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E.R. Frank

American Peoples Front

(22 November 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 47, 22 November 1948, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The newly forged Social Democratic coalition of labor bureaucrats and liberals isn’t letting any grass grow under its feet. It’s getting right down to business after the elections. Its first public action is the holding of a super-duper “Testimonial Dinner” to honor one of the young up-and-coming liberal fakers, Hubert H. Humphrey, fast-talking Mayor of Minneapolis now elected as Senator of Minnesota. The dinner will be held at the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and the price of admission is a modest $12.50 per cover.

The membership of the Testimonial Dinner Committee is a real eye-opener as to the makeup and character of this new American version of the “peoples front.” On the committee you can find such “forward looking” labor fakers as Walter Reuther, Emil Rieve, David Dubinsky, Wm. Green, Louis Hollander, James B. Carey and numerous lesser lights. The New Deal politicos are represented by a similarly impressive galaxy of luminaries: Adolf A. Berle, Leon Henderson, William O’Dwyer, Robert F. Wagner, Chester Bowles, Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. and many others. The renegades and ex-radicals have also graciously been permitted to participate in this grand reunion. The committee list glitters with such notables as Jay Lovestone, Bertram D. Wolfe, Max Eastman, Sidney Hook and their most recent and clamorous recruit, James T. Farrell, who after warming up for his new role as ex-Marxist by backing Norman Thomas in the election has now lined up in honoring the Democratic politician, Humphrey.

No one should imagine that this will put him in bad with his new friends of the “Socialist” Party, because they’re all in there pitching for Humphrey too! In fact, the League for Industrial Democracy – an S.P. intellectual front organization of which Norman Thomas is a director – is the official sponsor of the get-together. And the dinner committee boasts of such “Socialists” as Harry Fleischman, National Secretary of the S.P., William Becker and Jasper MacLevy.

This testimonial dinner is not just an excuse for a grab-fast altho we can be sure there will be plenty of that. It represents a studied effort to cement more firmly the new anti-Stalinist Peoples Front which has beaten Wallace and the Stalinists so effectively in the elections, has secured positions of power in the political machinery of the State and feels more cocky than at any time since the advent of the New Deal.

This Peoples Front bloc operates within the framework of the Democratic Party and is firmly resolved to continue doing so. Their demands are so modest and their program so niggardly, they see no bar to a long and peaceful cohabitation inside one party with the Jim Farleys, Harry Trumans, the big-city bosses and the millionaire Democratic Party backers.

But are the plans and ambitions of politicians on the make and up-and-coming labor careerists the last word in determining the course of history? Hardly. The millions of hard working, exploited people upon whose shoulders the Humphreys and Reuthers rose to their present estates will soon turn away in disillusionment from the Democratic Party. And the careerists will again have to think of forming a new party to maintain their leadership of the working people. The political education of the masses is now proceeding more intensively and this will provide the class conscious workers with a suitable arena to educate the workers in the necessity of setting up a party of their own and installing – not liberal and labor fakers – but genuine militants and Socialists in positions of leadership.

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