Letter from John Emanuel


From The De Leonist Review, July-August 1995
Letter from John Emanuel, De Leonist Society of the U.S.,
to The De Leonist Society of Canada


In accordance with our declared intention, reported in previous issues, we here continue reproduction of the inter-party debates on our position paper of the above title. The following is an exchange between our society and John Emanuel of The De Leonist Society of the U.S. DeLeonist Society of Canada

(Post dated April 8, 1994)

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DeLeonist Society of Canada

Dear Comrades:

The following constitutes my response to your "position paper", Democracy Political and Industrial.

In his writings on the "Paris Commune" Marx writes, "It was the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor". In the 20th century American political democracy became the political ie., the political hull within which to work out "the economic emancipation of labor". Daniel DeLeon applied Marxian science to American industrial development and political institutions, and worked out the program of Socialist Industrial Unionism. This program calls upon the workers to organize as a class politically, to demand the abolition of capitalism at the ballot box, and on the economic field into one union of the working class. This class union will include the employed and unemployed, skilled and unskilled and the retirees.

With the victory at the ballot box, the working class not the "work force alone", will take physical possession of the land and all other means of Social Production, through their Socialist Industrial Union. At that point the working class sheds its class character and it becomes the working people. The people then elect their industrial government to plan production and distribution for the benefit of all the people.

The several industrial unions of the land, that will make up the Socialist Industrial Union of the land, will be determined by the output. They will have Subdivisions that will be determined by the tool used. The people then will take their place in these subdivisions that their skills dictate. It will be there that they will exercise their voice and vote to control their industrial government. It would be there that the working people will have a voice and vote on social issues. All the men and women, as Marx points out in his "Significance of the Paris Commune", he writes, that "With labor emancipated every man becomes a working man", and we add every woman a working woman. This is DeLeon's program. This is his framework of the structure of Socialism. Any statements made in the past in attempts to add to this framework of Socialist society were at best purely speculative. The addition will be made by emancipated labor. With the victory at the polls, the Socialist Industrial Union will not be made up of the "dumb driven herd" that exists under Capitalist Unions. It will be made up of well informed class-conscious people. Men and women who will know what must be done, and see that their mission is to change "the Earth's foundations." If these people see the need for additional organs through which to control their industrial government, they will create them. However, they will do so with the material at hand. That material will be industrial and not territorial. Industrial Democracy will reign. Political Democracy will lose its foundation with the abolition of class-rule and the state.

In your letter to Comrade Harry Banks, in presenting your case for political democracy under the Industrial Republic of labor, you state that the word political is derived from the Greek word "polis" which means city. Then you add some letters to "polis" and make it "polis-ical" and you claim that the work political is created. That is not correct, because there is another Greek word which is "politia" and it means "state". It is from the word "politia" that the word political is born, not "polis". The word political is an appendage of class rule and the state, and it will die with the abolition of class-rule. All social issues under political society are political, and under an industrial society all social issues will be industrial issues. The electoral process under the industrial society will be industrial. Frederick Engels in commenting on the political character of the Paris Commune, makes the following pertinent observation. "At the very best it is an inheritance of evil, bound to become victorious in its struggli^ for supremacy, and the worst features of which it will have to lop-off at once, as the Commune did, until a new race, grown up under new free social conditions, will be in a position to shake-off from itself this state rubbish in its entirety." "The ballot box under socialism will lose its political character which is the tarnish on that "Jewel of Civilization".

In conclusion, I submit one of our late comrade, Arnold Petersen's contributions to socialist thought. A thought that on the inauguration of the Industrial Republics of Labor, could serve as the final epitaph of the political ballot. He wrote, "But in setting about to effect the great change that will insure the workers a whole, a freeman's vote, the political ballot must be used, and .this is the last great service it will be called upon to render. And a truly noble climax that will be to that great instrument forged by man in his struggle for freedom, the political ballot. For there is but one way in which the change from the robber system of capitalism to the Industrial Commonwealth of Labor can be effected peaceably, and that is through the political ballot...and when the industrial ballot is in the secure possession of the citizens of the future, it will contain within it all the enduring principles of the political ballot. The industrial ballot will become the crown jewel of Industrial Democracy".

In the hope that your society rethinks its position paper, I remain fraternally yours.

(Signed) John Emanuel