Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stuart Chase founded the Chicago Fabian Club

In the "Intercollegiate Socialist", Volume 7, the following is written:
Cooperation, according to Stuart Chase, founder of the Fabian Club of Chicago, must depend on the future radicalism of the labor parties.

All those groups in society which lose rather than gain from the present economic system must amalgamate their sooner or later - if the present economic system is really to be modified. I think the Socialists and other articulate radicals would do well to hold off, without gratuitous criticism, and give the Labor Party a chance to see what it can do, and how far to the left it is prepared to go. If results are in any way encouraging, and a real class consciousness is developed, the radicals should come in to the Labor Party - as in England. Socialism under any other name would smell as sweet.

The "Intercollegiate Socialist" was the publication of the ISS, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, which would go on to rename itself LID, the League for Industrial Democracy. (The student wing of the LID renamed itself again, to SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society.)

Chase (if you recall) was a member of FDR's Brain's trust. Note Chase's words above. What the Fabians were trying to do with the ISS and the LID was re-create what they did in England. It didn't quite go according to plan considering the differences between Progressivism and Fabianism, but it was successful enough. The other thing of note is his advice to slow down and hold off. Give things a chance to work - don't push for revolution, support the evolution. That's classic Fabianism - "Make haste, slowly". It's also in line with Progressivism and 'making progress'.

In quoting the publication "Intercollegiate Socialist", I am quoting a 'friendly' publication, in that Chase was a member of the ISS.(and when they changed into LID, Chase was their treasurer.) And as to 'friendly' publications, that's not the only one. Another group that Chase was involved with was the Consumer's Cooperative League. They helped to publish at least one of his books. (The Story of Toad Lane)

In one of the publications for the Cooperative League, we find some very useful information:

STUART CHASE received his degree as C.P.A. (certified public accountant) in 1915. His accounting practice has taken him into all phases of industry and government, and he has had an unusual opportunity to see how modern business is carried on. He was for a time employed by President Taft's Commission on Economy and Efficiency. He has specialized particularly in accounting systems and in chart work.

Mr Chase was born in Somersworth NH in 1888. He graduated from Harvard in 1910. "A year or so after graduating from college," he writes: "I happened, quite by accident, to meet Henry George's "Progress and Poverty," which formed the basis of my social awakening. No inkling of real economics had ever penetrated to me during my college days, although I specialized on economics at Harvard."

Then in July 1914, Mr Chase married Margaret Hatfield, whose social ideas were parallel to his own, and they devoted their honeymoon to a sociological experiment in Rochester, N.Y., where they presented themselves as a homeless jobless couple looking for work. This experiment resulted in a widely read book, "A Honeymoon Experiment."

Mr Chase has been active in various progressive movements, and is connected as an officer with the Massachusetts' Birth Control League, the Massachusetts Single Tax League, and the Fabian Club of Boston. He is the author of a number of articles.

No comments:

Post a Comment