Box 13, Folder 21, Document 74

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Box 13, Folder 21, Document 74

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have reprinted chis
booklet by offset from a
similar reprint made from
the original, in 194 5, by The
National Economic Council.
Additional copies are available from us at the following prices: In lots of I to 99,
at three for one dollar; I 00
to 999, at twenty-five cents
each; I 000 or more, at twenty cents each. Order from
Belmont, Massachusetts 02178
HE world is caught in the depths of a great crisis. Masses
of people live on the brink of starvation. Discontent and un·
rest are more widespread than ever before. Changes are taking
place in society and in government. Intensive preparations for
war and movements towards fascism are developing quickly.
These are times of great changes and of quick transformations.
The old ideas, upon which generations of people have been
raised, are crumbling because life no longer justifies them. New
ideas take their place. People in all walks of life are seeking new
solutions, an effective way out of present conditions.
What is the relation of the Negroes in the United States to
this rapidly changing world? They are now living through one
of the most trying times in their history. What is the way out?
This question presents itself more sharply to the Negro masses
than to any other section of the population.
It is our purpose in this pamphlet to answer this question,
We believe we express the minimum desires of the Negro
masses when we say that they want at least:
1. A decent and secure livelihood;
2. The rights of human beings;
3. An equal, honorable and respected status in all public
and social life.
Capitalism has not been able to provide these needs, and is
less and less able to do so. There are those who sav that by re·
forming capitalism it can be made to fi II the neerls o'f the mas5es.
We will show why this is impossible.
There i-s only one real, effective way out for the masses. It is
not an easy one. But no basic change in society is easy. This wa~
leads to a Soviet America. This is the only realistic vision
freedom possible today. It must be achil'ved, it can be achie,·eh
• t e
How? We will first show the basis of Negro slavl'TY 10 • g
United States today. We will then show how all Levents are push•~e
towards another revolution in the United StatP!I and wha t r;rY
the Negro people will play in this revolution. We will then ·ble
to describe the tremendous vista of freedom and advance pMs•
in a Soviet America.
James W. Ford
James S. Allen
�The Negroes in a Soviet America
BOOKER T. Washington once said: "No race that has anything
to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any
degree ostracized." He thought that capitalism would permit the
Negro to develop business and manufacturing, and increase his
ownership of land. In this way, he believed, the Negro could
achieve an important economic place in the capitalist world. His
whole philosophy was based upon this belief. "Agitation for
social equality," he said, "would be extreme folly." Let each
Negro train himself in industrial pursuits or in business, hew
a place for himself in capitalist America, and only then will he
be treated with respect, was his advice.
But what has this wisdom led to?
Economic "Progress"
Let us first consider the question of landownership. During
the Civil War and immediately after, the Negroes thought that
taey would obtain the land-"forty acres and a mule." But
nothing of the kind happened. Only very slowly and with much
difficulty was it possible for some to purchase land. By 1910
only one-fourth of all Negro farmers owned some land, usually
very little, the poorest and most heavily mortgaged.
But for the last 25 years, capitalism has been taking even
this land away from Negro farmers. In 1930 there were 40,000
less Negro farm owners tha..--. in 1910. In ten years, between 1920
and 1930, Negroes lost almost 2,000,000 acres of land. How
much they have lost in the last five years, no one knows. But it
is certain that land is being taken away now from Negro owners
by banks, insurance companies, large landowners and other
creditors, much more rapidly than before.
On the other hand, the most brutal form of slavery in the
country has been growing rapidly. The Negroes are the prin•
cipal victims of this slavery. It is share~ropping and planta•
�tion tenancy. Everyone knows that when chattel slavery was
abolished the plantations remained. Most of the Negroes became share-croppers and tenants on these plantations. They were
actually prisoners, almost chattel slaves. Almost three-quarters
of a century has passed since Emancipation. Has capitalism done
anything to abolish this new slavery?
On the contrary! The plantation country to this day is like
a prison, a veritable hell to which 5,000,000 Negroes have been
consigned without any prospect of immediate escape. In fact,
the slavery has even increased. In the cotton plantation area
of the South, twenty-five years ago, 80 per cent of all the Negro
farmers were croppers and tenants. But in 1930 their number
had grown to almost 84 per cent.
There are those who say that President Roosevelt and the
"New Deal" are changing this situation. But it is clear to every
Negro in the plantation country that Roosevelt has been helping
only the bigplanters. His policies have resulted in increased slavery.
When the crisis broke out in this country the large landowners in the South found themsel ws in a qu:m,-bry. Many of the
banks and credit merchants failed and those who remained refused to extend credit. Many of the small landowners, who lived
from hand to mouth, were wiped out. From the beginning of the
crisis to March, 1933, over a half-million forced sales and foreclosures took place in the Southern states.
Roosevelt came to the rescue of the large landowners by
. pumping tremendous funds into the South, most of which went
to the modern slave-master - the plantation owner. In nine
months alone the Farm Credit Administration advanced about
S300,000,000 directly to the planters. In this way, Roosevelt
helped to holster up the plantation, on which millions of Negroes
are enslaved. The Federal Government took over many of the
debts from private banks ::md insurance companies and is now
the biggest holder of mortgages in the South. This means that
it now has a direct hand in maintaining the plantation slavery,
that it is part owner, together with the big planter, of a vast
prison country.
The second step taken by Roosevelt was to increase the profits
of the large landowners and the commission merchants by reducing acreage in the South. In 1933, while millions of people
were in need of clothing, we were faced with the astounding
picture of ripe cotton being plowed under by poorly clothed fa~~
workers. The croppers and tenants never saw the money ~hie
they were supposed to receive from the Governme~t for this act
of destruction. The plantation master:;, the credit merchants,
the ba11kc-rs, got the government checks. Thi,- i,- what a ~overnment farm agent in Mississippi said:
"You know the government in Washi111-(t1Jn caused m,· a litt/e
trouble here 0Bv mfstake they mailed sumc of the rhecks
out to 'niirg~r' cruppers. They proLaLly didn't know wh~1. t 1e~
were d(1ing when they did it. Imagine givin:; a check ~o j nc1fg':r
cropper! Of cour~e, I turned these checks nv~r to t
anb '( 5
anyhow. They'll have lo gel the croppers ,to endorse_,t em c ore
th<'y take tht'm to 1lie hank. llut that wont bP. hare!.
Acrea~e was cur again in 1934 under t~e Bankh: a1 Bil\ It
is being cut again in 19:{5 as a result of a · democratic election
in which the plant:ilion owners forced the Negro croppers and
tenants to vote for reduction.
This is not only a lfocimation of crops; it is also a decunation
of hundrnds of thousands of human beings. Whole tenant f ~milies are being sf-'nt "dow11 the road" by the ~lante~s, or ~re be~ng
permitted to eke out a miserable existence m their cabms domg
forced labor for the government or the planter in return for S?I_'1e
crumbs called relief. These landless and workless far1? families
are beina "kept on hand" to be fo rced to work at plowmg, chop· ·
ping or "cotton picking
at staryall~n
wages. Wages on most plan.
tations are now between 25 and :>U cents a day. .
Roosevelt's policies have had the effect of mcreasmg the
slavery of millions of Negro toilers in the South. Cotton, the
need of millions of unclothed, a necessity of mankind, has been
turned into the mark of Negro slavery by capitalism.
The Promise of the City
It 1-eemPd to man\' people, especially durin~ the Wo~l d War
and the years immed.iately following, that city life and mdustry
would offer a means of escape from slavery 011 the land.
The city and its industry had been practically forbidden ter•
ritory for Negroes up to the World War. In the first place, the
plantation masters and government agencies of the Bla~k Belt
kept the Nearoes chained to the land and would not permit them
to leave. E:en when industry began to develop in the South, the
factory gates remained closed to Negro workers. Hope was
�dimmed when the textile industry, which grew so rapidly in the
South, made it clear that it would not hire Negroes. The place
of the- Negro, it was said, was on the plantation; their slave
labor Willi needed there. Even to this day, the textile mills do not
have any Negro workers at the machines.
But during the World War a great shortage of labor existed
in industry. Then only did the capitalists make an energetic drive
to obtain Negro labor.
Who does not remember the great hope of the exodus? It
was compared to the Emancipation Act. The South was the land
of the Pharaohs, the North "the Land of Promise". The Red Sea of
capitalism was opening up to permit the Negroes to pass. But
the exodus was already petering out in 1923. Employers bad
more labor than they needed. The Red Sea aKain flowed back
into its normal course.
Almost twenty years have gone by since the mass migration
ltarted. Years before, Negroes, in smaller numbers, had been
m gaged in industrial pursuits. Yet it is a well-known fact that
Negro workers have not been permitted to advance to the higherpaying jobs. They have been forced to the lowest status of all
industrial workers, to the unskilled, heavy-laboring jobs. Today,
no more than 10 per cent of all the Negro workers have held
skilled or semi-skilled jobs. It is not because they cannot be
skilled workers. Many of them are. It was a common occurrence
in the South, ~ven h:fore the _present crisis, to find graduates of
Tuskegee Institute, highly tramed mechanics and teachers work·
ing as bell-hoy~ . in the hotels. But capitalism has not gi~en the
same opportunities to the Negroes for advancement and training as it had given to white workers. The white workers, it is
true, are wage-slaves under capitalism. They must sell their
labo_r ~o an employer in order to live. They, also, are exploited.
But it 1s clear to everybody that the Negro wage-worker is exploited
even m~re. He is held back to the lowest level of the wage-workers, he Ill pushed back by capitalism every time be advances.
Under President Roosevelt's "New Deal" this state of affairs
has ~n officially recognized and given a legal status. The Industrial Codes have placed the official stamp of the Federal
Government upon the double standard. The differential wage
established by these Codes said in effect that the wages of Negro
workers must remain lower than those of white workers. One
example will show how this works. The Code for the lumber in·
dustry pla~ed the minimum wage for the North at 42½ cents
an hour, and for the South, where most of the lumber workers
are Negroes, at 24 cents an hour.
Now capitalism is trying to evict the Negro workers from industry for good. Today there is an army of at least 15,000,000
unemployed in the United States. Among the Negro workers unemployment is many times greater than among white workers. The
number of Negroes in families on relief increased from 2,117,000
in October, 1933, to 3,500,000 in January, 1935. In many place!!
even jobs which were always held by Negroes are being given to
white workers at the same or even lower wages.
Nor has the Negro fared any better in the professions. Here
again capitalism has held back with a heavy hand all efforts at
advancement. In the whole country there are only 6,781 Negro
physicians, lawyers and dentists. They_ also have_ been victims ~f
segregation and discrimination, suffermg from madequate fac_1lities in the way of training and practice, and excluded from white
institutions. Many of them are starving today. For a population
of 12,000,000 Negroes there are only 50,000 Negro teachers,
most of whom are not permitted to teach in white schools. The
yearly salary of most of these teacher!' does not exceed $300.
Push ahead in business, was another advice of Booker T.
Washington. One is even met with this advice on all sides today.
But even the development of a large Negro middle class has
proven to be impossible under capitalism. In the whole country
today, there are only about 25,000 retail stores operated by
Negro proprietors. Most of these are small, overnight, "peddler"
affairs. Why? Not because the Negro is not capable, but because
big business has the monopoly of commerce and trade. Segrega·
tion forces the Negro retailer to sell only in Negro neighborhoods.
He has a poor clientele. He has no chance against the chain
store. Today, many small business men are being wiped out.
A small, well-to-do class, however, has tleveloped among the
Negro people. The Negroes also have a millionaire or two. But
this class has developed only at the expense of the rest of the
Negro community. It gathers for itself a goodly share of the
profits arising from the exploitation of the Negro masses. It is
true that capitalism has not permitted the existence of any large
Negro-owned industrial enterprises. The white ruling class is
�~he direct exploiter of the Negro masses on the plantations and in
mdus!ry. But the Negro upper class has found a11other way to
exploit the Negro masses.
These were the words with h' h Th
omu:- Knicrht.
Jr., chief
prosecutor m the Srotbhoro C
d · th
d .
use, re errc, lo Hevwood Putterso11
ur!ng e secon tnal at Decatur, Alubamu.
These words express the
towards Ne roes wh' h
~on_ emptuous und msulting attitude
in his I ~ h' . JC capitalism hreuthm•. "Keep the Negro
S . I P ~ce :-t is Is the Watchword of the modern slave driver.
0 cia foshraci sm, persecution, segregation, insult have taken the
• 1
p ace o t e s1aveowner's p t
a erna ism un of Simon Legree's whip.
Th f
d" . . .
e acts of J1m-Crowism I
11 k
• ync mg, 1scnmmallon are so
~enera y nown a nd are 80 deeply branded in the heart of the
egro masses that we need not go into detail here. Suffice it to
say that the rulers of this country, especially and most openly in
the South, have made the Negro a social outcast, have treated
him not like a human being hut like cattle. They have gone to
the greatest pains to brand the Negroes with the mark of non·
humans. On street cars, trains, in railroad stations and places
of amusement, on drinking fountains, the ruling class of the
South has broadcast to the world: "Only whites here-only
Negroes there!" In the North they do not use signs, but that
is the only difference.
There are written laws and there are unwritten laws. The
three most important written laws with regard to Negroes are
the 13th Hth and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of
' States. These are supposed to guarantee to .every
the United
Negro the full rights of citizenship and equality under the law.
But these are only decorations on the Constitution. Negroe:; are
not permitted to serve on juries in the South. A Negro voter in the
South is either an object of a lynching party or a highly privileged
character. Although such practices are supposed to he unconstitutional, has the Federal government, since the period immediately
after the Civil War, ever done anything about it? These written
laws are not enforced. But the written laws in 15 states segregating Nrgroes on public conveyances are very strictly enforced.
There is one unwritten law which is also very severely en·
forced. That is the law that lynchers of Negroes are not to he
What is the reason for this very severe persecution of the
Negro masses? It is not to he found in any "natural hatred"
of whites for Negroes. These acts of hatred and of persecution
are caused by capitalism.
First: The ruling class must use severe measures of oppression
and persecution in order to keep the Negro peon on the plantation, in order to maintain that special slavery of the South. The
capitalists also make use of the same measures to force the
Negro to take the lowest place in industry.
Second: The whole idea of the "superiority of the white race"
and the practices of Jim-Crow are used to effect a severe separation of the white masses from the Negroes. Race prejudice grew
out of the old chattel slave system. Then the slaveowners were
afraid of a union of the oppressed "poor whites" with the Negro
slaves. Capitalism has taken over this prejudice and uses it for
J_t makPs its profits l,y taking udvantag;c of St'"TP"atio11 and
the 1tlP·1s of "wh ·t ,
· · ·,, I

I C superronty •
f 0111! examiru;s a fist of the
we~lthwst 1'Pgroes he will find that many of 'them have made
their fortunes by specuht' er •
' mi:, Ill rca estate m the !:-cgregateJ sec·
ho~s 0 large cilles and by extnu:ting extremely hi"h rrnts from
lt·na11b . I Watt Terp·
. 1111·11':1<,r1,11rP;
1u h n
F N Ncgm
· .,, tl11•· Nn•~ro
· I
r up
err wca
rn t If! co,-met1c busuwss bv commercializinor ti . · I . f " J ·1
" (M I
,.. 1r JC e,1 o w 11 e
ac nme .C. J. Walker
· , Mrs
· Ann·1c ;,)f . ·1· urn I,ee, A nl honv
\ erton, etc.). Still
others have ma<le
the1· r· wea Ith 1n
. th e 111. .
!;Urnnce _and hanking business, closely ronnt.'clf'c) with n•al estate
( Anthony Overton, ,,.
,-- ('" S pau t·<l'111;.:.
. A
I landlorJism
etc. I.
num H·r of Nc.,ro
l d
r · ·
mn11sters a\'e accum·
u ale small fortun,•s, nut in their pract1'ce hut .
I 1·
in reu estute.
Th ese
peop (' l\'P 011 the body of tho
t d N
" segrega c
egro com·
mun~ty. hey urc Ill fa\'ur of sep;regalion and oppose nil efforts
to ~·1pe out SCgrt•gntio11. for it would mPan rlestrnyi11<r th I . .•. r
their wealth.
"' e M:-ls 0
It is clear,
then, that C'Hpitalism has h1'nd~ d ti
f h N
re «'.cu11om1c
proi:,rcss o t c i egro pcu•Jl~
With the
f h

excep 1011 o t e sma
ayer o parasites, the Neµ:ro people are retarded h Id d wn
vushed down to the lowest le l 1'h' .
' e
o ,
. .
,ve ·
rs Is economic pro.,.r.css durlnl? · 1 years n cnp1tal1st freedom!
The "Stigma of Race"
"That thing over thrre ! ·•
�the same purpose. This will b ·1
d e c ear when one compares the
oppression of the N
earoes an of th F"I.
perialism The r·1· c-_
e 1 ipmos y American im1 ipmos are also

there is not as much
. d" .
an oppresse people. Yet
pinos as against Nerr:reJuT~e m the 1:Jnited States against Filiof ocean prevent tho oFe~·1· . e reason is that about 5,000 miles
e 1 1pmo masses fr
d .
struggles in immediate
om carrymg on a1 1y
con act wit the Am ·
ot er hand, the whites and Near
. encan masses. n t 11e
contact in the United St t O r°es come mto daily and constant
or planter and engagi a ~s, 0 ten exploited by the same boss
needs. The ruling classngh m chommf on struggles for their daily
as t ere ore us"d
Leods to keep them apart.
,. extreme an severe
t us now con~ider hr· n. d
The uhl"
h- .
ic } c ucat1011 and health
p ic sc ool system is su
should remember that th N
ppose to e open to all. We
e eO0 roes were
· · II
or starting a system of f
prmc1pa y responsible
mediately after the Civ"I ~e P\h1c education in the South imp ublic school system in :Uan a~ : first superintendents of the
Toda th N
y out ern states were Negroes.
y, e egro is the outcast of th
One million Negro child
f h
e pu 1c school system.
a II · More than a third f h N
' "' a re not m sc ool at
the fi rst grade and tho tf e hegro never get beyond
ourt s nev
f ourth . In many sectionsreeof the I
a va uce eyond the
open only fo r two or th
hp a nt~t1on country schools are
ree rnont s durmg the year
ore than half the population f . . .
the state spends only $5 45
° Mississippi is Negro. Yet
· a year fo r the d
f h
~ h I as compared with $45.34 for a
. e uca~wn o t e Negro
m Alabama it was $.i.'i7 , ·h.
'. white p upil. In one connty
. p 1. r ~ ite ch ild and $ l.5l per N rr
o ay, many of the Ne"ro sch I
0 0 s have been closed down
for lack of funds Ca it 1. .., .
p a ism is !'acrificing the education of millions of children~


The high disease and death rate
reveal the severity of capital ist <' Is_ an:iong the Negro peop le
instance, the death ra te f
bxp oitatr_on. In Milwaukee, fo r
· h ·
rum tu erculos1
e1g t times as great as amon.r whites. . s among egroes was
great as compared with N
k C ' m Harlem three times as
heart disease are twice
ew or
ity as a whole. Deaths from
as great among Ne
I n llf
i, anhattan, where the Ne roe
. groes as among whites.
the total population aim -~ s 7nst1tute only 12 per cent of
occurred among Neg;oes. os one- ourth of all infant deaths
This high death and disease rate is due to the hard exploitation of Negroes, to lack of hospitals and of care, to the crowding
of the segregated sections.
In view of these appalling facts, knowing all the bitter details of our daily existence, is there any reason why we should
permit capitalism to continue?
The Reformers and the "Race Criers"
There are still those who would have the Negro masses believe that capitalism can do better than it has in the past. These
people range from out-and-out reactionaries to those who cover
reactionary policies with radical drapings. Let us see what they
have to say as to the way out.
The Bootstrap Lifters
There are still many followers of Booker T. Washington today who would have us lift ourselves up by our bootstraps, when
many of us do not even have boots.
But we have already seen, from 75 years of experience, that
capitalism has permitted only very few to rise--at the expense
of the rest of the people. Today, when the crisis is denying millions even the barest necessities of life, only a quack or an outand-out reactionary can give such counsel.
kind of agitation is still very strong. Pick up almost
any Negro newspaper, listen to many of the "race leaders" and
you will be advised to help build Negro business. This will
solve all our problems, we are told. The executive secretary of
the National Negro Business League tells us : " Business points
the way to a breakdown of the barriers and handicaps which
retard Negro progress." He, and many others, call upon the
Negro masses to patronize Negro business, as the most effective
means to protect themselves against persecution.
How futile, how bankr upt is this advice! Everywhere the
capitalists are cutting down p roduction, have closed factor ies,
reduced cr ops. The big monopolies and trusts are getting greater
control of manufacturing and of the market. Small businessmen
ever ywhere are going b ankrupt. Even the largest Negro banks
and insurance companies, the pride of the followers of Washington, h ave crashed: the two largest Negr o banks, the Binga State
a nd the Douglass National; the "Capstone of Negrn business"
--the National Benefit Life Insurance Company of Washington.
�and others. The P. & H. Taxi Corporation of Harlt'm. t>mploying
750 workers, saw its last days during the crisis.
The capitalist road of advance is now out of the question.
The Negro upper class uses this argument in an attempt to win
the Negro market. It has nothing in common with the real in·
terests of the Negro masses.
The Ballot and the Drawing Room
In contrast to Booker T. Washington and his followers there
arose the group ~f middle-class reformers. They were not and
are not today entirely opposed to Washinoton's philosophy. We
have in mi?d ~specially the founders and ~resent-day leaders of
such orgamzatlons as the National Association for the Advance·
ment of .. Colored People and the Urban League.
We say t~ey are not entirely opposed to Washington and
the T?skegee idea for they only objected to Washington's counsel
that it would be extreme folly to agitate for social equality.
They, however, accepted the basic part of the bootstrap lifters'
-program; they ac~e~ted ~apitalism. On the basis of capitalism,
it seems to them, it is still possible to make economic headway.
!he N.A.A.C.P. began on a wave of resentment and anger
agamst Bo_oker T. Washington's betrayal of the fight for equality.
Beca_use, hke Washington, the N.A.A.C.P. accepted capitalism, ·it
rec~ived ~he suppert of members of the white ruling class who
behe_ved m Feform. The basic idea of the reformers is that it is
possible to change capitalism for the better, that within the limits
of the rresent system, by peaceful and gradual methods, it will
he possible to do away with the oppression 0 £ the Negro peoplt>.
But actual e~~nts have shown these people to be completely
~ro_ng. Conditions are actually growing much worse unrlt>r cap·
1tahsm.. The e~reme exploitation of the Negro workers ancl
~armers is not hem~ done away with; on the contrary, it is bt>in?
mcreased. Acts of v10lence against l'<it>grot>s ha,·e multiplit>d.
The methods of the N.A.A.C.P. have proved to be treacherous.
The leaders of the organization are afraid to arouse mass move·
ments. They prefer to meet representatives of the rulino class in
the drawing room and make compromises with them. T~o recent
cases show this plainly.
In the Crawford case, where the Negro defendant was charoed
with the murder of a white farm family in Virginia, the N.A.
A.C.P. made an agreement with the prosecution as a result of
which Crawford was sent to prison for lift>. It turned out t]iat
Dean Houston of Howard University, who acted as defense lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P., did not t>ven try to pro\'e the innocence ~f
Crawford althouoh there was plenty of evidence to show _this.

The case was carrit>d on quit>tly, no mass protest was perm

the sentence was not even appealed.
From the very bt>oinning of the famous Scottsboro Case the
N.A.A.C.P. attemptel to wrest the case from the hands of _the
mass defense movemt>nt. They waged a bitter s~ruggle a~a1: ~
the International Labor Defense and the Commumsts. Why·
cause they were afraid of the mass movement which had been
aroused. They wanted to have quiet sessions with the Alabama
lynchers, fix up the case behind the scenes. This would have
meant sacrificing the lives of some of the nine Scottsboro boys
and prisor, terms for the rest. The I.L.D., however, fought th:
Alabama n'Ch courts and mobs, made the case known aroun
the worla, roused millions of people. They fought not only for
the lives of the boys but also for the right of Negroes to serve
on juries in the South and other rights of Negroes. As a result
of this method of fighting, the lives of the boys have been
snatched from the electric chair four times.
One of the principal lessons to he gained fro~ the fi~ht f~r
the Scottsboro boys is this: It is possible to ohtam oertam vic·
tories from the ruling class, but not by cringiilg, Uncle ~om ~r
Judas methods. The only way such victories can be obtamed is
bv rousin<T and orn-anizincr the masses, by rt>fusing to accept sops.
· The r~former; have ~till another idea. They have a great
reverence for the ballot, they think it can produce wonders. The
leaders of the Socialist Party still cling to this old fairy-tale.
The workers, they say, can elect themsehes into power an~ then
peacefully bring about a change in capitalism. But what '.f thf"
capitalists refust> to abdicate? Tht>v reply: "Well see then:'
The miracle of the ballot! If the ballot can clo all they say
it can how are the Negroes going to use it when 4,000,000 Negroes, eligible to vote, are disfranchised _? W~t>ll two o~t of thre;
Negro eligible voters are not even permitted mto a votmg booth·
We say that Negroes must have this right to vote, as w~ll as
the other rights of citizenship. We must fight for these nghts.
We say that the workers and the oppressed masses should u~
the ballot, the right of free speech and assemhl y, to elect theu
�ow~ representatives, and create their own organi~tions. We fight
agamst every effort to take these rights away.
But at the same time we emphasize that capitalism cannot
be done away with by the ballot. We believe in using elections
and_ our re?re~ntatives in elected bodies to rally the people
a~~mst ~ap1tahsm. As long as capitalism permits the rights of
citizens~1p,_ the working class should use these rights against
the cap1tah~ts: ~ut anyone who tells you to depend upon the
ballot and c1v1_l n~ht~ for your dt>fen:-:f' is betraying you. for, as
has h:ippen~d m Gnmany, in Italy and in Austria, the capitalists
take these rights away, forbid the right of free press, free assem·
bla~e, free speech and the vote. And what then? Does not the
rulmg class in the United States more and more deny the rights
of citizenship to workers, have they not 1thyays denied these rights
to Negroee?
The "Race Criers": Black Patriotism
Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, former editor of The Crisis who recently
departed from the N.A.A.C.P., is today the clearest and foremost
~xpo~ent of Black Patriotism and race solidarity. We will exam·
ine his arguments one by one, for they are the most complete
and he!lt arguments for this point of view. We will then show
how ~angerou~ such ideas are to the strug~le for Negro freedom.
F,r3 t arg~ment: The Negro upper class, says Dr. DuBois. is
not an exploiter of Negro labor.
We have already shown that this is not true. It is rnrrect
that th~re are very few Negro manufacturers or large landowners
~ho hire labor and exploit Negro workers directly. But there
~8 ~ Negr~ uppn class which lives by means of segregation. It
1s 1~ the mterest of this class to defend seare ..ation or tlw \·erv
basis of _Negro business would be wiped ou;, On th: other hand,
segregation is the worst feature of the oppression of the Negro
massee. It is in the best interests of these masses to wipe out
segregation. The interests of the masses and of the Negro upper
cl ass cl~sh. In orde_r to obtain real equality, which means doing
away ~1th s~gregalton, it is necessary to fight not onl y against
the white rulmg c:la~s hut against the Negro upper class as well .
Furthermore. tl 1s clear that the interests of the Negro upper
class are the same as those of the white rulina class. Both
classes wish to maintain segregation, and with i~ the basi~ of
~egro oppression. This unity of interest is shown clearl v in'
action. On many occasions we have seen the so-called "respectable
leaders of the race" openly cooperating with the ruling class.
Second argument: The members of the Negro upper class,
says Dr. DuBois, "bear the brunt of color prejudice because they
express in word and work the aspirations of all black folk for
emancipation." He goes on to claim the Negro upper class as
the leader of the Negro people towards a new future.
We know that a class which lives from crumbs off the table
of American bia business of the Rockefellers and the Fords, which
accepts capitalism as the basis for its own existence, can not
lead a strenuous and militant struggle for Negro liberation. But
DuBois tries to dress this cringy warrior in shining armor, for
he fears another class. He fears the working class.
The workers as a class are the only consistently revolutionary
class in society. If properly organized and led, th~
can stop the wheels of industry. They are like an army: big
industry has thrown the workers together, in large disciplined ·
masses. They organize in unions to fight for better conditions.
To win better conditions they must fight against the capitalists.
This struggle develops into a struggle against capitalism itself.
The workers are the only class with the power to overthrow
capitalism and build a new society. T hey lead the rest of the
exploited population to this goal.
It has been one of the most inspiring facts of recent history
in the United States, that the white workers have begun to overcome white prejudices and lead in the struggle for Negro rights.
This is in part due to the economic crisis. As they have lost
their jobs, as their conditions have grown steadily worse, they
have seen the necessity of uniting with their fellow black workers
aga inst the employers. But it is also because of the fight of the
Communists against prejudice and for working class solidarity
and Negro rights. In the last six years, since 1929, the following
high Iy significant events have occurred:
A share-croppers' union, under Communist leadership, has
been organized in Alabama and other Southern states, with a
membership, at the time of writing, of close to 10,000 members.
This is the first time that such a large and fighting union of
share-croppers has been ahle to exist, to lead struggles against the
plantation masters and to continue to grow.
The Communist Party has been organizing white and Negro
�workers in the South. As a result, the feeling for solidarity has
grown even in the American Federation of Labor Unions in ~e
South, as, for instance, in the United Mine Workers of America
in the Birmingham region.
Under the leadership of the Communists, a mighty stru.g~le
for Negro rights is being waged in the South. The outstanding
example of this is the Scottsboro Case.
In the North, largely as a result of Communist policy and
agitation, larger and larger numbers of Negro workers are pa~t·
icipating in the labor movement. There is a growing solidar~ty
of white and Negro workers in the fight for unemployment m·
surance ~d relief and in the struggles of the trade unions.
This movement of solidarity and of unity has also been joined
by Negro intellectuals, teachers, doctors and other professionals,
who have left the reformers and understood the need of a revo·
lutionary struggle against capitalism.
Dr. DuBois expresses the fear of the Negro upper class for
this movement. He is in favor of "race" solidarity and opposes
the solidarity of white and Negro labor, which he tries to prevent.
Third argument: He uses an old weapon of the white ruling
class. He tries to turn the anger and resentment of the Negro
masses not against the white capitalists and the Negro Uncle
Toms, hut against the white workers. The exploitation of the
Negro workers, in Dr. DuBois' own words, "comes not from the
black capitalistic class hut from the white capitalists and equaUy
from the white proletariat". He goes even further_, charging th~
white workers with causing the "lowest and most fatal degree
of the suffering of Negro labor.
The prejudice of the white workers, according to Dr. DuBois,
is inborn and cannot be changed. The white workers cannot be
trusted. They are the enemies of the Negro masses. To believe
Dr. DuBois means to give up all hope of liberation.
It cannot he denied that race prejudice exists among large
sections of the white workers. On many occasions, white workers
have participated in acts of discrimination against Negroes. But,
any sensible person will ask, what is the cawe of this prejudice?
Is it instinctive and unchangeable?
We have already seen that race prejudice arises like a stench
from the plantation system and from capitalist exploitation. We
have seen that capitalism has fostered this prejudice in order to
. .
f l ~ om mas,;es and prewnl the
mamtam the oppre,-~ 1011 0 . 1 H' ' r,.. B t . ha,·r also ,-c-en that
unity of the whitc- workers with I IJt'm.l lu \\ke und ..... the "hill·
f d . I t lC )aC ·<rrO
this prejudice begms to a r 1.11 0 strll""le ~ obtain their nee<l!-.
workers unite with the Negrors 111 a
f re'udict'
Wh 0 .1re the real carnNs o P J
We ,;hould also ask :
• That "rction of

? A <l WC' mu'-t an!'\\f'f ·
m the labor movemPnt ·
k'lled the better·
. h · lu<lr'-' tlw more s 1
the labor movement w ic IIH'
· lNl bv the falsr
off sections of the workt-rs who hba,·c I et'rt1 m1l"·Hlrr;hi1> of thr
and temporary " pro!-prri't Y" 'and I :Y t ir . np £'.the workers ha d.
American Fedt'ration of Labor. T 115 ,-Pct10n ° 1 . ll bein" and
d ·.
f peqwtua \\e ~
het>n lull<'d lo slt·ep by the IP,un °] b.. n-"tli ·un Green, Mat·
t1ie treacherou,- promises
o f p l' ,"H'<'
·· · ma, f'
·' " •

I pon the com1itions
But prejudice <lepencls ,;o mur i uf h
ker'- influenced by
. we live,
th at even th'1" st>t:lion o t . r. wor
.- d the Ne"ro
I . .. · IT il'- att1tuc e tow,u s
" ,,
the GrPl'll crow is a ,:o c l,lll,-lll,- ·
" · _1 r-11-. of labor
an:,. oc ' ·
worker,-. The reason or t ir,- i;- . .'

f the rconom1c
0 ... ,t,on bec:au:-f' 0
are lo~, II;.{ l 1r1r pnvi ',..e
out of emp oy·
. .
k')I d . k .... h·in· wPn t ,own
cns1~. \la11Y ~ · 1 e \\Or ei . '
. d their "f'n<' ral cond 1t1 11ns
menl. tlwir wages havP bf'f'I~ rcdf utc d{i 1~ in onlrr to liw.
on·r to f 1µ l . anizt•d work-ers,
are wor,:e.
iev, too, ·111 b' ' Ill"
. 1·1z1• t Iiat I IIt' gn'··1l nr--"
They beu in to rea
."· · o. u1101
I :g, · . ., in order

<T"\n!Zf'tl rnlo t le. Ulll 011 .
induclin" the \e .. ror~. mu;:l >c or,,,
I ... Proof
ll · ck" ,,f thr emp O)e11;.
to defend th<·m,-dws a•Talll!-l lie 3 ' 1 · ·
. ·
.J strikes
"' f
,r.,an I zallon anu
of thi s is th<' ITreal wave o trac l ' unw11 ( "
which lwcran lo sweep the country m · .:>.
b k ··,rd ,ecti11n
f .
I , 110'-'t ac ",
Thr Soutlwr11 workn;:. "l111 ,11111 llH I f.
•rwntions most
.01·k·111 -1-t ... , h l\t' 1r1·11 or gt · '
of the J\ nwrwan \\
/! < • • · • ' • • .
N! , · the cour:-r o
O\\. 111
per,-1!"lc-nlh 111cu i.:at,·c 111 1 r.H'
l . . ti , ·u e dn-e ·
. ' ·t 1lw1r c,p n1lPrs If'~ ' .
a nrowi11g W,l\·c n strugµ ,, aµair,..
ti .111 .111 yonc cl,:e,
1· 1 ·
.· 1 th, Ncu-rn 1111rkrr,-;. or<' 1• ' ·
opm~ !'O II anty II I 1 I 1
. ,· I' 'l' alll!l<II" I 1ese
we rcalizi• tl1e diffi("ull, of "'.IT'.'" f fill <,JU< ~;ul tlw {i~hl for
111 ,IIH \.
wor k·ers.
H·,· Il,l\t' I'(· ' ·11 ft.d 1t .·,..IIIC't'
. I". I ,1 ·us illu!'lrat" thi~.
Lread an<l life is ,-tro11µer tl1:111 prt'Jllt II P . •,
f bout
f I S th thr rr wa,; a !-!r11up o a
In an ind11,-1nal c1lv o I If' • nu
('Ill lon·d nwhlcrs, who
a dozen \\ hill' worker,-. tllll~t of thr_111
t : ;nw v would mPet
Lecanw i11tc-rc·stl'il i11 tlw C'.1mn~u111!'-I.· h,1r '(~ ,1rn1u.11i,-t or<T,mizer.
ti ll• •..,,tu·1t11111
"rt a ,n
onr.e a ,,1·1· k lo <I,,cu,-;s
I , , r!'dr that 1t
I. .
, .·, I l ·e theY knew alH ,1~r
I· rom tht'ir own Hllf'r exp, i u t
I \ "
workers 1n
111th t w · t>,
was nr!"l'~!",ll"~ I(, ' ,,·g,t
, nize to!!;{'1hrr
, 1i
th<'w Woll. and their cohorts.
. .,
�==------ - - the same unions. For during the great railway shopmen's strike
in 1922 their union had been smashed by the employers simply
because the_union had refused admittance to the molder's helpers,
who were l\egroes. When the strike broke cut. man v of the Negro
workers saw no reason for helping the white wo~kers who had
refused to admit them into the union and fi. (Yht for their demands.
The result was that the employers now plu~ed the Neo-ro helpers
in the molder's jobs, at lower wao-es of course and broke both
the strike and the union.
But these white molders in their discussions with the Com·
munist organizer, objected to social equality. One conversation
ran somewhat as follows:
White worker: I don't like Negroes, and I don't see why I
.s hould sit beside one at a meeting or 0 11 a street car.
Communist: Now you agree that white and Neo-ro workers
shoul~ orga~ize together ~n the same union . Lt>t us i~agine that
there 1s a stnke. There will he a strike committee. On this strike
committee there will be both white and Neo-ro workers for es·
peciall ~ in time of struggle we mu~t keep our ~ a nks united'. !"trong.
. White worker : That's right. We'll have to keep our picket
Imes strong, and slop any white or Negro scabs.
Communist: It will he necessary for this strike committee to
meet almost continually. You will not be a ble to meet in a public
ha ll, for thugs and the poli<.:e ma)' be aftl'r you. and you cannot
afford to ha ve the leadership of the strike put out of commission.
You m~y have to meet in your own house, perhaps.
W htte worker: Yes, if there is no other way out.
Communist : Your home is small. You will have to use your
largest room, the parlor. You will have Negroes in your p arlor,
for you cannot Pxclude Negroes fro m the strike committee meet·
ing. The str ikr is the_ most important th ing. This strike ma y be
a very hard one. Durmg the most crucial time, it may be neces~ary lo mee~ late into the night, a nd go into action again earl y
m the mormng. Some of the Negro members of the Com mittPe
may live in the opposite end of town. They cannot go home. They
may have to stay over. Wou ld you deny them the hosp ita lity of
your home? Social eq uality, you see, becomes a necessity of the
strike, of the class struggle. If you do not practice thi~ social
equality, you will lost> the ;;upport of the Negro worker;; an d
thP strike will be lost.
The white workers were a little taken aback. They thought
it was driving things a little too far, although they could ~ot
deny the logic of this argument. When in the local ele~hon
campaign the Communist Party ran a Negro worker. as candidate
for Mayor, these white molders refused to mee~ with the Communist organizer. But their attitude changed qmckly enough.
Shortly after, the city cut down on relief. The Unemployment
Council and the Communist Party called for a demonstratrnn of
protest. Fully five thousand workers, both whites
responded. But the police broke up the demonstration immediately beating uo one of the speakers and arresting three. The

. to t he Unemp Ioyment
workers' wera incensed.
Large numbers came
Council hall which could seat no more than 100 persons. On !11e
long wooden benches were seated white and Negro workers s~de
by side talking excitedly about their experiences, and cursmg
. common
. and the city
· a dm'm1stra
f10n. And
terms the police
talking just as excitedly with a group of Negro workers were
some of these white molders whom it had been so hard to con·
vince. The actual facts of life, their common experienoes with
the Negro workers, had brought them together.
· 1s
· h m"lt· P reJ·udice
This is the way workmg
class so I'd
I anty
may remam but it becomes less important, is superseded by the
needs of the' daily struggle. The white workers will overcome _the
hindrance of prejudice, because they must do so in order to l~ve.
Now, Dr. DuBois, in rousing the enmity of ~~ Negroe~ ag~m.~t
the white workers, as do other upholders of race sohd~nty ,
helps to prevent this unity. He takes advantage of the distruSt
of whites which has been imbedded in the hearts of the Negroes
by long years of oppression. He fans and builds this distrust.
The conclusion: And what is the solution proposed by Dr.
"The only thing that we not only can, hut must do, 1s vo untarily and insistently to organize our economic and social power,
no malter how much segregation is involved."
Now if this is not an outspoken defense and support of segregation we do not know what is. Negro salva ....:-::.i is to come-·
through ' segregation, the watchword of th e parasites
among the
Negro people!
We have not much 10 add about the new Garveyites, about
the movement led by the "Black Hitler" Sufi, the exponents of
�the 49th State and other similar race movements. They are all
based_ on the same ideas expressed so well by Dr. DuBois. Whether it be a return to Africa or the creation of a 49th state for
Negroes o: some other such Utopian, unrealizeable schemes,
the~e provide no way out for the Negro masses. These plans
a 7sume suppo1rt and cooperation of t~e white ruling class. They
~1stra~t the_ N_egro masses from effechve struggle against American 1mpena~1sm. T~ey lead deeper into the dangerous net of
r~ce segregahon, which satisfies only the present interests of the
Negro upper class and the ruling class of the country.
These movem~nts towards race segregation have recently had
a ~ew lease on life. They have grown as a result of the crisis
which has ru~ned many Negro middle class people, who are desper~tely seekmg a way out. The increased persecution and terror
agamst the Negroes has fanned this movement. Many participate
because they honestly believe that this is the way out.
. Among 1;he new movements of this character are those which
aim to obtam
"1' ob
. s f or Negroes" . Among these are the Costini
movement m Baltimore. the Negro Alliance in Washinaton D.C.,
an~ the moveme11t in Harlem. These movemen~s ;onfine
their_ ~cllv1lles to individual establishments in the Negro communities. So small and few are these business houses, that it is
that they could onlv, provide a 1·1m1"ted num b er o f JO
· b s f or
1 egro workers and would in no way help solve the problem of
mass_ une:nployment. These movements, then, have the effect
of hmdenng the struagl
o e f or unemp Ioyment insurance
for all
workers and for adequate r el'1ef . They sh unt this
· struggle mto
a closed alley.
. But juSt as dangerous to the real interests of the Nearo masses
1s the
· strength enmg
. effect , of this movem en t m
of the
wlute and N:gro workers. For the leaders advocate the replacem~nt of white ~orkers employed in Negro neighborhoods. In
this_ way they. d1rect the resentment of the Negro workers not
rtgamst t~e rulmg class but against the white workers. Instead we
should duect all our efforts towards the organization of the Negro
wo_rkers together with the white, the opening of the doors of all
um?ns to Negr~es, equal opportunities for jobs in white as well
as m Negro ne1.ghborhoods, and to obtaining adequate insurance
for the unemployed from the Federal Government.
Another movement especially dangerous at this time is the
Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, which has as its main
slogan: "United Front of Darker Races tnder Leader~hip of
Japan." The agents of the Japanese ruling class have organized
and sponsored this movement in the Cnited States. Their p~rpo~e
is to try to create difficulties for the ruling class of Amcnca ill
case of a war between Japan and the United Stales. Such a w:•r
is n11w very possihle-a war between two brigands for the spoil!!
and riches of the East. But the Japanese ruling class is no mort>
a friend of the Negro than is the ruling class of the l_;nited States.
The Japanese capitalists have not hesitated to subdue and rule
Korea with an iron hand although the Koreans art' a colored
people. They have made all haste to grab Manchuria and other
sections of Northern China. They carry on a rrlentless w~r
against the Chinese people. They are now intriguing even 111
Africa and ar1\ penetrating the Philippine hlands with the purpose of seizing territory there ali;;o. At tlw same time, the lap·
ane;.e rulino-r class is carryina
on the mo1et ruthlt•ss kind of ter·
ror against _he toiling masses of Japan, suppressing tracle union:and peasants' organizations, ~mashing str-ikes, etc.
In this strucrale between the J. ap,rncse and Arnerican ruling
class for the division
of the East and for the right to exp Iotl
additional masses of toilers, we side with neither. We wish for
the defeat both of the Japanese and of the Amt'rican ruling class.
We wish to see then, both o,·erthrown; capitali,-m in ]dpan as ":ell
as in the United States destroyed. Our task is to fight agmn~t
American imperialism, ju:' t as the task of the Japanese workt·rs 15
to struggle against Japanese imperialism.
Japanese capitalism is now one of the principal enemi~s of
the Soviet Union. It is seizing additional territory in North
China in ord r to be better prepared for a war against the So·
\'iet l!nion. Japanese statesmen freely admit this. Japanese
Lrnops an conc1:P'rate<l on the Soviet borders.
The Soviet l:1iio11 is different from all the other countries
in the world. There capitalism has. alrP,ady b:en overthrow·~'.
the workers and farmers rule; machmcs. foctones, banks, rat
roads and land ar<> in the hands of the toilers. Colored peoples
of all races }iye in the territory of the :,o\'icl l.'nion. The~
1wuplPs enj oy the fullest et\ualit\' and frpcdom. Any act or exprr,a!-inn nf race prejudice 1~ r.onsiclcred a crime. Thei;;e facts
ha\'t' !wen fully confirmed by sue.:-, pt'ople a!' Paul Robe;;.on and
�other prominent Negroes who have either visited or who live and
work in the Sovirt l :nio n. Robinson. a Negro mechanic, i!' a
member of thP :\1oscow SoviPL th<> chiPf o-overnmental bodv of the
capital of the Soviet Union. The S1)\'iet o-~vernment has re~ouncr cl
all t_he specia l pri\·ilrges formerly held by the Tsar in China.
Persia, Turkey and o thn Ea$lern countries.
And yet the _agent~ of JapanP!"e capitalism are spread in~ the
lie that the Sonet Un10n 1s one of those "white nation!"" whi ch
seeks to dominate the col o red proples of the world!
From Dr. DuBois throug h the new editions of Gar\'n and
tht' intrig ur.s of J aparw,-e rapitalisb there runs a common streak:
race loya lty,· race solidarity, race patriotism! Will these so lve
thf' problem of th_r. Ne~ro people? For a reply one need only
ask: Has S<'gregat1on solved this problem? Is it not true that
segrr.gation is the prohl r.m, the ve rv thino which has to be wiped
out? And th~sr $avior;o propn!-1' · to he~p still more and e1·er
more segregation upon u;. !
The Threat of Fascism
of th,• lead in!! fa1ci~t journals in Germ1\uy say~:
In each NPgro, en~11 in one of thr. kindest disp11sition is
the latt>nt brutr and thr prilllitive man who can be ta med nr itlwr
~y r.e 11 turit•s of !"la vc ry nor by a n e xterna l varni;;h of civiliza tion. All ~s,-i~i lation, a ll ed ucati on is bound to fail on accc,unt
of the racial inborn fea ture:; of the blood. One can therefo r«"
undrrstand wll\' in the Soutl
[ f 11

_ ..
1crn $ a tes o .·, men ca] sheer nt'CT"·
si~y compe ls the white _r;i.ce to act in an abhorrent, and perh,1p,e\rn c ruel m,11111L·r a"'am"l the Nc"roes A J f
111 , o eo urse, mosl u
h N
t e 1 «"~roes ~hat ar: IvnchPd do not meri I all\- r t>!!re t."
Spokenhke a _Kleagle of ~hP Ku Klux Kiani This expres.S'eS
the thrrat of fa scism to the J\e,.ro <11 ou) ) ·1
t h L' · .1
c I cnme o t e •n ll t:11
Stairs. 1 he co un trv. wou ld br.· nnt- rl u m a· m
· o f th r '-Upe r- K K K .
1'he 1N'e<> ro would be the ,-11· •f ·· ·
f f
· - ·
· :
~ 1,
\ 1ct1m u
a,;c1:::t per;;ecul1011
and murder. Lvnchin
1 spar t o f tne
"'o- would bPcome the n a 11ona
f .
asc1st mercrnanes. Already tht- budclino- fa'-cJ·'-t
· 1·
- - orgamza 1011~ m
th .
into their
is country have
. wnttrn the dci:tradation of the Neoro
prowam as t I1cir most sacrrd princip lr.
F_a:<=ism is rapidly growing in the l:nited States toda,. As
cond1t1ons grow worse, as the masses of people become · more
and more dissatisfied and st>ek a way out of the misen· impc,1-ed
~ Ill'
by capitalism, the capitalists turn to th e road qf fascism. It i~
the last line of trenches for capitalism before the onru:;h of the
re \•olutionary army. When fascism comes rnto
power, a·:s wr ;,ee
in the fascist countries of Europe, the last liberties are taken
away from the masses. The trade unions and all independent
organizations of the masses are smashed; only governm~nt or
co~pany unions and fascist organizati ons are permitted. An
open dictatorship of the capitalists rules the country. One can
well imag ine what the lot of the Negro people would be u nd e r
s uch a dictatorship.
Under President Roosevelt, the road is being pa\·ed for fa~cisrn. With the help of the N.R.A. labor boards, the attempt I!!
heing made to force the workers into company unions, to abrogate the right to strike, or to place the unions entire ly under
government control. More and more power has been concentrated
into the hands of the President who turns more directly to the
hiuh financial moguls of Wall Street for his orders. There are
ra;id preparation~ for war and increased propaganda of nationalism and patriotism.
But the President a nd his aides carry out these policies under
cover of man y phrases and promises a bout helping the people.
The people are radica l-minded ; Roosevelt, therefore, uses some
radical phrases. This al so i!" a method of the fascists, who have
made demagogy a supreme art. He talks about .chasing the
1111111ry-dianµ;ers from tht> lt'mple , but aicls big business.
But there are with their ears close to the ground who
· the use o f anti-cap1
·1a ISt Iango even further tha n Roosevelt m
g uag<'. Thest> are the budding fascist leaders, like Father ~oughlin, ·W illiam R. Hearst and Huey Long. Father Coug~~m an~
Huey Long are clever men who talk about the inequalities an
injuMict>s of cap italism and because of this get a ready response
from m any people who do not yet understand how to do away
with these injustices. Hearst throughout his whole life h~s ~een
a \·irio us enemy of the workers and a loyal defender of cap1tahs;Hc realizes th;,t thr. Coug:hlin and Long methods are today t e
· to pro 1ong t h e 1·f
·sm · He therebest 1\ a\" 01• trnng
1 e o f capi·tal 1
fore supports thcr~ and offers them the services of his cham 0
anti -labor newspapers. But it wa,; with language s~ch as these
men use that Hitler built his fascist storm troops m Germany.
Hitler obtained his funds from the biggest industrialists and finan-
�cier>- of Germany, just as C't'rtnin bi!! liankers in the tnitecl
States are today beginning to suppo;t budding fascists in the
l :nited States. Hitler also talked about limiting fortunes, doing
away with unemployment, re-dividing wealth. et~. But these only
remained empty promises after he came into power.
That Huey Long, a representative of the plantation masters 01
the South, that Father Coughlin, linked to Wall Street through the
Committee for the Nation, that Hearst, the kina of anti-labor and
anti-Negro propagandists, should have to talk ~"ainst ouManding
evil~ of_ cap!talism in order to save it shows on: i,nportant thing.
~ap1t~lt~m is on the brink of destruction. People nu longer believe m 1t. The turning point in history has come.
The mas!:ies of Negro people certainly have no desire to see
the rresent system of society in the United States continue. It
has meant more suffering and slavery for them than for any
other section of the population. What are the important chano-es
which have to he made? How can they be made?
Two Revolutions in One
The pro~lem of Negr_o liberation has two aspects. The first
the question of equality, Here we ask: what must be done
to re~ove the basis of _the special persecution and oppression of
t~e Negro people, to wipe out lynching, segregation, sucial ostra·
c1sm as well as extra-exploitat_ion on the land and in industrv?
The sec_ond is common to all w~rkers and exploited, whether
they be white or Negro. Here we ask: what must be done to wipe
out wage-slavery, unemp loyment , pO\·erty, crises and war?
. These quest10ns are not entirely separate, but are connected
with each other. We s~all first consider each separately and
then show how the solulton for the first flows into the solution
for the second.
The Rebellion of an Oppressed Nation
Th~ special oppress.ion of the Negro people in the United
States 1s due to the firmly _rooted remainders of chattel slavery.
Every one know:s. that while chattel slavery was abolished as
a result of the Civil War, freedom-such as even the white workers have under capitalism-did not take its place. Elements of
the old chattel slave system remain 10 this very day.


These remainders of chattel sla,·ery can be <liviJed into t_he
economic and the social. The most important economic r~ma 1'.1•
den; of sla\'ery are the plantation system and share-cropp_ing Jll
the South, which we have already described. But t~1e exi~te'.•;~
of these in the South not onlv enslaves the Negroes m the Bia
Belt, but drags do, ,1 the '.\egro population throughout the country. It al:,.o affects the white population in the South. There an'
many white sharP-croppt'rs whose conditions are only little bt'ttf'r
than those of the Negroes. They will not be freed from _the lef~overs of the chattel-sla\'e svstem unless the Negroes are hberatf' ·
The most important s~cial heritage of the chattel-slave system is the idea of •·white superiority" and race prejudice. 1:hese
ideas were not wiped out becaµse chattel slavery was not entirely
wiped out. Alexander Stephens, the vice-president of the Co~d ·' on this
f ederacv. said that the cornerstone of th e S out h reste
up .
great physical, philosophical and moral truth that ~he _Neg::
is not eq ual to thf' white man, that slavery-subordmatJon
d' · " That
the superior race--is his natural and norma I con itJon.
remains the philosophy of the ruling class of the South tod~yTo fully realize how much of chattel slavery still remains
in the South one has onlv to know that the largest mass of Negroes
still live in the territor; of the old ~lave plantations. The plan·
tations have remained 'and have imprisoned a large portion of
the Negro population. On this territory-the Bla~k Belt~th e
Negroe!' are in the majority of the populati~n. ) et precisely
here is the centPr of the enslavement of the J\,egro pe_opl~- . 11
As long as tht' plantations an d ;.hare-uopprnp;~ ren~am,
he impossible for !\iegroes to obtain equality. For Ill order to
riae above the plantation !eve!. it Is fir!'t m~ces!'-ary to remo~e th ~
plantation and didde the land among the tillers of the soil.
This can only be rlone by the organized power o~ the mas!SeS
of Pxpl oitf'd share-croppers and farmers on tht' land._ ~uch a complt>te tran~fonm1ti on. howe, er. 11·i II not come o,·rrn11?"ht and can
be succe!'sful onlv as thr result of organiwtion. preparation and
proper leadership. Tlw rapid ~rowth of the Share-Croppers
Union of Alabama and of the Te1,ants' Union of Arkansas shows
that the situation i!' ripe for rapicl organization.
This land revolution will also be joined by the hundreds of
thousands of white share-croppers and poor farmers who ha~e
suffered from the plantation and credit system. They, too, will
�the neGessity of throwing the large landowne rs off their back:!,
escaping from the t.yranny of the credit masters and the usun·rs,
and of giving land to the landless.
Seventy-five years ago, the North went to war i11 orJer to
destroy the power of the slaveowners. That. too, was a re rnlution. But it was not "finished. Our task is to finish it.
But the revolution will not stop with the seiiure of the land.
That will just he the beginning of a complete, really basic change
in the homeland of lynch terror. For just consider where this
land revolution will take place: precisely in the plantation
country, where the l\egroes are today the most oppressed ~ction
of the population and wlwre they form the majority of tht~ population. Let us imagine such a revolution taking place in the
Mississippi River Delta. Here there are huge plantations. In ~ome
counties the Negroes are as high as 90 and 95 per cent uf the
total population; throughout this area they are not less than
60 per cent. With the power of the plantation owners destroyed,
a new kind of government will he set up by the farmers and the
"orkers in this territory. For the first time Negroes and op·
pn·ssed "poor'" whites will really enjoy democracy. The Negroes
"·ill play the leading role both in the land revolution and in the
rww revolutionary governments.
The same will occur throughout the plantation area-from
southea!'lern Virginia, down through the Carolina,- ,and central
Ceorgia, a<.:ro!',- Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, rcachin~ even
into Arkansa~ and parts of Tennessee and Texas. Now will be
1ho opportunit~ to reall y e~tablish the basis of Negro £rcedu111.
This land, on which the 1\egroes h ave been e nslaved for genera·
tiomi, can then Le made into a free land. It can he proclaimed
as a new country, in which the land has been freed from thr exploiters, where the majority-the l\egro people-rule with the
cooperation of the white :nasses in the territory.
The white mas~s on the land will support this new govern_n ient for it will mean that their right to land is also recognized,
that for the fir~t time they, loo, will have the benefits of free
f>Ublic school 1•«lucatio11, frt>edom from usury, etc. The old South
"'·ill no longn remain . The :\egrncs will come into their own.
The real test of freedom for the Negro people in the Black
Belt lies in their right to self-determination. Unless they can
chose freely fur themselves what the relationship of this new
h le they will not
government will he to the Umted tales as a w O ,

· power in Washmgton
h e free. If the capitalists are st1·11 m
h h "'e
d try to crus t e recan rest assured that t h ey w1 oppose an
f l
hellion of the I\e"ru people. The Negro people nee pfowefr u
d f d th . revolution or ree·
a 11 1es to carry throu"h an to e en
l .
ll . th workmg c ass, t e
dom. They will have such an a Y 111
f h
d secllons o t e
leading force in the struggle,; o f a 11 oppresse
1 . t"
population of the United States ,1gain,-t capitaliSt · exp tta 1~·
\\·e must now conside r tlw rt·1·1ilutio11 which will ta e P a<e


throul!hout the country .
The Proletarian Revolution
The United States
Capitalism is aivin° birth lo rern1ution.
. .
l . .
I .
. n · . "l Bnt1sh l onun,1was f rcatr.d a~ the result ol a n•y,, ut1 on a'°a lll- .
I 1· . •volut1on ao-,unst
t e
t1on. It stren,,.thenc<l 1tself as I 1c res u t o H re .
. 1·
. cl C3)' lll 0n lt can 11 0

slaveowners in 1861. Now capita 1,;m J!" e
I .
lonner supply the needs of life t o those who produce. f t 1: ;'.1
. .
.. .
-w s)·stem O soc1e ~.
outworn system. It mu::-t " Ive v.a) lo a ne
. "'
l ce which can come
A complete trausf urmat1on must t::i. e P a ,
nnh· as the result of a social re\·ol utwn.
. .
1 · order tu u a\, a~
\Vhat basic change must e pro uccl m . · .
._ b " 0
, ·) C·ip1tali~m 1,, a_e
with wa o-e-sla,·erv. unemp nym ent. \\ iH ·
. l d


f· torie!I ra1}rc>cll1::o, an
upo11 the private 01, 111'r,;h1p o mac mes, .ic
n'- nf product inn a1 e
and a ll ntlier means of productw n.
e men .
· 1· ·t" The <crcate51 pnu·
in the han ds of a small class, tie capita i:, - ·

, c. ·

\l ' llions

<:1ples of capita 1,;111 are pn,·a e P
• •.
f l'f
B t thesr
of workers produce to!!elher the 11eccss1t1es O
u l. .
. f I " vho own the mac unei;,
neccss1t1es bi>come the proper!~ 0 110 -e '
mone , with
the land. etc.. while the workers do not h a,e th e
ff ) C ].
C .
.. of people su er. 0
which to buy thrm.
n ;;es occu r, masSt.::, .
. 1·1s I po,\.e r "· m a race or pro on ies arc seized
bY Ihe 1:ap1tn
and b ooty Capital'i:-m (Yivcs birth to war.
Onlv o~1e thin!! can <lo away wi th the ha~is for the ex 1hs tence o
. .
. .
f h
. ·1 J' st" Take t e means
capitalism : the expropnallon o I <' cap1 a J • - · l l d
f the
s o
l em, Pl ace theni 111 t 1e 1an
of production awaY f rom 11
d of
workers who will .produce, not for profit, hut f~r t eh_~eeh~noe
· m
· a. pos1' tion to hnn"
c " hv
csociety. The working c Iai;s is
d o t '"c,rted
about. It alone, by its own org~mzed eff orlt~ a;nd
the rest of the oppressed population, can rea Y . h Y • • •
h' h
r. This C anue IS Ill
transform the system under w JC we I\~- b
, itali«°m itself.
evitable. The workers are dri\'rn towards 11 Y cap
�But an attempt to brino- ab t
h b .
rnedialt>l ,. meet th"
? . ou sue a as1c change would im'
c api't a 1·i:,,ts
. an d tI1eir
. :,tale
owE>r Th" · ..:t
b J ate power consistc;
l Of h
ernment but of th
h - no on Y
t e bodws of 0uov'
e army, t e police th
Pxpropriate the cap1'tal1' st·~ th e wor k·e rs, fi. e t courts.
InJ' order to
existina o-ovE>niiii~iit m 1 .
rs nee to 1sca rd the
ae1:11eryan t - · ·
/!11,·e rnme11t. Sud1 a r~·.- l t'
o rnsl1tute a workmg class
~·o u ion was '-Ul'l'e ·sf 11
. d h
· 191-,
111 Ruc.-.iJ 1
h l
· · · · s- u Y• carne t rouo-0
, .un er t e ea cl ers h ip
--.. . . 11 I
o1 the Communist Party.
S h .
15 1::- t ie basi c char ,
from· ·111d fige. uc a r_evolut1on frees the work&s
rom opprC'sc.10n b th
. 1·
worker,; are in powe r Th
. k ,·
Y e capita 1sts. The
c "or er" OO'ovr.r
effort of the ('" Jn ·it ·il ·, .· . t
· ·h
· nmen
suppresses every

' r ' ~.,,. o restore t e old " t
workers rrovernmt'lll ·h' h
--YS em. nder this new
c• ..., I C
cru·uanlee th
the masses the bui!J'
fc- . . . s e w1 est emocracy for
111 /!." o socialism beo-·
0 I h
. .
possible to have --ocia I l
n Y t en 1s 1t
masses. lo abolish ~nf'm iio an~mg to fill_ the needs of all the
But .
I ) mt nt, to abolish war for profit
m or er to accomp lish th
I •
tlw workers neecJ th . .
feh revo ut1on and to def Pnd it
t ::, upport o
t e O th
I . d
the population Whi'l, th
er exp oite !'f'ctions of
< <' wor ·prs ar ·
· ·
and lead such a rc\·nlution th
e m a ~os1t10n to organize
selves. They ha vP all.
. . hey cannot ~arry it through by them1. The m . f ies m t, e population. These allies are:
as::, o µoor and sm ·d I f·
by big busine,-,-, the true. "
,1r~ers, w o are oppressed
th<' middle cla---- in th . L: ~he monopolies and the bankers; also
t' c 1t1e~, c.uc li as th t h . .
fess1onals c.mall bu· . ·
e PC mc1cms, t e pro.
., ·
~111c~:-men et
italism and who have t'
ti: c., ..., _o art' suffering from cap·
2 Th
\ E'r~ 1111 i! to ~nm under socialism
e oppn-',-,-pd :\P~ro pPople.
. ~- ~he oppre,;~Pd 1woµ les of th 1\
Phil1ppme Island-. r 1 ·
~ thmri 1cm
. • \. U ,a, l'tc- ·in< of ~
who are undn the dumin · t· ·· ' f h · ou_ an
entrnl America
Among the
a ion " t_ l' capitali st,- of thP l '.S.
most ,.mportant al h es 1if· I
• t ze u:or ·mg class is the
Negro peoplP. ;,, the , _, -, d S
(. m e
tares Th 1._ f t d
tht' 1 .
f ·
- ac etermmes the re1atrn11 hetwef'n
\\n aspectc. o tlw . . I ·
oµi11 :l· i11 thi~ countn·
lt'\o utiun wl11ch is devel-
The Combination of Two Revolutions
The rl'rnlutio11 for L11cl an<l frt'ed
prolet~rian rernlutiou in tlw countn o~n _m the :,ou!.h and the
hand -in hanJ E·irl
·11 1 _)
. s a v,hole will J ew lup
. .·
. ' 1 w1
Pnn ~trl' ll)/."th ;ind
1 he wo1k111g da;;~- - both \d 1i· tu' ,·111<1 "\l')!ru --will
t e other.
How does it come about that the white workers not only will,
but must lend their support to the struggle for Negro liberation?
First of all , because the workers will not be able to overthrow capitalism unless they have the help of the Negro people.
This is why we say that it is inevitable that the white workers,
even the Southern white workers, fight for Negro freedom and
s_upport the struggle of the Negro people. They will do so
necause it is necessary for their own victory.
The Southern white workers especially will ; upport the Negroes in their struggle. For in the South the power of the landlords and capitalists is threatened most of all in the Black Belt.
Here the class struggle is very sharp. This is the weakest front
of capitalism. Just imagine what consternation will seize hold
of the ruling class of the country when the struggle in the plan·
tation country reaches the stage of revolution! The revolution
which breaks out here micrht indeed be thE' spark for the proletarian revolution through0out the country. The white workers
will understand that the struggle of the Negro people for freedom weakens the power of their own oppressors, the capitalists.
Between the proletarian revolution and the revolution of
the Negro people for land and freedom there is a living link.
This is the working class. It is among the workers that solidarity
first develops and is the strongest. In the cities and towns of the
~outh and in the big industrial centers of the North this solidaritv between white and Negro l abor is forged. Here reposes the
le..idership of the two aspects of the revolution .
But there also must be present a conscious organized group
.)f workers, which realizes the necessity of revolution and which
the masses in their daily· struo-o-les
towards this end. This
1s the role of the Communist Party. Communists do not on Y
talk about the future revolution , but are active fighters for the
daily interests of the masses. In unions and other working class
organizations, in strikes, in demonstrations, in elections, we
Communists endeavor, while playing a leading part in the strug·
gles of the masses, to convince them of the correct, revolutionary
way out. And one of our principal lines of activity has always
been to develop now the solidarity of the white workers and
Negro masses, to build this alliance in our daily life and struggles, to assure the combination of the two a!:'pects of th1i1 American revolution.
�In. building this class solidarity there is a division of labor,
but wit~ a common aim, between the white and Negro workers.
The "'.hi~e worke~s must realize that the main responsibility for
estabhshmg working class unity rests upon their shoulders. They
mu~t lead the fight against race prejudice in the ranks of the
white masses. They must remember that for centuries the Nearo
people have ~een oppres~ed by white nations. Among the Ne;ro
masses there _1s ~ deep distrust of all whites. The plantation sys-'
tern and capitalism have created this distrust and it cannot be
d~n~ aw~y with merely in words. Race prejudice pollutes the
air m this country. After having been excluded from a number
of _labor uni~ns, having been ostracized by many sections of
whites, _there 1s no reason for Negroes to believe in words only.
They can ?nly be convinced by action. If they see larger number. of white workers actually fighting for Negro rights fiahting
against race prejudice, insisting upon equal treatment in


for Negroes, t?en they w~ll have cause to rely upon the white
workers as the~r ~Uy. This is the only way this distrust can be
overcom~. Thi~ _is why the Communists, especially the white
Commumsts~ vi_gilantly guard their Party against the :.nfluence
of race pre~udice. No white worker is deserving of the name
of Commu~ist u~less he constantly carries on a struggle against
every mamfestation of ~ace prejudice among the workers.
. The Negro w~rkers, m order to achieve working class solidarity, ~~ve the ~hie! t,!sk of fighting against "black patriotism"
~d r~ce s~hdanty . They must constantly fight against the
1 eas O sue
people as Dr. DuBois for, as we have seen they
Negro's distrust of the wh"t
h .
1 e work ers. N 0 N' egro
as t e ng~t to call himself a Communist unless he fi hts con·
stantlf agamst the Negro "race" leaders, unless he i~ always
ex~osmg the role of those who call for separation between white
an Negro, unless he is constantly explaining the unity of interests of. the. Negro masSt:s and of the work"mg c l ass. The Negro
omm~mst IS first an~ foremost the exponent of the proletarian
revolution, for he realizes that this alone will guarantee not only
freedom for the Negro but also emancipation of all toilers.


How Will the Question of Self-Determination Be Settled?
. The Communists fight for the right of the Black Belt territory to self-determination. This means not only that the Negro
people shall no longer be oppressed but shall come into their
rightful position as the majority of the population in t~e Black
Belt. It means e uallv the ri!!ht of the Black Belt re ubhc freely
to determine its relations to t e ·nited States.
One cannot tell in advance under what circumstances the
question of the riaht of self-determination for the i\egro people
in the Black Bel~ will arise for definite sul ution . There are
two distinct pu:,sibilities.
first: The re.volution in the plantation country might mature
sooner than the proletarian re\·olution in the country a::- a whole.
This is a possibility because of the fact that capitalism is weakeSt
in the South and the enslaved Negro masses on the land are a
revolutionary force of great power. It is certain. howe\·er, that
the revolution in the plantation country cannot come to a hea_d
and press for victory unless capitalism throughout the count~~ I!'
in difficulties, already being threatened seriou!;ly by _the nsmg
Working-class movement. In this situation the rebellion of th e
Negro people would give new strength to and hasten the pro~etarian revolution. The working class, led by the CommumSl
Party, would come to the aid of the masses in the South to prevent the capitalist ruling da::;s of the North from suppressing the
revolution in the Black Belt. Cnder these circumstances the C~mrnunists in the Black Belt would favor, and would do everythmg
in their power to win the laboring people uf the Black Belt ~o
fa\'or complete i11depe11dt'1!,'t" from the capit •li,-t-rulecl repubhc
of the North. For complC'te independence of the Black Belt re·
giou would then mt>an greater freedom for the ~egroes and a
serious weakeninu- of the power of capitalism in the country as
a whole. All Cu~1munists would defend the of the Negro
people to make their choice.
. r
Second: The proletarian revolution may overthrow capita ism
and establish a So,iet Government for the country as a whole
before the revolution comes to a head in the Black Belt. However it must be kept in mind that the two phases of the revolu·
tion will no1 develop separately. Thus, while the_ worker~ are
leadina the onslau<Tht anainst capitalism, the revolutionary seizure
t th same
of the plantation land and large-scale farms may a
timt> he proceeding in the South. But once the workers come to
power in the United States the rernlution for land and freedom
will be hastened and completed. One of the first steps of the
- ..
·11 l- t
t the riaht of self·
o gran
centra I !'iov1et go\'nnment w1
elermmat10n to the Negro peop e in t e ac · Be t.
the workers and peasants
troops of the foreign powers and w ere
S · li'st Soviet gov·
. esta bl'1sh'mg autonomous f ocia
had succeeded ID
d ated themselves
nts at once e er
ernments, these S oviet gove:rnme
Onl as the revolution
to the central Russian Sov~et Republic.the c:unter-revol utionary
developed in the other regions and as S . t
vernments estab·
intervention armies were defeated, were ovife got 1 Russia gave
h th
k'ng class o cen ra
f th outlying regions
there. Al oug
e wor i
direct aid to the struggle of ~e peop eths O
e ter -revolutionists,
th .

arnnes and
e coun
e mterven ion
"th the other Soviet
none of these regions was forced to fe~er~te w;f the Soviet Union
Republics. To this very day, the c?nst~tution all the nations at
permits the right of self-determmation to
This would mean that thr :'.e;!r<> peopl e in the Black Belt will
have the ri ght to choosr for them!-elves Lrlwt>rn fr.deration
or srparation from tht · l" nit r d States as a whole. The S onet
Power, the workt>r;; and their µ:ove.rnm ent. will µ:uarante e thi,right : First, becau,-e tlwre will be no reason for th e forcihlf'
anne xation of the l\egro Republic. With the o\·erthrow of capitalism, the basis of all exploitation will ha\e been eliminated,
thesebv al,-o thP. ba,-is for th f' exploitation and oppression of th e
~e~ro · people. SPrn11d. the fr ee union of p,..oples on the basi,- of
equality is possible only through free choice arrived at by tlw
majori ty of the people. The very fa ct that the victorious workin g
clas!'- and its Soviet l!overnmrnt would guar;-intce compl ete anrl
unlimi tPcl freedom of choice would in it!'-e lf he a guaranlt•t> of
freedom in thr full sen!'-e of the word. Undt>r sur h cirr um sta111 ·1•,th e Negro Comrnuni !-ts would urg1• and fight for frdrration with
the Sovi et republic of the Vnited States, for this course would
bP to the best intere:sts of the Negro peopl e and all workers. 111
th e event , how1· v1:r, that th e choice is aµ: ain st federation-the
Communi st Party and the Soviet gon•rn1111·nt would respect th,.
will of the Nr g ro pcnplr.
I n st;i ti11 0 our po~iti on on thi s q11e~ tio11, " a rr ;ruidcd no t
only by tlw th r orf'li cal prin ciplrs of the Communi ~t Part y hut
a lso hy th r actua l n w ri Pm:c of th f' Ru!-~ian Hl·voluti on. Hure
a num hrr of rl n 1: lop n· ·11ts in th r solution of the qu Pstion ot' sclfdd rr rni11 ati 1,n 11<T11r1 I sirnult.111 Pou,- ly. Tlie Cn·at Hu ss ian s.
whnsl' ruli n;.r da ,-!" op1,ri · •I the oth er l"l'l r !- within the Tsa rist
1-:mp irr , 1:orn pri!-ecl onl y ·d ,nut 1-5 Jlt' r i;e nt of the population uf
tlw old Hus;; ia. Uoth d urin l[ th e• fir st rev1-lutio11 in ;\for!'h, 1917.
whr n th P Tsa r wa s ov,·rtl ir o \111 , a nd rlur in;_! the sr l'ond n •vo lu tion of i\ mPmLrr. l ') I , . whr n tlw po wer of th e r·a pitali --t,- ,11111
larnl ow rwr;; wa,- de!- troy,:d and th e Sn\·il'l Gm·prr, mPnt ""L1hl i,- lwd.
·th,· workns had th r support of t hr p1 •a;; a11l !- not nn h · i 11 1·1·111 ra I
Hu ~sia hu t also in ·a n uml wr of ou th·inµ: rPgio 11s wlw n· tlw oppn·;;srd nat iona l J>P" fll P l i,·1·1I. llu t tlw rt · \ olut io n di d IH•t
rlr·\·d op 1•\·r nl v 1·\·1·n wh,·rr . 1 · nde r thr,-c· r· irn1rn!-la11 rrs. h o w w ;1,th<' '.lu<·!'ti on of sl' lf-d,·tPrmi nation ;;1·1Ll1•rl 't
T he fi r~t act 1,f ll w Sovi Pt Co V('l'IIJn f' ll t wa ,- I n i,;stw a d, ·n, ·1·
µ-rant ing thl'. ri ght of ~1·lf-d1·tn rni11 ation I n all till' nati ou -- of tl w
fo rm<' r Hu ,-~ ian 1·mp irc a11rl full 1·1pial r i;r ht~ within th,• F,·dn al1 ·d
Sovif't H1•p11 es. 111 th11~p rt';_!11111,- whi('h wr· r,• not 111·1·11pi1·d ln~2
present in the Union.
ts In some regions the
There were also other developmenf ·
ry leaders who
h . ft ence o reactiona
people were still un er .t e ID u
Either the proletarian revoWere supported by foreign powers. .
t yet strong enough
lution was suppressed or the proletariat was n? 1 aders to cafry
. h
nor mdependent
enough f rom the bourgeois e Finland wh1c
Such a case was
through the revolution to victory.
E . Towards the end
at one time was a part of the Russiand ms;redomination of the
of the World War Finland came F~ .e~ ~ing class sup pressed
German Army' with wh~se aid the IDn~sher an indep endent ~ethe proletarian revolution and estabhs .
ts Did the Soviet
public under the domination of the cathpitaUis . . of Soviet Re.
. I d ·nto e ruon
Government try to force f 1D an i
h .
of the Council
8 the c airman
publics? On the contrary,
nm, a .
bl · himself per·
of People's Commissars of the So~et

~~nish Republic

sonally acknowledged to a representat~ve o i:m official sanction
the right of that countr y to secede an gave
to do so.
h S lny " said Lenin
" I very well remember the scene at t echa:~r t~ Svinkhovod,
l ater " when it fell to my lot to grant th~ . who had played the
. h bourgeome
. of th e r·mnis
the representauve
h d and we pal"d each
part of hangman. He amiably shook
w': I But it had to be
other complimente. Ho~ unth
pleabant eoisie falsely persu.aded the
done because at that ume e o~rg that the MoecoVlteB . wer:;
ted to crush the Finns.
people, the toiling masses, to bel_1eve
chauvinists and that ·t he Great Russians wan
h F' s the
t anted t e mn
And if the Soviet Government ha ~o ~ force this would
right to secede and attempted to keep t em y uld h' ave looked
F · · h masses wo
have meant annexation. Th e mms .
sor no better than
upon the Soviet Government as a foreign oppres '

Tsari!ID. Today, the Finns are under the hard and brutal reac·
tionary dictatorship of the Finnish bourgeoieie, but there will be
no doubt that once they have overthrown this bourgeoisie there
will be no hesitation to federate with the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Government and the Communist Party recognized
the rights of all the nations which had formerly been oppressed
by Tsardom. The Soviet Union is composed of more than 100
different nations and national minorities. The oppression of these
nations is now impossible because the masses of that nation which
formerly oppressed them have overthrown the bourgeoisie and the
landlords and are building socialism. These numerous nations
live in complete harmony with each other. They have received
direct aid from the Great Russians in building their industry,
improving their agriculture and achieving complete economic
equality with the other peoples of the Soviet Union.
The proletarian revolution first wiped out the basis of national oppression. Then it began rapidly to lay the basis of
equality. For many of these formerly oppressed peoples had
been retarded and held back by Tsardom. It was necessary to
carry through the development of industry and agriculture in
the regions where the formerly oppressed nations lived, at even
a quicker pace than in Central Russia. We have witnessed here
the most rapid development of peoples that all of history can
show. Nomadic peop led were lifted out of their backwardness,
almost overnight devtl 01-,ed into an industrial and modern agricultural people without h~ ring to go through the stage of capitalism. Cultural development is equally swift. The basis for inequality is rapidly disappearing even in most backward areas.
The S'lviet Union has proved the correctness of the Communist program. If in the former "prison of nations", where
the question of national liberation and of national prejudices is
very much more complicated than in the United States, such
signal success has been achieved, can there be any doubt about
the realization of equal and even greater success here?
The Revolutionary Wey
We have seen that only a basic change can guarantee to the
Negro the possibility for a decent livelihood, the rights of human
beings and an equal, honorable and respected status in all public and social life. The ruling class will not permit such a change.
in order to
The masses of exploited must ~erefore orgamze
rnake use of their right to revolution.
It is forced
f our own c oosmg.
Revolution is not a ma er O •
grinds us down
upon us by capitalism itself, which degra e; us,
into the dust makes life unbearable. As ong las .
. d th
have been revo ut10ns.
f human
and oppression have existe
The revolutionary way has al":ays beehn the u7::f 0 a revolu·
. to bemg
as t e res
. r
progress. Cap1ta ism came m
. Europe. Socialism
tion against feudalism ~nd the no 1t{ 0 a revolution against
came into bt>ing in Russia as the rehsu b" h nd progress of the
capitalism. Revolution has marked l _e 1~1 a '"•ary to remove
voluuon is nece ...
li mted
ow anot ter re
f h
rogress. But the
ke way for urt er P
a ecaymg system an ~a
revolutions o
a new exploiting
proletarian revolution differs _from a It
hi~ory. All previous revolutions resu _!e ~~e majority of the
class coming into power a nd suppres:--lm~ the maJ· ority coming
· re,o
. lution. .resu ts. m 't . and removmg
. the
people. Th e pro l etanan
into poweT, suppressing the explo1tmg_mmoOn )I then is the poa·
n v·., Society, orp;an·
· ·
b11sis of all explo1tat1on
an d °ppress1on.
. aII cl as;;e.
sibility created for omg 3 " ay .
the Sol"iali,at :oystemi1.ed in a new social and eco_n~>m•cf.,,.Y
l .sfte~~ bundanee.
1.:an now prov1"de t he nee t' ~·situ•-.•· o I e III a
th 'legro
been !'tranp;e to e .
The revolutionary way has noll . .
"tru.,o-les ha\'e glor·
, 1 • d St tes He,·o ut1onar y . ,-o
µ,•nple in th e L mte ~ a ·
h courageous strutz!! e
itiecl their history. Ha\"e w~ forg143.215.248.55: tt e aaainsl thr sla\"e mer·
nf ihr African peoples for ltfe an . 1 er Y1 ~ ? Even the few
d h Amencan r o on1es.
d1ant;, of Europe an I e
d . written history tesll Y
inc iden ts which have been presPrv~ Ill
·1gainst Pnslavement
find inspiration
lo the determined struggle of the egroels •
. .
The Negro peop e can
N t
from the very b egmnmg.
G b . I Denmark Vesey, a
in the revolutionar y attt'mpts of . ah n~ '. the numerous slave
Turner and unt o11l tIwu:-,rn Js of h"!' ter,,,
der"round ra1·1 roa d ·
1 •
'-It tes and m t e un
revo lts in the mtel ~ a ' '
l t" nary war
of t h e Ame r·
Many Negroes partic1pa
he Civil War itself was a re vo•
icun colonies against the Bntish. T
h ..,ero ypsterclay chatti>l


W O "
" •
lution •m which
the ,'"eeroes
slaves !-fouaht for land and hherty.
mbattlt>d NeJi;ro

·1 w decade when t lt' e •
. f
That glorious "I
. bloodhounds of reacuon or
fought with gun in hand agamsft lthe cl . todav an heroic, revolu•
the riahts of citizenship and o un is
�fore be faced with the need of obliterating this inequality which
it will have inherited from capitalism.
The fundamental policy of a Soviet Government with regard
to the Negro generally would therefore be to create even relatively
greater opportunities for advance and progress for the Negro than
for the white. Special emphasis would be placed upon training
more Negro skilled workers, upon technical and other forms of
education, upon inducing larger numbers to take up engineering,
science, etc. The technical schools, colleges and universities, most
of which are today either out of the reach of or closed to Negroes,
would be placed at the disposal of Negroes even to a proportion·
ately greater degree than of the rest of the population. This is
the only way that special privileges for the whites can be done
away with. A Soviet Government must confer greater benefits
upon the Negroes than upon the whites, for the Negroes have
started witn less. This is the real test of equality. This is the only
way that the basis for real equality can be established.
Any act of discrimination or of prejudice against a Negro
will become a crime under the revolutionary law. The baais of
race prejudice and oppression will no longer exist because cap·
italimi will no longer exist. But it would be entirely Utopian
to believe that the day after the revolution all prejudice will
disappear. Capitalism will leave some of it behind like a stench,
just like it will leave behind other capitalist ideSB and preju·
dicee. But these will be systematically fought by the Soviet
Government and the Communist Party until they are extinguished.
Then it will no longer be a question of wiping out !he basis for
such prejudices, but of merely obliterating the remnants. Social·
ism will remake man. To the first generation of new Soviet
Americans race prejudice and discrimination will appear like
a horrible disease of a past age.
In affairs of State, in the political activities of the country,
in management, in all phases of public life, with the removal of
all discriminations, the Negro will be playing a prominent part,
just as Georgians, Tadjiks, Ukrainians, etc., are today among the
leaders of the Soviet Union and its Communist Party.
The horrors of segregated, over-crowded ghettoes will disappear. All residential sections of the city will be opened to
the Negro. There will be no segregated areas. If Negroes wish
to remain in Harlem, for instance, they will be perfectly free to


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