George Clarke Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page


Democratic Party & Unemployment

(July 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V. No. 30 (Whole No. 126), 23 July 1932, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Republicans and the Democrats are two sides of one medal. The only difference between them is that the Republicans are in and the Democrats are out. If one understands this, then it is not difficult to grasp the meaning and purpose of the two old parties.

In the final analysis, they are both employed by the same master – Wall Street. But these parties do not say or even do the identical thing. There is a division of labor between them. The fact that they have special and different duties to perform towards their common master, is particularly noticeable during a crisis.

The Republican party holds the reins of government. Consequently all its statements and actions must not only be directed towards maintaining the status quo (the capitalist system) but also to defend the methods employed during their tenure of office, to perpetuate the system. The task that falls to the Democrats, in this election campaign, is a horse of a different color. Problem of Democrats

The pernicious duty of the Democrats springs entirely from present conditions – the economic crisis. Discontent is rife throughout the land. But it is still vague, embryonic and undirected. It is not yet clear to the American masses how to turn or against which enemy their blows should be levelled. The trick of the Democrats is to seize hold of this disgruntlement and to guide it into harmless channels.

The thing to do – and the Democrats make no bones about their little job – is to prevent the masses from seeing things as they actually are. It is not the Capitalist system that is responsible for the unprecedented crisis and the unparalleled misery. The profit system is both perfect and eternal. This is the theory of the Democrats. But the Republican party has misused and abused the “precious” system. And this is the main plank in the Democratic platform. The crisis is due to the Republcans, starvation, wage cuts and evictions, and unemployment – all are due to Republican maladministration. Drive the G.O.P. out, put us in, and everything will be hunky-dory. This sort of tripes is being peddled around by the ton, and no doubt it will have its effect.

The economic catastrophe of today is not the first in American history. They have recurred every few years, as long as the parasitic few, known as “capital”, have held sway over the large majority of exploited wage slaves. And crises have recurred irrespective of which party was in office. We have known “Democratic” crises as well as “Republican”.

The Democrats, with their candidate, Roosevelt, will stand by capitalism to their dying day. But that does not hinder them from selling their demagogic wares in open market. They pose as saviors of the worker and petty bourgeois who are called the “forgotten man”. They will “restore employment, improve present conditions and afford permanent relief to the people”. There is as much truth in this statement as there is in one of Baron Munchhausen’s notorious fables. There is nothing in this program that could accomplish such a miracle. Only the Communists, with their program for the proletarian revolution can solve this knotted problem.

For the unemployed the Democrats have nothing but fake promises and polished words. The shorter working week is promised only as a measure to include government employees. In a previous issue we pointed out the positions of the Democrats on the bill cutting the hours of the civil service employees. But they also gave them a corresponding reduction in wages. And the Democrats want to make this a national program. Morgan is with them. But what about the “forgotten man”? Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance is slipped into the platform on the sly – but only as a state measure. Roosevelt has been governor of New York State for four years. Where is the unemployment insurance?

Unemployment relief is held out as a big snare for votes. But – the Democratic mayors of New York, Chicago and Detroit have all cut off immediate relief to the unemployed, even though the demand for it becomes more urgent.

The real program of the Democratic lickspittles has already been shown with unmistakable clarity. It is a program of lead. In Democratic Detroit, when the starving demanded relief, Mayor Murphy’s police poured a hail of bullets into their demonstrating ranks, killing four and wounding many others. In Melrose Park, Chicago, Cermak’s Democratic cops trained machine guns on the jobless, murdered one and wounded five.

The program of the Communist League is one of action:

This is the program for the workers – the Democrat’s is for the bosses. There can be no mistake in the choice of the proletariat.

George Clarke Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 23.12.2013