Update 12-27, 28, 29: Sunday, July 15, 2012.

"Workers Told to Rally for Foster-Gitlow: Ex-Socialist Secretary  Repudiates LaFollette." (Daily Worker) [July 24, 1924]  This rather astonishing discovery from the pages of The Daily Worker illustrates the depth of dissatisfaction with the rightward turn of the Socialist Party in the middle 1920s. Former National Executive Secretary of the SPA Walter Lanfersiek -- remembered to history as the embodiment of the party's conservative wing -- contributes a letter to the Workers Party daily challenging workers to "beware your betrayers, your Hillquits, your Bergers, and the rest" and to instead "march one step nearer the Revolution" by voting for the WPA ticket of William Z. Foster and Benjamin Gitlow in November 1924. The Socialists' presidential choice, Robert LaFollette, is characterized as a consistent petty bourgeois, from whom it would be "idiocy" to expect help in advancing the socialist agenda. Those supporting him when other working class options exist Lanfersiek calls "traitors, conscious or unconscious." The former SPA Executve Secretary declare that "until another and a better standard is furnished us by the march of events, the Russian Revolution must be our guide and hope."

"New Party Industrial Registration," by James P. Cannon [July 25, 1924]  Under the slogan of "Bolshevization," the 5th World Congress of the Communist International of 1924 instructed affiliated parties to reorganize on the basis of the workplace rather than according to geographical locations. In this article from the Daily Worker, Assistant Executive Secretary of the Workers Party of America announces a new "industrial registration" of the entire party membership to pave the way for this fundamental shift. The registration, slated to begin August 1, 1924 and to be completed by the end of the month, was to supplant a similar "partially successful" registration conducted in the fall of 1923. According to Cannon the new survey of members and their workplaces was needed before the WPA could "even take one step" in the direction of reorganization on a shop basis. "In order to gauge the strength of the party, to measure its ability to carry out a given task, to estimate its forces in relation to the forces of its enemies in the labor movement, the Party must know who its members are, where they work, what organizations they belong to, etc.," Cannon asserts, adding that "without this information, the Party is stumbling in the dark."


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