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Jack Ranger

A Dictionary for Workers

(9 June 1947)

From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 23, 9 June 1947, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Demagogue, one who tells the masses things that are untrue and who makes promises that he has no intention of fulfilling.

Democracy, refers either to a particular form of state organization – the capitalist parliamentary regime; or to certain “democratic” rights arising out of the struggle of capitalism against feudalism. These rights are of two sorts, The first group consists of those rights which embody and enforce capitalist property relations, such as the right to hold property in the basic means of production; the right to employ wage labor; the right to monopolize for the sake of private profit; the right of individuals and private organizations to control the instruments of propaganda, such as press and telephone and radio and motion pictures; the right to suppress the products of Science and invention in the interest of profits, etc. The second group of democratic rights includes many of the so-called “civil liberties,” such as the rights, of free speech, free assembly, habeas corpus, petition, public secular education, etc.

Democratic centralism, an organizational principle that provides for full freedom of discussion prior to a decision by the organization, followed by complete unity in action in carrying out the decision.

Dialectics, a method of logical reasoning whereby a thing is considered in the light of its development or evolution, and in its relationship to all other things.

Dies Committee, the Committee on Un-American Activities of the U.S. Congress which was headed by former Congressman Martin A. Dies. The principal purpose of the Dies Committee and its successors is to stir up public suspicion against union leaders and militant workers generally.

Dual power, the state of affairs existing in a nation during a revolutionary crisis when the old government and the new revolutionary government both exercise power in the same area, each government representing different classes and aims. By its very nature, such a period is quite brief.

Dual union, one which competes with an established union which has already organized the bulk of the workers in a trade or industry.

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