Call for a National Convention for the Purpose of Organizing the Communist Party of America.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF AMERICA ; FERGUSON I.E.; BATT Dennis E. (1919.)
£1850.00 [First Edition]
A FOUNDING DOCUMENT FOR AMERICAN COMMUNISM
First edition. Single sheet, folded. Some minor toning, wrinkled, but very good. 4pp. Chicago, National Left Wing Council and National Organization Committee,
Rare and important: this vital document in the history of American Communism commences with a call for the formation of a Communist Party of America.
It was issued by left-wing activists who had been expelled in early 1919 by the more moderate Socialist Party. Inspired by the success of the Bolsheviks in Russia (“in this the most momentous period of the world’s history”), these activists called for class warfare, abolition of private property, and the nationalisation of industry. They also called for a convention in Chicago on September 1, 1919, to establish a Communist Party.
The convention indeed took place and advocated a dictatorship of the proletariat and adherence to Marxism as practised in Russia. A rival Communist group, the Communist Labor Party, also held a convention at the same time in Chicago (the famous writer John Reed was part of this latter group). Under pressure from Moscow, the two parties merged, becoming the Communist Party USA. It was immediately popular, claiming between 50,000 and 60,000 members, and commenced lobbying for labour reform as well as combating racism. The Great Depression of 1928 and the subsequent disillusion with capitalism added further to its appeal which grew with its staunch opposition to fascism in both Spain and Nazi Germany.
Exceedingly rare: OCLC locates a single copy at the University of Kansas.
Stock Code: 231215