John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Are you a closet Socialist?
Accordingly, I took a look at the Socialist Party platform for 1912, the year Woodrow Wilson, nominated in sweaty Baltimore, defeated William Howard Taft. Amid a lot of boilerplate about workers and collective ownership, there were these platform planks:
[S]ecuring for every worker a rest period of not less than a day and a half in each week.
[F]orbidding the employment of children under sixteen years of age.
[A]bolishing official charity and substituting a non-contributary system of old age pensions, a general system of insurance by the State of all its members against unemployment and invalidism and a system of compulsory insurance by employers of their workers, without cost to the latter, against industrial diseases, accidents and death.
The adoption of a graduated income tax and the extension of inheritance taxes, graduated in proportion to the value of the estate and to nearness of kin-the proceeds of these taxes to be employed in the socialization of industry.
Unrestricted and equal suffrage for men and women.
The adoption of the initiative, referendum and recall and of proportional representation, nationally as well as locally.
The granting of the right of suffrage in the District of Columbia with representation in Congress and a democratic form of municipal government for purely local affairs.
The enactment of further measures for general education and particularly for vocational education in useful pursuits. The Bureau of Education to be made a department.
Citizens, be alert!