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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(5 June 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 23, 5 June 1944, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

By this time the consumer has learned to expect from the War Food Administration nothing but practical jokes.

Whenever it gets big-hearted and offers something extra special, we housewives have to be careful lest it be like one of those April fool cigars that explode in the face of the smoker.

When a supply of butter was thrown on the market not long ago, its quality was suited more for pigs than for people; a quantity of eggs released for civilian use was of such dubious quality that dealers refused to buy them; canned milk sent to public institutions out of government stocks made patients sick. It’s about as funny as a crutch!

Now the practical joker has made cheaper meats ration-free. And what’s the result? The papers all announce that the housewife is shunning these meats, expressing a decided preference for roasts and steaks.

Of course, we have a preference for roasts and steaks. But –

The prices force us to put our preferences in the back seat. So, if the working class housewife is turning up her nose at the cheaper and ration-free meats, THERE IS A GOOD REASON.

Maybe the up-turned nose can be accounted for by the kind and quality of the meat rather than the snootiness of the housewife. And that is exactly the case!

The New York Times reports that the quality of several carloads of spring lamb from the Southwest “was rather poor” – “a large percentage grading commercial and utility.”

The New York Post writes that “it was admitted that many carloads of newly-arrived lamb, pork and mutton are not of the best quality.”


The War Food Administration – as is the case with all the other government agencies controlling war and civilian supplies – is honeycombed with dollar-a-year men connected with big business. The pattern of the actions taken by the WFA indicates very clearly who is benefiting by these practical jokes of which the consumer has become the butt.

Tremendous government orders are placed with the big dairy, farm and packing house corporations – naturally through the “good offices” of the dollar-a-year men – at prices yielding a pretty penny of profit. The orders placed through the dollar-a-year men are actually greater than this government needs; storage, space is filled to overflowing; then the poorer grades or the stuff long in storage is released to the consumer. That accounts for the inferior quality of the butter, eggs, milk, meat that the WFA has so “generously” allowed us lately.

It’s time to put a stop to such practical jokes that make only the big capitalists laugh as they stack away their profits!


The battle fronts of World War II are piled high with corpses and the earth is soaked with human blood. But the German high command is reported to be already preparing for World War III. The rock-bottom necessity for waging a war is soldiers. This is where the women come in on the ground floor, so to speak. The ruling class of Germany is exhorting the people to have children.

“Every stout boy born in 1943 can become a brave soldier in 1963. Every new-born healthy boy is one strong soldier more in twenty years.” So states a new instruction manual issued by the German high command, according to an Associated Press dispatch from Stockholm.

Boys of eighteen and less are encouraged to marry and do their duty before they gp to the front because “Then even if the present war is lost, tomorrow’s war can be won by the children of today’s soldiers.” German parents are warned by this authorities against advising their adolescent boys not to marry.


But the German high command and the German ruling class are not alone in fighting World War II with one eye cocked to get a head start for World War III. In its own way, every great nation is doing exactly this. If the preparations for World War III are not so open in the United States, it is because the material and human resources here are so tremendous. The American birth rate is still high and. American casualties are still counted in the hundreds of thousands, whereas the German birth rate has fallen off and German casualties run into many millions. In this country, therefore, the preparations for World War III are in the chemical and engineering laboratories, where more perfect instruments for destruction are being developed. Preparations are going on in the halls of Congress, where it is planned to pass war-making laws such as one for the universal military training of American youth.

We read in the papers the most horrible accounts of the present slaughter, like the story told by a first aid man on the Italian front, who said: “When I reached the other shore I found bodies piled up like the carcasses of hogs which used to die from cholera in Iowa a long time ago. I hesitated to walk across the bodies, and a fellow on the other side yelled: ‘Walk on ’em; you can’t hurt ’em now.’”

This is the awful thing that is happening now, and while it happens, both sides are planning and preparing for it to happen again – in even more devastating fashion – to the next generation.


The plans of the Allies to break up the German nation and put it under military rule won’t end wars. History has taught that this kind of “settlement” is like putting a lid on a volcano. But even if the “menace of German aggression” were removed permanently, the cause of wars would still remain.

There is, for instance, the rivalry between Great Britain and America, which is making news in a way more outstanding than the war news itself. For it foreshadows that the competition for markets, natural resources, domination of the airways – the the same things for which the German ruling class allowed Hitler to organize the Nazi war machine – will have the same result.

What shall we do to prevent this? The last sentence of the platform of the Workers Party reads as follows: “A socialist world will destroy capitalist imperialism, recurrent wars, fascist barbarism, oppression and exploitation, and establish a new order of freedom, plenty, peace and security, and world brotherhood!”

Yes, a socialist world will prevent World War III., To get it, all the working people of the world must unite against their present ruling classes! American mothers whose hearts burst with pain at the thought of American boys “piled up like the carcasses of hogs” – German parents whose protest against the war is expressed in the advice they give their boys not to bring new lives into the world as they go forth to give up their own – English, Russian, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese little people who are together the victims of the war brought about by capitalist competition for profits and world power – all must make common cause against capitalism and world imperialism.

That is what we can and must do!

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Last updated: 16 October 2015