Editorial Notes

Morgenstern and Goodman

(February 1932)

Written: February 1932.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 8 (Whole No. 104), 20 February 1932, p. 4.
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The imprisonment of revolutionary workers is nothing new, even in America where only the first skirmishes of the great class struggle have so far taken place, and Morgenstern and Goodman are only two more added to many. Yet the departure of these militants represents a unique development and has an exceptional significance. It fell to them to be the first to fall victims to direct class vengeance against the revolutionary wing of the Party. The case against them was purely political; the indictment was based exclusively on the contents of our unemployment leaflet.

Hitherto this persecution has been refracted through the distorting lens of the controlling centrism, which is a form of alien class influence upon the movement. In the persons of Morgenstern and Goodman, American capitalism has struck directly at the Left Opposition. Thereby it has conferred a singular honor upon them and upon the cause they symbolize and represent.

Beyond all doubting there will be many more to follow in the stormy times that must intervene between the present period of preparation and beginning and the day of the final victory. Our doctrines which are destined to become the fighting ideas of millions will receive their verification in the heat of mighty conflicts in which no resource of violence and oppression will be neglected by the class enemy. In these fires the cadres of the revolutionary vanguard will be steeled and tested! There will be many victims. The example of Morgenstern and Goodman will have its value for those who are to follow. We can all be confident of this because those who carry our flag into the Pennsylvania jail are not strangers to us. We know them as fighters. These young and unassuming, and yet stalwart, revolutionists take with them our affection and our faith.

Despite their youth, Morgenstern and Goodman have already earned their standing in the Communist movement; there are six or seven years of activity behind them. They belong to the founders and organizers of the Left Opposition in America, and before that they fought on the side of the proletarian tendency in the party. In the ranks of the Opposition they have been distinguished by their qualities of stability and endurance, by their stubborn adherence to principle and their capacity to go against the stream. They combined a courageous open fight for our ideas against heavy odds with the modesty that befits the young revolutionist who doesn’t know it all. In them there is not a trace of the ugly presumptuousness of those academic upstarts who conceive of revolutionary education as a set of scholastic exercises. The jail will not hurt Morgenstern and Goodman, it will only make them stronger

As is known, the Stalinists, who dispose of the party press and the defense organization of the I.L.D. and abuse the good faith of the workers who support them, refused any assistance to our two Philadelphia comrades. They deserted them in the court of the class enemy and gave not a published word of notice to their conviction and sentence. We will not forget that. In the final accounting for their rudeness, their disloyalty, their violence and their slander we will also present our bill for their treachery to Morgenstern and Goodman.

In their actions in this case there is revealed, as by a premonitory flash, what these people will be capable of in the future when events will put the great class questions categorically, when no one will be able to dissimulate, to hide or to evade. The day of reckoning will come. Let us hope that it will come before their course unfolds its ultimate logic in a catastrophe for the movement. The names of Morgenstern and Goodman will be a banner for us in the fight to hasten on that day.

Last updated on: 24.4.2013