« PreviousContinue »
and approved system of volunteer organization. We denounce it as un-American, undemocratic and unrepublican and as a subversion of the ancient and fixed principles of a free people.
Trusts and Monopolies.
Private monopolies are indefensible and intolerable. They destroy competition, control the price of raw material and of the finished product, thus robbing both producer and consumer. They lessen the employment of labor and arbitrarily fix the terms and conditions thereof; and deprive individual energy and small capital of their opportunity for betterment. They are the most efficient means yet devised for appropriating the fruits of industry to the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, and, unless their insatiate greed is checked, all wealth will be aggregated in a few hands and the Republic destroyed. The dishonest paltering with the trust evil by the Republican party in its State and National platforms is conclusive proof of the truth of the charge that trusts are the legitimate product of Republican policies, that they are fostered by Republican laws, and that they are protected by the Republican Administration in return for campaign subscriptions and political support. We pledge the Democratic party to an unceasing warfare in Nation, State and city against private monopoly in every form. Existing laws against trusts must be enforced and more stringent ones must be enacted providing for publicity as to the affairs of corporations engaged in interstate commerce and requiring all corporations to show, before doing business outside of the State of their origin, that they have no water in their stock, and that they have not attempted and are not attempting to monopolize any branch of business or the production of any articles of merchandise; and the whole constitutional power of Congress over interstate commerce, the mails and all modes of interstate communication shall be exercised by the enactment of comprehensive laws upon the subject of trusts. Tariff laws should be amended by putting the products of trusts upon the free list, to prevent monopoly under the plea of protection The failure of the present Republican Administration, with an absolute control over all the branches of the National Government, to enact any legislation designed to prevent or even curtail the absorbing power of trusts and illegal combinations, or to enforce the anti-trust laws already on the statute books, proves the insincerity of the high sounding phrases of the Republican platform. Corporations should be protected in all their rights and their legitimate interests should be respected, but any attempt by corporations to interfere with the public affairs of the people or to control the sovereignty which creates them should be forbidden under such penalties as will make such attempts impossible. We condemn the Dingley tariff law as a trust breeding measure skilfully devised to give to the few favors which they do not deserve, and to place upon the many burdens which, they should not bear. We favor such an enlargement of the scope of the Interstate Commerce law as will enable the Commission to protect individuals and communities from discrimination and the public from unjust and unfair transportation rates.
We reaffirm and indorse the principles of the National Democratic platform adopted at Chicago in 1896 and we reiterate the demand of that platform for an American financial system made by the American people American Financial for themselves, which shall restore and maintain a bimetallic price level, and as part of such system the immediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of silver legal ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent
and gold at the present of any other nation.
We denounce the currency bill enacted at the last session of Congress as a step forward in the Republican policy which aims to discredit the sovereign right of the National Government to issue all money, whether coin or paper, and to bestow upon National banks the power to issue and control the volume of paper money for their own benefit. A permanent National bank currency, secured by Government bonds, must have a permanent debt to rest upon, and, if the bank currency is to increase with population and business, the debt must also increase. Republican currency scheme is, therefore, a scheme for fastening upon the taxpayers a perpetual and growing debt for the benefit of the banks. We are opposed to this private corporation paper circulated as money, but without legal tender qualities, and demand the retirement of National bank notes as fast as Government paper or silver certificates can be substituted for them. We favor an amendment to the Federal Constitution providing for the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people, and we favor direct legislation wherever practicable. We are opposed to government by injunction; we denounce the blacklist, and favor arbitration as a means of settling disputes between corporations and their employes.
In the interest of American labor and the upbuilding of the workingman as the cornerstone of the prosperity of our country, we recommend that Congress create a Department of Labor, in charge of a Secretary, with a seat in the Cabinet, believing that the elevation of the American laborer will bring with it increased production and increased prosperity to our country at home and to our commerce abroad. We are proud of the courage and fidelity of the American soldiers and sailors in all our wars; we favor liberal pensions to them and their dependents; and we reiterate the position taken in the Chicago platform in 1896, that the fact of enlistment and service shall be deemed conclusive evidence against disease and disability before enlistment.
We favor the immediate construction
ownership and control of the Nicaraguan
Canal by the United States, and we denounce the insincerity of the plank in the Republican National platform for an Isthmian canal, in the face of the failure of the Republican majority to pass the bill pending in Congres. We condemn the Hay-Pauncefote treaty as a surrender of American rights and interests, not to be tolerated by the American people. We denounce the failure of the Republican party to carry out its pledges to grant statehood to the Territories of Arizona, New-Mexico and Oklahoma, and we promise the people of those Territories immediate statehood, and home rule during their condition as Territories; and we favor home rule and a territorial form of government for Alaska and Porto Rico. We favor an intelligent system of improving the arid lands of the West, storing the waters for the purposes of irrigation, and the holding of such lands for actual settlers. We favor the continuance and strict enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion law and its application to the same classes of all Asiatic races.
Jefferson said: "Peace, gling alliances with none." Alliance with England.
commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entanWe approve this wholesome doctrine and earnestly protest against the Republican departure which has involved us in so-called world politics, including the diplomacy of Europe and the intrigue and land grabbing in Asia, and we especially condemn the ill concealed Republican alliance with England, which must mean discrimination against other friendly nations, and which has already stifled the Nation's voice while liberty is being strangled in Africa. Believing in the principles of self-government and rejecting, as did our forefathers, the claims of monarchy, we view with indignation the purpose of England to overwhelm with force the South African Republics. Speaking, as we believe, for the entire American Nation, except its Republican officeholders, and for all free men everywhere, we extend our sympathy to the heroic burghers in their
unequal struggle to maintain their liberty and independence. We denounce the lavish appropriations of recent Republican Congresses, which have kept taxes high and which threaten the perpetuation of the oppressive war levies. We
oppose the accumulation of a surplus to be squandered in such barefaced frauds upon the taxpayers as the Shipping Subsidy bill, which, under the false pretence of fostering American shipbuilding, would put unearned millions into the pockets of favorite contributors to the Republican campaign fund. We favor the reduction and speedy repeal of the war taxes, and a return to the time honored Democratic policy of strict economy in governmental expenditures.
Believing that our most cherished institutions are in great peril, that the very existence of our constitutional Republic is at stake, and that the decision now to be rendered will determine whether or not our children are to enjoy those blessed privileges of free government which have made the United States great, prosperous and honored, we earnestly ask for the foregoing declaration of principles the hearty support of the liberty loving American people, regardless of previous party affiliations.
Appeal to the
The present Social Democratic party is the result of the amalgamation of the original Social Democratic party, founded on June 13, 1898, at Chicago, Ill., and the Socialist Labor Party, formed some years ago in New-York City. This amalgamation was brought about by the Socialist Labor party, in convention at Rochester, N. Y., in January, 1900, appointing a committee to meet with the convention of the Social Democratic party at Indianapolis, Ind., in March, 1900. This convention appointed a committee, and the two committees met in New-York City on March 25, and submitted to the referendum of both parties a plan of union, which was adopted July 10, and a Provisional Executive Committee chosen. At Chicago, on September 29, the nomination of Eugene V. Debs, of Illinois, for the Presidency, and Job Harriman, of California, for the Vice-Presidency, was ratified. The following platform was adopted: September 29.-The Social Democratic party of the United States, in convention assembled, reaffirms its allegiance to the revolutionary principles of International SoPlatform.
cialism and declares the supreme political issue in America to-day to be the contest between the working class and the capitalist class for the possession of the powers of government. The party affirms its steadfast purpose to use those powers, once achieved, to destroy wage slavery, abolish the institution of private property in the means of production, and establish the co-operative Commonwealth. In the United States, as in all other civilized countries, the natural order of economic development has separated society into two antagonistic classes-the capitalists, a comparatively small class, the possessors of all the modern means of production and distribution (land, mines, machinery and means of transportation and communication), and the large and ever increasing class of wage workers, possessing no means of production. This economic supremacy has secured to the dominant class the full control of the government, the pulpit, the schools, and the public press; it has thus made the capitalist class the arbiter of the fate of the workers, whom it is reducing to a condition of dependence, economically exploited and oppressed, intellectually and physically crippled and degraded, and their political equality rendered a bitter mockery. The contest between these two classes grows ever sharper. Hand in hand with, the growth of monopolies goes the annihilation of small industries
and of the middle class depending upon them; ever larger grows the multitude of destitute wage workers and of the unemployed, and ever fiercer the struggle between the class of the exploiter and the exploited, the capitalists and the wage workers. The evil effects of capitalist production are intensified by the recurring industrial crises which render the existence of the greater part of the population still more precarious and uncertain. These facts amply prove that the modern means of production have outgrown the existing social order based on production for profit. Human energy and natural resources are wasted for individual gain. Ignorance is fostered that wage slavery may be perpetuated. Science and invention are perverted to the exploitation of men, women, and children. The lives and liberties of the working class are recklessly sacrificed for profit. Wars are fomented between nations; indiscriminate slaughter is encouraged; the destruction of whole races is sanctioned, in order that the capitalist class may extend its commercial dominion abroad and enhance its supremacy at home. The introduction of a new and higher order of society is the historic mission of the working class. All other classes, despite their apparent or actual conflicts, are interested in upholding the system of private ownership in the means of production. The Democratic, Republican, and all other parties which do not stand for the complete overthrow of the capitalist system of production are alike the tools of the capitalist class. Their policies are injurious to the interest of the working class, which can be served only by the abolition of the profit system. The workers can most effectively act as a class in their struggle against the collective power of the capitalist class only by constituting themselves into a political party, distinct and opposed to all parties formed by the propertied classes. We, therefore, call upon the wage workers of the United States, without distinction of color, race, sex, or creed, and upon all citizens in sympathy with the historic mission of the working class, to organize under the banner of the Social Democratic party, as a party truly representing the interests of the toiling masses and uncompromisingly waging war upon the exploiting class, until the system of wage slavery shall be abolished and the co-operative Commonwealth shall be set up. Pending the accomplishment of this our ultimate purpose, we pledge every effort of the Social Democratic party for the immediate improvement of the condition of labor and for the securing of its progressive demands. As steps in that direction, we make the following demands: First-Revision of our Federal Constitution, in order to remove the obstacles to complete control of government by the people, irrespective of sex. Second-The public ownership of all industries controlled by monopolies, trusts and combines. Third-The public ownership of all railroads, telegraphs and telephones; all means of transportation; all waterworks, gas and electric plants, and other public utilities. Fourth-The public ownership of all gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, coal and other mines, and all oil and gas wells. Fifth-The reduction of the hours of labor in proportion to the increasing facilities of production. Sixth-The inauguration of a system of public works and improvements for the employment of the unemployed, the public credit to be utilized for that purpose. Seventh-Useful inventions to be free, the inventors to be remunerated by the public. Eighth-Labor legislation to be National, instead of local, and international when possible. Ninth-National insurance of working people against accidents, lack of employment, and want in old age. Tenth-Equal civil and political rights for men and women, and the abolition of all laws discriminating against women. Eleventh-The adoption of the initiative and referendum, proportional representation, and the right of recall of representatives by the voters. Twelfth-Abolition of war and the introduction of international arbitration.
POPULIST (Middle of the Road).
At Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 10, the Middle of the Road Populists nominated Wharton Barker for President and Ignatius Donnelly for Vice-President, and adopted a platform in substance as follows: (1) We demand the initiative and referendum and the imperative mandate or such changes of existing fundamental and statute law as will enable the people in their sovereign capacity to propose and compel the enactment of such laws as they desire; to reject such as they deem injurious to their interests, and to recall unfaithful public servants. (2) We demand the public ownership and operation of those means of communication, transportation and production which the people may elect, such as railroads, telegraph and telephone lines, coal mines, etc. (3) The land, including all natural sources of wealth, is a heritage of the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited. All land now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs and all lands now owned by aliens should be reclaimed by the Government and held for actual settlers only. (4) A scientific and absolute paper money, based upon the entire wealth and population of the Nation, not redeemable in any specific commodity, but made a full legal tender for all debts and receivable for all taxes and public dues and issued by the Government only without the intervention of banks and in sufficient quantity to meet the demands of commerce, is the best currency that can be devised; but until such a financial system is secured, which we shall press for adoption, we favor the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the legal ratio of 16 to 1. (5) We demand the levy and collection of a graduated tax on incomes and inheritances, and a constitutional amendment to secure the same, if necessary. (6) We demand the election of President, Vice-President, Federal Judges and United States Senators by direct vote of the people. (7) We are opposed to trusts, and declare the contention between the old parties on the monopoly question is a sham battle, and that no solution of this mighty problem is possible without the adoption of the principles of public ownership of public utilities.
PEOPLE'S PARTY (Fusion).
The Fusion wing of the People's party met at Sioux Falls, S. D., on May 10, and nominated William J. Bryan and Charles A. Towne (of Minnesota) for President and Vice-President, respectively. In the platform the resolutions on imperialism and militarism deplored the conduct of the Administration in the Spanish-American War and denounced its conduct in connection with the Philippines. With reference to Porto Rico it was set forth that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the American flag are one and inseparable. It was also declared that the island of Porto Rico is a part of the territory of the United States, made so by our promises and the consent of the, Porto Ricans themselves. There was a strong resolution of sympathy for the Boers, a declaration against the monopolizing of public land for speculative purposes, a demand for a return to the original homestead policy, a declaration for the placing of all goods controlled by the trusts upon the free tariff list, a condemnation for the Governor of Idaho and the Federal Government in connection with the Coeur d'Alene troubles, and the usual demand for the initiative and referendum. Trusts were denounced, and the Populistic method for the control of public utilities, such as the railroads and the telegraphic systems, and of the issuance of money, was recommended as the proper remedy to cope with the trust evil. The gold standard act of the present Congress was denounced in strong terms, and it was asserted that, "while barring out the money of the Constitution, this law opens the printing mints of the Treasury to the free coinage of paper money to enrich the few and impoverish the many." The party was pledged anew "never to cease agitation until the financial conspiracy is blotted from the statute books, the Lincoln greenback restored and the bonds all paid and all corporation money forever retired." The system of issuing injunctions in cases of dispute between employers and employes was under certain circumstances denounced as an evil. The election of President, VicePresident and United States Senators by direct vote of the people was urged, as also were Government ownership of railroads and telegraph lines, home rule in the Territories, the employment of idle labor on public works in time of depression, the payment of just pensions to disabled soldiers and the establishment of postal savings banks. On August 8 Mr. Towne withdrew, and on August 28 the National Executive Committee named Adlai E. Stevenson in his place.
The Prohibition party held its National Convention at Chicago on June 27 and 28, and nominated John G. Woolley, of Chicago, for President, over Dr. S. C. Swallow, of Harrisburg, Penn.
Henry B. Metcalf, of Rhode Island, was nominated for Vice-President, and the Convention adopted a platform denouncing the liquor traffic, insisting on straightout prohibition as a National issue and attacking the Administration on the canteen question. The Platform.
Among other things the platform said:
We propose as a first step in the financial problems of the Nation to save more than a billion of dollars every year, now annually expended to support the liquor traffic and to demoralize our people. When that is accomplished, conditions will have so improved that with a clearer atmosphere the country can address itself to the questions as to the kind and quantity of currency needed.
We reaffirm as true indisputably the declaration of William Windom when Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabinet of President Arthur, that "Considered socially, financially, politically or morally, the licensed liquor traffic The Issue is or ought to be the overwhelming issue in American poliPresented. tics," and that "the destruction of this iniquity stands next on the calendar of the world's progress." We hold that the existence of our party presents this issue squarely to the American people, and lays upon them the responsibility of choice between liquor parties, dominated by distillers and brewers, with their policy of saloon perpetuation, breeding waste, wickedness, woe, pauperism, taxation, corruption and crime, and our one party of patriotic and moral principle, with a policy which defends it from domination by corrupt bosses and which insures it forever against the blighting control of saloon politics. We face with sorrow, shame and fear the awful fact that this liquor traffic has a grip on our government, municipal, State and National, through the revenue system and saloon sovereignty, which no other party dares to dispute; a grip which dominates the party now in power, from caucus to Congress, from policeman to President, from the rumshop to the White House; a grip which compels the Chief Executive to consent that law shall be nullified in behalf of the brewer, that the canteen shall curse our Army and spread intemperance across the seas, and that our flag shall wave as the symbol of partnership at home and abroad between this Government and the men who defy and defile it for their unholy gain.
We charge upon President McKinley, who was elected to his high office by appeals to Christian sentiment and patriotism almost unprecedented and by a combination of
moralize the temperance
moral influences never before seen in this country, that, by his conspicuous example as a winedrinker at public banquets and as a wine serving host in the White House, he has done more to encourage the liquor business, to dehabits of young men, and to bring Christian practices and
We further charge upon President McKinley responsibility for the Army canteen, with all its dire brood of disease, immorality, sin and death, in this country, in Cuba, in Porto Rico and the Philippines; and we insist that by his attitude concerning the canteen, and his apparent contempt for the vast number of petitions and petitioners protesting against it, he has outraged and insulted the moral sentiment of this country in such a manner and to such a degree as calls for its righteous uprising and his indignant and effective rebuke. We challenge denial of the fact that our Chief Executive, as commander in chief of the military forces of the United States, at any time prior to or since March 2, 1899, could have closed every Army saloon, called a canteen, by executive order, as President Hayes in effect did before him, and should have closed them, for the same reason that actuated President Hayes; we assert that the act of Congress passed March 2, 1899, forbidding the sale of liquor, "in any post exchange or canteen,' by any "officer or private soldier" or by "any other person on any premises used for military purposes in the United States," was and is as explicit an act of prohibition as the English language can frame; we declare our solemn belief that the Attorney-General of the United States in his interpretation of that law, and the Secretary of War in his acceptance of that interpretation and his refusal to enforce the law, were and are guilty of treasonable nullification thereof, and that President McKinley, through his assent to and indorsement of such interpretation and refusal on the part of officials appointed by and responsible to him, shares responsibility in their guilt; and we record our conviction that a new and serious peril confronts our country, in the fact that its President, at the behest of the beer power, dare and does abrogate a law of Congress, through subordinates removable at will by him and whose acts become his, and thus virtually confesses that laws are to be administered or to be nullified in the interest of a law defying business, by an Administration under mortgage to such business for support.
We deplore the fact that an Administration of this Republic claiming the right and power to carry our flag across seas, and to conquer and annex new territory, should admit its lack of power to prohibit the American saloon on subjugated soil, or should openly confess itself subject to liquor sovereignty under that flag. We are humiliated, exasperated and grieved by the evidence pain
fully abundant that this Administration's policy of expansion is bearing so rapidly its first fruits of drunkenness, insanity and crime under the hothouse sun of the tropics; and when the president of the first Philippine Commission says "It was unfortunate that we introduced and established the saloon there, to corrupt the natives and to exhibit the vices of our race,' "" we charge the inhumanity and un-Christianity of this act upon the Administration of William McKinley and upon the party which elected and would perpetuate the same. We declare that the only policy which the Government of the United States can of right uphold as to the liquor traffic, under the National Constitution, upon any territory under the military or civil control of that Government, is the policy of prohibition; that "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," as the Constitution provides, the liquor traffic must neither be sanctioned nor tolerated, and that the revenue policy. which makes our Government a partner with distillers and brewers and barkeepers is a disgrace to our civilization, an outrage upon humanity and a crime against God. We condemn the present Administration at Washington because it has repealed the prohibitory laws in Alaska, and has given over the partly civilized tribes there to be the prey of the American grog shop; and because it has entered upon a license policy in our new possessions by incorporating the same in the recent act of Congress in the code of laws for the government of the Hawaiian Islands. We call general attention to the fearful fact that exportation of liquors from the United States to the Philippine Islands increased in value from $337 in 1898 to $467,198 in the first ten months of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1900; and that while our exportation of liquors to Cuba never reached $30,000 a year previous to American occupation of that island, our exports of such liquors to Cuba during the fiscal year of 1899 reached the sum of $629,855.
Foreign Liquor Policy Condemned.
One great religious body (the Baptist) having truly declared of the liquor traffic "that it has no defensible right to exist, that it can never be reformed, and that it stands condemned by its unrighteous fruits as a thing unCall to Moral and Christian, un-American, and perilous utterly to every inChristian terest in life;" another great religious body (the Methodist) Citizenship. having as truly asserted and reiterated that "no political party has a right to expect, nor should it receive, the votes
of Christian men so long as it stands committed to the license system, or refuses to put itself on record in an attitude of open hostility to the saloon;" other great religious bodies having made similar deliverances, in language plain and unequivocal, as to the liquor traffic and the duty of Christian citizenship in opposition thereto; and the fact being plain and undeniable that the Democratic party stands for license, the saloon and the canteen, while the Republican party, in policy and administration, stands for the canteen, the saloon and the revenue therefrom, we declare ourselves justified in expecting that Christian voters everywhere shall cease their complicity with the liquor curse by refusing to uphold a liquor party, and shall unite themselves with the only party which upholds the prohibition policy, and which for nearly thirty years has been the faithful defender of the Church, the State, the home and the school, against the saloon, its expanders and perpetuators, their actual and persistent We declare that there are but two real parties to-day, concerning the liquor