Update 12-13: Sunday, March 25, 2012.



"Nation’s Liberals on “Suspect” List: Six Administration Departments Conducting Systematic Espionage of Public and Private Activities." [Aug. 18, 1919]  First massive installment of a sensational week-long series in the Socialist daily New York Call on the espionage network of the "Bourbon Democratic" Wilson administration. Based upon the so-called "Postal Censorship Book" of the Post Office Department, listing "suspects" whose mail is to be opened and "privileged" persons to be exempt from any search, this 4800 word document does not even mention the largest and most sophisticated of America's internal surveillance networks, the Bureau of Investigation of the United States Department of Justice. Instead, the article details the six governmental entities mentioned in the "Postal Censorship Book" -- Military Intelligence Division, Office of Naval Intelligence, War Trade Board Intelligence Division, Office of the Chief Cable Censor, Customs Intelligence Bureau, and the Post Office Department. A considerable number of the subjects of official scrutiny are listed, including prominent liberal leaders and pacifist and political organizations. Particular emphasis seems to be placed upon those aiding the liberation struggles of Ireland and India, with the unnamed journalist charging collusion of American authorities with officials representing the interests of the British state. Also mentioned at some length for being featured on the "suspect" list is Santeri Nuorteva of the Russian Soviet Government Bureau, who is characterized as "a man who has openly championed the cause of the Soviet Republic of Russia from the very first, who has never done anything in secret; whose works are known of all men, and who has never allowed his activities to lag despite all the persecution to which he and his cause have been subjected."



"Liberty Lovers “Need Watching”: Mossback Democrats Fear Activity of Mind of the Forward-Looking." (New York Call) [Aug. 19, 1919]  In this second of five parts of the New York Call's expose on the Post Office Department's "suspects" list, the unnamed author lists a good number of individuals subject to scrutiny on the basis of their political beliefs, with an emphasis on non-Socialists. An array of civil libertarians and pacifists facing search of their mail due to their "suspect" status on the Post Office Department's Postal Censorship List are included here.



"Important to All Socialists! Purchase Convention Stamps." [Aug. 19, 1919]  While the decisions made by the governing National Executive Party to suspend and expel mass numbers of party members through actions tatken against left wing state organizations, language federations, and radical branches were quickly and easily made, it soon became evident that such factionalist aggression would have an unforeseen and dramatic consequence -- decimation of the Socialist Party's cash-flow. This short blurb in the New York Call reminds members of their obligation to purchase 50 cent special assessment stamps for their dues book to help offset extraordinary expenses associated with the forthcoming Emergency National Convention of the party. "No matter what position a member takes on party members, it is the height of disloyalty for him to fail to support the regularly called convention by refraining from giving it the necessary funds," the article pleads, adding that "outside organizations, falsely assuming the name of Socialist Party, are selling stamps of their own" as a means of shutting off funds. "Be sure that the stamps you buy are from the office of the National Secretary, Adolph Germer, and not from self-appointed custodians of the party’s welfare," the article declares.



“'Radicals Check List' Framed to Spy upon Bourbons’ Opponents." (New York Call) [Aug. 20, 1919]  Third installment of the New York Call's week-long exposť detailing the contents of the Post Office Department's mimeographed compendium of "privileged" saints and "suspect" radical sinners, the "Check List of Radicals." The paper reproduces its own entry in full, as well as excerpts from the reports on a number of Socialist worthies, including Nora Connolly (daughter of the executed Irish revolutionary leader), Victor L. Berger, and Louise Bryant. An exaggerated obsession of the Rand School of Social Science as some sort of directing center of the American revolutionary movement is evident in some of the reports. "That a list prepared by the Post Office censors should be a 'Check List of Radicals,' rather than a 'Guide to Pro-Germans,' is in itself an indication of this purpose," the Call writer notes.



"All Haberman Mail Pried Into: No Personal Writings Sacred from Snooping Eyes of Bourbon Agents." (New York Call) [Aug. 21, 1919]  Fourth installment of the New York Call's exposť of the Post Office Department's "Radical Check List," providing biographical details of prominent radical individuals and organizations for the edification of local postal censorship agents. The People's Council of America, former New York Socialist Assemblyman Charles Garfinkel, New York Call Managing Editor Charles Ervin, and Mexican cooperative store organizer Robert Haberman are the main subjects for exposition here. The full listing for Haberman is provided to demonstrate the length to which the government had been willing to go to compile biographical detail on those suspected of being its enemies.



"Slaveholders’ Party Rule Marks Labor Leaders as Men to Watch: Bourbon Democrats Snoop and Sneak and Open Private Letters." (New York Call) [Aug. 22, 1919]  Fifth installment of the New York Call's ongoing effort to "name names" of those subject to systematic investigation by Post Office Department inspectors, named in that organization's mimeographed "Radical Check List." Included in this piece are Socialist leaders Morris Hillquit, James Oneal, Algernon Lee, Walter Thomas Mills, Joseph Cannon, Rose Pastor Stokes, Norman Thomas, and Robert Minor, among others. Notable are the absence of any names prominent in the dissident Left Wing Section -- presumably editorially omitted for factional reasons. The effect is to make propaganda on behalf of the ruling factional group of the organization.



"Lithuanian Opposition Begins the Issuance of Weekly Organ: Review and Criticism of Naujoji Gadyne." [Dec. 19, 1931]  With the CPUSA moving by use of centrally-determined decisions and heavy-handed action to consolidate its dwindling foreign language sections under the banner of the International Workers Order in 1931, many federationists took umbrage. Some dissident Communists of the Lithuanian Federation, rather than accepting the new regime headed by Anthony Bimba, departed the party to establish a new Brooklyn-based Communist Opposition weekly, Naujoji Gadyne (The New Era). This article from the press of Jay Lovestone's Communist Party (Majority Group) takes a look at the first two issues of the new Lithuanian periodical. While admiring the "well-edited revolutionary paper," the Lovestoneites are critical of the Lithuanian Opposition for conceiving of the Lithuanian Federation's struggle as a Lithuanian struggle, rather than a general problem of the Communist movement as a whole. Failure by Lithuanian leaders E. Butkus and Leonas Pruseika to show the connection between the Lithuanian Federation's problems and those of the Communist Party (Majority Group) "both reflects and breeds dangerous political confusion," the unsigned new story declares.



"Why I Left the Communist Party," by J.T. Murphy [May 20, 1932]  The acrimonious departure of top level leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain J.T. Murphy in 1932 was the source of much commentary and speculation. Here Murphy outlines the story of the break from his own perspective -- relating to criticism of an April 1932 lead article in the theoretical journal The Communist Review in which Murphy emphasized a demand for the granting of large scale trade credits to Soviet Russia. Murphy's phrasing was deemed an unauthorized theoretical innovation, which spurred an exchange of hostile letters and an attack on Murphy in the party's London-based newspaper, the Daily Worker. Murphy bridled to the hostility, characterizing his opponents' charges as "slanderous and violent attacks, full of lying imputations and distortions of my views and motives," which indicated "the triumph of hysteria in the Communist Party leadership." Disgusted by the rote repetition of the CPGB Buro's criticism of Murphy and unwilling to modify his views, Murphy stepped aside, declaring here "I refuse to be coerced into the acceptance of views I do not agree with."



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