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(January 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 4, 22 January 1945, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Editor:

I am getting your paper. Find inclosed some reading matter according to my way of thinking.

I am unable to see any difference in “Pure Socialism” and “Pure Communism” and the pure brand is the only brand I care for. I can’t see how any socialist or communist could differ on fundamental principles. In either instance it would be a workers’ government administered in the interest of workers. I am for either one or both if you prefer.

Right now organized labor has the situation in hand, if they don’t split up. William Green, John L. Lewis, Sidney Hillman, Philip Murray and other influential leaders should get together and stay together, and pilot this post-war world. Organized labor has all the power and influence needed for that purpose. If it’s left to capitalism, hell will be to play, and if they get labor down it will be labors own fault. Well if labor hasn’t got sense enough to lead, they will just have to fall in behind and good-bye unions. It will be a crime for any differences to come up that can’t be ironed out – for together we win, divided we fall, and this time we will fall hard. This is to be the last kick of the dying capitalist, or it may survive. It’s up to labor. I for one believe every leader in the movement will get together and stick. The responsibility is great.

It might behoove us to become less interested in other countries and think more of what is the best program for this country, devise it, blueprint it and stick to it until it’s accomplished. IT’S ALL UP TO LABOR. Organized labor is the only constructive force in America. Capitalism is destructive of every interest of the working man or general welfare.


J.R.W., Glen Allen, Mo.


Dear J.R.W.:

Life would be much more simple if socialists and communists agreed on fundamental principles. But it is unfortunately true that the Communist Party has abandoned socialist principles. Only a few facts are necessary to prove that.

The Communist Party supported Roosevelt in the election. It opposed us of the Workers Party and all workers who wanted to build a Labor Party with genuine labor candidates on a program for labor. Their leader in the United States, Earl Browder, has said that capitalism is workable, and the communists will support it.

At the present time they are conducting a vigorous campaign in their paper, the Daily Worker, against rescinding the no-strike pledge in the referendum vote now taking place in the United Auto Workers Union. The strike, as you imply an another letter you sent us, is a necessary weapon for labor to be effective in its struggle for better conditions against the employers and complete emancipation. Abroad, their members have participated in the neo-fascist cabinet of Badoglio in Italy, and in the British puppet government of Papandreou an Greece (until the movement of liberation on the part of the Greek and Italian masses forced them out).

(See the description by Reva Craine elsewhere in this issue on a factory boss in Russia. What a degrading departure from the communist principle of “workers’ control of industry” which existed after the revolution in Russia! What an unmistakable departure from the democratic principles of communism!)

The explanation for this? The Stalin government in Russia took the reins away from the workers. This was possible because of the poverty of Russia and the fact that ONE socialist state was surrounded by hostile capitalist states. True socialism is passible only on an international scale, with an international division of labor, an elimination of rival states competing arid warring with each other. The inequality in Russia generated the policeman – the state – to keep a few in power and prosperity and to keep the impoverished masses down.

Our World Interests

This brings us to the point in your letter that “it might behoove us to become less interested in other countries and think more of what is the best program for this country.”

We recognize that the primary task of the Workers Party lies in convincing the labor movement of the United States of its historical responsibility to form its own party and take over the leadership of the nation. But, to achieve this goal, the workers of the United States must have an understanding of, and a solidarity with, their international class brothers.

They must have an understanding of why it is that the workers-in-uniform are facing each other on the world’s battle fronts, while the capitalists of all sides are safe and secure and waxing fat on the profits of war.

Perhaps another country will create a workers’ government before the workers of the United States do. Then we should expect the sympathy and solidarity of that government toward our own struggles. And if we should have a genuine labor government in the United States, do you think that the other capitalist nations would treat us any differently than they did Russia after 1917, when both German and Allied armies forgot their differences in order to send their soldiers against the new workers’ state?

Just as the capitalists have an international solidarity against the workers, so must we have an international solidarity of labor. Our workers’ government would call upon the workers of other countries to try to prevent their rulers from crushing us. We should tell them to form similar governments of their own in their own countries, to bring an end, all over the world, to the system that breeds poverty and war, and to usher in an era of peace and plenty for all.

We think that labor organization should be united, too. The rank and fliers’ desire unity, but we cannot put our faith in Green, Lewis, Hillman, Murray and their like, who act as stumbling blocks, who have their posts, salaries and prestige at stake. These are the big-salaried men of labor, who have one face turned toward the bosses and the government and the other turned toward labor. Proof? In the interests of “national unity” for the war effort, i.e., national unity between the millionaire and the moneyless, Murray, Green and the others have sacrificed the independence of labor. They gave up the no-strike pledge. That leaves labor defenseless. The capitalists, on the other hand, have their industry, their farmland, their banks, their newspapers, their radio, their movies – and their war. But labor is paying the bill, enduring the speed-up, suffering the shortages, doing the fighting and dying.

As: you say in your letter, “IT’S ALL UP TO LABOR.” It is up to rank and fliers like yourself to push for unity over the heads of the labor bureaucrats and create the greatest, largest, best organized force for progress the world has even seen – thirteen million workers and their families! It is up to you, and other progressives like you, to join the ranks of the Workers Party to fight for a workers’ world.


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