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Fourth International, August 1940


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol. I No. 4, August 1940, p. 82.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


We are feeling very kindly towards Jim Farley today. While he is, no doubt, completely unaware of the fact, his Third Assistant in charge of classification, has notified us that the Fourth International is now possessed of a permanent second class mailing permit. When Jim is sitting in his dugout at the Yankee Stadium, his heart full of bitterness toward the Great White Father, perhaps he’ll hear of our gratitude and it will ease his pain and disillusionment in bourgeois politicians.

* * *

The possession of a second class permit, will mean of course, that our mailing costs will be considerably lower. While this is a great help and will contribute measurably toward the continued success of the magazine, it cannot compensate for infrequent and sporadic remittances from the branches. We had hopes that last month’s column, together with personal letters sent to delinquent branches, would result in the clearing up of many debts and the placing of the magazine on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is entirely possible for the magazine to be self-supporting on the receipts from subscriptions and bundle orders.

The bundle orders are, by far, our major source of income. There are branches that have been hard hit by the bourgeois defections last Spring and could not, therefore, be expected to immediately pay up all the old debts. But even these branches can, and must, pay for each bundle during its current month. Either nobody reads this column (which is entirely possible), or the branches have not been sufficiently impressed with the gravity of the situation.

We have no desire to turn this column into nothing but a finger-pointer. There is much news of interest and information that we should much prefer to write about. However, until the Fourth International is completely out of the woods we must take this means of reminding the comrades of their revolutionary duty to support the magazine If some of the worst offenders have not made some substantial payment on their back debts by next month we shall be forced to list their names publicly and bring the pressure of party opinion upon them. It is a disagreeable procedure, but an entirely necessary one.

* * *

There is always a danger of gilding the lily when we talk about the Minneapolis branch. However, as long as those comrades continue to be among the party activists, we must run that risk. We are reprinting here, in full, a letter composed by the Minneapolis comrades and clipped to sample copies of the Fourth International for mailing to 150 trade union officials in that city. This is the sort of promotion we have been urging for all cities. This angle may, or may not fit into your locality, but it shows a method of promotion. It is an excellent way to open contacts with local labor leaders. It increases the prestige of the SWP and the circulation of the Fourth International. Apply this strategy to your locality and let us know the results. Here is the letter:

Dear Sir and Brother:

We are mailing you this sample copy of the Fourth International in the hope that you will read and enjoy it, particularly the article written by Farrell Dobbs.

As an active unionist in Minneapolis, you are no doubt acquainted with Farrell Dobbs, former secretary-treasurer of the Minneapolis General Drivers Union, and more recently international representative of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in charge ot over-the-road work in the Middle West. Brother Dobbs is a regular contributor to the Fourth International. From his rich experiences and his observation and study, Brother Dobbs writes on the most pressing problems facing the trade union movement in the United States. He now occupies the post of national trade union secretary in our party.

Besides his regular articles in the Fourth International, monthly magazine issued by the Socialist Workers Party, Brother Dobbs is writing a series of pamphlets dealing with the union movement. His first pamphlet, Trade Union Problems, is now off the press and available for study, and has been acclaimed by progressive unionists throughout the nation for its clear-cut and simple analysis of current trade union problems and its helpful program for the advance of the cause of unionism.

You may obtain copies of this pamphlet at 10¢ each, either by calling at the Minneapolis branch headquarters, 919 Marquette Avenue, or by mail. We hope you will want to become a regular subscriber to the Fourth International, too. The subscription price for twelve issues is $2.00. Mail a check for two dollars to 919 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you will be mailed the next twelve copies of this valuable magazine.


Fraternally yours,
Minneapolis Branch,
Socialist Workers Party,
919 Marquette Avenue,
Minneapolis, Minn.

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Last updated on 26 February 2016