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iimniumiiiiiiu i ' THE T fL E R WILLIAM Z. FOSTER IIS SOVIET RUSSIA &m I (Editor's Note: ThU is the itrnth of a scries of special artciies on Rus sia waicn Mr. Foster was commission ed by The Federated Press to write. Previous articles told of the origin of the anions in Russia and of their extraordinary growth since the revol ution. The present form of organiza tion was described. Mr. Foster now sets forth the functions of Russian unions.) ' V By WILLIAM Z. FOSTER, Federated Press Staff Writer. Copyright, 1921, by The Federated Press). Moseow. The trade unions occupy a position of power and influence in Russia such as is enjoyed by no other labor movement in the world. So great is their weight that Lozovsky, presi dent of the All-Russian trade unions, if able to state truthfully that there have been no important measures of any kind entered upon in soviet Rus sia unless the consent of the trade unions has first been secured. As thiigs now stand the labor organiza tions take part in many activities. They participate immediately in the government through direct vjpresenta tion in the Soviets. They carry on all sorts of welfare, health, educational and disciplinary work in the mines, mills and factories. They also have an important share in the management of industry, as we shall see in a later article about the supreme economic council, the organization which super intends production and distribution. But the principal function of the Russian unions is to regulate the wages, hours and working conditions of labor. In this sphere they are supreme. Utterly unlike the labor or ganizations of other countries the Russian unions do not have to sub mit their "demands" to their em ployers. They submit them to them selves, as the responsible contro'.lers of this phase of Russian industry. That is to say, they constantly sur vey the industrial situation and see to it that the workers enjoy the best conditions possible under the economic circumstances. When the unions decide upon a certain policy within their jurisdiction about all there is left for the governmental powers to do' is to formally endorse it. This is indeed a different situation from that in other countries, where the workers have to fight for years against parasitic em ployers and repressive governments to secure even the most trivial reforms. The October revolution fundamen tally altered the functions of the Rus sian trade unions. Before that great event these organizations were, like the unions of all other countries now are, essentially fighting bodies whose aim it was to wring every possible concession from the exploiters. But the revolution wiped out these capital istic enemies and set up in their stead of the employer the proletarian state. As this body is composed of workers and inspired by labor ideals the unions do not have to fight it for concessions on the contrary, they are themselves fully entrusted by it with the regulation of labor condi tions and made largely responsible for the continuation of industry. Thus the revolution has brought the unions out of the era of industrial warfare and into that of industrial peace. It has changed them from organs of combat to organs for carrying on production. A long evolution has been required (and it is by no means finished yet) to change the trade unions from mili tant fighting bodies into peaceful producing organizations. An indica tion of some of the phases of this evo lution may be instructive: In the fierce industrial struggles just before and after the October re volution the Russian workers develop ed a militancy of spirit practically un known in western countries. One offers ganizations they soon showed that they were unfit to manage industry successfully. Much confusion resulted from these local bodies trying to operate the bis: factories which, con sidering their markets and Taw material supply sources, are essential ly national in character. Consequently the militant shop committees, having fulfilled their war-like mission, had to give way. Eventually the newly organized na tional unions came to the front, ex panding themselves into industrial or ganizations and taking in all classes of workers. They amalgamated the' AMERICAN By LEWIS S. C CLEVELAND, OHT0, SATURDAY, AUGUST ?T 1921. IN RUSSIA. 1NETT in The Nation. with the Czecho- had been given information, and mop committees into their official! capital of the red flag republic vi. . .-.I ..i.-:..! ll-i. iiii I There were, as far as I coul machinery and restricted their acti vities principally to the local control of labor in industry. To a large extent the national unions took over the supervision formerly nested in the shop committees. But now the natio nal unions, in turn, are also gradually yielding their direct control over in dustry, which has largely passed into the hands of the various boards and committees of the supreme economic council. To begin with, the national unions insisted upon proportirrrat rep resentation in and practical control over these economic bc-dies carrying on production. This was a natural re sult of their fighting instinct, their intense suspicion of all outside bodies and their determination to protect the revolution at all costs. With the passage of time, however, the national unions are diverging from this militant policy. They are becoming convinced that their capital ist enemies are finally defeated and that the new order of society can be trusted with the operation of industry. Moreover, they are learning that to carry on industry special ability is necessary and that this ability must not be hedged about with red tape or ignorant meddlers. Hence, the ten dency now for them is not to insist upon "mechanical representation" in the producing organizations, but to aid in the selection of able executives, and when these a.c ccWted, to give them power to go ahead in purely technical matters. How far this evolution will go, to just what extent the trade unions will lay aside their militancy and take upon themselves the ways of peaceful industry, will of course depend upon the general course of the revolution. One thing, however, everyone here is certain of is that the unions, contain ing and controlling the multitude of the workers as they do, have before them a future of constantly expand ing service and influence. The fundamental change in status of Russian trade unions from indus trial war to industrial peace has naturally greatly altered their view point in many matters. One of these that may be profitably mentioned re lates to the question of strikes in in dustry. In all capitalistic countries the right to strike is jealously guarded and fought for by the best and most militant elements in the working class. Moreover, this vanguard exer cise it freely themselves and seek to get the great masses to do likewise They consider it one of the best means to advance the interests of the work Chicherin, Commissar of Foreign Carlson arrang Affairs of Soviet Russia, has an Slovak Mission American private secretary who but supply of wood for the accident of marriage to a In fact the Ame Norwegian would still carry an Amer- were receiving ican passport; Shatov, Minister of than those who Railways in the Far Eastern Repub-jscow to serve lie, was long an active member of tne; was to tnem a I. W. W. of the U. S. A.; among the! future. delegates to the Communist Interna-1 How genuine tionale in Moscow this summer are j agajnst most of American-born Americans represent- means 0f know ing three continents an American j ieast was unci0 girl as one of the delegates of the Indian Revolutionary Committee; a former American college professor, agreement with sent as a delegate by the French Com- Chicago newspa munist Party of America; avl the de-j un(!erstood by th' legates of the Communist Party of As a resuit Keel America. If you enter Ludwig Mar- j jioseow jail an ten's office in the Council of National j aby equipped eel rJconomy, or tne Angio-.-uiieiicmi all. ne 1S llow r, Section of the Foreign Office, you otj,er vear m Moiw "before going will hear less Russian than the . )lome- t got very mad about Keeley's authentic accent of the Bronx and case UTiti 1 I beganflo reflect upon the of Brownsville, Brooklyn. The Amer- j treatment of Russians in American ican Government may be as cold as prisons. There has been nothing in it will to Soviet Russia; the Amer-iRussia to conipare with Deer Island ican people are well represented in the : or Detroit, or even with the raid on the Russian People's House in East There were, as far as 1 could dis- Fifteenth Street, New York. Mistakes cover, eight Americans in prison or iave occureci jn Moscow! but as yet partially confined in Moscow. I do . nothing to compare with he Palmer not know the exact nature of their J rai(Js offenses most of them were accused ; R , -thBr. cLmnnUfc. I . ,a- i obtain a special him next winter. ns held in Moscow tter nourishment returned to Mo Government that inise of a brighter e the charges e men I have no Keeley's case at lly a mistake. Ht idential industrial made an indiscret epresentative of a which was mis- Soviet authorities, spent a year in a ?ptric-!it, comfort- t a jail cell after ired to work an- of some kind of espionage. All of them regularly received extra good rations through the Czecho-Slovak Prisoners' Exchange Mission, which acts as agent of the International Red Cross. In fact, they are almost the best fed peopel in Moscow. I glanced through a stack of their signed receipts. Em met Kilpatrick, for instance, the American Red Cross officer captured with Wrangel troops our Red Cross has always enthusiastically represent ed America in every anti-Bolshevik movement received on June 7 two cans of corned beef, two prime beef, one of pork and beans, two pounds of bacon, five pounds of white bread, one of onions, a half-pound of butter, a quarter-pound of cocoa and as much coffee, one can of sweetened and one of unsweetened milk, salt, vinegar etc. This was a two weeks' supple mentary ration in addition to regular prison diet. I saw his letter acknowl edging receipt. "I thank you so much in the name of my Government and of the American Red Cross. I beg that in the future you will help me am very sick and weak. Very truly gates or officials, nor thV men in prison, form the real picture of Amer ica in Moscow. AH over Russia there are returned "Americans' we called them Russians when they were in America; they call them Americans in Russia. For they brought back with them a surge and an energy that Rus sia sorely needs and that is genuinely American. They had lost the terrible patience of the Russian; they had learned something from the very mechanism of American civilization which they are so glad to escape. One of the great efforts of the Govern ment today is to canalize the return ing emigrants and to utilize th'eir energy and resources. Industrial depnessipn sent thousands of Russian-Americans back to Rus sia. In four months, December, 1920, to March, 1921, 16,000 poured in through Libau alone- Then the fron tier was closed. It, was impossible to care for the thousands or even to control the undesirable elements that slipped in. Some hundreds brought other course. Picture what the return of these Russia-Americans may mean to Russia. For three years hundreds of them have been attending classes regularly training themselves to be of special technical service to Russia. Experience has shown that such Rus sian -Americans if put into a large Russian organization are likely to lose the advantage of their -technical training and to drop back to Russian industrial standards. So they will at first be kept together in organized groups, only gradually absorbing other Russians. To them will be given entire factories which now 'lie idle, considerable economic autonomy, freedom to dispose of their products as they please. But they are co-operatives, returning to serve Russia, not to exploit her. "Those Russian-Americans are worth a hundred big con cessions," Martens said to me one day. "The policy of concessions i; Utopian you cannot really expect big capitalists to do anything to serve Russia." One of the wildest, highest, bravest dreams that ever I heard was hatched by a group of such returned Russian Americans. One day a carload of them left for the Kuznitz Basin in Siberia. Back of Tomsk lies one of the richest mineral regions in the world a moun tain of iron ore close to hard coal that needs only removal of the sur face earth, in a rich timber country beside a navigable river. The dream is, ir. stead of giving a concession for the district to Western capitalists, to turn it over for development to a co-operative group of returning Russian-Americans, most of them I. W. W.'s. It sounds wild, yet the achieve ments of the I. W. W.' in Rus sia must all haVe sounded wild. One former I. W. W. is now Buden ny's aide-de-camp. He used to read Budenny the New York Times ac counts of the cavalry gei.eral's ex ploits; and Budenny, who crrries a Communist Party card in his pocket, would chuckle until he saw the faked pictures of himself in the Times and then would swear. Another bustling I. W. W. is Marten's very capable confidential secretary; Martens is now a meniberof the praesidium of the Supreme Council of National Economy. Still another I. W. W. has replaced a "spez" (specialist) as director of a new stretch of railroad vniira Ttlmmpf If ilnntrirk. American Red Cross." Kilpatrick was in fact.them- Some were' American their America-mJiJ-home brew and j under construction and is said to be distilling apparatus- to Libau with a very capable engineer. It was an I ii. a ! I T W W urlm f iv.-t K U !,. A. t . It TV 1 IV 1 II .11. 11 UUglll lilt I I IIW sick; he had seen 44 days in the special Cheka prison, without supple mentary rations. Other prisoners were Mrs. Marguerite Harrison, W. H. Estes, Thomas Hazelwood, John Flick, H. J. LaMarc, Dr. Janczura, and Kalamatchano, who was involved in one of the early counter-revolutionary plots. S. A. Vikoren of Grand Forks, N. D., R. B. Kceley, the en gineer, and a Swedish-American named Harry Carlson, formerly em ployed in Moscow by the Interna tional Harvester Co., were free in Moscow but were not permitted to leave the city. I saw Keeley when he w as just out of jail, apparently in ex cellent health, and also Carlson, who was very bitter against the govern ment but whose five-months-old baby, which received both the International Red Cross milk and that supplied by a Soviet baby milk station, weighed 18 Russian pcunds more than twice its birth weight. I was present when their weapons for carrying the war to the capiatlists was the "shop com mittees." These shop committees, to begin with, were mostly independent of the unions. This was because at that time the latter, either through their craft form or numerical weak ness, or both combined, uanally did rot include all the workerl whereas the very breath of life of the shop committees was that they acted in behalf of all the workers in given plants and industries. In the last months of the Kerensky regime the shop committees conquer ed great power. They wrested from the employers a large share of control over the labor and business sides of production. This power they greatly increased in the industrial turmoil which followed the October political upheaval. In fact, they became the cutting edge of the industrial revolu tion. To a great extent they were thr meant used by the workers to confis eate the factories. Often they simply drove off the capitalist fwho wore batily doing their best to sabotage tad ruin the industries) and took charge themselves. many cases the shop commit- to carry on production. But tltoy WSM not 8 "N"" Al ttktf were able fighting or But not so in Russia. Here the situa tion is just the reverse. Although the workers have the legal right to strike, the labor movement is decidedly r.Tainst using it. It is exactly the ivilitant workers who condemn the ! . ike weapon and try to prevent! the less advanced masses from making use of it. The explanation of this is perfectly simple and logical: the Rus sian unions realize that the supreme task before them is to reconstruct in dustry. They know that strikes in this country do not better the condi tion of those taking part in them, hut only to make it worse, and render itill more difficult the problem of re habilitating industry. Moreover, they know from bitter experience that the counter revolutionists, who arc fully nwnre of Russia's great industrial needs, systematically incite the back ward masses to sabotage and labor walkouts. The fact is that strikes under the workers' government have been practically all the result of counter revolutionary activity, or the work of ignorant toilers rebelling against absolutely unavoidable cuts in rations, etc. Strikes in Soviet Russia aro nothing leas than so much scabbing on the re volution. Hence the militants are dead against them. The best elements in the working class are unreservedly for bearing with present bad condi tions and for fighting the thing through to final victory. And they know that this can only be done by staying in the work snops and help ing to satisfy Russia's crying need for life necessities, a need which must be satisfied or the revolution will surely fail. They look upon slackers who go on strike with about the same contempt that good trade u.rions in capitalist countries do upon weak- kneed workers who sneak back to their jobs during industrial struggles. Such is the natural and justified basis for the anti-strike sentiment in Soviet Russia, which some unscrupul ous and ignorant trade union leaders have tried to make uHe. of as an ar gument against the Russian revolu tion. , In my next article I shall deal brief ly with labor laws and conditions in Soviet Russia. prohibition, habitual drunks. (Russia is, by the way, a country of real pro hibition. I did not see an even slightly intoxicated person in an entire month in Moscow.) There were no houses available to lodge them, there was no food for them, there was no system of putting them to Work. They all wanted to see their families at once and were soon lost, dispersed. Some of them came with high ideas of Russia as a land of magnificent realizations where bread and honey flowed for the workers, and were grievously dis appointed. Today Russian-Americans are ad mitted only in co-operative groups. While I was in Moscow a group of 70 arrived 41 builders and their families, bringing with them their own food, and tools and equipment for a $25,000 shop. They have been as signed to a factory in the Donetz coal basin, where they will make doors, windows, shingles, etc., and will build light wooden miners' houses of the American type. Another group of 170 consisted of 120 tailors with their families; they brought with them the complete equipment for a shop of 600 men. A tool-making co-operative brought all the machinery for die- casting, which had never been done in 1 Russia before. Martens cabled per mission while I was there to a New York State agricultural co-operative group of fifty men, including carpent ers, blacksmiths, etc., who had $50, 000, and wanted to know what machinery to purchase. There are three million Russians in America. Many of them, after the persecution of the last ten years, want to Teturn. If only a quarter million returned, and if each brought $400 worth of tools, that would be the equivalent of $100,000,000 imported into Russia. Moreover, workers re turning to Russia henceforth will be required to bring with them a food supply adequate for two years. Present famine conditions permit no DAWN i 3bufh Section of The Toiler A ' ill ! I I) VV V GOD'S TAIL. By Arthur Eventide. "Praise to Apis, Whom no God surpasses. Praise from lords and Praise from pigs and asses". . . How happy were the people of an cient Egypt when they sang this tymn to the sacred bull that was the God of the temple of Ptah: thy were ' the pigs and asses who were allowed to worship God along with the lords. Democracy. And God took if all in as He munched His hay in the Holy of Holies, now shaking His head up and down, now switching His tail right and left His divine tail, which played such a great part in the history of Egypt. Through His tail came His voice whenever the rulers of the land found it necessary to let the people hear it. The High (Priest would speak on the subject and wind up with: "It is the will of...." A long pause, during which a husky priest in the Holy of Holies would get hold of God's tail and give it a twist that made God roar for pain at the top of, His mighty voice, just at the moment when theHigh Priest said with awe-inspiring reverence: "Apis!" "It is the will of . . . .Apis!" "M-m-m-o-o-o!" Immediate approval in God's own voice. One day the rulers were getting ready to pull off something very raw. The High Priest decided to let the people hear God's voice with greater force than ever. Three times he would say: "It is the will of. . . Apisf Three times God would roar approval.... "M-m-m-o-o-o!" The High Priest spoke with all the beauty of holiness. The p- ten with pious humility. Thi' n i the great moment: "It is the Apis!" "M-m-m-o-o-o!" Once, .twice. Impressive, crushing. The people quaked. And now for the third time: "It is the will of. . .Apis!" Silence. t The High Priest turned pale as democracy. The people stood breath less, open-mouthed. Has God changed His mind? Out rushed from the holy of Holies back of the pulpit the husky twister of God's tail. Down he fell on his knees before the High Priest. A ter rible confession: the second twist was too powerful. God's tail was twisted completely off God's hide. How are the people now to hear Hi's voice? But what is that? The people are on their knees, mopping the floor with their foreheads and praying. The High Priest understood. In the twister's hand was the tail of God. The people saw the tail, ana their imagination made them see God Himself in front of His tail. That saved the day. The High Priest cried: "Arise! A miracle has happened!" The congregation jumped up. The High Priest waived God's tail and said : "Apis is so pleased with what we are about to do, He lends us His tail in token of approval. The people chanted the great hymn: "Praise to Apis, Whom no God surpasses. Praise from lords and Praise from pigs and asses." When they had hymned themselves hoarse and fell silent the High Priest lifted up God's tail again and preach ed this crushing sermon: "Hear, O people, and give ear, O' multitude: for Apis hath spoken. As I smite with this tail of mine a fly upon my flank, even so will I smite those who hearken not unto the priests, my servants, and bow not to the decress of RamesGs and his noble advisers." A rustle of garments. A thud of knees against the floor. The strains of the national anthem: "Egypt over everything! Egypt, of thy might we sing. Lords of Egypt, rise to Glory! Apis save our gracious King." Back in the Holy of Holies a priest was sewing God's tail back unto God's hide. The stitches hurt. God's voice filled the temple. The people rejoiced. ABC OF COMMUNISM By N. BUCHARIN. The Book English Readers Have Long Wanted. Just what I. - ala.1 mc uue says-a book eas.Iy read, containing the essential 1 of Communist philosophy, the new tactics of rhilitant Com- munism learned from the struggle for Power. 136 pages 50c. 12 copies for $5.00. Ord.r twUy. THE TOILER grad-Moscow railway out of the early revolutionary chaos. Something of the rowdy, working, fighting, laughing spirit that those boys are carrying back to Russia breathes in a letter of greeting that came to Bill Hay wood soon after his arrival in Mos cow. Its writer happened to have been born in German Poland, but he is of the type of Americans returned to Russia: Felser's Factory, Nijni Novgorod, June, 1921. Hello Bill Fellow Worker! A few days ago a bunch of German workingmen with their families got here and one of them told me you are at present in this country. Would like to have a talk with you but it's im possible I guess. Do you remember one wobb, Karl W. Sonntag, member No. 188451, who in the winter of '16 '17 hung around 1001 West Madison Street all his free time? Well, later in the spring of '17 I went off to Idaho, got pinched there in the strike of lumbermen, and was sentfor three months to the Moscow, Idaho, county jail. Herd and Hawkins were in that bunch and received from the law some years at Boise. In February, '18, they got me again out of a machine-shop in Seattle; followed some five or six months of diverse jails, the best of them that at Walla Walla. During those five or six months they dis covered that I was not a Polak but a German and off I got sent to Fort Douglas, Utah. There some eight months of disciplinary barracks, bread and water, and finally two leader bul lets in the leg. What for? O hell, I liked to' sing, and all the English songs I knew were wobbly songs. There you are. Personally I'm glad you are over here, for they would have hung you yet over there and If this country needs anything it's or ganizers so 1 think ycu'll have a hell of a lot of work to do here supposing you'll stay here for good. Let's all do our best to make a paradise for work ers out of this country. As I and four others left Moscow one John A wished to go along with us; we took him along for he said he was a wob bly and a rebel but later we caught him crying once you know the bread basket hung pretty high these months. Bill, I'll close for my workday now is sixteen hours and more. I left Fort Douglas in July, 1919, wanted to be busy in the so-called German revolu tion but found that I again got badly fooled; that's why I'm here now after several tries to get into Russia. All right, here "I Will Work." Yes, the Russians laugh and say I work too cinflfniMiminmmMim Wont You Help? By SANFORD HAMILTON. Workers, children of America, Won't you help your Russian comrades ? Children just like you, who haven't Even a slice of bread a day. Can you eat without thinking Of your starving Russian comrades? Can you play, enjoy the sunshine While your comrades die of hunger? Speak about them to your Vnothef, Ask ycur father what he'll do. Do not rest, Young Comrades, do not Rest till you have done your share! iN'imnii;iujiiiiiiic!ijii:'iiiNiiiiuiiiiiiiiiiiKiiiiiimii!'i,ii:remiiiiiwii! nww w n i mmmmm iiimiii miuiinmni much but they are ignorants and don't understand. Bill, be good; reading your answer will be a happy hour for me. Yours for the world revolution. Karl Sonntag. You find them everywhere as chauffeurs, aids to 'the Quaker relief workers, secretaries, translators, mechanics, teachers, up to high gov ernment posts the very type of Russian-Americans so familiar through out industrial America. Occasionally they don't fit. I met one engineer who said: "You Americans spoil good workmen men come to our factory whod worked in the Ford factory in Detroit,' and they're no good. They'd been trained to worn one highly com plicated machine. Day after day for years they've worked that machine, and they can't do anything else. We haven't the same machines, and they're no good for us." There aro also the Quakers in Moscow, English and Americans co operating, pioneers in relief work where other organizations lacked the courage, the persistence, or the will. Distributors of soap and fats, of clothes and chocolate, hey too repre sent the best of America in Rusim. Over the heads of governments arid behind their backs the Intercourse of peoples goes on. Vanderlip returned to Russia, but was recognised as a mere adventurer. Other American business mn will not be admitted until our Government by opening trade nego tiations gives a solid basis to thsir visits. Even American journalists are not welcome. Litvinov said to me: "What's the use? It doesn't make any difference what the American press says. The press doesn't influence the government that s a legend about democratic countries. The government influences the press. It the govern ment doesn't want to trade with Rus sia, the press howls against trade with Russia. If the government de cides to trade with Russia, the press will be unanimous that trade with Russia is necessary. So, with food shortage, why bother about admitting journalists?" And of course he was nearly right. Official America, busi ness America, the great daily press of America, is unrepresented in Rus sia. (They almost refused to let Senator France in). But working-class America has its unofficial represent atives everywhere, and you cannot help feeling that the heart-beat of America is as truly felt in Moscow as if the Stars and Stripes waved proud ly over an official embassy. O Oklahoma City. Three thousand men here are unemployed and vainly seeking work, according to an esti mate made by Claude Connally, state labor commissioner. Many of these have been out of work' for weeks, he said. Two-thirds of them are unskil led. Connally declared: "This means that the unemployment situation has come back to its former condition be fore the harvest and, if anything, is somewhat more acute."