36. Victory Ahead For the People
With the war danger hanging over the world like a great storm cloud, humanity is now in gravest peril of being plunged, by the machinations of the Wall Street monopolists and profiteers, into the most terrible man-made disaster in all its history. Despite the threatening aspect of things, however, war is not inevitable; nor is fascism. Notwithstanding all the lying bourgeois propaganda to the contrary, there is no reason why the American, Soviet, and other peoples should butcher each other. Instead, there are the most fundamental reasons why they should and can live and work in harmony together, as they have done ever since the foundation of this Republic. Tirelessly, the Communist Party presses these great facts upon the people's minds.
Lenin pointed out long ago that by its very nature imperialism is inevitably and incurably warlike. This does not mean, however, that war under present conditions is unavoidable. The peace-loving workers of the world have now become so strong—through the U.S.S.R., the People's Democracies, the great colonial liberation movements, the vast trade union movement, and the powerful Communist parties—that they have the power, if they and their democratic allies will but use it, to block the imperialists' drive toward war. It is this superior strength of the peace-loving democratic masses which makes increasingly possible the peaceful co-existence of capitalism and socialism.
Ever since the Russian Revolution took place in 1917, Marxist-Leninists have always held the view that, although socialism is a basically different system from capitalism, the two regimes can exist in the world together, in competition with each other but without making war upon each other. The foreign policy of the Soviet government has always been based upon this assumption. Stalin has stated and restated this policy time and again.
In his interview with the American newspaperman, Roy Howard, fifteen years ago, Stalin said: "American democracy and the Soviet system may peacefully exist side by side and compete with each other." Replying to the allegation that the Soviet government is making revolutions in other countries, Stalin also stated the basic Leninist concept that "The export of revolution is nonsense. Every country will make its own revolution if it wants to, and if it does not want to there will be no revolution."1 Only a few years ago, Stalin told Harold Stassen the following: "The systems in Germany and the United States are the same but war broke out between them. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. systems are different but we didn't wage war against each other and the U.S.S.R. does not propose to. If during the war they could co-operate, why can't they today in peace, given the wish to co-operate?"2 And in May 1948, Stalin replied to Henry Wallace on this question as follows: "The government of the U.S.S.R. believes that in spite of differences in economic systems and ideologies, the coexistence of these systems and the peaceful settlement of differences between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. are not only possible, but absolutely necessary in the interest of universal peace."3
Wall Street monopoly capital, however, has a totally different idea. It denies the possibility of the peaceful coexistence of capitalism and socialism, and it proceeds on the premise that capitalism can, must, and will wipe out socialism with fire and sword. This fact is proved beyond question by capitalism's constant anti-Soviet policies, which we have discussed earlier in these pages. No sooner had the Soviet government been established than the big capitalists of the world, including those of the United States, tried to overthrow it by violence. They undertook this unsuccessfully during 1918-21; they made similar attempt in their efforts to turn Hitler's aggression against the U.S.S.R. in the 1930's; and now they are boiling up again for an even more desperate assault upon the great Socialist Republic.
As we pointed out in Chapter 32, Wall Street imperialism, boss of the capitalist world, is deliberately preparing a third world war. Wall Street is systematically organizing the United States and the capitalist world for an aggressive war against the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies. But even though the warmongers control the big capitalist governments, including most of all that of the United States, this fact still does not make war inevitable. The American people still have the power to balk and defeat the war makers if they will but realize the true source of the war danger—their own monopoly capitalists—and take the necessary steps to bridle them and eventually break their power. The greatest obstacle to the workers and other democratic strata taking this action, as we have also seen, is the treacherous policies of their own trade union leaders, who have signed up and become recruiting sergeants and strikebreakers for Wall Street's war.
WHAT IF WAR COMES?
The peoples of this country and the world are fighting to preserve world peace (see Chapters 32 and 33); but what if their efforts should fail, the worst should happen, and Wall Street should precipitate its projected anti-Soviet war? The warmongers, to grease the skids towards war, long tried to make it appear that it would be a relatively easy job to defeat the Soviets and their allies. They declared, as Hitler did, that the Soviet government is incapable of making a real fight, that its people are disloyal, its industries weak and decrepit, and the like. So long as the United States had a monopoly of the atom-bomb this "picnic" theory of an anti-Soviet war seemed very plausible to the unthinking; but now, with the Soviets also possessing this fearsome weapon, even the most fevered warmongers have to warn the American people that an anti-Soviet war would be a very serious matter.
But the fact is that the United States and its allies could not win such a war at all. Instead, they would be certain to go down to catastrophic defeat, with fatal effects upon the world capitalist system. That is the only way in which another wholesale murder of the peoples, an aggressive war led by Wall Street imperialism, could possibly end.
The western warmongers—so open have become their preparations for aggression—are now busily counting up their war strength in industries, materials, and manpower, as against those of the U.S.S.R. They are trying to convince the peoples everywhere that in the event of a war this country and its allies would have an enormous preponderance of strength in all these spheres and therefore would win the victory. But they forget that battles are not won according to arithmetic, nor are wars decided by political-minded statisticians.
Most of the countries teamed up with the United States in its war alliance are undermined by incurable economic and political crises, and they are torn by trade and political rivalries with each other. They cannot be welded together into a solid fighting force. Their weakness is being glaringly demonstrated by the heavy difficulties now being encountered in the attempt of the U.S. government to organize and arm capitalist Europe for an anti-Soviet war. Especially significant since die arms race began is the revival of the historic "antagonism between France and Germany.
Eisenhower's sinister European military plans are in serious crisis, for a variety of related reasons. The United States is proving such an arrogant boss that it is rapidly alienating the peoples and states of Europe. Great Britain is refusing to become part of the unified European army or to support the Schuman plan for industrial unity of France andGermany, and it will not join the so-called United States of Europe scheme. Like France, Germany, and Italy, Great Britain is also being bankrupted by excessive armaments. The colonial and semi-colonial countries of the Middle and Far East have no taste whatever for the projected war, but instead are moving to break completely with all imperialist controls. And the refusal of Mexico (in February, 1952) to make a joint military pact with the United States, dramatically illustrated the antiwar spirit of the peoples of Latin America.
The lost war in Korea demonstrates glaringly the weakness of the capitalist countries, and another world war would make this decisive reality catastrophically clear. The plain sense of the situation is that if a new world war should begin—and the only way this could happen would be through Wall Street's instigation—the rotten international capitalist system would prove no match for rugged young world socialism.
Among the basic handicaps that the capitalist powers would face in such a struggle would be the unwillingness of their great masses to defend a system that is now bringing them not only reduced living standards, but also fascism and one world war after another. Instead, these masses would increasingly strive to put an end to this deadly system and establish socialism. On the other hand, the capitalist powers would have to face the fierce loyalty of the masses in the Socialist lands to their new and developing system. In the long run the superior ideological strength of the Socialist peoples and those on the way to socialism would more than make up for the illusory statistical advantages now apparently on the side of capitalism. The Socialist economic and political system would prove much the stronger and more able to stand the great blow.
Germany and Japan, which Wall Street is now so feverishly rearming, cannot possibly be reconstructed into the powerful fighting machines that they were in World War II. France and Italy, also, with decayed economic systems and with one-third at least of their people Communists or Communist sympathizers, will turn out to be military liabilities rather than assets for Wall Street. Great Britain, too, with its empire in the process of disintegration, will prove but another weak and unwilling ally. And as for such feeble and reactionary states as Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia, they will be only inferior military allies for the capitalists. The United Nations military alliance is creaking at every joint and is threatened with collapse.
The strong anti-war and largely anti-capitalist spirit in all the capitalist countries will especially hinder their becoming militarily powerful. Their growing hatred and fear of American imperialism will prevent their fighting effectively for Wall Street. This explains the vast mass neutral sentiment now prevailing all over capitalist Europe. It is because of this profound anti-war, anti-American sentiment among the world's masses that Wall Street is being compelled, as in the sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris early in 1952, to camouflage its aggressive war preparations heavily with hypocritical pretensions of acting for world peace, disarmament, and national defense. President Truman, at this writing, has declared that the United States has developed "fantastic weapons"—atomic, chemical, bacteriological— for the proposed world war. Such propaganda is designed to reassure the American people and to frighten the Russians, but it fails in both respects. For, obviously, the United States would have no monopoly of such "fantastic weapons." The Russians would be sure to have them also, even as they now have the atomic bomb and, as recent events have shown, they also have jet planes which American experts have admitted are superior to anything the United States possesses. Mr. Truman's propaganda about "fantastic weapons" only means that the war would be all the more terrible, not that the United States would win it.
A third world war, if it should come, would have to be fought mainly with the manpower and resources of the United States, and to a devastating extent upon this country's territory. The Korean war, in which the United States furnishes 90 percent of the armed forces, is a picture in miniature of what could be expected, on an aggravated scale, in case of a general war. In World Wars I and II the United States came out the victor after other peoples had done the main fighting, and in its projected world war Wall Street is trying to duplicate this profitable experience by building up big armies in Europe and Asia. But it can achieve no real success in this rearmament. In another world war the peoples of the world would display even less enthusiasm for being butchered in the services of American imperialism than they are now doing in Korea. The opposition of the American people to a third great war would also astonish the warmongers. Only political and military fools or fanatics can believe that the United States could win a third world war under such conditions.
A SUICIDAL WAR FOR CAPITALISM
World War I cost the capitalist system the loss of one-sixth of the earth—Russia—to socialism, a disaster to capitalism from which it has never recovered. World War II resulted in further enormous land and population losses to world capitalism—China, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, and Esthonia —as well as in a profound weakening of its basic economic, political, and colonial systems. A third world war would deal the capitalist system a further deadly blow, one that it could not possibly withstand. Such a war would probably bring about the end of capitalism as a world system. Socialism would become far and away the predominant world social order. This perspective puts fear in the hearts of the capitalists. It is a nightmare which haunts their otherwise rosy dreams of imperialist conquest.
The Communist Party of the United States has stated its position, in the event of the threatened world war, as follows: "If, despite the efforts of the peace forces of America and the world, Wall Street should succeed in plunging the world into war, we would oppose it as an unjust, aggressive, imperialist war, as an undemocratic and an anti-Socialist war, destructive of the deepest interests of the American people and humanity. Even as Lincoln while a Congressman opposed the unjust annexationist Mexican War and demanded its termination, so would we Communists co-operate with all democratic forces to defeat the predatory war aims of American imperialism and bring such a war to a speedy conclusion on the basis of a democratic peace."4
Present-day Western Europe is a revolutionary tinder box; so are Asia and, although less obviously so, Latin America and Africa. The peoples of the various countries in these areas would never passively allow themselves to be butchered in another imperialist war. In the event of a world war, many if not most of them would surely abolish the collapsing capitalist system in their countries and begin their orientation toward socialism. There would be a basic difference between the case of a third world war and the conditions prevailing at the time of World Wars I and II; whereas in the latter situations the revolutions came toward the end (World War I) and after the war (World War II), this time they would begin in the earliest stages of the war. Great masses of the world's peoples would take up the democratic march that would eventually bring them to socialism.
Socialism, organized and led by the Communists and supported by the workers and the broad democratic masses, is the great peace force of history. It is destined to put an end finally to the centuries-long plague of war. The proletariat, with its basic program of economic prosperity, political freedom, and world peace, represents the interests of the overwhelming masses of the entire nation. It has no need for war to achieve Iits great social objectives. Indeed, it is the most basic of all the enemies of war, and it always seeks to achieve its program by peaceful means. But if world capitalism, dominated by Wall Street, has recourse to war in its greed and desperation, then this will be its funeral. The masters of the present social system will learn to their irretrievable disaster that socialism.is vastly superior to capitalism not only economically, politically, and culturally, but also on the field of war.
THE DECAY OF WORLD CAPITALISM
The capitalist system, as pointed out long ago by Lenin, has become obsolete and is in decline.5 It is a prey to its own general crisis. Consequently, this is the period of great wars and proletarian revolutions. This is the era of the transformation of society from a capitalist to a socialist basis.
The general crisis of capitalism has been brought about by a sharpening of all the internal and external contradictions inherent in capitalism, to the point where they increasingly undermine and destroy that system. The driving force behind the development of the general crisis is the growth of predatory monopoly capital, or imperialism, with all its profound ramifications, which began before the turn of the twentieth century. Thus, the conflict between workers and capitalists over wages, hours, and so on, which in earlier periods produced numerous smaller strikes, now, with the development of monopoly and imperialism, creates enormous national class struggles which shake the very state itself. The contradiction between the producing power of the workers and the ability of the capitalist markets to absorb their products currently results in world-shattering economic crises. The antagonisms between the monopolies and the rest of society at home and abroad have expanded so greatly during the past half century that the Wall Street monopolists are now brazenly seeking to subjugate the entire world. The contradictions between the colonies and the imperialist countries, which the latter could once easily resolve in their own favor by shooting down the ill-armed "natives," have at present expanded into great, irresistible colonial revolutions which are tearing the foundations from underneath the world capitalist system. Likewise, the rivalries among the capitalist countries themselves have now intensified to such an extent that they produce ever more devastating world wars, one after the other. And finally, and most decisive of all, the conflict between capitalism and . socialism, which was only a minor situation half a century ago, has in our times reached the point where literally two great worlds, the capitalist and socialist, stand arrayed against each other.
All this adds up to a profound and ever-deepening general crisis of the world capitalist system. Fifty years ago, at the dawn of imperialism, things looked rosy for capitalist society. As an economic system it held unchallenged supremacy throughout the world. While it had many internal difficulties—cyclical economic crises, strikes, chaotic competition between rival capitalist concerns, minor colonial wars, and occasional wars between the capitalist countries—nevertheless capitalism could and did advance and spread rapidly in spite of all these drawbacks. Today, however, the situation is fundamentally changed. The internal contradictions of capitalism, once manageable, have now reached catastrophic proportions. And the whole system is challenged by the growth in the world of the new system of socialism, which at present embraces about a third of the earth and its inhabitants.
The capitalists, particularly of Wall Street, are making desperate efforts to repair world capitalism again after its latest huge internal explosion—World War II. But without success, as even capitalist writers cannot deny. In September 1951, U.S. News and World Report commented, "U.S. billions thus far have not been able to put Western Europe back on its feet for keeps. New economic troubles are piling up . . . more U.S. aid, not less, will be asked."6 In Great Britain the gap between income and expenditure in 1951 will reach almost $3.5 billion, the worst in post-war history.7 Italy now has four million unemployed, and in France, one government after the other collapses, unable to cope with the huge problems of inflation and rearmament. West Germany suffers the general capitalist disease. There are two kinds of capitalist countries in Europe— the sick and the sicker. Meanwhile American monopolists, with their mad scheme of a new war to kill socialism, arrogantly drive these weak countries deeper into economic crisis and closer to political revolution. The Wall Street-inspired scheme for a united capitalist (anti-Soviet) Europe, with its industrial amalgamation (Schuman plan), general European Army (Eisenhower), West-European Parliament, and so on, is foredoomed to failure. It will be wrecked upon the incurable European imperialist rivalries and the disintegrating effects of American domination, as well upon the widespread mass opposition.
The ravages of the general crisis among the European capitalist countries is dramatically illustrated by the rapid decline of the British Empire, especially marked since the war's end. The British colonial system in the Far East is collapsing—in India, Burma, Malaya, Ceylon, etc.—and so are its holdings and spheres of influence in the Middle East—in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, etc. Its African colonies, too, are in a growing state of ferment and are gradually taking the liberation path of those in the Far East. Besides, Britain's dominions—South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—are more and more falling under the domination of the United States. And Great Britain herself is in chronic crisis.
Nor can the Churchill government, with all its imperialist bluster, halt the disintegration of the empire; it can only hasten it. The French and Dutch empires are similarly crumbling under the blows of the awakening colonial peoples.
In Asia generally, things are no less threatening for capitalism than among the capitalist countries of Europe. China, in full revolution, is on the way to socialism, and Communist strength among India's peoples is swiftly on the increase. Bourgeois economists are speculating that there will be a "Communist India by 1960."8 Governor Dewey, returned recently from Asia, was alarmed at four revolutionary struggles which he found then going on—in the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, and Indo-China, with more in prospect. In the Middle East, and all along the 4,000 miles from Pakistan to Morocco, the Arab powers are stirring with anti-imperialist spirit. This Britain is now learning to its consternation, by the loss of its billion-dollar oil refinery in Iran and the threatened loss of its control over the Suez Canal in Egypt. In Africa also, powerful colonial liberation movements are getting under way. For the time being the United States is able to keep the lid on in Latin America, but it will be a matter of only a short while until this also blows off, as this whole area is increasingly restive under United States domination. The New York Times of February 14, 1952, reported that 30,000 political prisoners are now languishing in Latin American prisons.
The many new states coming into being in Asia and Africa, as a result of the growing colonial liberation revolution, will not develop into capitalist nations, despite the hopes (and fears) of the capitalist world that they will do so. On the contrary, the rebellious colonial peoples must take the road forward to rising socialism, not backward to bankrupt capitalism. The capitalist system, dying in the West, will never be rejuvenated in the East.
The general crisis of capitalism is bound to get worse. It is impossible for the capitalists to reverse the irresistible historic trends of economic and political evolution which have produced two world wars, fascism, the great world economic crisis of the 1930's, and especially the revolutions in Russia, China, and various parts of Europe and Asia. All of these are developments which are gradually wiping out world capitalism. The very difficulty of the situation of capitalism is in itself increasing the war danger by developing a mood of desperation among the imperialists. For the capitalists may rush into a war in trying to find a way out of their multiplying problems. But if the world monopoly capitalists, dominated by Wall Street, insanely try to re-establish their system by an all-out war against the U.S.S.R. and the People's Democracies of Europe and Asia, this will only speed up the natural course of events by wrecking capitalism altogether and giving an enormous stimulus to the growth of socialism in many countries.
THE UNITED STATES AND THE GENERAL CRISIS
For all its apparent strength, the United States is involved in the general crisis of world capitalism and is subject to that system's basic course of decay and decline. Contrary to all the "American exceptional-ists," from Truman to Browder, capitalism in the United States is fundamentally the same as capitalism in all other countries. Its specific features, greatly magnified by the exceptionalists as constituting great health and power, are only secondary and temporary in character. They are due to this country's special position and historical development and do not set the United States apart from the fate of the world capitalist system in general.
Just now American capitalist spokesmen are characteristically drunk on the "prosperity wine" of the upward swing of the capitalist economic cycle and dizzy with the alluring prospect of early world domination; they are luridly lyrical in describing the strength and glories of American imperialism. "Prosperity is moving in for an extended stay. . . . There will be plenty of everything. This includes jobs, spending money and things to buy," cries Wall Street.9 And President Truman shouts, "There never was a time like this in the history of the world. . . . Since 1933, national income has gone up from $40 billion a year to $278 billion a year. . . . More people are at work right now on good jobs and good wages than ever before in the history of the country, or the history of the world by any country. Our economy is stronger than it has ever been."10
This is simply demagogic deceit. It is a matter of common knowledge to every serious economist that the recent extensive growth of American output has been based primarily upon the bloody stimulant of war: in preparing for war, in carrying on war, and in repairing war's damages. This was made clear when, as we have pointed out in Chapter 23, President Roosevelt, with his New Deal, poured billions in subsidies into industry, but could not revive the sick economic system, whose industries were paralyzed by the great economic crisis of 1929-33. The slowly improving situation was worsened by the crisis of 1937, so that in '939 there were still some 10 million unemployed. It was primarily the huge war orders of World War II, from 1939 on, that brought "prosperity" to capitalist America. After the end of the war in 1945, the brief period of industrial activity which then set in was also based on war, on making up the domestic shortages of commodities caused by the war and repairing the huge property damage caused by the war in Europe and elsewhere. Despite these war stimulants, however, by 1949 this country was fast sinking into another deep economic crisis, which caused a drop of nearly 20 percent in production. It was "miraculously" spared from a crash by the outbreak of the Korean war, which was opportunely launched by the Wall Street puppet Syngman Rhee government of South Korea. So the present "prosperity," over which Mr. Truman becomes so enthusiastic, is based upon the quicksand of war. And now, notwithstanding the huge current government expenditures for armaments, there are multiplying signs of a developing crisis of overproduction in the civilian sectors of the nation's economy.
The American economic system is incurably sick—it is rotten at the heart. Its dependence upon arms production to keep going exposes its basic weakness. No country, however rich, can prosper upon war and munitions-making. The present arms race, while producing fabulous profits for the capitalists, is having disastrous effects upon the living standards of the workers. For the latter it means soaring prices and taxes, lagging wages, increased speed-up, and creeping unemployment. The continuation of the arms economy can only result in a further gigantic-increase in the national debt, the exhaustion of available capital for civilian production, further inflation, impoverishment of the people, mass unemployment, and an eventual undermining of the whole economy.11 Besides its ultimate ruinous economic effects, the worst aspect of the arms economy is that its logical end is war, with universal slaughter and overwhelming economic disaster to all the peoples of the world who still live under capitalism. The plan of the Trumanites and other Keynesians to keep American industry in operation by arms production is a fatal mirage. Such artificial production can only disastrously worsen the nation's economy in the long run and still further deepen the general crisis of world capitalism as a whole, of which the American economy is an organic part.
The political situation of the United States, both nationally and internationally, as well as its economic position, also show that this country is caught inextricably in the world capitalist crisis. The rapid growth of fascist trends in the United States constitutes one of the characterisic weaknesses of monopoly capitalism. For everywhere, as it sinks into its international crisis, monopoly capitalism feels the need to suppress democracy in order to force the workers and lower middle class to accept their worsening economic conditions and to support capitalism's wars. The supposedly strong international position of the United States—that is, one of hegemony, or predominance, over the rest of the capitalist world—is but a product of the general crisis of world capitalism. It constitutes a sort of imperialist cannibalism, in which the United States exploits not only the peoples of the colonial lands but also those of the imperialist countries. Such a condition, where one capitalist power dominates and exploits all the others, could not possibly exist were not the capitalist system in a serious state of weakness. This very hegemony of American capitalism, precisely deepens the general crisis of the whole world capitalist system disastrously because it intensifies all the capitalist contradictions and pushes all the capitalist countries toward war.
BOURGEOIS CULTURE AND THE CRISIS
The world capitalist crisis manifests itself also in our cultural life. What is called American culture is in fact bourgeois ideology. It cultivates the interests of the capitalists and is expressed through various art forms, which are opposed to the national interests and democratic cultural strivings of the working class and the masses of the American people. This bourgeois cultural life exhibits to the highest degree the characteristic features of capitalism in decay, of imperialism heading into fatal war. The capitalist class has enlisted the paid services of the Pounds, Eliots, Joyces, Faulkners, Hemingways, Dos Passoses, Mumfords, Hickses, Eastmans, and the like, and with their aid, it is filling the country with a stifling miasma of intellectual chaos, obscurantism, and hopelessness, designed to bewilder the people and to disarm them before the reactionary policies of American imperialism.
Every modern school of cultural decay finds a ready backing in the capitalist United States. Pragmatism, the cynical doctrine of full justification of every capitalist outrage, is accepted as a great contribution to human knowledge. Freudianism, which insolently attempts to explain all economics, politics, and social phenomena on the basis of disordered mentality, has just about conquered the field of decadent American bourgeois culture. The apostles of confusion and social reaction who find even these doctrines inadequate have imported the putrid theories of Sartre, Heidegger, Kierkegaard and other devotees of cosmopolitanism, fascism, demoralization, and death. The capitalist-minded scientists are engaged in the reactionary and impossible task of harmonizing science with religion. The priests and preachers, supposedly men of peace, are busy in the front ranks of the warmongers. In no great nation does bourgeois cultural life show such marked evidence of decay—in science, music, literature, art, sports, theater, radio, television—as in the United States.12 Bourgeois culture rots as the capitalist system dies.
A boycott is established against left and progressive cultural workers. They are denied the right to express their talents in the press, radio, and all other cultural mediums. This outrageous situation is dramatized by the ban on the great artist, Paul Robeson, including a refusal to grant him a passport, although many European countries are clamoring for him to appear before their people. As usual, the Negro people are the keenest sufferers from cultural discrimination. The largest union in the motion picture industry—I.A.T.S.E.—has no Negro members. Of the 43,000 members of the American Bar Association only six are Negroes, and only 25 of the 7,000 attorneys employed by the federal government are Negroes. Negroes are systematically excluded from the editorial and business departments of the big newspapers, etc., etc.13
This current cultural degeneration, bred of the structural breakdown of the capitalist system, is matched by a related decay in many other phases of American bourgeois social life. Never was corruption in local and national official circles so rampant. The mink-coaters, five-percenters, tax grafters, and deep-freezers, plus the police-underworld hook-ups exposed by Senator Kefauver, are only small surface indications of the great mass of rottenness saturating the whole fiber of American capitalist political life. The capitalist rulers are keen to see to it, however, that no modern Steffenses, Sinclairs, Tarbells, or other real "muckrakers" are given an opportunity really to uncover this stinking decay.
The recent enormous spread of gambling of all kinds, which has become a big American industry, is an indication of the fascist-like rot affecting capitalist society in the United States in the period of its im-peralist ascendency and its drive for world supremacy. Sport has become corrupted to the core, the press carrying one lurid story after another about the trafficking in athletic contests—in basketball, football, boxing, wrestling, and what not. And this type of corruption is even outdone by the shocking plague of juvenile delinquency that is developing all over the country. For the youth of the nation cannot remain uncorrupted in sports, student life, and otherwise, when it has before its eyes the ever-present example of the leading industrialists and politicians who, in the normal workings of the capitalist system, grab all they can get by every means possible, just so they manage to keep out of the penitentiary.
Crime has also become a major American industry. The F.B.I, reported on April 12, 1951, that during the previous year 1,790,030 major offenses were committed in the United States—or one every 18 seconds.14 Radio, television, and the publishing business would go bankrupt without their flood of crime stories. This development is directly related to the decay of capitalism. The spread in the use of narcotics, even among school children, is no less spectacular and shocking, the trade in this poison having also become another large-scale business. In the hectic life of capitalist America, full of robbery, corruption, and deceit, it is small wonder that insanity is also rapidly on the increase. Capitalism in its degeneration is becoming neurotic and psychotic.
Such phenomena—the corruption of sport, the wide extension of gambling and crime, and the growing decay in bourgeois political and cultural life generally—are but so many examples of the development of fascist trends in the United States. This, in turn, is but an expression of the general crisis of the capitalist system, and of the desperate determination of American imperialism to cut its way out of its multiplying difficulties by means of another still more terrible world war.
SOCIALISM, THE BASIC ANSWER
Innumerable sober-minded American citizens, men and women, fearful of disaster to our nation and to civilization itself, have gravely warned of the terrible dangers, inherent in another world war. The Communist Party heartily seconds these patriotic warnings against war. It urgently calls upon the American people not to be misled into a needless and monstrous mass slaughter, in order to further the imperialist aims of the greedy monopolists who now dominate this country economically and politically. Our Party, instead, urges the people to bridle the Wall Street war mongers and to orient this country peacefully along the road of democratic progress and toward eventual socialism.
The peoples of the capitalist world are fighting resolutely against the specific evils of the decaying capitalist system—its deepening economic crisis and spreading mass impoverishment, its growing spirit of reaction and fascism, its relentless colonial oppression, its recurrent world wars. The masses, led and aided by the struggles of the C.P. on immediate issues, are trying to protect themselves as best they can under the existing decadent social order; but in the long run they must and do turn toward socialism. For that is the only final answer to the many basic contradictions which produce the terrors and hardships of rotting capitalism. One-third of the people of the earth have already adopted
the logic of this great alternative, and the rest, including the people of the United States, will eventually follow suit.
The vanguard of the world movement toward socialism is the U.S.S.R., led by the Communist Party. Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Communist Party of Italy, says: "In order to create such a powerful country and to secure for it such prestige, this Party and these people passed through the most trying ordeals: three revolutions, two world wars, two foreign invasions. They triumphed because they possess the correct teaching—Marxism—which was developed and applied by Lenin and Stalin in the new conditions of imperialism, in the conditions of victorious revolution and construction of socialist society."15
As we have seen earlier, the peoples are either building socialism or approaching it under considerably differing forms in the Soviet Union, the European People's Democracies, and People's China. But the fundamentals of socialism are everywhere the same. Founded upon the people's ownership of the social means of production (industries, banks, railroads, land, etc.), the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, and the establishment of the political rule of the working class, socialism represents the next higher stage in the course of social evolution. Based on the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work," socialism constitutes the preliminary stage of communism, the underlying principle of which is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
Socialism abolishes capitalists and landlords, and therewith also does away with exploitation of the producing masses. It leads to a rapid growth of production and to a continuous rise in the well-being of the working people of field, factory, and office. This has been demonstrated in practice by the tremendous improvement in the mass living standards of the Soviet people since the great Revolution, despite enormous handicaps in the shape of ten years of devastating imperialist and civil war, and the need to build and rebuild the industries from the ground up. Meanwhile, the working class throughout the capitalist world has suffered a steady deterioration of its living standards, a decline which in many capitalist countries has been catastrophic.
Socialism removes the fetters from industry fastened there by the private ownership of the industries and the limitations of the capitalist markets, and it tremendously speeds up industrialization. This was dramatically illustrated by the fact that from 1929 to 1949, when the production index for steel advanced only from 100 to 111 in the capitalist world, it climbed from 100 to 582 in the socialist Soviet Union. In the fifteen years before World War II, the U.S.S.R. achieved as much industrial growth as the major capitalist powers had done in eighty years. This swift industrialization is especially to be noted in the undeveloped areas of the Soviet Union. Thus, in Soviet Central Asia, during the years 1927-37, industrial output went up by 950 percent, while industry stagnated in the capitalist-dominated backward areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Under the Socialist system also, those great plagues of capitalism—economic crises and mass unemployment—are completely eliminated.
Socialism alone will be able to utilize constructively the great new discovery of atomic energy. Capitalism has been able to spread the benefits of steam and electricity to only a fraction of the world's population; it will be even less capable of giving atomic energy a world-wide application. Characteristically, its major use for this great new power is for war purposes. Only the Socialist system can make use of the vast potentialities of atomic energy, even as it can of all other great inventions, by bringing them everywhere to the masses.16 Socialism, too, will conserve the world's store of natural resources, now being recklessly squandered under capitalism.
Under Socialism, by establishing the leadership of the working class, which is called the dictatorship of the proletariat, human society for the first time establishes real democracy in the world. The arbitrary, needless, and parasitic rule of the wealthy capitalists and landlords is done away with completely. Fascism, which is such a deadly danger at present, is utterly liquidated. White chauvinism becomes a crime, and peoples of many nationalities, colors, and creeds live together harmoniously. These democratic principles have been basically established in the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies, despite the oceans of capitalist lies to the contrary.
By creating a classless society without exploitation and tyranny, socialism gives mankind and womankind their first real opportunity to develop as individuals. Slavery in every form comes to an end under socialism. Higher education is general. Woman is truly free for the first time, and the door of opportunity is flung wide open for the youth. The aged, neglected and kicked about under capitalism, enjoy a position of dignity and security under socialism. The robot-like culture of capitalism, whose decay now stinks to the high heavens, is succeeded by a true Socialist culture, worthy of the highest aspirations of mankind. Socialism is producing a new and higher type of man and woman, physically, mentally, socially. Socialist society is guided by science for the benefit of all, and not, as under capitalism, by the dictation of the ruling classes in the interest of the wealthy few. All these constructive principles constitute the warp and woof of the new Socialist societies now establishing themselves in various parts of the world.
What is vitally important in this period of menacing war danger, socialism puts a final end to armed conflict among nations. Socialist countries, such as the U.S.S.R. and the People's Democracies, have no capitalists, and hence no imperialist warmakers. Whereas capitalism— and above all American capitalism—lives on war (and is also dying on it), socialism, in its whole economic and political structure, is fundamentally committed to a policy of peace.
The defenders of capitalism assume that the people can successfully carry on their industries and government only if these are owned and controlled by a relative handful of capitalists, who thereby become the wealthy and arbitrary rulers of society. But this whole conception is not only an empty defense of brutal and needless exploitation, but also an insult to the people's intelligence. The workers of the U.S.S.R. and of the People's Democracies are demonstrating in practice, as Marx did long ago in theory, that the people need no parasitic masters but can run society infinitely better without them. The abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism will end forever the tragic exploitation and slavery which man has endured for many centuries.
The foregoing are the basic reasons why the toiling masses of the world are turning so rapidly toward socialism. The motive power behind the vast international Socialist movement is the imperative demand of the workers for greater freedom and well-being. Capitalism, rotting away in its general crisis, cannot satisfy these needs of the masses. All it can give the peoples is increasing economic destitution, fascism, and war.
Hence, in their own ways and at their own tempo, the workers and other toilers in all capitalist countries are becoming more and more Socialist in their strivings and outlook. Nor will the United States prove exempt from this general rule. The Communist parties in all countries are the leaders and guides of the awakening toiling masses. Capitalism in its earlier stages was progressive, inasmuch as it overthrew feudalism, founded the present industries, and gave rise to the industrial proletariat; but now the system has become hopelessly obsolete and reactionary. It must be replaced by socialism.
1 The Stalin-Howard Interview, p. 13, N. Y., 1936.
2 Stalin, For Peaceful Coexistence, p. 32.
3 Stalin, For Peaceful Coexistence, p. 2.
4 Statement by William Z. Foster and Eugene Dennis in Political Affairs, Apr. 1949.
5 Lenin, Imperialism, the Highiest Stage of Capitalism.
6 U.S Nexus and World Report, Sept. 14, 1951.
7 New York Daily News, Sept. 14, 1951.
8 U.S. News and World Report, Aug. 17, 1951.
9 U.S. News and World Report, Aug. 31, 1951.
10 New York Times, Sept. 5, 1951.
11 Eugene Varga, Two Systems, p. 157.
12 See Sidney Finkelstein in Masses and Mainstream, Aug. 1951; George Siskind and Harry Martel in Political Affairs, Dec. 1950; articles on psychoanalysis by Milton Howard in The Worker during 1948-51; V. J. Jerome in Political Affairs, Feb. 195U Lloyd Brown in Masses and Mainstream, Oct. 1951.
13 Daily Worker, Nov. 14, 1951.
14 Max Gordon in Political Affairs, June 1951.
15 For a Lasting Peace ..., Dec. 21, 1951.
16 See James S. Allen, Atomic Energy and Society, N. Y. 1919, and Atomic Imperialism: The State, Monopoly, and the Bomb, N. Y., 1952.