Dec 5, 2011

Socialist movement in America – 1905


A Case Study in Changing our Nation’s Culture

"The article below is a brief history of how Socialism came to America. Take special note of the infiltration into all areas of society, but most especially the  educational system. This is why our schools need to be entirely overhauled - from curriculum to teaching methods. For it is not the quality of teachers that is in question, but rather the method and content of what they are required to teach." – Ricki Pepin

On September 12, 1905, approximately 100 people  met in a loft over Peck's Restaurant, at 140 Fulton Street, in lower Manhattan. The purpose of the meeting was to strategize the overthrow of the Christian worldview that still pervaded much of American culture and to replace it with the ideas of a then rather unknown writer by the name of Karl  Marx. They called the organization they formed that day the Intercollegiate Socialist Society.

The godfather of the organization was a 27-year-old author named Upton Sinclair. The first
president chosen was the author Jack London,  age 29. Also present was Clarence Darrow, the
attorney.

The strategy of the organization was to infiltrate their ideas into academia by organizing chapters in
as many colleges and universities as possible. And organize they did. Walter Lippmann, later author
and director of the Council on Foreign Relations, was the president of the Harvard chapter. Walter
Reuther, the future president of the United Auto Workers, headed the Wayne State chapter; and
Eugene Debs, who went on to become the five-time Socialist candidate for president, was the leader
at Columbia.

The society grew. The first annual convention was held in 1910, and by 1917 they were active on 61
campuses and a dozen graduate schools. Other early activists included W. E. B. DuBois, who would
become an official of the NAACP and later a Communist Party member, and Victor L. Berger of
Wisconsin, who became the first Socialist elected to Congress.

In 1921, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society took its next organizational step, changing its name to
the League for Industrial Democracy. Its purpose was "education for a new social order based on production
for use and not for profit." Norman Thomas, another perennial Socialist candidate for president, was the
leader behind the scenes. The renamed organization’s first president was Robert Lovett, editor of
the New Republic, and field secretary with Paul Blanshard, who later became an author.

The college chapters of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society now became the Student League for
Industrial Democracy. As members graduated from college, some entered the pulpit, others the
classroom; some wrote textbooks while others into the labor movement in both political parties.
When the New Deal began in 1933, they were prepared. At the time the leak had only 5,652
members that they were in positions of leadership everywhere.

By 1941 John Dewey, the founder of progressive education in the league VP in the 1930s, was its
honorary president, and Reinhold Niebuhr, the  theologian, its treasurer. Dewey had already
organized the Progressive Education Association  and the American Association of University
Professors.

The League for Industrial Democracy was so successful that those who held membership in the
movement or were cooperating with it could have been a list for Who's Who in America: Robert N.
Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union; Charles Beard, the historian; Carroll Binder, editor of the  Minneapolis Tribune; Helen Gahagan Douglas, the Congresswoman who was defeated by Richard Nixon for the U.S. Senate;  Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice; Sidney Hook, the educational social philosopher; Edna St. Vincent Millay, the poet; Henry Morganthau Jr., one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's most trusted  economic advisers; Walter and Victor Reuther, United Auto Workers; Will Rogers Jr., humorist; Franklin Roosevelt Jr., the president signed; and Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the historian.

The obscure loft in Manhattan where they organized has long been forgotten, but what began there
that night permeates America's institutions and culture, having replaced the Bible-based values of the 19th century with the liberalism based on Marxism.

Consider
To what extent do you feel that you have been influenced by the anti-Christian forces of modern culture? Do you think you have picked up any of the values of the League for Industrial Democracy? Unfortunately, all of us are the products of our own backgrounds. Even after we become Christians we still are influenced by our culture. We need to evaluate our presuppositions against the truth revealed in God's Word.

[Excerpted from - The One Year Book of Christian History,  by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten,
published by Tyndale House, Wheaton IL,  2003. Pages 512-513.                     ISBN 0-8423-5507-3]

 
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