Saturday, April 4, 2015

I.S.S. Gives Way to New League for Democracy

I.S.S. Gives Way to New League for Democracy

The New York Call - November 19, 1921.

Organization's Birth Celebrated at Dinner in Yorkville Casino - Will take in Non-Collegians.

With the avowed purpose of "mobilizing the brains of the middle-class in the service of the labor movement," the League for Industrial Democracy has come into being on the framework of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. The new organization's birth was celebrated by a dinner at Yorkville Casino last night, addressed by Robert Morss Lovett, president of the League; Scott Nearing, Norman Thomas and Roger N. Baldwin.

The league, according to Mr. Thomas, is designed to stir up "tired radicals" of the "red, the near red and the infra red" varieties and to other needed contacts to the ardent and unfatigued youth of the colleges. It came into being because members of the former society felt that their efforts should not be confined merely to collegians and also that their organization should stop merely studying Socialism and commit itself definitely to the principle. ... The league proposes to do its share in changing the social order. That phrase is "gentle and deadly," according to the prospectus of the new society, which was on hand in printed form for distribution last night. In a referendum vote taken last spring, Harry Laidler announced: "the members of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society had declared themselves in favor of the change in name and purpose."

Officers of the league are: President, Robert Morss Lovett of Chicago; Vice presidents, Dr. Charles P. Steinmetz of Schenectady, Evans Clark of the Labor Bureau, Florence Kelley of the National Consumers' League and Arthur Gleason of the Bureau of Industrial Research; treasurer, Stuart Chase, formerly of the Federal Trade Board; secretary, Jessica Smith; director of research, Harry W. Laidler, and chairman of the executive committee, Norman Thomas.

Proposals to which the new society is committed are the inclusion of non-collegians in the regular membership, the establishment of a separate department for the promotion of research and pamphleteering, the building up of a national lecture bureau, and the encouragement of workers' education. The collegiate work of the society will be continued as before.

"Iron Heel Rules Colleges"

Scott Nearing, who has just returned from a visit of inspection to numerous colleges in different parts of the country said to the diners that "the iron heel" is in full control of the colleges.

"Nine-tenths of the trustees are in business or the "service of business," he declared. "No more conservatively administered institutions exist in this country. The university world has been "definitely and consistently made a vassal of business." "There is not a single college that has not availed itself of the war period to 'clean house'," Mr. Nearing asserted. He said that the house cleaning had been particularly severe in the department of sociology, where more care is devoted to the selection of the professors than in any other field of study. "They are afraid of the things they think, so in order to buy bread and butter and pay the rent they stop thinking the things they are afraid of." he went on, "In mathematics or English or pure science now and then you find a professor who speaks out, but the subjects are not the ones in which they should speak out."

"There is no longer any talk among the faculty of academic freedom. The colleges of the United States at present are the center of the most sodden reaction I know anything about. No chamber of commerce or business men's association could be more reactionary."

Mr. Nearing classified the faculty members in the colleges he visited as those who didn't dare say anything, as a group that believed in "boring from within," and a small group of avowed radicals who speak their opinions freely and still hold their jobs. "But there are none of them in the field of social science," he added.

Members of the executive committee of the newly formed League of Industrial Democracy are: Anita Black, Louis Boudin, Alber de Silver, Robert Dunn, Mrs. Louise A. Floyd, Walter Puller, Lewis Gannett, Jessie Wallace Hughan, Nicholas Kelley, Bruno Lasker, Robert Morss Lovett, William P. Montague, A. J. Muste, Mary R. Sanford, Jessica Smith, Helen Phelps Stokes, Alexander Trachtenberg, Arthur Warner, Savel Zimand, and Stuart Chase. Members of the National Council not on the Executive Committee include: Katherine Anthony, Winthrop D. Lane, Judah L. Magnes, Darwin J. Meserole, N. I. Stone, Caro Lloyd Strobell, of New York; Emma Dakin, H. W. L. Dana, ...

Of Michigan and Fannie Baxby Spencer, of California.

(Blogger's notes: This article was re-constructed from 7 segments, 6 of which can be seen below:

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Segment 4

Segment 5

Segment 7

The most important is segment 7 in that the date of original publication from the Call can be plainly seen, which is November 19th, 1921. This makes the Call's article not in copyright, though it is highly likely that this book from the NELA is not in copyright either. The last remaining challenge then becomes what to do with reconstructing segment 6, to which the remaining textual parts can be verified below:

Column 1:



Column 2:




Column 3:


The third column being the hardest to reconstruct, I have probably missed a few names since they are repeated throughout the book. However, it is not difficult to find in other publications late ISS members and early LID members. A small portion of the first column is also missing, unfortunately.)

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