Timely Topics

THOMAS, NORMAN

By Norman Thomas TIMELY TOPICS Old-Line Stuff pUKSJDKNT ROOSEVELT'S speech at Green * Bay, Wisconsin, is the old-line progressive stuff. It .sounds like one of Theodore Roosevelt's...

...Seabury wants proportional representation without party designation, and he wants a* Council so small that proportional representation would be more than meaningless...
...It is our business to demand what will make workers and their children stronger...
...Dynamite" first appeared in 1931...
...If the matter is decently argued out in a Commission, it will be a factor likely to defeat the Charter at the polls...
...There is no way to conquer poverty or end unemployment while we leave untouched the relative status of owners and workers...
...The drought has reduced crops with grim effectiveness, but it has done it in a way so that not even the highest prices will 'bring benefits to the farmers who have nothing to sell...
...Whether or not there is a new Charter Commission, we Socialists will have to keep up our own fight for the things most worth while in the Constitution and government of the City of New York...
...Adamic says that American radicalism dates from the late forties, fathered by Europeans, mainly German, following the revolution of 1848...
...When our ruling Babbitts recovered their courage they wrote the NRA codes, obtained large control of the codes and "ran the show," incidentally regimenting five tiefes as many workers in their company unions as joined the trade unions...
...The .present revised edition is brought down to date, so that it includes Toledo and other recent strikes...
...Besides, there is no reason for excluding Communists as Communists from any union...
...In this there is absolutely no clear-headed economic thinking and no philosophy at all...
...Communists and Socialists, Republicans and Democrats should all be eligible for members-hip in the unions of their calling...
...Ami there are still between 10 and 12 million unemployed ! The author concludes that capitalistic planning must eventually fail, the outcome- being "the final disappearance of government by private profit-makers ' over the means of production...
...Dynamite" is a powerful contribution to the literature of the labor movement...
...supply, housing, etc...
...Ingerman did the job, and I believe that we are warranted in the highest hopes that Frank will have his powerful and beautiful voico in perfect form for renewed service to the great cause, The New Leader Book Corner VIOLENCE by Ben Blumenberg DYNAMITE, by Louis Adamic...
...Rut big business is bad and all business is bad which wants to repeal the New Deal...
...It Is Our Business IT most emphatically is not the business of the * Socialist Party to teach Mayors or Governors or legislators or Congressmen how to keep capitalism going as well as possible...
...It is," says the author, "an essential manifestation of the dynamic drive for economic betterment so characteristic of the country...
...It appear* that of "810 large industrial corporations in 37 industries" these groups had reaped an aggregate net deficit of $45,802,000 in 1932, but in 1933 they realized an aggregate net profit of $440,643,000...
...If only landlords arrd tenants, absentee owners and workers, business men, manufacturers and farmers will be good and kind and neighborly, everything will be all right...
...The questions are wholly improper and against sound union tactics...
...The card asks: 1. Do you approve of Communistic agitation within the union...
...Little business is good especially if it does no* want to repeal the New Deal...
...P. Stevens, C.C...
...Another matter: The Socialist Party has endorsed the Robins-Gras Defense Committee...
...The ruling classes were frightened and their morale wai at a low ebb when Roosevelt be gan nursing their enterprises...
...strike, the MoyerI Baywood-Pettibone case, the Law-* J rence strike, the battles of the I.W.W., the Mooney-Billings case, the Los Angeles explosion, and other historic outbursts in which violence played a big part...
...Nevertheless, although we are not primarily concerned with regulating banking but rather with socializing it, it is worth while to point out how by its own alleged ethical codes capitalism has betrayed those who trusted it...
...One out of ten is on relief and that relief is woefully inadequate in the number reached and in the amount given...
...Instead he utters these old pious generalities, it is the one supreme business of Socialists to prove to the American people that it is a generation too late for this sort of stuff...
...Local 802 of tho American Federation of Mus-iciang, which after a long struggle at last received a certain measure of autonomy from its international organization, is sending out an extraordinary card to its members...
...The author gives vivid portraits of Samuel Gompers, William Green and the point of view of the A. F. of L. officials and those in command of the affiliated international unions...
...Those who may ask in the more violent days that are to follow, "How does labor get that way...
...There may be some turmoil in making the change, but the change must com...
...Violence in the United States was used by the capitalists as soon as the workers started to organize, shortly after the close of the Civil War...
...Revised edition...
...The latter have for the most part waged losing battles with those who controlled private armies of gunmen, spies and the military forces of the government...
...Comrade Dr...
...I went on the Commission with the approval of the party, not because we expected to get a perfect Charter, but because we hoped to do educational work at least along the lines of proportional representation with party designation and, what is even more important, along the line of getting power for the city to look after milk...
...Kach member is required to answer and to sign...
...Anti-Red Hysteria IUST as there is a revival in the nation at large Jft an anti-Red hysteria, so there seems to be in certain unions a new and vigorous attempt to fasten the name of Communist on all those who are critical of the policies of present officials...
...Smith more than any one man was responsible for the blow-up in the Commission by the high-handed way in which he ran meetings, by his exclusion of the press so that every session was a Star Chamber session, and by his insistence that all we wanted was a skeleton Charter ready by the November election...
...I stayed on the Commission, again with the approval of the party, because we were convinced that there was more to be hoped from the present Commission than from a new Commission...
...Good mortgages were taken out and inferior mortgages were put in to secure the holders of certificates...
...Evidence taken by the Post from the report of these Commissioners is very damaging...
...The chapter on racketeering is an able analysis, laying bare its relation to business and political life...
...The New York Post in a memorandum to District Attorney Dodge called for action to bring these men to justice...
...Appraisals were made to fit loans, not loans to fit appraisals...
...They should be suspended or expelled only for overt acts against the union...
...There is no better illustration than the plight of investors, most of them small investors, who bought from various mortgage companies certificates which they thought were secured by sound mortgages...
...TWO words about family matters * which emphatically are not controversial...
...namely, a demand for the cessation of its anti-Red hysteria...
...Ha< there been a powerful workinj class movement here this wonk have provided a revolutionary op portunity, but instead, the old system was handed back to the old ruler "with enough help so that they could carry on...
...It was reckless and perhaps dishonest financing by companies among whose directors were some of the great men on New York finance...
...These things require more investigation than the New York County Grand Jury has given them...
...will find a sound, reasoned answer in "Dynamite...
...What is happening is that we are not recovering...
...Second, I want to express the general good wishes of all of us for the complete recovery of Frank Crosswaith from an operation on his throat...
...A capitalist government through capitalist courts and capitalist prosecuting officials which overlooked the kind of charges the Post made on the basis of evidence brought out in official hearings writes itself down as the exponent of class justice...
...It was with the greatest difficulty that I got Governor Smith to listen to my demand that some time or other the economic needs of the city be considered...
...The President seems to believe that there is nothing the matter with the system...
...Socialist Victory in Canada NORTH VANCOUVER, B. Có Alter eight months of "Liberal" administration in British Columbia, the first by-election has proved a severe vote of censure on the government and a splendid victory for the Canadian Commonwealth Federation, the Dominion's labor party...
...I added my endorsement, and I understand that the United Hebrew Trades also endorsed the Defense Committee the other night I mention the matter, first, because Robins and Gras, two hotel strikers railroaded to jail, deserve defense, and, second, because L. Finkelstein, in the Jewish Day, I am told, gave a false account of what happened at the United Hebrew Trades in connection with this case and my own endorsement of it...
...2 Shall Communists be members of the union...
...By George Soule...
...2.50...
...U/E wish that everyone who pre" sumes to speak with authority on the labor movement, and especially on recent strikes, would read Louis Adamic's "Dynamite" (The Viking Press), Here is a book that strips the class struggle down to what it really isóthe law of tooth and claw carried over into modern capitalism...
...It is our business to tight war and fascism and not to rest until we have got for the unemployed a fuller measure of justice...
...New York's Charter HERE arc some facts for Socialists to remember about the Charter Revision muddle in New York...
...Doubtless the situation calls for remedial legislation...
...In July the number of people on relief in New York reached an all-time high...
...The Lovestone group brings serious charges in this connection against the official Communists for breaking up recent meetings...
...With the coming of depression most of the guarantee mortgage companies collapsed and dragged the small investors in mortgage certificates down to ruin...
...That is a precedent fraught with danger for everyone who has any opinions of his own about religion or politics of economics...
...There is not even effective observation of what is happening...
...Adamic points out, however, that within recent years demonstrations by the unemployed, sometimes accompanied by physical force, have been quickly followed by increased unemployment relief...
...The fault was not simply that there was a great depression...
...The Democrats \n the Legislature would never vote for a new Commission except that they do not want to quarrel with their candidate for Governor, and they know that they can fight a Smith-Seabury Charter at the polls...
...Any other policy tends to make scabs or to encourage dual unionism...
...First, I want to recommend the Wisconsin Leader...
...There would be no new Commission except that Governor Lehman is running for re-election and owes something to Al Smith...
...General Johnson goes ranting round the laud talking about wiping out agitators "as you clean off a chalk mark from a blackboard with a wet sponge," and the President does not rebuke him at all...
...A third considers the crisis of the thirties with Hoover and then Roosevelt fighting the battU of the capitalistic Marne, a battle that continues...
...Possibly the author had in mind the home-grown Brook Farm transcendentalists and Utopians of that period...
...TPHIS is one of the best books * that ha sheen written by a "liberal" on the industrial depression although it is not entirely con...
...One section considers the nature of revolution, another the economic forces and backgrounds of American capitalism before the Great Collapse which concludes with the observation that if the legal "owners" ol big industry "should be buried in an earthquake" production and distribution would go on just the same...
...It .sounds like one of Theodore Roosevelt's eulogies of the "square deal" or Wilson's eulogy of the New Freedom...
...Moreover, he wants to- cut out ground from under Seabury, who may be the Republican nominee for Governor...
...While capitalism has survived the storm it has come out of it weaker, "both physically and morally...
...So far is the Smkth-Seabury plan of government of New York from being progressive that it resembles very nearly the Mayor and Council scheme in vogue in Chicago and Philadelphia...
...MacmiUan...
...Any other policy is inconsistent with the demand that all labor unionists and all Socialists ought to be making on the government...
...The Post relies on the investigation of some of these companies by Moreland Act Commssioners appointed by the Governor of New York...
...As for "self-Government" in industry, this "turned out to be self-government by the business executives of industry, self-government by trade associations and employers' associations...
...Liars and hypocrits can easily get by this imposition by answering both questions in the negative...
...It is a phase of the effort of the underdog to raise himself...
...Starting with the history of the "Molly Maguircs" the author gives graphic sketches of the strikes of the seventies, the Haymarket tragedy, Homestead, the Debs A.R.U...
...Civil Rights 11/1111,K we are standing up for civil liberties in " and out of unions, we should most emphatically support the demand of the Communist Party Opposition that its meetings should be protected from interference from official Communist Party hooliganism...
...Nevertheless there is a genuine interest in what is called Borough autonomy which can't be ignored...
...He states that they were "tame, refined, romantic...
...Insiders got preference from at least one of these companies after its officials knew that it was virtually bankrupt...
...In the final section Soule is at his best in his analysis oi the NBA...
...Of course, there were politics on the old Commission and, of course, there was some desire for patronage la tho perpetuation of the executive functions of Borough Presidents...
...Smith and Seabury may want a few of the things we want but not the most important of them...
...candidate, received 2,789 votes M Parliament against 2,284 for Mj ; "Liberal" opponent...
...He had not originally appointed any committees to deal with them...
...fined to this theme...
...Additional reasons given' include dishonesty, graft in high places, labor's insecurity, the success of lawbreakers who stand in with the politicians and the brutalizing and corrupting influences of the whole social structure...
...It's the kind of paper that I wish every state could have for its movement, and it has a value outside the state...
...It also calls for prosecution...
...Governor Lehman in the Legislature did not give the first Commission adequate power in this matter and the Governor has not suggested adequate power either by legislation or constitutional amendment in his present message...
...On the profit side of the ledger the New Deal has also given comfort to our bourgeois kings...
...In this whole story is ammunition fyr Socialists in thejfr criticism of the ethics and the competence of the capitalist system...
...The history of the labor movement of that period indicates that their characteristics were quite otherwise...
...The implication is that all the agitation, including that which led to the re-establishment of voting rights in the local, is communistic...
...Only honest men will be caught...
...Inevitably violence used by and against labor paves the way for racketeering...
...With fifty added pages, the revised edition sells for a little more than half the price of the original edition...
...THE DEPRESSION by James Oneal THE COMING AMERICAN REVOLUTION...
...Communistic agitation ig nowhere defined...
...Smith is opposed to proportional representation...
...The Viking Press...

Vol. 17 • August 1934 • No. 33


 
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