Update 13-14: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.

"Who Are the Socialists?" by Charles H. Kerr [April 17, 1903]  Short introduction to socialism by Marxist book publisher Charles H. Kerr who attempts to introduce a general readership to the idea that political parties "stand for the interests of those who manage them, not always for the interests of those who vote for them." The Republican Party is the political organization of dominant big capital and the Democratic Party the organization of the decaying small capital of yesteryear, Kerr asserts. By way of contrast, "the Socialist Party stands for the interests of the laborers, those who do useful work with hand or with brain." Kerr indicates that support of the SPA by working people is inevitable "when you have studied the subject so as to understand your own interests." Kerr also interestingly categorizes "the tramps" with the idle rich, as a social class which will be forced to "take their choice between going to work or going hungry" in the future socialist society. Kerr encourages his readers to subscribe to the weekly Chicago Socialist for more information.

"Woman and the National Socialist Congress," by Theresa Malkiel [May 31, 1910]  While the relationship between the Communist Party in the 1930s and '40s with the black liberation movement has been detailed at length in the literature, less attention has been paid to the connection between the Socialist Party of the first two decades of the 20th Century and the women's movement of the day. Former clothing worker turned Socialist journalist Theresa Malkiel offers this enthusiastic estimate of the Socialist Party's commitment to equal rights for female citizens, as witnessed at the recently concluded national congress of the party in Chicago. Malkiel praises the willingness of male socialists to place their female comrades in positions of authority — not as a "gift of mercy," but through honest trust. Both the female delegates to the convention and the males working with them behaved effectively and professionally, with the women demonstrating ability and judgment and the men receiving their comments with interest and attention. "Every man present recognized the disadvantages the working woman was doomed to find herself in as long as she remained a political nonentity, and all like one displayed a spirit of revolt against this unjust deprivation. Their determination to work for woman’s enfranchisement was at once self-evident," Malkiel observes.

“Engdahl is Right,” by Otto Branstetter [June 14, 1921] Executive Secretary of the Socialist Party of America Otto Branstetter takes on left wing party editor J. Louis Engdahl over the question of affiliation of the Socialist Party to the Third International. Branstetter notes the CI's negative response to the official American request for affiliation (which had been determined by a membership referendum vote), a rejection which included the instruction for American workers that they "Leave the American Socialist Party. It is your enemy and ours. Already in America there is a revolutionary party, the United Communist Party, the American section of the Communist International." Another point called for the expulsion of top party leader Morris Hillquit, Branstetter notes. Branstetter calls for a new split a the forthcoming 1921 SPA National Convention: "Shall we expel Morris Hillquit for party loyalty or shall we expel J. Louis Engdahl for party treason? That is the issue. Until it is decided and decided right there is no possibility of rebuilding the party which has been destroyed largely through the efforts of the Communist International and its spokesmen and supporters within the Socialist Party.... We may be the first Socialist party to adopt this practical method of defense against those who are pledged to destroy us, but we will by no means be the last."

"Convention Call to Organize the Workers Party of America." [Dec. 16, 1921]  New edition. Document formally announcing the convention to establish a Legal Political Party for the Communist Party of America at convention in New York City to be held December 23-26, 1921. The call was signed by the CPA-associated American Labor Alliance, the radical SP-offshoot The Workers' Council of the USA, the Jewish Socialist Federation, and the Workers' Educational Association.

"Manifesto of the Communist Party of America on the Workers Party: To the Workers of America." [circa January 1922]  Text of a rare leaflet of the insurgent ultra-left "Communist Party of America" established by the Central Caucus faction in January 1922. The new Legal Political Party of the mainline CPA, the Workers Party of America, is denounced as "spurious" and a "palpable fraud" consisting of "impostors and charlatans" who make false claims to speak for the Communist International. The leaflet asserts that in contrast to the Workers Party and its orientation towards capitalist electoral politics, "the Communists assert that the exploited masses can only achieve their emancipation from all the horrors of capitalism through mass action which will develop into open armed conflict of the workers against the forces of the capitalist state, resulting in its violent overthrow and destruction, establishing in its place the dictatorship of the proletariat who become the ruling class and exercise their power through the Soviet form of government." The Workers Party is nothing more than "a party of dangerous compromisers, opportunists and centrists, masking themselves as Communists," the leaflet contends.


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