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UBA," says the capitalist journals, "is to have
another chance as an independent nation within a year. The Cuban republic will be established not later than Feb. 1st 1909. After that the Cubans themselves must decide the island's destiny. What a splendid chance now to give Socialism a trial (?). Whether
the lessons of the first experiment have been well enough learned or not, it is pretty certain there will be no third. If the next fails, then Cuba will take its place as a territory of the United States.
The interests of the United States in Panama, of which Cuba is the key, require a considerable force in the Carribean within striking distance of that possession. Her treaty rights in Cuba include coaling stations, with the right to fortify and garrison same, and to maintain there sufficient force to give all necessary aid to her diplomatic representatives in Cuba in the exercise of their important functions. “This," says Capt. Parker, U. S. and a resident for many years in Cuba, “would give ample assurance of a stable government; to know that in case of necessity they could summon American arms to prevent revolution rather than to suppress it." No doubt there will be peace for a few months after the American evacuation and Cuba, under either Zayas or Gomez, the candidates for the presidency, will rub along under the present economic system or want of system. Yet that seems doubtful, for at the present time Washington is being deluged with petitions praying that the Provisional Government be kept here. Of course these originate from the capitalist class who fear for their interests, and who say that there can be no peace in Cuba without protection from the United States. They know too well the hot-headedness of the Latin race, who cannot accept defeat gracefully, and no matter which party is elected, rather than see their opponents governing peacefully would in short order stir up a revolution, which would be an easy matter—a box of matches, a few dollars to a dissatisfied negro, a few cane fields fired; and there you are.
The industrial conditions are at present good from the capitalist's view. Laborers are plentiful, wages are, in the trades, fair and there are no strikes on. The land sharks
are dividing up, here and elsewhere, the people's propertythe earth—and selling it to “El Americano. The vulture, bankers, are on the spot. A few weeks ago more than sixty bank presidents and cashiers from all parts of the Union were here, presumably on pleasure bent, but in reality to spy out the land with the view of possessing it.
Cuba, or "The Pearl of the Antilles," as it is called, contains a population of nearly two millions and is capable of sustaining five millions. The chief industries are raising tobacco and sugar. In the city of Havana the principal indus. try is cigar and cigarette making. Nearly everything in use and worn is imported. They are just recovering from the effects of the great strike of 1907; that is, the railroad strike and cigarmakers' strike, when for months everything was at a standstill. But now things are getting back to normal, for under the Provisional Government of the United States there is no doubt that the chaos brought on by the revolution of 1906 has been restored to a semblance of order. Money is being spent liberally on improvements. In the city of Havana a new sewerage system is being put in. All through the island money is being spent on new wagon roads, for previously the interior was practically in a primitive state. The railroad system is being improved, new railroads built by northern capitalists, who are using the cheap labor now to be had here. The present wage of men employed in this work averages 75 cents per day of twelve hours, but they seem satisfied and plod along in the good old-fashioned way; but it would not take long, were a few good Socialist leaders to get among them and it would be an easy matter to convince them that Socialism would improve their condition and they would rush to embrace it. They are quite different from the poor slaves of the north, who have the gospel of Socialism preached to them and hold the key to freedom in their hands—the ballot--yet refuse to use it, preferring to remain in darkness and the slaves of capitalism and the system.
These poor workers of Cuba are somewhat different. They are fond of good clothes, love to have good things to eat and liberally spend what they so hardly earn, and are very temperate. Of course here, as elsewhere in the world, are extremes of wealth and poverty. There are beautiful mansions and miserable bohios, where the poor are crowded together. Their lot is not an enviable one and it will be conceded that what Cuba needs and needs badly is Socialism, but they must be first educated along the lines of practical experience in self-government and personal rights.
There are in existence here the usual trade unions and
a Social Labor party, but it is not yet strong enough to be felt in the political world.
The Socialist party in Cuba was organized a little over a year ago by Sr. Manuel Cendoya, who was leader of the cigarmakers in the recent strike, and from a small band of eight (8) it has increased to about four thousand members, among them being many prominent men in business and professional life. Among the latter is Dr. Enrique Roig, the leading lawyer in the city of Havana, and who, when the party gets strong enough to be felt, would make a capable Socailist president (for as a rule it is usually a lawyer who fills the office). Cendoya was assisted by Sr. Pablo Y. Glisias, a prominent Socialist who came over from Spain to help in the work of organization. A few weeks ago they published the first Socialist paper in Cuba, “El Socialista," which is issued twice a week and works along educational lines. In each issue it contains a column of lessons in Socialism. I translate a few lines:
“Q. Would you like to be a millionaire ? A. Yes.
“1st. Find a job that pays you $1,200.00 per year. This is
easy during these prosperous times. 2nd. Don't spend more than $3.84 per week for your living expenses or $200.00 per year. You will then have $1,000.00 left. Save this for a thousand years. Then you will be a millionaire. This, also, is easy, if we take the word of a prominent Senator, who says: ‘The future has great things in store for the working man.'
“Now you see how easy it is to be rich from the capitalist point of view, but let us look at it from the Socialist
“Would you rather be happy, have plenty to eat, wear good clothes and work for yourself only a few hours a day, instead of ten or twelve, as you do now, for your capitalist master? Of course you would.
“How can this be brought about? First you will have to cast in your lot with the Socialist party, who are working to accomplish these ends. Secondly. When the Socialist candidates enter the field for election. You must use your ballot for them.”
Of course as soon as the party is strong enough to be felt there will be great opposition from the so-called G. O. P.'s, who will not want to see their graft done away with; but that's what it will be. The Cubans want Socialism, but it must be put before them in a proper way, and when they see what it will do for them we shall have victory all along the line.
Standard Oil and the Government. No Socialist has reason for surprise at the collapse of Mr. Roosevelt's case against Standard Oil. Nor is it necessary for us to follow the example of middle-class reformers in charging the judges of the Appellate Court with immoral conduct. The technical points of law on which the decision turns are complex and difficult ones. It is not at all impossible that Judge Landis may have been playing to the galleries in imposing the spectacular $29,000,000 fine, nor that Judge Grosscup may be technically correct in reversing the action of the lower court. The real moral is not that judges are corrupt; it is that the constitution and laws of the United States were made to guard the interests of property. When the constitution was adopted, most of the voters property
and desired to have property protected. Industrial evolution has brought the more important portion of the property under the control of a few trust magnates, but the old constitutional provisions, laws and precedents designed to protect property still exist, and they now work to the advantage of those who control the property. The decision of Judge Grosscup is without doubt embarrassing to the Republican party, coming, as it does, in the midst of a campaign. But what other course would Mr. Bryan have taken than that of Mr. Roosevelt in the matter? And what possible reason can Mr. Bryan offer to convince any one that he could wage any more successful warfare against the "bad trusts”? Whoever controls the industries of the country must control the government, or there would be chaos. The Socialist party of America is the political side of the movement of the working class for seizing both the industries and the government. The Republican party is an efficient machine for running the government in harmony with the rulers of the industries. The Democratic party is an inefficient machine intended to do things that can not be done and would not help the working class if they were done. The intelligent thing to do is to let it alone. If you like capitalism, vote for Taft; if you want revolution, vote for Debs. There are other things more important than voting, but that is another story.
Educate, Organize. A big Socialist vote is a desirable thing. It is chiefly valuable because it makes the social revolution seem to the average laborer something really possible in the near future instead of a distant dream. But to think that a big vote is in itself an important gain for the working class is childish. Capitalism is safe as long as the mass of the workers are mainly concerned about finding and keeping jobs under capitalists. Industrial development into trust-organized industry has made the capitalist superfluous, has paved the way for collectivism. But neither capitalism nor collectivism is an automatic machine independent of people's feelings and wishes. The workers will not take control of industry until they desire to do so, no matter how practicable it might seem in theory. Nor will it put them in control to elect a Socialist party president by attracting votes of people who only want cheaper railway and telephone rates. There will be no revolution without revolutionists. The revolutionists will be made, are being made, by changes in the mode of production, but the process is one in which propaganda and education play a necessary part. Show a laborer that he produces more than twice what he gets, and that by organizing he will soon be able to get all he produces, and he will want to organize. Not organize to get a "fair day's pay for a fair day's work,” but to get the full value of his product. Methods of organization will develop as the material is ready, the important thing just now is to provide the material in the shape of laborers who know enough of social evolution to demand all they produce. The measure of our real success this year will be the number of those who begin to understand what social evolution has in reserve for themselves and their class, and who determine to get up and go after it.
Russia's Message. William English Walling, who in past years has been a frequent contributor to the Review, has made a most admirable study of the Russian revolutionary movement, which has lately been published by Doubleday, Page & Co. Copies can be obtained through the Chicago Daily Socialist or the Wilshire Book Company, and we only regret that the high price, $3.00, will put the book beyond the reach of most of our readers. It is not too much to say that the book contains more important facts about modern Russia than have heretofore been accessible in English. We have been accustomed to think of the Russian peasant as hope lessly pious, submissive and conservative, led blindly by his devotion to the Czar and the state church. Mr. Walling tells us that the state religion was forced on the Russian people and that their enthusiasm for it was never unbounded, while the developments of the last few years have transformed the whole mass of peasants into revolutionists. The extreme poverty of the people and the relentless exactions of landlords and tax-gatherers are vividly described.