J.R. Johnson

New International Is a Socialist Weapon

(18 November 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 46, 18 November 1946, p. 8.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Every society lives, or more precisely, thinks, according to a body of ideas. And one of the signs of the breakdown of a society is the fact that the ideas by which it lives’ are questioned on all sides. That is happening to us today. Can “free enterprise” survive another depression? Is depression inevitable under the system of “free enterprise”? Can any state today escape a government-controlled economy? Is such an economy the sure road to totalitarianism? What kind of communism exists in Russia? The religious parties that have sprung up all over Western Europe; do they represent a new religious age? And, most important perhaps of all, is it impossible for mankind to live without war?

Now the capitalist press today is distinguished by the fact that it is in complete chaos on these questions. People like Samuel Grafton and Marquis Childs of the New York Post, Dorothy Thompson, the famous columnist, and others freely confess their bankruptcy and despair. They don’t give the advice, the analysis, the historical inferences, the hopes for the future that they formerly poured out so fluently. They say point blank “The crisis is beyond us. We do not know what to do. We do not know what to think. We are miserable. If only people would think differently or act differently. But we know that they won’t. The prospect is bleak.”

Thus confusion is the cause of our confidence. Marxism and Marxists are not bewildered by the crisis. We foresaw it, we said so, we traced it, we have always been and are today more than ever confident of the truth of our way out – the world socialist revolution.

That is why today The New International stands out among the theoretical journals of the day. Its writers all have as their foundation the continuing decline of capitalist society and the solution of its ills by proletarian revolution. Thus problems, disasters, unforeseen events, defeats and victories can be analyzed without wailing, defeatism, pessimism, despair.

The writers often disagree, we make mistakes, we often have to revise our estimates and our analyses. But our fundamental perspective is not only justified by events. History daily shows us that there is.no other serious alternative – workers’ power, socialism, a new world or the descent into totalitarian barbarism.

The New International writers, guided by these principles, resisted the war. Hence we and our readers are not deceived or disappointed by the shameful peace, or rather inability to make peace. We know the futility of supporting either Republicans or Democrats. We are neither deceived nor disappointed at their treacheries, follies or failures. Instead The New International bases itself always upon the movements of the proletariat.

The CIO, the AFL, the poor farmers, the Negroes, the lower middle classes, the same people and types of organization abroad, these are our foundation. We study them, analyze them, advocate policy, build our whole life upon them, what they are, what they were, what they will be.

Every worker, embittered, disappointed, confused, bewildered by the capitalist chaos around him can find a stable support, a clear philosophy, and that confidence which comes from understanding, in the pages of The New International.

Last updated on 8 July 2019