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About The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907 | View Entire Issue (July 9, 1903)
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Vol. XV. LINCOLN NEB., JULY 9, 1903. No. 7.
REV I V A L O F POP U.LI S M
Denver Meetings July 27-9 1903. ,
Headquarters, St. James Hotel.
5 Conference of Reformers, -July
27-29. .. -. V ..: -r-r. ;
Allied People's Party National
Committee Meeting, July 27.
People's Party National Com
mittee Meeting, July 29. .
& : : '-, .
' All progress is spiral. Or, to change
the nure, there are periods of appar
ent rest even reaction In every vital
progressive movement, Just as in the
movement of a wagon wheel as tthe
vehicle moves forward. That part of
the wheel in. contact with the ground
is at rest; immediately behind there is
an apparent backward movement;
while at the top vie forward move
ment is most rapid; yet notwith
standing these seeming contradictions,
the whole wheel is moving forward. ,
- Populism was nearing the top of the
wheel of political progress in . the
years " 1890 to 1896 ; it was moving
downward from 1&96 to 1900; the years
1901 and 1902 represent the contact
with Mother Earth and the apparent
reactionary movement; and the years
1903 and 1904 will undoubtedly show a
return to the conditions beginning
- For several years The Independent
has been calling attention to the dif
ference between the growth of a par
ty and the spread of its principles, and
citing the people's party as an exam
ple of party 'disintegration at the very
time when Its principles were being
accepted by millions of people, many
cf whom hardly knew of the existence
of such a: party or, knowing it, held
prejudices against it because of the
persistent lying of the plutocratic
press.-.. , ": " ..
Populists have never been divided
upon the three great" fundamental re
forms of money, land, and transpor
tation. Hence, populist principles have
found acceptance far and wide. One
energetic populist in a community is
the leaven for the whole lump. But
populists, have been seriously divided
upon the question of party p o i c y
and that alone. Schism3 in the repub
lican and democratic parties are fun
da mental and can never be wholly
healed. The populist schism can be
and it will be.
As an educational factor the pop
trlist movement has more than paid
for the money and time expended in
its organization, ever, if it should whol
ly cease to exist as a party. It is
difficult to speculate on what might
have been had a different party pol-
icy been followed in fact, no man
knows, but can only guess. It can
not be proven that fu3 Ion destroyed
the organization, because the only
vital people's party organization in
America today is in" Nebraska, where
fusion (or more properly t o-operatiou)
has been followed sine 1894 with 'the
exception of one year. Yet It is doubt
less true that where fusion , with the
democratic party - was practiced, the
tendency was'-' for "tl" "greater organi
zation to absorb the lesser.
"However, our dut todaCy is to look
' to the . future. The question is, Is
there room for a political, party . rep
resenting the small home-owners, in
dependent business men, farmers and
ether producers of the country, who
have not been : absorbed in the great
trust-building movement of the past
few years? '.. . , ! ' u v.-' '.'
; Logically the republican party rep-
rrsents the great aggregations of cap
ital (and wind and water) known as
trusts. Every supporter of that par
ty is either (a) a trust magnate who
knows where his interests lie; or (b)
a misguided wage-worker or small
business man or farmer who fool
ishly imagines ; that his interests are
Identical with those of the beneclar
ies of special privileges.
Just as logically the democratic
party, ought to represent the small
home-owners etc. ' mentioned above;
and since 1896 tit has represented
those. , If it . shall continue to do so
hereafter, there is no room for the
people's party. But among, the sor
called leaders of the democratic party
are men whose interests really lie
with the republican party. , They are
republicans of the Mark Hanna brand,
but affiliate- with the democrats in
order to keep up the appearance of an
opposition party and thus prevent a
union of all those whose interests axe
opposed to those of the beneficiaries of
special privileges. This false "oppo
sition" was kept up without a break
since the rebellion untilin 1896 pop
ulism compelled the democratic party
to get back where it belongs.
Indications, are by no means lack
ing to show tnat among the trust
magnate leaders of democracy, now
that the people's party is apparently
disintegrated, there is a disposition to
return to the old-time tactics and to
continue the old fight of Tweedledum
.against Tweedledee -"tariff for rev
enue only" V against "tariff for pro
tection to labor" (God save the mark!)
The recent Iowa : democratic conven
tion is a' case in point. And these in
dications point to the necessity for a
reviyal . of populism, or, to be more
accurate, a revival of the people s par
ty, standing upon ground which the
democratic party should logically oc
cupy "equal rights to all, special
privileges to none." ft,
As to the wage-workers, the various
socialist faction! claim to furnish the
enly political home for thore who are
"class-conscious" proletarians with
"nothing to sell but their labor-power."
The Independent has no quar
rel with these socialist factions. Ev
ery "class conscious" convert repre
sents that much of a loss for plutoc
racy, and makes it possible for the
"middle class" to finally win because
plutocracy could not stand for a day
without the support of those it preys
uron. But a great many of the wage
workers are also small home-owners,
and producers in a small way o some
thing else than mere "labor-power;"
end their interests lie with those who
compose the mass of tfye democratic
party. So if the democratic party re
turn to the leadership of trust mag
nates, these wage-workers properly be
long to the people's party.
Such is the political situation today.
The American Commons
Original Totm, rtad by Dr. Hfnvard S. Taylor of Clilcago
at thiFalrv lew Fourth of July Celebration.)
When Liberty, wounded, betrayed and oppressed (
By the Insolent, tyrannous kings of the world, '
Fled over the sea to the ultimate West
And, here, In her refuge her banner unfurled;
When the hopes of mankind in the balances lay,
And the unborn, wondering centuries stood ,'
To witness America's Passover Bay
And the sign of her door-lintels sprinkled with blood,
Then Liberty, menaced by envy and hate,
From the seats of the mighty, the thrones of the great;
- W ith tocsin and summons
Called forward her commons 1 ;
And marshaled and made them her Pillars of State.
They were men from the mines, from the shops, from the farms;
They were hunters and herdsmen and fishermen, bold;
They were homespun minute-men, springing to arms,
With a faith that could neither be bought nor be sold
And these were the paladjns, nobles and knights '
Who conquered King George and his hireling host;
Who penned with their weapons our charter of rights,
And made our republic humanitys boast.
Whfl gave to posterity riches untold '
A heritage greater than mountains of gold.
:: It is no man's nor woman's. -It
was won by the commons,
For them and their children to have and to hold. '
A blend of all rjwes, in many creeds bred,
They were fused in the white-heated furnace of war.
United, they followed where Liberty led
Asthe wise men once followed the Bethlehem star.
Go question the flag It will tell in a breath
How itR trl-color hues by their spirit were planned;
That the white is their honor, the blue Js their faith,
And the red i their valor on ocean and land. - ; -;
f Go search through the myths of the ancients in quest
Of their builders of empire, their bravest and best;
But Grecians and Romans .
Are dwarfed by the commons
Who founded the Great Commonwealth of the West.
The fathers are gone has their faith perished, tooT
Has the, spirit that moved them declined and decayed?
Have their lofty ideals grown dim and untrue ' v
In the hurrying scramble of pleasure and trade?
i Have the fanes of our patriot altars and graves '
Sunken downward to mix with insensible clods?
Are we parting our race into master and slaves
With only fierce Mammon and Moloch for gods?
Ah, no. By our bells and our jubilant guns,
By the stars and the stripes where our proud story runs!
By a score of good omens " :
We still have our commons!
And the hearts of our Fathers still throb In their Sonsi '
The republican party consistently rep
repenting the interests of a compara
tively small, but financially powerful,
class who live by the-toil of others,
robbing the great mass of small pro
ducers through special privileges in
the way of "protective tariffs;" fran
chises to build, own and operate pub
lic utilities and to tax the public at
their own sweet will for the use of
these; an Illegally granted powen to
issue money; and in numerous other,
but smaller ways. The democratic
party struggling to prevent the trust
rr.agnate3 from making it a mere echo
of the republican organization and
thus far showing an inability to expel
the traitors from its ranks. The so
cialists, divided and quarreling, try
ing to educate the proletariat into
'class consciousness," and receiving
aid from the republicans in order to
divert attention from populist de
mands. Was there ever a better time
to repair the broken-down populist
organization and be rea'Uy for emerg
encies next year?
This -issue of The Independent con
tains three calls for meetings to be
held in Denver, July 27 to 29, 1903, as
follows: - .
Call by J. A. Edgerton, secretary of,
the people's party national commit
tee, for an unofficial and informal con
ference of reformers, to discuss how
to provide a political home . for the
large army of American . voters who
"are " not Mark Hanna republicans,
Cleveland democrats, or Karl Marx
BocialISts..!. . ' ; ' - hM2'ki .
T Calf! By ;, JoA. barker, chairman of
the' allied people's party.for' a" tneet- -ng
of, the national executive and cen-A
tral rcommittees of that party.
Call by J. H, Edmisten, vice chair
man of the" people's party national
committee, for a meeting of. the na
tional and executive committees of that
In addition to these, a number of
communications are printed, together
with excerpts from letters printed In
former issues of The Independent.
' '" i ' s . "
(Excerpts from "A Call to Arms,"
p. 1, Independent, June 18.)
The immediate thing Is to get to
gether. For that purpose, I make the
following proposition;- , - :
A conference attDenver on Mon- '
day, July 27. at 2 p. tt."
You are hereby cordially invited to
be present at such conference. This
means every reformer in the United
States . who loves God and the com
mon people more than he does any
The conference will be unofficial and
informal. It will have no walls about
it- I have faith that only those who
belong will come. I want fuslonists,
m'd-roaders, advanced democrats, sin
gle tsxers. lovers of liberty. We will
have an old-fashioned love feast. It
matters not how many or-liow few
come, important" results cannot but
flov? from our meeting, c : .
Th reason that Denver is chosen Is
that is is convenient to the populist
strongholds of Minnesota, Kansas,
Nebraska, Texas, the mountain states
end the Pacific coast. ; From all points
east there are half-rates to Denver
. .The reason that July 27 is chosen
is" that it Is the natural time for a
vacation. Denver Is the coolest and
most delightful spot on the continent
for you to take that vacation. To
those attending the conference free ,
trips will be arranged into the moun
Come and let us have a reunion,
scuth and north. -Come and let us.
talk about next year and the future.
This letter will eo to national, state,
county and precinct committeemen
throughout the country. The doors
are open and the invitation is gen
eral. Yet we are sure that the most
representative men will come.
Those "who nroDose comlne write
me. Those who cannot, write your
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