"Jesus, the Supreme Leader," by Eugene V. Debs [March 1914] An underappreciated aspect of Eugene Debs' ideology was his interpretation of Christianity and conscious emulation of the central figure of that religion. For Debs, Jesus Christ was in no way a fictitious or allegorical personage but rather a thoroughly admirable historical figure advancing a truly sacred cause -- the class-conscious struggle of the downtrodden and oppressed against "Mammon." For Debs, Jesus was a radical political leader whose tradition ran down the ages to John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and Karl Marx -- and served as a model for the way in which a righteous person should live. This fiery article is probably Debs' fullest statement of his radical religious faith.
The Western Comrade, v. 1, no. 11 [March 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 11th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Chester M. Wright and Emanuel Julius. Key Contents: David Fulton Karsner: "Horace Traubel." Chester M. Wright: "President Wilson's Trust Bluffing." William C. Owen: "Mexico's Fight for Bread." Sidney Hillyard: "We Have Traveled." Eleanor Wentworth: "Feminism and the Trend Towards Democracy (Part 2)." Emanuel Julius: "Wanted: A Short Story." "When Revolutionists Meet" (interview between Helen Keller and Maria Montessori). Allan L. Benson: "Why Mary Left Home." Column by Emanuel Julius (Books).
The Western Comrade, v. 1, no. 12 [April 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 12th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Chester M. Wright and Emanuel Julius. Key Contents: Sydney Hillyard: "Unemployed!" Luella Twining: "An Interview with August Bebel." Edgcumb Pinchon: "The New Factor in the Class Struggle." Chester M. Wright: "Meunier, the Sculptor of the Revolution." Lucien Saint: "Looting the Nation's Copper Chest." Elsa Unterman: "The Action That Wins." Eleanor Wentworth: "Feminism and the Trend Towards Democracy (Part 3)." Emanuel Julius: "The Secret" (fiction). "The Most Conspicuous Socialist" (on Jean Jaures). Column by Emanuel Julius (Books).
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 1 [May 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 13th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Emanuel Julius. Key Contents: Thomas W. Williams: "Next -- An Eight-Hour Law!" Sydney Hillyard: "Brains!" Edgcumb Pinchon: "The New Factor in the Class Struggle: Organic Cooperation." Chester M. Wright: "One Year of Wilson." Emanuel Julius: "The Psychology of the Mob." J.E. Pottenger: "Socialism and the Land Question." Chester M. Wright: "A Great Octopus Dies" (on United States Express Co.). Column by Emanuel Julius (Books).
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 2 [June 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 14th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Emanuel Julius. Key Contents: "Publisher's Notice" (sale of publication by Emanuel Julius to Job Harriman). Job Harriman: "The Gateway to Freedom" (on Mescal Water and Land Co.). H.J. Barrett: "War: A Solution of the Evil." Emanuel Julius: "'Young Man, You're Raving.'" W.A. Engle: "Cooperative Colony Plan in Action: Answering Question of How to Get Membership in the Llano Colony and Get on the Land." Sidney Hillyard; "The Fully Paid Worker." Frank E. Wolfe: "Daniel DeLeon" (obituary). Frank E. Wolfe: "Llano del Rio, Land of Achievement." Edgcumb Pinchon: "Finance Cooperative Industries: Labor's Bank a New Factor in the Class Struggle." Frank E. Wolfe: "Spifflicating a Theory." Emanuel Julius: "The Man Who Wouldn't Talk" (on James Cronin).
"Länneltä." ("From the West") Magazine article from Säkeniä ("Sparks") -- IN FINNISH [June 1914] Non-machine readable pdf from the Finnish language theoretical-literary monthly published by Raivaaja Publishing Co. of Fitchburg, MA, and edited by Santeri Nuorteva. A description of the turbulent 1914 Special Convention of the Western District of the Finnish Socialist Federation at Astoria, Oregon, which "Santtu" Nuorteva attended in order to defend himself against charges of conservatism and to defend his actions as a former editor of the Federation newspaper Toveri. Likens the rowdy convention to the wild west, with an outstanding pen-and-ink drawing of delegates who do not play well with others. Includes sketches of three Finnish Federationists, A. Johnson, Santeri Nuorteva, and Alma Segerroos from San Francisco, as well as a couple photographs that reproduce poorly in the current format. IF ANYONE WOULD BE WILLING TRANSLATE THIS ARTICLE INTO ENGLISH, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH -- thanks! Tim, MutantPop@aol.com
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 3 [July 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 15th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Job Harriman and Frank E. Wolfe. Key Contents: Job Harriman: "Cooperation vs. Theory." Edgcumb Pinchon: "From Labor Bank to Cooperative Commonwealth." Franklin Davenport Howell: "Water and the Plains." J.E. Pottenger: "Georgian Philosophy and Economics." William C. Owen: "Dayal and Bryan -- Agitators." Walter Burnett: "A Product" (fiction). G.E.B.: "The Milwaukee Cooperativists." Frank E. Wolfe: "Colonists Demonstrate Cooperation." Georgia Kotsch: "Review of Tragic History" (Mexico). "Revolt Develops Poet" (on Carl Sandburg).
"American Socialist Forerunner of Powerful Revolutionary Press," by Eugene V. Debs [July 18, 1914] Socialist Party leader Gene Debs salutes the decision of the SP National Committee to break with tradition and establish the first mass circulation official organ in the history of the organization. "We who stand for collective ownership and democratic control cannot logically argue in favor of a privately owned press, and without detracting in the least from papers that are still so owned nor underestimating the service they have rendered, the very logic of our development will ultimately necessitate the party ownership and control of the Socialist press," Debs notes. While he acknowledges that while "there will likely be those who will argue that a party-owned paper will reflect the personal views of those in charge of it and tend to become oppressive and dominate the movement instead of representing it," such an objection does not outweigh the principle involved. Debs expresses a belief that The American Socialist "will be the forerunner of a revolutionary press (including daily as well as weekly papers, magazines, and other periodicals) which is more and more urgently needed and will have to be established as a part of the movement itself and which in fact constitutes its very life and existence."
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 4 [Aug. 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 16th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Job Harriman and Frank E. Wolfe. Key Contents: Job Harriman: "Cooperation a Necessity." A.F. Gannon: "The Lynching." "California Dry? California Wet? Resolved: That the Enactment of the Proposed Initiative Amendment will be of Benefit to the Working Class. Affirmative: Herbert S. Calvert. Negative: Arthur C. Fisher." Frank F. Stone: "Sculpture in the Twentieth Century." Thomas W. Williams: "The Eight-Hour Law." Ernest O.F. Ames: "Cooperation and Socialism." Homer Constantine: "Hist! Here's Verbal Treason" (Los Angeles Free Speech fight). Carl I. Wheat: "The Thinker." Mellie Miller: "Hopfield Horrors and Hypocrisy."
"The Butte Affair Reviewed," by Eugene V. Debs [Aug. 1, 1914] Eugene Debs rushes to the defense of Charles Moyer and the Western Federation of Miners in the wake of the bombing of the Butte Miners' Union hall in Butte, Montana, ostensibly by dissidents in the union. Debs castigates the bombers as attempted assassins who had participated in a "treasonable, cowardly, and disgraceful plot" in the service of the mine owners who intended to rupture the organized labor movement. Debs notes that the WFM is the most fully democratic of unions and if Moyer was the head of a "self-perpetuating machine," as some had charged, then "the rank and file have themselves to blame and they but add crime to stupidity when they blow up the union with dynamite to destroy the alleged machine." To charges that the bombers were associated with the IWW, Debs notes that "it should not be forgotten that the workers at Lawrence and at Akron were most basely betrayed, sold out, and treacherously delivered to their enemies by IWW Judases, who while passing as industrial unionists were at the same time on the payrolls of the detective agencies in the service of the corporations." Debs predicts a return of the Butte Miners' Union as a united, militant, progressive union in the aftermath of the bombing and disruption.
"Proclamation of the Socialist Party of America on the Outbreak of War in Europe." [August 8, 1914] First statement by the Socialist Party of America on the eruption of hostilities in Europe, issued by the party's "Committee on Immediate Action" over the signature of National Executive Secretary Walter Lanfersiek. In the declaration, the SPA "hereby reiterates its opposition to this and all other wars, waged upon any pretext whatsoever; war being a crude, savage, and unsatisfactory method of settling real or imaginary differences between nations, and destructive of the ideals of brotherhood and humanity to which the international Socialist movement is dedicated." Blame is place firmly on the shoulders of the national capitalists of Europe: "points out to the world that by their action in this crisis they have conclusively proven that they are unfit to administer the affairs of nations in such a manner that the lives and happiness of the people may be safeguarded." Foreign-born workers in America are called upon to hold "joint mass meetings for the purpose of emphasizing the fraternity and solidarity of all working people, irrespective of color, creed, race, or nationality." Locals of the party are requested to lend every possible assistance to these events. A quasi-religious pacifist language is employed rather than the language of class war: "The Socialist Party of the United States hereby pledges its loyal support to the Socialist Parties of Europe in any measures they might think it necessary to undertake to advance the cause of peace and of goodwill among men."
"The Real Fatherland," by Mary Marcy [Sept. 1914] Anti-patriotic editorial from the pages of The International Socialist Review written in response to the eruption of the European war in August 1914. Editor Mary Marcy addresses herself to the workers of the entire world, combatant nations and Americans alike, arguing that "Patriotism means the love of the land in which you were born - that and nothing more. And why should you love that land any more than any other?" The various nations of the world have done nothing whatsoever for the working class, she states -- neither protecting its children nor assuring food and shelter or employment or taking care of its sick and aged. Instead, all the national governments of the world exist to protect the wealth of their individual ruling classes. "If you are rich, 'your' country will open her arms to you and spread out her army, her laws, her police to protect your riches. If you are penniless, she will just as readily drive you from her furthermost provinces or send you to here vilest prisons," Marcy states. Therefore, "You have no country!" she declares, adding that "Every national flag in the world today means protection for the employing class, who appropriate the things produced by the workers. It has no message for those who toil. There is only one flag worth fighting for and that is the red flag, which means universal brotherhood of the workers of the world in their fight to abolish the profit system." The real fatherland of the working class is international Socialism, she concludes.
"The Gunmen and the Miners," by Eugene V. Debs [Sept. 1914] Probably the most militant article that Socialist leader Gene Debs ever wrote, published in the pages of Charles Kerr's International Socialist Review. Citing recurring violence by company-employed "mine guards" in strikes at Paint Creek, Calumet, and Ludlow, Debs demands that the United Mine Workers and Western Federation of Miners systematically arm their members to meet force with force in the class war. "Under government by gunmen you are literally shorn of the last vestige of liberty and you have absolutely no protection under the law. When you go out on strike, your master has his court issue the injunction that strips you of your power to resist his injustice, and then has his private army of gunmen invade your camp, open fire on your habitations, and harass you and your families until the strike is broken and you are starved back into the pits on your master's terms." Debs characterizes such private armies as "lawless aggregations" of "murderers at large" and states that "you have the same right to kill them when they attack you that you have to kill the burglar who breaks into your house at midnight or the highwayman who holds you up at the point of his pistol." Debs notes that "we stand for peace, and that we are unalterably opposed to violence and bloodshed if by any possible means, short of absolute degradation and self-abasement, these can be prevented. We believe in law, the law that applies equally to all and is impartially administered, and we prefer reason infinitely to brute force. But when the law fails, and in fact, becomes the bulwark of crime and oppression, then an appeal to force is not only morally justified, but becomes a patriotic duty." Therefore, he urges, "Let the unions...arm their members against the gunmen of the corporations, the gangs of criminals, cutthroats, woman-ravishers, and baby-burners that have absolutely no lawful right to existence!"
he Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 5 [Sept. 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 17th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Job Harriman and Frank E. Wolfe. Key Contents: Frank E. Wolfe: "The Doom of Capitalism." Frank E. Wolfe: "Jean Juares, Martyr." Frank E. Wolfe: "Make War on War!" Frank E. Wolfe: "War to Prevent Socialism." Job Harriman: "Slaughter." Willoughby Smart: "Sentenced for Death!" Walter Thomas Mills: "Cooperation and the Labor Movement." W. Scott Lewis: "Nature Leads Man in Vast Cooperation" (Llano del Rio). Ernest O.F. Ames: "Pacific Cooperative League." Frederick O'Brien: "Syphilization of the Marquesans." J.E. Pottenger: "Single Tax and Socialism." A.F. Gannon: "Fable of the Invinciple One" (fiction). "War Destroys Social Ownership."
"Murderous War in Europe is the Inevitable Culmination of Murderous European Capitalism," by Morris Hillquit [Sept. 5, 1914] Analysis of the cause of the 1914 European bloodbath by a top leader of the Socialist Party of America. Hillquit firmly advances the Marxist position that the world war was a byproduct of imperialist rivalry and the standing armies of militaristic capitalist states. "The countries most prominently involved in the war are among those in which capitalism has reached the highest levels of development. Their industries have long been conducted for the private benefit of individual capitalists, thus leading to the enrichment of a small group and the impoverishment of the large masses.... Production became stagnant and business chronically depressed. Rumbles of revolt became audible among the workers and grew ever louder and more threatening. In this critical situation the shortsighted capitalists of Europe saw but one solution -- finding of new outlets for their goods by the expansion of the national territory and the conquest of colonies.... The capitalist nations of Europe, armed to the teeth, stood threatening each other for years. Each of them saw at least a temporary salvation in downing the other and robbing it of its colonies and markets. Each waited for an opening. Europe was an armed camp long before the present hostilities began. Its nations were at war long before the formal declarations. None of them was taken by surprise -- they were all prepared when the first pretext came." Only the elimination of barbarous capitalism and its associated barbarous wars for markets offered humanity hope in the future, Hillquit declares: "War will become a horrible memory of the past only with the termination of the system of wealth production for private gain -- with the advent of Socialism." Americans must take heed, he adds, since "Already we are developing a 'colonial policy,' fortifying our army and building up a strong navy with steady and fatal consistency. The ruling classes of the United States are even today steering the ship of state towards a devastating world war as surely and irresistibly as the ruling classes of Europe have been during the last generation."
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 6/7 [Nov. 1, 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 18th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Job Harriman and Frank E. Wolfe. Key Contents: Frank E. Wolfe: "War and Empire." Edgcumb Pinchon: "What Did You -- In The Great War?" "After the War, What?" A.F. Gannon: "Hypnosis." Frank H. Ware: "Dealing a Hand for Death." Ernest O.F. Ames: "Cooperation in Europe and the War." J.H. Ryckman: "Why the War?" James R. Nickum: "Impressions of Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony." Emanuel Julius: "Major Jarero, Who Went for Zapata." Frederick O'Brien: "Tahiti's Crabs and Cats." Sydney HIlliard: "The Glory That Was Rome." John M. Work: "Throw Off Your Dunce Cap." Harry Payne Burton: "The Field of Glory." Basil Howard: "United States of Europe."
"Strangle the Beast!" by A.M. Simons [Nov. 21, 1914] A red hot anti-militarist screed by Algie Simons, long time Chicago Socialist journalist, former member of the Socialist Labor Party, and founding member of the Socialist Party of America. Simons writes that "familiarity is breeding acquiescence. Some infection of the martial spirit has crossed the Atlantic. American jingoes are preaching the need of military preparations. Powerful newspapers, politicians, and paid agents of the armament trust, with the blood-lusting snobs of the army and navy clique are crying for more battleships and whispering of the need for a great standing army. That whisper will soon become a scream for the whole military mess." Less than 2 1/2 years later Simons would himself be one of Woodrow Wilson's chief cheerleaders for the purported "war to end all wars" and commitment of American lives and funds to the European bloodbath. Thus Simons' 1914 anti-militarist words ring ironically: "It is either capitalism and competitive military hell, or Socialism and cooperative peaceful enjoyment of the bounty of the earth. The time is here to choose. Militarism is, after all, but the bloody claw and gore-flecked fang of the beast of capitalism.Whoever defends any form of militarism, any arming for wholesale killing, defends the most damnable feature of capitalism and can have no part or parcel in the doctrine or movement of Socialism." Simons declares that "we must work quickly, for the beast is now within our gates."
"Socialism," [excerpt] by Barney Berlyn [Nov. 28/Dec. 5, 1914] First two parts of a serialized exposition of the basic principles of socialism written by a founding member of the Socialist Party of America. Berlyn notes that for all the various books interpreting socialism, "there is one Socialism, the Socialism which has its foundation in the worldwide International Socialist Movement." When the European war is over, Berlyn notes, "a new and more powerful international movement will present itself to the attention of the world. It will be the international workingmen who will understand more than ever that to emancipate themselves, they, the workingmen, rather than some swell heads literary wonders, must do the work themselves." Berlyn calls for "the discarding of superstitious belief and the challenge of all false authority." Although evolutionary and democratic in its essence, "let no one underestimate the element of force which is absolutely essential in the development of the Socialist movement," Berlyn states. "The working class must get together, gather force, seize power, and use such power when acquired in behalf of their class to relieve them of oppression. When sufficient force shall be gathered, the new and clean authority based upon the will of the people, mentally and socially free, will be obeyed without challenge."
The Western Comrade, v. 2, no. 8 [Dec. 1, 1914] Large file. Graphic pdf of the 19th issue of The Western Comrade, edited by Job Harriman and Frank E. Wolfe. Key Contents: Frank E. Wolfe: "Trend of Events" (California affairs). Georgia Kotsch: "Abolishing the Blanket Stiff." A.F. Gannon: "Lunacy." Albert A. James: "Who are the Socialists?" "Cooperative Colony Shows Rapid Growth: Socialists Making History in California Community Enterprise." S.H.: "Might is Right." James C. Crawford: "Social Evolution and Social Economy." Mary Field: "Babes Bred for War." Eleanor Wentworth: "Woman."
"Decision of the National Executive Committee on the Finnish Controversy." [Dec. 13, 1914] From 1913 through 1915 a severe factional struggle raged in the Finnish Federation of the Socialist Party, brought about when the constructive socialist leadership of the Eastern District won control of the Executive Committee of the Federation and editorial control of the radical organ of the Middle District, Työmies. The left wing of the federation withdrew their support of Työmies and established a new daily newspaper called Sosialisti. The Federation leadership responded with a series of expulsions and the left appealed to the NEC of the Socialist Party to intervene. After hearings at the September 1914 NEC session, a subcommittee was appointed to deal with the Finnish controversy. The subcommittee attended the special convention of the Finnish Federation (boycotted by the left), and held a hearing of the two factions, before making their report to the December 1914 session of the NEC. The NEC approved the resolution here, which gave a green light to the constructive socialist Finnish leadership to purge the revolutionary socialist "disrupters" affiliated with Sosialisti, resolving that "the decision of the Finnish Federation as to expulsion of locals or members shall be accepted by state, county, and local organizations as final."
"Disarmament and World Peace: Proposed Manifesto and Program of the Socialist Party of America." [December 26, 1914] The National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America determined at its Dec. 12-14, 1914, meeting to appoint a subcommittee to draft a manifesto and program to end the war in Europe and assure future peace. This group -- which included NEC members Lewis J. Duncan and J. Stitt Wilson, Executive Secretary Walter Lanfersiek, Carl D. Thompson (SPA Information Dept.), John C. Kennedy (Illinois State Secretary), and May Wood Simons (Women's National Committee) -- submitted this draft proposal shortly thereafter, it being published in The American Socialist on Dec. 26, 1914. Calling the European war "the supreme tragedy in human history," the SP manifesto noted that for 50 years Socialists had warned the world of impending catastrophe if capitalism was not halted from its inevitable path of development. Instead, Socialist predictions had come true. "If now this unspeakable tragedy shall serve to teach the world the real, the underlying and fundamental causes of the war, so that by removing these causes the world henceforth may live at peace, the war may be worth the cost," the manifesto declares. A program for peace and disarmament follows, based upon a peace without indemnities or transfer of territory; establishment of a world court, international congress, and international police force to maintain order; a freezing of existing arms levels, move of armament manufacture out of the realm of private enterprise, pending international disarmament; neutralization of the seas and internationalization of strategic waterways; abolition of secret diplomacy, removal of the power to declare war to direct vote of the people; implementation of universal suffrage and a program of economic democracy, including the elimination of unearned income and the "socialization of the national resources, public utilities, and fundamental equipment of industry of the nations." The Socialist movement of the world is called upon to implement this program, nation by nation.