Socialist Party Platform (1932)

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Socialist Party Platform (1932)

Norman Mattoon Thomas (1884-1968)

  • Took over leadership of the Socialist Party after the death of Eugene Debs in 1926.

  • Was the party’s presidential candidate six times.

  • Polled his highest vote in 1932 with 880,000 votes.

  • Some members of the socialist party were: W.E.B. DuBois, Margaret Sanger, and Helen Keller.

Democratic Socialism," is defined by the Socialist Party as “a political and economic system with freedom and equality for all, so that people may develop to their fullest potential in harmony with others.” The party further states that it is “committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion and to a multi-party system” and that the ownership and control of the production and distribution of goods “should be democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups.”


Main Points
1. Socialist feel there are many flaws with the capitalist system, which is now in the process of breaking down, resulting in human suffering.

“We are facing a breakdown of the capitalist system…Unemployment and poverty are inevitable products of the present system.”

2. The Socialist Party believes that workers are exploited by a capitalist economy.

“Under capitalism the few own our industries. The many do the work. The wage earners and farmers are compelled to give a large part of the product of their labor to the few. The many in the factories, mines, shops, offices and on the farms obtain but a scanty income and are able to buy back only a part of the goods that can be produced in such abundance by our mass industries.” (

3. By voting for the Socialist Party you can help remove the struggles that the capitalist system has created.

“The Socialist Party is to-day the one democratic party of the worker whose program would remove the causes of class struggles, class antagonisms, and social evils inherent in the capitalist system.”

“It proposes to transfer the principal industries of the country from private ownership and autocratic, cruelly inefficient management to social ownership and democratic control…It proposes the following measures…”

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism; but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until America will one day be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.

Norman Thomas six-time Socialist Party candidate for President

The Socialist Party Platform of 1932

Programs Adopted by the Roosevelt Administration

A federal appropriation of $5,000,000,000 for immediate relief for those in need to supplement state and local appropriations.

Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA), May 12, 1933

A federal appropriation of $5,000,000,000 for public works and roads, reforestation, slum clearance, and decent homes for the workers by the federal government, states, and cities.

Public Works Administration (PWA), established by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), May 17, 1933
Civilian Conservation Corps (Reforestation) Act (CCC), March 31, 1933
Home Owners Loan Corp. (HOLC), established by the Home Owners Refinancing Act, April 13, 1933
Other agencies

Legislation providing for the acquisition of land, buildings, and equipment necessary to put the unemployed to work producing food, fuel, and clothing, and for the erection of housing for their own use.

Various experimental communities were established toward these ends.

The six-hour day and the five-day work-week without a reduction in wages.

The Black bill for the establishment of a thirty-hour week was not passed by Congress.

A comprehensive and efficient system of free public employment agencies.

Each state now maintains such offices throughout its jurisdiction.

A compulsory system of unemployment compensation with adequate benefits, based upon contributions by the government and by employers.

Provided by the Social Security Act, 1936, with additional contributions by employees.

Old age pensions for men and women sixty years of age and over.

Provided by the Social Security Act, 1936, for those sixty-five years of age and over.

Health and maternity insurance.

Provided by the Social Security Act, 1936.

Improved systems of workmen's compensation and accident insurance.

Senate bill 2793, introduced May 9, 1935, by Senator Wagner, culminated in passage by Congress of the Wagner Act, a comprehensive labor-management act.

The abolition of child labor.

Statutory education requirements and minimum work age laws.

Government aid to farmers and small homeowners to protect them against mortgage foreclosure and a moratorium on sales for nonpayment of taxes by destitute farmers and unemployed workers.

Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), March 16, 1933
Farm Credit Administration (FCA), March 27, 1933
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), 1938
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Adequate minimum wage laws

Established by the National Recovery Administration (NRA), created by NIRA, May 17, 1933. In 1935, the NRA was found to be unconstitutional by the untied States Supreme Court. Nonetheless, minimum wage limits still exist.

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