Is American Working-Man Marxianised?
SIR,—In your April 9 issue, 1 note an item from your American Correspondent under the headline, " American Labour Largely Guided by Marx." The headline is misleading, but no more so than the article under it, so the fault seems to be not with your office but with your correepondent.
American labour largely follows two leaderships: that of the American Federation of Labour, and that of the Committee on Industrial Organisation. The A.F.L. has always consistently opposed Marxism, and has among its leaders many Catholics of varying degrees of information in Christian social philosophy. Some of its leaders are unfortunately reactionary, and are now making the mistake of fighting the C.1.0., instead of attempting co-operation with it, for the greater good of labour.
The CIO. is decidedly not a Marxist led organisation. Its leader, John L. Lewis, rose from the rank and file in the United Mine Workers of America, a strictly American organisation. One of his first lieutenants is John Brophy, one time a Socialist, but now an exemplary Catholic, a regular reader of Maritain, Dawson, Chesterton and the like: his son is in Se Meinrad's Seminary. Indiana.
Your correspondent says: " Six-hundred of these movements (se., labour movements in the U.S.A.) are considered subversive. Seventy-five of them are made up from Communist Unions, and all are clearly guided by the principles of Marx." But this is not news: there have always been, since there has been any organisation of labour in America, radical labour move
ments. Of course these have lately become more articulate, and there are many Unions ,unquestionably under Marxist leadership. But we should be careful to avoid tagging any new movements Marxist; there is such a tendency in America —the CIO., for example, has been thus unfairly labelled, and I would add,
If I may point out the obvious, the seed of Marxist propaganda needs good ground; that good ground is to be found in labour's unsatisfied grievances. It is not investigation of subversive activities which will solve the problem, but rather the extension of Christian influence in the existing labour unions, A.F.L. and CIO. The Holy Father supplies the answer in his urging of the formation of Christian Working Men's Associations.
The American working man must not be libelled for what he is not. Such correspondence, with such headlines, is, 1 fear, likely to lead Catholics to condemn the American working man without a fair hearing. a condemnation that is contrary to charity and justice, and contrary as well to American common law, which is taken from your English law, and holds as a sacred precept that a man in any case is innocent until proven guilty.
NORMAN McK ENNA. Editor, Christian Front.