: i ■■ ■.
BREAKING UP REVOLUTKW
*.F.o?L. AND BOSSES
PREPARATIONS FOR WAR
BY EARL BROWDER
WHAT EVERY WORKER SHOULD
KNOW ABOUT THE N.R.A.
By EARL BROWDER
EVERY newspaper ia writing about the National Recovery
Act and the industrial codes. Every radio carries speeches
and propaganda. Speakers hold forth on the streets about it.
Even our homes are visited by N.R.A. advocates to talk to
us. The Blue Eagle stares at us from every window and
But what is it all about? What does it all mean in the
daily life of a worker? It is not easy to learn the. answers
to these questions from all the mass of writing and speak-
Let us try to get at the truth in a simple, easily under-
Why was the N.RA. made a law by act of Congress?
Because the economic system of America had broken down.
Four years of crisis, closed factories, millions unemployed
and starving, banks unable to pay and closing their doors.,
wages being slashed, strikes breaking out— these things
forced everyone to see that something was fundamentally
wrong with, the whole system. The thing simply wouldn't
work any more.
Nobody believes any more in the old system. Everybody
demands a new system. Everybody demands that a way out
of the crisis shall be found.
The N.R.A. was the official recognition that the old system
was smashed, that the masses of people who work, when
University of Texas
they can get a job, and who depend upon a tSS^Si order to
live, must be given something new.
That is why we have the New Deal and the N.R.A.
What does the N>R.A> promise to give to the workers?
It promises to remove the cause of the crisis. It promises
to reopen the factories, restore production, bring back pros-
perity. It promises to remedy the disorder, the chaos, the
anarchy of the economic system, and put in its place a
planned economy without crises. It promises higher wages,
shorter hours, and the right of the workers to organize
according to their own desire.
All these things would be very fine, if we could get them.
They would make life easier, they would remove the ter-
rible conditions which today make life a horrible nightmare
for millions of people.
These are wonderful things that have been promised.
Even the simple promising of these things, before any of
them are realized, made Roosevelt a popular hero with mil-
lions of people.
The masses want these things. They need them in order
Therefore it becomes a very important question as to
whether these things are being realized through the N.R.A.
We don't want to be fooled again, as we were fooled with
the promises of Herbert Hoover, when he was President
and promised us "prosperity in 60 days/'
We have a right not to trust in anybody's words any more.
We have been lied to so much, that we will be stupid fools
to believe in any words that cannot be proven by facts.
So let us examine what facts we can find.
When we look for facts, it is no longer enough to read
the newspaper headlines and front pages, or listen to the
speeches of "big men." In such places we don't find those
facts which show the true conditions. We must turn to the
financial and business pages, read the economic journals,
and get reports from the workers in the industries all over
Newspaper headlines 4ell us: "Roosevelt and the N.R.A.
have started the factories to producing; again. Prosperity
is coming back/'
Is it true? Millions of workers wish it to be true, but
if it is a lie, then it is a cruel one, raising high hopes only
to dash them to the ground again.
To judge this question, one must study the collected
figures of the business of the entire country. Such figures
are collected by organizations supported by the big capital-
ists; we can be sure that they will show the situation as
favorably as possible. Such an institution, for example, is
the Index Numbers Institute, Inc., whose figures are pub-
lished in- big newspapers all over the country. At random
we pick up the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , for September 11,
which publishes these figures. What do they show?
Economic activity for August 1933 (production, business,
etc.) j is represented by an index figure of 79. This means
that if all economy of 1926 is represented as 100, then
August 1933, would be 79, or 21 per cent less. Or if it is
compared with a five-year period of pre-crisis times, which
showed a combined index of 125, that means we are 40
per cent below "normal."
That is certainly not "prosperity," as yet, is it?
4: + *
"But things are better than they were," say the news-
papers. "No matter how bad they are now, they get better,
and move towards prosperity."
Is that so? True, things were going up for a while; now
they are going down again; up and down, up and down,
that is the way the capitalist system is always going. But
how far up?
Remember last year, during the presidential election, Her-
bert Hoover also told us things were getting better. And
they were— in the same way as in April to July this year.
Hoover's boom rose almost as high as the Roosevelt boom
this year— up to the index of 76. But that did not mean
that we were approaching prosperity again; instead we
were coming to a new crash, which followed in December,
January, and February, the worst the country ever saw.
Remember also, t-;at Hoover's boom," (which went almost
as high as Roosevelt's boom this year) was brought about
without much effort. Hoover did not do much of anything.
Roosevelt's boom cost a thousand times the effort, and re-
quired inflation, going off the gold standard, the N.R.A.,
the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the new banking law, the
codes, the Blue Eagle, and so on— and still it went only 3
joints higher than Hoover's, and now is already dropping
We cannot say, with any truth, that "things are getting
better" until, at least, things get better than in the last
year of Hoover's administration.
"Overproduction, which caused the crisis, is now being
overcome," say the newspaper headlines.
Is it true? Has the N.R.A. reduced the extent of "over-
Unfortunately, the facts do not show it. On the contrary.
' No one will deny that last December there was "overpro-
duction," that is, great stocks of unsold goods with nobody
to buy them, which was the reason that more factories than
ever closed down last winter.
Are things any better in this respect as we approach the
winter of 1933-34? No, things are worse. Today there is
twice as muck goods in the warehouses as in December, 1932.
Production did go up in April to July. But instead of
making things better, it made them worse, because most
of the goods went into storage, increased "overproduction."
The goods" were not being sold for consumption,
But why would anybody buy and store up goods, if the
markets were not expanding? Why did production increase,
when the warehouses were already full?
The answer is: Because of inflation, the cheapening of
the dollar, the going off the gold standard, which caused
a tremendous increase in prices.
When prices began to go up, every speculator and profiteer
rushed to buy and store up goods, in order to make gamblers'
profits. With the prospect of prices going up 30 per cent,
or 50 per cent, or even 100 per cent, they bought at the
old prices, being willing to wait many months before selling
until the much higher prices came into effect
Now the- warehouses are filled up. Prices are high. The
speculators want to "cash in" on their speculative profits.
They must sell their goods. But the real market, the con-
sumers' market, is very little larger than it was before,
and is shrinking again. The goods moving out of the ware-
houses therefore begin to squeeze out the goods coming from
the factory. There is more than enough, already manufac-
tured, to fill all demands. The factories are beginning to
close up again.
"Overproduction" is with us again, stronger than ever.
The N.R.A. which was promised to cure "overproduction,"
we now see, really caused it to be worse than before. In-
flation and higher prices, which were a part of the whole
plan of the N.R.A. and "New Deal," have prepared a new
Roosevelt's boom lasts only a little longer than Hoover's.
The N.R.A. forced up the figures of production for a few
months, but since July 15th they have been dropping faster
than they went up before. We can trace these facts, for
example, in the weekly business index figure of the New
York Times, This shows the high point of 99 was reached
on July 15, and tjien a drop, drop, drop, every week, until at
the beginning of September it is below 85.
Clearly, the engine of the N.R.A., which promised to pull
us out of the crisis, is missing fire, it is backfiring. It is
the same old engine trouble that wrecked the Hoover ad-
"Even if all this is true," objects the spokesman of the
N.R.A., "yet still some good has been accomplished; we are
forcing the capitalists to pay higher wages for shorter
hours, and thus improving the conditions of the workers*"
Is that so? Again we can trust more in the statistics of
the capitalists than we can in their newspaper ballyhoo. Look-
ing at their figures, we find that they tell a different story.
Wages are worth what they will buy in food, clothing, and
shelter. What they will buy depends upon prices. And prices
are shooting upward like a skyrocket — this feature of the
N.R.A. has been very successful. But the higheer go prices,
the lower go real wages — wages turned into the things which
the wage earner, needs.
How much have prices gone up? Different authorities give
different figures, depending upon
of goods they base their figures on. Retail prices move more
slowly than wholesale prices, but it is only a question of time
when the higher wholesale prices will be passed on to the
workers in higher retail prices.
The retail price of food, chief Ytem in a worker's ex-
penses, went up about 20% between April and the beginning
of September, 1933. The Consumers 1 Guide, issued by the
Agricultural Adjustment Administration, admits that a fam-
ily market basket, containing meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese,
rice, potatoes, flour, bread and macaroni cost only $14.68 in
April; but by the end of August, the family was paying
$17.74 for this monthly basket-load. Potatoes went up 120%;
flour, (56%; navy beans, 49%; evaporated milk, 29%; lard,
27%. Bread rose 19%*
Total cost of living, including food, clothing, rent, fuel,
lighting, and other necessaries, went up at least 8,5% during
the first six months of the "new deal", according to the most
conservative estimates, while the Labor Research Association
estimates that the correct figure is at least 14
What lies ahead is admitted by the- employers' journals,
in such statements as the following:
" . . the advance in retail prices has not been exhausted.
Many consumers will be surprised when the ultimate advance
has reached its height." (Daily News Record, October 9, 193 3.)
"... there is ample evidence to substantiate the statements
of manufacturers that opening prices for spring, 1934, will
be anywhere from 33 '/ 3 %, most conservatively estimated, to
40% or more, compared with wholesale and retail prices pre-
vailing last spring." (Daily Netvs Record, October 13, 1933.)
If at the same time the total amount of wages paid to the
workers (in terms of dollars) also rose by the same amount
as the cost, of living, then the total amount of real wages
(in terms of what the worker buys) would be exactly the
same as before, neither higher nor lower. If wages did not
rise so fast, then real wages were being cut down.
Everybody knows wages have not risen so fast. At the
very most wages rose only by 6% between March and Sep-
tember, according to the official figures of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Labor and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
This little 6% increase has been eaten up in the. increased liv-
ing costs — 8.5% to 14% as we have seen. Thus, even if we
use the more conservative figure of 8.5% for increase in
living costs, the worker finds his real monthly income in
September actually below March by 2.3%. What has actually
happened, then, is a cut in real wages.
The situation was described in the businessmen's news-
paper, Daily News Record, for August 30, as follows:
"The latest index number (of prices) is 43 points higher
than it was at this time last year. Textiles, house furnishings,
and like commodities are increasing. The increase is having
its effects in two ways: helpful for the producers (capital-
ists — E* B.), but not any too good for the consumer, for the
reason that purchasing power has not increased proportion-
Roosevelt promised that the N.R.A. would increase the
purchasing power of the toiling masses, the workers and
farmers. But in reality the opposite has occurred. There has
been a tremendous cut in real wages. Under Roosevelt and
the N.R.A., the millions of workers are getting less food,
less clothing, less shelter, than they did under Hoover.
Illusions are stubborn things. We showed the above facts
to an enthusiastic supporter of Roosevelt and the N.R.A.
"Maybe all you say is true. It is hard to deny, because
these figures come from the Government and the big capital-
ists themselves, who have every interest to show things not
worse but better. But still the N.R.A. has given more jobs
by reducing hours, and increasing production even tem-
Again we will play safe and ignore the newspaper bally :
hoo, in order to take a look at the facts shown by official
Production in July was 30 points higher than a year be-
fore. But employment was less than 12 points higher.
What does this mean?
It means that a terrible speed-up has been put across
on the workers in the factories. It means that every worker
must produce more than ever before, even with shorter
hours. It means more workers displaced by machines. It
means constantly fewer and fewer jobs for the same amount
It means a great increase in permanent unemployment.
It means more starvation and catastrophe for the workers.
That is what Roosevelt and the N.R.A. have given the
workers in the matter of jobs. The reality is the opposite
to the promise.
"But at least the N.R.A. has given one thing to the worker,**
argues the enthusiastic supporter of the Blue Eagle; "it has
given the worker the right to organize and fight for better
In law and in theory, the workers have for many, many
years had the full right to organize and strike. When this
is written into a new law, and proclaimed again by big
politicians, this still doesn't give the workers anything they
didn't have before. It is still only a law, worth not one
cent more or less than previous laws.
Do you remember the War Labor Board, under President
Wilson? Do you remember how it worked to strangle the
strike movements of 1918-1919, and hold down wage rates?
Perhaps you do not remember that it conducted its work
under a declaration of government policy, stated in almost
exactly the same words as Section 7 of the N.R.A. Tire War
Labor Board declared:
"The right of workers to organize in trade unions and to
bargain collectively through chosen representatives is recog-
nized and affirmed. This right shall not be denied, abridged,
or interfered with by the employers in any manner whatso-
What was this worth to the workers? Just exactly nothing.
Under it they had the rights they always had, to organize
and defeat their enemies if they could, the right to take
what they were able to get with their own power. Strikes
were prevented or strangled by "arbitration." Under this
declaration the steel workers, for the first time in history,
organized and went on strike to enforce the "collective bar-
gaining" guaranteed by the War Labor Board. But the U. S.
Steel Corporation "denied, abridged, and interfered with"
their rights, fired the workers who joined the union, and
broke their strike with armed force, both with private police
and government forces. No one ever heard of Judge Gary,
the president of the Steel Trust, being arrested and tried
for this crime against the law. But thousands of workers
were jailed, and many killed, for trying to get these rights
"guaranteed by law." r
The same thing is being repeated today.
The N.R.A. "grants" the rights which the workers al-
ready have, in order to establish control over their organi-
zations, tie them up in "arbitration," squeeze out or crush
the militant trade unions, and in general to prevent strike
movements by all possible means.
"But the N.R.A. has given the opportunity for organization,
which the workers can take advantage of by organizing into
the American Federation of Labor. Win, Green is even on
the National Labor Board, Give it credit for that much,"
Thus pleads the advocate of the N.R,A.
What is this "opportunity," whose is it, and how has it
been used? These are interesting questions.
The A. F. of L. officials had the opportunity to help work
out the industrial codes before Roosevelt signed them. How
did William Green utilize this "opportunity"?
Green and his A. F, of L. fellow-bureaucrats signed a
steel code, which fixed the existing wage-scales and hours
of labor as the legally approved ones without any change
whatever. This was done at a moment when rising prices
and strike movements had succeeded in forcing wage in-
creases in most other industries. This was at a moment
when steel workers themselves, in Buffalo, in McKees Rocks,
in Cleveland, had shown by example that it is possible now
to strike and win substantial wage increases also in the steel
industry. But the leaders of the A. P. of L, signed away
this movement to the Steel Corporation and the N.R.A.
Clearly, the "opportunity" in the steel industry was
grasped by the Steel Trust, with the help of the A. F. of L.,
to prevent either a wage increase or a strike movement.
In the automobile industry, Mr. Green put the name of
the A. F. of L. to the Roosevelt code which gives government
approval to the "open shop."
Truly, this was a wonderful opportunity — but for General
Motors, and especially for Henry Ford, who gets all the
benefits without even signing the code, and for the whole
"open shop" movement of the Chamber of Commerce of
the U. S.
Or take the coal code. Before it was adopted, after months
of jockeying about, already it effectively was used to
choke the strike of 60,000 Pennsylvania miners, and actually
prevent even such wage increases as the workers are win-
ning by their own actions in other industries under the
pressure of rising prices.
The coal code was thus also an "opportunity'* — for the
coal barons to stifle the fighting movement of the miners. The
miners will win better conditions, not through the code, but
through fighting against the code.
Or look at a smaller but equally illuminating example:
The Radio and Television Workers of Philadelphia seized
the "opportunity" to organize into the A. F. of L., in Federal
Labor Unions Nos. 18368 and 18369. Mr. William Green used
the "opportunity" personally to supervise the negotiation of
a "contract" with their employers, "establishing their right
to collective bargaining," with the personal collaboration of
General Hugh Johnson. This wonderful contract also deals
with wages. To obtain an increase? No, no, not at all! On
the contrary, to guarantee to the employers that the workers
will not demand, any increase! The contract declares that
not demand an increase over present scale of wages ;
rates unless such increased rates are incorporated bt die
N.R.A. code for the Radio industry accepted and approved J3"
by the President of the United States," —j
Yes, indeed, this was a wonderful "opportunity" — for the^
Radio employers to secure the A. F. of L. guarantee that^
the N.R.A. "minimum" code shall also be in reality the
maximum, without any inconvenient strikes by the workers!
And if the workers go on strike anyway? Then the N.R.A,
also gives a great "opportunity"— for the capitalists to fight
the strike with material and moral support from the govern-
ment, from the A. F. of L. and also from the Socialist Party,
whose leader, Norman Thomas, has declared that, in view
of the "New Deal" and the N.R.A.: "This is not the time
Truly, the N.R.A. creates many "opportunities" — for ;the
"But the N.R.A. gives the right to join any union the
worker wants", say the Blue Eagle boys} "If you don't like
the policy of William Green and the A. F. of L. join another
Union, such as the fighting unions of the Trade Union Unity
League, or an independent Union. The N.R.A. will protect
you in that right."
Yeah? You don't say! But take a look at what the gov-
ernment and the employers, with the help of the A. F. of L.,
try to do to those who would exercise these "rights,"
The tobacco workers of Tampa were organized in the
Tobacco Workers Industrial Union, affiliated to the T.U.U.L.
The government of Florida came in, destroyed its headquar-
ters, sent its leaders to prison on frame-up charges so flag- .
rant that even the U. S. Supreme Court was forced to
reverse the verdict, and turned hundreds of its members
over to the Washington authorities who deported them out
of the country as "undesirable citizens" for daring to take
their rights of organizing a union.
Later, when the N.R.A, became law, the Tampa workers'
faith in their legal rights revived— enough to organize an
entirely independent union of their own on a local basis.
They sent a delegation to Washington to talk with the
N.R.A. administration. General Johnson and his aides re-
fused to talk with them. When the delegation returned to
Tampa, they were arrested, turned over to the Ku Klux
Klan, who beat them up severely and ran them out of town.
The union headquarters were again wrecked, and the mem-
bers dispersed by police terror.
That is the reality of the "freedom to join any union,
as the Tampa tobacco workers found it.
Or consider the case of the miners of Utah and New
Mexico. In these two fields the miners, by overwhelming
majority and secret ballot, decided not to join the United
Mine Workers of the A. F. of L. They didn't trust it, be-
cause its officers came into the field as the personal friends
of the coal operators and government officials. Instead they
joined the National Miners Union. They went on strike and
won wage increases and union recognition. Then came word
from Washington, from the N.R.A, administration, that the
local employers made a mistake to settle with the Union.
The employers broke their agreement. The union went on
strike again. The governors of Utah and New Mexico, with
the open help of the U. S. Army, of which Mr. Roosevelt is
Commander-in-chief, declared military rule, martial law,
arrested all leaders of the N.M.U. and hundreds of its active
members, holds them incommunicado without trial, while the
A. F. of L. officials openly issue calls for scabs to come in
■ 1 break the strike.
Theae are typical examples of what is going on, in one
f orn1 ,,,• another, all over the country, in all industries.
ielr own choice!" What a mockery!
«But even if everything you say is true", argues the blind
foHower of Mr. Roosevelt, "that only means that we must all
make some sacrifices for the common good that will oone
from an organized planned economy under the N.R.A."
It is true that sacrifices are being demanded — and taken —
under the "New Deal" and the Blue Buzzard, But who
makes the sacrifices?
First, the working class, whose income has been cut by
two thirds, to less than one third part of what it was five
years ago,. and is being further reduced by higher prices
Second, the poor farmers, whose income has been reduced
about the same as that of the workers, and who are losing
their farms to the bankers and other mortgage holders, thus
being turned into tenants or wage workers.
Third, the veterans of the world war, who are not only
denied payment of the bonus (a debt acknowledged by the
government by formal certificates) but who have further
had taken away from them by Mr. Roosevelt and the "New
Deal" a half-billion dollars per year from their pensions
and disability allowances which they received under Hoover.
Fourth, the Negro people, most of whom suffer as workers,
poor farmers and veterans, and suffer further as an op-
pressed nationality, whose wage-rates are omitted from even
the N.R.A. codes, or deliberately set at figures from 25 to
50 per cent lower than the general starvation level, who
are more than ever being jim-crowed and lynched in this
time of N.R.A.
Fifth, the small bank depositors (some workers and many
middle-class people) whose savings have been confiscated by
the so-called "bank failures" (which is only another name
for the process of big banks eating up the little banks).
Many billions of dollars have been "sacrificed" in this way —
to go into the vaults of J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller,
Andrew Mellon, and the rest of the little group of "rulers
Sixth, the small business men are also making sacrifices.
The abolition of the anti-trust laws has removed tfce last
small restraints upon chain stores, monopolies, and big-
trusts. They are free to use their mass resources to the
full to crush and absorb the little fellows. At the same time
these monopolies are writing the "industrial codes" under
the N.R.A., in such a way as to guarantee monopoly profits
while squeezing out entirely the little fellows.
On top of all these sacrifices, which all go to swell the
treasuries of monopoly capital, of Wall Street, further bil-
lions of dollars are being taken by the government through
taxation of the masses, and through the operations of the
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, are being passed on to
the banks, insurance companies, railroads and great indus-
These sacrifices made by the broad masses of the people
for the benefit of Wall Street, of monopoly capital— these
are called, with a grim humor peculiar to the N.R.A., estab-
lishing a planned economy.
But this is nothing else than a gigantic trusttficat urn of
capital at the expense of the masses and of economy.
This increased trustification does not and cannot overcome
the crisis. It was the previous trustification that made the
crisis so deep-going and protracted. It does not organize
economy to overcome those features which bring about crises
and catastrophes. It only deepens the crisis and drives the
world even faster to the further disaster of a new world war.
"But the N.R.A. has nothing to do with war", say* our
faithful supporter of Roosevelt; "the New Deal means more
friendly relations with other nations. Therefore, why do you
talk about war?"
vlt is also going to abolish war? Yes, much the
same as he is abolishing the crisis! Just as the N.R.A.
talks higher wages but actually cuts real wages, so does
the new deal talk about peace but really prepares for and
carries on war.
Tho N.R.A. established a three-billion dollar fund, sup-
posedly for "public works." This is being expended mainly
to launch the greatest navy building and military program
the world has ever seen.
All these warships, bombing planes, tanks, poison gases,
army camps, etc., these are the means for establishing "more
neighborly relations"? Yes? Tell that to Japan and England,
and see how much they believe it!
Japan and England, France, Germany, and Italy — all are
feverishly making the same sort of preparations for "more
neighborly relations"! All arm to the teeth against each
other — and all try to unite for a moment for war against the
How strange, how typical of the topsy-turvy times in
which we live, that such blatant hypocrisy can fool anyone
even for a moment. And such a moment, when the whole
world knows that it is faltering on the brink of the most
destructive war the world ever witnessed !
Even the most "constructive" measure of Roosevelt's "New
Deal," the Tennessee River development around the Muscle
Shoals hydroelectric plant, is a senseless thing until it is seen
as a part of a war program. At the same time that Roose-
velt pays out many hundreds of millions of dollars (taken
from the masses by special sales taxes) to the farmers in
order to persuade them to reduce production, to plow under
every fourth row of cotton, to leave stand idle every fourth
acre of wheat land, to slaughter six million pigs to reduce
the production of meat — at this same moment he spends
more hundreds of millions to complete and put into opera-
tion the Muscle Shoals fertilizer plant. To produce fertilizer
is useful to increase production in agriculture, the opposite
of Roosevelt's program. But the method in this madness can
be seen when we recall that Muscle Shoals is a fertilizer
plant only by afterthought. In the first place it is a
monster munitions plant, to produce explosives for war.
The N.R.A. is from beginning to end a part of the program
of war and preparations for war!
"Yes, the selfish, bad capitalists are doing all the things
you describe*', admits our Rooseveltian enthusiast; "But
Roosevelt himself is a good, well-meaning man who is doing
his best for us, and fighting against all these bad things."
That reminds me of a story. An old Scotchman had for
many years been a member of a savings and loan association.
Came the day when he wanted to obtain a loan. He went
to his old friend, the Chairman of the Board, with his ap-
plication. The chairman said: "Sandy, I'd do anything in
the world for you personally. But this is something that
must be decided by the entire Board." Sandy visited each
member of the Board *nd got the sar y from each.
Contentedly he waited for the Board to meet, sure of the
support of each member as his loyal personal friend. After
the Board meeting, the astonished Sandy was informed by
the chairman that his application had been turned down.
"Well," said Sandy, sadly disillusioned; "personally each
member of the Board is a good man and my personal friend,
but collectively 1 must say that you're the worst bunch of
bastards I ever met."
And so it is with that "good man" Roosevelt, who is such
a firm "friend" of the workers and all the oppressed. He
is at the same time the chairman of the Board that must
make all decisions "collectively." He is the chairman of the
executive committee of the capitalist class. That is what the.
job of President of the United States means.
How childish it is to think that the "goodness" or "bad-
ness" of the individual Roosevelt can make the slightest
difference in regard to the policies of government!
The government, with Roosevelt at the head, is trying
to save the capitalist system. To save the system makes
necessary to put the burden of the crisis upon the workers,
farmers, and middle classes. They follow the clais logic of
tbeir class position.
In order to improve the situation of the massts, of the
workers and farmers and impoverished middle classes, it is
necessary to start out from the position, not of saving the
capitalist system but of changing the system, of moving
toward substituting for it a socialist system.
Such an issue is above all questions of personal virtue
or lack of it. It is a class issue. Roosevelt is bad for the
workers because he is the leader of the capitalist class in its
attacks upon the working class.
To be a "friend" of the working class in any real — that is,
political — sense, requires being against the system of private
ownership of the means of production by the capitalist class.
It requires building up the organized power of the working
class in struggle against the capitalist class. It requires
helping the working class to take governmental power out
of the hands of the capitalists, and establishing a Workers'
Government, which takes the means of production away from
the capitalists and organizes them on a new socialist basis,
as the common property of all.
"Oh, so you're a radical, a Red", exclaims our defender
of the Blue Buzzard j "You are one of those anarchists who
want a bloody revolution in America, who preach force and
violence. You are opposed to Americanism. That's why you
criticize the N.R.A.!"
What is a "radical" or a "Red"? Read your capitalist
newspaper again and you will see that this name is applied
to everyone and anyone who calls upon the working class
to organize and fight for its rights, who helps to lead this
fight, who refuses to trust in the promises of the class
enemy, who exposes their tricks and maneuvers, who fights
with all energy for better conditions now and who points the
way to the final solution of all the problems, the revolutionary
solution, the revolutionary way out of the crisis.
You see, then, it is not so terrible to be a "radical" or a
But we are not anarchists, we are not for disorder. The
only real anarchists are the capitalists, who by their wild
competition, their ruthless grabbing for individual profits,
create this world-wide disorder and chaos of the crisis, of
the many wars going on, of the bigger war preparing.
We are not for violence and bloodshed! It is .the capitalists
who every day carry out the violent and bloody suppression
of strikes. It is the capitalists who bring upon the world
that supreme example of violence and bloodshed— imperialist
war. We fight against all such violence and bloodshed with
all our power. The abolition of all such violence and blood-
shed can only be achieved by the accomplishment of our aim,
the overturning of capitalist power and the establishment
of a Workers' Government.
We are not for the destruction of goods and houses! It's
the capitalists and their government which is destroying
wheat, cotton, milk, fruits— all. the things people are dying
for lack of— which destroys the productive forces by keeping
them standing idle, rusting away, which keeps the busings
standing empty while millions freeze for lack of shelter.
We are against all this destruction. We want all the wheat
and cotton given to the people to feed and clothe them with.
We want all the factories to open to make more things for
the masses to consume. We want the houses opened up for
the homeless to live in!
We are not un- American! Since when has it become un-
American to revolt against oppression and tyranny? Since
when is it un-American to ,call for revolutionary struggle
to overthrow a tyrannical and destructive system? The
United States was born in "treason" against King George
and the British Empire. The U. S. was born in revolution-
ary struggle. It was born in the confiscation of the private
property of the feudal landlords. That good old American
tradition of revolution is today kept alive only by the Com-
munist Party. We are the only true Americans. The Re-
publican, Democratic and Socialist Parties are all renegade
to the basic American tradition of Revolution.
These fundamental features of Americanism were ex-
plained long ago by that eminently American historian, John
Lothrop Motley, in the following words:
"No man on either side of the Atlantic, with Anglo-Saxon
blood in his veins, will dispute the fight of a people, or of
any portion of a people, to rise against oppression, to demand
a redress of grievances, and in case of denial of justice to
take up arms to vindicate the sacred principles of liberty.
Few Englishmen or Americans will deny that the source of
government is the consent of the governed, or that any na-
tion has the right to govern itself, according to its own will.
When the silent consent is changed to fierce remonstrance,
the revolution is impending. The right of revolution is indis-
putable. It is written on the whole record of our race.
British and American history is made up of rebellion and rev-
olution. Many of the crowned kings were rebels or usurpers.
Hampden, Pym, and Oliver Cromwell; Washington, Adams
and Jefferson — all were rebels. It is no word of reproach.
But these men all knew the work they had set themselves
to do. They never called their rebellion 'peaceable secession'.
They were sustained by the consciousness of right when they
overthrew established authority, but they meant to overthrow
it. They meant rebellion, civil war, bloodshed, infinite suf-
fering for themselves and their whole generation, for they
accounted them welcome substitutes for insulted liberty and
violated right. There can be nothing plainer, then, than the
American right of revolution."
Americans have always been able to solve a basic crisis
by revolutionary means. In 1776 we smashed the fetters
of reactionary feudal rule by the European absentee land-
lords. In 1861 we smashed the feudal remnants of Negro
slavery. With the same resolute and revolutionary determi-
nation we must, in 1933, turn to the task of smashing the
oppressive and destructive rule of the Wall Street monopolist
capitalists who have brought our country to the brink of
11 If that be treason, make the most of it!"
"That's a beautiful dream", admits our admirer of Gen-
eral Johnson and his blue bird, "but it's Utopian. It wouldn't
work. We can't get along without the capitalists."
That used to sound like a crushing argument. But that
was long- ago, when the capitalist system was working, after
a fashion, and there was no other example of social organ-
ization except the feudal, pre-capitalist societies. But today
such an argument falls very fiat.
It is exactly capitalism that doesn't work. The whole
"system has cracked up so completely that nobody pretends
to deny the fact any more.
The only country in the world that has no crisis today,
is that country where they got rid of all their capitalists.
That is Soviet Russia, the Union of Socialist Soviet
Russia, when it was ruled by the capitalists and feudal
landlords, under the Czar, was the most backward country
of Europe. But after the Russian workers and farmers de-
feated the old government and its landlord and capitalist
class supporters, after they set up their own government of
Workers' and Farmers' Councils (Soviets), after they chased
out the capitalists or put them into overalls — since then
that backward old country has made amazing strides
Just look at a few things they were able to do, at a time
when our capitalist system was falling about our ears and
threatening to destroy us.
In Soviet Russia production has increased three-fold over
the pre-war figure. Meanwhile, our production dropped more
The Soviets abolished unemployment entirely. In America
we threw 17 milions out of their jobs.
The Soviets multiplied their schools and- cultural facilities
by five or six times, and turned billions of dollars into this
Jevelopment. In America our school system is falling to
pieces, its revenues are drying up, our school teachers are
unpaid, our culture is stultified.
In America all is confusion, uncertainty, chaos, disaster.
In the land of the Soviets, all is orderly advance v progress,
certain planned economy, and an ever-growing socialist
Why this contrast? Why did we fall behind? Why do they
A few years ago America was the richest, most prosperous
land; Russia was the poorest, most backward.
We had everything, they had nothing.
So it seemed. But in reality it was our capitalists wh®
had everything — we really had nothing.
The Russian workers, because they had abolished capital-
ists and capitalism, while they seemed to have nothing, yet
had everything required for a glorious development of a
new working class society — of socialism.
Because it was owr capitalists who had everything in
America, that is why we have fallen into starvation in the
midst of riches.
The Soviet Union proves that there is a simple and quick
way oift of the crisis.
Push aside the capitalists, open the warehouses, distribute
the goods to all who need them. They will soon be con-
sumed. No overproduction any more.
Then open up all the factories. Give everyone -a job. Pro-
duce all we need to fill the warehouses up again as fast as
they are emptied. Nothing needs to be destroyed, and the
unemployment problem is solved, and everyone has enough
In America there are such enormous productive forces,
such a wealth of factories, mills, and mines, that if they work
only eight hours a day in two shifts of four hours each, they
will produce twice as much as we need in this country and
the rest we can give to our less fortunate brothers in other
lands until they catch up with us.
There is no reason to be pessimistic about our country.
What the Russian workers accomplished in a poverty-
stricken land through years of painful efforts, we can accom-
plish in this country in a few weeks. We already have ail
the productive forces they had to create from the ground
up. And our working- class will prove to be just as capable
when it becomes conscious of its power and its tasks.
The Russian workers had the tremendous advantage of
the leadership of Lenin.
But we also have the teachings of Lenin to guide us, and
of Lenin's teachers, Marx and Engels, and of Lenin's out-
standing disciple and successor, Stalin, organized in our
American section of the International Communist Party.
We have a working class that is learning to fight for its
interests, even against Roosevelt and the N.R.A. It is learn-
ing how to build up its own fighting trade unions to win high-
er wages and better conditions, by successful strikes; to build
up powerful Unemployed Councils and to win adequate relief
and Unemployment Insurance.
As we learn how to expose the fakery of our class enemies,
such as the ballyhoo around the Blue Eagle, as we learn
to win the daily struggles for bread and the right to live —
by this road we are also moving forward to defeat not only
the N.R.A. attacks, but also to defeat the whole capitalist
system, to overthrow it, and to establish a Workers' Gov-
ernment, a" socialist society.
There are only two roads before the working class. One is
the road of the capitalist class, the road of Roosevelt and the
N.R.A,, the road of wage-cuts, starvation and war. The
other is the working class road, the road of revolutionary
struggle for our daily needs, and the ultimate overthrow
of capitalism, of socialist prosperity and peace.
Published by WORKERS LIBRARY PUBLISHERS
P. O. Box 148, Sta. D (50 E. 13th St.) New York City, Oct., 1933
Second Edition, Nov., 1933 ^gg^O?