Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Socialist" Unity in U.S.A. (1950)

From the April 1950 issue of the Socialist Standard

Two American reformist organisations, the "Socialist Party" and the "Social Democratic Federation," have decided to unite in the blessed name of "Socialist Unity." How little the united organisation will have to do with Socialism is shown in the same issue of the "Call" (S.P. of America) that reports the decision to unite.

In this issue (10th February, 1950) Mr. Norman Thomas, on behalf of the S.P.A., and August Claessens, on behalf of the S.D.F., both complain bitterly about Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Junr., because, at a public dinner he said: —
“Let me make this dear. As a Democrat. I hate Socialism just as much as I hate Communism or Fascism or any other ism."
Of course, the S.P.A. and the S.D.F. are entitled to attack Mr. Roosevelt who is a supporter of Capitalism; what could be more natural? But that is only half the story. Their indignation arises from the fact that these two so-called socialist parties supported Mr. Roosevelt when he was "elected to Congress on the Liberal Party ticket, having failed to get the Democratic nomination." In the words of Mr. Thomas: "Socialists of all sorts took a benevolent view of your candidacy and scores of socialists, especially of the Social Democratic Federation, were very active in your election."

And now, no longer needing their votes, Mr. Roosevelt turns and rends them. As Mr. Thomas indignantly writes: “You didn’t say that when you needed our help."

Mr. Gaessens adds a threat: "Had we known that you hate socialists we surely would not have embarrassed you with our co-operation."

Even this will probably not be taken seriously by Mr. Roosevelt. When the next election comes round this precious united "Socialist" party will doubtless again find reasons for supporting him, or some other enemy of Socialism.

When Mr. Thomas describes his supporters as all sorts of socialists " he could have added, except those who really are socialists.

1 comment:

imposs1904 said...

The SPA and the SDF did not in fact formally re-unite until 1957.