Our vast natural resources and productive plant, the unexampled skill and energy of our workers,
farmers and technicians, are the essential elements for abolishing poverty and creating a rational
and harmonious society.
At the same time, never have the American people viewed the future with so much un¬certainty
and fear. For our generation, war and depression are the outstanding memories of the past and
the imminent perspectives of the future.
The price of a loaf of bread or a pound of meat, the right to speak freely without persecution,
questions of war and peace, every aspect of life presents the mass of our people with perpetual
insecurity and unending crisis.
What are the reasons our rulers give for this ruinous condition? Since 1914 Democrats and
Republicans alike have been reduced to diverting the people's wrath to a foreign enemy, the
Kaiser and German militarism, Hitler and German fascism, and now Stalin and the "Iron Curtain."
This explanation is repeated by politicians and the government, by the press, the pulpit and the
radio, taught in schools and universities, hammered into the heads of the population by every
technical resource at the command of our capitalist masters. It can no longer deceive the people.
Gone are the days when individuals could carve out wealth for themselves and at the same time
develop the country's economy. Today huge monopolies choke our splendid industrial re¬sources.
But capitalism has not only created these monstrous monopolies. It has also brought into being the
working class comprising tens of millions of people, with a high standard of education, great
technical skills and long traditions of democracy and social equality.
Shaken by the collapse of 1929, this working class has already shown its tremendous capabilities
by its organization of the CIO and the rapid growth of industrial unionism.
The workers are becoming increasingly aware of capitalist inefficiency in the use of resources.
They are beginning to see through the warmongering of the imperialists. They resent the capitalist
cheating of the people by inflation. They know that the Sixty Richest Families of the United
States, like their counterparts abroad, will abandon democracy for fascism at any serious threat to
their profits, privileges and power.
The irrepressible conflict between the monopolists and the workers shakes America with ever-
growing convulsions and inexorably extends into a battle for rulership of the country.
The middle classes, the great mass of agricultural workers and small farmers, are ravaged by the
anarchy of the profit system.
Millions of women bear the burden of a double oppression. Exploited and abused like all
workers, they are also discriminated against and often denied jobs in industry, as well as having
upon them the burden of the home.
The generations of the youth face the prospect of serving in permanent conscript armies and
providing the fodder for a new war. Capitalist corruption bears down with increasing force upon
the high ideals of the professions of medicine, journal¬ism, education and upon the workers in the
arts, sciences and engineering.
Far from seeing any end to segregation, the Negro people have seen the Federal Government of
Roosevelt and Henry Wallace carry the infamy of a Jim Crow Army to every quarter of the globe.
Tormented by these conditions, the oppressed classes and groups are looking for a way out.
There is no way out for them except to follow the leadership of organized labor. On the day when
the working class can assure them of its determination to end capitalist anarchy and chaos, the
rule of the capitalists is doomed.
The capitalists know this. That is why they concentrate all their power and energy to crush the
growing challenge of the working class. The Taft-Hartley Act, the Mundt Bill, the Committee on
un-American Activities, the preparation for transforming the FBI into a Gestapo, militarization of
the country, the strangling of liberties traditional in the United States since the beginning of the
Republic—this long train of abuses and usurpations reveals that their aim is to subject the working
class to an absolute despotism, the sole guarantee of capitalist rule in its period of decay.
Twice our people have faced a similar threat. Twice they have known how to meet it.
In 1776 the farmers, mechanics and artisans, led by revolutionists such as Sam Adams, Jefferson
and Washington, destroyed the power of the British ruling class who sought to crush the birth of a
In 1860 William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, John Brown and Frederick Douglass,
Abraham Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens, personified the forces which waged merciless war
against the slaveowners' attempt to perpetuate their outmoded system, halt the expansion of our
economy and destroy the liberties of our people.
The Socialist Workers Party, in these years of decision, comes forward as the continuator of
these revolutionary traditions. The socialist revolution is even more imperative for the salvation of
the U.S. than was the Civil War and the War for Independence.
The Socialist Workers Party warns the people that the present struggle is so deeply rooted in a
bankrupt economic system that it must end either in the complete destruction of civilization or in
the socialist reconstruction of society under the leadership of the working class.
Let him who dares, face the workers and farmers and tell them that they do not possess the
knowledge, the will, the physical and intellectual resources, and the political capacity to pull this
country back from the brink of the abyss to which monopoly capitalism has led it. The Socialist
Workers Party bases itself upon its supreme confidence in the creative capacities of the working
The Socialist Workers Party presents itself under the banner of Marx and Engels, Lenin and
Trotsky, Debs and Haywood. Their banner is our banner. These great leaders of international
socialism were animated by the conviction that unless the tremendous powers of modern industry
were taken over by the workers of the world, society would collapse into barbarism. The state of
the world today is proof of how correct they were.
Genuine labor politics, however, can have nothing in common with the politics of the Democratic
and Republican parties. Against the back¬ground of national and international crisis, in¬creasing
numbers of the American people view their antics with indignation and disgust. These parties are
bi-partisan in foreign policy, bi-partisan in their devotion to capitalism, bi-partisan in their
incapacity to cure its evils, bi-partisan in their assault upon the working class and the civil liberties
of the American people. The only difference between them is the dispute over who can best
secure the privileges and the pilfering which fall to those who administer the capitalist government.
These two parties would long ago have been repudiated and abandoned by the working men and
women except for the treacherous and opportunist practices of the top union leaders, who are
tied to the apron strings of the capitalist politicians and act as apologists, recruiters and vote-
solicitors for them in the ranks of the workers.
The party of Henry Wallace represents nothing but an attempt to exploit the disgust of the people
with the Democrats and the Republicans. The Wallace party is the unashamed champion of
decaying capitalism. Claiming support as an anti¬war party, its leader, Wallace, has betrayed the
struggle in advance by declaring his readiness to support the projected war when it breaks out.
Wallace's stock-in-trade is a recitation of evils without one single concrete proposal to mobilize
labor's strength against monopoly capitalism, the source of all the evils he criticizes.
The Communist Party (Stalinists), which is supporting the Wallace party in this year's election, is
interested in the class struggle only insofar as it can be exploited to advance the interests of the
arch-reactionary Stalinist bureaucracy in the Kremlin. When it serves Stalin's purposes, as it did
during the period of the Stalin-Hitler Pact, the American Stalinists talk class struggle, support
strikes, pay lip-service to the need for socialism, etc. And similarly, when it serves Stalin's
purposes, as it did during the wartime period of the Washington-Moscow alliance, the American
Stalinists advocate class collaboration, "national unity," cessation of labor and Negro struggles,
strike¬breaking, etc. In their case they remain instruments of Stalin's reactionary foreign policy
and must be seen as enemies of the workers' true class interests and revolutionary socialism.
The Socialist Party of Norman Thomas pretends that war can be stopped by the United Nations
just as it pretended that the war could be stopped by the League of Nations. While denouncing
war in general it is no less ready to support World War III than it was to support World War II.
It seeks to reform and not to abolish capitalism.
The Socialist Workers Party alone consistently and unconditionally champions the interests of the
workers in their struggles against capitalism, and works to organize them for its abolition. This
goal is expressed and concretized in the Socialist Workers Party's fundamental objective in the
1948 campaign—the mobilization of the masses for a Workers and Farmers Government.
Such a government, based on direct representation from democratically elected councils of
workers, farmers, housewives, soldiers and minority groups, will initiate the reign of real and
complete democracy in every sphere of life. It will take over the means of production, expand
and coordinate them in a planned economy, and create the conditions for permanent prosperity. It
will end the rule of coupon-clippers and put the former capitalists to work at honest toil. Its
victory will bring peace and harmony to the United States by doing away with the material cause
of class divisions and therefore of class conflicts. The victory of socialism in the most powerful
country will serve as an inspiring example to be quickly followed by the rest of the world.
Only a Workers and Farmers Government can reorganize our crumbling society on a rational
basis and bring that new birth of freedom and prosperity which is socialism.
Only a Workers and Farmers Government, pledged to irreconcilable opposition to every vestige
of monopoly capitalism, can prevent a Third World War.
The program, the platform, the policies and the methods which we advocate will be realized
through the formation of a great independent party, led and organized by the working class,
including all those tens of millions whose basic hostility to capitalism needs only this leadership to
achieve full consciousness and resolute action. Such a party, embracing the productive, social and
political activity of the vast majority of the nation, is today the guarantee of democracy. By its
mere existence it will be an invincible safe¬guard against totalitarianism in any form.
The platform of the Socialist Workers Party is not designed to patch up the dying capitalist
system, but to protect the interests of the toilers against the brutal aggressions of their capitalist
enemies. It is an election platform, to be sup¬ported by the ballot on election day, but it is more
than that—it is also a program of action to unite and guide the struggles of the workers on a year-
round basis. Its effectiveness depends not only on the support it receives in Congress and other
legislative bodies, but even more on the extent to which it receives support from the masses in
their daily struggles in the factories, in the unions, etc. Its aim is to organize and mobilize the
working people for the part they are destined to play in the march to a better world.
In line with these fundamental objectives, the Socialist Workers Party advocates this platform:
1. foreign policy
Take the war-making powers out of the hands of Congress! Let the people vote through
nation¬wide referendum on the question of war or peace! No secret diplomacy! Withdraw all
troops from foreign soil! For the complete independence of the colonial peoples! No confidence
whatever in the United Nations, dominated by despots of every variety and designed to spread
the illusion that peace is possible under capitalism! Full solidarity with the revolutionary struggles
of workers and farmers in all lands—those dominated by American imperialism as well as those
dominated by reactionary Stalinism! For the Socialist United States of the World!
2. labor's standard of living
For the inclusion in all union contracts of an escalator clause (also known as the sliding scale of
wages or automatic cost-of-living bonus) to meet the rising cost of living, with the safeguard that
wages shall not fall below the basic rates established in the contract! For the application of this
principle to wages of all government employees, veterans' allotments, old-age allowances, old-
age pensions and social security. For the establishment of price control, to be regulated and
enforced by mass consumers committees of house¬wives, unionists, working farmers and small
shopkeepers! For the 6-hour day, 30-hour week, with no reduction in pay! For unemployment
insurance equal to trade union wages!
3. labor and civil rights
Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act! No government interference in union affairs! No restrictions on the
right to organize, strike and picket! No compulsory arbitration! Repeal all anti-labor laws! Down
with government by injunction!
An end to red-baiting, witch hunts and political persecution! Withdraw the "subversive" blacklists
used for political persecution of government and other employees! Abolish the House Committee
on un-American Activities! Defeat the Mundt Bill and all other measures to totalitarianize
American politics! Liberalize the election laws which discriminate against minority parties through
excessive petition requirements and subject them to arbitrary exclusion from the ballot! Old
enough to be drafted, old enough to vote! Safeguard and extend the Bill of Rights!
4. rights of minority croups
Smash the Jim Crow system! Full economic, political and social equality for the Negro people
and other minorities! Pass and enforce legislation to punish lynching, abolish the poll tax, establish
a Fair Employment Practices Committee with power to root out discriminatory practices,
eliminate segregation wherever it exists! Combat anti-Semitism in all its forms! Wipe out
discriminatory immigration policies and open the doors of the U.S. to refugees! Unite the workers
of all races for the common struggle against their exploiters!
5. farm policy
Establish a federal farm program to guarantee the cost of production to working farmers and to
be operated under the control of their own representatives! Expand rural electrification! No
limitation on crops! A federal program for soil conservation and flood control! No taxes on
savings of cooperatives! A federal ban on all speculation in farm commodities! Abolish
sharecropping and landlordism! The land to those who work it!
6. military policy
Against a permanent conscript army! It is necessary to establish a system of military training,
financed and equipped by the government, but operating under the control and discipline of the
trade union movement! Abolish the officer caste system in the armed forces! Full democratic
rights for the ranks in all the services, including their right to participate in politics and public life,
to elect their own officers, to organize along union lines and engage in collective bargaining!
Abolish race segregation in the armed forces! Trade union wages for the servicemen!
The Federal government must be forced to declare a state of national housing emergency and to
initiate a program to erect 25 million permanent low-cost, low-rent housing units! Nationalize and
operate under workers' control all feeder industries which provide building materials! Operate this
housing program through a government planning board of outstanding architects, engineers and
representatives of the workers in the building trades! Finance the program with the billions now
spent for war preparations! Homes, not atom bombs! Clear the slums! Restore rent control,
under supervision of tenants committees!
Repeal all payroll taxes! Abolish all sales taxes! No taxes on incomes under $5,000 a year! A
100% tax on incomes over $25,000 a year! Tax the rich, not the poor!
9. government ownership of industry
Nationalize the basic industries, all war plants, all natural resources, and operate them in the
interests of the producers and consumers by democratically-elected committees of workers and
technicians! Nationalize the banks! Institute a planned economy of abundance, based on
production for use, not for profit!
10. independent political action
Labor must break all ties with the capitalist parties—Democratic, Republican, Wallaceite! For an
Independent Labor Party based on the trade unions and embracing the working farmers, Negroes
and veterans! For a United Labor Conference, with representation from all unions, to launch
labor's own party and run labor's own candidates for office!
For a Workers and Farmers Government!