BooksA People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
HeroesEugene Debs, Margaret Haile
- May 17, 2008 11:28 PM May Day in the Weekly Dig
- May 3, 2008 4:03 AM May Day Speech Given In Boston.
- Apr 7, 2008 12:29 AM Boston Weekly Dig story on SP-Mass State Convention
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About me:Boston Local in May Day Red/Black Bloc. Our official websites are: www.sp-usa.org/mass www.spboston.org.
Platform of the 1936 Socialist Party of Massachusetts
Our social system has broken down. We are soon to enter upon the fourth year of what our political and economic leaders assured us was only a "temporary depression."
The captains of industry, the bankers and politicians have demonstrated their incompetency. They have failed. They are dealing with economic forces which they do not understand. What has happened to the so-called "best minds?" Wherein have the few owners of industry and finance shown their ability to manage the sources of life for all of us? So-called "great minds" are no longer great. The capitalist class has pulled down the industrial and financial structure not only upon the poor, but upon many of their own. The failure of the capitalist system has driven millions from the ranks of the middle class into the ranks of the working class; while thousands of others have resorted to suicide as a way out. Factories stand idle; warehouses overflow with goods; there is a great surplus of all kinds of commodities; yet today in Massachusetts, there are tens of thousands of people out of work, dependent on the charity of friends or municipalities for their very existence. Cities and towns forced to bear an unreasonably heavy tax burden are being driven toward bankruptcy. Homes and farms, the fruits of years of saving and denial, have been taken away by the banks or for non-payment of taxes. Banks have closed and the savings of depositors are preyed upon by political insiders.
Meanwhile, both at Washington and at the State House, Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves obliging tools of the industrialists and financiers, by acting in accordance with an entirely untrue assumption that 'you can't tax the rich because profits have disappeared'. Thus, both the old parties have united in voting billions to railroads, banks, and industry, while refusing vital aid to unemployed workers and their starving dependents.
These things need not be. They exist only because 'our' state is not truly ours. It is controlled by industrial capitalists and financiers rather than by the people. The wealth of 'our' state belongs to a comparatively few. They own the jobs and determine the wages; they pack the Public Utilities Commission and fix public utility rates. They formulate public opinion through control of most of the newspapers, movies and radio stations. They own and control the Democratic and Republican parties because they pay their campaign expenses; and corruption and graft in public office merely means that Democrats and Republicans are giving to the capitalists the concessions and privileges which they have paid for and want.
The Class Struggle
The interests of these bankers and manufacturers are opposed to those of the workers. They run industry for their private profit and treat labor as a commodity to be bought cheap. At every opportunity, they cut wages or install labor displacing machines, most of the benefit of which they keep for themselves. Other things being equal, they make greater profits in proportion as they buy labor cheaper. The workers of hand or brain on the other hand want high wages and high salaries. The class struggle that inevitably results is the outstanding and underlying problem of the day. From it flow strikes, lockouts, open-shop fights, an avalanche of wage reductions, speed-up systems, and unemployment.Socialists Would End The Class Struggle
The Socialist Party, on the other hand, represents the workers of hand and brain. We owe no political debts to capitalist campaign contributors. We want to end the class struggle by public ownership and democratic management of the means of large scale production, distribution and exchange. We contend that the mills, banks, railroads, factories and public utilities are the source of products used by all of us and should, therefore, be publicly owned. Through public ownership and democratic management we can use the natural resources and industrial equipment of our state to produce, no profits for a few, but more comfort, more leisure and more security, and a better standard of living for all. In short, we believe in planned production to satisfy the needs of all the people rather than to make profits for a comparatively few owners of industry.
With this, the ultimate goal of Socialism ever in view, the Socialist candidates for office in Massachusetts pledge themselves to the following immediate demands as necessary steps towards the introduction of a new social order, this platform being supplementary to the national platform of the Socialist Party of America.
I. FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
1. A $250,000,000 emergency state bond issue to finance the following projects:
1. A comprehensive program of public works to include particularly, the tearing down of shacks and tenements in slum areas and their replacement with decent homes rented at cost.
2. State relief for hard pressed industrial centers where the amount of taxable property per inhabitant is low and the number of destitute very high.
3. Part pay for the unemployed through a system of unemployment insurance paid by contributions from the employers and the state.
4. Acquirement of land, buildings and equipment necessary to put the unemployed to work producing food and clothing for their own use and consumption.
2. A real old age pension beginning at the age of 60.
3. Abolition of private employment agencies.
4. Abolition of child labor by raising the compulsory school age from 14 to 16 years, thus relieving the labor market and giving more employment to teachers and to workers on new schools which will be necessary.
5. Emergency rent laws to prevent evictions of the unemployed.
II. FOR THE INDUSTRIAL WORKER
1. Six hour day and five day week.
2. Security through a comprehensive system of health and maternity insurance.
3. Outlawing of the "yellow dog" contract and of injunctions in industrial disputes.
4. Opposition to all wage cuts of industrial, state and municipal workers.III. FOR THE FARMER
Workers upon the farm and in the factory are dependent upon each other. Real prosperity among the industrial workers means greater purchasing power for farm products. In addition, we propose to do away with the exploitation of the farmer by the middleman through state encouragement for farmer's and dairymen's cooperatives. We also pledge ourselves to increase educational and social services for rural communities.IV. FOR WORKERS OF HAND AND BRAIN
1. The reduction of tax burdens for the common man by placing the burden on those most able to pay through steeply graded taxes on inheritances, net profits of corporations, gambling on the stock exchange, unearned incomes, and the rental value of land. Also the abolition of tax exempt securities.
2. The abolition of the poll tax.
3. Encouragement of producers' and consumers' cooperatives.
4. Public ownership and operation of the electric power industry.
5. Erection and maintenance of a free state university or the expansion of the facilities of the Massachusetts State College at Amherst.
6. Abolition of all military training in schools.
7. Legislation to compel every city and town to set aside a public forum in order that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and assemblage may be more than mere paper promises.
8. Establishment of a state bank with branches in different localities in which bank, cities and towns will have to deposit their funds.
9. We condemn and will combat all discrimination on account of race, color, creed or sex.TO ALL VOTERS!
A vote for either Democratic or Republican job-seekers is a vote for continued chaos and misery. Old Party officials -- town, city, state, and national -- unite in defending the economic system which plunges on toward disaster. The time is short. Throw off the fears and shackles that bind you to the past. Save your vote, your jobs, and the freedom, peace and security of the world by joining the ever-swelling army of workers in field and factory, together marching forward to a new social order. Eyes open, minds free, let us be done with the squalor of outworn capitalism and show the world that we of Massachusetts shall be the first to reach the goal of Socialism in our time!The following are our Candidates:
FOR PRESIDENT NORMAN THOMAS
FOR VICE-PRESIDENT JAMES H. MAURER
For Governor ALFRED BAKER LEWIS of Cambridge
Lt. Governor WALTER S. HUTCHINS of Greenfield
Secretary of State ALBERT SPRAGUE COOLIDGE of Pittsfield
Treasurer GLEN TRIMBLE of Boston
Auditor DAVID A. EISENBERG of Chelsea
Attorney General GEORGE E. ROEWER of Cambridge
Do not confuse the SOCIALIST PARTY with other political parties of similar name but different program.
For further information or leaflets on any topic of this platform, please write in to the Socialist Party of Massachusetts
Who I'd like to meet:
- Status: Single
- Here for: Networking
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius