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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(14 July 1941)

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 28, 14 July 1941, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

One of the most shameful acts of the Roosevelt government – which has a perisphereful of such acts to its credit – is the way in which it tore over a million men away from their normal surroundings into drab camps without provision for decent living. It has become notorious that the facilities for amusement, recreation and education at the camps are just about a million times zero.

In “off hours” the conscripts can lie on their bunks and swap yarns, can go to a large bare room with nothing in it to “recreate” them, or can take a long, expensive ride to the nearest town to stand on a street corner. In a word, the government provided for the conscripts a street corner-loafer “level of existence.”

For the officers, of course, it is different.


Now some smart alecs have hit upon the scheme of the USO to soak the parents, relatives, friends and neighbors of the conscripted boys – the vast majority of whom are opposed to the war and to their boys participating in it. They are paying for what is rightfully a government obligation.

Not only are the working people compelled to give their sons for a war they don’t want, not only are they thus deprived of normal family income, not only do they pay war prices for everything, not only do they cough up more and more taxes at every turn – but by the use of a lot of sentimental hokum they are induced to pay for things that the government should pay for!

“Dear Mom” begins a slobbering advertisement in all the leading newspapers, and under this salutation is a picture of a conscripted soldier typing a letter with two fingers. This is a typical appeal by the United Service Organizations, commonly known as USO, which is out to lift $10,000,000 to $20,000,000 more out of a few pockets that can afford it, and many millions of pockets that cannot.

But all this “Dear Mom” stuff does not alter the facts.

So many billions are being appropriated by Congress for the imperialist war program that one can no longer keep track, However, the government does not think it important to spend a few millions of these many billions for well-equipped club houses for the men drafted into the army.

On the other hand, the same government thinks it very important – and emphasizes its importance – that every war contract yield the boss a “fair” WAR PROFIT.


At a recent convention of the National Association of Retail Grocers great glee was displayed by speakers at the prospect of employing women as grocery clerks. Indeed women were made by the Creator just for such Jobs – especially since “TWO INTELLIGENT W’MEN CLERKS CAN SELL MORE THAN FOUR MALE EMPLOYEES.”

Here is an indication of the goal the bosses are going to set for themselves. They will try hard to get twice as much out of green women workers as they can get out of experienced and organized men.

Why not? Isn’t it “a national emergency”? Purely incidentally, of course, if they can get as much work out of two employees as they did out of four, they will be paying one-half the wages and making twice the profit.


As you know, Senator Wheeler is an isolationist and Senator Pepper is an interventionist.

With these two boss politicians and a convention of women in Atlantic City as dramatis personae, there was enacted an illuminating drama. Senator Wheeler asked for a show of hands of women who did not want to go to war. Practically every hand in the room went up. Whereupon Senator Pepper asked for a vote on the question: “How many women present want to see war kept out of this country?” Again every woman raised her hand.

Here is one of those rare flashes that reveal the marrow and bone of the whole rotten business of war!

Women just don’t want war! They don’t want it fought in this country – they don’t want it fought abroad.

Both the isolationists and the interventionists try with utterly false arguments to win the support of these women.

The former say: "If you don’t want your boys to shed their blood on foreign soil, follow us.” They don’t let on that they belong to that camp of American imperialists who believe their interests will be best served by securing their power over Latin and South America and the Far East, leaving England to fight it out with Hitler. They don’t let on that YOUR BOYS MAY BE “MISSING” IN SOUTH AMERICA OR IN THE PHILIPP1NES, if you follow them!

The interventionists say: "If you don’t want to fight a war in this country, you had better follow us. We’ll settle Hitler over there.” Not a peep out of the interventionists that they represent the slightly more ambitious imperialist bunch which wishes to spread its hold over the entire world, “helping” England to lick Hitler in such a way that the American “Sixty Families” will become heir to the Brrtish Empire as well as the rest of the world. Not a peep out of them that YOUR BOYS “MISSING” SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE WILL HAVE LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR AMERICAN IMPERIALISM – NOT TO KEEP WAR AWAY FROM THESE SHORES.

Women who just don’t want war cannot follow either group of boss politicians. There is only one thing for them to do: FIGHT THE WAR-BREEDING IMPERIALIST SYSTEM!

And that goes for British and German, Italian and Russian. French and Japanese as well as American women who just don’t want war!

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