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The New York Communist Chicago Turns to the Left sease vote going to 44.
tactics.
through By E Ferguson, in The Revolutionary Age THE Cook County Convention of May 17 18 ro seated as Chairman as the Left Wing candidate.
TH ful of delegates, who had been insistent for a half sulted in a clean sweep for the Left Wing. The highest vote for one of the offcial family as a year that somebody was trying to split the Party. was more than a test of strength of the local candidate for the Resolutions Committee was 177; when faced with the realization that the Party was pposing elements, yet even in this limited one of the most popular Socialists in Chicago, who re organized right under their eyes, without a mur.
his convention would be of high national signihas failed to make clear his understanding of and mur about a secession, decided to prove that there ficance, because the Left Wing conquest of Chicago therefore be characterized at the moment Cen splitting on their own account.
alignment on the issues before the Party and may was desire to split the Party by trying a little is the best possible proof of the Left Wing conquest trist, received 236 votes; while the five Left Wing The Convention went through its three sessions candidates another half year of conventions and elections to averaged close to 400 votes, the high of May 18th without a word of curiosity about the record itself in terms of a new Party officialdom and a new orientation in the Party policies and The representative character of this Convention time killing and obstruction. The opposition to the is evident from the large number of delegates and Left Wing expressed itself in debate and questionthe high attendance, the basis of representation be ing; and the opportunity for real discussion was (1) This Convention was a Left Wing victory ing delegate to 10 members. The general issues never cut off by the Left Wing. About all the on the basis of what is perhaps the most carefully to come before the Convention had been discussed writer heard of the bolters was that they started and completely elaborated statement, in terms of more or less thoroughly in something like 50 a meeting in a nearby hall, but soon came to the platform and resolutions, of the Left Wing move branches, so there was nothing here in the nature conclusion that no one knew what they wanted to ment in this country. 2) This Convention meant a decisive conquest of a local Party unit of over 6500 of the resolutions had been published in the Chi. conspicuous figures finally found their way back of surprise or hasty judgment. The main portions do. It was quite apparent that all except the most members; a victory so conscious of its own purpose cago Socialist two weeks before the Convention, to the Convention and so definitely organized that it can make rapid and a series of debates had been staged between Only Stedman is named from among the little gains from day to day. 3) Finally, this conven representatives of the opposing camps.
band of bolters because the writer is confident tion victory will at once be translated into a new The Left Wing movement in Chicago, taking its that Stedman regretted his excited action within an control of Local Cook County on the firm basis of theoretical initiative in the work of the Communist hour after the secession; and this typifies the Conrevolutionary Socialism.
Propaganda League, had assumed definite organ vention split as not at all a forecast of any rupThese are confident claims, but need no argument ization character in about two dozen of the most ture in the local organization. Stedman absolutely beyond the textual and mathematical facts which important branch units of the city. Under the able realized at the opening of the Convention that the they generalize. At this time the secretarial work and aggressive leadership of Comrade Alexander Left Wing had a solid two thirds vote, which would has not been completed which will provide the Stoklitsky, now acting as Translator Secretary for have easily increased at once if the fight had been details se the platforme and resolutions adopted the Russian Federation, the Russian speaking lines by Principles, onder of sharpening Chicago Communist Propaganda League four or principles of revolutionary Socialism. The Lithu seemingly harsh offensive on the part of the Left able circumstances in the interim, will realize that Letish Secretary, Comrade Purin, the Hungarian spliting in Chicago, Stedman and his dozen or to there was through preparation for this Convention Secretary, Comrade Frankel, and many others in of official lieutenants will stand convicted of a pro so far as the questions of Perty principles and tac the language groups have co operated ably in a calculated design toward that end; at least, the tics are concerned.
dual educational organization campaign, which deliberate raising of the vanity of personal opinPostponing this part of the report to a future showed its results at the Cook County Convention, ion, or lack of basis for intelligent opinion, above article, it need only be said. Jw that an American and is bound within a few months to compel a clear the level of devotion to the Socialist movement.
Socialist Pariy on the basis of the new Cook County alignment of the American Party with the CommunSo much concerning the mechanics and history of this important Convention. Its contributions to program bould find itself in complete unity with ist International.
the Communist International and with the revolu Some of the fundamental snobbery and narrow ward the working out of the new character of the tionary proletariat of the United States. Chicago nationalism of the Right Wingers displayed itself formerican Socialist. movement, in terms of program, Left Wing victory takes special significance not only in clumsily indirect insinuations about the alien tactics, and questions of party organization will from the importance of the local itself, and the character of the Left Wing while overtactics and questions of Party organization will One comment is made now to counter the im.
industrial territory tributory to Chicago, but also their own adherence to Socialist internationalism?
from the fact that this is the headquarters of the lism! pression of an organized vote as indicating fol.
old Party regime.
The Chicago movement has ized character of the Chicago Left Wing strength.
This much detail is given to emphasize the low the leader Convention, all rehearsed in adnever had distinctive local character, because its vance. As emphasized above, the main Party issues There is not a branch in the city or country without had been thoroughly discussed in advance and the leadership has been tinged with the Party oficialLeft Wing adherents, but the assured control lies results reduced to definite form, but without dom coming from all over the country.
in the two dozen or more branches which stand as prompting or even the co operation of those conBut the point to be emphasized is the organized units on a well defined program of revolutionary spicious on the floor for the Left Wing, there were character of this Left Wing victory. To the Right Socialism. This control has already reflected itself resolutions introduced touching every instant pro Wingers and Centrists this was the mystifying and sufficiently in the county organization to assure the letarian fight of revolutionary significance. The annoying circumstance. They could understand Left Wing of the fruits of its victory in relation comrades abroad and our own class war comrades lots of more or less aimless talking and more or to the local Party press and other official activities. in the jails, the strikers of Lawtence and Winni.
less confused voting, but the sight of a solid Left On the other hand the demoralization of the peg. and the fighting the revolutionary phalaux of about 400 votes out of some 650 a politician element displayed itself in an almost proletarians everywhere were recognized in kinship solid, fairly uniform vote, going with a definite, ludicrous bolting of the Convention during its sec. in that Convention in the most convincingly genuclear cut program, carefully discussed and criti; ond session. The Napoleon of the exodus, which cised for weeks ahead. that was not their idea of took about of the Convention, certainly less Socialist gathering. And it is this spontaneous ine way that the writer has ever witnessed in my Socialist convention.
than 10. was our quite amiable Comrade Seymour sensitiveness to the world fight of the rising proThe first and perhaps the clearest test vote came Stedman, who momentarily forgot his responsibility letariat by the conscious.
American proletarians with the election of the Resolutions Committee, as one of the National Executive Committee and which is the vitality of the revolutionary Socialist after Comrade William Bross Lloyd had easily been forgot to use his own better judgment. This hand movement in the United States.
organ Regular Party Channels cussion, As a few glaring examples of the de noctacy with individuals and others substituted. The Local Soc. going to count or consider the vote of any Branch which our Party machine works, iingia cite you retary reported practically to the same effect. It or Local which appeared to him to be fraudulent.
the following: am a member of the Sth is to be noted that neither the State Socretary por Subsequently had been informed by several of Bronx Local Bronx submitted to its member the Local Secretary had ever before appeared at prominent members of Local Bronx, that all ship a resolution to affiliate with the Left Wing the Branches to report, and that the evident intent those Branches in which the votes on the Left Wing Section and a resolution by counter resolutionists of these reports was to prejudice the member. resolution predominated over the votes on the Right (I had almost written counter revolutionists. At ship against the Left Wing at the very moment Wing resolution, would be disorganized and yo the last meeting of the 5th which was held on when they were about to vote on the Left Wing organized so as to include Done but loyal momMay 27th, discussion and voting on these two reso resolution. No questions, however, were permitted bers.
lutions was the special order of business. The to be asked of either the State or Local Secretaries, Last night, when appeared at the Local hond Branch had decided that Branch members and after making their so called reports, they do quarters io attend the Right Wing cancus in be given preference in the matter of dis parted their several ways.
response to their invitation, sought confirmation and that outsiders would only be The next day the State Secretary called me up of the fact that those Branches where the Left Wing permitted to take the floor after the last Branch on the wire and asked me how the vote stood on resolution carried a majority would be disolved member who wished to discuss this matter the Left Wing resolution; incidentally he was inter and ro organised, from the Local Secretary. She had spoken. At about 10 Comrade Cook, the ested to find out how our Branch took his revela stated that she believed that to be the fát, but State Secretary, Comrade Anna Stern, the Local tions of fraud and forgery. explained to referred me to the State Secretary. This morning Secretary and a half dozen or more Right Wingers him that as far as was concerned, his evidence did called up the State Secretary on the phone and entered our club rooms. Comrade Cook stated to not impress me at all; anyone familiar with informed him that had been referred to him for the chairman that he had a very important report Party affairs knows or should have known that the information; that our Branch meets tonight, and 10 make which would be supplemented by the foreign language Branches generally role as a unit, that before handing in our ballots we wanted to Executive Secretary of the Local. We stopped the and that, being illiterate, the Secretary or some know whether we would be penalised for voting discussion and gave him the floor. After stating other literate member generally marks and signs on a referendum submitted to us, not in accordance his intention tu be fair to both sides in the matter, the ballots for them. He coníessed that he was with the wishes or desire of the powers that be, he produced certain ballots of Left Wing Branches ignorant of this fact, bon that when he had showa He refused to definitely sale his position of the on the National Referendums, which he claimed several of the ballots which appeared to him to be position of the state office in the matter, and to were fraudulent, the evidence being that several suspicious to prominent Socialists, they immedi ferred me to the Local Secretary. However, he of them were in the handwriting of the same in ately yelled fraud and forgery. He admitted slated his opinion to be that a Branch whoxe major.
dividual, that certain foreign language Branches to me thut he had not investigated a single suspici iy had voted in favor of the Left Wing resolution had voted en bloc for certain candidates, and that ous case to ascertain whether or me there was really would be dissolved.
certain ballots had voler crossed out for certaia fraud or forgery, but novertholous bo was not Juno 3, 1919.
Beds Ronne