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HELENA,MONTANA. WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, L90t
15heInteresting Side of the Chicago Socialist Row
ComradeWalsh: I went up to MC bdwards about thf OtftOOM^(those already used), and while my reception was frosty, no violence^ensued, and he promised to take the matter dp with you direct. 1^have not been able to see Comrade l'reyer as vet.
Inregard to Knocke. as an editor I think he would make a good^one. but think you had better get further information on the sub^ject, as I would, perhaps, be a poor judge.
Now,as yet. the smoke of the battle here has not cleared awav.^and a complete statement is out of the nuestion at present, but I^will try and give you the facts up to date, and you can glean the^present state of affairs from them. I am sending you at this time^a copy of the Omaha statement, and an address bv Teller countv^locals, which together will give you an exact (piota of the state of^affairs here at present, as regarded in a broad fundamental wav.^sheared of technicalities.
Furtheras to the foundation or the statement by the other side^that we are anarchists, it hag some grounds to stand on. If follow *:^Some of our side have made the statement that they did not believe^in ^political action^: tiny meant that they did not believe the CO*^operative commonwealth would be brought about by votes alone,^but that when we had a majority of votes, we would then have to^use the police powers of the government, so acquired, to take potWf-^sion, as indicated, by the majority vote, and they missed the point,^made clear in the manifesto, that this is political action, and that a*^they favored this line of action, they were not anarchists, as the Other^side claimed they were: as they had misstated their own position.^There were only a few who fell into this error, and the other *idc^took it up, and made capital out of a quibble of words.
TherwJ fight begun when the other side found themselves in a^majority at a county central committee meeting. Thev passed a^motion suspending the regular order of business in order to take up^the national platform.
'Therewas a committee out to draft a new platform, to be pre^^sented with tlie old one. for the rank and tile, at a mass meeting called^for that purpose. They decided that it was wrong for the Com],^county central committee to have monkeyed with the platform ques^^tion, and at that time were about to vote, when the split occurred.
Ithas been a standing rule of the C ook countv committee to con
veneat two ami adjourn at six. and the other side claimed that this^rule was done away with when they 11 ipmdcd the regular order of^business. At six o'clock the secretar held the gavel on an appeal^from the chair on a minor matter, and at *ix In- let the gavel fall, and^declared the meeting adjourned as per rule, and our delegate* left^the hall.
Ihomas J, Morgan took forcible possession of the minutes, and^reconvened the meeting, and as our man had left, the opposition^after six o'clock proceeded to change the call for the mass meeting,^making it one to indorse the national platform, and tired the platform^committee, business manager of the ^ hicagO Socialist, countv treas^^urer and COUBty secretary, and rilled the position* with their own^men. some of whom were not eligible on constitutional points. They^appointed a committee to take possesion of the office, etc.. but our^men got there tir-t and took party seal, paper*, etc.
'Thenmatters hung tire until the mass meeting, which tin y packed
withGerman singing societies, and ha I a priaefighter a* door tender,^who made us show our hooka, but Who let in any one vouched for^by the opposite side whether party m^ ;ibcrs or not. The most hitter^feeling was shown in speeches; they ^ re armed and gavel rule pre^^vailed: they did not permit our new platform to be presented and^^J of us voted against their resoluti^ ;i* ; we were, of course, in the^minority. 'Then at the next meeting^! the ward branches came two^sets of minutes from the two count *ecretaric*. and we were in^^formed if we did not accept theirs, that by that act we placed our^^selves outside the party. They had die branches packed with ^sleep^^ers^ who had not been to a meeting i t mouths and months and car^^ried most of the wards. Their object was i^^ capture the countv^convention, which they did. and there passed a reform county plat^^form, which was made to look like ,V^ cent! by the one the democrat!^passed a short time later. At our coun v convention we were branded^as anarchists, disruptionists. etc.: anything, in fact, but Socialists.
Theyhad expelled or *u*pemjjcd r reorganised those branches^that diil not accept their minutes and this denied the flttJi ward^representation, and the _*ist. and n^S^ slid some delegate* who had^Teen suspended from the party under charges.
Manyof us resigned from the party, proposing to right ^^n other^line*, to be decided on later, ami thev expelled seven and suspended
one.dropping the charges against the rest.
Thencame the state committee tight, which involved the national^office and the qUOTWn, In this fight we were clear Constitutionally,^but they decided against u* on ^general principles,^ but we were^down ami out. a* the Chicago Socialist i* closed to u* and the refer^^endum denied u*. we formed the revolutionary. Socialist, educational^society, with the Constitution of a political party, and any time we^change our name, we can become such at once.
Assoon a* our statement to the public is out I will send vou one,^which will be more complete and accurate than the foregoing, and^their side you can get from the Chicago Socialist of a few weeks^ago; you must have seen it.
Now.history is still being made, and a few days ago we got proof^of what we had long inspected, that Morgan \va* a police agent.^Some S. I.. 1'. men were holding a *treet meeting, when they were^arrested, and their permits taken away. Morgan and Stcadman ap^^peared to prosecute, but when they found it was not our bunch, thev^abjectly apologized ami *aid ^vou ain't the fellows we are after.^ and^said they would *ec that the permit* were returned, which thev were.
TheS. !.. I', men went to the city hall to see what ua* what, and^were shown a letter of a dictatorial nature, in the extreme, ordering^the chief of police to see that all outstanding permit! were taken up.^ami the owners arrested if talking for Socialism, unless thev were^^ ^. K.'d by the men who sent the letter^Morgan, Steadman ami^Edwards. Morgan wa* largely responsible for the hanging of those^men in 'S7. and event* prior to that time were just like thev are BOW,^so if some day you read of a bunch of u* looking through a r ^pe^circle, you will know something about it.
'Thesemen here can nev er be pan of the Socialist partv w ith us,^because thev have unmasked, ami we can't therefore work tor the^Socialist party movement in this city. tmle*s the other States line un
jand thr^^w^1 their h^ des.
uownthe platform, when with the ^sleepers^ gone back to^we may work in again and use the axe. a* they have shown^This i* all for tin* time, a* I don't like writing* and am
ivenyou the facts, that is the main thing.
Chicago.111.. June _'7. 1004.H. I.. SIGGINS.
Oi\the National Socialist Platform Adopted
*T At Chicago. May 6.1904 js
Itmay be said that the good features of the platform offset the |^objectionable ones ami therefore we should overlook the bad for the^good that is in it. It^ the platform committee gave us a pig ami we^rind after the porker comes into our possession that lit' i* owned by^a colony of cholera microbes, surely for the few sound spots in his^anatomy they wouldn't a*k us to keep him to please the para*itc*^that inhabit him; neither are we going to adopt a middle cla** plat^^form to extend the life of a cla** of leeches becau*e it condescends to^mention the fact that the working class is the only class that has a^right to be.
Therefore,in stating our position upon the platform adopted at^the Chicago convention, we wish to do so from behind a barricade^of historic facts. As in military science, soldiers are taught the^strategic positions over which to throw their battalions, so in the^war of words, if we hope to win the battle, we must marshal our^phalanx of facts and logic in such a way as will shatter into frag^^ments every opposing force and opposition.
Thewriters and defenders of the platform declare it to be the first^American expression of the clas* struggle. W e hold it to have Com^^pletely blurred the lines of clas* div ision, to hav e set aside the Social^^ist philosophy for literary diction ami brilliancy of style, and in so^doing abrogated the SCicOCS which alone explain* the laws which^brought these delegates together, we claim they have resurrected^from the grav e the middle clas* philosophy of Individualism, to which^the organized growth of industry had Consigned it, and with the ef^^frontery bom of a training in the schools of respectability, parade^this spectre before our eyes under the guise of Socialism.
TheSocialist party, in conv ention assemhled, make* it* appeal to^the American people as the defender and preserver of the idea of^liberty and self government in which the nation was born.
TheAmerican people, the defender ami preserver of the idea ol^liberty!
Inthe light of history, members of the platform committee, what^does this mean to the working class^ Is the materialistic conception^meaningless to you^ Have the ^ideas of each age^ ceased to he ^the^ideas of its ruling class^^ If it has become meaningless to you, *av^so. If not. why mock us with your sentimental hypocrisy about the^preservers and defenders of liberty when these ideas of liberty as well^as moralitv and justice but reflect the economic interests of our mas^^ters. Liberty, beside being ^something sweet to the palate of the^flesh,^ is a relative term, like pleasure, which is only a relief from^pain, find expression in its opposite, slavery. Hence the struggle of^a class in its own interest means liberty for that class. No struggle^of a class which is not waged in its own interests, though it may^think so, i* a struggle for liberty. 'The ideas which dominate it have^fallen from above.
Therevolutionary struggle of the American colonies for inde^^pendence was economic in character and was waged entirely in the^interest of the manufacturing and commercial classes. When T.ng-^lartd chartered the Colonies, she intended them to follow agricultural^pursuits; being herself a gnat manufacturing nation; she desired 11^the colonies to furnish the raw material for the same, but she reck^oncd without her host j the colonies soon became her rival, having^developed in less than two hundred years an annual export and im^^port trade of $40,000,000. These figures are based upon the report^of I79O, As the colonies produced more than the home market could^consume, they radiated out into the world's market. This brought^them into competition with the British Capitalists, who. alarmed at^their new rival, went to their home government and demanded the^enactment of laws repressing the rising inanuafacturing industri's^of the COlunieS: act after act was passed against the manufacturing^interest of the colonies.
Act5. (ieorge II. ( XXII. was passed in 17JI at the instigation of^the wardens and assistants of the company of felt -makers of London,^to prevent the inhabitants of the American colonies from exporting^hats of their own manufacture to any place whatsoever.
In1750 a law wa* enacted declaring the iron industry of Pennsyl^^vania a public nuisance. Following these laws came the navigation^acts, sugar acts, tax against mola**^ *,~.v!iieh crippled the rum indus^^try, the principle commodity used in the slave traffic: then came the^stamp act and the tax upon tea. These repressive laws aroused the^manufacturing interests of the colonies. The I'.oston tiazette of^April -J^)th. 1705. has this to say: Whose natural right is infringe'!^by the erection of an American windmill, or the occupation of a^water mill on a man's own land, prov ided he does not flood his neigh^^bors. A colonist cannot make a button, a horse shoe, or hob nail, but^some sooty iron monger or respectable button maker of P.ritain shall^bawl and s^|uall. that his honor* worship is most egregiously mal^^treated, injured, cheated and robbed by the rascally American re^^publicans.^ At the *ame time that these acts were being passed,^repressing the manufacturing interests of the colonies. Great Britain,^according to Holies, was giving bounties to encourage the agricul^^tural industry: thus showing that he conflict going on was not be^^tween the agricultural interests and the British government, but^between the manufacturing and commercial cluSSCS of the Colonics^and the T.ritish capitalist*.
'Thisattack of the home government upon the manufacturing and^commercial interests of the colonies brought these several little states
formutual protection together in
Hereit was resolved in the name of liberty and of property to boycott^Lnglish made goods. 'Thev met again in 1775. and finally in 1770^the ^immortal declaration^ was primed. Then followed the years^of sanguinary Strife, the oeace treaty and tin' institutions of America^came into being in the name of liberty. Liberty for whom^ Not^for the black slave of the south: certainly not for tin white redemp-^tiouers of the north, but liberty for the master class of America to go^on their way unhampered by the British government : in other words,^liberty meant free trade, not only in merchandise, hut in human flesh^and blood.
Oneclass, whether black or white, were not considered by the^founders of ^our^ institutions, and the platform that hurls such non^^sense broadcast not only insults our intelligence, but outrages the^memory of the victims degraded by them. ^Our institutions^ of^liberty were called into being by the exigency of a mixed SSSOCistion^of slave-driving agriculturists and labor ricccing capitalists. In I77'^.^when the world was fired with the torch of liberty sent laming from^I'hiladelphia by its authors declaring that the inalienable rights of^man to life, liberty and the pusuit of happiness was a sacred heritage,^hundreds of thousands of our cla** were groaning under the yoke^of the slave driver. Thousands of the white workers of Kurope were^being purchased by the ship load bv the class whose interests brought^the revolution. Thousands were heing sold into bondage for debt,^or placed in dungeons for the same offense ; apprentices were en^^slaved to pav the obligations of absconding masters. I he Boston^New s Letter in 171S states that in die prcv ion* year there had been^eighty burials of Indians and negroes in Boston, This loss, estimate !^^n basis of thirtv pounds, amounted to _^. ;m pounds. Il white ser^^vants had been employed Instead ^1 fifteen pounds for the time ol^each, the town had. saved l^J00 pounds. A man could procure 1-* to^15 pounds to purchase the time of a white servant, that could not pa;^30 tO 50 pounds for a negro or Indian. The white strengthen an 1^pSOpk the country, others do not.^ 'The foregoing quotations tell*^.on in what estimation your cla*'* was held by the ruling class oi^the colonies. It tell* vou aHM thai Boston owned white vassal* IS^well as negro and Indian slaves. Indentured servant*, says VVeeden,^page ^x)5. \'^^l. II, were a constant faCtOf in the social system. ^ I hej^were coining into the country under one or another form of serv ice.^In 1740 Robert GaltOU advertises in Koston. with various goods, a^few boy servants indentured for seven years, ami girl* for four \cars.^In 1750 a number of Irish servant* are tit be sold: the men are me^^chanics, the women fit for either tOWH or country. Unexpired serv ice^under Indenture was offered for sale like any other article of value.'
Washington, the father of hi* country, say* Hart, many years after^1750, writes to an agent imjiiiring about buy ing a shipload of ^ ier-^mans. The treatment of these redemptioners was as heartless as^that meted out to the slaves. ^ The courts whipped, imprisoned and^fined erring servants.^ The fine imposed and his board during con^^finement was paid by his master. The victim, if not able to pay this^upon his release from prison, which of course he never wa*. his^master was giv en the privilege of selling him to any Knglish planta^^tion. By an act passed by Rhode Island in M^45 runaway servant* arc^to be returned to the colonies from which they escaped. Under these^Conditions we can readily see how impossible it wa* for the redemp-^tioner to hope to be other than a life long slave.
'Thisgreat body of the population, in compan) with numbers of^free laborers, were denied the right* of Citizenship under the con^^stitution of the several states that formed the American republic.
Propertyqualifications was the basi* of the elective franchise, also
forthe holding of office. Out of a population of SOOvOno inhabitant*^in Connecticut, in 1775. only 4.^35 were voters; thus showing that^more than 30.000 of her male population of voting aye were disfran^^chised. C onnecticut had HO Other constitution than her colonial char^^ter until 1S1S: Delaware, in 1831, sboltshed religious and property^qualification, except the paying of taxe*: V irginia had a property^qualification for voting until iSjO; South C arolina * constitution of^I79O provided that a freehold of five hundred acre* and ten negroes,^or a real estate valued at a hundred and fifty pounds sterling, free
fromincumbrance, was a necessary qualification for voting: Mary^^land had a property qualification for voting and office holding until^1810, In 1821 New York sboiished the freehold qualification and^substituted requisites of taxation, serv ice in the militia or fireman.^The latter part of the eighteenth century found Vermont without^a property qualification J Rhode Island had her colonial charter until^lS4_^. Dr. jamesen Mates in the New England Magazine for the
monthof January, 1890, that in Massachusetts, from 1780-89 inclusive,
onlysixteen per cent of the male inhabitants over twentv-one years^of age were entitled to vote, while but three per cent actually voted.^Bradford, in his history of Massachusetts, page 349, t*'v M draft of^a constitution agreed upon by the convention of the state of Ma**.i^chusctts I lay held February _^Xth. 177S. Under section of this con^^stitution no person is qualified to hold the office of governor utile**^he is possessed in his own right of a fiv e thousand dollar estate within^the state: the lieutenant governor shall possess Sj.500. Sl.J$0 to be^in real estate. An estate of S-'.om. Si.000 to be in real estate in the^stale and an estate of Si.cxx) divided in the same wav shall qualify^a man to hold the office of senator or representative. Section 5 of^the same document makes $,vx^over and above all charges the quali^^fication for voting for the afore named officials. Massachusetts if
i8joabolished freehold or property qualification for voting. An ordi^^nance tor the government lor the territory of the United State*,^northwest of the Ohio river, enacted in congress July 13th, IT'S^^provides that representatives must hold in their own riyht. in fee^simple, J00 acres of land within that territory : that a freehold i'.^fifty acre* shall be requisite for voting. It also provides t' at a 1 icni^her of the council of five appointed by cotigre** shall DC possesso f^a freehold in five hundred acres of land.
Thesehistoric fact* lav bare all of the Yankee gush about Vtner-^lean liberty and portrays the conditions of our clas* under th^ ^^ ^r^ions free institutions. Like their black brother*, the white laborers,^without VOicC or v ^ ^te. w ere never dee'lied part or parcel of the |K*0|)le;^thev had no pari in the affairs except to fight the battles of t C ^ I^tnercial ami agricultural classes. The public opinion of those^as now, was not of their making: the liberty of the colonies an I tl ^^Institutions that arOSC upon the soil of its realization were to them^Only means of exploitation. As a class they were still in their swad^^dling clothes. 'The conditions neces*arv to bring them to their f-v^^hail not vet arrived, hut the elements wire at work. The industrial
(Continuedoa pegs four, I