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EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE MONTANA NONPARTISAN DECEMBER 14, 1918
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF NONPARTISAN LEAGUE IN MONTANA
iiblished Weekly at Great Falls, Montana by the Montana Nonpartisan.
Entered as second class matter, November 30, 1918, at Great Falls, Mon
tana, under the act of March 3, 1879..
Place of Publication Great Falls, Montana, November 30, 1918.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR
All communications should be addressed to the Montana Nonpartisan, Box
1625, Great Falls, Montana. The Montana Nonpartisan will accept advertise.
ments of reliable firms desiring to do business with the people of Montana
Advertising rates will be furnished on application.
THE NATIONAL MEETING
The national delegate convention which met at St. Paul last week marks
an important stage in the development of the National Nonpartisan league.
Originating only a little over three years ago in North Dakota, the great or
anized farmers' movement less than two years ago began to spread into ad
joining states, and now has gained a foothold in 13 states. The organization
of the League in states outside North Dakota has necessarily been more or
less temporary in its nature. When the League entered these other states,
some of which it has been in for less than a year, a ready-made form of or
ganization had to be adopted until such time as the various states had enough
members to enable it to hold conventions of delegates chosen by League
members and to become self-governing. In the meantime, the various far
mers' committees in these states were created and worked under temporary
articles of association.
But the League has now passed through its development stage in these
states, and all of them are ready to become self-governing parts of the na
tional organization, as North Dakota has been. The convention just held,
therefore, composed of delegates from the 13 states where the League is or
ganizing, had the duty of deciding on permanent articles of association. The
articles finally adopted and described elsewhere in this issue are the re
sult.- They make the League a compact, fighting organization, at the same
time providing that all power of state and national officers and state and
national committees shall be derived from the members themselves under a
democratic procedure of delegation of power.
Thus has the League entered on a new era of development under a per
manent and efficient form of organization.
TRYING TO HOLD ON. I
An effort is to be made at the next legislature to have the State Council I
of Defense continued for an indefinite period of time. It is said that this a
is for the purpose of assisting in post-war re-adjustments and if it is the a
intention of the National Council of Defense to use these agencies for this t
work, all well and good, although we are compelled to remark that so far as u
thqmajority of these councils are concerned, the National Council would be r
better advised to leave well enough alone.
Taking the Montana Council as an example, we must say that itf its
post-war activities are equal to its war records, no very great good will be t
accomplished.. We have yet to hear, or read of any really useful act ac- a
complished by that body for the people of Montana, but we do remember t
their cynical treatment of Attorney General Ford's letter, in the Miles City C
kidnapping case. We cannot recall either, having heard of their efforts to C
suppress the mob violence which was running rampant a while ago, but we c
have a vivid recollection of the callous treatment meted out to working men t
by local boards, in utter defiance of their constitutional rights and the dic
tates of common decency. a
Only one of these boards do we know which came within measurable 1
distance of doing what they were intended to do and that one was in North I
Dakota. The North Dakota State Council of Defense undertook to crop all t
vacant lands held by speculators, to discipline bankers as well as workers A
and to care for the interests of the whole community.. A copy of their reso- a
lations is before us and mighty good reading they make. Even at that, it is a
a matter of certainty that a legislature has no right to delegate its powers to t
a board or small body of men who "order this and order that" for all the o
world as though they sat at Potsdam-at least not in Democracy. I
The political subservience of women is the direct result of her economic =
subservience. For countless centuries women were for all practical purposes j
slaves, indeed there is evidence to show that they were the first slaves. How
far the physical disability to which they are heir tended to produce this is a
matter for speculation and we shall leave it to those who have nothing else
to do. What is certain is this.
The idea that women should receive a smaller wage for 'work performed
because they are not so efficient as men is the logical outcome of rank in
dividualism, which looks upon industry not as a social process, but as the ef
forts of isolated individuals performing tasks independently and mutually
exclusive of each other. An analogy in point would be that of a brass band,
every member of which ran his own show regardless of the general en
Large employers are found amongst the opponents of suffrage because
they have for many years employed female help upon a wage basis lower
than that of men and it appears natural to them that since women are "in
ferior" in industry-for of course superiority to them is always spelled in
terms of cash-they must also be politicly. The facts are o fcourse, that in
the great process of industry all who participate add something vital to the
product which is the result of their combined effort, a fact very clear to far
mers' wives who toil at cooking, washing, milking and those other endless
and irritating tasks which come under the peculiar title of chores. The
most hardened anti-feminist would hardly deny the volume and importance
of their efforts in raising farm products, it appears to us. The suffrage
amendment, still before the house, means the recognition in politics of what
is scarcely realized fact in industry. The amendment should carry as a
mark of elemental decency.
IT DOES NOT PAY
The fight to retain the railways, or rather to hand them over to ns
tional control has begun in earnest. Our readers will see that the national
convention of the League has stated the position in ringing and crystal clear
terms. The Nonpartisan league takes its stand on this issue and is girding
itself for the coming struggle. The organized labor forces too, are getting
in and together these twain should make an irresistable combination.
We hear much from the opponents of national ownership, very little of
which, however, is pertinent or of any great weight. There, chief, in fact
their only argument seems to be it is not a success and therefore should be
forgotten. These "reobstructionists" have no vision above dollars and
dimes, their whole scheme of things is bound in fetters of gold and therefore
the cry that national ownership is not a success must be translated into the
very sordid wail of "It does not pay."
The government, they say, is not fit to run anything and they point to
various institutions around them as proof of their contention, to all of which
there is a moral attached: a moral they might well digest and if they have
a sense of humor it should tend to silence them. It is this. The very gentle
men who make the loudest outcry against the in-efficiency of government
ownership are just those who are responsible for such a state of affairs.
They developed the patronage rystem, they instigated corruption, they pro
vided slush funds, they have always fought even with violence against any
organization which sought to clean up the mess; they should complain. Gen
tlemen, the government of a nation will be a fair reflection of its economic
morality, better look to your own glass house before you heave rocks at an
We have been wondering about Omsk lately, we used to think in our cal
low days of map drawing that it was a hopeless huddle of ingloos, set dismally
in an arctic land, now we don't know whether it's a Balkan principality
or a polygamist, it has such an appetite for new dictators.
THE PRIZE CONTEST.
The competition which starts this week, the terms of which will be found
on another page, offers an excellent opportunity to do a great deal of good
and at the same time to improve one's propaganda effectiveness. Writing
to others who do not think in the manner the writer does is one of the
greatest stimulants to clear forceful expression. The other fellow can not ar
gue with the wlitten word, it offers scant opportunities for leading his cor
respondent up blind alleys or false trails, all he can do is to read it and then
prepare an answer, if he has one coming.
Imagine the power of the written word, Empires have been upset, dy
nasties overthrown, whole nations held in thrall, public opinion made and re
made over night. The pres censorship is a recogniti6n on the part of govern
ments of the power of printed matter. Now you can do your part, you can
be one of those who will prepare the way for extensive organization work,
you can send out a tremendous flood of argument which will powerfully as
sist in forwarding the work of the League-and you can win a book be
The second phase of the great world war is upon us. The shouting and
the cheering have died away, the momentary joy and the heartfelt relief
manifested in the parades, the dances and the general clamor of holiday
spirit are gone, 'twas a holy-day in very truth; one of the most holy.
Now it is gone and the future must be faced with more courage and a
higher resolution than were needed for the prosecution of the war even in
its darkest days, there is that toward, which will call for the utmost man
hood and womanhood, the producers of the world are capable of developing
for the second phase is always that in which the predatory vultures at whose
instigation the war was started will seek to realize the things, the black, re
actionary, vicious things, for which they had been athirst for four long
We hear of a League of Nations, of the final settlement of the war
problem, of this being the last war, of a thouspnd rosy hopes which were but
gauds and baubles to catch the generous instinct of the mass, and which will
go aglimmering with "self determination and no annexations and no indem
nities" unless those to whom these things were promised insist in no uncer
tain manner upon their consummation.
The problems of the peace table are vast enough and the task ahead of
the delegates one of extreme difficulty, but it is the wildest extravagance
of optimism to imagine that the great majority of the delegates are going
there to put into effect one-half of the things that have been promised. On
the contrary they are set upon seeing just how many of these promises they
can break and get away with, for instance they have already declared that
labor representation at the peace table must not be tolerated because it would
be class representation. There will be talk of concessions, of spheres of in
fluence, of colonial empire, of indemnities, of division of Germany's merch
ant and battle fleet.. Alsace-Lorraine will cause much heart burning and
heated debate, for who holds the iron mines of these two provinces, holds
Europe. That sore of sores, the Near East, wilLthrust itself into prominence
again and a settlement must be reached about it, somehow. The Far East,
one of the greatest riddles with which modern guardians of the interests have
to solve will also be present. The Balkan question is a very fruitful source
of trouble, for its history during the last fifty years has been simply of ter
ritorial re-arrangement for the purpose of delaying the German thrust to
ward the Persian Gulf, and it was the creation of that miserable little Sanjac
of Novi-Baar and the leasing of Kowiet which finally blocked the Bagdad
to Berlin Railway scheme. The Armenian fake is dead with Imperial Russia
and no more will our feelings be harrowed by bloody tales of massacre of
these armed skirmishers who so persistently wrought to clear the way toward
Constantinople with arms and ammunition supplied by 8t. .Petersburg. The
German invasion of Belgium was just as much with the view of holding that
country as a pawn in the African question, as for the channel ports, because
the Belgian Congo lay right across the Cape to Cairo Railway.
These and other legacies of hate are left for the second phase of the new
era. Imperial Germany lies smitten in the dust and we joyfully record it
but that has simply sharpened the appetites of dther Imperialists. The
problem is there, although the actors are changed and who shall enter into
the house that once was Germany's, is the main question of the peace table.
And here is the danger-very grave and terrible to be sure-if these men
sacceed in their designs, if they but re-arrange these territories and ignore
all other considerations, they will but shift the scenery and write the over
tore for another war, more cruel, more harrowing, more deadly and more de
vastating than teat from which we have emerged. The hope of the world
lies in the powerful organization of the producers and their intelligent in
sistance upon a settlement, not on territorial lines but on terms best suited to
rob Imperial mischief-makers of the power to accomplish their fell aims.
THE THREE PRIZE BOOKS I
The New Freedom. A book which speaks out plainly and tells i
= what the President thinks America ought to be. The following ex
tracts will glie a clearer idea of Wilson's thought, than any lengthy
E "I want thd people to come in and take possession of their own -
promises; for I hold that the government belongs to the people, and i
* that they have a right to that intimate access to it which will deter
mine very turn of its policy." =
"We must learn, we freemen, to meet, as our fathers did, some -
how, somewhere, for consultation. There must be discussion and de
* bate, in which all freely participate.
"The men who have been ruling America must consent to let
the majority into the game."
DEMOCRACY OR DESPOTISM.
( By Walter Thomas Mills.)
Democracy means the rule of the people. -
Despotism means the rule of a tyrant.
Which do you believe in?
Does the rule of the people mean the rule of the majority or the
rule of the minority of the people? Who rules in the United States?
President Wilson says that "The masters of the government of =
* the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of -
* the United States."
The book "Democracy or Despotism" shows how this is done. It
shows how the Steel Trust, The Packers Trust, the Sugar Trust, the
Milling Combine and the rest of the Big Business group keep their
hold on political power. It tells you how the political machine works; -
how candidates are selected by the machine; how the political boas
rules; how elections are manipulated; how the men elected by the
people are counted out.
Then it tells what we must do to put the government into the
hands of the people; how to have a government of the people, by
the people and for the peo:le; a real Democracy.
THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
(By Frederic C. Howe.)
Everybody is hit by The High Cost of Living. The profiteers
are doing their best to blame it on the farmers. Do you know how -
much the farmer gets out of every dollar the consumer spends? The
= experts say he get less than 25 cents. The rest goes to to the middlemen.
The whole story of how they take this out of the farmer and the
consumer is told in this book. If you want to know what's the mat
ter with farming-read "The High Cost of Living." It also tells
how the farmers have changed this state of affairs in Denmark and
Austria thrn political power.
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We print below the Declaration of
Rights of the Russian Soviet admin
istration, for the following reasons:
One-Because from our knowledge of
the subject, we know that the natural
enemies of these people, whom we
call in this country the "old gang,"
have ruthlessly villified and distorted
the efforts of the Russian Soviets in
an effort to create sufficient senti
ment to back the intervention policy, I
which, in plain English, is nothing
but an effort to grab the wonder
ful resources from the Russian work
ing people and annex them to Wall
street, in exactly the same manner
as they tried a few years ago-and
will try it again-to so blacken the
Mexican Administration that armed
intervention in the interests of ex
ploiters of labor will find no resist- i
ance from the American people as a
Two-Because we consider the
Duty of the press is to give the
widest publicity to all phases of the i
present situation and not press dis
patches from one side only. Too often
have we seen so-called progressive
papers, who boast of their desire to
seek the truth, giving vent editorial
ly to venemous piffle about "red flag
anarchists" which were plainly in
spired, not by clear information on
the subject, but, alas, by dispatches
from the controlled Dress agencies.
From New York Times Current His
Taking its stand upon the princi
ples of the Internationale, the So
viet Republic recognizes that there
can be no rights without duties and 1
no duties without rights, and there 4
fore proclaims at the same time with
the right of the working classes in a
Irejunevated society the following out- i
line of their duties:
First-To fight everywhere and
without sparing their strength, for
the complete power of the working
classes, and to stamp out all attempts
to restore the dominion of the de
spoilers and oppressors.
Second-To assist with all their
strength in overcoming the depres
sion caused by the war and the oppo
sition of the bourgeoisie, and to co
operate in bringing about as speedy a
recovery as possible of production in
all branches of economy.
Third-To subordinate their per
sonal and group interests to the in
terests of all the working people of
Russia and the whole world.
Fourth-To defend the Republic of I
the Soviets, the only socialistic bul
wark in the capitalistic world, from
the attacks of international imperial
ism without sparing their own
strength and even their own lives.
Fifth-To keep in mind always and
everywhere the sacred duty of liber
ating labor from the domination of
capital, and to strive for the estab
lishinent of a world-embracing fra
ternal league of working people.
In proclaiming these rights and
duties, the Russian Socialistic Repub
lic of the Soviets calls upon the work
ing classes of the entire world to ac
complish their task to the very end,
and in the faith that the Socialist
ideal will soon be achieved to write
upon their flags the old battlecry of
the working people:
.."Proletarians of all lands, unite!
Long live the Socialistic world rev
GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE a
CONSTITUTION OF THE i
RUSSIAN SOCIALISTIC FED
The fundamental problem of the,
Constitution of the Russian Socialist r
Federal Republic involves, in view of
the present transition period, the es- (
tablishment of a dictatorship over -
the urban and rural proletariat and
the poorest peasantry, the power of
the Pan-Russian Soviet authority,
the crushing of the bourgeoisie, the a
abolition of the spoliation of men by t
men and the introduction of socialism
in which there will be neither a divi
sion into classes not a state author- t
1..-rThe Russian Republic is the t
free Socialist society of all the
working people of Russia, united in
the urban and rural Soviets.
2.-The Soviets of those regions
which differentiate themselves by al
special form of existence and nation- t
al character will be united into au
tonomous regional associations ruled c
by the sessions of the Soviets of
those regions and their executive or
8.-The Soviet associations of the
regions participate in the Russian So- a
cialistic Republic upon the basis of
federation, at the head of which
stands the Pan-Russian session of the
Soviets and, in periods between the
sesions, the Pan-Russian Central Ex
CONCERNING THE RUSSIAN
Section First: Concerning the I
1.-The right to vote and to be
elected to the Soviets is enjoyed by 1
the following citizens of the Russian t
Socialistic Soviet Republic of both
sexes who shall have completed their
eighteenth year by the day of elec
1.-411 who have acquired the
means of living through labor that
is productive and useful to society,
and are members of the trades asso
(a) Laborers and employes of all
classes who are employed in industry.
trade and agriculture.
(b) Peasants and Cossack agricul
tural laborers who hire no labor.
(c) Employes and laborers in the
offices of the Soviet Government.
2.-Soldiers of the army and navy
of the Soviets.
3. Citizens of the two previous
categories who have to any degree
lost their capacity to work.
II.-The following persons enjoy
neither the right to vote nor to be
voted for, even though they belong
to one of the categories enumerated
1.-Persons who employ hired labor
in order to obtain from it an increase
2.-Persons who have an income
without doing any work, such as in
terett from capital, receipts from
property, and so on;
3.-Private merchants, trade and
4.-Employes of communities for
5.-Employes and agents of the
former police, the gendarmerie corps
and the Ochrana; also members of
the dynasty that formerly ruled Rus
6.-Persons who have in legal form
been declared demented or mentally
deficient, and also deaf and dumb per
7.-Persons who have been pun
ished for selfish or dishonorable mis
PRINCIPLES FOR THE ADMINIS
TRATION OF THE RUS
The Government is based upon the
smallest settlements villages and
hamlets, the inhabitants of which
may elect one representative to each
The rural Soviets are under the au
thority of the Soviets of the Voloste
(districts), and these latter under the
Soviets of the Ujesd (larger regions).
The urban and Ujesd Soviets elect
delegates to sessions of the Govern
ment or Oblast Soviets. Each of these
bodies chooses independently its own
The keystone of the whole Consti
tution is embraced in:
CONCERNING THE PAN-RUS
SIAN CONGRESS OF THE
i.-The Pan-Russian Congress of
Soviets consists of representatives of
the urban Soviets (one delegate for
each 25,000 voters), and representa
tives of the' Government congresses
(one delegate for each 125,000 vot
2.-The Pan-Russian Congress of
Soviets will be called together by the
Pan-Russian Central Executive Com
mittee at least twice a year.
3.-The extraordinary Pan-Russian
Congress will be called together by
the Pan-Russian Central Executive
Committee upon its own initiative or
upon the demand of the Soviets of
districts embracing at least one-third
of the entire population of the re
4.-The Pan-Russiz:n Congress of
Soviets elects the Ceatgral Executive
Committee of not moru than 200
5.-The Pan-Russian Executive
Committee is responsible to the Pan
Russian Congress of Soviets.
6.-The Pan-Russian Congress of
Soviets is the highest power, in the
republic. In the periods between its
sessions that power is represented by
the Pan-Russian Central Executive
It is further provided that the Cen
tral Executive Committee shall be di
vided into 11 colleges for administra
tive functions. These are:
2.-Defense of the country (army
3.-Social order and security (mi
litia), census of the people, registra
tion of societies and associations, fire
department, insurance, organization
of the Soviets.
5.-Public economy (withsub-sec
tion for agriculture, industry and
trade, finances, railways, food supply,
state property and construction).
6.-Labor and social welfare.
7..-Education and enlightenment
of the people.
9..-Post, telegraph and telephone.
10.-Fedgral and national affairs.
11.-Control and auditing.
The tonnage tax bill that league
legislators are planning to introduce
when the next Minnesota legislature,
opens meets every objection that has
been raised against previous meas