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Socialist Alternative, September 1936, Volume 2 No. 8, Page 16
Transcribed, Edited and Formatted by Damon Maxwell and David Walters in 2008 for the Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line.

From Our Readers

Since the Cleveland Convention the Socialist Appeal has made amazing- progress. From an organ which was read by several hundred members of the party it has developed into a paper coming out regularly every month with a circulation numbering in the thousands. We can say definitely: the Appeal is playing an important role in educating the most advanced workers in the principles and tactics of revolutionary socialism. The Appealis being read by the best elements of the party and is supported by them.

There are of course the inevitable financial difficulties. There is also the difficulty of having too much material. Comrades, it is necessary to develop the Appealinto a semi-monthly. But that is something for the future. At present we need finances to guarantee its regular appearance as a monthly. Subscribe and contribute funds. Get others to subscribe and contribute.

We have room only for the following letter, out of many dozens, giving an idea what comrades think of the Appeal... We shall be more than glad to print letters of criticism and advice.

Dear Comrades of the Socialist Appeal:

It is with a great deal of satisfaction that I’ve noted the recent increased size and broadened scope of the Appeal. From its first number it has always been very much worth while and now, in its new dress and increased size, it provides us with a left wing organ that ought to be studied and actively supported by every member who even makes a pretense of believing in revolutionary socialism.

Personally I would feel almost lost without the regular visit of the Appeal. In the present welter of confused thinking (or lack of thinking) within the entire radical movement, in the Socialist party and even within the left wing of the party, the Appeal stands head and shoulders above other theoretical organs with its clear-cut, uncompromising revolutionary philosophy, and its clarity in analysing and pointing out both the current errors and basic needs of the revolutionary movement and especially of the Socialist party.

There are plenty of things in the movement that tend to discourage Marxian Socialists who are striving to build an organization that can actually serve as the instrument of the workers in their fight for power. By no means the least of these is the theoretical confusion within the party. In this situation there comes to us the “Socialist Appeal,” making us aware that the spirit and philosophy of revolutionary socialism is not dead after all, that it has not allowed itself to be compromised out of existence or lured from the path of theoretical clarity by the plumbs of political office or the overwhelming- desire of so many Socialists to appear "respectable" in the eyes of a capitalist world. And those of us who have become discouraged and disgusted at the openly chauvinistic and opportunist “line” of the C.P, who almost despair of the S.P. itself sometimes because of its refusal to face facts and its tendency to compromise away its revolutionary principles, again take heart and continue to carry on the fight with renewed faith in the ultimate victory of the cause.

The Appeal should be read (more it should be studied) by every left-wing member of the party. It fills a vital need in the Socialist movement that is not and cannot be filled by the regular party press as the party is at present constituted, and that cannot be filled by any theoretical organ that is tied to the apron strings of either the centrist elements in the party or the “beloved leader” philosophy of Stalinism.

Certainly I wish the greatest degree of success to the Appeal in its struggle for genuine revolutionary socialism. And it is my sincere hope that, instead of remaining largely “a voice crying in the wilderness” as it is today, it will quickly gain the widespread circulation and support within the Socialist party that it deserves. In my opinion the success of the Socialist party in its struggle to become an effective revolutionary instrument for the emancipation of labor is largely bound up with the success of the Appeal in reaching the largest possible number of party members and having its basic philosophy adopted by them and by the movement as a whole.

State Sec’y of S. P. of Kansas

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Last updated on 23 September 2008