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Full text of "The meaning of social-fascism : its historical and theoretical background"

LITTLE LENIN LIBRARY 

■ ■ ■ 

These little volumes contain Lenin's 
shorter writings and have become 
classics in the application of the 
teachings of Marx to this period of 

modern imperialism* 

■ ■ ■ 

The Teachings of Karl Marx 15 

The War and the Second Interna- 
tional 20 

Socialism and War 15 

What Is to Be Done? 50 

The Paris Commune 20 

The Revolution of 1905 20 

Religion 20 

Letters From Afar 15 

The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our 

Revolution . , 15 

The April Conference 20 

The Threatening Catastrophe and 

How to Fight It 20 

Will the Bolsheviks Retain State 

Power? 15 

On the Eve of October #15 

State and Revolution .30 

■ ■ ■ 

Order froms 

WORKERS LIBRARY PUBLISHERS 

P. O. Box 148, Sta. D (50 E. 13th St.) New York City 



THE MEANING OF SOCIAL FASCISM 

Its Historical and Theoretical Background 
By EARL BROWDER 



FOREWORD 



This pamphlet is based on a lecture delivered by Comrade 
Browder at the Workers School Forum, New York, in 
December, 1932. This thoroughgoing analysis of the fas- 
cist essence of present-day international social democracy 
deserves to become accessible to the broadest number of 
American workers. This is especially true now when the 
complete betrayal of the German working class by the lead- 
ership of the Socialist Party and the reformist trade unions 
of Germany, and when the active collaboration of the Ameri- 
can Socialist Party and A. F. of L. leaderships with the 
union-breaking and strike-outlawing N.R.A. make the role 
of social-fascism stand out in all its nakedness. 

* * * * 

L — THE RELATION OF SOCIAL FASCISM-TO FASCISM 

"pASCiSM is a distinctive characteristic of the post-war period of 
■*■ capitalism. That is, it is one of the expressions of the efforts 
of the capitalist class to bolster up and defend its declining rule. 
One specific feature of fascism is open abandonment of parlia- 
mentary forms of government. This has been seized upon by 
bourgeois ideologists as the characteristic feature of fascism. On 
this basis, the attempt has been made to create the general opin- 
ion among the masses that the issue of fascism is the issue be- 
tween parliamentary democratic government and dictatorial gov- 
ernment. Especially is this formula made use of by the parties 
of the Second International, the Socialist Parties. Upon the basis 



of this formula they lump together fascism and Communism as 
two forms of dictatorship in opposition to democracy for which 
they claim to stand. This formula serves the purpose of obscur- 
ing the real issues before the working class and of diverting its 
energies from the revolutionary struggle for the defense of its 
immediate needs and for the destruction of the capitalist system. 
It is itself the theoretical connecting link between fascism and 
social fascism. But otherwise it is an empty, unscientific phrase 
which ignores the real basis of different political forms* 

"People always have been and they always will be the stupid 
victims of deceit and self-deception in politics," Lenin wrote, 
"until they learn behind every kind of moral, religious, political, 
social phrase, declaration and promise to seek out the interests 
of this or that class or classes." 

Fascism is merely one of the forms of the dictatorship of the 
capitalist class. The dictatorship of the capitalist class exists and 
has existed in many forms. The historical form of capitalist dic- 
tatorship is the bourgeois republic based upon the general fran- 
chise; but in very few instances does this develop in reality in a 
pure form. However, it is an axiom of Marxism that whatever 
the particular form of government — constitutional monarchy, 
bourgeois republic with limited franchise, or bourgeois republic 
with broad franchise — the class content of these forms of gov- 
ernment has always remained the same. All of them are merely 
forms of the dictatorship of the capitalist class. As Marx said 
in 1850, "the bourgeoisie, when it rejects the general suffrage 
with which it had hitherto draped itself and from which it had 
sucked its omnipotence, admits candidly: 'Our dictatorship has 
hitherto existed through the will of the people; it must now be 
consolidated against the will of the people.' " 

Since the World War, which hastened the decline of the 
capitalist system, various new props have had to be brought to 
bolster up the rule of the capitalist class. The capitalist class has 
no longer been able to rely upon the simple operation of the 
machinery of bourgeois democracy and has had to bring to its 
aid various new instruments. During the war and since the war 



I 



the capitalist class has placed its main reliance for holding the 
masses in support of its class dictatorship upon the parties of the 
Second International, the social democracy, the social fascists of 
the various countries. Today the social fascists are the main 
prop of capitalism among the working class masses. But wherever 
the declining capitalist class sensed the approach of a revolution- 
ary crisis it developed another weapon in the form of fascism. 
If social fascism is the use of the various Socialist Parties to 
mobilize the toiling masses in support of declining capitalism, 
fascism is the mobilization, under various demagogic slogans, 
primarily of the declassed and petty bourgeois elements and polit- 
ically backward and impoverished peasant masses under the 
direct control and supervision of finance capital. These fascist 
forces are mobilized first of all for the physical destruction of 
the organizations of the working class and the toiling peasantry, 
supporting the capitalist dictatorship by open violence in defiance 
of the forms of democracy. 

When the capitalist class, therefore, passes from one form of 
government to another, it is not changing the class meaning and 
the class content of the government. It is merely changing the 
form of its capitalist dictatorship to meet the requirements of 
the particular moment and the particular place. Likewise within 
these various forms of government the capitalist class does not 
hesitate to use different parties for the exercise of this dictator- 
ship. At one moment it leans most heavily upon the social democ- 
racy and secures the execution of its policies through the Socialist 
Parties which bring to it the necessary support among the masses. 
At another time, when this open use of the social democracy as 
an instrument of capitalist government threatens to destroy or 
undermine seriously the mass base of this party, and the masses 
following the Socialist Party begin to turn to the Communist 
Party, then the bourgeoisie brings forward its fascist organiza- 
tions. And for the time being it allows the Socialist Party to 
recoup its mass strength by passing over to the role of "loyal 
opposition", ready to come again to the foreground when called 
to take up the task of ruling for capitalism. 



First, it must be understood that fascism grows naturally out 
of bourgeois democracy under the conditions of capitalist decline. 
It is only another form of the same class rule, the dictatorship of 
finance capital. Only in this sense can one say that Roosevelt 
is the same as Hitler, in that both are executives of finance capi* 
taL The same thing, however, could he said of every other exec- 
utive of every other capitalist state. To label everything capi- 
talist as fascism results in destroying all distinction between the 
various forms of capitalist rule. If we should raise these dis- 
tinctions to a level of difference in principle, between fascism 
on the one side and bourgeois democracy on the other, this would 
be following in the line of reformism, of social fascism. But on 
the other hand to ignore entirely these distinctions would be 
tactical stupidity, would be an example of "left" doctrinairism. 

Second: the growth of fascist tendencies is a sign of the weak- 
ening of the rule of finance capital. It is a sign of the deepen- 
ing of the crisis, a sign that finance capital can no longer rule 
in the old forms. It must turn to the more open and brutal and 
terroristic methods, not as the exception but as the rule, for the 
oppression of the population at home and preparation for war 
abroad. It is preventive counter-revolution, an attempt to head 
off the rise of the revolutionary upsurge of the masses. 

Third: fascism is not a special economic system. Its economic 
measures go no further in the modification of the capitalist eco- 
nomic forms than all capitalist classes have always gone under 
the exceptional stresses of war and preparation for war. The 
reason for the existence of fascism is to protect the economic sys- 
tem of capitalism, private property in the means of production, 
the basis of the rule of finance capital. 

Fourth: fascism comes to maturity with the direct help of the 
Socialist Parties, the parties of the Second International, who are 

»se elements within the working class we describe as social- 
fascists because of the historic role which they play. Under the 
mask of opposition to fascism, they in reality pave the way for 
fascism to come to power. They disarm the workers by the the- 
ory of the lesser evil; they tell the workers they will be unable 



to seize and hold power; they create distrust in the revolutionary 
road by means of slanders against the Soviet Union; they throw 
illusions of democracy around the rising forces of fascism; they 
break up the international solidarity of the workers. They carry 
this out under the mask of "Socialism" and "Marxism". In 
America this role is played by the S. P., "left" reformists and the 
A. F. of L. bureaucracy. 

II — SOCIAL FASCISM IN ENGLAND AND GERMANY 

Let us concretize this general formula: We have excellent 
illustrations especially in the history of Germany and England. 
In England the Labor Party, the second largest party of the 
Second International, has twice been used by the British bour- 
geoisie as its government party. The British ruling class was 
threatened by serious uprisings in its colonial empire and by seri- 
ous mass discontent at home that endangered the structure of the 
entire bourgeois state. And in each case it overcame these crises 
by calling into office the Labor Party and creating the illusions 
among the masses that some concessions were being made to 
them through the instrumentality of the "labor" government. 
And in each case the class policy of the government remained 
unchanged. 

The first MacDonald government was called into office pre- 
cisely at the moment when British imperialism felt it necessary 
to suppress violently colonial uprisings in Incjia and in the Near 
East; and the government headed by Ramsay MacDonald and the 
labor cabinet carried through this violen^ suppression with even 
more ferocity than any Tory government had found necessary 
in the last couple of generations. The MacDonald government, 
the so-called Socialist government, introduced the policy of sup- 
pressing the colonial uprisings by means of the air force, carry- 
ing out reprisals against the revolting colonial peoples not by 
direct struggle against the armed forces of the colonial peoples, 
but by bombing and destroying whole towns and villages, in- 
cluding men, women and children, in air attacks. This practice 
was first introduced by the Ramsay MacDonald labor govern- 
ment. 



The first MacDonald government was called into office at a 
time when the laboring masses of England were stirring in wide^ 
spread revolt over domestic issues. The British workers were suf- 
fering in the first years of the permanent unemployment affecting 
millions. Wages were being deflated, as they called it, and large 
mass struggles had taken place. Under pressure of these mass 
struggles, the trade unions in England had begun to move toward 
the establishment of broad fighting alliances in resistance to the 
wage cuts and for the struggle against unemployment. By call- 
ing the labor government into office, the British bourgeoisie se- 
cured the dispersal of this rising mass movement of the workers 
at home. It disorganized and disintegrated the organizations of 
struggle among the workers, and created the illusion among them 
that they were about to achieve their objectives through the 
peaceful democratic process of electing the Labor Party leaders 
into government and into office. 

In office the Labor government proceeded to carry through the 
same capitalist policy at home that had been carried through by 
the Tories and by the liberals. And when this realization 
threatened to arouse rebellion against the Labor Party, then the 
Labor Party was dismissed from office, going into opposition and 
recuperating its mass strength until a few years later it could 
again be used as the government party for the bourgeoisie. 

The second time it came into office, it had to go even further 
than the first time. Where before, to suppress the colonial up- 
risings, the labor government had carried through mass arrests 
and bombings of villages in India, the second labor government 
has the distinction of being the government that put 50,000 
people in jail in India in the hopes of stopping the independence 
movement. It has the distinction of slaughtering many more 
thousands of rebels in the colonies and at home. It has the dis- 
tinction of having itself formulated and inaugurated the policy 
for the second great post-war offensive of the capitalist class 
against the entire working class, the second great general reduc- 
tion of wages for all workers in England, and the general reduc- 
tion of unemployment benefits. This policy was formulated and 






inaugurated by the Labor Party. And only when it was apparent 
Chat this policy was going to destroy the Labor Party among the 
Lsses, there came recently the sudden so-called split of the La- 
bor Party and the emergence of a government of national con- 
nrration, headed by Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden 
of the Labor Party, Stanley Baldwin of the Conservative Party, 
and a few scattered liberals. The world was treated to the 
ectacle of a Tory government with a Labor premier, the chief 
leader of the Labor Party during the past twelve years. And the 
I ibor Party itself went into opposition again to try once more to 
uperate its strength among the masses while the policy which 
it formulated and inaugurated is carried through by the Tory 
government with a Labor man at its head! 

Let us take Germany. In Germany, the social democracy has 
at performing the same role. We cannot here go into details 
of the role of the social democracy during the war. All of us 
know the fact that the Socialist Party became a pro-war and gov- 
ernment party during the war, establishing the basis of its class 
collaboration at that time. After the war, the social democracy 
became the main instrument in Germany, first for the preserva- 
u of the capitalist system against revolution and for the sup- 
ssion of the German revolution, and, later, to prevent the 
development of working class struggle and step by step to hand 
le to the German capitalists all the gains that were made by 
German working class immediately after the wan 
The foundation of the German repubfic took place at a time 
.ureat revolutionary upsurge. The workers were in power in 
< iermany. The forces of the capitalist class were shattered. The 
ilnlity existed for the immediate transformation of Germany 
into a workers' republic, and to begin the reorganization of 
many on a socialist basis. This was prevented by the con- 
policy of the German social democracy. 
Let us listen to a few quotations from a bourgeois academic 
writer. In his study on The General Strike, published by the 
University of North Carolina, Wilfred Harris Crook describes 
events of those days: 

7 



"The extremists . . . n , he says on page 502, "desired to 
see a combination of a proletarian militia and the 'People's 
Marine Division* (itself a mixed band of sailors on leave, of 
deserters and of unemployed) with control in the hands of the 
Berlin Workmen's Council. The majority social-democrats, 
disturbed by the presence of such organizations, saw the need 
for sonic armed force that would be responsible to the govern- 
ment and not to the radical Workers' Council of Berlin. Hence 
a 'Republican Soldiers* Corps' was organized by Commandant 
Wels from among the demoralized soldiers, with funds from 
foreign and 'bourgeois' sources. ... 

"The actual revolutionary outbreak did not occur until 
January 5 and 6, 1919, but the events of the Christmas Eve 
debacle were its immediate cause. The more basic reasons for 
armed hostility between the two camps lay in the belief of the 
Spaitatists and the ranks of the independents that the revolu- 
tion was not really complete until the proletariat was in coin- 
ipand, as in Russia. The Ebert Government and the majority 
Social-Democrats in general held that the revolution had ended 
when they came to power. The government had felt that the 
majority of the German nation were behind them in opposing 
any proletarian dictatorship— and such proved to be the case 
when the constituent assembly was elected later, in January. 
At the moment, however, the forces behind the extremists were 
greater than even the Spartacist leaders were themselves aware. 
In the great street demonstration on Sunday, January 5, the 
Spartacist leaders themselves were surprised by the powerful 
response which their call to protest had elicited." (p. 50 3) 

As the Manchester Gudrdian reported on January 10, 1919: 

"Both the revolutionaries and the government proclaimed a 
general strike and called upon their followers to display their 
forces in the streets." 

And Crook (pp. 503-504) continues: 

"The government (headed by the majority Social Democrats) 
had presumably called for a general strike in the hope il 
the masses of their supporters in the streets would overawe 






the extremists. As it was, Monday morning January 6 (1919), 
saw the shops all closed and all work at a standstill. The 
vast crowds increased hourly } armed and unarmed soldiers 
and sailors, professional men, women and children thronged 
the streets carrying placards declaring their stand, measuring 
the strength of their opponents, and massing before their 
respective headquarters. Noske, who had just returned from 
Kiel, describes how the government's supporters clamored 
from the Wiihelmstrasse for arms to fight the extremists, while 
the People's Commissaries themselves stood undecided in Ebcrt's 
room in the Chancellor's Palace. Noske demanded a decision as 
to the use of armed force. Someone replied: 'Then do the job 
yourself.' Noske agreed, saying: 'Very well, if you like. One 
of us must be the bloodhound. I shall not shirk the respons- 
ibility.' He was promptly created Commander-in-Chief by 
Colonel Reinhardt, Prussian Minister of War, withdrew with 
General Maercker and other officers to a suburb of Berlin, 
and there organized six corps of volunteer rifles, foot and 
horse, under the command of General von Luttwitz, a Prus- 
sian of the old school." 

The revolution was crushed in cold blood. Crook adds: 

"That the Volunteer Rifle Corps raised by General Maercker 
and Gustav Noske gravely misused their power is evident from 
the report of General Maercker himself, written on January 
25 and published in his book, Von Kaiser hccr^%ur Rekkswefir. 
Machine gun fire went on, he reported, from the roofs of the 
houses in many of the main thoroughfare^ in his opinion, not 
From (he Spartacists but from the rank and file of his own 
corps! 'In actual fact the population of Berlin was kept for 
ten days in terror of their lives by irresponsible elements of 
(lie Volunteers.' " 

The workers responded to the Noske butchery with strikes. 
Noske took up his job as bloodhound again. Crook writes 
(pp. 506-507): 

"Meanwhile the government troops were reinforced and for 
the first time every weapon of modern warfare was used from 
artillery to aeroplane bombs. By Saturday, March 8 (1919), 

9 



the defeat both of the general strike and the revolution was 
complete, and the reprisals began in good earnest. E 
worker's house was searched for weapons and without even 
the summary method of the court martial fifteen hundred men, 
women and boys were :d In a single week in Berlin, 

the majority by machine gun fire against handcuffed, massed 
prisoners." 

The massacre of the heroic Communards of Paris was re- 
peated nearly 50 years later — only this time under the direct 
orders and supervision of the social-democratic butchers! 

"In two short months after the revolution had 'succeeded', 
the old militaristic army officers were in control, put there 
by the actions of Noske and his Majority Social-Democratic 
Government." 

Together with the capitalist class, the German. Socialist Parcy 
worked out a system of some immediate concessions to the work- 
ers on the basis of which the workers could be brought to submit 
themselves to a bourgeois republic, under cover of which the 
capitalist class could re-establish itself. The concessions that were 
given to the workers were the eight-hour day, universal recogni- 
tion of the unions, collective agreements and legal establishment 
of shop committees. And with these concessions the social democ- 
racy went into partnership with the capitalist class on the express 
program of re-establishing capitalism. 

In re-establishing capitalism with the aid of American loans, 
the social democracy, step by step, handed back to the capitalist 
class all of the economic concessions that had been made, and 
all of the political power. The eight-hour day went by the board. 
Even the recognition of the unions is maintained only as an in* 
strument for the prevention of strikes and the union contracts 
have no more validity in determining actual working conditions in 
the factories. And even those small immediate concessions of 
an economic nature that were given, were rapidly taken away 
again so that today* the German working class has had its wages 

* On the eve of Hitter's seizure of power. 

10 



reduced to 50 per cent, five million unemployed — perhaps it is 
closer to six million now — have had their unemployment benefits 
reduced below starvation level, taxes have been piled upon the 
workers, taxes upon all articles of consumption, which took away 
from them a large part of the small wages that are still left. 
And step by step, the working class in Germany, under the mis- 
leadership of the social democracy, has been reduced to an 
appallingly low economic position. 

The capitalist class is quite conscious in its use of the social 
democracy and recently the National Association of German 
Manufacturers has been seriously considering whether it was not 
making a mistake in its too rapid development of fascism in 
Germany, whether it could not longer try to use the social democ- 
racy. It inaugurated a study of this question and about two 
months ago sent out a special series of political letters to 100 
selected German industrialists, giving the results of its study. 
One of these communications fell into the hands of the Ger- 
man Communist Party and has been published. The letter, 
which was also reprinted in the New Republic of November 30, 
1932, says: 

"The rcconsolidation of the bourgeois regime in Germany 
is the task of the moment, The present von Papcn gov- 
ernment docs not as yet imply this rcconsolidation, although 
such is the governments claim. Tactics alone were responsible 
for this claim — it is a fiction necessary to the safeguarding of 
the government's effective functioning.. . . 

"The general character of the problem of reconsolidating 
the bourgeois regime in post-war Germany lies in the fact 
that the bourgeois leaders, the managers of the national re- 
sources, have become too small a class to maintain their dom- 

ting power without assistance. Unless they decide to trust 
military lore,' as the mainstay of their regime — a most dan- 

rouS procedure — they needs must ally themselves with classes 
belonging to a different social level. These classes would serve 
to give the indispensable democratic foundation to the gov- 
erning faction, and would thus become the ultimate wieidcrs 

11 



of power. This marginal holder of bourgeois power was the 
Social Democrats during - the first period of post-war recon- 
solidation, . . Thanks to their social character as an original 
workers' party, the Social Democrats brought to the political 
constellation of that time not only their numerical political 
power, but a much more important and lasting contribution j 
they chained organized labor to the bourgeois state machinery 
and by dong so paralyzed the revolutionary energy of their 
rank and file. . . ." 

This is a well-merited tribute and recognition given to Ger- 
man social democracy by the National Association of German 
Manufacturers. 

One of the principal weapons of social democracy in carrying 
through this policy and securing the acceptance of this policy on 
the part of the workers has been the formula of the "lesser evil". 
This formula works in somewhat the following manner: In a 
trade dispute the employer comes forward with the demand for 
a 20 per cent reduction of wages. The social democratic leaders 
rush forward and say: we must organize and resist this 20 per cent 
wage cut, but before we strike we must enter into negotiations. 
They enter into negotiations and finally come to the conclusion 
that instead of a 20 per cent cut, they will compromise on a 10 
per cent cut. Then they go back to the workers and say: See* 
we saved 10 per cent for you. All you have to do is accept a 
10 per cent wage cut today. In the political field, the theory of 
the lesser evil means the support of the "best" bourgeois politi- 
cians and the "best" bourgeois parties as against the "worse" 
bourgeois politicians and parties. Under this slogan the German 
social democracy supported various governments of the bour- 
geoisie when it could no longer itself carry the main responsibility 
of government. Step by step it moved to a point where it sup- 
ported the government of Bruening, who governed by presidential 
emergency decree and carried through those policies which the 
social democracy itself did not dare vote for in the Reichstag, and 
which therefore could not be put to a vote because it was im- 
possible to vote for these measures before the workers, without 

12 



i . -■, •.- ■ _ '■ : I 






■■■< 



/ 



being politically destroyed. But by voting to support the gov- 
ernment which put these same policies into effect by presidential 
decrees, the social democrats achieved the same object. 

The slogan raised was: Bruening is the lesser evil, as compared 
to Hitler. It is impossible for us to turn Bruening out, because 
if we did, Hitler would come in and he would be worse. The 
same theory was advanced in a peculiar form in connection with 
the Japanese movement. In 1928, the Japanese government put ' 
into effect the so-called "law against dangerous thoughts". In 
this law the Japanese government established the death penalty 
for thinking dangerous thoughts, whereas previously in the old 
law, the highest penalty for thinking dangerously was ten years 
in prison. Against this new law giving the death penalty, the 
social democrats came forward with the slogan, "Amend the 
Dangerous Thoughts Law, Eliminating the Death Penalty and 
Substituting Ten Years". Certain right wing elements even 
among the Communists thought the death penalty was so bad 
that it is better to fight for ten years in prison! 

In Germany the social democracy brought forward the same 
slogan, but instead of getting the death penalty changed to ten 
years, they executed the death penalty against the Revolution. 
The German social democracy cleared the path for the develop- 
ment and rise of fascism in Germany. Under the slogan of the 
lesser evil they used the political power of the organized work- 
ers to bring into existence the government of fascism, first the 
Bruening government, then the re-election of Hindenburg. It is 
not so long that we can have forgotten that the German social 
democracy elected Hindenburg. 

Hindenburg became president seven years ago as the candi- 
date of the extreme right of the German bourgeoisie. In the 
presidential election of March 29, 1925, Hindenburg was the 
worse evil, the lesser evil being the candidate of the "Progressive 
Bloc" and the Catholic Center, Marx. When the next presi- 
dential election came around on April 10, 1932, Hindenburg was 
no longer the worse evil. When he was first elected, he had been 
the worse, but now there was a still worse candidate, Hitler, so 

13 



that German social democracy faithfully rallied all of its sup- 
porters behind Hindenburg and elected him president. A little 
later than two months after Hindenburg had been re-elected by 
the social democracy he dismissed even the Bruening government 
as too mild, and established the von Papan-Schleicher govern- 
ment, a government of a more open, pronounced fascist character. 
The social democracy pretended to be in opposition to the von 
Papen government. It was the votes of social democracy and the 
policy of social democracy, however, that created the von Papen 
government.* 

When we speak of the Socialists as social fascists, we are not 
merely abusing them, we are giving the scientific description, the 
name of the political role which they are performing. That role 
was to prepare the road for fascism, to prevent the struggle of 
the masses against fascism, and to tolerate and support the estab- 
lishment of the fascist governments. Socialists in words, fascists 



* Since Hitler came to power the social-democratic leadership of Germany has 
developed its policy of support of the German bourgeoisie to a new phase. Theirs 
has been a continuous policy of aiding the advance of fascism by striving in 
every way to disintegrate and disarm the working class in its fight against the 
capitalist offensive. Instead of urging united action of the working class against 
capitalism, the German social-democratic leaders united against the working class. 

After Hitler came to power, the Communist proposals for unity of action against 
the terror were spurned by the social-democratic Jeaders as thy crawled before 
the Hitler regime. The leading social-democratic paper of Germany pledged its 
support to fascism thus; "Hitler came to power legally, we must wait and see 
what he will do. To ace now would be shooting in the air." 

At the moment that piece of treachery was printed there were tens of thousands 
of workers, including social-democratic workers, in the torture dungeons of fascist 
Germany. Yet the leaders urged waiting to see what Hitter would do! 

Leipart, social-democratic leader of the German trade unions, pledged that he 
would cooperate fully with Hitler to "work out together the problems of work- 
ing "conditions". Such cooperation was actually carried out in the wholesale turn- 
ing over of the trade union apparatus under their control by the reformist officials 
to the Nazi regime. m , ; . , 

Equally despicable was the spectacle of Wels 5 chairman of the German Social- 
Democratic Party, who, to curry favor with Hitler, resigned from the Euro of the 
Second International, in a typical social-fascist effort to stern the rising mass 
fight against fascism by parliamentary and legalistic illusions. Wels and his asso- 
ciates spoke of legalism and the democratic state machinery when all these forms 
of capitalist democracy— the concealed dictatorship of the capitalist class — have 
disappeared and in its place is the open, brutal dictatorship of the bourgeoisie 
that is personified by the bloody regime of Hitler. 

These recent evidences emphasize more than ever the correctness of the Com- 
munist designation of the social democracy as social-fascist; the main social sup- 
port of the bourgeoisie, not only before the advent of fascism, but its mam social 
support in maintaining the monstrous role of fascism. 

14 



in deeds! That is what social fascism means. It is an accurate, 
scientinc, descriptive term applied to the Socialist Party. 

III. — AMERICAN SOCIALIST LEADERS JUSTIFY FASCISM 

So far we have talked mainly about the Socialists in Europe. 
This is not hecause the Socialists in America are any different, 
but because in Europe they have gone through a higher develop" 
ment and exhibit the logical conclusions of their policies in a 
much more finished form. It is the next step, therefore, to estab- 
lish the political identity between our American Socialists, the 
German social democracy and the British Labor Party. They have 
the same policy* They have the same formulas. They work in 
the same way. They bring the same results. 

The preparation of the way for fascism by the Socialists is 
ally 




3eing responsible ror fascist developments. 
States, Norman T homas _charges that the development of fascism 
in this country will be brought about by the Communist Party. 
Writing in the summer, 1932, issue of the Socialist Quarterly, 
he states: 

"Communism, I am sure, whatever its intentions, is now 
playing" into the hands of fascism by continually discrediting 
democracy and by insisting on the inevitability of ruthless 
dictatorship and of great violence. Nothing could be better 
calculated to scare the timid into the arms of Fascist saviors 
of 'order and security 1 ." 

Let us see what is the political kernel of this charge! Re- 
member, fascism is the instrument of the bourgeoisie for smashing 
the revolutionary organizations of the working class. Therefore, 
if there were no revolutionary organizations of the working 
class, fascism would not arise. Therefore, the way to prevent the 
rise of fascism is to prevent the revolutionary struggle of the 
working class. This is the logic of the argument of social dem- 
ocracy, of Norman Thomas, when he charges the Communist 
Party with being responsible for the rise of fascism in the United 

15 



States. It is true that fascism arises as a counter weapon of the 
bourgeoisie agabst the revolutionary upsurge of the workers. 
If there is no revolutionary upsurge there will be no fascism. 
And in this sense, the Communist Party is "responsible " for the 
rise of fascism because only the Communist Party organizes and 
leads the revolutionary upsurge of the working class. 

Thus, according to Thomas, fascism is not the product of the 
decline of capitalism and the attempt of the capitalists to main- 
tain their rule at all costs, but it is produced by the Communist 
Party because it discredits democracy and proclaims the necessity 
of proletarian dictatorship. It is therefore not the capitalists who 
are discarding democratic forms for fascist methods of maintain- 
ing their dictatorship, but the Communist Party that is endanger- 
ing democracy. Moreover, Thomas covers up the class character 
of democracy by contrasting it with fascist dictatorship as if 
capitalist rule were not the essence of both, This is the same 
traitorous hypocrisy which the German Social Democracy prac- 
ticed in its policy of the "lesser evil". We have seen what this 
masking of the capitalist dictatorship under the guise of democ- 
racy has led to in Germany. The struggle for the maintenance 
of capitalism against the rising tide of revolution proceeds under 
just this guise of a struggle for democracy. 

In addition, Thomas absolves the capitalist class of its fascist 
terror and makes it appear as a measure of self-defense against 
Communist provocation. The poor capitalists are thus being in- 
cited by the merciless Communists who have no regard for the 
sincere efforts of the capitalists to carry on their robbery of the 
working classes in a more democratic manner. Naturally, if the 
Communists insist on frightening people by their talk of dicta- 
torship, the capitalists can only respond by establishing their own 
dictatorship. That is how history is made, according to the So- 
cialist, Norman Thomas! And that is how the American So- 
cialist Thomas helps the capitalists make history. Obviously, 
such "arguments" are only a brazen apology for the offensive 
launched against the workers' standards by the capitalist pirates 
who dominate the life of the entire country. 

16 



The absurdity and hypocrisy of this logic are apparent when 
we consider that neither the revolutionary movement nor fascism 
would arise if there were no capitalist system. In a word, if 
there were no exploitation and oppression, if there were no misery 
and starvation, if there were no monopoly of the means and 
conditions of life by a small class of capitalists— then there would 
be no class struggle, no need on the one hand for the workers 
to fight for the right to live, against poverty, unemployment and 
war, and on the other hand for the capitalists to resort to every 
form of violence and physical attacks against the workers and 
their organizations in order to maintain the capitalist profit sys- 
tem and their rule of exploitation and robbery. 

The Socialist "argument" merely means that if the workers 
starved quietly and did not resist the capitalist offensive of wage 
curs, unemployment and terror, allowing the capitalists to get 
out of the crisis at the expense of the workers, then the capital- 
ists would not have recourse to open forms of oppression and 
violence. Of course not! But it is evident that such advice is 
the logic of the robber rather than of his victim. To blame the 
Communists for the capitalist attack is as if the robber, holding 
up a person, were to accuse his victim of interfering with the 
robbery and forcing him to use his gun in order to carry out 
his robbery! It might as well be said that the robbed person was 
responsible for the robbery. On the basis of such "reasoning", 
it might be said with equal force that the Communists are 
also responsible for the exploitation and oppression of the masses 
by the capitalist class! 

This is the same logic, it has the same political meaning, 
when Norman Thomas accuses the Communist Party of inciting 
race riots, through bringing forward the slogan of self-determina- 
tion of the Negroes in the Black Belt. What docs this mean? 
If the slogan of self-determination for the Negroes is wrong, 
because the white landlords in the South will resist it, then the 
demand for any kind of equality for the Negroes is equally 
wrong. It is the argument of a traitorous pacifism which is the 
political content of social fascism. It is the argument for the 

17 




submission to the rule of the bourgeoisie; an argument to set as 
our goal only those demands which we can gain by peaceful per- 
suasion, by changing the hearts of the kindly capitalists and 
landlords. 

Norman Thomas has formulated the main political task of 
the Socialist Party on many occasions, especially during the 
course of the past election campaign. In a speech delivered dur- 
ing the election campaign before the Commonwealth Club in 
San Francisco, Thomas stated: 

"If we are to keep class strife from becoming" literal class 
war in a country of thirteen million unemployed. . .there is 
no time to lose. It is as the one hope of orderly and peaceful 
social change in America, that I have been so insistently push- 
ing the Socialist prog-ram and the Socialist organization in 
America." 

The New York Times, June 13, 1932, reported about the nom- 
ination of Thomas by the Milwaukee Convention of the Socialist 
Party as its presidential candidate as follows: 

"In accepting the nomination for the presidency on the So- 
cialist Party ticket, Mr. Thomas declared that the big task 
that the Socialists have before them was to give intelligent 
and organized expression to the growing discontent in this 
country in order that the revolution might be averted and dis- 
content directed into constructive channels," 

The Spokane School Board ordered cancelled its permit for 
use of the high school auditorium for a Thomas meeting. On 
September 22, the Spokesman-Review published a leading editorial 
calling on the School Board to reconsider its decision and allow 
Thomas to speak. The School Board, the Spokesman-Review 
argued, is laboring under a misconception when it states that 
Thomas "teaches things that are opposite to the fundamentals 
that we are attempting to instill in our boys and girls". 

"Their (that is, Mr. Thomas' and die Socialist Party's) en- 
tire program, it seems probable, could be adopted, if a majority 

18 



of the American people wanted it, without a single amend- 
ment to ike Constitution of the United States. . . . That fro gram 
differs tittle, if at all, from that of President Hoover, 'We are 
not Communists preaching- a ruthless doctrine of "bloodshed 
and dictatorship', said Mr. Thomas in his acceptance speech. 
Earlier in the day, in opposing a proposal by a California 
delegate that the Socialists declare for confiscation of property, 
Mr. Thomas declared that if such a proposal were adopted by 
the convention, he would refuse the nomination." 

IV. — AMERICAN SOCIALIST LEADERS AND WAR 

Let us examine the development of the American Socialist 
Party and its leaders in the elaboration of policies corresponding 
to those carried through by the Socialists in other lands. 

First of all, we should point out that the American Socialist 
Party, and particularly its main leaders, Norman Thomas and 
Morris Hillquit, endorsed and supported openly every step in the 
development of the German social democracy, including the 
election of Hindenburg. They supported and endorsed every 
step in the development of the MacDonald government. Or if 
they made any little reservations, it was some kind of reserva- 
tion that Socialists of one country always make about the So- 
cialists of another. These reservations are the kind that are 
required in order for one to adjust himself to the policy of one's 
own bourgeoisie and when Socialist brothers of another country 
are also supporting the rival bourgeoisie. Furthermore, when the 
imperialist masters have quarrels, it is always reflected in the 
quarrels among the Socialists also. The American Socialist 
Party, for example, came out in the early part of the invasion of 
Manchuria by Japan and gave one hundred per cent endorse- 
ment to the Japanese Socialist Party which was supporting the 
invasion of Manchuria. Later on, with the sharpening of the 
relations between the United States and Japan, the Socialist 
Party in the United States stopped talking about its support to 
the Socialist Party of Japan. It is interesting to note that this 
same Socialist Party of Japan even split in two, one section want- 
ing to travel faster than the other, and coming out openly as 

19 



the fascist party. Half the Socialist Party of Japan, together 
with its general secretary, is now openly the party of fascism. 

It is necessary at this point to deal somewhat with the record 
of the Socialist Party on the question of war. It is really illu- 
minating to consider the Christian Socialists and their organ, The 
World Tomorrow, which carried on an active campaign in sup- 
port of Norman Thomas. It is the Christian wing of the Social- 
ist Party. It prides itself on the ethical and religious grounds it 
gives to Socialism and especially upon being very honest and very 
fair. In the spirit of very Christian honesty and fairness, The 
World Tomorrow was the first paper to come out in the election 
campaign and declare it supported Norman Thomas as against 
Foster on the grounds that Thomas and the Socialist Party had 
a good record of fighting against war, whereas Foster had sup- 
ported war and sold Liberty Bonds. If the gentlemen and ladies 
of The World Tomorrow wished to know the facts they could 
have known them. In fact, it is my opinion they knew them 
when they wrote and they knew the Socialist Party had not 
fought against war. They knew that it had supported war and 
that Foster, in spite of his mistakes (which were concessions to 
the influence of this same ideology that dominated the Socialist 
Party) was one of the very few leaders among the working class 
who developed the class struggle and class organizations of the 
workers in the midst of war in this country. 

But what was the Socialist Party doing? I will give you a 
few quotations. .Morris Hillquit, on February 11, 1 9 17^ before 
the United States entered the war, at a time when it was still 
safe to appear to he against war, gave his pledge in advance to 
the United States government. He wrote in a signed article in 
the New York Times'. 

"The Socialist attitude has always been this — to oppose war 
regardless of the circumstances, and when war did come in such 
countries as were actually invaded or in real danger of inva- 
sion, to go to the defense of the country as has happened in 
Belgium and France and Germany and Austria." 

20 



And then he said: 

"Socialism in the United States will not handicap the United 
States government by strikes. If the armies are raised by con- 
scription, of course, we will have to serve as other citizens. 
I do not believe that the Socialists will advocate any general 
industrial strike to handicap the country in its war preparations, 
and I do not believe there will be any such strike." 

If this is not an open, direct pledge of support to the gov- 
ernment and encouragement to the government of the United 
States to enter into the war, with the pledge in advance of the 
Socialist Party to support it, then I am afraid we will never be 
able to find any examples of such open pledges anywhere in his- 
tory. The Milwaukee Leader, at the time of the declaration of 
war, wrote; 

"When the conditions necessary to prosecute the war with 
any success shall be established, we shall have established the 
groundwork for better conditions in time of peace." 

Further it says: 

"There will be no return to the old order, once we shall 
have started on the path of collective activities. ... A people 
welded in the hot flics of the world's war to common purposes 
will not willingly return to the individualism of 'Every one 
for himself and the devil take the hindmost'." 

The next day the Milwaukee Leader said: 

"The Socialists are loyal today} loyal they have ever been, 
and loyal they will remain," 

The Socialist representative in Congress, Meyer London, 
stated on April 12, 1918: 

"The government of the United States having called upon 
the people for a loan> there would be no better way of help- 
ing the enemy than to refuse that loan." 

21 



He was absolutely against helping the enemy and therefore 
wrote signed articles in the New York Times calling upon the 
workers to buy Liberty Bonds. 

That Hillquit is not the sole Socialist Party leader who is 
ready to support imperialist war is particularly evidenced by the 
statement of that Prince of Peace , Norman T homas, as reported 
in the War Policies Commission hearings held May, 1931 (Vol, 
3, Page'722); 

"Second, I do want to congratulate the commission and 
the country upon the dawning-, if somewhat muddle-headed, 
conviction that when it comes to a real emergency like war, the 
ever-blessed profit system won*t work without an immense de- 
gree of control. As a Socialist I rejoice in this, even as I 
rejoice in the demonstration given by the late war that planned 
production is absolutely essential. 

"In other words, my interest in this hearing is solely in 
making it apparent that a new world war will be not only so 
deadly but so unprofitable that it would be harder to bring 
it about. 

"...If I understood my friend Mr. LaGuardia correctly, 
he is for a constitutional amendment which would permit us 
to take over everything we need for war. If we were on the 
verge of war t I should frobably be for it y but I have no great 
enthusiasm for it." (Emphasis mine — E. B.) 

We should at this point blast the claim demagogically vaunted 
by the Socialist Party leadership to a revolutionary record in the 
World War through the adoption of the St. Louis Anti-War 
Resolution in 1917. The adoption of that resolution was forced 
by the pressure of the militant left wing in the Socialist Party, 
The declarations for mass manifestations and struggle against wat 
were never carried into life. In the administrative hands of 
Hillquit the resolution remained a scrap of paper. 

V. THE SOCIALIST PARTY'S ATTACKS AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION 

A few concrete examples of the American Socialists with re- 
gard to the Soviet Union. Here we come down to modern times. 

22 



The Jewish Daily Forward, on May 17, 1931, developed the 
argument which is not peculiar to it. It is the argument of the 
whole Second International, although Norman Thomas usually 
covers it up with much more clever phrases. The Jewish Daily 
Forward has this, feature: it says boldly and openly what Norman 
Thomas hints, and they never have any serious controversies 
between them. The Jewish Daily Forward develops the argu- 
ment that those who support peace are the capitalists, and those 
who have created the danger of the new world war are the Soviet 
Union, Red Imperialism. The exact words are as follows: 

"The overwhelming majority of the representatives of 
merchant and finance capital in all countries are now opponents 
of war and supporters of a policy of peace and disarmament. 
In truth, however, the Soviet Government is the only govern- 
ment which does not cease to inject itself into the internal 
business of all countries and which lays all its hopes on a new 
European war. The Bolshevist militarism really represents a 
great danger for peace," 

It is evident that this is the same "argument'* applied to the 
Soviet Union, that the Socialist Party advances when it accuses 
the Communist Party of bringing on fascism. It was therefore 
quite consistent when the New Leader wrote on May 14, 1932: 

"Those in a position to study Russian facts at close range 
without being afraid to speak their minds, are convinced that 
the scheme is a most woeful mistake." 

I was debating with one of the representatives of the Socialist 
Party during the election campaign up at Cornell University and 
I had a strange experience. I brought forward a few quotations 
like these, and when the Socialist got up to speak, he said: "I 
don't defend Hillquit. I have attacked Hillquit more than Mr. 
Browder does." That was Paul Blanshard, who spoke on behalf 
of the so-called militants, self-styled left wing of the Socialist 
Party. I think it is necessary to pay our respects for just a min- 

23 





ute to this "left wing". The left wing in the Socialist Party has 
the special function that whenever a group of workers following 
the Socialist Party gets too much disgusted with the Hillquits 
and the Thomases, they have the Blanshards to trot out and 
tell them to stay in the party and they will change it. It is the 
same way in which the progressives in the Republican Party 
served to save doubtful districts for Hoover before the last land- 
slide, especially out in the agrarian states, 

Mr. Blanshard said in that debate: "Of course, Hillquit was 
absolutely wrong and anti-working class and anti-socialist when 
he acted as attorney for the ex-capitalists who tried to claim 
Soviet oil". And when Hillquit signed the capitalist appeal to 
the courts, declaring that the Soviet Government wrongfully and 
illegally seized the oil fields which rightfully belonged to the 
capitalists, Blanshard said he was not defending that, he was 
against it, but he said the convention in Milwaukee changed the 
policy of the Socialist Party in this respect and they adopted a 
resolution in support of the Soviet Union. But none other than 
the Jewish Daily Forward, which ought to know what it is talk- 
ing about, gave the official lie to this. It gives the following 
estimate of the resolution in the Socialist convention in Mil- 
waukee: 

"Whether an attempt is really made in Russia to build So- 
cialism or whether the bankruptcy of the Russian 'experiment' 
may have a good or bad influence on the Socialist movement 
in other countries, there were divisions of opinion among the 
delegates. But all agree that the present regime in Soviet 
Russia is a regime of autocracy and terror, and the Convention 
unanimously joined in the demand that the Soviet Government 
free all political prisoners and return to the Russian people all 
political and civic liberties, which means in other words, the 
abolition of dictatorship and the introduction of democracy." 

That is the resolution which Mr. Blanshard introduced in the 
Milwaukee convention and which was unanimously adopted, call- 
ing for the "support" of the Soviet Union in the form of a 

24 



demand for the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat! 
And in the program of the American Socialist Quarterly, the 
organ of these self-styled militants, it is therefore stated; 
"That by democratic methods, and not by methods of cabal and 
dictatorship will Socialism be attained" (January, 1932) . 

Having its opposition to the dictatorship of the proletariat 
in common with the capitalist class, the Socialist Party also re- 
peats the slanders of the capitalists against the Soviet Union. 
It is only a logical step from the demand to abolish the prole- 
tarian dictatorship, to the vicious, even though ignorant, charge 
that the Soviet workers are not only being exploited but are 
being exploited worse than in any capitalist country. There is 
an inner connection between all these points. Indeed, the latter 
"argument" serves as a fundamental justification of the demand 
for the abolition of the proletarian dictatorsliip. If the Russian 
workers are being exploited, it means that the system of exploita- 
tion must be abolished together with their exploiters. As a matter 
of fact, if the proletarian dictatorship exploits the Russian prole- 
tariat even worse than the capitalists do their proletariat, than 
the Socialist Party cannot be wrong in supporting their imperialist 
masters in a holy war against the Soviet Union for democracy. 

Thus with a show of economic "learning" which could not be 
viler or more stupid, the American Socialist Quarterly (Summer, 
1932, No. 3) replied to Foster's statement that there could be no 
exploitation in the Soviet Union, by stating that: "Exploitation 
consists in taking from the workers a substantial part of the 
value of their product , , /' Therefore when we take the accu- 
mulation of capital in the Soviet Union, "we have a rate of 
exploitation of more than 141%. When we compare the total 
wage fund for 1932 of 26,800,000,000 rubles with the estimated 
total of 30 billion annual increase in capital, we have a rate of 
exploitation of 112%. Either rate is worse than the worst that 
the capitalist world can show." 

Such "economic literacy" speaks for itself. Its entire wisdom 
rests on the fact that there is accumulation both in a proletarian 
state as well as in a capitalist state. But in typical social-fascist 

25 



manner, it "forgets" the "little" matter of what class accumulates 
in each state* This is the same social-fascist logic that equates 
the Italian fascist dictatorship with the proletarian dictatorship 
in the Soviet Union, because they are both dictatorships. The 
fact that the special content of the dictatorship is determined by 
which class exercises the dictatorship, the working class or the 
capitalist class, does not seem to trouble the social-fascist logic. 
To them, it is apparently immaterial whether the capitalists ex- 
ploit the workers or whether the workers "exploit" themselves! 
Certainly "exploitation consists in taking from the workers a 
substantial part of the value of their product". But this state- 
ment implies and would be correct only if a class of capitalists, 
owners of the means of production, appropriated this surplus by 
virtue of this monopoly of the productive forces. According to 
the social fascists, the Soviet workers do not own the means of 
production, and the Soviet state is not their state! Who then 
owns the industries and whose State is it? Apparently the Com- 
munist Party — which is not composed of class-conscious workers, 
which is not the party of the working class, but represents its 
own interests, etc.! Such is the confusion and the slander that 
social fascism comes to. 

There can be exploitation only where the producers do not 
own the means of production! The proletariat does not exploit 
itself. Its greater accumulation rate, which the social fascist 
describes as rate of exploitation, means that a greater social fund 
is established, which does not go to capitalists, but to all of 
society. Instead of lower standards, which should accompany 
greater rate of exploitation, you have ever rising standards! 

Expanded production under capitalism is interconnected 
with the accumulation of capital. In order to build new shops 
and mills, in order to expand production, capitalists must acquire 
capital. As we already know, the acquisition of capital inevitably 
leads to the sharpening of contradictions of the capitalist system. 
At one pole we have the acquisition of wealth, at the other — 
poverty. The acquisition of capital is the acquisition of surplus 
value squeezed out of the workers. The accumulated surplus value 

26 



is used by the capitalists as a weapon with which to enslave the 
workers. It serves the purpose of broadening the scope of ex- 
ploitation of the workers by the capitalists. New factories are 
built, further thousands of workers are drawn into exploitation, 
new machines are introduced — the extent of exploitation of the 
working class grows. 

Under Soviet conditions the widening of reproduction follows 
the path of socialist accumulation. In order to build new fac- 
tories and shops, in order to supply agricultural economy with the 
necessary machines, tractors and buildings, constantly increased 
outlays are necessary. In capitalistic countries industry was de- 
veloped to a large extent according to the capital flowing into 
it from the outside. 

In many countries, capitalists built their industry at the ex- 
pense of colonial robbery. Other countries received large war 
tributes from defeated enemies. Many nations that industrial- 
ized late in the history of capitalism became so by securing funds 
from the richer, earlier developed nations — nations that were look- 
ing for new lands in which to invest their surplus capital. To 
the Soviet Union all these paths are closed. The Soviet Union 
does not rob colonies, it does not receive tribute from defeated 
enemies, it does not enslave the Soviet lands to capitalist coun- 
tris by means of concessions. The means necessary for construc- 
tion of socialist industry and for the technical equipment of 
agricultural economy must be gotten from within the Soviet 
Union. The Soviet Union must accumulate a certain part of the 
means that are produced by the toil of the workers and farmers. 

These means are accumulated by the socialist sector of Soviet 
economy and are the basis for still wider socialist accumulation. 
The poor and middle peasant economies also set aside a per- 
centage of the means of production, for the improvement of the 
production level. However, under conditions of scattered small 
manufacture, any sort of serious rise was impossible. Only after 
the transition to tracks of collective economy, appear the neces- 
sary conditions for a basic growth of production, for a rapid 
growth of economy. 

27 



In the present state, when the Soviet Union entered the period 
of socialism, the socialist sector began to play an absolute, pre- 
dominant role. The kulaks are being liquidated as a class by 
means of thorough collectivization. Naturally the overwhelming 
mass of means accumulated in the Soviet Union goes through the 
socialist sector — follows the path of socialist accumulation. There 
takes place the construction of a tremendous number of under- 
takings; included in that number are many gigantic mills reach- 
ing dimensions heretofore unknown to both Western Europe or 
the United States. Collective farms and State farms are laying 
aside gigantic sums for the improvement of their economy. Many 
large machine-tractor plants are being built. The system of trans- 
portation is being reconstructed from the roots, new railroads 
are being built, tens of thousands of railroad cars and locomo- 
tives are being added to the existing rolling stock. The advan- 
tages of socialist economy give the Soviet Union the possibility 
of using large means for the growth of production, which under 
capitalism are either vulture-like stolen by parasite-idlers or de- 
stroyed uselessly in a beastly light of all against alt Quite a 
significant part of the entire national income of the Soviet Union 
is used for the need of socialist accumulation, which assures the 
overcoming of the backwardness of the Soviet Union and the 
construction of a socialist society. 

The rapid increase of production signifies the growth of the 
national income at a rate heretofore unknown to history. The 
general volume of national income is growing. This general 
growth of national income gives the Soviet Union the possibilities 
of simultaneous growth both for that part which goes towards 
satisfying the needs of the toilers and that part which goes to- 
wards socialist accumulation. And in actuality, in the Soviet 
Union, together with the growth of investments into national 
economy, goes the uninterrupted betterment of material (living) 
conditions of the working class and the entire proletarian mass. 
This is one of the basic advantages of Soviet economy over 
capitalism. 

We already know that the rapid rate of industrialization of 

28 



the Soviet Union and the decisive mechanization of the agricul- 
tural economy are dictated to the Soviet Union by the domestic 
and foreign factors which are hostile to its development. 

In order to get high rates of economic development certain 
accumulation is necessary. Definite economy is necessary, a mer- 
ciless struggle against all kinds of excesses and unproductive ex- 
penses is necessary, a fight against losses of any kind. Every 
penny, every ruble invested in the increase of socialist produc- 
tion brings nearer that moment when the Soviet Union will reach 
and pass the capitalist world and will set up Socialism. 

In socialist accumulation, the working class as well as the 
peasantry participate. Because after all the tasks of industrializa- 
tion of the Soviet Union, the tasks of overcoming its centuries- 
old backwardness are being carried out not only in the interests 
of the working class, but also in the interests of the whole mass 
of poor and middle class peasantry. As to the kulaks, a definite 
part of their income which they had not gotten through toil is 
being expropriated from them by way of government taxes, indi- 
vidual taxation, etc. During the liquidation of the kulaks their 
accumulated wealth — buildings, machines, animals, etc. — -is trans- 
ferred into the collective farm and serves the purpose of 
strengthening the collective economy. The masses of peasant col- 
lectivists participate actively in the Socialist accumulation. A 
definite part of the income of the collective farm is set aside to 
improve its economy for buildings, machines, increase of stock, 
etc. A part of the product produced in the collective farm goes 
into the general government treasury for the needs of socialist 
industry and transport, for the needs of agricultural economy 
as a whole. 

Tens of billions of rubles have already been invested in the 
setting up and reconstruction of heavy industry, agricultural 
economy and transport. These means were heretofore gotten 
mainly from light industry and agricultural economy. 

"The picture is entirely different today. If in the past there 
were sufficient sources of accumulation for the reconstruction of 
industry and transport, today these means are already insuffi- 

29 







cient. The task today is not to reconstruct old industry. The 
task is to set up new technically armed industry in the Urals, 
Siberia, Kazakstan. The task is to set up new large scale agri- 
cultural-economy production in the grain, stock breeding and 
raw product sections of the U. S. S. R. Clearly the old sources 
of accumulation cannot fulfill the needs of such grand tasks." 
(Stalin,) 

New tasks> a new situation, and the new conditions demand 
new sources of accumulation. It is impossible co go along with 
the old paths of accumulation only. The old courses are clearly 
not sufficient for the completion of the grand problems, which at 
the present moment are on the order of the day. 

"Light industry is the richest source of accumulation and it 
has all the chances today to develop still further, but this 
source is not without its limitations. Agricultural economy pre- 
sents a source of accumulation no less rich, but that itself in 
the period of its reconstruction is in need today of financial 
help from the government. And as to budgetary accumulation* 
those, you know yourselves, cannot be and must not be without 
their limitations. What is left then? There is left heavy indus- 
try. Therefore, it is necessary to aim so that heavy industry 
and first of all the machine construction section also produce 
accumulation. Therefore, strengthening* and spreading the old 
sources of accumulation, it is necessary to aim at the point 
where heavy industry, and first of all machine construction, also 
produce its accumulation. 5 * (Stalin.') 

From this it is clear what great importance in contemporary 
conditions is attached to the decisive struggle for complete intro- 
duction of economic accounting, for systematic lowering of cost 
of production, for the growth of inner-industry accumulation in 
all sections of production without exception- The growth of ac- 
cumulation within the industry, that is the basic method of 
socialist accumulation in the present period. 

Vli WITH PRACTICE COMES THEORY 

It is clear that on all issues in the United States, the Socialist 
Party differs from the German social democracy, from the British 

30 



Labor Party, not one iota in principle, but only in detail, a 
detail determined by the fact that it is serving a different set of 
capitalist masters and by the fact that it is as yet young and 
undeveloped in this country. 

How clearly this is demonstrated in the role of the Socialist 
Party leadership in relation to Roosevelt's "New Deal"!* 

American social fascists actively take part in developing the 
international theories of social fascism. These theories have as 
their purpose to justify the practices of the Second International 
and its sections, and to confuse the minds of the workers on the 
issues of the class struggle. They range from open apologies 
for capitalism through open revision of Marxism to "orthodox" 
Marxism of the Kautskyist revisionist school* All these theories 
are, first, anti-materialist in philosophy (partaking of philosophic 
idealism, of the philosophy of bourgeois class society, of religious 
illusions, etc.), and second, a rejection of the viewpoint of pro- 
duction as the center of gravity in the laws of capitalist produc- 
tion, which they replace with distribution as the prime point. 

The theories of Marxism (Marxism-Leninism, in the period 
of imperialism) furnish a contradiction to the class collaboration 
practice of the Second International, participation in bourgeois 
cabinets, coalition policies in general, support of Bruening, elec- 
tion of Hindenburg.** An honest investigation of capitalist pro- 
duction relations necessarily leads to the Marxian theory. It 
discloses no class harmony. It leads towards the class struggle. 
The social fascists are, therefore, debarred from any honest 
examination which would wreck their class collaboration policy. 
Marx showed that the class struggle is bound up with the pro- 
duction relations existing between the proletariat and the capital- 
ists. The social fascist theory, therefore, avoids the problems 
of the production relations. Instead, they approach economics 
from the point of view of circulation, of market relations, mak- 
ing this the center of their investigation. As Kautsky states in 



* See Appendix. 

** And the ignominious succumbing to and open support of Hitler in power. 

31 



his preface to the People's Edition of Volume 2 of Marx'* 

Capital, page 19: 

"In the circulation process there appear phenomena which are 
of the greatest significance to the welfare and ill of the work- 
ers, and which do not lose importance because here, to an ex- 
tent, workers and capitalists have the same interests," 

Norman Thomas makes his American contribution to this 
theory in his book, America's Way Out, page 138, when he says: 

"Neither is it altogether true that the employers and work- 
ers have nothing in common, as the famous I.W..W. preamble 
had it." 

One of the younger theoreticians of German social fascism, 
Braunthal, in a text book of contemporary economics, published 
in 1930, admits that one can come to theories of organized capi- 
tal and economic democracy only when one starts from the con- 
cept of the sphere of distribution, i.e. f takes the continuous 
permanent existence of capitalist relations for granted, and the 
harmony of proletarian and capitalist interests. This corresponds 
to and justifies the practice of the Socialist trade union bureau- 
crats in preventing and suppressing strikes, in calling upon the 
state to intercede and prevent the workers* struggles. This inter- 
vention of the bourgeois state it puts forward as a step toward 
socialism. Hilferding formulated this most clearly in his speech 
at the Kiel Congress of the German social democracy in 1927, 
He said: 

"To consider factory and economic leadership as the affair 
of society is precisely the socialist principle, and society has no 
other organ through which it can consciously act than the 
state," 

The economic crisis shattered the theory of organized capital- 
ism. The social fascists are, therefore, reconstructing this theory, 
the product of capitalist prosperity, in forms to lit the period of 
capitalist crisis. The rise of giant monopolies, which for them was 
the beginning of organized capitalism, is superseded by enormous 

32 



state subsidies to bankrupt monopolies and trusts which are hailed 
as state capitalism, a step toward socialism. The Vienna Arbeiter 
Zeitung, organ of Austrian social fascism, thus formulated this, 
November 7, 1931: 

"The era of finance capital is followed by the era of state 
capitalism; the domination of the banks over industry is fol- 
lowed by the domination of the state over the banks which 
dominate industry. The world will come out of this crisis 
different from what it went into it. State capitalism which 
arises out of the collapse of finance capital is not yet socialism, 
but when the state dominates the banks and through them in- 
dustry, then state capitalism turns into socialism as soon as 
the masses who work in the factories conquer state power 
which dominates the factories," 

State capitalism is thus hailed as the transition to socialism. 
The German social fascists use this to justify the Bruening de- 
crees. Thus Braunthal says in reference to the situation created 
by these decrees: 

"Certainly, the logical conclusion of this situation would be 
the going over to planned economy, *. e. f to socialism." 

And he says that this situation is a "painful transition sit- 
uation". 

But long ago Engels exposed this hokum when he said; 

"And the modern state again is only the organization that 
bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external 
condition of the capitalist mode of production against the en- 
croachments, as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. 
The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a 
capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal person- 
ification of the total national capitalism. The more it pro- 
ceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does 
it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens 
does it exploit. The workers remain wage workers — pro- 
letarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It 
is rather brought to a head. But brought to a head, it top- 
ples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not 

33 



_ 



the solution of die conflict, but concealed within it are the 
technical conditions that form the elements of that solution." 
{$Qcialism t Utopian and Scientific, 1892, pp. 71-72.) 

From the social-fascist theory of the developing revolutionary 
role of the bourgeois state there flows the conclusion that the 
proletariat should support this intervention in economic life, and 
hence its suppression of the workers* struggles. In social-fascist 
economic theory, therefore, economic categories become political 
categories. Economic law is replaced by political arbitrariness. 
With Marx exchange categories are the expression of certain 
production relations. To the social fascists, however, surplus 
value arises in the circulation process, crises arise in circulation. 

Norman Thomas, the leading exponent of social fascism in 
America, consistently develops these theories. He says; 

"The operation of our complex machinery for the common 
good rather than for private profit throws into strong relief 
the role of the consumer,. It is very significant, as the Webbs 
brought out before the war, that almost all progress in sociali- 
zation has actually been in the interest of consumers." (America's 
Way Out, pp. 143- \ 44.) 

This consumers' viewpoint includes all consumers and tran- 
scends class relations growing out of production. 

Such social-fascist apologetics have not the slightest relation 
to scientific treatment of economic and social problems. They 
deal entirely with surface phenomena and not with the real rela- 
tionships of capitalist society. They make impossible a scientific 
understanding of the laws of movement and development of 
capitalist society. As Marx said, Capital, Volume 3: 

"The first theoretical treatment of the modern mode of 
production necessarily started from the superficial phenomenon 
of the process of circulation. .The real science of modern 
economics only begins when theoretical investigation passes 
over from the process of circulation to the process of produc- 
tion." 

The placing of the sphere of circulation as the basis of their 

34 






economic theory is hut a piece with their general advocacy or 
class harmony. The motive is revealed in the Kautskyian theory 
that in the circulation process, "to an extent, workers and capi- 
talists have the same interests". Once the center of attack is 
shifted from the production point to the sphere of exchange, the 
struggle ceases to be fundamentally a class war of the wage^ 
workers in resistance to the extraction of surplus value by the 
exploiters, and becomes a question of merely regulating the ex- 
change process by the state, i.e., of organizing capitalism. And 
since, according to Kautsky, in the sphere of circulation "workers 
and capitalists have the same interests" (even though to an ex- 
tent), that regulation should, by dint of logic, be carried on 
on the basis of the sameness of interests, Le., through class 
harmony! 

The social fascists must have a philosophy by which to steer 
their course of fascization. Norman Thomas develops specific 
American expressions of this philosophy. He says: 

"Three things a socialism worth confidence must offer: a 
philosophy, a program and an organization equal to the task 
of winning plenty and peace and freedom, not indeed with- 
out suffering or struggle, but without a suicidal and self- 
defeating degree of violence. It is in • these directions that 
socialist thought and effort must consciously turn." 

What sort of philosophy does Thomas need? Obviously one 
that will correspond to the nature and deeds of his practice. It 
is quite consistent, therefore, when he rejects revolutionary Marx- 
ism and accepts only certain of its features after having watered 
them down and eliminated their revolutionary contents. Thomas 
himself says: 

"A social ideal, a great organizing loyalty, a social 'myth* 
as French writers use the word; these are included in the term 
philosophy, which must have emotional as well as intellectual 
content and will escape — I hope — degeneration into doctrinaire 
crecdalism." (p. 131.) 

Thomas's philosophy, therefore, has nothing in common with 

35 



scientific truth. Such a philosophy would not correspc thi 

nature of social fascism. His philosophy need not be tfl 
"Workers and capitalists have interests in common." A n 
philosophy, reflecting the real world, would show an in. in 
cilable class struggle. But social fascism aims to prevent i In- 
working class struggle from developing, especially into revolt! 
tion. His philosophy, therefore, tells him that the class Btruggll 
is a "myth". Says Thomas on page 138: 

"Moreover, as socialism and still more communism li 
proved, the idea of the class struggle is a very effective organ 
izing- 'myth* to hold the workers together and to substitl! 
the supremacy of that 'myth' of nationalism which has leu 
economic justification." 

Nevertheless, "the more men and women who tratucend I 
narrow and immediate class or group interest for the takfl ol 
ideal interests, the better for us all", (p. 150.) 

And on page 137 Thomas states: 

"Nevertheless, economic determinism (sic!) is enormOullj 
useful as a positive guide to social thinking and social pro 
so long as it is not carried over to the realm of metaphj 
or of absolute scientific la<w." 

Thomas asks: 

"But what is this philosophy we need? Thousands, | 
haps millions, of socialists with more or less confidence will still 
proclaim that it is Marxism ... and that our search need 
no further. 

"Nevertheless these things (the experiences of the Soviol 
Union, the crisis, etc.) do not prove that all this old world 
needs is to accept Marxism with its materialist conception 
history, class conflict and theory of value." (p. 13 3.) 

The philosophy of social fascism is not materialism, li 
idealism. It accepts the worst illusions of the capitalist world, 
together with the capitalist system itself. The acceptance ol < 
latter inevitably entails the acceptance of the former. 

Thus Thomas rejects "economic determinism" when it claim. 

36 




the validity of scientific law — but especially because "the very 
terms it employs: 'determinism,' 'materialistic,' etc., match the 
physics and the biology of the nineteenth century but not of the 
twentieth", (p. 137.) 

Thomas here is not rejecting the mechanical materialism of 
eighteenth century France and the vulgar German materialism 
of Vogt and others for the modern, the dialectic materialism. 
He first ignorantly and in the manner of the open bourgeois 
"critics" of Marx, identifies Marxian materialism with the 
mechanical materialism which Marx and Engels consistently 
fought throughout their careers. But secondly, he accepts the 
idealist illusions of the religious minded ^philosophizing" scien- 
tists of today (Whitehead, Jeans, Millikan, etc.) who, confronted 
with new knowledge about matter, that is, with the more evi- 
dently dialectic character of matter (fixed forms, indivisible ele- 
ments, etc., giving way to forms flowing into one another, in a 
process manifesting itself in contradictory aspects) conclude that 
matter has disappeared and that only mind or spirit is left. In 
addition, aside from showing this complete ignorance of the 
literature of dialectic materialism on these questions, he does not 
even know the technical literature of present day natural science. 
Thus Thomas writes, page 137: 

"Our fathers knew what matter was. It was what com- 
mon sense told them it was. We are trying to learn that it 
is a form of energy or perhaps something which can be ex- 
pressed only in a set of mathematical formulas. Our fathers 
knew the clear certainties of Newton: cause and effect, action 
and reaction. We are trying to understand Einstein's relativity 

d what Heisenberg means when in explaining the quantum 
theory he talks of the 'principle of certainty V J 

Thomas is obviously phrase-mongering here, since Planck, 

founder of the quantum theory of matter, asserts the primacy 

of matter and is really a materialist; and secondly, Heisenberg's 

!: has been seized upon by all the fideists, priests, etc., as 

i lie proof" that we do not know whether there is any 

37 



matter left, that we must doubt the existence of universal causal- 
ity. And this is what Thomas has in mind. But in reality, 
Heisenberg's principle does not deal with the existence or non- 
existence of universal causality or law, it actually starts with the 
existence of matter; and merely formulates the inadequacy of 
present day instruments of measurement to measure the move- 
ment of particles of matter. The principle of indeterminacy states 
that "a particle may have position or it may have velocity, but 
it cannot in any exact sense have both". And Bertrand Russell, 
in his Scientific Outlook, pp. 92-93, elucidates, "that is to say, 
if you know where you are, you cannot tell how fast you are 
moving, and if you know how fast you are moving, you cannot 
tell where you are". 

As J. E. Turner stated in Nature, Dec. 27, 1930: 

"The use to which the principle of indeterminacy has been 
put is largely due to an ambiguity in the word 'determined'." 

And Russell adds: 

"In one sense a quantity is determined when it is measured, 
in the other sense an event is determined when it is caused. 
The principle of indeterminacy has to do with measurement, 
not with causation. The velocity and position of a particle 
are declared by the principle to be undetermined in the sense 
that they cannot be accurately measured. This is a physical 
fact causally connected with the fact that the measuring is a 
physical process which has a physical effect- upon what is 
measured. There is nothing whatever in the principle of in- 
determinacy to show any physical event is uncaused." (p. 105.) 

But Thomas substitutes the word "uncertainty" for "inde- 
terminacy" and follows the fideists who wish to cast doubt on 
universal causation. Thomas continues: 

"Our fathers accepted a doctrine of evolution which ex- 
plained all things in terms of natural selection and survival of 
the fittest. We wrestle with hints of biological 'sports' and 
strange mutations. 






"Under these circumstances just what do you mean by a 
materialistic conception of history', or any absolute determin- 
ism? Can a generation which has had to go far beyond New- 
tonian physics or atomic chemistry or Darwinian biology be 
expected to find Marx, who was also a child of his time, 
infallible?" 

Thus does Thomas, like his European brothers, cloak^hls 
revision of Marx with empty chatter about "modern science to 
hide the fact that he replaces Marx's militant materialism by 
Kantian agnostic idealism. 

V H t — WINNING THE WORKERS FROM SOCIAL FASCIST LEADERSHIP 

The Socialist Party in this country is becoming a political 
factor of first rate importance only in the last period of the de- 
cline of capitalism. It is very much delayed in its appearance on 
the political stage as a serious instrument and therefore it has 
to go through the process of its development at a much faster 
rate than the Socialist Parties in Europe. In Europe, the Social- 
ist Parties developed over a long period and were, m the period 
before the war, genuine workers' parties. Opportunism, reform- 
ism and revisionism developed freely within them. But they were 
organs of the gathering of the working class forces, the crystal- 
lization of working class consciousness, the development of work- 
ing class demands. 

It was the war which brought to a climax the growing oppor- 
tunism of the Socialist Parties of Europe, Through their 
participation in the war and the post-war revolutionary crises 
followed by the re-establishment of capitalism, the Socialist Par- 
ties were transformed into open and recognized functioning 
agents of capitalist government. And these Socialist Parties in 
Europe carried over into this new period the tremendous organi- 
zational strength and political influence they had gathered in the 
long years of normal, natural development and growth as the 
parties of class struggle. 

39 



The Socialist Party in the United States has not this back- 
ground. It had not become a mass party. When the war came, 
and brought all of these issues to a sharp crisis, the Socialist Party 
divided and the working class base, the revolutionary elements 
of the Socialist Party, went into the foundation of the Com- 
munist Party in the United States. Since that time the Social- 
ist Party has languished in this country until in these last years, 
with the development of the crisis, the bourgeoisie learned the 
lessons of its brothers in Europe, and began to see that it really 
had some use for the Socialist Party after all. 

Under the influence of the more intelligent and active ele- 
ments in the capitalist class, the Socialist Party was rejuvenated 
and brought to the front in the last election campaign. We can- 
not fail to see that to the extent that the Socialist Party came 
into this last election campaign and increased its vote to about 
two and a half times over that of 1928, that this was in the main 
the fruits of the conscious, open support of the capitalist press, 
given to the Socialist Party. The bourgeoisie is definitely build- 
ing up the Socialist Party because it knows that in the coming 
great class struggles in America it is going to need the Socialist 
Party. This is a different process from that in other countries, 
where the capitalist class only had to take the already existing 
Socialist Parties and use them. Here in the United States they 
cannot do it because such a Socialist Party does not exist. And 
with regard to the Socialist Party the capitalist class is today in 
the same position as the old philosopher who said: "If Go J 
didn't exist, we would have to invent him". When the Socialist 
Party does not exist, the capitalist class has to bring it into 
existence and that is what it is doing in the United States today. 

This of course creates many problems for the Socialist Party. 
It creates opportunities for us more quickly, more thoroughly to 
expose this political role of the Socialist Party than has been the 
case in Europe. And especially, because the building of the 
Socialist Party is so directly the business of the capitalists and 
not of the workers, this is the determining reason why the So- 

40 






cialist Party has such leaders as Norman Thomas. The capital- 
ists, if they are going to build the party, are going to be sure 
they have a reliable man at the head of it. And they even lean 
over a little backward and pick someone who cannot be accepted 
by large masses of workers as a workers' leader. 

But all of these elements of weakness in the Socialist Party 
should not cause us to underestimate the political importance of 
the Socialist Party and of the struggle against it. The Socialist 
Party is growing in the United States. The Socialist Party, while 
it draws the largest proportions of its gains from the middle 
class, still draws tremendous elements from the workers who 
really want socialism and think that the Socialist Party is the 
party that stands for Socialism; who have illusions and who 
have to be won away from the Socialist Party by an elaborate 
process of experience and education. If in Europe the old strong, 
established Socialist Parties are declining and losing their follow- 
ing in ever larger numbers, in the United States the Socialist 
Party is still on the upgrade, still growing and will continue to 
grow for some time. Especially will it grow and become a men- 
ace in this country if we Communists are not active and well 
armed in the struggle against it. 

One of the great weaknesses in our struggle against the 
Socialist Party~has been that our comrades are too careless about 
this struggle. They know the basic facts about the Socialist 
Party, they know it is the party of treason to socialism, and 
they think it is sufficient merely to proclaim this fact in general 
to the workers, and that means exposing the Socialist Party. But 
for the worker who is not acquainted with this long history of the 
Socialist Party, who is not acquainted with international expe- 
rience and especially the worker who has no experience or 
detailed information about the growth and development and 
functioning of the revolutionary party, the Communist Party — 
he is not going to take our mere word for it. In order to win 
the workers from the influence of the Socialist Party, it is neces- 
sary to carry on the most patient, detailed explanation, informa- 

41 









tion, argumentation, with all of the workers who are under the 
influence of the Socialist Party. We will never win these work- 
ers away from the Socialist Party merely by calling them social 
fascists. The workers who follow the Socialist Party are not 
social fascists. Their leaders are social fascists, and it is they and 
their program that give the social- fascist character to their party. 
This must be explained to these workers in terms that they 
can understand, in terms of their daily class struggles, relating 
the policy of their Party to the question of wage cuts, the strug- 
gle of the unemployed, the meaning of the policy of their party 
when Norman Thomas speaks with J. P. Morgan for the block 
aid plan, and so forth. These detailed data of the actual func- 
tioning of the Socialist Party in relation to the needs of the 
workers must be carefully collected, the facts established and 
distributed widely among the workers. Then we must establish 
the closest and most friendly contact with these workers and 
discuss these questions with them in a friendly, comradely manner. 
Of course, if we bump up against a real convinced social fascist 
our friendly arguments will probably become unfriendly, espe- 
cially when we begin to expose the actual deeds of Norman 
Thomas and Hillquit. But the ordinary worker is glad to know 
these facts if we will bring them to him in the proper way; 
and the workers will never defend these leaders if we expose 
them properly. In the development of this exposure, we will win 
ninety-five per cent of the workers following the Socialist Party. 
That is our task and if we go about it correctly, this will mean 
not only winning that comparatively small number of workers 
who follow the Socialist Party. The most important thing is 
that by the proper approach and tactics and contact with the 
Socialist workers, winning them away from the Socialist Party, 
we at the same time establish the proper approach to the great 
masses of the unorganized workers who are following Roosevelt 
and Hoover today. And by the development of the struggle, 
the fight for unemployment relief, the struggle against wage 
cuts, the building of the Unemployed Councils, of the revolu- 
tionary trade unions, the combining of these activities, the care- 

42 




^H 






ful, stubborn, persistent educational work and agitation among 
all of these non-party workers, we will succeed in building up a 
real mass Communist Party in the United States. In this way 
can the struggle be effectively conducted against fascism and 
social fascism, which is the main support of the bourgeoisie in 
the coming revolutionary struggles. 

We are facing a situation today in which great mass battles 
are maturing. We have to boldly and fearlessly go into these 
mass struggles and organize and lead workers in them. At the 
same time, we have to give these workers a political education 
and make convinced revolutionists of them, make them under- 
stand the issues that are involved. By combining action and 
education in the present situation in the United States, in a 
very short time the growth of the class struggle will be more 
than met by the growth of a mass revolutionary party, the mass 
Communist Party. 

We should go out into the struggle against fascism with this 
understanding that in this struggle in the next immediate future, 
we must begin to bring the masses into the Communist Party, 
begin to think in terms of 25,000 and a little later of 50,000 and 
100,000 members and it is not too much to expect that in a 
predictable future the American Communist Party will be a 
real mass party with 100,000 members and larger hundreds of 
thousands voting for us and organizing with us for the daily 
needs of the workers. But it is no use to talk, or think, in 
terms of these large figures except to the degree that we really 
get down to work and organize our own forces for this task and 
get the correct understanding and approach to these problems 
of winning the workers, winning the individual workers, winning 
the workers in groups, in large numbers, through struggle and 
through education, for a mass Communist Party in the United 
States. 






43 



APPENDIX 

(From Speech of Earl Browder at Extraordinary Conference of 

Communist Party U.S.A., held in New York City, 

July 7-10, 1933.) 

The New Deal represents the rapid development of bourgeois policy under the 
blows of the crisis, the sharpening of the class struggle at home and the im- 
minence of a new imperialist war. The New Deal is a policy of slashing the 
living standards at home and fighting for markets abroad, for the simple purpose 
of maintaining the profits of finance capital. It is a policy of brutal oppression al 
home and of imperialist war abroad. It represents a further sharpening and 
deepening of the world crisis. 

It has become very fashionable lately to speak ab^uc the New Deal as Ameri- 
can fascism. One of Mussolini's newspapers declares that Roosevelt is following 
the path marked out by Italian fascism. 

Norman Thomas has contributed a profound thought to the question and has 
written several long articles in the capitalist press to point out that the New 
Deal is "economic fascism," and that it is composed of good and bad elements, 
many of them even "progressive" in their nature, if not accompanied by "political 
reaction". And a group of honest revolutionary workers in Brooklyn recently 
issued a leaflet in which they declared that Roosevelt and Hitler arc the same 
thing. Such answers as these to the question of the essential character of the 
New Deal will not help us much. 

The development of Roosevelt's program is a striking illustration of the fact that 
there is no Chinese wall between democracy and fascism. Roosevelt operates with 
all of the arts of "democratic" rule, with an emphasized liberal and social-demagogic 
cover, quite a contrast with Hoover who was outspokenly reactionary. Yet behind 
this smoke screen, Roosevelt is carrying out more thoroughly, more brutally than 
Hoover, the capitalist attack against the living standards of the masses and th« 
sharpest national chauvinism in. foreign relations. 

Under the New Deal we have entered a period of the greatest contradictions 
between the words and deeds of the heads of government, 

Hoover refused the bonus to the veterans and called out the troop* ftgtinal them, 
causing Hushka and Carlson to be killed. Roosevelt gave the veterans a camp and 
food and instead of sending the troops he sent his wife to meet them. But where 
Hoover denied the bonus, Roosevelt also denied the bonus and added to it a cut 
of #500,000,000 in pensions and disability allow*!! 

Roosevelt's international phrases have only served to cover the launching of the 
sharpest trade war the world has Been, with the United States operating on the 
world market with a cheapened dollar, with inflation that is carrying out large 
scale dumping. 

Roosevelt's election campaign slogan of unemployment insurance and relief by 

44 



the federal government has been followed in office by refusal of insurance and 
drastic cutting down of relief, the institution of forced labor camps, etc. 

Under the slogan of higher wages for the workers he is carrying out the biggest 
slashing of wages that the country has ever seen. Under the slogan of "freedom 
to join any trade union he may choose" the worker is driven into company unions 
or into the discredited A. F. of L., being denied the right to strike; while the 
militant unions .ice being attacked with the aim to destroy them. 

With the cry, "take the Government out of the hands of Wall Street", Roose- 
velt is carrying through the greatest drive for extending trustification and monopoly, 
exterminating independent producers and small capitalists, and establishing the 
power of finance capital more thoroughly than ever before. He has turned the 
public treasury into the pockets of the big capitalists. While Hoover gave 
#3,000,000,000 in a year, Roosevelt has given #5,000,000,000 in three months. 

As for the extra-legal developments of fascism, we should remember that it is 
precisely in the South which is the basis of power of the Democratic Party, thai 
the Ku Klux Klan originated and is now being revived. It is the South that 
for generations has given the lie to all Democratic pretensions of liberalism by its 
brutal lynching, disfranchisement and Jim Crowing of the Negro masses, and 
upon this basis has reduced the standard of living of the white workers in the 
South far below that of the rest of the country. 

Large sections of workers in the basic industries in America, living in the com- 
pany towns which ate owned body and soul by the great trusts, have for long been 
under conditions just as brutal and oppressive as under Hitler in Germany today. 

It is clear that fascism already finds much of its work done in America and 
more of it is being done by Roosevelt. 

But it would be incorrect to speak of the New Deal as developed fascism. With 
a further rise of the revolutionary struggle of the masses, the bourgeoisie will turn 
more and more to fascist methods. Whether a fascist regime will finally be esl lb- 
lished in America will depend entirely upon the effectiveness of the revolutionary 
mass struggle, whether the masses will be able to defeat the attacks upon their 
rights and their standards of living. 

What are the main features of the New Deal? Let us consider it as a whole, 
as a system of measures, and bring together all the various features embodied in 
new legislation and actions in Washington. We ran sum up the features of chfl 
New Deal under the following heads: I) Trustification; 2) Inflation; 3) Direct 
subsidies to finance capital; 4) Taxation of the masses; 5) The economy program; 
6) The farm program; 7) Military and naval preparations; 8) The movement to- 
ward militarization, direct and indirect, of labor. 

MAIN FEATURES OF NEW DEAL 



First, trustification'. Under the mask of the "radical" slogan of "controlled pro- 
duction", the Industrial Recovery Act has merely speeded up and centralized the 
process of trustification which has long been the dominant feature of American 

45 



economy. There is now being carried out a clean-up of all che "little fellows'*. 
They are forced to come under the codes formulated by the trusts, which will have 
the force of law. The "little fellows' " doom is sealed and they are busy mating 
the best terms possible for a "voluntary" assimilation before they are wiped out. 
Capitalist price-fixing has been given the force of law and the profits of the great 
trusts are guaranteed by the government. As for "controlled production", we have 
the word of an administration spokesman that "competition is not eliminated ; it 
is only raised to a higher plane". That is quite true. The further strengthening 
of the power of monopoly capital is intensifying all of the chaos, antagonisms, 
disproportions within American economy. "Controlled production" is impossible 
upon the basis of capitalist private property. There is only the growth of the 
power of the big capitalists and the intensification of all social and economic con- 
tradictions. 

Second, inflation: The continuous cheapening of the dollar Serves several pur- 
poses. First, it serves for a general cutting down of the living standards of the 
masses through higher, domestic prices, and especially a reduction of workers' real 
wages (already over 20 per cent), and if w* study the course of prices in the last 
few days you will see that the reduction of real wages is now speeding up very 
fast. Second, inflation results in helping restore solvency to the banks and financial 
institutions by increasing the market value of their depreciated securities. Third, 
ii Milium carries out a partial expropriation of the savings and investments of the 
middle classes. Fourth, it results in the creation of a temporary expanding market 
to stimulate industrial production for a time, through the rush of speculators and 
profiteers to lay up stocks for higher prices. Fifth, inflation results in the launch- 
ing of a tremendous commercial war of price-cutting and dumping on the world 
market. All of these results of inflation serve to strengthen finance capital, build 
up its profits at the cost of sharpened exploitation of the masses at home, and 
lead directly to imperialist war. 

Third, the direct subsidies: This is only an enlargement of Hoover's policy 
of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Many billions of dollars as gifts, 
disguised as "loans", are being poured into the collets of the big capitalists* It all 
comes out of the lowered living standard* of the masses, the expropriation of tha 
savings of the petty bourgeoisie, and out of mass taxation. 

Fourth, the taxation program: There is being carried out under the New Deal 
an enormous shifting of even the present limited burdens of taxation on property 
and big income away from them and onto the shoulders of the masses, the workers 
and farmers. Almost all the increased taxation is in the form of sales taxes of all 
kinds, indirect taxation that falls upon the small consumers. All apparent meas- 
ures of increasing income tax rates have merely fallen upon the middle class, whila 
the big capitalists relieve themselves of all income taxes, as exemplified by the big- 
gest capitalists of them all, Morgan, Otto Kahn, Mitchell, etc., who have gone 
for years now without paying any income tax. 

Fifth, the economy program: While new taxes have been piled up nnd new 
billions of dollars Riven to the banks and trusts, "economy" is the rule for all 



expenditure that reaches the masses or the little fellows. The govern- 

sets the example for the entire capitalist class with wholesale wage cuts, 

rationalization, mass discharges, etc., of government employees. The war 

.ins have their disability allowances cut by half a billion dollars; unemploy- 

relief is substituted by forced labor camps; social services of all kinds are 

.■lashed or discontinued altogether. That is the e«nomy program of the 

New Deal. 

Sixth, the farm program: While millions of workers are starving for lack of 

the Government turns its energies to cutting down farm production. Grow- 

rotton is today being plowed under by direction of the Government. That is 

tin- New Deal. A 30 per cent tax is placed on bread in order that farmers shall 

I l.ii beat) the same return for a smaller amount of wheat. Those farmers, in 

the best case, will still only maintain their bankrupt situation while the masses 

have less bread at higher prices. The mortgage holders will absorb the grca< 

ol this government subsidy, at the expense of the stomachs of the masses, 

year's wheap crop, already in the hands of the speculators, bought from the 

farmers at about 23 cents a bushel sharply rises in price with enormous profits for 

I»eculators. By the time the farmers can get 80 cents to £1 for the coming 

the dollar will be so inflated that it will be worth just about that 2? cent? 

they got for wheat last year. Farmers will be at an even greater disadvantage in 

tig industrial products at monopoly prices sharply rising under the Allotment 

provided in the New Deal which is used as an attempt to divide workers 

l. mi farmers and set them in sharp rivalry, but the masses including the farmers 

I >iy all the bills. 

i-nth, the military and naval preparations: This is one of the chief features 

the New Deal. The wild commercial war on the world markets, sharpened to 

ui enormous degree by the falling value of the dollar, has already disrupted the 

don Economic Conference, has brought all imperialist antagonisms to a critical 

British-American relations arc clashing in every field. Japanese-Aim-i ion 

<ms are wowing sharper. A government which carries out this bandit policy 

inflation and dumping, while at the same time driving down the living stand- 

of the masses at home, such a government really should logically go heavily 

irmed. An inevitable part of the New Deal is therefore the tremendous building 

o| new battleships, cruisers, new poison gases, explosives, new tanks and other ma- 

• of destruction for the army, new military roads, the increase of atnv I 

, increased salaries for the officers. Industrial recovery is thus to be hastened 

working the war industries overtime. Such war preparations have never been 

I n before since 1917. 

th, and finally, there is the movement towards militarization of labor. This 

the most direct and open part of the fascist features of the New Deal, The 

tpest expression of this is the forced labor camps with the dollar-a-day wage. 

.ii .' 1,000 workers arc in these camps. This forced labor has several 

met aims. First, it sets a standard of wages Cowards which the capitalists will 

47 



try to drive the so-called free labor everywhere. It smashes the old traditional 
wage standards. Secondly, it breaks up the system of unemployed relief and estab- 
lishes the principle that work must be done for all relief |lmi. Thxrdly, it Eu* 
nishes cheap labor for government projects, mostly of a military nature, and for 
some favored capitalists. Fourthly, it takes the most virile and acme ^employed 
workers out of the cities where, as government spokesmen have said, they con- 
s titute "a danger to law and order", and places these "dangerous people under 
mJ .itary control. Fifthly, it sets up a military reserve of human cannon-fodder 
already being trained for the coming war. 

But the provisions of the Industrial Recovery Act regarding labor provide a much 
more large scale effort at militarization of labor, though in quite d.fferent form 
from the forced labor camps. In the industries, for the employed workers the 
aim is to establish a semi-military regime, in many ways smular to the old war-time 
legislation, under government fixed wages, compulsory arbitration of '"*?£! 
with the government as arbitrator, abolition of the right to smlce and mdcpendeu 
organization of worker, These things are to be achieved through the tndusmd 
codes worked out by employers and given the force of law by the signature o 
Roosevelt, supported when and where necessary by the Amencan Federat.on of Labor 
and the Socialist Party, who have already encored wholeheartedly into this pretty 

SCl ir C the labor section of the New Deal are to be seen the clearest examples of 
the tendencies towards fascism. It is the American brother to Musso hat . corpo 
state " with state-controlled labor unions closely tied up with and under 
the direction of the employer, Here we have also the sharpest American example 
of the role of the Socialist Party and the trade union bureaucracy, the role o 
social-fascbm as the bearer among the masses of the program of fasasm, who pave 
the way for the establishment of fascist control over the masses. 



Published by WORKERS LIBRARY PUBLISHERS 

p. O. Bo;: 148, Sta. D (*>0 East 13th St.), New York City 

September, 1933 



SUGGESTED READING 

For a further analysis of Social Democracy and the 
position of the Communist Party 

Every worker should read the following pamphlets: 

■ ■ ■ 

SOCIAL DEMOCRACY— STEPPING STONE TO 

FASCISM— D. Z, Manuihky 10c 

FASCISM VERSUS SOqiAL DEMOCRACY — Bela 'Kun 10c 

MARXISM, THE DOCTRINE OF PROLETARIAN 
DICTATORSHIP — D. 2. Manuihky 10c 

KARL MARX — L. Percbik (Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute) 15c 

PROGRAM OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL 

(Together with Constitution and Statutes) 10c 

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR AND 
THE TASKS OF THE COMMUNISTS — Resolution of 
the Sixth World Congress of the Communist Interna- 
tional 15c 

THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT IN THE COL- 
ONIES — Resolution of the Sixth World Congress of 
the Communist International 10c 

THE COMMUNIST POSITION ON THE NEGRO 
QUESTION 10c 

THE COMMUNIST POSITION ON THE FARMERS' 
MOVEMENT - 5c' 

THE SOCIALIST PARTY— LAST BULWARK OF CAPI* 
TALISM— M. /. Olgin 2c 

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND THE A* F, of L. 3 c 

CAPITALISM DEFENDS ITSELF THROUGH THE 
SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY— M. /. Olgin 3 c 

■ ■ ■ 
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