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LEWISTOWN,MONTANA, WEDNESDAY. MAY IK, 11)01.
Debsand Hanford, Socialist Standard Bearers!
TheNational Socialistconvention^which convened May i at Chicago,^and continued in session for six days,^adjourning May 6th, marks an ep^^och in the history of American poli^^tics. Nearly every state and terri^^tory was represented by a good del^^egation, and many alternates were^also present.
Theconvention had oa its floors^nearly every nationality ia the civi^^lized world, which showed strongly^its International scope. Among^those who might be mentioned and^who are generally and popularly^known to the average Socialist by^reading their writings or hearing^them lecture were: Kugene V. Debs,^Ben Hanford, Simons, Cnterman,^Richardson, O'Mally, Spargo. Wil-^kins, Titus, Fathers Mctlrady and^Hagerty, Wilshire, Herron, Mills^and Wills of the noted state of Kan^^sas, a number of lady delegates who^were surely able to hold their own^on the convention floor with any of^the men in an intellectual way, and^who proved to the assembly that^they knew what they were talking^about when they did get the floor,^and that their yiews were as scien^^tifically grounded and as revolution^^ary as any of the delegates of the^opposite sex. In fact there were^some 230 delegates on the floor com^^posed of lawyers, ministers, priests,^printers, editors, business men, lab^^orers, engineers, machinests, shoe^^makers, artists, farmers, etc., etc.,^without end. A large majority of^the convention were American born^while about 50 were foreign born.
l'raiseis due the Chicago Socia^^lists who so perfectly arranged all^preliminaries to the convention, and^also gave numerous banquets and^socials for the visiting comrades in^the great city. The Cermans sure
capthe climax, and especially when^about forty of thel^cst(iermaii voca^^lists open a meeting of any kind by^singing the Marshalaise. Woodby^the colored Socialist from California,^who wrote the book ^What to do^and how to do it^ was th*re and^claimed to have been sent to give^the convention color. The noted^Japanese Socialist speaker, Kataya-^ma, now touring this country deliv^^ered a short address at the banquet^Sunday night the first.
Fromthe start of the convention^to the cldse, everything of import^^ance brought at least two hundred to^their feet with a vociferous call to^the chair for recognition. F.very^question was thrashed out before a^vote was taken. Two qtiestions of^importance arose - the trades union^resolutions and the report of the^committee on state and municipal^program, to govern, or act as a^guide to Socialists, elected on state^or municipal tickets. The program^was referred to the national commit^^tee to boil down and revise, then to^be submitted to the membership for^a referendum vote.
J.H. Walsh of Montana intro^^duced a substitute for the whole^lengthy report for the committee on^program, and which precipitated a^fight that lasted all one day, but^which showed conclusively that the^convention was quite strong with^sentimentalists, while all the western^delegates were for the substitute and^showed themselves to be revolution^^ary to the core; also were the old^S. L, P., people noticed in this move^as they lined up on the vote as well^as speeches with ^he western com^rades. The report of the committee^was a lengthy document containing^numerous contradictions etc., while^the substitute simply suggested that
instate or municipal elections where^Socialists get elected, that they shall^be guided in all their legislative acts^by this: Is this law in the interest^of the laboring class^ If so I am for^it, if not I am against it. As stated^above this program is supposed to^guide amateur Socialists, and 011^this and the trades union question^were the greatest debates. The rad^icals, as they might be called, desir^^ed to leave the trades union ques^tion alone, while the intelectuals and^sentimentalists desired to throw them^a little sop in the way of a pet reso^^lution. This was adopted by a Ian^vote, but another similar resolution^submitted just before adjournment^by the same committee was tabled^The platform as read was adopted^without dissension and will be found^on this page in full. Read it care^fully and criticise every point, ami^compare it with the old party plat^forms.
Whereas,The conflicting com^m*rcial interests of the ruling classes^in Russia and Japan hive induced^the governments of those countries^to bring about war between the^Russian and Japanese nations; and
Whereas,The working people of^Russia and Japan have no interest^in waging this campain of blood \^warfare, l^e it
Resolved,That this convention^of the Socialist party of America^sends greetings of fraternity and^solidarity to the working people of^Russia and Japan, and condems the^Russia-Japanese war as a crime^against progress and civilization.^And be it further
Resolved,That we appeal to the^wageworkers of Russia anil Jap**^to join hands with the International
Socialistmovement in its struggle^for world-peace.
Thetrade and labor union move^^ment is a natural result of the capi^^talist system of production and is^necessary to resist the encroach^^ments of capitalism. It is a weapon^to protect the class of interests of^labor under the capitalist system.^However, this industrial struggle^ca.i only lessen the exploitation, but^it cannot abolish it. The exploita^^tion of labor w ill only cease when^the working class shall own all the^means of production and distribu^tion. To achieve this end the work^^ing class must consciously become^the dominant political power. The^organisation of the workers will not^be complete until they unite on the^political as well as the industrial^field on the lines of the class strug^^gle.
Thetrade union struggle cannot^attain lasting success without the^political activity of the Socialist^Party. The workers must fortify^and permanently secure by their^political power what they have^wrung from their exploiters in the^economic struggle. In accordance^with the decisions of the Interna^^tional Socialist Congresses in Brus^^sels, Zurich and London, this con^^vention reaffirms the declarations^that the trade and labor unions are^a necessity in the struggle to aid in^emancipating the working class,^and we consider it the duty of all^wage workers to join with this move^^ment.
Neitherpolitical nor other differ^^ences of opinion justify the division^of the forces of labor in the indus-^I trial movement. The interest^ of^I of the working class make it imper
ativethat the labor organizations^equip their members for the great^work of the abolition of wage slav^^ery by educ ating them in Socialist^principles.
Thenomination of Fugene V.^Debs for president by Prof. Herron^set the convention wild with joy,^and for some time order could not^be restored for cheering and confus^^ion. It was evidenced that the lab^oring class have an undying love for^Comrade Debs who served time at^Woodstock and will serve time some^day in the White House. The nom^^ination of Hen Hanford was heralded^with enthusiasm, when presented^for vice president, and in a short^address for alxmt a half hour, he^held the convention's attention very^closely. Comrade Deos was heard^on the following morning and his^address was complimented as being^the finest he ever delivered, by^many who have known him for a^number of years.
Debsand Hanford are both pow^^erful speakers, and as well as this^they are fearless men who will carry^the banner of Socialism wherever^the battle rages the fiercest. Three^cheers for Debs and Hanford a:.d^two million votes.
LastSaturdav in the District^Court for Silver liow county, Mont.,^Judge Win. Clancy rendered a de^^lusion of tremendous importance to^organized labor. The case was one^in which the dual A. F. of I.., bar^^tenders local asked for a permanent^injunction against the Silver Bow^Trades and Labor Assembly, the^American Labor I nion and the^Western Federation of Miners, pro^^hibiting those organizations from^boycotting and parading banners^before unfair saloons. Judge t lan-
cydecided for the defendants and^held that courts have no right under^the state constitution to prohibit^free speech, free writing or free^publication. The decision is a de^^cided victory for unionism, as it^guarantees the right to boycott.
OrganizerA. W. Foster report*^the strike of the Counter Work^at I ynn, Mass., as settled. The^strikers did not get all they ask,^but they secured an increase in^wages and decidedly better condi^^tions than last year. The brothers-^arid sisters who were on strike are^sincerely grateful to those local un^^ions that contributed to their sup^^port, and enabled them to continue^the strike to a successful termina^^tion.
Aman named Snell, a stock^I broker who went under for the sum^1 of #165,000 committed suicide by^drowning. This kind of a deal hap^^pens continually under capitalism^while his family stares poverty of^starvation in the face. I'nder So^^cialism this condition could not^arise. Neither the suiciding nor^the poverty of the family.
Thestrike of the Coeur d'Alene^City, Idaho, lumbermen against the^l.argey Lumber company is still on.^The Montana unions are taking up^the matter, and unless the company^takes some action looking to a set^^tlement before the 15th inst., there^will be some interesting develop^^ments.
TheSocialist state convention to^be held in Helena the 6th of June^will sound the first real signal of^the opening of the coming great^campaign.
Nothingis to be considered in^Russiado, formerly Colorado, but^I'eabody and Cod, and God better^look out or Peabody may overpower^him.
y* The National Socialist Party Platform v
We,the Socialist Party, in convention assembled, make our appeal to^the American people as the defender and preserver of the idea of liberty^and self government, in which the nation was born; as the only political^movement standing for the program and principles by whtch the liberty^of the individual may become a fact; as the only political organization^tha\ is democratic, and that has for its purpose the democratizing of the^whole of society.
Tothis idea of liberty the republican and democratic parties are^equally false. They alike struggle for power to maintain and profit by^an industrial system which can l^e preserved only by the complete over^^throw of such liberties as we already have, and by the still further en^^slavement and degradation of labor.
OurAmerican institutions came into the world in the name of free^^loin. They have been seized upon by the capitalist class as the means^of rooting out the idea of freedom from among the people. Our state^and national legislatures have become the mere agencies of great proper^^tied interests. These interests control the appointments and decisions of the^judges of our courts. They have come into what is practically a private^ownership of all the functions and forces of government. They are using^these to betray and corquer foreign and weaker peoples, in order to es^^tablish new markets .'or the surplus goods which the people make, but^are too poor to buy. They are gradually so invading and restricting the^right of suffrage as to take away unawares the right of the worker to a^vote or voice in public affairs. By enacting new and misinterpreting old^laws, they are preparing to attack the liberty of the individual even to^speak or think for himself, or for the common good.
Bvcontrolling all the sources of social revenue, the possessing class^is able to silence what might be the voice of protest against the passing^of liberty and the coming of tyranny. It completely controls the uni^^versity and public school, the pulpit and the press, and the arts and lit^^eratures. By making these economically dependent upon itself, it has^brought all the forms of public teaching into serile submission to its own^interests.
Ourpolitical institutions are also being used as the destroyers of that^individual property upon which all liberty and opportunity depend. The^promise of economic independence to each man was one of the faiths^upon which our institutions were founded. But, under the guise of de^fending private property, capitalism is using our political institutions^to make it impossible for the vast majority of human beings ever to be^^come possessors of private property in the means of life.
Capitalismis the enemy and destroyer of essential private property.^Its development is through the legalized confiscation of all that the labor^of the working class produces, above its subsistence wage. The private^ownership of the means of employment grounds society in an economic^slavery which renders intellectual and political tyranny inevitable.
Socialismcomes so to organize industry and society that every indi^^vidual shall be secure in that private property in the means of life upon^which his liberty of being, thought and action depend. It comes to res^cue the people from tlie fast increasing and successful assault of capital^^ism upon the liberty of the individual.
Asan American Socialist party, we pledge our fidelity to the princi^^ples of international Socialism, as embodied in the united thought and^action of the Socialists of all nations. In the industrial development al^^ready accomplished, the interests of the World's workers are separated by^no national boundaries. The condition of the most exploited and op^pressed workers, in the most remote places of the earth, inevitably tends^to drag down all the workers of the world to the same level. The ten^deney of the competitive wage system i-^ to make labor'.-, lowest condition^the measure or rule of its universal condition. Industry anil finance are^no longer national but international, in both organization and results.^The chief significance of national boundaries, and of the so called patri
otismswhich the ruling class of each nation is seeking to revive, is the^power which these give to capitalism to keep the workers of the world^from uniting, and to throw them against each other in the struggles of^contending capitalist interests for the control of the yet unexploited mar^kets of the world, or the remaining sources of profit.
TheSo^ ialtst movement therefore is a world-movement. It knows^of no conflicts of interest l^etween the workers of one nation and the^workers of another It stands for the freedom of the workers of all na^^tions: and, in so standing, it makes for the full freedom of all humanity.
TheSocialist movement owes its birth anil growth to that economic^development or world process which is rapidly separating a working or^producing class from a possessing or capitalist class. The class that pro^^duces nothing possesses labor's fruits, and the opportunities and enjoy^^ments these fruits afford, while the class that does the world's real work^has increasing economic uncertainly, and physical and intellectual mis^^ery, for its portion.
Thefact that these two classes have not yet become fully conscious^of their distinction from each other, the fact that the lines of division and^interest may not yet be clearly drawn, does not change the fact of the^class conflict.
Thisclass struggle is due to the private ownership of the means of^employment, or the tools of pn^duction. Wherever ami whenever man^owned his own land and tool-, and by them produced only the things^which he used, economic independence was possible. But production,^or the making of goods, has long ceased to be individual. The labor of^scores, or even thousands, enters into almost every article produced.^Production is now social or collective. I*ractically everything is made^or done by many men sometimes separated by seas or continents^working together for the same end. But this cooperation in production^is not for the direct use of the things made by the workers who make^them, but for the profit of the owners of the tools and means of produc^tion; and to this is due the present division of society into two classes:^and from it have sprung all the miseries, inharmonies and contradictions^of our civilization.
betweenthese two classes there ran be no possible compromise or^identity of interests, any more than there ran be peace in the midst of^war, or light in the midst of darkness. A society based upon this class^division carries in itself the seeds of its own destruction. Such a society^is founded in fundamental injustice. There can be no possible basis for^social peace, for individual freedom, for mental and moral harmony, ex^^cept in the conscious and complete triumph of the w orking class as the^only class that has the right or power to be.
TheSocialist program is not a theory imposed utxin society for its^acceptance or rejection. It is but the interpretation of what is, sooner^or later, inevitable. Capitalism is already struggling to its destruction.^It is no longer competent to organize or administer the work of the^world, or even to preserve itself. The captains of industry are appalled^at their own inability to control or direct the rapidlv socializing forces of^industry. The so-called trust is but a sign and form of the developing^socialization of the world's work. The universal increase of the uncer^^tainty of employment, the universal capitalist determination to break^down the unity of labor in the trades unions, the widespread apprehen^sions of impending change, reveal that the institutions of capitalist so^ciety are passing under the power of inhering forces that will soon de^^troy them.
Intothe midst of the strain and crisis of civilization, the Socialist^movement comes as the only saving or conservative force. If the world^is lo be saved trout ciiuos, fr.on universal disorder and misery, it must^M b* the union of the workvis ot all nations in the Socialist movement.^The Socialist party comes with the only proposition or program foi in^telligetitlv and deliberately organizing the nation for the common good
ofall its citizens. It is the first time that the mind of man has ever been^directed toward the conscious organization of society.
Socialismmeans that all those things upon which the people in com^^mon depend shall by the people in common be owned and idm In;stereif.^It means that the tools of employment shall belong to the r ^ rervo. ri nttd^users; that all production shall be for the dire- t use ; i'ie ^ 1 ^l^ Cers;^that the making of goods for profit shall come to au cud: that we shall^all 01 workers together: and that all opportunities shall bo open and^equal to all men.
Tothe end that the workers may seize every possible advantage that^may stregthen them to gain complete control of the powers of goverment^and thereby the sooner establish the cooperative commonwealth, the So^^cialist Tarty pledges itself to watch and work in both the economic and^the political struggle for each successive immediate interest of the work^^ing class; for shortened days of labor and increases of wages; for the in^^surance of the workers against accident, sickness and lack of employ^^ment; for pensions for aged and exhausted workers, for the public own^^ership of the means of transportation, communication and exchange; for the^graduated taxation of incomes, inheritances, franchises and land values,^the proceeds to be applied to the public employment and improvement^of the conditions of the workers; for the complete education of children,^and their freedom from the workshop; for the equal suffrage of men and^women; for the prevention of the use of the military against labor in the^settlement of strikes: for the free administration of justice; for popular^government, including initiative, referendum, proportional representation,^equal suff rage and municipal home rule, and the recall of officers by their^constituents; and for every gain or advantage for the workers that may^be wrested from the capitalist system, and that may relieve the suffering^and strengthen the hands of labor. We lay upon every man elected to^any executive or legislative office the first duty of striving to procure^whatever is for the workers' most immediate interest, and for whatever^will lessen the economic and political powers of the capitalist, and in^^crease the like powers of the worker.
But,in so doing, we are using these remedial mearures as means to^the one great end of the cooperative commonwealth. Such measures of^relief as we may be able to force from capitalism are but a preparation^of the workers to seize the whole powers of government, in order that^they may thereby lay hold of the whole system of industry, and thus^come into their rightful inheritance.
Tothis end we pledge ourselves, as the party of the working class,^to use all political power, as fast as it shall be entrusted to us by our^fellow-workers, both for their immediate interests and for their ultimate^and complete emancipation. To this end we appeal to all the warkers^of America, and to all who will lend their lives to the service of the^workers in their struggle to gain their own, and to all who will nobly and^disinterestedly give their days and energies unto the workers' cause, to^cast in their lot and faith with the Socialist party. And we appeal only^to what we, and the men and women whom we represent, are ready to^give and have given. Our appeal for the trust and suffrages of our fel^^low-workers is at once an appeal for their common good and freedom, and^for the freedom and blossoming of our common humanity. In pledging^ourselves, and those we represent, to be fathful to the appeal which we^make, we believe that we are but preparing the soil of that economic free^^dom from which will spring the freedom of the whole man.
GEORGED. HERRON, Chairman.
;.H. BTROBELL.^M. nr. WILKINS^THO8. F. will. Secretary.^BEN. HANFORD.^EUGENE v. DEBS.^VICTOR l. BERGER.^WILLIAM M ULLY.^H. F. TI IT S.