Reports of the State Secretaries.
Published in The Appeal to Reason [Girard, KS], whole no. 398 (July 18, 1903), pp. 2-5.
How We Move in Alabama.
Socialism in the South — in Dixie? Well, who would have thought such a thing possible? Only two years ago we had two small locals in the state and no agitation. Today there is a good state organization. In 1902 we had nominees for state office and polled 2,312 votes, with absolutely no campaign money, no orga- nization worth mentioning. Today we are claiming and getting the attention of the public to such an extent that the plutocratic dailies are giving us space every time we ask for it. There has been but little said against the cause, sometimes some ridicule, and such argu- ments as rainbow chasers. The Socialist movement in the South has such peculiar conditions to contend with as probably found in no other section of the country. The race question, for one, and the conservative, reac- tionar , dominant Democratic Part , for the other. As the negro is practically disfranchised in this state, he cannot help us much, but there are signs that the ne- gro is taking to Socialism when he gets the chance to study it, as he is the most class-conscious “work mule” there is, he will soon become a factor. In this state the Democratic Party has been on top since the war with but little interruption, not because it is the strongest party, but because the voters have mostly stayed at home for various reasons. The Populists, who were quite a factor in politics for a short time, were sold out, like in other places, and do not go to the polls at all. About 45% of all the registered voters stayed at home at the last election. At that time, on the adop- tion of the new constitution, which was framed al- most exclusively by railroad attorneys, or their friends, it was openly admitted and gloried in, that the elec- tion in the past went Democratic under any circum- stances in order, it was said, to keep the negro from dominating the state. Counting out is an open fact and from what can be learned, it is not a lost art today.
But conditions are changing fast, and the old populist element is coming to the front again, and that old daring spirit of the men who stood for five years in defense of what they thought and believed was right, is asserting itself to such a degree that great strides will be made from now on. Apparently the people are ac- cepting Socialism faster here than they are in the East. The farming element predominates so far, but the in- dustries are growing fast, and are teaching the people what to expect from them, by taking the little white children and working them 12 to 13 hours a da , while the negro goes to school. Audiences accept our lec- tures in a very respectful manner, though much is an unknown quantity to them. In a very short time, when we have been before the people longer, the comrades in other parts of the country will be surprised at the result of a few dimes expended in organizing this state, and not enough praise can be given to The Appeal to Reason for its influence in this work.
We have 20 locals in the state now, and the num- ber is constantly increasing. The comrades are work- ing hard and we expect to take our place in the front ranks at an early date.
F.X. Waldhorst, State Secretary.
The Arkansas Work.
Socialism in Arkansas today is a pretty lusty youth. Arkansas is a great state of marvelous natural resources, but in the iron grip of capitalism it has be- come a fertile field for the propaganda of Socialism. The writer began to plan the seeds of industrial liberty in this state seven years ago, and about two years since, it has blossomed into a plant with a local in Little Rock, Ark. But we do not assume the credit, for the condi-