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The New International, April 1945

Notes of the Month

The Murray-Green-Johnston Charter


From The New International, Vol. XI No. 3, April 1945, pp. 67–72.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The capitalist class in the United States knows that the years ahead are the “years of decision.” It has imperialist rivals, but its greatest problem is the national economy and it knows that its most dangerous enemy is the American working class. The American capitalist class knows that it must solve the contradiction between the productive power o£ American capital and the consumption of the masses in the social framework within which capital moves and must move. It knows that it will solve this problem or face social revolution. In official publications and in speeches and writings of all kinds, the American bourgeoisie has shown that it fully understands what is hidden behind the term – reconversion. It is not a question of reconverting to peacetime production. That is no serious problem. It is a question of reconverting to a peacetime production which will be entirely different from the peacetime production of 1929–1939. As the magazine Time put it a year ago:

”In 1929 the industrial machine gave the world a brief vision of the abundance that modern technological organization has in store. In 1943 the machine, many times more powerful, gave the world an exciting – but frightening – vision of the possibilities in the post-war peace.”

Admirable phrasing! The workers are the ones who are excited – excited at the prospect of security and the material possibilities for a full humane way of life. The capitalists are the ones who are frightened – frightened at this gigantic productive system which they could not control when it was much smaller, far less now. But they are not frightened at the possession of enormous material wealth or the fact that they may not be able to use all of it. They can let half of it lie idle and still make profit. What they are frightened at is the expected reaction of the workers if there is a return to the conditions preceding World War II. That is the problem and there is no other problem.

But there are others also who are terrified. These are the labor leaders. They fear the long suppressed resentment of the workers which during the past year has given repeated manifestations of its depth and its strength. They fear that it may burst out in explosions of growing ferocity against capital and all its works. To them a mass general strike of American workers, not only in San Francisco alone, but in a score of great cities, would be a disaster unparalleled. Having no conception whatever of a workers’ government, of a mass political party of labor with a program aimed at making the wealth of the nation serve the great masses of the people, they naturally view any departure from the well-worn grooves of class collaboration as a step on the road to labor’s self-destruction.

But they are terrified by another possibility. If they fear an eruption of labor they know that big capital will miss no opportunity of striking mercilessly at organized labor, and particularly at an upsurging labor movement. They remember the terrible blows labor received at the end of the last war. They know that all the difficulties, contradictions, conflicts, which produced the anti-labor assault of 1918–1921 exist today in intensified form. They therefore wish to suppress the militancy of labor and appease the militancy of capital.

It is out of this particular stage of the class struggle between capital and labor that appears this Murray-Green-Johnston Charter.

“Today We Are United”

The circumstances surrounding the charter are imposing and will no doubt impress the unthinking. The signatories are three highly-placed figures. The President of the C.I.O. The President of the A.F.L. The President of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Green, Murray and Eric Johnston, these presidential magnates, met together in Washington on March 28 and signed this charter embodying the principles of full employment, a rising standard of living, respect for private property, etc. on the basis of national unity between capital and labor.

”Today we are united in national defense. Tomorrow we must be united equally in the national interest.”

One can hardly believe one’s eyes. “Today we are united in national defense.” Who constituted this “we” who were united, today, March 28, 1945, in national defense? Perhaps these three signers of the charter were too busy to read the papers in the period immediately preceding the publication of their document. The miners who had rocked the country in four gigantic strikes in 1948 were once more taking a strike vote over their 1945 contract. Between John L. Lewis and the coal operators in the arbitration room of their hotel was complete unity on national defense and equally complete disunity over the wages of the miners. But the miners are members neither of the C.I.O. nor the A.F.L., and John L. Lewis has not signed the charter. R.J. Thomas of the U.A.W. endorses the charter. But the Executive Board of the U.A.W., the largest union in the world, was demanding that its members on the War Labor Board retire from that body. In their struggles with their employers during the war period, the W.L.B. had delayed, hampered, badgered and cheated them on behalf of capital. Their employers had avoided all serious redress of their grievances, throwing every possible case in the lap of the W.L.B., knowing that it would be kept warm there for a long time. These same employers were goading and harassing the workers, hiding behind the W.L.B. and the national defense in order to dismiss militants, and weaken the union in the expected struggles of the post-war period. A series of explosive strikes in Detroit in particular had brought forth the most venomous charges and countercharges. The workers claimed that the employers were out to break the unions. The automobile manufacturers claimed that the workers were aiming at the usurpation of the powers of management. The President of the Textile Workers on behalf of his union repudiated the no-strike pledge. A fraudulent referendum had been needed to give the official quietus to the powerful movement among the rank and file of the U.A.W. for repudiation of this same pledge. These are the symptoms of the temper of the American workers, their exasperation at all they have had to endure from the capitalists under cover of Roosevelt’s unity for the national defense. Were these mere passing phases? No. The President of the United States, the head of the Army and the head of the Navy have given their solemn opinion and word that the future progress of the war demanded a National Service Act. Congress, alarmed at the prospect of taking this responsibility before the people, refused to pass any such act. This is the time when Murray, Green and Johnston declare that “Today we are united in national defense.”

No doubt the three Presidents were very much united in their endorsement of the plan and in the glittering generalities which they tossed out to the reporters at their press conference. But the workers and the capitalist class are not united. The cracks in the structure are wide open. Tomorrow we shall see exactly to what stage of decomposition this national unity has declined. Don’t our three signers know all this? Of course they do. None better. But that is precisely why the charter was promulgated and signed. Not because there is so much unity but because there is so much disunity, because the class struggle is sharpening and moving towards dreaded clashes – that is why this charter is so hastily dished out and set in motion. It is to disarm the workers, to deflect their wrath, to pour the cold water of class peace and class collaboration upon the fires of class conflict. The charter therefore is based on a lie and a conscious, a deliberate, and for its signers, a very necessary lie. Roosevelt endorsed it enthusiastically. So did Dewey. So did the Wall Street Journal. So did the President of General Electric. All have agreed on the wonderful unity which exists at the present time. All conspired to tell the workers that the classes were united as never before and that this unity must be continued. They endorsed the charter because in every way this charter serves capitalism at the present moment in the offensive it must prepare against the needs and aspirations of the workers.

The first necessity of the capitalist class at the present time is to lull the workers into a sense of security, to give them the illusion that the productive power which has achieved such striking results for war, will do the same for peace. Roosevelt promised 60 million jobs. This is a promise on the same order as Roosevelt’s promise in 1940, “again and again and again” that no American boy would be sent to fight in any foreign war. There is no way for American capitalism to give and maintain 60 million jobs in time of peace at decent wages. Capitalism cannot do it. And nobody knows that better than Roosevelt and the capitalists themselves.

The great lie of capitalism and its apologists during the past period was that it was struggling mightily for peace. Meanwhile, as we know, it prepared with extreme thoroughness for war. The present lie is that it is preparing for a great epoch of post-war prosperity. In reality it is preparing for the first necessity of the post-war period – a merciless offensive against the working-class. This is not a matter of choice or evil intentions. Capital has to do it. Any doubts, hesitation, or wavering on this in the minds of the workers is just so much ammunition to the enemy.

What Is to Be Done?

Since 1939 aircraft plant has expanded forty times.

Aluminum capacity has increased seven times.

Steel capacity for the ten years, 1929–939, had operated at half capacity or less. Since 1939 it has increased by 15 per cent.

Machine tools have been produced to the extent of three times the volume of the years 1929–1939.

Shipyards have been expanded to produce at eighty times the pre-war rate.

Between 1939 and 1943 the United States boosted its production by 100 per cent.

Every adult and most children now know what the American productive system can do. The workers are excited at the prospect. And the capitalists are not merely frightened, they are terrified. Economists, industrialists, politicians, all say: We must solve this problem or the America we have known goes under, either from social revolution by the workers or by the counter-revolution of Fascism.

Obviously here what the workers need above all from their leaders is a clear statement of the problem and leadership for struggle. Instead, Murray and Green (we leave aside Johnston for the moment) declare to the American workers through this charter:

“We in management and labor firmly believe that the end of this war will bring the unfolding of a new era based upon a vastly expanding economy and unlimited opportunities for every American.”

Fine words indeed! But just words! What ground have Murray and Green for this belief? What reasons can they give to American workers for thinking that capitalism will be able to do in 1946 or 1949 what it so conspicuously failed to do in 1929–1939? Have they solved the problem of capitalist accumulation – increasing wealth and increasing misery? If they have, why have they kept it a secret? Why didn’t they tell the secret to their good friend, Henry Wallace, before he spoke to the Senate Committee? We ask them what the Senate Committee asked Wallace: What do you propose? They propose nothing. Not only do they propose nothing. These two men, Murray and Green, more than any others should know not only in theory but in life, the facts put forward by the government economists, testifying to capitalist bankruptcy. But, themselves terrified at the fearful prospect opening up before American society, all that they can do is to join with the capitalists in creating the illusion of present unity and future prosperity. Having no vision whatever of any other society except capitalism they are thereby compelled at all critical moments to seek an alliance with capital for the preservation of the system against the assault of the workers.

After the entirely false statement about the national unity and the belief that we are now on the eve of an era of prosperity, Section 1 of the charter states the first principle:

Increased prosperity for all involves the highest degree of production and employment at wages assuring a steadily advancing standard of living. Improved productive efficiency and technological advancement must, therefore, be constantly encouraged.

What is this? Government economists say repeatedly of American capitalism that the “highest degree of production” and improved efficiency and technology are the cause of low wages and unemployment. Here, also, they have discovered nothing new. The Marxian analysis of capitalist production states that “the possibility of a relative surplus of laboring people develops to the extent that capitalist production advances, not because the productive power of social labor decreases, but because it increases.” The emphasis is Marx’s own. That has been the American experience. The greatest crisis came in 1929, because of the increase in the productive power. It is the increase in that power since 1929 which heralds, sooner or later, a still more devastating crisis. Capitalists know this. But they do not want the workers to think in those terms. They want them for the time being to have faith in capital, to believe that capital can not only use the present productive power and technological advances, but can continue to increase them and still give high wages and full employment. It is to this falsehood that Murray and Green give their authority and prestige. And they have to, because they have no new social organization in mind which will turn the power of science and technology to the service of society instead of the profits of capital.

The Rights of Private Property

The capitalist class knows that the American workers as a whole have been permeated with the capitalist dogma of the sacred rights of capitalist property. But the capitalist class knows that this ancient fetish is being steadily undermined.

Less than two years ago the C.I.O. published a program demanding state ownership of the key industries of the country and government planning of the economy. (Murray presumably knows of this document). The U.M.W. has demanded public ownership of the mines. All over the world today this question of the rights of private ownership of the means of production and the necessity of state or public control is being passionately discussed. America is no exception. While the American workers are more backward in this respect than for instance the European workers, the problem is posed here. In a period of acute class struggle and mass action by the working class, the demand for government ownership can easily assume an urgent and immediate significance. Capitalism therefore needs moral re-enforcement for the sanctity of private property among the workers. Sure as day Section 2 of the charter tells us:

”The rights of private property and free choice of action, under a system of private competitive capitalism must continue to be the foundation of our nation’s peaceful and prosperous expanding economy.”

The rights of private property! So Green and Murray are leaders of some thirteen million American workers, in order to defend capitalist private property? What property is owned by the vast majority of American workers? If Murray and Green were to defend the little property that remains to the struggling farmers, that would make some sense, perhaps. But the chief economic fact about the workers is their “absence of property”.

Socialism proposes to increase the private personal property of the workers and the great masses of the people – their property in housing facilities, in clothes, in automobiles, in all the necessities of civilized life. But the indisputable foundation of this increase in the private personal property of the great masses of the people is the destruction of the private ownership of the social property of the nation – land, mines, factories, capital.

Revolutionary socialism proposes to organized labor to mobilize the great propertyless majority of the population behind it for the purpose of planning the economy for abundant peace-time production. That is the reconversion that the people are groping for. That is the kind they want. That is the kind they will ultimately create, charter or no charter.

Revolutionary socialism seeks to educate them, on the basis of their own experience, to the necessity of building a mass proletarian party to form a workers’ government which alone can carry out such a program. All this however, involves a hostile attitude to capitalist ownership of property in the means of production. Murray and Green, however, knowing that a critical attitude towards private property in the means of production is one of the harbingers of revolutionary action, have only one way out. They join the capitalists and try to strengthen, the very prejudices which the workers are beginning to cast aside.

Closely allied with the right of private property is the right of the capitalist to use his property as he pleases. This the charter calls freedom of action. What do Murray and Green mean by “free choice of action”? Wasn’t it free choice of action which led to the ruinous crisis of 1929? When capital needed to produce for its war, didn’t it abandon free choice of action and plan its production of planes, tanks and guns? Didn’t Murray and Green agree to this? Didn’t capital plan in particular to discipline the workers, to limit their wages, to prevent them striking, to dole out their rations? Didn’t Murray and Green agree to all of this? Didn’t they stew and sweat and run themselves ragged to assist capital in all these plans? But now it is a question of planning for the workers, for security, for a rising standard of living. Capital cannot do this, even if it wanted to. The days of guaranteed war profits are growing shorter. In the period ahead capital wants its freedom of action for profit-making, for destruction of rivals, for lowering wages, for pursuing profit by abandoning one sphere of production and taking up another, thereby throwing tens of thousands out of work at a stroke of the pen. Capital wants its monopolistic freedom of action to expand or restrict production in its pursuit of profits. Above all, it wants to impress the workers with the idea that if things go wrong, the blame must rest on those who restrict their capitalistic freedom of action. By subscribing to this clause Murray and Green serve nothing else but the interests of capital in the face of the growing consciousness among the workers that capital must somehow be disciplined to serve the interests of the people.

Back to Andrew Jackson or Forward to Socialism?

American capital is aware that its system is in danger. It knows that the American working class, whatever subordination it shows to private property, has hopes and expectations and a will to struggle which must in time tear down the dogma of private property. The capitalist class therefore adds a new tune to its basic repertory. Day in and day out, it strives to popularize the notion that freedom and democracy are inseparable from free competition and capitalist freedom of action in production. It points to Russia and sometimes to Fascist Germany as well, and tells the workers that planned production by the state leads inevitably to bureaucratic tyranny and state-domination of individual rights. The capitalist apologists here are playing upon the workers’ desire to maintain and extend their freedom of assembly, their freedom from G.P.U.’s, Gestapos, and an all-powerful F.B.I. The capitalist class in publications, press, films, and radio, builds up a sentiment of hostility to the growing interference of the state in all aspects of public and private life. It uses the bureaucratic state-machinery to get subsidies and economic privileges for itself. It makes full use of the W.L.B. in its conflicts with the workers over wages and production conditions. But at the same time it uses the wrath and bitterness of the people as a basis on which to build a case for its own capitalistic freedom of action. The workers meanwhile turn increasingly to government to help them against capitalist chaos and capitalist oppression. Yet the government is a capitalist government. Though it gives concessions here and there to the workers, it must on the whole serve capital against labor. The result is confusion and a feeling of desperation. Not the capitulatory self-pitying desperation of a demoralized individual but the growing conviction that labor must be a more powerful force in government. It is from this soil that the P.A.C. gained strength.

This instinctive movement of labor is correct, highly progressive, and must and will be carried to its logical conclusion. Labor is correct because the growing influence and expansion of the state is a part of the inescapable, the inevitable movement of modern society. The most distinctive feature of modern society is the socialization of labor. Gigantic concentrations of men and capital in such productive units as Ford’s Willow Run, the inter-relations between the different spheres of production, such as coal, oil; manufacture, transport, distribution, are now so interlocked and complicated, that they imperatively need some central governing body. Who will perform this duty? The capitalists naturally want to. But their primary need is to suppress the working class. This becomes increasingly difficult owing to the power which the workers gain from the socialization of production. Competition between capitalists and workers, competition between capitalists and capitalists, keep society in a state of constant turmoil. The state is compelled to intervene. A capitalist state must intervene on the side of the capitalists, brutally in the Fascist state, or with promises of “justice” to the workers, as the Roosevelt government. But whether Fascist or democratic, the movement towards the multiplication of government bureaucracy grows.

The Roosevelt government has created the W.P.A., the N.Y.A., the Office for Emergency Management, the Security Exchange Commission, the Board of War Communications, the National War Labor Board, the Office of Civilian Defense, the War Manpower Commission, the Office of Defense Transportation, the O.P.A., the Office of Economic Stabilization, the War Production Board, the F.E.P.C. ... Altogether some 200 commissions, boards, offices of administration and organization have been introduced. To call this mere government interference as if these things could have been avoided has no other purpose than to deceive and confuse the workers. They are the inevitable concomitant of monopoly capital based on the socialization of labor. They will not decrease or be abandoned after the war. That is an illusion. They may have different names or different forms. But their content will remain. Roosevelt tried hard to get an authority more important than all these. Not satisfied with control of the workers which he had through the War Manpower Commission and the War Labor Board, he sought a National Service Act which would legally give the government final and complete power over the workers.

The old days of “freedom” are gone, never to return. The modern problem is: what sort of government will control society. Either the capitalist governments will continue to usurp more and more functions hitherto carried out by private individuals or groups in private relations, or a Workers Government will organize society on new foundations. On new foundations because the fundamental reason for the growth of bureaucracy is the class conflict between capitalists and workers. First the state has to act as pretended mediator between the contending classes, (while in reality serving the interests of capitalism). Secondly, the humiliation, degradation and suppression of the workers in a capitalist society, even the most advanced, withdraws from them all possibility of the highest democracy – administering their own affairs. A new society, release of the powers of production, elevation of workers to the status of truly socially developed beings, would strike a death blow at all bureaucracy. The majority of the functions now being performed in Washington and in the various federal and state offices all over the country would be easily and joyfully performed by committees of the workers themselves. That is the choice. Capitalist society and an increase of bureaucracy. Workers’ power and a workers’ government with an inevitable transference of authority and function from officials to the people. The omnipotent state in Russia is proof not of the bankruptcy of the socialist society but is proof of class differentiation and the degradation of the masses of the people. The freedom of the modern age is freedom from capitalist chaos, capitalist crisis, capitalist war, capitalist degradation, capitalist anarchy in production – in other words, freedom from capitalism. Free society from capitalism and the powers of modern production would create not four but 444 freedoms, new and old, not the least of which will be freedom from bureaucracy.

The workers, anxious about the freedoms that they have, anxious, excited and eager about still greater freedoms which the productive-power promises, need an incessant, varied and bold education as to what alone constitutes freedom in the modern world. Not to grumble against government interference but to take over the government. But Green and Murray have no use for the scientific socialism of Marx and Engels. They abhor the very thought of workers’ power. So what do they give us instead?

“Free competition and free men are the strength of our free society.”

Was ever such downright reactionary stupidity? They turn their backs to the whole movement of modern society and call for the freedom and democracy of Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster. They turn the minds of the workers from moving forward to socialism back to an age which is dead and can never come again. By so doing they will not bring back the days that are past. All they will do is to weaken the workers before the terrific onslaught which modern capital is preparing. Modern big capital does not want to go back to the days of individual free competition. Modern big capital knows the realities of modern society. Modern big capital is now studying ways and means to defend itself, not with Utopian nostalgia, but with all the forces of modern organization, means of communication and propaganda. It is preparing to enforce upon society the political conditions necessary for the preservation of capital. Even while capital rails against government interference, it takes care to put its Stettiniuses, its Rockefellers, its Claytons, its Joneses, its Averill Harrimans into all the organs of government. It fights on all fronts. And meanwhile it gets Murray and Green to tell the workers in Section 3:

“The inherent right and responsibility of management to direct the operations of an enterprise shall be recognized and preserved. So that enterprise may develop and expand and earn a reasonable profit, management must be free as well from unnecessary governmental interference or burdensome restrictions.”

We hope that by now any worker who has been misguided into looking at this charter sympathetically will recognize that it is directed against labor. And not against labor in general, but specifically against the recognition by labor that capitalism is a doomed society and that inside it have matured the premises for socialism. That is the fundamental fact of American society today. Murray and Green will not accept it, will not recognize the necessity for labor’s power in a workers’ government and therefore have to join the enemies of labor in closing the eyes which are being opened.

Murray and Green Join the Imperialists

In politics who says A, usually says B. Terrified at the impending class struggles, renouncing socialism, Green and Murray not only are driven to aid capital in its attempt to bluff and bewilder the working class. They are compelled to associate themselves with the most reactionary plans of these capitalists for the subjugation of the world to American capital.

American capitalism knows that it is absolutely impossible to raise wages to a degree which will guarantee security, or to create production which will guarantee employment. More and more therefore it is openly turning to the idea of a vast post-war foreign trade. The economic follies inherent in such proposals we cannot go into here. But this much is certain. Behind these innocent words, “foreign trade,” lie an imperialist program whose reality will mean domination of foreign peoples on a scale undreamed of in previous American history. A powerful section of the capitalist class wants its “freedom of action” to exploit the world without any assistance from rival imperialisms. American capital proposes to dominate not only China but Western Europe. If it has its way, only political regimes satisfactory to American capital will be allowed to exist. American capital, going abroad, will have to be guaranteed, and only governments can do this today. Following or preceding American capital will go American arms backing up reactionary regimes; American political influence and prestige, disguising itself as “relief” and “economic rehabilitation,” proposes to place a stranglehold on all areas where the necessary profits can be garnered. These are the realities behind the growing volume of emphasis on foreign trade. The political basis for it was laid at Yalta, where Stalin received Roosevelt’s blessing as guardian of Eastern Europe and in turn gave Roosevelt carte blanche in Western Europe. The concrete imperialist division of Asia will be decided by the course of the war against Japan. Repression against the aspirations of the European and colonial peoples, struggle and ultimately war to the knife between imperialist rivals, those are the conditions and consequences of these foreign trade revivalist hallelujahs. The American workers need to be warned against it. It carries dangers not only for foreign workers and suppressed nationalities; It bears not only the seeds of war. It will react drastically upon the economic and social system of America itself.

The American capitalists need to have these plans made palatable at home and abroad. It is the only serious plan they have hitherto advanced for the post-war period. All the rest is talk or repetitions of WPA, PWA, etc. And Green and Murray faithfully support this imperialist propaganda, aimed at the American workers.

Says Section 6 of the charter:

“An expanding economy at home will be stimulated by a vastly increased foreign trade. Arrangements must therefore be perfected to afford the devastated or undeveloped nations reasonable assistance to encourage the rebuilding and development of sound economic systems. International trade cannot expand through subsidized competition among the nations for diminishing markets, but can be achieved only through expanding world markets and the elimination of any arbitrary and unreasonable practices.”

Previously they merely supported Roosevelt politically. Now they have allied themselves with industry in its determination to help solve the home problem by imperialist ruthlessness abroad.

The Workers Get Nothing

And what have Murray and Green got in return? They have got a promise from capital to observe collective bargaining agreements and a promise of social security.

Did ever responsible leaders sell out so much for so little?

By their endorsement of this document and by their plans for committees to implement it they have fortified capitalism in the mind of every worker who listens to them. Do they think, are they stupid enough to think, that they have fortified in capitalists a love of collective bargaining and faith in the sanctity of agreements with workers? Doesn’t Murray above all people know that despite the NRA and Roosevelt’s legislation, the CIO was born in struggle and in blood? Does he think that among all those capitalists who so joyfully welcomed the agreement, does he think there is. one who would not break a contract or smash down a union of the workers were these not ready to protect themselves? Murray knows this as well as anyone else. But on Murray’s part this charter is an attempt, a desperate self-deceiving attempt, to stave off the irrepressible conflict. The last part of Section 4 reads as follows:

“Through the acceptance of collective bargaining agreements, differences between management and labor can be disposed of between the parties through peaceful means, thereby discouraging avoidable strife through strikes and lockouts.”

It is the no-strike pledge in a different form. If we can sum up this document in a phrase we would say that it is an embodiment of one principle and one principle only: In the coming years the workers must trust capital. This is the same Murray who at the beginning of 1944 warned the workers that the years ahead were “the years of decision” in which great steps would be taken which would decide the fate of the United States for centuries to come. And now that the time approaches he tells the workers: Have faith in capital; have faith in its illusory promises of prosperity, support its reactionary concept of property; defend its catastrophic freedom of action, obediently turn your thoughts back to the days of free competition, join up with it in its gangster plans for world plunder; in return you will get its promises to observe the rights of collective bargaining. R.J. Thomas is to sit on the committee and of course the charter has been cleared with Sidney Hillman, who will also sit on the committee as one of labor’s representatives. The top leadership of the CIO, forgetting or ignoring its traditions, perhaps because it remembers them too well, has shown its bankruptcy as the leadership of labor in the great struggles against capital which lie ahead of us.

Coal Dealers and Toy Manufacturers

We have no space to deal with the peripatetic Mr. Johnston, who once more placed himself in the public eye as a sponsor of what he at other times has called a people’s capitalism. On some future occasion, and this publicity-mad gentleman will provide many, we shall show exactly what he represents. Suffice it to say that two days after the charter was signed Johnston had an article in the Saturday Evening Post on jobs. Doubtless it was timed to coincide with the publication of the charter. There he gave his plans tor full employment.

“I know a coal dealer whose employment, naturally, showed a sharp winter peak. He got together with two other local merchants ...” They worked out a plan and now have year-round employment.

The next example: “A milk-pump manufacturer made the bulk of his sales in the winter ...” But he too worked out a plan and now has full employment.

Next example: “A toy manufacturer ...”

Next example: “A hardwood flooring manufacturer ...”

Of these and other examples Johnston says: “These experiences, to which I could add hundreds of others, show that when management really tackles the problem, continuity of employment can be markedly improved.”

This is the tripe to which Murray and Green have given the power and prestige of the CIO and the AFL. Johnston, however, who signed the charter, is not so important as those who did not sign. The National Association of Manufacturers did not sign. It sent a representative to the preliminary talks but he came to only one meeting and did not return. There are capitalists who do not even want to commit themselves in words to any labor-management peace. Through the NAM they ask: How is this charter to be carried out? That is far more serious than the ridiculous posturings of Johnston and the terror of Murray and Green as the curtain begins to rise on “the years of decision.” All capitalists, even all big capitalists, do not think the same things at the same time. The NAM is preparing an offensive. It has published its program. We shall deal with it on another occasion. But the differences between Johnston and the NAM are subordinate to the fact that Johnson’s charter and the confusion it can cause among the workers is the best possible preparation for the anti-labor plans of the NAM.

Down With It!

There is only one attitude for labor to take to this charter, with its committees and its plans. Down with it! All sorts of specious arguments will be brought forward in favor of it. Johnston is supposed to represent the small business man as against big capital, etc. This is all nonsense or deception. The small business man has no future of any kind except under the protection and the socialist program of labor.

Hesitation there should be none. The labor movement must promptly and decisively repudiate the charter. True there are workers, millions, who are preparing to fight capital as they have fought it in the past, charter or no charter. But the charter is a political document. It is a weapon in the struggle. It must not only be repudiated. It must be answered, answered with a program for labor. The charter seeks to diminish the class struggle. The program must seek to accentuate it. The charter seeks to preserve capitalist society. The labor program must seek to destroy capitalist society. Capitalist society is not destroyed at one blow. All the workers do not arrive at full understanding at the same time. But they are on the road. The work this charter seeks to do proves that. The revolutionary party, while side by side with the workers in their daily struggles, opposes to this charter the socialist program for American society. That fear of socialism and workers’ power which permeates every line of the charter should be a revelation and a stimulus to the thinking workers that the future is with socialism.

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