Socialist Monthly was a publication of the Libertarian Socialist League, which posited an ideology which saw itself engaged in struggle against both the Soviet Union and the United States. Maintaining that the USSR represented a bureaucratic state hostile to the interests of the working class, the Socialist Monthly attacked "both war camps." The ideology of libertarian socialism resembles that of the Spanish Anarchists during the Spanish Civil War and is also similar to the thought of Bakunin.
Libertarian socialism is a left-libertarian ideology, which emphasizes the autonomy of the individual, yet seeks to bring him into a communal life, without private property. Both the state and capitalism are regarded as tools of oppression in the hands of the ruling class. This radically differs from right-libertarianism, which is most common in the United States, and holds private property in high regard.
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The Socialist Monthly tackles the problem of self-censorship by members of American colleges, due to fear of repression or identification with communists. Other topics include: a criticism of Reverend Poling for advocating World War III, the imperialism of the British Labour Party, the imperialism of the Soviet Union, Tito's use of mass deportation, and the conspiracy of American capitalism to start the Korean War. Additionally, the issue discusses an American general bragging about being a "gangster for capitalism," the reactionary nature of the Stalinist regime, and a statement by the leadership of the Libertarian Socialist League.
The edition this month begins with a definition of socialism and an outline of the program of the League. The issue also criticizes the poverty in Spain, Harry Truman, and other news items. "The Independent Mind," a collection of essays is reviewed, as well as developments among the international working class. Other subjects include, "Do Capitalists Work?" and the "Mauling of the Manifesto" by Social Democrats.
The main essay this week deals with the scourge of imperialist war, while calling the working class to prepare for class warfare. The section entitled "Random Jabs" attacks Rudolph Halley of the New York Liberal Party, Dean Acheson, and Henry Ford. A section on the international working class discusses the Korean War, the fascist government of Venezuela, and the threat Arab nationalism poses to American imperialism. The impact of war spending on housing construction is also discussed, as is the potential of conscription.
The edition begins with the announcement that an emissary of the League will be going to Europe in an attempt to spread the Libertarian Socialist ideology there and prepare for a Third Camp International. In discussing Truman's State of the Union address, the author contends that the creation of NATO has not made Europe any safer. Other items that are addressed include Truman's placement of the military in key political positions, a growing attempt to unify "reactionary forces" in the United States, and the treatment of the elderly under the capitalist system. The upcoming third national conference of the LSL is announced. John Loeb reports on the state of the international working class and another article records the attacks against civil liberties in the United States.
The rejection of the Universal Military Training Bill is downplayed as political maneuvering which will be probably be reintroduced next spring. The selection of presidential candidates by the two parties is also condemned as undemocratic and unrepresentative of workers' interests. Other criticisms are directed at the mistreatment of Negroes, alleged plans of the military for a coup, the use of "Voice of America" to promote capitalism, and civil defense preparations. The newspaper also asserts that the growing menace to our civil liberties is recognized by our nation's youth, who are affected by the "purging" of censored books from libraries. Also, the author asserts that NATO is only a tool for American imperialism, which is being imposed upon Europe and the world. In an article on the International Working Class, John Loeb analyzes developments around the world as they relate to socialism. An appeal is also made for funding after the costs incurred by sending an emissary to Europe.
The newsletter uses May Day as an opportunity to take stock of the Libertarian Socialist movement. Discussions include a disagreement over aid between the United States and Indonesia, the Communist Party defector Ben Gitlow, and the danger of Catholic schools. The newsletter specifically presents American developments such as the Supreme Court's attack on liberties and a comment by Bertrand Russell on America. John Loeb also urges readers to protest a play entitled "The Big Hand," which portrays anarchists in an unfavorable light. The International Working Class column again discusses world events, such as the fascist dictatorships of Spain and Portugal, inequality in the Soviet Union, and Japanese mining deaths.
The "These United States" column is focused on control of unions by gangsters and urges the AFL to act upon these accusations. It also discusses the government defeat of a railroad union, a move by Philip Murray of the CIO to continue to produce steel for defense during a strike, the incapability of Social Security to provide real security for workers, the withholding of information from the public, and corporate subsidies. John Loeb's International Working Class column discusses Liberian slavery, Chinese protests against Stalinism, and injustices committed by both sides in the Korean War. Collaboration between Stalinists and Roman Catholics in Italy is denounced, as is the cowardice of academics who support the government and censorship of pro-Communists. The newsletter also criticizes the potential deportation of former Trotskyist and current libertarian socialist C.L.R. James and the erosion of workers' rights.
The central article this month is a commemoration of the death of Sacco and Vanzetti, martyrs to the "bloodthirsty gods of capitalism." The AFL is also criticized for its reactionary policies, as is the efforts of the Wage Stabilization Board. Miners from Shenandoah, PA are recognized for their efforts to bring democracy to the trade unions. More news from the unions is discussed, as are war profits and climbing prices. The "Workers of the World" column by John Loeb discusses the potential that the Soviets have the hydrogen bomb, the unpopularity of Americans, and Stalinist injustices. One of the themes of this edition is Soviet fawning over Stalin, expressed from poetry ("Stalin is My Sunshine") to a new perfume called "Breath of Stalin." The article also expresses the hope of a Third Camp movement of colonial nations, against the imperialism of both Stalin and capitalism.
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