From Fourth International, Vol. I No. 5, October 1940, p. 114.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
The magazine is late in reaching the workers, first because of financial difficulties, and then because the contents had to be changed to make it a memorial issue. That our tribute to Trotsky should have been delayed because of a shortage of money is a bitter situation. Yet, who better than the Old Man knew of the heartaches involved in keeping a revolutionary press alive in periods of reaction. And who better than he proved that it can be kept alive and influential in face of the most persistent persecution.
While Trotsky is no longer able to guide and assist us, his memory will play no small part in steeling us for the tasks ahead. Our memorial to the Old Man will not be merely this October issue, but rather the hundreds of issues not yet gone to press; our renewed faith in, and dedication to, his political principles; and our determination that our magazine will continue to live and grow and play its part in the coming revolution.
Newsstands are of particular importance right now. Los Angeles has been concentrating on this angle during the past month and reports fine results. H.T. writes,
“We are distributing most of the FI’s through newsstands and contact sales. As a matter of fact, now that we’ve gotten under way there is an increasing demand for the magazine from the news sellers. One newsstand declined to take our magazine at first but we created a demand for it by canvassing his neighborhood. He now handles twenty copies of each issue and is often sold out before the first week.”
This is a fine report from H.T. and shows that a little joint concentration on neighborhood and newsdealer will bring results.
While you are out creating newsstand demand for the magazine, don’t overlook your library. A great many libraries subscribe but a local check-up should be made by every branch. If you find no FI in your library, send us the word and we’ll forward a sample copy. After the sample copy is on the shelves, the rest is up to you. See that it is used!
Bundle orders have remained constant over the summer months. The magazine weathered the reduced bundle orders with considerably more difficulty. Now that the SWP is making organizational gains, that progress must be reflected in the bundle orders. Some branches take more than they sell and distribute the remainder free, and this is not the least unsound. The main objective is to get our message to the workers, and however you finance it locally is your concern. Do be careful that your bundle order keeps pace with your organizational gains. Analyze your FI distribution this fall.
Good distribution news from Chicago. The Fourth International is now on sale at: Argus Book Store, 156 West Randolph Street; Magazine Stand, 141 North Clark Street; Ziv Book Shop, 167 North Clark Street; 51st Street L Station; L Station, Cottage Grove and 63rd Street; News Stand, 67th Street and Blackstone; and University of Chicago Bookstore, 57th and Ellis.
[We have received a] letter from H.T. of Los Angeles. Since any comment would be superfluous, we merely print the letter as received.
Where is the September issue of the Fourth International? The irregular appearance of the FI has to stop. If the FI is to increase its influence and its readers, it must appear regularly each month, and on the first of the month. A drive must be started, similar to the Trotsky Defense Fund Drive to raise adequate financial support for the continued existence of the FI. Furthermore, the Plenum must demand that all Locals and Branches cease their horseplay with accounts. There must be no retreat on the FI. It must appear at all costs. Its educational value for our members and our sympathizers is too important for any retreat.”
Last updated on 26 February 2016