Volume 2 Number 2 ………………………………. February 1932
1. 1932—YEAR OF HEAD ON COLLISION
2. CHINA AFLAME
3. CURRENT COMMENT
4. COMMUNIST MOVEMENT IN THE U.S.A. (concluded)
5. RED WITH LAUGHTER
6. BURIED TREASURE
1932—YEAR OF HEAD-ON COLLISION
During the past two years the contradictions of imperialism have reached the breaking point. The economic depression, far from growing better, as Lovestone, Cannon & Co., all confidently predicted, has grown much worse. Here are the figures for the United States: Industrial production as a whole fell to 50% of the 1929 peak; steel production fell to almost 20% of what it was in 1929; the same thing happened to the automobile industry. Building contracts fell from the index number 140.7 representing the monthly average in 1929 to the index number 65 the monthly average for 1931. Freight car loadings fell from index number 107--1929 monthly average--to index number 65 for 1931.
As for foreign trade the figures show: Exports (11 months) 1929 were 4.8 billion dollars while in 1931 they were 2.2 billion dollars, a drop of over 50%. Imports fell (11 months) from 4 billion dollars in 1929 to 1.9 billion in 1931.
Employment fell close to 40%, payrolls fell nearly 50%. If we assume a proletariat of 36,000,000 at work in 1929 we must then say there are at least 20,000,000 persons looking for work in this country alone after two solid years of depression. While wages were drastically slashed, the cost of living fell but 9% the last year.
Throughout the world, generally speaking, production and foreign trade have fallen off over 40%, since 1929. This is true of Great Britain, Germany, and other countries of key importance. France is now in the throes of the crisis, in one year dropping 20% in production. Entirely in line with Marxian theory, the depression has become unprecedented in severity, in intensity, in planetary extensity, in duration. Such a crisis, standing on top of the post-war instability of capitalism has broken the delicate equilibrium established. The breaking point appears both in the East(China, India)and in the West (Germany, Spain). In these two places world capitalism has strained itself to the breaking point.
A revolutionary situation is brewing in Germany. Allowed to mature, it must break within the year. The rise of Fascism in Germany is the clearest sign that the bourgeoisie of Germany are preparing for the conflict. The taking of power by the Fascists must result in civil war. The Stalinites with their theory of Socialism in the country are ignoring the terrible menace of Fascism in Germany. The Stalinites fail to realize that the victory of Fascism in Germany means: 1. The beheading of the proletariat of Germany and of all Europe, the real mainstay of the Soviet Union; 2. A tremendously sharpened danger of war between France and Germany, which can be temporarily liquidated only by a joint attack against the Soviets.
The developments in the east can lead either to world war among the capitalist powers or to a united front against the Soviet Union. Should the Chinese masses be crushed simultaneously as Fascism conquers in Germany, there can be no question as to a united war both from the East and the West against the Soviet Union.
We ring the bell, Comrades! the contradictions have reached their climax. 1932 has become the year of head-on collision! There is no “absolute hopelessness” for the capitalists. The Soviets, the Comintern, will be inevitably destroyed unless we awake and build up again a Leninist organization. This only the International Left Opposition can do.
“In the impending struggle between England and the United States, Japan is going to play on the sea the same part as that played by France on land during the war with Germany. Japan today is making use of the antagonism between Great Britain and America, but when the final struggle between these two giants for world hegemony breaks out, Japan is going to be the battle ground of that fight.” Theses 3rd Congress Comintern.
During the past three weeks the fighting in the East has reached an entirely new stage of development. Mukden-Tsitsihar-Chinchow all are seemingly closed incidents. No longer is it a fight for Manchuria alone. To hold Manchuria the Mikado adventurers must move for the actual dismemberment of China itself.
Over a month ago, the London “Economist” wrote: “Whether or not Japanese troops are withdrawn, it seems probable that Manchuria will be ravaged by guerilla warfare far more cruelly under the new regime than she was before the Japanese coup.”
The Japanese adventurers have become more and more enmeshed in the entanglements in China. To hold Manchuria, they have been forced to bombard Shanghai and to move on Nanking. Down have crashed the foolish Browder theories that both the United States and the Cantonese are the closest sworn allies of Japan. The Cantonese government has been forced by the pressure of the masses into struggle against Japanese imperialism. The Chinese masses have put up a most valiant and heroic resistance. China is seen to be no longer the China of the Boxer days. It is a new kind of China, a China with a hard and well disciplined proletariat and fearless revolutionary fighters. This China is putting fear into the hearts not only of Japanese imperialists, but of all imperialists. It is this factor, above all, which has made the other powers reject the proposals of Japan for the physical dismemberment of China.
The events in Shanghai have also brought to a head all capitalist antagonisms in the Far East. All available warships have been rushed to the Yellow Sea. The League of Nations stands completely bankrupt and its “peace pacts” thoroughly exposed.
The United States looms as the principle force opposed to Japan, ready for war. And why not war? War would tend to liquidate the economic crisis. It would mobilize all the world’s reactionary forces. It would keep Hoover in office four more years. It would be designed to destroy Japan, the most important secondary ally to England in any war against the United States, and clear the way for the real attack against Great Britain.
Why not war? Because there stand the revolutionary forces in Germany ready to spring should world capitalism weaken; because there stands the Soviet Union and its 170,000,000 revolutionary fighters. It is this that tends to prevent such an imperialist war.
And here we get the significance of the seizure of Harbin, Manchuria. The taking of Manchuria is not only an act completing the seizure of Manchuria, it is the direct threat against the Soviet Union. It is the mobilization and deployment of forces for “Der Tag” the great day of capitalist war against the Soviets.
What Will Trotsky Say Now?
We have written to Comrade Trotsky that we have tried our best to follow his advice. We did everything we could to form a bridge between the Cannon group and ours. Every bridge has been hacked to pieces by Cannon & Co. In one of the recent issues of his sheet, Cannon wrote that not the bridge is the medium between the two organizations but a ROPE! This is eminently fitting for Cannon to write. Nature has molded him to be the hangman of revolutionary groups. But he will never be able to ply his trade. The working class will have something to say to that. The question is: What will Trotsky say now? We would like to know, and so would many workers.
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So that everyone will truly understand the role of Cannon, we herewith publish a letter we have just received. For obvious reasons we are withholding the name of the sender for the while. The letter has to do with the raid on our headquarters and robbery of our Marxist library that took place in November.
“Rosenberg and Reiskin gave the books to Cannon and Tresca…Hawkins was taken off the Committee, only for giving you the statement, otherwise he would stay on. I think Pollack and Cannon are selling them. At first Hawkins wanted to return all your books but Rosenberg was against it. He went to Cannon, who told him to hide your books where you cannot find them. In your paper you said the Daily Worker got lawyers (for the sneak thieves). It is not so. Cannon, Tresca, and Zimmerman are paying him. They wanted the (Marine) Defense lawyer, Fishman at first, but they knew you would blame the Daily worker so they got an I.L.D. lawyer. It was to fool you. Plans are being made to beat you up after the trial. A gang of men are going to wreck your headquarters and give you the beating of your life…I think Cannon and Tresca are organizing the men to get you. Reports are being spread by Pollack that you asked Rosenberg and Bunker to get guns to hold up stores for rent money. He also said you wanted to blackjack a worker, who went to your headquarters and had money…Pollack also told the daily Worker to write that article…”
We do not know just how much truth there is in this letter. We do know that the crooks who aided in robbing our place were warmly protected by Cannon. One of them is now an honorary member of his Marxian Youth Club. We also know he is capable of working with the class enemies of the working class against the communists. As for their trying to wreck our headquarters, our only hope is that the brave Cannon leads the way.
“No United Front With The Right”
This is what Cannon & Co, said a year ago, and all the big and little Shachtman “yes-men” in his sect repeated likewise the same “eternal” principle. Now we see Cannon not only in a united front, but married to the right obtaining as a reward a sort of political syphilis. How gentle he is these days towards the Lovestone group, how sharp he is against the Party. Now he even wants to build a dual I.L.D. even when the I.L.D. proposes to change its policy and defend all workers in jail on class charges. To bolster up his united front, Cannon has put on a number of open enemies of the working class, who represent absolutely nobody but themselves. Whom does Pollack represent? Whom did Walter Starret represent? Certainly not the anarchists for they have repudiated any such charge long ago. Cannon has simply played politics using the marine defendants to build up a new I.L.D. In doing this he has greatly damaged whatever possibilities the marine defendants had.
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The close unity between Cannon and Lovestone was very well illustrated at the “unity conference” invoked by Lovestone. Cannon was invited but did not appear. And why not? BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO ATTACK LOVESTONE, and this he did not want to do! By running away Cannon allowed Lovestone to control completely a meeting of about 600 radical workers. That’s how Cannon “defends” the interests of the Left Opposition. Our group was there, however, and although we were not “recognized” by Lovestone we gave a good account of ourselves. At least that’s what many workers told us.
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There is another reason why Cannon did not appear at this “unity conference". He is mortally afraid of Lovestone, afraid that the workers will consider Lovestone the “left winger” and Cannon the “right". Besides his strong point is not theory. For the fun of it we have gone to the back files of the Militant for the past two months to see what Cannon has “contributed". Out of 15 articles 9 of them are on “defense work”, 2 on the Proletarian Party etc. Maneuvers not theory, this symbolized the leadership of the Cannon Group. And how they would like to get back their soft I.L.D. jobs at $45 per week. But times are bad these days.
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We have spoken of the Marxian Youth Club above. That club has gone on record that it will protect every crook and sneak, who tries to rob the Communist League of Struggle. In doing so, they have declared also that we have committed a greater crime than the petty-thieves in their ranks. Before this we had thought that one of the very worst crimes is the breaking up of a workers headquarters a la fascisti. But the Youth Club inspired by Karl Marx (Cannon?) thinks differently. There is a greater crime. It is to go after the crooks in court to get our stuff back. This is news to us. We always thought: All tactics to get your end a good slogan. We always thought we could use every weapon we could against our class enemy. But Cannon is worried sick. We wonder why? Is it that he is more involved in this matter than we thought at first? We have no love for the courts. One of us is under indictment now. The court is our enemy. But so are the crooks who robbed us! We don’t worry what happens to either one of them. If we can use one to destroy the other, it is all right with us. And no one need worry that we will believe that the “court gives justice” or that others will think so and get legalistic illusions.
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It comes with very ill grace from the mouth of Cannon to accuse us of working with the state. It is not we, but he, who has turned over the names and addresses of the subscribers to his paper to the United States government, and who defends that treacherous act. It is not we, who have published the exact number of his members. But it was Cannon, who tried to inform the police through his paper exactly how many members we had. It is too bad he guessed wrong!
Cannon, Lovestone, George and Bert Miller all have united to sneer at our “family group". How these right wing groups hate us! However are these groups much larger? The largest of them (outside of the C.P.) has a membership of five ten-thousands of one percent of the working class!
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We must mention Starrett again. On February 3rd, Comrade Weisbord had been asked to speak before the anarchist group by Starrett on the “Bankruptcy of Anarchist-syndicalism". When the speaker finished, Starrett after consulting with a member of the Cannon group, pulled out a private letter which Weisbord had sent to Soderberg in jail, in which our group view point had been given. Starrett made a regular lynching speech, but failed to start a thing.
THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT IN THE U.S.A. by Albert Weisbord
(concluded from last issue)
Characteristically, the leaders, who yesterday were so “left”, so “revolutionary”, now swung far to the “right". Perhaps this process was accelerated by the government’s raid on the Bridgeman, Michigan convention. Hitherto the Communist leaders had been against working in the American Federation of Labor. Now they called the American Federation of Labor the only place in which to work. Hitherto they had been against reforms. By 1923, they were for a compromising support of La Follette.
And in this violent swing to the right, the Workers Party leaders behaved quite like those in the Socialist Party, whom they were denouncing. Like the socialists they ignored the 25,000 unorganized workers and emphasized solely the 3 1/2 million members in the American Federation of Labor and in the few independent unions outside of the A.F. of L. The Communist leaders’ sole aim within the A.F. of L. was to amalgamate the craft unions. Their sole method of work was maneuvering with the officials of the A.F. of L. in the Chicago Federation in the Amalgamated Clothing workers Union, etc. Not only did these heads of the Workers Party overlook the unskilled unorganized masses, they tended to overlook even the rank and file workers within the A.f. of L. itself. All they saw, apparently, were the “progressive officials".
In the political field their policies were just as amateurish. In 1921 the organized labor movement and the socialist party had organized a Conference for Progressive Political Action looking towards a Labor Party. The leaders of the Workers Party also came out for a Labor Party. But they went even further. They were for a FARMER-Labor Party and some even were for giving the farmers the lead in the movement. Others committed with LaFollette and when La Follette refused to play, organized a paper “Federated Farmer Labor Party” of their own!
The collapse of the conference for Progressive Political Action and the LaFollette movement in 1924-25 brought about a deep crisis within the ranks of the Workers Party. Disappointed again, the Foster group at once became very “revolutionary". They said, we want no Farmer-Labor Party movement. The workers do not need to be won away from the capitalists for independent political action of their own. The Communists by building a Farmer-Labor Party, are building a substitute for a Communist party. On this basis an intense factional fight began to rage, threatening to lead to a direct split in the convention of 1925.
Fortunately the Communist International stepped in and by its pressure prevented a split. The Communist International declared it was wrong to agitate for a Farmer-Labor Party, and to give the farmers a leading role, incorrect to support La Follette in the manner some Communists (Cannon) had proposed, but it was correct to keep the slogan for a Labor Party. Not every country is at the same level of political development. Different countries, different conditions; different slogans. In Germany the workers may be raising the slogan of workers’ control over production. In England the labor Party already formed may be in the process of exposing its limitations to the workers. In the United States while it was not absolutely inevitable that a Labor Party had to be formed, yet here the Communists had the elementary task of winning the workers from the capitalists for independent political action of their own.
The foster group was thus pushed aside by the Communist International which declared that group to be less politically correct and less loyal than the Ruthenberg group. The latter group then took over the leadership of the Workers Party. Not that all the opportunist errors were on the side of the Foster group alone. The opposite faction led by Ruthenberg, also contained leaders who went far astray. These men, headed by Lovestone, began to preach the exceptional development of America, the great power of American capitalism, which in their eyes, made the revolution something very far away. They failed to stress the close economic and political connection of the United States, with the rest of the world and the possibility of the near approach of the revolution. They emphasized the “backwardness and docility” of the American working class.
The Lovestone group was not called to account, because by this time (1925) Lenin had died. And with the death of Lenin, the CI itself began to swing to the right. A terrible fight began to be waged against Trotsky. Lovestone promised to be a good Trotsky-killer. He was needed therefore. Besides, these opportunist views of Lovestone had not been allowed full development under the leadership of Charles E. Ruthenbert.
The Foster group did not take its stinging defeat pleasantly. It reasoned, since the CI itself was moving to the right, why not go it one better? It therefore elaborated its previous argument. It had been against the Labor Party, it declared, not because America was so near to revolution, but really because the American workers were so “bourgeoisie”, that they were not even conscious for the need of a Labor Party. Look at the autos in America, the plumbing, the salesmen, the wealth etc., cried the Foster group. And so a new factional fight began. And to cap it all a third faction arose, led by Cannon, on the grounds that there should be no factions!
With the convention of 1927, all these factions came to a head. Ruthenberg having died, Lovestone took the lead. The name of the Party was changed to the Workers (Communist) Party. The Foster group was cut down to a small minority. The Lovestone group prepared to deal crushing blows to the other factions. First to destroy the “third factions”, “the faction against factions” to drive it out of the Party, and then to smash the Foster group to bits.
By 1928, this program was well on the way to fulfillment. Cannon, the leader of the faction against factions decided to withdraw and suddenly espoused the cause of Trotsky, who by now had been expelled from the Comintern. They now exist as the Communist League of America, (Opposition), a pure propaganda Society, whose sole real value consists in that they actually publish the works of that old revolutionary fighter, Leon Trotsky.
As for Foster, as the ground became hot, he began to capitulate and actually had abandoned his own group when a new development gave him his long sought for opportunity. Ever since the death of Lenin, Stalin had played the rude disloyal game Lenin had predicted he would play. First Trotsky was expelled by Zinoviev. Then Zinoviev was expelled by Bucharin and Stalin. Now it was Bucharin’s turn to be expelled. In all of these cases of “Off with his head”, Lovestone had added “Good by me.” This time he could not do so.
In the first place, he had promised himself too much in favor of Bucharin and against Stalin. In the second place, the Foster group beat him to it. They declared Lovestone was a “right-winger”, that American imperialism was on the decline, that the masses were radicalized all over America and in a new revolutionary up surge were counter-attacking the American capitalists, ready to seize state power. Only Bucharin in Moscow and Lovestone in New York stood in their way.
With the 1929 convention, came the order from Moscow—Lovestone was to be removed from office, and Foster was to be made executive secretary. How the Lovestone leaders howled. They tried all their tricks. They cabled Moscow. They cursed Bucharin. They lauded Stalin. All to no avail. While Lovestone mobilized his forces and went to fight it out in Moscow, his own leading lieutenants began to desert him. When he was expelled to form his own “Communist Party U.S.A. (Majority group)” the most he could muster was a couple of hundred or so.
Stalin, in his inimitable way describes this unprincipled fight as follows: “What are the main defects in the practice of the leaders of the majority (Lovestone) and the minority (Foster)?
“Firstly, that in their day to day work, they and particularly the leaders of the majority, are guided by motives of unprincipled factionalism and place the interests of their faction higher than the interests of the party.
“Secondly, that both groups and particularly the leaders of the majority are so infected with the disease of factionalism that they base their relations with the CI not on the principle of confidence but on a policy of rotten diplomacy, a policy of diplomatic intrigue.”
An Estimate of the Communists
We are now able to estimate the progress of the communist movement. It is plain that the Communists are no more contented with a mere propaganda association (the tiny Cannon group, the Proletarian Party, and the United Toilers sect, to the contrary notwithstanding). Since 1923 Communists have attempted to build a real party. They have entered into election campaigns both presidential and local. Members of the Communist Party have led big and important strikes. Their organization has spread over half the states of the union. They have groups in nearly all the big cities and nearly all the smaller towns of importance. Besides the English Organ of the C.P., the Daily Worker, numerous foreign language Communist papers reach a considerable number of workers. The “Majority Group” (.00005 of 1% of the American working class) now puts out a weekly paper “The Workers Age". The Communist League of America (.00002 of 1% of the American working class) now issues a weekly “Militant”, while the Communist League of Struggle (still tinier) has its paper, the “Class Struggle". In these and in other ways the Communists have attempted to win over the revolutionary workers and to develop a vanguard political party. Have they succeeded?
In my opinion they have not. We have never had a genuine Communist Party in this country. We have none today. First of all, a genuine Communist Party must be built on a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of works and methods of Marx. I dare say there are not many leading lights in all the Communists groups today, who have even read, no less understood, the three volumes of Marx’ Capital, for example. No large outstanding economic or political work has ever been penned by an American Communist. To this day many important works of Marx and Engels still remain untranslated. Most of the works of Lenin have never seen English print. Under the name of Leninism indeed, Stalin has actually suppressed Lenin’s writings, especially Lenin’s last words advising the Party to remove Stalin as secretary!
In the second place, a Communist Party must be built on a certain confidence. There must be a certain revolutionary idealism, honesty, integrity, courage. The contemptuous opinions held by Stalin of the American “leaders” are the opinions of the whole Communist International.
In the third place, a Communist Party must be rooted in the factories. It was only in 1925 that the dominating control of the foreign Language speaking federations began to be loosened. Even this could not take place without a fight. Several groups had to be expelled for resisting this and similar efforts of the Communist International to turn the attention of the Communists to American conditions and American work. But to this day these efforts have failed. Even now, there is really no “shop nuclei”, branches of Communists in the factories. There is constant talk from the leaders of organizing factory nuclei, but few of such nuclei actually exist. The composition of the Party is still predominantly intellectual, non-worker, and small-property, skilled-worker, elements.
In the fourth place, the Communists must undertake the task of organizing the unorganized workers. Yet all the leaders of all the Foster-Lovestone-Cannon groups have steadily shirked this work. Indeed they have at times opposed it “on principle"! They themselves had never risen to Communist leadership on the basis of their participation as Communists in mass struggles. They were totally unfamiliar with such work. They felt lost when it was proposed. For example, when the Passaic Strike began, all the leaders were opposed to this strike and to the organization of new unions under Communist control. It is not an accident that none of the Communist leaders ever led a single strike after they became Communists. During the New Bedford textile strike they obstinately refused to enter into the struggle. During the Gastonia strike, they all literally ran away, to Moscow.
And yet, in spite of the leadership on all of the principle Communist groups, the Communist movement has undoubtedly advanced in this country. The writings of Lenin, whatever there had been translated have become known to many. Bitter lessons have been learned. The persecutions and terrorism of the government have tested and hardened some. Many members have participated in strikes. They see their task more clearly than ever before.
It is true that the leadership drove away thousands and thousands of workers by their foolish antics, that they destroyed so much the worker members had built up, or that they often criminally mishandled or abandoned struggles which the workers called upon them to lead. It is true that numerically the Party today is as weak as it ever was, that its lnfluence among the workers is relatively small, that it has made little headway in all these years in winning the American working class. Nevertheless, all of these costly mistakes have left their indelible impression on the tested fighters, who still remain in the Communist movement. Gradually a corps of hardened members is being built up. This is what the Fish Committee is worried over.
The Communist movement is based on the social antagonisms created by the capitalist made of production itself. The Communist Party stands for the social revolution not as an “ought”, but as a “must". The capitalist contradictions inevitably develop a genuine communist movement. Such a movement will soon rid itself of the puffed-up subsidized ignoramuses foisted upon it. The very blows of reaction, this time, will make the Communist movement really find itself, will make it grow stronger than ever.
How Robert Minor Trained For Communist Leadership
In 1918 Robert Minor went to Russia. In order to sneak in, he posed as a warm friend of the Russian Revolution. He stayed there nine months. Leaving Russia for the safer Berlin, Minor, at a fat price no doubt, then sent several cables to the New York World as its special correspondent. The New York World editor gave the anarchist Minor a warm introduction. He wrote, “These cables will show that Minor is no Bolshevist. Texan born of Virginian blood he is so aggressively democratic that some would call him an anarchist….Then he went to Russia where he thought the Bolsheviki were giving the perfect liberty he craved. After living through that terror he has come to Berlin disillusioned and embittered.”
Then followed Minor’s cables of which we give extracts. To Mr. Robert Minor the revolution had already given way to a counter revolution headed by Lenin and Trotsky. Thus spoke the petty-bourgeois anarchist Minor:
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Berlin (via Copenhagen)
“In the note to President Wilson by Chaucerian, the People’s Commissary for Foreign Affairs, the tone was undeniably insolent, but tucked away under the sulfuric phrases one might detect a feeler as to the nature of the Allies’ demands…. I may say it is not easy for the Bolshevik chiefs to show any spirit of compromise before the anarchist forces in Russia, which while they are fast subsiding, yet remain much stronger than the men who are trying to rule Russia.”
“Lenin could not afford to tell the whole truth about the entrance of non-Bolsheviki into the government for he must maintain the intransigent front. The main fact in the new situation is that the so-called nationalization of Russian industry has put insurgent industry back into the hands of the business class, who disguise their activities by giving orders under the magic title of ‘People’s Commissaries’. That is the only title that commands obedience. I did not agree with Lenin’s idea of what he is building but said nothing (but in the meantime, pretending friendship for Lenin and trying to sneak into his confidence--ed,) There is no more industrial unionism in Lenin’s highly centralized institutions than in the U.S. Postoffice. What he calls industrial unionism is nothing but nationalized industry in the highest degree of centralization.
Calls Bolshevism Dogma
“This recent change has aroused the bitter antagonism of the anarchist-syndicalist; the strongest opponents Lenin now has. Industrial unionism is a mere phrase in the Bolshevik dogma….
“The interview was in the Kremlin, ancient seat of the Czars. As I came away two smart limousines drew up and deposited several well dressed men of the business type. This class had been lying very low only a few months ago. They are of the type the Bolshevik creed denounces as ‘bloodthirsty minions of predatory capital’.
“There is a difference now. The business types ride in fine automobiles as before, live in fine mansions and are again managing the old industries, with more authority than ever before. Now they are ‘People’s Commissaries’—servants of the proletariat—and the iron discipline of the army under red flags has been developed in order to protect them against all annoyance. A rose smells as sweetly to them under any other name.” (And the stink of capitalism from Minor whether he was a “southern gentleman” or anarchist).
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Berlin (via Copenhagen)
“Estimates of Russia made half a year ago are no longer of much value. There has been a strange twisting sort of government, and a sleight of hand SO CALLED DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT HAD BECOME THE GOVERNMENT (our emphasis). It is a government by ‘People’s commissaries’ in which Lenin figures as ‘our teacher’. It may be remembered that the Czar used to be called ‘Little Father’. In place of enjoying the millennium of which the Socialists have dreamed, Russia has fallen under the dread tyranny of the Commissaries….
“For months after Trotsky began speaking in the name of the new order he had no real control, but was feeling out the wishes of the ungoverned masses and expressing their wish. Trotsky was really impotent when he seemed to be at the height of his power.
“Thus we had in Russia a big throbbing puppet show. The world saw it, half cursing, half worshipping it. Nobody saw the giant because the giant was dumb and the puppets were professional talkers. Peasants took the land and workmen took the factories WHEN THE BOLSHEVIKI WERE UNABLE TO PREVENT THEIR DOING SO (our emphasis). The Bolsheviki issued thunderous decrees, claiming they were doing it with their little government. By this means they got the peasants with them and lured the Left Social Revolutionaries into writing the first land law, legalizing what the peasants were doing. When the Bolsheviki came into real power they set aside that law.
“The Bolcheviki won the support of the lowest paid laborers by declaring for equal pay for all work. As soon as they felt sufficiently strong they contrived devices for raising the incomes of those ‘doing unusually important work’.
Bolshevik Land Policy
“The land policy always loomed bigger than any other. When Lenin gained strength to enforce his will, he unfolded his plan. Then it appeared that the peasants were not to have the land after all, at any rate not individually, as the state was to have all except small holdings.
“The so-called Soviet Russia which the Bolsheviki caught has been brought back under military disiplin. It is now a tamed and policed Soviet, with prosaic goverenment ownership.
“The Bolsheviki feel they have a right to rule Russia. They seem to have done it when no one else could. It is not yet safe for them to quit using inflammatory revolutionary language, because a lot more revolution is left in the soul of Russia than outsiders guess. If the Bolsheviki quit using the sort of language with which they tamed the giant the whole thing would be off again.”
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Berlin (via Copenhagen)
February 6th, 1919,
“At Minsk the working classes rose to meet the invader (the red Army--ed.) with open arms. Before the Bolshevik army reached Vilna I saw what looked like the whole population crowding to organize a Workman’s Committee to welcome it. The German soldiers helped. Why these Russian people do not foresee and resent conscription into this army I don’t understand. They thought they were welcoming the original Bolshevism (led by the anarchists, according to Minor--ed.) They have not yet discovered that if Bolshevism means the peasants taking the land and the workmen taking the factories Russia is now the one place where there is no Bolshevism….
“The Bolshevism of discipline that should make those, who died for the October revolution and put Lenin into power, turn over in their graves.
“In the old palmy days, the Red Guard could disrupt but not build the state. It consisted of armed workmen and mutinied soldiers. Then a slip of paper from any anarchist organization was almost as good as a Bolshevik pass. The soldiers considered their orders as mere advice. The dissatisfied minority could secede and fight its own campaigns.
“The surprising unity now is due only to a common love for the land and the factories and a common hatred of the officers. Such an army Trotsky found on his hands when he became War Minister. He has since broken its will, The Brest peace made some of the soldiers break off and continue fighting the Germans (in other words the soldiers themselves wanted to keep on fighting the imperialist war!--ed) Trotsky used the supposed necessity of keeping peace with Germany to coerce the soldiers at the front to submit to the central authority.
“The interior of Russia was swarming with free willed troops (Minor’s favorites--ed) and Moscow had forty anarchist clubs with connection in certain regiments when Trotsky wanted Miorbach to come to Moscow. Only the Lettish sharp shooters--Lenin’s guards- -consented to disarm them….
The disarming of the free-willed regiments was a dangerous game. Trotsky sent many conscripted regiments against them who got disarmed themselves. Once when Trotsky ordered the commanders of a daredevil regiment to come and see him they came in an armored train and pointed their cannon on Trotsky’s car during the parley. But slowly by cajoling and judicious generalship Trotsky got most of the men with the guns under his power. Others he keeps on far fronts!
“The Bolsheviki recently were embarrassed at having to announce that the city of Pavlograd had been captured by an army of seven thousand under the anarchist Commander Makmatoff. This situation is being remedied, as the old time anarchist Commanders are being dislodged and prescribed as outlaws.
“The picturesque figures of earlier days are fast disappearing. A fact symbolical of the whole change is the sailors, who disbanded the Constitutional Assembly for the Bolsheviki are now largely fugitive from the new Bolcheviki law and order…”
These were the views of Minor after nine months of discussion with Lenin’s Bolshevik Party. In all this time he posed as the friend of the Bolsheviks. So much so that Lenin even gave him an interview (which meant money in Minor’s pockets) and treated him as a friend. How friendly the anarchist Minor was can be seen from the above cables. But what shall we say when a few months later Minor becomes a recognized leader of the Communist Party? Having played the New York World why not play Moscow? To play both ends is evidently his strong point. Nobody asked questions. No one called on this southern gentleman to organize the millhands of Gastonia. As editor of the “Daily” soon he was lying to Moscow as before he was lying about it.
RED WITH LAUGHTER
We may be a family group, but we don’t believe in birth control!
Speaking of birth control, here is how the bourgeois feminists propose to stop war: (Kathleen Bartlett writing to the World-Telegram): “In order to protest against further war, I want to suggest that the women form a Lysistrata Club and threaten to do what the Greeks did, if the men show any signs of wanting to join up for a war”, “Enroll me as the first member of the Lysistrata Club and I hope that others will follow.” This is another case where the weapon of criticism becomes the criticism of weapons.
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Page Lovestone! “1932 will see ‘log jam of fear’ swept away and the country returning to prosperity,” said President B.H. Namm of Namm’s store Brooklyn in an address to the Retail Dry Goods Association Convention held recently. Like Lovestone, Major Namm also sees “new peaks” for American capitalism.
Evidently the Dry Goods Association Convention was all wet.
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History repeats itself first as tragedy (Heywood Braun) the second time as comedy (B.L. Wolf and Harrison George). And speaking of these last gentry, they certainly prove the adage that water eventually finds its level--and they have found themselves as the clowns of the movement.
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Here goes for a couple of stories: One from F.P.A.—A 100% American from Park Avenue approached a group of Communists in Union or “Red Square” during a mass demonstration and proceeded to vilify them in no uncertain terms. Before he could finish he was cut short in no uncertain terms: “Say, if you don’t like what we ‘reds’ do in ‘Red’ Square, go back to where you came from.”
John Reed, it is said, once interviewed Wm. Jennings Bryant on “art".
Reed: Mr. Bryant, what in your opinion is the greatest masterpiece ever painted?”
Bryant: “Madonna and Child".
Reed: “Which one do you mean? There are hundreds of Madonna and Child”
Bryant: “What difference does that make? Anyone!”
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“WANT HORSES’ HOURS CUT”—Caption in a recent news story of a city paper. “A ten hour day for working horses will be the aim of a campaign by the Horse Aid Society this year. Mrs. Jacob M. Erlich, the president announced today. Many horses are kept in harness eighteen hours a day”, she said. Which “working horses”, do you mean, Mrs. Erlich, four-legged or two-legged?
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At the Ingersoll Forum where religious nuts are hissed, they start the meeting with prayer: “Thank God, I’m an Atheist.”
The Community CHURCH has become a great meeting place for Atheists and Communists. But don’t worry, that’s the kind of Atheists and Communists they are!