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J. Weber

March of Events

(17 March 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 11, 17 March 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

After the CWA What?

The CWA was Roosevelt’s creation for the ostensible purpose of warding off “degradation” and “degeneration” of starving workers by the granting of outright doles. The independent spirit of the workers was to be upheld by the payment of wages for “honest” toil, just as in the private system of wage slavery. In actuality the CWA was coldly calculated to scotch the struggle for unemployment insurance that threatened to establish the workers’ right to live, their right to a lien on government funds obtained from the bourgeoisie for the purpose. Roosevelt is now unloading the burden of relief. Nor do the states and local communities show any sympathetic desire to shoulder the burden dropped by the federal government.

The U.S. government has taken its cue from English and European experience. Only those who can prove “need” are to be continued on relief. The entire sham and pretense of the “liberal” program of Roosevelt is contained in the “pauper’s oath”, as the questionnaire to be filled out by all CWA workers has been rightly dubbed. This outrageous document leaves nothing to be desired in the way of capitalist preying and snooping for the purpose of avoiding relief and involving the unemployed worker in the reddest of red tape. The widespread protest that has ensued must be organized to reopen in a most powerful manner and on a now plane the fight for immediate relief, unemployment insurance or the providing of jobs for those willing to work.

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Madison Square Garden

M. Olgin has shown his usual haste in coming to the defense of reactionary Stalinist Communism. As American correspondent for Pravda he hastened to wire Moscow on the occurrence of Feb. 17th at Madison Square Garden. His story appears in the Pravda of Feb. 18th in a statement that betrays the utter inability of the official Party to explain away its anti-working class disruption of the socialist meeting. Olgin states that the socialists began a vicious attack, in their speeches, on the Party, whereupon Hathaway marched to the platform to “refute the socialist charges”. Come, come! Olgin will have to work in better agreement with the “leaders” on the line.

* * * *


The workers of London, fearful of the organized assault of Fascism on their democratic rights and on their working class organizations, have turned to the one party they “trust”, the Labor Party. The London municipal government is now controlled by a Labor Party majority. Knowing its own record, the Labor Party was itself taken by surprise by this vote of confidence. As though the gaping holes in the Vienna workers’ apartments had no meaning, the leader of the Labor Party in London, M. Morrison, proceeded to outline the reforms, particularly in housing, that would soon be inaugurated.

Without question this vote has great national significance for England. It is one answer to Lord Rotheremere’s ballyhoo for Fascist dictatorship. The first reaction of the workers in their struggle against the open dictatorship of the club, is to rally to the defense of democratic institutions and to place them in the hands of a working class party. Nor can the internationalist Communists afford to ignore this fact. They must know how to lead the workers in this progressive struggle so as to show up the utter inadequacy and betrayal of reformist leadership. In the open struggle that is bound to develop, the workers must be led, by utilizing their immediate aims, step by step along the revolutionary road to power, a road that is clearly visible on the historic scale only to the Communist. The vote indicates that the workers have been aroused to the need for resistance against reaction. This mood of struggle must be encouraged by proper internationalist-Communist leadership.

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