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The daily worker. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1924-1958, January 10, 1925, Magazine Supplement, Image 12

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“One Single Cohesive Fear”
A TINY corner of the political jun
gle of the Solid South was Il
luminated when Senator Pat Harrison,
democrat of Mississippi, clashed with
Senator Bruce, democrat of Maryland,
last Monday afternoon in the senate.
Harrison comes from the depth of
the Southern political and economic
jungle. Bruce comes from the edge
of the feudal jungle. That partly ex
plains the difference. And from their
sharp difference we obtain a little pic
ture of the deepening class antagon
fsm in that vast, unhappy, decaying
and yet living human mass which we
call the Solid South.
Bruce and Harrison are, both equal
ly political vultures. Superficially they
are of the same school of vultures —
both are members of the “immortal
party of Jefferson.” But the school of
political vultures which is called the
democratic party is dividing. The. vul
ture who lives on the edge of the
clearing has learned to live on a dif
ferent kind of meat —the meat which
is the political garbage of modern
capitalist society while the vulture
from the heart of the wilderness still
lives on raw jungle meat.
Bruce of Maryland represents the
bourgeoisie of that northern fringe of
the South which has been reached by
the march of modern industry—the
big bourgeoisie which has been made
big. rich powerful, and has been orien
tated toward the financial metropolis.
Bruce took his stand with the big
bourgeoisie of the country as a whole
on the Mellon tax plan.
Harrison of Mississippi represents a
decaying, backward, ultra-ignorant
petty-bourgeoisie, and the decayed
remnants of a feudal landlord class.
Mississippi has never ceased to be
a “slave state” —it is a slave country,
not in the sense that all capitalist
countries are lands of wage-slavery,
but in the sense of still retaining to
a large degree the old system of pro
duction thru the bodily ownership of
chattel-slaves by feudal masters, with
an elaborate system of restrictions
against “free” competition of workers
in the wage-labor market and the
"free” production of farm products.
Twenty-four years ago there were
137,852 families of agricultural serfs
working as “share-farmers” and "ten
ant-farmers” In Mississippi, with
many other scores of thousands of
slave laborers without even the claim
to hold land as tenants; and since
that time the proportion of serfs has
Practically all of the laboring and
tenant farming class are completely
without political rights, and without
redress in courts of law. Less than
of the adult population of
Mississippi exercises the right of the
ballot. Thru a system of agricultural
"credit” the entire class is practically
bound to the land as "debtors” for
life, their children inheriting the
“debts” and living on in slavery with
out hope of freedom. It is a notablo
fact that in Mississippi we have a
large agricultural class which has
never even known the hope of owning
land. The greater portion of these
are Negroes—more than half of the
population of the state are Negroes—
and as such are disfranchised; and
those who are not Negroes are mostly
disfranchised as “ignorant.” Virtually
no schools are provided. Lynch law
and the stake are the only law for
them, and the paranoiac preachers’
“God” is the only court of appeal.
There are no cities of consequence
in Mississippi, no manufacture, no
minerals (and therefore no mines),
and until recently there was no sea
port. Mississippi is one great cotton
plantation, varied here and there with
sugar-cane plantation.
The vast field of primitive agricul
ture Is broken only by a few stunted
cities and towns, and by lumber camps
in which the timber cutting is done
largely by labor recruited thru "vag
rancy" laws under which slave-hun
ters are rewarded at two dollars per
head for the destitute and homeless
laborers that aro caught in a moment
in illegal idleness and sold "to pay
costs” of their conviction for vagran
cy, tho they often receive not even
a form of trial. For being caught idle,
men, women and children are sold by
local officers into forced labor for
terms as long as a year, without com
pensation and under corporal punish
This is the soeial system re
presented by Senator Pat Harrison.
Naturally he does not represent the
masses of toilers. He represents
their masters. But even the masters
arc not of the class of the big bourge
oisie—they are a peculiarity primitive
and stunted petty-bourgeoisie. The
type represented by Harrison is the
cross-roads store-keeper, who lends
“credit” to the impoverished tenant
farmers and who thus becomes their
bedily owner; and the landlord who
spends his life haggling with a dozen
or a score of "share” farmers, taking
customarily one half of their crops
as rent and the other half in repay
ment of “lpans.”
The Mississippi system of serfdom
is a backward form of production and
cannot be made to produce large re
sults, nor to produce a really wealthy
bourgeoisie. Herein lies the peculiar
form of stagnation characteristic to
the most backward sections of the
Solid South. The master class for the
most part remains an impoverished
exploiting class, and this gives the
class character to Senator Pat Harri
son's constituency. It is this which
orientates the Mississippi senator on a
myriad of questions, including the
question of whether the burden of the
income tax shall fall directly upon the
small parasitic incomes or the large
parasitic incomes.
Sentator Harrison, representing the
snivelling, nickel-nursing parasites,
wants the big bourgeoisie of the far
away industrial centers to pay the
income tax.
Senator Bruce
Senator Bruce of Maryland, repres
enting a class of parasites which has
been introduced to the more efficient
method of exploiting thru wage-stav
ery in industrialized production (and
which nurses dollars instead of
nickels), wants the burden of taxation
to fall upon the smaller incomes.
So the two “democratic" senators
fight. On the face of it, the two should
be members of separate parties, each
fighting for separate class interests.
But it is not so simple as that.
The case was stated sharply by
Senator Bruce. He taunted Harrison
with the very plain fact that the Mis
sissippi democrat might logically be
expected to line up with "Wisconsin,
Nebraska and North Dakota” —mean-
ing, of course, that the Southern
cockroach bourgeoisie might logically
lino up with the LaFollette move
ment which represents the cockroach
bourgeoisie of the country generally.
But at the same time Senator Bruce
taunted Harrison with the reason why
he DOES NOT line up with the coun
try's general petty-bonrgeoise move
ment. Bruce gave the reason as:
Fear of the Negro'-.
He meant altho he did not pron
ounce the words—the “single, cohe
sive fear” of the NEGRO. He meant
that the Southern cockroach bourge
oisie does not dare to face the slight
estdisturbance of the political surface
of the South, the slightest disturbance
of its relationships to the Negro. He
meant that the backward exploiters of
Harrison’s constituency do not dare
to break the front of the democratic
party. The "Party of the Immortal
Jefferson" (and of Jefferson Davis,
Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wil
son) stood for half a century as tho
guardian of chattel slavery In the
South, and for another half century
as the preserver of Its remnants. For
half a century the democratic party
in the South has been the accepted
political medium for preserving what
is called “White Supremacy.”
The master class of the South in
general and of Mississippi in par
ticular had never had the slightest
aversion to contact with the Negro.
To mention the most extreme test, the
Southern master class has shown a
distinct preference for inter-breeding
with the Negro race In numberless In
stances. At the same time, the ruling
class has exercised the most brutal
repression and savagery against the
Negro. Why?
Why does “the one single cohesive
fear” of the Negro constitute the
power that holds the bourgeoisie of
the South in a single political line?
Because the fear of the Negro is
not the fear of a race, it is the fear
of a CLASS. The secret of it is that
The vast majority of the tenant
farmers and laborers on whose backs
Senator Pat Harrison's ruling class
lives, is composed of Negroes. They
are exploited as laborers and peasants.
But they can be held in political sub
jection and directly applied terror
more conveniently as Negroes. The
coincidence, that the exploited class
is mostly black of face, enables the
ruling class of the South to obscure
its class oppression under the easy
cover of race oppression. (In fact
the whites of the same economic
classes are almost equally terrorized
and oppressed).
The rotting, putrifying, impover
ished and discontented petty bour
geoisie of the Solid South has many
impales toward solidarity with the
similar class of the North as against
the more wealthy bourgeoisie. But It
dares not let go or disturb its front
for the “One Single Cohesive Fear”
that it may lose its hold on its serf
class which is mostly black of face.
The big bourgeoisie of the North
also at various times during the past
thirty years has been inconvenienced
by the stagnant cohesiveness of the
Solid South. Democratic and republi
can politicians alike have made re
peated gestures toward breaking up
the Solid South of the democratic
party. As a child in Texas in ISD6 the
writer was astonished to see a local
banker’s sons actually flaunting a
republican banner, (considered an un
speakable offense) which meant that
the danger of tha Bryan movement
capturing the government thru the
capure of the democratic party and
hereby using tho political strength of
the South in a debtor’s drive against
the big bourgeoisie, was frightening
the Southern bourgeoisie. Since that
time republican politicians. Roosevelt,
Taft, Elihu Root, Harding and Cool
idge, have made overtures to the South
ern bourgeoisie by offering to commit
the republican party to “white suprem
acy” in the Southern states. Today,
subsidized Negro newspapers continue
to flaunt the slogan of Frederick
Douglass (of the Cival War period)
that “the Republican party is the
SHfp; All else is the Sea,” but Mr. C.
Bascom Slemp strives to introduce the
republican party to the Southern rul
ing class as the thing it is—another
party of “White Supremacy”—which
means capitalist class supremacy over
the toiling masses whose faces are
largely black. And it has already been
proven that the democratic and repub
lican parties act on a "gentleman’s
agreement” by which they co-operate
in killing every gesture (however ster
ile) toward granting political rights
to Negroes.
History forces the question of the
breaking up of the Solid South upon
the order of the day. Yet neither the
republican party nor the democratic
pnrty (both of the big bourgeoisie),
nor any party of the petty bourgeoise,
will do It or can desire to do it at
the cost of extending citizenship rights
to the most exploited of all classes
In America, the Negro toilers. Such
citizenship rights would not free the
Negro masses from exploitation, ter
ror and suppression. The break-up
of semi-feudal restrictions would make
the exploitation more efficient and pro-
I (luctive, and put the terror and sup
pression on a more secure basis. But
the existing exploiting class has Us
lines of operation laid In feudal con
ditions, and dares not face any change
which tend to substitute a new and
more capable set of exploiters in their
This is the impasse.
The big bourgeoisie, generally
speaking, has an Interest in breaking
up the backward system of feudal pro
duction. But in concrete cases it be
comes the interest of the big bourge
oisie to mako a truce with the rem
nants of feudal conditions. Thus it is,
that the republican party in attempting
- By Robert Minor
to introduce itself to the ruling class
of the South, offers itself as another
party of “White Supremacy." In past
history, capitalism, in order to over
throw feudalism as a then ruling Bys
tem, has been forced to draw tbe
proletariat into political activity. But
in the present stage of capitalism It
can better afford to ally itself with
the beaten remnants of feudalism (as
witness Central Europe), than to stir
up the exploited masses.
With things as they are in the
South, no capitalist party, nor any pet
ty-bourgeois party, will or can dare
to stir the exploited masses into even
“democratic” political efforts. Under
the existing circumstances, none but
a revolutionary party —the revolution
ary party—will or can do this.
Any effort to break up the Solid
South into political divisions of the
republican and democratic parties,
will be made only with the severest
precautions by both parties against
political enfranchisement (little as
that means) of the black masses.
None but the most exploited masses
of the Southern jungle (whose faces
are mostly black) can set these mass
es into motion, and no party whose
purpose is not revolution will dare to
lead such a movement.
Senator Bruce in a moment of anger
can taunt Senator Harrison with in
discrete hints of the fear of the
masses whose faces are black. But
when his anger cools, the knees of
Senator Bruce must also tremble With
the “one single cohesive fear.”
The Workers (Communist) Party
alone can and mu3t become the em
bodiment of the “one single cohesive
fear” —the leader and liberator of the
exploited masses of the backward
South whose faces are both black and
The workers of Chicago will have
the opportunity to see three live work
ing class pictures in one evening for
the price of one. All the pictures were
made in Russia during the revolution.
The first is "Polikushka,” the fa
mous story of serfdom by L. N. Tol
stoy. Made into a movie by the world
famous Moscow Art Theatre.
The second, “Soldier Ivan’s Miracle,"
a comedy, tells a serious story about
religion, but In a funny, peculiar Rus
sian way.
The third, “In Memoriam— Lenin,”
is showing Nicolai Lenin in action,
the last picture is shown in connec
tion with the first anniversary of
Lenin’s death.
The pictures will be shown in Chi
DAY, JANUARY 15, from 6:30 to 11
p. m. at Gartner’s Independent
Theater, 3725 Roosevelt Road, near
Indepcdence Blvd.
The Walden
Book Shop
397 Plymouth Court
(Between State and Dearborn
Just South of Jackson)
Any Book In Print at Oneo.
Jimmie Higgins Book Shop
127 University Place
A Workara Party Book Shop

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