Sunday, October 04, 2020

Today -100: October 4, 1920: Of pocket dynamite, gross ignorance and impudent audacity, and roads

The feds arrest a suspect in the Wall Street bombing, one Florean Zelenska. Caught with dynamite caps and fuses, the Brooklyn resident claims to be a miner tho’ “His hands... are soft as a woman’s.” He’ll turn out to be some weirdo who liked to carry bits of dynamite in his pockets and bring them out to impress dates. As you do.

Woodrow Wilson finally joins the campaign with an address to the American people about the election, which he calls “a genuine national referendum” on “Do you want your country’s honor vindicated and the Treaty of Versailles ratified?” and, of course, the League of Nations. He fails to mention Gov. Cox at all. He says the people have been “grossly misled” by the opponents of the League (should he not have said that those opponents attempted to mislead? Wilson is such a condescending ass). He accuses the anti-Leaguers of “gross ignorance and impudent audacity” – impudent audacity is the worst kind – “which have led them to attempt to invent an ‘Americanism’ of their own, which has no foundation whatever in any of the authentic traditions of the Government. Americanism, as they conceive it, reverses the whole process of last few tragical years. It would substitute America for Prussia in the policy of isolation and defiant segregation. Their conception of the dignity of the nation and its interest is that we should stand apart and watch for opportunities to advance our own interests, involve ourselves in no responsibility for the maintenance of the right in the world or for the continued vindication of any of the things for which we entered the war to fight.” Blah blah light of the world blah blah subordinate role in the affairs of the world...

H.G. Wells is visiting Russia (there will be a book). He meets Gorky, he will meet Lenin. He says “Your road is toward communism; ours is toward collectivism.”

Lenin, who does not believe in different “roads,” orders the Italian Socialist Party to expel moderate leaders, adhere to all the articles of the Third Internationale. The Executive votes to comply.

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