Early American Marxism website (Update 13-28)

Early American Marxism website

New Files update #13-28
December 1, 2013.

Five new files. A short anti-war piece by Socialist Party leader Gene Debs from 1917 opens this week's material. Also included are three more graphic pdfs of full issues of The Proletarian from 1921 and another of an ultra-rare polemic pamphlet from 1931 offering a glimpse at the Third Period factional warfare between the Communists and Socialists in the Finnish Cooperative movement in the Upper Midwest.

All of these are available for free download and non-commercial reproduction at the following URL:



(1) "'Men Shall Marvel That This Could Be,'" by Eugene V. Debs [Oct. 24, 1917]

Short piece of inspirational pacifist prose by venerated Socialist Party leader Eugene Victor Debs. Debs quotes a short passage written by his namesake, Victor Hugo, in which the French writers offered that "a day will come when bullets and bombs shall be replaced by ballots, by the universal suffrages of the people... when a cannonball shall be exhibited in our museums as an instrument of torture in war, and men shall marvel that such things could ever be." Debs indicates that such a day is approaching, with millions of people abhorred by the European carnage. "The war is the prelude to Socialism, and Socialism will bring enduring peace to a distracted world!" Debs declares.

(2) The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 5 [March 1921]
(Graphic pdf, large file, 2.2 megs.)

Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America.
This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "The Editor's Corner"; Dennis E. Batt: "The Carriers of Civilization"; John Keracher:
"Education"; William Paul: "Lenin on Communist Tactics in England"; Murray Murphy: "Bertrand Russell on Bolshevik Theory"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Russia, Turkey, Great Britain, Spain); A.J. MacGregor: "The Third International" (Germany, England, America); Franc Conner: "Exit the Villain"; J.A. McDonald: "The Middle Class"; C.M. O'Brien: "The Facts, Mr. Editor" (Open letter to the editor of the UCP's The Communist); Review of The American Empire by Scott Nearing; John Ball: "Dogmatism"; C.M. O'Brien: "Bolshevism in Spain."

(3) The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 6 [May 1921]
(Graphic pdf, large file, 2.3 megs.)

Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America.
This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; John Keracher: "Labor Awakens"; John Keracher: "Reply to Albert Bell [pseud.], Member CEC, UCP"; John Keracher: "May Day"; Ern Reen: "America's Reply to Soviet Russia"; H.M. Wicks: "Another SP 'Left Wing' Develops"; E.J.M.: "Progress and Revolution"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Asia Minor, Georgia, England); Murray Murphy: "Critics of Communism"; V.M. Breitmayer: "Mary Opens the Factories: A Farce in 31 Pages and A Prologue" (Polemic against Open the Factories by Mary Marcy); "Wages"; "UCP Minority Action."

(4) The Proletarian, vol. 3, no. 7 [June 1921]
(Graphic pdf, large file, 2.3 megs.)

Full issue of the official magazine of the Proletarian Party of America.
This issue contains: Cover art by Breit [V.M. Breitmayer]; "Party Activities" (Chicago, Buffalo, Rochester, Los Angeles, Flint, Ann Arbor, Detroit); H.M. Wicks: "'Super-Bolsheviks' or 'Kautskyans'"; John Keracher: "Unemployment"; Murray Murphy: "What Are the Capitalists Doing?"; John Keracher: "International Notes" (Germany, Egypt, Japan, Great Britain, Syria, Norway, Turkey); Review of Communism and Christianism by Bishop William Montgomery Brown; H.M. Wicks: "Socialist Party History" (Against the New York Call); M.V.B.: "Machinery: The Master and the Liberator";
W.H.C.: "The Crisis in Russia"; F.A. Perry: "Anti-Labor Propaganda"; Julius Davidson: "Science and History."

(5) The Program of Class Struggle Co-operation: And the Platform of the Class Struggle for the Co-op Central Exchange. [June 1931]
(Graphic pdf, large file, 1.3 megs.)

Complete pamphlet published by the Workers and Farmers Cooperative Unity Alliance, the Communist Party-associated entity which in the name of "Left Wing Cooperators" sought to take over the Cooperative Central Exchange run by radical Finnish-Americans in the Upper Midwest. The pamphlet, produced by the Työmies Society in Superior, Wisconsin, asserts that despite the fact that the Communist "Left Wing membership" represented a majority of members of the Cooperative Central Exchange, the leadership headed by former Communist George Halonen used expulsions and manipulation of stockholders to gain a "mechanical majority" at the April 1931 Annual Convention of the Central Exchange. Despite the defeat of their program, the Communists continued to advance their program "against Halonen and other betrayers of the interests of the workers and poor farmers." The Communists charge Halonen with leadership of a "secret apparatus" of "renegades from the class struggle" who had circulated a book called Political Bankruptcy of the Comintern and aligned the Cooperative Central Exchange with the mainstream Cooperative League of the USA and the "International Social Fascist leadership." The pamphlet asserts that the Halonen leadership had used legal action in capitalist courts to force dissident cooperatives into bankruptcy. In addition, counter-organizations of Finnish women and young people had been established by the Cooperative Central Exchange in opposition to equivalent Communist-controlled groups, the pamphlet observes. It declares these policies to be "not only social fascism, it must lead deeper and deeper into open fascism to which the organization is sinking." Includes the full 14 plank "Left Wing" cooperative program and a June 4, 1931 statement by the Executive Board of the Workers' and Farmers' Cooperative Unity Alliance protesting the actions of the Halonen leadership as exponents of a "systemic resistance in alliance with the Farmer-Labor Party, the IWW, the AF of L, the Lovestones, the Trotskyits, Alannes, Sulkanens, the social democratic Raivaaja, the Industrialisti, and other white guard newspapers" in opposition to the Trade Union Unity League and the United Farmers' League.


[Cross-posted, with thanks, from H-Labor]