 
from less advanced industrial nations on the Con- 
tinent, used by British employers to discourage 
strikes and demoralize strikers, could be met, British 
workers believed, only by dissuading their fellow 
workers on the other side of the Channel The con- 
ditions of their daily struggle thus gave impetus to 
the desire on the part of British workers to share 
their experience and join their efforts with the work- 
ers elsewhere. 

Founding of the First International. 

It is not our purpose to attempt a history of this 
first great conscious attempt to conjoin the interna- 
tional struggle of the proletariat, or to trace all the 
preliminary events and inspirational forces which 
culminated in that historic mass meeting at St. Mar- 
tin's Hall, London, September 28, 1864. It is a 
later drama with which we are primarily concerned, 
a drama which was to open just before the founding 
in America of the Socialist Labor Party. But salient 
features of the International Workingmen's Associ- 



iThe Communist League, though international in character, and 
accepting the principles of Socialist internationalism, was not an "in- 
ternational," in the sense in which that term is now understood. 
Engels described the Communist League as "a workingmen's associa- 
tion, first exclusively German, later on international, and, under the 
political conditions of the Continent before 184S, unavoidably a secret 
society." 



FIFTY YEARS 



ation are nonetheless essential as a backdrop before 
which subsequent history moved. 

Marx was on the platform at the St. Martin's 
Hall meeting, but he took no active part anci the 
newspapers failed to report his presence. Neverthe- 
less, he w^as its guiding spirit. It was Marx w^ho 
wrote the celebrated "Inaugural Address" and "Pro- 
visional Rules." They were not couched in the bold, 
challenging language of the "Communist Manifes- 
to." "Time is necessary," Marx wrote to Engels, 
"before the revived movement can permit itself the 
old audacious language. The need of the moment 
is: bold in matter, but mild in manner," But the 
"Address" and the "Provisional Rules" got the or- 
ganization off on a scientific basis. The "Address" 
traced a decade and a half of European history with 
special emphasis on the defeats of the working class. 
These were due to lack of solidarity, program and 
common aims. "To conquer political power has 
therefore become a great duty of the working class," 
it declared. "... .One element of success they pos- 
sess — numbers * but numbers weigh only in the bal- 
ance if united in combination and led by knowledge. 
Past experience has shown how disregard of that 
bond of brotherhood which ought to exist between 
the workmen of different countries and incite them 
to stand firmly by each other in all their struggles 
for emancipation, will be chastised by the common 
discomfiture of their incoherent efforts." The "Ad- 
dress" concluded with the injunction: "Proletarians 
of all countries, unite!" Here, in a few w^ords, the 
reasons for the founding of the International Work- 
ingmen's Association were set forth. 

The Preamble to the "Provisional Rules" charged 
that "the economical subjection of the man of labor 
to the monopolizer of the means of labor, that is, 
the sources of life, lies at the bottom of servitude In 
all its forms, of all social misery, mental degrada- 
tion, and political dependence." The economic 
emancipation of the working class "is therefore the 
great end to which every political movement ought 
to be subordinate." Its opening passage set forth 
the essence of the class struggle: "... .the emancipa- 
tion of the working classes must be conquered by the 
working classes themselves," Thus collaboration 
with radical bourgeois, the shoal upon which so many 
working class attempts at self-improvement and 
emancipation have foundered, was averted at the 
outset. 

The International, wrote Marx's biographer, 
Franz Mehring, was "neither an insignificant shadow 
nor a terrible menace, as it w^as described alternately 
by the fantasy of the capitalist ink-slingers." But its 
influence upon the contemporary history and the pro- 



letarian struggle was nonetheless great. When it was 
finally disbanded, Engels wrote to Sorge, its last 
General Secretary: "For ten years the International 
dominated one side of European history — the side 
on w^hich the future lies — and can look back upon Its 
work with pride." 




Friedrich Engels 

Co-worker of Karl Marx^ Engels lived to aid in launching 
the Second International. In his report to the Copen- 
hagen Congress in 19 10^ De Leon refers to a conversa- 
tion he held with Engels on a steamer which took the 
delegates to the Zurich Congress (1893) to the 
island of Ufenau. 



This was true notwithstanding the almost con- 
tinuous struggle within the International against the 
anarchists, reformers, sects anci "amateurish endeav- 
ors" which attempted to "bore from within" and op- 
pose the scientific Socialist movement. Indeed, be- 
cause of this struggle, a struggle in which Marx took 
a leading part. Socialist theory and tactics were clari- 
fied. Especially was this true of the political aspect 
of the movement under ceaseless attack from the 
Bakuninists (Anarchists). But each attack only eli- 
cited new clarifications, new proof that, In the lan- 
guage of Marx: 

"One day the w^orklng class must hold political 
powder In its hands in order to establish a new organ- 
ization of labor; it must overthrow the old political 
system which maintains the old institutions in being, 
unless it washes, like the early Christians who de- 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



3« 



spised and neglected such action, to renounce 'the 
kingdom of this world.' " 

But The Hague Congress of the International in 
1872, where these words were uttered, was its last. 
The defeat of the Paris Commune, which brought 
the International into real prominence for the first 
time, had been fatal. As after all major defeats of 
the proletariat, it was followed by a period of apa- 
thy which had to spend itself before a fresh assault 
on the despotism of capital could be made. To pre- 
vent the organization that had struck terror in the 
hearts of the oppressors all over Europe from falling 
into the hands of adventurers and reactionists, The 
Hague Congress voted to remove the General Coun- 
cil to New York where it lingered for a time. On 
July 15, 1876, the International held a convention in 
Philadelphia, attended only by American delegates. 
A formal resolution was adopted dissolving the As- 
sociation for an indefinite period, thus closing a chap- 
ter that had begun so auspiciously twelve years 
earlier. 

A few days after the International formally dis- 
banded, on July 19, in the same city, a "consolidation 
conference" was held between several workingmen's 
parties. They were, according to the historian, Stek- 
loff, the Social Democratic Working Men's Party of 
North America, with a membership of 1500; the 
Labor Party of Illinois, with a membership of 593; 
and the Socio-Polltical Labor Union of Cincinnati, 
with a membership of 250. Two celebrated interna- 
tionalists also participated. They were Friedrich 
Sorge, the successor of Marx as General Secretary 
of the International, and Georg Weydemeyer, jour- 
nalist and former colonel in the Union Army. Out 
of the conference came a new party, the Working 
Men's Party of the United States. At its second 
convention in December, 1877, in Newark, New Jer- 
sey, it changed its name to the Socialist Labor Par- 
ty of North America. 

11. 

"Events themselves and the Inevitable develop- 
ment and complexity of things will ensure the resur- 
rection of the International in an improved form," 
wrote Marx in 1873. It was fifteen years before his- 
tory confirmed his prophecy. In the interim two ill- 
starred attempts were made to organize a new inter- 
national. Both were on the initiative of the Belgian 
Socialists. 

A "Universal Socialist Congress" was called and 
held its sessions at Ghent in 1877. On the roster 
of delegates was one from the United States but he 
did not represent the Socialistic Labor Party which 



was founded that same year. He Avas the delegate 
of the Utopian group which founded the Oneida 
Community in New York State! The '^Universal So- 
cialist Congress" came to naught and only served to 
confirm the irreconcilability and incompatabllity of 



'MM^v 




CARD OF 

d. MemJber of the alcove Assoaaxwn tu. 
and paid 






\paid as ktsJanuaf Sudscn pCiorL ^^ ^ i f^-"^ /B^Y ^* <^« ^ 
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l>uI''^..a^ciaor.ii^/lriiea^r^!lajJomuJi dK:r^ <i!L,Jri,<:iZa^k^se sMsL ercbm ^i!rd^da-£a^pf''L^ 

,M^m^,trJ-^!d'^ I>^ oc^-up^^i^ u^U^e^^ d^Art^^r ^.U^d^.,^^.^r^ d^JH>^^^»>^^ '* ^ 

Card of Membership in the First International 

Note Marx's signature as the corresponding secretary 
for Germany. 



Socialists and anarchists, the latter being present at 
this '^socialist" congress in full force. 

In 1880 the Brussels Congress of the Belgian So- 
cialists once again issued a call for an international 
congress which was finally held in October, 1881, at 
Chur. The anarchists did not attend, but even though 
the delegates were spared the repetitious wrangling 
with their anti-political foes, nothing of lasting mi- 
portance was accomplished. However, the Chur 
Congress did bear witness to an invincible urge to m- 
ternationallsm among classconscious workers. And 
it also confirmed Marx's view that conditions were 
not yet ripe for launching a second International. 

The Socialistic Labor Party was four years old 
when the Chur Congress met. It sent as its delegate 
one McGuire, General Secretary of the United 



32 



FIFTY YEARS 



Brotherhood of Carpenters. McGuire took no re- 
port with him to the Congress, and, so far as the rec- 
ords reveal, brought none home other than the mani- 
festo recording the decision to postpone the founding 
of a permanent Sociahst international. 

When the International was finally resurrected as 
the Second International, "inevitable development" 
did indeed insure an improved composition, and, in 
a limited sense, an improved form. As the Russian 
historian, G. M. Stekloflf, notes in his comprehensive 
"History of the First International": 

"The First International contained the rudiments 
of all three of the fundamental trends of the contem- 
porary international working class movement; revo- 
lutionary communism [i.e., scientific Socialism] ; the 
moderate socialism or the class-collaborationists; and 

anarchism The Second International embodied 

only two of the trends, the revolutionary communist 
and the moderate socialist or class-collaborationist; 
for the anarchists were quite outside the framework 
of this new body." 

The S.L.P. and the Founding of a 
Second InternationaL 

The two irreconcilable trends were subsequently 
to wrack the Second International with incessant con- 
flict, but at the Founding Congress which met in 
Paris from July 14 to 21, 1889, simultaneously with 
the Paris Centennial, mutual antagonism was eclipsed 
by the high hopes and boundless enthusiasm of the 
delegates. It was at this Congress that the Socialist 
Labor Party, or rather, the Socialistic Labor Party, 
made its debut on the international Socialist scene. 

J. F. Busche was its delegate. He was accom- 
panied by J. E. Miller, representing the United 
Jewish Trade Unions of New York. In one of 
Busche's reports, published in the Workmen's Advo- 
cate^ August 24, 1889, he explains apologetically that 
he "arrived at the place of meeting two days late. . . . 
Some slight defect caused an inadequate supply of 
steam, and the speed of the vessel [he sailed on] 
was thereby lessened. ..." Another delay was oc- 
casioned by his attendance at "another congress by 
mistake." ! 

The other congress called itself the "Possibilist 
Congress" after the Possibilist Party of France 
(Parti Ouvrier). By implication the Socialist, or 
Marxist, congress was, in its estimation, "impos- 
sibilist."^ The S.L.P. had received invitations to both 



^The designations "possibilism" and "imipossibilism" are not un- 
familiar to the American movement. Here, some years later, the ac- 
cent was placed on the alleged '*impossibilism" of the S.L.P. by the 
"possibilist" (and decidedly opportunistic) Socialist party. 



congresses and these haci been printed in full in the 
JVorkmen's Advocate (June 15, 1889). The "Pos- 
sibilists" transmitted their appeal through a mani- 
festo issued by the Social-Democratic Federation of 
England. The manifesto assured the S.L.P. that it 
was the biggest and represented the most "success- 
ful" parties. It did not convey, however, that their 
"successes" were achieved by adorning bourgeois 
programs with "socialist" phrases. The rival con- 
gress, it said, was the work of designing men who 
met in caucus at The Hague. 

"The chief promoters of The Hague Caucus and 
of the rival Congress in Paris," it said, "are La- 
fargue, Guesde, Mrs. Eleanor Marx Aveling (whose 
sister, a daughter of Karl Marx, Lafargue married), 
Bernstein (editor of the Sozial Demokrat)^ Bebel 
and Liebknecht. Friedrich Engels is in full accord 
with their proceedings." 

The manifesto closed with the appeal: 

"Comrades and fellow citizens, the facts are be- 
fore you. It is for you to see to it that your cause, 
the cause of the workers of the world, is not deliber- 
ately injured by those who should be the first to sup- 
press their personal jealousies for the sake of So- 
cialism." 

How familiar this argument is ! Totally unable 
to discern any issue of principle, completely absorbed 
in their own ambitious designs, frustration alone 
could explain to them the conduct of their adversa- 
ries. 

By contrast, the invitation to the International 
Socialist Workingmen's Congress AvhoUy ignored the 
"Possibilists." It set forth the proposed agenda 
simply and asked that it be studied. "We invite the 
Socialist and workingmen's organizations of Europe 
and America to this Congress," it said, "which will 
lay the foundations of the union of the workers and 
the Socialists of both hemispheres." 

Somewhat perturbed by this division, the Work- 
men's Advocate suggested that the two congresses 
might "amalgamate." "It might be well, in view oi' 
the circumstances, for organizations to provide their 
delegates with credentials to both congresses. . . .," 
it advised. Evidently this advice was unheeded, 
however, for the S.L.P. delegate attended the Pos- 
sibilist congress "by mistake." 

Considerable sentiment prevailed at the "Marx- 
ist" congress (which the S.L.P. delegate shared) to 
combine the two congresses, but when an invitation 
was despatched to the Possibilists (and happily re- 
jected), it vanished. 

The American delegation appeared to be unawed 
by illustrious names. This is not to imply that they 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



evinced any lack of respect or admiration for the in- 
tellectual attainments or integrity of those whose ac- 
tivities in the European movement had raised them 
to international prominence. But America was al- 
ready high above most European nations in its indus- 
trial development and, above all, in its political de- 
velopment. Moreover, the class struggle in America 
was unclouded by feudal influences which lingered in 
Europe and which compelled the movement there to 
divert its strength and do the work the bourgeois rev- 
olutions left uncompleted. It Avas for this reason, 
and not because of any inflated conception of their 
own intellectual endowments, that the American dele- 
gates looked askance upon the indirect language of 
certain resolutions adopted by the Congress and 
thought their own direct, outspoken resolutions supe- 
rior. 

Genesis of May Day, 

But there was no doubt concerning their hearty 
concurrence with the resolution calling upon workers 
throughout the world to demonstrate for an eight- 
hour day on the First of May, and, simultaneously, 
to demonstrate their international solidarity. Some 
confusion has arisen over the origin of this historic 
resolution. It is beheved that Boris Reinstein, rene- 
gade Socialist Labor Party man who (if still alive) 
is today a clerk in a Soviet governmental depart- 
ment, was present at the Paris Congress. This we 
are unable to confirm. But in his pamphlet, 'interna- 
tional May Day and American Labor Day," Rein- 
stein says: "May Day was created by a resolution 
adopted, upon the initiative of American Social- 
ists . . . . " The language of the resolution would 
seem to confirm this, for it includes a reference to the 
American Federation of Labor which had "decided 
to hold such a demonstration on May 2 [sic], 1890." 



However, in the Workmen's Advocate, August 17, 
it is reported that the resolution was introduced by 
"Delegate Lavigne of Bordeaux (submitted at the 
request of the French National Federation of Labor 
and Trades Organizations) ." Again, in the issue of 
August 24, under the heading, "Incidents of the Con- 
gress," the following paragraph appears: 

"One of the French delegates circulated a set of 
resolutions to the effect that all labor organizations 
throughout the world be recommended to make a 
grand eight-hour demonstration and demand on the 
first of May, 1890. The signatures were secured 
and the resolution passed." 

That the American delegates helped to frame the 
resolution is a logical assumption in view of the dis- 
tinctly American reference, possibly they aided in 
getting the required signatures, but this does not 
seem to justify the language held by Reinstein. 

The reports sent to the Workmen's Advocate by 
Busche convey little information of real importance, 
especially w^hen they are compared to the graphic and 
detailed despatches of Lucien Sanial and Daniel De 
Leon reporting subsequent congresses. Their inter- 
est is largely due to the impressions they convey of 
this historic Founding Congress. Busche, for exam- 
ple, describes in some detail a reception extended to 
the delegates by the municlpahty of Paris at the Ho- 
tel dc Ville: "We were received at the head of the 
grand staircase by Comrades Vaillant, Longuet and 
others of the Municipal Council, and were ushered 
into the brilliantly lighted halls of this most palatial 
edifice, the like of which I have never seen." Im- 
pressed as he was, Busche was far from dazzled. In 
the same despatch he writes: 

"But, after all, comrades, I feel an irresistible im- 
pulse and desire to go to work for our glorious cause 




{• OfSlQntP-To-ConA^f\ORMt THt-lK[feftNWioNAU* LA50UR- DAY' nAVl- 
r.AND'DeD!CATcD-ToTH€W/-\Cjg-VoR>g£gS-OF.AL\-- CO UM-rRlfeS c^^^^^ : 



34 



FIFTY YEARS 



in fair America, which I deem more than ever the 
hope of all nations, the place where Sociahsm will 
grow and spread its benign influence and power over 
all lands. Let there be friendly emulation between 
the Sociahsts of all countries. We shall 'get there/ 
I am sure; but I think America, with its rapidly de- 
veloping capitalist system, stands a good chance of 
'getting there' first, backed by wise tactics of Amer- 
ican Sociahsts." 

In October, 1889, the S.L.P. met in national con- 
vention and formally endorsed the resolutions 
adopted at Paris. It was now a full-fledged member 
of the international Socialist family. 

Ignorance of European Socialists on 
Affairs American. 

The Socialist Labor Party's experience in the 
Second International was not altogether a happy 
one. Europe, as we have said, mirrored America's 
industrial and poUtical past and the European Social- 
ist movement logically reflected these backward con- 
ditions. Yet, so preoccupied were the European par- 
ties with their immediate problems, and sometimes 
with their own imagined importance and exagger- 
ated superiority in the realm of ''practical" Sociahst 
politics, that the information conveyed to the Con- 
gresses by S.L.P. delegates was more often than not 
treated with condescension or disdain. Even fore- 
most European Marxian scholars seemed utterly in- 
capable of understanding the significance of the high- 
er point of vantage enjoyed by the S.L.P., or of 
grasping how this vantage point made it possible for 
the S.L.P. to espy pitfalls concealed to them. 

On the other hand, membership in the Second 
International, precisely because its policies were dom- 
inated by Socialists from nations Industrially and po- 
litically undeveloped, yielded little that was aldful to 
the movement in America. 

"... .1 must tell you," said De Leon when the 
question of instructing the S.L.P. delegate to the sec- 
ond Paris Congress [Lucien Sanial] was before the 
1900 Party Convention, "that no amount of speeches 
to be made there, no amount of writings you can 
write upon the subject, can educate those people upon 
America." 

To support this allegation De Leon recalled sev- 
eral nonsensical statements printed in European So- 
cialist publications and uttered with reckless abandon 
by European Socialists of considerable reputation, 
"A little magazine called Le Mouvement Socialiste 
.... announced that there was in the United States 
a tremendous Socialist movement; it was the great 



and grand American Federation of Labor, led by 
that great Socialist, Sam Gompers. In Germany, in 
Die Neue Zeit, run by Karl Kautsky, there was an 
article written by a German in Indianapolis, Rap- 
paport. Rappaport had just written a pamphlet for 
McKinley in the campaign of 1896! .... his article 




William Morr^ 
SVCxKirid -fi-om 



was .... written to show that there was no Socialist 
Labor Party in the United States. And that thing 
was printed, and, when objection was raised, they 
told us : 'Oh, well, we know this comrade and he is 
a very good comrade.' " Even the noble and uncom- 
promising Wilham Llebknecht ventured to speak 
with "authority" on the basis of misinformation sent 
him by "good comrades" in the United States. In 
a conversation with an S.L.P. member he said: "I 
have made inquiries and I find that all the charges 
made by the Socialist Labor Party against Debs are 
wrong." With certain notable exceptions the years 
failed to enlighten European Socialist leaders on af- 
fairs American. Theirs was a cultivated ignorance 
on matters American. Years later, at the Congress 
at Stuttgart (1907) an S.L.P. delegate was ap- 
proached and asked If there were "any prominent 
American Socialists in the American delegation — 
Mr. Gompers, for Instance?"!!! 

There was abundant evidence in the several In- 
ternational Socialist Congresses of the theoretic 
backwardness of the European Socialist movements 
when compared to the cHp and clear principles of the 
Marxian S.L.P. Indeed, so loose and lax was their 
conduct at times and so utterly without justification 
on Socialist grounds were their actions that it is dif- 
ficult for contemporary De Leonists to understand 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



35 



why the Party remained so long affiliated. The Party 
did consider withdrawing in 1903, but the resolution 
to sever connections with the International was de- 
feated when submitted to a referendum vote. There 
was one lone reason for maintaining this relationship 
and it prevailed. That was the pure sentiment of 
mternationalism, the feehng that to sever our ties 
with the International would be, in a sense, a repudi- 
ation of this sentiment. It is significant that De Leon, 
whose integrity and internationalism were never ques- 
tioned, favored the resolution to withdraw. 

The Sentiment of Internationalism. 

Discussing the merit of Socialist International 
Congresses at the Tenth National Convention of the 
S.L.P. in 1900, De Leon described them as "essen- 
tially peace manifestations. . . .intended to warn the 
capitalist governments of Europe. . . .that their ar- 
mies, however well disciplined and managed, may 
not respond to the order, in case of war, as enthusi- 
astically as they did when there were no Socialists 
among them." 

*'I can understand," said De Leon, "how, in a 
continent that is barely as large as the whole United 
States, and consists of about sixteen nations, perpetu- 
ally within an inch of one another's throats, such a 
convention has a practical significance. . . .however 
negative. For the rest, as to the international fea- 
tures that attract Sociahsts so much, I do not see that 
any such conventions are necessary any more than 
conventions of capitalists to establish the fact that 
capitalism is, and must be, and cannot be otherwise 
than international. Capitalism is international, and 
so is Socialism to be, and Sociahsm would not be in- 
ternational if capitalism were not. It is only in propor- 
tion as it becomes international capitalism that So- 
cialism becomes so. In this view, the congress is a 
matter of sentiment, and it is properly a matter of 
sentiment. I am not of those who would make out 
of man an artificial being apart from the feelings. 
The Social Revolution is expected to be the culminat- 
ing revolution of the human race. It is perfectly just 
that all nations should indicate by some tangible dem- 
onstration that they are brothers. Were it not for 
that, I would at previous occasions have moved to 
save the Party the money, the time and, I must say, 
the delegate the annoyance of sitting in one of these 
conventions." 

Again, as though to underscore the lone reason 
for S.L.P. affiliation with the International, De Leon 
said: 

"I do not believe it matters much to us whether 



we are there represented or not, but .... I would 
rather not have it appear that the Socialist Labor 
Party is disconnected from the international move- 
ment — that sentimental feeling " 

For the first time since the founding of both the 
Socialist Labor Party and the Second International, 
the Party's claim of representing exclusively the So- 
cialist movement in America w^as to be challenged 
at the Paris Congress (1900). The Kangaroos\ 
having hastily united their scattered forces with 
Debs's Utopian followers in the West, had let it be 
known that they, too, planned to send a delegation to 
the Paris Congress. Some delegates to the S.L.P. 
Convention believed that if the Kangaroo delegation 
was seated by the International Congress, the S.L.P. 
should withdraw. Others favored an amendment to 
the motion for withdrawal, demanding of the Inter- 
national Congress the "privilege of sitting apart 
from such impure delegations, to which a seat could 
not be granted if our European comrades understood 
the situation in America," The amendment prevailed 
and Sanial accordingly demanded and received the 
consent of the Congress to sit apart. 

Thus began a long, sometimes amusing, some- 
times tragic, struggle between the Sociahst Labor 
Party and the Socialist party beyond the boundaries 
of the United States In the International movement, 
a struggle we shall return to in a subsequent chapter. 
The disgust evidenced by many S.L.P. members for 
the International was provoked not only by the per- 
versity exhibited by European parties toward the 
American movement. They were also profoundly 
disturbed by the unmistakable anti-Marxism and 
giddy opportunism revealed by the alarming conduct 
of some of the most prominent affiliates of the In- 
ternational both in and out of the Congresses. By 
this time the S.L.P. had had considerable experi- 
ence wnth the International. Besides sending dele- 
gates to the Founding Congress at Paris, it had 
sent delegates to the Founding Congress at Paris, it 
had sent delegations to the congresses at Brussels in 
I 891 (Sanial), Zurich in 1893 (De Leon and Sanial, 
the latter officially representing the Central Labor 
Federations of New York and Brooklyn), and Lon- 
don in 1896 (Matthew Maguire and Sanial, the lat- 
ter representing the Socialist Trades and Labor Alli- 
ance) . Moreover, the contacts which had been made 
with outstanding leaders of the European Socialist 
movement, resulting in exchange of official newspa- 



^In 1899 there occurred a split in the Socialist Labor Party over 
the immediate question of ownership of the Party press. The crowd 
of stockholders and followers of the Volkszeitung Corporation which 
attempted to usurp the name and functions of the Socialist Labor 
Party were called ''Kangaroos." For the derivation of this designa- 
tion, see 'Daniel De Leon — a Symposium." 



3(> 



FIFTY YEARS 



pers and correspondence, had kept the S.L.P. fully 
apprised of the trends and events there. We shall 
confine ourselves here to but two of the questions 
which aroused apprehension in the S.L.P. The first 
was a tragi-comedy, amusing in itself, but one which 
sheds abundant light on the malignant cross-currents 
that subsequently diverted European Socialism into 
the swamps of opportunism and social patriotism. 
The second was an event of well-nigh catastrophic 
proportions which convulsed the entire International 
movement for more than four years. 

A Tragi-Comedy in London, 

The tragi-comedy was enacted at the London 
Congress of 1896. For some unknown reason the 
rules of this Congress provided that each delegation 
should pass on its own credentials, subject to appeal 
to the Congress. Besides Sanial and McGuire in the 
American delegation there were Arthur Keep, an 
S.L.P. member representing the Washington (D.C.) 
Federation of Labor; Arthur F. Bechtold, of the 
Brewers' National Union; and Mrs. Charlotte P. 
Stetson, of the Alameda (California) Federation 
of Trades. It will be noted here that the Interna- 
tional did not exclude representatives of organiza- 
tions which occupied much of their time assailing So- 
cialism. But the admission of "pure and simple" 
union delegates appears almost a virtuous act com- 
pared to the one which subsequently caused the S.L. 
P. and S.T. & L,A. delegates to throw up their hands 
in despair. 

In addition to those already named, there were 
two more Americans in London in possession of the 
provisional cards of admission issued by the arrange- 
ment committee. They represented (of all things) 
a New York hack owners' association! The S.L.P. 
delegates were stunned by this impudence, but not 
the duo of "pure and simpiers." These professed to 
see "no harm" in admitting representatives of an em- 
ployers' organization to a Socialist Congress, and 
were, indeed, amazed at the "intolerance" of Sanial 
and McGuire! In reporting the incident to The 
People^ Sanial wrote of Mrs. Stetson who voted with 
Bechtold to admit the hack owners' delegates that 
she "claimed for herself the right *to do good' wher- 
ever she pleased, whether it was on a Socialist, Dem- 
ocratic, Republican or Populist platform" 1 

Outrageous though the offense was, its enormity 
was heightened by the "hacks' " vulgar and insolent 
conduct at the delegation's meeting. The American 
delegation had before it a resolution passed at the 
Zurich Congress on the exclusion of anarchists. 
"When McGuire took the vote of the American 



delegation upon the Zurich resolution," reported 
Sanial, "Winston [one of the hack owners' dele- 
gates] turned to us and said, viciously, *If you admit 
us you can put us dow^n for the resolution; but, if 
you don't, count us one against it.' " The resolution 
carried with the American delegation, but when it 



NT EKTiKTIOM7\L SOCIALIST- AWDl 
• TRADE UNIOH CONCFCtSS • *-*~ 



QM EE,r4'3 -HALL- LAKGHAn- 
PLACERECEMT Sie-LOHDOH 

• BELLCTVTE'SCARDOFMEn^ 

■ Tgvmi- . / ^16 ...... 

. Cduntry. . TZmcc 

f ^riLLlAn- THORWE. 



Delegate's Card to the International Socialist 
Congress, London, 1896 

It was designed by the Socialist artist^ Walter Crane^ who 
also designed the charters for the Socialist Labor Party. 



reported '*aye" to the Congress ''the hack rose and 
protested vehemently; which at once won for him the 
anarchists and all their supporters In the British dele- 
gation." 

In accordance with the rules, the "hacks" were 
privileged to carry their case before the Congress, 
which they did when the American delegation re- 
ported. Winston argued with a brazen impudence 
(with which Sanial and McGuire were now familiar) 
that "the principle of his association was thoroughly 
Socialistic; for its members 'employed union men 
and paid union wages.' " "Singular to say," Sanial 
drily commented, "nobody laughed." 

Sanial replied by recounting to the Congress what 
had transpired with reference to the Zurich resolu- 
tion at the meeting of the American delegation. 
"Here, somewhat to my astonishment," he wrote to 
The People, "the well-known Fabian mouthpiece, 
Bernard Shaw, asked the chairman to rule upon the 
question, whether the fact that a delegate belonged 
to the middle class was a fatal bar to his admission." ! 
The chairman of the Congress, however, ignored 
Shaw's clownish sophistry, and quickly put the ques- 
tion of the hack owners' admission to a vote by a 
show of hands. Wrote Sanial: "And such a show 



OF AMERICAX MARXISM 



of hands you never saw — and I hope will never see 
again — at a bona fide labor congress. Here were 
together, raised in sweet sympathy, the hairy paw 
of anarchism, the dainty fingers of Fabianism, and 
the horny hand of Pure and Simplism." Bechtold 
and Mrs. Stetson voted to admit the "hacks," but 
''the Socialists, chiefly in other nationalities than the 
British, did not seem to understand at all the ques- 
tion" and few voted. Thus the world was treated 
to the amazing spectacle of a Socialist Congress, os- 
tensibly concerned with the question of overthrowing 
bourgeois rule, admitting to active participation in 
its councils two unprinciplecl representatives of the 
bourgeois foe ! 

A fillip to this affair occurred when the "hacks" 
voted against the admission of the anarchists to 
whom they were largely indebted for their seats in the 
Congress. A French lady anarchist, incensed by their 
action, sent Winston a note in French which he asked 
Sanial to translate. It read: "I consider it an indig- 
nity that a man indebted for his admission to the tol- 
erance of the Congress should vote for the exclusion 
of other men, infinitely better entitled than he is to a 
seat at the council of labor." The "hack" winced and 
sent a verbal reply via Sanial which Sanial "transmit- 
ted faithfully." The reply was that "he [Winston] 
did not know he had voted for the exclusion of any- 
body; he had not understood the question and did 
not know what he was voting for." ! The following 
day Winston fell asleep and "no uproar could wake 
him up until the time of adjournment had come." 

The Battle Against Millerandism. 

Looking backward, the Socialist Labor Party 
may feel a justifiable pride in its conduct as an affili- 
ate of the Second International. The most searching 
examination of the record fails to reveal a single in- 
stance in which it retreated from the line of the class 
struggle, or when it dipped its colors or compromised 
with the phllistine elements within the International. 
Nor were S.L.P. delegations at the International 
Congresses mugwumps who, for reasons of policy or 
indecision, refrained from taking definite positions on 
fundamental issues. There was an aggressive assur- 
ance about their conduct, which more than once 
brought credit to the Party, and recognition from 
uncompromising European Marxists who fought op- 
portunism in their parties. And never was this dem- 
onstrated more dramatically than at the Paris and 
Amsterdam Congresses in 1900 and 1904, where the 
infamous Kautsky resolution, presupposing "the pos- 
sibility of impartiality on the part of ruling class gov- 
ernments in the conflicts between the working class 



and the capitalist class," was adopted and, in effect, 

rescinded. 

The Kautsky resolution was the climax of a cause 
celebre that had wracked and split the French Social- 
ist movement, the acceptance by the "socialist" Mll- 
lerand of a portfolio in the Waldeck-Rousseau min- 
istry where he sat cheek by jowl with Galliffet, the 
butcher of the Paris Commune/ Not only had Mll- 
lerand violated the fundamental principle without 
which Socialism becomes a cruel hoax on the workers, 
to wit, the principle that the "working class must 
achieve emancipation through its own classconscious 
efforts," but he had, by remaining in the Cabinet, ac- 
cepted responsibility for the cold-blooded slaughter 
of striking workers at Martinique and Chalon. These 
murderous attacks by French troops had been either 
authorized or ordered by the Cabinet, and, although 
Mlllerand may not have directly participated, his cul- 
pability was beyond question. As De Leon pointed 
out in a Daily People editorial on Millerandism (Oc- 
tober 22, 1900) : "The theory of ^Cabinet Govern- 
ment' is that the collective act of the Cabinet is the 
individual act of all its members, and that the indivi- 
dual act of any one member is the act of all. The 
Cabinet Minister who refuses to shoulder respon- 
sibility for any act of his colleagues resigns; if he 
does not resign, he approves." 

Mlllerand did not resign. Instead, he went 
around the. country denouncing the class struggle as 
inhuman and falsely imputing to it the fatuous doc- 
trine of "class hatred." "Love, not hatred," he said, 
"will emancipate the working class." Naturally, the 
capitalists were delighted with this breaking off of 
the point of the class struggle and thought they had 
at last discovered an effective strategy to defeat So- 
cialism. Marcel Mielvague, described as "a cool- 
headed bourgeois," put it in these words: 

"A Socialist who consents to administer the for- 
tunes of a bourgeois State is no longer a danger to 
such a State. He may force it to consent to some re- 
forms, the most indispensable and pressing. He 
thereby pacifies the opinion that elected him; weakens 
the anger and force of the demands of the masses. 
Accordingly, it is profitable to confiscate for the bene- 
fit of [bourgeois] society the most intelligent and ar- 
dent leaders of the opposition. To call them to pow- 
er is a sort of honorable way of placating them.'* 

The Mlllerand affair raised the question of So- 



^The portfolio Mlllerand was given by the cagy French bourgeois 
was that of Minister of Commerce which had more patronage to . 
give away than any of the others. The corrupting influences of such 
a post are implicit in the fact that the Ministry of Commerce con- 
trolled the post office, for instance, with its 100,000 places, and the 
"bureau de Tabac" with its 200,000, 



I 



38 



FIFTY YEARS 




The International Socialist Congress, Paris, 1900 

This sketch appeared in L' Illustration. Jules Guesde, the most prominent foe of 
Juaresism in France, is speaking. 



cialist participation in bourgeois governments before 
the Paris Congress of the International. Two reso- 
lutions were introduced, one by Guesde of the Parti 
Ouvrier Socialiste (Socialist Labor party), and one 
by Karl Kautsky of the German Social-Democratic 
party. The Guesde resolution demanded that ''Un- 
der a capitalist regime .... Socialists should occupy 
those positions only which are elective, that is, those 
positions only which their party can conquer with its 
own forces by the action of the w^orkers organized 
into a class party; and this necessarily forbids all So- 
cialist participation in capitalist government against 
which Socialists must preserve an attitude of uncom- 
promising opposition." 

The Kautsky resolution, w^hich later w^as referred 
to wittily as the "Kaouchouc (India rubber) resolu- 
tion," because of the conflicting constructions put 
upon it, was artfully evasive, but implicitly presup- 
posed Impartiality on the part of capitalist govern- 
ments '*in the struggle between capital and labor." 



S.L,P. Takes Its Stand on the Class Struggle. 

The Socialist Labor Party delegation of six, 
which was headed by Lucien Sanial, included E. Ar- 
naelsteen. Arnaelsteen it was who first opposed the 
Kautsky resolution and spoke for the Guesde resolu- 
tion in ''concise and unmistakable language." It 
was before the Ninth Commission, the committee to 
which both resolutions were referred. On the com- 
mission sat most of the celebrated figures of the in- 
ternational Socialist movement. P. Kretlow, an S.L. 
P. delegate who substituted for Sanial on the Ninth 
Commission while Sanial was occupied on the com- 
mission of trusts, reported in detail on the reception 
accorded Aniaelsteen^s reasoned address. ". . .those 
'great, wise men' of the international movement did 
not think it w^orth their while to listen to our com- 
rade who w^as not yet a leading light, and Jaures, 
Auer and Adler began to entertain each other so 
audibly that Arnaelsteen stopped speaking, saying to 



OF AMERICAN \L\RXISM 



39 



got through. Jaures tried to excuse himself by say- 
ing he was translating Arnaelsteen's speech to Auer, 
which was false." The rebuke had its effect and Ar- 
naelsteen thereupon concluded his remarks. 

At this moment, Kretlow reports, Sanial arrived 
and registered to 
address delivered in Arlingtp 
shortly after returning from Paris, Sanial said: 



the chairman that he would wait till these gentlemen by Guesde, Enrico Ferrl (who declared that he did 

so in duty to his conscience, but wasn t sure he repre- 
sented majority Italian sentiment), and the delegate 
from Bulgaria. 

The matter then went before the Congress where, 
after a lively debate in which Sanial did not take part 

speaI^Dircu7singTheTn7den^^ an (Debate was suddenly shut off at the very moment 
1 in Arlington Hall, New York, when his turn to speak came!), the Kautsky resolu- 
tion carried 29 to 9. Each nationality cast 2 votes. 
Of the American votes the S.L.P. delegation control- 
''In the Ninth Commission, when this resolution j^j ^^^^ one. The other was cast by the delegates of 
the [Kautsky resolution] was read, I looked as if I ^he Debs-Kangaroo Social Democracy (Socialist par- 
w^ondered whether I stood on my head and saw all |-y) for the Kautsky resolution. And no doubt, with 
things inverted. The silence w^as deep while I said: [^ ^^,ent the prayer that they, too, might one day have 

a Millerand! 

In his Arlington Hall address Sanial said of the 

Congress : 

'Tt was evident all through the Congress that 
bourgeois thought dominated its action. German 
small traders, Belgian cooperative society clerks, who 
through their stores form an immense bureaucracy. 
Ambitious men who desire portfolios, the Cabmet 
Socialists, and the English muddleheads were all in 
control Against this mass of reaction the American 
delegation [S.L.P.], the Parti Ouvrier, Ferri of 
Italy with the Bulgarian and Irish delegations stood 
like a stone w^all." 

Kretlow's irreverence for the supposed puissance 
of the ''great, wise men" bordered on the puckish. 



'Comrades, I never expected such a production from 
one supposed to be a veteran exponent of scientific 
Socialism. It was wnth profound sorrow that we in 
America heard of the acceptance of a portfolio by 
Millerand, but it would have been with a sorrow far 
deeper still that we would have heard of his accep- 
tance with the sanction of the Socialist party of 
France. If this resolution is adopted, a cry of indig- 
nation wall rise from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
among our militants, and a corresponding cry of de- 
rision will rise from our capitalist parties. If it is 
permissible for a prominent member of a Socialist 
party to accept a high position in a capitalist govern- 
ment, why should it not be permissible for the hum- 
bler ones to accept lower offices under the same cir- 
cumstances? You open the door to bribery and cor 



ruption from top to bottom. You establish in the 'Tor myself," he wrote, "I will say that I have met 

party the very condition of affairs which we denounce men here who are considered Socialists and were del- 

so bitterly in the American labor movement. This egates that we in the States would take by the slack 

resolution repudiates the past, and is a stain on the of the pants and kick through the door." He valued 



historic records of Socialism.' 



While Sanial thus "expressed his astonishment 
at the attitude of the revolutionary Kautsky," Kret- 
low wrote, "Adler .... called mockingly across the 
table to Kautsky: 'Karl, Du bist ein schlechtes- 
Luder!' (You are a bad egg!)" "Then," Kretlow 

continued, "I asked these two wise men, Auer and father with his sons. 
Adler, being quite close to me, and who were now dis- 
cussing the 'impartiality,' whether they could name 
me ONE ministry that w^as impartial, but unfortu- 
nately I am no leading light either, and only Adler 
condescended to reply with a shrugging of the shoul- 
ders." 



the opportunity, however, to "judge the movement 
according to the economic development of the coun- 
try." He was proud of the Socialist Labor Party 
delegation of "six of those 'narrow,' 'intolerant,' 
'abusive,' etc., members of the, in my mind, most ad- 
vanced and best disciplined organization of the 
world; in the midst of whom Sanial appeared like a 



Vindication at Amsterdam, 



The second and final official chapter was written 
to the affaire Millerand and the Kautsky resolution 
four years later at Amsterdam. As its delegate to 
that Congress the Party sent its most distinguished 
member, the foremost American Marxist, Daniel 
De Leon. De Leon was a member of the Congress 
Committee on International Political Policy, or, as 



When the vote w^as taken in the Ninth Commis- 
sion on the Guesde and Kautsky resolutions, it stood 
4 to 24. Let it be said to the undying credit of the 

S.L.P. that in the face of opposition little short of he aptly designated it, "the committee to rectify the 

hostility, its vote was cast with the minority for the blunder of the last International Congress." Bv this 

Guesde resolution. The other three votes were cast time the evils of Miller andism had become so con- 






40 



FIFTY YEARS 



spicuous that many of those who supported the 
Kautsky resolution at Paris were compelled, reluc- 
tantly, to admit their error. Whereas only 4 votes 
were cast for the Guesde resolution, or against the 
Kautsky resolution, in the committee at Paris, and 24 
for the Kautsky resolution, fully three-fourths of the 
Committee on International Political Policy at Am- 
sterdam wanted somehow to repeal it. "Of these," 
wrote De Leon in his prehminary report, *'I held 
the extreme position — extreme in the sense that I 
moved plump and plain its repeal. I did not typify 
this element; the bulk of it, either out of considera- 
tion for Kautsky, or out of consideration for the 
German Social Democracy, or out of some other 
reasons, preferred to proceed with a tender hand 
and in a roundabout way." 

The story of what transpired at Amsterdam is 
told comprehensively in the series of reports, essays 
and thumbnail sketches De Leon wrote for the Daily 
People and which are pubhshed in book form as 
|Tlashlights of the Amsterdam Congress." But 
"Flashlights" is more than a report. It is a master- 
ful analytic critique of the European Socialist move- 
ment, indispensable not only to an understanding of 
the causal factors of the ignominious rout of Social 
Democracy, but to an understanding of contempo- 
rary European history as well. The rise of totalita- 
rianism on the Continent was due, not to the strength 
of Nazi-Fascist hoodlums and their industrialist spon- 
sors, but to the weakness of the working class a 

weakness whose cause may be traced back to the in- 
fections spread by Social Democracy, back to the 
compromises made for the sake of "unity" and "big- 
ness" by the German Social Democracy at Gotha in 
1875. "Flashlights" limns both the past and the 
future^ foretelling in unequivocal language of logic 
and vigor the consequences of compromise with the 
foe and of what Marx so aptly designated "parlia- 
mentary idiocy." "Flashlights" also gives the he to 
those who attacked De Leon and the S.L.P. as **doc- 
trinaire," and who pleaded "tolerance" as a shield 
for their own treachery. It is a veritable monument 
to Marxian-Morgan dialectics, and affords the great- 
est American exponent of this method of reasoning 
the opportunity to discuss the movement in other 
countries in relation to the material and political con- 
ditions prevailing in them. 



"Both Kautsky and Jaures have agreed that an 
International Congress can do no more than estab- 
hsh cardinal general principles; and they both agree 
that concrete measures of pohcy must be left to the 
requirements of individual countries. So do I hold. 
Kautsky scored the point against Jaures that the lat- 




Lucien Sanial 

Frequent delegate of the Socialist Labor Party to the 

earlier International Congresses. Lucien Sanial edited 

The People when it was first launched but resigned 

within a year on the plea of poor eyesight. 



De Leon Nails Kautsky. 

In his "preliminary report" (pubhshed in "Flash- 
hghts") De Leon reproduced the substance of his ad- 
dress before the committee. Guesde had spoken; 
Jaures followed with a rebuttal and Kautsky an- 
swered him; De Leon replied to Kautsky saying: 



ter is estopped from objecting to decrees by the con- 
gress on concrete matters of policy, because Jaures 
voted In Paris for the Kautsky resolution. That ar- 
gument also is correct, and being correct it scores a 
point against Kautsky himself, at the same time. His 
argument is an admission that his resolution goes be- 
yond the theoretical sphere which, according to him- 
self, It IS the province of an International Congress 
to legislate upon. It must be admitted that the coun- 
tries of the sisterhood of nations are not all at the 
same grade of social development. We know that 
the bulk of them still are hampered by feudal condi- 
tions. The concrete tactics, applicable and permis- 
sible in them, are Inapplicable and unpermissible In a 
republic like the United States, for instance. But the 
sins of the Kautsky resolution are more serious than 
even that Kautsky just stated that his resolution 
contemplated only an extreme emergency — ^a war, 
for instance, and that he never could or did contem- 
plate the case of a Socialist sitting In a Cabinet along- 
side of a Galliffet. He says so. We must beheve 
him. But while he was contemplating the distant 
the imaginary possibility of a war that was not in 




The German Social Democratic Congress in Berlin, 1892 

Easily recognizable in this group are August Bebel (with the copy of VorwaerU in 
his'hand at the extreme right) and Wilhelm Liebknecht (directly behind Bebel). 



sight, everybody else at the Paris congress had in 
mind a thing that WAS in sight; a thing that was 
palpitating and throbbing with a feverish pulse; aye, 
a spectacle under which the very opening of the Paris 
Congress was thrown into convulsions. And what 
spectacle was that? — Why, it was the very spectacle 
and fact of a Socialist sitting in a cabinet cheek by 
jowl, not merely with A, but with THE Galliffet. 
Whatever Kautsky may have been thinking of when 
he presented his resolution and voted for it, we have 
his own, officially recorded, words that go to show 
that he knew what the minds of all others were filled 
with at the time. I have here in my satchel the offi- 
cial report of the Dresden convention. In his speech, 
therein recorded, he says himself that Auer, the 
spokesman of the German delegation in favor of the 
Kautsky resolution, said when speaking for the reso- 
lution: 'We, in Germany, have not yet a Millerand; 
we are not yet so far; but I hope we may soon be so 
far' — that is what was in the minds of all — Miller- 
and, the associate of Galliffet. 



''It is obvious that a resolution adopted under 
such conditions — its own framer keeping his eyes on 
an emergency that was not above the horizon, while 
all others kept their eyes upon the malodorous enor- 
mity that was bumping against their noses and shock- 
ing the Socialist conscience of the world— it goes with- 
out saying that such a resolution, adopted under such 
conditions, should have thrown the Socialist world 
into the convulsions of the discussions that we all 
know of during the last four years; it goes without 
saying that such a resolution would be interpreted in 
conflicting senses, and that has happened to such an 
extent that the Kautsky resolution has come to be 
known as the 'Kaoutchouc resolution.' (Uproarious 
laughter.) 

"In view of this fact the first thing to do is to 
clear the road of such an encumbrance. For that 
reason I move the adoption of the following resolu- 
tion : 

" 'Whereas, The struggle between the working 
class and the capitalist class is a continuous and ir- 



42 



FIFTY YEARS 



repressible conflict, a conflict that tends every day 
rather to be intensified than to be softened; 

" 'Whereas, The existing governments are com- 
mittees of the ruling class, intended to safeguard the 
yoke of capitalist exploitation upon the neck of the 
working class; 

" 'Whereas, At the last International Congress, 
held in Paris, in 1900, a resolution generally known 
as the Kautsky resolution was adopted, the closing 
clauses of which contemplate the emergency of the 
working class accepting office at the hand of such 
capitalist governments, and also and especially PRE- 
SUPPOSE THE POSSIBILITY OF IMPARTI- 
ALITY ON THE PART OF THE RULING 
CLASS GOVERNMENTS IN THE CON- 
FLICTS BETWEEN THE WORKING CLASS 
AND THE CAPITALIST CLASS; and 

" 'Whereas, the said clauses — applicable, perhaps, 
in countries not yet wholly freed from feudal institu- 
tions — were adopted under conditions both in France 
and in the Paris Congress itself, that justify errone- 
ous conclusions on the nature of the class struggle, 
the character of capitalist governments, and the tac- 
tics that are imperative upon the proletariat in the 
pursuit of its campaign to overthrow the capitalist 
system in countries, which, like the United States of 
America, have wholly wiped out feudal institutions; 
therefore, be it 

" 'Resolved, First, That the said Kautsky resolu- 
tion be and the same is hereby repealed as a principle 
of general Socialist tactics; 

" 'Second, That, in fully developed capitalist 
countries, like America, the working class cannot, 
without betrayal of the cause of the proletariat, fill 
any political office other than they conquer for and 
by themselves. 

" 'Offered by DANIEL DE LEON, Dele- 
gate of the Sociahst Labor Party of the 
United States of America, with credentials 
from the Socialist Labor Party of Australia 
and of Canada.' 
"From New York to California the Socialist 
Labor Party, that I here represent, felt the shock of 
that Kautsky resolution. The Evening Post quoted 
it as an illustration of the 'sanity' of the European 
Socialists as against us 'insane' Socialists of America. 
From the way you have received my proposition to 
repeal the mistake, I judge my proposition will not 
be accepted. So much the worse for you. But wheth- 
er accepted or not, I shall be able to return to Amer- 
ica — ^as our Socialist Labor Party delegation did 
from Paris four years ago — with my hands and the 
skirts of the Party clear from all blame, the real vic- 
tors in the case." 



As De Leon surmised, the S.L.P. proposition was 
rejected. Instead, the committee adopted what was 
known as the Dresden resolution, which accomplished 
the amazing feat of strongly condemning the evils 
the Kautsky resolution approved without directly 
repudiating the Kautsky resolution. The Dresden 
resolution carried in the committee by a vote of 27 to 
3. De Leon cast his vote in favor. "My own mo- 
tion having been defeated," he explained, ". . .there 
was nothing for me to do but to vote for the Dresden 
resolution as the best thing that could be obtained 
under the circumstances. To vote against it would 
have been to rank the Socialist Labor Party of Amer- 
ica alongside of Jaures; to abstain from voting would 
be a roundabout way of doing the same thing. In 
voting as I did, I explained my position as wishing to 
give the greatest emphasis that the circumstances al- 
lowed me to the condemnation of the Jaures policy, 
and the Kautsky resolution; and I stated that I 
would explain my position in the Congress when I 
would there present my own resolution again." 

Instead, however, it was decided that Vander- 
velde report for the committee and include in his re- 
port a statement of the S.L.P. position which De 
Leon supplied him. The vote on the Dresden reso- 
lution in the Congress stood 25 for, and 5 against. 
There were 12 abstentions. Both American votes 
(S.L.P. and S.P.) were cast with the majority, al- 
though Morris Hillquit, Socialist party delegate, had 
told the committee that the Kautsky resolution "was 
accurate and suited him. He denied," said De Leon, 
"that it had shocked the classconscious workers of 
America." 

Thus the infamous Kautsky resolution was, in ef- 
fect, rescinded, but the evils which it was meant to 
justify were, alas, far from being laid by the heels. 

The S.L.P. Fight for Its Seat on the 
International Bureau. 

The "loose, picnic character" of the International 
Congresses, their Babel of languages, and infrequen- 
cy, were serious drawbacks which the International 
attempted to overcome by creating the International 
Socialist Bureau. This was launched at the Paris 
Congress, 1900. It was to be composed of two rep- 
resentatives from each of the nationalities enrolled 
and was to meet much more frequently than the Con- 
gresses. Headquarters for the Bureau were estab- 
lished in Brussels which became the dissemination 
point for international Socialist news and informa- 
tion. 

The bureau was supposed to be a working body, 
and its more sober character was to compensate for 



I 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



43 



the weaknesses of the Congresses. It became, in fact, 
the extreme opposite of the Congresses and its ar- 
bitrary, pompous and inconsistent deportment made 
it the butt of many a satirical thrust. In his "Flash- 
lights" De Leon writes of the "witty persiflage" pub- 
lished in the Edinburgh Socialist, organ of the British 
Socialist Labor Party. The satire offered the follow- 
ing resolution in the name of the huge British delega- 
tion as the climax of their deliberations: 

"Resolved, That the class struggle does and shall 
continue to exist until notified to the contrary by the 
officials of the International Bitreaii/^ 

De Leon declared he had "not yet heard a criti- 
cism of the International Bureau that is not correct. 
It is, on the morrow, inconsistent with its own prece- 
dents of the previous day; it now decides a case one 
way, then another; it is hasty; it is childish; it is ar- 
bitrary the bureau's present attitude is just one 

to warrant the joke that it could notify the class strug- 
gle that the latter was abrogated. The International 
Bureau is all that," De Leon added, "and yet it is 
eminently necessary and eminently useful." He ex- 
pressed the expectation that it would "cast off the 
slough of the defects of its youth, and get itself into 
proper working order." But the Bureau never lived 
up to this expectation. It remained arbitrary and 
continued to reflect all the evils of the European So- 
cialist movement. 

De Leon was the Socialist Labor Party represen- 
tative on the International Socialist Bureau, but he 
sat at its meetings only when they coincided with the 
International Congresses. At some of the other ses- 
sions the Party authorized Paul Kretlow, who lived 
in Berlin, to act as De Leon's substitute. 

The representative of the Socialist party was, first, 
George D. Herron, then the lawyer, Morris Hill- 
quit. De Leon's factual exposures of the Socialist 
party's opportunism, shameless fusion Avith Repub- 
lican and Democratic politicians, and anti-Socialist 
conduct, generally, in his reports to the Bureau and 
the Congresses vexed the S.P., and especially its rep- 
resentative on the International Bureau. Excessively 
vain and pompous, Hillquit would have liked to cut 
a figure before the elite of the European movement. 
With De Leon on the spot prepared to refute his 
vainglorious boasts and reduce him to his proper 
pigmy stature, Hillquit was at a loss. In 1908 the 
Socialist party schemed a scheme to eliminate this 
menace in order that its representative might strut 
before the shining lights of the European movement 
unmolested. Although it failed ignominiously, the 
attempt holds interest for the light it throws upon 
the low cunning and sharp practices of reformism. 



In the Fall of 1908, one John M. Work, of the 
S.P. executive committee, introduced a resolurion to 
call upon the International Bureau to give both 
American seats to the Socialist party. The move 
w^as intended, said De Leon, "to choke oft the voice 
of the S.L.P. In the councils of the International 
Movement and leave the S.P. a free field on which to 
buttress up with fresh false claims, the claims it had 
previously set up and which events were demonstrat- 
ing as false." 

The First Coup Fails. 

The scheme required that a coup be made at one 
of the sessions of the International Bureau when De 
Leon was not present to defend the S.L.P. in Its right 
to a seat. Accordingly, in pursuit of this scheme, the 
S.P.ite, Victor L. Berger, attended the November, 
1909, session and moved that the seat occupied by 
De Leon be given him. The S.L.P., however, had 
taken the precaution to send Kretlow to this confer- 
ence. Kretlow stoutly defended the S.L.P., and the 
motion failed. 

Reporting the failure to the 19 10 convention of 
the Socialist party, Berger glumly recounted how he 
had "explained" to the Bureau "in a few words that 
the Socialist Labor Party had gone downward con- 
tinually since the year 1898; that it now legally and 
practically had ceased as a party, and that it had only 
a nominal paper existence." 

Pursuing the same familiar and wishful refrain, 
Berger insisted that the S.L.P. "could at best be con- 
sidered a propaganda club" and he considered it 
"ridiculously unjust and unjustly ridiculous to grant 
the Socialist Labor Party the same representation as 
we [the S.P.] have...," He had not answered 
Kretlow' s charge that the S.P. was a petty bourgeois 
affair, he said, and "only when Mr. Kretlow claimed 
that we were fusing everywhere with the Repub- 
licans and Democrats, I [Berger] Interrupted Avith 
the words, 'That is a lie.' " It was not a lie, though It 
was an overstatement. It was not "everywhere" that 
the S.P. fused with out-and-out capitalist parties, but 
only where it could make a deal that would promote 
Its political fortunes. 

At Copenhagen the following year Berger's re- 
port of what had allegedly taken place at the 1909 
session of the International Bureau boomeranged to 
the mortification of its author when De Leon held It 
up and compared It with the official report Issued by 
the Bureau Itself, which told quite another story. 

At the session of the International Bureau which 
preceded the Copenhagen Congress in 19 10, the S.P. 
tried once more to usurp the seat of the S.L.P., this 
time by a trick of the lowest cunning. It was cus- 



44 



FIFTY YEARS 



tomary at the sessions of the Bureau for each of the 
members present to sign a sheet of paper. De Leon 
signed in his turn, but glancing at the paper after it 
had passed around, he noticed the names of Hillquit 
and Berber. "I see on the Hst of those who have 
signed themselves present as members of the bureau 




I 



Rosa Luxemburg 

Vilified by the bourgeois opportunists of the German Sociai 
Democracy^ as De Leon was vilified by the same ele- 
ment in America, she was murdered by agents of 
the Social Democratic coalition government. 



three names from America," he said. "I desire to 
know how many delegates America is entitled to here, 
and what their names are." Secretary Huysmans of 
the Bureau replied that America had but tw^o dele- 
gates. "They are, for the Socialist party, Hillquit, 
for the Sociahst Labor Party, De Leon. If any one 
else is present he can only be an alternate." Thus 
the second coup failed. 

New Shyster Tricks. 

But the S.P. politicians, poverty-stricken for ar- 
gument though they were, had by no means exhausted 
their stock of shyster tricks, Hillquit jumped to his 
feet to dispute Huysmans's decision with the specious 
argument that the two delegates on the Bureau did 
not represent their respective parties. "They repre- 
sent America," he said. He admitted that De Leon 
and himself were the American representatives on 
the Bureau, "but next Monday the delegations from 



America will meet and, as at Stuttgart, elect by ma- 
jority, as all the other nations do, another delegate 
in De Leon's place." 

This quibble and double falsehood recalled to 
De Leon the Hillquitian feat "performed in America 
when he [Hillquit] was trying to rob the S.L.P. of 
its name, and which consisted of presenting at court 
thirty-one affidavits to the correctness of one affidavit 
that did not exist." Huysmans reproved Hillquit, 
saying it was an "error" to assume that the delegates 
represented their countries and not their parties. He 
also stated that it was not a fact nor was the prin- 
ciple acceptable that the representatives to the Bu- 
reau be elected by a majority vote in a joint session 
of the two delegations. Thereupon De Leon dis- 
proved Hillquit's claim that the joint session of the 
two delegations at Stuttgart had decided who should 
sit on the Bureau. " 'The fact is that each delega- 
tion appointed its own party representation on the 
committees of the Congress; the fact is that, even 
on the subject of apportioning the vote of the two 
parties, we proceeded upon a principle that amounted 
to each having equality of vote,^ " De Leon told the 
Bureau. "And I rubbed this in three times, seeing I 
translated myself into German and French." 

The next day Hillquit "returned to the charge" 
by introducing a resolution in which the secretary 
and others thought they detected another surrepti- 
tious attempt to oust De Leon from the Bureau. But 
several members of the Bureau expressed themselves 
so strongly that Hillquit was forced to "take back- 
w^ater." He meekly assured the Bureau that his res- 
olution was not intended to exclude De Leon, but to 
apportion the vote of delegates on the Bureau to co- 
incide with the vote cast in the Congress by their re- 
spective parties. As we shall see subsequently, the 
resolution w^as not so innocuous as Hillquit w^ould 
have the Bureau believe. 

When the S.P. and S.L.P. delegations finally met 
in joint session, De Leon moved the status quo so 
far as votes in the Congress and on the Bureau were 
concerned. Prior to the Stuttgart Congress each na- 
tion had two votes in the Congress, but at Stuttgart 
the system was changed. Of the fourteen votes given 
the American delegation, the S.L.P, had three, the 
S.P. eleven. The S.P. was not satisfied with this ar- 
rangement, how^ever, and at the joint session Spargo 
moved that the S.L.P. be given one vote and the 
S.P. thirteen. Had Spargo stopped there, De Leon 
was disposed to debate the question, and, perhaps 
yield, thus giving the S.P. the privilege of paying 200 
francs extra as dues to the Bureau — each vote costing. 
100 francs. But Spargo added that the S.P. delega- 
tion had strict instructions to cast their votes for both 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



seats on the Bureau. On this point the S.L.P. would 
not yield. 

The question was appealed to the Bureau, before 
which De Leon neatly punctured the S.P. claim to 
53,375 members. He also showed by the decline in 
the S.P. vote in the large cities that their claim to an 
increase In influence among the workers was a gross 
exaggeration. In conclusion, he exhibited Berger's 
report of what had allegedly occurred at the 1909 
session of the Bureau and contrasted it with the offi- 
cial Bureau report in order to demonstrate the de- 
gree of reliability that could be attached to the utter- 
ances of the S.P. 

Hillquit replied, said De Leon, with a *'regula- 

tion anti-S.L.P. speech of the S.P.ite : The S.L.P. 

was dead; only De Leon was left; the S.P. had 53,- 

375 members; the S.L.P. Avas only a tremendous im- 

! pediment to the S.P. hurting the S.P. everywhere; 

. and more to the same effect." 

Rosa Luxemburg Speaks for the S.L.P. 

Hillquit was answered in a neat, incisive speech 
by the uncompromising Polish Marxist, Rosa Luxem- 
burg, who said: 

'The leading feature of Hillquit's speech is an 
inextricable contradiction to me. I do not under- 
stand how, if the S.P. is as large as it claims and the 
S.L.P. consists of De Leon only, one single man 
could so tremendously hurt 53,375 others." 

With this the matter of representation on the 
Bureau w^as considered settled in favor of the S.L.P., 
and the question of giving the S.P. thirteen of the 
fourteen votes in the Congress was taken up and 
voted on. Ten members of the Bureau voted for the 
status quo, thirteen to give the S.P. the two extra 
seats. Of this decision De Leon wrote : 

"A European wit who was present remarked that 
what gave the S.P. that majority of three was the 
speech of Rosa Luxemburg; that she, being violently 
hated by the nationalists of Eastern Europe, what- 
ever side she took they took the opposite. I answered 
that I would rather have one vote for the S.L.P. with 
Rosa Luxemburg's speech than our former three 
without that speech." 

On the question of representation on the Bureau 
the S.P. had been roundly routed in each attack. But 
there Is a singular obstinacy about the reformer which 
impels him to return again and again, each time hope- 
fully, with a new deception from his inexhaustible bag 
of tricks. Hillquit was no exception. The resolution 
he had introduced in order surreptitiously to remove 



De Leon from the Bureau, but which he denied 
was for that purpose, was reintroduced with an 
amendment providing that "no party shall have rep- 
resentation on the Bureau unless it cast two votes in 
the Congress." If adopted, it would have automati- 




Paul Lafargue 

Able Marxist and brilliant satirist. Lafargue married 

Marx's daughter^ Laura. He took a prominent part 

in the organization of the Second International. 



cally eliminated S.L.P. representation. Alas for 
Hillquit, this subterfuge, too, failed. 

'*It w^as an instance," wrote De Leon, 'in Avhich 
the theory was demonstrated that dishonesty betrays 
stupidity. Civilized legislative methods demanded 
that the purpose of a law be expressly stated. To 
get the S.L.P. in Congress reduced with express as- 
surances that there was no purpose to remove the 
S.L.P. from the Bureau, and then bring in a proposi- 
tion whereby the reduced vote w^ould be made the 
ground for automatically vacating the S.L.P. seat — 
such a move was obviously so dishonorable that It, 
better than aught I could have proved, illustrated to 
the Bureau what the S.P. methods are which the 
S.L.P. was constantly forced to wrestle Avith; the 
move was so transparently underhanded that the 
large majority of the Bureau must have promptly 
seen through it. Despite the repeated efforts on the 
part of Hillquit to bring up his original proposition, 
which would have dragged up behind it that typical 
Hillquitian amendment to his own motion, the Bu- 
reau shoved it aside." 

This was the final attempt to get the S.L.P. un- 
seated. The "scourge" of the S.P. remained on the 
Bureau — to the boundless exasperation of Hillquii: 
and his pals. 



46 



FIFTY YEARS 



The S.P. Suffers Bad Attack of ''De Leonitis/' 

To De Leon attending an International Congress 
was a tedious, though necessary, duty. To prospec- 
tive S.P. delegates it was a holiday. But, like most 
holidays, it was not one of unalloyed pleasure. A 
skirmish with De Leon was never a very satisfactory 
experience and when it occurred before an audience 
of international Socialist celebrities it was the source 
of the greatest chagrin. Hillquit appears to have 
been a strong believer in numbers as the best defense 
against this *' scourge" w^ho followed them across the 
sea. However, it must be admitted that Dc Leon, 
or, should we say, the De I.conitis from which the 
S.P. suffered was not the sole reason for the desire 
to send a large delegation. As Hillquit explained to 
the 1904 S.P. convention in a speech supporting his 
motion to pay the expenses of three delegates and 
issue credentials to seventeen more who would pay 
their own way, large delegations are impressive. 
"... .the time has arrived," he argued with ludicrous 
solemnity, "when we ought to take a place among the 
nations of the world in the movement of Socialism." 

This seemed like a sound and convincing argu- 
ment, especially to the select group whose chance of 
drawing a free trip was good. The less prominent 
S.P. delegates were inclined to regard the proposal 
as extravagant, and someone offered an amenclment 
to Hillquit's motion to reduce the number of dele- 
gates whose expenses were to be paid to one. Dele- 
gate Spargo, who has since won for himself a dubi- 
ous fame as wheelhorse for the Republican party, 
thought it wrong to be penny wise and pound foolish. 
He reminded the convention that De Leon would be 
at the Amsterdam Congress and would "vilify," 
"calumniate" and "misrepresent alike the personnel 
and the character of the Socialist party of this coun- 
try." Spargo, who knew Avell that De Leon never 
ventured charges he was not prepared to back up 
with facts, evidently believed that if only enough 
S.P.ites were on the spot to deny them, De Leon's 
allegations would be "refuted" by sheer force of 
numbers. He was tremendously concerned over "the 
opinion and the good will and the good faith" of Eu- 
ropean Socialists and expressed the hope "that when 
our International Congress meets in Amsterdam we 
shall have a delegation from the Socialist party of 
America worthy of the present strength of the party 
[ !], worthy of its intellectual character [ ! !], worthy 
of its prospects [!!!], and second to no delegation in 
the Congress [!!!!]." 

The "penny wise" delegates were unimpressed. 
"It seems to me absurd to go on spending money to 
send three delegates across the water to be an anti- 



dote to De Leon," one said. And another, whose 
misguided faith in the prowess of S.P. leading lights 
was equally strong, argued heatedly that the S.P. "is 
not so weak as to require three of its best men to 
match De Leon. ..." Still another "would be sorry 
if we would send three delegates because one party 
in this country has decided to send De Leon." He 
thought it was the "worst mistake" to be "talking 
about De Leon." 

To the exasperation of the hopefuls, the amend- 
ment prevailed and the expenses of only one dele- 
gate, Hillquit, were paid. Others attended, how- 
ever, but the puissance of the S.P. delegation did not 
increase in the same ratio as its numbers. One ass 
cuts a sorry figure; ten cut a sorrier figure still. And 
no delegation ever cut a sorrier figure than that of 
the S.P. at the Amsterdam Congress where, while 
pleading the cause of "internationalism," it delivered 
a gratuitous insult to members of the international 
Socialist family. 

The S.PJs Conception of Internationalism, 

At home the S.P. faithfully reflected the class- 
sundering, guild-spirit-breathing A. F. of L. At its 
convention it had adopted a resolution constituting 
an endorsement of the A. F. of L. which caused one 
of its members to write wrathfully that "as it stands 
the Socialist party is committed to scab-herding." 
The S.P. was also committed to the job-trust prac- 
tices of the A. F. of L. and to its class-dividing atti- 
tude toward immigration. It saw no contradiction 
in declaiming for internationalism while simultane- 
ously slandering workers of other races. On a bill- 
board set up in Troy, New York, to promote the 
election of Eugene Debs, the S.P. inscribed the 
motto : "Workers of All Countries, Unite !" "... in 
commentary on the party's interpretation of the great 
Socialist motto," wrote De Leon, "there was [on 
the same billboard] an exordium to the workers, 
enumerating, among the atrocities of the capitalists, 
that *they want unrestricted immigration.' " 

The S.P. wanted restricted immigration, as did 
the A. F. of L., and at the Amsterdam Congress 
three of its delegation signed a resolution which 
called for the exclusion of "backAvard races," When 
the resolution was first brought up in committee the 
word "inferior" was used but this was disingenuously 
dropped. The resolution sought to explain what 
Avas meant by "backAvard races" by placing in paren- 
theses the AA^ords, "such as Chinese, Negroes, ETC." 

Describing the Incident in "Flashlights," De Leon^ 
wrote : 

"The proposition being put in print and circu- 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



47 



lated in the Congress, the canvassing commenced. 
The bulk of the day I was elsewhere engaged and 
did not appear in my seat. Imagining he could take 
advantage of that and secure both the American 
votes for his A. F. of L, guildish resolution, Schluter 
[an S.P. delegate] approached my fellow delegate, 
Poehland, and sought to rope him in. Of course, he 
failed egreglously, and found out that the S.L.P. con- 
sists not of one man but of a solid body of Socialists. 
Poehland repudiated Schluter's request for support: 
he repudiated it with scorn. Of course : Where is 
the hne that separates 'inferior' from 'superior' 
races? What serious man, if he is a Socialist, w^hat 
Socialist if he is a serious man, would indulge in 'etc' 
in such important matters?. . . .Socialism knows not 
such insulting, iniquitous distinctions as 'inferior' and 
'superior' races among the proletariat. It is for 
capitalism to fan the fires of such sentiments in its 
scheme to keep the proletariat divided." 

The Congress raised such a howl when the prop- 
osition came up for debate that it was withdrawn. 
But three years later, at Stuttgart, it was reintro- 
duced. In the committee which considered it at 
Stuttgart the S.L.P. proved documentarily that it was 
economically and politically an echo of the scab-herd- 
ing A. F. of L. The resolution was roundly routed 
and another resolution denouncing the noxious prop- 
aganda of anti-immigration was adopted by the Con- 
gress in its stead. 

A Hypocrisy Exposed. 

The United States w^as not the only nation to 
send two sets of rival delegates to the International 
Socialist Congresses. In France, Russia, Great Brit- 
ain, and several smaller nations, the movement was 
riven. At Amsterdam, and again at Stuttgart and 
Copenhagen, efforts were made to reconcile the rival 
parties. The resolution adopted by the Stuttgart 
Congress calling for unity laid down conditions ac- 
ceptable to the S.L.P. At the first meeting of the 
Socialist Labor Party's National Executive Commit- 
tee after the Stuttgart Congress, it adopted a motion 
to propose unity to the S.P. "upon no conditions other 
than the principles of the International Congress- 
minority representation, liberal immigration and the 
recognition of the essential function of Unionism in 
the performance of the revolutionary act" — as De 
Leon summarized the conditions in his report to the 
Copenhagen Congress. The Socialist party rejected 
the offer. 

Nevertheless, when another unity resolution was 
introduced at the Copenhagen Congress, reiterating 
in more forceful language the earlier resolutions, the 



S.P, delegation applauded! Accustomed as he was 
to S.P. hypocrisy, De Leon was shocked by this dis- 
play of brazen impudence. "I took the platform/' 
he reported in the Daily People, ''I announced my- 
self as a delegate from a country where the parties 
were split; I declared myself in loyal accord, without 
mental reservadon of the proposed resolution; and 
I added: 

" 'A similar resolution was adopted six years ago 
at Amsterdam, it was adopted unanimously, the S.P. 
delegation voting for and applauding it. Neverthe- 
less, w^hen, in obedience with the said decree of the 
Congress, the S.L.P., although the smaller party, set 
pride aside, and, in January of last year tendered 

unity to the S.P , the tender was rejected. For 

these reasons I here call upon the S.P. delegation to 
take the platform, and let this Congress know wheth- 
er that party's applause for, and support of, the reso- 
lution before us are merely Platonic demonstrations 
covering mental reservations. For my Party I here 
state that, by January, we shall have a committee, 
elected by the Party, ready to confer with a similar 
committee from the S.P. to carry out this resolution. 
I call upon the S.P. to let this Congress know what 
it is to expect from the S.P.' " 

To this Hillquit rephed in a speech which clum- 
sily dodged the issue and was replete with duplicity. 
The S.L.P. was "dead," he said, but the S.P. would 
welcome it "w^ith open arms" if it would abandon 
"its harmful I.W.W. whims against the unions." 
That is, it would "welcome" the S.L.P. if the S.L.P. 
would repudiate the very principle which the Inter- 
national set forth as a basis for negotiation and 
unity ! 

Industrial Union Agitation Abroad. 

Socialist Labor Party delegadons strived patient- 
ly and earnestly to hold up the mirror of America to 
our European comrades in order that they might see 
reflected there the future economic status of their 
own countries. With tactful but vigorous logic, the 
program of Sociahst Industrial Unionism was pre- 
sented and argued whenever the opportunity pre- 
sented Itself. With a few notable exceptions, the 
representatives of European parties were unim- 
pressed. 

Illustrative of the campaign conducted wnthin the 
Internadonal by the S.L.P. was the effort made at 
the Stuttgart Congress (1907) where the relation- 
ship between Socialist parties and trade unions was 
one of the principal subjects on the agenda. Of the 
resolutions offered there but two went beyond the 



48 



FIFTY YEARS 



committee. One was introduced by the German dele- 
gation. "It was a collection of words so InoffensiA^e 
that all might agree to them," wTote De Leon in his 
report to the Daily People, Non-committal, it re- 
ceived amendment after amendment until it took on 
the character of an " 'Omnibus Bill' — out of which 
one could take what he liked, and reject what did not 
suit him." The other resolution (authored by De 
Leon) was offered jointly by the S. L. P. and the 
LW.W.^ It was a forthright and terse declaration 
on the mission of both the poHtical party and the 
union and their relationship to one another. It de- 
clared: 

"Whereas, the integrally organized industrial or- 
ganization of the working class is the present embryo 
of the Commonwealth of Labor, or Socialist Repub- 
lic, and foreshadows the organic form of that Com- 
monwealth, as well as its administrative powers; 

"Whereas, craft unionism, wherever capitalism 
has reached untrammelled full bloom, has approved 
itself what the plutocratic Wall Street Journal of 
New York hailed it, in hailing the Gompers-Mitchell 
American Federation of Labor, 'The bulwark of 
capitalist society/ that bred the officialdom which 
the American capitalist Mark Hanna designated as 
his Xabor Lieutenantship' ; therefore be it 

"Resolved, i. That 'neutrality' toward trades 
unions, on the part of a political party of Socialism, 
is equivalent to 'neutrality toward the machinations 
of the capitalist class'; 

"2. That the bona fide, or revolutionary Social- 
ist, movement needs the political as well as the eco- 
nomic organization of labor, the former for propa- 
ganda and warfare upon the civilized plane of the 
ballot; the latter as the only conceivable physical 
force with which to back up the ballot, without which 
force all ballot is moonshine, and which force is es- 
sential for the ultimate lock-out of the capitalist class; 

"3. That, without the political organization, the 
labor or Socialist movement could not reach its tri- 
umph : without the economic, the day of its triumph 
would be the day of its defeat. Without the eco- 
nomic organization, the movement would attract and 
breed the pure and simple politician, who would de- 
bauch and sell out the working class; without the po- 
litical organization, the movement would attract and 
breed the agent provocateur, who would assassinate 
the movement. 

"Industrial Workers of the World, 
Socialist Labor Party (America)." 



^This was before the I.W.W. went anarcho-syndicalist. From its 
organization in 1905 until 190'8, the I.W.W^ was founded on the prin- 
ciples enunciated by De Leon and the SX.P. In 190S the "I'm-a- 
bummery" threw the political clause out of the preamble. 



The majority on the committee were unmoved by 
this logic, some because they could not grasp it, 
others because it struck squarely at their material in- 
terests. However, De Leon and Heslewood (I.W. 
W. delegate) were not alone in defending their po- 
sition either before the committee or in the Congress. 
Delegates from Italy, France and Switzerland also 
took a firm stand in its favor. 

"How amazed conservatism was at this display," 
reported De Leon, "soon appeared from the lan- 
guage held to us (America) by several of the com- 
mitteemen, Russia especially, who voted for the 'Om- 
nibus' : they admitted the thorough correctness of our 
position, and hungrily asked for literature." 

When the two resolutions came up before the 
Congress the support for the S.L.P. position was 
even more impressive. Besides 4 1/2 votes from 
America (the craft union-wooing S.P., of course, 
voted against it), there were 11 votes from France 
(the majority of the French vote) and 3 votes from 
Italy. The delegate from Switzerland was prevented 
from voting for the resolution by a rule requiring 
that the Swiss vote be cast as a unit. This delegate, 
Mrs. Faas-Hardegger, impressed De Leon tremen- 
dously. He regarded her as one of the most "prom- 
iseful new figures at Stuttgart" and commented at 
length on her ready grasp of the revolutionary role 
of the trade unions. 

Although requested to withdraw their resolution, 
De Leon and Heslewood refused. They could not 
accept the German "Omnibus" resolution because it 
was obscure and made no distinction between the 
functions of the political party and the union. De 
Leon cited Marx's aphorism that "Only the economic 
organization is capable of setting on foot a true po- 
litical party of labor, and thus raise a bulwark 
against the power of capital" When the committee 
had adjourned, De Leon was approached by Baer, 
the German delegate who was credited with drawing 
up the "Omnibus" resolution. Baer felt as though 
he had been rebuked and sought to justify his rid- 
dled handiwork. He began by attacking the authen- 
ticity of Marx's statement on trade unions and their 
relation to political parties, offering as "proof" that 
Marx had not made it, certain paragraphs of his 
own resolution. If Marx had made such a state- 
ment, Baer argued, those paragraphs would not have 
been included! De Leon disposed of this good- 
humoredly by challenging Baer to prove that he had 
read all that Marx wrote. This Baer did not at- 
tempt to do. 

Later the author of the "Omnibus" resolution re- 
turned to the charge with the contention that the 
S.L.P.-I.W.W. resolution had the defect of being 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



49 



cast too exclusively in an American mold. (*'.•• -ist 
zu sehr auf Amerlkanischen Verhaeltnissen zuges- 
pitzt") To the latter argument De Leon replied: 

"That is not a defect, it is a virtue. I have read 
of commissions, appointed from Germany, from 
France and even from such a capitalist land as Eng- 
land, to proceed to America and learn there how 
does the American capitalist class manage to squeeze 
so much wealth out of the workers. I never heard 
of any commission from America sent to France, 
England or Germany to take lessons here in the art 
of exploitation. Do you see the point?" 

Baer looked contemplative. 

*'ril tell you," De Leon continued. "What hap- 
pens in the capitalist world of America is of interna- 
tional moment; what happens in Germany is not." 

Unable to reply to this, Baer returned for still a 
third encounter, this time with the announcement 
that he had discovered a fatal contradiction in the 
S.L.P.-LW.W. resolution. The "contradiction" was 
in the sentence declaring that the union is '*the pres- 
ent embryo of the Commonwealth of Labor" and the 
other sentence that neutrality toward the trade 
unions "is equivalent to neutrahty toward the machi- 
nations of the capitalist class." 'That means that 
the unions are machinations of the capitalist class. 
How can they be embryos of future society?" Baer 
asked triumphantly. 

"Dear Baer [Lleber Baer]," De Leon repUed, 
"tell Kautsky' for me that if I decline to be neutral 
in the conflicts between my brother and a scheming 
thief, and I pronounce the actions of the latter 'mach- 
inations,' it does not follow that I thereby contradict 
myself in that I therefore pronounce my brother a 
'thief,' and must treat him as such. Quite otherwise. 
You may add that one is justified to expect from 
delegates to the International Congress that they 
have a certain minimum of international Information. 
In America— and it will be so in all other lands in 
the measure that they develop— we have two sets of 
unions— the I.W.W. and, broadly speaking, ^the A. 
F. of L., the latter of which is a 'machination' of the 
capitalist class. To remain neutral In the confiict 
between these two unions Is to be neutral toward the 
machinations of capitalism." 

Since 1893, when he first attended an Interna- 
tional Congress at Zurich, De Leon had been Impres- 
sed by the cultivated ignorance of European lumina- 



ilt is evident that De Leon suspected that Baer was repeating 
Kautsky's arguments, possibly at Kautsky's behest. Baer was a 
trade union official who was being helped by Kautsky to rise m the 
German Social Democracy. 



ries concerning America. But his patience was infin- 
ite. "Thick as the thickest jungle," he commented 
soberly after reporting his encounter with Baen^ *'is 
the jungle of misinformation, prejudice and false 
reasoning that Socialism has to cut its way through. 
Yet there is no room for despair. Capitalism raises 
and drills the soldiers that are to overthrow It. It- 
self acts as antidote to the errors It breeds." 



III. 

The S.L.P. was not represented at Basle In 191 2. 
Had it been, it would surely have voted in favor of 
the manifesto adopted there, warning the govern- 
ments of Europe that the workers of all countries 
would stand staunchly together should they loose the 
dogs of war. There was no mistaking the meaning 
of wariike preparations evident on every hand. "At 
any moment the great European nations may hurl 
themselves at one another, which crime against hu- 
manity and reason cannot be justified by any pretext 
as to its being committed in the interests of the peo- 
ple/' said the manifesto. It bared the capitalist ri- 
valries and class diplomacy which invited armed con- 
flict and declared that the "whole Socialist Interna- 
rional was unanimous" in opposing the designs of the 
rulers. Finally, it called upon the workers every- 
where to "see to it that the governments have before 
their eyes the constantly vigilant and passionate de- 
sire of the whole proletariat for peace !" The mani- 
festo left much to be desired, but its emphasis on in- 
ternational working class sohdarity awakened the 
hope that, come what may, the Socialists would be 
unyielding. , 

In December, 19 13, the International Socialist 
Bureau met to make plans for another Congress 
where the Basle manifesto was expected to be re- 
affirmed. The importance of this Congress, which 
was to be held in Vienna In August, 19 14 (fateful 
month!), lay not only in the critical internadonal 
situation. It was also to be a commemoration Con- 
gress—commemorating the tAventy-fifth anniversary 
of the founding of the Second International and the 
fiftieth anniversary of the First International— both 
dates, happily, coinciding. The Bureau urged its 
affiliates everywhere to hold commemorative fetes. 
And In Vienna the Austrian Social Democracy was 
making elaborate plans for the reception of the larg- 
est delegations ever to attend a Congress. 

In July the glowering clouds of war lay heavy on 
Central Europe. Knowing not when the storm would 
break but assailed with the awful certainty that it 
would not long be delayed, the Bureau hastily moved 
up the date of the Congress and shifted it to Paris. 



so 



FIFTY YEARS 



But this information reached America tardily. On 
August 6 a reception was planned in New York for 
the S.L.R delegation to the "International Congress 
at Vienna." Then the storm broke. The headline 
in the JVeekly People^ August 8, 1914, announced: 
'*War Halts International Socialist Congress; Jaures 
Assassinated." 

Social Patriotism — In the Open. 

What occurred during the next few weeks hard- 
ly requires retelling here. Moreover, in lashing 
again the Social-Democrats for their social-patriotism 
— a social-patriotism that rivalled in its zeal the 
chauvinism of the most execrable bourgeois jingo — 
one has the unpleasant sensation of beating a dead 
horse. This is not to imply that social-patriotism is 
dead. Alas, it is not dead. But the "socialist'* jin- 
gos of today are cynical and deliberate to a degree 
never reached by the Guesdes, Kautskys and Van- 
derveldes of twenty-six years ago. These men were, 



to some extent at least, the victims of objective con- 
ditions which, as Lenin pointed out, "created and nur- 
tured opportunism, for it was a transition period 
which witnessed the completion of bourgeois and na- 
tionalist revolutions in Western Europe." "The cri- 
sis created by the great war," Avrote Lenin, "tore off 
the coverings, brushed aside conventionalities, laid 
bare the abscess which had long since come to a head, 
and revealed opportunism in its true role — that of 
an ally to the bourgeoisie." 

De Leon, who Avas to have been a delegate to 
Vienna, died May 11, 1914. He, therefore, did not 
witness the sickening betrayal of the Social-Demo- 
crats whose errors he had pitilessly exposed, but for 
many of whom he, nevertheless, held some regard. 
His analytical writings on the European movement 
never failed to stress the historical obstacles to clarity 
in the countries still encumbered by the vestigial re- 
mains of feudalism. Any shock he would have felt 
had he lived to witness the debacle would, therefore, 



Facsimile of "The Socialist'* 
May, 1904 

Official organ of the Socialist Labor Par- 
ty of Great Britain. For several years 
The SoicmUst lapsed. It was revived Janu- 
ary, 1989, and has appeared regularly 
since. The issues of September and Oc- 
tober, 1940, were combined after an aerial 
bombardment wrecked the editorial ar- 
rangements for the September issue. By 
combining the two, continuity was pre- 
served. The enormous handicaps under 
which this excellent organ of Marxism- 
De Leonism is published can scarcely be 
exaggerated. It depends for its distribu- 
tion on members and sympathizers, most 
of whom are working excessively long 
hours. Distribution is further handicap- 
ped by black-outs. The fortitude of those 
who are charged with the preparation and 
publication of 2'he Socialist has been the 
source of inspiration for De Leonists ev- 
erywhere. Especially in the United States 
is each succeeding issue looked forward to 
eagerly. Articles selected from The So- 
cialist are frequently reprinted in the 
Weekly People. 



Socialism is 
the only hope 
of the workers. 
All alse is illu- 
sion." 




"Workers of all 
lands unite. You 
have nothing to 
lose but your 
chains. You 
have a world to 
win." 



Vol. II. -No 21 



EDINBURGH, fclAV 1904. 



Monthly. One Penny 



TOWARDS MAY DAY, 1904. 




itoStJ 



unemployed s 



MAY DAY RESOLU 1 ION of the Socialist Labour Party. 

DRAFTED BY THE EMXUTIVE COUNCIL. 



Ids Fraternal Greetings 
lew our pledge that in 



RESOLVED, -That the Socialist Labour Parly of Great Britain se 
to the Working Classes of all lands irrespective of nationality, creed, or coloui 
That ure. the British wing of the International Socialist MoTCment. re 
the futjre as in the past, rejecting the tribes of Capitalism, unmastang and 
gui e of Capital s Labour Falcirs, we shall never falter or draw back from the strugi^le, u 
the overthrow of the Capitalist Class, we have attained the goal of the Socialist Republic 
day of Working Class Emancipation, of which this, the First of May, is harbinger. 

(The above Resolution will be iubmillcd al all ihe Denionstritinns hfld by the Parlj lhrougl.oul 



ki S<iciarivt.l.aliD<ir Ptsty 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



51 



doubtless have been tempered with this understand- 
ing — but his castigations Avould have been no less 
severe. 

Most of the membership of the Sociahst LabOx 
Party were fortified against the shock chiefly through 
De Leon's masterful ''flashlights" of the European 
movement. In America they expressed their indig- 
nation freely, but in an "Address of the Socialist La- 
bor Party to the Parties Affiliated with the Interna- 
tional Sociahst Bureau," the Party refrained from 
singling out any of the European parties for attack. 
Instead, the address emphasized the lesson to be 
learned. "Recent events — the downfall of the In- 
ternational, the evident hopeless misunderstanding 
between the parties engaged in the present terrible 
war, the insistence that each side in the conflict is 
fighting for social betterment and the advancement 
of human progress — all prove that in some respects 
the parties in Europe, however successfully they may 
have grappled with the problems of the day, failed 
to take proper cognizance of certain fundamental 
principles of Socialism, and, falling to take cogniz- 
ance of these principles, failed equally to provide 
measures for the situation as it has risen in Europe 
today." The address proceeded to enunciate once 
again the stubborn truth and set forth the uncompro- 
mising program of the S.L.P. 

In December, 19 14, the Socialist Labor Party re- 
ceived an invitation to a conference of "Social Dem- 
ocratic Parties of Neutral Countries," to be held in 
Copenhagen, January 15, 19 15. The National 
Executive Committee rejected the invitation. In a 
letter addressed to the conference, pointing out that 
until the European movement showed some signs of 
establishing Itself on a scientific basis such confer- 
ences were unlikely to produce results, the S.L.P. de- 
clared: "....all the Socialist parties in Europe, 
with possibly one or two exceptions, are governed by 
the same principles which caused the parties in the 
belligerent nations to support their respective gov- 
ernments — viz.: that the proletarians of any country 
must defend 'their Fatherland' when It is being at- 
tacked. We hold that so long as this theory is ad- 
hered to, a repetition of the present mass-murder of 
Europe's proletariat may occur at any time." 

As was anticipated, the Copenhagen conference 
came to naught. 

S.L.P. Ponders Question of Withdrawal 

The colossal betrayal on the part of the most 
prominent parties of the Second International raised 
the question within the S.L.P. of the advisability of 
maintaining its affiliation. In April, 19 15, Section 
Cincinnati introduced a resolution which amounted to 



a demand for withdrawal and a proposal for the cre- 
ation of "a new international along the general plan 
of the S.L.P. and the bona fide I.W.W." It de- 
clared that "the delegates of the S.L.P. to the In- 
ternational Congresses have repeatedly pointed out 
the ineffectiveness of political action ALONE, only 
to be defeated at every turn by the feudalistic bour- 
geois Socialists." 

The resolution w^as properly seconded and sub- 
mitted to the membership for a referendum vote. 

There follow^ed a lively discussion in the columns 
of the Weekly People. It was apparent that a strong 
sentiment favored the Cincinnati resolution. But 
many of the Party's most seasoned members coun- 
seled against withdraw^al. Their position was sum- 
marized by the Avorld-renowned artist-engraver, A. 
C. Kihn, then a member of the National Executive 
Committee Sub-Committee. He regarded the Cincin- 
nati resolution as "untimely" and urged that "we 
keep ourselves free of any encumbrances" it would 
impose. The S.L.P. had taken the correct position 
toward the w^ar. It had set forth this position in its 
"Address to the Affiliated Parties of the Internation- 
al." If the Cincinnati proposition were voted dowm, 
we would be represented at the post-w^ar Internation- 
al Congress w^here our prestige would be enhanced by 
reason of our tried and tested Internationalism. "If 
we are absent we accomplish nothing. If, after we 
have reasoned and fought wnth the European Social- 
ists, our principles are still ignored and scoffed at, 
then, and not until then, is it time to withdraw from 
the International." Moreover, said Comrade Kihn, 

"the shaping of a new International \v\\\ be a 

slow and uncertain process." 

The arguments pro and con were exhaustive, but 
when the ballots wxre finally counted, the Party's de- 
cision was made in favor of the policy of watchful 
waiting — the Cincinnati resolution being defeated. 
How heavily sentiment weighed in the scales cannot 
easily be determined, but that it was a factor Is readi- 
ly acknowledged by some of those who participated 
in the referendum. 

In the eventful years which followed, the hope 
that the Second International might be revitalized 
and reconstituted on a sound Marxist basis vanished. 
Sentiment within the S.L.P. for internationalism w^as 
as strong as ever but the fact of unregenerate corrup- 
tion In the International tempered sentiment with 
cool judgment. The European Socialists emerged 
from the w^ar with a revolting air of simulated inno- 
cence. With supreme effrontery they charged the 
proletariat with responsibility for the debacle and as- 
signed to themselves the despicable role of frustrat- 
ing and circumventing the revolution. Together with 



52 



FIFTY YEARS 



the bourgeoisie and junkerdom, on whose hands was 
the blood of Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and 
thousands of unnamed martyrs, they set up their bo- 
gus republics, denouncing with the epithet, ''Bolshev- 
ik," all who rebelled against their treacherous rule. 

The 19 19 session of the National Executive 
Committee adopted a ringing resolution, expressing 
in the strongest terms the Party's utter contempt for 
this crowning betrayal "The Second International, 
never an organization with which a truly revolution- 
ary body like the S.L.P. could find itself in perfect 
accord," it declared, "ceased to exist and has ended 
in disgrace. Its career came to a close in the midst 
of a world catastrophe when its discordant constitu- 
ent parts blew asunder under the fiery breath of a 
world war that plunged mankind into a sea of blood 
and misery. Its so-called leaders, swayed by bour- 
geois nationalist ideals and interests, at once betrayed 
the principles of revolutionary Socialism, and, array- 
ing the proletarian masses of their respective coun- 
tries in active support of the predatory capitalist m- 
terests responsible for the war in every one of the 
belligerent countries, they produced a new type of 
and added to the vocabulary of the movement a new 
term— the 'Social Patriot.' The masses of the work- 
ing class in the countries involved, thrown into dis- 
order by the treason of their misleaders, bewildered 
by the rapid succession of events, unable to find sud- 
denly a new orientation in the midst of cataclysm, 
sought at first to stave off disaster by mass demon- 
strations against the war and then, blinded by the 
spurious slogan 'National Defense' raised by their 
misleaders, succumbed and paid for the bloody ad- 
venture of their capitalist masters with millions of 
lives, untold misery, plus the disruption of whatever 
international organization and relations the proleta- 
rian movement had possessed." 

But the traitors were not done. "Obedient to 
the demands of the master class, an attempt has been 
made to revive the International, the discredited 
fragments of the discredited whole seeking to revamp 
the abortion under the same discredited leadership, 
and under the but thinly concealed aegis of the Im- 
perialist Allied governments. To what end? To the 
end of utilizing it as a bulwark against the ever rising 
tide of the Social Revolution. ..." 

The N.E.C. resolved to submit the matter of for- 
mally severing all ties w^ith the revived Second Inter- 
national to a referendum vote. It recalled that "some 
time prior to the Amsterdam International Congress 
(1904) there developed among the membership of 
the Socialist Labor Party a sentiment that further 
connection with the then International, which had an 



the Paris International Congress adopted the infa- 
mous Kautsky resolution, was unbecoming to a truly 

revolutionary body This sentiment caused the 

question of further affiliation to be submitted to a 
referendum vote of the Party membership. The 
membership of that day, unable as yet to discern 
clearly the true character of the International, by the 
small majority of twenty-five votes decided in favor 
of further affiliation and it w^as in obedience of the 
Party's mandate, thus expressed, that Comrade De 
Leon went to Amsterdam as the representative of 
the S.L.P., although he had himself spoken and 
voted against further affiliation." 

The decision was adopted unanimously when 
submitted to a referendum vote. Thus, after nearly 
thirty years of continuous membership in the Second 
International — thirty years of unrelenting opposition 
to opportunism and reformism and unremitting agi- 
tation for the principles of revolutionary Socialism 
w^ithin, as well as without, the International — the So- 
cialist Labor Party retired from the field, its prin- 
ciples vindicated, its spirit as dauntless as w^hen it 
helped to raise the proud banner of Internationahsm 
that August day in Paris, 1889. 

A '^CaW^ for a Third International. 

The Bolshevik Revolution of October, 19 17, had 
given a mighty Impulse to the hopes and aspirations 
of workers everywhere. The Socialist Labor Party 
hailed it wnth enthusiasm, stoutly defending it against 
its calumniators. It did not, however, as many would- 




1 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



yjy 



be revolutionists did, leap to rash conclusions or lose 
its perspective. Material conditions in Russia ruled 
' out the possibility of achieving Socialism at one blow, 
hence any historical analysis of the October Revolu- 
tion, which failed to take into account the immense 
and possibly insurmountable obstacles presented by 
a semi-feudal economy, would lead to dangerously 
misleading conclusions. Nevertheless, the Socialist 
Labor Party looked to the Russian Revolution for 
the initiative and Inspiration which would rally the 
classconscious workers of the world and unite them 
internationally against their internationally allied ex- 
ploiters. At the same session of the National Exec- 
utive Committee which resolved to sever all ties with 
the traitorous Second International, a resolution was 
adopted expressing the devout hope that a new In- 
ternational be formed "upon clear-cut revolutionary 
principles, the unqualified recognition of the antago- 
nism of interests of the capitalist and wage-work- 
ing class, and of the inevitable class struggle resulting 
therefrom, terminable only by the complete over- 
throw of the capitahst system of production by the 
revolutionary classconscious action of the working 
class." It pointed out that "in the columns of the 
kept press of this country there has been published a 
call alleged to have been Issued by a Communist Con- 
gress at Moscow and aiming at the formation of a 
new International." It held the call suspect because 
it came through "so unclean a channel," but called 
upon the S.L.P. membership to keep itself in readi- 
ness to vote upon the matter of sending a delegation 
to Russia, should it prove genuine. It also author- 
ized the N.E.C. Sub-Committee to act If swift action 
V were called for. 

In 192 1 a delegation was sent to Moscow. The 
story of its adventurous journey constitutes an epic. 
However, due to the limitations of the present doc- 
ument, we are constrained to deal with it elsewhere.^ 
The conditions of affiliation with the so-called Com- 
munist International, when they were subsequently 
formulated, were ludicrous in the light of the eco- 
nomic and political conditions of America, reflecting, 
as they did, the semi-feudal conditions of Russia. 
Although they were critically analyzed in the col- 
umns of the Weekly People, there was at no time 
any doubt concerning their rejection. The Party de- 
tected at an early date, and warned against, the in- 
calculable potential evils inherent In the Jesuitic 
Communist principle that the end justifies the means. 
In the* report of the National Executive Committee 
to the National Convention of 1924 this feature of 



^Weekly People, April 26, 1941. 



the Communist International was dilated upon. The 
report declared: 

"Communism, as commonly understood and ap- 
plied, has become a religion very much in the same 
sense that Catholicism is a religion. Members are 
required to take things on faith; they are taught to 
hate the 'infidel' rather than to acquire knowledge; 
they are admonished never to admit they have made 
a mistake, instead they are taught the 'tactic' of abus- 
ing and vilifying their opponents, especially if that 
opponent happens to be the S.L.P. One of their 
guiding principles is that the end justifies the means 
— exactly as with the militant branch of the Ultra- 
montane machine; to sustain their faith whenever it 
may waver (as the strongest faiths may do) they are 
told to turn their gaze toward Moscow, precisely as 
the followers of Ultramontanism are told to turn 
their faces toward Rome. ..." 

The numerous times the American burlesque bol- 
sheviki performed a volte-face^ culminating August, 
1939, in their unblushing acceptance of the Hitler- 
Stalin pact with all its obscene implications, came as 
no surprise to the S.L.P. membership, forewarned as 
it was with vast experience and a penetrating insight 
into the anti-Marxism of the Third International. 

Today there exists no international worthy of the 
name. 

The Second International, revived as a sort of 
international "kafifee klatch," was literally triturated 
by the Second World War. Its miserable existence 
was doomed, however, years earlier when Nazi 
hoodlums routed its main prop, the German Social 
Democracy. Of all the working class or pseudo- 
working class organizations to be exterminated by 
Hider, the Social Democracy was last It awaited 
its doom almost passively as though paralyzed with 
terror. Then it groveled, groveled shamelessly. As 
Its final infamy, its delegation to the Reichstag, on 
May 17, 1933, voted confidence in the Hitler regime! 
The Second Internationalists, who escaped the terror 
their treachery abetted, are today playing their fam- 
iliar role as social-patriots in London and New York. 

The Third International exists, as we have said, 
as an auxiliary of the Soviet Foreign Office, a carica- 
ture of internationalism and the pliant tool of Jesuiti- 
cal Communism. The Marxist principle that Social- 
ist tactics must conform to the economic and socio- 
logical topography of the land, utterly incomprehen- 
sible to the Kremlin autocrats, is rejected for tactics 
that conform to the momentary exigencies of the 
Stalinist bureaucracy — as it plays its dishonorable 
role in the game of international imperialist politics. 
The so-called Fourth, or Trotskyite, Internation- 



] 



54 



FIFTY YEARS 



al is the product of internal Bolshevik schism, and 
likewise reflects the backwardness of Russia. Amoeba- 
like, the Fourth International grows by subdividing, 
its several component parts pursuing tactics not un- 
like those of the Anarcho-Communists. Instead of 
an association of Sociahst parties, each working in 
accordance with the conditions at hand for the over- 
throw of their respective ruling classes, it is an ag- 
gregation of conspiratorial opportunists whose tac- 
tics vary as to their opportunism and range from col- 
laboration wath the Stalinists to downright fakering 
in the trade unions. 

The parties in America w^hich w^ere affiliated 
with one or the other of the self-styled internationals 
were recently compelled formally to sever their rela- 
tions or suffer the surrender of their membership lists 
under the provisions of the outrageous Voorhis Act 
which became effective January 15, 1941. This law 
presents new obstacles to the organization of a bona 
fide Socialist International even if it were otherwise 
practicable. The nucleus of such an International ex- 
ists, it is true, in the S.L.P. organizations of the 
United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain and 
a group in South America who base their tactics on 
De Leonlst principles. However, under prevailing 
world conditions and in view of the imminence of 
social cataclysm, plans in this direction are untime- 
ly. Every ounce of energy that can be mustered 
is urgently needed to spread the Socialist Industrial 
Union program of proletarian emancipation at home. 
And surely no more effective aid and inspiration 
could be given to our class brothers everywhere than 
to settle matters with the American plunderbund, the 
most powerful group of exploiters in the world. 



Notwithstanding the truly formidable obstacles 
to the formation of a bona fide Marxist Interna- 
tional, there is no occasion for pessimism. The spirit 
of internationalism still lives in the breasts of the 
earth's disinherited. The howls of jingos and in- 
flammatory incitations of governments have failed 
utterly in arousing in them a hatred for other peo- 
ples. Even in the midst of bloody war, the workers 
of the so-called democracies evince more pity than 
venom for the masses under the Nazi-Fascist heel. 

And among the classconscious workers, of whom 
there is an ever increasing number, national differ- 
ences and antagonisms have completely vanished. 
They know that workingmen have no country, that 
national interests are capitalist interests, and national 
''honor," and national "defense," capitalist shibbo- 
leths. They are citizens of no nation! They are citi- 
zens of the world ! 

Internationalism will finally reach its full efflo- 
rescence through their efforts. For the nation, a cre- 
ation of capitalist society, will disappear as such with 
the advent of Socialism. In place of nations with 
antagonistic interests, there will be Socialist Repub- 
lics w^ith common interests, federated for the free 
exchange of goods and culture, under an Internation- 
al Socialist Commonwealth. Beneath the magnifi- 
cent panoply of this free world, man will rise to his 
full stature, economically free, his heart unburdened 
of baneful national hatreds, his mind emancipated 
from the shackles of philistlne nationalism. With 
the overthrow of bourgeois rule mankind comes into 
the magnificent heritage denied it through centuries 
of travail — a world of affluence and cooperation and 
peace. Speed the day! 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



:>y 



THEOCRACY or DEMOCRACY? 



(Continued from page 17.) 



merely tried it to shame his fawning and flattering 
courtiers who insisted that he had the almighty power 
to do so ! The class struggle is as elemental in capi- 
talist society as the waves of the ocean are in nature. 
And finally there is to be noted Mr. Lippmann's bold 
injection of "religion" into the arena of social and 
political struggles. Not that it is not already there, 
though it is disguised or thinly A^eiled. But Mr. Lipp- 
mann strips the subject of its pretense. 

Finally, Mr. Lippmann assures his readers that 
Mr. Roosevelt's declaration "is an event in modern 
history, comparable, so to speak, with the Communist 
Manifesto of 1848"! This, too, is significant. Mr. 
Lippmann knows that the Communist Manifesto was 
a challenge hurled at capitalist society, a challenge 
which shook it to its foundation. Hopefully, he ap- 
parently conceives the President's declaration as a 
counter-challenge which shall put an end to the move- 
ment of revolutionary Socialism, and for all time pre- 
serve capitalist society; a challenge which shall termi- 
nate the class struggle, crush the spirit of the work- 
ers, and mold their minds to suit the needs of the 
Feudo-Industrial Theocracy toward which he, Mr. 
Roosevelt, and their clerical and plutocratic allies are 
straining. But the working class has still to be heard 
from. And upon that fact Mr. Lippmann and those 
whom he serves may well ponder! 

IIL 

Mr. Lippmann was not the only one who re- 
sponded so enthusiastically to Mr. Roosevelt's bid 
for theocracy. Priests, ministers and rabbis sing the 
praises of Mr. Roosevelt, though some of them 
might well weep if they value their particular creed 
and separate propertied institudons. For in a theoc- 
racy there is room for no dissenters. Theocracy 
knows but one god, one church, one creed. The 
voluble and effervescent Dorothy Thompson follows 
hard upon Mr. Lippmann's heels' — less subtle, more 
evangelical. She heardly joins Messrs. Roosevelt 
and Lippmann in their professions of faith — cheerily 
she agrees that Mr. Roosevelt's idea of democracy 
as the child of religion Is sound, and that, contrari- 
wise, the "current concept" that "democracy was pre- 
dominantly secular and materialistic" is unsound and 
wrong in principle. We are getting somewhere very 



iNew York Herald Tribune, January 9, 1939. 



fast! If democracy, that is, democratic government, 
is not secular, it surely is not of this earth! It must, 
then, be classed with things sacred, it must be some- 
thing religious, something instituted directly by God 
and entrusted to the safe-keeping of his vicars on 
earth ! Miss Thompson chirps that "The conception 
of man as a child of God. . . . is the basis of democ- 
racy" ! And triumphantly she finally announces that 
Judaism and Christianity are to be equated to mod- 
ern democracy, since they share the same "spiritual" 
concepts! Jewish theocracy, for instance, equated 
to Jeffersonian Democracy ! Selah ! 

The "secular" columnists and their "non-secular" 
fellow-workers all agree that democracy must be of 
the deity, by the deity, for the deity! But most of 
them are a little bolder and more specific: They in- 
sist (as did Bishop Manning) that ours is a Christian 
civilization, that this is a Christian democracy, that 
Christ must be the fountainhead of government, and 
so forth. It is significant that a month later, from 
the city of Washington again, there came another 
announcement, this time proclaiming the initiating of 
a move for putting God in the government! Joseph 
Corrigan, rector of the Catholic University of Amer- 
ica, announced a "national crusade for God in Gov- 
ernment." Among other things, American Catholics 
are Invited (presumably pending the superimposing 
of the deity on our form of government, with or 
without Constitutional amendment) to pledge them- 
selves to a defense of "the republic against atheistic 
[ !] propaganda, to maintain respect for rightly con- 
stituted authority and obedience to lawful adminis- 
trators. ..." 

Apparently the Roman Catholic political machine 
is going to lose no time or opportunity in following 
Mr. Roosevelt's lead. And as the self-proclaimed 
vicars of God on earth, the papacy, i.e., Ultramon- 
tanlsm, or political Romanism, may be expected to 
insist on the right to determine what and who are 
the "rightly constituted authority," and when "obedi- 
ence" must be rendered, and to whom. Nor can we 
doubt the nature of the interpretations which the 
papacy will render of "God's will." Ten centuries 
of almost unrelieved social darkness, slavery and hu- 
man misery, warn us as to what to expect if once 
again theocracy returns to afflict us. 

There may be some who would argue that these 
phrases of God or Christ in Government, etc., are 



56 



FIFTY YEARS 



mere figures of speech, that they are not to be taken 
seriously, for how, we are asked, can God be made 
our earthly ruler? Of course, to those who ask such 
a question, "God" is either a myth or a pure abstrac- 
tion, having no reality and therefore no influence on 
affairs, except as all myths may in some degree in- 
fluence them. The answer is that these are not mere 
figures of speech, that these people mean exactly 
what they say, though they may have differing con- 
cepts as to how God is to be put in government, or 
how "religion" is to manifest itself as the fountain- 
head of government. For "God in Government" is 
no fantastic concept — it had reality once, and repeat- 
eclly, and it may conceivably assume reality anew. To 
be sure, difficulties might be encountered in attempt- 
ing to confer with God in matters of practical details, 
for although Moses and other ancient prophets claim 
to have spoken with God, nowadays such claims 
would be met with a good deal of scepticism and deri- 
sion. And even Moses never saw God face to face, 
as the Bible plainly tells us — he was only allow'cd to 
have a peep at God's back! ("I will take mine hand 
away [said the Lord Jehovah to Moses], and thou 
shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be 
seen." — Exodus XXXIII, 23.) Thus, as Lincoln 
observed, while "there is no contending against the 
will of God. . . .still there is some difficulty in ascer- 
taining and applying it to particular cases." And so 
God's vicars on earth must necessarily speak for God 
— even for "God in Government" — ^and these vicars 
must, of course, consult God, ascertain his will, and 
apply it or convey it to the governed. 

And who are God's vicars? They are the popes, 
priests, and all their kind, and what they declare is 
God's will is, ipso facto, the will of God! Which is 
to say that democratic government, amended as pro- 
posed by Messrs. Roosevelt & Co., would become a 
government of and by the priesthood, and (if they 
are lucky) for the ruled, dumb multitude. Fantastic 
— an absurd notion? Not at all. This seeming 
rednctio ad absurdum is in fact theocracy. It flour- 
ished unconditionally among the ancient Hebrew^s up 
to the time they took unto themselves kings. There- 
after it w^as a theocracy tempered by divine kingship. 
It prevailed in ancient Rome, and for centuries it was 
exercised by the Roman Catholic Church, again tem- 
pered and modified by the monarchy and feudal class 
privileges generally. It had a belated efflorescence 
in Calvinism at Geneva, and emerged in modified 
form in Puritan England; in Scandinavia it had a 
brief renaissance; from Old England it became 
transplanted to New England, and the theocracy of 
New England remains to this day one of the most 
complete, and at the same time one of the most hor- 



rible, examples of theocracy. Given the right set- 
ting, and a dull, uninstructed, complacent and com- 
pliant working class, it may even now be successfully 
reintroduced. Certainly, the advocates of theocracy 
(of course, they have nice euphemisms for the more 
brazen term "theocracy") are sparing no effort to es- 
tablish the theocratic state. Gradually they are ad- 
vancing tow^ard their goal with no serious obstruc- 
tions encountered thus far. To paraphrase Thomas 
Jefferson, those who favor theocracy are "working 
like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today 
and a little tomorrow, and advancing their noiseless 
step, like a thief, over the field of society and its in- 
stitutions, until Freedom and democratic government 
shall have been lost, and power of government is con- 
solidated into a Twentieth Century College of the 
Priesthood, with a Pontifex Maximus as the supreme 
arbiter and ruler." 

IV. 

"The investigation of terms," said Epictetus, "Is 
the beginning of education." Let us, then, investi- 
gate the term "Theocracy." The Standard Diction- 
ary defines it as "a form of government in which God 
is recognized as the supreme civil ruler of the state, 
and his laws are taken as the statute-book of the 
kingdom." William Warburton, famous eighteenth 
century theologian, in his work "The Divine Lega- 
tion of Moses Demonstrated, Etc.," wTOte : 

"Thus, the Almighty becoming their king, in as 
real a sense as he was their God, the republic of the 
Israelites was properly a Theocracy." 

George Park Fisher, nineteenth century Amer- 
ican churchman, wrote in his book, "Beginnings of 
Christianity" : 

"The Kingdom of God existed at the outset in a 
national form, in the form of a theocratic state." 

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Theocracy 
as follows: 

"The rule of God, from deos, god, and kratos, 
to rule, a term applied to a form of government or 
to a state ruled by such a form of government in 
which God or the divine power is looked to as the 
source of all civil power, and the divine command- 
ments regarded as the laws of the community. The 
typical example of such a state is that of the Jews 
till the establishment of the kingship under Saul." 

These should suffice. We now have a fairly clear 
picture of what is understood by theocracy. Likewise 
w^e know noAV what they mean who insist that God 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



57 



must be put in government, that we must have a 
"Christian Democracy," and that this is a ^'Christian 
Civilization." Compare the phrase in the Britannica 
definition: "God or the divine power is looked to as 
the source of all civil power," with President Roose- 
velt's phrase, "... .religion. . . .is the source of . . . . 
democracy. ..." Unless Mr. Roosevelt was speak- 
ing loosely (which the important occasion would 
seem to preclude) , or unless he was merely paying "a 
conventional tribute to religion" (which Mr. Lipp- 
mann vigorously, and rightly we believe, denies), can 
there be any doubt that the President had in mind a 
theocratic state when he spoke as he did? Consider- 
ing his definite language, his measured words, and 
the trend of the times, not to mention the fact of a 
world in chaos and threatened with complete anarchy 
from which there can be but two forms of escape, 
Socialism (the Industrial Union Government) or a 
"benevolent" Industrial Feudalism — considering all 
this, we cannot doubt the real and sinister meaning 
of the Presidential pronouncement. 

As we have seen, theocracy naturally, rationally^ 
resolves itself into priest rule. In our modern con- 
solidated, and increasingly homogeneous society, this 
in turn translates itself into rule by the most power- 
ful, most perfectly and universally organized church 
body. At present, at least, this means the Roman 
Catholic Hierarchy, or the Papacy, for short. This 
conclusion is no product of a fevered mind, or of hys- 
teria, nor is it the conclusion of a ranting anti-Cath- 
olic crusader. It is a conclusion inescapable from the 
present premises. But of this more later. Theoc- 
racy has undoubtedly performed a needed function 
in undeveloped societies, or during unsettled and an- 
archic periods in history. And it cannot be denied 
that it has even served as seed carrier of progress. 
That it has been a heavy and a bloody price for man- 
kind to pay is also true. Whether the service ren- 
dered fully justified the heavy and cruel cost is a 
question that cannot be considered here. We are 
here primarily concerned with the true nature of 
theocracy, and its possible application to the develop- 
ment of society in the future — in all probability the 
near future. And the true nature of theocracy can 
be best ascertained from a study of its operation in 
the past, and the evil fruits it bore, even though it 
may also have carried some seeds of progress. The 
verdict of enlightened mankind, however, with re- 
spect to theocracy or priestly governmental rule has 
been aptly summed up by Daniel Defoe in his well 
known lines : 

"And of all plagues with which mankind are curst, 
Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst." 



And the echo reverberates through the corridors 
of time: "The worst!" 



In this brief sketch neither time nor space permits 
of an exhaustive treatment of the subject of theoc- 
racy around w^hich so vast a body of literature has 
grown. Among the earliest manifestations of theoc- 
racy, however, we note particularly the ancient Jew- 
ish theocracy, which has also served as the Inspira- 
tion for every succeeding theocracy in history. The 
record of that theocracy may be found largely In the 
Old Testament. Here we have presented an almost 
perfect example of that form of absolute rule. To 
the modern rational mind it seems incredible that for 
so many centuries a whole people would permit itself 
to be priest-ridden to such a degree. If we are to 
believe the Bible account (as at any rate all faithful 
Christians and Jews do). It was a rule unsurpassed 
in cruelty, superstition, priestly deceit and trickery. 
The "supreme ruler" (Jehovah) faithfully reflects 
the ruling theocrats, the high priests and priesthood 
generally. Undoubtedly the tribes of ancient Israel 
were wild and unruly barbarians; undoubtedly they 
had to be ruled with an iron rod. And the god of 
such a primitive and savage people necessarily was a 
cruel and savage god. Most of us are familiar with 
the slaughter of innocents perpetrated by the bloody 
and vindictive Jehovah — that is to say, by the Jewish 
Theocracy. Among the numerous accounts of such 
bloody slaughters of innocents the siege of Jericho 
is perhaps best remembered, since the fall of Jeri- 
cho's walls has become illustrative of the collapse of 
all fortified towns through the ages. We are told 
that they (the conquering "children of Israel" under 
Joshua's leadership) "utterly destroyed all that was 
in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and 
ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword." 
(Joshua VI, 21.) As complete a slaughter as ever 
was, one calculated to make our modern Hitlers turn 
green with envy! Out of all the inhabitants of Jeri- 
cho only a common prostitute and her family (and 
friends gathered In her house) were spared! And 
that was because she (the harlot Rahab) had played 
the part of "Fifth Columnist" to Joshua's spies that 
were sneaked into Jericho! And good care was 
taken to secure the precious metals of Jericho, and to 
see to it that they were turned over to the conquering 
Jehovah — that is, to his agents, of course, the priest- 
hood ! As the story goes: 

"And they [Joshua and his fellow marauders] 
burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein; only 
the silver^ and the gold, and the vessels of bt'ass and 



FIFTY YEARS 




Last Scene in an Austrian Tragic Dramta 

Crozier and sword, after long separation, again united in a 
tender embraee. Universal joy! Curtain drops. 

— ^Kikeriki, Vienna, 1871. 



of iron, they put into the treasure house of the 
Lord/'/ (Joshua VI, 24.) 

As reported in the Old Testament, the ancient 
Jewish theocratic state was formed after Moses had 
had repeated conferences with Jehovah, from whom 
the former received the basic laws and command- 
ments graven on tablets, and although even Moses 
was not permitted to view the face of Jehovah, he 
apparently managed to secure a pretty good idea of 
how he looked, which, oddly enough, turned out to 
be the w^ay human beings looked. At any rate, here 
was a body of law^ a set of commandments, codes of 
morals and ethics, etc., etc., directly formulated by 
God for the use of his chosen children — surely awe- 
some enough to insure their constant and universal 
observance. Alas ! Man proved, unwittingly per- 
haps, but rather conclusively, that in crises or mo- 
ments of excitement and ecstasy, or when on pillage 
and murder bent, God's personally framed laws, and 



indeed God himself, became what they really were, 
the creations of man himself — God, fashioned in 
man's image; the laws, etc., the products of man's 
genius or fancy! For, as Moses scoldingly told 
them: "Thou art a stiff-necked people." ! (Deuteron- 
omy IX, 6.) 

Nevertheless, this theocracy flourished, and 
somehow (despite all the misery and sufferings of 
the masses) managed to leave an indelible impress 
upon the history of our civilization. And, as Ave have 
seen, this theocracy persisted until the Jews decided 
that their priesthood w^asn't doing so good for them, 
and began to grumble and clamor for kings saying: 

"Nay, but we will have a king over us; That we 
also may be like all the nations; and that our king 
may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our 
battles." (I Samuel, VIII, 19-20.) 

And so, like it or not, Jehovah — that is to say, 
Jehovah's executive officers — had to share the power 
with kings who, of course, had to be anointed of the 
Lord, so that the kingship might stick! And thus 
theocracy became modified by the divine rule of kings 
— the rule of king-priest or priest-king. Sometimes 
more of one or less of the other. As Buckle said of 
a not greatly dissimilar situation ages later: "In ev- 
ery nation in Europe the powder of the clergy at an 
early period bore an inverse ratio to the powder of 
the sovereign." (Buckle: Miscellaneous Works, I.) 
Or, to paraphrase the irreverent language of Samuel 
Butler ("Hudibras" Butler), the Jewish autocracy 
presented itself as — 

"Cleric before and Lay behind; 
A lawful linsey-woolsey brother, 
Half of one order, half another!" 



Sir James Frazer, in his fascinating study of 
magic and primitive religion, "The Golden Bough," 
observes: 

"The union of a royal title with priestly duties 
was common in ancient Italy and Greece. At Rome 
and in other cities of Latium there w^as a priest called 
the Sacrificial King or King of the Sacred Rites, and 
his wife bore the title of Queen of the Sacred Rites. 
... .At Rome the tradition was that the Sacrificial 
King had been appointed after the abolition of the 
monarchy in order to offer the sacrifices w^hich before 
had been offered by the kings. A similar view as to 
the origin of the priestly kings appears to have pre- 
vailed in Greece This combination of priestly 

function with royal authority is familiar to every one. 
Asia Minor, for example, was the seat of various 



i 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



59 



great religious capitals peopled by thousands of 
sacred slaves, and ruled by pontiffs who wielded at 
once temporal and spiritual authority, like the popes 
of medieval Rome. Such priest-ridden cities were 
Zela and Pessinus. Teutonic kings, again, in the old 
heathen days seem to have stood in the position, and 
to have exercised the powders, of high priests. The 
Emperors of China offered public sacrifices the de- 
tails of which were regulated by the ritual books. 
The King of Madagascar was high priest of the 
realm. . . . And the dim light of tradition reveals a 
similar union of temporal and spiritual powder, of 
royal and priestly duties, in the kings of that delight- 
ful region of Central America w^hose ancient capital, 
now buried under the rank growth of the tropical 
forest, is marked by the stately and mysterious ruins 
of Palenque. 

"When we have said that the ancient kings were 
commonly priests also, we are far from having e:x:- 
hausted the religious aspect of their office. In those 
days the divinity that hedges a king w^as no empty 
form of speech, but the expression of a sober belief. 
Kings were revered, in many cases not merely as 
priests, that is, as intercessors between man and God, 
but as themselves Gods, able to bestow upon the sub- 
jects and worshippers those blessings w^hich are com- 
monly supposed to be beyond the reach of mortals, 
'^and are sought, if at all, only by prayer and sacrifice 
offered to superhuman and invisible beings." Etc. 



VI. 

However, the Jewish theocracy at last came 
to grief. The growth of the Roman Empire eventu- 
ally brought that about, though, of course, the fall 
of the one, and the rise of the other, resulted from 
the action and interplay of economic forces before 
which even Jehovah, in all his almighty powder, with- 
ered ! 

Although, as we have seen, ancient Greece and 
Rome were afflicted with a ruling priesthood, and 
the train of evils which goes with it, the idea of dem- 
ocratic rule (despite slavery and other qualifying fac- 
tors) had progressed too far for the successful main- 
tenance of a typical theocratic rule. Yet, the minds 
of even the most enlightened of men were ruled to 
a large extent by supernatural fears and superstitions 
(freely traded on by the priesthood), and men were 
frequently put to death for provoking the Avrath of 
the deity, or for failing to manifest the proper re- 
spect for the gods. Socrates w^as accused of such 
disrespect. In his own words, it Avas chargeci "That 
Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, 
and he does not believe in the gods of the State, and 



has other neic divinities of his oziu . ..." Socrates 
denied the charge, denied also that he was *'aii athe- 
ist simply, and a teacher of atheism." And yet, even 
the wise Socrates w^as ruled by such superstitions as 
believing in, anci permitting himself to be governed, 
for instance, by the verciicts of the Oracle of Delphi ! 
Aristotle, in his "Politics," describes the function 
and the character of the priests, and their official 
place in the society of Athens, as he visualized it: 

"Of the classes enumerated there remain only the 
priests, and the manner in w^hich their office is to be 
regulated is obvious [!]. No husbandman or me- 
chanic should be appointed to it; for the gods should 
receive honors from the citizens only It is be- 
seeming that the worship of the gods should be duly 
performed, and also a rest provided in their service 
for those w^ho from age have given up active life — 
to the old men of those two classes [i.e., "warriors 
and the councillors"] should be assigned the duties 
of the priesthood." 

In Rome similarly the priesthood attained high 
rank and exclusive privileges, exercising a strong in- 
fluence and wielding great powers. With the genius 
of the Romans for organization, it is natural that 
functions of priestcraft should have been highly or- 
ganized. According to Theodor Mommsen, in his 
"History of Rome," theoretically "those who had 
business with a god, resorted to the god, and not to 
the priest." But, adds Mommsen, "it Avas no easy 
matter Avithal to hold converse Avith a god [!]. The 
god had his OAvn Avay of speaking, Avhich Avas intel- 
ligible only to one who was acquainted AvIth It. He 
who did rightly understand it kncAv not only hoAV to 
ascertain, but also hoAV to manage, the will of the 
god, and even in case of need to overreach or to con- 
strain him^^f And so a special class of "professors," 
skilled in the arts of managing and reproving gods, 
Avas organized in special "colleges" Avhich, Mommsen 
observes, "have been often, but erroneously, con- 
founded Avith the priesthoods." The function of the 
priesthoods Avas that of conducting the AA'orship be- 
fore a specific diAnnity, Avhereas the colleges "Avere 
charged Avith the preserA^ation of traditional rules re- 
garding those more general religious obserA^ances, 
the proper fulfilment of Avhich implied a certain 
amount of information, and rendered it necessary for 
the state in its own interest to provide for the faithful 
transmission of that information.^^ 

In the course of time this college of pontifices, 
exercising supreme authority In religious matters, be- 
came extremely poAverful. Its head, the Pontifex 
MaximuSf Avas as poAverful in his exercise of religious 
authority as is the Pope in the Catholic Church to this 



6o 



FIFTY YEARS 



day. But, obedient to its law of being, the college 
and its head (aside from the priesthood generally) 
encroached more and more upon the secular power 
until, finally, on one religious pretext or other, acts 
of the State were overruled or ignored. ^^Taking no 
thought as to the consequences,'' says Mommsen,^ 
"and unmindful of the wise example of their ances- 
tors, it was allowed to become an established rule, 
that the skilled colleges of priests were entitled to 
cancel any act of state, whether law or election, on 
the pretext of religious informality." 

With so much power, and after the fashion of 
the priesthood of all times and climes, the business 
of public worship became a veritable racket. Momm- 
sen tells us that the tremendous increase in the tax 
levied to defray the cost of public worship was a nec- 
essary result of the increase in the number of its gods 
and its temples, which in turn led, says Mommsen, 
to the priests' being ^'permitted to exercise a very 
injurious influence on public affairs." And Momm- 
sen's shrewd observation: "The Roman world of 
gods, as we have already indicated, zvas a higher 
counterparty an ideal reflection^ of the earthly Rome, 
in which the little and the great were alike repro- 
duced with painstaking exactness/* reminds us of 
Marx's pithy comment: "The rehgious world is but 
the reflex of the real world. .... The religious reflex 
of the real world can. . . .only then finally vanish, 
when the practical relations of everyday life offer to 
man none but perfecdy intelligible and reasonable re- 
lations with regard to his fellow men and to nature."^ 

Basic to all the ancient theocracies, or systems of 
priestly rule, is the fear entertained by the votaries 
of material damage being done to him by his gods — 
to his crops, his property, or to his personal physical 
safety generally, or that of his household. Hence 
the constant need of propitiating his deity — that is to 
say, the priests supposedly representing the deity. 
Hence, further, the never-ending material offerings 
to the priesthood or the church, a practice which in 
later times led to the impositions of tithes and in 
civilized countries to this day in the levying on citi- 
zens — believers or not — of church taxes. As a mat- 
ter of personal experience, it was the occasion for 
the present writer registering a violent objection 
when, years ago in Denmark, on a taxbill handed him 
he discovered that a fraction of the tax demanded 
was set aside for the support of the Lutheran state 
church! Protests, however, were in vain — though 
in one's youthful ardor the church was condemned 
and contemned and considered a great menace to 



i"History of Rome," I. 
^"Capital," chapter I. 



progress, the young rebel still had to pay for its up- 
keep ! As an example of primitive levy of tax on 
votaries for the benefit of the deity (or, to be realis- 
tic, for the benefit of his fat-bellied priesthood), 
Frazer records the following: 

"In the West African kingdom of Congo there 
w^as a supreme pontiff called Chitome or Chitombe, 
whom the Negroes regarded as a god on earth and 
all powerful in heaven. Hence before they would 
taste the new crops they offered him the first-fruits, 
fearing that manifold misfortune would befall them 

if they broke this rule And if he [Chitome] 

were to die a natural death, they thought that the 
world would perish, and the earth, which he alone 
sustained by his power and merit, would immediately 
be annihilated." ! 

Sir James does not record that Chitome was in 
any way related to the amazing "Father Divine,*' 
though one w^onders ! Certainly both have had the 
identical iciea, and seemingly with material results 
equally pleasant and personally beneficial ! 

VII. 

The outstanding example of a ruthless, though 
invariably tempered or contested, theocracy is that 
of the Roman Catholic Church. The vastness of the 
subject, its many ramifications, permits of scarcely 
more than passing notice. Moreover, its history is 
generally known, though its grasping for secular 
power, anci its actual exercise thereof, is either dis- 
putecl by its upholders, or the facts concerning same 
have been, and are being, so befogged through casu- 
istry and perversions of the truth that one lifetime 
would seem too short to clear aw^ay the fog and 
place the facts clearly before us ! Yet it is incon- 
testable that during hundreds of years a fierce strug- 
gle was w^aged between the so-called spiritual and 
temporal powders, and always over questions that 
were anything but spiritual. The cruelty of those 
charged with suppressing the slightest sign of heresy 
or defiance of the papacy, defies description — and the 
reason for suppression of heresy w^as, again, the 
purely material. An institution claiming direct rela- 
tion with God, whose supreme head is considered the 
personal representative of God, and who is supposed 
to be infallible — who, in fact, claims infallibility in 
all matters of religious dogma, and in effect claims 
it in all other matters affecting its power and mate- 
rial welfare, this institution cannot tolerate dissent 
or difference of opinion. Blind obedience, in how- 
ever crafty and circumambient manner exacted, is es- 
sential to the continued existence and prosperity of 
the institution. And the papacy is as fabulously 



OF AMERICAN' MARXISM 



6i 




'Away with you — leave my pile alone!" 

(Caricature on profit-greedy clericalisin.) 

— ^By Andre Gill ("La lune rousse," 1878.) 



wealthy as it Is incredibly powerful, despite reverses 
during the centuries it has maintained itself, though 
relatively its power and influence bear no compari- 
son to its powder and influence during the thousand 
years when virtually it held supreme sway. 

The arrogance, the insolence, and the corruption 
of the Catholic Church throughout the ages are un- 
derstandable. Through a set of historical circum- 
stances w^hich rendered just such an institution indis- 
pensable to the ruling classes, the church established 
itself as the supreme arbiter between man and his 
deity. Given the prevailing superstition, and once 
securely ensconced behind a wall of mysticism, ignor- 
ance, tradition and precedent, and resting firmly on 
substantial material possessions, it is natural that 
those entrusted with its management should have 
placed, and continue to place, the church above every 
other human institution and every other earthly con- 
sideration. Once accept the pretensions of the church, 



the pretensions of its supreme bishop as being God's 
vicar on earth, there is no escaping the logic of the 
situation. Those in charge of the church being hu- 
man, they are naturally subject to the identical weak- 
nesses and vices besetting all humankind. Power 
corrupts those wielding it, especially when power is 
unchecked. Extreme wealth in a class society is cor- 
rupting as Is idleness even w^hen disguised as the 
"idleness" of performing useless or foolish tasks. 
Mummery begets greater mummery until it logically 
becomes hypocrisy. There is no body of men, how- 
ever good, no institution, however altruistically 
founded originally, that in a class society can with- 
stand the corrupting and demoralizing influences of 
unlimited power, immense wealth, and idleness or ob- 
viously useless or foolish labor. 

Countless examples of such corruption can be 
cited, or examples of the bloody cruelty which results 
from a vested interest being attacked, or placed in 



62 



FIFTY YEARS 



danger of attack. The Crusades constitute an exam- 
ple of the inhuman cruelty, the terrible fanaticism 
and the ruthless slaughter, which may result from 
the fact of such an institution's existence as the Cath- 
olic Church. It would be begging the C[uestion to ar- 
gue that any other body similarly constituted would 
have acted similarly. Nor will it do to claim extenu- 
ating circumstances, since an institution claiming 
divine origin and universality, which insists that it is 
unchangeably the same, now as in the past, may not 
also at the same time invoke the allowances made in 
the case of human institutions less pretentious. Those 
who accept the church for what it is, that is, a human 
agency which, it may be granted, has served the 
cause of civilization in some respects, but which in 
most respects has served reaction and promoted the 
tendencies that make for the stultification of the hu- 
man intellect, and the degradation of the human 
spirit — those who so view the church are, of course, 
less concerned with condemning it for cruelties and 
errors committed after the manner and in the spirit 
of the dark centuries which witnessed these, than 
they are concerned with exposing its reactionary char- 
acter and Influence nozv, at a time when the fate of 
modern civilization hangs In the balance, and when 
the power of the church for evil, as a tool of the 
darkest reaction, needs to be emphasized as never 
before. 

If, therefore, we point to its cruel past, and Its 
essential Identity Avith other similar agencies of a 
class rule society (capitalism) otherwise condemned 
before the bar of history, and by the enlightened 
judgment of civilized man, it is, of course, because 
such questions concern politics and economics, be- 
cause they are questions dealing with the realizable 
happy future of man, and with considerations which 
generally have nothing to do with religion or theo- 
logical dogmas as such. But, as Daniel De Leon 
pointed out, the moment a religion becomes organ- 
ized as a creed, it thereby inescapably becomes a po- 
litical force, and a political force is simply the reflex 
of economic power, to be dealt with as the strictly 
secular matters they are. 

The second outstanding Crusade waged by the 
church, and to be noted here as a sample of the 
churches true character, was the slaughter perpe- 
trated on the "heretical" sect known as the Alblgenses 
during the 12th and 13th centuries. To a modern 
mind it seems Incredible (or perhaps one should say 
that it seemed incredible up to the time the Nazi and 
Fascist bandits began their slaughter of the civilian 
populations of great European cities) — it seems in- 
credible that any power, any organization, and espe- 
cially a body claiming to be religious, could have 



been guilty of such savage cruelties, such nameless 
atrocities, such insane fury. And yet, the Alblgenses 
(or the Catharist sects) had been guilty merely of 
differing from the doctrines of the church, and of 
questioning the authority of the Pope. Being peace- 
loving, simple people, living in the beautiful Proven- 
cal valley of Southeastern France, their only wish 
was to be left alone. In retaliation for the death of 
one of the Pope's emissaries who had used the then 
dreaded and paralyzing power of excommunication 
to render submissive the ''heretics," and to coerce the 
secular power which in the main supported the hereti- 
cal Alblgenses, Pope Innocent III ordered the preach- 
ing of the Crusade against them. Countless thou- 
sands were massacred, the brilliant civilization of the 
province of Provence was destroyed, and those who 
escaped massacre during the Pope's "holy" crusade, 
were finished off subsequently by the implacable and 
thorough Inquisition. It is said that in one day 200 
Catharist heretics were burned by order of the 
church. The savage fury of the papacy knew no 
bounds. 

The suffering and martyrdom of the Alblgenses 
on the one hand, and the infamy of the church In this 
crusade on the other hand, have been vividly and 
movingly told by Eugene Sue in his masterpiece "The 
Iron Pincers, A Tale of the Albigensian Crusades," 
beautifully translated by Daniel De Leon. The chief 
instrument of the Pope, his military arm, was one Si- 
mon of Montfort, who in every respect measured up 
to papal requirements — fanatical believer, extraor- 
dinarily able, and incredibly cruel. Of him a song in 
Sue's story, "Song on the Butchery of Bezlers," said 
(in De Leon's translation) : 

'^'Fall to, Montfort! On the march! 

His Holiness has issued the order. 

To Carcassonne ! 

Kill, pillage, burn the heretics, as w^e have done 

At Chasseneuil and Bezlers ! 

To Carcassonne!" 

The Crusade against the Alblgenses is but one 
page in the many bloody chapters of the church, a 
crusade which, as stated, had for its sole avowed 
purpose suppression of a dissent from the church's 
dogma. The papacy, trembling at the thought of 
losing its secular power and material wealth, did not 
hesitate to drown in a sea of blood this relatively in- 
significant defiance of the Pope's authority. ' 

The interdict and the ban of excommunication 
were the means and dreaded powers bv Avhich the 
papacy secured submission to its decrees. The In- 
stances were countless of the wielding of this terrible 



OF AMERICAN' MARXISM 



63 



power — terrible, that is, in view of the prevaihng 
superstition, and the general dependence upon the 
church — culturally, spiritually and in all matters re- 
lating to such basic factors as marriage, birth and 
death, etc. 

As w^e have seen, it was wielded with terrible ef- 
fect by Pope Innocent III in the case of the Albi- 
genses, and the same Pope applied it in England in 
1208 during the reign of King John with whom he 
had quarreled, the Pope having gone so far as to 
set aside the rights and prerogatives of the king in 
the matter of appointing the Primate of the Church 
in England. Disregarding the king's legal act of 
appointing as Primate one John de Grey, Bishop of 
Norwich, Pope Innocent III illegally appointed one 
Stephen Langton instead. The king defied the Pope, 
who retaliated by laying upon England the dreaded 
interdict. *'All w^orship save that of a few privileged 
orders, all administration of the Sacraments save 
that of private baptism, ceased over the length and 
breadth of the country: the church-bells were silent, 
the dead lay unburied on the ground.'"^ Subsequently 
the ban was extended to include excommunication 
of the king, who 'Svas now formally cut off from the 
pale of the church." A king excommunicated could 
no longer command obedience from his Christian 
subjects. Here we have an outstanding example of 
the exercise of theocratic powders by the papacy, a 
power exercised again and again. Eventually the 
Pope prevailed and historian Green records the king's 
surrender as follows: '*On the 15th of May he 
[King John] knelt before the legate Pandulf, sur- 
rendered his kingdom to the Roman See, took it back 
again as a tributary vassal, swore fealty and did liege 
homage to the Pope." Shakespeare describes the 
hocus-pocus of King John surrendering his kingdom 
and receiving it back in these words: 

King John : 

Thus have I yielded up into your hand 
The circle of my glory. 

Pan did f : 

Take again (Giving King John the crown) 
From this my hand, as holding of the Pope, 
Your sovereign greatness and authority.^ 

Later the struggle w^as renewed, but then it was 
between the barons (w^ho meanwhile had wrung *'the 
great charter" from the king) on the one side, and 
the allies, the Pope and the king, on the other. The 
Pope hurled his excommunications at the barons and 
at the London burghers, who defied the ecclesiastic 



1 "History of the English People," by J. R. Green. 
2"King John," Act V (1). 



thunder as much as they contested the king's rule. 
"The ordering of secular matters appertaineth not 
to the Pope," they said. But they reckoned without 
priestcraft and the casuistry which never fail to find 
that secular matters become matters of religious con- 
cern whenever It suits the purpose of the church. 

It is not a question here of whether the king was 
good or bad, or w^hether the Pope was bad or good. 
We know the king w^as a bad egg, a murderous scoun- 
drel ripe for hanging. We know^ that Innocent III 
w^as an able, though ruthless, prelate who (as we 
saw in the Albigensian "crusade") extended no more 
mercy to his enemies than did King John to his. The 
point to note is that the Pope exercised temporal, i.e., 
theocratic power, using the so-called spiritual power 
of the church to make the temporal powder effective, 
regardless of the cost in blood and human suffering. 
And once again theocracy triumphed. 

In the year 1266 Pope Clement IV laid the inter- 
dict on Denmark because the king had refused to 
yield to the Danish Primate in matters purely secular. 
Here, as before and since, w-e observe the same pat- 
tern : An unscrupulous and ruthless papacy plunging 
a w^hole people into suffering and misery, many being 
killed in the contest, because the Pope's supremacy 
over the secular powder w^as refused recognition by 
the king and the ruling class generally, outside the ec- 
clesiastic body. The pretensions of the church were 
expressed in these w^ords by the Danish Primate, the 
archbishop Jakob Erlandson: 

"Just as the spiritual takes precedence over the 
secular, so the law^ of the church stands above the 
secular laAv, and if disputes arise between the two 
the lesser must yield to the greater, the secular must 
yield to the spiritual." 

This constitutes a classic expression of the pre- 
tensions of theocracy of all times, and wherever it 
has reared its head. In the cases cited, we have con- 
crete examples of what "God in Government" really 
means in practice; Ave have clear demonstrations of 
the practical working out of the Rooseveltian dictum 
that the source of "democratic government" (any 
government) is to be found in religion. 

The pretensions of the papacy have not lessened. 
Read carefully the w^ords of the 13th Century Dan- 
ish archbishop and compare them with the current 
pronouncements of the Pope and all the lesser 
churchmen, and we shall find that they differ very 
little in language, and not at all in the authoritarian 
claims put forth by the church today — put forth, 
sometimes cautiously and indirectly, sometimes bold- 
ly and unreservedly, depending on occasion and cir- 
cumstance. Of these claims w^e shall note more later. 



64 



FIFTY YEARS 



VIII. 

The next great theocracy to be reviewed here 
briefly is that which is, or was, based on the Calvin- 
istic doctrine. Though one of the most ruthless ex- 
amples of theocratic rule, it was nevertheless the one 
which more than any other single intellectual factor 
aided in promoting the democratic spirit. However 
paradoxical this may sound, it is easy enough to un- 
derstand. Calvinism, in its essence austere and in- 
dividualistic, more than any other religious move- 
ment reflected the interests of the rising bourgeoisie, 
and the unfolding tendencies of the developing capi- 
talism. Spiritually, Calvinism was as effective as 
Lutheranism in its challenge and denunciation of the 
corruption, pomp and sensuousness of the Catholic 
Church especially as the latter presented itself at the 
time of the renaissance, when it sank to the lowest 
level in its long history. The Catholic Church physi- 
cally or structurally reflected feudalism — the Pope 
corresponded to the emperor, the Cardinals to the 
kings and dukes, the Bishops to the barons and the 
lower feudal nobility, and so forth. With the de- 
cline and collapse of feudalism, the church structure, 
and all the traditions and practices adhering to it, 
more and more appeared as the reverse of von 
Chamisso's hero' — the latter found himself a sub- 
stance without a shadow, whereas the church found 
itself a shadow^ without substance. The globe- 
encircling enterprises of the rising class in society, 
conflicted with the spirit and conceptions of the 
church. The scientific discoveries stimulated by the 
opening up of the rest of the world played havoc 
with the naive church conceptions of the universe; 
the indolent life led by the clergy and the higher no- 
bility interfered with commerce and manufacture — 
they were regarded as wasteful and parasitical by the 
bourgeoisie; the multitudinous holidays of the church 
during the feudal era were incompatible with the 
hustle and bustle of the growing commercial and 
manufacturing interests. The wage slaves had to 
work hard and continuously, or competition would 
undo the master who felt he had to observe the anci- 
ent customs. Under sheer economic pressure most 
of these holidays were discarded, although those re- 
maining were observed as rigidly as any of the old 
ones. 

Into this new scheme of things Protestantism gen- 
erally, but Calvinism particularly, fitted as perfecdy 
as Catholicism formerly had fitted into feudalism. 
That the Cathohc Church resisted and fought these 
tendencies we know. It was a long time before the 

I'Teter Schlemihl wunderbare -Geschichte," by Adelbert von 
Chamisso. 



church as a body reconciled itself to capitalism — in- 
deed, it can be said that it never really did so fully, 
though in practice, at least, it necessarily fell in line. 
Just as the structure of the Catholic Church remained 
essentially feudalic, so its spirit has remained essen- 
tially medieval. It has always remained anti-capital- 
ist except in so far as its immediate or prevailing 
property interests dictated a policy of conformity 
and acquiescence. It is no accident that today, and 
in increasing measure, the Catholic Church out- 
spokenly condemns capitalism — not class rule, nor 
the subjection of the w^age slaves to exploitation, but 
capitalism as it has prevailecl until comparatively re- 
cent times. Nor is it an accident that the church 
naturally gravitates toward totalitarianism — indus- 
trial feudalism — anci the economic serfdom which 
will be the lot of the workers under fascism, or feudo- 
industrialism, if — the gods forfend! — it wnns out in 
the final contest. For it will readily be able to fit 
itself into the social structure of that industrial feudal 
regime so rapicily unfolding before our eyes. 

Calvinism, then, w^as the spiritual translation of 
the creed of rising capitalism. And to the extent 
that the so-called religious wars involved contests 
between Catholicism and Protestantism, to that ex- 
tent did they simply constitute struggles between feu- 
dalism and capitalism with, as we know, the latter 
eventually triumphant. It was, therefore, as pointed 
out, natural that Calvinism should have served as 
promoter of democracy — bourgeois democracy, to be 
sure. Calvin himself was a ruthless, strong-willed 
personality. Considering the age in which he lived, 
and the spirit of the times, he was probably no worse 
than the majority of his kind, but to us today he ap- 
pears as utterly brutal and unfeeling, as murderous 
toward his victims as any of the Catholic theocrats 
who had preceded him. Though started as a rebel- 
lion against a corrupt body (the papacy) with theo- 
cratic pretensions (and theocratic rule where circum- 
stances favored it), and although it expressly dis- 
avowed theocracy, Calvinism rapidly developed into 
one of the most cruel and relentless sects with theo- 
cratic aspirations. Professor Douglas Nobbs, in an 
interesting study of Calvinism, discusses at great 
length this fact so illustrative of De Leon's dictum 
that a religion becomes a political force when it or- 
ganizes into a specific creed. "The Calvinists," says 
Professor Nobbs, "hated the consequences of and 
not the principle of ciikis regio^ eius religto [each 
man's land is his religion] ; for they did believe that 
the subjects were to accept religion of their ruler, 
provided that he was a member of the true church 
[i.e., a Calvinist] !" (Italics mine.) Again: "Loy- 
alty to the ruler w^as loyalty to God so long as the 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



65 



sovereign power followed the divine will/' And who 
was to determine what was the divine will? Why, 
the Calvinist ministers! Professor Nobbs quotes a 
17th Century Calvinist commentator, Antonius 
Walaeus, as denying ''that there w^as any appeal 
from an ecclesiastical sentence to the ruler,. . ." And 
finally the following characteristic theocratic equivo- 
cation : 

"Even collegialism. . . .taught in effect that the 
church was free of the ruler but the Christian ruler 
w^as bound to serve the church. It set asicie political 
interference as a tyranny but demanded political aid 
to render its own tyranny more effective."^ 



IX. 

John Calvin (who w^as born in Picardy, France, 
in 1509, and who died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 
1564) established his theocratic institution in Geneva 
where he lived practically his entire adult life. One 
commentator w^rites of his difficulties with the oppo- 
sition w^hich had arisen against his authority, saying 
that ''he Avas for many years greatly disquieted, and 
sometimes even endangered, by the opposition of- 
fered by the libertine party in Geneva to the ecclesi- 
astical discipline which he had established there. His 
system of church polity was essentially theocratic . ." 
It is said that the city of Geneva profited greatly by 
his activities, commercially and in civil matters. He 
founded the university in Geneva w^hich (adds the 
aforementioned commentator) "added the religious 
education to the evangelical preaching and the thor- 
ough discipline already established, and so completed 
the refo7'mer^ s ideal of a Christian Commonwealth/^ 

"Christian Commomvealth," indeed! Here we 
have it, then: An intolerant, overriding theocracy; 
religious instruction (Calvinist, of course) as part 
of the curriculum! The very ideal of the Ultra- 
montane Catholic Church, and of those who, witting- 
ly or unwittingly, support the stealthy encroachments 
of that political body (masked in religious garb) 
upon secular authority, and, in this country, upon 
the hitherto strlcdy secularized field of education. 

The cruelty, the relentless, cold fury of Calvin 
practised against dissenters became epitomized in the 
treatment accorded Michael Servetus, who w^as born 
in Spain, probably in the year 15 11. His was a su- 
perior intellect, an intellect which refused to recog- 
nize the validity of authoritarianism in matters of 
spirit and conscience. He became acquainted with 
Calvin with whom he corresponded frequently, tak- 



/3: 



x^ ROY BE T^Ais^rr: 



ijj?/^ fjn.jTzarCei 



u s: 




Ji ^:Ai£.fj^ £c,'J^ dWi LT^^idf ic^ frjiuM&j^Js dt il^^-:^t , 

„ -^J"// /'o^^ fa/ if^ ^f£e Jirtn. - 



Louis XIV (The Sim-King) 

"My sun the heretics shall frighten, 

A beam of mine did stop John Calvin's tricks. 

Xot to serve God, but just to lighten 

My task of playing foxy politics !" 

— ^Dutch caricature by Cornelius Dusart (1691) 



ing issue with him after the fashion of the age, dis- 
puting and contending at great length. As a reply 
to Calvin's Institutio Christiana he Avrote Restitutio 
Chris tianismi, a fact which caused Calvin to develop 
a deacily hatred for Servetus, all the more, perhaps, 
because he undoubtedly recognized the latter' s intel- 
lectual superiority. Being unable to answ^er Servetus 
on the grounds of reason and logic, he set about to 
destroy him physically, in keeping with the practice 
of secular and theocratic despots of all ages and of 
of all lands. Georg Brandes, in his brilliant little 
monograph on Servetus^ gives the following vivid 
description of Calvin, now^ on heresy-hunting bent: 

"The inflexible harshness and rigidity in Calvin's 
character made him a man of action. That w^as his 
greatness. His cause was in his own eyes the cause 
of God. He never doubted for a moment. His con- 
science was good, he cared for neither riches, luxu- 



1 "Theocracy and Toleration," by Douglas Ndbbs. (Lecturer in 
Political Science in the University of Ecliriburgh, etc.) 



^Georg Brandes: "Michel Servet." (Copenhagen, 1911.) 






66 



FIFTY YEARS 



ries nor decorations. But he tolerated no one who 
was at least his equal and no opinion except his own. 
Pride, egotism and lust of power possessed and dom- 
inated him completely." 

Eventually he caused Servetus to be condemned 
as a heretic. He was sentenced to be taken to a 
public place there to be burned, together with his 
books, a petit feu, that is, by a slow-burning fire. The 
utter deviltry, the fiendish wickedness of such a sen- 
tence upon any human being — any living creature, in- 
deed — and particularly in the case of a great and 
noble spirit such as Servetus causes in one a flaming 
mdignation, it outrages one's humanity, and power- 
fully nurtures one's hatred of theocracy, of ecclesias- 
tic tyranny, causing one to exclaim much as Lincoln is 
said to have exclaimed in burning hatred of slavery 
when he witnessed a slave auction in New Orleans : 
"If ever I get a chance to hit that thing, I'll hit it 
hard!" 

However, Servetus escaped, but after four 
months he injudiciously returned to Geneva. Under 
laws and rules promulgated by Calvin, and enforced 
by methods now made familiar through the Nazi 
system of registration, espionage and denunciation 
to authorities, Servetus found himself compelled to 
attend church services. He did so, was recognized 
and thereupon immediately arrested. Brandes re- 
cords the horrible details of the examination, the 
trial and final execution of Servetus. One's blood 
at times runs cold in rereading (400 years after Ser- 
vetus's martyrdom) these details. As Brandes tersely 
observes: 

"Renan^ has justly maintained, again and again, 
that of all governmental forms in the world, theocra- 
cy is the worst. Rule of God is priestly rule." 

Here is Brandes's description of the nature of 
the treatment accorded Servetus in jail, under in- 
structions issued by his theocratic chief jailer, Cal- 
vin: 

*'The [Geneva] prison was worse than the Cath- 
olic jail in Vienne [France], One rotted in the damp- 
ness; there was no escape. There was no air; the 
windows had been nailed fast so that the prisoner 
might not establish contact with the outer world. 
Vermin plagued him day and night. He had only 
one suit of clothes, which was torn and ragged, and 
again and again he complained: 'The vermin is eat- 
ing me up!' " 

The various counts in the charges against Mi- 



1 "Ernest Renan, French rationalist writer, celebrated author of 
"The Life of Jesus." 



chael Servetus were summed up in these accusations: 

*'He ridicules God and his word. He insults the 
Christian Church and the great Emperor Constantin 
[dead these twelve hundred years!]. He does so 
by arguing that heretics ought not to be killed. He 
wants to overthrow the order of justice and rob the 
constituted authority of the sword given it by God." 
Etc. 

Calvin visited Servetus in prison, in the hope of 
securing an acknowledgment of error from him. He 
plagued him with stupid, senseless questions, and 
even the day before the execution w^as to take place, 
Calvin came to argue dogmas with him. But it was 
in vain. Servetus would rather die than to abjure 
his faith — rather die than to degrade his manhood. 

At last the end. Brandes describes it: 

**Servetus was tied to the stake with an iron 
chain; a heavy rope was wound around his neck sev- 
eral times; his ^heretical' waitings were fastened to 
his side, and around his head were placed green 
leaves dipped in sulphur. He begged the executioner 
not to let him suffer too long. But it had rained 
during the morning and the fire-wood was wet. The 
executioner set fire to his face, and elsewhere on his 
body. He uttered a scream so terrible that the mob 
witnessing the execution was terrified." 

Death came slowly, in keeping with the terms of 
the original sentence — burning a petit feu — ; slowly 
burning to death for a full half hour. We listen to 
Brandes: 

"He cried anew: ^Jesus, son of the eternal God, 
bestow mercy upon me!' But Jesus was as hard of 
hearing as his own father had been when he cried 
to him from the cross!" 

Thus, once again, we witness the spirit and exem- 
plification of theocracy in the suffering and death of 
one of its noblest victims. 



X. 

Calvinism, the creed of the rising capitalist class, 
spread to the northern countries in somewhat modi- 
fied forms. In Denmark its spirit invaded the offi- 
cial church, manifesting itself in w^hat was called 
pietism which for twenty years w^eighed like an alp 
on the intellectual life of the country. It came to 
England where, according to Buckle, it dominated 
the Church of England until 1620. Thomas Cart- 
wright, who had absorbed Calvinism during his stay 
in Geneva, commenced a vigorous propagation of 
*'the faith." Historian Green remarks that fanati- 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



67 



cally he advocated ''a scheme of ecclesiastical gov- 
ernment which placed the state beneath the church 
.... For the church modelled after the fashion of 
Geneva he claimed an authority which surpassed the 
wildest dreams of the Vatican." 

The presbyters claimed supreme authority on the 
well known principles of theocracy. The function 
of the secular power^ says Green, w^as to carry out 
the decrees of the presbyters, "to see their decrees 
executed and to punish the contemners of them." 
Green quotes Cartwright as writing about heresy 
and heretics: "I deny that upon repentance there 
ought to follow any pardon of death. . . . Heretics 
ought to be put to death now. If this be bloody and 
extreme, I am content to be so counted with the Holy 
Ghost." Nice, sweet, Christian, indeed! At the be- 
hest of James I, the church denounced as a fatal er- 
ror the theory that power derives from the people. 
It declared false the claims that "all civil power, 
jurisdiction and authority were first derived from the 
people and disordered multitude [vide modern equi- 
valent term "mob rule" by capitalist apologists!], 
or either is originally still in them, or else is deduced 
by their consent naturally from them; and [that it] 
is not God\s ordinance originally descending from 
Him and depending upon HimJ' 

The history of Calvinistic Puritanism is well 
known and need not be recounted here. But a few 
words need to be said about the branch of puritanism 
which became established in New England and 
which, through "trial and error," eventually gave 
impetus to the movement w^hich nailed to its mast- 
head the crowning political creed of popular sover- 
eignty based on the principle that all power derives 
from the people, and that government is, or by right 
ought to be, instituted with the consent of the gov- 
erned. 

The history of the New England theocracy is a 
long and bloody one, and we shall here deal with 
only one or two incidents to illustrate further the 
fact of the oneness of theocracy wherever and when- 
ever it has presented itself. So regularly does this 
phenomenon recur, so identical in all essential re- 
spects does It appear, and so alike are the acts and 
claims of the respective priesthoods, as to render it 
reducible to law — the law formulated by De Leon. 
The New England theocracy follows the traditional 
patterns. The early settlers of New England were 
men who had suffered under ecclesiastic tyranny at 
home. John Fiske, in his "Beginnings of New Eng- 
land," observes: "The Puritan fight against the 
[English] hierarchy was a political necessity of the 
time, something without which no real and thorough 
reformation could then be effected. In her antipathy 



to this democratic movement, [Queen] Elizabeth 
[who stoutly insisted that she was a true Catholic, but 
who even more vigorously denounced the Pope and 
all Papists as demons out of hell!] vexed and tor- 
mented the Puritans as far as she deemed it prudent, 
and in the conservative temper of the people she 
found enough support to prevent their transforming 
the church as they would have liked to do. Among 
the Puritans themselves, indeed, there was no definite 
agreement on this point. Some would have stopped 
short with Puritanism, w^hile others held that 'new- 
presbyter was but old priest writ large,' and so 
pressed on to Independency." And so the dissenters 
arrived in America determined to establish an order 
which would guarantee them non-interference in re- 
spect of their concept of religious and spiritual mat- 
ters. One would think that because of their experi- 
ence in the old country their first concern w^ould be 
to insure tolerance and liberalism in religious beliefs 
and practices. But that conclusion would be quite 
wrong. "These men," wrote Wm. Cullen Bryant in 
his "History of the United States," "had come into 
the wilderness to build up a theocracy, and made no 
pretensions of securing liberty for anybody but them- 
selves." It was not merely that they resented and 
had resisted interference from above, i.e., from the 
English State church, but also that they resented "in- 
terference" from below, that Is, they resented, and 
subsequently denounced and ruthlessly attempted to 
root out, dissensions and deviations from the faith 
which they felt sure was the only true one ! In short, 
anything which threatened to upset their particular 
interpretation of "the word of God" was evil and not 
to be tolerated on any account They would, in ef- 
fect, declare: "We grant you full liberty of thought 
and action, provided you think and act as we do!" A 
principle which our present plutocratic ruling class 
has adopted and is practising with respect to the po- 
litical and civil liberties of those who challenge the 
present capitalist system. 

It has been said, in defense of the New England 
Puritans, that they were primarily concerned with 
their religion — to preserve It pure, and that no 
worldly sacrifice was too great for them in order to 
achieve this. However this may be, the fact remains 
that they became substantial men of property, and 
developed a keen sense of material values; and they 
were not always over-scrupulous about the means em- 
ployed to secure the "despised" materialistic objects! 
But usually they managed to garb in religion their 
cravings for pelf and power. In one of our pluto- 
cratic journals a regular contributor to that paper 
quotes a letter, wTitten by the celebrated Cotton 
Mather, the original of which letter is alleged to be 



68 



FIFTY YEARS 



"The Wonders of the Invifible World : 
Being an Account of the 

T R Y A L S 

OB 
Lately £xcuted ia 

NEW-ENGLAND: 

And of feveral remarkable Curiofities therein Qccuxnng 

Together vpith, 

I. Obf«Tatians upon the Nature, the Number, and the Operations 

of the Devils, 
IL A ihoft Narrative oif * late outrage committed by a knot of 

Witches in Swedt'Landj very much refembltng, and fo far 

explaining, that under which Nciu- England has laboured. 
IIL Some Councela dirc^ng a due Improvement of the Terrible 

things lately done by the unufual and amazing Range of £1///- 

^^irits in New-England, 
IV. A brief Difcourfe upon thofe Tcm^tatiom which are the more 

ordinary Devices of Satan, 

By COTTON MATHER. 



PubU'ihed by the Special Command of his EXCELLE.VCY the Go- 
venourofthe Province of the Maffscbujetti-Bafxn New-England, 



Printed firft, at Bojiun In Nrw-Englandi and Reprinted at 
London^ iotjokn D union ^ at tlve Ra'ven in the PouUrj, 1653 



A cruel and pious scoundrel, Cotton Mather recounts in his 
book, "The Wonders of the Invisible World/' the title- 
page of which we reproduce^ the treatment accorded 
"witches" by tlie New England theocracy. 



on file at the F'riends' Meeting House at Greenwich, 
R.L It reads: 

'To Ye Aged and Beloved: 
^*Mr. John HIggenson: 

"There be now at sea a ship called the Welcome, 
which has on board an hundred or more of the here- 
tics and malignants called Quakers with W. Penn, 
who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. 

"The general court has accordingly given secret 
orders to Master Malachi Huscott of the brig Prop- 
asso, to waylay the said Welcome slyly as near the 
Cape of Cod as may be, and make captive the said 
Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be 
glorified, and not mocked on the soil of this ncAv 
country with the heathen worship of these people." 

BUT— 



"Much spoil can be made by selling the whole lot 
to Barbadoes, where slaves fetch good prices in rum 
and sugar, and shall not only do the Lord great ser- 
vice by punishing the Avicked, but we shall make 
great good for his ministers and people. 

"Master Huscott feels hopeful, anci T will set 
down the news when the ship comes in. 

"Yours in ye bowels of Christ, 

"Cotton Mather." 

This pious scoundrel, Cotton Mather, who was 
born at Boston in 1663 (where he died in 1728), 
was the author of a curious work entitled ''The Won- 
ders of the Invisible World," wnth the subtitle, "Be- 
ing An Account of the Tryals of Several Witches 
Lately Executed in New England." This cheering 
tract relates the circumstances attending the manner 
in which the New England theocrats carried out the 
Mosaic injunction, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to 
live."^ Announcing his solemn and sacred purpose 
to be "to countermine the whole PLOT of the Devil, 
against Nezv-Fln^land/' to do the which, he said, an 
author "had need be fenced with Iron and the Staff 
of a Spear/^ he reveals his exact knowledge of what 
his god had required of him: 

"Having performed something of what God re- 
quired, in laboring to suit his Words unto his Works, 
at this Day among us, anci therewithal handled a 
Theme that has been sometimes counted not un- 
w^orthy the Pen, not even of a King, it will easily be 
perceived, that some subordinate Ends have been 
considered in these Endeavors." 

Closing his recitals of the horrible murclers of 
those charged with Avitchcraft, the pious pyro- 
maniacal butcher chants: 

"But so much of these things; And, now, Lord, 
make these Labours of thy sei'vant^ Profitable to thy 
People/' 

The record does not reveal whether Mather 
made them profitable by exchanging copies of his 
book for more Barbadoes rum, but the record does 
reveal that — 

"Nineteen Witches have been Executed at New- 
England, one of them was a Minister [!] and two 
Ministers more are AccusVl. There is a hundred 
Witches more in Prison, which broke Prison, and 
about two Hundred more are Accus'd, some Men of 
great Estates in Boston, have been accused for 
}Filchcrafi:' 

The monstrous and fiendish slaughter of innocent ^ 
people as "witches" conveys an idea of the supersti- 



lExodus, XXII, 18. 



FIFTY YEARS 



69 



tion and the spirit which possessed the New England 
theocracy — a superstition and spirit, however, w^hich 
How logically, however grotesquely, from the theo- 
cratic principle of God or religion in government. 
Accept the latter, and anything, from witch-burning 
and the burning of heretics at the stake, to the sup- 
pression of all rights and liberties cherished by en- 
lightened men, are bound to follow. The New Eng- 
land theocracy was perhaps as cruel and vindictive 
as any that ever cursed the fair earth. The poAver 
and authority of this theocratic hierarchy radiated 
from Boston, where, as Bryant said, "there was a 
sense of a personal Divine presence" which he sum- 
med up by saying: "God himself w^as always and per- 
sonally in Boston." ! 

The Code of Laws of the New England Pu- 
ritans was taken almost literally from the Old Tes- 
tament.^ Indeed, when an attempt was made to 
draw also "upon the old Roman and Grecian govern- 
ments," it was denounced as an error by the sturdy 
Governor, John Winthrop, w^ho insisted that laws 
should be taken from the Bible, rather than "on the 
authority of the wnsdom, justice, etc., of those 
heathen commomvealths." Nathaniel Ward, a min- 
ister w^ho lived in Ipswach, Mass., w^as the author of 
a work entitled the "Body of Liberties," in Avhich, 
in the final analysis, the w^ord of God w^as to serve 
as the basis of judgment rendered. The theocracy 
would, of course, decide as to what w^as a just and 
wise judgment! The same Rev. Ward wn'ote in ob- 
vious indignation: 

"It is said, That Men ought to have Liberty of 
their Conscience, and that it is Persecution to debar 
them of it; I can rather stand amazed than reply to 
this: it is an astonishment to think that the braines 
of men should be parboyl'd in such impious ignor- 



ance; Let all the wits under the Heavens lay their 

heads together and find an Assertion worse than this 
(one excepted) I will Petition to be chosen the uni- 
versal Ideot of the world. [Perhaps ye olde theo- 
crat had something there!]" 

To this typical outburst of theocratic intolerance, 
Bryant supplies the following comment: 

"Not a Puritan in Massachusetts that Massachu- 
setts could tolerate, but would agree with this. For 
so surely as it was divine zvisdom that led the Puritan 
out of the Church of England, so it was not lihert\ 
of conscience but license of the devil that would lead 
one inch beyond the Church of BostonJ'f 




A Wantori Gospeller 



ijohn 'Cotton was one of the leading influences in the Boston 
Church in the years of 1642-1643 when one of the most celebrated 
heresy trials was conducted, that in which one Samuel Gorton figured 
as one of the principal "heretics." Though found guilty, and al- 
though the death sentence was urged, it was finally decided that Gor- 
ton and his followers were to be banished to separate localities, to be 
kept at hard labor, with irons around one leg, and they were ordered 
"not, by word or writing [to] maintain any of their blasphemous or 
wicked errors upon pain of death.'' John Cotton was one of the chief 
inquisitors, hut there is reason to believe that he met his match in 
the amazing Gorton whose argumentative and garrulous proclivities 
had been the despair of so many faithful believers. At any rate, it 
was this worthy (Cotton) who gave expression to the Massachusetts 
theocratic credo in words which, theocratically, must be regarded as a 
classic. In a letter to Governor Hutchinson he wrote : 

"When a commonwealth hath liberty to mould its own frame 
(Scripfurae plenitudinem adoro) , I conceive the Scripture hath given 
full direction for the right ordering of the same. It is better that the 
Commonwealth he fashioned to the setting forth of God's house, 
which is His Church, than to accommodate the Church's frame to the 
civil vStale." 

(Compare utterance of 13th Century Jakoh Erlandson, previously 
quoted, with 17th Century New England John Cotton's utterance. 
Four hundred years separated them, but the spirit and the language 
are the same. "De te fabula narratur !" [Change the name and "the 
story is told of you!"]) 



Despite, or rather because of, the intolerance of 
the Massachusetts theocracy, dissenters arose, many 
of whom were severely punished, some killed as here- 
tics, while others Avere sent into exile or as fugitives. 
Outstanding among those who were banisheci was 
Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode 
Island. The name of Williams is ever to be revered 
as one who fought theocracy relentlessly, who set 
conscience above every w^'itten or unwritten law. 
Bryant beautifully describes the flight of Roger Wil- 
liams from the Massachusetts vindictive theocracy 
into the, by comparison, friendly wilderness. "Roger 
Williams," wrote Bryant, "fled out into the night and 
the winter's storms, with the order of the General 
Court behind him, the officers of the law in hot pur- 
suit, and a ship waiting in the offing to bear him into 
perpetual banishment across the sea. The shelter 
which Puritan intolerance denied him he sought and 
found among savage friends [the Indians]. As he, 
the next spring, with only five companions, paddled 
his canoe along the shore of Providence Bay, their 



70 



FIFTY YEARS 



thoughts were less of hierarchies and of common- 
wealths, than where the sunniest slope could be founcl 
for a field of maize, the most sheltered and conveni- 
ent nook for huts." 

The place where he landed he called Providence 
because '^of Gocl's merciful providence unto me in 
my distress." And nobly he expressed the hope that 
also it "might be for a shelter for those distressed in 
conscience." 

Providence, R.I., is today one of the strongholds 
of Roman Catholic Ultramontanism, the deadHest 
foe of liberty, the would-be heir-apparent to theoc- 
racy in America. 

XL 

Despite the efforts of the Massachusetts theoc- 
racy, the democratic spirit and principle could not be 
killed. In 1636 a Newtown, Massachusetts, minis- 
ter, Thomas Hooker, initiated and effected an emi- 
gration of some one hundred Newtown residents, and 
pushing toward the Connecticut colony landed in 
Hartford where they established themselves. Con- 
necticut is known for its early democratic traditions.^ 
Thomas Hooker formulated what appears to be one 
of the earliest expressions in America of democratic 
principle, the principle that power and authority de- 
rive from the people. He said: 

"They who have the power to appoint officers 
and magistrates, it is in their poAver also to set the 
bounds and limitations of the power and place unto 
which they call them. And this, in the first place, 
because the principle of authority resides in the free 
consent of the peopleJ^^ 

Yet, within a few years the theocratic menace pre- 
sented itself in Connecticut. The colonists of New 
Haven, having left Boston to escape the restrictions 
of the Boston Church, drew up a covenant in w^hich 
they declared that "The choice of magistrates, legis- 
lation, the rights of inheritance, and all matters of 
that kind, were to be decided according to the rules 
of Holy Scriptures."'^ Professor Charles Borgeaud 
observed that "measures were taken for the organi- 
zation of a singular form of government, both civil 
and ecclesiastical, drawn from the text of the Old 
Testament." In 1639 the New Haven assembly 
agreed that the Church should supply, or name, the 
magistrates, whereat one got up and, while agreeing 
to the proposal, insisted on retaining control of the 



^Vide Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King 
Arthur." 

2Quoted by Prof. Charles Borgeaud in his splendid work, '*The 
Rise of Modern Democracy in Old and Xe\v England." 

^Quoted by Borgeaud. 



civil affairs. To quote from the summary of the re- 
port on this adoption of the resolutions: 

"They that chuse them [the magistrates] ought 
to be men fearing God: only at this he struck, That 
free planters ought not to give their power out of 
their hands. Another stood up andvanswered that in 
this case nothing was done but with their consent." 

As if despotism by consent is any the less a des- 
potism ! 

Although Lincoln had considerable doubt as to 
the possibility of "ascertaining and applying" the will 
of God, as he facetiously put it, the New England 
theocrats had none w^hatever. For instance, it w^as 
apparently not considered difficult to ascertain God's 
will with respect to determining the proper remuner- 
ation for the magistrates, as the following seemingly 
naive resolution of May 20, 1644, indicates: 

"It is ordered that it shall and may be lawful for 
the Deputies of the Court to advise with their elders 
and freemen, and take into serious consideration, 
whether Goci do not expect that all the inhabitants 
of this plantation allowe to their magistrates, and all 
others that are called to country service, a propor- 
tionable allowance, answerable to their places and 
instruments." 

The fact that a money consideration was involved 
may help to explain the ease with which "God's will" 
was ascertained! One wonders, however, whether 
what the magistrates and the elders heard was vox 
del, or vox pecuniae — the voice of God, or the voice 
of money ! 

As we have seen, the theocracy of New^ England, 
and particularly of Massachusetts, w^as every bit as 
monstrous in its ruthless persecution of dissenters as 
all preceding theocracies. And once again let it be 
noted that the cruel barbarities, the incredible super- 
stitions, cannot simply be blamed on the spirit and 
customs of the times. At least twenty-five hundred 
years had passed from the time of the Jewish theoc- 
racy at its height to the founding of the Massachu- 
setts theocracy, yet there w^as no essential difference 
in the spirit and practices of the respective theocrats. 
If the ancient Hebrews had spoken the King's Eng- 
lish, their preachments and judgments would have 
sounded quite familiar to the Biblical literalists of 
New England, and vice versa ! There are differ- 
ences, but they were to be found in the economic and 
social potentialities of the New England theocracy, 
rather than in their religious and moral preachments, 
or in their legal adaptations of the scriptures. And 
the reason is that, once given theocracy, the rest is 
bound to work itself out accordingly, that is, in ac- 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



cordance with the now familiar pattern. Which is 
not to say that despite present tendencies theocracy 
will find it possible to establish itself. 

Notwithstanding the tyranny and oppression of 
theocracy, the democratic undercurrent w^as very 
strong. After all, one of the chief tenets of Calvin- 
ism had been to emphasize the sacredness and invio- 
lability of the individual's soul, his right (in theory, 
at least) to settle his accounts with his god without 
intercessors or mediators. This consciousness, how- 
ever clouded as a result of the recurring events deny- 
ing in practice that which was conceded in theory, 
bred a strong individualistic spirit, which was also 
continually nurtured by the opportunities for adven- 
ture in a new world — a spirit that could not be 
crushed, nor suppressed for long. Moreover, the or- 
ganizational form of Calvinism resulted in strength- 
ening local church bodies, and their respective local 
church governments, at the expense of the tendency 
toward universal, centralized church-government as 
exemplified in the Roman Catholic Church. John 
Fiske, speaking of the effect of the Calvinistic doc- 
trine upon the individual and upon his society, says : 
*'CaIvin made them feel, as it had perhaps never been 
felt before, the dignity and importance of the indivi- 
dual human soul. ... In a church, moreover, based 
upon such a theology there is no room for prelacy. 
Each single church tended to become an independent 
congregation of w^orshippers, constituting one of the 
most effective schools that has ever existed for train- 
ing men in local self-government J^^ 

, Granting the point of John Fiske, it still remains 
true that a heavy price was paid for this training and 
experience. And again we may be permitted to ques- 
tion whether the relative gain was worth the terrible 
cost. As Professor Borgeaud says: 

"Thus was founded the theocratic Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, with none like it to be 
found in history, except the Republic of Calvin; like 
it, brave, austere, BUT INTOLERANT OF IN- 
QUIRY, PERSECUTING HERESY WITHOUT 
PITY, AND WITHOUT MERCY."^ 

The theocratic spirit flared up again in our Civil 
War, though predominantly in the South. Elsew^here 
the w^'iter has recorded the ravings of one of slavo- 
cracy's most vociferous theocratic defenders,^ Dr. 
Ross of Huntsville, Ala. His insistence that slavery 
was "ordained of God"; that since God provided for 
slaves in the Bible it would be blasphemous to abol- 



ish slavery in the United States; his almost hysterical 
contentions that the WORD ("God's word") muse 
be obeyed literally — all these are the characteristic 
utterances of theocracy wherever and whenever 
made. The proof of the pudding, so to speak, is to 




Witch Trial in Salem 

be found in the mess of pottage with w^hich Jacob 
swindled his brother Esau. If that is a bit mixed, 
it is no more so than Dr. Ross's rantings ! Listen to 
him: 

"That WORD [i.e., the Bible] moreover He 
proves by highest evidence — namely, supernatural 
evidence — to be absolute, perfect TRUTH as to all 
FACT affirmed of him and what he does. REVE- 
LATION, as claimed in the Bible, was and is THAT 
THING. Man, then, having this revelation, is un- 
der obligation ever to believe every jot and tittle of 
that WORD."^ (Emphases as in the original.) 

Surely, this is the Q.E.D. of theocracy, even if it 
does constitute a re duetto ad absurdum! 

XIL 

Among those who do not closely follow the trend 
of the times, and who, in the glittering generalities 
and pious phrases of budding theocrats of today, fail 
to recognize the signs and threats of nascent theoc- 
racy, there w411 be some who will say: "All this is 
very interesting, but w^hy all this pother? All these 
things happened a long time ago — the world is too 
wnse, too educated, too civilized to stand for a return 
of theocracy." The answer to such sceptics is : Look 
at the record! The theocratic spirit is abroad in 
these latter days as it has not been for centuries. And 
those who think the Marxian De Leonist is "seeing 
things," that he is unduly alarmed, had best look to 
Europe. For more than a generation the De Leonist 
has warned that if Socialism were not instituted 



^John Fiske: "Beginnings of New England." 
^fBorgeaud : "Rise of Modern Democracy, etc." 
^iSee "Superstition, Father of Slavery." 



^"'Slavery Ordained of God," by Rev. Fred. A. Ross, D.D., pub- 
lished by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1857. 



p 



n 



72 



FIFTY YEARS 



among civilized men, INDUSTRIAL FEUDAL- by the state of New York, of the Child Labor 
ISM (Fascism) would present itself as the inesca- Amendment. And it succeeded. Ever resentful ot 
pable alternative. Until about ten years ago practi- interference by political government, it rarely fails 
cally everybody laughed at De Leonists when they to insist on receiving that protection from political 
uttered this warning. Today the specter of Indus- government which will enable it to improve its 
trial Feudalism haunts this land of ours, and at pres- 
ent the greater part of Europe lies under the Iron 
Heel of this bloody despotism. Those who may feel 
disposed to laugh at us now, those who may scoff at 
our warnings against the possibility of a return of 
theocracy, should reflect on the fact of secular des- 
potism today, however unlikely its return seemed a 
few^ years ago. It is not half so fantastic to suppose 
the possibility of the latter, as it not so long ago may 
have seemed to be to suppose the recurrence of the 
former. 

The American social scientist, Daniel De Leon, ^^ 

was the first in modern times to utter a warning (// o 0-^14^-^ ^^-^^i£) i/^'arnj 

against the reappearance of theocracy. De Leon C^ "^ ^ 

called it Ultramontanism, but the meaning is the 

same— certainly in its modern setting. In a brilliant chances to undermine and destroy, or capture for its 
essay (Chapter XIII, ''Abolition of Poverty," writ- own purposes, that government. It attacks Socialism 
ten in 191 1) he points out that "the social system savagely, lies about it, and threatens death and de- 
aimed at by the founders of the Roman Catholic struction to individual Socialists (as, for Instance, 
polity was the paternal system, with the masses of when the Brooklyn priest, John L. Belford, in his 
the population held In the status of wards to a select parish paper said that "the Socialist is the mad dog 




few." De Leon continues: "The title 'father,' given 
by the Roman Catholic polity to its officers, and re- 
appearing in the title Tope' [from "papa," father] 
accurately reflects the paternal spirit of that govern- 
mental system." 

Concluding, De Leon points out that the "Roman 
Catholic political system" has fatedly become an in- 
stitution constitudng "the scourge of man while to- 



of society, who should be silenced if need be with a 
bullet" )^ yet, when Socialists strike back, the budding 
Catholic theocrats and their bhnd followers whimper 
and whine that they are the victims of bigotry ! When 
some time ago Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt ventured 
to remark that divorce is a recognized factor in 
American life, and that a moving picture entitled 
"The Birth of a Baby" was not obscene because it 



day, crippled though it is by advanced enlightenment was honest, the president of the League of Catholic 

[alas! now in retreat, temporarily at least.— A.P.], Women, one Mrs. Charles Feehan, brazenly assailed 

continues a hindrance, if not a menace to progress." the President's wife for stating a fact and an honest 

While it is true that every organized creed which 

remains consistent, and which claims for its god ^r^^.^ murder-inciting priest, while speaking in Toronto about ten 



super-sovereignty in mundane affairs, may have an years ago, was challenged about his earher suggestion that Sociahsts 
. , , , , , should be shot like mad dogs, ^^^^ '^^i^'^t «niiirmpd and dodeed. trv- 

equal chance with every other such creed to become 



the theocratic body, the fact is that the Ultramontane 
machine, or the Roman Catholic Church, is the only 
one which (given the required, but not necessarily in- 
escapable conditions) can function universally, and 
which, moreover, possesses that oneness In aim, 



^ The priest squirmed and dodged, try- 

ing desperately to establish a distinction between "the right kind of 
Socialists" (Ramsay MacDonald, for instance) and "the wrong 
kind." 'The wrong kind of Socialists" the priest exemplified in the 
person of Francisco Ferrer Avho at one and the same time was ac- 
cused of ibeing a "Socialist" and an Anarchist. The fact that Ferrer 
was neither disturbed the lying priest not at all. The priest also lied 
when he charged Ferrer with advocating violence. The fact is that 
Ferrer denounced anarchy and violence in s-pecific terms. He said: 
Time only conserves that which has been slowly built up in time. 



methods and spirit that perfection in organization What may be gained by a violent deed today, is lost through another 

, • 1 , .,1 ... . , violent deed tomorrow.'' 

— which makes possible cohesion in operation and 



swiftness In action. And the church is not asleep. It 
is wide-awake and responsive to every opportunity 
offered to strengthen Its position. It is head over 
heels in politics, acting sometimes cautiously, at other 



According to the Toronto Globe of February 5, 1930, the priest 
Belford, on this occasion, improved on his earlier incitement to vio- 
lence against his fellow citizens. Referring to what he called "the 
wrong kind of Socialists," he said: "Those are the mad dogs of so- 
ciety and ought to ibe put out, not necessarily^ by wasting bullets, but 
by a rope that can be used over and over again" 

This is the very flower of theocracy — it is the theocratic spirit 



times boldly, as for instance when a few years ago it translated mto action, m all its medieval horror and brutality (See 
. ■ , ,-. 1 *„ 1 -r • also "Medievalism Rampant," by Arnold Petersen, Weekly People, 

openly lobbied at Albany to prevent the ratmcation, March i 1930.) 



OF AMERICAN' MARXISM 



opinion. Her remarks are so thoroughly typical of 
the attitude and language of those who operate the 
Ultramontane propaganda machine, that they are 
quoted here as printed in the New York Herald Trib- 
une of April 27, 1939 : 

"1 believe that it is most unfortunate, unfair and 
dangerous for the wife of the President of the United 
States to make apodictical [i.e., ''clearly demon- 
strable," "indisputable"] pronouncements that give 
offense to a large part of our citizens." 

Why Mrs. Roosevelt should under any condition 
be forbidden to make "indisputable" pronouncements 
on any subject is not clear. (Perhaps the presumptu- 
ous Catholic lady swallowed the wrong word!) But 
in any case, the ravings of this Cathohc female are 
thoroughly Imbued with the theocratic spirit, and re- 
flect the attitude of the Church politicians toward 
those who dare to disagree with them on matters 
that Involve no religious principle, but concern en- 
tirely the functions and prerogatives of civil society. 
Another indication of the slow and stealthy 
march toward theocracy is the increasing demand 
for religious education in the public schools. Such a 
practice would completely subvert the intentions of 
the founders of the republic who made special consti- 
tutional provision inhibiting Congress from makmg 
any law "respecting an estabhshment of religion." 
But what Congress must not do, state legislatures ap- 
parently may do, for this vicious practice has, as 
stated, been enacted into law in New York state! 
Despite vigorous protests from many quarters, 
Church and State, in happy unity on that p.oint, have 
started the splitting up of our children in so many 
creed-conscious groups, each creed vying with the 
other in harassing these children with questions which 
belong (if they belong anywhere) in the church or 
In the home, 

XIII. 
When Pope Pius XI died about tw^o years ago 
the event was treated as if a universal monarch, to 
whom all owed fealty, had died. Condolences — or 
so they were called — poured into the Vatican from 
governments of almost every land, and practically 
all creeds. Many public institutions, and many pub- 
lic men — writers, politicians and non-Catholic clerics 
— united In singing the praises of the late Pope. One 
heading in the New York Tiftfes of February 12, 
1939, read: "All Faiths Unite in Praising Pope." 
The fawning sycophants included the Rev. John 
Haynes Holmes who, the headline said, "Likens 
Pope's Career to Lincoln's Life," a remark which 



should have earned for its author a first prize in 
dodoism! A cartoonist portrayed the late Pope as 
"Pope Pius, A Friend of Peace. '^ '*A Friend of 
Peace," indeed ! It was this Pope who (according to 
the respectable, conservative and church-toadying 
New York Sun) told 1,200 Catholic nurses that Ban- 
dito Benito's murderous war against the Ethiopians 
was not a war of conquest; if it were a war of con- 
quest, said the Pope, it would be an unjust war, and 
could not be sanctioned by the Pope. The Sun quoted 
the late Pope as having said :^ 

"In Italy there is no question of a just war, be- 
cause a war of defense to assure frontiers [thou- 
sands of miles away!] against continual and insistent 
danger [!], ^ "^^r made necessary by a population 
which increases day by day [an Increase constantly 
urged by the Pope as a religious duty, and by Benito 
Mussolini as a civic duty!], a war undertaken to de- 
fend or assure moral security of a country — such a 
war is justifiable,^' 1 1 

"Friend of Peace," indeed! 

Even the ridiculous Communists (then allies of 
the Ultramontanes) hastened to extend condolences 
on the death of the Pope. At its second annual con- 
vention held February 12, 1939, the New York 
State Young Communist League adopted a resolu- 
tion of sympathy, extending their "hand of brotherly 
cooperation to the Catholic Youth, etc."' 

And when the new Pope was elected, messages 
again poured into the Vatican, this time congratula- 
tions. Jews vied with Protestants in hailing with joy 
the election of Pius XII ! Incredible, but true. Yet 
only seven months later the new Pope, in an ency- 
clical addressed to the United States hierarchy, pre- 
sumptuously and arrogantly attacked the schools of 
the United States! The New York Times headline 
of November 12, 1939, read: "Pius XII Criticizes 
Schools of U.S." In that same encyclical the Pope 
assures his representatives In America that "God. . . 
has ordained that for the exercise of virtues and for 
the testing of one's worth there be in the world rich 
and poor," It Avas slavocracy's high priest, Dr. Ross, 
who assured his contemporaries that slavery was or- 
dained of God! The sinister voice of theocracy 
spoke in both cases, and both to essentially the same 
purpose. For the Pope in reality uttered the anti- 
social, the jungle creed pronouncement that wage 
slavery is ordained of God! 

But are there more definite indications than all 



iNcw York Sun, August 31, 1935. 
2Nevv York Times, February 13, 1939. 



74 



FIFTY YEARS 



these that the church is straining with all its might 
toward theocracy? There are. In his "Easter Hom- 
ily," preached in St. Peter's Church on April 9, 1939, 
the newly elected Pope said menacingly: 

"Justice requires that the salutary action of the 
church of Christ, infallible teacher of truth, inexhaus- 
tible fount of life for the soul, the benefactor of civil 
society [!], BE NOT OPPOSED AND HIN- 
DERED."^ 

No one can mistake the meaning of that bold and 
arrogantly presumptuous utterance. 

The New York Herald Tribune of February 3, 
1941, carried a despatch from its Vichy (France) 
correspondent in which mention was made of the 
Pope's plans for calling an Ecumenical Council of 
the Roman Catholic Church immediately after the 
war. Among the main problems to be submitted to 
the Council, according to the Herald Tribune writer, 
are "education of youth, restoration of the family 
[ ?] AND THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL ORDER." 
We know now what "Christian social order," and 
"Christian civilization," and "Christian democracy," 
etc., mean in the mouths of plutocratic rulers and Ul- 
tramontane politicians : They mean THEOC- 
RACY! 

The American people, and particularly the 
American working class, would do well to take full 
cognizance of the sinister shadow of Ultramontanism 
which looms up ever more clearly from the back of 
the social stage. For Ultramontanism (nascent the- 
ocracy) is indeed the chief defender of reaction, the 
source of its inspiration, and its guide to action. It 
may only seem a shadow now, but let us not forget 
that behind such a shadow there is a formidable sub- 
stance. As we have seen, it is reaching its long hands 
into all avenues of social and political life. It is 
adaptable. It is cruel, bloody and monstrous in 
Spain, conciliating in Italy, lying low in the Nazi 
realm, and suave, Insinuating, crafty and designing, 
and active as hell's angels, in the United States! 
When the time, to it, seems ripe and propitious, it 
will not hesitate to show its hand. In keeping with 

nn 1891 Daniel De Leon wrote: "Recognizing the irresistible ten- 
dency of the workmgmen to con^bine for mutual protection, he [Pope 
Leo XIIIl does not attempt to dissuade them from adopting this 
course ; on the contrary, he praises their efforts in this direction but 
advises them to place their organizations under the guidance of the 
church. For aught we know, the Pope may be dreaming of a new 
Pnman Catholic Empire, in which the trades would be organized— as 
they were by Constantino and his successors, but with due" regard for 
the changed conditions of production— under the direction of the Su- 
nreme Pontiff. Such was, indeed, the proposition made in 1848 by a 
highly religious economist; and not only the Vatican received it with 
favor, bu,t the priests -blessed the 'trees of liberty' planted in Paris by 
the 'Social ReDu'blic' ! The Pope evidently believes that if the institu- 
tion of private property should come to grief in spite of the efforts 
of the church to save it, all property should be vested in the church 
itself." 



its policy of deception and its practice of stealthy en- 
croachments upon secular and civic matters, it will 
conceal its purpose as long as it can, and will even 
deny its OAvn basic claims to supreme authority in so- 
ciety when it serves its current purpose to do so. 

We know from history what the aims and claims 
of the papacy are. The record is clear and indispu- 
table. We know that these aims and claims are the 
same today. Does the papacy — the Church — claim 
superiority over the State; does it contend that the 
State must be subordinate to the Church? It does. 
But does it do so in America? The proof is over- 
whelming, conclusive, that it does so. In a book en- 
titled "Manual of Christian Doctrine," pubHshed as 
a "Course of ReHgious Instruction," by the "Brothers 
of the Christian Schools," and bearing the imprima- 
tur of Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia and the 
Nihil Obstat of N. F. Fisher, S.T.L. {Censor Libro- 
rum) and Arthur J- Scanlan, S.T.D. {Censor Depu- 
tatus) — in this catechism which has gone through 
fifty-eight editions, we find a series of questions and 
answers that are most illuminating. Just a few can 
be cited here. To the question: "Why is the church 




Mrs. Ann Hutchinson lectured on theology and came in con- 
flict with the synod which ordered her to cease. Her 
refusal resulted in prosecution. She was banished from 
the Massachusetts Colony for her heresies. She 
moved to Connecticut and later to New York. 
Some years later, she was killed by Indians. 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



superior to the state?" the answer is given: "Because 
the end to which the Church tends is the noblest of 
all ends." That settles that, like It or not! To the 
question: "What right has the Pope in virtue of his 
supremacy?" this answer is given: "The right to an- 
nul those laws or acts of government that would in- 
jure the salvation of souls or attack the natural rights 
of citizens.'' (Among the "natural rights of citi- 
zens" the catechism later lists private property 
rights !) 

In all cases of disputes the Church, of course, de- 
cides the issue, on the basis of the WORD, as inter- 
preted by the infallible Pope! 

Defining "Liberalism," the manual says: "It 
[Liberalism] is founded principally on the fact that 
modern society rests on liberty of conscience and of 
worship, on liberty of speech and of the press." And 
to the question: "Why is Liberalism to be con- 
demned?" we are given these illuminating replies: 
"i. Because it denies all subordination of the State 
to the Church; 2. Because it confounds liberty with 
right; 3. Because it despises the social dominion of 
Christ [theocracy] and rejects the benefits derived 
therefrom." 

These, then, are authoritative statements by an 
important branch of the Church, and must necessarily 
represent the general views and policies of the 
Church. The record Is clear and establishes that the 
Church acclaims and condemns the following things : 

1. The Church Is superior to the State. 

2. The Pope has the right. In his wisdom or 
judgment, or the lack of these, to annul laws which 
citizens are required to obey. 

3. Liberalism is condemned, hence that which 
"Liberalism" represents. Therefore — 

4. Liberty of conscience and worship are con- 
demned. 

5. Liberty of speech and of the press, likewise, 

are condemned. 

6. The subordination of the State to the Church 
is reaffirmed. 

7. "Liberty" and "right" apparently are in- 
compatible. 

8. Christ has a "social dominion," the meaning 
of which Is not clear, unless It Is an affirmation of the 
necessity or desirability of a theocratic form of gov- 
ernment. 

There is no escape from these conclusions. The 
apologists of would-be Roman Catholic theocracy 
may marshal all their Jesuitical craftiness and casuis- 
try. What has been cited In the foregoing constitutes 
the position of the Catholic Church in America to- 
day; It is thoroughly In line with the traditional^pol- 



Icy of the Church; and these doctrines, so definitely 
subversive of American democratic principles, are 
being taught openly to millions of future American 
citizens who some day will be called upon to decide 
the vital question as to whether the United States 
shall maintain and expand the democratic rights and 
liberties, or whether these shall be surrendered and 
the road cleared for the establishment of a feudo- 
theocratic Industrial rule ! We dare the hierarchy 
to deny that these are wholly proper and logical con- 
clusions drawn from the facts and premises supplied 
by the Church itself. 

XIV. 

While in the main the presumptuous claims and 
theocratic pretensions of the papacy are being passed 
over in silence by a press which is either intimidated 
or bribed Into silence, or which (in its social-reaction- 
ary character) finds Itself in accord with these theo- 
cratic pretensions, occasionally references to these 
creep into the more important among the dally (cap- 
italist) papers. In the New York Times of May 
26, 1940, one Gilbert O. Nations, who appeared to 
write with authority and considerable understanding 
of the theocratic ambitions of the papacy, took sharp 
issue wnth one of the outstanding American Cathol- 
ics, James H. Ryan, Bishop of Omaha, who is re- 
ported to be an authority on international questions 
with particular reference to the relation of the papacy 
to these questions. Bishop Ryan had urged that 
the United States should set up and maintain diplo- 
matic relations with the See of Rome, rumors being 
rife at the time that President Roosevelt had sent as 
his personal representative feudo-industrial baron, 
Myron C. Taylor, to Rome to discuss the matter. 
Pointing out the subversive character of such a move, 
Mr. Nations said: 

"It Is the international sovereignty of the Pope 
that gives him vast political and diplomatic power. 
The sovereignty of other governments stops at their 
territorial boundaries. But that of the Pope does 
not stQ». It encircles the earth. 

""Rie papacy often makes treaties or concordats 
with the civil powers as an Incident of diplomatic re- 
lations. Such pacts make clear the purpose of diplo- 
matic relations. They also make clear the general 
policies of the Popes in their relations with civil gov- 
ernments. They define the status and rights of papal 
subjects in the respective countries as against their 
own government wherein they enjoy citizenship and 
the ballot. Good examples are the 1929 treaty with 
Italy, the treaties with Spain, Colombia and other 
Latin countries. 



76 



FIFTY YEARS 



''They stipulate that the Roman Catholic religion 
shall be the religion of the State, that it shall be 
taught in all public schools to the exclusion of all 
other faiths, that the local hierarchy shall be empow- 
ered to pass on the hooks and teachers used in such 
schools and that civil authority will enforce payment 
of tithes assessed by the hierarchy. 

"Such provisions and such policies do violence to 
the Avhole background and fundamentals of American 
constitutional law. For about seventy years the Popes 
have expressly condemned American public schools 
and prohibited Roman Catholic children from at- 
tending them without special permission from the lo- 
cal Bishop. That prohibition noAV appears in canon 
1374 of the Code of Canon Law enacted by the pa- 
pacy years ago. It was amplified in December, 1929, 
by Pope Pius XI in his Encychcal Divini lUius 
Magistrl : 

"America has little interest in the thousand or so 
people and slightly over a hundred acres which com- 
pose Vatican City. No such interest would justify 
diplomatic relations with the Pope, But the 20,000,- 
000 of Roman Catholics in the United States are of 
vast importance. It is to exercise greater influence 
over them under his paramount international sover- 
eignty that the Pope urges diplomatic relations. No 
foreign sovereign has just right to attempt to exert 
influence over our citizens against their own govern- 
ment. Their rights and status should be settled in 
this country and under American law." (Italics 
mine.) 

No more need be said to prove the point: The 
polity of the papacy runs directly counter to the 
American civil polity and constitutes a definite plan 
for restoring the subserviency of the secular author- 
ity to the authority of the Church. 

Catholic orators, lay. and clerical, fill the air with 
their exhortations for a "return to Christ," for "God 
in government," etc. One of the most eloquent, if 
also one of the most blatant, is the Rt. Rev. Msgr. 
Fulton J. Sheen who speaks every Sunday over a 
nation-wide hookup. We are told that "Radio facil- 
ities are provided GRATUITOUSLY by N.B.C. 
and the stations associated with it." On February 
23, 1 941, Msgr. Sheen spoke on "Papacy and Inter- 
nadonal Order." The address was one of the most 
significant in recent times. It constitutes as bold a bid 
for control of secular government as any that has 
been made in recent times by an organized creed. The 
argument is that after the war there is only one 
body capable, and qualified, to run the world, viz., 
the Roman CathoHc political machine. The plea is put 



— 

SLAYERY 




ORDAINED OF 


GOD. 


"The powers that be are ordained of God." | 


Romans xiii. 1. 




BT 




REV. FRED. A. ROSS, 


D.D. 


PASTOE OF THE PRESBTTERIAN CHURCH, HUNTSVUXE, ALABAMA. 


PHILADELPHIA: 




J. B. LIPPINCOTT & 


00. 


1857. 





Title-page from the Rev. Fred A. Ross's book condoning 
slavery as ordained of God. 



more subtly than that, but that is the plain meaning 
of it. Contemptuously this would-be theocrat sneers 
at "universal education, progress, science, liberalism'' 
— and for good measure, but no doubt with tongue 
in cheek, he includes "Totalitarianism"!! He de- 
clares that there is "only one moral authi3rity left in 
the world, the Chief Shepherd and Vicar of Jesus 
Christ/^ i.e., the keen and crafty politician placed on 
the theocratic throne in Rome 1 In cheap banality 
and mock humility he speaks of the papacy as "the 
smallest of all sovereignties — io8 acres on w^hich its 
Shepherd may feed and pasture his three hundred 
and eighty million sheep"! {''Sheep'' is what he 
said!^ And sheep are expected to do naught else than 



^It is no accident that the ^vp^d "ovation" is used when great or 
popular leaders (English for "Fuehrer") are noisily acclaimed, usual- 
ly by an unthinking multitude. As Plutarch observed: ''O\'ation is 
derived from the Latin word "ovis," meaning "sheep" I 



OF AMERICAN MARXISM 



to bleat, and to submit to fleecing!) And at the con- 
clusion of his address he uttered these significant 
words : 

"I can see no hope unless we reverse the present 
order and admit that instead of politics setting limits 
to religion and the morality of Jesus Christ, religion 
and the morality of Jesus Christ must begin to set 
limits to politicsJ^ 

There we have it: The Church must rule the civil 
power. Secular government must be made subordi- 
nate to the Church! The voice that spoke was the 
voice of the high priest of the ancient Jewish theoc- 
racy; it was the voice of Caiaphas, the voice of im- 
periaHst Innocent III, the voice of ruthless Calvin, 
and of every actual and aspiring theocratic ruler 
since organized society began! It was the voice of 
medielalism, the voice of the rack and the stake, the 
voice of bigotry and intolerance, the voice of dark- 
ness, ignorance and of human slavery! It was a voice 
demanding the stultification of the human spirit, a 
voice out of the dark tomb of time. It was the voice 
of hopeless despair for humanity, a voice asserting 
the sovereignty of unreason over reason. 

How shall we answer that voice — and by "we" 
is meant primarily the working class and all those 
who take their stand on working class interests? We 
shall answer, in notes of ringing accents: 

We will have none of your mind-destroying the- 
ocracy! We reject your plea for sovereignty over 
men born to be free ! We hurl back at you your in- 
sult that we are so many sheep ! We declare to you, 



to your superior officer in Rome, and to your lay and 
clerical allies of all creeds everywhere that we mean 
to be free men and women, to be true Children of 
Light ! We declare to you that we shall lay the ghost 
of class rule, theocratic or strictly secular, so that 
never again shall it walk the bloody highways of op- 
pression and slavery ! And to that end we, the work- 
ers of America, with our brothers, the workers of the 
world, will organize — organize more compactly, 
more scientifically, with greater purposefulness than 
was ever dreamt of in any of your theocratic hand- 
books ! We accept the gage of battle, and gird our 
loins ! Do you organize in your theocratic conclaves 
— we shall organize in our Socialist Industrial Unions 
for the control and operation of a civilized society 
which shall know neither poverty nor superstition, 
neither wars nor any other kind of social strife ! We 
shall organize for Peace and Happiness, for Light 
and Freedom ! 

The issue is: 

THEOCRACY or DEMOCRACY? 

We take our stand on Democracy — Industrial and 
Economic Democracy. And in thus taking our stand 
we join the noble host which in the long and dreary 
past has held aloft the banner of freedom — the many 
martyrs broken or murdered by your forerunners. 
We take our stand on the principle laid down by the 
noble Abraham Lincoln, a principle which shall even- 
tually free the world: 



''As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a 
master. This expresses my idea of democracy. What- 
ever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, 
is no democracyJ^ 



CONTENTS 

Daniel De Leon . Frontispiece 

Drawing by Walter Steinhilber 

The Role of the Party Press, 

by John Timni 3 

Theocracy or Democracy? 

by Arnold Petersen 12 

The 'Nineties with De Leon, 

by Bertha C. De Leon 18 

Daniel De Leon as a Campaigner, 

by John Timm 26 

The Socialist Labor Party and the Internationals, 

by Eric Hass . 28 

FIFTY CENTS 

Copyright 194.1 iby the 

National Executive iCommittee, Socialist Labor Party of America 

61 Cliff Street, New York, N.Y. 



1 



(Printed in the United States of America.)