From The Militant, Vol. V No. 25 (Whole No. 121), 18 June 1932, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
After a four year’s intermission, the Republican Party convenes in Chicago to put on its grand jamboree – called a convention – to nominate the president of the U.S.A. It meets in the gala holiday atmosphere, that makes it resemble a circus or a field day rather than a serious political gathering to decide the destinies of the nation for the coming period.
We are informed that between the classy hotels where the delegates are lodged and the Chicago Stadium where the convention is taking place, the speakies are doing a thriving business. But despite all this the spirit of four years ago seems to be missing. Gone are the thunderous plaudits that rend the roof and shiver the windows into splinters. Gone is the wild cheering, the mad parading around the convention hall, the insane blaring of brass bands that lasted for hours at a time, that greeted the making of some obscure point that strikes the delegates’ fancy.
Even the mention of the nomination of Herbert Hoover which raised a storm of interminable hurrahs, a few years ago was received with a coldness that would make even the eskimos shiver. Now we can account for the large sale of prohibition liquor to the delegates. The moonshine is consumed not so much in the spirit of celebration, but to bolster up the depressed state of mind of the convention delegates.
Three years have passed since the beginning of this bitterest and deep-going crisis and it is still getting worse. The republicans have full and good cause for being gloomy and pessimistic. The people, they are fearful, will attribute the crisis to them, and vote them out of office. But, protests the G.O.P., the crisis operates according to immutable laws. Correct. But – these immutable laws are of capitalism itself. And the Republicans are the most ardent defenders of the capitalist system. They come in for a thrashing whichever way you look at it. Their three years tenure of office (since the crisis) is enough to convince the most benighted and uninformed worker that not only does capitalism plunge them into misery, but it stubbornly refuses to do anything to alleviate their suffering.
Consider the speech of the Keynoter, Senator L.T. Dickinson. For more than an hour he prated and boasted of the achievements of the president. He refused unemployment insurance to the jobless workers because it would degrade American manhood and drove them right on the breadlines. No dole – that will unbalance the budget. Then the congress turns right around and grants a subsidy of several hundred millions to the R.R.s to pay off overdue dividends. He maintained the high standard of wages. How? By the famous agreement of three years ago, in which the capitalists gave their promise not to cut wages and the A.F. of L. sold out by its promise not to strike. Result? In the words of Dickinson “wages have been maintained at the high level wherever possible”, which is an euphemistic way of calling this vicious wage cut drive that has included all categories of the American working class. “There have been fewer strikes than in any preceding depression”, which means the treachery of the labor fakers has been complete. And now this same
Bill Green comes crawling back on his belly to the same exploiters who so unceremoniously spit in his face a short time ago, to plead for the five day week, to allay the rising discontent of the working masses!
And what is the big issue at this convention, where everything is decided behind closed doors in luxurious hotel suites? Prohibition. But we don’t want to get rid of this camouflage issue too hurriedly, so we’ll write a program that is neither wet nor dry, call it “resubmission” and let it hang for three more years.
Last updated: 25.6.2013