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SCHENECTADY MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION.
Fusion-9136, including Republican, Democrat.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LUNN'S FIRST TERM. (From the Mayor's message, February, 1913.)
City's Operating Cost Reduced. “The present administration began its term with a budget some $37,000 larger than the budget of the year 1911, but the budget for 1912 included items for bond redemption and interest, amounting to $60,000 above that for the same item in the budget of 1911, thereby making the 1912 budget actually less in the way of operating cost for the city's business. We were able to do this by cutting expenses at every point possible in the interest of true economy. Superfluous positions were eliminated.
Laborers given another Wage Increase. "Notwithstanding the increase which was made by the administration at the beginning of 1912, raising the pay of laborers from $1.75 to $2.00 per day, we have made still another advance, so that laborers hereafter shall receive $2.25 per day.”
Other definite accomplishments of the administration were the appointment of a maternity and infancy nurse, and the establishment of a municipal lodging house, municipal store, dispensary, dental clinic, and department of chemistry. The milk inspection was reorganized, a board of public welfare was established, and arrangements were made for a garbage disposal plant with collection of garbage and ashes at the city's expense.
5. PROBLEMS OF AMERICAN SOCIALISM WITH
RECENT DECISIONS REGARDING THEM.
The Constitution and Platform of the Socialist Party are in every case authoritative regarding specific problems. Space forbids the printing of these herewith, but they always may be obtained from the Socialist Party on application.
In the following pages we mention only a few of the problems upon which opinion within the party has not yet crystallized, or upon which declaration has been made so far by other means than the constitution and platform.
1. POLITICAL VERSUS DIRECT ACTION.
"Art. II, Sec. 1. Every person who subscribes to the principles of the Socialist Party, including political actionshall be eligible to membership in the party.
Sec. 6. Any member of the party who opposes political action or advocates crime, sabotage, or other methods of violence as a weapon of the working class to aid in its emancipation shall be expelled from membership in the party. Political action shall be construed to mean participation in elections for public office and practical legislative and administrative work along the lines of the Socialist Party platform."
Section 6 above was opposed by a large minority in the party. Although it was passed by referendum a substitute of contrary import was also passed, but the latter action was declared void by the party authorities.
(Representative party discussions on political action may be found in “The Socialism of To-day," p. 221-228, and on sabotage in pages 381-388 of the same book.)
b. Socialist Labor Party. "We therefore call upon the wage workers to organize themselves into a revolutionary political organization under the-banner of the Socialist Labor Party.” (Platform of 1916.)
“Declaration in favor of revolutionary political action of the working class under the Socialist banner, without any fusion or compromise on candidates or Socialist principles, whatever." (Irreducible Minimum of Principles in Basis and Form of Unity, 1916.)
2. LABOR UNIONS.
a. Socialist Party. The following extracts from the resolution adopted by the convention of 1912 make clear the official attitude of the Socialist Party regarding labor unions:
1. “That the party has neither the right nor the desire to interfere in any controversies which may exist within the labor-union move. $9,967.15 1906 W. F. of M. defense fund
ment over questions of form of organization or technical methods of action in the industrial struggle, but trusts to the labor organizations themselves to solve these questions.
2. That the Socialists call the attention of their brothers in the labor unions to the vital importance of the task of organizing the unorganized, especially the immigrants and the unskilled laborers. The Socialist Party will ever be ready to co-operate with the labor unions in the task of organizing the unorganized workers, and urges all labor organizations, who have not already done so, to throw their doors wide open to the workers of their respective trades and industries, abolishing all onerous conditions of membership and artificial restrictions.
3. That it is the duty of the party to give moral and material support to the labor organizations in all their defensive or aggressive struggles against capitalist oppression.
4. That it is the duty of the members of the Socialist Party who are eligible to membership in the unions to join and be active in their respective labor organizations.". (Se discussions of the subject in "The Socialism of To-day,” p. 379-381, and also the treatment of Labor Unions in the various sections of the present volume.)
b. Socialist Labor Party. "Conquer the workshops for your own and your children's use by organizing your industrial battalions into the Workers' International
ndustrial Union with headquarters at. Detroit, Mich.” (Platform of S. L. P., 1916.)
"Whereas,' 'Neutrality' toward economic organizations of Labor on the part of a political party of Socialism is equivalent to neutrality toward organizations that endorse and support the system of private ownership of the social means of producing wealth.
"Resolved, That the Socialist Labor Party show the fallacy of craft unionism, and urge the workers to organize industrially on the principles
the Workers' International Industrial Union.' (Resolution Economic Organization, 1916.)
Socialist Party Contribution to Strike Funds.
(Appeal Almanac, 1916, Page 184.) 1902 Anthracite Miners' Strike Fund
4,141.79 1907 W. F. of M. defense fund
10,810.48 1908 W. F. of M. defense fund
1,003.88 1909 Swedish Strikers' fund
6,318.91 1910 Swedish Strikers' fund
302.43 1910–11 Garment Workers' strike fund
10,601.54 1912 Lawrence strike fund
18,630.97 Ettor-Giovannitti defense fund
417.50 Timber Workers' strike fund
307.25 Muscatine strike fund
147.03 Little Falls strike fund
833.39 1913 West Virginia strike fund
65.50 Machinists' strike fund
3.96 Paterson strike fund
19.20 Belgium Suffrage strike fund
142.05 Garment Workers' (N. Y.) strike fund..
158.65 Little Falls strike fund
Calumet strike fund (to Oct. 1).
Strike childrens' relief fund (to Oct. 1)...
a. Socialist Party. The following “Farmers' Program” was adopted at the National Convention of 1912:
1. The Socialist Party demands that the means of transportation and storage and the plants used in the manufacture of farm products and farm machinery shall be socially owned and democratically managed.
2. To prevent the holding of land out of use and to eliminate tenantry, we demand that all farm land not cultivated by owners shall be taxed at its full rental value, and that actual use, and occupancy shall be the only title to land.
3. We demand the retention by the national, state or local governing bodies of all land owned by them, and the continuous acquirement of other lands by reclamation, purchase, condemnation, taxation, or otherwise, such lands to be organized as rapidly as possible into socially operated farms for the conduct of collective agricultural enterprises.
4. Such farms should constitute educational and experimental centers for crop culture, the use of fertilizers and farm machinery, and distributing points for improved seeds and better breeds of animals.
5. The formation of co-operative associations for agricultural purposes should be encouraged.
6. Insurance against diseases of animals and plants, insect pests, and natural calamities should be provided by national, state, or "local governments.
7. We call attention to the fact that the elimination of farm tenantry and the development of socially owned and operated agriculture will open new opportunities to the agricultural wage-worker and free him from the tyranny of the private employer.
In addition to the above program, the Convention of 1912 made the following demands:
1. The erection by the state at convenient points of elevators and warehouses for the storage of grain, potatoes, and other farm products; and connected with these, provisions for municipal markets. wherever the people of the community desire. We call attention to the fact that constitutional amendments providing for these measures were killed by the old parties in the last legislature.
2. Establishment by the state of one or more plants for the manufacture of farm machinery and binder twine.
3. · State or county loans on mortgages and warehouse receipts, the interest charges to cover the cost only.
4. State insurance against destruction of animals and crops.
b. Socialist Labor Party. The declaration which follows, copied from the Maximum Demands for Unity, shows a distinct though not irreconcilable difference from the attitude of the Socialist Party toward the farmer:
“3. . Declaration that the United Socialist Party aims to socialize, along with other means of production, all land used for the production of commodities, whether such land be owned by a big or small farmer, or be tilled by wage labor or otherwise."
4. THE TARIFF.
Neither of the two American Socialist parties makes a platform declaration regarding the tariff.
The Socialist Party convention of 1912 inserted and afterwards struck out a plank demanding “the gradual reduction of all tariff duties, particularly those on the necessities of life.” The discussion of the matter in the Convention showed, however, that the party definitely favors free trade, but prefers not to make an issue of the tariff, on the ground that the working-man is affected very little by changes in import duties provided the capitalist system is allowed to continue. (See "The Socialism of Today," p. 482-4.)
5. IMMIGRATION AND THE RACE PROBLEM.
a. Resolution of the International Socialist Congress of 1907,
at Stuttgart. (Extracts only.) “1. Prohibition of the export and import of such workingmen as have entered into a contract
3. Abolition of all restrictions which exclude definite nationalities or races from the right of sojourn in the country and from the political and economic rights of natives, or make the acquisition of these rights more difficult for them.
4. For the trade-unions of all countries the following principles shall have universal application in connection with it:
a. Unrestricted admission of immigrant workingmen to the trade-unions of all countries.-"
b. Socialist Party. The American Socialist Party has not yet arrived at a definite stand regarding the immigration question.
The committee appointed to report on the matter to the Congress of 1910 brought in a resolution favoring exclusion; this resolution was defeated, however, and a substitute adopted. At the Congress of 1912 the majority of the committee on Immigration again brought in resolution favoring exclusion, while the minority proposed the reaffirmation of