‘Resolution Against War with Mexico’ by William D. Haywood from International Socialist Review. Vol. 13 No. 5. October, 1912.

Comrade Bill Haywood’s September 26, 1912 anti-Mexican war resolution to the seven-person National Executive Committee that led the Socialist Party of America, of which Haywood was then a member. The resolution failed 3-2, with 2 not voting. Haywood and sometimes left-winger Alexander Irvine voted for. John Spargo and Morris Hillquit frothed and foamed against it. Job Harriman yawned. And Victor Berger was so disgusted he refused to vote on it altogether. Kate Richards O’Hare did not vote. To read the discussion see the Socialist Party’s Bulletin and the NEC minutes, linked below.

‘Resolution Against War with Mexico’ by William D. Haywood from International Socialist Review. Vol. 13 No. 5. October, 1912.

A WAR with Mexico seems imminent. The United States troops have been at the border for months waiting for a pretext to begin the blood-letting.

The working people of the two countries are about to be driven to butcher one another in the interest of a handful of capitalists, oil magnates and owners of railroads, mines, ranches and franchises.

Now is the time for Socialists to act. The Socialists of England and other nations are at this moment voting on a motion proposed by the English and French delegates at the last international congress, calling for a general strike, especially of railroad employees and the producers of military supplies, in the case of a declaration of war. The motion will undoubtedly be carried, and the Socialists of this country cannot afford to wait until the final decision has been reached. Our time to act is now.

This general strike may require some time for its preparation. Immediate action is also possible. The Socialist Party should at once declare that any of its members who enlist either for this or any other threatening war, such as the impending attack on Nicaragua, ceases by that act to be a member of the Socialist party.

This action is demanded not only by the danger of fratricidal butchery but also by our duty to come, however late, to the aid of our brother revolutionists in Mexico—who might be in a far better position today if the Socialist Party had not steadily refused to do its duty in this regard up to the present time.

We hereby call upon the membership of the Socialist party and the working class generally to take immediate steps to prevent war with Mexico.

The International Socialist Review (ISR) was published monthly in Chicago from 1900 until 1918 by Charles H. Kerr and critically loyal to the Socialist Party of America. It is one of the essential publications in U.S. left history. During the editorship of A.M. Simons it was largely theoretical and moderate. In 1908, Charles H. Kerr took over as editor with strong influence from Mary E Marcy. The magazine became the foremost proponent of the SP’s left wing growing to tens of thousands of subscribers. It remained revolutionary in outlook and anti-militarist during World War One. It liberally used photographs and images, with news, theory, arts and organizing in its pages. It articles, reports and essays are an invaluable record of the U.S. class struggle and the development of Marxism in the decades before the Soviet experience. It was closed down in government repression in 1918.

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/isr/v13n04-oct-1912-ISR-gog-ocr.pdf

PDF of Bulletin with discussion: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/spa-bulletins/121000-socialistpartymonthlybulletin-v09n01.pdf

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