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Encyclopedia > Socialist Workers Party (United States)

The Socialist Workers Party is a communist political party in the United States. It is well known on the Radical Left for having been the largest and most active promoter of Trotskyism in that country for about half of the 20th century. By 1985, however, the SWP had rejected Trotskyism and lost most of its prior influence. In 1986, the party won a lawsuit against the FBI as a result of years of spying by the FBI. This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... Since the early 20th century, Radical Left has been used as an umbrella term to describe those on the political left who adhere explicitly and openly to revolutionary socialism, communism, or anarchism. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... This article is about the year. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a Federal police force which is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ...


The party has declined to a membership of several hundred in recent years and, in 2003, sold its major headquarters building in New York City and moved to a smaller location in Manhattan. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Big Apple Location Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,214. ... The Borough of Manhattan, highlighted in yellow, lies between the East River and the Hudson River. ...


The SWP has continued the policies known as the "turn to industry" and unlike most similar U.S. parties, a large majority of its members are industrial workers and rank-and-file trade union activists. [citation needed]It places a considerable priority on participation in, and solidarity work to aid, strikes and other labor disputes. The SWP also places considerable priority on supporting Pathfinder Press, which publishes a large range of titles by revolutionary leaders from Lenin and Trotsky to Malcolm X and Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism. ... 1915 passport photo of Trotsky Leon Davidovich Trotsky (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Trotskii, Trotski, Trotzky) (October 26 (O.S.) = November 7 (N.S.), 1879 - August 21, 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Лев Давидович Бронштейн), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist intellectual. ... Malcolm X, (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little, also known as Detroit Red, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, and Omowale, was a Muslim Minister and National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam. ... Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (June 14, 1928 â€“ October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara or el Che, was an Argentine-born physician, Marxist, politician, and leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas. ...


Due to legal constraints, the SWP ended its formal affiliation with the Fourth International in the 1940s. It remained in close political solidarity with the Fourth International, however. The Socialist Workers Party broke politically with the United Secretariat of the Fourth International in 1990 though it had been increasingly inactive in the Trotskyist movement since Barnes' 1982 speech, "Their Trotsky and Ours." The SWP action followed the 1985 World Congress, and the SWP closed Intercontinental Press in 1986. In the late 1980s, the SWP's supporters internationally reconstituted themselves in each country as under the name of the Communist League - renaming national sections of the USFI, or splitting from them, or being expelled. The SWP's international formation is sometimes referred to as the Pathfinder tendency as they each operate a Pathfinder Bookstore which sells the publications of the SWP's publishing arm, Pathfinder Press. The Fourth International has been the Trotskyist movements most important international organisation. ... // Events and trends World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... The United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) is the largest Trotskyist international organisation. ... This article is about the year. ... The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive. ... See Communist League (disambiguation) for other groups of the same name. ... The Pathfinder tendency is the unofficial name of the group of organizations, each known as the Communist League grouped around the Socialist Workers Party of the United States. ...

Contents


Origins

The Socialist Workers Party, founded in 1938, traces its origins back to the former Communist League of America. The CLA had been founded in 1928 by members of the Communist Party USA expelled for supporting Russian Communist leader Leon Trotsky against Joseph Stalin. In 1934, the Communist League of America merged with the American Workers Party led by A.J. Muste, forming the U.S Workers Party. Many members of that organization, in turn, joined the Socialist Party of America in 1936. The Socialist Party soon expelled the former Workers Party members, along with others recruited to their Trotskyist politics. 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Communist League of America (Left Opposition) was founded by James P. Cannon, Max Shachtman and Martin Abern in 1928 after their expulsion from the Communist Party USA for Trotskyism. ... The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is one of several Marxist-Leninist groups in the United States. ... (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij, Trockij and Trotzky) (November 7 [O.S. October 26] 1879 – August 21, 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Лев Давидович Бронштейн), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. ... (Russian: Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович Ста́лин, Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin; December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), also spelled Josef Stalin, was the leader (Premier) of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s to his death in 1953 and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet... A number of parties have gone by differing versions of the name Workers Party. The American Workers Party is most well known for its leadership in the 1934 Toledo Auto-lite Strike. ... Abraham Johannes Muste (January 8, 1885_February 11, 1967) was a socialist active in the labor movement and the US civil rights movement. ... A number of parties have gone by differing versions of the name Workers Party. The Workers Party of the United States, also called the U.S. Workers Party, formed in December 1934. ... The Socialist Party of America (SPA) was a socialist political party in the United States and one of the most influential socialist parties in U.S. history. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...


Those expelled founded the Socialist Workers Party, combining the names of the Workers Party and the Socialist Party. The new party participated in founding the Fourth International. The Fourth International has been the Trotskyist movements most important international organisation. ...


The SWP's best known leader was James Patrick Cannon, a former member of the Industrial Workers of the World and former head of the International Labor Defense. Another prominent leader was Max Shachtman until a split between the two men in 1940. James Cannon in Moscow (1922) James Patrick Cannon (1890-1974) was an American Communist and Trotskyist leader. ... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. ... The International Labor Defense (ILD) was a legal defense organization in the United States, headed by William L. Patterson. ... Max Shachtman (September 10, 1904 - November 4, 1972) was an American Marxist theorist. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ...

James Cannon in Moscow (1922)
James Cannon in Moscow (1922)

The 1940 split in the SWP followed an internal factional debate over the party's internal regime, the class nature of the Russian state, and Marxist philosophy among other questions. The SWP was to experience many other factional conflicts and splits in its history, but this was the largest, and it foreshadowed many features of those to come. Image File history File links The young communist, James Patrick Cannon in Moscow, 1922. ...


The majority faction, led by Cannon, supported Trotsky's position that the USSR remained a "workers' state" and should be supported in any war with capitalist states, despite their opposition to the regime headed by Josef Stalin. The minority faction, led by Shachtman, held that the USSR should not be supported in its war with Finland. One of its leaders, James Burnham held, in addition, that the USSR had degenerated so far that it deserved no defense whatsoever. Like this debate, most later factional disputes within the SWP also centered on different attitudes towards revolutions in other countries. James Burnham (1905–1987) was an American popular political theorist, activist and intellectual, known for his work The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, which heavily influenced George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four. Burnham was of English Catholic stock, although he was an atheist for much of his life before converting...


The opposition faction alleged that Cannon's leadership of the SWP was "bureaucratic conservative" and demanded the right to its own publications to express its views outside the party. The majority faction said this was contrary to Lenin's concept of democratic centralism, and that disagreements and the SWP should be debated only internally. Similar disagreements over the SWP's internal regime have surfaced in most later faction fights, with most later opposition factions raising similar demands and accusations. Despite this, most of these later factions claimed political descent from Cannon and the SWP majority, not from earlier opposition factions and splitoff parties. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism. ... Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party. ...


The minority faction led by Shachtman eventually split away almost 40% of the party's membership as well as its youth organization, the Young People's Socialist League. Half of those who left then formed the Workers Party. The Young Peoples Socialist League began in 1907 as a youth circle in Chicago, Illinois. ... The Workers Party was a Trotskyist group in the United States. ...


The SWP opposed U.S. entry into World War II, arguing that the U.S. would be conducting an "imperialist war" for redivision of the world's colonies and spheres of influence, not a war for democracy against fascism. It experienced some difficulty as a result. Combatants Allies: Poland, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, France/Free France, United States, China, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Burma, Slovakia Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8...


First, the SWP's main base of influence in the labor unions came under attack. This was its place in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in the upper Midwest, especially Minneapolis. A number of members of the SWP had been prominent in leading the the 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike and mid-30s organization of Midwest intercity trucking and held leadership positions in a number of locals. The Minneapolis local's newspaper agitated against U.S. entry into the war. Teamsters International President Daniel Tobin launched an effort to dislodge them from these positions, and with the aid of employers and government agencies, he was successful. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, commonly known as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) or simply the Teamsters, is one of the largest labor unions in the United States. ... The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, commonly known as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) or simply the Teamsters, is one of the largest labor unions in the United States. ... Daniel Joseph Tobin (1875-1955) was the long-time head of the Teamsters Union in the U.S. (1907-52). ...


A number of members were imprisoned under the Smith Act of 1941, including J. P. Cannon (see Smith Act Trials). Those imprisoned included the main national leaders of the SWP and those members most prominent in the Midwest Teamsters. The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act (18 USC 2385) of 1940 made it a criminal offense for anyone to knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ... The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act (18 USC 2385) of 1940 made it a criminal offense for anyone to knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence...


However the party put into practice the so-called Proletarian Military Policy of opposing the war politically while arguing that their members of military age, which meant most of the membership, should go with their class into the military and attempt to transform the imperialist war into a civil war while fighting the Nazis. Although the members of the SWP kept a deliberately low profile during the war years the marine fraction of the party lost a number of its members while sailing in the extremely perilous convoys to Murmansk in an attempt to contact revolutionaries in Russia. The Proletarian Miliatary Policy was a policy adopted by some Trotskyite groups, including the U.S. Socialist Workers Party, in response to World War II. The outbreak of World War II was in many ways an unprecedented crisis for Socialist organizations. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


As a consequence of the repression they experienced during the war the SWP was quite cautious in its campaigning during this period. That many of their members were in the armed forces also had a detrimental effect on their ability to exploit the opportunities that existed. However in contrast to the rival Workers' Party of Max Shachtman they were unadventurous. One campaign that they did launch that seems to have failed due to a lack of energy on the part of the SWP was its campaign for a Labor Party. Problems caused as a result of the imprisonment of experienced leaders and the enlistment in the armed forces of many others mean that during the war years the editorship of The Militant passed through a number of hands. The Militant is an international socialist newsweekly connected to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). ...


The SWP was active in supporting those labor strikes that occurred despite the wartime "no-strike pledge", and in supporting protests against racist discrimination during the war, such as A. Philip Randolph's March on Washington Movement. The U.S. Postal Service refused to mail some issues of The Militant and threatened to cancel its third-class mailing permit, citing objections to its articles opposing racist discrimination. Asa Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a socialist in the labor movement and the US civil rights movement. ... The Militant is an international socialist newsweekly connected to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). ...


Post-War

Following the war the SWP and the Fourth International both expected that there would be a wave of revolutionary struggles such as accompanied the end of the previous war. Indeed, revolutions did occur in countries including Yugoslavia, Albania, Vietnam, and China, to name only those which resulted in the overthrow of capitalism, but contrary to Trotskyist expectations they were headed by Moscow-oriented "Stalinist" parties. The Fourth International has been the Trotskyist movements most important international organisation. ...


In the United States, the largest strike wave in U.S. history - involving over 5 million workers - occurred with the end of the war and the wartime pledge made by many union leaders not to strike for the duration. (This did not mean there were not many strikes during wartime - there were many wildcat strikes during this period, as well as strikes officially called by the United Mine Workers of America. There were also protests by GIs demanding rapid demobilization after the end of the war, sometimes called the going-home movement). SWP participation in this upsurge led to a brief period of rapid growth for the SWP immediately after the war. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Strike action (or simply strike) describes collective action undertaken by groups of workers in the form of a refusal to perform work. ... United Mine Workers of America seal The United Mine Workers (UMW or UMWA) is a United States labor union that represents workers in mining. ...


The end of the war also saw the reorganisation of the FI in which process the SWP played a major role. As part of this process, moves were made to heal the breach with Max Shachtman's supporters in the Workers Party (WP) and for the two groups to fuse. This eventually came to nothing. However some members of the SWP around Felix Morrow and Albert Goldman grew dissatisfied with what they saw as the SWP's ultra-leftist attitude towards revolutionary policies. Eventually they were to leave the SWP in a state of demoralisation and some joined the WP. Felix Morrow (1906 - 1988) US politician, Communist. ...


On the other hand a faction within the WP called the Johnson-Forest tendency, CLR James (known as Johnson) and Raya Dunayevskaya (Forest), were impatient of the caution of the WP and considered that the situation could rapidly become pre-revolutionary. This led them to decamp from the WP and rejoin the SWP in 1947. This tendency had moved further away from the 'orthodox Trotskyism' of the SWP, which made for an uncomfortable presence. For example, they continued to hold the position that the USSR was a state capitalist society. By 1951, their presence in the SWP was ever more anomalous and most left to form the Correspondence Publishing Committee. Dunayevskaya and her supporters eventually formed the News and Letters Committees in 1955 after splitting with CLR James, who was deported from the USA for Britain from where he continued to advise the Correspondence Publishing Committee which split again in 1962, with those loyal to CLR James taking the name Facing Reality. Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989) was a journalist, and a prominent socialist theorist and writer. ... Raya Dunayevskaya (1910 – 1987) was a Ukrainian born immigrant to the United States of America who was a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... There are multiple definitions of the term state capitalism. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... Correspondence Publishing Committee was a small far left organization led by C.L.R. James and Martin Glaberman that existed in the United States from approximately 1951 until it split in 1962. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Correspondence Publishing Committee was a small far left organization led by C.L.R. James and Martin Glaberman that existed in the United States from approximately 1951 until it split in 1962. ... Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989) was a journalist, and a prominent socialist theorist and writer. ... Facing Reality was a small far left group in the United States which existed from about 1962 until 1970. ...


Cold War

The brief postwar wave of labor unrest gave way to the conservatism of the 1950s, the housebreaking of previously radical labor unions, and McCarthyism. The growing civil rights movement, which continued uninterrupted out of WWII, could not fully offset these trends, and the SWP experienced a period of decline and isolation. Sen. ...


The party has also had a number of splits over these years. One such split saw the departure of the Pabloite faction of Bert Cochran and Clarke who formed the Socialist Union which lasted until 1959. This 1953 opposition supported the positions of Michel Pablo the Secretary of the Fourth International. Bert Cochran (December 25, 1913? - June 6, 1984) was an American Communist politican. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1953 calendar). ... Michel Pablo (August 24, 1911 - February 17, 1996 ) was the pseudonym of Michalis N. Raptis, a Greek Trotskyist leader. ... The Fourth International has been the Trotskyist movements most important international organisation. ...


The next, smaller split was that of Sam Marcy's Global Class War faction which had called within the SWP for support of Henry Wallace's Progressive Party Presidential run in 1948 and regarded Mao Tse-Tung as a revolutionary leader. This faction ended up leaving the SWP in 1958 after supporting the suppression of the Hungarian Rising of 1956, a position contrary to that held by the SWP and other Trotskyist tendencies. It went on to form the Workers' World Party. Sam Marcy (1911-1998) was one of the leading American Marxist thinkers of the post-World War II era. ... Henry Wallace may refer to several people: Henry Agard Wallace, the 33rd Vice President of the United States Henry Cantwell Wallace, US Secretary of Agriculture 1921-1924 Henry W. Wallace, inventor of the Kinemassic Field Generator This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise... The United States Progressive Party of 1948 was a political party that ran former Vice President Henry A. Wallace of Iowa for president and U.S. Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho for vice president in 1948. ... The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893—September 9, 1976) was the chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1935 until his death. ... Hungarians investigate a disabled Soviet tank in Budapest The 1956 Hungarian Revolution, also known as the Hungarian Uprising, was a popular revolt against Soviet influence and control in Hungary. ... Workers World Party (WWP) is a communist party in the United States founded in 1959 by Sam Marcy. ...


Meanwhile throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s the remaining membership of the SWP clung to its firmly held beliefs and grew older. Consequently the party membership shrank over these years from a post war high in 1948 until the tide began to turn in the early 1960s. The 1959 Revolution in Cuba however signalled a change in political direction for the SWP as it embarked on solidarity work through the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. The result was a small accretion of youth to the party's ranks and in the same period long time SWP leader Murry Weiss won another group of youth from the Shachtmanites as they joined the Socialist Party of America. Many of the new recruits, however, were drawn from the student movement, unlike those who had led the party since the 1930s, and as a result the internal culture of the party began to change. The outrageously crowded Woodstock festival epitomized the popular antiwar movement of the 60s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lee Harvey Oswald distributing literature on behalf of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee, August 9, 1963. ... Shachtmanism was a form of Trotskyism associated with Max Shachtman. ... The Socialist Party of America (SPA) was a socialist political party in the United States and one of the most influential socialist parties in U.S. history. ...


1960s

Despite such growing signs of an end to the isolation which the group had endured during the McCarthyite period, it experienced a new split in the early 1960s. A factional situation developed in the SWP that saw a number of small oppositional groups develop. One of the key issues was the Cuban Revolution and the SWP's response to it. Cannon and other SWP leaders such as Joseph Hansen saw Cuba as qualitatively different from the Stalinist states of Eastern Europe. Their analysis brought them closer to the International Secretariat of the Fourth International from which the SWP had split in 1953. The SWP attempted to negotiate a reunification of the ISFI and the International Committee of the Fourth International leading to the creation in 1963 of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. A few sections of the ICFI, including Gerry Healy's Socialist Labor League rejected the merger and turned against the SWP leadership working with opponents within the party. Sen. ... Joseph Hansen (1910-1979), was an American Communist and leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party. ... Stalinism is a brand of political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... The definition of continental subregions in use by the United Nations. ... Initially the title International Secretariat of the Fourth International was the name given to the executive committee responsible for the regular operation of the Fourth International (FI) founded in 1938. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1953 calendar). ... The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) is a Trotskyist international. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... The United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) is the largest Trotskyist international organisation. ... Gerry Healy (December 3, 1913 - December 14, 1989) was a Trotskyist activist. ... The Workers Revolutionary Party was a Trotskyist political party in the United Kingdom. ...


The most important faction opposing the SWP leadership's new line was the Revolutionary Tendency (RT) led by James Robertson and Tim Wohlforth which rejected the SWP's "capitulation" to Pabloism and opposed joining the USFI. They were critical of the Castro government, arguing that Cuba remained a deformed workers state. However, a split developed within this faction between groups headed by the two men. Nonetheless both the RT and the Reorganised Minority Tendency split to form the Spartacist (see Spartacist League), and the American Committee for the Fourth International, respectively with the latter becoming aligned with Healy's SLL. James Robertson is the National Chairman of the Spartacist League in the United States and leader of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) which is an international organization of small Trotskyist groups. ... Timothy Andrew Wohlforth is a former Trotskyist politician. ... Michel Pablo (August 24, 1911 - February 17, 1996 ) was the pseudonym of Michel N. Raptis, a Greek Trotskyist leader. ... In Trotskyist political theory, deformed workers states are states where capitalism has been overthrown through social revolution and the property forms have changed into a collectivized planned economy, but where the working class has never held political power (as it did in Russia shortly after the Russian Revolution). ... The International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) (formerly the International Spartacist Tendency) is a Trotskyist international organisation. ...


In the aftermath the Seattle branch also left to found the Freedom Socialist Party, after protesting the alleged suppression of internal democracy, as did Murray and Myra Tanner Weiss. City nickname Emerald City City bird Great Blue Heron City flower Dahlia City mottos The City of Flowers The City of Goodwill City song Seattle, the Peerless City Mayor Greg Nickels County King County Area   - Total   - Land   - Water   - % water 369. ... Logo of Freedom Socialist newspaper: Voice of Revolutionary Feminism The Freedom Socialist Party is a socialist political party with a unique program of revolutionary feminism that emerged from a split in the United States Socialist Workers Party in 1966. ... Myra Tanner Weiss (May 17, 1917 - September 13, 1997) was an American Communist and leader of the Socialist Workers Party. ...


The SWP supported both the civil rights movement and the Black nationalist movement which grew during the 1960s. It particularly praised the militancy of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X, who in turn spoke at the SWP's public forums and gave an interview to Young Socialist magazine. After his assassination, the SWP had limited success in forming alliances with his followers and other Black nationalists. However, these movements were part of the radicalization of these years aiding the SWP's growth. Malcolm X, (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little, also known as Detroit Red, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, and Omowale, was a Muslim Minister and National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam. ...


Like all left wing groups, but even more than most, the SWP grew during the 1960s and experienced a particularly brisk growth in the first years of the 1970s. Much of this was due to its central involvement in many of the campaigns and demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. The SWP advocated that the antiwar movement should call for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, and should primarily focus on organizing large, legal demonstrations for this demand. It was recognized by friend and foe alike as a major factor influencing the direction of the antiwar movement along these lines. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand the Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 230,000 South Vietnamese wounded: 300,000 US dead...


The SWP was also increasingly outspoken in its defence of the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro and its identification with that regime. A new leadership led by Jack Barnes (who became national secretary in 1972), made identification with Cuba an ever greater part of the politics of the SWP as throughout the 1970s. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is the current President of Cuba. ... Jack Barnes (born in 1940) is an American Communist and the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...


The party also published many of Leon Trotsky's works in these years through their publishing house, Pathfinder Press. Not only were the better-known writings reprinted, many for the first time since the 1930s, but other more obscure articles and letters were collected and printed for a wider audience than they had when first distributed. The expansion of the press also allow the SWP to host Intercontinental Press, the USFI magazine which moved from Paris to New York in 1969. Intercontinental Press was a weekly news magazine produced on behalf of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International between 1963 and 1986. ...


1970s and new leadership

The growth of labour militancy in the early 1970s had an impact on the SWP and currents developed within it urging a reorientation of the party towards this militancy. One such current was the Proletarian Orientation Tendency, which included Larry Trainor, which eventually dissolved itself. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The POT (Proletarian Orientation Tendency) was a current in the Socialist Workers Party (US) in the early 1970s. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ...


Another tendency developed called the Internationalist Tendency (IT). The IT posed a greater challenge for the group's leadership, as it espoused the ideas of the European-based leadership of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, including its advocacy of guerilla warfare as a "tactic on a continental scale" in Latin America. However, despite tensions between the SWP and USFI, when the former expelled the IT the latter refused to defend their allies. The IT would disintegrate over the next few months, some of its supporters finding their way back into the SWP. The United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) is the largest Trotskyist international organisation. ...


The international tensions developed further when the Leninist Trotskyist Tendency was established in 1973 by the SWP and its co-thinkers in order to contribute to the debate for the 1974 congress of the USFI. It argued for a reversal of the Latin American guerrilla war orientation adopted at the Third World Congress Since Reunification (Ninth World Congress). 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... A congress is a gathering of people, especially a gathering for a political purpose. ... The United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) is a Trotskyist international organisation. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Guerrilla War redirects here. ...


This period was the peak of the SWP's growth and influence. The party continued its involvement in the movement against the war in Vietnam, which peaked in 1970-71. The SWP also supported Chicano nationalism, including the Raza Unida Party. It helped organize protests demanding legal abortion through the Women's National Abortion Action Coalition. With the mid- to late 70s decline of these movements and the end of the 1960s-1970s youth radicalization, SWP membership and influence went into decline.


In 1978, the SWP leadership decided that the key task was for party members to make a turn to industry. This turn entailed party members getting jobs in blue collar industries in preparation for, the SWP leadership projected, increasing mass struggles. The 1977-78 coal miners' strike and developments like Steelworkers Fight Back were among the events pointed to in arguing for this change in policy. Party members sought to get jobs in the same workplaces in order to work as organized "fractions", doing "communist political work" as well as union activity.


As a result, many members were asked to move and change jobs, often out of established careers and into low paying jobs in small towns. Many of the older members with experience in trade unions resisted this 'colonization program', which upset their established routine in the unions, as did some of the younger members. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


1980s and after

Opposition to the "turn to industry" developed within the SWP. This opposition was not homogenous and was itself beset by differences between different factions.


A further factor in the growing divisions within the SWP was the move by Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and others in the leadership away from the Trotskyist label. In 1982, Barnes gave a speech which was later published as Their Trotsky and Ours: Communist continuity today in which Barnes rejected Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution arguing that it failed to sufficiently distinguish between the democratic and socialist tasks of a workers' revolution. Barnes argued that anticapitalist revolutions typically began with a "workers' and farmers' government" which initially concentrated on bourgeois-democratic measures, and only later moved on to the abolition of capitalism. 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Permanent Revolution, (permanent in the sense that it must be continuous until final victory) is the theory that the bourgeois democratic tasks in countries with delayed bourgeois democratic development cannot be accomplished except through the establishment of a workers state, and further, that the creation of a workers state would...


Barnes also argued that the "Trotskyist" label unnecessarily distinguished revolutionaries in that tradition from revolutionaries of other origins, such as the Cuban Communist Party or the Sandinista National Liberation Front. He argued that the SWP had more in common with these organizations than with many groups calling themselves Trotskyist. The SWP has continued to publish numerous books by Trotsky and advocate a number of ideas commonly associated with Trotskyism, including Trotsky's analysis of Stalinism. Probably the change in the SWP's self-description has gathered far more widespread attention than the nuances of Marxist theory involved.


The opposition factions continued to support the theory of permanent revolution, and the Trotskyist label: they anticipated that the SWP leadership was reasessing its place in the Fourth International. While declaring their support to the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions, they were more critical of the Castroist and Sandinista leadership. Additionally, they continued to oppose the "turn to industry".


One opposition group gathered around the Weinsteins on the West Coast, (with supporters elsewhere too), while a second group gathered around George Breitman and Frank Lovell. Together they formed an opposition bloc on the SWP's National Committee but in 1983 both groups were expelled. George Breitman (1916 - 1986) was born in a working-class neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey in 1916. ... Frank Lovell (July 24, 1913 - May 1, 1998) was an American Communist politician. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Róger Calero speaking at a SWP convention in Oberlin
Róger Calero speaking at a SWP convention in Oberlin

The opposition factions, having split from the SWP, formed new organizations. The grouping around the Weinsteins forming the San Francisco-based Socialist Action. The Breitman-Lovell group, after a time, formed the Fourth Internationalist Tendency. Both groups described themselves as "public factions" of the SWP and set the task of recapturing the SWP to their understanding of Trotskyism. A group, mainly in Los Angeles, that had been close to Breitman but did not agree to orient toward the SWP belonged briefly to Socialist Action but left to join with descendants of the Shachtman organization in Los Angeles and Detroit in the "regroupment" organization Solidarity. This was the most recent split or major faction fight in the SWP; the organization has experienced an unusually long period of internal peace since. Image File history File links Roger Calero Publicity photo for 2004 presidential campaign. ... Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, to the south and west of Cleveland. ... See also Socialist Action (UK). ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Motor City, Motown, D-Town, The D, The Renaissance City, Detroit Rock City Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Latin for, We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes) Location Location in Wayne County, Michigan Coordinates , Government Country State County United States Michigan Wayne County... Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność; full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarity — Niezależny SamorzÄ…dny ZwiÄ…zek Zawodowy Solidarność) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the GdaÅ„sk Shipyards, and originally led by Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa. ...


SWP National Secretaries

James Cannon in Moscow (1922) James Patrick Cannon (1890-1974) was an American Communist and Trotskyist leader. ... Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist. ... Jack Barnes (born in 1940) is an American Communist and the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. ...

Presidential candidates from 1948

The Socialist Workers Party has run candidates for President since 1948; it received its greatest number of votes in 1976, when its candidate, Peter Camejo, received 90,310 votes. In 2004, its presidential campaign achieved ballot access in 13 states and the District of Columbia, more than any other socialist candidates. The SWP's most high profile and controversial campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s was its Mark Curtis Defense Committee, established after Curtis, an SWP activist and trade union organizer, was charged and convicted on burglary and rape charges in 1988. The party claimed that Curtis had been framed by police for his role in defending immigrant workers. Curtis was eventually paroled. The Socialist Workers Party ran Róger Calero for President and Arrin Hawkins for Vice-President. It should be noted that both candidates were technically unqualified for the positions because Calero is not an American citizen and Hawkins is 29 years old, with the minimum age being 35. They received 11,947 votes in the U.S. presidential election of 2004. They were on the ballot in 13 states and the District of Columbia, more than any other socialist candidates. The SWP also ran several candidates for Congress. 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Peter Miguel Camejo Peter Miguel Camejo (born December 31, 1939) is a financier, businessman, political activist, author, and one of the founders of the socially responsible investment movement. ... See also 1990s, the band The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive, sometimes informally including popular culture from 2000 and 2001. ... Mark Curtis is a former member of the American Socialist Workers Party who, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was the subject of a high profile defence campaign by the SWP after he was charged and convicted of raping a 15 year old high school girl in 1988. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Immigration is the act of relocating to another country or region, whether temporarily or permanently. ... Róger Calero (born 1969 in Nicaragua) is one of the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Arrin Hawkins was the vice_presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party (USA) in the U.S. presidential election, 2004, filling the ticket below Roger Calero. ... Presidential election results map. ...

Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist. ... Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist. ... Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist. ... Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist. ... Clifton DeBerry (1924 - March 24, 2006) was an American Communist and two-time candidate for President of the United States of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Fred W. Halstead (April 21, 1927 — June 2, 1988) was a candidate for President of the United States of the Socialist Workers Party in 1968. ... Socialist Workers Party candidate for president in 1972. ... Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a communist in the United States and women’s rights agitator. ... Peter Miguel Camejo Peter Miguel Camejo (born December 31, 1939) is a financier, businessman, political activist, author, and one of the founders of the socially responsible investment movement. ... Socialist Workers Party candidate for Vice President in 1972. ... Richard Congress was a candidate for United States President of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Ballot access rules regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters ballots. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... Clifton DeBerry (1924 - March 24, 2006) was an American Communist and two-time candidate for President of the United States of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Melvin T. Mason is an American politician who ran as Socialist Workers Party candidate for United States President in 1984. ... James Mac Warren is a journalist who ran as the Socialist Workers Party candidate for United States President in 1988 and 1992. ... James Mac Warren is a journalist who ran as the Socialist Workers Party candidate for United States President in 1988 and 1992. ... James Harris - African-American communist politician. ... James Harris - African-American communist politician. ... Róger Calero (born 1969 in Nicaragua) is one of the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Ballot access rules regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters ballots. ... Official language(s) None Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... Official language(s) English Capital Lincoln Largest city Omaha Area  Ranked 16th  - Total 77,421 sq mi (200,520 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  Ranked 47th  - Total 8,729 sq mi (22,608 km²)  - Width 70 miles (110 km)  - Length 150 miles (240 km)  - % water 14. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ... Official language(s) None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  Ranked 43rd  - Total 9,620 sq mi (24,923 km²)  - Width 80 miles (130 km)  - Length 160 miles (260 km)  - % water 3. ... James Harris - African-American communist politician. ... Ballot access rules regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters ballots. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... Flag Seal Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location Location of Washington, D.C., with regard to the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,794 sq mi (170,451 km²)  - Width 162 miles (260 km)  - Length 497 miles (800 km)  - % water 17. ... Official language(s) English Capital Des Moines Largest city Des Moines Area  Ranked 26th  - Total 56,272 sq mi (145,743 km²)  - Width 199 miles (320 km)  - Length 310 miles (500 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English and French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans at last census; probably Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33... Official language(s) English Capital Jackson Largest city Jackson Area  Ranked 32nd  - Total 48,434 sq. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,876 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ... Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,824 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  Ranked 23rd  - Total 65,498 sq. ...

Other leading members

Bert Cochran (December 25, 1913? - June 6, 1984) was an American Communist politican. ... Carl Skoglund (1884—1960) was a Swedish-American socialist, affectionately called Skogie by all his American friends and comrades. ... Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989) was a journalist, and a prominent socialist theorist and writer. ... Ed Shaw (1923 – 1995) was an American Communist and life-long member of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Eric Simpson is an American Communist and long-time member of the Socialist Workers Party of Miami, Florida and writer for The Militant. ... Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a communist in the United States and women’s rights agitator. ... Felix Morrow (1906 - 1988) US politician, Communist. ... Fred Feldman is a marxist activist in the United States, and a former leader of the Socialist Workers Party (USA). ... George Breitman (1916 - 1986) was born in a working-class neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey in 1916. ... George Norvack (1905-1992). ... Harry Braverman (1920 – 1976) was an American Communist and political writer. ... Harry Ring is a communist and for many years a leading member of the Political Committee and National Committee of the Socialist Workers Pary (USA). ... James Burnham (1905–1987) was an American popular political theorist, activist and intellectual, known for his work The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, which heavily influenced George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four. Burnham was of English Catholic stock, although he was an atheist for much of his life before converting... Joel Britton Joel Britton, a retired meatpacker and a Communist, serves on the National Committee of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party. ... Joseph Carter (1910-1970) was the pseudonym of Joseph Friedman, a founding member of the American Trotskyist movement. ... Joseph Hansen (1910-1979), was an American Communist and leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Martin Abern, born Martin Abramowitz (December 2, 1898 ? 1949) was a Trotskyist politician. ... Martín Koppel is one of the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Max Shachtman (September 10, 1904 - November 4, 1972) was an American Marxist theorist. ... Dr. Morris Joseph Starsky, a tireless political and social activist and philosophy professor, served as a tenured faculty member in the Arizona State University Philosophy Department until his termination by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1970. ... Olga Rodriguez is a member of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States. ... Paul Montauk (1922 – 1998) was an American Communist and life-long member of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Peter Miguel Camejo Peter Miguel Camejo (born December 31, 1939) is a financier, businessman, political activist, author, and one of the founders of the socially responsible investment movement. ... Raya Dunayevskaya (1910 – 1987) was a Ukrainian born immigrant to the United States of America who was a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). ... Thomas Kerry (June 27, 1901 – January 8, 1983) was an American Communist and a life long member of the Socialist Workers Party. ...

Prominent former members

See also: COINTELPRO, Other parties called the Socialist Workers Party, List of political parties in the United States List of Communist parties Peter Miguel Camejo Peter Miguel Camejo (born December 31, 1939) is a financier, businessman, political activist, author, and one of the founders of the socially responsible investment movement. ... Defunct California Proposition 64 North American Labour Party Party for the Commonwealth of Canada Parti pour la république du Canada U.S. Labor Party Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. ... Stephanie Coontz is a feminist sociologist, author, and faculty member at The Evergreen State College. ... COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) is a program of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. ... There are various Socialist Workers Parties throughout the world. ... Political parties in the United States lists political parties in the United States. ... There are, at present, a number of communist parties active in various countries across the world, and a number who used to be active. ...


External links

Further reading

Archives

  • The George Breitman Papers. Tamiment 169. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. Online guide retrieved April 20, 2005.
  • The Frank Lovell Papers. Tamiment 204. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. Online guide retrieved April 20, 2005.
  • The Max Shachtman Papers 1917-1969. Tamiment 103. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. Online guide retrieved April 20, 2005.
  • David Loeb Weiss Papers. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University.
  • Myra Tanner Weiss Papers. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University.

Books New York University (NYU) is a major research university in New York City. ... New York University (NYU) is a major research university in New York City. ... New York University (NYU) is a major research university in New York City. ... New York University (NYU) is a major research university in New York City. ... New York University (NYU) is a major research university in New York City. ...

  • Breitman, George and James P. Cannon Founding of the Socialist Workers Party. 395 pages. Anchor Foundation (September, 1982). ISBN 0913460915.
  • Halstead, Fred. Out Now!: A Participant's Account of the Movement in the United States Against the Vietnam War. 759 pages. Hardcover edition. Publisher: Anchor Foundation; Reprint edition. June 1, 1978. ISBN 0913460478.
  • Jayko, Margaret, editor. FBI on Trial: The Victory in the Socialist Workers Party Suit Against Government Spying. 260 pages. Pathfinder Press (NY) (September 1, 1988). ISBN 0873485297.
  • Sayrafiezadeh, Saïd. When Skateboards Will Be Free. Granta, UK. Fall 2005. ISBN 1-929001-5.
  • Sheppard, Barry. The Party: A Political Memoir of the Socialist Workers Party, 1960-1988. Volume 1: The Sixties. Resistance Books, Australia. 2005. ISBN 1876646500.
  • Wohlforth, Tim. The Prophet's Children: Travels on the American Left. 332 pages. Humanities Press Intl Inc (April 1, 1994). ISBN 0391038192.
Political Parties of the United States
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