The Third Camp tradition

The two Trotskyisms during World War 2: Workers' Liberty 3/48

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" through from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman. Click here to download as pdf or read online. The pagination in the pdf is correct, but, by a mishap, the pages of the printed version of Workers' Liberty 3/48, as a pull-out in Solidarity 347, are in the wrong order. Our apologies to readers. Check the printed version with the pdf, or follow this guide: Page 2 has been mistakenly swapped with page 6, and page 7 with page 11. The printed pull-out can be navigated as follows: 1: the first page, with the...

Debating internationalism in the Democratic Socialists of America

Dan La Botz is a US socialist active in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Solidarity. He is a co-editor of the independent socialist journal New Politics, and a supporter of the Internationalism from Below initiative. He spoke to Daniel Randall of Workers' Liberty about debates in and around the DSA, especially about what approach the organisation should take to international issues. What follows is an edited transcript. This interview was conducted prior to voting on resolutions at the DSA's recent convention. At that convention, a resolution broadly representing the “campist”...

Stan Newens, 1930-2021

Former Labour MP and MEP Stan Newens died on 2 March, at the age of 91. Newens got a jaundiced obituary in the Guardian, warmer ones elsewhere, and a tribute from Jeremy Corbyn which airbrushed out Newens' revolutionary Marxist activity in his 20s. In old age Newens wrote an autobiography, which I have not read, but is reviewed here by Ian Birchall. In February 1995 Newens gave an account, in Workers' Liberty magazine, vol.1 no.18, of his earlier political days and what he then made of them, which we republish below. Below that are recollections by me from when we worked with him, including my...

Shachtman's mistakes are not our model

For more debate on US politics, see here Martin Thomas (Solidarity 569, 28 October 2020) states that in 1954 “the heterodox Trotskyist Independent Socialist League [ISL] decided to back trade-union candidates… in Democratic primaries; and in the general elections if they won the primaries”. He denies that this turn contributed to their political drift to the right. Instead, it was “‘Sanders campaigning’ on a small scale 60-odd years before the fact”. Similarly, Thomas Carolan, (Solidarity 566, 7 October 2020) wrote: “The experience of Max Shachtman moving to the right once in the Democratic...

Was Stalinism the new barbarism?

Published in Workers' Liberty Series 1 No. 66 January 2001. Paul Hampton analyses the arguments used by Tony Cliff and others to rubbish the ideas developed in the 1940s by Max Shachtman and the “unorthodox” Trotskyists in the USA about the USSR. This is the second part of an article whose first part appeared in Workers’ Liberty 62. By the late forties Shachtman came to the conclusion that Stalinism was “the new barbarism”. Cliff understood that there were two meanings of the term “barbarism’; the first sense meant a description of the period since 1917, given the belatedness of the socialist...

Video: After the US election, which way for the left? Debate

Intro speeches — Video and audio — from 15 December on "After the US election, which way for the left?" by Ruth Cashman, Workers' Liberty; Thomas Harrison, New Politics Editorial Board (personal capacity); and Robert Cuffy, Guyanese socialist based in New York, member of DSA and the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana. A discussion on the results of the US election and tasks facing class struggle socialists. Trump and the Republican Party continue to resist the result of the US election; what impact will they have? We heard about what the left and social movement activists are doing to defend US democracy and develop class struggle responses to the pandemic, jobs and social crisis.

Different in two ways

• See here for other articles debating the US election, Trump, etc. This US presidential election is different in two ways. It narrows down to a contest between a fascistic demagogue with a militant and part-militarised mass base, and a standard-issue neoliberal. And recent years have seen a sizeable though diffuse new US socialist current round Sanders’ campaigns and the Democratic Socialists of America. At the same time, the International Socialist Organization has wound itself up, and Solidarity sees itself more as an “educational centre” than an activist group. Conclusion: the most active...

A socialist vote for Biden

• See here for other articles debating the US election, Trump, etc. Trump’s defeat in the election is, as of now, likely. It is by no means certain. A lot can happen in the coming weeks. It is of fundamental importance to the US working class that he does not win. The US left is divided. Some see it as overriding principle not to back Biden — they tend to favour a vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, who is a socialist. Others work within the very big tent around the Democratic Party for Biden’s election. But if Biden does not win, Trump will win. If by some freak...

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