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Albert Gates

Get Behind Drive for a Bigger, Better L.A.!

(15 April 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 15, 15 April 1946, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The field of labor and socialist journalism is in capitalist society a unique form of expression. The very purpose of a workers’ press takes it out of the realm of customary journalism as we experience it every day of our lives.

All newspapers are vehicles of propaganda. The capitalist press, the most corrupt and biased press in the world, pretends to be impartial. It pretends to be impartial in a society of classes, of bosses and workers, of rich and poor, of the well-fed, well-housed and well-clothed and the hungry, ill-housed and ill-clad. It pretends to be impartial in attitude toward the great problems produced by capitalism: war, unemployment, starvation, the class struggle.

Yet, the capitalist press, a big business enterprise closely allied to finance and industry, is indeed the most partial press we know. It lives on insinuation, subtleties and outright lying. It is pro-big business and unmistakably anti-labor. It is capable of big lies, as well as small ones. It never ceases in its venomous outpourings against the interests of the working class.

A Bias Toward Labor

A workers’ paper stands as a living answer to the corruption and morality of the capitalist press. It openly takes the side of the wage earner and all exploited people against their exploiters and oppressors. It never pretends that in a strike one must see the bosses’ side of it, for a workers’ paper is always on the side of the workers. In a profit society, in which one class lives by exploiting another, a workers’ paper frankly and boldly takes the side of the workers.

Labor Action is that kind of a paper. It is a labor paper in that it represents the interests of the working class. But it is more than that: it is a socialist paper because it seeks not merely an improvement of the conditions of the workers under capitalism, but the abolition of this system of scarcity and insecurity and its replacement by a social order of security and plenty for all. Labor Action fights for socialism in order to end the exploitation of man by man for all time; to eliminate wars and unemployment and hunger.

Those who have read Labor Action during the war years came to know it as the hard-hitting champion of the working class. Labor Action’s handicap was lack of sufficient space to deal with all the great questions of the day. In the complex world in which we live there are far too many occurrences of importance to the working class to compress into four pages.

Labor Action Depends upon Labor

An eight-page Labor Action is a matter of life and death. Labor Action is not an advertisers’ paradise. It cannot count among its supporters men of wealth. It has no secret funds. It gets no assistance from any great power – Labor Action depends for its existence on the support and aid given it by its readers. I cannot add anything to what has already been written by my associates.

I merely want to add my appeal to all friends of Labor Action to get behind the $15,000 fund drive of the Workers Party to enable us to launch a bigger and better Labor Action, the finest labor and socialist weekly in the United States.

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