Helen Keller Reference Archive

A Call For Harmony

First Published: New York Call, January 4, 1913
Source: Helen Keller: Her Socialist Years (International Publishers, 1967)
Transcription/Markup: Anonymous/Brian Baggins
Online Version: Helen Keller Reference Archive (marxists.org) 2000


Editor of the Call:

It is with the deepest regret that I have read the attacks upon Comrade Haywood which have appeared in the National Socialist. It fills me with amazement to see such a narrow spirit, such an ignoble strife between two factions which should be one, and that, too, at a most critical period in the struggle of the proletariat.

What? Are we to put difference of party tactics before the desperate needs of the workers? Are we no better than the capitalist politicians who stand in the high places and harangue about pety matters, while millions of the people are underpaid, underfed, thrown out of work and dying? While countless women and children are breaking their hearts and ruining their bodies in long days of toil, we are fighting one another. Shame upon us! The enemy is at our very doors, and the hand of the destroyer does its fell work, while we leave the victims helpless, because we think more of our own theories — theories that have not even been tested!

It is well for us to disagree and discuss our differences fully and vigorously. But it is stupid to make the issues personal. If the points of controversy are ever so weighty, they are not so great as to justify the mischief which springs from the quarrels of comrades. How can the workers, whom we urge to unite, look to us Socialists for guidance if we fail to unite?

What are we organized for? What is our chief bond of unity? What is our avowed object? The welfare of the working class and the abolition of capitalism. By our fidelity to the working class and to our ultimate purpose we are to be tested. Our rise or fall depends not upon theories of party tactic, but upon what we do or fail to do in the practical contest. There are many ways to work for the coming of the Cooperative Commonwealth. But those who hope for that commonwealth and work for it, those who are on the workers' side of the battle are our comrades. They can never cease to be our comrades, even though they withdraw from our party, or are dismissed from our party. We are the friends of all who serve the workers, of all who labor for the social revolution, for the uplifting and enlightenment of all men. When will the champions of the oppressed unite, and thus hasten the day of deliverance?