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The New International, January 1935


The Readers Have the Floor

From New International, Vol. II No. 1, January 1935, Inside front cover.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


WITH this issue of our review, we start the second volume of publication. This gives our readers, both friends and skeptics, six issues as a basis for examination, appreciation and criticism.

We address ourselves first of all to those of a critical turn of mind. What are their opinions about our review? It was launched, as its motto says, as a theoretical organ of revolutionary Marxism. Our aim has been to present to the serious workers and students in the working class movement the Marxian point of view on the important problems and events of our day. Unlike the European movement, the American has suffered from a gross neglect of the scientific socialist theory expounded by Marx and Engels and rescued from oblivion and distortion by Lenin. If the weakness of the revolutionary movement in the United States was the cause of this airy attitude to revolutionary theory, the latter in turn helped to perpetuate this weakness. Recent developments, however, have given strong indications that far from remaining at the bottom rung of the revolutionary ladder, the movement in this country is gaining in position, in importance, in vigor, in solidity. There is undoubtedly a greater interest in Marxism in the US today than at almost any preceding period in its history. We have passed beyond the stage of being satisfied with those periodicals that in the past laid a claim to Marxism which could at best be considered dubious. The growing maturity of the movement, the ferment and shifts which mark the end of the old political frontiers, and the abrupt, sometimes bewildering changes which throw to the surface new problems or old ones in new guises, more than ever require an alert and confident guide. That guide, said Engels, is the theory of Marxism. Our review wants to incarnate that guide in its pages.

Have we succeeded fully in attaining this aim ? Are we well on the road and moving in the right direction? The editors cannot say that they are entirely content. A good beginning has been made, they feel, and it is indicated by the growing circle of readers. And the latter – are they entirely content? We do not suppose so. That is why we invite specific criticisms and suggestions.

What themes are being dealt with or stressed too much? What is insufficiently covered or even neglected entirely? Are we devoting too much attention or space to international events and too little to events in this country, or the other way around? Arc the articles too long or too short, should there be more or fewer in each issue? Our book review section – what books should be reviewed, should more space be allotted to this department or less? What is the reader’s opinion of our Archives? And of our new department – The Press?

We address ourselves also, however, to those who, be they critical or otherwise, are concerned with the security of The New International. We say confidently that there is no other labor organization in the world, even if it is ten times as large as ours, that is publishing a periodical of the size and contents of our review at so low a selling price. (For example, the similarly priced leading British radical monthly has, in its 64 pages, only half the reading matter contained in our 32 pages!) Of all the economies that can conceivably be made, the one we are coldest towards is a reduction in the size or number of pages of the review. Still another way of making ends meet is to raise the selling price, which would be obviously unsatisfactory – at least to our readers! We have hitherto made the most strenuous financial efforts to keep going at the present price and with the present size. We are now compelled to make a direct appeal to our readers to join with our efforts. The review can be stabilized, and we can devote ourselves more completely to improving its contents, if our readers will pledge themselves to generous assistance.

There are three ways you can help: 1. Get subscriptions from your friends, for a solid subscription list is the soundest foundation for our review. 2. Send an outright contribution, and send it immediately. 3. Join our monthly pledge fund list for the coming year. We need a circle of friends who are in a position to donate every month for the coming year a regular sum of money ranging from one dollar upward towards assuring continuous publication. Will you help?

Our readers have the floor!

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Last updated on 26 February 2016