Views & Comments Number 15, July 1956
Who Killed Cock Robin? by G.V.B.
“Crisis In The Middle East”—An Answer by Reuel S. Amdur
Resolution on Membership and Organization
Concentration Camps for Americans
The Benefits of Free Enterprise by GWR
Oppression Returns to Argentina
Kropotkin—Excerpts from a letter:
Published by the Libertarian League
813 Broadway, New York 3, N. Y.,
P.O. Box 949, 920 Third Avenue, Seattle 4, Wash.
What We Stand For
Two great power blocs struggle for world domination. Neither of these represents the true interests and welfare of Humanity. Their conflict threatens mankind with atomic destruction. Underlying both of these blocs are institutions that breed exploitation, inequality and oppression.
Without trying to legislate for the future, we feel that we can indicate the general lines along which a solution to these problems can be found.
The exploitative societies of today must be replaced by a new libertarian world which will proclaim—Equal freedom for all in a free socialist society. “Freedom without socialism leads to privilege and injustice; “Socialism” without freedom is totalitarian.
The monopoly of power which is the state must be replaced by a world-wide federation of free communities, labor councils and/or co-operatives operating according to the principles of free agreement. The government of men must be replaced by a functional society based on the administration of things.
Centralism, which means regimentation from the top down, must be replaced by federalism, which means co-operation from the bottom up.
THE LIBERTARIAN LEAGUE will not accept the old socio-political cliches, but will boldly explore new roads while examining anew the old movements, drawing from them all that which time and experience has proven to be valid.
Every Friday at 8
813 Broadway (between 11th & 12th Sts.) New York City
Who Killed Cock Robin? by G.V.B.
(Reprinted from STUDENT APPEAL, Vol. 1, Issue VI)
The characters, places and events depicted in this story are wholly fictitious. Any relation to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.
He slumped in his favorite chair and glanced at the Times. The words wandered off the page. Try as he might he could not focus his mind on the newspaper. He rustled the paper then placed it aside and reached for his pipe.
“John, what’s the matter?” his wife asked anxiously.
“Nothing dear—not a thing.” He filled the pipe and began fumbling through his pockets for a match. Mrs. Deering somewhat reluctantly resumed her reading.
Dr. Deering stared at the dull red embers in the fireplace.
“John, there’s something you haven’t told me. Is it the college?”
“Now Judy, there’s nothing wrong. Just a little incident involving a teacher.”
“What happened,” she asked quietly. He glanced about his comfortable living room.
“Well, the teaching appointment of Dr. Manning—you know the sociology teacher—wasn’t renewed.”
“Is that all?” she persisted. He shifted his heavy bulk in the chair.
“Only that there are rumors,” rumors, he thought, muttering to himself, then continued “that his reappointment was withheld because of his investigation into the alleged discrimination at the college.”
“Oh...” she added, “John, I hope you’re not involved in—-”
“No damn it, I’m not,” he blazed. “I’m not involved, but I should be.” He sank back in the chair and puffed furiously at his pipe.
“John, it’s none of your business—I mean we have to consider our own position,” she concluded somewhat lamely.
“I know, I know. But still it stinks. Eight years ago they tried to intimidate Stanley and nearly succeeded; four years ago they succeeded in pressuring Miss Oswald into leaving the college and now this,” his voice trailed off. I know what I should be doing, he thought. The man’s being railroaded out of the college. There was no other way to rationalize his dismissal. He left the chair and walked toward the telephone.
“John!” He turned and stared at his wife. “Whom are you going to call?”
“Henry and Don. I have to let them know whether I’ll join in a protest.” She threw her book on the chair.
“Use your head, where will it get you?” She buried her head in her hands. “If you support Dr. Manning, the college will hold it against you. Don’t be foolish—-”
She began to sob. Her husband played with the phone.
“But Judy the man’s been fired just because he tried to investigate the admissions procedure. He needs help,” he pleaded.
“Listen to me John,” her voice was firm now, all pretense of crying gone, “when we were struggling through college and graduate school no one helped us. We did it alone. Now you have a decent job with a chance for advancement and you’re willing to throw it all up for someone you hardly know.” Her voice was icy, final. John shrugged his shoulders. He wracked his mind for a plausible, convincing argument.
“Judy, honey, it’s not just Manning I’m worried about. If they can fire him, what about me?”
And the other faculty members, he observed ruefully to himself. “We have to stick together.”
“Talk sense, John. The administration has all the weapons and you know it.” She walked to the table and picked up a cigarette. “If you stood up for Manning, they would withhold your merit bonus,” she paused, “we can’t afford to lose $500.”
No, he thought savagely, we live in the ritzy section of town. Prestige... Can’t even afford decent food—except for company after we make the mortgage payment. He slammed his hand against the phone and strode back into the room.
“And what about a promotion? Do you want to be an Associate Professor all your life?” She snapped the lighter and held it to the cigarette. He faced her—uncertain, not knowing what to say. She sensed this and seized the advantage.
“We have children, John. And I mean to have more. Play the hero, but it will be at the expense of your family.” His eyes wandered hopelessly around the room. She continued triumphantly. “And the retirement money—are you going to throw that to the wind for the sake of your childish principles?” She walked closer to him. “Answer me—are you?”
“I don’t know—” he stammered. He studied her livid face, firm and sure. His inadequacy welled in him. She continued to stare at him. Finally he lowered his eyes and sat down, his head buried in his hands.
The phone rang. She walked briskly to it and picked it up.
“It’s for you, John, Dr. Johnson.” He arose quietly and walked slowly to the phone. His wife handed him the receiver, her eyes searching his face.
“Henry? Fine, I was just going to call,” he paused, “No, I don’t think I’ll join you.” The word hung in the air, bounced about his head. He listened, “No, there’s nothing we can do, Henry. I’m sorry, I feel as bad about it as you do.” More words, more phrases. “They have the power, Henry.” He listened, said good-bye, gently placed the receiver down and then turned back to the room, His wife was quietly reading once more, a contented expression on her face. She looked up.
“Thank you, John.”
He garbled a reply, turned and walked upstairs.
From our Readers
“Crisis In The Middle East”—An Answer by Reuel S. Amdur
I guess that there can be pro-Israel libertarians, just as there can be Catholic ones, but it is surprising to see their stuff unsigned in V & C.
To sum up briefly, the relationship of the countries of the Near East to the big power blocs, Israel is firmly in the U.S. camp (not the least reason being her dependence on American Jewish charity). The West is trying to woo the Arab bloc which has begun to show too much independence: it need not even worry about Israel. Russia is wooing the Arabs because by doing so she is helping disintegrate the western bloc. Only in the long run does this mean the establishment of Arab “people’s democracies.”
Israel itself is in the Near East but not of it. It conceives of its proper role as that of “one big ghetto.” Arabs are second-class citizens—even in the trade unions. Of the Arabs that fled Palestine during the fighting (partly through direct Irgun and Stern Gang terror), few have been allowed to return. Most live in miserable camps along the border on near-starvation diets.
The kibbutzim are all political. Most are of pro-U.S. socialist affiliation (the government Mapai party). Others are affiliated to one of the two Stalinoid parties, to the Stalinists, to religious parties, and some even to the fascist Horut. The kibbutzim are generally bureaucratic and sectarian. People are thrown out or forced out for refusal to go along with ruling doctrine on the nature of the Soviet Union, etc. (shades of the SWP!) all are Zionist except the Stalinist ones.
Here are some points that might be raised by a real libertarian program for the area:
1. Down with the boundaries! Allow the refugees to go home!
2. Toward a unity of Arab and Jew on the basis of an international program of revolt against the ruling classes and western hegemony. For a revolutionary opposition to both Russia and the U.S.
3. Democratize the kibbutzim and end their narrow chauvinism.
4. Full freedom for minorities.
Resolution on Membership and Organization
Adopted by the New York Group of the Libertarian League, June, 1956.
The N.Y. Group of the Libertarian League is not a central, executive committee, nor does it have any authority over other Libertarian League groups or members outside of New York. However, on an interim basis it attempts to function as a coordinating and organization committee. People in other localities adhering to our ideas as expressed in the League’s Provisional Declaration of Principles are invited to constitute local groups which will function autonomously. Individuals in localities where there is no local group may affiliate to the nearest existing one, or may join the L.L. as members at large.
As soon as possible, a general conference should be held to establish the L.L. on a truly federated basis.
As a relatively new ideological grouping, the L.L. must at present, of necessity, devote most of its efforts to general propaganda activity. The concrete forms that this will take depend on the particular circumstances. The League operates within the environment of today’s society and its approach to problems must be realistic. We must not allow ourselves to become isolated sectarians nor should we consider ourselves the ready-made basis of the Libertarian society.
Views and Comments is the official publication of the Libertarian League. It is presently edited by the New York Group with the advice and assistance of members and sympathizers elsewhere, as a means of establishing contact, coordinating our propaganda activities, etc.
The Provisional Declaration of Principles is not a completely detailed position for the League in all matters and will ultimately have to be further elaborated. Its purpose is to serve as a minimum basis of general agreement required of all applicants for membership. Those unable to agree on these minimum requirements will make better sympathizers than members. We cannot afford to tear ourselves apart periodically, re-discussing the things that we consider fundamental and indispensible to the creation and building of a serious organization.
Ideological agreement is not the only consideration. Individuals who wish only to use the organization as a means of expressing their own egos have no place in it. Those who are temperamentally so individualistic as to be unable to work effectively with others would constitute a detriment to the group and a hindrance to its work.
Libertarian League members should belong to and be active in labor unions, student organizations, community groups, etc. They should, within said organizations, always present positions consistent with Libertarian ideology.
In general, all members of the Libertarian League are expected to contribute actively to the work of the League. Inactivity without sufficient cause, in the opinion of the group, shall be grounds for being dropped from membership. Every member of the League should serve on at least one committee or carry out some other specific activity for the organization. Honorary members who fulfill no useful function are a luxury we cannot afford.
Our movement is judged by outsiders; not only by its stated ideological positions, which they may or may not know or understand, but also by the public behavior of its members. It is the duty of all League members to so conduct themselves as to reflect credit on our movement. Every individual has his own idiosyncrasies, special personality traits, likes and dislikes to which we as Libertarians consider that he is entitled. However, the movement that we strive to build is more important than any single individual, and if such characteristics are such as to hinder his usefulness to the movement or of a nature to discredit the movement, such a person should not be admitted to membership in the League.
Business meetings of the League shall be attended only by members of the organization. Individual non-members may be invited to sit in on particular meetings by invitation of the group. Membership dues are set at one dollar per month.
A prospective member shall be given a copy of the Provisional Declaration of Principles and other explanatory material relating to membership requirements. A committee of three designated by the group will meet with the applicant to determine his eligibility based on his beliefs, sincerity and stability. The findings and recommendations of the committee will be reported back to the group for action at its next regular meeting.
In voting on new members, at least one half of the membership of the group must be consulted. Absentee votes will be sought and counted. Three or more negative votes will constitute a rejection. Prospective members are not to be present at either of the two meetings at which their application is being considered.
Some Comments on Money by GWR
An Associated Press dispatch from London dated June 1 describes the latest exploits of the famous Lady Docker. As thousands of English workers join the worldwide ranks of unemployed her ladyship spent $21,280 for an automobile to replace the three gold-plated cars she had to surrender when her husband lost his “position” in a melee of power politics at the Birmingham Small Arms Corporation.
Those same small arms are being used to murder Cypriot and African rebels at this very moment. But Lady Docker, with not so much as a thought for the blood staining her income, sipped pink champagne and told the reporter:
“I would have had the seats covered with mink, but mink is too hot to sit on.”
This cute little incident brings to mind the American novelist Frank Rourke, now living on the Costa Brava of Spain, who, when he learned that the profits on his latest novel could not be taken out of England, bought a Rolls Royce “for the laughs” as he so winningly expressed it.
How the Spanish people, hungry and oppressed, must love our boy Frank! No, Frank won’t win any popularity contests in Spain. The best he can hope for if he stays in Spain is that his neighbors will be too busy with their tragic struggle for freedom to bother pushing him into the drink. But Frank won’t stay. The rats always desert the sinking ship.
The Author and the Lady: two of a kind.
“I do not wish to return from my present prison to a prison a little larger. I wish to break all prisons.”
Concentration Camps for Americans
According to the McCarran Emergency Detention Act of 1950, in the event of an invasion, declaration of war or insurrection, “the President is authorized to make public proclamation of the existence of an ‘Internal Security Emergency’... Whenever there shall be in existence such an emergency, the President, acting through the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to apprehend and by order detain... each person as to whom there is reasonable ground to believe that such person probably will engage in, or probably will conspire with others to engage in, acts of espionage or of sabotage.”
Neither this Act nor any other that I have been able to find actually appropriates money for and authorizes the construction of concentration camps for the detention of the above described unfortunates. However, “During the year This Bureau established five new minimum-custody prison camps—at Florence and Wickenberg, Arizona; Tule Lake, California; Avon Park, Florida; and Allenwood, Pennsylvania. The immediate reason for opening these camps was to provide additional space which might be required under the provisions of the Internal Security Act of 1950 in the event of the invasion of the United States or its possessions, declaration of war or insurrection within the United States in aid of a foreign enemy.
“To meet our responsibilities under the act, abandoned Government installations were taken over and small camp units established to place them in repair and prevent deterioration. Prisoners considered trustworthy and whose places of residence were in the general areas of the camps were transferred to them from the other institutions. The population of the camps will be maintained by transfers and also by direct commitment of prisoners under short sentences. The prisoners will work on the repair and maintenance of buildings and also to a limited extent on agricultural projects.” Federal PRISONS 1952, a Report of the Work of the Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Department of Justice, James P. McGranery, Attorney General; Bureau of Prisons, James V. Bennett, Director.
“The provisions of the McCarron Bill are not merely ineffective and unworkable, they represent a clear and present danger” (President Truman’s Veto Message). Despite Truman’s public opposition to the Act, somebody authorized his Department of Justice to proceed with construction of camps which might be required under the provisions of the Act. Somebody informed James V. Bennett of his responsibilities under the Act that were not defined in the Act itself.
The New York Times of December 27, 1955, lists six camps in an article under the title “U.S. Keeps Detention Camps Ready.” The Federal Bureau of Prisons Report for 1954 lists nine prison camps. The Times list includes one not mentioned in the Bureau list, giving a total of ten concentration camps publicly admitted to exist. The total list includes: Allenwood, Pa.; Avon Park, Fla.; Florence, Ariz.; McNeil Island, Wash.; Mill Point, W.Va.; Montgomery, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; Tule Lake, Cal.; Wickenberg, Ariz.; El Reno, Okla.
“It is unfortunate that the term ‘concentration camps’ has been used in connection with these facilities” —Letter from James V. Bennett (Director of Bureau of Prisons)
The New York Times is generally assumed to be the least irresponsible of the big capitalist papers. I was shocked by the Times’ unruffled complacency in reporting, on September 23, 1950, the re-passage, over the Presidential Veto, of the McCarran Act. It was quite unaware that the Act destroyed at one blow the centuries-old Anglo-Saxon concepts of justice. Without conceding that “punishment” is a socially desirable concept, I should like to point out that under all previous Anglo-Saxon law you could be punished, not for being a specified classification of person (subversive, thief, etc.), but only for doing a specific act at a specific time and place (stealing a particular mink coat from a particular shop at a specified hour on a specified day).
The semantic absurdity of the new anti-legal concepts is clarified by assuming that burglary, say, operated like an administrative ukase against subversion. The cop would no longer have to catch you on the premises or with the stolen goods. He could merely get a statement from an unseen and unidentified person (maybe your mother-in-law, maybe a lunatic, an imbecile or a junkie) to the effect that you had been seen in the company of a person or persons suspected of being burglars (not of having committed any burglaries). You are then a burglar under-the provisions of law.
It is illogical enough to shift the burden of proof so that the accuser no longer is required to prove that the accused did something, but the accused must prove he did not do something, It is actually logically impossible to prove that you did not do something. I can prove that I do play pinochle, for example, simply by playing a game. But it is altogether impossible to prove that I never played pinochle at any time in the past. Even if I don’t know how to play the game, I could by lying; even if a flock of my friends and relatives swear under oath that I have never been a pinochle player, they could be lying. After all, pinochle players are notorious liars. I am caught in a logical trap.
The semantic nightmare goes off the deep end into sheer mania when you can be incarcerated for what some unknown person thinks you might do at some unspecified time in the future. If you can’t even prove that you never played pinochle in the past, it is altogether impossible to prove that you might never do anything at all, even say, commit murder in the future. Not you nor Congressman Walter nor Bernard Baruch nor anyone else can prove that under unforeseeable circumstances and pressures he might not murder some unpredictably provocative someone at some unknown future time. Shall we then, subject the entire population to the penalty for murder?
To return to the Times, it had become even more complacent by the end of 1955. Where the Act says “...such person probably will engage in... espionage or... sabotage,” the Times simply says “spies and saboteurs.” By 1954 a majority of the population was ready to put “Communists” in jail (Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties by Samuel A, Stouffer, Doubleday, N.Y., 1955). What do you suppose the man in the street will think is too good for spies and saboteurs during a period of Internal Security Emergency as officially proclaimed by Our Beloved Leader, the Generalissimo?
Anyone who has ever talked with an interned Nisei will appreciate the Times’ amiable summary: “After Pearl Harbor, for instance, a great many Japanese (sic) were rounded up and interned, some in one of the camps still maintained. It later was acknowledged that not all of them were disloyal or a menace to national security.” To refresh the Times’ memory, there were 20,000 men, women, children and babies at Tule Lake alone, and these people were not Japanese citizens, but Americans. Possibly those under one year of age were later acknowledged not disloyal.
How many potential subversives does the Department of Injustice count on housing? “The Civil Service Commission revealed today that it maintained a card index file with names of 2,000,000 persons ‘allegedly affiliated with some sort of subversive organization or activity,’” N.Y. Times, November 29, 1955. Now, if we generously assume that one out of every ten men, women, children and babies in the country has applied for a Civil Service job and thus got his name on Civil Service files, then we can extrapolate and find twenty million subversives in the population as a whole.
Either the Department has some unrevealed camps up its sleeve, or conditions will be rather more crowded than they were in Buchenwald.
The scanty available information about the concentration camps for Americans can be secured from: National Committee to Repeal the McCarron Acts, Room 509, 2 Stone St., New York 4, N.Y.
The Benefits of Free Enterprise by GWR
A small midwestern newspaper recently carried the following editorial:
“Salaries Are Not Always Wages
“It is noted in the news items that at least three top business leaders in the nation were paid $700,000 or more last year for their services in directing the firms with which they are associated. Many others receive salaries ranging down to a measly $100,000 or less. For the most part, these men are stockholders in the firms they serve. Otherwise they wouldn’t be receiving such pay.
“A laborer in the same industry may receive $4,000 annually. The pay ranges upward according to skill and service record with the company. It has, however, always seemed to some of us that the difference in pay between the top executive and the laborer is too far out of balance. The laborer puts in his eight hours a day. Grant that some industrialists work 16 hours a day. Grant also that the industrialist has a certain amount of skill and must invest his own money. It’s still difficult to see that the worth of the executive is 100 times or more that of the laborer. Each needs the other.
“But before we condemn the system, let us also remember that somehow or other the free enterprise system has helped greatly in building up this nation as the most prosperous country in the world. The balance may be slightly off, but the results are remarkable.”
It is always encouraging to see a spark of independent thought in the daily press, usually so nauseatingly servile to the interests of Big Business. However, even the author of the above had to qualify his attack on the capitalistic way of life with the last paragraph. Just so no one could mistake him for a libertarian.
Of course, the possibility exists that he never meant that last paragraph to be taken seriously, given the phrases “somehow or other” and “slightly off.” But when he says “the results (of “free enterprise”) are remarkable,” it would be hard to disagree. Certainly, its success in producing wars, colonialism, hatred, depressions and unemployment has been remarkable. That the high standard of living in the U.S. has been built on a low standard of living in all the rest of the “free world” must by now be obvious to many. And that our prosperity is only apparent must be just as obvious, particularly to farmers and auto workers. And soon it will be painfully obvious to everyone.
Oppression Returns to Argentina
Word has been received from Argentina of the arrest of Esteban del Mastro, editor of La Protesta, the oldest anarchist newspaper in South America.
This act of suppression by the so-called “liberators” of Argentina was the culmination of a series of arbitrary acts committed against our movement in that country. It began in April when the government prohibited a public meeting organized by the F.O.R.A. (Regional Workers’ Federation of Argentina). The F.O.R.A. was the only labor organization in Argentina to oppose Peron and his phony labor policies, and for its attitude it received the same bitter persecution from Peron that it is receiving now from those who deposed him.
Shortly afterwards a number of shipyard workers were imprisoned when they went on strike for the right to determine their syndical activities themselves, without interference.
Then the plumbers went on strike, and the police went to the homes of the strikers, arrested them and also imprisoned the secretary of the union, Carlos Kristoff, who had already suffered in the prisons of Peron for his anti-dictatorial attitude. The entire plumbers union then went on a hunger strike.
But this was only the prelude to the closing of the offices of La Protesta and the Jose Ingenieros Library, and the arrest of the editor without cause when he protested to the police. The comrades of the editorial group have directed an appeal to the solidarity of libertarians in all countries in which they say:
“The attitude of the police implies the practical destruction of the right of free opinion, the slavery of the press and the physical insecurity of those who dare to expound their opinions.
“We send you this message asking that you give it the greatest possible publicity, especially in the liberal press, since the Argentine government is at present very sensitive to international opinion, as it poses as the ‘restorer of liberty to Argentina.’ This is an attitude which, as you see, is belied by the facts.”
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“Labor makes solitude and makes society. It kills foppery, shattered nerves and all kinds of emptiness. It makes life solid, It puts Pericles and Jack upon a firm ground of sweet and manly fellowship. But its degeneracy comes from the too much, the exclusive life of the senses. It is only human when tempered by the touches of thought and love.”
Book Review by RO
The American Sexual Tragedy by Albert Ellis. Twayne Publishers 1954, 288 pp., $4.50
Anarchists have differing opinions on the value of psychotherapy, as to whether it aids people emotionally or attempts to adjust them to an unhealthy social environment and cure the effect rather than remedy the cause. But all should examine the material brought out by honest research.
Dr. Ellis, a psychotherapist, discusses in this book such things as the beatification of beauty, the sex tease of courtship, romantic love, marriage and weddings. He examines the type of morality endlessly propagated by the American mass-media (magazines, best selling books, popular songs, etc.) and concluded that it is all highly romantic and unrealistic, and the main cause of the widespread neuroticism. Weddings are debunked as a superstitious symbolism of the bride’s forthcoming deflowering; jealousy is a product of monogamy; sex teasing in courtship is used to tempt males and females into marrying and raising a family—which is the neuroses-producing “backbone” of the nation.
Ellis strikes out at all the ridiculous and vicious manifestations of a sex-negating morality. He does not however, delude himself into believing that this morality can be destroyed without producing drastic changes in other aspects of society. If there was an “acceptance of fornication,” he says, “the entire meaning of marriage might be radically altered, population statistics might begin to be seriously affected, the vocational plans of millions of young people might have to undergo considerable change; present day concepts of individualism versus social living might undergo drastic revision, enormous socio-economic changes might be brought about, religious practice and theory might have to alter greatly and numerous other changes in the American way of living might well occur. Even assuming that most of the social-political-economic-religious changes which might thereby be brought about would be good ones, it is quite inconceivable that all the powerful vested interests and institutions which would be involved in these changes would idly stand by while they were occurring.”
Dr. Ellis is another psychologist to come to conclusions which we have held down through the years. To look over even the earliest libertarian documents concerning sex one would find that most anarchists have always stood for a rational and realistic sexuality, and have always opposed repression and puritanism—which is essentially the attempt to foist upon youth the natural asceticism of age.
(Note: obtainable for $3 a copy from “Independent”, 225 Lafayette St., New York, NY)
“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”
“A new form of economic structure will require a new form of political structure.”
Kropotkin—Excerpts from a letter:
Such a vision has he! “A world of which the poets dreamed!” The hard headed practicalists, the cowardly businessman with his eye forever upon the profit column tell us that such a world is a utopian dream, a mere flight of fantasy—but the same man will point to the achievements which Man has already achieved. Has not Man, they ask, already conquered the fierceness of the sea, cast mighty bridges through the air, sent skyscrapers soaring into the sky, encircled the earth with flying machines—already man has done these magnificent, awe-inspiring things, has he not? Well, if man is capable of doing all this, is he not then capable of erasing slavery, abolishing exploitation and eradicating ignorance everywhere? Is not man, able to do all these other things, also able to live free from the awful plague of war, human butchery and mass slaughter? Is Man not capable of ridding the earth forever of the awful scourge of governments that incite man to do inhuman things?
I believe he is, else I should cease to live. I am an idealist—and I refuse to believe that an idealistic world is impossible. Man is too great a thing to go on living, forever plagued by the society which has been forced upon him.
How to lead Man from baseness to a world of emancipation where he shall grow and prosper, where Man shall live the life “that is life indeed”—ah!, that is the question.
Those whose hearts do yearn for freedom in America often mistake the lies of Russian propaganda as hope, as the dawning of a new and glorious world, but alas—those words are false, they are propaganda words, cruel and indecent, beguiling the dreamers of the world into support of more (and worse) political tyranny.
The idealists on both sides of the “curtain” face frustration—for both sides are political powers, both are corrupt. Neither could be for the worker—even if it wanted to—both sides are tyrannical—and not until they are off the face of the earth—and Man is united in a world of unbridled humanity—will the dreamers and the visionaries of the world see their dreams begin to take shape.
I do not know how this libertarian world will come, nor exactly what to do to speed its arrival, but the very fact that its concept is burning in the hearts of thousands of men shows that it is more than just an idle, baseless dream. I am anxious to learn and read more and learn what I can do for this wonderful thing called Man.
Footnote to a Picketing
On the afternoon of April 14th, approximately 50 people assembled in front of the residence of the mayor of New York, Gracie Mansion, in answer to a call issued by the Committee to Defend Franco’s Labor Victims. The group consisted in the main of members and sympathizers of the Libertarian League, the Young Socialist League, the I.W.W. and the Catholic Worker. A number of them carried Anti-Franco placards. They had gathered to protest the official reception being tendered Señor Martin Artajo, the Foreign Minister of Franco Spain.
A sizable contingent of police shooed the demonstrators well out of sight of the mayor and his guest—some distance away in fact. There they explained to the surprised tenement dwellers that it was the mayor’s mansion that was being picketed—by proxy.
The metropolitan press had been notified well in advance and the picketing was covered by numerous photographers and reporters. In spite of this coverage there was very little publicity and it is anyone’s guess whose files the numerous photographs went into.
Presumably, the reception was a great success, with the liberal mayor of the liberal city of New York welcoming the Fascist foreign minister and presenting him with the keys to the city. What we did not know at the time was the following, published in the Mexican daily “Esto”:
“One of the most vociferous of the anti-falangist agitators during the student strike in Madrid was none other than the youngest son of Don Alberto Martin Artajo, foreign minister and a power in the Franco government.
“Rumor has it that the young man was sent away to continue his studies in England, where he would not be exposed to the seditious influence of the young people of his own country. Once in England, he promptly went over to the Protestant faith and proceeded to publish scathing denunciations of the Franco regime and of his own father.
“The Spanish gestapo, the D.F.S., sent a little group of plainclothesmen to shadow him. They followed him about until he made a trip to Paris, and there they pounced. The young Artajo was bundled into a car and spirited over the Spanish frontier. In Spain he was declared hopelessly insane and committed to a luxurious asylum where he has been locked up ever since...
“The pillars of the Franco-Artajo edifice are indeed firm and strong. All they need now is one good final shove.”