New York Times

Government Is Investigating Pro-German, Anti-American Publications.
The American Socialist Makes Hero of La Follette — All for Peace at Any Price.

More than 100 newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines are now under investigation by the Post Office authorities in Washington. The great majority of these are owned, edited and distributed by persons identified, generally in official capacities, with the Socialist, pacifist, anarchistic, and I. W.W. movements in this country. All of them favor immediate peace with Germany, as a rule on the terms which the Prussian autocracy is said to approve, and all of them are frankly and outspokenly against the Government in Washington.

These anti-American publications are published in all parts of the United States and are main cogs in a propaganda machine which has been built up by professional pacifists, anarchists, I. W. W. agitators, and radicals who term themselves Socialists. A number of these publications have already been barred from the mails, and there is reason for saying that in the near future a drastic order will go forth barring the mails to every paper and pamphlet in the county whose policy is to urge defiance of the Government and laws of the United States.

In the office of Walter L. Lamar, the Solicitor of the Post Office Department, in Washington, a reporter of THE TIMES was permitted to inspect the great piles of paper and other printed material got out by the so-called People’s Council, the radical branches of the Socialist Party, anarchistic organizations, aliens, many of the latter enemy aliens resident in the United States since the war with Germany began.

Many Are Printed Here.

With his big staff of assistants Mr. Lamar is kept busy day and night going over these pro-German and in a great many instances outright treasonable publication. Tables, bookcases, and cabinets in the office of Mr. Lamar are piled high with copies of these papers, a majority of them published in English, and practically all of the rest printed in German or Hungarian languages. New York and Chicago are the cities in which more than 50 per cent. of them are printed.

The most widely circulated of all the publications now under investigation was, prior to its being barred from the mails, The American Socialist, published in Chicago, the editorial page of which announces that it is the official organ of the Socialist Party of the United States. This publication has been and is one of the main supports of the pro-German peace propaganda in the United States, and an effort is now being made to continue its circulation by delivering the papers by express. There is a report in Washington that the express companies may issue instructions to their agents to refuse to accept it for transportation.

In one of the latest issues of this paper circulated by express there appeared a long article dealing with the program of the so-called People’s Council, of which Dr. David Starr Jordan, Winter Russell, Morris Hillquit, H. Weinberger, the lawyer who represent the anarchist in New York City, and various other pacifists, and agitators are identified. As a matter of fact, there is hardly an issue of any of these anti-American publications which are not actively supporting the work of the People’s Council, an organization which one of the highest officials of the United States Secret Service recently described as “among the most dangerous anti-American organization in the United States.”

Reprint of La Follette’s Speeches.

Senator La Follette of Wisconsin is liked by the Socialistic press and whole pages are given over to the reproduction of his speeches in Congress and elsewhere. The American Socialist, in its issue of Sept. 1, referring to La Follette’s recent effort to conscript 80 percent. of what is termed the “war profits of the country,” remarks that “the Socialist demand as interpreted by La Follette, Gronna and Thomas immediately rallied strong support in the Senate.”

Here are a few excerpts appearing in a recent issue of The American Socialist:

The Organized Farmer figures out that the Liberty Loan was a failure because the 2,000,000 individuals who subscribed for it probably represent the 2 per cent of the population who own 60 per cent of the wealth. It shows that 98 per cent. who own 40 per cent. of the wealth of the land were not back of the loan.

“Business as Usual,” is the slogan of the exploiters. J. Ogden Armour voices it in The New York Times. Sure, don’t let a little thing like war, 10,000,000 lives and a violation of the United States Constitution bother your. The workers will have to pay the price anyhow, why worry?

Charges that the British Ambassador, Buchanan, at Petrograd, has been using his influence to restore the old Russian regime are contained in an article in Socialist Prime Minister’s Kerensky’s paper, The Djen. It is stated that Kerensky called Buchanan on the carpet and told him to stop his efforts to restore the Czar to the throne.

As the war mania grows stronger, life becomes cheaper in the United States. “Shoot any one who refuses to leave the trains,” were the orders given to a militia-man stationed at the railroad bridge at Covington, Ky. This order had hardly been put into force when a militiaman’s bullet claimed its first innocent victim. This brand of murder will assert itself more and more as Prussianism tightens its grip on the nation.

All war and no play make Jack a dead boy.

Where there is war there can be no real liberty.

One of the circulars barred some weeks ago by the Post Office Department, so far as its circulation through the mails was concerned, was the so-called “Anti-War Proclamation and War Program” of the Socialist Party of the United States. This circular, in the form of a ballot, declared among other things that the Socialist Party calls upon “the workers of all countries to refuse support to their Governments in their wars” and adds that “we particularly warn the workers against the snare and delusion of so-called defensive warfare.”

Call War a Crime.

“The forces of capitalism,” the document adds, “which have led to the war in Europe are even more hideously transparent in the war recently provoked by the ruling class of this country. * * * Our entrance into the European war was instigated by the predatory capitalists in the United States. * * * They are also deeply interested in the continuance of the war and the success of the allied arms through their huge loans to the Governments of the allied powers and through our commercial ties. * * * It is hypocrisy to say that the war is not directed against the German people but against the Imperial Government of Germany. * * * We brand the declaration of war by our Government as a crime against the people of the United States and against the nations of the world. * * * No greater dishonor has ever been forced upon a people than that which the capitalist class is forcing upon this nation against its will.”

“In harmony with these principles” the majority committee of the Socialist Party, therefore, according to the circular barred from the mails by the postal authorities, “recommend to the workers and pledge ourselves to the following course of action:

1. Continuous, active, and public opposition to the war, through demonstrations, mass petitions, and all other means within our power.

2. Unyielding opposition to all proposed legislation for military or industrial conscription. Should such conscription be forced upon the people, we pledge ourselves to continuous efforts for the repeal of such laws and to the support of all mass movements in opposition to conscription. We pledge ourselves to oppose with all our strength any attempt to raise money for payment of war expense by taxing the necessaries of live or issuing bonds which will put the burden upon future generations. We demand that the capitalist class, which is responsible for the war, pay its cost. Let those who kindled the fire furnish the fuel.

3. Vigorous resistance to all reactionary measures, such as censorship of press and mails, restriction of the rights of free speech, assemblage, and organization, or compulsory arbitration and limitation of the right to strike.

4. Consistent propaganda against military training and militaristic teaching in the public schools.

5. Extension of the campaign of education among the workers to organize them into strong, class-conscious, and closely unified political and industrial organizations, to enable them by concerted and harmonious mass action to shorten this war and to establish lasting peace.

6. Widespread educational propaganda to enlighten the masses as to the true relationship between capitalism and war, and to rouse and organize them for action, not only against present war evils, but for the prevention of future wars and for destruction of the causes of war.

It was the policy outlined above which caused such influential men a John Spargo, Charles Edward Russell, and other prominent men to withdraw from the Socialist Party.

In Chicago, there is printed a paper called The Social War. Like the American Socialist, it is barred from the mails and is now being circulated by express. It is one of the most violently anti-American publications in the country.

In a recent issue, this paper, which circulates mostly among agitators of the extreme types, such as anarchists, and I. W. W.’s, stated editorially:

Told to Refuse to Obey Laws.

“The strike, sabotage, and other acts and demonstration are expressions of consciousness. He must refuse to pay his tax to existing parasites; to obey any of the reactionary laws of the State; he must refuse to recognize that national flag which symbolizes his down-trodden condition. He must throw off the sham of patriotism and pointblank decline to serve the nation. He must refuse to be the marksman and make targets of his father, mother, brother or sister,”

In New York City, a Hungarian publication, which is marked for action, so far as the mails is concerned, referring to the sending of troops to France, remarks gleefully that these reinforcements for the Anglo-French front will not be sufficient to “make up for the Russian millions who were able to overflow Prussia, Galicia, Bukovina, and the northern countries of Hungary.”

A four-page paper called The Eye-Opener, printed in Chicago, is another of the hundred or more publications which is the subject of an official inquiry.

These papers and pamphlets indicate the kind of propaganda that the United States Government has to contend with at the present time. Among the other offenders the nature of which propaganda is in keeping with the general spirit of the anti-Government campaign are The Jeffersonian, published by Tom Watson in Georgia; The Bull, published in New York; The Masses, and New York anarchist publications.


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