Letter from Stankowitz in Pittsburgh to John Reed and Ben Gitlow in New York

August 19, 1919.

Source:A document in the Comintern Archive, f. 515, op. 1, d. 4, 11. 24-26.
Transcription\Markup: Tim Davenport and Andrew Pollack

US, Pittsburgh, Pa. Aug l9, 1919

John Reed & Ben Gitlow
New York, NY

Dear Comrades:—

Your letter from Aug. 13, 1919, is at hand, and I read it through.

Comrades, I really don’t know with whom to agree. In fact, we are now in a big [mess], and at present it is hard to tell who is right and who is wrong. It seems to me that we all are right and wrong in some [measure].

Comrades that are trying to unite [the] minority and the majority of the Left Wing may be wrong, because we instructed them to issue a call to the Emergency National Convention [of the Socialist Party], and then form the Communist Party on the floor of the Convention if it was captured, etc., but they may be right, because the more one studies this fight within the Party, the more he learns that we never will have a [chance] to capture it for everything is on the side of [the] “Centrists” and “Rights.” I have enough experience in above City.

And then I don’t blame you comrades for taking the stand you took, for you are trying to satisfy the will of [the] delegates that expressed their will to fight in [the] Party. And I personally think that Voice of Labor is [the] best labor paper that has ever been put before the working class in America. [The] paper is so simple that any man, no matter how ignorant he may be, can understand it. Last week I got 500 copies from you, and [a] few more days will pass and all will be sold. Tonight we have a meeting and we will discuss ... this paper. I expect our members will fall for it, and if anything [does] not happen, we will order at least 1,000 copies of [the] next issue. Paper is very good, naturally can be better, and I know you will try to make it better, and so we should not stop publishing it. We need very badly this kind of a paper, so do always count on me.

It would be a good idea if you print subscription cards, and then it would be easier to get people subscribed for. And if you do print them, send me plenty of them, and [I] will try my best.

Comrades, I think that if we cut this further splitting in Left Wing, it will be much better for [the] Movement. Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 are not so very far and so we should have [a] little patience and wait [for] these Conventions [to] start. Over there we are going to [again have a chance] to fix things as they should be fixed.

Comrades, may I repeat your words: “Whatever happens at Chicago, the Voice of Labor and its propaganda is of primary importance in the building of a revolutionary Labor Movement in this country.” I am signing this. Even if some one calls it “syndicalistic.” As an industrial worker I know what I want and what I need, and no phraseology is necessary in order to inform me about that.

Whatever happens, our future propaganda should be in factories, mines, mills, etc., and if the Communist Party does not unite with radical Industrial Unions, she will be a failure.

I expect all of you in Chicago on the day of [the] Convention and there we will try to straighten out all misdoings in [the] past.

Inform me right away if you will publish another issue, so I can order my bundle,

Notes [by Tim Davenport]

This letter is attributed to a certain “Stankowitz” based his membership on the Labor Committee of the National Conference of the Left Wing Section and residence in Pennsylvania. No further biographical information is available at this time. The final page is missing from the archive and the letter ends abruptly here.

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