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T. Stamm

The Recovery Program of the Socialist Party

(January 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 1, 4 January 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Socialist Party has issued a five-point program for recovery from the crisis: reduction of interest on all indebtedness; reduction of the capital structure of all business and utilities affected with a public interest (are there any that aren’t?); a capital levy; a steep increase in inheritance taxes; the issuance of currency to finance the public works program.

It is clear at one glance that this program offers no threat to the capitalist system. On the contrary, it is designed as its name indicates, to HELP THE CAPITALISTS RECOVER FROM THE CRISIS. That is also the aim of the official political parties of the capitalist class, and of all the government agencies including the vast network of the governmental agencies including the vast network of the recovery administrations.

Let us take a closer look at the program. Point one calls tor a reduction on all indebtedness including farm mortgages to 2 or 2½%. Whom will this benefit? According to the December bulletin of the National City Bank – “the chief debtors are governments, corporations and credit institutions.” “It is plain from the figures of the Twentieth Century Fund, Inc., that the overwhelming bulk of the debts are owed by corporations or by persons falling within the rich or well-to-do income groups, and not by the poor.” The Socialist Party recovery program would cut down the interest the banks pay on workers’ savings, afford them some relief in connection with mortgages and lift a tremendous load from the shoulders of the capitalist class.

Point four calls for “a steep increase in inheritance taxes”. What does the Socialist Party recovery program propose to do with this money? Use it for unemployment insurance? No, “– the proceeds – would be used for the retirement of government bonds”!

Point five calls for the issuance of currency to finance the Public Works program. Inasmuch as this runs into billions of dollars, point five is tantamount to outright, unlimited currency inflation. What this means for workers is well known – drastic cuts in real wages through soaring prices.

The Socialist party has the brass to say in its statement accompanying its recovery program that it is against currency inflation. It explains the contradiction on the all-too-familiar philosophy of the lesser evil. To finance its Public Works program the government issues bonds on which it has to pay interest. The Socialist Party wants to save the capitalist government about four million dollars in interest. Instead of selling bonds, says the S.P., run the printing presses. It is true this in inflation but it is justified by “– other inflationary measures already undertaken.”

Not only is the S.P. recovery program designed to help the capitalists get out of the crisis, but it is aiming squarely at the workers.

For a proletarian, revolutionary party every difficulty of the capitalist class is an opportunity to press forward for its overthrow. The revolutionists fight to ameliorate the conditions of the workers but not to help the capitalist system to “recover”. The periodic crises of capitalism create objective conditions favorable for the mass movements of the workers to develop to higher political levels until at last they reach the plane of the revolutionary situation and the overthrow of the capitalist system. The only recovery program the party of the proletarian revolution puts forth is the program of the proletarian dictatorship and planned economy under it.

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Last updated: 9 February 2016