Labor Action special May 1950: Principles of Independent Socialism

Principles of Independent Socialism

From 1950 to 1957, each May Labor Action, the paper of the "Third Camp" Trotskyists, the Independent Socialist League, gave over a week's publication to a special "pamphlet issue" on a big political question. This is the May 1950 special.

Marxist Theory and History: 

This We Believe: The ISL program in brief

The Independent Socialist League stands for socialist democracy and against the two systems of exploitation which now divide the world: capitalism and Stalinism.

Capitalism cannot be reformed or liberalized, by any Fair Deal or other deal, so as to give the people freedom, abundance, security or peace. It must be abolished and replaced by a new social system, in which the people own and control the basic sectors of the economy, democratically controlling their own economic and political destinies.

The ISL outline their political standpoint in brief.

Marxist Theory and History: 

May Day, mid-century - The fight for socialism is the hope of the world!

Sixty-four years ago the American labor movement established May First as a day of demonstration and struggle for the eight-hour day.

This year the leaders of the American labor movement, AFL, CIO and independent, have joined with the most reactionary and anti-labor employers' organizations, the NAM and the United States Chamber of Commerce, to herd the workers into "Loyalty Day'' parades on April 29.

A look at the origins of May Day and its significance today

Marxist Theory and History: 

There Can Be No Fair Deal under the Profit System!

Brush the dust off the old Democratic Party election handbills and there in fading letters you read of happiness to come, of comfortable homes to rise out of slums, of higher standards of living, of security from cradle to grave, of guaranteed incomes, of blissful peace and opportunity for all. A glorious vista opens before us, if only - if only we will choose liberals or "Fair Dealers" and give them a thumping majority in Congress on Election Day.

The disappointments of liberal administrations are no accident - only a break with capitalism can deliver freedom, peace and abundance for all.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Socialism: the democratic alternative to capitalism

The ideas of socialism are under attack from various sides. The Republican Party's main charge against the Fair Deal is that the Democrats are leading America "down the road to socialism." Austerity in Britain and all the economic difficulties of the British Labor Party government are blamed on "socialism." And finally, the totalitarian slave state in Russia and all its evils are pointed to as the fruits "of socialism."

'Socialism' has become a word used to describe all sorts of contradictory political ideas. It is necessary to recover its radically democratic content.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Democracy: an obstacle for capitalism, a necessity for socialism

'Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry'
- Henry VI

Unlike capitalism, which finds democracy a hindrance to its rule, full and radical democracy is at the heart of the socialist project.

Marxist Theory and History: 

A Decade of Independent Socialism: The IS Story 1940-1950


Albert Glotzer (Secretary of the Independent Socialist League)

The Independent Socialist League (originally formed as the Workers Party) is now celebrating its tenth anniversary, having been formed in April of 1940, following its split with the Socialist Workers Party.

A reflection on the Third Camp Trotskyists first ten years of existence, ten years after they split from the American SWP in 1940.

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The Future Belongs to the Youth

American youth occupy a singular position at this juncture of history, a position different from that of European youth and from the depression-matured generation of the Thirties. Most of them were depression babies and it is, of course, impossible to measure the unconscious effects that this crisis-filled and insecure era had on them. Their conscious social and political experience, however, crystallized during the Forties, during World War II and its aftermath.

The youth of the 1950s grew up in a very different world from the previous generation. They had a crucial role to play in the struggle for a better world, too.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The Communist Party - Labor's Foe

No worker can afford to be uneducated about the meaning of Stalinism. Of the enemies against whom the working class must guard, there is none more insidious and destructive than Stalinism. For it lives inside the working-class movement and nourishes itself on subverting labor's struggle against capitalism in the interests of the Russian slave society which is described elsewhere in this issue.

The Stalinist parties are a hostile threat to genuine socialism within the the labor movement.

Marxist Theory and History: 

White Labor Cannot Be Free While Black Labor Is Branded! Freedom Draws No Color Line

The Independent Socialist League is unalterably opposed to all racial, national and religious discrimination. It stands for the full social, political and economic equality of Negroes and all other minority national, racial and religious groups.

The fight for socialism is a fight for racial equality

Marxist Theory and History: