Sir: While the editors of The New Republic may not regard it as complimentary, it is true nevertheless, that your magazine performs the function that a genuine Socialist paper should perform. It is critical of contemporary life without being emotionally intoxicated. At the same time it is critical of the organization which seeks to remedy the conditions. Your issue of December 2nd excelled in both these regards. The reforms advocated in your editorial How Can the Socialist Party Live, though highly speculative have the merit of being based on genuine defects of the organization. However, in a blundering way, the Socialist party has sought to improve itself in the manner suggested, and in so far as they have carried out the policy, their membership has diminished.
Mr. Simons, in The Future of the Socialist Party, is perhaps a little too anxious, yet he has shown keen penetration in analyzing the situation and has made some wonderful generalizations. Many workingmen, like myself, have given up their activity in the Socialist party on account of the influex of academicians, preachers, middle-class politicians, and the Home Rule Irish, with their preachments and tricks to foster middle class morality. To-day, they are the dominant factor in the Socialist party, almost to the exclusion of the workingman’s influence. Mr. Benson was an anachronism—muckraker, with a socialist label. The Chicago party is owned, body, boots and breeches, by academic down-and-outs, clientless lawyers, and the Home Rule faction of the Catholic Irish.
Of course, these misfits should have a forum to air their grievances, but workingmen who fully realize that their labor is bought and sold on the market in exactly the same way as
pig-iron, chewing gum and bibles, will not long consent to furnish the excuse and the means of their furthering their political ambitions. And lastly, Mr. Editor, workingmen are not interested or at best, only sympathetically interested, in the cause of Home Rule, the progress of the German arms, or the inroads of Modernism among Catholics, and whether or not Mr. Kennedy, in 1917 A.D., retains his seat in the City Council.