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Votelor the Party^of Your CUum
OWNEDAND PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF MONTANA
Abolishthe Capi^^talist System
HELENAMONTANA, TRTRSDAV, MAY H, 190^.
TheCrying Need of the Socialist Move^^ment Today Is Woman's^Influence.
WHYSOCIALISTS PAY DUES
Thereif a very perceptible awaken^^ing at the present time in the Amer^^ican aocialiat movement in the line of^the neceaaity of getting women inter^^ested in socialism. Thia new activity^ia aeen in the numeroua women'a aocial^^iat club* that are springing up ail^over the country.
Butthat there iB beginning to be a^new realization of the importance of^women aa an indispensable revolu^^tionary element ia evidenced in another^direction; and that ia the attention^that ia being paid to the neceaaity of^obtaining the ballot for women aa well^aa men.
Thenoble and wonderful atand that^the Engliah women have made for the^right to expreaa themaelvea in govern^^ment, and the valiant fight the aocial^^iat party haa made to austain them^aeem to have fired both the woman auf-^fragiata and the aocialiata of America.
But,aa aeema to be the caae in^America with almost every practical^queation whicfa the socialist movement^attempts to take up, we are confronted^by a peculiar aituation here.
Thereia already, of many yeara'^atanding, a national organization de^^voted to the achievement of woman'a^^uffrage. Needless to say thia organi^^sation, the National Woman Suffrage^association, ia composed wholly of^bonrgeoia ^ultras^, ^radicals^ and^^liberala^, with a marked aversion to^any revolutionary indicationa in be^^half of the working claaa.
Socialismia an unspaakable horror.
Miss8uaan B. Anthony at one time^In her career made the atatement that^ahe would eapouse any party that would^take up the woman auffrage cause.^But when the populists made the^woman vote a part of their platform^ahe could not stomach the receptacle^that held the jewel, and atill continued^to nail the banner of her allegiance to^the republican party maat, to which she^remained faithful throughout her life.
ElisabethCady Staunton waa the^real revolutionary apirit within the^American movement for women. She^evidenced this in her attitude towards^religious, aocial cuatoma and the work^^ing claas aa well as in her demanda^that the ahacklea be taken from one^half the human race.
LucyStone had conaiderable of the^aame daning apirit.
Themodern auffrage movement ia^largely a pander to persona of wealth^and influence.
PoliticsIn the Union.
The^Socialist Woman^ of Chicago^has an editorial in its May number on^^To Join or Not to Join.^ It is a^diacuaaion aa to whether aocialiat^women, in their effort to obtain the^ballot, the fundamental requisite of^universal, democratic control, ehould^ally themaelvea with the existing^woman suffrage organisations.
Inthe meantime Maud Malone, who^waa organizing secretary of the^Woman'* Progressive Suffrage Union^of New York, has resigned from that^organization, and atatea her reasons in^a letter in the ^New York Socialist.^^Miss Malone is not a aocialiat. She^accuses the suffrage organization with^wiabing to exclude the ^rabble,^^being devoted to the petty ambitions^and prejudieea of a few women, and^with a nervous fear of touching the^economic queation.
Thepresentwriter can add some first^hand testimony to Miss Malone'a ac^^cusations. For aome time ahe waa^one of the national organizers of the^National Woman'a Suffrage aaaocia-^tion, and for a period extending over^about five yeara waa engaged con^^stantly in the work of the auffrage^movement. Entering the work at the^time the women of Colorado were mak^ing their strenuous demand for the^ballot, which resulted in women be^^coming voters in that atate in 1893,^ahe participated in every atate cam^^paign since, where the question waa^put before the voters, up to the time^she entered the public work of the^aocialiat movement. She haa been^personally associated with Miss An^^thony. Miss Shaw, Mrs. Carrie Chap^^man Catt, and numerous others of the^most prominent suffrage workers in^the country, has worked with them in^state campaigns, and she .hns no hesi^^tancy in endorsing every accusation^that Miss Malone makes.
Thewoman suffrage movement aa it^exists today stands in feur and trem^^bling of any interests for the working^claas. Mrs. Lena Morrow Lewis waa
alsoan organizer for the woman suf^^frage movement at the same time that^Mra. Hazlett was. and we are aurc that^she will corroborate these assertions.^Working women are snubbed and dis^^couraged from entering the organiza^^tion, or if allowed to come in are tol^^erated only ao long as they are docile,^and ahow zeal in carrying out the plana^of their ^bettera^; largely on the^same principle as the ^poor^ are al^^lowed to participate in the work of the^churches. They can be zealoua so long^as they do what the big fellows want^them to.
Oreatatreaa waa laid on fine dress^^ing, and the entire appeal waa largely^in the nature of propitiating the more^^influential^ classes. Moreover in^^stead of recognizing an ally in the^socialist party with ita outspoken dec^^larations for universal suffrage, the^promoters of the suffrage movement^have been ashamed of the cooperation^of the socialists.
Afew yeara ago at Wheeling, W.^Va., when the women there were arous^^ing considerable of an agitation on the^auffrage queation tbey were attracted^by the vigor with which the socialists^gave them aid. Some of the ladies of^high social position even went ao far^as to take some of the least disagree^^able looking socialists to their homes.^One young man in speaking to the^writer aaid when they drove up to the^houae the woman aort of looked aa^though abe would like to ask him to^go round to the back door, but ahe^braced up and took bim in the front^way. But when the socialist speakers^came, although a number of these^dames adorned the front seat the first^night, the bill-of fare was too stren^^uous and they were seen around the^socialist diggings no more.
NeedsWorking Class Leaven.
Itis impossible for women of the^working class and women of the cap^^italist claaa to unite is a common^purpose on the suffrage question. The^reason to-day of the apathy in the^movement is because the ^nice^^classes that are conducting the agita^^tion have become frightened as they^see whither the empowering of work^^ing clasx women with the ballot ia I^drifting.
Thewoman suffrage movement in^America to-day ia without vitality or^resource. Working, feebly, aa it doe a,^on ita old traditions, it is incapable of^responding to the new demands that^circumstances make on it, and it kas^found itself unable ts form new ideals^of action.
Thesocialist movement, on the con^^trary, is taking a new and sudden^interest in woman auffrage. These^socialiat women that are coming so^rapidly forward into our ranks seem to^emphasize by their very exiatence the^absurdity of their being nonentities in^deciding the affairs on which human^weal so much depends. They realize^as keenly also the humiliating help^^lessness of their position, in a vigorous^political movement with no political^power, and hence we have thia stir for^womau suffrage in the socialist ranks.^All the socialist papers sre taking up^the question, and now we are con^^fronted by the queation -What shall^socialiat women do f
Itis the opinion of the writer that^the really live, important, resultful^work along woman suffrage lines in^the future is coming through the social^^ist women. They are si a and tired^of this dilletante dawdling. Tbey^want something that's alive and prac^^tical. Tbey are awakening working^women all over the country. They are^forming aocialiat women's clubs. They^are beginning to aend out women or^^ganizers for epecia) work among^women. Every state should have such^an organizer to bold parlor meetings,^and go to the homes of women. When^^ever all this woman's agitation cryatal-^izea into a woman auffrage movement,^when these women, with socialist men^at their aide, storm legislatures, hold^meetings, push their protest into the^face of organized society at every^crevice, there'll be something doing^here aa well as in England. But in^the meantime let not our aocialiat^women neglect what they might poa-^aibly be able to do with the existing^suffrage organisations. If tbey can^join these organizations in a body of^aay from ten to twenty women they'll^probably be ahle to make thinga lively,^by sticking together, in the woman^auffrage camp; and in many placea^they can get full control of the move-
(Issuedby the National Committee of^the Socialist Party.)
TheSocialist Party, being a party^of, by and for tho wage working class,^and those in sympathy with it, pro^^ceeds u[^on the theory that the work^^ers, as a class, must emancipate them^^selves from wage slavery, and must^consequently develop their own ca^^pacity for this great purpose.
Brae)*,while welcoming all assist^^ance from individuals of other classes^who are in sympathy with its ^fcjooll^and aims, the Socialist Party relies,^first, last ami all the time, on the^working class for its support politically^and otherwise. Not being a paternal^organization, the means for the party's^maintenance must come almost wholly^from the members of the organization.
Experiencehaving demonstrated that^the party cannot trust to luck in the^conduct of its affairs, nor rely upon^haphazard donations for its revenues,^it has established the dues-paying sys^^tem, which is in vogue in the party^throughout the wurld.^Objections to the Dues-Paying System.
Thereare those who object to the^dues paying system in our party on the^following grounds:
1.It humiliates impoverished mem^^bers and applicants for membership.
2.^It places the dollar above the^man.''
3.No other party has such a sys^^tem.
Thefirst reaaon is strictly Utopian.^' Poverty is no disgrace,'' but is the^logical result of the competitive sys^^tem. This being so, it is foreign to^the spirit of our movement for mem^^bers or applicants to feel ^humiliated^^because tbey cannot pay dues.
Ourdue* system exacts payments^from those who are able to pay, and all^others are excused. A false feeling of^shame shows a capitalistic state of^mind, which must be overcome.
Theaeeoud reason is also entirely er^^roneous. Nowhere in the world docs^our party exclude applicants or expel^members because of their inability to^pay dues. Hence the party does not^^place the dollar above the man.
Weemphasize the fact that all are^welcome to our ranks, regardleas of^their financial condition, but very^properly insist that all who can do so^shall contribute regularly to the neeea-^aary and unavoidable expenses of the^organization.
Thethird reason only shews the dif^ference in methoda between political^parties of capitalism and the Socialist^Party as s revolutionary organization^of the working else*. Certainly the^^old parties^ have no dues paying^system; in fact, tbey need none, as the^corruption funds ^for value received^^are ample to support them at all times,^especially during campaigns. The old^parties are [internal organizations, an.I^their support comes from above, from^the trust magnates, the silver barons,^or the ^business men^ who live on^labor's fleece. The Socialist Party,^on the contrary, relies upon its mem^bership at all times for support to^fight the capitalist class, not only on^election day, but every other day in^the year; and also to strengthen its^propaganda and political organization.^This means expense, and, to raise the^too.u in a systematie way^a dues^paying system.
Theenemy can not be expected to^furnish our ammunition in this great^class conflict. The workers must fur^^nish their own ^sinews of war.
Socialistswho have evolved through^the old parties can not appreciate this^position at first, but a little reflection^will show its reason and its merits.
Principleof Dues-Paying System
Thefollowing propositions will il^^lustrate the reason for a dues-paying^system:
1.The Socialist Party may be^called the family of the working class.
2.A family, in order to live (under^the competitive system), must have^financial support.
B,The family necessarily relies upon^its members for support.
4.It is the plain duty of all able
bodiedmembers of the family to con^^tribute their share towards its main^tenance.
ftAs a matter of justice, and not^charity, all sick, unemployed or oth^^erwise incapacitated members of the^family are excused from this obliga^tion.
^^No ^humiliation^ ahould be felt^by those of the family so crippled.^But it is the duty of all the other^nseinliers to provide for them, and the^rule of the family is that they should^de so, (,r leave the house.
Theworkingman who can and will^^ot help austain the working claas in^its fight for emancipation is a useless^Weight dragging his comrades back^nndcr the wheels of capitalism.
Anarrow view of the Socialist move^m^-nt and the work of the party ia re^^sponsible for unwarranted protest^^gainst and diaregard for the dues-^paying system. Many comrades feel^that their particular locality should^receiw entire attention and make this^^criminal neglect^ a reason for with^^holding dues.
Inasmuchas our party is national in^ita scope, and the funds at all times^insufficient to cover the full territory,^the revenues must be distributed where^they will do the moat good at a given^time.
Thismight mean California one day,^Vermont the next and Arizona or Wis^^consin the day following. This local^or state feeling should not character^^ise our party members, for the move^^ment and its needs should be consid^ered, not in part, but ae a whole.
Itia a noticeable fact that organiza^^tions of the wage-workers the world^over maintain a dues-paying system,^notwithstanding the faot that the em^^ployment of the workers is precarious^and spasmodic. The coal miners, for^instance^whose employment does not^average six months of the year^de^^rive the revenue of their union atrictly^in this manner, and keep a well-filled^treasury at all times. This is true of^other trade union organizationa; in fact^^JJ of them have ever aeen the neces^^sity of a dues-paying system.
TheSocialist Party adopted the^stamp system because it is a syste^^matic, simple and easy way to collect^dues.
Duestamps are evidence ot party^membership, taking the place of re^^ceipts of money paid for dues; that is,^instead of writing a receipt when a^member paye duee, the member hands^his membership card to the secretary,^who attaches a due stamp to the card^for the month fur which dues are paid,^this being a receipt for dues or evi^^dence of his or ber party membership.
Inorganized states the state secre^^taries purchase due stamps from the^National Secretary, and in turn sell^them to the local secretaries. The num^!^^ r of stamp* paid for by a atate sec^^retary signifies the number of mem^^bers in that state. The number of^stamps paid for by a local secretary^to his state secretary signifies the^number of members in that local. In^unorganised states, local secretaries^deal direct with the National Office.^Conclusion.
Theprincipal objections to the dues-^paying system come from outside the^large cities, where there is little, if^any, induatrial organization, and where^the concept of the movement is more^'^Ideal^ than practical. The objec^^tions are more sentimental than logical,^being based on a ^mistakeu^ prin^ciple. We must not forget that we are^living under the competitive system,^and that pending its abolition our^movement requires funds for its sup^^port from its members; that we must^have ayatem for this purpose, and that^dependence on ^philanthropists^ and^^voluntary subscriptions^ aloue, tends^to demoralize, rather than to strengthen^the party. The emancipation of the^working class must rest with the work^^ing class, who alone can keep the move^ment true to its purpose.
Andthis is why Socialists pay dues.
Endingof a Long Drawn Out and Hard^Fought Labor Battle^Unions^Victorious.
Aftera siege of fifteen months the^Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone com^^pany has capitulated to the demands^of the strikers. Too much credit can^not be given the telephone girls for^the gallant fight they have made.^They have shown a courage and a de^votion to union principles that would^put many a strong man to shame. The^following is the agreement signed and^ratified by a vote of the uniona:
Mr Alexander Fairgrieve,^President of Montana Federation.
Whenthe contract was drawn up for^signature the schedule of operators'^hours was omitted. I beg to state that^straight nine hours shall be given the^operator*, which time was considered^the working time previous to this^agreement in the atate. All conditions^subscribed in previous agreements will^be adhered to. The Butte agreement^will remain in force as according to^previous contract.
H.8. BURDICK,^Supt. Division.
Agreementbetween the Rocky Moun^tain Bell Telephone company and the^Montana Federation of Labor:
FirstA contract will be entered^into for one year in accordance with^the terma of this settlement.
SecondAll present operators will^be permitted to join the Operators'^union, where such exists, and the union^will be permitted to persuade peace^^ably any operator to become a member^of its organization.
ThirdOperator* employed at Butte,^Helena, Great Falls, Livingston, Bil^^ling* and Red Lodge at the time of the^strike will be reinstated, but present^operatora will not be removed, except^at the option of the company. All^new operators employed at these ex^^changes during the life of contract^must join the union immediately after^their fir*t pay day. No member of^the Operator*' unions shall be discrim^^inated against for any acts performed^during the period of the strike.
FourthMiss Barnes will be re
movedfrom the operating department^at Butte.
ritthNo chief operator shall belong^to the union. Foremen may or may^not belong to the nnion.
SixthAll damage, suits now pend^^ing, or contemplated, against any union^or unons. or members thereof, insti^^tuted by the Rocky Mountain Bell^Telephone company, or its agents, aris^^ing from the acts of any union, or^member thereof, to be dismissed, and^any auits now pending or contemplated^against the aforesaid company, or it*^incuts, by any union, or union mem-^ticrs, to be dismissed.
SeventhThe union linemen em^^ployed by the company in Montana^previous to the strike will be rein^^stated, but linemen now omployed will^not be removed, except at the option^of the company, except that in Butte^all linemen now employed who shall^not become member* of the union shall^be removed. Those linemen who have^not been member* of the union shall^)^e given an opportunity to join aaid^union. The company will have no ob^^jection to any linemen in the state^joining the union.
EighthWage scale of operators to^remain the aame aa in force under^agreements of Butte, February 15,^Helena, February 23, 1907, and^Great Falls, March 25, 1907. Wag*^scale for operators in Billings, Living*^ston and Red Lodge to be the samo)^as agreed between Montana Federation^of Labor and Hocky Mountain Bell^Telephone company at Salt Lake con^^ference July 24, 1907.
NinthFifty cent* increase per day^for linemen and cable splicers working^by the day in Montana outside of^Butte, over wages prevailing prevlooo^to the strike, will remain in force.
TenthApplication for reinstate^^ment by former employees shall bo^made in person, at former place of em^^ployment, within fifteen days after tho^publication of this settlement.
EleventhThe Rocky Mountain BoU^Telephone company to be called ^fair^^throughout the State of Montana.
TwelfthThis agreement continues^in force after expiration of contract^unless thirty days' notice of deiired^change be given by either party.
MINERSARE WARNED TO STAY^AWAY FROM ALASKA.
ment.Tn Seattle, after the socialist^women formed their club, the leading^womsn suffragist in the city spoke be^fore it, and invited them all to join^the woman suffrage organization.
Letthe women socialist* DO SOMK^THING, and something PRACTICAL,^for goodness' sake. The men have^dawdled around enough in nil these^years, looking wise and trying to act^like philosophers, snd acting more like^chicken* with their head* cnt off^than human beings, so that our pa^^tience is about exhausted with any^thing more on that line.
Womenare more practical than men.^When they get to work they want to^accomplish something.
Avoidthe activity of the beheaded^ben.
TOAFFILIATE WITH 8OCIAL8T8.
Acertain central committee has been^maintained by the Slavic comrades,^unattached to the party, and of which^Comrade Pet rich of Chicago acted as^secretary. The organization was com^^posed of twelve locals in different parts^of the country and known as the^^Slavenic Socialist Association.^ The^Chicago branch has joined the party^nud Comrade Petrich reports that each^brunch will become an integral part of^their respective state organizations.^A weekly publication in this language^is being issued, entitled ^ Proletarec.^^Address 37 South Outer Avenue, Chi^^cago, 1),
Nome,Alaska, March 1, 190*^To all Wage Workers:
Thecapitalist presa and steamsh^companies, in order to further exploit^the working class, will spread and are^now actually spreading false reports as^to the conditions at present existing in^this country.
Theydesire to flood Seward Penin^sula with unemployed working men in^order that they may reduce wages,^winter and summer, below outside^prices, and are endeavoring to show^that work will lie plentiful and wages^high this coming season. Kmploymcnt^sharks in the states are likewise eireu^luting such reports.
Asu matter of fact prospects were^never worse bd.I condition* here are an^exact counterpart of tbose outside.^But little money has been in circula^tion since last December; the banks^have issued clearing house script which^is used instead of V. S. currency; no^important discoveries have been uiadc^this winter, while some of the largest^mines employing the greatest number^of men have been worked out. Miners^and prospectors returniug duily from^other diggings report nothing doing,^and thus swelling the army of unem^ployed, which consists of at least sev^^enty five per cent of the laboring pop^^ulation.
TheWestern r'ederation of Miners^by thoroughly organizing the camp^and strictly enforcing the closed shop,^have been thus far partially able to^maintain the winter scale of wages.
Theemployers and transportation^companies, knowing these facts, are^trying to allure working men here, :is^has been stated, to so reduce wages as^to compel them to work for what in^reality amounts to their board. To^prevent such a calamity to the work-^iug class the Western Kederation of^Miners warns all working men to kee|
awayfrom thi* country during the^coming summer.
North,east, south and west of the^peninsula most unfavorsble reports as^to the alarming conditions from a^miner's point of view arc constantly^arriving. In fact, every working man^who arrives here is one more out of^work, and be himself is his passage^money out of pocket.
Andonce here, how are you going to^get out t Hundreds here are daily^asking themselves the same question.
Takeheed therefore of this warning,^fellow workers; stay away from the^Seward Peninsula during 1908. If you^^have contemplated coming up here,^change your mind and stay where you^are.
Publishedby authority of^LoesH 240 of the Western Federation-,^of Miners.
SELFRELIANT WORKING MEN TO^START CO-OPERATIVE STORE.
Sunday,May 24, in the parlor* of^the Workers' Educational club there^will be a meeting of the representa^^tives of the labor unions of Helena^to devise ways and means to start a^cooperative store. Every union in^Helena, with the exception of two that^have not yet been \ isite.l. bas ap^^pointed u committee of three to rep^resent them at this meeting. It io^understood it will be modeled after the^Itocln-dale t o opera! l\e -ncioty of Eng-^land. This society started in ISM^with -X members and a subscribed cap^^ital of 2H pounds. It has grown until'^today it docs a business of over half a^billion dollars a year and own* busi-'^ness blocks, factories, farms, dairies,^steamshi|^s, docks, newspapers and^other enterprises. It is an encouraging^sign to *ee the working men waking^up to a realization of the possibilit lot^of organized effort in supplying theit^own wants.