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Economic Crisis Continues to Deepen

(April 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 17 (Whole No. 113), 23 April 1932, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The crisis is still deepening. It is enough to look at the latest Annalist (April 15) to find abundant evidence to that effect. The graphs show that pig iron and steel ingot production have fallen to new lows for the entire period since 1919. All the other indices of the country’s production are likewise moving downward.

The expected spring upturn has proved to be another disappointment to the Babsons and the people who still swallow their stuff. The economic messianism of Ford took the form of a machine gun fusillade.

The purveyors of bourgeois optimism now restrict their dope to more qualified formulations than they used formerly. Thus the New York Times of April 18:

“During the last week some officials expressed, with what has been described as ‘cautious optimism’, the view that the worst features of liquidation may be over and that a turn in the tide has come or soon will come, with a slow recovery from economic depression in this country. Expressions heard now are largely restricted to the belief that indicators point to a check in liquidation and that unless further adverse factors appear, a more hopeful outlook is justified.”

So speak the capitalist hessians of the pen. It is to throw dust in the eyes.

The authentic spokesmen of capitalism speaks in a more pessimistic vein. J.P. Jordan writing in the April 15 Annalist says, in Face the Facts:

“For two full years we all have hoped that the depression in business had spent its force. 1930 was bad; 1931 was worse, and now 1932 seems generally worse than 1931. But the most alarming feature right now is that there seem to be few signs that 1933 will be much better. If this is so, and there are many signs to point that way, it becomes most obvious – that further and deeper adjustments must be made …”

This is a truer picture of the perspective capitalism holds before itself.

And the remedy it proposes to apply – wage outs! That is the meaning of Jordan’s “further and deeper adjustments”. He urges capitalists everywhere to “right at the start let us dispose of the element of sentiment”. No doubt the capitalist class intends to launch a new wave of wage cuts. The forthcoming ten percent cut in the wages of the steel workers, announced recently, will be the first point of attack.

The workers must resist. That is the only way to prevent not only this attack on their living standards but the “further and deeper” onslaughts which will follow inevitably if this one is peaceably accepted by them. To the Communist party falls the duty of organizing this resistance and giving it leadership.

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