|The Rise of Hitler and FDR:|
Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal and Unlikely Destiny
|THE SOCIALIST PARTY PLATFORM
Adopted by the National Convention,
Milwaukee, Wis., May 23, 1932
We are facing a breakdown of the capitalist system. This situation the Socialist party has
long predicted. In the last campaign, it warned the people of the increasing insecurity in
American life and urged a program of action which, if adopted, would have saved millions
from their present tragic plight.
To-day, in every city of the United States, jobless men and women by the thousands are
fighting the grim battle against want and starvation, while factories stand idle and food rots
on the ground. Millions of wage-earners and salaried workers are hunting in vain for jobs,
while other millions are only partly employed.
Unemployment and poverty are inevitable products of the present system. Under
capitalism the few own our industries. The many do the work. The wage-earners and
farmers are compelled to give a large part of the product of their labor to the few. The
many in the factories, mines, shops, offices and on the farms obtain but a scanty income
and are able to buy only a part of the goods that can be produced in such abundance by
our mass industries.
Goods pile up. Factories close. Men and women are discharged. The nation is thrown into
a panic. In a country with natural resources, machinery and trained labor sufficient to
provide security and plenty for all, masses of people are destitute.
Capitalism spells not only widespread economic disaster, but class strife. It likewise
carries with it an ever-present throat of international war. The struggle of the capitalist
class to find world markets and investment areas for their surplus goods and capital was a
prime cause of the World War. It is to-day fostering those policies of militarism and
imperialism which will, if unchecked, lead to another world conflict.
From the poverty, insecurity, unemployment, the economic collapse, the wastes and the
wars of our present capitalistic order, only the united efforts of workers and farmers,
organized in unions and cooperatives and, above all, in a political party of their own, can
save the nation.
The Republican and Democratic parties, both controlled by the great industrialists and
financiers, have no plan or program to rescue us from the present collapse. In this crisis,
their chief purpose and desire has been to help the railroads, banks, insurance companies
and other capitalist interests.
The Socialist party is to-day the one democratic party of the workers whose program
would remove the causes of class struggles, class antagonisms and social evils inherent
in the capitalist system.
It proposes to transfer the principal industries of the country from private ownership and
autocratic, cruelly inefficient management to social ownership and democratic control.
Only by these means will it be possible to organize our industrial life on a basis of planned
and steady operation without periodic breakdowns and disastrous crises. It proposes the
UNEMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LEGISLATION
1. A Federal appropriation of $5,000,000,000 for immediate relief for those in need to
supplement State and local appropriations.
2. A Federal appropriation of $5,000,000,000 for public works and roads, reforestation,
slum clearance and decent homes for the workers, by Federal government, States, and
3. Legislation providing for the acquisition of land, buildings and equipment necessary to
put the unemployed to work producing food, fuel and clothing and for the erection of
houses for their own use.
4. The six-hour day and the five-day week without a reduction of wages.
5. A comprehensive and efficient system of free public employment agencies.
6. A compulsory system of unemployment compensation with adequate benefits, based on
contributions by the Government and by employers.
7. Old-age pensions for men and women sixty years of age and over.
8. Health and maternity insurance.
9. Improved systems of workmen's compensation and accident insurance.
10. The abolition of child labor.
11. Government aid to farmers and small home-owners to protect them against mortgage
foreclosures; and a moratorium on sales for non-payment of taxes by destitute farmers and
12. Adequate minimum wage laws.
1. Public ownership and democratic control of mines, forests, oil and power resources;
public utilities dealing with light and power, transportation and communication and of alt
other basic industries.
2. The operation of these publicly owned industries by boards of administration on which
the wage-worker, the consumer and the technician are adequately represented; the
recognition in each industry of the principles of collective bargaining and civil service.
1. Socialization of our credit and currency system and the establishment of a unified
banking system, beginning with the complete governmental acquisition of the Federal
Reserve Banks and the extension of the services of the Postal Savings Banks to cover all
departments of the banking business and the transference of this department of the post-
office to a government-owned banking corporation.
1. Steeply increased inheritance taxes and income taxes on the higher incomes and
estates of both corporations and individuals.
2. A constitutional amendment authorizing the taxation of all government securities.
Many of the foregoing measures for socializing the power, banking and other industries,
for raising living standards among the city workers, etc., would greatly benefit the tannins
As special measures for agricultural upbuilding, we propose:
1. The reduction of tax burdens, by a shift from taxes on farm property to taxes on incomes,
inheritances, excess profits and other similar forms of taxation.
2. Increased Federal and State subsidies to road building and educational and social
services for rural communities.
3. The creation of a Federal marketing agency for the purchase and marketing of
4. The acquisition by bona-fide cooperative societies and by govern¬mental agencies of
grain elevators, stockyards, packing houses and ware¬houses, and the conduct of these
services on a non-profit basis. The encouragement of farmers' cooperative societies and
of consumers' cooperatives in the cities, with a view of eliminating the middle-man.
5. The socialization of Federal land banks and the extension by these banks of long-term
credit to farmers at low rates of interest.
6. Social insurance against losses due to adverse weather conditions,
7. The creation of national, regional, and State land utilization boards for the purpose of
discovering the best uses of the farming land of the country, in view of the joint needs of
agriculture, industry, recreation, water supply, reforestation, etc., and to prepare the way
for agricultural planning on a national and, ultimately, on a world scale.
1. Proportional representation.
2. Direct election of the President and Vice-President.
3. The initiative and referendum.
4. An amendment to the Constitution to make constitutional amendments less
5. Abolition of the power of the Supreme Court to pass upon the constitutionality of
legislation enacted by Congress.
6. The passage of the Socialist party's proposed Worker's Rights amendment to the
Constitution empowering Congress to establish national systems of unemployment, health
and accident insurance and old-age pensions, to abolish child labor, establish and take
over enterprises in manufacture, commerce, transportation, banking, public utilities and
other business and industries to be owned and operated by the Government, and,
generally, for the social and economic welfare of the workers of the United States.
1. Federal legislation to enforce the First Amendment to the Constitution so as to
guarantee freedom of speech, press and assembly, and to penalize officials who interfere
with the civil rights of citizens.
2. The abolition of injunctions in labor disputes, the outlawing of yellow
dog contracts and the passing of laws enforcing the rights of workers to organize into
3. The immediate repeat of the Espionage law and other repressive legislation, and the
restoration of civil and political rights to those unjustly convicted under wartime laws.
4. Legislation protecting aliens from being excluded from this country or from citizenship or
from being deported on account of their political, social or economic beliefs, or on account
of activities engaged in by them which are not illegal for citizens.
5. Modification of the immigration laws to permit the reuniting of families and to offer a
refuge to those fleeing from political or religious persecution.
The enforcement of constitutional guarantees of economic, political and legal equality for
the Negro. The enactment and enforcement of drastic anti-lynching laws.
While the Socialist party is opposed to all war, it believes that there can be no permanent
peace until Socialism is established internationally. In the meanwhile, we will support all
measures that promise to promote good will and friendship among the nations of the world
1. The reduction of armaments, leading to the goal of total disarmament by * * *
international agreement, if possible, but, if that is not possible, by set¬ting an
example ourselves. Soldiers, sailors, and workers unemployed by reason of
disarmament to be absorbed in a program of public works, to be financed in part by
the savings due to disarmament- The abolition of conscription, of military training
camps and of the R.O.T.C.
2. The recognition of the Soviet Union and the encouragement of trade and industrial
relations with that country.
3. The cancellation of war debts due from the Allied governments as part of a
program for wiping out war debts and reparations, provided that such cancellation
does not release money for armaments, but promotes disarmament.
4. The entrance of the United States into the World Court.
5. The entrance of the United States into the League of Nations under conditions
which will make it an effective instrument for world peace and renewed cooperation
with the working class parties abroad, to the end that the League may be
transformed from a league of imperialist powers to a democratic assemblage
representative of the aspirations of the common people of the world.
6. The creation of international economic organisations on which labor is adequately
represented, to deal with problems of raw material, investments, money, credit,
tariffs and living standards from the viewpoint of the welfare of the masses
throughout tile world.
7. The abandonment of every degree of military intervention by the United States in
the affairs of other countries. The immediate withdrawal of military forces from Haiti
8. The withdrawal of United States military and naval forces from China and the
relinquishment of American extra-territorial privileges.
9. The complete independence of the Philippines and the negotiation of treaties with
other nations safeguarding the sovereignty of these islands.
10. Prohibition of the sales of munitions to foreign powers.
Committed to this constructive program, the Socialist party calls upon the nation's workers
and upon all fair-minded and progressive citizens to unite with it in a mighty movement
against the present drift into social disaster and in behalf of sanity, justice, peace and
SOCIALIST PARTY PLANK ON PROHIBITION
At the National Convention in Milwaukee, May 23, 1932, a resolution was adopted calling
for a referendum on the party's attitude on the liquor question. The question submitted was
"Should the following plank be included in the 1932 platform: 'Repeal the 18th
Amendment and take over the liquor industry under government ownership and
control, with the right of local option for each State to maintain prohibition within its
The referendum was carried in the affirmative and the plank calling for the Repeal of the
18th Amendment and the taking over of the liquor industry under government ownership
and control is now part of the Socialist National platform.