Marxists’ Internet Archive: ETOL Home Page: Trotskyist Writers Section: Farrel Dobbs

Farrell Dobbs

Radio Talk

“For a Workers and Farmers Government”

(2 July 1948)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 28, 12 July 1948, p. 4.
Transcription & Mark-up: Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The following is the acceptance speech of Farrell Dobbs after his nomination as presidential candidate by the Socialist Workers Party, delivered over the national radio network of the Mutual Broadcasting System on Friday evening, July 2, 1948.

Comrade chairman and delegates.

I accept the nomination as the first presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party, tendered to me by this convention. I thank you for honoring me with your confidence.

We enter the battle for the presidency in a period of grave economic and political crisis. A crisis as vital in its consequences to the American people as that which confronted our forefathers 172 years ago.

Before the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, the American people lived under the tyranny of the British lords of trade and their political agent, King George. That tyranny was smashed by revolutionary struggle at Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. And the United States leaped forward to achieve the greatest capacity for production of any nation on earth.

Now a new set of tyrants – the monopoly corporations and banking syndicates – have fastened themselves upon the American people. Under their rule, want and fear stalk through the land.

Food and clothing cost a king’s ransom. Housing conditions are a national scandal.

Negroes and other minorities are subjected to cruel persecution. The foreign born are hounded – unless they happen to be unemployed kings, or fascists who were run out of their native land.

Bitter Fruits of Capitalism

For the unions, monopoly capitalism has provided a slave labor law, the Taft-Hartley Act. Government strikebreaking has become routine procedure in every labor controversy.

Witch hunts against political minorities are conducted by the government. Scientists are subjected to military regimentation. The proposed Mundt bill threatens to establish thought control. These are ominous steps in the direction of a police state.

Another long stride toward a military and police state is the peacetime draft of American youth, who will be subjected to the tender mercies of the anti-labor brass hats.

Over every man, woman and child hangs the threat of war, with the grim prospect of destruction from atomic bombs.

These are the bitter fruits of monopoly capitalism, which today rules America through the Republican and Democratic parties.

New Declaration of Independence

A new Declaration of Independence is needed to smash this new tyranny. Millions of working people no longer trust the Republicans and Democrats. Nor can they trust any other politician who supports and defends the capitalist system.

The working people need to build their own political party, armed with a program to serve the class interests of the men and women who toil.

The Socialist Workers Party is such a party. This is demonstrated by the platform adopted at this convention.

The Socialist Workers Party is 100% opposed to the capitalist system. We call for the establishment of a socialist society. We advocate the nationalization of the basic industries and their operation under workers control.

The Socialist Workers Party calls for full equality for Negroes and all other minority peoples. We are opposed to any restriction on the right to strike. We demand that all laws which abridge the civil rights of the people be wiped off the statute books.

The Socialist Workers Party advocates a law to take the war-making powers away from Congress and to let the people vote on the question of war or peace.

We demand that the 17 billion dollars now earmarked for war preparations be used to finance government-built, low-rent housing.

The Socialist Workers Party calls for the withdrawal of all American troops from foreign soil. We demand that the oppressed peoples of all lands be permitted to manage their own affairs.

The Socialist Workers Party advocates the formation of a Workers and Farmers government, to run the country, not in the interests of the wealthy, but in the interests of those whose labor creates this country’s wealth.

The Lessons of American History

If we examine American history, we shall get an idea how this can be done.

Back in 1776, King George said that his hand-picked governors had to rule America because the people weren’t fit to gavem themselves. King George was answered by the formation of committees of mechanics, farmers and tradespeople, throughout the colonies. These committees organized a Continental Congress, and under its leadership, deposed the king’s governors and established American independence.

Today, the Democratic and Republican politicians pack the government with bankers, industrial barons, and brass hats. Like King George, they also claim that the working people are not fit to run the country.

What are the facts?

The workers and farmers, with their marvelous technical skills and creative capacity, produce everything used by man. All the capitalist does is to make a profit on the products of industry and agriculture.

Yet the capitalist politicians insolently deny that the working people are fit to make laws and administer them. They must be shown otherwise.

Committees of the People

If I am elected president, I shall issue a proclamation calling for the democratic election of committees of industrial workers and white collar workers, sharecroppers, and working farmers, students and Negroes, rank and file soldiers and sailors – in short, committees of all the exploited and the oppressed, who constitute the great majority of the population.

My proclamation shall ask these committees to organize a national Congress of Labor to draft a program setting forth the economic and political demands of the American working people.

I shall ask that Congress of Labor to elect a broad national executive committee. That committee I shall appoint as my presidential cabinet.

You won’t find in my cabinet a single banker, industrial baron, or brass hat.

Regardless of the outcome of this election the working class can and should organize politically along the lines I have indicated.

Working people of America:

The Socialist Workers Party asks for your vote in support of the program I have outlined. We summon you to join with us in the struggle for a socialist society, in which at long last you will really find complete freedom from want and true freedom from fear.

F. Dobbs Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 3 November 2022