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E.R. McKinney

Celebrating the Eighth Anniversary of the Workers Party

In Socialist Struggle for
Working Class Freedom

(26 April 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 17, 26 April 1948, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Workers Party observes its 8th birthday this year on May 1 simultaneously with the celebration of May Day. There is a fitting connection between the birthday of the Workers Party and the celebration of May Day. In the beginning, and for decades thereafter, May Day represented and symbolized the struggle of the toilers against the exploiting capitalist ruling class. The workers and their allies all over the world poured into the streets and demonstrated before their masters and all the people that the working class really possessed the manpower necessary to end the rule of the capitalist exploiters. The one thing needed above all others was the program, discipline and activity of revolutionary socialism: of Marxism.

The old social-democracy, that is the Second International, did not supply this program nor this discipline and activity. The social-democracy of today does not and cannot. In Europe this social-democracy is submitting without a struggle to the seduction and the bribery of Moscow or Washington. In the United States the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas has been engaged in congratulating Churchill, uttering pious platitudes about “democratic socialism” (as though there were any other kind of socialism), and supporting American imperialism.

There is the so-called Social-Democratic Federation. It is a federation of anti-Stalinists who are also anti-socialist and anti-Marxist. It is an aggregation of liberal do-gooders, near liberal busybodies, old-fashioned conservative trade union business agents, Daily Forwarders, politically anaemic college professors who want to pose as politicians and at the same time not jeopardize their jobs; and old, encrusted, moss covered, morally palsied social-democratic hacks who were yelling for the U.S. to enter the last World Imperialist War long before the big capitalists.

The “Communist” Parties (Stalinists) cannot supply the program, discipline and activity of Marxism. This is not their aim or their goal. They are peddlers of Stalinist totalitarianism, terrorism, bureaucratism, stultification and Stalinist slavery. They are purveyors of evil, uncleanness and indecency.

In every case where the working class places any confidence in the Stalinists, that section of the working class will be lead away to slavery, or corrupted and broken on the wheel of Stalinist bureaucratism and imperialism.

Program of Class Struggle

Not one of these groups therefore can present a program of socialism to the working class. Not one of these three groups will or can call the working class of the U.S. and of the world to gird itself for a real, genuine and irreconcilable struggle against our capitalist masters, oppressors and exploiters. Not one of these groups can lead or inspire the working class even to carry on the economic struggle in any militant way. Not one of these groups will aid the working class to open its eyes and rise to its feet for the independent political struggle and for a proletarian victory over the capitalist ruling class.

The social democrats and the liberals of all stripes have only the program of class collaboration, class peace and surrender to the capitalist exploiters to offer the working class. They can only aid the bourgeoisie to chain the workers to the next imperialist war. They cannot guide the working class to freedom but only toward the graveyards of capitalist imperialism and the gas chambers of fascism.

The Stalinists will beguile the proletariat away from U.S. imperialism only to fasten them to Russian imperialism and Stalinist bureaucratic collectivism. They will not lead and guide the working class to freedom but only to the graveyards of Stalinist imperialism and the slave camps and torture chambers of Stalinist totalitarianism.

On this May Day and on its 8th birthday the Workers Party proclaims its adherence, without apologies or compromise, to the program of the class struggle, to the program of proletarian socialist revolution, to the program of Marx and Lenin. Our voice does not carry far into the ranks of the toilers but where we are heard we call on labor to rally to the program of class struggle, to forsake the ways of class peace and collaboration. To the extent that the Workers Party can be heard, we call on labor not to turn its back on Stalinism but to wage eternal warfare and unremitting struggle against Stalinism and all its works.

The Workers Party does not carry on the struggle against Stalinism in the manner of the Socialist Party, the Social-Democratic Federation and the Johnny-come-lately liberals. These others do not call on the working class to defeat the Stalinists by independent working-class economic and political action. They demand that the capitalist ruling class organize the fight against Stalinism and that the working class place itself at the disposal of the capitalist exploiters and imperialists in the struggle between Washington and Moscow. The social-democrats and liberals are not thinking of a powerful militant working class acting in its own name and for its own class interests in the struggle against Stalinism, but only of the millions of workers fighting against Stalinism under the command of the State Department and its social-democratic stooges and hirelings.

Road to Freedom

On this May Day and on our 8th birthday the Workers Party remains actively and militantly steadfast and uncorrupted, in the daily struggle for socialist freedom. NEITHER WASHINGTON nor MOSCOW. Neither the road to Washington nor the road to Moscow is the road to socialist freedom. Neither the program of Washington nor the program of Moscow can free humanity from war, starvation, ignorance, nakedness and misery.

The lamentations of the soul sick, the political gyrations of those who shop around from one party to the next, the sophisticated gushing of those who seek enlightenment as to the “viability of socialism,” all those who want to be convinced that the working class is capable of heading the government, those who want guarantees that the proletarian revolution will be successful, those who will join in the struggle for socialism after all the "radical parties get together,” and all those who are conducting researches to discover whether or not “Stalinism springs from Bolshevism;” will not be of aid to the working class. On the contrary all of these people will be and can only be of comfort to Stalinism and American capitalism.

NEITHER WASHINGTON NOR MOSCOW! A working class standing erect on its feet; refusing to be pushed to its knees. A working class resorting to independent political action and class struggle. A working class fighting against the imperialists and imperialist war. A working class fighting for socialism and socialist freedom.



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