Published: The Masses, April 1917
Transcribed:Sally Ryan for marxists.org in 2000
The editors of The New Republic seem to have been seized with a highly intellectualized lust for bloody combat. I was shocked by their mobilization order. They had the submarines out and the guns firing before the subscribers had time to realize the magazine had $one to war. I had often predicted they would go to war, these liberal intellects, in the front rank--ahead, in fact, of the republic. But I was really shocked at the joyful unction with which they did it.
Those bold letters on the front cover:
WITHOUT DELAY DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS MUST BE BROKEN. THE NAVY SHOULD BE MOBILIZED. STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ARM ALL MERCHANT SHIPS. THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF OUR ENTRANCE INTO THE WAR SHOULD BE DISCUSSED AND ANNOUNCED.
Where now is the suave and judicial externalism of the "journal of opinion"?
The New Republic has given expression to a great many radical ideas--birth control education, freedom of speech, the right to strike, government ownership of railroads. Its editors have a great liberality of view, and we have to thank them for many deliberative and careful pronouncements in favor of radical progress. But they never put their heart in their pens before. It was never:
WITHOUT DELAY THIS KNOWLEDGE THAT IS VITAL TO LIFE MUST BE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PEOPLE. SPEECH MUST BE FREE. STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO GUARANTEE TO THESE WORKMEN THE RIGHT TO STRIKE. THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF TRANSFER OF THE RAILROADS TO THE REPUBLIC MUST BE DISCUSSED AND ANNOUNCED.
No--they always managed to hold in on those topics, these young men, maintaining that infinite equilibrium and freedom from the propaganda note which bespeaks a finished intellectuality. But now the miracle is broken. An emotion is acknowledged. The New Republic has a mission. And its mission, as well as I can gather from the first two numbers, is War on Germany and Anglo-American Imperialism--Victory without Peace.