‘The Flying Squadron’ from International Socialist Review. Vol. 10 No. 4. October, 1909.

‘The Flying Squadron’ from International Socialist Review. Vol. 10 No. 4. October, 1909.

“THE FLYING SQUADRON” of the Socialist Party of New Castle, Pa., is one of the best disciplined and the most progressive group of revolutionists in the state. About a year ago the idea struck them to start a weekly paper. This was done. No one had any great amount of money to put into it—there were no millionaire socialists in the local—but the paper has been carried through and The Free Press, which is published bi-weekly, is self-supporting.

Here is their plan: They get out a regular edition of 10,000 copies, eight small pages, and guarantee to place one copy in every home in New Castle every issue. Advertising sells for $1 an inch, $25 a page, so it can be seen that The Free Press is no little affair. The local owns its own press and does job work in connection.

Were it not for the fact that “The Flying Squadron,” which is composed of about 75 real red comrades, who line up every issue, get their bundles, and distribute them from house to house, the great work they are doing would not be possible. The accompanying photograph, which was taken by Alderman Crabill, who is a socialist, does not contain all the “Flying Squadron.” The others were driven out of town on account of the tin mill strike which is still in progress.

In this connection it is well to note that these Socialist Party men are industrial unionists, too. Not the kind that say: “Yes, yes, I believe in it,” and so on, and then refuse to stand for the organization that represents it, but they are I. W. W. men. The Socialist Party men and the I. W. W. work in harmony in New Castle. The Free Press has come out for the I. W. W. very forcibly. Revolutionists may well keep an eye on the New Castle bunch.

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 original issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/isr/v10n04-oct-1909-ISR-gog.pdf

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