The U.S. Elections - 1948

By American Fraction of the Left Communist International ()

Published in the September-October 1948 issue of International Bulletin. From

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The leaders and parties in the electoral campaign of 1948 present a picture of paradox. The conflict between Russian Imperialism and Anglo-American Imperialism dominates all other issues. Within the framework of this conflict, the mask for world Imperialism, the United Nations, masquerades as the world public, impartial arbiter between Easter and Western Imperialism while it is actually the world market place for Eastern and Western Imperialism, for making deals on atomic armament; partition of Germany, export and import of capital between East and West; spheres of influence in the colonial and semi-colonial areas. It is the mask under cover of which American Imperialism promotes the Marshall Plan for the subjugation of the world. It is the cloak under which Russia promotes the Moscow Imperialist plan. Together, they add up to a War plan.

Internally, the drive of the capitalist class of the U.S. against the working class sharpens. It saddles the working class with the Taft-Harley law, no-strike injunctions, anti-radical and Stalinist spy scares. This is the pattern for mobilization for Imperialist War III, emphasized by the Military Draft.

President Truman and his competitor Thomas E. Dewey present themselves as champions of freedom and liberty against the expansion of Russian Imperialism, while they support military dictatorships in Greece, China, Korea and Japan (MacArthur democracy). Truman and Dewey claim to be leaders in the fight against war, yet they promote the Marshall Plan, which is the political-economic phase of military measures in time of war. They both support the military draft. They are, in words, for the independence of all people, yet they promote the E.R.P. which makes the whole of Western Europe dependent on U.S. Imperialism. Truman states that the Republican Party is opposed to the working class and Dewey states that the Democratic party is against labor. They are both right. Both parties have united to dragoon the American workers so that the labor costs of production (wages) would not rise, along with capitalist profit. Truman announces that the Republican Party is the party of economic depression, and Dewey announces that the Democratic party is the party of inflation. Both are correct. Dewey snorts that the Truman foreign policy is a weak and vacillating one, yet Democrat Marshall and Republican Dulles are carrying out a bi-partisan foreign policy, which will inevitably lead to War.

The leaders of the Republic and Democratic parties expose each other and reveal that they are nothing but political offices boys for capitalism.

Taking advantage of the resentment against the Republican and Democratic declarations of bankruptcy, of a large minority of the American workers and middle class, Henry Wallace in alliance with Stalinism, has launched a party, called the Progressive Party. This party performs a two-fold function. It is a pressure instrument for Russian foreign policy, and a party for small capitalists. As far back as the year 1943, Wallace trumpeted that small business people, to him, meant employers of five-hundred workers and up. He has continually reiterated in this campaign that he supports free-enterprise capitalism while he advocates nationalization of basic industries. This means he wants the capitalist state to become the main investor in the economy while allowing room for the wealthy middle strata of capitalists, like himself, to expand. Wallace supports the Imperialist Marshall Plan in concealed form by support the Stalinist foreign policy, which is in favor of a Marshall Plan with clauses, favorable to Russia. On the other hand, he is a knight in shining armor, who, in the best traditions of Imperialism and nationalism, claims he will make America strong, free and happy. His apparent militancy on behalf of the Negro and Jewish workers is so much decoration [?] to catch votes. His program is pro-capitalist and anti-working class.

The most comical picture of paradox are the Trotskyites and the Socialists. They want a labor party which is at the same time militant and anti-capitalist; bourgeois democratic and revolutionary. (They want opportunism without opportunists.) They want a Marshall plan that is anti-capitalist and pro-working class, all in one. They are for a maximum of democracy for the working-class and advocate at the same time the highest degree of totalitarianism, nationalization of basic industries (under capitalism). Norman Thomas advocates Socialism while he proposes to use capital to buy out the biggest capitalists. Of course, Thomas will have to exact a promise from the capitalists not to reinvest the capital with which he proposes to purchase their industry, and thus continue accumulation of capital. Confiscation with compensation on the heels of a hypothetical Trotskyite-Socialist parliamentary victory as a substitute for the class struggle, is the road to ruin; the road of state capitalism and bureaucracy. Norman Thomas wants an Imperialist War which at the same time is pro-working class. He supported World War II and advocated the impossible, an Imperialist war with democratic aims.

Clearly support for any of the parties and leaders at present dominating the American political arena is support for capitalism and wars. Instead of a vote for the parties of war and capitalism, we advocate the building of a working-class revolutionary party in the U.S. with the following basic principles:

  1. Our conception of the world and the society proper to it is that of Marx’s scientific socialism.

  2. For the reconstitution of a revolutionary International against the Internationals of Betrayal (Social Democracy, Stalinism, Trotskyism)

  3. Against collaboration with the bourgeois and pseudo-proletarian parties which uphold the false and deceitful banner of true democracy.

  4. The trade unions of the C.I.O., and A.F.L., Railriads [sic] Brotherhoods and Independent Unions, are part of the legal apparatus of the Capitalist State. Working class unity will be achieved on the basis of the platform of the party of the revolution, and, under its leadership, within those organisms, created in the revival of the proletarian class struggle.

  5. The farm-workers are the class brothers of the Industrial proletariat and must be won over to class-solidarity.

  6. All so-called movements of colonial independence have an Imperialist base. There does not exist for the colonial and semi-colonial areas, any longer the problem of a bourgeois revolution. The only road is that of proletarian revolution.

  7. The proletariat must work for the defeat of its own bourgeoisie and its satellites in the advanced industrial sectors of world capitalism, as well as for the defeat of its own bourgeoisie and satellites in the colonial and semi-colonial areas of world capitalism, in time of war.

  8. The defeat of the bourgeoisie, on a world scale, accomplished through the civil war of the proletariat, under the guidance and leadership of the Revolutionary International Party, will be the beginning of the Socialist Reorganization of Society under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

  9. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, will serve as the transition to the classless society of Socialism, where the state, as known under capitalism, will disappear, and Government and Tyranny, will become the history of the past.

  10. The Dictatorship of the proletariat is not to be understood as a defense of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, the dictatorship of the proletarian will arise in Russia, which is now an Imperialist State, through Socialist revolution.