Early American Marxism: Document Download Page by Year: 1932

Early American Marxism

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“The Finnish Socialists in America,”; by W.N. Reivo. [May 1932] Report of the Secretary of the Finnish Federation of the Socialist Party to the 17th National Convention of the organization, held in Milwaukee in May 1932. Reivo states in no uncertain terms that “the future of the Socialist Party in America is in the native born stock. They days of the language federations are in the past.” Reivo notes that the children of Finnish immigrant socialist parents tend to join the English-language branches in their communities rather than the Finnish-language branches. This is not necessarily a bad thing, Reivo believes, as “perhaps it would be a mistake if the youth joined us directly and stood aloof of the body of the Socialist Party just as the older element does now.” Nevertheless, the reputation of the Finnish Federation was greater than at any time since the 1920 split of the organization and the growth of the SP was edifying—even if very few disgruntled ex-Communists were making the trek back to their former organization.



“Letter from Tom Mooney in San Quentin Prison to Joseph Stalin in Moscow, Oct. 17, 1932.”; This letter was promoted on the cover of the November 1932 issue of The Labor Defender, the official organ of the CP’s legal defense organization, International Labor Defense. While the greetings to Stalin on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia are largely pro forma, the document is interesting both as a snapshot of Mooney’s personal politics (“All Hail to the Russian Revolution and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. I’m for it hook, line and sinker, without equivocation or reservation.”) as well as to the way that a Cult of Personality was beginning to emerge among the Communist faithful even at this early date (the person of Stalin beginning to be regarded as a human embodiment of the Russia revolution). Mooney expresses his belief that had it not been for the demonstration on his behalf of Petrograd workers on April 25, 1917, he would have been executed.