Main FI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Fourth International, November 1946


Review of the Month

The Wallace Affair


From Fourth International, November 1946, Vol.7 No.11, pp.323-324.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


At The Banquet Tables Of The Rich

There was rejoicing and high wassail at the banquet tables of the rich and the mighty when the news came through that Wallace had been dumped from Truman’s cabinet. What was Wallace’s crime which had earned him the awful ire of the Wall Street masters? Did Wallace perchance denounce the war aims of the banking fraternity and call on the people to rise up in their wrath and overthrow this infamous rule? Did Wallace reveal that the two existing parties are but tools of the Plutocracy and advocate the formation of a new party of the laboring people to seize hold of the organs of political power and call a halt to the drive towards war? No. Nothing of the kind. Wallace is a singularly mild capitalist politician of the liberal variety. His muddleheaded and cowardly brand of politics is sufficiently epitomized by his recent acceptance of the editorship of the gutless New Republic. Wallace simply saw how the Plutocracy was dragooning the American people into a new world war; how, drunk with power and vision of world empire, the monied masters were encouraging their admirals and generals to ever more bellicose utterances and ever more threatening gestures; how in their supreme arrogance, bred of their wealth and power, they were brazenly brandishing the atomic bomb and threatening to wipe the peoples of Russia off the face of the earth. Wallace saw how American imperialism, with increasing brutality, was crowding the Kremlin rulers here, there and everywhere, and how soon the latter would be faced with the alternative of capitulating to Wall Street or going to war. And frightened by this horrible apparition and the consequences of a new war, Wallace uttered a mild protest. Live and let live, he pleaded. We run the whole Western hemisphere, We have a big stake in Asia and elsewhere. Why don’t we let the Kremlin run the bankrupt states of Eastern Europe? And let’s stop, above all, that madman Baruch from frightening the whole world with the atom bomb. Let’s ease up a little bit. Otherwise we’re heading straight for war.

No sooner were these words out of Wallace’s mouth, than the howling wolf-pack of Wall Street time-servers was at his heels. “Wallace must go,” shrieked the reptile press with one voice, all the way from McCormick’s Chicago Tribune to the yellow gutter rag of the “left,” the New Leader.

Paid Press Grew Hysterical

Why, one must ask, did the paid press grow so hysterical? Why did the government suddenly find itself thrust into a full-blown crisis? Certainly Wall Street knows full well that Wallace is a mild liberal politician utterly subservient to the capitalist powers-that-be. Why then did the Plutocracy insist on the firing of Wallace – a move that increases the dangers of a split in the Democratic party and the possible formation of a new labor party.

The answer is that the Plutocracy is playing for high stakes and is willing to gamble, to take chances. Its stakes are nothing less than world domination. It has already bent both political parties – the Democrats and Republicans – to its imperial aims and its war plans. Under cover of a bi-partisan foreign policy, and the trick slogan of taking foreign policy out of the sphere of partisan politics, it has imposed its arch-reactionary war program on every political figure who is anxious to continue holding public office. It has made Byrnes the willing tool of its conspiracy. It has stilled every voice of opposition and the Wall Street oligarchy is now in the happy position that regardless which party emerges triumphant in Washington, its war policy will prevail without even any break in continuity. Wall Street’s ambassadors and agents are already pressing Russia on all fronts and mobilizing the capitalist states from South Africa to Australia for the new holy crusade to crush Russian “imperialism.”

Because of the unanimity in the organs that manufacture “public opinion“ in the United States; because of the treachery of the labor lieutenants of capitalism who head the trade unions, and furthermore because of the ammunition that the Kremlin tyrants so amply supply the Wall Street fake “democrats,” the American people became bewildered and stunned by the international developments, and have, in somnambulant fashion, gone along with the war makers and their plans.

Wallace Thrown to the Wolves

Wallace stepped into this highly delicate situation and by his dissent threatened to blow up the carefully contrived “national unity” on the war front, and involve the whole nation in a debate over foreign policy. Nothing could be more disastrous from the point of view of the war party in Washington and Wall Street. If there is one thing in this whole world that cannot stand the light of day, that cannot bear discussion and debate, it is the sinister war conspiracy of the American billionaires. That is why they lashed out so savagely against Wallace, and so unceremoniously brushed aside their faithful little lackey from Missouri. Truman had even concluded an agreement with Wallace that the latter would keep his mouth shut for a while. But Baruch and the others from Wall Street came down to the White House and told the little man that that was not enough. The gods of Wall Street were angered and Wallace’s horrible crime could only be expiated by his dismissal and disgrace. Thereupon Wallace was thrown to the wolves.

By this peremptory dismissal of Wallace and the subsequent attempt to disgrace him and drive him from public life, the Plutocracy wished to achieve two ends; one, at home, the other, abroad. At home, Wall Street sought to make clear that there would be no toleration of any criticism or tampering with its foreign policy, with its war program, with its blue print for world hegemony. This was territory that was “out of bounds” for politicians, and those who wanted to remain in public life had better steer clear of any criticism, or urge to “play to the gallery” on this matter. Abroad, the Plutocracy sought to demonstrate, in an arresting manner, that the anti-Russian campaign would proceed full steam ahead; that they had full control in the United States and could carry through their plans without hindrance.

The Plutocracy certainly demonstrated in the Wallace business their effective control of the Ship of State. But the very savagery and hysteria of their attack on Wallace reveals the Achilles’ heel of American imperialism. This ruling power is almighty and irresistible only so long as the American working class remains apathetic and permits itself to be bound in the chains of “national unity.” But the minute this working class shakes off its stupor and asserts an independent policy, then the mighty colossus of Wall Street becomes paralyzed and even impotent. This has been witnessed in recent years time and again on the economic front. Wall Street is destined to experience the same paralysis and impotence in the sphere of its political rule when the working class organizes itself politically and moves to challenge the present misrulers of society.

Significance Of Wallace Affair

The Wallace affair has served this purpose and has this significance: It has cast a glaring 1ight on the war preparations and plans of American capitalism. It has dramatized the war danger that is threatening the American people. It has inaugurated a national debate on foreign policy which will unquestionably awaken to political life great numbers of people. It has even stirred the pusillanimous CIO leadership to condemn the Baruch Atomic Bomb plan – an integral part of Wall Street’s war program. The job of the Marxist revolutionists is to utilize this heightened consciousness of the people to rally them behind a genuine anti-war program – a program to stay the hand of the imperialists, the war makers.

Top of page

Main FI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Last updated on 11.2.2009