Labor and Farmer Parties in the United States, 1828-1928

By Nathan Fine | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE SOCIALIST PARTY PROGRAM

IN the twenty years that the Socialist Party occupied the center of the stage of the independent political movement of the producers of America there were two sharply divided tendencies represented by two groups within the organization. They called each other impossibilists and opportunists, reds and yellows, revolutionists and reformists. On some of the more fundamental party issues they were divided as follows:

RevolutionistsReformists
A violent revolution is inevi-
table.
There is a possibility of a
peaceful transformation.
The final conflict should be
chiefly emphasized.
The immediate demands must
receive most attention.
The proletariat must be made
class conscious.
All classes and groups must be
aroused, in addition to the
wage earners.
The party must emphasize the
class struggle.
The intensity of the class
struggle is not so great in
the United States.
The party must advocate indus-
trial and revolutionary union-
ism.
The party must be neutral, al-
though industrial unionism
is preferable.
The party must support the
I. W. W. and opposition
unions.
The party must be neutral; it
should help sound, progres-
sive unions.
The party must be thoroughly
democratized by placing all
power in the hands of the
rank and file.
The party must be democratic
and also efficient; the voice
of the people is not the voice
of God.
The party must be run by pro-
letarians, with rotation in of-
fice; low salaries to party
workers.
The party must be run by
those most competent regard-
less of class origin, to con-
tinue in office, if fit; ade-
quate compensation.

-262-

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