Update 11-14: Sunday, December 4, 2011.

"Woman and War," by Jessie Wallace Hughan [June 19, 1915]  Pacifist feminist socialist Jessie Wallace Hughan published this piece in a special edition of the New York Call on behalf of the Anti-Enlistment League. Hughan asks of American women "Are we to sit mute while capitalists foment war, while workingmen declare war, and then to work and knit and suffer at home?" Hughan declares that "War settles nothing, achieves nothing, except the right of the strongest." She asserts that "there is but one political party in the world that knows it can gain nothing by war, and that is the Socialist Party. Socialism did not stop the war in Europe, only because the Socialists were not the majority. Read the manifesto of the American Socialist Party after the Lusitania disaster, and then find one non-Socialist political body in the world that has dared to approach its bold stand against war. A vote for Socialism is a vote for peace." A pledge form of the Anti-Enlistment League for signatures of those "against enlistment as a volunteer for any military or naval service in international war, and against giving my approval to such enlistment on the part of others" is included.

"Bravo, German Comrades!" by William M. Feigenbaum [July 1, 1915]  Leading Socialist Party journalist William Morris Feigenbaum offers this salute to the Social Democratic Party of Germany -- the "foremost political party of the world" -- for being "true to itself, true to us, true to the human race" in coming out against the European war "as soon as the German arms had secured the integrity of German soil." "They have kept their promise to the letter," Feigenbaum declares, adding: "Quarrel we may from now until the day after the inauguration of the Cooperative Commonwealth over the goodness or the badness of the action of the German comrades in supporting the war for the reason they gave us. But the important thing is that they gave us their word that they meant it for the interests of the proletariat, and that they would work for peace as soon as the Russian danger cleared."

"Socialist Sunday School," by Eugene V. Debs [September 4, 1915]  "Every child is a potential revolutionist," Socialist Party leader Gene Debs enthusiastically asserts, adding that "whether he becomes one in fact will depend upon his intellectual environment and training during the formative period of his career." Debs pronounces the Socialist Sunday School movement as an opportunity to "checkmate" the ideological offensive of capitalism in the minds of children. "All the institutions of capitalism, including the state, the church, the press, the schools, and even the places of amusement, conspire to poison the receptive mind of the child of the worker," Debs asserts. To combat this, Debs urges Socialist parents to teach their children "the songs of the revolution, and, above all, teach him the revolutionary character of Jesus -- the worker; teach him the religion of Love and Human Brotherhood; teach him to despise war and the fomenters of war."

"The Finnish Federation," by Leo Leino [October 1, 1915]  Lengthy statement of the factional position of the Center-Right majority group in the Finnish Socialist Federation. Leino provides the rationale behind the Finnish Federation's ban of the pro-IWW weekly Socialisti. He asserts: "The Finnish Federation never abridged the freedom of its members by forbidding them to read whatever they wished to read, but it is true that it does forbid the membership from supporting a paper [Socialisti] that has been established with the intention of destroying the means of education, the party papers, and also the oldest and strongest language organization of the American Socialist Party." With respect to the trade union movement, Leino indicates: "It is true we do not agree with the “radicals” in their contention that the IWW is the only industrial union that is worthy of working class consideration. We contend that the AF of L is being modified by the process of industrial evolution into an industrial union, and that this change in the nature of the organization is taking place just as fast as this new form of organization becomes more beneficent to the workers than the old form of trade unionism." A lengthy official document on the faction fight passed by the November 1914 convention of the Finnish Socialist Federation is also reproduced here.

"Testimony of Sheriff George I. Bridgman in the Trial of C.E. Ruthenberg," by John Hearley [April 20, 1923]  First hand account of the opening of the trial of C.E. Ruthenberg for alleged violation of the Michigan Criminal Syndicalism Law, based upon his participation in the underground convention of the Communist Party held at an isolated resort near Bridgman, Michigan in August 1922. The first witness was Sheriff George I. Bridgman, who indicated that volition for the warrantless raid came from Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jacob Spolansky. After two days of negotiation a posse of about 20 deputies was raised, Bridgman testified, who together with 4 federal agents raided the Wolfskeel Resort, making 17 arrests. It is noted that Sheriff Bridgman had paraded those arrested through the streets of nearby St. Joseph, MI while handcuffed and chained.

"The New Policy of Stalinism in America," by James P. Cannon [Sept. 29, 1939]  Analysis of the Soviet-Nazi Pact by the leader of the American Trotskyist movement, Jim Cannon. Cannon notes the lightning-fast switch of party line on the question of war in Europe by the Communist Party USA, which Cannon declares to be "a direct and immediate agency of the Stalinist bureaucracy of the Soviet Union." Cannon sees the cynical division of Poland as indicative of the nature of the Soviet and German regimes. "A new and terrible oppression awaits the conquered people on both sides of the dividing line drawn by the swords of Hitler and Stalin, an oppression from which they will be finally liberated only when the new conquerors are overthrown by the workers’ revolution," Cannon declares. Cannon also observes that "The Stalinists, who were the most vociferous advocates of a third term for Roosevelt, dropped the slogan like a hot potato on the day the Red Army marched to meet Hitler’s forces at the new line of partition in Poland."

"A Letter to the Appeal from Joseph Zack," by Joseph Zack [Oct. 20, 1939]  On September 30, 1939, founding member of the Communist Party of America Joseph Zack Kornfeder appeared between the Special House Committee on Un-American Activities chaired by Martin Dies of Texas as a friendly witness. This brought vehement criticism from parties on the left, including the Socialist Appeal, official organ of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. In this published letter to the Socialist Appeal, Zack-Kornfeder notes that "When I was first interviewed by the counsel of the Dies Committee two months ago, I said to him that if subpoenaed I could of course not refuse to appear and when appearing I would not lie in favor of the Communist Party." Charged by the Trotskyists with aiding and abetting repression of the radical movement, Zack-Kornfeder defends his testimony with the assertion "It is not my fault if the mere statement of known facts about the party discredits them in the extreme. As to what the Dies Committee does or intends to do with my testimony, or how the newspapers report any testimony, this of course is beyond my control." Zack restates his belief in the socialist mission as "a system which gives more rights to the masses over all things, economic and political" declares that he will remain one of the "intransigent opponents of the kind of slavery totalitarian parties and their splinter offsprings stand for." Includes short biography of Joseph Zack Kornfeder by Tim Davenport.


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