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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 25, 1910)
VOLUME 10, NUMBER 4
The Growth of Socialism Gives Editors a Chill
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"Marie This Socialist Movement, and Mark It Carefully, Because It is. axForce That Cannot ..Be
Ignored" Must Be "Viewed With Alarm" "Socialism Will Control in Future" "-How the
Secret Agents of Socialism Are Permeating the Old Parties" "What Shall We Do to Be, Saved?"
The sudden and enormous growth in the
socialists' voto sent a chill through the editorials,
rooms of tho country.
Men of money also are greatly alarmed lest
they And it necessary to ccpo with this ."new
forco" at an early day.
This widespread alarm is well founded, hut
tho blow these gentlemen so greatly fear can
not bo avoided by attacking socialism or
socialists. Tho remedy is in the application of
democratic reforms honestly applied.
Nothing would so increase the socialists' vote
and transform this vote into tho strongest force
that has ever moved against the entrenched
forces of special privilege as for the democratic
party to surrender itself to ho representatives
where there is no wolf; we are saying,- 'Mark
this socialist movement, and mark it carefully,
because it is a forco that cannot be ignored."
A COLORADO CHILL
Two years ago the socialists received the fol
lowing votes in five out of the fifteen instances
where they had filed tickets:
California, 28,000; Connecticut, 5,133; In
diana', 13,476; Now York, 33,994; Ohio, 33,759;
That vote was recorded in a presidential year
when every available convert to the new scheme
of political and industrial salvation-was brought
to tho polls.
Last week the-socialist vote in those same
places reached the following totals:
California, 60,000; Connecticut, 12,000; In
diana, 20,000; New York, 68,000; Ohio, 50,000;
And those figures show that in an -'off" year
the socialist voto had increased, as follows:
1 California', 31,856; Connecticut, 6, 867;' In
diana, 6,524; New York, 34,006; Ohio, 16,241;
Which gives a total increase of tho socialist
vote In those five instances only of 127,350.
And this increase is not accidental. It is the
result of regular, methodical work. Socialism,
is presented to men, not in the guise of periodi
cal "platform pledges," out as a sweeping,
economic philosophy, as tho solution of every
kind, of known industrial and political problem.
It is a faith; a religion; a working hypothesis
of life; a final, curative treatment that does not
waste effort on results, but goes straight to
first causes. Wo sneer at It now as orthodoxy
onco sneered at Christian Science; but Christian
Science has silenced ridicule by the evidence of
& pungent reality; and socialism seems likely to
awaken us from our contemptuous indifference
only when it holds the balanco of power in con
gress and its mayors are the chief executives of
many of our cities.
And tho socialist propaganda' is not only work
ing through the machinery of the soap-box ora
tors and well-considered pamphlets; it has its
system of what it calls "permeation," and its
ingenious agents are working with rare diplo
macy in the counsels of both the "old" parties.
These "permeation" agents do not call them
selves socialists; they make a profession of the
ancient political creeds. They instigate munici
pal undertakings that seem innocent of any col
lectivist bearing; but they are, nevertheless, an
installment of collectivism. They get a "plank"
put in this platform of. some state democracy;
and another "plank" put in that platform of
some republican state party; and those "planks"
are lauded as sound "reforms" by good party
men. They have adopted this system of "per
meation" abroad with notable success; they
commenced its operation hero just prior to Mr.
Bryan's declaration in favor of national owner
ship of the interstate railroads. They are keen
men who handle this phase of the movement;
educated; alert; subtle; and they are laughing
in their sleeves at the easy way in which politi
cians of tho old schools are "falling" for the
game. They have established several successful
daily newspapers. They have a' thoroughly or
ganized system of publicity; they are in busi
ness, not before each campaign, but every day
of the year; and we -should realize that the timo
has arrived for us to cease from ridicule and to
consider carefully the breadth and meaning of
this propaganda. We are not crying "Wolf"
A TEXAS CHILL
The Dallas Times-Herald in summing up tho
results of the recent elections has the following
to say regarding gains made by tho socialists:
"Socialism is on the boom. Charles Edward
Russell, socialistic nominee, for governor of New
York, polled more than 75000 votes. In Cali
fornia tho heavy socialistic voto defeated the
democratic state ticket. Wisconsin socialists
elected a congressman, came within 300 votes
of electing another, sent thirteen men to the
Wisconsin legislature and captured every office
in Milwaukee county. Los Angeles socialists
voted 10,000 strong. A socialistic candidate for
mayor in the city of Minneapolis ran neck and
neck with the nominees of the old parties. In
Oklahoma the socialists polled a heavy vote and
captured one county. In 1912 the socialist nom
inees for president and vice president will poll ,
moro than 1,000,000 votes unless all signs fail.
In the coming yeaTs it is a party to be reckoned
with in the United States."
The Post has repeatedly pointed, out that Rock
efeller and other beneficiaries of special privi
lege are backing movements, one of which is the
anti-saloon league, which were instituted pri
marily to divide the people and, by overcoming
reason with prejudice and passion, stay the
rising tide of Intelligent sentiment which these
interests- foresee will demand the application to
the operations of government of those princi
ples of justice and equality which are necessary
to restore it to its true functions, and which,
courageously applied, would meet the demand
for equitable government of that laTge element
of tho country's population which, discouraged,
is turning to the ignis fatuus of socialism for
The scheme of socialism is so vast in its un
dertakings, involving as it does a reconstruc
tion of society and a dependence for success
upon a degree of perfection in human nature
vain to imagine, that we believe the reason of
the masses of this country, if left to its free
exercise, will continue to regard it as an irides
cent dream impossible of fulfillment. Houston
A LABOR UNION CHILL
St. .Louis, November 16. Max Hayes of
Cleveland, looked upon as the leader of the
opposition fight against Samuel Gompers, presi
dent of the American Federation of Labor, can
see the ultimate domination of socialism in the
labor union ranks, controlling every vote, and
in a position to dictate to its officers. The time
when such a' result is obtained, according to
Mr. Hayes today, is not far distant.
"You can see its upward trend here," said
the socialist leader, as he partially arose in his
seat and swept the entire convention with his
aTm. "A few years ago we had but few mem
bers with the workers. In 1900 there was but
one or possibly two that dared voice their con
victions. Look at us today. We are represent;
ed here by eighty-five men a big vote and we,
are represented in congress by Victor L.
Berger." Newspaper dispatch.
to congress Milwaukee county has elected
sociallstsNto all its offices and given a plurality,
vote to the socialist candidate for governor of
Wisconsin; and-the state of Wisconsin has elect
ed twelve socialist assemblymen and one senator,
to the state legislature.
One may "view this with alarm" or not, as ho
Ib temperamentally inclined. One may interpret
its significance as he will. But one who is
wisely patriotic will seek .to understand really,
and without prejudice :what this, entry of
socialism into the national arena means. And
one who is thus wisely patriotic will be willing
to let socialism, or any other "ism," prove
whether or not it has in it anything of service
to the republic. He will do this, confident that
if it has merit enough to make its way it will
make its way, and if it is fatally defective, that,
too, will soon enough be demonstrated. Kansas
IN NEW YORK
Senator H. D. Money of Mississippi, in an in
terview with the Columbia (S. C.) State, says
that "all the talk in New York is for Harmon
for president and Wilson for vice president."
But "New York talk" has picked republican can
didates and dictated republican platforms for
many years past, and see to what an unhappy
plight "New York talk" has brought the repub
BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
When Mr. EmiJ Seidel was elected the social-
1st mayor of Milwaukee the socialist political
organization had an opportunity to show what
an exponent of its program would do in a re
sponsible place. There had previously been a
socialist mayor in Haverhill, Mass., but foiv the
first time the full responsibilities of a munici
pal government rested with that party.
The socialist mayor and his coadjutors did
not kick the table over. There was nothing wild
eyed or destructive of good things in their work.
They simply gave square deal government with
in the law and the constitution. As a manifest
result of that. trial, the Milwaukee congressional
district has elected Mr. Victor Berger, a socialist,
NOT THE ONLY ONE
The Sioux City (la.) Journal refers to H. G.
Davis of West Virginja, as "the . same ,. 'Uncle
Gassaway' who inside the race as. Mr, , Bryanfc
running mate in 1"900." To" undertake to cor
rect all of the Sioux City Journal's errors would
be too big a job, but it may be worth the effort
to say that "Uncle Gassaway" was tho fine old
gentleman who ran a good, second to Alton B.
Parker's first in 1904.
HENRY GEORGE, JR:
One of the many good pieces of news which
gladdened the hearts of democrats on the morn
ing after the election was the announcement
that Henry George, Jr., had been elected to
congress in New York. Congratulations, and
nereis a guaranty that' he will make an ideal
Numerous democratic newspapers are
"praying" that the democratic party,
now that it will have some power in the
federal government, may be spared from
the "mistakes of the past." The Houston
Post says that democrats should "talk
little, think much and pray without
It will not be possible to avoid mis
takes and if one gigantic mistake of
the "past" be avoided, then any other
errors will bo trivial. If democrats will
avoid the mistake of imagining that vic
tory lies along the pathway mapped out
by the predatory interests then their
course along the government highway
will be comparatively easy.
A mighty danger threatens the demo
cratic party. It is the danger of passing
under the control of men who, while
posing as democrats, represent the, very
elements that have dominated the re
publican party and against which repub
lican insurgents have protested.
Democrats everywhere should "talk
and think and pray;" but the talk should
be democratic language; the thought
should be popular government; the
prayer should.be for public rather than
for special interests.
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