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Fourth International, September-October 1951


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.12 No.5, September-October 1951, p.130.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The July-August issue of Fourth International met with a good response. Cleveland Literature Agent Jean Simon writes that the Cleveland comrades especially liked the article by James P. Cannon, The Trend of the Twentieth Century. Jean also reports that newsstand sales of the May-June issue were good.

Minneapolis Literature Agent Pauline S. was particularly interested in the article Women in the Chinese Revolution, by Frances Conway. She writes,

“Having followed with interest the effect the revolutionary upsurge had on the women in China, I was glad to read this up-to-date article. It confirmed my belief – that is, once the women in the feudal countries are freed of the old traditions and shackles they become the strongest and most ardent fighters for freedom and equality. And what is true of colonial women is true of the women in all countries.”

Katherine Cooper reports that in Akron both the branch and newsstand bundles of the July-August Fourth International have been sold out. “Please send us some more,” she writes. Katherine says that plans are being made to increase Akron FI sales.

Harry Gold of New York says he enjoyed the articles by Leon Trotsky in the July-August issue on the class nature of the USSR.

“Here are the most concise criteria on what is a workers state,” he says. “These articles are more to the point than anything I have read anywhere else. Although I was already familiar with the Trend of the Twentieth Century, I think that this article together with Three Years of the Yugoslav Experience by Germain, and Trotsky’s articles went to make a very timely and a very valuable issue.”

Milton Jonas of New York also iikcd the articles on the class nature of the USSR. Milton says this material can be read and reread with great profit. “This fundamental Marxist approach to the class nature of a state is a vital question for all serious Marxists,” in his opinion.

“Warde’s articles are also very good. They show from Trotsky’s own writings that in analyzing the developments in our epoch Trotsky foresaw the rise of American imperialism as the final stronghold of world capitalism, and the important role of the American labor movement in the task of coming to grips with this outmoded system.”

* * *

R.C. writes from England,

“May I take this opportunity to express my sincerest thanks for Fourth International? In Britain where it really has no counterpart there is a great need for a theoretical journal to interpret world events. Could we have some articles on Britain in the FI? I think it would be to the mutual benefit of those on both sides of the Atlantic.”

* * *

R.S.B., of Colombo, Ceylon, tells us that the popularity of the Samasamajist movement, which stands on the program of Trotskyism, is growing in Ceylon.

“In Moratuwa,” a town near Colombo, “the left majority of the Urban Council with its Samasamajist Chairman has established a good record for itself.” It has become known for its incorruptibility and the dispatch with which it handles the business before it.

“Recently Samasamaja Youth League volunteers, headed by the Chairman and members, of the Council, cut earth and made a new bus stand site for the town,” he continues. Council truck drivers contributed a free day’s labor. “Food was provided by workers’ families in the area. The Youth League saw to it that red banners with our emblem fluttered over the work place. This is the first time such a thing has been done here. No one ever heard of the head of the City Council working with a pick and shovel like any ‘common’ laborer. The Council with the help of the Youth League intends building a road next, a project that has hung fire for the last 16 years.” Such modest actions on a local scale indicate what possibilities for better living conditions would open up for the people of Ceylon under a revolutionary socialist government.

R.S.B. also writes that “the progress of the Socialist Workers Party in America is very encouraging to us. Every step forward in the home of imperialism is indeed a great triumph for the world working class.” He would like to see Fourth International publish some of Leon Trotsky’s writings on Spain, “as some of those lessons are especially important to us over here.” He reports that James P. Cannon’s testimony at the famous Minneapolis trial in 1941, published as a pamphlet, Socialism on Trial, is “by far the most popular” of the socialist books available in English in Ceylon. He also reports that Cannon’s 1942 speech on the October 1917 Russian Revolution has been printed as a pamphlet in the Sinhalese language. “It was very simple to translate, easy to understand in translation, and at the same time precise and hard-hitting. In one month 1,500 copies have been distributed.”

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Last updated on: 24 March 2009