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Fourth International, November 1941


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.2 No.9, November 1941, p.258.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


Since the last appearance of Fourth International, the leading activists and the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party met is. a national gathering at Chicago. A gauge of the seriousness with which the party membership faces its present tasks was the splendid sub-conference held on the distribution of literature.

Special time was devoted to the problem of increasing the circulation of the magazine, the growth of which has not kept pace with the rapid expansion of its brother publication, the Militant. Reports from the Important centers of the party on steps proposed to realize the objectives of the Chicago Plea I’m Conference indicate that the matter of literature dissemination has finally attained its proper place in the party – it is one of the most important aspects of party activity.

Especially today is devotion to the increased circulation of the magazine important. Our obligation to an international movemeat, suffering from repression in almost every part of the world, is now higher than it ever was.

We stand alone in the sphere of Marxist analysis. Our ideas must be supplemented by an enhanced and more consciously organized circulation of our theoretical publication. In this way the power of our ideas can be manifested in life.

* * *

By the time this issue reaches our readers, the trial of the twenty-eight will have begun in Minneapolis. It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this trial in the struggle between a capitalist state plunging headlong Into war and the political instrument of the American proletariat – a proletariat which is growing daily more conscious of the divergence of its interests from those of the ruling class.

The loyal activists who stand behind the publication and distributlon of Fourth International are determined that the American working class will be as thoroughly informed of the issues of this trial as our forces are capable of making it.

* * *

It Is one of our axioms that capitalism cannot stamp out in the working class the urge to struggle for socialism. This axiom has a corollary: that the struggle for socialism is fed and deepened precisely by the most violent attempts of a decaying society to stop it.

everai months ago, we were banned in Canada. British Imperialism depending as it does upon export and import, seems to be under the impression that the ideas of socialism were for her Canadian colony an import item, with the Trotskyist movement of the United States as the exporter. They moved against historical progress by declaring us illegal.

The other day we received a communication from our co-thinkers beyond the northern borders of the United States. The letter indicated that they were well informed about the development of the movement here. So deep was their concern for our well-being that they managed, with a great deal of ingenuity, to send “material aid” for our comrades on trial.

From far-off New Zealand came another communication, urging us to keep our friends there fully Informed on the American movement and offering us their moral and material assistance in the face of the trial.

Lest the reader feel that the “Mother Country” is remiss, we quote from an English letter:

“We have always been enthusiastic readers of Fourth International, that is, when we can get it. Unfortunately our normal source of supply has ceased since the war, and we have since received only odd copies from various sources. We should be more than grateful if you could let us have regular copies of your magazine so that we may remain in touch with developments on your side.

“In many areas we are making progress, and our voice although small is beginning to be heard. There are many difficulties but in the words of the Old Man, ‘We will go forward’.

“It was with pride and regret that we heard of your recent losses. Pride in the continuation of the struggle and the achievements made, and regret at the organizational set-back.

“We wish to express our solidarity with you and with the comrades who have been taken.”

With the boundless enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice which characterizes our party and with the warm encouragement of our fellow-workers in other parts of the world, we can assure our British comrades that we have not and shall not give ground in the face of the slightest “organizational setback.” We face the test for which we were created and steeled and we shall face it well.

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Last updated on 13.9.2008