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Jack Weber

March of Events

(21 April 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 16, 21 April 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

All Eyes To France!

The lessons of the victory of Hitler and the tragic defeat of the German proletariat are eagerly absorbed by the bourgeoisie of other countries. The “pattern” of bloody reaction once supplied in the present epoch, it becomes all the easier for the capitalist class in any country, faced with the danger to it of radicalization of the masses and a militant proletariat, to hasten the process of establishing a Fascist dictatorship. It is in this sense hat a wave of reaction spreads from country to country, just as a successful revolution brings the workers to their feet everywhere. It is in this sense too that the defeat of the proletariat of one country is a defeat of the working class of the entire world.

In France reaction moves apace. The Doumergue government of “national concentration”, to which has been assigned the task of ushering in Fascism, prepares as its first step to get rid of parliament so as to rule by decree. A measure is about to be proposed to permit the President to dissolve the House of Deputies at will. Doumergue is to receive the entire initiative in matters of finance also. Thus the executive arm of the government is to be strengthened before the open offensive against the working class.

* * * *

Uniting of the Forces of Reaction

The strong resistance of the workers to the attempted Fascist coup d’état during the March riots, has served to unite the entire reactionary wing of the bourgeoisie. Such organizations as the Action Française, the Jeunesses Patriotes (Patrotic Youth), the Solidarité Française (the armed bands of Coty), and the Croix de Feu, reactionary veterans under the influence of the notorious munitions makers, the Comité des Forges, have closed ranks against the working class. The Croix de Feu, in accepting the cuts in pensions imposed by Doumergue, has given him an ultimatum to take clear steps toward Fascism before July 1st when the cut is to become effective. Weygand and other Generals of the Clerical persuasion, are playing identically the same role as the Italian and German Fascist generals in arming and drilling reactionary sections of the middle class. And Doumergue has already begun to disarm the workers.

* * * *

Fascist or Proletarian Dictatorship?

The French workers have shown splendid readiness to unite to defeat fascism. It was their revolutionary outpouring into the streets that shut the door to an immediate Fascist coup d’état. But the question now resolves itself into one of organization and leadership. Only Soviets, guided by a militant policy, leading the workers from a defensive struggle for workers’ rights to the transformation of this struggle for the seizure of power can save France from the fate of Germany.

* * * *

The Farmer and American Imperialism

American imperialism is faced with the dilemma common to the capitalists of all the advanced industrial countries. That dilemma involves the imperialist policy of monopoly capitalism for the native farmers. The home farmers are the competitors of the farmers of the backward and the colonial countries to whom the imperialists must sell their surplus production over and above what can be sold in the home market. The backward agricultural countries can only buy goods if they in turn can sell to the advanced nations their farm products. The American capitalists would like to arrange matters so that this happy state of exchange is brought about – at the expense of the American farmer. Roosevelt and Wallace are engaged, underneath all their programs of immediate farm relief, in carrying through this aim of monopoly capitalism. They would like to cut down the export crop acreage as much as possible.

The Farmers as Social Anchor

But here is the rub. In England this process was carried to completion by the wiping out of the farmer class. If this occurred in America, what class in society could the capitalists depend upon for support in case of proletarian revolt? The capitalists are few, the workers many. The farmers, if handled properly, can be made a bulwark of reaction for the defense of “social Stability”; that is, for the defense of capitalism. Hence the imperialists are forced to compromise in this dilemma. They would like nothing better than to establish a peasant class living on a subsistence level and not producing capitalist crops. But this is not easy to accomplish.

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