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Fourth International, February 1941


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol. II No. 2, February 1941, p. 34.
Transcribed & marked up by David Walters for ETOL.


This month marks the inauguration of a two-month campaign for introductory combination subscriptions to the Fourth International and the official weekly organ of the Socialist Workers Party, The Militant. We offer two issues of our magazine and eight of the weekly newspaper for only 50¢.

Now you will have an opportunity to persuade all those friends of yours who should have been regular readers of a fine magazine and an inspiring newspaper to come through with four bits and do themselves two months’ intellectual service.

* * *

Nary a truer nor brighter phrase was spoken than “Nothing succeeds like success.”

The editors and business officers of Fourth International made a Bolshevik resolve to regularize the issuance of the magazine and give a variety and quality to its articles which would make it the finest political publication in the United States or, for that matter, in the world. Nothing was allowed to stand in the way of accomplishment and today we (the Business Manager, not the editor) say with modest objectivity that Fourth International has no peer as a magazine devoted to the Marxist interpretation of contemporaneous events.

That success has bred others. Demands for copies of our issues – current and back – have come from every part of the world. Our own agents, with a minimum of prodding by the business department, have awakened to an intense interest in the extension of our reading public and the financial support of the magazine.

From Kansas comes an enthusiastic word: “More copies of the January issue if you have them. I want them to use in trying to get subs on the special drive – and I think this issue is particularly good for that. Of course the next issue may be just as good, but it will have to go some if it is. That January number is an allround honey. In fact I think you are all to be much congratulated for what you are doing with the FI. It gets better and better.”

We knew it, but we like to hear it.

Montana follows through with this: “Things out here are moving fast. The antiwar forces are lining up, also the war groups. One can see groups of both sides most any time on the streets. That is how things are done in a little town. But there is not a CPer to be seen.” The regularity with which our bundle is disposed of there is an indication that our forces are to be seen.

The, most heartening of our collection of letters of appreciation came this month from Argentina. It translates in part:

“We have received during the past four weeks two numbers of the Fourth International. We wish to express to you in the first place our deepest thanks for having supplied us with such valuable material.

“We know perfectly well that we have always been in debt to you; that we have constantly received from you all the literature which appears in English. On two or three occasions, we were able to send, after making a great effort, two or three dollars. But without any doubt we are now certainly under the imperative obligation of helping you with the cost of the materials sent. We promise you soon to send some money to cover those expenses.

“The arrival of Fourth International always is for us an event. We follow with interest all your advances. We follow by means of a map the location of all your branches, the development of the magnificent electoral battle which took place in Minnesota, the transformation of the New York section and its proletarian composition, and the launching of the proletarian military policy. All the comrades of this region know the smallest detail of your struggle as well as does any militant from your sections in the United States.

“Moreover, the principal articles in Fourth International are translated immediately. We have just completed this with the work of Trotsky (The GPU and the Comintern) which appeared in the November number, and have decided to translate various other articles from the December issue which arrived today.

“We have recompiled and placed in order our collection of the numbers of Fourth International They will have for us great utility in the future when we are confronted with similar problems of distribution, organization, etc., which in many aspects we will find resolved through the data which we find in your columns.

“We hope, comrades, that you will continue to send us your publications. You can rest assured that if any issue of your literature is read and reread with profit it is that which arrives in our hands.”

Success is reflected, as could be expected, in the accounting sheets of our books. For the first time in many months, three branches show credit accounts, one of them quite substantial. They are Toledo, Quakertown and Hutchinson. One can hardly look for a more serious earnest of trust in our future!

Three more branches – Detroit, St. Paul and Allentownhave paid up everything both on old bills and on the current account. Los Angeles cleaned up its back-debt, as did St. Louis, Portland and Plentywood. New Haven, Flint, Boston, Newark, Youngstown, Reading and Milwaukee deserve congratulation for having made substantial payments on their accounts this month.

Chicago must be singled out again this time for real commendation; it has promised to liquidate in six weeks the back-bill which has hung for years like a cloud over its head, and has sent in a total of $51 this month to show what that promise means.

Now we come, as come we must, to the black sheep. Fresno, San Diego, Indianapolis and our Texas people we have not heard from at all this monthnot even to the extent of an explanation. And San Francisco, Akron, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Seattle appear to have taken a misguided lesson from the puny capitalist nations who after World War I tried to get by on a technicality by making “token payments” to their creditors.

As usual, those places who come through on their obligations with methodical regularity cannot be mentioned for lack of space. But they are the real heart of our magazine, as they are of our movement.


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Last updated on 27 February 2016