Update 13-09: Sunday, July 21, 2013.
"The Black Flag! The Emblem of Hunger Unfurled by the Proletarians of Chicago" [event of Nov. 27, 1884] Lengthy and detailed first-hand journalistic account of the march of 3,000 "Social Revolutionists" (Anarchists) through the streets of Chicago, published in The Alarm. The Social Revolutionists made use of the Thanksgiving holiday as an organizing device to protest the unemployment and poverty held to be an intrinsic part of the current social and economic system. Included is the full text of the organizing leaflet, produced by a self-described "Committee of the Grateful" of the anarchist International Working People's Association, as well as excerpts of the speeches of Albert R. Parsons, C.S. Griffin, and Samuel Fielding, banner slogans, and resolutions adopted by acclamation by the demonstration's participants. According to leading participant August Spies, this demonstration marked the first time that the black flag, the "emblem of hunger and starvation," had been unfurled on American soil. The ecumenical nature of the Chicago Social Revolutionary movement at this juncture is reflected by the three cheers given for "our comrades the Anarchists of France and Austria, the Socialists of Germany, the Nihilists of Russia, and the Social Democrats of England." A brief move by some to sack the mansion of Elihu Washburn, US Ambassador to France during the Paris Commune, was turned aside by calmer participants. Also included is an account from the Chicago Tribune describing the new anti-street riot tactics in which the National Guard was training in Chicago.
"State Platform of the Socialist Party of Oklahoma: Adopted at the Annual State Convention, Oklahoma City -- Dec. 28-29, 1909." The frontier state of Oklahoma was one of the greatest hotbeds of Socialist activity in the United States during the first two decades of the 20th Century. This document, the 1910 state platform of the Socialist Party of Oklahoma, helps to illustrate the source of organizational strength -- a strong commitment to agricultural reform. Opening with a declaration that the SPO a "party of the working class" committed to the principles of International Socialism, the program abstractly expresses a goal of "socializing the means of production," but advances a minimum program only calling for the establishment of state sawmills, cement plants, coal mines, and gas and oil wells. The bulk of the document is dedicated to various plans for land acquisition by the state, the construction of model farms, establishment of state disaster insurance for farmers, construction of state grain elevators, and state finance of mortgages for homes, warehouses, and the purchase of farmland.
"The Fred D. Warren Case: Speech at Orchestra Hall -- Chicago, IL, Jan. 14, 1910," by Eugene V. Debs [excerpt]
In this 1600 word excerpt from a speech delivered in support of jailed Appeal to Reason editor Fred Warren, Socialist Party leader Gene Debs takes aim at the judiciary, declaring the jurist in the case, John C. Pollock, to be "infamous and corrupt." Debs recounts the story of his own jailing in 1895 and the way in which the judge in the case abruptly terminated the case upon discovery that the association of railroad general managers had met with officials of the Pullman Corporation in order to "crush the employees in the Pullman service and to destroy the American Railway Union." The whole of the 131 member federal bench and the 9 members of the Supreme Court owe their positions to corporate service, Debs contends. Citing the poverty and misery produced by capitalism, Debs calls for his listeners to unite behind the principles of industrial unionism in the shop and joint political action at the ballot box.
"Vote Catching Amendments," by C.W. Barzee [Jan. 20, 1910] Letter to the editor of the Chicago Daily Socialist by a top leader of the Socialist Party of Oregon. Although himself closely identified with the "constructive socialist" rather than "revolutionary socialist" wing of the SP, Barzee is sharply critical of watering down the Socialist Party platform in an effort to win the electoral support of disaffected members of the Democratic Party. Barzee declares that a Socialist is one who "understands the Marxian theory of surplus value as operated through the profit system and opposes it for the purpose of destroying that feature of our social condition." "We do not want any other kind of votes for our party," he insists, explaining that election before "the people understand what they want and why they want it" would be disastrous, resulting in office without the capacity to initiate actual systemic change. "The party will...succeed to the government function when the evolution of society demands it and it would be folly to place it there before that time," Barzee declares.
"Platform and Municipal Program of the Public Ownership (Socialist) Party of Duluth." [Jan. 29, 1910] Rare 1910 civic platform of the Socialist Party of Duluth, Minnesota. After a short exposition of the definition of capitalism and the nature of the socialist critique, a short and highly ameliorative civic platform is offered -- despite having acknowledged "the impossibility of expecting any fundamentally beneficial results by the mere capture of control in a municipality." Demands include the universal franchise for women, appointment of municipal factory inspectors, abolition of child labor, establishment of a free city hospital, expansion of public library hours, and the extension of education and culture to the entire population.
"William Mailly as a Socialist Type," by George D. Herron [Nov. 14, 1912] Large file. Graphic pdf from The Coming Nation (an Appeal to Reason side project) eulogizing the recently deceased socialist journalist and former head of the Socialist Party of America, William "Will" Mailly. Herron's biography of his departed friend is frankly hagiographic, with Mailly's life and career remembered as "one of life's good promises for the human future." Herron remembers Mailly as a man of "no capacity for dishonesty," "joy of energy," "infectious boyishness," and a "positive genius for friendship;" a lover of literature and art, loyal to his friends, and of "sublime yet simple devotion to the cause to which he gave his life." Herron goes on to describe Mailly's New York friends Algernon Lee and Morris Hillquit in similar terms, amidst allusions to the early Christians.
The Liberator, vol. 1, no. 1 [March 1918] Large file. Graphic pdf of the first number of Max Eastman's successor to The Masses. CONTENTS: Editorials. Arturo Gionannitti: "Anniversary" (poem); Howard Brubaker: "The One-Armed Patriot." Elizabeth Irons Folsom: "The Revolt of the Flesh." Jean Starr Untermeyer: "Church Sociable" (poem). Helen Keller: "In Behalf of the IWW." John Reed: "Red Russia: The Triumph of the Bolsheviki." Max Eastman: "Isadora Duncan" (poem). Susan Glaspell, "'Poor Ed' -- A Story" (fiction). Robert Minor: "The Peril of Tom Mooney." Louis Untermeyer: "Two Sonnets" (poems). Book Reviews: 1. F.D.: James Weldon Johnson, Fifty Years and Other Poems. 2. Floyd Dell: Leon Trotsky, The Bolsheviki and World Peace. 3. Dorothy Day: Sherwood Anderson, Marching Men: A Novel. 4. Floyd Dell: Bertrand Russell, Political Ideals. "A Word For Profiteers" (ad for the Modern Library). Poems. Plus art. Basic digitization of this file by Marty Goodman of the Riazanov Library Digitization Project.
"Shall Capitalism “Get” Gale or Shall the Workers Free Him? Send Money Now for the Defense of Linn A.E. Gale, Publisher of Gale’s International Monthly of Revolutionary Communism." [circa June 1921] Text of an ultra-rare leaflet published by the Gale Defense Committee, preserved for posterity by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation. Now held over for prosecution at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, draft resister Linn Gale was said to have been for the previous three years the author of "innumerable articles for the Radical press of almost every country explaining the sinister intrigues of the interventionists and the diabolical conspiracy to embroil the United States in war with Mexico for the sake of profits for the oil magnates and the munitions makers." The circular calls for money for Gale's San Antonio-based legal defense, protest meetings against Gale's prosecution, and letters to prominent politicians. Includes a short biography of Linn Gale as a footnote.
What is Socialism? Three Lectures for Workers, by Albert Goldman  Large file. Graphic pdf of a pamphlet published by the publishing house of the Socialist Workers Party by prominent party lawyer Albert Goldman. Goldman first expounds upon what he calls the "trinity of evils afflicting the working masses" -- a low standard of living, economic insecurity, and war -- and submits that the only way to eliminate unemployment and imperialist conflict is to abolish capitalism itself. Goldman calls the perceived fundamental battle between fascism and democratic capitalism a "false premise" and explicitly rejects the Popular Front line then being advanced by the Communist Party. "Fascism and capitalist democracy have the identical purpose of guarding capitalist property," Goldman declares. Goldman then hedges his bets by asserting that the latter is preferable to the working class due to the rights of workers to organize economically and politically under capitalist democracy. He calls for a United Front of working class organizations rather than a Popular Front of workers and capitalists. In the second lecture Goldman deals with the transition to socialism, acknowledging while peaceful change is desirable to all, "the question, however, is not whether it is desirable but whether it is possible." Goldman asserts that based upon past history "we are justified in predicting that the capitalist class will not surrender power to the working class without a violent struggle." Basic digitization of this file by Marty Goodman of the Riazanov Library Digitization Project.