1948 Communist Party Platform
Remember the promises:
Fascism would be wiped out. The great-power unity that brought war victory would
bring enduring peace.
An economic bill of rights would provide every American with security.
These promises have been broken.
Instead of peace, there is war—in Greece, in China, in Israel.
Instead of peace, we witness feverish preparations for a new world war.
Instead of peace, American boys are being regimented for war with the enactment of
the peacetime draft.
Instead of security and abundance, we have sky-rocketing prices, lowered living
standards and the shadow of an impending economic crash with mass
unemployment. Farmers fear the inevitable collapse of farm prices. After three years
our veterans are still denied housing. Our youth face a future of insecurity and new
Instead of greater democracy, we have lynch law, mounting Jim-Crowism and anti-
Semitism, and a conspiracy to undermine our sacred democratic heritage. We have
anti-Communist witch-hunts, the arrest and conviction of anti-fascist leaders, the
harassment and intimidation of writers, artists and intellectuals. We have phony spy
scares, the hounding of government employees and former Roosevelt associates,
the persecution of foreign-born workers, and the adoption of anti-labor legislation,
attempts to outlaw the Communist Party through Mundt-Nixon Bills, and now the
indictment of the twelve Communist leaders on the trumped-up charge of "force and
violence." These are the methods by which the American people are step by step
being driven down the road to a police state and fascism.
These are the chief issues of the 1948 elections.
America is a great and beautiful land, endowed with immense natural resources and
a people skilled in producing abundance. Why then the fear of insecurity?
We are today threatened by no outside force. We are in no danger of attack from any
Why then the war hysteria?
The answer lies in this simple fact—250 giant corporations, operating through a
handful of banks, control the economic life of the United States. These in turn are
largely owned by a few plutocratic families—Morgan, Rockefeller, Mellon, du Pont
The nation's industries are not operated for the public welfare, but for the private gain
and power of the multi-millionaire ruling class. Prices continue to rise because of vast
military expenditures and because the monopolies, through price-fixing agreements
and other devious devices, extract exorbitant profits.
They make huge profits from war and from armaments. They extract super-profits
abroad by forcing other nations into economic dependence upon Wall Street. This
drive for foreign markets, for Wall Street domination of the world, is at the bottom of
the war hysteria and war preparations. Big Business strives to crush the growth and
advance of democracy and socialism throughout the world, in order to protect and
swell its profits.
Big Business seeks to re-establish the old Nazi cartels and to use Germany and
Japan as military bases for new aggression. But the failures of the bipartisan policy
to achieve its main aim of world conquest have increased the frenzy with which Wall
Street seeks to plunge the nation into fascism and World War III.
WAR AND PEACE ...
Neither the American people nor the Soviet Union is responsible for the sharpening
tension in international relations. The responsibility rests squarely on Wall Street and
the bipartisan Truman-Dewey atomic diplomacy. Only the capitalists trusts want war.
The Soviet Union is a socialist country. It has no trusts, no I. G. Farben or du Pont
cartels to profit from wars. That is why the Soviet Union is the most powerful force for
peace in the world.
The Communist Party calls upon the labor movement and all progressive, peace-
loving Americans to struggle for the realization of the following peace program:
End the "cold war," the draft, and the huge military budget.
Restore American-Soviet friendship, the key to world peace and the fulfillment of the
people's hope in the United Nations.
Conclude a peace settlement for a united, democratic Germany and Japan based on
the Yalta and Potsdam agreements. Guarantee the complete democratization and
demilitarization of these Countries.
Stop military aid and intervention in China, Korea and Greece.
Break diplomatic and economic ties with Franco Spain.
Scrap the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. Furnish large-scale economic
assistance to the war-ravaged victims of fascist attack. Give this aid through the
United Nations without political strings.
Lift the embargo on, and extend full recognition to Israel.
Give immediate, unconditional independence to Puerto Rico.
Aid the economic development of the colonial and semi-colonial countries of Asia,
Africa and Latin America on the basis of full support to their fight for their national
Defeat the Truman Arms Standardization Plan.
Abandon economic, political and military pressures on the countries of Latin America.
THE ATTACK ON LABOR AND OUR LIVING STANDARDS
The trusts have inflated prices and battered down the real wages of American
workers to 16 per cent below 1944.
Huge war expenditures amount to 15 billion dollars this year—one-third of the entire
national budget. The American people are already paying dearly for this "cold war
economy," through a heavy tax burden, speed-up and reduction in real wages. We
will pay still more heavily as the inflationary boom speeds the day of the oncoming
Big Business has decreed that labor's hands be tied and its rights destroyed. The
Taft-Hartley Law and strike-breaking injunctions are weapons against the people's
resistance to the monopoly drive towards war and fascism.
To defend the labor movement and the vital economic interests of the overwhelming
majority of the American people, labor and all progressives should unite in stubborn
and militant struggle for the following demands:
Repeal the Taft-Hartley Law and end strike-breaking injunctions. Adopt a code of
Federal labor legislation including the best features of the Wagner Act and the Norris-
LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Law.
Restore price control and roll back prices, without any wage freeze.
Enact an extensive program for Federally-financed low-rent public housing, minimum
wage legislation, old-age pensions, adequate health insurance, and increased aid to
Provide increased security for the working farmers through up-to-date parity price
and in¬come guarantees, based on unlimited farm production. Such income
guarantees require farm subsidies, effective crop insurance and sharp curbs on the
giant food trusts and their marketing agencies. Carry out a program of planned
conservation and River Valley projects. Extend the Federal minimum wage and
social security laws to agricultural workers, including seasonal and migratory labor.
We call for heavier taxation on high incomes and excess profits, with increased
exemption for the low brackets. We demand a capital levy on big fortunes and
corporations to finance essential social legislation.
We support all steps to curb the power of the trusts, the source of reaction, fascism
and war. The American people can make gains, even under capitalism, by mass
resistance to the monopolies.
We support measures to nationalize the basic industries, banks and insurance
companies, but point out that such measures can only be useful as part of the fight to
realize a people's democratic government in the United States. Democratic
nationalization of trustified industries re¬quires guarantees of democratic controls
and the right of labor to organize, bargain collectively and strike. This can only be
accomplished by a people's government dedicated to curbing the power of the trusts.
We point out that capitalism cannot become "progressive" even by curbing the
excesses of the monopolies. The basic causes of unemployment, economic crisis,
fascism and war can only be removed by the establishment of Socialism through the
democratic will of the majority of the American people.
CIVIL RIGHTS . . .
The destruction of the rights of the Communists is the classical first step down the
road to fascism. The tragedy of Germany and Italy proves this. Therefore, it is
incumbent upon the working class and all Americans who hate fascism to defend the
rights of the Communists, and to help explode the myth that Communists are foreign
agents or advocate force and violence.
We Communists are no more foreign agents than was Jefferson who was also
accused of being a foreign agent by the Tories of his day. We follow in the best
traditions of the spokesmen of labor, science and culture whose contributions to
human progress knew no national boundaries. We follow in the tradition of Abraham
Lincoln, who said: "The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family
relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations and tongues, and
It is the monopolists who advocate and practice force and violence, not the
Communists. Reaction has always resorted to force and violence to thwart the
democratic aspirations of the people.
In 1776, force and violence were the weapons of King George against the American
colonists seeking national independence. In 1861, force and violence were used by
the Southern slave owners in an attempt to overthrow the democratic republic headed
by Lincoln. Today, the people suffer the violence of the K.K.K., the lynch mobs, the
fascist hoodlum gangs and the police brutality.
We are Marxists, not adventurers or conspirators. We condemn and reject the policy
and practice of terror and assassination and repudiate the advocates of force and
violence. We Communists insist upon our right to compete freely in the battle of
ideas. We Communists insist upon our right to organize and bring our program to the
people. Let the people judge our views and activities on their merits.
We call upon the American people to fight with all their strength against the danger of
fascism to resist every fascist measure, to defend every democratic right.
End the witch-hunts, loyalty orders and phony spy scares.
Abolish the Un-American Committee. Withdraw the indictments against the twelve
Communist leaders and the contempt citations against the anti-fascist victims of
Stop the campaign of terror and intimidation against labor leaders, intellectuals and
people of the professions.
End persecution and deportation of the foreign born and lift the undemocratic bars to
Outlaw all forms of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and every other expression of
racial and religious bigotry.
End all discrimination against the Mexican-American people in the Southwest.
The Communist party calls for an end to any and all political, social, and economic
inequalities practiced against women and demands the maintenance and extension
of existing protective legislation.
Extend the suffrage. Remove the bars directed against minority parties. Lower the
voting age to 18 years in every state.
NEGRO RIGHTS . . .
The hypocrisy of the democratic pretensions of Wall Street and the Administration
are shattered by the reality of the Jim-Crow system in America. The most shameful
aspect of American life is the Jim-Crowism, the terror and violence imposed upon the
Negro people, especially in the South. Discrimination in employment, only slightly
relaxed during the war, is once again widespread.
The Communist Party, which has pioneered in fighting for full political, economic and
social equality for the Negro people, calls for an end to the policies of the Federal
and state governments which give official sanction to the Jim-Crow system in the
We call upon all progressives, especially white progressives, to carry on an
unceasing day-to-day struggle to outlaw the poll tax, lynchings, segregation, job
discrimination and all other forms of Jim-Crowism, official and unofficial, and to give
their full support to the rising national liberation movement of the Negro people. This
is vital to the Negro people, to the white workers, and to the whole fight for democracy
We demand a national F.E.P.C. law, to be vigorously and fully enforced.
We demand that the Ingram family be freed and adequately compensated for the
ordeals to which they have been subjected.
We demand that the Ku Klux Klan and all other hate-and-terror organizations be
We condemn President Truman's cynical evasion of the issue of segregation in the
We demand that he immediately issue an Executive Order ending every form of
segregation and discrimination in the armed forces and the government services.
We defend the right of the Negro people to full representation in government, and
demand Federal enforcement of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, so that the
Negro people, North and South, may participate freely and fully in the 1948 elections
and all elections thereafter.
We call for a democratic agricultural program which will give land and other forms of
assistance to millions of Negro and white tenants and sharecroppers in the South,
and thereby help put an end to the semi-feudal plantation system.
Such reforms will help provide the material basis for the Negro people's advance
towards full liberation from their national oppression, towards their full political,
economic and social equality.
Millions of American working people have come to realize the futility of any further
support for the bankrupt two-party system of Big Business. Both major parties arc
committed to the bipartisan war program, reflected in both the Truman Doctrine and
its New Look version, the Marshall Plan. Both major parties are united in this program
of fattening the billionaires and bleeding the people.
Both major parties are responsible for runaway inflation. Both the Democratic
Administration and the Republican Congress have done nothing to curb the powers
of the trusts to hoard food, rig markets, boost prices and gouge consumers.
Both major parties are responsible for the atrocities committed against the Bill of
Rights. Both helped pass the Taft-Hartley Law. Both the Democratic Congressional
leaders and the cynical Dewey-Warren-Taft Republican leadership are responsible
for the failure to enact civil rights legislation. Neither the Democratic platform nor
President Truman's demagogy will fool any enlightened American. The President's
deeds belie his words. He has refused to end segregation in the armed forces and
the government and fire from his cabinet those who maintain it.
Both major parties are responsible for the Hitler-like hysteria expressed in spy
scares, loyalty probes, government witch-hunts and the arrest and indictment of
Americans whose "crime" it is to oppose the Wall Street war plans. The Democratic-
controlled Department of Justice and the Republican-controlled Un-American
Committee are equally guilty of subverting the Bill of Rights.
Chief allies of the twin parties of Big Business in the ranks of labor and the
progressive organizations of the people are those who pretend to criticize the
corruption and decay of the two old parties while, in fact, keeping the people tied
hand and foot to the two-party system. These include the top officialdom of the A.F.L.,
C.I.O. and R.R. Brotherhoods and groups like the Americans for Democratic Action
and such Social-Democrats as Norman Thomas and David Dubinsky.
THE NEW PARTY . . .
Millions of Americans, disillusioned with the two-party system, have joined to found a
new people's party.
The new Progressive Party is an inescapable historic necessity for millions who want
a real choice now between peace and war, democracy and fascism, security and
The Communists, who support every popular progressive movement, naturally
welcome this new people's party. We supported the progressive features of
Roosevelt's policies, domestic and foreign. We helped organize the C.I.O. in the
1930's. We have supported every democratic movement since the Communists of
Lincoln's generation fought in the Union cause during the Civil War.
On most immediate questions before the people of the country the Progressive Party
has offered detailed platform planks around which all forward-looking people can
unite. Our support of the Progressive Party policies and campaign does not alter the
fact that we have fundamental as well as some tactical differences with Henry
Wallace and related third-party forces.
The Communist Party is not nominating a Presidential ticket in the 1948 elections. In
1944 we Communists supported Roosevelt to help win the anti-Axis war. Similarly, in
1948 we Communists join with millions of other Americans to support the
Progressive Party ticket to help win the peace. The Communist Party will enter its
own candidates only in those districts where the people are offered no progressive
alternatives to the twin parties of Wall Street.
The Progressive Party is by its very nature a great coalition of labor, farmers, the
Negro people, youth, and professional and small business people. It is anti-
monopoly, anti-fascist, anti-war. By its very nature it is not an anti-capitalist party. It is
not a Socialist or a Communist Party and we are not seeking to make it one. It is and
should develop as a united front, broad, mass people's party.
There is only one Marxist Party in America, one party dedicated to replacing the
capitalist system with Socialism—and that is the Communist Party.
Our firm conviction that only a Socialist reorganization of society will bring permanent
peace, security and prosperity is no barrier to co-operation with all other progressive
Americans, in helping create a great new coalition in order to save our people from
the twin horrors of war and fascism.
We seek no special position in this movement and will, of course, oppose any
attempt to discriminate against us because of our Socialist aims.
We Communists are dedicated to the proposition that the great American dream of
life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, will be realized only under Socialism, a society in
which the means of production will be collectively owned and operated under a
government led by the working class. Only such a society can forever banish war,
poverty and race hatred. Only in such a society can there be the full realization of the
dignity of man and the full development of the individual. Only such a society can
permanently protect the integrity of the home and family. Only a Socialist society can
realize in life the vision of the brotherhood of man.
We live in times of great danger. Fascism and war now threaten our country. But the
common people of America, and in the first place the working people, can defeat
these dangers. They can turn our country to the path of democracy and peace, to the
path of social progress.
The 1948 elections will help decide which way America will go.
Your united action in this election, your determined defense of your rights, can
become powerful forces for peace and progress.