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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, NOV. 6, 1920.
they have set the example ; they have pointed out
the road. We know now, with their experience
to guide us, that there can be no peace while one
vestige of capitalism remains.
November 7th is a sacred day. Let us ob-
Two Letters On
Editor, The Toiler:
That "Appeal To The Labor Unions" contain
ed in the Oct. 16th issue of the Toiler affords some
very valuable material for showing up the Americ
an labor unipns as they really are. It is too bad
we couldn't have had the benefit of this expose'
long ago, but I suppose it couldn't have been ap
, preciated then as well as it can be now in the
light of recent corroborative experience.
The inference to be drawn from this appeal
of the Third International is that these comfort
able "respectable" old unions, that have proved
to be so thoroughly part and parcel of the capital
ist system, can become and are becoming revolu
tionary! For myself, I doubt it, but as yet the
problem has not been definitely settled in my mind
and I am still considerably puzzled regarding it.
Are the old unions any more worth "captur
ing" than the capitalist system is worth reform
ing? Then, on the other hand, I've heard a pro
minent student in the movement make the asser
tion that when the revolution comes, the workers
will have to function through whatever organiza
tion they happen to have at the time. ?
This problem of the unions is a bothersome
one for me, and I feel the Toiler can do a good
service right now by inviting and airing views
from those workers who have something sound
to offer on this timely topic.
H. L. Cole
ANSWER BY THE EDITOR OF THE TOILER.
Dear Comrade Cole:
Your letter is of great interest because the
questions you raise are among the most vital that
confront the rebel workers of America at the
present time. We ought, by all means, to have a
discussion in the Toiler by informed workers in
the labor movement to the end that all points 01
view may be fused together and a common plan
of action worked oiit. If we will get our heads
serve it by dedicating ourselves anew to the re
volutionary struggle, calling upon the downtrod
den workers of all lands to join in the war for
liberation. The War against Capitalism is OUR
war and on its outcome we will stake our lives.
together, the problem of revolutionizing the labor
movement of America will soon cease to be a
"puzzle"; it will become only a necessary job of
work to be done, and we will set to it with a will.
It is a fortunate circumstance that your letter
was inspired by the recent publication in the Toil
er of the "Appeal To The Labor Unions" by the
Communist International. I say this because I sul
scribe to the opinion that the strategy of the ad
vancing working class must be mapped out on an
international scale and because I believe the Com
munist International, standing as it does at the
head of the world's revolutionary movement, is
the organization to which we will learn to look
more and more for advice and guidance in the
desperate struggles that lie ahead of us.
It will interest you to learn that the second
congress of the Communist Internationa, recently
held at Moscow with 35 countries represented,
dealt exhaustively with the perplexing question
of trade unionism and, making due allowance for
the special conditions which obtain in the dif
ferent countries, laid down some general policies
which it is our duty to consider and to see where
in they apply to the peculiar problem that con
fronts us here in America which' at the outbreak
of the war had developed the most reactionary
labor organization in the world. The A. F. of L.,
alongside of the most advanced and militant type,
the I. W. W.
Favor Work In Old Unions.
The second congress arrivedat some con
clusions which run counter to one of our establish
ed dogmas, and I am wondering how they will be
accepted by our rebel vanguard. Will we take
stock and ask ourselves whether there is not some
merit in their view or will we make the stereotyp
ed answer that "Russian conditions do not prevail
in America", and go on along the accustomed road
that leads us nowhere.
I am going to quote briefly from Radek's