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Fourth International, May 1941


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol. II No. 4, May 1941, p. 98.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Because of technical difficulties resulting in the loss of a few days in the publication of Fourth International for this year, we regret to have found it necessary to skip one issue of the magazine. This issue therefore appears under the dateline of May and follows in volume and number the issue of March 1941. We hope that the time thus gained in our publication date will make unnecessary any future measures of this kind.

* * *

With this issue we can announce the results of the spectacular subscription campaign conducted jointly by Fourth International and the weekly newspaper, The Militant. In the course of a two-month drive, conducted with a degree of energy and enthusiasm which is phenomenal in the recent history of labor organizations, more than 800 subscriptions for Fourth International swelled our circulation. The total of subscriptions brought in to both publications reached the astonishing level of 922, involving an income of $958.

The twin cities of Minnesota set a pace early in the campaign which was never matched by their closest competitors. Among the cities of the next category, Chicago took the lead with Boston coming in close upon the heels of the comrades of the windy city.

The staff of Fourth International here extends its congratulations and thanks to all those loyal workers in the interest of socialism who toiled incessantly for two months, visiting trade unionists, going from door to door, soliciting subscriptions to our press among the best elements of the American working class.

* * *

The attention paid to the securing of subscriptions during the drive just completed has resulted in an extension of the sales of the magazine and naturally of our income. In the first and most important category of places deserving our attention can be found the following centers: Allentown, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas, Montana, Minneapolis, Newark, New Haven, Quakertown, Reading, Rochester, St. Louis, St. Paul and Toledo.

Two of these places – Toledo and Quakertown – are so serious about the state of their account with the business office that they usually manage to have a credit on our books.

Cleveland and Boston have resolved upon heroic measures to begin a gradual and permanent liquidation of old debts which have appeared upon the accounts of these places for many, many months. In the face of the beautiful job Chicago did when it came to a similar resolve, we can expect highly gratifying results from its two emulators.

To the comrades in Los Angeles we owe an apology for our sour tone in the last issue. Unhappily for many of our statements, an embarrassingly long time elapses between the writing of copy for this column and its appearance on the printed page of the magazine. A substantial check from Los Angeles came into our office the very day after our copy went to the printshop and cast the lie upon our accusations concerning the laxness of that city. We believe we feel worse about the matter than Los Angeles herself. Speaking of the West Coast turns our attention to another bright spot in California: Fresno, which in one bold gesture nearly cleaned up its full debt to the magazine. The first step toward stability in the income of the Fourth International must always be the cleaning up of the incubus of old debts.

Several cities, however, are treading the danger line, and if they are not more watchful of the course they are taking, will one day wake up with an awful financial headache. Among them are Flint, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Diego, San Francisco and Youngstown.

* * *

It is with a great deal of joy that we hear from our co-thinkers in other parts of the world and this month again we have had repeated evidence of the importance which our magazine has for revolutionaries in places which must rely upon us for keeping them in touch with the progress of our movement.

The following has come to us from Argentine:

“Two days ago we wrote informing you of our failure to receive the Fourth International. To our great joy we did yesterday receive the January issue of the magazine as well as the Socialist Appeal of February 8.

“We have already read all of the first number of the Militant. By it we see the great strides that our movement has experienced to the United States. We are conscious of the enormous importance which the great growth of your section has for the immediate and distant future of the Fourth International.”

From London, among a number of news communications, publications and letters containing bits of information on developments among the workers in England, comes the following:

“Thanks very much for your nice letter which arrived from the censor today. From time to time I get the paper and magazine which keep us informed of events on your side of the Atlantic. So please continue to send them, though the magazine does not come so regularly.

“I see where Lovestone has closed down his firm. Well, war always brings bankruptcy in our line of business. It has also given a knockout to many people here; even the largest have gone on the rocks. We have weathered the storm well but our branches in many colonies have suffered from the Blitz ...

“By the way, could you do me a little personal favor. Send me 100 halibut liver oil capsules. I have not eaten an orange or banana for over three months and don’t expect to until after the war. No fruit is being imported; no ships. So we are all trying to make up for lack of proper food by taking halibut oil. The US is exporting large quantities here for the factory workers and army. A hundred will last me for a month or two. I shall appreciate it.”

So here we are, in a position where people in the rest of the world rely upon us not only for mental but for physical sustenance!

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Last updated on 27 February 2016