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Campaign of 1906, when Gompers bestrode his trusty hobby and set forth armed cap-a-pie to conquer the enemy and reward friends, it so happened that the Milwaukee capitalist politicians, fearing the possible triumph of the Socialists in one of their Congressional districts, stacked up a professional union man who did not work at the business one Cary, a telegrapher - to draw the votes of workingmen who were not grounded the principles of socialism. As is well known, the Socialists of Milwaukee are nearly all union, and, as they have stood up consistently and defended the working class in the City Council and the State Legislature, they naturally believed they had the right to expect, if not the support of Gompers, at least that he would keep hands off in their contest. But despite the fact that the Milwaukee Trades Council had denounced Cary and refused to seat him as a delegate because of his perfidy as sheriff in purchasing scab bread and other unfair supplies, the doughty president of the Federation sent Cary a letter commending his election, which document was duly photo-engraved and bushels of fac-similes were scattered throuughout the district. Whether this boost had much effect in the general result is immaterial. The fact is Cary was elected and was enthusiastically hailed in a section of the press as a "Labor Congressman."
Now comes the interesting sequel. Several months ago Gompers sent a circular letter broadcast requesting that all unionists exercise their influence to have Speaker Cannon defeated for re-election for the reason that that old fossil "held up" the labor bills in Congress or dictated their defeat. Did Cary stand up like a union man and fight the old Czar who has made a doormat of the labor bills for several years. Not so that you could notice it. Cary went into the Republican caucus and voted for Cannon. And then next day Cannon heaped coals of fire on Sam's head, saying that union men everywhere were his (Cannon's) friends, while Gompers was trying to play the part of boss, but was being repudiated, or words to that effect. Of course, Sam'l will get mad as a wet hen if the Socialists laugh at his chagrin, but since the "reds" never receive a pleasant look from him (in fact have been roundly scolded for daring to espouse their cause) they may be pardoned if they are unable to hide their smiles and look serious. It is not unlikely that the rank and file will get some distance ahead of Gompers during the next two years if he sticks to his played out political policies.
The seat of war against organized labor in the West has been transferred from Colorado and Idaho to Nevada. That section of the American plutocracy in possession of the mineral mines precipitated the strike in Goldfield by issuing a depreciated scrip in payment of wages. When the unionists rebelled against the daylight swindle the operators declared for the open shop and their puppet Governor Sparks telegraphed to Washington for government troops. It is significant that just about the time that the great "friend of labor," Roosevelt, "relieved the situation" in Goldfield by sending in soldiers, he also "relieved the situation" in New York by bonding the people for $150,000,000 in favor of the hungry capitalists, who had already been fed upon $200,000,000 of gold, silver and paper from the treasury. That is, while Roosevelt dumped $350,000,000 of real money among the plutocratic hogs of Wall Street, he also dumped the U. S. troops into Goldfield because the workingmen refused to accept the mine owners' stage money and slink "back to the mines” as nonunionists. The contract was so glaring that even Roosevelt realized
that he was manufacturing campaign thunder for this year's campaign, so he quickly dispatched a commission to investigate the situation in Goldfield and later ordered the troops withdrawn.
In Nevada, as in Colorado and Idaho, the old, well-known methods of the mine operators are being exploited to the limit. The prostitute press has been filled with scare-head articles about hidden arms and ammunition being discovered, dynamite outrages and plots being detected, civil war brewing, etc., etc. Those innocent, God-fearing, law-abiding "guardians of the peace," the Pinkertons, strike-breakers and gun men by the score were imported and swarm through the district, and at an opportune time even a committee of alleged union men (probably composed of sneaks and spies) waited upon Furusio Funston and petitioned that the soldiers be kept in Goldfield permanently. Just how long the struggle will continue nobody knows. From all reports the miners intend to defend their rights against all hazards, and the reading public need not be surprised to hear all sorts of lying stories against them, for all of which the operators pay liberally.
It is not improbable that a struggle will also be precipitated in far-off Alaska, when the weather breaks up next spring. The Guggenheims, who are the dominating power among the operators of the West, have raised the black flag of the open shop in the Alaskan territory and everything that looks like a union has been put under the ban. But the workers declare they will not surrender without a contest to the finish and are making preparations accordingly. Stirring times are ahead in the American labor movement during the next two or three years.
The Italian Socialist Daily, "Avanti", seems to have attained a firm position at last. After struggling on for several years, it has now increased its size and purchased a more complete mechanical equipment and is preparing to issue two editions a day. This firm position has been attained through the steady increase in subscriptions secured by the workers in the party.
Elections which were held on the thirteenth of December resulted in two Social-Democratic victories. In the 5th District of Stockholm, Knut Tengdahl was elected by 3,040 votes. The opposing candidate, who ran as an Anti-Socialist with the solid support of the entire bourgeois press, received only 1,062 votes. In Gottenburg, the Socialist candidate, Linblad, Editor of the Ny Tid, received 3,960 votes, while the Conservative received 3,517 votes and the Liberal, 4,271. In the previous election of this District, the Socialists received only 1,200 votes. This raises the number of Socialists in the Swedish Parliament to seventeen and as a new election is to be held in the Districts where the Socialists are almost sure of success, it is possible that by the time Parilament assembles, this will be increasd to eighteen.
The government has been prosecuting the members of the second Douma, who signed the Vieberg Manifesto. This Manifesto, now regarded as being very ill-advised, called on the peasants not to pay taxes or to enlist in the army. It was ill-advised because it produced no effect. The members of the Douma were convicted and sentenced to a short time in prison and complete loss of civil rights. The Socialists in the French Chamber of Deputies made a protest against this action and there has been considerable International propaganda against it.
Gustave Herve and his paper "La Guerre Sociale", is being prosecuted again by the government. The case came up on the twenty-third of December, but no report of the result has as yet reached this country. It is strikingly characteristic of Herve that he seized this opportunity when the government was attempting to suppress the paper to issue it as a daily during the time of the trial. thus making what was intended to be a crushing blow a means of increasing his influence.
The Radical, by I. K. Friedman. D. Appleton & Co., Cloth, 362 pp. $1.50.
The sociological novel is now so common that one must be exceptionally good, or strikingly different to commend attention. "The Radical" is a strongly written work. The author understands Socialism, which gives him a leverage not possessed by many of the writers of similar works.
The plot is strong, full of interest, and is as original' as can be expected after several thousand years of story telling. The hero, Bruce McAllister, a "man of the people," a ward politician in method, but with an earnest desire to fight the battles of the working class, comes into conflict at the beginning with Addison Hammersmith, a man of wealthy antecedents and extensive present possessions, who however, is made little more than a foil for the main character. The two men are personal friends, and the rich man is not made the conventional villain which the hackneyed method of writing sociological novels would have required.
McAllister goes to Congress, and the principal part of the book is devoted to the intrigues of Washington society and politics. The methods by which wealth rules legislation, its multitudinous ways of securing the men whom it needs, and the general deviousness of legislative ways are exposed in a manner that commands attention and testifies to the thoroughness of the author's knowledge. not allowed to overshadow the The political intrigues are romantic element, or rather the two are so closely intertwined that there is none of the impression of a political tract that damns so many theories of this kind.
Addison Hammersmith has a sister Inez, and after the first chapter she becomes one of the leading figures, and finally evolves into the heroine, although she is scarcely painted as strongly as Georgia Fiske Ten Eyck, one of those women who develop in the The latter character is painted with remarkpolitical atmosphere. able strength and clearness and with a human insight that is seldom found.
The humorous element is furnished by Rossiter Rembrandt Dickinson, an ecentric artist, whose love-making antics with McAllister's sister have a direct and laughable simplicity that relieves the complex character of the other actors.
The relation of government to the great industrial combinations of to-day is strikingly set forth in the following paragraph:
"Scientists tell us that if a pea be placed at the side of a cocoanut, the relative size of the sun and the earth will find their just proportion represented, and if one takes our United States Govern
ment, the money it controls and expends, the number of people it employes, and place it beside Sir Anthony's Universal Trust, the same pea and the same cocoanut will do to show how the one shrinks in importance beside the other. Anthony, then, would be richer and more powerful than the Government; he would have a larger majority of its voters on his pay roll, and he intended to have the Government run to suit himself. The milk in the cocoanut, to say the same thing differently, was in no way designed for the fattening of the despicable little pea; but on the other hand, to extend the figure of speech a little further, the cocoanut had certain little designs whereby the pea was to serve its ends. The sun, huge as it is, and the earth, small as it is, are of mutual benefit in our vast solar system, and both help to keep the whole in motion. Surely if the cocoanut is kind enough to keep its place and distance, and does not roll over and crush the pea out of existence, the latter ought to show its thankfullness by sundry little deeds of kindness. The right kind of tariff, taxation and laws, were all the pea was asked to give for the privilege of existing. But why poke fun at Anthony? Why belabor and scold him? Was it his fault, was he too blame, if we prostrate ourselves and gave him stilts to stride over us like a Colossus."
When Things were Doing, By C. A. Steere. Charles H. Kerr & Co., Cloth, 279 pp. $1.00.
If you were an orthodox Marxian Socialist, believing in a classconscious political revolution, and you read a utopia that was deuced interesting, but which presupposed all sorts of violent, sudden, reconstructions of society through an autocratic semi-secret organization, and if you had just worked your indignation at the author up to the proper point, but couldn't stop reading the book until you had finished it, and then were told on the last page that it was all a sort of a cross between a pipe-dream and delirium tremens,—well it would jar you, wouldn't it. That is just what this book does. It is well, cleverly written, is full of suggestions, but depends upon a deus ex machina, or rather upon several of them, and the only danger is that it will be taken as a serious program for socialist parties. After having brought about his revolution by these very questionable means the author sketches a very life-like utopia. He puts into tangible form the dreams which many of us have had, and if now and then he throws in a touch of the night-mare just to break the monotony, we must remember that he is telling a story first. and writing a treatise on Socialism only incidentally. And he certainly does tell a very good story. It is funny, it is alive, it is interesting, and what more do you want?
The Scarlet Shadow, A Story of the Great spiracy, By Walter Hurt. The Appeal to Reason. and Appendix, $1.50.
In the form of fiction the story of the battle between laborers and capitalists in the Rocky Mountain states, is told once more. All the principle actors in real life appear again in the story, sometimes thinly disguised, sometimes under their own names. There are numerous embellishments of the facts to make the situations more dramatic, something which was scarcely needed. Some rather remarkable hypotheses are propounded under the guise of fiction,for instance it is suggested that Steunenberg was the son of Mc Partland, but on the whole no more liberty is taken with the facts than might be granted to "novelistic license." The style is decidedly melodramatic and sometimes crude.