Despite some disillusioning experiences, the Socialist-inspired American Civil Liberties Union has never to this day ceased its efforts in defense of the catastrophic Left. Such consistent activity in behalf of the militants and expendables of the revolutionary movement has naturally exposed the ACLU to what its friends term “misinterpretation.” During the nineteen-twenties it was occasionally described by opponents as a legal branch of the Communist Party.(1) In 1940, it finally barred “totalitarians” from membership, a decision resulting in the protest-resignation of Dr. Harry F. Ward, its original chairman. At a later date, the ACLU took further steps to neutralize criticism by denouncing as legally untenable the principle of “guilt by association.”
In view of its origins and history, one might reasonably doubt the depth of ACLU devotion to the Flag and the Constitution. It does not necessarily follow, however, that preservation of the Communist Party is the main purpose of the ACLU. In protecting the shock troops of social revolution it has successfully deflected or blunted any incipient attack on the big guns in the rear: the intellectual leaders of the Socialist movement in America, a number of whom served on the original board and national committee, and whose modern counterparts still serve there today.(2)
This tactic of defense in depth has been employed with little or no variation from the experimental beginnings of the ACLU in 1920 to its more smoothly organized operations of the present day. In a tear sheet circulated with its 35th Anniversary appeal, the ACLU outlined its mid-century program as follows:
“Against those indiscriminate federal, state and local measures which, though aimed at Communists, threaten the civil liberties of all Americans; to make an effective civil rights program the law of the land; against both governmental and private pressure group censorship of movies, plays, books, newspapers, magazines, radio and television; to promote fair procedures in court trials, congressional and administrative hearings.”
Acting on the novel premise that good citizens are imperiled whenever sedition is curbed or obscenity is discouraged, the American Civil Liberties Union often finds itself in the position of defending both subversion and pornography on narrowly technical grounds. At the same time, it seeks a broad interpretation of the Constitution in the area of civil rights. In its Annual Report for 1961-62, the organization applauds decisions which underscore the power of the Federal Courts to impose change (3)–power not visibly allotted to the Judiciary by the United States Constitution.
Of late years, the American Civil Liberties Union has also enlarged the range of its propaganda to admit lobbying by approved private pressure groups. Moreover, a certain emphasis on its own highly specialized concept of civil liberties appears to have crept into the field of mass entertainment. Wizard television lawyers, who seldom (if ever) lose a case, dramatically “sell” the ACLU point of view to nationwide audiences without identifying it.
A liberal sampling of its latter-day activities discloses that the ACLU, while extending itself geographically and greatly multiplying its routine tasks, has never veered from its original course. In 1950, the Pittsburgh branch of the ACLU upheld the right of Communists to serve on grand juries.(4) In 1951, the national office announced its intention of challenging all future cases brought under the Smith Act, which required Communist Party officials to register.(5) In 1961, while protesting its opposition to Communism, the organization filed a brief as a friend of the court in the Communist Party’s appeal under the McCarran Internal Security Act.(6)
Public support for repeal of the McCarran Act itself was solicited by the counsel for American Civil Liberties Union in Southern California. Speaking at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles, he flayed the McCarran Act as being the gravest danger to the Bill of Rights in~the nation’s history.(7)
At about the same time, the chairman of the Marin County chapter —one of twenty-four Civil Liberties branches in California—questioned the legality of a Christmas crib on the courthouse lawn in San Rafael, suggesting it violated the principle of Church-State separation.(8) On the spiritual front, the ACLU’s Niagara Falls chapter also backed a test case in Federal court on behalf of the Black Muslims, who claimed that their “right to practice their religion” was obstructed in Attica State Prison; and the St. Louis ACLU Committee investigated a charge that prisoners were being denied the right to buy anti-religious books and pamphlets.(9) After praising the Supreme Court’s decision which held the nonsectarian Regents’ Prayer in New York schools to be unconstitutional, the ACLU’s Annual Report for 1961-62 predicted: “We are confident that when more sectarian religious practices (in the schools) are brought to the Court’s attention, they . . . will be declared unconstitutional . . . Christmas and Chanukah observance, Bible reading, recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and baccalaureate services.” (10) With the aid of ACLU lawyers, that impious hope has since been fulfilled.
As might also have been predicted, the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in behalf of Dr. Robert Soblen, the convicted Soviet spy, who for years had headed New York State’s largest public mental health institution. It appealed a Federal District Court decision holding that American-born Herman Marks had forfeited citizenship rights by serving in the Cuban rebel army of Fidel Castro.(11) In February, 1962, it petitioned the Senate’s Post Office and Civil Service Committee to reject an amendment to the postal-rate bill, banning the distribution of Communist propaganda.(12)
While upholding freedom of agitation for Communists and even for crypto-Nazi agents provocateur, the ACLU sought to deny military commanders the right to arm their personnel against the fallacies of Communist propaganda, though the lack of such instruction had caused an undisclosed number of soldiers and junior officers to yield to brainwashing by Chinese Communists during the Korean War. In March, 1962, the civil liberties group submitted a memorandum to the special preparedness committee of the Armed Services Committee, asserting that restriction of free speech for the nation’s military leaders “raises no civil liberties issue.”(13)
Many of the ACLU’s views sooner or later have found expression in political action. On August 17, 1963, for example, members of ACLU college chapters, acting jointly with the Students for Democratic Action, induced the Western States Conference of Young Democrats in Berkeley, California, to pass a resolution calling for repeal of the McCarran Internal Security Act.(14) It is noteworthy that in California alone, branches of the ACLU existed in 1962 at the University of California, California Institute of Technology, Long Beach State College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles State College and San Diego State College.(15) These are among the long-term fruits of the organizing Committee on Academic Freedom, one of its most significant and least publicized activities.
The Committee on Academic Freedom was formed in 1924, at a time when teachers and college professors were being urged to express themselves openly about the Sacco-Vanzetti case and to participate in Progressive Political Action. The original statement of the Committee was prepared by Dr. Harry F. Ward, chairman of the ACLU, and Dr. Henry R. Linville, president of the Teachers’ Union. Nominally created to aid teachers and college professors threatened with dismissal for unorthodox views, this committee progressively opened the way for the free and ever freer dissemination of radical ideas in schools and colleges. Through its ties with the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of University Professors and various “progressive” educational bodies, it was eventually able to exert a potent influence not only on the formulation of academic policies but on the type of individuals accepted for employment.
By 1938 the members of this committee were described as being “among the outstanding leaders in American education.” (16) The Committee included three college presidents—of Vassar, Wisconsin and Mt. Holyoke. All but one of the group were listed in Who’s Who in America or Who’s Who in New York. A biographical breakdown by Dr. David E. Bunting, Dean of the University of Tampa, revealed that the typical committee member was then fifty-eight years old, had a doctor’s degree, and was a full professor in a major American university. Though economically comfortable, he was not wealthy. Politically, he either voted “independently” or for the Democratic Party. He belonged to at least four organizations espousing a “liberal” point of view, was a member of the Progressive Education Association and (usually) of the American Federation of Teachers. He was the author of at least three books, either on education or branches of the social sciences. Obviously, he was neither an average American nor an ordinary teacher, but a recognized expert in his chosen field, whose opinions were listened to with respect.(17)
What Dr. Bunting failed to mention was that fully half of the Committee’s twenty-eight members were also long time “cooperators” of the League for Industrial Democracy,(18) the key organization for the advancement of Fabian Socialism in America. They subscribed and/or contributed to the publications of the American Council on Public Affairs, which “encouraged properly qualified scholars to give greater attention to the background, analysis and solution of contemporary problems.”(19) Thus social, economic and political views considered acceptable by the League for Industrial Democracy and the American Civil Liberties Union were transmitted indirectly to the nation’s educators, who were “encouraged” to apply them not only as teachers but also in the field of public affairs.
Unobtrusively, the Committee on Academic Freedom in New York, working intimately with the LID-sponsored Council on Public Affairs in Washington, also promoted and accelerated a movement to bring “properly qualified scholars” into Washington, as well as into State and municipal governments—there to steer as far as possible the affairs of the nation. As the British Fabian philosopher, John Atkinson Hobson, had foretold, the university professor would become the secret weapon of Socialist strategy on a broader scale than ever before. The Doctor of Philosophy, with a certified “progressive” and “democratic” outlook, was being groomed to invade the administrative branches of government, no longer singly but en masse.
The specialized meaning concealed in such terms as “progress” and “democracy” was disclosed by Roger Baldwin, chief spokesman for the ACLU, who now addressed himself with increasing frequency to academic audiences. In his book, Civil Liberties and Industrial Conflict, written jointly with C. B. Randall and published by the Harvard University Press, Baldwin admitted frankly that while many persons regarded civil liberties as ends in themselves, he believed them to be “means f or non-violent progress.” (20) Progress, he said, meant “the extension of the control of social institutions by progressively larger classes, until human society ultimately abolishes the violence of class conflict.” (21) If not quite orthodox Marxist doctrine, this was a mere variation on it in terms of the fluid classes existing in American society.
Speaking at the 1936 Spring Conference of the Eastern States Association of Professional Schools for Teachers, Baldwin had also explained that by “progressive” he meant “the forces working for the democratization of industry by extending public ownership and control, which alone will abolish the power of the comparatively few who own the wealth.” (22) “Real democracy,” he stated on another occasion, “means strong trade unions, government regulation of business, ownership by the people of industries that serve the public.” (23)
That, of course, was not at all what “progress” and “democracy” implied to the average American. But Roger Baldwin was no average American, nor were the educators whom he was educating. They belonged to a rapidly expanding, carefully controlled intellectual elite, who by habitually using familiar terms to convey something quite different to each other than these terms meant to the general public, would guide America unawares along the road to that cooperative commonwealth which British Fabians also called Industrial Democracy.
Imitative in matters of basic policy, the League for Industrial Democracy outstripped its British Fabian tutors in techniques of deception. For more than half a century, the Fabian Society of London had solemnly required every member to subscribe to the Basis. When that strange document was finally replaced by a modern constitution, the first line of the latter still read: “The Fabian Society consists of Socialists.” (24)
True, the Society also had its prized semi-undercover collaborators—among others, such personages as Sir William Beveridge and John Maynard Keynes, who retained nominal membership in a virtually extinct Liberal Party. Nevertheless, anyone known to belong to the Fabian Society of London or its affiliates could automatically be termed a Socialist.
For reasons of expediency, this relatively forthright practice was abandoned by the Fabian Society’s American counterpart, the LID. Members were not only encouraged to conceal the fact of the LID’s British Fabian inspiration (as though it were a bar sinister) but even to deny publicly that they were Socialists, if in doing so they could more effectively promote Socialist policies. As Upton Sinclair noted, some old-timers were displeased when the organization ceased in 1921 to call itself a Socialist Society.(25) Yet the advantage of that fraudulent gesture became increasingly apparent as individual members of the LID were propelled to eminence in their chosen fields.
Climbers, as well as those who had already arrived, were shielded by the League’s failure to publish annual membership lists. Confronted with evidence that he had once held office in the Intercollegiate Socialist Society or the Students’ League for Industrial Democracy, a public figure often dismissed it blandly as a folly of youth, long since outgrown. That convenient loophole has been employed by such widely disparate characters as Walter Lippmann and Walter Reuther, president of the United Automobile Workers union and a vice president of the AFL-CIO; as well as by a number of equal and lesser luminaries. A glance at the record, however, demonstrates that remarkably few of the persons admitted to the League’s charmed circle of social and professional benefits have actually fallen away. The complacent truism, “Join for one year, join for fifty,” has proved to be as true of the League for Industrial Democracy as of its senior partner the London Fabian Society.
In 1943, the League modified its constitution, not solely for reasons of tax exemption but also for the sake of improved wartime camouflage. Its purpose was now asserted to be education for increasing democracy in our economic, political and cultural life. Knowledgeable insiders, of course, understood democracy to mean what Roger Baldwin and others had already defined it to mean. Namely, government regulation of business leading eventually to public ownership and/or control of industry, chiefly accomplished through the pressure and voting power of strong Socialist-controlled unions. Socialism was the “true democracy,” to be attained by anesthesia rather than violence. What final consolidation might mean was another matter, never mentioned. If anyone was deceived by the new terminology, it was only the general public.
Somewhat indiscreetly, however, British Fabians still continued to acknowledge the LID as the leading Socialist society in America. In Fabian Society Annual Reports of 1925-1930, it was even patronizingly referred to as “one of our provincial societies.” As late as 1962, Margaret Cole, while carefully minimizing its importance, recognized the LID to be among the principal overseas affiliates of the Fabian Society.(26) Its value in complementing the plans of British Socialists was indicated by Norman Thomas, head of the American Socialist Party, when he stated in a pamphlet published by the LID in 1953: “Britain’s problems admit no solution on a purely nationalist level.”(27)
Past or present, it thus becomes difficult for the LID to deny its relationship with the leading Socialist Society of Great Britain. Files of Fabian News reveal that for years League members attended or lectured at Fabian Summer Schools. Articles by LID publicists have consistently appeared in Fabian periodicals. When a League official enhanced his prestige by joining the Fabian Society of London, the item was occasionally reported in England, if not in America. Over thirty years ago, for example, Clarence Senior, long a national director of the LID and from 1961 a White House consultant on Latin American affairs, was received into the London Society. Fabian News innocently reported the event in its issue of July, 1929. Lately, however, the Society has refrained from printing the names of American members or even guests, because this tends to brand them ipso facto as Socialists.
To the LID’s 45th Anniversary event, Lady Dorothy Archibald, Fabian Socialist member of the London County Council, sent the following cautious tribute:
“. . . I have come to the conclusion that there are no short cuts to progress, but that the long and arduous road of education is the only certain way. This is the road you have followed for forty-five years and, knowing your country a little, I feel that your work as necessary as the work of the Fabian Society in the country.
“When I was directing a Fabian Summer School this last year, I had the great pleasure of having several young Americans as students. Their contribution to the School was outstanding and I was happy to discover that they were members of the L.I.D.
“It is my profound hope that the field of your work may extend every year so that the younger generation in America may receive an education in real democracy.(28)
“Greetings from Home” on the same occasion included telegrams from Senator Hubert Humphrey and the then Congressman Jacob K. Javits, Harry A. Overstreet, Upton Sinclair, Robert Morss Lovett and the Reverend John Haynes Holmes.(29) Leading all the rest, however, was a wire from Eleanor Roosevelt. As a long-standing “cooperator” and sponsor of the LID, she could hardly have failed to be familiar with its definition of “democracy.” Her message, though confounding to purists in political science, was readily grasped by persons attending the League’s anniversary luncheon. It read:
“I hope you will have a successful conference and will stress the need for making democracy work for all people as a form of government and a way of life.” (30)
To the day of her death, Eleanor Roosevelt supported the League for Industrial Democracy and half a dozen closely related organizations, a fact which she never troubled to conceal. She was introduced to it through her good friends Florence Kelley, Paul Kellogg of Survey magazine and Lillian Wald of the Henry Street Settlement, all of whom served as officers and/or directors of the organization. As her telegram suggests, Eleanor Roosevelt’s attachment to the LID was based on practical as well as idealistic considerations.
Through another close friend and early social worker, Frances Perkins, who had served as Governor Roosevelt’s New York State’s Commissioner of Labor, Eleanor Roosevelt was well informed about the potential ability of the needle trades unions in New York City to deliver the margin of victory in State elections. Top officials of both the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union served routinely as officers and directors of the LID. Delegates to the 1944 Democratic Party convention in Chicago still recall the cryptic remark attributed at that time to Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “Clear it with Sidney.” Sidney, of course, was Sidney Hillman, then president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers.
Survivors of the Roosevelt era will also remember Joseph Lash, a controversial young protégée of Eleanor Roosevelt, whom she invited occasionally to the White House and aided in obtaining a military commission during World War II. Few are aware, however, that Joe Lash was a leader of the Students’ League for Industrial Democracy (31) (SLID) in the nineteen-thirties, when it boasted over a hundred chapters and collaborated with Communist-led youth groups. It published a magazine called Revolt, later known as The Students’ Outlook. Nominally, SLID was working for “peace.” To that end, it opposed Reserve Officers Training Corps drill in high schools and colleges and urged severe limitations on military preparedness.
In those years the Students’ League also urged its members to aid professed anti-fascist movements in Europe and agitated actively in favor of what it termed “civil rights” for American strikers. Student chapters assisted the LID Emergency Committee for Strikers’ Relief, whose chairman was Norman Thomas and whose secretary was theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, with John Herling, present-day labor columnist for the Washington Daily News, serving as their assistant.(32)
Among the more promising junior Leaguers of that day were two sons of an old-fashioned Marxian Socialist of German extraction who had settled in the American Midwest. The boys were Walter and Victor Reuther, potent names in American labor today. As president in 1932 of the SLID chapter at Wayne University, red-haired Walter led a student delegation on the picket line at the Briggs Body plant in Detroit. In 1933, the two eager young Socialists spent a summer running errands for the anti-Hitler underground in Germany and then were employed for about eighteen months at the Ford automobile plant in Soviet Russia, sending back glowing reports on the Workers’ Fatherland.
Schooled in the newer techniques for capturing union leadership, Walter and Victor returned home in time to help lead the Automobile Workers Industrial Union (originally a part of the Red trade-union apparatus) into the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The reorganized and expanded mass union, known as the United Automobile Workers union (33) ( UAW), subsequently ejected the better known Communists from its midst; and control of that increasingly powerful labor body passed into Socialist hands. The only difficulty then was and still is that no one has ever been sure how many of those undercover Socialists still remained Communists at heart.(34)
The maneuver was not generally understood at the time, and is less understood today. When it became obvious even to the Communists that American working people would not accept Communist direction, but might follow social democratic leaders as long as they did not frankly call themselves Socialists, younger men carefully trained for such a contingency took over. The Reuther brothers, who always had a foot in the Socialist camp, were ideally prepared for the role. They have been long time collaborators and directors of the adult League for Industrial Democracy and at present hold membership in a number of its loftier latter-day offshoots.
From 1933, SLID cooperated with various “direct action” youth groups and in 1835 merged openly with them to form the American Student Union (ASU). According to Mina Weisenberg, a historian and director of the LID, the ASU “became [sic] deeply infiltrated with Communists.” After five years, the Students’ League split away, not because it had any real quarrel with the Marxist philosophy of its associates, but because—as Mina Weisenberg states—it found some difficulty in justifying the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland.
Owing to the red cloud which had dimmed its name, SLID did not publicly reestablish its college chapters until after World War II. The paid staff then included James E. Youngdahl, a nephew of the liberal Republican Washington jurist who dismissed the Owen Lattimore case, and James Farmer,(35) who went on to become national director of the Negro Council on Racial Equality (CORE). It was not until 1947 that the Students’ League took the precaution of barring known Communists from membership. Throughout the entire decade of the nineteen-forties, however, a six-week summer course, resembling certain Fabian Summer Schools in England, was held annually by the League for Industrial Democracy, to train young college people for organizing and for other union work.
According to official League historians, SLID had allegedly acted against the advice of the senior body, when it merged with the National Student Union in 1935 and for five years appeared to have severed its connection with the adult LID. Actually, SLID members were only following the example of their elders, many of whom drifted farther and farther leftward during the same period—as their Fabian counterparts in Britain were likewise doing in the nineteen-thirties. A singular predilection for Communists was evinced in that era of the united front. It was confirmed by the fact that many high ranking LID officials lent their names to organizations and committees since identified as Communist controlled.
The very amiable Robert Morss Lovett, who personally aided the National Student Union in his final years as president of the League, (36) is alleged to have held membership during his lifetime in some fifty Communist front organizations. A. Philip Randolph, long time LID official and a Socialist leader in the present-day agitation for Negro civil rights, has been connected with numerous organizations (or their ad hoc committee offshoots) which were cited as Communist fronts by Federal authorities and/or state or territorial investigating committees.(37)
In the cloud cuckoo-land of Fabian Socialism’s many cooperative ventures, individuals later cited in connection with Soviet espionage were also recruited, among others, Frederick Vanderbilt Field.
Undeniably united front activities, in which Communists, Socialists and an undetermined number of innocents were involved, flourished in America as in Britain prior to the outbreak of World War II. By some irony of fate, however, it proved a saving grace for the LID that certain outstanding figures in its New York City chapter decided at the same time to champion the cause of the exiled and subsequently murdered Leon Trotsky. This very vocal group included John Dewey, professor of Philosophy at Columbia University; Sidney Hook chairman of the department of Philosophy at New York University; officials of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU); editors of the Social Democratic New Leader, and others. By virtue of being anti-Stalinist, they were presumed to be anti-Marxist and pro-American. As late as 1952, some of them were regarded as allies and editorial outlets by supporters of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy. Once again, as in the bygone twenties, the LID was able to sidestep unwelcome notoriety and avoid being stigmatized as the effective leadership group of international Socialism in America.
The radical nature of the League for Industrial Democracy should have been obvious from the start, since its original officers and directors included such well-known early Socialist Party leaders as Morris Hillquit, August Claessens and Eugene V. Debs. In the 1924 national elections, however, the majority of LID members and friends promoted the Conference for Progressive Political Action and supported the Presidential candidacy of Senator Robert M. La Follette. Since 1928, they have thrown their weight behind the Democratic Party’s top candidate in New York State, and, from 1936, they have done the same for the national ticket. Nevertheless, the Socialist Party continued to run a nominal candidate for the Presidency, who was invariably a permanent officer of the LID.
In six national elections, that token candidate was Norman Thomas, a former Protestant clergyman, who had once headed the LID student chapter at Princeton. A native American of Anglo-Saxon stock, Thomas possessed a mellow voice, a booming laugh, and a sophisticated low-pressure approach which proved highly attractive to educators and professionals. While he never entertained the faintest hope of being elected, Thomas had reasons for keeping his name on the ballot. Among other things, his position as titular head of the Socialist Party carried with it the right of representation in the Fabian-dominated Socialist International.
Until his “retirement” in 1962, it was usually Norman Thomas who headed United States delegations to congresses of the Socialist International, and transmitted the ensuing directives to interested groups in the United States. The “restatement” of Socialist aims emerging from the International’s Frankfurt Congress in 1951—which found expression in the New Fabian Essays in Britain—was duly interpreted for Americans by Norman Thomas in a significant pamphlet entitled Democratic Socialism. Published in 1953 by the LID, his statement served as a lodestar for all domestic Fabian Socialists, avowed or unavowed.
For the edification of any innocents who still persist in regarding Norman Thomas as a true-blue American, distinguished for his apparently selfless advocacy of a broad program of social reform, (38) it may be noted that he declared in this pamphlet:
“My definition of modern socialism . . . accords with the socialist statement on ‘Aims and Tasks’ which was adopted by the Congress of Socialist Parties at Frankfurt, Germany, in 1951. It closely parallels ‘Socialism, a New Statement of Principles,’ presented in 1952 by the British Socialist Union.(39)
Like the British comrades, Thomas frankly advocated “the social ownership of such key industries as steel”—while “refusing to discuss democratic socialism in such misleading terms as total social ownership vs. total private ownership.” (40) He explained that some followers of Karl Marx—for example, Karl Kautsky—”never insisted on the need for social ownership of all means of production and distribution.” (41) Neither, as a matter of fact, did the Fabian Basis. The Machiavellian foresight of Sidney Webb, disclosed long before in Labor and the New Social Order, was tacitly reflected in Thomas’ declaration:
“. . . We have learned that it is possible to a degree not anticipated by most earlier Socialists to impose desirable social controls on privately owned enterprises by the development of social planning, by proper taxation and labor legislation, and by the growth of powerful labor organizations.”
Still more significantly, Thomas added:
“For some years American Socialists have been fairly well agreed that ‘social ownership should be extended to the commanding heights’ of our economy which include our natural resources, our system of money, banking and credit, and certain basic industries and services …. I have already argued the specific reason for public ownership of the steel industry. It meets all the tests which I have earlier suggested.” (42)
An identical program for Britain was urged at virtually the same time by the late Parliamentary Leader of the British Labour Party, Hugh Gaitskell, in Fabian Tract No. 300, Socialism and Nationalisation. (43) It has since been reaffirmed by his successor, Harold Wilson, who pledged himself to carry out the policies of Gaitskell.
In defining the relationship of “Democratic Socialism” to Communism, Norman Thomas made a plea for “non-orthodox” Marxism— especially in the United States, where “we still have a middle class in a true economic sense, while those who think of themselves as belonging to the middle class are even more numerous.”(44) Pointedly, he criticized Russian Communism as being “a betrayal of Socialism” and a subversion of true Marxism. He condemned “statism” and questioned “the necessity of a dictatorial elite in Russia”—without referring to the invisible Socialist elite in America that proposed to utilize the outward forms of democracy in order to impose a gradually frightening system of centralized controls. While deploring Soviet deceit and violence, at no point did Thomas recommend hostility towards Communism.(45) “Other associations of men,” said Thomas, improving on the Natural Law, “have an inherent right to exist.” (46)
Conscious, however, of the adverse effect which identification with an unpopular cause might have on Socialists in America, Thomas uttered a clear warning to followers and friends. Russian Communism, said he, “in its march to power has so successfully claimed Marx for its own, it has so persuaded men that Lenin and Stalin are the true successors of Karl Marx, that the socialist who rests his case upon Marx, as upon a Bible, has to fight an uphill battle. Marxist orthodoxy does not give the democratic socialist the best vantage point for his struggle.”(47) Almost verbatim, Thomas echoed the sentiments expressed by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels during their lifetime, concerning the most effective way to social revolution in the United States.
Through Norman Thomas the past and present leaders of international Socialism spoke to the New World. Thus the importance of his remarks cannot be measured in terms of the trifling vote which he commanded as the American Socialist Party’s candidate. One apparent reason for keeping that Party alive has been to mislead the American public as to the true strength of the Socialist movement in the United States, by conveying the impression it is far too tiny to represent a serious threat. Even Thomas himself admitted as recently as July 13, 1963, in a television interview with Paul Coates carried over California stations, that Socialists in this country who do not vote for the Socialist Party “have usually found it better to vote Democrat.” Many are so-called independents, committed to a program rather than a party, who forever tease aspiring Republicans with the hope they can be wooed and won.
Nor should the influence of Thomas’ statement be gauged by the limited size of the League for Industrial Democracy, which circulated the pamphlet. While the official membership of the adult LID never claimed more than four or five thousand at any time, like the Fabian Society it was a pilot organization, whose members already commanded the heights in many sectors of American life—political, educational, religious, trades union and cultural. Bishop Francis J. McConnell, for example, a former president of the Federal Council of Churches,(48) who signed the so-called Bankers’ Report of 1933 advocating recognition of Soviet Russia, was long a vice president of the League.
As vice president of Union Theological Seminary, the patriarchal Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr had also helped to shape the social thinking of generations of young seminarians. Former president of the LID New York chapter and former treasurer and board member of the national body, Niebuhr probably lent his name to more Socialist-inspired committees and organizations than any other living American. Nor did age diminish the old master’s skill in attracting highly placed sympathizers. As late as September, 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy announced that one of the ten books he would take with him, if going to the moon, would be Reinhold Niebuhr’s book with the oddly Manichean title, Children of Light and Children of Darkness—an unusual choice for a Catholic! (49)
In the field of labor, the League’s officers and national directors have included some of the most commanding figures in recent industrial union history: among others, David Dubinsky of the International Ladies Garment Workers; Jacob Potofsky of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers; Walter Reuther of the Automobile Workers; Arthur J. Hayes of the Machinists; James Carey, erstwhile head of the Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers; A. Philip Randolph of the Pullman Car Porters; and Boris Shishkin, former educational director of the American Federation of Labor. (50) William Green and his more liberal successor, George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO and recipient of a League award, seldom ventured to refuse an invitation to address LID conferences. While LID control of trade union machinery was not all-embracing, and was certainly far less obvious, than that of the Fabian Society in Britain, at least it provided a firm base of political and financial support for internationally derived Socialist programs in several key electoral states, notably New York New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
A small galaxy of United States Senators has been listed among the LID veteran collaborators. That senior legislative group includes: Paul H. Douglas of Illinois, Wayne Morse of Oregon, Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the late Richard Neuberger and his widow, Maurine Neuberger of Oregon, the late Herbert Lehman of New York, and Jacob K. Javits, who as a congressman was for years a regular and applauded speaker at League conferences. It was Senator Lehman, however, who distinguished himself at the League’s 45th Anniversary symposium on “Freedom and the Welfare State” by saying:
“A hundred and seventy years ago the welfare state concept was translated into the basic law of this land by the founders of the republic …. The founding fathers were the ones who really originated the welfare state.” (51)
An astounding misuse of the measured phrase in the Preamble to the Constitution, “to create a more perfect union and to promote the general welfare”—all the more so, because the definition of “welfare” has suffered several changes since 1787!
The weight exerted to this day by individual LID members and their trainees in education, government administration, the United Nations, and the private “research” foundations, is subject matter for separate study. A whole chain of interlocking organizations, aspiring to mold the outlook of public opinion makers and to draft the policies of United States Government agencies, has quietly come into being, each with a solid core of LID elder statesmen and their younger disciples. By no means have all of the League’s tried and true supporters found it necessary to choose “the hard way.”
In adapting the tactics and programs of British Fabianism to our native scene, the small, once struggling and always reticent League for Industrial Democracy fulfilled its mission of penetrating and permeating the fabric of American life. Its peculiarity stemmed from the fact that it was from first to last a Socialist creation. Although the accent might be American, its voice was the voice of international Socialism controlled by British Fabians.
The surprising thing is that anyone should ever have doubted the Socialist intentions of the officers, members and conscious collaborators of the League for Industrial Democracy. Successive presidents, from Robert Morss Lovett to Nathaniel M. Minkoff, have made no secret of their radical beliefs. There was the venerable philosopher John Dewey, father of Progressive Education, who was said to have inherited the pragmatic mantle of William James, yet permitted himself to be identified with the Trotskyite or Lovestoneite wing of American Marxism.
Next president of the LID was Elizabeth Gilman, wealthy and socially prominent spinster, a leader of the Urban League and perennial chairman of the Socialist Party in Maryland. She was followed by Bjaarne Braatoy, former professor of Government at Haverford College, who served in the World War II Office of Strategic Services, working intimately all the while with the Fabian International Bureau. At war’s end he was employed as tutor and “technical assistant” to the German Social Democratic Party and thereafter became world chairman of the Fabian-dominated Socialist International.
Not least, there was Mark Starr, British-born and Fabian-bred, a pet pupil of G. D. H. and Margaret Cole. For some thirty years he proved to be a strong, indisputable link between the New Fabian Research Bureau in London, where the modern leadership of the Fabian Society was centered, and the Fabian Socialist movement in the United States. No product of ivied halls, Mark Starr nevertheless became president and board chairman of the foremost society of intellectual Socialists in America. From 1935 to 1961 he also served as educational director of the ILGWU—perhaps the most internationally minded labor union in America, with a membership of 450,000 and declared assets of some 425 million dollars (as of June, 1962).
Through Mark Starr, the G. D. H. Cole brand of Marxism tinged with Syndicalism was transmitted to a potent sector of American labor. It was Starr who institutionalized a good many of the Coles’ special ideas on labor politics, labor education and politico-labor research in the United States. As late as 1952, he asserted that education for the abolition of private profit was the prime purpose of all education.(52) In 1949, according to a report issued over his own signature by the ILGWU educational department, Mark Starr “wrote Labour Politics in the U.S.A. for the British Fabian Society, and a pamphlet for the United World Federalists.” (53) Published by the Fabian Society-Victor Gollancz in England, Labour Politics in the U.S.A. was issued as a fifty-six page pamphlet by the LID.
Son of a miner, Mark Starr had worked in the coal mines as a boy and served during World War I as local officer of the South Wales Miners Federation. Referring to his origins, Starr remarked many years later in a personal letter that if he had not been a radical, he “would have been a moron.” Possibly this view was colored by the fact that from the age of fourteen he was educated at Fabian-operated workers’ schools and the London Labour College.
Before emigrating to America in 1928, Starr was for seven years a division officer of the National Council of Labour Colleges in Britain. He belonged to the little Independent Labour Party, headed by some of the more stridently left wing Fabians and openly sympathetic to the Communist cause. During that period he was also associated with Margaret Cole—a founder of New Fabian Research who was elected president of the Fabian Society in 1963 and who took a lively interest in promoting a species of Socialist indoctrination for working people broadly termed “further education.” (54)
On reaching New York, Starr was promptly hired to teach at Brookwood Labor College, which between 1925 and 1928 had received an outright grant of $74,227 from the Garland Fund.(55) Soon he was placed in charge of Brookwood extension courses. Despite his own very sketchy academic background, in 1941 Starr became vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. In 1944, he was appointed labor consultant to the Office of War Information, whose Director, Elmer Davis, was once a fellow director of the LID.(56) By that time, of course, Starr had taken out American citizenship— though he preferred to consider himself a “citizen of the world”—and in March, 1949, organized an ILGWU symposium on “World Government.”(57)
In 1948, President Truman named Mark Starr to the United States Advisory Commission on Educational Exchange, where he remained until 1952. This commission was authorized under Public Act 402 to advise the State Department and the Congress on the operation of information centers and libraries maintained by the United States Government in foreign countries, as well as on the exchange of students and technical experts. In June, 1949, Starr headed the U.S. delegation to the first Adult Education Conference organized by UNESCO at Elsinore, Denmark,(58) where the shades of Marx, Engels and Kautsky rather than the ghost of Hamlet’s father stalked. A month later he was lecturing at a British Labour Party Summer School in Durham, England. (59) That year the New York City Board of Education conferred its annual Adult Student’s Award on Mark Starr as their prize specimen of an adult student who had made good.(60)
As educational director of the ILGWU, Starr helped to instill the Fabian Socialist approach in a labor union whose early history had been marked by episodes of physical violence and the politics of left wing revolt. He advised that “instead of arousing antagonism, as the old-time agitator had to do, now the union leader must be capable of skillful negotiation and of winning over public opinion to support the claims of his organization.” (61) In cooperation with the Federal Council of Churches and other religious bodies, he arranged visits to garment shops and union headquarters for groups of clergymen and presented them with an adroit propaganda pamphlet, What the Church Thinks of Labor. (62)
Through LID connections and the Public Affairs Committee which he chaired in 1949, Starr also developed fruitful contacts between the ILGWU and liberal professors throughout the country—but particularly at the Harvard School of Business Administration. Speaking with a lingering trace of a Welsh burr, Starr delivered the Ingliss lecture at Harvard on “Labor Education.” In August, 1949, the Harvard Business Review carried an article by Willard A. Lewis of the ILGWU legal department,(63) and in 1952 Starr addressed the Harvard Business School Club.
It is interesting to note that in April, 1953, Starr’s department organized an ILGWU panel discussion, where the subject of “Planning and Personal Freedom” was discussed by such “eminent experts” as Dr. George Soule of Columbia University and the New Republic, and Dr. J. Kenneth Galbraith and Dr. Seymour E. Harris of Harvard (64)—the latter pair to become controversial figures seven years later as advisers to the Kennedy Administration. In 1951 Clarence Senior—another future Kennedy adviser—addressed a weekend institute at Hudson View Lodge on the Puerto Rican problem.(65) During such sessions, the learned gentlemen both received and imparted instruction, as preliminary grooming for the future demands of public life.
University and public libraries were generously supplied by Starr with union literature. In one case, a pamphlet giving the union’s view on Trends and Prospects in the Garment Industry was sent to the economics departments of 650 colleges. Labor attaches of United States Embassies abroad, in whose selection union endorsement often played a part, were furnished on request with union-produced pamphlets, phonograph records and propaganda films; and similar “assistance” was given to Occupation Forces in Japan and Europe.(66) All “educational” material distributed by the union was based, directly or indirectly, upon the Fabian Socialist premise formulated by G. D. H. Cole and promoted by Mark Starr as “dean of American labor educators.” Namely, that “education must build new incentives other than those of private gain!”
Under the watchful eye of Starr, research and political activities of the ILGWU were vastly expanded. Both departments were headed and staffed by trusted officials of the LID. Throughout that period of mutual growth, the ILGWU’s research director was Dr. Lazare Teper, who had joined SLID at Johns Hopkins and served for years as a director of the adult LID. In 1951 and after, Dr. Teper lectured at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, evoking no protest whatever from the Socialist Party or its allies. (67)
Political director of the ILGWU under Starr’s command was Gus Tyler, a product of SLID at City College of New York.(68) According to an article in The New York Times, it was Tyler who in 1949 introduced political stewards or “commissars” into union locals.(69) That same year he gave a course on politics at the City College of New York, and in 1950 conducted a course in Political Action at the New School for Social Research. Since 1961, Gus Tyler has been overall educational director of the ILGWU, succeeding Mark Starr but following loyally in his footsteps. Starr’s permanent secretary was the Russian-born Fannia M. Cohn, nominally responsible for arranging “panel discussions.” Veteran member of the LID from the days when it was known as the ISS, she served on the executive committee of the League’s New York chapter.
Through the combined efforts of such “democratic” Socialists, the ample research facilities of the ILGWU were made available in a more or less guarded fashion to the LID. Thus, from 1935, the ILGWU’s research department stood in somewhat the same relation to the LID as the New Fabian Research Bureau did to the British Fabian Society.(70) At Starr’s invitation, the redoubtable Margaret Cole herself often flew from London to address union groups (71) and presumably to synchronize “research” operations with those of the British comrades.
Even today, when the widely diffused “research” activity of the Fabian Socialist movement in America is parceled out among various specialized fringe organizations, as well as university centers for “advanced study,” the research department of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union continues to function as a control center and guiding force in the politico-labor field. Allegedly it is acting for the benefit of its members and those of sister unions, domestic and foreign, which it aids.
During Mark Starr’s prolonged and well-paid term as educational director, the union probably became better known abroad than any other American labor organization. More and more, its New York headquarters were a port of call for labor delegates coming from Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea, and especially from Latin America. (72) Educational assistance and political advice were freely given to budding labor unions, all the way from Ireland to New Zealand, from Ghana to Chile and Brazil. In some instances, the freshly organized unions actually preceded the establishment of industries in which they hoped to set labor standards. Nevertheless, they provided bases for political agitation in backward countries seeking to install Socialist-oriented governments, and in new nations emerging from the Fabian-shattered remnants of once-flourishing colonial empires.
Starr’s services to Fabian Socialism on a world-wide scale appear to date from 1948, when his opportunities as a member of an official government commission dovetailed neatly with his union duties. That was the same year David Dubinsky, freewheeling president of the ILGWU, helped to launch the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU),(73) labor adjunct of the Socialist International. In 1949, Dubinsky addressed the Fabian Society in London while attending the first annual meeting of the Confederation.(74)
Effective organizer of the Free Trade Union Committee in America was Jay Lovestone, international director of the ILGWU. A brilliant, if mercurial character, Lovestone had received his baptism in Socialism as student president of the ISS chapter at the City College of New York. Veering leftward, he became a top functionary of the Communist Party but was expelled for “left deviationism.” Thereafter, he headed a group of American Marxists who supported the exiled Leon Trotsky and his doctrine of permanent revolution. As such, Lovestone was welcomed back into the Fabian Socialist fold and entrusted with far-flung international missions in the name of labor. Together with his assistant and faithful shadow, Irving Brown, he has since visited trouble spots in Europe and the Orient on all-expenses-paid union tours as a labor statesman and traveling inspector general.
If anyone wonders what possible influence such an internahona1 labor body could have on domestic events in the United States, at least one example can be cited. On March 11-13, 1963, the Railwaymen’s Section Committee of the International Transport Workers Federation met in Brussels. According to the International Trade Union News of April 1, 1963, issued fortnightly by the ICFTU:
“The Committee expressed deep concern at the very serious position in which railwaymen of many countries in all parts of the world found themselves, as the result of transport policies directed against the railways or the ruthless rationalization plans of management, or both. These developments were jeopardizing the livelihood of many railwaymen, and in some cases the obstinate attitude of the employers was forcing the railway unions to take militant action ….”(75)
Based on “research” by a Fabian Socialist-controlled international labor group, decisions were reached in Brussels identical to those leading to the renewed call for a nationwide railroad strike in America not many weeks later.
Just as the Transport and General Workers Union in Britain has long been the chief bulwark of the London Fabian Society, so the ILGWU and the closely related Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union have been twin pillars of strength to the LID. From 1935 to 1952, the ILGWU donated 21 million dollars to alleged worthy causes, (76) including political campaigns. From 1951 to 1953 alone, its benefactions exceeded five million dollars (77)—of which the greater part was extracted from the pay envelopes of working people and spent at the discretion of union officials. With financial angels of such stature in the offing, it is little wonder that the Fabian Socialist movement in America prospered and that its influence grew out of all proportion to the modest size of its directive body: the League for Indushia1 Democracy.
At the present fume, the LID enjoys the positron of an elder statesman, having delegated many of its more active functions to kindred organizations colonized and steered by certified Socialist “collaborators,” past and present. Its own list of officers and directors for 1963 discloses a stable handful of old-timers plus a number of youthful newcomers, among them children and grandchildren of original members. For the moment, the League appears to be hardly more than an appendage of the needle trades unions, as it once seemed a mere pensioner of the Rand School. Nevertheless, it is still the senior body of Fabian Socialism in America, from which future dictates on Socialist fashions may be expected to issue. At any desired instant, it can spring to new life again, even though its current status may appear to some to be that of a has-been. Like the Fabian Society of London, the League for Industrial Democracy has always been one of the most underrated Socialist leadership groups in the world.
The fact is that the LID has been preparing ever since the end of World War II for what seems to be virtual retirement. Its star studded anniversary meetings of the nineteen-fifties were a series of premature swan songs. Already every one of those successor organizations had been founded and activated that were to adapt Fabian Socialism to the grandiose dimensions of the space age. These would transport the United States, by fast freeway, toward a shimmering goal which present-day Socialists call “total democracy” but which earlier, undisguised Marxists admitted was world-wide social revolution.
Appropriately, the LID conferred its 1963 award for distinguished service upon the aged Upton Sinclair, last surviving member of the group that issued the original call to the ISS in 1905. With his usual happy faculty for letting the radical cat out of the bag, it was Upton Sinclair who on another occasion revealed the tried-and-true route by which Fabian Socialism must travel to power in the United States. Experience had already shown, said he, that it would be done via the two-party system, rather than through any third party. “So I know,” announced Sinclair, “that it will be the Democratic Party and not the Socialist Party which will bring this great change to America. It will not be called socialism; its opponents will insist that it is communism, while its friends will know that it is industrial democracy.” (78)
1. In 1928 Roger Baldwin, longtime Executive Director of the ACLU, stated flatly: “I believe in revolution–not necessarily the forcible seizure of power in armed conflict, but the process of growth of class movements determined to expropriate the capitalist class and to take control of all social property. Being pacifist–because I believe non-violent means best calculated in the long run to achieve enduring results, I am opposed to revolutionary violence. But I would rather see violent revolution than none at all, though I would not personally support it because I consider other means far better. Even the terrible cost of bloody revolution is a cheaper price to humanity than the continued exploitation and wreck of human life under the settled violence of the present system.” Roger Baldwin, “The Need for Militancy,” The Socialism of Our Times, edited by Harry W. Laidler and Norman Thomas, A Symposium. (New York, The Vanguard Press, Inc., 1929.) For the League for Industrial Democracy (based on a Conference of the League for Industrial Democracy held at Camp Tamiment in June, 1928), p. 77.
2. See Appendix IV.
3. Freedom Through Dissent, 42nd Annual Report, July 1, 1961 to June 30, 1962 (New York, American Civil Liberties Union, 1962), p. 51.
4. Daily Worker (April 20, 1950).
5. Ibid. (December 13, 1961).
6. The Worker (July 16, 1961).
7. Ibid. (December 17, 1961).
8. The Wanderer, St. Paul, Minnesota (December 14, 1961).
9. Freedom Through Dissent, 42nd Annual Report, July 1, 1961 to June 30, 1962 (New York, American Civil Liberties Union, 1962), p. 26.
10. Ibid., p. 22.
11. Ibid., p. 58.
12. Los Angeles Times (February 12, 1962).
13. Associated Press dispatch (March 5, 1962).
14. San Francisco Chronicle (August 19, 1963). This Conference also passed resolutions calling for diplomatic and trade relations with Castro’s Cuba.
15. Freedom Through Dissent, 42nd Annual Report, July 1, 1961 to June 30, 1962 (New York, American Civil Liberties Union, 1962), p. 80.
16. David Edison Bunting, Liberty and Learning (Washington, American Council on Public Affairs, 1942), p. 11.
18. Members of the Committee on Academic Freedom were: Edward C. Lindeman. chairman, New York School of Social Works; Ellen Donohue, secretary, Ethical Culture School, New York; John L. Childs, Columbia University; Morris R. Cohen, City College of New York; George S. Counts, Columbia University; Charles A. Elwood, Duke University; Frank P. Graham, University of North Carolina; Sidney Hook, New York University; Horace M. Kallen, New School for Social Research; William H. Kilpatrick, Columbia University; K. N. Llewellyn, Columbia University; A. O. Lovejoy, Johns Hopkins University; Kirtley F. Mather, Harvard University; Alexander Meiklejohn, University of Wisconsin; Felix Morley, Haverford College; Alonzo F. Meyers, New York University; William A. Neilson, Smith College; Reinhold Niebuhr, Union Theological Seminary; James M. O’Neill, Brooklyn College; Frederick L. Redefer, Progressive Education Association; Vida D. Scudder, Wellesley College; L. L. Thurstone, University of Chicago; Mary E. Wooley, Mt. Holyoke College. Bunting, op. cit. (Starred names are cited by Mina Weisenberg as League for Industrial Democracy stalwarts. See Appendix II.)
19. Statement of American Council on Public Affairs, 1942.
20. R. N. Baldwin and C. B. Randall, Civil Liberties and Industrial Conflict (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1938), p. 3.
22. R. N. Baldwin, “Freedom to Teach.” Proceedings of the 1936 Spring Conference of the Eastern States Association of Professional Schools for Teachers (New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1936), p. 324.
23. Roger N. Baldwin, “What Democracy Means to Me.” Scholastic (December 18, 1937), Vol. XXXI, p. 27.
24. Italics had been added, but is now removed.
25. Forty Years of Education (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1945), p. 15.
26. Margaret Cole, The Story of Fabian Socialism (London, Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd., 1961), p. 347.
27. Norman Thomas, Democratic Socialism, A New Appraisal (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1953), p. 4.
28. Freedom and the Welfare State. A Symposium by Oscar R. Ewing, Herbert H. Lehman, George Meany, Walter P. Reuther and others. Harry W. Laidler, ed. On the Occasion of the 45th Anniversary of the League for Industrial Democracy (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1950), p. 34.
29. Ibid., p. 35. Among others sending greetings or serving as sponsors in addition to the LID’s Board of Directors, were: Premier Einar Gerhardsen of Norway, Norman Angell, Stuart Chase, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Senator Paul H. Douglas, David Dubinsky, Quincy Howe, William A. Kilpatrick, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Mary K. Simkhovitch, Channing H. Tobias and Jerry Voorhis. Ibid., p. 37.
30. Ibid., p. 35.
31. Joseph Lash, together with Monroe Sweetland, later editor of the Oregon Democrat, and George Edwards, a future member of the bench in Detroit, were named by Mina Weisenberg in The League for Industrial Democracy: Fifty Years of Democratic Education (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1955), as leaders of the SLID during that period.
32. Congressional Record, House of Representatives (October 16, 1962), pp. 22124-22125.
33. Now the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers Union of America, with a membership said to exceed 1,000,000.
34. In Left Communism, an Infantile Disease, V. I. Lenin advised his followers: “It is necessary to agree to any sacrifice, to resort to all sorts of devices, maneuvers and illegal methods, to evasion and subterfuge, in order to penetrate the trade unions, to remain in them and to carry out Communist work in them at all costs.”
35. As recently as 1963, James Farmer was a member of the board of the adult League for Industrial Democracy.
36. Although a National Student Association report of September, 1953, stated that the Students’ League for Industrial Democracy was defunct, an official League brochure published in 1955, The League for Industrial Democracy At Mid-Century, reported that in June, 1954 the Students’ League held a conference on “The Patterns of Social Reform in North America” at the International Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New York. There a Canadian Member of Parliament addressed them from the same rostrum as C. Wright Mills, sociology professor from Columbia; Daniel Bell, labor editor of Fortune magazine; Felix Gross, sociologist from Brooklyn College and mark Starr, labor educator. (Speakers cited are listed by Mina Weisenberg as “collaborators” of the adult League.)
37. See Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the U. S., Special Committee on Un-American Activities, 78th Congress, Second Session. (Appendix, Part IX, Communist Front Organizations.) (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1944); also, Cumulative Index to Publications, 1938-1954 (January, 1955); Supplement to Cumulative Index, 1955-1960 (June, 1961).
38. See statement at the League’s 40th Anniversary dinner by the Hon. Newbold Morris, President, New York City Council. Forty Years of Education (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1945), pp. 39-40. In this speech Morris said: “Norman Thomas is a Socialist. Yet I don’t believe that there are very many principles which would remove Norman Thomas from a liberal in any party, and I suppose he chose the hard way. . . . He might have climbed the ladder by enrolling in either one of the major parties and going from Alderman to Sheriff, to Borough President, to Congressman, to United States Senator and so on all the way up. . . . There are a lot of others around here who have chosen the hard way and I admire them for it.”
39. Thomas, op. cit., p. 5.
40. Ibid., p. 8.
41. Ibid., p. 8.
42. Ibid., pp. 28-29.
43. Hugh Gaitskell, M. P., Socialism and Nationalisation, Fabian Tract No. 300 (July, 1956). In the foreword, Gaitskell states he wrote the essay in 1953 (the same year that Democratic Socialism appeared) but did not publish it until 1956.
44. Thomas, op. cit., p. 10.
45. Ibid., p. 9.
46. Ibid., p. 34. The Natural Law, implicit in the United States Constitution, recognizes the inherent right of human creatures to exist. Associations, being manmade, have no inherent rights and only exist permissively.
47. Ibid., p. 9.
48. Later The National Council of Churches, and affiliated today with the World Council of Churches.
49. Hearst Headline Service dispatch by David Sentner. Published September 1, 1963. Children of Light and Children of Darkness, published in 1945, is a collection of the West Foundation lectures delivered by Dr Reinhold Niebuhr at Stanford University in 1944. It is an argument for the “mixed economy” and “the open society,” regarded by Socialists as a transitional stage to Socialism. Only ten years earlier, in Reflexions on the End of an Era, (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1934). Dr. Niebuhr had said that the sickness of capitalism was “organic and constitutional”–rooted in “the very nature of capitalism . . . in the private ownership of the productive process.” He predicted that “the end of capitalism will be bloody rather than peaceful,” and considered Marxism “an essentially correct theory and analysis of the economic realities of modern society.” (See Reinhold Niebuhr: His Religious, Social and Political Thought, edited by Charles W. Kagley and Robert W. Bretall (New York, The Macmillan Co., 1956), p. 137.)
50. See Appendix II. See also annual lists of League for Industrial Democracy’s officers and board of directors.
51. Freedom and the Welfare State (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1950), pp. 7ff. British Fabian speakers on that occasion included Corley Smith, Economic and Social Counselor, United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations; Margaret Herbison, M. P., Under Secretary for Scotland; Toni Sender, Representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions to the United Nations, G. D. H. and Margaret Cole and Morgan Phillips of the Socialist International sent greetings.
52. Mark Starr, “Corruption in a Profit Economy,” A Moral Awakening in America, A Symposium (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1952), p. 22.
53. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1, 1948-May 31, 1950), p. 15. During that period, Mark Starr also helped to revise a new edition of Labor in America, a senior high school text, ibid., p. 15.
54. “Adult education” was a field in which Margaret Cole and her husband were active for years. It became her chief public function in 1951-1960, when she was chairman of the Further Education Committee of the London County Council, Fabian News (January, 1963).
55. Report of the American Fund for Public Service, popularly called the Garland Fund, 1925-28, states, “For the three-year period covered by this report, the enterprises to which we have given outright the largest amounts of money were: Vanguard Press, $139,453; Brookwood Labor College, $74,227; Rand School, research department, $16,116; League for Industrial Democracy, $10,500.” Cf. testimony of Walter S. Steele before the House of Representatives, Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States, Report of Committee (December, 1930), p. 226.
Steele’s testimony continues, as follows: “The Vanguard Series, issued by The Vanguard Press, was organized and financed by the American Fund for Public Service, Inc. and distributed by the Rand Bookstore. (The Vanguard Press was set up by the communist-socialist controlled American Fund for Public Service, Inc. It publishes communist-socialist literature for distribution. Its publications are also distributed by the Rand Press.”
Authors listed in the Steele testimony include: Karl Marx, V. Lenin, Peter Kropotkin, Franz Oppenheimer, Henry George, Benjamin R. Tucker, Robert Blatchford (British Independent Labour Party), Clarence L. Swartz, James Peter Warbasse, Jesse W. Hughan, Alexander Berkman, Charles H. Wesley, Coleman Hayes-Wood, A. S. Sachs, Scott Nearing, Robert W. Dunn, Upton Sinclair.
56. See Appendix II. Also annual lists of LID officers and directors.
57. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1948-May 1950), p. 28.
58. Ibid., p. 30.
59. Ibid., p. 29.
60. Ibid., p. 30.
61. Ibid., p. 25.
62. Ibid., p. 15.
63. Ibid., p. 31.
64. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1951-May 1953), p. 14.
65. Ibid., p. 26.
66. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1948-May 1950), p. 18.
67. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1951-May 1953), p. 27. (See also report, The Ultra Right and the Military Industrial Complex, published by the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation and submitted with a covering letter by Norman Thomas to the Special Preparedness Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Hearings before the Subcommittee, Part 6, 1962, pp. 3016 ff. In this document, Socialists protest against permitting conservative speakers to address the Armed Services.)
68. See Appendix II.
69. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1948-May 1950), p. 30.
70. Loc. cit., pp. 58-64. (See account of functions of New Fabian Research Bureau in Part I, Fabian Freeway.)
71. Report of Education Department, ILGWU (June 1948-May 1950), p. 10. Numerous other visits by Margaret Cole and members of the London Fabian Executive are unrecorded in union publications.
72. Ibid., p. 15.
73. Ibid., p. 26.
74. Ibid., p. 32.
75. Italics had been added, but is now removed.
76. Report of Education Department, ILGWU, (June, 1951-May, 1953), p. 27. (In this connection, Herald Tribune article of January,1952, is cited.)
77. Mark Starr, “Garment Workers: Welfare Unionism,” Current History, July, 1954. Reprint by ILGWU, pages unnumbered.
78. Forty Years of Education (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1945), p. 16.