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can do most good by remaining at their posts and sending in financial aid.
Japan. Recent issues of The Socialist News, Tokyo, indicate that the Japanese movement is passing through a trying crisis. Till recently the government has remained, according to Oriental standards, comparatively moderate. But recently there have been serious signs of insubordination and disaffection in the army, and the authorities, thinking them due to Socialist agitation, have set about to crush the whole movement. Every Socialist soldier has been put under constant espionage. Socialist workingmen, too, are honored with special attention by the police. In particular, it is made almost impossible for them to hold meetings. In The Socialist News for June 15th Mr. S. J. Katayama, the editor, tells of a trip through the provinces. He was shadowed even on trains and in hotels, so that it was difficult for him to gain admission anywhere. Owners of theaters and hotels were forbidden to put them at his disposal. In a three weeks' trip he was able to hold but one meeting. So great are his difficulties that The Socialist News, formerly a weekly, now appears but irregularly. In order that it may make an appeal to the outside world its first page in the last two numbers has been printed in English. The movement in Japan surely needs and deserves international support.
MA X S. HA Y ES
The efforts of Samuel Gompers and his colleagues to steer the working people, especially those organized, into the Democratic camp will prove no easy undertaking. Rumblings of opposition are heard in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Toledo and many other places. The protestants object to the injection of partisan politics into A. F. of L. affairs and point out that the officials are deliberately violating Article III, Section 8, of the constitution-a provision which, by the way, has upon several occasions been invoked against the Socialists to choke off political discussion in conventions.
Without a word of instructions from those who pay their salaries Gompers, Duncan, Mitchell, Lennon and Morrison went to Chicago and Denver and prostrated themselves before the capitalistic political bosses and appealed for recognition in their platforms, begged for more of the same kind of promises that have been broken over and over again. As THE REView readers will know, the Chicago aggregation wouldn't even give the labor bunch a pleasant look, although Roosevelt was absolute master of the convention—the same Roosevelt who has been hailed as “our friend" for at least half a dozen years, even if he did whack labor over the head every time he had an opportunity.
At Denver the pilgrims fared better. The Democracy-dear old crone--always has a warm spot in her heart for spring chickens in politics. “Come to my arms,” said this old prostitute of capitalism. "I have seduced the Greenback party, the Union Labor party and the People's party during the past generation and now to round out a brilliant career of betrayal and corruption the trade union party shall be given individed attention and all favors."
Thereupon Gompers, who fairly hungers for Aattery and adulation, proclaims to the faithful that the “reformed” Democracy is once more "the workingman's friend” and “has shown its sympathy with our wrongs and its desires to remedy them and see to it that the rights of the people are restored.” Gompers might have added that for generations this same party has been working on the job of restoring “the rights of the people,” especially in the Southern States, the home of chattel slavery in the last century and child slavery, convict slavery competition, disfranchisement, injunctions and other brutalities right now.
But as stated above Gompers is not having easy sailing. The action of himself and colleagues in tying to a discredited party and a riscredited cardidate was not received with that spontaneous enthusiasm that spells victory. There were no brass bands to greet Gompers with the tuneful air, "See the Conqueror Hero Comes," on his triumphal journey from Denver to Washington. The doughty Sam'l stopped over in Erie, Pa., and despite the fact that the longshoremen's convention was in session, with several hundred delegates present, only about five hundred people attended a mass meeting and heard in a listless way how "our wrongs would be remedied.”
On the contrary, general criticism and condemnation is pouring in from every side, and as proof that Gompers is aware that his action was decidedly unpopular it is only necessary to refer to his editorial in this month's Federationist, where he emits his usual whine of being abused and warns "our men of labor" that a campaign of "lying and misrepresentation" has been launched in the hope of discrediting him and his colleagues. But it is no longer the "wicked Socialists” who are "abusing and villifying" the great little man. Workingmen who have worshipped at the shrine of Roosevelt, those who have followed the wanderings of William Randolph Moses Hearst, and the few straggling bands who have kept alive the populistic spirit personified by Tom Watson, not to speak of many who claim to be independents, are sharpening their tomahawks preparatory to doing some damage in this campaign.
To offset the prayers that are being uttered by Gompers and his fellow-worshippers for the benefit of Bryan, the International Steam Shovel Workers have sanctified Injunction Bill Taft by electing him an honorary member of their union, and, holding a card, of course the fat man becomes a "friend" to be rewarded. Taft will also have the support of some of the railway brotherhood chiefs and it is even claimed that one or two members of the A. F. of L. executive council will hurl bombshells into the Bryan camp at the proper time, while in every important industrial center in the country "good trade unionists” are bobbing up to tell us what Roosevelt has done for labor and how Taft will carry out the Roosevelt policies, etc.
But just about the wildest lot of political knockers in the game are the Hearstites. They are in a frenzy about what they terin “à rank sell-out," "a dastardly betrayal,” and so on. Hearst himself gave his followers the cue in his now famous cablegram from Europe that nearly melted the wires at the bottom of the ocean, and which was a reply to a dispatch sent to him bearing Gompers' name (and which the latter disowned) appealing to the Yellow Kid to be patriotic and support Bryan. Hearst's reference to the discredited and decadent Democracy and “chameleon candidates who change the color of their political opinion with every varying hue of opportunism," and his charge that the Democratic party that is now holding out a sop of false promises "while in power did more to injure labor than all the injunctions ever issued before or since," not only severed whatever hopes the Bryanites may have still entertained that the editor man would forgive the snubs and insults administered by the Peerless One and rally to the standard, but the Yellow Kid's followers are now raising the cry that "Hearst and his newspapers have done more for labor than Bryan or Gompers, and without price at that."
As for those trade unionists who are Socialists they are not at all discouraged by the turn that affairs political have taken. Of course, they would have preferred to see Gompers and his colleague remain true to working class interests and support Debs and Hanford, or even form a national labor party of their own, or keep their hands off political matters entirely, rather than compromise with the party controlled by the Murphys and Sullivans, the Taggarts and Gerbers, and the Southern Bourbons who have no more
organized labor than the devil has for holy water. Throughout the civilized world the leaders of labor have the intelligence and decency to stand upon their class interests, to work with and be a great part of the Socialist movement or at least a labor party independent of the capitalist parties, and to spurn offers of compromise or render. Only here in America we see the contradictory condition of so-called labor leaders brazenly betraying their trust, and the more brutally they are lashed by capitalism and its political hirelings the more supine, cringing and cowardly they become,
Naturally the Socialists deplore the factionalism that is bound to be engendered among many of the unions and the injury that is bound to result from the injection of the silly punish-your-enemiesand-reward-your-friends scheme hatched in the brilliant mind of Gompers. He is not so ignorant that he does not know that the hair-splitting over the question of who is a "friend" and who is an “enemy,” and especially where there is confusion among the membership as to what is really wanted, is certain to precipitate internal troubles between partisans that will lead to ultimate disruption and demoralization. He also knows the fate of the Greenback, Union Labor and People's parties and the Knights of Labor and Farmers' Alliance--all wrecked on the rocks of capitalistic politics. But history has no lessons for the vainglorious who become so puffed up with their own egotism that they are bound to ride to a fall.
However, Gompers deserves to be congratulated for one thing at least and that is he has at least thrown off his mask of pure and simpledom and chosen his partner for the dance. He was a Repub. lcian; now he is a Democrat. Good! Unless I am much mistaken, if he does take the stump for Bryan, as it is reported he will, Mr. Gompers will probably be kept as interested as was one T. V. Powderly, who was out rewarding his friends in 1896.
Some of the unions may be led into the shambles-not all of them will be. But on this fact Gompers and the rest of the Democrats can gamble their last cent, and that is the '96 stampede of the Populists into the Bryan camp will not be duplicated by a 1908 stampede of Socialists and progressive trade unionists up to the slaughter. The Socialists know their ground thoroughly, and they know the vulnerable spots in the opposition, and capitalism and its defenders and decoy ducks will know that they have been in a fight before the polls close in November.
There is little doing of general importance in the industrial world at present. The union officials have been having a hard struggle to keep their memberships intact owing to the industrial depression and the merciless attacks of the open shop masters. During the month the United Mine Workers and Western Federation of Miners arrived at an understanding to interchange working cards and to extend moral and financial support to each other in case of trouble. The longshoremen held their convention and appointed a committee to make another atteinpt to come to agreement with the seamen,
Both organizations are face to face with open shop conditions on and along the lakes. The proposed clothing federation has not yet materialized, as the journeymen tailors are inclined to hold off while the garment workers, laundry workers and ladies' garment workers seem anxious to go ahead. The makers of juvenile clothing in New York have virtually won their strike against a wage reduction, and thus blocked the bosses' scheme to force a cut in the whole trade. The Republic Iron & Steel Co. and independent plants came to agreement with the iron and steel workers on last year's terms virtually and work was resumed. Alabama miners are out with a long bill of grievances and the Democratic "workingman's friends" have been threatening to have the militia fill them with holes if they are not real good. The Vanderbilts are joining the procession of magnates who are attempting to force piecework on shop employes and a number are on strike, while the Pennsylvania lines have declared war against all unions except a few coddled brotherhoods. These times are good—to put Socialist literature in the hands of the working people.