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Ernest Erber

Eight-Pager Needed for
Socialist Education!

(11 March 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 10, 11 March 1946, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Thousands of the readers of Labor Action first came to read our paper during the war years. The paper appealed to them because it told the truth about wartime profits, about the Little Steel formula, about the no-strike pledge and about the need of labor to have a party of its own. They came to rely upon Labor Action for a “line” in the many tactical turns of the struggle.

But the steady reader has come to demand more than this. He has come to demand answers to the more basic questions. Why must the working class, which produces the wealth of the nation, constantly fight for sufficient wages to maintain a decent standard of living? Why is there poverty in the midst of plenty? Why must we live in out-dated and run-down buildings when there is enough material and skilled labor to construct decent homes for everyone? Why did we fight two wars to “end all war” with the third one already in sight? Why were millions of lives and billions in property sacrificed in a war “against the fascist aggressors” if dictatorship, tyranny, oppression and aggression continue to rule the world today?

What is fascism, what causes it, who supports it and how can we end it? Can capitalism be made to work? Are we headed toward real prosperity or toward another depression? What about Russia? Does it hold out any hope for the working people? Why do the Stalinist puppets like Browder and Foster act the way they do? If there is no socialism in Russia, just what is socialism? How can we achieve it? What do the lessons of history teach us about the struggle of the working class for liberation from economic oppression?

Labor Action has tried to the best of its ability to deal with all these questions. But it has seldom been able to do more than touch upon them. IT COULD DO NO MORE IN FOUR PAGES.

The immediate and pressing problems always came first. Yet our readers are right. We need more than the answers to the questions of the day. The daily press of the capitalists, with its circulation of tens of millions, can swamp us here. But there is one field in which it cannot touch us. That is the field of SOCIALIST EDUCATION, the basic answers to the questions posed above. Once the worker has come to understand the scientific method of socialist analysis, the lying and tricky propaganda of the capitalist press cannot mislead him.

We need a Labor Action that can do a complete job of socialist education. A six months’ subscription must become a six months’ course in scientific socialism. For this we need an EIGHT- PAGE paper. The way to get it is to ring the bell in the $15,000 Fund Drive. We have no advertisers or “big money” backers. We operate without making a profit. It’s up to our readers. What do you say?

The first issue of the eight-page paper will appear on June 17. On April 1 a sample copy of the eight-pager will appear so that all our readers may see for themselves what a great advance this expansion will represent.

The thousands of dollars required to make this advance must come from our readers. We appeal to every reader to send us a contribution to make the expansion possible. Make all checks and money orders payable to Labor Action, 114 West 14th Street, New York 11, N.Y.

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Last updated: 20 January 2019