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Farrell Dobbs

Dobbs Blasts Boss Parties in Election

(22 June 1945)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 26, 30 June 1945, p. 3.
Transcription & Mark-up: Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The following is the text of the opening campaign speech of Farrell Dobbs, Socialist Workers Party mayoralty candidate in New York City, delivered at the Grace Carlson mass meeting on Friday evening, June 22:

* * *

Next November the people of New York will go to the polls to elect a new city administration. Grave social and economic problems – problems which daily grow more acute for the working class – make this election an extremely important one.

Runaway prices, heavy taxes, frozen wages, wielded like huge knives in the hands of the capitalist robbers, have slashed the standard of living of the great mass of the people. Rationing, the black market, shortages, have made this wound deeper. And finally, inferior goods, shoddy but nonetheless expensive, have deepened right to the bone this cut in the standard of living.

Masses’ Plight

This has been the economic fate of the great mass of the people under the fake “equality-of-sacrifice” program enunciated by Roosevelt in the spring of 1942. But it certainly has not been the fate of America’s Sixty Families.

Corporation profits have reached unprecedented peaks during the course of World War II. Monopoly trusts and cartels have gorged themselves with wealth, coined out of the blood of workers in uniform and the toil of workers in the factories. Tax rebates, subsidies, entire plants have been handed over to the corporations by the government under its reconversion program.

What are the workers getting under this reconversion plan? Mass layoffs are already under way, and the profit-bloated capitalists propose to give unemployed workers only a pittance for relief. Wage slashes are in store for workers who manage to hold their jobs. To enforce this brutal policy, the capitalist politicians propose compulsory arbitration and government strikebreaking.

Heroes for a Day

Workers in uniform are now coming back from the war fronts, especially from Europe, and they find that despite all the talk about heroes, they are heroes only for a day. They become forgotten men the very next day. For tomorrow, all that the capitalists can offer to the veterans of World War II is what they offered to the veterans of World War I – Hoovervilles and bonus armies. And now the capitalists are demanding workers in uniform for a permanent conscript army to support Wall Street’s schemes for world domination.

What do the capitalist political parties here in New York City offer to the workers under these critical conditions? They offer them Tammany politics! A farce enacted in the back room of a political bawdy house! A farce which the capitalist press tries to palm off on the workers as good Shakespearian drama. A fraudulent pretext of giving the workers an opportunity to select representatives in the government who would protect the workers’ interests.

Political Tricksters

And in this farce the trickster Sidney Hillman, the confidence man David Dubinsky and the Stalinist betrayers – they enact a grotesque imitation of independent labor politics by lining up, some with the Republican Party, the others with the Democratic Party. Thus the New York labor party movement, split as it is today, officially throws its support to one or the other of the two capitalist political parties.

In these circumstances, the Socialist Workers Party becomes the major political force which will carry on the fight for independent working-class political action in this election campaign. We intend to make that fight on the basis of a program keyed to the real needs of the working class. We call upon every believer in independent working-class political action to pitch in and help us in this fight.

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Last updated: 19 June 2021