Back to Home Page

Back to Book Index

(Part H Consists of Appendices 2, 3, and 4)

The Workmen's Advocate and the Sorge-De Leon 'Controversy'

Text coloring decodes as follows:

 Black:  Ken Ellis
 Red:  Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
 Green:  Press report, etc.
 Blue:  SLP-related
 Purple:  Unreliable Info
 Brown:  Inaccurate quote, but true to intent

   The earliest issues of the Workmen's Advocate provided no indication of the existence of the SLP until an ad for a Christmas social appeared at the end of 1885. Until the end of November 1886, the WA was published in New Haven, Connecticut by the "Trades Council Publishing Committee", which seems to have been an alliance of Socialists with the Knights of Labor. After that, the WA became the official English language journal of the SLP, and was published by the NEC for its duration. In 1891, the WA was replaced by The People, as well as by the Weekly People, which are the journals associated with the SLP of more recent times. At the time of the 1889 takeover by the anarchists, Daniel De Leon was still with Bellamy's Nationalist movement, and did not made much of an impact on the WA until its final year of publication, around 1890-1.
   Friedrich Adolf Sorge, contemporary of Marx and Engels, moved from Germany to New Jersey in 1852, was active in the
First International, corresponded with Marx and Engels from 1867 to the end, and was a valuable source of information on American topics. A series of his articles on American workers and movements appeared in the Neue Zeit newspaper in Germany, and were collected into a book entitled "The Labor Movement in the United States". A condensed debate between Sorge and De Leon appeared in the pages of the September 28, 1889 edition of the Workmen's Advocate. My major interest in going through the WA was to find that particular debate, which appears in its entirety nearly halfway down this page.
   While sifting through the
pages of the WA in search of evidence of the alleged 'controversy' between the two, one of the most often reinforced impressions was that of the similarities of the issues between then and now. Besides labor news, features and editorials, and the struggle between anarchism and socialism, the WA contained reprints from other publications, advertisements from local businesses, news about the Party, and news about other movements, such as the Henry George 'single taxers', the Knights of Labor, and the Nationalists. There was also a lot of coverage of the Chicago Seven, who were executed for their alleged roles in the Haymarket bombing. The WA included debates between "Zeno", "XX", and others on various subjects, the effects of the Anti-Socialist Law on the movement in Germany, and an occasional reprint from Marx, such as "Wage-Labor and Capital" and the "Communist Manifesto".
   The tour to America by Liebknecht and the Avelings was reported on in the friendliest manner in the pages of the
WA, and I detected no hint of the NEC's 'forgery' charges against Aveling that Engels, Sorge, and Florence Kelley had corresponded about at length (see Appendix 1). The editions preceding the 1889 takeover by the anarchists contained a good deal of propaganda against anarchism, including some debate over it. My synopsis of the tour through the WA begins with the year:


   In a June 1886 edition, not long after the Chicago Haymarket demonstration during which a bomb went off and anarchists were blamed, this extract of an article entitled "A COOL REQUEST" expressed a typical socialist attitude toward anarchism:

   "After the capitalists have made madmen and savages by the thousand by their systematic robbery and oppression, their subsidized organs turn around and tell the Knights of Labor that it is peculiarly their business to suppress them. It can't be done so long as the system remains. One crop of Anarchists may be killed off or jailed, but the causes which produced them will breed others. The only effective way to "put down" Anarchy so that it will stay down, is to strike at its causes - landlordism, usury, monopoly and capitalistic extortion in all its forms. That is what the Knights of Labor have vowed to do, and what the very organs that are endeavoring to hold them somewhat responsible for social disorder are trying to hinder them from doing - Petersburg Exponent."

   In an 1886 editorial about strikebreakers, the WA advocated the election of the workers' party to the state, and often repeated that idea, but the advocacy of that type of involvement in politics nearly disappeared from the WA after the 1889 'palace coup'.
   In the November 28, 1886
edition, the WA became the "Official Journal of the SLP", published by the National Executive Committee.


   The January 1, 1887 edition of the WA reported the rejection of a motion for the Party to gather anarchists and socialists together to hammer out their differences.
   The January 22, 1887
edition reasserted that it was still the official journal of the Trades Council, as well as the journal of the SLP.
   In the February 12, 1887
edition, Charles Cook wrote that "The Mission of Labor Organizations" was 'to gain control of the political power and compel labor's enemies to surrender by law their unjust claim to the product of labor.'
   In the February 26 and March 5, 1887
editions, the leaflet "SOCIALISM AND ANARCHISM: ANTAGONISTIC OPPOSITES" was reprinted. It was noted therein that both theories ...

   ... "are opposites which have nothing in common but their appurtenance to Social Science. Socialists and Anarchists as such are enemies. They pursue contrary aims, and the success of the former will destroy forever the fanatical hopes of the latter.
   "It is true that in their theories, both are thoroughly dissatisfied with the present state of human society and its politics, and that they severely criticize almost all the economical and political constitutions and laws, teachings and practices, now prevailing. But they do so from very different points of view. The Anarchist worships at the shrine of Liberty. Liberty is his goddess, and his only deity, in theory at least. He rejects all laws imposed on him from without, and respects only such laws as he himself ordains. He wants no association but with men of his own turn of mind, no rule of the majority, no submission under any will but his own, no discipline. ...
We do not in the least deny that we have little hope for an entirely peaceful renewal of society and politics, and that we may have to fight for the redemption of the working class from the threatening complete thraldom. But that war must be forced upon us - we try our best efforts to avoid it, and though this may be impossible in most of the European States, we must and do consider it possible in the United States, and wherever freedom of speech and of the press, the right to peacefully assemble and organize and universal suffrage (inclusive of the suffrage of women) are not curtailed by existing laws. We are fully outspoken in our ideas and aims, all our working for redemption is above board; we shun secret organization for our purposes.
We therefore protest against being confounded and in any way identified with anarchists of any type; we are the implacable enemies of all anarchism.
   ... "
we shall be revolutionists only when forced into being such by legislation and persecution withholding from us the means of a peaceable propaganda. We, Socialists, have come to stay; depend upon it."

   Notice that, in this pre-anarchist takeover era, it was democratic institutions that allowed socialists to conceive of peacefully achieving their goals, not the 'advances in the means of production' of the post-De Leonist era.
editorial on March 19, 1887 declared:

   "Now, it is generally acknowledged, and becoming more and more evident that organization and agitation without political action can never right the wrongs of Labor. We have more faith in the people organized as citizens for the purpose of grasping the political power than in all the other forms of industrial organization combined."

   An editorial on April 23, 1887 advocated "The Imperative Mandate", a democratic device used during the Paris Commune. The Imperative Mandate meant that ...

   ... "the representative officers or servants chosen, should serve so long as they perform their duties and conform to the instructions given them, which should be imperative, and carried out in the letter and spirit; and upon failure to perform the functions of office, or otherwise do as directed, the Representatives or agents should be recalled by a vote of the party whose views they are elected to represent, and others chosen by the same party to fill the vacancies, and the persons so recalled should be immediate-indicted, tried and, if found guilty, punished with the utmost rigor."

   The May 7, 1887 edition reported a rumor running around in the capitalist press to the effect that the SLP would merge with the anarchists.
   The June 4, 1887 "
Strikes and Politics" editorial proclaimed:

   "Political conquest ... will forever do away with the crude and ineffectual strike ... Let us work for political conquest."

   The issue of June 25, 1887 editorialized:

   "Let everyone think, and everyone speak his thoughts. Then we shall know men as they are."

   The platform printed in that same edition contained some social demands, including: 'the workers to be secured the control of the means of production', the means of production 'to become the common property of the whole people', 'all production to be organized cooperatively', 'distribution to be in accordance with the service rendered, and with the just needs of the individuals', and the Lasallean: 'the workers to obtain the undivided product of their toil'; "And to realize our demands, we strive by all proper means to gain control of the political power."
   The July 2, 1887
edition demonstrated the desire of the Party to distinguish its views from those of the anarchist Johann Most.
The Condemned Anarchists" editorial of July 9, 1887 declared that the Chicago Seven should not be regarded as anarchists.
   In the July 16, 1887
edition, Dr. Adolph Douai (who had been severely criticized by Engels in letters to Sorge) projected a utopian vision in his lead article entitled "Trades Unionism":

   "We want a complete democracy combined with a government of Reason. That is impossible without the whole society consisting of trades unions which govern each itself, and together everything else. ...
There are hundreds of different interests to be taken care of within a single State; but the people whom we elect to take care thereof, are in their great majority the most ignorant persons and skilled only in mean political tricks, and in stealing the people's taxes and liberty. All reforms of this contrivance "how not to do it" have thus far proven abortive.
If this is to be changed, after the work-people will have recovered the political power, it must be done by a double kind of government - the economic concerns of the nation to be administered entirely by the trades unions, constituted democratically, so that the political State shall not meddle with them."

   An article in the August 13, 1887, edition proclaimed that 'the only just title to property is work.' It was noted that members of the Henry George movement had been prohibited from simultaneously holding memberships in other parties, and the Georgeist "United Labor Party" had expelled the socialist contingent.
   On the subject of the seven Chicago Haymarket "
anarchists" sentenced to die "for exercising the constitutional right of free speech", an indignant editorial on Sept. 24, 1887, proclaimed:

   "And if the corruption of our judges is so complete that they will ignore the right of free speech, then, we say, and say it deliberately, that the time has come for an uprising of the people against a corrupt government according to the teaching of the Declaration of American Independence.
   "The only argument against such an uprising at the present time is that the people are not sufficiently organized to make an armed revolution a success.
   "And we are not alone in this opinion, though we are almost alone in expressing it. When the pressure becomes strong enough to compel taking sides, the best part of the American people, we are sure, will stand by the guarantee of free speech and against class laws which would curtail it."

   The Sept. 24, 1887 edition was one of the last in which it was advertised that the Workmen's Advocate was "A Journal of the Socialistic Labor Party". By 1888, it had become the SLP without the "ic" after 'Socialist'. SLP propaganda decades later made a bit of an issue out of that "ic", many people incorrectly claiming that the dropping of the 'ic' coincided with De Leon's modernization of the SLP. After the anarchists took over in 1889, the 'ic' was RESTORED to the Party's name for a while.
   The October 1, 1887
edition re-announced the launching of the Progressive Labor Party; Zeno suggested that the land should be held in common, but capital should remain in private hands; and the WA's move away from New Haven, Connecticut was hinted at.
   In a few successive
editions, the Bill of Rights was staunchly defended. They also reported that many peaceful assemblies of socialists and trade unionists had been broken up by the police.
   The October 22, 1887
edition reported that the imminent execution of the Chicago Seven was an attempt to throttle free speech, and it had really been socialism and anarchism on trial there. The next few issues reported a great deal about the alleged Haymarket bombers, and the November 19 edition sadly reported their execution.
   The December 3, 1887
edition proclaimed Johann Most guilty of making "incendiary utterances". It also reported a call for unity between the San Francisco section of the International Workingmen's Association (I.W.A.) with the SLP.
   In the December 24, 1887
edition, Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, was described as a "renegade Israelite" and a "purchasable editor".


   The January 7, 1888 edition included comments on the philosophy of the structure of the SLP:

   "The Socialist Labor Party is organized on the same plan as that indicated in the "Political Demands," so far as they can apply to a party organization. They have the "initiative," the "referendum;" the office of president of the Party does not exist, while an Executive Committee, responsible and subject to recall by the Party, conducts its general affairs. It is in all respects a labor party, whose internal affairs are conducted in accordance with its scientific platform. Its issue with capitalism is a plain one, and it honestly states its case."

   The January 28, 1888 edition contained a long obituary for Dr. Adolph Douai, and took note of his early experiences in the abolitionist movement. It also printed the Party Platform that Engels held in esteem. It contained seventeen social demands, and the following seven Political Demands:

   "1.  The people to have the right to propose laws (initiative) and to vote upon all laws of importance (referendum).
   "2.  Abolition of the Presidency, Vice-Presidency and Senate of the United States. An Executive Board to be established, whose members are to be elected, and may at any time be recalled by the House of Representatives as the only legislative body. The States and Municipalities to adopt corresponding amendments to their constitutions and statutes.
   "3.  Municipal self-government.
   "4.  Direct vote and secret ballot in all elections. Universal and equal right of suffrage without regard to color, creed, or sex. Election days to be legal holidays. The principle of minority representation to be introduced.
   "5.  The members of all legislative bodies to be responsible to, and subject to recall by, the constituency.
   "6.  Uniform law throughout the United States. Administration of justice to be free of charge. Abolition of capital punishment.
   "7.  Separation of all public affairs from religion; church property to be subject to taxation."

   In the same January 31, 1888 edition, the attitude of the WA toward anarchism was further revealed:

   "Our opposition to anarchy does not necessarily include bloodthirstiness, and we are not afraid to allow those who call themselves anarchists to preach their numerous ideas of liberty to their hearts' content. Those who are so afraid of the anarchists' ramblings as to wish them silenced by death are ignorant bigots, and only prove the necessity for the civilizing influence of Socialist teaching."

   The "Criticizing Socialists" editorial of February 18, 1888 promised that the SLP "will cheerfully meet their opponents upon any field on which circumstance may force the question of human rights to an issue."
SLP was proclaimed to be a democratically run party in the March 10, 1888 edition. It also quoted Colton:

   "Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth; and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong, as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer, as those that are sometimes right."

   The March 24, 1888 edition paid tribute to the Paris Commune, and noted that the WA was looking for quarters in New York.
article in the April 7, 1888 edition stated, 'free speech has been denounced as anarchism, so defend anarchism.'
   The April 28, 1888
edition announced that the WA would be shifting some of its operations to New York City.
   The May 12, 1888
edition reported the disbanding of the Progressive Labor Party. A repeated theme in many of the WA editions of this time period were comparisons of contemporary social conditions to anarchy.
   In what might have been his first mentioning in the
WA, the May 19, 1888 edition announced Professor De Leon as a speaker at the Labor Lyceum. Also, Johann Most was reported to have drawn a small crowd at one of his speeches.
   An article on
physical force by Herbert Burrows in the May 26, 1888 edition reported that it might be necessary. A lead article by Zeno compared "state socialism" with anarchism.
   Bellamy reported on his new book entitled "
Looking Backward" in a lead article in the June 2, 1888 edition. His book then became the inspiration for the Nationalist movement with which De Leon was closely associated before transiting to the SLP.
   In a
two column article in the June 9, 1888 edition, Wm. Willey described a split between the I.W.A. and the SLP on the West Coast:

   "The cause of the split between the English-speaking section ... had its origin in the difference of opinion between those who could not see any other method of righting the wrongs of the producers save by the force of arms, and those that adhered to the platform and principles of the SLP and sought to attain their ends by intelligent political action.
   "The seceding members formed what has become known to the world as the North American Branch of the International Workingmen's Association modeled in a measure after the original International founded by Karl Marx, of which original organization there were among them several members.
   "They accepted the doctrine "that the end justified the means," and in the earlier stages of their existence openly advocated the use of violence as the only means of attaining their ends, ridiculing the ballot as a delusion and a snare."

   Willey reported that their union organizing activities were so successful that:

   "The people of the coast, particularly the producing classes, were worked up into a state of agitation that caused the powers that be grave alarm, and it was only after the most persistent efforts that they succeeded in "flagging" the people from off the true course. Paid emissaries and stool-pigeons succeeded in diverting the attention of the masses again to the Chinese, and we had a rehash of 1878 upon a smaller scale, with the exception that the political bosses did not lose control of the movement, but simply castrated it by a non-political resolution and left it to die a natural death, the anti-political characteristic of the I.W.A. preventing it from making any effort to save the movement, as well as the fact that it had been diverted from its original purpose, it was probably not considered worth the saving."

   Willey went on to describe an 1886 convention of the I.W.A. in San Francisco, during which, "Their policy of violence was abandoned and became one of agitation only." As a result of that and other factors, the organization ...

   ... "fell to pieces, and of a magnificent organization, extending throughout several States and Territories, and numbering within its ranks men of the brightest minds and most unselfish devotion, there remains but the broken shadow; but no power on earth can destroy the work they have accomplished."

   Long discussions then took place within the organization on the subjects of anarchy and on cooperative labor and enterprises, though the latter debates did not take place without wrath and bitterness. Willey continued:

   ... "I may safely state that the condition of the movement on this coast ... has reached that stage of development which recognizes the wisdom and correctness of the SLP, and realizes that future progress and emancipation of the producing classes can only be accomplished by intelligent political action, and that the ballot and not the bullet is the correct arbitrator to appeal to in the United States. ...
A minority, a very small minority, of the anarchistic school, still hold that the ballot is futile, but they are becoming fewer daily. ...
And men who a few years ago were ready to hang a damned Socialist, to-day recognize in him a well-meaning but irrational man; quite an improvement, all things considered, and argues well for the future."

   An article in the same June 9, 1888 edition argued against Bakunin and his disciple Johann Most, claiming that anarchy betrayed bossism.
   The June 16, 1888
edition contained a synopsis of an interesting speech delivered in Boston by an unidentified speaker:

   "It is ordinarily supposed that socialism and anarchism are antagonistic to one another, and that they signify the advocacy of tendencies diametrically opposite, namely, that socialism means the extension of government over and into every department of civilized life, while anarchism is supposed to signify the utter abolition of all government. The fact is that extremes have their opposites, and accordingly extreme State socialism and revolutionary and plotting and aggressive anarchism are opposites and implacable antagonists. Theories have their originators and advocates, and the theory of extreme and rigid State socialism, as well as its opposite theory of revolutionary and aggressive anarchism, bear the unmistakable stamp of certain human dispositions and temperaments. Lingg {one of the Haymarket defendants}, while secretly employed in the construction of dynamite bombs in Chicago, called himself an anarchist and, to judge from his avowed statements, honestly believed in inaugurating what he called the industrial revolution, or the irrepressible conflict. On the other hand, the extreme State socialist proclaims his intention to bring about a radical change, and, to use his words, peaceably if he can and forcibly if he must, and accordingly the State socialists in Chicago several years ago formed themselves into military companies so as to be prepared in case of an emergency. So we find that neither have abandoned the idea of using physical force. There are, however, in the main, two classes of socialists, which might not improperly be distinguished as Chicago anarchists and Boston anarchists, and as Chicago socialists and Boston socialists. The peaceable Boston anarchist is a man, or a woman, who requires no law to govern him or her, and, in that sense, the Boston socialist is an anarchist. On the other hand, the peaceable Boston socialist teaches that the best interests of all require that men should learn to co-operate intelligently, voluntarily and harmoniously, and in that sense the Boston anarchist is a socialist."

   The July 21, 1888 edition contained many articles about the repressive nature of the Anti-Socialist law in Germany.
   The August 18, 1888
edition contained an article by the anarchist Kropotkin.
   Lucien Sanial, who became
editor of the WA shortly after the 1889 split, was announced in the September 1, 1888 edition as speaking at the Labor Lyceum on the subject of slavery.
   The October 6, 1888
edition ran an article by "Rinctum" on "Anarchism vs. State Socialism". The Boston anarchist paper called "Liberty" was reviewed.
   The November 24, 1888
edition noted that the "Volkszeitung" was mourning the collapse of the labor movement. Its "New York Notes" column reported that:

   "Anarchists of the Bogert, Finkelstone, Braunschweig, Weinstein, Bothner complexions are out in a howl against the Socialists."

   The December 15, 1888 edition noted that the Foster-Wischnewetzky matter had been decided in favor of the NEC; Professor Garside was on a propaganda tour for the Party; and the first Nationalist clubs were being organized. Subsequent issues reported the content of some Nationalist club speeches. The same edition carried a call for a general vote of the membership on the following sectarian and Lassallean platform proposals:

   "Resolved, That faithful allegiance to the Socialist Labor Party and severance of all connection with other political parties shall be a condition of membership in the Socialist Labor Party, all other parties being considered as forming one reactionary mass."

   This Lassallean "one reactionary mass" phrase had already been criticized by Marx in his "Critique of the Gotha Program" and elsewhere as being very limited in its application and generally should not have been used in socialist propaganda. In a subsequent edition, it was reported that the Resolution passed by a 7-1 ratio in the general vote.
   The December 29, 1888
edition contained an article on 'Anarchism vs. Socialism' written by Ambrose Bierce of the San Francisco Examiner.


   In many 1889 editions, the debate between anarchism and socialism intensified substantially. Anarchism and violence were rejected in the lead article of February 2, 1889, and the whole February 16 front page was devoted to letters on the subjects of socialism and anarchism. A February 23 article accused anarchists of wanting to use force, as opposed to the alleged socialist sentiment.
   In the March 2, 1889
edition, Wm. Willey of Section San Francisco waxed philosophically about the path that the Party had blazed:

   ... "it is about time that the socialists stopped sacrificing themselves for the benefit of others, in building up other organization, to the detriment of their own and the movement for which they are organized to advance.
   "For years they have been devoting their time and labor in forming trades unions and labor federations, invariably in the end to find the door shut in their face, with but few, very few exceptions.
   "In pursuing this course, and from their activity in aiding, organizing and directing strikes, they have rendered themselves unpopular, and at the same time never, never been free from the doubt and suspicion of the very ones they were endeavoring to assist, notwithstanding the fact that they have proved their truth again and again, upon the scaffold, and some of their best men lie rotting in dungeons all over the civilized world to-day.
   "And all for what? Because we have adopted the mistaken method of arraying ourselves as a class party, and appealing to class prejudices, while in reality we contemplate injuring no one, but are laboring for the advancement of all humanity. Do we not stand ready to accord to even the most degraded beast of a brutalized capitalist the best enjoyments of life, liberty and happiness, as readily as we would accord the same to the most honest horny-handed son of toil that ever lived? Do we not wish to assure him pleasures and enjoyments far beyond the present power of his ill-gotten wealth, even though it were ten times that of a Rothschild, in perfect peace and safety, free forever from the fear of want, yes, and his children after him, and his children's children, on to the very end of or the duration of the human race? ...
The socialists of San Francisco, as in every other part of the world, have organized trades union after trades union, Knights of Labor Assembly after assembly, etc., on the most liberal and advanced ideas, only in the end to find them become conservative and selfish, jealously guarding their own petty interests. Has not our method said to our purpose in this work, 'thou fool?' Could we reasonably expect anything else? Does not that system of organization lead invariably to that very end? ...
Had the time, labor and energy that has been spent in building up other organizations but been devoted for doing that for the SLP, it would have made that party by now felt and respected throughout the length and breadth of this land, and never have drawn us into discreditable complications."

   Mr. Willey went on to propose seven measures by which the Party would isolate itself, withdraw from its fraternizing and organizing activities, and instead become more devoted to propagandizing "pure socialism". An editorial also pushed 'the interests of the Party' to the forefront, and affirmed Willey's ideas:

   ... "The recent experience of the San Francisco Socialists ... is but a repetition of many such experiences in various cities, and his conclusions are the same as those of many faithful workers in our Party.
   "It is undeniably true that many labor organizations ... have been brought into existence by the devoted efforts of Socialists; and the fact that they have proven anything rather than beneficial only goes to show that the mere organization of workingmen into trades unions is not sufficient for their ultimate emancipation ... the main question with them becomes the wage question - how much of their product shall they have for their share? - thus acknowledging the wage system and private capitalism as permanent institutions. They will even go so far as to antagonize each other when their personal interest is involved. Socialists ... are drawn into the vortex of small contentions.
   "Each one, then, must decide for himself as to "first things." Either he is a Socialist first or he is something else first. ...
   ... "
our Party interests should be first considerations; not because they are our Party interests, but because, if we really believe what we profess, they are paramount considerations."

   The reader may recall that Marx criticized some socialists for using that exact phrase - "acknowledging the wage system". The call to the members to withdraw from external activities reflected a sectarian trend in the Party.
lead article of March 9, 1889 made interesting contrasts between anarchism and socialism:

   "Some years ago those radical people now known as anarchists were members of socialistic societies. They withdrew, claiming superior and more advanced doctrines. Their attempt to retain the title "socialist" is no credit to them, but is a confession of the failure of their secession, and evinces a desire to preserve their identity with the original school. Their attitude confuses the public mind in regard to both socialistic and anarchistic doctrines.
   "Distinct and frequent statement of this difference of doctrine should eventually silence those who, from ignorance or malice, confuse the two schools.
   "Anarchists would abolish both law and personal rulers - an impossibility. "Anarchy" signifies absence of personal despots or monarchs, but not absence of law, strictly speaking, nor government of law. In this exact meaning a democracy is an anarchy. ...
Nor do anarchists actually believe the negation of law a possibility. They believe natural law will spontaneously assert itself in the absence of statute laws, which hypothesis is absolutely without verification. But they themselves are divided, one party deciding that natural law will establish individual ownership of all wealth, public and private; the other, that natural law will destroy all ownership. The anarchist who advocates either is heretical, for he must determine scientifically, if possible, what natural law will actually produce after the State is abolished and abide by it. When it is declared that each of these two opposites, extreme individualism and communism, will be the natural product, how can anarchists expect converts? ...
The cause of social evils lies not in authority nor elected rulers, but in a false system of ownership which was accepted by all people and therefore made law. The cheapest remedy is to convince the majority that such laws are wrong, and that majority will change the laws. This method is possible under law, and impossible under absolute monarchs. ...
Advocates of force in agitation usually assume that the producer is robbed by superior force wielded by the State in behalf of the robber; but such is not the fact. The slave approves the method, such as monopoly of land, production, etc., by which he is enslaved, and aspires to become himself a tyrant; the case becomes complex, and ordinary methods of emancipation are unsuitable. Urging men to get arms with which to overthrow that which they approve is not wisely directed effort. Condemnation of the ballot is therefore premature, because it has not been used against a monopoly by a majority. A preliminary reform must be the secret ballot, which even the conservative now declare to be desirable.
Certain anarchists predict conflicts between the laborers and the State. Socialists hold that this gift of prophecy is of no value in any cause, for no man will arm who does not demand the changes which, it is alleged, will necessitate the conflict, and who still uses the ballot.
   "Talk of violence draws attention from reform and is so damaging to a cause that the more unreasonably violent agitators may be regarded as employees of monopolists.
   "The majority of voters now live under the system they desire, and vote to retain. All their demands for change conform to that system. They refuse to tolerate those who sanction its destruction. Suppose, anarchy attained, a community has adopted the forms it desires. Will it tolerate those who insist that those forms be abolished by force?
   "Under democracy all reforms can be urged without arousing antagonism, which always destroys the leaven of reform, thus retarding progress. ...
The socialist believes reform consists of successive steps in progress; the anarchist believes reform is destruction followed by spontaneous growth.
   "The anarchist believes the laborer must oppose the monopolist and the State with arms because the State is armed. The socialist believes the laborer and the State must oppose the monopolists; the laborer need not arm, for his ally, the State, is armed. OBSERVER"

   My ally, the state? In spite of the optimism, the article contained several items of pertinence to the present situation, such as anarchists confusing the lower classes by calling themselves socialists; anarchists wishing to abolish capitalist law, which was straight out of De Leon's later teachings; and their advocacy of force. In the same edition, Zeno complained about Professor Garside.
   In the March 16, 1889
edition, it was reported that the police captain who allegedly created evidence used to hang the Chicago Haymarket defendants had "written a book - or has had it written to order". One of his associates also charged him with:

   ... "using public money to reorganize the "anarchist" groups for the purpose of keeping up the "anarchist" scare, and to make a "boom" for himself ... by discovering these detective-made groups and arresting the poor foolish cranks who were roped into them."

   Clever guy. Provocation seems to be an age-old technique. In the same edition, an article from Professor Garside, still on tour, welcomed Jews into the socialist movement.
   In the April 6, 1889
edition, Rabbi Schindler denounced the Jewish language and socialism.
   The April 13, 1889
edition reported that the Chicago socialists had 'dislodged' an alleged anarchist "United Labor Party"; an answer to Rabbi Schindler's attacks by Michael Cohn of Boston was printed; and an editorial discussed some theoretical limitations on the value of the ballot.
   The May 4, 1889
edition quoted some New York Volkszeitung allegations that anarchists were masquerading as socialists. Another long article by Sanial on 'Land and Machinery' was included. An editorial brought up the debate about changing the name of the Workmen's Advocate to "The Socialist", presumably to match the name of the Party's German-language paper.
   The May 11, 1889
edition reported the arrival of a new journal called "The Nationalist", encouraged by enthusiasm over Bellamy's book, "Looking Backward".
   The May 18, 1889
edition reported disturbances of socialist gatherings by anarchists.
   The May 23, 1889
edition reported on Professor Garside's shortcomings as a lecturer, alleged a connection between Garside and Johann Most, further alleged that he had also swindled other members out of some money, and then announced that he had been fired.
   The June 22
edition reported that anarchists raided a Section meeting in Chicago.
   The July 20, 1889
edition advertised a De Leon speech on Nationalism at the Labor Lyceum. It included another article by Sanial.
   The July 27, 1889
edition contained an interesting retrospective on the First International, and called for creating a Jewish worker's journal.
   The August 3, 1889
edition reported on a Congress of the Second International in France, and included a synopsis of a speech by Professor De Leon of Columbia University, excerpted herewith:

   "Nationalists look upon government not as an oppressive force, as an institution foreign to the people, but as emanating from the people. It is the very self of the nation. Nationalists, therefore, deem it necessary, and demand that all industries shall be of national organization, because these are the people's interests, and, consequently, the concerns of the government."

   But, 16 years later, in De Leon's "Socialist Reconstruction of Society", we were told that 'the state has no interest in production', a statement which clearly contradicted his philosophy in this WA report. On page 35 of "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism", A.P. quoted De Leon as having written in 1905:

   'Congress ... can have no trace of a purpose to administer production.'

   Could 'conditions' have changed so much in sixteen years to have warranted such a drastic change in attitude toward control of production by the state? Remember that the SLP defined the state as little more than Congress, and certainly not the agencies of force. The synopsis of De Leon's speech continued:

   "We are not, like the anarchists, opposed to all government, but we are opposed to the present industrial system, that accrues to the profit of the few.
   "The individual owes duties to the government, but the government owes greater duties to the individual.
   "The Nationalists demand, first, the right to the opportunities of labor and security for all the result of it; second, assurance of promotion; the gratification of laudable aspiration; the sense of honor; third, pensions for the disabled by accident or old age. This right all are entitled to who have worked and thus contributed to the wealth of the people, just as the soldier who is ready to sacrifice his life for his country is entitled to a pension when old or disabled.
   "We demand certainty of position for all. At present the poor and the sick succumb. By nationalizing the industries poverty will be abolished and sickness will be relieved.
   "We recognize the laws of exchange of values, and propose to establish a government composed of representatives of trades unions. The present barbaric competitive system must go, and with it the accursed system of wage slavery. What we are aiming at is Socialism, although we have another name for it, simply because the name must be adjusted to the history of the country. Our "democrats" do not call themselves Progressists, as in Spain; neither do our Free Traders call themselves Liberals, as in England."

   Note that the Nationalist proposal "to establish a government composed of representatives of trades unions" was quite consistent with Douai's 1887 vision, and with SLP philosophy after the anarchists took over in 1889. That basic idea later evolved into Socialist Industrial Unionism.
   J. F. Busche reported on August 10, 1889 that
the Congress of the Second International in France had tossed out the anarchists. It was also reported that what was left of the Henry George movement in the USA had split in two. Also, the conflict within the SLP finally made it into the WA: 50 charges, on six different subjects, were brought up against the whole National Executive Committee, but were aimed mostly against Rosenberg, Gerecke and Hintze by the "Central Committee of the New York German Section". The three individuals were accused of adhering to "the socialistic political policy decided upon by the party last year, as against the trades union economical policy advocated by the New York Volkszeitung, and supported by the majority of the Executive at that time." ... 'The charges were aimed against the minority of the Executive.' The NEC was also charged with being 'too German'. Also, Sherlie Woodman, from a Chicago Section, wrote an anti-physical force letter asking the Party to take a clearer stand on the subject of anarchism vs. socialism, and asked for an explanation of some disturbing incidents:

   "The co-operation of the German Section of the Socialist Labor Party of this city with the Arbeiter Bund and well-known anarchists in holding the picnic in celebration of the fall of the Bastille; the recent speeches at Cooper Institute in commemoration of the French Revolution, particularly that of Hugh O. Pentecost, in which the miners of Braidwood were actually censured for not throwing bricks and breaking windows; and the recent publication in the ADVOCATE of a poem glorifying the red flag. ...
Of what use is it for us to be asserting that we believe in and unceasingly advocate peaceful and legitimate propaganda, that we aim to convince intelligent men of the justice of our cause, not to influence the passions of the ignorant rabble, that we discountenance all attempts to right industrial wrongs by means of physical force, that we believe in education and evolution as affording the only safe and sure solutions of present economic problems - of what use, I say, is it for us to continually make such assertions, when our auditors will simply smile contemptuously and refer to the well-known acts and public expressions of those who stand forth as representatives of our party, which practically refute all our statements?
   "It is time to call a halt. If our position is not sustained by the party, we want to know it, that we may govern ourselves accordingly. We decline to occupy our very equivocal position any longer. Let the matter be put to a party vote, as to whether the peace policy or the revolutionary policy is to predominate; if the former, let it be strictly enforced; if the latter, our efforts and influence may be transferred to some other organization, whose principles and methods are more in harmony with our own."

   Mutiny was threatened there. The mutiny of those who did not want to join the efforts to "influence the passions of the ignorant rabble", but who would rather "convince intelligent men of the justice of our cause". Called for as well was clarity on whether the Party was to advocate 'the peace policy or the revolutionary policy'.
   The August 17, 1889
edition announced the preparation of an anti-anarchist leaflet. As the result of a critique of the SLP platform by a single member, an editorial contrasted the post-revolutionary distribution of labor's product under both Socialism and Communism:

   "1. Communism binds its followers to the principle of equal distribution, regardless of the quantity or quality of labor.
   "2. Socialism admits quantity and quality as factors of distribution; providing, however, for all cases of disability, and relying upon the abundance of production and the elevation of the race under its system for a rapid reduction of the differential power of those factors."

   The August 24 edition reported that the Party had been criticized at the Paris congress for having taken a 'pure and simple political stand'. Another Lyceum lecture by De Leon was announced.
   The September 7, 1889
edition reported that the treasurer failed to pay the wages of the Party's printers, and that all subsequent payments should be sent to the Secretary of the NEC instead of to the Treasurer.
   In a long
editorial in the same issue, entitled "Incidents of Evolution", the conflict between the political and the trade union advocates escalated to new extremes, as the following excerpts from Rosenberg's political faction demonstrated:

   "No, the men of the Socialist Party {SLP} have not earned the name of narrow-minded sectarians in the past, nor will they at this time earn the name of imbeciles. The incidents of the social evolution are not lost upon the ever progressing spirit of the Socialist Party, and its members gave evidence of this when they voted by an overwhelming majority to constitute themselves an independent political party.
   "Of course, there were exceptions. What victorious army was ever devoid of stragglers? What gallantly fighting trades union has not had its quota of "scabs"? What progressive party has not had its reactionaries, its timid time-servers?
   "So, now there are evidently those who would go back to worn-out methods. As if that were possible! It should be with pity, more than anger, that the staunch Socialists should view the frightful hesitancy of their weaker comrades, who either have not the courage of their convictions or have not comprehended the duties of the hour; who do not seem to know that the way to emancipation from capitalism lies not through the now puerile efforts of extrapolitical organizations without legal standing or power; organizations whose constituents are being gradually degraded by the evolution in mechanics which, under the continuing wage system, transfers the powers that once emanated from the skilled workman's cunning to the owners of machinery. ...
   ... "
trades unions are not political organizations, and as long as expediency demands their existence, it is not probable that they will be.
Thus, there can be no antagonism between the Socialist Party and the economic associations ... The workers have everything to gain by the consummation of the objects of the Socialist Party, and it is for this reason that it is in that sense a labor party. And if, in the course of time, any artificial antagonism shall be inaugurated against the Party's tactics, that may be considered as much an incident of evolution as the inevitable discomfiture of the senseless antagonists. "Bahn frie!""

   Lots of abuse was heaped on Rosenberg's opponents, and many passages denied any ground for conflict between the SLP and the unions. In the same September 7 edition, in what appears to have been a desperate attempt to win support, the City Committee invited two delegates from each labor organization to a convention to consider labor laws:

   "In view of the many failures which have attended the attempts of workmen's organizations to permanently organize politically for the benefit of their class, the Socialist Labor Party, whose platform emphasizes the emancipation of labor, has determined to attempt the organization of a political movement, offering the services of their established organization to that end, and thus guarding against the fate of former movements."

   The labor laws to be considered included the 8-hour working day, prohibition of female labor in industries injurious to females, prohibition of child labor, prohibition of night labor, a 36 hour period of leisure time per week, state inspection of factories, and others. It continued:

   "In extending this invitation to you, we assure you that it shall be our endeavor to make this convention thoroughly democratic, and no attempt on the part of political heelers and anarchists to manipulate the convention for personal ends will be tolerated. No delegates who are known to be connected with the old political parties or anarchist groups will be recognized.
   "Whatever laws may be decided upon by this convention, the SLP offer the facilities of its organization as a proper means of enacting such laws through pledged candidates if elected."

   It was also reported that, at a meeting of the German and Jewish Sections of the City, the vote to recall or withdraw four 'politically'-minded members of the NEC had been judged to be illegal by the American Section, so the vote on the recall had been boycotted by the latter. It was alleged that the correct procedure would have involved submitting the charges to the Board of Supervision for their investigation and determination. It was then further alleged that the German and Jewish Sections proceeded to illegally elect four new members to the NEC, minus any participation by the American Section. A notice from the Board of Supervision upheld the complaint of the American Section and officially repudiated the actions of the German and Jewish Sections.
   The next
edition of September 14, 1889 suggested a dual-power situation at the Party printery by bearing an extra-large overstamp, at right angles to the regular print, over the latest decision of the newly reconstituted NEC, reading: "EVIDENCE OF THE CRIME". That decision of the new NEC announced that a meeting of all of the City Sections met and withdrew the four NEC members ... "in consequence of the policy pursued by the majority of the Executive Board, which consisted in systematically antagonizing economic trades and labor organizations, maliciously opposing the eight-hour movement, inaugurated by the American Federation of Labor and constantly attacking in the party organs other labor organizations, individuals and labor papers to the detriment of the party and the cause of Socialism in this country.
The result of this narrowminded and sectarian policy which voiced not the sentiment of the Socialists, but only the aspirations of a small clique numbering not more than twelve or fifteen men, was that even such progressive bodies of organized labor as the Central Labor Federation of this city became disgusted with what was represented to them to be the Socialistic Labor Party. ...
The present issue of the Workmen's Advocate has been prepared under the supervision of the former Executive Committee and the undersigned {the new NEC} are therefore not responsible for it."

   With the eventual takeover of the Party press by the new element, the the "ic" was restored to the Socialistic Labor Party name. The "ic" appendage had been absent from the SLP name for almost two years, but its anomalous reappearance must only have been a flash in the pan, as it did not recur in subsequent editions. I bring this matter up only because other Party literature claimed that the dropping of the "ic" represented one of the improvements inaugurated by the new administration.
lead article of the next edition (September 21, 1889) summarized some of the recently experienced internal difficulties. The new Executive denied that the "present trouble" arose from any differences in principle, nor that they opposed political action. The "substance of the remarks" of S. E. Schewitsch, the new spokesperson for the NEC, was quoted:

   "The present trouble does not arise from any differences of principle. It has been falsely charged that the majority of the New York members are opposed to political action of the party. There is no such opposition. We all know that the social problem cannot be solved by economic action; but we know also that political action is likewise but one means of working for our aims.
   "It is alleged that it was the Volkszeitung party which opposed the deposed Executive Committee. That is absurd. Those who agree, as well as those who disagree with the Volkszeitung in many respects are agreed in their determination that the imbecile management of the party as it was conducted by the old Executive had to be stopped.
   "The conduct of Der Sozialist was apt to disgrace the party and make it ridiculous. While Marx's Communist Manifesto pronounced it 'the policy of the Socialist Party,' we are not doctrinaires who say to the world, 'Here is the truth, here kneel down; we only show humanity that it is striving and what it is striving for.' Der Sozialist has in its every article, its every line and every word been permeated by the dogma, 'Here alone is truth; all must kneel down before us.' The old Executive narrowed down our movement from a proletarian class movement to a sect.
   "This was especially apparent in the attitude of Der Sozialist toward the eight-hour movement. In the issue of Dec. 29, 1888, the paper says: 'We are cool unto our heart against this movement, as we cannot lend our hand to the possible loss of the subsistence of many of our members.'"

   Many more faults in the conduct of the Party journals were then enumerated. The next column stated that "the mode of election of the new Executive ... was perfectly legal." It continued:

   "Comrade Schevitsch reported the steps taken by the new officers. The old officers had threatened to resist by violence any attempt to remove them from their posts. Busche had even threatened to use fire-arms. To avoid any trouble, the committee had simply locked the doors and refused admittance to the old officers. Comrade B. J. Gretch was appointed secretary, Lucien Sanial, editor of the WORKMEN'S ADVOCATE, and K. Ibsen temporary editor of Der Sozialist."

   Opponents of the coup argued that the proceedings were illegal, but the new party line on the take-over was adopted by a vote of 163 for, to 7 against. The old leadership was denounced, and the deposing of the old leadership was declared perfectly legal. The statement read, in part:

   ... "the American Section, on an untenable technicality, refused to hear the report of the Committee of the German Section, or to respond to the call of the German and Jewish Sections (nine tenths of the New York members) for a joint meeting.
   "To that purpose, the City Committee had to refuse illegally to place the motion of the German Section for withdrawal and new election of Executive on the order of business, by which refusal three representatives of the German Section who voted for it acted in defiance of their constituents.
   "To that purpose, the City Committee had to make the illegal attempt of forcing upon the joint meeting an arbitrary method of proceeding; i.e., the institution of a new investigation.
   "To that purpose, the few friends of the four retired officers had to claim over and over again that they were not acquainted with the charges, although they had themselves frequently heard them detailed and discussed.
   "5. According to the constitution, as well as to the decision of the Board of Supervision, the joint meeting had power to withdraw members of the Executive and fill the vacancies; for the City Committee was bound to place upon the order of business the motion of the German Section, else that committee would have arbitrary power of preventing any action of any joint meeting unsatisfactory to it.
   "The City Committee having illegally named an arbitrary order of business, the joint meeting had the right to take up for action the motion of the German Section." ...

   At another meeting, it was reported that the American Section of New York adopted, 23 for, to 6 against ...

   ... "a resolution declaring the action of the joint meeting illegal, whereby the German and Jewish Sections have placed themselves outside of the party, and cannot be recognized any longer as belonging to the party."

   In the same September 21 edition, the Board of Supervision adopted a resolution to ... "take possession of the property of the party" ... suspend any previous or post-coup members of the NEC or Editors of Party journals, the Board to supervise all major Party activities. The WA also promised to report "The only true, honest, and unbiased accounts of the proceedings of organized labor in this city."
   In the September 28, 1889
edition, the Board of Supervision noted some irregularities in the behavior of the old Executive, who were behaving as though they had not been suspended, but expressed intentions to carry on with a Sept. 28 Party convention that had been scheduled previous to the coup. The Board in the meantime decided to move the date to Oct. 12 to give the conflict time to simmer down. Also, the old Executive did not hand over all the Party property to the Board of Supervision as ordered, seemingly in refusal to recognize the authority of the Board.
   In the same Sept. 28
edition, the long-pursued 'controversy' between De Leon and Sorge appeared in the form of an exchange of five letters between an anonymous 'Nationalist' and an equally anonymous 'Socialist':


   "The following extracts from five letters exchanged between an adherent of Nationalism and an old Socialist may prove interesting to our readers. We submit them to-day without comment, expecting that they will elicit timely criticism, and reserving for a future issue the expression of such views as we may personally entertain upon the subject. - ED.
"Nationalist to Socialist - I am instructed by this Club to take measures looking to the formation of a similar club in your city, where, it is believed, there is good material for a strong and influential organization. Your name has been given to me as one whose earnest and intelligent interest in the burning question of our day may induce him to help us in the work now before us. Trusting, therefore, that your convictions may allow you to give the Nationalist movement the aid of your valuable co-operation, I beg to inquire whether you would be willing to join in the formation of a club in your city, and to furnish me with the names of such other persons, men and women, as you may judge suitable. Very respectfully, etc.
"N. B. - The Nationalist platform is printed on the back of this.
"Socialist to Nationalist - In reply to your kind invitation, allow me to state that I am unwilling to embark on a new road, i.e., to relinquish Socialism for Nationalism. As to furnishing you with names, etc., I am hardly able to give any, since almost all my political connections are with working men and women within the ranks of Labor. The 'conversion of the cultured and conservative classes' has never been an article of my faith, because, in the words of Karl Marx, 'The emancipation of the working classes must be achieved by the working classes themselves.' Yours, etc.
"N. to S. - I reply to yours of the - , not for the purpose of pressing the invitation contained in mine of the - , to which yours is an answer, but because as a Socialist I feel I may not leave unanswered the views you seem to impute to Socialism, and which, to my knowledge, are mistaken.
"You declare your 'unwillingness to relinquish Socialism for Nationalism..' Considering that Nationalism is Socialism, your position would be that you prefer the name to the thing. Socialist philosophy teaches us, on the contrary, to disengage ourselves of vanity; to aspire after the thing and not the shadow; and when the thing is no less than the redemption of the human race, to take hold of whatever instrument presents itself that may accomplish its (Socialism's) ideal. So long as a Socialist cannot but admit that Nationalism upholds every vital principle he upholds, he cannot claim that to aid Nationalism would be to relinquish Socialism.
"You declare your inability to furnish me with names favorable to Nationalism, on the ground that 'all your connections are with workingmen and women within the ranks of labor,' and that it is 'no article of your faith to look for the conversion of the cultured and conservative classes,' and you quote in your support the well known but generally misquoted phrase from Karl Marx. In this again your position is hostile to Socialism, and to express teachings of the very man you seem to believe in.
"Karl Marx, Ferdinand Lassalle and the rest of Socialist philosophers have ever maintained that all labor that society needs is labor and honorable. They have denied that only the manual is labor. They have again and again insisted upon the sacredness and brotherhood of all labor, upon die Arbeit und die Wissenschaft, and they never placed labor, because cultured, out of the ranks of labor. Their language is one which cannot be twisted into an assertion that the 'cultured classes' are not wanted, or are useless, or are outside the ranks of labor. From what class, I pray you, came Marx and Lassalle? From what class is the Russian nobleman, Sergius E. Schevitsch, or Laurence Gronlund, or Walter Vrooman {Party speakers, writers and/or NEC members}, in this country; or Liebknecht, Bebel, or Viereck, who are fighting for Socialism and the rights of man in Germany?
"Views like those you express it is that have kept Socialism back in America; and it is the sound, humane, scientific creed of Socialism that Nationalism upholds, consecrating all useful work alike, and the rights of man as man, conscious that a lasting success is impossible, where only the 'workmen' (in the sense in which you use it) are concerned, without taking into account the workmen from the cultured classes as well.
"The article of your creed, allow me to state it frankly, is not Socialism at all. It is class prejudice. The sun that is to rise cannot shine on that. Nor is your creed shared by the 'workingmen and women' to any great extent.
"I am put down to lecture on the 'Relation of Mental to Manual Service under Nationalism.' I propose to take your letter along and read it there (without, of course, mentioning your name), and use it for a text to illustrate just the reverse of what Socialism and Nationalism teach.
"The 'uncultured workman' who drove the nails into the Brooklyn Bridge deserves his full and equal share with every one who contributed to rear that noble structure. But the 'cultured engineer' who planned that structure, and calculated to a nicety where every nail should go, is equally entitled to honor, consideration and a living. According to the articles of your faith, however, Roebling would not be within the ranks of labor. That is not Socialism, and, therefore, not Nationalism either.
"Let this be said in all friendliness and good nature. As you call yourself a Socialist, I shall look upon you, whether you want it or no, as a brother, for whom I shall work all the same, and I sincerely sign myself, yours fraternally, etc.
"S. to N. - To answer it (your letter) entirely I would have to write a pamphlet. I will touch only the most important points, after quoting your words:
"'Considering that Nationalism is Socialism,' is simply an assertion. Socialism covers the race, and is never national.
"'You prefer the name to the thing.' No! No! I do not ask for an apple when I want a pear. I do not write to Henry George when I wish to address you. I do not call white what is black.
"'So long as a Socialist cannot but admit that Nationalism upholds every vital principle he upholds.' Now, under the penalty and running the risk of being read by you out of the ranks of Socialists, I deny that assumption. The vital principle of Socialism is the substitution of common property for private property, in the first place, of all means of production. Your declaration of principles says nothing about that, and if you should insinuate that your paragraph 6 aimed substantially at the same thing, so much the worse for the framers of your declaration of principles not daring to tell the truth in plain unmistakable words. The first paragraph of your declaration of principles is false in every respect. The Socialist does not know any 'eternal truth,' much less one governing the 'world's progress.' This whole paragraph, as well as the greater number of those following it, are commonplace phrases of middle-class philanthropists. Socialists, having studied, and studying, the economic evolution of society, could not be guilty of uttering such empty declamations. When you attack the declaration about my connections, I must request you to quote correctly. My words were: 'almost all my political connections.' The underlined words are left out in your quotation. The whole of your really fine editorial, or literary effort, in the next two or three pages of your letter is directed against something I never said or implied. Men or women, working with pen or plow, with brain or muscle, are working men and women, and I have made no distinction between mental and manual labor, thus missing the opportunity of receiving a wholesome lesson from the adherents of 'the sound, humane, scientific creed of Socialism that Nationalism upholds.'
"You speak of 'the article of your creed.' But, my dear sir, I have no article of creed, and therefore could not give any in my letter. I said: 'It is no article of my faith,' and then quoted a part of a letter of Mr. Bellamy, page 17 of the first number of the Nationalist (May, 1889), which you do not seem to know. A socialist organization directing its efforts, 'particularly to the conversion of the cultured and conservative classes,' is a rather novel affair. Perhaps this is the real genuine Nationalism.
"Your intention to use my letter as a text for your lecture is heartily endorsed by me, though I am unable to attend, and I request you not to suppress my name. Give the letter and the name in full. Nor have I the least objection against your reading and using even this pre-sent letter at the same time and place. I thank you for the concluding sentence of your letter: 'I shall look upon you, whether you want it or no, as a brother.' As for myself, I am unable to take Schiller's words literally, seit umschlungen, Millionen, and will consider and treat as brethren only those who act brotherly.
"You are what we call 'Ein Gefühls-sozialist,' {sentimental socialist} and I hope that in a few years you will see the errors of Nationalism as seen by yours sincerely for the cause of labor.
"N. to S. - As I can accept neither the correctness of any material allegations of fact you make, nor the soundness of any important conclusions you draw, and as one and the other are offered by you in a temper very much savoring of ingrain prejudice and dogmatism, there remains naught for me to do but what civility dictates: to acknowledge receipt of your obliging favor of the - , and to subscribe myself, yours sincerely, for the cause of human progress."

   There it is, uncut and unexpurgated, with one typo corrected. Schiller's words, "seit umschlungen, Millionen", from my own weak translation of the German, seems to imply that we are all brothers and sisters due to the entanglement of the genetic material.
   De Leon's equating of
Nationalism - the nationalization of ownership of industries - with socialism seems to contradict his 'abolition of the state' philosophy of 16 years later. But, as we saw with A.P. as well, it's all a matter of definition, or redefinition. By De Leon's own definition given in the report of his speech in the WA of August 3, 1889, it would appear that he favored the nationalization of all industries, or state ownership of industries, but nowhere was the class content of that state made clear. By default, could it have been anything other than the capitalist state, or 'the state as such'? More research would have to be done, but it's hard to imagine De Leon at any time having advocated concentrating the ownership of the means of production into a workers' state, as advocated by Marx and Engels in their "Communist Manifesto".
   The October 5, 1889
edition reported a decision to go ahead with a Party Congress in Chicago on Oct. 12. The proposed order of business included revisions to both the Party platform and its Constitution, and elections of a new Executive and Board of Supervision. In the meantime, since no legal Executive existed within the Party, the suspension of the Executive was repealed by the Board of Supervision. In an editorial, it was stated that:

   "We shall simply observe that for all practical purposes the party in New York is now a unit, and ready to do better work than it has ever done. The opposition is insignificant in numbers and absolutely without influence. Moreover, by completely isolating itself from the party - by actually casting itself out of the party - it has lost the power of disturbance which it would otherwise have continued to possess."

   Anarchists 1, reformers 0. The Party was reported to be reconstituting itself with energy and enthusiasm. It was also reported that the Rosenberg faction held its own little convention in Chicago, on September 28 as originally scheduled, in which they resolved to regain possession of Party property, even if it should be necessary to appeal to a court of law. The same edition also contained an article by De Leon discussing President Madison and natural law.
   In the October 12, 1889
edition, 27 Socialists answered a call to attend a meeting, 16 of whom had been members of the old New York American Section, the majority of which had followed the old Executive away from the Party. Sanial, new editor of the WA, observed that:

   "As a body, the majority of the American Section was in open rebellion, and by its failure to elect a delegate to the convention of October 12, which it did not recognize, had disfranchised the minority. As a matter of course, the minority refused to be thus summarily and forcibly carried out of the party. The resolution simply recognized the existing state of affairs. Facts only were stated and provision made accordingly. He had no doubt that in a short time most of those who had hastily followed Rosenberg would return to the party, and they would be received with open arms. The resolution was then adopted unanimously."

   It was resolved that a "disrupting influence of legally suspended members" of the NEC had caused the Section to rebel; many members of the Section were ready to return to the Party, and New York's American Section should be reorganized by enrolling members and electing officers. It was further resolved to declare the present meeting "a meeting of the American Section". Sanial was also elected delegate of that American Section to the Chicago Convention of October 12, and most of the funds to defray his expenses were raised "on the spot". Neatly done.
   Sanial was then requested to ...

   ... "define the position of the party towards Nationalism.
   "Comrade Southeran thought that we should for the present leave the Nationalists alone, because their movement has not yet taken a definite shape.
   "Comrade Sanial endorsed this view. "The position of the party towards Nationalism," he said, "should at present be one of silent expectancy. Bellamy's book is apparently the credo of a majority of those - mostly professional men - who are prominently connected with the Nationalist movement. It is a fine book, and calculated to induce thought among a class of people who have not yet studied the question, and who can never understand it fully until, by actual contact with the wage-working people, they have learned considerably more than this book itself can teach them of the tendencies and requirements of their epoch. Its teachings, as you know, are communistic rather than socialistic, and it appeals more to sentiment than to reason. ***** It is well that the professional men, and especially the men of science, should come together and declare to the world that science has been diverted from its true purpose; that it is used for the enslavement of the people instead of being applied to their elevation; and that they cannot and shall not any longer countenance such a brutal system. If this were the object of the Nationalist clubs, we might consider them as trade unions of scientists, a sort of primary organization of intellectual labor, which by placing itself in communication with primary organizations of manual labor, would, through the all-pervading influence of Socialism, advance in the knowledge of social science. ***** We know that it is as a class movement only that Socialism can accomplish the emancipation of labor, and as a party we must go on without concession or compromise. At no time was it so necessary to preserve the integrity of the Socialist Labor Party."
These views were accepted, and it was resolved that the delegate or his substitute shall voice them in the convention.
   "The delegate was also instructed to propose that paragraph 17 of "Social Demands" {uniform divorce laws + mutual consent divorces} and paragraphs 6 and 7 of "Political Demands" be struck out of the platform." {Uniform law, and separation of church and state.}

   In the same October 12 edition, Philip Rappaport commented on the De Leon-Sorge (Nationalist-Socialist) debate of the September 28 edition, taking the side of the Nationalist at every turn. To Sorge's quote from Marx that 'The emancipation of the working classes must be achieved by the working classes themselves', Rappaport remarked ... "yet this must be taken with a grain of salt", which was typical of the overall poor quality of his response. In an earlier letter to Sorge of February 23, 1889, Engels promised to suggest to Kautsky that Rappaport be eliminated from the columns of Die Neue Zeit (see Appendix 1).
editorial in the October 19 edition stated that the Party was all settled down after its difficulties.
full report of the Chicago Convention filled most of the October 26, 1889 edition of the WA. The Party's assessment of Nationalism was briefly addressed:

   "The essentially American movement known under the name of "Nationalism," which is in reality nothing else but socialism pure and simple, is the outgrowth of our economic development."

   In the meantime, the American Section of Chicago remained true to the Rosenberg faction, and was bitter toward the big change in the Party. In an apparent boycott of the official Party, they had not sent a delegate to the Convention. Sanial looked in at their meeting close to the site of the official Convention, and here's what he saw:

   "T. J. Morgan was then delivering an eloquent lecture on socialism to less than fifty persons, one-half of whom were members of the Section. In the debate that followed considerable ability was displayed by the speakers; and to anyone sufficiently experienced in organization the thought would naturally have occurred that there must be some singular defect in the policy, tactics, or management of the party when, in a city like Chicago and with the excellent material at its command, the American Section could only muster a little band of select people, professional men for the most part. Surely, such speeches as Delegate Sanial heard then and there, if delivered in the right place and to the right people, would soon put a new face on the social movement in the Western Babylon, where capitalistic oppression is heavier, and the lines between classes are more sharply defined, than in any other city on this continent. Why was the light of truth thus confined within the walls of a dingy room in the business quarter of Chicago? Why were apostles of socialism preaching to each other where no one else could hear them, instead of boldly addressing the grimy mechanic and the ragged laborer on some public square, if need be, within easy reach of their hovels? Or were they, perchance, no apostles at all, but cautious persons who feared that by preaching pure socialism where Anarchy - precisely because of their inaction - was making converts, they also might be branded as anarchists, and lose the respect of the "better class?" These and other questions of a like purport Delegate Sanial asked himself, wonderingly, while the debate lasted. The riddle was solved for him before he left the room."

   Sanial then spoke with members of the Section, many of whom were not of a conciliatory frame of mind, but he nevertheless re-extended an invitation for them to attend the Convention. Sanial also threatened to reorganize the American Section, claiming:

   "Sections who had been misled into sending representatives to the Rosenberg meeting, whether friendly or hostile, were welcome to a representation in this convention, where they could discuss the legal aspect of the case to their heart's content, if they pleased. Rosenberg himself would be admitted. Nay, under the circumstances, it was the duty of this Section to be represented. By refusing to do so it would, like the New York American Section and the Chicago German Section, place itself outside of the party and compel an immediate reorganization of it, so that the faithful members who happened to be in the minority might not be disfranchised. It was as the delegate of the reorganized American Section of New York that he sat in the convention, and it was as the representatives of the reorganized German Section of Chicago that Comrades Christensen and Grotkau were there also. In both cases, he was glad to say, reorganization meant increased numbers and a better spirit. Many socialists who had for a long time taken no interest in the party because of the imbecility of its managers were now returning, full of activity, of zeal, and of self-sacrificing spirit."

   Morgan then accused the WA's policies of taking "a violent departure from the principles of socialism." Sanial then ...

   ... "asked in what respect it could be said that he was failing.
   ""Why," replied Comrade Morgan, exhibiting a copy of the ADVOCATE and pointing to the weekly reports of the Central Labor Federation and Central Labor Union, "look at this. Is it a socialist or a trade union paper?"
   "Delegate Sanial was nearly dumb with astonishment. "Do you mean," said he, "that a Socialist paper should give no news of the economic movement, should take no notice whatever of the daily conflict between Labor and Capital?"
   "Comrade Morgan insisted that such reports should have no place in an organ of the party, or should not, at least, appear on its first page. This declaration made with great vehemence, was received with vigorous applause by all the members present."

   Sanial returned to the Convention to report on his meeting, and interpreted the above exchange to signify hostility to organized labor on the part of the old Section, but which reconsidered its isolation and appointed a committee ... "to wait upon the convention and make a statement in relation to the position of the Chicago American Section toward Organized Labor." There, Morgan accused Sanial of misrepresenting the views of the Section, and of changing the WA policy on unions before a Congress of the whole Party could vote on it. Morgan also reiterated the view that the WA and the Party had been taken over illegally. The closing paragraph of the Section's Resolution to the Convention read:

   "We recognize trade unions as a natural effort of the workers to protect themselves from the encroachments of the capitalist, and that it is to the interest of all workers to be members of those organizations, but that, while the Socialist party aids and encourages the trade unions, it shall never be made subordinate to them, or its policy dictated solely in consideration for such organizations, because they are but a small minority of the 65 millions of people who require our attention in the United States."

   Morgan then stated that the new Party policy "was subordinated to the business interests of the N. Y. Volkszeitung, the Chicago Arbeiter Zeitung and their respective employees." People who write for a Party organ should not also "be allowed to dictate its policy".
   After rebutting Morgan's arguments, the
Convention moved on to other business. The platform was redone, and a few excerpts are in order:

   "The Socialist Labor Party of the United States, in convention assembled, reasserts the inalienable right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ...
With the founders of this republic we hold, that the true theory of politics is that the machinery of government must be owned and controlled by the whole people; but in the light of our industrial development we hold, furthermore, that the true theory of economics is that the machinery of production must likewise belong to the people in common.
   "To the obvious fact that our despotic system of economics is the direct opposite of our democratic system of politics, can plainly be traced the existence of a privileged class, the corruption of government by that class, the alienation of public property, public franchises and public functions to that class, and the abject dependence of the mightiest of nations upon that class.
   "Again, through the perversion of democracy to the ends of plutocracy, labor is robbed of the wealth which it alone produces, is denied the means of self-employment, and, by compulsory idleness in wage-slavery, is even deprived of the necessaries of life."

   Take note that the theory that 'labor is robbed of the wealth which it alone produces' was contradicted in the article on socialism and anarchism in the pre-coup edition of March 9, 1889, where it was held that:

   "Advocates of force in agitation usually assume that the producer is robbed by superior force wielded by the State in behalf of the robber; but such is not the fact."

   For the new platform to have stated that "our despotic system of economics is the direct opposite of our democratic system of politics" begs the question of why, if our system of politics is democratic, the Party should later have sought to abolish it at the ballot box, or abolish it in any other way. What had changed so drastically in the republic in the previous 16 years that caused De Leon to want to replace the democratic republic with an administration of things? I never read of any monarchist take-over of the state at any time that would have required an extraordinary change of attitude on anyone's part.
new platform continued with statements about the exploitation of labor and the resultant misery of that class. The resolution part of the platform declared, in that same WA of October 26, 1889:

   "Resolved, that we call upon the people to organize with a view to the substitution of the co-operative commonwealth for the present state of planless production, industrial war and social disorder; a commonwealth in which every worker shall have the free exercise and full benefit of his faculties, multiplied by all the modern factors of civilization.
   "We call upon them to unite with us in a mighty effort to gain by all practicable means the political power.
   "In the meantime, and with a view to immediate improvement in the condition of Labor, we present the following "Demands":


   "1. Reduction of the hours of labor in proportion to the progress of production.
   "2. The United States shall obtain possession of the railroads, canals, telegraphs, telephones, and all other means of public transportation and communication.
   "3. The municipalities to obtain possession of the local railroads, ferries, water works, gas works, electric plants, and all industries requiring municipal franchises.
   "4. The public lands to be declared inalienable. Revocation of all land grants to corporations or individuals, the conditions of which have not been complied with.
   "5. Legal incorporation by the States of local Trade Unions which have no national organization.
   "6. Furthering of workmen's co-operative productive associations by public credit; such associations to be preferred in the placing of contracts for public works.
   "7. The United States to have the exclusive right to issue money.
   "8. Congressional legislation providing for the scientific management of forests and waterways, and prohibiting the waste of the natural resources of the country.
   "9. Inventions to be free to all; the inventors to be remunerated by the nation.
   "10. Progressive income tax and tax on inheritances; the smaller incomes to be exempt.
   "11. School education of all children under 14 years of age to be compulsory, gratuitous, and accessible to all by public assistance in meals, clothing, books, etc., where necessary.
   "12. Repeal of all pauper, tramp, conspiracy, and sumptuary {extravagant spending} laws. Unabridged right of combination.
   "13. Official statistics concerning the condition of labor. Prohibition of the employment of children of school age and of the employment of female labor in occupations detrimental to health or morality. Abolition of the convict labor contract system.
   "14. All wages to be paid in lawful money of the United States. Equalization of women's wages with those of men where equal service is performed.
   "15. Laws for the protection of life and limb in all occupations, and an efficient employers' liability law."

   Then followed 6 political demands, which also remained very similar to the 1888 version, but they did manage to eliminate the seventh demand for 'separation of church and state'. Since it had only been 20 years since the Commune and the International, clear statements about acquiring political power like those above were fated to remain quite thoroughly ingrained in the consciousness of the membership, and, with any continuity at all, it would take some time before things could be twisted to mean that 'the political power of the state was to be captured so that it could be abolished'.
   Members were also urged to "
take an active part in the eight-hour movement", and were encouraged to join or found unions. Some of the recommendations contain lots of rules for members, and some rules were sectarian. In a political action resolution, members ...

   ... "shall not be permitted to participate in the founding of new parties when there is no well-founded reason to believe the same shall fully recognize our principles.
   "With regard to the practical application of these tactics, be it provided, that if a decision has been made by the local section or district organization in the premises, it shall be binding upon the members; and no member shall take part in such political movement if the section or district has decided against it.
   "Members are in duty bound to assist in the endeavors of the various economic organizations of wage-workers, by entering the ranks of such organizations, or to found such organizations as will prevent the economic degradation of the workers and improve their conditions.
   "Members are in duty bound to foster our democratic principles in any trades union or K. of L. Assembly in which they may hold membership." ...

   The Convention resolved to censure the old administration on a variety of counts. A letter from Rosenberg was reprinted in the same October 26, 1889 edition, and was satirically entitled "Rosenberg's Suicide". The letter was addressed ...

   "To the Mayor and Citizens of Chicago:

   "The aggregation of demagogues - Schevitsch, Grotkau, Sanial, the woman Greie and others - who took pains to show their hatred of Americans last Sunday at West 12th street in Turner Hall, Chicago, by hissing the American flag, we beg to inform you are not members of the Socialist Party, whose national convention was held in your city from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. Inclosed you will please find a copy of our platform, which was then adopted under the flag of our country and the flags of all nations, with which the convention hall was decorated. While we have been and are traduced because of the impudent adoption of the name Socialist by disorderly anarchists, we cannot patent the honorable name of Socialist; but by our energetic opposition to all enemies of the State, and our loyal adherence to the principles which underlie our national fabric, we hope at least to maintain the respect of all shades of political opinion."

   Rosenberg's "opposition to all enemies of the State" sounds very Social-Democratic. Conspicuous by their absence, both before and after the split, were debates on the differences between either reformism or anarchism with the Marxist theory of the state.
   The November 2, 1889
issue editorialized on political action, in which the old administration was criticized again:

   "They could never be made to see, for instance, that the economic organization of the wage workers as a class is the primary requirement of progress in the organization of Labor, also as a class, for purposes of independent political action. Instead, therefore, of taking the lead in the trade union movement, they affected for it a lofty contempt, the latest expression of which may be found in T. J. Morgan's communication to the Chicago Convention. And so, with the aid of that capitalistic press whose favor they are now courting, they succeeded in converting Socialism and the Socialist Labor Party into the most unpopular bugbears of which mention can be made to wage workers already organized for self preservation, and otherwise disposed to organize furthermore, politically, for the conquest of their rights. ...
   ... "
who does not see, for instance, that Labor will assert itself as a unit in politics as soon as it is sufficiently well organized economically, and not before?
If Labor was thus organized we would have no need of giving it any advice as to what it should do. ... independent political action is the natural form in which Labor is inevitably impelled by circumstances to manifest the extent and solidity of its economic organization. ...
If the economic organization be weak, its political manifestations must be correspondingly insignificant. ... It may, therefore, be laid down as a rule: 1. That no political labor movement of any value or significance, even as a mere protest, can take place in a state of economic disorganization; 2. that it were far better to have no such movement at all than to bring labor into contempt by a contemptible manifestation; 3. that, as already stated, a political movement must naturally take place as soon as the economic organizations of Labor shall have reached a sufficient degree of strength and unity; and 4. that in order to set it upon socialistic lines, or at least upon a higher plane in the direction of Socialism than heretofore, it is necessary that Socialists, by actively contributing to the economic organization, should endear themselves to the less advanced wage workers, and become the recognized advocates of all measures and movements for their improvement.
   "All this is elementary."

   With regard to the above rules of proportionality between economic and political strength, it may have been a plausible concoction at the time, but its basis in history should have been demonstrated.
   When the
new Party Constitution was adopted, the Convention seems to have quietly eliminated the Board of Supervisors. No further mention of them was found in subsequent editions.
   In the November 16
edition, Hugh Pentecost and Johann Most, anarchists who had previously met with derision in the old WA, were treated with respect.
   The December 7, 1889
edition was led off by Rabbi Schindler's article on social injustice. The new platform continued to be published every week along with the pre-coup platform, suggesting, perhaps, that the new editor favored freedom of choice.
editorial on December 14, 1889 declared that the SLP was 'practically a unit'.
new NEC issued a statement to members on December 21, 1889, part of which read:

   "COMRADES : - The new constitution gives the initiative to the Sections. The Executive is only their agent, and it is up to you to adopt such measures as will secure effective action. ***** The new Constitution affords ample room for all Socialistic revolutionary elements, and leaves no excuse to those who have heretofore stood aloof on account of difference of opinion."

   The December 28, 1889 edition reported that De Leon had spoken at a First Anniversary gathering of the Nationalists.


   The January 4, 1890 edition reported that A. Negendank, past spokesperson for the newly defunct Board of Supervision, had been elected editor of Der Sozialist.
   In early 1890
editions, economic issues were observed to take precedence over political issues, and the topic of anarchism vs. socialism disappeared for quite a while.
   In the January 18, 1890
edition, it was admitted that Section Cincinnati had gone over to the Rosenberg camp, and that 6 other Sections were sitting on the fence. And yet, opposition to the new administration was downplayed as microscopic. The lead article was devoted to Jewish labor, "a movement of vital interest to American wage-workers". The appearance of a new Jewish journal, called the Arbeiter-Zeitung, was predicted for early 1890, with Krantz as editor.
   The February 1, 1890
edition reported that the circulation of the WA was on the increase. The proceedings of the NEC were regularly summarized in the reorganized WA.
   In the February 22, 1890
edition, Sanial replayed the theme that both the weakness of the political movement and the split in the Party had been the result of weakness in the economic movement.
   In the March 8, 1890
edition, the Nationalists were denigrated as 'timid white-livered Nationalists', or 'devilishly sly', but it was insufficiently explained why.
   In the special
Paris Commune commemorative edition of March 15, 1890, the old platform finally stopped appearing along with the new one. De Leon had a feature article on Nationalism. On the cover appeared one of the most stunningly beautiful graphic depictions of the Commune that I could ever imagine seeing. It was TOTALLY awesome to behold.
   In the March 29, 1890
edition, S. Stroef wrote a letter on "Scientific Socialism", the last two paragraphs of which are quoted here in full, parts of which might look familiar:

   "When the proletariat will become strong enough the means of production will be socialized as was already the case with production itself. And when this will be accomplished, the proletariat will cease to exist. Along with it will cease to exist all class distinctions; and the State also, as it now exists, will vanish as smoke, as darkness before the bright warm beams of the rising sun. For only a society which is based on mutually opposed classes, needs a State as an upholder of power, privilege and monopoly. As long as there is no class to oppress and no class to maintain there is no need of a repressive power.
"The first act", says Frederick Engels, "wherein the state appears as really representative of all society - the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society - will be its last act as a State * * * Government over persons will be succeeded by the management of things and the direction of processes of production. A free Society cannot need or tolerate the existence of a State between itself and its members.""

   Which pirate edition of "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" did Stroef use? The last sentence of his excerpt certainly didn't come from the authorized Aveling translation of 1891, which had yet to appear on the market. As symbolized by his use of asterisks, what Stroef left out, as well as what A.P. (forty-odd years later) left out of his "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism", was the whole epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat; and, like A.P., Stroef didn't take the time to clarify the differences between a worker's state and the capitalist state.
   In the April 12, 1890
edition, Philip Rappaport wrote a long letter comparing socialism, individualism, and anarchism.
   In the April 19, 1890
edition, nihilism was compared to anarchism.
   In the April 26, 1890
edition, a letter to the NEC took note of the meager income available to the Party:

   "The SLP has no funds for agitation purposes, because all its income is needed to cover the weekly deficit of the party organs. The latter are now edited in such an able manner that they are formidable weapons against our enemies as well as powerful instruments of agitation."

   Such a modest editor. In response, the NEC issued a notice to the sections requesting as full support of the WA as possible, because ...

   "The Wilmington Section is the only one that has made it the duty of every member to receive the party organ. This fact should be borne in mind. The constitution grants the sections full autonomy. The Executive Committee does not propose, therefore, to influence them, but only expects from them that they will make propositions concerning this matter. We merely call their attention to the fact that the existence of party organs is a question of life for a political party and that something must consequently be done to support them."

   The Executive may not have proposed to influence the Sections, but the Executive surely 'expected' things from them. Aside from that, the 'autonomy of the Sections' was how Bakunin had wanted to reorganize the First International, so this excerpt was yet another betrayal of anarchist influence on post-coup SLP ideology.
   By the May 24, 1890
edition, anti-anarchist propaganda began to appear again, and continued until the metamorphosis of the WA into The People in 1891.
   Many of the summer 1890
editions reported on the attempts of the Nationalists and others to create a "Commonwealth Party". The July 12 edition called for a joint conference with the SLP and the Nationalists, De Leon being one of the 15 who signed the call. The WA of August 16 printed the Nationalist platform, and, in the following edition, a confluence of interests was observed between the SLP and the Nationalists.
   The September 6, 1890
edition reported the folding of the "Commonwealth" union of the SLP with the Nationalists.
   The September 20, 1890
edition reported that the Nationalists were left in a state of anarchy after the breakup of the Commonwealth Party. Gompers was reported to have objected to the presence of the SLP in the A. F. of L.
   The October 4, 1890
edition reported on De Leon's lecture on the rise, decline and fall of the Commonwealth Party.
   The October 18, 1890
edition reported a debate about "Anarchism at Nationalist Club #3", including some of De Leon's thoughts:

   "Last Sunday afternoon Mr. Timothy P. Quinn delivered before Nationalist Club No. 3 an address entitled "Nationalism as I understand it." The lecturer claimed that Nationalism was a rehash of Lassallean Socialism; that the one and the other would establish tyranny; that the ideal system was Anarchy; but that, nevertheless, he was a Nationalist today because he recognized that the road to Anarchy lay via Nationalism.
Mr. E. R. Thomas led off the debate, joining issue with the lecturer as to the beauties of Anarchy and illustrating its workings to-day. James J. Daly, the candidate for Civil Justice on the Socialist Labor ticket, followed Mr. Thomas and illustrated with numerous quotations the inconsistencies of present Anarchists. Daniel De Leon, who next took the floor, said that with the ideal Anarchy pictured by Mr. Quinn, he could have no quarrel. The question, as presented, was simply hypothetical and useless to discuss, and he found quarrel with Anarchists only when by their action they belied their theory, and instead of acting with the Nationalists to-day, so as to hasten the advent of their Anarchist ideal, they went hobnobbing with single taxers and individualists who oppose Nationalism at all points. With one feature of such Anarchists, however, the speaker had a decided quarrel; and this was in relation to their Anarchy of terminology. To call Nationalism Lassallean Socialism was an illustration in point. Nationalism, whose aim is to nationalize industries, and Lassalleanism, whose aim, now abandoned by the German Socialists themselves, was to have the government supply bodies of workingmen with funds to establish co-operative industries, are no more the same than the child is the same as the fully developed man. To call Nationalism Lassalleanism was rank Anarchism in terminology, a fault that all earnest workers in the ranks of the social movement should carefully avoid."

   Three successive December editions reported on a dispute between WA editor Sanial and A. F. of L. President Samuel Gompers. The December 27, 1890 edition carefully explained the grounds for that dispute:

   "Previously to the {Detroit} convention, the capitalist press had allowed itself to be used - too willingly, by misstatements and baseless insinuations to spread the impression that the question to be decided at Detroit was whether the Socialist Labor party was to rule the American Federation of Labor, capture the presidency and the other offices and transform the whole organization into a political machine, subservient to the political plans of the socialist leaders. These plans were, of course, understood to be of a wild and violent character, tending - to use Mr. Gompers' words - "to hurl the movement head-long into a path which will leave the working people stranded and lose the practical and beneficial results of their efforts." Mr. Gompers was proclaimed the bulwark who would save the labor movement from the socialist storm, who was determined to put his foot down upon the followers of the red flag and keep the Federation within the line of "pure trades unionism." These newspaper articles, that found their way from New York to the farthest town in the country, all had the tendency to deceive the working people as to the intentions of the parties concerned and the nature of the issues involved. A number of the delegates, who had been sent with instructions, stated on the floor of the convention and in private conversation that they and their constituents had been laboring under entirely erroneous impressions as to the case of the Central Labor Federation and owing to such misconception they were forced to take a position, which they had now learned through the debates was untenable and unjust.
Firstly, the working people were deceived as to the character of the New York Central Labor Federation, the impression being that it was a mere political organization, practically identical with the Socialist Labor Party. The delegates have learnt and their constituents will learn that the C. L. F. is a bona fide central labor body, composed of more regular trades-unions than any central body and is consequently growing in membership and prestige from week to week; that, although it has joined in the independent political action of the Socialist Labor party in the last campaign, it has not been "hurled into a path which left it stranded," but on the contrary has gained much by the absence of old party divisions among its membership and the unanimity of its members on the necessity of independent and honest labor politics.
Secondly, the public was deceived as to the character of the Socialist Labor party. The impression was created, that the SLP is like any other political party, working solely on political lines, and simply trying to use the trade unions for its political agitation; that, furthermore, its aims were wild dreams, which every good citizen and trades-unionist must abhor. It was shown through the debates at Detroit that the Socialist Labor party is entirely different from any other political party; that it is nothing apart from organized labor, but simply another formation of the same force, simply organized labor's political branch, working for the same ends as the economic branch (the trades-unions), and therefore always supplementing the economic branch by organizing trades, assisting in labor's struggles and furthering the national and international consolidation of labor. Its aims were shown to be the true aims of the organized labor movement, so entirely in accord with the logical tendencies of that movement that even Gompers, McNeill and the other leading "pure trades-unionists" acknowledged their faith in those aims.
The issue had been grossly misstated in the press. The debates brought it out sharply. It was not the Socialist Labor party that sought admission, but the Central Labor Federation, a representative trades union body. The Central Labor Federation, in admitting a Socialist section did not admit a "political party" in the ordinary sense, but it simply recognized the necessity of independent political action and the Socialist Labor party as the bona fide labor organization, representing that necessary branch of the movement. That the Socialist Labor party is in respect to its aims a bona fide labor organization, has been expressly admitted by Gompers & Co.; that it is so by its membership, was never denied. But Gompers, although professing to believe in these aims, that is in the abolition of the wage system and its replacement by a co-operative commonwealth, denies the necessity of independent political action to reach that end, claiming that trade-union action alone will be sufficient. He therefore refuses to recognize the Socialist Labor party as a necessary branch of the movement and its right to be admitted to a central labor body. But, is such a position tenable? Can any sane man believe that such radical changes in the social system can be secured without uniting the forces of labor politically as well as economically? Nay, can anyone doubt that political action will be necessary to even realize the far more moderate demands of the American Federation of Labor? These are the issues that are now before the wage-workers for discussion. Let them be discussed at the meeting, in the shop and at home! They will from now on continue on the tapis, until they are rightly decided!-Bakers' Journal."

   This exposure of some criticisms of the Party of that time was useful. Certainly the critics were astute in their perceptions of the 'wild dreams' of the SLP that had little in common with what's possible, and were wise in their advice that the workers should avoid them.


   The January 10, 1891 edition reported that the New York Section had been reorganized, and that, during the election of officers, De Leon had been elected as "Agent".
   The January 24
edition reported that De Leon would tour the country for the Party, speaking in English.
   The February 14
edition denied rumors that S.E. Schewitsch of the NEC was a spy.
   Most of the March, 1891
editions featured columns by De Leon. The March 21 edition carried his report on the Party's Chicago Convention. An eight-page edition of "The People" was announced, and hopes were expressed that it would eventually become a daily.
   The March 28, 1891
edition announced that the Nationalists had adopted the platform of the SLP. Also, it was announced that the Workmen's Advocate would be replaced in April by "The People", the latter journal to be published by the "New Yorker Volkszeitung Publishing Association" "in the interests of the working classes." It is ironic that a party that expressed such concern in 1889 over being taken over by the Volkszeitung group would then allow them to publish its official journal.
   In that same
edition, De Leon reported from Chicago during his agitation tour of the States for the Party:

   "To give one instance, in closing, of the corrupt condition of things here, and of the need of an element to introduce the purely moral sentiment into the ruling class, the Socialist party has felt itself constrained to incorporate itself under the laws of the State. It felt that unless it did so, its name might be stolen by the politicians and confusion within its ranks would have inevitably ensued."

   Ah, will socialists ever succeed in pumping moral sentiment into the upper classes? The same March 28, 1891 edition reported on De Leon's speech in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Paris Commune, part of which argued against reform in general:

   "The Paris Commune ... taught the lesson that, via legislation, Labor has nothing to expect from the ruling, or capitalist class and its political parties, but sops which the right hand will withdraw faster than the left hand will grant; and that, for the rest, the rifle, the bullet and the dagger, calumny, misrepresentation, suppression of the truth, suggestion of the false are the favorite weapons, as it is fit with a ruling class that flies in the teeth of science, and with whom honor is a byword.
Secondly, the Paris Commune is a monument that marks the close of one and the opening of another era. Instructed, tutored and enlightened by experience, Labor can foresee that the carnage of twenty years ago cannot be repeated. If the murderous class that lives upon the blood of men, women and children in the United States, as elsewhere, should again initiate bloodshed it will not be the people, but its enslavers who will bite the dust."

   Strong words with which to conclude this recounting of my 58-hour acquaintance with the microfilm of the Workmen's Advocate, and though it wasn't an immersion sufficiently deep to be considered an exhaustive study thereof, it did shed a lot of light on the anarchist take-over in 1889, the roles that a number of individuals played therein, and the conflicts between what De Leon espoused in his earlier days of stardom in the labor movement, compared with his later views.
   My study was also sufficient to convey the impression that the
battle in the Party in those days had been between the polar opposites of anarchists and reformers, the Marxists being few and far between, and hardly in evidence, with Sorge as the main exception in his debate with De Leon.


Lenin and the SLP

   On page 12 of "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism", Arnold Petersen claimed that, prior to 1918, "Lenin, like most of his contemporaries, was in total ignorance of the life and works of Daniel De Leon." After 1918, according to A.P., Lenin then 'devoted himself to a study of De Leon's works'. But, this story is extremely doubtful, as Lenin was hardly isolated in a remote Siberian outpost, dependent upon an annual visit from a postal carrier for his only contact with civilization. He spent a number of years in exile in Europe, where he studied the literature of every workers' movement in the world he found interesting, and kept himself very well informed. The official record in Lenin's Collected Works varies widely with the Party's claims that Lenin respected the Party's SIU program.
   In the 45 Volumes of Lenin's
Collected Works, there are 18 or more substantive references to the SLP of America, to De Leon or to a De Leonist phrase:

1)   From Lenin's April 6, 1907 "Preface to the Russian Translation of Letters by Johannes Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, and Others to Friedrich Sorge and Others" (LCW 12, pp. 363-4):

   "What Marx and Engels criticise most sharply in British and American socialism is its isolation from the working-class movement. The burden of all their numerous comments on the Social-Democratic Federation in Britain and on the American socialists is the accusation that they have reduced Marxism to a dogma, to "rigid [starre] orthodoxy", that they consider it "a credo and not a guide to action", that they are incapable of adapting themselves to the theoretically helpless, but living and powerful mass working-class movement that is marching alongside them. "Had we from 1864 to 1873 insisted on working together only with those who openly adopted our platform," Engels exclaimed in his letter of January 27, 1887, "where should we be today?" ...
   ... "
the fundamental features of the British and American working-class movements ... are: the absence of any big, nation-wide, democratic tasks facing the proletariat; the proletariat's complete subordination to bourgeois politics; the sectarian isolation of groups, of mere handfuls of socialists, from the proletariat; not the slightest socialist success among the working masses at the elections, etc."

   If Lenin was familiar with the letters of Engels about America, he probably did not fail to notice the many references to the SLP, and even some to Sanial, De Leon, and others.

2)   In his "Notebooks on Imperialism", accumulated between 1915 and 1916, Lenin mentioned the SLP twice in "Notebook Omicron" (LCW 39, p. 592):


   "Die Neue Zeit, 1913-14, 32, 1, pp. 1007-08. Debs in the International Socialist Review (1913, March) is for unity of the Socialist Party + the Socialist Labour Party and the Industrial Workers of the World (of which Debs was a founder) against the American Federation of Labour. The New York Volkszeitung ... comes out furiously against Debs ... (... the New York Volkszeitung = the orthodox, the Kautskyites, whereas Debs is a revolutionary, but without a clear theory, not a Marxist.)"

3)   The second reference to the SLP in the "Notebook Omicron" refers to the correspondence from Engels to Sorge (LCW 39, p. 622):

   "412 (May 12, 1894), the sectarianism of the Social-Democratic Federation {of England} and of the German-American Socialists in America reduces theory to "rigid orthodoxy" ... ((they want undeveloped workers to swallow the theory all at once))."

4)   In the context of trying to find parties possibly interested in forming a new International, Lenin mentioned the correspondence of Marx and Engels with Sorge, and specifically referred to the sectarianism of the early SLP. In this November, 1915 "Letter to the Secretary of the Socialist Propaganda League", Lenin wrote (LCW 21, pp. 424-7):

   "We agree with you that we must be against craft Unionism & in favor of industrial Unionism, i.e. of big, centralized Trade Unions & in favor of the most active participation of all members of party in all economic struggles & in all trade union & cooperative organizations of the working class. But we consider that such people as Mr. Legien in Germany & Mr. Gompers in the U. St. are bourgeois and that their policy is not a socialist but a nationalistic, middle class policy. Mr. Legien, Mr. Gompers & similar persons are not the representatives of working class, they represent the aristocracy & bureaucracy of the working class. ...
We never object in our press to the unity of S. P. & SLP in America. We always quote letters from Marx & Engels (especially to Sorge, active member of American socialist movement), where both condemn the sectarian character of the SLP."

5)   A volume of letters and miscellaneous writings contained two of Lenin's letters to Alexandra Kollontai from March of 1916 (LCW 36, p. 374):

   "And what of the Socialist Labour Party? After all, they are internationalists (even if there is something narrowly sectarian about them). Have they got their copy of Internationale Flugblätter? Have you any contacts with them?"

6)   In his second letter to Kollontai from March, 1916, Lenin continued to express doubts about the value of the SLP (LCW 36, p. 375):

   "Do you think Appeal to Reason would refuse to reprint Internationale Flugblätter No. 1? Is it worth trying?
   "Will the Socialist Labour Party agree to publish, if we pay the costs? Are these people hopeless sectarians or not? Have you any connections with them? Why don't they send us copies of their papers in the Internationale Sozialistische Kommission? (I saw some quite by chance.) Or are they maniacs with an idée fixe {fixed idea} about a special "economic" organisation of workers?"

7)   In a letter to N. I. Bukharin In October of 1916, Lenin continued to request left-wing literature from all over (LCW 43, pp. 577-8):

   "Regarding America. I wrote a number of letters there in 1915: all were confiscated by the accursed French and British censors.
   "I would very much like
   "(1) To have the manifesto of the Zimmerwald Left published there in English.
   "(2) Ditto-our pamphlet on the war (revised for the new edition).
   "(3) To arrange, if possible, for the most important publications and pamphlets of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Labour Party (I have only the Appeal to Reason) to be sent gratis to the C.C."

8)   In a Nov. 30, 1916 letter to Inessa Armand, Lenin wrote about the SLP's minimum (reforms) programme (LCW 35, p. 254):

   "The question of the relationship of imperialism to democracy and the minimum programme is arising on an ever wider scale (see the Dutch programme in No. 3 of the Bulletin {"Bulletin of the International Socialist Commission"}; the American SLP have thrown out the whole minimum programme."

9)   In February of 1917, Lenin wrote to Alexandra Kollontai (of the Workers' Opposition) after her trip to America. He questioned various aspects of American political movements and expressed a curiosity about SLP literature (LCW 35, pp. 285-6):

   "I have already received No. 1 of The Internationalist, and am very glad of it. I have inadequate information about the conference of the SLP and the S.P. on January 6-7, 1917. It appears that the SLP is throwing out all its minimum programme (there is a temptation and a danger for Bukharin, who has been stumbling "at that there spot" since 1915!!). It is a great pity that I cannot collect all the documents about the SLP (I asked Bukharin about it, but letters clearly get lost). Have you any material? I could return it after reading."

10)  Shortly thereafter, in a letter to Inessa Armand in February of 1917, Lenin wrote (LCW 35, pp. 288-9):

   "Among the Left in America, she {Kollontai} says, things are not going badly, though Kollontai is afraid of anarcho-syndicalist tendencies in the SLP (N.Iv. {Bukharin}, she says, is not afraid of this). I have read in the SLP organ (The Weekly People) that they are throwing overboard their minimum programme." ...

11)  In a letter to Alexandra Kollontai in March of 1917, Lenin was more optimistic (LCW 35, pp. 291-2):

   "I only see and know in the firmest way possible that the question of the programme and tactics of a new socialism, genuinely revolutionary Marxism and not rotten Kautskyanism, is on the agenda everywhere. This is clear both from the SLP and The Internationalist in America, and from the data about Germany, ... and about France ... and so on."

12)  In another letter to Alexandra Kollontai in March of 1917, Lenin continued to be optimistic about the SLP (LCW 35, p. 296):

   "First, the Cadets will not allow anyone a legal workers' party except the Potresovs and Co. Secondly, if they do allow it, we shall set up as before our own separate party and without fail combine legal work with illegal.
On no account a repetition of something like the Second International! On no account with Kautsky! Definitely a more revolutionary programme and tactics (there are elements of it in K. Liebknecht, the SLP in America, the Dutch Marxists, etc.) and definitely the combination of legal and illegal work. Republican propaganda, the struggle against imperialism, as before revolutionary propaganda, agitation and struggle with the aim of an international proletarian revolution and the conquest of power by the "Soviets of Workers' Deputies" (and not the Cadet swindlers)."

13)  In his April 1917 pamphlet entitled "The Tasks of the Proletariat in our Revolution", Lenin mentioned the SLP in a long list of parties and persons all over the world he considered to be internationalists, or close to it (LCW 24, pp. 78-9):

   "Closest to the internationalists in deed are: ... Loriot and his friends ... Guilbeaux ... some of the members of the British Socialist Party ... the Scottish socialist schoolteacher MacLean ... and hundreds of British socialists who are in jail for some offense. They, and they alone, are internationalists in deed. In the United States, the Socialist Labour Party and those within the opportunist Socialist Party who in January 1917 began publication of the paper, The Internationalist; ... and so on.
   "It is not a question of shades of opinion, which certainly exist even among the Lefts. It is a question of trend."

14)  In a letter "To the Bureau of the Central Committee Abroad" in August of 1917, Lenin wrote (LCW 35, pp. 321-2):

   "Money for the conference will be found. It is possible to issue several numbers of its Bulletin. There is a centre for it in Stockholm. There is a French "foothold" (Demain) and an English one (the "Socialist Labour Party" of America; its delegate Reinstein* was recently in Petrograd and will probably be in Stockholm) - though by the way in addition to the SLP (the "Socialist Labour Party" of America) there is also an English foothold, Tom Mann in Britain, the minorities within the British Socialist Party, the Scottish socialists and The International in America.
   "It would be simply criminal to postpone now the calling of a conference of the Left. ...
(8) You must get your letters sent on here - I hope to receive immediately just as detailed a letter as mine ... and literature as well: files from the middle of June, at the very least, of ... Weekly People (SLP) ... and others."
   "* I have no idea what sort of bird this is. According to the press, he greeted the "Unity Congress" of the Mensheviks!! That means he's a suspect bird."

15)  In the October 1917 pamphlet entitled "Revision of the Party Program", Lenin gathered ideas from all over the world for a new Bolshevik Party program (LCW 26, p. 175):

   ... "set up a committee for the purpose of collecting material on what has been done in other countries in order to "feel the way" ... for a new programme (... we may also mention the American Socialist Labour Party and its demand that "the political state give way to industrial democracy")."

16)  In his June 1920 pamphlet "'Left-Wing' Communism, An Infantile Disorder", Lenin appreciated a De Leonist phrase or two (LCW 31, pp. 52-3):

   "Like all the opportunist, social-chauvinist, and Kautskyite trade union leaders, our Mensheviks are nothing but "agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement" (as we have always said the Mensheviks are), or "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class", to use the splendid and profoundly true expression of the followers of Daniel De Leon in America."

17)  In his July 6, 1920 "Preface to the French and German Editions" to "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", Lenin repeated De Leon's phrases (LCW 22, p. 194):

   "This stratum of workers-turned-bourgeois, or the labour aristocracy, who are quite philistine in their mode of life, in the size of their earnings and in their entire outlook, is the principal prop of the Second International, and in our days, the principal social (not military) prop of the bourgeoisie. For they are the real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class, real vehicles of reformism and chauvinism. In the civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie they inevitably, and in no small numbers, take the side of the bourgeoisie, the "Versaillais" against the "Communards"."

18)  In a letter to N. I. Bukharin ,"in the late summer of 1920" Lenin wrote (LCW 36, p. 528):

   "I think we should publish in Russian De Leon's Two Pages, etc., with Fraina's foreword and notes*. I shall also write a few words.
   "If you agree, will you give the word through the State Publishing House.
   "If you don't, let's discuss it."
"There was no Russian edition of the book." {From a note by Progress Publishers.}

   In addition to the above, the only other places I could find references to the SLP were 1) on page 409 of volume 36, in a letter to Kollontai in July of 1916, where Lenin mentioned the SLP in a list of organizations in America to be contacted, 2) on page 44 of Volume 44, where Lenin was requesting the assistance of an information service to send a message to the labor press of the entire world in November of 1917, and 3) on page 268 of Volume 45, in a note to Reinstein and others, mentioning Heywood's allegations of Adolph S. Carm as a possible spy and as a delegate of the SLP to the Comintern, i.e., the Communist (Third) International.
   The 45 Volumes also contain a few references to onetime
SLP member Boris Reinstein, who was mentioned by Lenin mostly in regard to facilitating business deals between the Soviet Union and Julius and Armand Hammer.
   With appropriate feedback, I could include citations that I might have missed on this go-around in a possible future edition, since the indexes to Lenin's
Collected Works were by no means perfect.



Examples of Anarchist Ideology

   The following elements of SLP ideology contain one or more anarchist distortions of Marxism, other theories, or history:

Distorted Marxist Theories:

   'The political part of the revolution is the electoral victory of the workers' party, the abolition of elected representative bodies, and the discarding of capitalist law, while the economic aspect is the taking and holding of the means of production.
   'No alliance between the progressive proletariat and the reactionary middle classes is possible. The hammer and sickle on the old Soviet flag did not signify any kind of class alliance whatsoever.
   'The Marxist theory of the state was as good as could have been gotten in the bad old days of underdevelopment, but the form into which workers can organize has at last been discovered, and all antique political solutions to modern problems can be put aside. All that is needed is to organize Socialist Industrial Unions, dismantle the state when the Party is elected, and classless, stateless paradise will begin.
   'Marx used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably because they both represent the same revolutionary and post-capitalist stage of society applicable to advanced countries.
   'During the revolution, the building of an economic agency to administer production is at the top of the list of priorities for the working class.
   'Marx wanted workers to abolish the state and seize the means of production.
   'In the Marxist theory of the state for developed countries, the capitalist state is abolished after the political victory of the workers' party, and the state is replaced with a classless and stateless administration of things.
   'The consequence of the proletariat's failure to ready the classless and stateless administration of things for the moment of its political victory will be to face the wrath of the capitalist state.
   'Workers will not be able to remedy anarchy in production until the abolition of the state and capitalism.
   'Engels didn't know the difference between socialism and state capitalism, and did not live to see his state capitalism idea turn into full-blown fascism.
   'There was a deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state that Lenin recognized, but which Daniel De Leon corrected with his Socialist Industrial Union solution.
   'Lenin saw the need for an agency to administer the economy after the revolution. If Engels had lived longer, he would have seen the need for a post-revolutionary economic administrative agency as clearly as Lenin did, and probably more so.
Advances in the means of production enabled Marx to predict peaceful evolution in the advanced capitalist countries. He just could not see the form into which they should organize to make it happen, so was forced to rely upon the capitalist state to administer production for a while.
Technologically advanced countries should not follow the obsolete Marxist model of proletarian revolution for underdeveloped countries.

Phony 'Conditions' Theories:

   'Due to their having lived in an era of backward economic conditions, Marx, Engels and Lenin had only incomplete or half-baked ideas.
People were quite a bit more coarse and savage in previous centuries, and the refinement, civility and suitability for socialism of their societies was proportional to the development of their means of production.
After a revolution in a backward country, the capitalist state survives the revolution in order to manage production.
The lower the development of the productive forces, the greater the need for proletarian dictatorship.
Marx and Lenin used the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' in their times and countries to convey the sense of the abolition of the state and its replacement by the administration of things, except that their theories were modified by the backward conditions under which they lived.
Marx conceived of a proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry and middle classes. Those classes had important places in production back in Europe during Marx's time, but since they barely exist in the USA, or play little role in production today, there is no longer a need for a proletarian dictatorship over such marginalized or non-existent classes.
Marx had two theories of the state: one for technologically advanced countries, economic rather than political, and an obsolete theory for individual backward countries, political rather than economic, complete with a transition period, a proletarian dictatorship over middle classes, and an oppressive state apparatus.
The conditions that Marx and Lenin wrote about in their respective countries were similarly lowly enough for the proletarian dictatorship idea to have been appropriate for back then, but not to the USA.
Stalin put Marx's theory of proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry into place in the old Soviet Union, which also led to the oppression of the peasants that the world criticized.
The revolution in the USA will yield classless and stateless society directly after capitalism. In less developed countries, workers will have to wield the capitalist state to repress the middle classes, and improve productive forces during their transition to classless and stateless society.
Though Marx and Engels knew that the workers cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for their own purposes, they were forced to rely on the capitalist state to perform the tasks of socialist reconstruction and to administer production, because conditions had not yet sufficiently evolved to show them the form of the new administration of things.
A country like Russia needs a transition period to develop the productive forces in order to ascend to classless and stateless society, while a transition period was not considered necessary in technologically advanced countries.
For advanced capitalist countries, the only possible kind of post-revolutionary society is classless and stateless society. Two stages of post-revolutionary society are more appropriate for economically backward countries.
If there isn't any sign of underdevelopment in the USA, and if the USA has the greatest technological development of all, and if their productive forces have no need to be further built up, then no transition period or proletarian dictatorship is needed.
Farmers and small businesses play an insignificant role in American production today. The proletariat and the upper classes are the only classes that count.
Classless and stateless society will emerge from capitalism right after revolutions in technologically advanced countries. The USA has the necessary level of technology to leap to classless and stateless society.
Because the superdevelopment of the means of production in the USA also enables the formation of Socialist Industrial Unions, not much can prevent the establishment of classless and stateless socialism when the party abolishes the state and itself.

Distorted Theories of the State:

   'Force = Economic Power.
The state consists of no more than elected representative bodies, such as the Senate, the House of Representatives, and other kinds of elected assemblies.
The state that Engels thought would die out was the capitalist state. Under the backward conditions of his time, socialism was to be implemented using the old state machine.
The post-revolutionary state power which the proletariat might be tempted to wield turns out to be nothing better than capitalist state power.
After the victory of the proletariat, it was theorized that the old capitalist state machinery might have to be altered to get it to conform to its new tasks of socialist reconstruction.
If state power always and exclusively is bourgeois state power, it would be quite useless to try to wield that which would always be used against workers.
Workers cannot take state power because the state is the means of oppression of workers, and is owned and controlled by the capitalist class, so the workers should not try to wield that which has always been used against them.
In the old days, the only tool the workers could use after the revolution to keep down their capitalist enemies was the capitalist state. If all property is transformed into state property, it is transformed into capitalist state property.
Under backward economic conditions, the capitalist state may survive the proletarian revolution, but only to manage production for a while after the revolution.
All states are capitalist states, including the political state.
Working class state power is inconceivable.
During a revolution, it is more effective to take over the means of production than it is to take the power of the state.
The working class may take state power in backward economies, and then use it to repress the middle classes and small property-holding peasants, but not the upper classes.
The state is a means of oppression only, and has no interest in production, so it is useless and dangerous to maintain it after the revolution.
The purposes of the state and workers' party are destructive only. Both will be abolished after the revolution.
In the old days, the proletariat was not to create its own state power, but instead was to use the capitalist state in order to administer production after the revolution. Private property was to be gradually converted into capitalist state property. When the capitalist state represented the whole of society, it was to die out.
Anarchists wanted to abolish the state out of hand with nothing to take its place, but that would have been foolish, since the capitalist state was the only organization still in existence after the revolution that the proletariat theoretically was forced to use to administer production after its victory at the ballot box.
By correcting the deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the State, De Leon was the only one to add anything to Marxian Science.

Phony Theories About Political Power:

   'The political state was slated for abolition under socialism.
The highest conceivable proletarian political victory is that of the electoral victory of the workers' party at the ballot box.
Political power is useless to the proletariat, for it can only be wielded by the capitalist class.
Political power is the power of capitalists to repress workers, but sometimes it falls into the hands of workers without them fighting for it, and then they have to figure out what to do with it.
Marx's recommendation for proletarian political action might have been the best anyone could do for his day and age, but it is incorrect today.
Democracy has nothing to do with the possibility of peaceful solutions. All political forms are to be abolished anyway. Marx and Engels regarded democracies as bourgeois forms of rule with no intrinsic value to the working classes. The term 'Social-Democracy' came about as a result of confused attempts to find political solutions to the social question, instead of the economic solution that can only be achieved by organizing into Socialist Industrial Unions.
There is a sharp division between proletarian political and economic activities. Political power is destructive only, and should only be used to abolish the capitalist state. Economic reconstruction begins only after political action ceases.
The destructive state and parties are bourgeois only, and are to be abolished, self-destruct, or commit suicide; but the economic union is constructive and proletarian in character and will survive the revolution.'

Anarchist World Outlook:

   'A workers' state is inconceivable, so every state is a capitalist state, even those that claim to be socialist. Hence, in the presence of all of those capitalist states, there is no socialism anywhere.
If any country has an alleged socialist revolution, it must immediately abolish its state in order to prove that it has indeed had a true socialist revolution.
The USA has the level of technology necessary to leap to classless and stateless society. Socialism is therefore possible for the USA, but not for backward countries like Russia.
Socialism = Communism = classless and stateless society, and the technologically advanced countries require no political transition period to reach that stage. Since all countries today have state apparatuses, that proves that there is no socialism anywhere in the world.
If the state owned and controlled the means of production in the old Soviet Union, and if all state ownership can only be capitalist state ownership; then the Soviet experience could only have been an example of the alleged Communist Party comprising a new capitalist class.
A technologically advanced country can have a revolution and celebrate classless and stateless communist paradise, even while surrounded by hostile capitalist dictatorships on its borders. There was little valid excuse for the Soviet Union not abolishing its state after coming to power in 1917, except, perhaps, for the large peasant class for the proletariat to have to repress.
The social system to which a country may aspire is governed mainly by the economic development of that country. The lower levels of technology in the alleged revolutionary countries correspond to a type of social organization less in stature than socialism, namely, a bourgeois republic, or even a feudal monarchy. If such a low economic organism was all the raw material that an alleged revolutionary country was allowed to start with, then it is obvious that a revolution of socialist potential is impossible in such a country, and, if impossible, then attempts in that direction are not worth supporting, for all that could be achieved would be an evil state apparatus that would oppress the workers. Only the American economy and few others can support socialism, so the claims of other states as having had socialist revolutions are incorrect or fraudulent, so are not worth supporting in the least.
Due to the backwardness of their economies and technology, the poor and oppressed in the colonies have no choice but to be oppressed by the state. There is nothing that the workers of the industrialized countries can do for the people in the colonies but to abolish their states and export their technologies to enable the poor colonies to build up their economies, which will inspire the workers in the colonies to also organize into SIUs, and finally someday abolish their own oppressive state apparatuses as well.
There is no reason for the oppressed workers in the colonies to fight for national independence by taking state power, because, by doing so (i.e., by using the capitalist state), they will only end up being exploited by their own national bourgeoisie and will thus get absolutely nowhere. The only hope for the oppressed people in the colonies is to wait for American workers to have their SIU revolution first so that the Americans can provide the colonies with the machinery with which they can modernize their primitive tools of production; then the workers in the colonies can organize their own Industrial Unions and liberate themselves at their own pace.
The three superpowers were battling each other for hegemony over the region, and the Vietnamese had no chance whatsoever to win a struggle against any of them. Because of their low state of economic development, it didn't matter who won or if the superpowers simply pulled out and went home, because the Vietnamese would only go on being exploited by one of the superpowers or by their own national bourgeoisie as oppressively as ever. Since it didn't matter which ruling class won, American demonstrations against the war were a total waste of time, for, what with the comparatively low level of economic development, the Vietnamese were automatically condemned to suffer the fate of an irrevocable enslavement to their capitalist, feudal or imperialist ruling classes until some day when their productive forces evolve to the point when the workers can organize themselves into Socialist Industrial Unions and progress to the classless and stateless administration of things.'

Distorted Union and Industrial Union Theories:

   'Marx and Engels failed to solve the problem of specifying an industrial form for future society.
Existing unions are tools of capitalist interests only, and serve as just another means by which workers are enslaved to the capitalist class.
If trade unions were so important in Russia with its tiny proletariat, then unions would be super-important in the USA, where the proportion of workers is so much higher.
Because the continued use of the capitalist state after the political victory means certain failure for the proletarian revolution, workers must organize into Industrial Unions so that the capitalist state can immediately be abolished.
Revolutions in backward countries were violent, but revolutions in advanced countries will be peaceful, provided people use De Leon's Socialist Industrial Union form.
The only body capable of a constructive administration of production is the Socialist Industrial Union.
It was advances in the means of production that showed De Leon the form into which workers should unite in order to peacefully achieve their emancipation.
The union is suited to run the means of production, while the workers' party is suited for shutting down the capitalist state, and for subsequent self-destruction.
The proper structure of economic power in the USA would ensure a peaceful revolution here. The proletariat should concentrate on obtaining the ultimate economic power that would result from taking possession of the means of production.
It would be fine for the workers to counteract the capitalist economic dictatorship with a proletarian economic dictatorship, i.e., the SIU, but not to counteract capitalist political power with a proletarian dictatorship.
Lenin thought that De Leon did the proletarian movement a great service by at last discovering the new form of the administration of things. Socialist Industrial Unionism is what they wanted to build in the old Soviet Union.'

Miscellaneous Phony Theories:

   'Anarchists wished to destroy the state with nothing to take its place, not even an organization to administer production.
The party of the proletariat, upon coming to power, turns its back on the proletariat and becomes its new oppressor. That is why De Leon warned of the menace of a mere political victory of the workers' party. Without the SIU having been organized to lock out the capitalists and establish the Industrial Union administration of production when the state and the parties are abolished, then the capitalist state will continue to oppress the workers.
The question of revolution in any country is a question of form. The Soviets were a non-American form of proletarian democracy, not to be mistakenly adopted by Americans.
The workers' party should model its organizational structure on the form of the state to be abolished.
Parties other than the SLP are necessarily the instruments of capitalist interests.
There has been a conspiracy of silence and calumniation directed against the Party to ensure that the Party program for change will never be heard by the majority, who would be saved by it. Without knowledge of the Party program, the workers will most likely make the mistake of seeking political solutions to the social ills that plague us, and will thus be condemned to suffer under the eternal oppression of the state.
Since the government expresses only the interests of the ruling class, the exercise of duties of office by an elected Party member would betray the interests of the working class.
Early Party scholars didn't have access to all the works that are available to modern scholars. There were differences in translations between the literature that the SLP relied upon and what others relied upon, which explains the differences between Party literature and others.
Rank-and-file members of socialist and workers' parties are not ready for freedom of speech or democracy within their parties and organizations.
Reforms are of fleeting importance only, and what the capitalists can give, they can also take away. Therefore, workers should reject any attempts to bring about reforms, and work only for the party whose program is that of replacing the state with the classless and stateless administration of things.
The use of illegal means in the struggle are not revolutionary.
Illegal means were more appropriate to Soviet conditions than to American conditions.
In any conflict between the proletariat and the ruling classes, the ruling classes will flee or otherwise behave as cowards, but will not fight back.
Only today's working class would count in a revolution, so workers can ignore alliances with other classes.'

(End Part H. End of Book.)

Back to Home Page

Back to Book Index