|The Rise of Hitler and FDR:|
Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal and Unlikely Destiny
|THE COMMUNIST PARTY PLATFORM
Adopted by the National Convention,
Chicago, May 29, 1932
The Communist party is the political party of the oppressed masses of the people—the
industrial workers, the persecuted Negroes, the toiling farmers.
The Communist party enters this election campaign explicitly to rally the toilers of city and
country, Negro and white, in a united struggle for jobs and bread, for the fight against
The Communist party calls upon all workers to resist the attacks of the bosses and to fight
to maintain and improve their living standards.
The Communist party calls upon the oppressed masses to rally under Communist
leadership in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow capitalism and to establish a
government in the United States of workers and farmers.
CAPITALISM CANNOT FEED THE PEOPLE
Capitalism has shown its inability to feed the people. The political parties of capitalism
which rule the country—Republican and Democratic —have exposed their complete
bankruptcy in this period of severe crisis.
Fifteen million workers, ready and anxious to work, and capable of producing the food,
clothing and other goods so urgently needed by the people, are suffering enforced
Those workers who still desperately cling to their jobs have been forced to accept one
drastic wage cut after another, until in some cases their wages are now 50 per cent below
their former income.
Hoover's "stagger plan" has brought almost universal part-time work with great reductions
in the weekly earnings of the workers. Only 15 per cent of the employed workers now have
full time jobs. Eighty-five per cent of these workers are only working a few days per week.
The ruthless robbery of the farmers by the big banks, railroads and manufacturers, which
has been going on for the past fifteen years, has during the crisis increased a
hundredfold. Farmers, like the workers, are starving; they are being evicted from their
homes; their farms are being grabbed by the parasite bankers.
Unemployment, part-time work and wage cuts have resulted in a lowering of the living
standards of the entire working class by more than 50 per cent, bringing the American
workers down to the level of the poorly-paid European workers.
PROMISES, BUT NO FOOD
The frequent promises of Hoover and his Republican and Democratic supporters about
"returning prosperity" arc being completely refuted by these undeniable facts. Instead of
"returning prosperity," we find only that the suffering of the workers and farmers and of
their wives and children becomes steadily worse.
What have the capitalist politicians—Republicans and Democrats—done about it?
Warehouses are bursting with unused food and clothing, Hundreds of thousands of
houses are standing empty. Idle factories are capable of producing all the goods the
people need and more. Yet have these politicians taken any steps to start the factories
going again, to open up the empty houses for the evicted workers, or to distribute the food
and clothing now stacked up in the warehouses among the starving? Not a step!
Starvation in the midst of plenty. This is what is presented to the workers and toiling
farmers of the United States by the ruling class, by the bankers, manufacturers, lawyers,
publicists, politicians and their political parties.
THE CAPITALIST WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS
The capitalists and their political henchmen remain coldly unconcerned about the suffering
of the masses. They think only about the profits of the rich. Their way out of the crisis is a
way that will bring permanent poverty and misery to the workers and poor farmers, while
the few rich bankers and manufacturers who control the country become still richer and still
Their way out of the crisis—the capitalist way out—firstly, means direct help, not to the
poor, but to the rich.
Under the guise of "economy" they categorically refuse unemployment insurance at the
expense of the State and the employers. They refuse to appropriate money for a far-
reaching public works program. They refuse to appropriate money for immediate relief for
the starving workers and farmers. They refuse to pay the bonus to the ex-servicemen of
the last war, most of whom are now unemployed or working only part-time.
In their opinion, the slop from the restaurants and hotels and the miserable charity system
is good enough for the hungry masses. The employed workers, themselves suffering from
part-time work and wage cuts, are being forced to pay for even the charity system. The
abominable "block-aid," "community chest," and "family-help-family" systems, by means
of forced collections in the factories and neighborhoods, are placing the burdens of charity
also on the hungry masses and taking it off the rich who alone can afford to pay.
Yet the Republicans and Democrats, who control the National and State governments,
despite their "economy" talk where the masses are concerned, have plenty of funds to aid
the bankers and manufacturers and to provide huge amounts for graft and corruption.
The last session of Congress, the Democratic control of the House and with the approval
of Hoover, appropriated billions of dollars for direct aid to the rich. Hoover's
"Reconstruction Corporation" alone made $2,000,000,000 available for the big bankers.
Changes in the banking, tariff and taxation laws, not only placed the burden of the huge
government deficit on the middle class and chiefly on the broad masses, but paved the
way for further trustification of industry, more firm control of industries and railroads by the
Wall Street banks, and for still greater profits by Iht biggest and most powerful capitalists.
The capitalist way out of the crisis—secondly—embodies a further direct and brutal attack
on the living standards of the toilers.
Workers' wages are being even more drastically clashed. The speed-up in the factories
and mines is daily increased. More factories are being shut down; more workers are
thrown into the streets to join the ranks of the unemployed. The miserable charity rations
are being further reduced and the burdens of the charity system arc being placed on the
already breaking backs of the toilers. In this way the capitalists try to escape from the
crisis—to maintain their bloated profits, while the workers are being forced nearer and
nearer to the starvation level and even below.
MURDEROUS POLICE ATTACKS
When the workers, by strikes and demonstrations, fight to maintain their living standards
and to resist these attacks of the bosses, they meet the sharpest terror. Their political
rights guaranteed by the Constitution are denied them. Meetings, demonstrations and
picket lines are ruthlessly smashed. Foreign-born workers are torn from their families and
callously deported. The attack on the foreign-born is directed against the entire working
class with the aim of dividing native and foreign-born workers. Workers are clubbed and
gassed by the police on the instruction of the capitalists and their political hirelings. The
Negro masses are Jim-Crowed and lynched. Workers are shot down and killed.
This terror is not the monopoly of one capitalist, one politician or one party. The
Republican, Hoover, orders the gassing and brutal clubbing of the workers in Washington.
The "liberal" Republican, Pinchot, orders the clubbing and murder of the Pennsylvania
coal strikers. The Democratic Mayor Cermak orders the beating, gassing and killing of
Negro workers on Chicago's South Side. Ford and his "progressive" henchman, Murphy,
carries through the murder of four Detroit workers at Dearborn. The Socialist Mayor Hoan,
backed by the progressive Republican La Follette, orders the same attacks on the
All the capitalists and all their parties are determined to force through the lowering of the
workers' living standard and the maintenance of their own profits by an unprecedented
and growing terror.
The capitalist way out of the crisis—thirdly—provides for intense preparation for and the
immediate launching of a new imperialist war in which the workers and farmers will be
called upon to serve as cannon fodder.
In their greedy desire for greater profits the capitalists set out to wrest new markets from
their imperialist rivals by armed force, and to further oppress the people of Latin America,
of China, of the Philippines, etc., and rob them of their territory and natural resources.
In preparation for this war the terror against the workers is being car¬ried though to crush
all militancy among the workers' organizations; bil¬lions of dollars are spent for naval and
military armaments, while the people starve.
Efforts are being made to herd the masses—workers, farmers, students— into military
and auxiliary organizations in an effort to make them the cannon fodder to be ruthlessly
slaughtered on the battlefields. All this is done behind the screen of fake peace talk and
fake disarmament proposals.
WAR IN THE FAR EAST
The imperialist war has already started in the East, on the borders of the Soviet Union,
with the robber attacks of Japanese imperialism on the Chinese people in Manchuria and
Shanghai, with actual warfare against the Soviet Union daily threatened.
The Hoover-Stimson tools of Wall Street are openly preparing to throw the American
workers into this war, and in the first place, into a war against the Soviet Union. The battle
fleet has been concentrated in the Pacific Ocean where the most gigantic and
demonstrative maneuvers are being carried out.
The call to war has already been sounded in the Far East. War in the interests of Wall
Street and the imperialist master class threatens to engulf the workers of America and
other countries. Increased hunger and misery for the masses, terror and war—this is the
capitalist way out of the crisis. The election programs of Republicans, Democrats and
Socialists, no matter how skilfully concealed, reflect only the differences between these
parties on how to carry through this capitalist way out, how to set the masses to accept
hunger, terror and war.
PERSECUTION OF NEGROES
The Negro people, always bounded, persecuted, disfranchised and discriminated against
in capitalist America, are, during this period of crisis, oppressed as never before. They
are the first to be fired when lay-offs take place. They are discriminated against when
charity rations are handed out to the unemployed. They are cheated and robbed by the
Southern white landlords and evicted from their land and homes when their miserable
income does not enable them to pay rent. When they protest against this unbearable
oppression and persecution they are singled out for police attacks in the North and for
lynch victims in the South. Over 150 Negroes have been barbarously lynched at the
instigation of the white ruling class since the crisis began. The Negro reformist misleaders
are shamelessly aiding the white master class in these vicious attacks.
Every day of the crisis, every new effort of the bosses to find a capitalist way out of the
crisis, brings, new misery and new acts of terror to confront the oppressed Negro people.
WORKERS MUST MILITANTLY RESIST BOSSES' ATTACKS
Against these attacks of the employers, against these efforts of the capitalists to enrich
themselves at the expense of the toilers, the workers, the farmers, Negro and white, must
fight. They must rally all their forces for the most uncompromising class struggle against
every effort of the capitalists to terrorize them into accepting worsened conditions, or to
force them into another world imperialist slaughter.
The capitalists will never voluntarily yield an inch to the workers. They will continue ever
more ruthlessly to maintain and increase their own profits and wealth by forcing the
workers and farmers into greater misery. They will never voluntarily relax their pressure on
the masses, nor will they cease for one moment their war preparations, particularly for a
bloody war to crush the Soviet Union.
There is only one way out of the crisis for the workers. That is the way of mass struggles. A
militant mass struggle can force concessions from the parasite ruling class. Such a
struggle will lead to the final liberation from the horrors of capitalism.
In order to carry out this struggle, the workers and poor farmers, Negro and white, must
organize. They must build powerful, fighting trade unions and unemployed councils and
strong organizations of poor farmers. Under the leadership of the Communist party, the
workers in such class organizations can defend their interests to-day, while fighting tor the
revolutionary way out of the crisis, for the overthrow of capitalism.
The most relentless struggle, now and through the election campaign, for the following
demands—the demands of the Communist party—alone offers to the workers the means
of defending their interests against the bosses' attack
1. Unemployment and social insurance at the expense of the state and WORKERS' AND FARMERS' GOVERNMENT WILL END MISERY
2. Against Hoover's wage-cutting policy.
3. Emergency relief for the impoverished fanners without restrictions by the
government and banks; exemption of impoverished farmers from taxes, and no
forced collection of rents or debts.
4. Equal rights for the Negroes and self-determination for the Black Belt.
5. Against capitalist terror; against all forms of suppression of the political rights of
6. Against imperialist war; for the defense of the Chinese people and of the Soviet
The Communist party calls upon the millions of workers and farmers, Negro and white,
and particularly those rank and file workers who are now misled by the leaders of the
Socialist party and the American Federation of Labor, to rally to fight for these demands.
The mass fight for the demands can alone develop effective resistance to the starvation
and war program of the capitalists.
The fight for these demands, as proposed by the Communist party, means even more. It is
the starting point for the struggle for final victory of the toilers, for the establishment of the
workers' and farmers' government in the United States. This is the workers' way out—the
revolutionary way out of the crisis.
The Communist party proposes an organized mass struggle for the above immediate
demands of the workers, as the first step toward the establishment of a workers' and
Such a revolutionary government alone can fully free the masses from misery and
slavery, by taking over and operating the big industries, trusts, railroads and banks. Only
such a government will open up every idle factory, mill and mine, and put the workers on
their jobs again producing the goods which are needed for a hungry, starving population.
Such a government will immediately seize and distribute to the hungry masses enormous
stores of foodstuffs now kept locked up in the warehouses, thus caring for the masses and
creating a demand for new production. It will open the millions of houses, now held empty
by greedy private landlords, and provide comfortable housing for the million now living in
the cellars, sewers, disgraceful public lodging houses and the terrible "Hoover cities" of
the homeless unemployed. It will immediately feed, clothe and house all the workers and
put them busily at work reproducing all things necessary.
There is plenty and to spare for all.
It is held away from the toilers by the capitalists and their priw.te prop¬erty and for their
private profit. Only a revolutionary workers' and farmers' government can break through
this paralysis of the capitalist crisis and start economic activity going full speed for the
benefit of the masses of workers and farmers.
Moreover, such a revolutionary workers' and farmers' government alone can enforce full
and complete equality for the oppressed Negro masses and grant unconditional
independence to Hawaii, the Philippines and other colonial peoples now enslaved by Wall
This is proven by the experiences of the Soviet Union. There the workers seized power in
the revolution of 1917. With the government in their hands the last remnant of capitalism is
being uprooted, Socialism is being built. The first Five-Year Plan is now being
successfully completed; unemployment has been completely eliminated; wages are being
steadily raised; the material and cultural level of the masses is being raised; no crisis such
as in capitalist countries has affected their progress; the second Five-Year Plan is about
The Soviet Union stands out as proof that the workers can rule, not only in their own
interest, but in the interest of all those who we oppressed by capitalism.
OLD PARTIES SERVE CAPITALISTS
The capitalist parties—Republican, Democratic and Socialist—together with their
American Federation of Labor henchmen—will each appear in this election campaign in
different garb; each will pretend to offer a way out of the crisis beneficial to the masses;
each will freely promise jobs and plenty to workers when elected.
But behind all their false promises and all of their apparent differences, the workers must
see their reactionary actions while in office, their brutal attacks on the workers and their
protection of the rich. The workers must see that these parties have been and are now the
defenders of the capitalists and the bitter enemies of the workers.
Leading the attack against the workers is the Hoover government, with its bi-partisan
coalition of Republican-Democratic parties, composed of rapacious profit-seekers, loyal
agents of Wall Street, corporation promoters, and the biggest capitalists themselves, as
Mellon, Hoover, Smith, Raskob and Young.
In order to trick those workers and farmers who are no longer fooled by two-party fakery—
new demagogy and promises are being indulged in to make the masses choose
"Progressives" and "Reactionaries" within the two old capitalist parties.
The difference between progressive and reactionary is merely on the surface, for the
purpose of demagogy, to hide the same basic program of the capitalist way out of the
Openly supporting the Hoover program, is the officialdom of the American Federation of
Labor. It fights against the workers and for the capitalists on every essential point. It fights
against unemployment insurance, against the bonus for the ex-soldiers. It tries to stifle
strikes and carries on strike¬breaking where the workers take up the fight against the
bosses' offensive. It fights for huge grants of money to the corporations and taxation of the
masses; it supports new laws to help build greater monopolies, it helps prepare
imperialist war, especially war against the Soviet Union. Through its deceitful
"nonpartisan" policy of "reward friends and punish enemies," it delivers the workers
gagged and bound to the Republicans and Demo¬crats, "Progressives" and
"Reactionaries," in order to further confuse and divide the working class. It decks itself out
in "victories" like the so-called anti-injunction law which fastens injunctions and "yellow dog
contracts" ever more firmly upon the workers than ever before.
The reactionary officialdom of the American Federation of Labor is an agency of
capitalism among the workers for putting over the capitalist way out of the crisis.
THE SOCIALIST PARTY—THE AGENT OF THE BOSSES
The Socialist party, together with its self-styled "left-wing"—the Muste croup—is the little
brother of the American Federation of Labor. Its special task is to cover up the same
program with the mask of Socialist phrases, and thus to prevent the awakening workers
from organizing for a really effective struggle. It supports capitalistic monopoly and
trustification under the hypocritical slogans of "nationalization of banks, railroads and
mines" through the capitalist "nation." It covers the worst capitalist robberies as "steps
toward socialism." It fights against the Workers' Unemployment Insurance Bill, and puts
forth its own demagogical emasculated proposals to keep the workers from fighting for
their own bill. Its leaders in trade unions help sign wage-cutting agreements, and break the
strikes of workers who resist.
The Socialist party and the Farmer-Labor party of Minnesota carry through the same
policies in America, as their brother party, the Labor party in England, which launched the
wage-cutting campaign, cut down the unemployed insurance, raised high tariffs and taxes
on the masses, and carried through inflation. They support and operate on the same
principle as their brother party in Germany, the Social Democracy, which is in coalition
with the monarchist Hindenburg and supports his emergency decrees which cut wages,
destroyed social services, halved unemployment relief, and threw the burden of taxation
upon the masses, carrying through the Fascist suppression of the working class and
preparation for the open Fascist government.
The Socialist party in Milwaukee and in Reading, when it is in power, carries out the
capitalist program of hunger and terror as their big brothers of the Republican and
They support the pacifist swindle of the League of Nations and especially help prepare
war on the Soviet Union, one of their principal occupations being daily slander against the
RALLY AGAINST STARVATION AND WAR
Against all these parties which openly or hiddenly attempt to force through the capitalist
way out of the crisis, the Communist party calls upon the workers and farmers of America,
white and Negro, to rally for the struggle against starvation and war, for the immediate
demands stated above, for the revolutionary way out of the crisis.
These measures represent what a large majority of workers and farmers wish to have
now. These things can only be gotten by fighting for them. They cut across the capitalist
way of the crisis, because they do not take into account capitalist profits, for which the
capitalists and their lieutenants will fight to the death.
It was the Communist party alone which forewarned the workers of the approaching crisis
long before the crisis began; it was the Communist party which alone raised the banner of
mass struggle against unemployment, lynching, police terror, wage cuts and imperialist
The great hunger marches and demonstration of the unemployed in hundreds of cities; the
strikes of the miners in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky;
the textile strikes in Paterson, Lawrence and many other cities; the mass mobilization
against terror in Chicago, Detroit, Harlan, etc.; the strong fight against lynching, for the
defense of the Scottsboro boys; all these struggles of the masses, in which the
Communist party played the leading role, arc the best proof that the Communist party
alone deserve the confidence of the workers.
The Socialist party and its "left" ally, the Muste group, especially has tried in the past and
tries now to break up the workers' fight for the program put forward by the Communists, by
bringing forward its own substitute of "something just as good," by making its fake
program look as much as possible "like the Communists," by talking "revolutionary," by
arguing for a choice of "the lesser evil," by putting themselves forth as "the same thing only
But all their demagogic claims are given the lie by the capitalist class itself, which takes
the Socialist party and its leaders, especially its darlings, Norman Thomas, the
respectable churchman, and Morris Hillquit, millionaire lawyer, to its heart.
The Socialist party is openly recognized by the capitalist press as the third capitalist party,
which more and more becomes equally respectable in capitalist society with the other
parties, as the capitalists more and more need it to fool and trick the awakening workers.
Even to force concessions now from the three capitalist parties, there is no weapon so
powerful as a militant daily struggle against the capitalist enemies and a strong vote for
the Communist party.
FOR A UNITED STATES OF SOVIET AMERICA
In the election campaign of the Communist party, there is room for the organized
participation and support of every worker in America, man and woman, white and Negro,
without regard to whether he is a member of the Communist party or not.
Every worker and workers' organization which is ready to fight for the immediate
demands is invited to be represented in the Communist Campaign Committees which will
organize and conduct this campaign.
Support the Communist Election Campaign! Rally behind its platform and candidates!
Make this the starling point of a gigantic mass movement against starvation, terror and
wart Resist with all your energy and strength the brutal attacks of the capitalists! Fight for
unemployment insurance, against wage cuts, for relief for the farmers, for equality for
the Negroes, against the murderous capitalist terror and against the plans for a new
bloody imperialist war. Resist the carrying through of the capitalist way out of the crisis!
Fight for the workers' way—for the revolutionary way out of the crisis—for the United
States of Soviet America! Vote for the workers' candidates—the Communist candidates!