Red Web - Blair Coan

What Are You Going To Do?

Of course, no attempt has been made by the writer of these pages to cover the entire story of the intrigues and purposes underlying the radical and pink alliances of the United States following the World War. The wealth of fact presented in this book is, after all, little more than a fragment of the truths to be found in the archives of the United States government. Many of these unrevealed facts are of a highly confidential character; others, although no longer secret, remain carefully obscured among the documents in the possession of the Borah sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations of the Sixty-eighth Congress.

  • Who represents Moscow, secretly but officially, in Washington?
  • Who represents the prospective concessionaires of the United States, unofficially and clandestinely, in Moscow?
  • Who in the United States are so interested in commercial concessions in Soviet Russia that they are putting up their share of the money that finances the persistent and unwavering propaganda to bring about American recognition of the bolsheviki and trade treaties with Moscow?

These are questions now under investigation. But, aside from the answers to them, much remains to be told, involving, however, purposes and personages subservient to war profiteering and the Wallingfords of international finance rather than those herein exposed. The story of these equally traitorous allies of the post-war assaults upon the American government is deserving of a volume unto itself.

Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg has very forcefully and truly said that the American government and the principles of the republican Constitution of the United States are being "assaulted" by "propagandists who advocate the overthrow of the government and the substitution of class tyranny" and by a "considerable body of our citizens who, in the name of liberty and reform, are impatient of the constitutional restrictions and by insidious approaches and attacks would destroy these guarantees of personal liberty."

"I doubt if you are aware," to quote Mr. Kellogg further, "of the amount of destructive revolutionary propaganda which is being secretly (and he might have added openly) distributed in this country by foreign influence. . . . There cannot rest on anyone a higher and more sacred duty than honestly and efficiently to serve his country and to preserve its ideals and institutions."

The same red hordes and the same pink phalanxes that were behind the attempts to destroy Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and Attorney General Daugherty, and that put the pressure of their combined weight behind the plot to demoralize the federal Department of Justice and besmirch the entire administration of the federal government, were the same hordes and phalanxes that strove, in the election of 1924, to make LaFollette President and Wheeler Vice-President, or, at least, to place them in a reinforced position of governmental control through dead-locking that election.

The men and women who have blossomed forth as members of the Wheeler Defense Committee, who occupy positions of influence in the Labor Defense Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Peoples' Legislative Service, the Congress for Progressive Political Action, the Plumb Plan League, the League for Industrial Democracy, and the almost innumerable other organizations of radicals, revolutionists, defenders of violence, promoters of class warfare and agitators for American recognition of socialist dictatorship in Russia and American acceptance of socialism in the conduct of government in this country—these are the elements who nominated LaFollette and Wheeler for the presidency and vice-presidency, and succeeded in mobilizing for them 5,000,000 votes in the 1924 election.

It is not important to go into the presidential campaign of 1924 in any detail, for it is fresh in public memory. But it is important to point out the hypocrisy of one particular gesture which was made in behalf of the candidates who sought to obtain power as a result of their campaign of political assassination and defamation. This was the gesture of LaFollette, by which he "repudiated" the communists on the ground that they were apostles of the overthrow of government by force and violence.

It has already been explained that, notwithstanding the differences that exist among elements of the revolutionary radical movement, the common objective is the destruction of republican government in the United States and the substitution therefore of socialist "democracy." It has been explained that the "Left Wing" revolutionists are primarily bent upon precipitation of violent revolution, but that they are supporters of any and all subversive movements which tend to demoralize government, weaken it, and make it easier for the accomplishment of the revolution they have in mind. It has been explained that the "Right Wing" revolutionists profess to abhor bloodshed and overthrow of government by violence, but that they are defenders of and apologists for "Left Wing" political principles, and are bent upon the accomplishment of the overthrow of republican government and capitalism with a fervor that is not a jot cooler than the hot ardor of the "Left Wing" reds who criticize their milder tactics.

The "Right Wing" revolutionists in the United States were unqualifiedly solid in their support of the LaFollette-Wheeler ticket in the campaign of 1924. Up to the moment of LaFollette's so-called "repudiation" of the communists, they too were a solid unit in support of the plan for a "united political front" for the nomination of LaFollette and Wheeler. Following the "repudiation," there was nothing left for the communists to do but go through the motions of retaliation, but it is not an unreasonable presumption that this, also, was a mere gesture, and that their desire for the election of LaFollette and Wheeler was not a whit lessened. The communist support, of course, was not because of any love for LaFollette, who was, in fact, always an object of contempt in the minds of the very red radicals. But for Wheeler they had a genuine and justified affection, and he was their man at all times, whether LaFollette was or not.

In the pre-convention campaign, the communists were whooping it up strong for LaFollette. The question, "Are we for LaFollette?" was answered by C. E. Ruthenberg, executive secretary of the Workers (Communist) Party, as follows:

"Should that come about (LaFollette's nomination by a farmer-labor party), as it seems very likely, then we will unquestionably suport LaFollette in the election campaigns along with the masses of workers and farmers who are behind the farmer-labor party movement."

The Liberator, a monthly radical journal, the name of which has been changed now to the Workers' Monthly, and which is the official organ of the communist organization, had among its editors in the fall of 1923 Eugene V. Debs, who became national chairman of the Socialist Party in the campaign for LaFollette and Wheeler, and other red radicals, of both the "Left Wing" and the "Right Wing" of the revolutionary movement. In September, 1923, issue of that journal, John Pepper, alias Pogany, alias Lang, sent to the United States by the Comintern of Moscow, and coming direct from Hungary where he had helped put Bela Kun into power, wrote of what he termed "the LaFollette revolution":

"It will be a revolution of the well-to-do farmers, small business men and workers; it will come through rebellion within the old parties, third parties and farmer-labor parties."

"After the victory of the LaFollette revolution there will begin the independent role of the workers and farmers and there will then begin the period of the fourth American revolution—the period of the proletarian revolution."

So that, although the communists were not deluded into the belief that the "LaFollette revolution" was to be their revolution, they were confident that it was a necessary preliminary to whatever hopes they were justified in having for the accomplishment of their "proletarian revolution."

The LaFollette and Wheeler campaign was waged on a platform paralleling in a number of important respects the platform of the communist program, as has already been pointed out. And the red revolutionists hoped for and worked for the success of the LaFollette-Wheeler campaign because they saw in it, precisely what there was in it, the preliminary skirmishes of a revolution to overthrow American capitalism, bolshevize American industry and do away with the republican form of government provided for in the American Constitution.

The Communists may have been "repudiated" by LaFollette but they were never "repudiated" by Wheeler, and the communist press, as well as all other sections of the radical and so-called "liberal" press, continues to bestow praises upon him and hurl epithets at the federal government for its "persecution" of their hero who now is striving so energetically to escape the law by posing as a martyr before it.

There is no let-up in the clamor of the reds and the pinks for the recognition of Soviet Russia by the United States and the establishment of diplomatic and trade relations between the countries. The communists have been working for it, above everything else, from the time the proposal was first made officially in the United Senate by the Borah resolution. Senator Borah has been indefatigable in his loyalty to this resolution, and in the next session of the Senate he is almost certain to renew the demand and the agitation for its passage by the Senate. The Idaho Senator has the solid support of every communist, every socialist, every disciple of Senator LaFollette and every follower of Senator Wheeler. The demand for American recognition and friendship to bolster up the losing game of the red dictators of Soviet Russia has not diminished an iota, and this notwithstanding the fact that every other nation in the world that has granted such recognition has either been gobbled up by the forces of red radicalism or has survived to regret the hour the bloody hands of the Moscow oligarchs were clasped.

The government of Mexico has become so infested with bolshevism and so subservient to the desires and program of Soviet Russia, that the United States government has been obliged to administer, in words of strong import, a warning to President Calles which that distinguished radical resented and replied to in arrogant tones. The whole of Latin-America is being overrun with bolshevik agitators, crying aloud against the United States and using every means to stir up trouble between this country and the countries to the south which, but for the United States, would a long time ago have been gobbled up by European imperialists. One of the effects of this red agitation in Central and South America is a very noticeable falling off in the trade of American exporters with the importers of Latin-American republics.

England, becoming too intimate with Red Russia, has been forced to back up on its policy of intimacy, and the British government is being constantly bedeviled at home with "general strikes" and violence, while in the colonies the bolsheviks have kept constantly at work sowing the seeds of revolution. France and Poland have had their fill of Soviet influence. Japan is awakening to the error of her recognition of Russia and to the peril of getting the worst of it in the intrigues of the Far East, and the chaos and revolution and seeds of international war now fertilizing in China present problems to the civilized world that may prove the test of the very stability of civilization itself.

In the pages of this book there has been told something of the ramifications of red radicalism, much of the affiliations the American pink radicals have had with it, and the underground history of the conspiracy to demoralize and destroy the law-enforcing arm of the American government.

It was said at the outset, that as a menace to the country red radicalism is less potent than pink radicalism. And this is true. The United States government, under its constitution, is peculiarly fortified against red radicalism. But when pink radicalism gets the reins, and exercises its power, as it did in the days of the Sixty-eighth Congress, when LaFollette and Wheeler and Brookhart seized control and transformed the United States Senate into a lawless ally of every subversive movement in the country, the fortifications against actual revolution face the peril of destruction; and mob law and lynch law look up with hope and gloating eagerness to the reign that leads to revolution and the end of government by law and order and justice.

The deaths of Senators LaFollette and Ladd should not be noted by their foes as events tending to signify the end of the radicalism these two senators personified. To say that either of them was in himself vital to the success or progress of such a movement is to misjudge the cohesiveness of the elements that supported the third party campaign of 1924. Who should know this better, who should be a better judge of this than Senator Borah?

"I think Senator LaFollette's death was a great loss to the country," said the Idaho Senator on July 4, 1925, at Spokane, Wash., when interviewed by the Spokane Daily Chronicle. "But I disagree with those who seem to think his death will have any particular bearing on a third party movement. He was a very forceful figure in political parties. If they are political parties, they do not rise or fall in this country because of one man. The third party movement depends entirely upon economic conditions as they develop in this country."

The opinion expressed by Borah is well-grounded. He would have been preferable as the radical standard bearer in 1924, had he and not LaFollette commanded the strategic nuclei of political organization, and if he can "serve the cause" to better advantage by retaining the Republican mantle upon his renegade shoulders, it is not fantastic prophecy to predict his ascendency to the throne and crown which are LaFollette's legacy to the pinks and reds of the country.

The pinks play the game of the reds at every stage, yet professing to be uplifters of the most idealistic sort. Not long ago Senator Thomas J. Walsh was in Wisconsin to make a speech. He stirred a crowd of Wisconsin radicals to great enthusiasm by his denunciations of the government, by his repetition of the oft-heard cry of corruption and rottenness in the conduct of the government.

Are these things true? Does Walsh utter the truth? If he does, the red radicals are perfectly right in their revolt against government, and they are perfectly justified in organizing for the purpose of overturning the government and setting up one of their own, and it is the thinnest kind of hypocrisy for pink politicians to remain aloof from open and outspoken alliance with the most radical of the communist organizations in the country. The pinks and the reds are at one in the charges they make against the existing government, and if these charges are true the pinks and the reds should get together unequivocally and put an end to this wickedness at one fell swoop.

But the charges are not true. The rantings of men like Walsh, Borah, LaFollette, Wheeler, and that great line-up of lesser luminaries whose names appear in the cast of characters of this book, are but the maunderings of inferior men with super-yearnings for the political power that is possible to them only with the help of the red fringe in politics. But these men and their rantings and charges are dangerous to ordered government, for without them and their following the more extremely radical elements are but a puny minority all dressed up, but with no place to go. It is history, that over the bodies of men like LaFollette, Borah, Wheeler and Walsh, whose tongues stir mobs and kindle hatreds, the Dantons, the Robespierres, the Lenins and the Zinovievs ride roughshod to power.

Bolshevism is a mental disorder. It is as far wrong on the one side as autocracy is on the other. So tyranny and bolshevism are kindred diseases. The pendulum swing towards bolshevism inevitably meets tyranny. They are twin brothers, so much alike that, with France in the 18th century and Russia in the 20th as examples, they are indistinguishable. A hundred and fifty years ago the people of the United States were beset by tyranny; they answered it by the Boston Tea Party. If I am not mistaken they will meet tyranny's twin brother—bolshevism—in kindred fashion.

If it is the desire of the American people to repudiate bolshevism, render impotent the subversive and destructive elements which seek to substitute socialism for republicanism, and if it is their desire that government shall continue to function according to law and the Constitution, it is within their power to fulfill that desire entirely and emphatically. But it can't be done sitting calmly, or even disgustedly, at home on election day. The United States government ceases to be government by the people when the people do not exercise their right of suffrage. The kind of government—red, pink or red-white-and-blue—we shall have in this country henceforth is a matter entirely up to those who are qualified to vote and who do so.

What'll you do? It's up to you. You can vote red radicalism in or out—or do nothing. It's your country.