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R. Fahan

Well, Here It Is —

(August 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 34, 23 August 1943, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Having just read Ernest Lund’s pamphlet, Plenty for All, I’d like to say a few words about it – especially to the organizers and activists of the Workers Party and the regular supporters of Labor Action.

For a long time you’ve been complaining – and justly so – about the absence of a popular, simple, but comprehensive booklet which you could give to a newcomer to the socialist movement. You know, the kind of pamphlet which doesn’t require a detailed knowledge of the history of the world working class or of the intellectual development of Marx; the kind of pamphlet which does not require verbal appendices explaining what Marx meant in the last section of the Manifesto when he was writing about Feudal Socialism or what Lenin meant in his commentaries about Kautsky in The State and Revolution.

You’ve wanted the kind of pamphlet which could state our case with a fair degree of completeness, while at the same time requiring no special knowledge of the history of the socialist movement, and its disputes and polemics, on the part of the reader.

Well, here it is. No kidding. It’s really here. It’s sixty pamphlet pages long, so that it can cover quite a bit of ground. It is simply written but not so simply as to make it appear as if the writer thinks he’s addressing a class of backward kindergarten kids.

And its great value is this: Lund has taken the general Marxist concepts of capitalist society – the conquest of nature by the industrial revolution; the expansion and decline of capitalism; the cause of crises; the nature of the war; the antagonism of the classes – and he has given them flesh and blood in terms of American experience which American workers can understand. You won’t find the Marxist jargon there, because it doesn’t belong there. And at the same time the pamphlet is written in English ... not the gesticulating pidgin-English which some socialist agitators mistake for English.

Another virtue: unlike most socialist agitation, Lund writes not only about what’s wrong with capitalism, but tries to show what socialism would be like. Maybe you wouldn’t agree with a detail or two of his little blueprint, but he certainly hits the nail squarely on the head; (You can take up one of those little details with Lund ... after the Workers Republic is established.) So I think everybody had better get on the beam and see to it that Lund’s pamphlet is spread far and wide. It’ll be gobbled up by your friends – if you just bother to show it to them.

I’m expecting to see the fifth edition of the pamphlet go to press in about half a year. No reason why it shouldn’t. In the meantime, better make sure that all of our friends get themselves a really important first edition.

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