1920s >> 1920 >> no-192-august-1920

An Interesting Document

Why Jack London resigned from The Socialist Party of America.
We reproduce below the letter by which the well-known novelist, Jack London, resigned his membership of the Socialist Party of America. It is of interest as showing, how far he was from taking up the position which his widow afterwards embraced, and which she declared would have been his position had he lived.




7th March, 1916.

Dear Comrades,

     I am resigning from the Socialist Party of America because of its lack of fire and fight and its loss of emphasis on the Class Struggle.

   I was originally a member of the old up-on- its-hind-legs-fighting-Socialist Party; Since then and up to the present time, I have been a fighting member of the Socialist Party of America. My fighting record in the cause is not even at this late date entirely forgotten. Trained in the Class Struggle as taught and practiced by the Socialist Labour Party,—my own highest judgment concurring,—I believed that the working class, by fighting, by never fusing, never making terms with the enemy, could emancipate itself. Since the whole trend of Socialism in the United States of America during recent yearn has been one of peaceableness and compromise, I find that my mind refuses further sanction of my remaining a Party member.

   Please include my Comrade wife, Charmian K. London’s resignation with mine.

   My final word is that liberty, freedom, and independence are royal things that cannot be presented to, nor thrust upon, races or classes. If races and classes cannot rise up by their strength of brain and brawn, wrest from the world liberty, freedom and independence, they never in time can come to these royal possessions, and if such royal things are kindly presented to them by superior individuals on silver platters, they will know not what to do with them, will fall to make use of them, and will be what they have always been in the past —inferior races and inferior classes.

Yours for the Revolution,


Jack London.


(From the “Overland Monthly,” Nov. 1917.)