Mother Earth Vol. IX. No. 9 (November, 1914). 273–280.
Volume 9 Issue 9
Kropotkin on the Present War
[Various rumors have been circulating in regard to Peter Kropotkin’s attitude toward the European War. Mother Earth so far ignored the rumors, in expectation of direct expression of opinion from Kropotkin himself. We now repreoduce from the London Freedom the letter written by Peter Kropotkin to the Swedish Professor Gustav Steffen—who had asked K. for his opinion—with the additions Kropotkin made in the three last paragraphs.]
You ask my opinion about the war. I have expressed it on several occasions in France, and the present events, unfortunately, only reinforce it.
I consider that the duty of every one who cherishes the ideals of human progress, and especially those that were inscribed by the European proletarians on the banner of the International Working Men’s Association, is to do everything in one’s power, according to one’s capacities, to crush down the invasion of the Germans into Western Europe.
The cause of this war was not Russia’s attitude towards the Austrian ultimatum, as the German Government, true to Bismarck’s traditions, has tried to represent it. Already on July 19 it was known among the West-European Continental statesmen that the German Government had definitely made up their mind to declare war. The Austrian ultimatum was the consequence, not the cause, of that decision. We thus had a repetition of Bismarck’s well-known trick of 1870.[†]
The cause of the present war lies in the consequences of the war of 1870-1871. These consequences were foreseen already in 1870 by Liebknecht and Bebel, when they protested against the annexation of Alsace and parts of Lorraine to the German Empire, for which protest they went to prison for two years. They foresaw that this annexation would be the cause of new wars, the growth of Prussian militarism, the militarisation of all Europe, and the arrest of all social progress. The same was foreseen by Bakunin,[§] by Garibaldi, who came with his volunteers to fight for France as soon as the Republic was proclaimed, and, in fact, by all the representatives of advanced thought in Europe.
We, who have worked in the different factions, Social Democratic and Anarchist, of the great Socialist movement in Europe, know perfectly well how the menace of a German invasion paralyzed all advanced movements in Belgium, France, and Switzerland, as the workers knew that the moment an internal struggle should begin in those countries, German invasion would immediately follow. Belgium had been warned of that. France knew it perfectly well without warning.
The French knew that Metz, of which the Germans had made, not a fortress for the defence of the territory they had appropriated, but a fortified camp for aggressive purposes, was within less than ten days’ march from Paris, and that on the day of a declaration of war (or even before that day) an army of 250,000 men could march out of Metz against Paris, with all its artillery and train.
Under such conditions a country cannot be free, and France was not free in her development, just as Warsaw is not free under the guns of the Russian citadel and the surrounding fortresses, and Belgrade was not free under the Austrian guns of Zemlin.
Since 1871 Germany had become a standing menace to European progress. All countries were compelled to introduce obligatory military service on the lines it had been introduced in Germany, and to keep immense standing armies. All were living under the menace of a sudden invasion.
More than that, for Eastern Europe, and especially for Russia, Germany was the chief support and protection of reaction. Prussian militarism, the mock institution of popular representation offered by the German Reichstag and the feudal Landtags of the separate portions of the German Empire, and the ill-treatment of the subdued nationalities in Alsace, and especially in Prussian Poland, where the Poles were treated lately as badly as in Russia—without protest from the advanced political parties—these fruits of German Imperialism were the lessons that modern Germany, the Germany of Bismarck, taught her neighbors and, above all, Russian absolutism. Would absolutism have maintained itself so long in Russia, and would that absolutism ever have dared to ill-treat Poland and Finland as it has ill-treated them, if it could not produce the example of “cultured Germany,” and if it were not sure of Germany’s protection?
Let us not be so forgetful of history as to forget the intimacy that existed between Alexander II. and Wilhelm I., the common hatred they displayed for France, on account of her efforts to free Italy, and their opposition to the Italians themselves when in 1860 they sent away the Austrian rulers of Florence, Parma, and Modena, and Florence became the capital of Italy. Let us not forget the reactionary advices which Wilhelm I. gave to Alexander III. in 1881, and the support his son gave to Nicholas II. in 1905. Let us not forget either that if France granted to the Russian autocracy the loan of 1906, it was because she saw that unless Russia succeeded in reforming her armies after the Manchurian defeat, she would be doomed to be torn to pieces by Germany, Italy, and Austria leagued against her. The events of the last few weeks have proved already how well-founded were these apprehensions.
The last forty-three years were a confirmation of what Bakunin wrote in 1871, namely, that if French influence disappeared from Europe, Europe would be thrown back in her development for half a century. And now it is self-evident that if the present invasion of Belgium and France is not beaten back by the common effort of all nations of Europe, we shall have another half-century or more of general reaction.
During the last forty years, a Franco-German war was all the time hanging over Europe. Bismarck was not satisfied with the crushing defeat inflicted upon France. He found that she was recovering too rapidly from her wounds. He regretted not having annexed the province of Champagne, and not having taken an indemnity of fifteen thousand million francs instead of five thousand million. On three different occasions Alexander II. and Alexander III. had to interfere in order to prevent the German imperialists from assailing France once more. And the moment they began to feel themselves strong as a sea-power, the Germans took it into their heads to destroy the maritime power of Britain, to take a strong footing on the Southern shores of the Channel, and to menace England with an invasion. The German “reptile Press” is saying now that by sending their wild hordes to sack and burn the cities of Belgium and France they are fighting Russia; but I hope there is nobody stupid enough to believe this absurdity. They conquer Belgium and France, and they fight England.
Their purpose is, to force Holland to become part of the German Empire, so that the passages leading from the Indian Ocean into the Pacific, which are now held by the Dutch, should pass into German hands; to take possession of Antwerp and Calais; to annex the Eastern portion of Belgium, as well as the French province of Champagne, so as to be within a couple of days only from the capital of France. This has been the dream of the German “Kaiserists” since the times of Bismarck, long before there was a rapprochement between France and Russia, and this remains their dream.
It was not to fight Russia that Germany in 1866 laid her hands upon Denmark and annexed the province of Schleswig-Holstein. It was not against Russia, but against France and England, that Germany has built her enormous navy, that she dug and fortified the Kiel Canal, and established the military seaport of Wilhelmshafen, where an invasion of England or a raid upon Brest and Cherbourg can be prepared in full security and secrecy. The tale of fighting Russia on the plains of France and Belgium, which is now repeated by the German Press, has been concocted for export to Sweden and the United States; but there is not a single intelligent man in Germany itself who does not know that the foes who were aimed at lately were Britain and France. The Germans themselves made no secrecy of it in their conversations and their works on the coming war.
The decision of declaring the present war was taken in Germany as soon as the works on the enlargement and the fortification of the Kiel Canal had been terminated in a great hurry this summer, on June 20. But the war nearly broke out in June, 1911—we knew it well here. It would have broken out last summer, if Germany had been ready. Last February, the coming of the present war was so evident that, being at Bordighera, I told my French friends that it was foolish of them to oppose the three years’ military law, while Germany was busily preparing for war; and I advised my Russian friends not to remain too late in the German watering-places, because war would begin as soon as the crops would be ready in France and in Russia. In fact, only those who buried their heads in the sand, like ostriches, could go on without seeing it themselves.
Now we have learned what Germany wants, how extensive are her pretensions, how immense and detailed were her preparations for this war, and what sort of “evolution” we have to expect from the Germans if they are victorious. What their dreams of conquest are, we have been told by the German Emperor himself, his son, and his Chancellor. And now we have heard, not only what a drunken German lieutenant or general can say to justify the atrocities committed in Belgium by the German hordes, but what a leader of the German Social Democratic Party, Dr. Sudekum, delegated by his own party to the workers of Sweden and Italy, had the impudence to say to excuse the barbarities committed by the German Huns in the Belgian villages and cities. They committed these atrocities because civilian inhabitants had fired upon the invaders in defence of their territory!! For a German Social Democrat this is quite enough! When Napoleon III. gave the same excuse to account for the shooting of the Parisians on the day of his coup d’etat, all Europe named him a scoundrel. Now the same excuse is produced to account for infinitely more adbominable atrocities, by a German pupil of Marx!
This gives us the measure of the degradation of the nation during the last forty years.
And now let every one imagine for himself what would be the consequences if Germany came victorious out of this war.
Holland—compelled to join the German Empire, because she holds the passages from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, and “the Germans need them.”
Most of Belgium annexed to Germany—it is already annexed. An immense, ruinous contribution levied, in addition to the already accomplished pillage.
Antwerp and Calais becoming military ports of Germany, in addition to Wilhelmshafen. Denmark—at the mercy of Germany, to be annexed the moment she would dare not serve the aggressive plans of the Germans, which plans are bound to extend, as they have extended since the successes of 1871.
Eastern France—annexed to Germany, whose new fortresses will then be within two or thre day’s march from Paris. France will be thus at the mercy of Germany for the next fifty years. All French colonies—Morocco, Algiers, Tonkin—taken by Germany: “We have no colonies worth twopence: we must have them,” said the elder son of Wilhelm the other day. It is so simple—and so candid!
Having opposite her shores a string of German military ports along the south coast of the Channel and the North Sea, what can be the life of the United Kingdom but a life entirely ruled by the idea of a new war to be fought, in order to get rid of the standing menace of an invasion—an invasion being no longer impossible now, as the aggressor would have at his service big liners, submarine boats, and the aircraft.
Finland—becoming a German province. Germany has been working at that since 1883, and her first steps in the present campaign show where she is aiming at. Poland—compelled definitively to abandon all dreams of national independence. Are not the rulers of Germany now treating the Poles of Pozen as badly as, if not worse than, the Russian autocrat? And are not the German Social Democrats already considering the Polish dreams of national revival as stupid bosh! Deutschland uber Alles! Germany above all!
But enough! Every one who has any knowledge of European affairs and the turn they have taken during the last twenty years will himself complete the picture.
“But what about the danger of Russia?” my readers will probably ask.
To this question, every serious person will probably answer, that when you are menaced by a great, very great danger, the first thing to do is to combat this danger, and then see to the next. Belgium and a good deal of France are conquered by Germany, and the whole civilization of Europe is menaced by its iron fist. Let us cope first with this danger.
As to the next, is there anybody who has not thought himself that the present war, in which all parties in Russia have risen unanimously against the common enemy, will render a return to the autocracy of old materially impossible? And then, those who have seriously followed the revolutionary movement of Russia in 1905 surely know what were the ideas which dominated in the First and Second, approximately freely elected Dumas. They surely know that complete home-rule for all the component parts of the Empire was a fundamental point of all the Liberal and Radical parties. More than that: Finland then actually accomplished her revolution in the form of a democratic autonomy, and the Duma approved it.
And finally, those who know Russia and her last movement certainly feel that autocracy will never more be re-established in the forms it had before 1905, and that a Russian Constitution could never take the Imperialist forms and spirit which Parliamentary rule has taken in Germany. As to us, who know Russia, from the inside, we are sure that the Russians never will be capable of becoming the aggressive, warlike nation Germany is. Not only the whole history of the Russians shows it, but with the Federation Russia is bound to become in the very near future, such a warlike spirit would be absolutely incompatible.
But even if I were wrong in all these previsions, although every intelligent Russian would confirm them,—well, then there would be time to fight Russian Imperialism in the same way as all freedom-loving Europe is ready at this moment to combat that vile warlike spirit which has taken possession of Germany since it abandoned the traditions of its former civilization and adopted the tenets of the Bismarckian Imperialism.
It is certain that the present war will be a great lesson to all nations. It will have taught them that war cannot be combatted by pacifist dreams and all sorts of nonsense about war being so murderous now that it will be impossible in the future. Nor can it be combatted by that sort of antimilitarist propaganda which has been carried on till now. Something much deeper than that is required.
The causes of war must be attacked at the root. And we have a great hope that the present war will open the eyes of the masses of workers and of a number of men amidst the educated middle classes. They will see the part that Capital and State have played in bringing about the armed conflicts between nations.
But for the moment we must not lose sight of the main work of the day. The territories of both France and Belgium must be freed of the invaders. The German invasion must be repulsed—no matter how difficult this may be. All efforts must be directed that way.
Reply to Kropotkin
By Alexander Berkman
We could not at first credit the report that Peter Kropotkin, our old comrade and teacher, took sides in the war. It was tragic enough to witness the Socialists and other radicals of Europe swept off their feet by the murderous blast that is turning Europe into a human slaughter house. But the attitude of the Social Democrats could at least be explained to some extent: they have remained good patriots and believers in the State and authority, with all the prejudices and narrow attitude of bourgeois morality and nationalism.
But Kropotkin—the clear Anarchist thinker, the uncompromising revolutionist and anti-governmentalist—he take sides in the European slaughter and give aid and encouragement to this or that government? Impossible! We could not believe it—till we read Kropotkin’s own statement in the Jewish Anarchist weekly—the Freie Arbeiter Stimme—and the letter reprinted above.
It is a most painful shock to us to realize that even Kropotkin, clear thinker that he is, has in this instance fallen a victim to the war psychology now dominating Europe. His arguments are weak and superficial. In his letter to Gustav Steffen he has become so involved in the artificialities of “high politics” that he lost sight of the most elemental fact of the situation, namely that the war in Europe is not a war of nations, but a war of capitalist governments, for power and markets. Kropotkin argues as if the German people are at war with the French, the Russian or English people, when as a matter of fact it is only the ruling and capitalist cliques of those countries that are responsible for the war and alone stand to gain by its result.
Throughout his life Kropotkin has taught us that “the reason for modern war is always the competition for markets and the right to exploit nations backward in industry.”
In the letter to Professor Steffen, Kropotkin strangely fails to mention the working classes of the contending powers. He speaks a great deal of the military ambitions of Prussia, of the menace of German invasion and similar governmental games. But where do the workers come in in all this? Are the economic interests of the working classes of Europe involved in this war, do they stand to profit in any way by whatever result there might be, and is international solidarity furthered by sending Russian and French workers to slaughter their brother workers in German uniform? Has not Kropotkin always taught us that the solidarity of labor throughout the world is the cornerstone of all true progress, and that labor has no interest whatever in the quarrels of their governmental or industrial masters?
Kropotkin dwells on the menace of Prussian militarism, and on the necessity of destroying it. But can Prussian militarism be destroyed by the militarism of the Allies? Does not the militarism of a country—of any country—ultimately rest on the consent of the people of that country, and has not Kropotkin always argued that the revolutionary consciousness and economic solidarity of the workers alone can force capital and government to terms, and ultimately abolish both?
Surely Kropotkin will not claim that carnage, rapine and destruction advance the civilization of one country as against that of another. He has always emphasized that real culture—in the sense of social liberty and economic well-being—rests with the people themselves, and that there is no difference in the true character of government, whatever its particular form. Indeed, he has repeatedly said that the “liberal” governments are the more subtle and therefore the more dangerous enslavers of humanity.
We regret deeply, most deeply, Kropotkin’s changed attitude. But not even the great European catastrophe can alter our position on the international brotherhood of man. We unconditionally condemn all capitalist wars, with whatever sophisms it may be sought to defend the one or the other set of pirates and exploiters as more “libertarian.” We unalterably hold that war is the game of the masters, always at the expense of the duped workers. The workers have nothing to gain by the victory of the one or the other of the contending sides. Prussian militarism is no greater menace to life and liberty than Tzarist autocracy. Neither can be destroyed by the other. Both must and will be destroyed only by the social revolutionary power of the united international proletariat.
Wars and Capitalism
By Peter Kroptokin
[No better answer can be made to Kropotkin’s changed attitude than his own argument against war written in 1913, as follows.]
I. Industrial Capitalism
In 1883, when England, Germany, Austria, and Roumania, taking advantage of the isolation of France, leagued themselves against Russia, and a terrible European war was about to blaze forth, we pointed out in the Révolté what were the real motives for rivalry among states and the wars resulting therefrom.
The reason for modern war is always the competition for markets and the right to exploit nations backward in industry. In Europe we no longer fight for the honor of kings. Armies are pitted against each other that the revenues of Messrs. Almighty Rothschild, of Schneider, of the Most Worshipful Company of Anzin, or of the Most Holy Catholic Bank of Rome may remain unimpaired. Kings are no longer of any account.
In fact, all wars in Europe during the last hundred and fifty years were wars fought for industrial advantage and the rights of exploitation. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the great industries and world commerce of France, backed by her navy and her colonies in America (Canada) and Asia (in India), began to develop. Thereupon England, who had already crushed her competitors in Spain and Holland, anxious to keep for herself alone the monopoly of maritime commerce, of sea-power, and of a Colonial Empire, took advantage of the Revolution in France to begin a whole series of wars against her. From that moment England understood what riches a monopolized outlet for her growing industry would bring in. Finding herself rich enough to pay for the armies of Prussia, Austria and Russia, she waged during a quarter of a century a succession of terrible and disastrous wars against France. That country was compelled to drain herself in order to withstand these wars, and only at this price was she able to uphold her right to remain a “Great Power.” That is to say, she retained her right of refusing to submit to all the conditions that English monopolists endeavored to impose upon her to the advantage of her own commerce. She upheld her right to a navy and to military ports. Frustrated in her plans for expansion in North America, where she lost Canada, and in India, where she was compelled to abandon her colonies, she received in return permission to create a Colonial Empire in Africa on condition that she did not touch Egypt; she was permitted to enrich her monopolists by pillaging the Arabs of Algeria.
Later on, in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was Germany’s turn. When serfdom was abolished as a consequence of the uprisings of 1848, and the abolition of communal property compelled young peasants in a body to leave the country for the town, where they offered themselves as “out-of-works” at starvation wages to the Masters of Industry, Industry on a large scale began to flourish in several German states. German manufacturers soon got to understand that if the working classes were given a good technical education they would rapidly overtake great industrial countries like France and England—on condition, be it well understood, of obtaining for Germany advantageous outlets beyond her frontiers. They knew what Proudhon had so well demonstrated: that a trader can only succeed in substantially enriching himself if a large portion of his produce is exported to other countries, where it can be sold at a price not obtainable in the country where it was manufactured.
Since that time, in all the social strata of Germany—those of the exploited as well as those of the exploiters—there was a passionate desire to unify Germany at all costs: to build up a powerful Empire capable of supporting an immense army and a strong navy, which would be able to conquer ports in the North Sea and the Adriatic, and some day ports in Africa and the East—an Empire which would be the dictator of economic law in Europe.
For this plan to succeed, it was evidently necessary to break the strength of France, who would have resisted, and who at that time had, or seemed to have, the power of preventing its execution.
From these circumstances resulted the terrible war of 1870, with all its sad consequences as regards universal progress, which we suffer from even today.
By this war and this victory over France, a Germanic Empire—the dream of Radicals, State Socialists, and partly of Germanic Conservatives since 1848—was at last constituted. And this Empire made itself felt and its political power recognized, as well as its right to lay down the law in Europe.
Germany, on entering a striking period of juvenile activity, quickly succeeded in doubling and trebling her industrial productivity, and soon increasing it tenfold; and now the German middle classes covet new sources of enrichment in the plains of Poland, in the prairies of Hungary, on the plateaus of Africa, and especially around the railway line to Bagdad—in the rich valleys of Asia Minor, which can provide German capitalists with a laboring population ready to be exploited under one of the most beautiful skies in the world. It may be so with Egypt also some day.
Therefore, it is ports for export, and especially military ports in the Mediterranean Adriatic and in the Adriatic of the Indian Ocean—the Persian Gulf—as well as on the African coast in Beira, and also in the Pacific, that these schemers of German colonial trade wish to conquer. Their faithful servant, the German Empire, with its armies and ironclads, is at their service for this purpose.
But at every step these new conquerors meet with a formidable rival—England bars the way.
Jealous of keeping her supremacy on the sea, jealous above all of keeping her colonies for exploitation by her own monopolists, scared by the success of Germany’s colonial policy and rapid development of her navy, England is redoubling her efforts in order to have a fleet capable of infallibly crushing her German rival. England looks everywhere for allies to weaken the military power of Germany on land. And when the English press sow alarm and terror, pretending to fear a German invasion, they well know that danger does not lie in that quarter.
What England needs is the power to despatch her regular army to where Germany, in accord with Turkey, might attack a colony of the British Empire (Egypt, for instance). And for this purpose she must be in a position to retain at home a strong Territorial army ready to drown in blood, if necessary, any working-class rebellion. For this reason principally military arts are taught to young bourgeois, grouped in squads of “scouts.”
The English bourgeoisie of to-day wants to act towards Germany as it twice acted towards Russia in order to arrest, for fifty years or more, the development of that country’s sea-power—once in 1855, with the help of Turkey, France, and Piedmont; and again in 1904, when she hurled Japan against the Russian fleet and against Russia’s military port in the Pacific.
That is why for the past two years we have been living on the alert, expecting a colossal European war to break out from one day to another.
Besides, we must not forget that the industrial wave, in rolling from West to East, has also invaded Italy, Austria, and Russia. These states are in their turn asserting their “right”—the right of their monopolists to booty in Africa and in Asia.
Russian brigandage in Persia, Italian plunder of the desert Arabs around Tripoli, and French brigandage in Morocco are the consequences.
The Concert of brigands, acting in the service of the monopolists who govern Europe, has “allowed” France to seize Morocco, as it has “allowed” England to seize Egypt; it has “allowed” Italy to lay hold of a part of the Ottoman Empire, in order to prevent its being seized by Germany; and it has “allowed” Russia to take Northern Persia, in order that England might secure a substantial strip of land on the borders of the Persian Gulf before the German railway can reach it.
And for this Italians massacre inoffensive Arabs, French massacre Moors, and the hired assassins of the Tsar hang Persian patriots who endeavor to regenerate their country by a little political liberty.
Zola had good reason for saying: “What scoundrels respectable people are!”
The Economic Army
By Guy A. Aldred
ll armies are recruited on their stomach, from that of Salvation to that of Kitchener. This fact explains many anomalies in connection with the present war. Faced with “the bullet” from his job, the average worker turns to face the bullet on the battlefield. Our masters are not ignorant of this fact. Large firms have discharged their male employees between the ages of eighteen and thirty, with a view to compelling them to enlist. Lord Derby has dismissed from his stables every unmarried man who has refused to enlist. Other employers have circularized their staff as to the causes and consequences of the war. This document promises immense trade and much employment in the event of Germany being crushed. It threatens loss of both should the Kaiser prove victorious. Urges every able-bodied man to take up arms, and demands to know what the staff individually is going to do about it. The London breweries called upon unmarried men in their employ to join the army immediately, or take a week’s notice. Lastly, the Local Government Board advised the local distress committees to grant no relief to single men, within the prescribed ages, and physically fit for enlistment. This is how a worker has been, and is recruited. Poverty made Charles Bradlaugh a Dragoon. It is making lesser men into Kitchener’s conscripts.
“The conditions of life among British workers,” said the Railway Review for December 13, 1912, “precludes them from taking any interest in their country. Their whole time is spend in making sufficient money to keep them alive. Millions of their number exist on the abyss of pauperism. During this exceptional prosperous year, there has never been less than 300,000 men and women out of work. In bad times the number is increased to a million or more. Men, women and children, too, to our eternal shame, are sweated nearly to death in heated factories for wages which do not provide them with a sufficient quantity of the necessities of life, luxuries they dare not dream about. Under our present industrial system, workers’ lives are wasted as recklessly as ever they are wasted on the field of battle. A shunter on the railway runs thirteen times more risk than a soldier did in the South African Campaign. In 1911, there were 4,306 workmen killed, and 167,650 injured; ponder on these figures, and then try to imagine what the average workman, who daily runs the risk of losing his life or limbs, must think, when he is asked to vote for compulsory service, so that he may repel a foreign enemy.”
To-day he does not need to vote for conscription. He enjoys it without the vote. Hunger has compelled him to rally to the flag. On the battlefields of France, he may ponder how little political power a wage-slave possesses. He may reflect how the economic drive has impelled the recruiting agents to their task. We are thinking, in this connection, of the following Labor M. P.’s: Will Crooks, Will Thorne, G. Barnes, and Arthur Henderson. These worthies represent the Labor Party on the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, and are appearing, up and down the country, on the same platforms as Earl Curzon, the Marquis of Lincolnshire, J. F. Remnant, M.P., T. MacKinnon Wood, Winston Churchill, F. E. Smith, F. E. Wilde, C. F. G. Masterman, etc. All tried and trusted friends of labor!
On the eve of the war, Henderson issued, in conjunction with Keir Hardie, on behalf of the British Section of the International Socialist Bureau, a manifesto against the conflict. This asserted that the success of Russia would be a curse to the world. We do not see how it can be either worse or better than the success of Prussia. Certainly, we have no sympathy with the absurd pro-German-government attitude adopted by Keir Hardie. But we would have maintained it, had we been convinced once that it was true. Not so Henderson, he is working his hardest to secure the triumph of Russia. So are Barnes, Thorne, and Crooks. Even Ramsey MacDonald—who stood out with Keir Hardie against the war after it was declared—has addressed a letter to the Mayor of Leicester applauding the recruiting campaign. This, though he has explained that the war only aims at substituting Tzarism for Kaiserism. The cause of this debacle is economic. Labor M.P.’s, also, are among Kitchener’s conscripts.
Pursuit of the logical working-class course of opposition to the war, recruiting for it, and the interests behind it, would have meant empty coffers both now and in the future. There would have been no paid spectacular platform appearances to-day. There would have been no safe seat, no governing class votes, at the next general election. That £400 a year would cease in consequence. All this had to be considered.
Very similar consequences would have attended deliberate silence, in face of the capitalist agitation, and certain craft labor interests involved.
Cannot we understand, then, why the Labor Party has placed the services of its National Agent at the disposal of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee to assist in the necessary secretarial work? It has forgotten the snub administered by the King and his advisers in connection with the Royal “Home Rule” Conference. Only the force of economic compulsion can explain such toadying.
With the platforms and press controlled by the capitalist class, there was but one comfortably popular path to take. This was to recruit. It promised immediate finance at a time of threatened famine. It guaranteed the future.
Support is lent to this assertion by the manifesto issued by the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress. This document congratulates the Labor Party upon its recruiting activities. It adds that, unless the voluntary system affords enough recruits, the demand for conscription would become so persistent and so strong, as to become irresistible. It thinks that this prospect should stimulate recruiting.
Lord Haldane, when Secretary for War, avowed that universal military training would be possible after the next great war. It does not follow that the response to Kitchener’s Appeal, however great, will stay the attempt to foist conscription upon us. It might accelerate it. As long as possible, however, our Labor Leaders must avoid a crisis. They are obliged to follow the line of least resistance—and pray that decisive action, indicating real opinion, may never be necessary. Rushing up recruits may avert the evil day. It at least staves it off. So the present form of economic conscription is applauded, by Trade Union Leaders—who are also conscripts.
To drive men into the Army, by telling them that if they do not, they will be forced to join, is conscription. The issue is not between the sham voluntary system and the full-blown coercive one; not a question of marking time, but of going forward. We are not so anxious to cherish volunteering as to abolish capitalism. All who fear the coming moment of action are slaves, who, owing to their incapacity to conquer true freedom, are most willing to surrender even the pretence of liberty. So long as they maintain their jobs, what does the cause of the commonwealth matter?
Organized labor takes its stand on the craft struggle, not the class struggle. It wishes to regulate its wages, not to free itself. It consents to lose its life in its efforts to solve it. The job alone is its principle. Union conditions reconcile it to the blatant murder howl, “My Country, Right or Wrong.” Wages made the construction of death’s battery right in time of peace. They justify it now—in time of war and depression, when few jobs are going, and money is a consideration. Engineers are interested in the protection of ammunition hoists and the studding of machine-faced scarphed joints. Boilermakers are concerned also in the studding of armor-plate. So keen has been the competition for this work, that the demarcation disputes between the two organizations of skilled labor have led, often, to threats of strike. When we add that coppersmiths, braziers, and other metal-workers also gain their livelihood in dockyards and armament factories, it can be seen that Mr. Barnes represents not only his economic interests in boosting recruiting, but also that of organized labor, as represented by the Engineers, Boilermakers, Coppersmiths, and Sheet Metal Workers Societies. He represents their needs as wage-workers, their power to accumulate Union funds, the living of their secretaries.
Will Thorne, again, represents the East End of London, the needs of its misery, the call of its degradation. Here was constructed in 1911, at the Thames Shipbuilding Works, the Super Dreadnought, the battleship “Thunderer,” which the Archbishop of Canterbury launched. To the inhabitants of Canning Town, the construction of this vessel meant the subsistence level, the bread line. When the warship work was lost to the Thames, the West Ham member, in company with Lord Roberts, addressed a huge protest meeting, demanding the work for London as opposed to Newcastle. So with Will Crooks. He applauds the war, and represents an industrial constituency interested in the creation of armaments.
Last year it was reputed that Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. supported 120,000 men, women and children by the Newcastle-on-Tyne works alone—that is, about a third of the city’s whole population. Which means lively working class, and trade union working class, interests in war scares. The call for certain literature means work for those engaged in printing it. Without a revolution, the compositors, linotype operators, etc., cannot control the printing presses in the interests of labor. So long as their demand is for wages or better conditions, their interest is with the market. They are glad to print the recruiting appeals, glad to print war scares, glad to see the papers rushing out—regardless of their contents. Opposition to such work, indeed, would militate against the well-being of the armament workers, would affect their livelihood, and disorganize the entire trade union movement. So organized labor works against its own emancipation; gives no heed to the character or purpose of its production; and is very anxious to discover a blackleg in the printer of every radically-socialist magazine. Dreading the development of militarism, the workers eke out their miserable existence by promoting it.
Similar relations between capital and labor exist in Germany. Similar results are seen. The interest of the German workers, as commodity sellers, unites them with the assassin profit interests of the German ruling class. Nowhere do the real interests of the workers as a class enter into the consideration. Nowhere do they come together as a class. To do so, would be to precipitate the revolution, to declare war on all class society, its industrial despotism, its hypocritical political superstructure. It would be to proclaim all international well-being; to wreathe the universe in sunny smiles, to rock the world with joyous laughter, to banish want from every clime, restore to maidenhood its modesty, to youth its innocence; to maturity, all healthy endurance, to old age, a sweet evensong, to all things the high mysterious charm of worth.
That charm is but a vision, a dream of unreality, to-day. Leaving the un-fine arts for the intrigues of labor, we have the international shammed in the international federations of the workers. But yesterday, our brother-secretary of the pottery workers of Germany, affiliated to the pottery-workers of England, sent his greetings, and evidence of his union’s solidarity. To-day, our brother-secretary is at the front, fighting his brother-secretary from England. By the same mail, a common brother-secretary in America received their greetings—despatched ere their departure for the front. He writes a Canadian brother, stating: “Our brothers are at the front.” At the front? Yes! What, fighting the common foe? No, fighting each other! Still, they are our brothers in the international, members of the same union. Let us wish them luck. Let us send them our trade union greetings.
In North London resides a family whose father is a German, whose mother is English. The two eldest sons, born in Germany, have returned thither to join the German Army; the two younger sons, both of whom were born in England, have joined the British Army and have gone to the front. Like trade union brothers, they have joined the firing line.
Not that the trade union brothers are hypocrites. Only their international is a wage’s international, not a freeman’s federation. Potters join hands with potters across the frontiers—to keep up the potter’s wages; carpenters with carpenters, and so on with the textile, transport, tobacco, wood, boot and leather, and factory workers; with the tailors, saddlers, lithographers, furriers, etc. Sincerely they wish each other well. Heartily they would support wage-struggles in other industries—after their own! But their own industry comes first, and they do not consider the effect of their success upon the lot of the other workers. Slaves of the market, they rejoice in its briskness. Where they are concerned in the manufacture of guns and warships, the workers in Krupp’s rejoice with those in Vicker’s, at the war-scares which keep them in bread. They internationally organize on the strength of the busy time, and greet each other with affection. All they want is a fair price—for their labor power. When war comes, and distress prevails, then they are still glad to make the means of their own destruction; for work means less want. During the recent years of “Dreadnought” clamor, the National Society of Coppersmiths, Braziers, and Metalworkers, has been active, trying to secure better conditions for coppersmiths working in Home and Foreign Dockyards! Ben Tillett has supported the armed nation theory—and secured work for members of the Dockers’ Union, digging trenches! At the next strike, we shall hear Tillett and others abusing Thomas Atkins. Shall we forget that trade unionism has helped to promote this war? Has drawn its wages from circulating the interested lies of the warmongers? Has paid its leaders out of gun-making? Has armed, clothed, and cheered Tommy to the front—both in Britain and Germany? Shall we forget that the elect of Labor has assisted in crushing its fellows into the barrack room? That it wishes to perpetuate the system—on the prostitute’s terms, the best possible price?
Capital alone, is not responsible for this war, labor has done its share. We know Dean Inge, that gloomy light of St. Paul’s Cathedral, has derived profit from his interest in the British manufacture of Austrian torpedoes. We know the Postmaster-General, the Colonial Secretary, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Mr. Asquith’s brother-in-law, the Under Secretary for War, are among his confreres in this infamy. But were trade unionists unwilling to turn out Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Chilian, Turkish, Brazilian, Argentine and British Warships in our dockyards? Or did they rejoice to think that Vickers’ Automatic rifle-calibre gun had been adopted by five governments? Was it not pleasing to their international that the standard rate of wages was paid in the Canadian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Portugese, and other works of the British Armament Trust?
The wage-labor object of the workers’ international has compelled it to back, at one and the same time, the German “Flottenverein” or Navy League, and also the British Navy League: Pan-German and Pan-British on the same grounds, for the same reasons. Thus the international trade union movement is, itself, the recruiting office for the Kaiser’s Army as well as Kitchener’s Army. Could folly reach lower depths of outrage?
Dr. Ludwig Franck, Social Democratic member for Mannheim, died fighting at Luneville—for the Kaiser’s cause!
Men not only think from their stomach. They listen from it. Interviewed in London, the end of last year, Professor Delbrück, told the Daily Mail representative:
Germany for the past fifteen years has been a country of immigration, not of emigration, and her excellent school and university system is producing every year a surplus of educated men. If we possessed more territories inhabited by inferior races, their administration and development would afford to this educated surplus the same kind of occupation and employment that Englishmen of a similar class find in Egypt or India.
We can complete the picture for ourselves. Patriotic lectures—at so much a lecture, journalistic exploitation of commercial antagonisms—at so much a column. International trade union subserviency to the national concentration of capitalist rivalries. Endangerment of the fatherland, and death of Franck. What if he had opposed the sentiment of the economic interests which swept him on to his doom, in company with so many German workers? We know the consequences. Franck was an economic conscript.
Try to relieve the picture by a reference to those native Indian troops and the seven princes who have accompanied it to the front. Surely this is no economic army. Pause—and inquire, ere you assert too much. Consult the Treaties, Engagements and Sanads published under the authority of the British Government in India. Consider how the political occupancy of India followed on its economic exploitation. Remember that Anglo-Indian officialdom objects to constitutional government in the native states, on the grounds that the chiefs personally are responsible to the British Government for efficient management, and that they cannot divide their responsibility with their subjects. As early as 1820, in an official communiquè, No. XXVI, found on page 142, of volume VI, of the book mentioned, the Gaekwar of Baroda is told:
With regard to internal affairs Your Highness is to be unrestrained, provided you fulfill your engagements to the bankers, of which the British Government is guarantee. The Resident is, however, to be made acquainted with the plan of finance which Your Highness shall determine on at the commencement of each year. He is to have access to the accounts whenever he requires it, and is to be consulted before any new expenses of magnitude are incurred. The guarantees of the British Government to ministers and other individuals must be scrupulously observed. Your Highness is to choose your own minister, but to consult the British Government before you appoint him.
The other native rulers are less independent even than the Gaekwar of Baroda, more completely under British domination. None of their troops are, individually, economically free agents; and Anglo-India does not wish them to enjoy any pretences, even, to the position of political citizenship. What sane man can consent to view them other than as conscripts?
We have seen then the economic army is in its process of evolution; have noted its many ramifications. It is for capitalism to take the bull by the horns, to proceed to its militaristic crisis, and to proclaim compulsory military service. Lord Glenconner—brother-in-law of Mr. Asquith, an interested party in the Nobel Dynamite Trust, who derived profit from arming Germany and Austria—as an officer of the National Service League, would urge it on to this extreme. It is not for us to say him nay. We are prepared to welcome the conflict. Our reply will be to assert the first line of revolutionary offence. The capitalist bid for the final slavish recognition of its complete authority, its absolute supremacy, will meet with no talk of an economic army. It shall discover a revolutionary one. Quietly and firmly, each Socialist must decline to serve the murder cause, but refuse to handle a rifle at the bidding of the ruling class. We can do no less than this. We shall do much more. If violence is to be the final arbiter of rights, the workers will decide on the arbitration in their own way, on their own day, for their own cause—the establishment of the world-wide Socialist Republic, the Anarchist Commonwealth.—The Spur, London.
The Persecution of Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger, publisher and editor of that brave little paper, The Woman Rebel, has been indicted by the Federal government on several charges of using the mails to circulate literature of an “obscene, lewd and lascivious character.”
The charges are based on the announcement by the editor of her intention to publish scientific information for the enlightenment of her readers in the matters of sex. Other indictments were also returned on the contents of articles in previous issues of The Woman Rebel, dealing with birth control, the need of preventative means and similar subjects of vital interest to working women and as well as to workingmen.
I know that those who still believe in the spook of “enlightened” and “free” government will not agree with me when I say that the government is logical in trying to suppress such information. Government is both the reflex and the handmaid of capital. Neither government nor capital can exist without a plentiful supply of “hands,” of workers to be exploited in factory or army. Now, if the workers should take it into their own hands consciously to reduce the size of their families, to check their birth rate, it would mean that they would before long lose control of the labor market. The supply of “hands” would then depend on the workers themselves, instead of on the employers, as is now the case. That would be giving labor a dangerous weapon that would threaten to a great extent the profits of capital.
Capitalism cannot be expected calmly to face such a possibility. Its ally and servant, government, comes to the rescue: all information that might tend to produce such a dire calamity must be withheld from the workers. The law must suppress it. It will not do, of course, for a “free” government like that at Washington, to say that working men and women are forbidden to decide for themselves how many children they should have. Of course, the woman, even the working woman, is free in this country. She owns her own body. Do we not punish the cadet, the pimp? Woman must own her own body, unless, of course, she is given away to man in legal wedlock. But controlling the birth rate is another matter. It is “interference” with natural laws and processes, hence immoral. Eureka, we have it! A law must be passed against immorality. And if immorality is illegal, then all information that might lead to such immorality is obscene, lewd and pernicious. The agitation of Margaret Sanger must be stopped!
From the premises of its interests, law and capital are perfectly consistent. But the wolf is also quite consistent in devouring the lamb. Is it any reason, however, why the workers should remain patient lambs?
It is up to the workingmen and working women of this country to defend their interests. It is decidedly to their interest to know how to keep from having too large families. The average worker cannot support decently even one child. Is his wife or sweetheart to go on bearing undesired children only because they don’t know how to prevent their coming? Surely every worker should be interested in gaining the necessary knowledge. Science supplies it, and there is only one reason why the workers do not use means of prevention: ignorance, lack of information. Any one who enlightens them in this matter is doing a humanitarian work in the broadest sense.
It is to the interest of every workingman and working woman to come to the aid of Margaret Sanger, a courageous and determined woman, who is seeking to help the workers even at the risk of imprisonment.
We urge immediate action. It is not so much a question of financial aid or mere lip protest. But if all those who secretly practice prevention, and those who believe in the need of spreading this information, would have the courage to voice their opinions openly and loudly, there would rise such a volume of indignation against the persecution of Margaret Sanger that the government would not dare railroad her to prison, as it now threatens to do.
Anarchy— Absence of government; disbelief in, and disregard of, invasion and authority based on coercion and force; a condition of society regulated by voluntary agreement instead of government.
Black Friday of 1887
By Max Baginski
It shall never be forgotten that on the 11th of November, 1887, four men were hanged in Chicago because by spoken and written word they voiced their conviction that the wealth of this country is owned by a handful of non-producers and that the liberty of the republic is a mere sham. Their crime consisted in saying to the poor, “You are being robbed and exploited,” and telling the people that the republic is a refuge for a thousand big and small despots. They wrote and spoke the truth. But wherever the truth is spoken, the masters have ever been afraid that it would lead to Anarchy. That was the reason why they demanded the blood of our comrades. Had the Chicago martyrs conformed to patriotic convention, had they joined in hurrahing for our wonderful institutions, had they lied and exploited, they would still be alive and respected as model citizens. They might even be found worthy to be honored by President Wilson as Peace Commissioners to the Colorado mine regions, the Tsardom of the Rockefellers.
Hail to them that they did not join the chorus. Hail to us that in the dead of Waldheim we have forerunners who set us the example how rebels should live, struggle and die. Revolutionists are mortal, but immortal are liberty and revolution. These did not perish on the 11th of November on the gallows of Chicago. They march on, through this and other lands, towards their goal.
The Haymarket bomb and the Eleventh of November are the subject of a chapter in the recent book by Charles Edward Russell, These Shifting Scenes.
The chapter is an elaboration of notes that Russell had made while a newspaper reporter at the time of the Haymarket events. He was then connected with the New York World.
Two things distinguish him as a Socialist historian of “The Haymarket Bomb and After”: the spirit of the labor movement of the ’80’s is totally foreign to him, and he understands but very little of the character of August Spies, Albert Parsons and their comrades. The rich bourgeoisie of America understood them much better than Russell. Hence their furious determination to make a bloody example of the spokesmen of the Chicago movement—at any cost: by means of perjury, bribery and packed juries.
The eight-hour movement, especially in Chicago, was then strongly permeated with social-revolutionary, anti-political tendencies. The strikes initiated on the 1st of May, 1886, bore the character of the General Strike. It was the economic power of labor that gave open battle to capital. During the first few days of the strike more than fifty thousand men joined the movement. It spread daily like wildfire. The workers were inspired by the spirit of what today is known as Syndicalism. A great number of employers were forced to grant the demands of the strikers. August Spies in those days described in the columns of the Arbeiter Zeitung how the politicians sought to steal into the movement in order to use it for their own interest and that of the bourgeoisie. They were bitterly disappointed when they learned that it was not a question of political gain, but a direct economic struggle—a social war. Similarly disappointed were the political tricksters of the Knights of Labor. Under the pretext that the movement was un-American they stabbed it in the back and later openly applauded the shameful trial of Spies and comrades.
Against such a movement, which could not be politically corrupted or bribed, no other policy would be successful—thought the leading capitalists of the time—except the mailed fist of the State and Law. They saw their privileges and profits in danger. Therefore they raised the cry of Anarchy, confident thus to secure the voluntary and paid support of the press, and to have the police and courts on their side.
They knew how to set about it. Immediately after the Haymarket explosion several hundred prominent capitalists came together to form the “Citizens’ Association” with the object of annihilating Anarchy. Within a very short time they collected over a hundred thousand dollars. It was this blood-money that was chiefly responsible for the judicial murder of the Chicago Anarchists. In that pile of gold lay rooted the moral incentive of that arch-scoundrel, Police Captain Schaack, and his fellow criminals.
This all-important phase of the trial Russell misses entirely. He says that he has wondered whether Captain Schaack’s “delusions resulted from a kind of self-hypnotism or mere mania.” We suspect very strongly that Schaack suffered not at all from “delusions.” What he thirsted for was recognition, advancement and money, especially money. To accomplish this purpose he fed that collective ass, public opinion, with the most shocking tales of Anarchist conspiracies, dynamite and bombs, and Anarchist armies that raged to destroy the beautiful city of Chicago. He was the pet of the good citizens, and the proceedings of the trial showed that large sums of money were put at his disposal which he used to buy the perjured testimony of “eye-witnesses.”
Had Charles Edward Russell even an iota of class-consciousness in his guts, he would have understood the situation a good deal better, but the development of Socialism into petty political trading and election maneuvers makes class-consciousness on the part of Socialist representatives superfluous. Russell sees in the Black Friday of 1887 only the tragic result of misunderstanding between men and classes. He writes: “The letters are red and smeared, but they are sufficiently legible; and the first thing they tell is what may come when men will not make the least effort to understand one another, while one class accumulates a sense of injustice and another unlimited power.”
Cheap reform twaddle. But that is the Socialism of today.
An experienced old journalist gave Russell at the beginning of his career this professional advice: “Be interested but not concerned.” The advice evidently did not fall on stony ground. Even now, with Russell the journalist keeping modestly in the background to make room for Russell the Socialist, the effect of the advice is apparent. The characterization of August Spies, and especially of Louis Lingg, as given by Russell, might have come from the pen of any reporter who is only “interested.” Russell was so interested in Louis Lingg he was very anxious to interview him; but Lingg refused. Of this experience Russell writes: “To any question or remark he (Lingg) was wont to respond with a silent stare of malignant and calculating hatred, rather disconcerting, and I think that in those days few strangers observed him without a secret feeling of relief that he was on the other side of the steel bars.”
The “silent stare of malignant and calculating hatred” is not difficult to explain. Lingg knew the “kept press” long before Russell ever dreamed of using the term. He knew that reporters and detectives are often made of the same piece, and as he considered his death sentence a foregone conclusion, he had no use for the imps and pimps of public opinion.
In another place Russell refers to Lingg as a “wild beast.” This “wild beast” was of that proud, uncompromising revolutionary character that is too far removed from reporter souls for the Russells to understand. Lingg wrote a few days before the executions, in reference to the proposed appeal for pardon: “I consider it beneath my dignity to consent, even by silence, to a pardon which must react harmfully on the whole labor movement.”
One must be somewhat “concerned” to understand such an attitude.
The author of These Shifting Scenes has probably written many good newspaper stories, but that does not necessarily prove that he understands anything about the psychology of the social revolutionist.
Russell repeats the old legend that Lingg had manufactured the Haymarket bomb and that Rudolph Schnaubelt threw it, without the least attempt to verify or prove the oft-repeated story. He also says that Schnaubelt “made his way to Germany, there to live and die in peace.” As a matter of fact, Schnaubelt never lived in Germany, nor is he dead. Certain it is that he emphatically protests against the story of his bomb-throwing.
At the end of the chapter on the Haymarket bomb, Russell has the following to say on Anarchism: “It remains now as it was on May 4, 1886, the delusion of a few diseased or unbalanced minds, which, if they had not this, would be obsessed of some other form of dangerous dementia.”
It is clear that Charles Edward Russell, the Socialist candidate for United States Senate, will not be too good, in case of emergency, again to write for some capitalist magazines or newspapers. He still knows the password to take him back inside the walls of Law, Order and undisturbed sterility of mind.
Our Dead of Waldheim, we greet you as the torchbearers of indomitable revolutionary life force.
My Lecture Tour
As announced in the last issue, I am about to start on a lecture tour. So far the following schedule has been arranged:
Pittsburgh, Nov. 12th and 13th.
Allgheny and other towns in the vicinity, Nov. 14th up to 21st.
Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 22nd, afternoon and evening.
Akron, Nov. 25th.
Toledo, Nov. 26th.
Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 28th.
Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 29th, afternoon and evening.
Chicago and vicinity, Dec. 6th-18th.
Madison, Wis., Dec 19th.
Milwaukee, Dec. 20th.
St. Louis, Dec. 23rd to end of the year.
I will speak on Anti-Militarism, Anarchism, the Labor Struggle, etc. Among my talks will be: 1. War—At Home and Abroad. 2. Unemployment and War. 3. War and Culture. 4. The War of the Classes. 5. Is Labor Justified in Using Violence? 6. Crime—In and Out of Prison. 7. The Psychology of Crime and Prisons.
One of the objects of my tour is to aid the comrades, in the cities I visit, to organize anti-militarist leagues and to help strengthen and federate existing Anarchist groups.
I hope to hear at once from those interested, and it would please me very much also to meet our comrades and sympathizers in the places I visit in an informal, fraternal way.
Emma Goldman's Dates
Chicago. East End Hall, Erie and Clark Streets.
•November 1, 8:30 P. M.: The Psychology of War.
•November 8, 8:30 P. M.: Religion and the War.
•November 15, 8:30 P. M.: The Czar and “My Jews.”
Chicago Drama Dates. Assembly Hall of the Fine Arts Bldg.
•Tuesday, November 3: The French Drama— ◦Eugene Brieux: The Red Robe.
◦Paul Hervieu: In Chains.
◦Henry Beque: The Vultures.
◦Henry Bataille: Plays.
•Thursday, November 5: The Italian and Spanish Drama— ◦Gabrielle D’Annunzio: The Daughter of Jorio
◦Guiseppe Giacosa: Sacred Ground.
◦Jose Echegaray: The Great Galetto.
•Saturday, November 7: The English Drama— ◦George Bernard Shaw: Mesalleance and Fanny’s First Play.
◦Charles Rann Kennedy: The Idol Breaker.
◦John Galsworthy: The Mob.
•Tuesday, November 10: The American Drama— ◦Plays of Butler Davenport, George Middleton and others.
•Thursday, November 12: The Jewish Drama— ◦Jacob Gordin: The Slaughter.
◦Sholem Ash: The God of Vengeance.
◦David Pinsky: The Zwee Family.
◦Max Nordau: A Question of Honor.
•Saturday, November 14: The Russian Drama— ◦Maxim Gorki: Summer Folk.
◦Anton Tchekhov: The Three Sisters.
◦Leonid Andreyev: The Life of Man and Savva.
Course tickets, reserved seats, including a year’s subscription to Mother Earth, $3.00; single ticket, 50 cents.
After that, I shall lecture in
•Grand Rapids, Mich., Nov. 18th and 19th.
•Detroit, Nov. 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
•Ann Arbor, Nov. 21st, afternoon and evening.
•Peoria, Ill., Nov. 26th (Thanksgiving Day), afternoon and evening.
•St. Louis, Nov. 29th—December 6th, inclusive.
Communications will reach me: In Chicago, Van Cluse Apts, 2446 Michigan Ave. In Grand Rapids, c/o Wm. Buwalda, R. R. 3., Hudsonville, Mich. In Detroit, c/o Yetta Bienenfeld, Shore Line Station 52, Roseville, Mich.
About dates for other cities, communicate with me at once.
Van Cluse Apts., 2446 Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill.
Special Note for St. Louis
Friends—I shall be in your city from Nov. 28th to Dec. 6th. I will hold propaganda meetings Sunday, Nov. 29th, and Sunday, Dec. 6th, afternoon and evening. For the week of Nov. 30th to Dec. 5th, a drama course has been suggested, which is to consist of 6 lectures on The Social Significance of the Modern Drama. The price of the course, including one year’s subscription to Mother Earth, will be $2.00. Single admission 35 cents.
It will be the first time that a drama course is to be tried in St. Louis, and with your help, comrades, it ought to be as good a success as in other cities. Tickets and all information to be had from Mrs. Cecilia Lasersohn, 4045A Cleveland Ave.