Update 14-15: Sunday, April 13, 2014.

"What the SLP Is (Answers to Three Questions)," by Daniel DeLeon [Nov. 1891]  In the process of writing his book Horace Greeley and Other Pioneers of American Socialism, Charles Sotheran posed three questions to former Bellamy Nationalist-turned-Socialist Labor Party leader Daniel DeLeon, publishing his replies in full. Of particular interest is DeLeon's analysis of the Anarchist movement, which he reduces to three main tendencies: 1. "Bona fide Anarchists" or "impatient Socialists," whom DeLeon considers akin the mainline socialists exactly as the "John Brown wing" were to the "main body of Abolitionists or Republicans." 2. "Mala fide Anarchists," headed by Benjamin Tucker, who sought abolition of the state, but who in practice would install the power of a single individual, a chairman with the ability "to make rulings from which there is no appeal," with the members left "only the cold comfort...that they can secede." 3. "Innocents," who sought to neither use violence nor install new forms of systematic authority, but who thereby ignored the question of governance and thereby the experience of human history that "where no arch is provided for by statute it is superimposed by the fist or the bayonet, as the case may be." "We believe in liberty, therefore, in Democracy," DeLeon declares.

"Jesse Molle and the Socialist Party," by Bertha Hale White [July 3, 1921]  Socialist Party affiliation with Moscow is now a dead issue, declares high party functionary Berth Hale White, soon to become National Executive Secretary of the organization. She details the efforts of the SPA to carry out the instruction of its rank and file to seek membership in the Comintern -- first in a letter sent through the Italian Socialist Party (via the British ILP) late in 1919, a message repeated in April 1920 in a letter hand carried to Moscow by SPA organizer Jesse Molle and her husband Mitri Schwartz. "We are told that our application for affiliation when presented to the Communist International caused considerable merriment," White notes. She adds that it was "preposterous" to think that the SPA would accept the Comintern's terms, which declared "that there shall be a Communist Party in this country to which comrades like Morris Hillquit may not be admitted, and that will submit to an iron-bound Moscow domination." The question of affiliation with Moscow is moot, White observes, for " We are not invited and no matter how humbly we knock at the door and beg admittance we shall be refused. Socialists of America have been told in no uncertain terms that if they want recognition their credentials must be issued by another organization."

"On the Situation in Latvian Branches of former CPA: Report to the Organization Department of the Central Executive Committee of the unified CPA, July 21, 1921," by "Dan Collins" (pseud.)  This esoteric archival document provides some details about the evolution of the Lettish (Latvian) Federation of the Socialist Party. The federation first left the SPA for the old CPA in the Summer 1919 split; a second split followed in Sept. 1920 when the powerful Boston organization, joined by part of New York, "declared the CEC of the whole Federation recalled and elected a new CEC for the whole Federation." Fundamental point of difference seems to have been whether the officers of the organization were to be chosen by convention or referendum vote. "Collins," the DO of the CPA faction favoring strong centralization and convention-based elections, forced a split, declaring the advocates of referendum voting and attention to the cooperative movement to be "revolutionaries in words, but reactionaries in deeds" and outside of the party. According to "Collins" the federation was completely disrupted by the factional war, he indicates. An effort at reorganization was made in January 1921 with former members apparently rejoining en masse, only to see the factional war renewed. The ongoing disruption apparently had a nationalist component, with some party members "stating that there are a bunch of Jews in the CEC," "Collins" indicates. "Collins" seeks permission of the CEC to begin a series of expulsions of troublemakers to establish party discipline -- "if not, the situation will grow every day." "Collins" opens the question of another reorganization operation in order to "get rid of the former leaders and allow the sincere members to do positive instead of negative work."

"O’Hare Outrage Planned Six Weeks Ahead: Report to Civil Liberties Union Reveals Nearly All Groups in Twin Falls Implicated." (NY Call) [events of May 15-July 2, 1921]  This follow-up report on the abduction of touring Socialist speaker Kate Richards O'Hare by Idaho "patriots" indicates that the crime was not spontaneous, but was rather the result of six weeks of planning by the local post of the American Legion. According to an American Civil Liberties Union investigator, agitation by the American Legion began about May 15, with representatives of the group visiting other civil and fraternal groups seeking pledges of support for any action which the Legion might take in the matter in the name of "Americanism." Planning became intense on the evening of June 29, during which a meeting of 25 or 30 representatives of civic organizations was held. The Knights of Pythias, Elks, Moose, Pan-Hellenic Club of Women, GAR, and Kiwanis supported the Legion's anti-O'Hare efforts, but not the Odd Fellows, Masons, or churches, the report indicates. Indictment of the kidnappers as a violation of federal law was sought but conviction was deemed "difficult" based on previous rulings of the court, "entirely aside from the difficulties of overcoming the organized prejudices and misrepresentation which would surround such a proceeding."

"Engdahl Quits Chicago Office: Editor and Third International Partisan Resigns County Secretaryship." (NY Call) [July 21, 1921]  Following the unquestionable victory of the party regulars at the 1921 Socialist Party National Convention a new exodus of Left Wing members began. One of the most important losses to the Communist movement was party journalist J. Louis Engdahl, former editor of  the SPA's official organ, The American Socialist, and one of five top party leaders indicted by the US government in 1918 and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in a prominent public trial. "Engdahl’s resignation followed the action of the County Delegate Committee in removing him as editor of the Chicago Socialist, the official party publication and the only party organ espousing affiliation with the Third International," the news report indicates.


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