Archive for the ‘from The Worker’ Category

Another communist interpretation of Roosevelt’s New Deal…

From The Worker August 1933. The blue eagle represents Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act, I assume the gear is the “wheels of industry” or something like that. The communists in the 1930s were very aware of the potential for a declaration of war by capitalist countries against the Soviet Union, as a way for the capitalist countries to deal with their economic depression and the “red menace.” (On a side note, the USSR aparently did very well during the 30s, experiencing massive growth and near zero unemployment.) Thus, the increased military spending that apparently was part of the new deal plan was seen by the communists as part of the general pro-military, pro-fascist, i.e. anti-communist, trend at the time, hence this cartoon showing the blue eagle turning into a swastika….


On the New Deal, a 1930s communist perspective. Rings surprisingly true

An article from The Worker, the paper of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC), from July 1933. There is a lot of talk these days about the New Deal, and Obama’s stimulus pacakge, and Harper’s as well. The media seems to me to represent the New Deal as a very progressive or even socialist moment in American history, when massive social programs and spending were brought in to relieve unemployment and class divisions. This may be true, I don’t really know. But, this article, by American communist leader Earl Browder, at least offers a different perspective on the New Deal, albeit from 1933 shortly after it was brought in. Perhaps I will find more articles from later dates to see how it was perceived by the CPC later on.

Browder argues, among other things, that the New Deal is essentially a plan to give (or continue) tax breaks and public money (in the form of loans) to the leaders of finance and owners of capital, and shift the burdenof the depression to the middle and lower classes. Sound familiar?? Corporate bailout anyone??

Hilarious excerpt from The Worker, June 1934


The above text describes part of women in an incident at a mine near Stellarton, Nova Scotia. A group of miners was trying to break away from their old union (the United Mine Workers of America) and reaffiliate with the Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia (AMW), a more millitant union associated with the Workers Unity League, a centre of communist labour unions in Canada. Both the UMWA and the AMW had been striking to protest a pay cut proposed (or forced) by the coal mine owners. The UMWA accepted the pay cut fairly easily, while the AMW continued to strike to fight it. As a result, the UMWA allied with the owners to attempt to break the AMW and force its members to join the UMWA, which (falsely) claimed to represent the majority of the workers. So, the owners bar the AMW men from working, and as a result the AMW men picket the mine, to stop what UMWA men as are willing from going down the mine. Of course, the RCMP show up to escort the scabbers down the mine (only 12 were willing to scab). Anyhow, the above snipit picks up what happened when the scabbers came up from the mine. Esentially the wives of the AMW men jump them and beat them up, etc. Murdock Wilson, refered to in the clip, is actually one of the AMW leaders, meaning the women were so angry that even the leader of the union they were supporting couldn’t reign in their fury….