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The N.I.R.A – Summed Up

(July 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 37, 29 July 1933, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The decay of world capitalism is the condition that prepared the foundation for the Industrial Recovery Act.

The Industrial Recovery Act can be summed up as follows:

  1. It is an attempt to prop up a tottering and decaying capitalist system.
  2. It is an attempt to organize production; instead it will enlarge all of the basic contradictions.
  3. It is an attempt to regulate competition; instead it will intensify competition.
  4. It has the elements of state capitalism.
  5. The defeat of the German working class by Fascism has caused a political regrouping in world politics and has accelerated the American imperialists’ attempt to reorganize the internal economic forces in preparation for more effective international struggles and for war.
  6. It reveals to a greater extent the true role of the state as an instrument of suppression for the dominating class. The partnership of government and industry is not new. Only the form of a relationship is changing, from a concealed to a more open form.
  7. It will organize Cartels through government aid.
  8. It will result in a government subsidy to the big capitalists and the “sick” industries and is part of the plan to raise the price level of commodities.
  9. It is a method of eliminating the small producers.
  10. The establishment of the codes and the minimum wage for each industry, suitable for the big capitalists with large constant capital, modern methods of production and a high degree of exploitation, will eliminate the small producers who cannot live up to the new form of competition.
  11. The right to curtail production through the code agreements is a weapon in the hands of the big capitalists against the small producers.
  12. It will result in a lower standard of living for the American workers.
  13. Speed up and rationalization will be intensified.
  14. The real wages of the working class will be reduced regardless of what the money wage may be.
  15. It will establish a low minimum wage which will become the average and then the maximum.
  16. The reduction of hours as presented by the code is the stagger plan. The 30 hour week is a denial of and a caricature of the six hour day and five day week.
  17. It will establish a class collaboration machinery to hold in check the working class. Arbitration will be established for every industry.
  18. It is an attempt to head off the class upheavals in the near future.
  19. It is an attempt to prevent strikes. It will outlaw strikes. Strikes will be against the bosses’ government. The capitalists will hide behind the American flag to a far greater degree.
  20. The code makes provisions for a money wage increase of from 5 percent to 10 percent to prevent strikes due to the rapid rise in commodity prices.
  21. The workers’ “rights” under the code only begin after the employees threaten to repudiate the employers’ slave codes – then the capitalists and their government will resort to arbitration to prevent strikes.
  22. It is an attempt to side-step the dole and social insurance, absorbing some of the unemployed through the stagger plan and by the inauguration of a public works program for the benefits of the contractors’ and capitalists’ profits, to employ some of the unemployed for the equivalent of relief.
  23. It is an attempt to prevent the establishment of class struggle unions and instead to maintain the status quo, or to establish Company Unions – or safe conservative unions such as the A.F.L.
  24. It is an attempt to reorganize the surplus labor power to the high productive forces of American industries.
  25. The Industrial Recovery Act is an admission of the bankruptcy of the capitalist mode of production and is an unworkable substitute for the solution – the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment of a Workers’ Government.

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Last updated: 24 October 2015