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Issue #1919      June 15, 2020

Communists have the only way to end depressions

Capitalism has been suffering from continual economic crises for more than 100 years, and Communists are the only people who have a solution to the suffering and misery of these economic crises.

Yet today Big Business spokesmen are peddling the big lie that Communists are to blame for the coming depression. Their lies are exposed by the facts of history.

The 1929 slump broke first in Poland, for instance, where a fascist dictatorship was rigidly suppressing the Communist Party.

And during the great Wall Street crash in 1929 there weren’t more than a few hundred Communists in America.

The truth is, capitalism had recurring crises, before there were Communists.

Europe had its first capitalist crisis in 1825, and there were two more before the Communist Manifesto was written in 1848.

Everywhere capitalism has developed there have been crises every ten or twelve years.

These were the crisis years:

1825, 1837, 1847, 1857, 1873, 1890, 1900, 1907 (1914-18—the first world war), 1921, 1929.

In 1937 a crisis was staved off by preparations for the war of 1939-45.

This year – 1949 – we can see clear signs of the new crisis.

Could Communists be blamed for causing these crises, or the great depression of 1929-33? Of course not.

In 1929 the Australian Labor Party leaders explained that the crisis was due to the “manipulations of bankers,” and their plans to counter the crisis consisted of “manipulating” a ten per cent wage cut, through their beloved Arbitration Court.

So the workers carried the burden of that crisis.

Today, crisis has already hit America. There are five million registered unemployed, and between eight and nine million are on part time work.

It is a crisis of over-production, with more goods produced than the community can afford to buy. Can anyone seriously suggest that this over-production is a “Communist plot”?

It is capitalism – not the Communists – which creates crisis.

Crisis is inherent in the system which exploits wage labour. Wage labour produces a value greater than the amount it receives in wages, and so the masses of useful people – the producers – are unable to buy back all the commodities they create. Frederick Engels clearly describes what happens:

“Trade comes to a standstill, the markets are glutted, the products lie in great masses, unsaleable, ready money disappears, credit vanishes, the factories are idle, food because they have produced too much food, bankruptcy follows bankruptcy, forced sale follows upon forced sale.

“The stagnation lasts for years, both productive forces and products are squandered and destroyed on a large scale until the accumulated masses of commodities are at last disposed of, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. By degrees the pace quickens; it becomes a trot; the industrial trot passes into a gallop; and the galley in turn passes into the mad onrush of a compete industrial, commercial, and speculative steeplechase, only to land again in the end, after the most breakneck jumps, in the ditch of a crash.

“And so on again and again.”

The struggle between the capitalists to dispose of their surplus product, to make profit, intensifies the crisis and leads to wars.

The so-called dollar crisis only reflects the fact that the American capitalists are selling more goods to Britain and Australia than they are prepared or able to buy in return.

Our country is being flooded with American surplus products while American workers walk the streets without wages to buy our goods in return. And consequently, we Australians face the closure of our factories and unemployment.

The capitalist class does not believe its own propaganda about “Reds” causing crises.

Speaking to businessmen at a Rotary Club function in Melbourne, Professor G. L. Wood said:

“American industry, instead of being the world’s universal provider, would wilt and wither into unemployment, because there would not be sufficient solvent world customers.”

He added: “The world is enslaved to the Great Creditor. The standards of living of the white world are due to be ground into collapse in order to earn dollars.

“The creditor is about to exact his pound of flesh and to drain the life of the country that saved Him […]” (Melbourne Age, 21/07/1949).

So it is plain that it is not the Communists but the capitalists’ struggle for profit and more profit that is at the root of the growing crisis in Britain, America and Australia.

The capitalists are frantically trying to solve their problem of markets. They see two roads:

1. To slash the living standards of their workers in order to maintain profits (they fail to see that this only intensifies the crisis).

2. A war to re-divide the world’s markets.

But both these roads, they see, are barred by the organised working class, who resist lowered living standards and profits for war.

They see the working class being led by the Communist Party in a struggle for higher wages and lower prices at the expense of profits. They see a mighty peace movement calling halt to the drive to a new slaughter.

That is why lies are spread about the Communists.

That is why the Labor Party lieutenants of capitalism attack the only genuine workers’ party – the Communist Party.

They fear the policy of the Communists, who want to end capitalism with its recurring crises and wars. They fear the example of the countries where the workers are in power, led by the Communists – the Socialist Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe.

There are no crises or unemployment in these countries, and the people’s interests are served by a resolute policy for lasting peace.

The Australian Communists do not want crises or war. They lead the workers in struggle against these twin evils. They lead the fight for Socialism which alone can end the cause of crises and guarantee rising living standards and lasting peace for all the useful people of our country and all other lands.

This article originally appeared in Tribune August, 1949

Next article – Paterson sees “sinister” motive in Sharkey trial

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