« ПретходнаНастави »
Argentina takes the lead a fact due in part directly to its higher industrial development, in part to the consequent large immigration of workingmen from the more advanced countries of Europe, especially Germany and Italy. A Socialist party was formed in 1896. It has been represented in International Socialist Congresses and in the International Socialist Bureau since 1904, has participated in every general election, has worked for the promotion of trade unionism and for labor legislation. Starting with 134 votes, it reached 1,257 in 1904 and elected one member of the House of Deputies. In 1905 and again in 1909-10, on account of its vigorous protest against the violent suppression of strikes, its leading members were prosecuted and gangs of "hooligans," with the connivance of the police, sacked the offices of its papers. Apparently it gained strength from these attacks, as well as from a propaganda tour by Jean Jaurès in 1911. Its vote grew to 3,500, to 5,200, to 7,000, and in 1912 to 23,000, electing two Deputies. In 1913 it won two more seats in the House and one in the Senate. In 1914 it increased its representation in the House to nine, out of 120, and had over 40,000 votes. There are Socialists also in two of the state legislatures. The party had 4,000 members in 1912, but the number has since greatly increased. Manuel Ugarte, Alfredo Palacios, and Dr. Juan Justo are among its leading men. Its Secretary is Antonio de Tomaso, and its chief organ the daily “Vanguardia," published in Buenos Aires, besides which it has ten weeklies.
The trade-union movement is still weak, being divided into an anarchistic and an anti-political wing, with also a growing socialistic element. Co-operative effort has thus far been directed chiefly to mutual credit for home-building and to the conduct of some bakeries.
The European war at first caused a keen industrial depression, but has since greatly stimulated the textile and some other manufactures. In July, 1915, the party held its tenth congress, in which it decided to convoke in 1916 a congress of all South American working-class organizations, political, industrial, and co-operative, which accept the ideas of internationalism, class struggle, political action, and socialization of means of production.
In Brazil a labor movement has for some time existed among the numerous immigrant workingmen of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Bahia, with an Italian daily paper, "Avanti," and a German weekly, "Vorwärts." Of late some
native Portuguese-speaking elements have been aroused, and early in 1916 a Socialist party had been formed, with branches in four places besides those named, and with a weekly organ in the Portuguese language published at Sao Paulo.
In 1887 there was founded in Chile a Democratic party composed chiefly of workingmen and having socialistic tendencies. In 1894 for the first time it won a seat in the chamber of Deputies, in 1897 a second, and in 1901 a third. In 1906 it elected six of its candidates, but three were arbitrarily unseated. At this time it had also eighty representatives in city councils, and its vote had grown to 18,000. The breach was now widening between the definitely socialistic and the vaguely democratic elements. The former were gaining ground when in 1907 there came a strike of 30,000 of the wretchedly exploited mine workers in the North, which was crushed by brute force, 800 strikers being massacred. After a period of disorganization, there was formed in the North, in 1912, a Socialist Labor party, which that year succeeded in electing to the Chamber Luis Recabárren, a printer and a veteran of the labor movement. He was unseated because of his refusal to take an oath inconsistent with his principles. The party has remained without parliamentary representation, but has carried on a campaign of education and helped in building up trade unions and co-operatives. In this it has had aid from the party in Argentina. The government reports the existence in 1910 of 433 local labor unions with 65,000 members, and in 1913 of 547 unions with 92,000 members. It seems likely that these figures include many workmen's mutual-aid societies and other bodies that are not properly trade unions; but there were at any rate 10,000 railway men, 2,000 bakery workers, over 2,000 shoe-makers, nearly 2,000 carpenters, 1,000 wagon builders, and 800 streetrailway employees organized in real unions in the region of the Center, besides a separate federation in the extreme South and unions of miners and others in the North. On account of the peculiar configuration of the country, which is about 100 miles wide and over 2,000 miles long, the labor movement is not strongly centralized. Early in 1914, in reprisal for railway and mine strikes, the principal labor leaders and editors were arrested. Meanwhile, the Socialist Labor party has spread from the North to other regions, and in 1915 it held its first national congress at Santiago and established there an organ entitled "Vanguardia."
In Cuba there were some Socialists and more Anarchists, even under Spanish rule, and trade unionism existed at least among the cigar makers and the skilled building workers. With the growth of industry since the separation from Spain, Socialism and Labor organization have also grown. A Socialist party was formed in 1910, affiliated with the International Bureau, and having its headquarters at 86 via San Rafael, Havana. Its organ is “El Socialista,” published weekly, and there are also trade-union papers, “La Tierra” and "Via Libre."
Mexico has of late commanded more attention in this country than any other Latin-American state; although its Socialist and Labor movement is still small, it vitally interests both the party and the unions in the United States.
Along with the Constitution of 1857, the Mexican Congress passed a law declaring that the right of property in land depends on its being worked and that "the accumulation in the hands of a few people of large territorial possessions which are not cultivated or rendered productive is against the common welfare and contrary to the principles of democratic and republican government." This gives the keynote to Mexican social history. Popular uprisings, from the War for Independence, 1810-21, to the present, have in the main represented the effort of the rural masses to break up the large estates and raise themselves from the status of virtual serfs (debt-bound peons) to that of peasant proprietors. The antagonism between clerical and anticlerical forces has not been a matter of religious belief, but has resulted from the fact that the church is a great landholding agency, in close alliance with other monopolistic interests.
The Diaz Blight.
Under Presidents Benito Juarez and Lerdo de Tejado, 1858-76 (notwithstanding the French invasion, 1862-67, aided by Spain and connived at by Britain) great progress was made toward realizing the ideal of agrarian democracy and promoting a native and normal development of the country's resources. Under Porfirio Diaz, 1876-1911, this work was rapidly undone, the public-school system was destroyed, the press gagged, the courts made venal, elections controlled by military force; assassination and massacre became familiar governmental methods; the ownership of land was reconcentrated and peonage revived; an enormous debt in favor of European and American bankers was created, only a small
part of which represented money actually paid into the treasury or spent for any public purpose; and agricultural, grazing, and forest land, water rights, ore and oil fields, and railway franchises were given away or sold for a song to combinations of native and foreign capitalists, the governing clique always sharing the spoils. There was a forced development of industrial production in certain regions, which yielded huge profits, chiefly to American owners. Peasants driven from the soil had to become wage-workers under most miserable conditions, and with the connivance of the authorities superintendents of mines, factories, and plantations in many cases kept these workers in subjection by the use of whip and revolver. An incidental feature of the Diaz regime was that even members of the more fortunate classes often suffered spoliation and outrage, so that discontent became rife among such proprietors and business men as were not in favor with the "Cientificos"-the dominant party or, more properly speaking, the official ring. Yet all dissatisfied elements were long held in check by fear that the outbreak of civil war would be the signal for "intervention" by the United States.
In the early nineties was formed the "Junta Revolucionaria del Partido Liberal," which strove for the revival of the Constitution of 1857 and the agrarian policy. Some years later, when many of its original members had been killed or had died in prison, it made its headquarters at St. Louis, Mo., where it published a weekly paper called "Regeneracion," in Spanish and English, to enlighten American public opinion and combat intervention, and to arouse the spirit of the Mexican masses by copies smuggled across the border. Among its leading members at this time were several Socialists-L. Gutierrez de Lara, Ricardo Flores Magon, Manuel Sarabia, and others-who welcomed the beginnings of a labor movement in the mining and manufacturing centers of Mexico, and were able to enlist the sympathy of the Socialist Party, the Western Federation of Miners, and other workingclass organizations in this country. In 1906-07 occurred a strike of 40,000 workers in the cotton mills of Orizaba and another of 10,000 copper miners at Cananea. Both were crushed by the slaughter of hundreds of strikers, but the spirit of revolt still spread. This new phase of the situation alarmed powerful capitalist groups in the United States, and yielding to their desires the Roosevelt Administration harried the members of the Junta with incessant searches, arrests, and prosecutions. Three were imprisoned for "breach of neutrality," though it was notorious that armed agents of capitalist interests could cross the frontier with impunity.
The Revolutionary Outbreak.
In 1910 armed revolt broke out simultaneously in the North and the South. Within a few months the whole country was ablaze. The insurgents were mostly peons, with some wage-workers; but certain propertied elements also took a prominent part in the movement, though by no means fully sharing its purposes. The situation was further complicated by the participation of military adventurers, of the type familiar throughout Latin America, each playing his own hand or fighting for whatever native or foreign interest paid him best, and by the rivalry of various exploiting groups, who backed this or that faction as suited their purpose for the moment. It is not yet historically possible altogether to explain the tangled developments of the last six years. Only a few leading events are here mentioned:
May, 1911, Diaz resigns and flees; October, Francisco Madero becomes provisional president, but soon disappoints the hopes of the masses and fails to pacify the country; February, 1913, Victoriano Huerta, commander of the army, seizes the capital, murders Madero, proclaims himself provisional president, and proceeds to copy and even surpass the abuses of the Diaz period; new revolts at once break out and rapidly gain ground; most of the insurgents recognize Venustiano Carranza as Liberal or Constitutionalist leader, with Francisco Villa as his principal military chief in the North; most European governments recognize Huerta, but United States refuses; April, 1914, Huerta's forces insult American marines at Tampico and refuse apology; war seems imminent; American naval and military forces occupy Vera Cruz for several months; conference of Argentine, Brazilian, and Chilean diplomats at Niagara Falls tries to adjust affairs, but fails; July, Huerta, resigns and flees; in the following months Villa and other chiefs break with Carranza and civil war continues; October, 1915, United States recognizes Carranza as de facto head of Mexican government.
Support from American Labor.
Throughout this period the Socialist and Socialist-Labor parties and many other labor and radical organizations in this country had taken an ever keener interest in Mexican affairs, sympathizing with the democratic elements, though not always able at the time clearly to distinguish the genuine from the treacherous ones. The Socialist party convention of 1908 denounced the arrest of Magon, Rivera, Sarabia, and Villareal, and pledged them support, a pledge which was made good by vigorous agitation especially in the Southwest. The convention of 1910 adopted a resolution demanding "that