Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fabian Society lists the League for Industrial Democracy as a sister organization

On archive.org, there's a mislabeled book here, it's actual title is "The Forty-Sixth Annual Report On The Work of The Fabian Society", and if you dig through the preface here is what you will see: (Page 5-6)
Provincial and other Societies.

During the year under review there has been little change to note in regard to the various provincial and other Fabian Societies recorded in our last report. No new local societies have been established, but the membership of most of the other local societies has shown an increase during the year. Through the Fabian Nursery and the New Fabian Group, a close connection between the Society and the various Universities is maintained, and a steady stream of new members of the Society is kept up.

We maintain a close connection with the active Fabian Society in Japan, which issues many tracts and publications, unfortunately not readable by anyone in our circle; and with the Escuela Xueva, a Spanish Society founded on similar lines to our own, and carrying on active propaganda in that country, including the translation and publication of some of the best known Fabian tracts. The Gesellschafl fur Sozialforschung, of Frankfort, Germany, is still affiliated to us, and we continue active relations with that body; with the League for Industrial Democracy of New York, which carries on active propaganda in the United States on very similar lines to our own work here ; and also with the newly established Fabian Club at Auckland, New Zealand. Our relations with the Labour and Socialist International remain unchanged and as described in our last and some previous reports.

Just to make this easier to track and pin down, this is the 46th annual report, March 31st, 1929.

This is, of course, a two way street. The L.I.D. themselves wrote nearly the same thing. While this is given the appearance of being written in a tongue in cheek manner, now that we see that the Fabians themselves held the same opinion, the appearance of tongue in cheek is surface level only. Here is what they wrote:

Mandel V. Halushka, Teacher, Chicago, III.:

"Birthday greetings to Americans Fabian Society!

"Many organizations with much larger membership and greater financial support have come and gone since September 8, 1905. Few organizations have championed a better cause than the League for Industrial Democracy during these many years."

One of the small observations that I made quite some time ago is fairly accurate then. "Industrial Democracy" is a book written by Sidney Webb, a founding member of the Fabians. So the League for Industrial Democracy is quite honest as to what the group is all about.

I also highlighted the line about how the Fabians keep a close connection with colleges. Self explanatory, really.

Why this matters: There have been a lot of important and even well known people involved with the L.I.D. John Dewey, for example, who is widely regarded as the father of modern education, served president of the group for a time, and honorary president for life. Stuart Chase was a member of the League, as its treasurer, and as an advisor to FDR.

The League came into existence in 1921, by a simple re-naming. It's original name was the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Same group, just renamed, founded in 1905. The ISS was founded by some people who's names you may recognize: Florence Kelley(Suffragette), Norman Thomas, and Upton Sinclair. Later in the League's existence, a splinter group was formed called S.L.I.D., the Student League for Industrial Democracy. Again, they engaged in re-naming and the name they chose for themselves this time was S.D.S., the Students for a Democratic Society. Many of the radicals that we are fighting against today have a much longer and more storied history than it may seem on the surface.

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