Saturday, April 4, 2015

Name Change: League for Industrial Democracy

In 1921, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society changed its name to the "League for Industrial Democracy". There is more to be discussed in that one sentence than I could adequately cover here, so I am only going to cover points related to the article I just posted, titled "I.S.S. Gives Way to New League for Democracy". This article originally appeared in a New York newspaper called "The Call" or "New York Call", which was at the time a communist publication. Published originally in 1921; what I published would then be in the public domain, however, Google Books still presents a challenge.

There are three major points to this article which really highlight what kind of organization the LID truely was:

1) Norman Thomas stated that the League is designed to stir up "tired radicals" of the "red, the near red and the infra red" variety.

This doesn't need much explanation from me.

2) The reason why the League would have you think it changed its name is to expand its ranks and nothing else - and to this there is certainly a verifiable truth. But that's not the key. This:

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.

In the period right around the turn of the 1920s, socialism was a very dirty word. The socialists and progressives had not yet completed their task of capturing all colleges, and this 'house cleaning' he is referring to was under way, rolling back the clock on their efforts. But that's not the important part. The important part is the name change itself. Name changing is foundational for progressive ideology and goes back as far as they do. These people will never ever give up their beliefs, they will just find a new way to lie to you about what they really believe. So in that sense, the progressive is the ultimate propagandist. To put this another way, Saul Alinsky wrote about means and ends in the 60's, these people lived it in the 20s, nearly 40 years prior.

One of the big reasons that progressives have had continued success, I think, is because nobody wants to pay attention to the crazies. To be honest, I don't want to either, but I recognize that I must otherwise I might as well put the chains of slavery on my own arms and not wait for them to do it. Paying attention to tyranny is the price to be paid of Liberty. There's one last thing:

3) "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."

What phrase? Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful at accessing 100% of the article. I did however, capture enough to drive the point home as to what the article is about.(so that the article says what it says, and not a casting by myself or anybody else)

So, let's get at this phrase. The New Republic captures much of the same language: (page 73)

Only one main idea is in sight with driving force and the power to capture the imagination of men. That idea concerns itself with changing the basis of civilization. It is the idea of production for use. Production for use is a seemly phrase, so sound that sections of the church have accepted it, so far-reaching that it will bring down the walls of Jericho. It is gentle and deadly. It says that the present order is ethically indefensible and economically unsound. It makes the community the instrument and arbiter of social change. It says that the consumer, the citizen, the "average man" is the person whose interests are the main concern.

Take note that this article in TNR was written written in 1921(the same year the League launched), by Arthur Gleason, who as you can see in the article I posted today was an Officer of the League. So he would be in the position to know about it being "gentle and deadly".

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