And here was the most significant fact to Jimmie Higgins—these enormously important revelations, the most important since the beginning of the war, were practically suppressed by the capitalist newspapers of America! First these papers printed a brief item—the Bolsheviki had given out what they claimed were secret treaties, but the genuineness of these documents was gravely doubted. Then they published evasive and lying denials from the British, French and Italian diplomats; and then they shut up! Not another word did you read about those secret treaties; except for one or two American newspapers with traditions of honour, the full text of those treaties was given in the Socialist press alone! “And now,” cried Jimmie Higgins to the working men in his shop, “what do you think of those wonderful allies of ours? What do you think of those Wall Street newspapers of ours?” Could any working-man who had such facts put before him fail to realize that Jimmie Higgins had a case, and a most important work in the world to do, in spite of all his unreason and his narrowness?
Jimmie was now in the seventh heaven, walking as if on air. A proletarian government at last, the first in history! A government of working-men like himself, running their own affairs, without the help of politicians or bankers! Coming out before the world and telling the truth about matters of state, in language that common men could understand! Disbanding the armies, and sending the workers home! Turning the masters out of the factories, and putting shop-committees in control! Taking away the advertising from the crooked capitalist papers, and so putting them out of business! Our little friend would rush to the corner every morning to get the paper and see what had happened next; he would go down the street so excited that he forgot his breakfast.
Jimmie had made a new acquaintance in Ironton; the little tailor, Rabin, whose name was Scholem, which means Peace, had given him a letter to his brother, whose name was Deror, which means Freedom. Each afternoon when the automobile factory let out, Jimmie would get an evening paper and take it to Deror’s tailor-shop and the two would spell out the news. By God, look at this! Did you ever hear the like? The man in charge of the Bolshevik foreign office was a Marxian Jew who had helped edit the Novy Mir, the revolutionary paper which Scholem had read to Jimmie! He had been a waiter in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, and now he was giving out the secret treaties, and issuing propaganda manifestoes to the international proletariat.
The American capitalist press was full of lies about the new revolution, of course; but Jimmie could read pretty well between the lines of the capitalist press, and the few Socialist papers that were still in business, and which he read at the headquarters of the local, gave him the rest of what he wanted. To Jimmie, of course, everything the Bolsheviki did was right; if it wasn’t right it was a lie. The little machinist knew that the Bolsheviki had repudiated the four-billion-dollar debt which the government of the Tsar had contracted with the bankers of France, and Jimmie knew perfectly well what was the lying power of four billion dollars.