Joseph Hansen

Dobbs and Carlson to Head
’48 National Ticket Of SWP

Will Fight for Socialism in Presidential Campaign

(1 March 1948)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 9, 1 March 1948, pp. 1 & 4.
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For the first time since the days of Eugene V. Debs and the pioneer Communist movement, Wall Street’s candidates will be opposed in a presidential election by a working class slate standing squarely on the program of revolutionary socialism.

For the first time since the inception of the American Trotskyist movement 20 years ago, the Socialist Workers Party is entering its own candidates in a national election.

As candidate of the Socialist Workers Party for President of the United States in the 1948 elections, the National Committee of the SWP at its Feb. 21–23 session nominated Farrell Dobbs, Editor of The Militant and well-known former trade union leader. For Vice-President, the National Committee chose Grace Carlson of Minneapolis, Minn. Both candidates accepted the nomination.

Farrell Dobbs came to the fore as a capable, fighting labor leader during the historic Minneapolis Teamsters strike of 1934. This struggle made open-shop Minneapolis a union town and inspired organization of the whole Northwest.

After serving a number of years as Secretary Treasurer of Local 544 of the AFL Teamsters and as Secretary of the Teamsters Eleven State Area Committee, Dobbs went to New York to serve as National Labor Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party.

In 1941 he was among the 18 defendants framed-up in the Minneapolis Labor Case. Sentenced under the infamous Smith “Gag” Act for the “crime” of opposing imperialist war and advocating socialism, he served 13 months in Sandstone Federal Penitentiary.

Grace Carlson has a similar active record in the labor movement. A graduate with a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota, she decided years ago to devote her life to the revolutionary socialist movement.

For four years she served as delegate of the Minnesota State Employees Union, Local No. 10, to the St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly.

The only woman among the 18 defendants in the Minneapolis Labor Case, Grace Carlson served 13 months at the Alderson Federal Penitentiary for Women. Like Dobbs, her “crime” was opposing imperialist war and advocating socialism.

Grace Carlson is a member of the National Executive Board of the Workers Defense League and a member of the National Association tor the Advancement of Colored People.

Upon accepting their nomination to head the SWP national ticket, Dobbs and Carlson issued the following statement:

“We are 100% opposed to the capitalist system. It. is this worn-out. system which is responsible for all the economic, social and political ills that harass the workers and poor farmers today.

“Capitalism has inflicted two world wars on us in a quarter of a century. It has given us fascism in Europe and a number of world depressions. It fosters race prejudice and hatred.

“If Big Business is permitted to continue running the country, a depression worse than that of the Thirties is inevitable. And so is another world war. Waged with atomic weapons, that war can mean the end of human culture,

“The Republican Party hasn't changed since the days of Herbert. Hoover. This political machine of Wall Street now hopes to stage a comeback. But a vote for the Republicans in 1948 is a vote for breadlines just as it was in 1928. Don’t vote yourself out of a job by voting Republican!

“The Democratic Party is not a whit better. Like the Republicans, the Democrats stand for unbridled militarism. A vote for Truman is a vote for atomic war!

“Wallace considers Truman doomed to defeat. The Democratic Party is a sinking ship. But does Wallace's sudden departure from the Democratic Party make his program any better than that of the other capitalist politicians?

“Wallace claims that he stands for peace. In the same breath he emphasizes his loyalty to the capitalist system. Peace and capitalism don’t mix. Woodrow Wilson promised to keep America out of war. In office, however, he plunged the United States into World War I. Franklin D. Roosevelt likewise proclaimed that he hated war and promised “again and again and again” he would not send American boys to fight overseas. But Roosevelt had Wallace’s help in plunging the United States into World War II.

“Wallace now insists that he represents the tradition of Wilson and Roosevelt. Isn’t that the tradition of promising peace and giving us war?

“The Stalinists are now doing the dirty work for Wallace. This is the American Stalinist version of the deadly line handed down by the Moscow oligarchy. To build up a capitalist party is nothing new for the Stalinists. Under Earl Browder they became experts at it.

Stalinist Betrayers

“True, the Stalinists beat their breasts in repentance over all their wartime political crimes and offered up Earl Browder as a scapegoat; but they didn’t really mean it. They asked only two questions of Wallace: Does he favor a deal with the Kremlin? Is he building a capitalist party? When he answered, ‘Yes,’ that was enough for them.

“In opposition to all these capitalist politicians and their stooges, we stand for establishment of a Workers and Farmers Government. We stand for an end to the anarchy of capitalism with its wars, depressions and anti-labor laws. We stand for the modern socialist system of running industry. Socialism alone can guarantee enduring peace and plenty. It replaces the profit system and thereby eliminates the basic cause of wars, poverty and political reaction.

“End the rule of the piratical cliques of capitalists who run industry for greedy personal ends! Put order and planning in our magnificent industrial system! Prevent a Third World War! Join the struggle for peace and security by building socialism.”


Last updated on: 12 October 2020