From New International, Vol.5 No.4, April 1939, p.98.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
IN recent issues this column has stressed the importance of The New International to the Fourth International movement in England, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, the Central and South American countries, China and elsewhere, This is uncontested and something of which we are all proud. But we have also emphasized the necessity for New International supporters in the United States to make it possible to continue to send 1,000 copies of the magazine abroad. The foreign countries truly endeavor to do their share. Because help was needed in this respect, the month of March was set aside for the organization of affairs, entertainments, dances, house parties, etc., to raise money for The New International. We regret to state that, as this is written – latter March – the results are likely to prove quite meager, far below expectations. There are contributing factors which made it hard for Party Units to organize such affairs at this time, but the facts are not changed thereby. To date the Upper West Side and Lower East Side Branches in New York City have turned in the small proceeds of their affairs: $17.71 and $5.44; Local Boston did well with $20.27; and Local San Francisco has sent in $5.00 but comrade Trimble says this is only a first installment – a bigger social to follow. Other affairs, however, have been or are still to be held, and no doubt some results will be forthcoming. Among these are: Needle Trades Br., New York City; Local Detroit; Lynn, Mass.; Youngstown ; St. Louis; Washington, D.C. Certainly these are few enough. But there is still time for other, and important Party units to hold an entertainment and we hope this will be done. These benefits were to serve to carry some of the foreign New International accounts. For the first time in 16 months, unless more aid is forthcoming, it will not be possible to send the magazine to some of our economically weak foreign groups. Will the US readers of The New International help quickly to remedy this situation? It can and must be done.
Some Party units are arranging affairs, but for the purpose of liquidating their magazine debts. This desire to get their accounts in good order is laudable, certainly, but it is unquestionably possible for all Party and YPSL units to cover their bundle bills through the sale of the magazine (if the literature activity is properly organized) and not to resort to affairs for this purpose. Entertainments of varying description should be held to send donations to the magazine to aid our foreign comrades and to help make it possible for The New International to be enlarged sooner. However, most of these cities have on the whole accomplished fine work in the circulation of the magazine, and it has been agreed to and arrangements accordingly made, that once these bills are out of the way, the magazine hereafter will be paid for promptly each month. We are sure this will be the case.
Now we propose to deal, in the remaining brief space left in this issue but also regularly in forthcoming issues, with a number of Party and YPSL units in respect to what we regard as inexcusable weaknesses and laxness in circulation. Open discussion thereof will probably prove fruitful, plus correspondence and direct talks of a concrete nature to improve circulation – either bundle or newsstand sales or subscriptions. The March number is completely sold out – an edition of 4,500 copies. This, despite the fact that many Party and YPSL units cut down on their bundles, and it also became necessary, because of non-payment of bills, to eliminate some units altogether: something resorted to only in the interests of the very issuance of the magazine itself. True, there were also compensating new and increased orders. We are absolutely convinced that it is possible now, TODAY, for us to have a bona fide circulation of 5,500 copies at least, if but a few of the larger Party and YPSL units respond to obvious possibilities for circulation, and don’t just “leave it to George”. Local New York, SWP; the YPSL, New York; Los Angeles; Cleveland and other units will be dealt with in detail in coming issues. First, the YPSL, New York.
All things considered, the YPSL of New York has been the most lax, indifferent, and casual of all Party or YPSL units in the country toward the magazine. They have been disposing of so low a quantity of the magazine that we are almost ashamed to mention the amount. There have been 16 months of discussions, promises, frequent changes of agents, but a very large part of the YPSL membership in New York apparently do not read The New International. Granted that many at least read the magazine by probably obtaining some other person’s used copy. This is disconcerting, since at present certainly, The New International serves as the main instrument for the ideological and theoretical development of the Fourth Internationalists in general, and above all for the YOUTH. The New York YPSL is a very active, enthusiastic and loyal membership: but action must be accompanies, indeed preceded by knowledge and clarity. LEARN TODAY! to be better revolutionary Marxists tomorrow. This is why we stress upon every YPSL member: read yourself and then circulate further The New International, as well as your Challenge and the Appeal. If every member of the YPSL in New York will take at least one copy, this will alone almost triple the magazine’s circulation by the Youth in New York. But the New York Youth have ample and many opportunities to sell the magazine: in the schools, at public meetings – yes, among YCL’ers and other youth organizations: the time is ripe as never before, particularly since the increase in prestige of the New York YPSL arising from their anti-fascist activities, etc. Less than 100 magazines have been disposed of by the YPSL on the average, sometimes more, sometimes less. Some YPSL units do good work: e.g., the City College, Day and Evening units. Some units dispose of no copies. Space is brief: the District Committee has now taken hold of the situation, and comrade Isadore Rader, Secretary, and comrades Miller, Dollinger, Portnoy and others promise immediate improvement and have taken specific measures accordingly. We, too, feel confident that, beginning with the April issue, the New York Youth will show substantial improvement in the circulation of the magazine.
Many things of interest to our readers and YPSL and Party members, as respects the general progress of the magazine in numerous cities, have been passed by in this issue; they will be spoken of, we expect, in subsequent issues. Should some units feel slighted, let them be consoled that to be unmentioned is perhaps evidence that they are doing right well.
OUR IMMEDIATE GOAL: A CIRCULATION OF 5,500. IT CAN BE DONE! A reader in Leeds, England, writes:
“The New International is the best magazine on revolutionary Marxism in the English language. It deserves the widest possible support and circulation, and I shall do all I can to spread its circulation in England.”
American comrades! Echo answers what?
Last updated on 8.8.2006