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The growth of trade unionism is shown in the following
At a joint conference of the United Federation of Labor, the Social Democratic Party and the Labor Representation Committee of New Zealand, held in June, 1916, the New Zealand Labor Party was founded. The program of the new party states as its final aim: "The socialization of the means of production, distribution and exchange."
THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S INTERNATIONAL.
In every country where the Socialist movement has taken a firm foothold young people's organizations have sprung up. Some of the organizations are still weak and ineffectual, others have gained an important position in the labor movement. The young people's movement is usually strong where there is a strong general party movement, i. e., where the Party itself has the strength and the time to help the younger generation in their work. The strongest movements are therefore in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries. Before the war the International Bureau of the Young Socialist Movement was in Vienna, the head being Dannenberg, one of the clearest, most revolutionary men of the Austrian movement. Since 1913 the Young People's International has had its headquarters in Zurich, with Muenzenberg as secretary. It is publishing a paper Youth-International (Jugend-Internationale), which appears once in three months, and whose special task is the re-establishment of international relations. On April 4, 5 and 6, 1915, an international Conference was held in Berne, Switzerland, with delegates from Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Poland, Holland, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Germany. The young
people of Europe are today among the staunchest supporters of those socialist groups which are demanding the resumption of the International relations between the Socialist movements of the belligerent nations.
The Italian Young People numbered 10,000 members before the war. They have suffered perhaps the most heavily for their solidarity. Even before Italy entered the war numerous young comrades were imprisoned because they participated in anti-war demonstrations. More than one has paid with his blood for his unshaken loyalty to the international movement. After the war broke out arrests for socialist peace propaganda became still more frequent. Two thousand of the 10,000 members were called to arms. The organ of the Italian movement, L'Avanguardia, is subject to the severest kind of censorship. But in spite of everything, young socialists maintain their faith in the final victory of the proletarian International.
The same is true of Austria where in recent years one of the soundest and strongest young people's organizations has developed. Before the war, the Austrian Young People's organ Der Jugendliche Arbeiter (The Young Worker) had a circulation of 26,500 for a membership of 14.014. Of the latter 2,335 have been called to the colors. This loss has already been partly made good by 2,744 new members, so that to-day the membership of the Austrian organization is bigger than before the war. The Jugendliche Arbeiter wages an unceasing battle against war, in spite of the censors to suppress whatever may be against the interests of the Austrian war lords.
In Germany the Young People's movement, even before the war, had many difficulties to overcome, because political activity or affiliations for a young man under 21 years of age are strictly forbidden. The general party organizations therefore completely control the business of the Young Socialist movement. Those comrades who to-day are suffering prison terms in Germany for their peace propaganda are practically all former members of the Young People's movement. The German Y. P. organ Die Arbeiter-Jugend (The Workmen's Youth) had, before the war, a circulation of more than 80,000. In 297 towns, young people's libraries have been collected, 5,500 lectures (1913), 1,859 concert and theatre performances, and other entertainments arranged with carefully selected programs, and 6,300 excursions and visits to places of educational interest (as museums, etc.) were arranged. In 1913, the party gave $67,000 for these purposes.
In England there were no Young People's organizations before the war, but the former pupils of the Socialist Sunday Schools showed that they knew how to fight for peace.
About 500 of them were imprisoned and tortured because they refused absolutely to do anything that could be construed as helping in the war.
In France a few beginnings had been made before the war and here, too, the young people were among the few who resisted the chauvinistic spirit of the time.
In Belgium, where there were a splendid Socialist Young People's organization before the war, all socialist propaganda has become impossible through the German occupation of the whole country.
In Holland there are two Young Socialist movements just as there are two Party organizations. This makes efficient work exceedingly difficult. The group with its organ The Young Socialist, has about 300, the group following the S. D. L. P. with its organ Het Young Volk, about 1,500 members. In Bulgaria the Young People have 400 members; there are also beginnings of a movement in Greece, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Argentine and the United States. (In regard to the last named see the section on the Socialist movement in the United States.)
The chief centres of the Socialist Young People's movement, apart from the new International Bureau in Switzerland are the three Scandinavian nations, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Norway has 6,200 members in 120 sections, constituting a most important factor in the fight against militarism and opportunism. Denmark has 7,300 members in 82 sections, among them 1,300 girls and 2,000 apprentices under 18 years. As soon as the members reach their twentyfirst year they are transferred to the Party. Sweden's Young People number more than 8,400 members and are also in the forefront of the fight against nationalism and militarism. The splendid work of our young Finnish comrades is being brutally wiped out by the Russian government. But just as soon as one organization is suppressed, the Social Democratic Party starts a new one. How strong and forceful the Young People's movement in the Scandinavian countries is, can be seen from the fact, that in Norway and Sweden laws have been passed to stop the anti-militarist propaganda of the Socialist Young People's organizations. But the young people have proved in the past that prison walls cannot stop them from expressing their opinions, and will hardly be able to do so in the future.
To sustain the International relations between the young people of the various countries, an international organ has been established. On September 25, 1916, the young people of all nations will conduct peace demonstrations throughout the world.
The International Secretary is A. Muenzenberg, Werdstr. 40, Zurich, Switzerland.
James Connolly, well known in Ireland and the United States as a labor organizer and Socialist, was executed in May, 1916, because of the part he played in the Irish revolt. Connolly, who was an Irishman by birth, spent some years in America, where he was editor of The Harp from 1907 to 1909. On his return to Ireland he worked to organize an Irish working class movement. He helped the movement which led to the Dublin uprising because it was inspired by the spirit of labor revolt. He was one of those who signed the proclamation setting up an Irish Republic, and in common with all the signatories was tried by court martial for so doing. As he had been wounded in the fighting in which he took a prominent part, he was not immediately executed. In the short interval, it was hoped that the British Government would have commuted the death sentence; but despite the terrible vengeance which had already been wreaked upon the Irish Revolutionists, no mercy was shown.
Connolly's writings and speeches testified to his devotion to the international Socialist movement and to the principles for which it stands. He never failed to impress upon his fellow workers in Ireland the need of Socialist propaganda. Those who knew Connolly mourn his loss because of his high qualities of intellect, honesty, courage, and willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of his oppressed fellow beings.
Walter Crane, one of the world's leading artists, joined the Socialist Party in his youth, at a time when interest in Socialism in England was at low ebb. His presence, with that of William Morris, brought into the movement a spiritual element which attracted many who were uncharmed by the promises of economists and politicians.
Crane's rank in the world of art is beyond dispute, but a fuller discussion of his views and artistic achievements is here out of place. For many years he contributed to the London "Justice" a new design with each recurring May day. Many of his best drawings are collected in the wellknown portfolio "Cartoons for the Cause."
It is well for us now, when Socialism is starting on a new era, when the labors before us seem endless, to see the vision of the future as Morris and Crane saw it. Then faith will yet be justified.
KEIR HARDIE (1856-1915).
Keir Hardie was born at Leg-Rannoch, Holytown, Scotland, on August 15, 1856. His youth was an extremely difficult one. At the age of seven he began to work in the mines, and until he was twenty-four he remained a manual laborer. Whatever education he acquired in these early years he owed to his mother, and to his own passion for knowledge. He soon became a leader in his union, and in 1888 he stood for Parliament, backed by his union. He was defeated. He took part in the founding of the Independent Labor Party, and established the Labor Leader. He entered Parliament in 1892, making a stir by his unconventional attire and behavior. In 1900 he was returned from Merthyr Tydvil, in Wales, and held this seat until his death.
John Špargo writes in the New Review:
"It is not too much to say of Hardie that of all the great leaders of the modern Socialist movement he most clearly represented in his person its proletarian character. For he was of the working-class, bone of its bone, flesh of its flesh, blood of its blood. Unlike too many who have been called to positions of eminence, he never forsook the class in which he was cradled. He strove manfully to rise with his class, but was too loyal and too great of mind and heart to rise out of his class.
"He was not a great theorist, in this respect being utterly unlike both Bebel and Jaurès, with whom his name will forever be associated. But in some respects he was a more practical leader and statesman than either of them. He paid scant heed to theories and formulae-and that was why many of us very often failed to understand him. He was, indeed, a fighter and not a maker of phrases.
"If his death was tragic, let us never forget that his life was glorious. He personified the aspirations and faith of the proletariat."
JEAN JAURES (1859-1914).
A few days after the outbreak of the great war the world was startled by the dramatic death of the leader of the French Socialist movement, Jean Jaurès.
When the clouds of the approaching world conflict were assembling, Jaurès was active in the movement to avert the catastrophe. The great Socialist leader, the tribune of the French workers, the arch enemy of militarism and war was in the way of the reactionary powers of France.
The voice of protest which Jaures raised in common with the Socialists of the world, was silenced by the bullet of an