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George Breitman

Fighting Coughlin

(June 1939)


Workers’ Forum, Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 38, 2 June 1939, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).


A number of the comrades here in Newark, in an informal discussion of the Appeal’s articles on Coughlin, came to the following suggestion:

We don’t think it enough to merely characterize Coughlin as an anti-Semite and a fascist. What is much more important is a series of articles analyzing his program, explaining that Coughlin exploits the sentiments of the masses against their own interests, how their discontent with unemployment, war, fascism and an inadequate standard of living is used by him to answer that to end these things one must kill the Jews. On each major social problem, one should show that Coughlin has no real program. Then, in contrast, our own transitional program should be set forth, showing the difference between Coughlin and a working class party’s program. The way to arouse the most effective agitation, we believe, is by contrasting his program with ours, and calling upon the workers to choose between them.


George Breitman
Newark, N.J.

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