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Will Gorman

How Facts Stack Up on FDR’s Promises

(February 1942)

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ..., Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 6, 8 February 1943, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Editor:

Some ten years ago Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot” but the breadlines kept, growing longer. Today we have the Atlantic Charter, which is supposed, among other things, to promise “freedom from want.” But despite all the ballyhoo, some recent little known statements prove that the promises of Roosevelt and Churchill are of the same order as Hoover’s.

Two months ago it was Pearl Buck, the famous writer, who exploded the myth that the capitalist democracies stand for freedom from want. She pointed out that while the Allied politicians are damning Hitler for starving Europe, they have said nothing and done nothing about “80 per cent of the people of India who have never had a square meal in their lives!”

A few weeks ago, Luis Quintanilla, Mexican Ambassador, said in a radio speech that 85,000,000 of the 125,000.000 people of Latin America are starving. He added that Latin America is characterised by “absentee land ownership, lack of industries, disease, illiteracy and a cleavage between wealthy minorities who do not work and millions of underdogs who do all the work,”

A few days ago Sigrid Undset, the Norwegian novelist, said about the South; “There is no famine here. Yet they live worse than the poorest Chinese peasant. What is going to happen to the children?”

This is the fate of the masses living under the British lash and under the tyrant generals in South America (who are propped up by American imperialism).

Why the Atlantic Charter? It is very simple. The less the capitalist politicians can do for the masses, the more they make promises and scatter lies.

Will Gorman

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Last updated: 13 February 2015