The other history of American Trotskyism: Workers' Liberty 3/8

Workers' Liberty 3/8: the other history of American Trotskyism

In the mythic tale Shachtman played the role of the bad angel, Lucifer, the once-luminous lieutenant who rose in revolt against Trotsky, and against “the programme of the Fourth International”; and who was driven out of the ‘official’ Trotskyist movement to live a life of apostasy, sin, renegacy. Cannon was cast as the faithful Archangel, the Gabriel of Trotskyism, the incorruptible warrior for Trotsky and the working-class, the paragon of loyalty to "The Programme of the Fourth International." Download the whole supplement here (see "attachment").

Cannon, Shachtman, and the dispute over how to continue Trotsky's politics.

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What is the role of a revolutionary organisation?

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Max Shachtman

It is an axiom by now that the defeats and setbacks suffered by the working class throughout the world [in the Twentieth Century] have been due not to the vigour and stability of the exisiting social order, but to the absence or immaturity of the conscious revolutionary vanguard.

Max Shachtman argues: "The struggle against capitalism and social decay is at the same time necessarily a struggle of socialist against bourgeois consciousness".

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L’autre histoire du trotskisme américain

Workers' Liberty Numéro 3/8

L’autre histoire du trotskisme américain

(Introduction du numéro 3/8 de novembre 2006 de la revue Workers’ Liberty qui reproduit quatre textes de Max Shachtman : Quel est le rôle de l’organisation révolutionnaire ? paru dans New International d’Avril 1945, Vingt ans du trotskisme américain et La fondation du Workers’ Party, parus dans New International de janvier - février 1954, L’accusation de Natalia Trotsky contre la Quatrième Internationale de Cannon de 1951. Ce numéro reproduit aussi la lettre de rupture de Natalia Sedova Trotsky du 9 mai 1951 adressée au comité exécutif de la QI et au comité politique du SWP.)

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Natalia Sedova Trotsky's Break with the Fourth International

To the Executive Committee of the Fourth International and the Political Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (USA)

May 9, 1951

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Cannon and Shachtman: The other history of American Trotskyism

Cassius: Stoop then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er
In states yet unborn and in accents yet unknown.
Julius Caesar

The real history of American Trotskyism.

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Twenty Five Years of American Trotskyism

It is now twenty-five years since the Trotskyist movement was launched in the United States under circumstances which had already ceased to be unusual for that movement. The date was 27 October 1928.

On that day, an enlarged session of the Political Committee of the Communist Party, upon hearing a statement by three members of the party’s Central Committee in which they aligned themselves with the then Russian (or Trotskyist) Opposition, voted to expel the three from the party: James P Cannon, Martin Abern, and Max Shachtman (an alternate member).

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The 1940 Split in the SWP (USA) and the Founding of the Workers’ Party

By Max Shachtman

The Workers Party was organised as a result of the factional struggle that broke out in the American Trotskyist movement (the Socialist Workers Party and its youth organisation) when the Second World War began, and ended in a split. Those who founded the new party had reason to be confident.

The 1940 split in the Trotskyist movement

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Natalia Trotsky’s indictment of Cannon’s Fourth International

By Max Shachtman

The letter of Natalia Sedova Trotsky, in which she breaks off relations with the Fourth International and with the Socialist Workers Party, is a document of outstanding political importance.

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