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Revolutionary Tendency (SWP)

 

Revolutionary Tendency (SWP)

The Revolutionary Tendency within the US Socialist Workers Party (United States) was an internal faction that disagreed with the direction the leadership was taking the party on several important issues. Many groups and movements would have the roots in the RT, both in the United States and internationally, including the Socialist Equality Party, and the world Spartacist and LaRouche movements, and their various splinters.

The Revolutionary Tendency first crystallized around opposition to the SWPs line regarding the Cuban Revolution. The leadership regarded the Cuban regime as a full blown workers' state deserving unqualified defense by the Party. The RT rejected this because of the revolutions "petty bourgeoisie" leadership, and the absence of a vanguard party prior to the revolutions coming to power. The RT also objected to the moves of the SWP toward leaving the International Committee of the Fourth International and joining the "Pabloite" International Secretariat of the Fourth International. They also a danger of Pabloism within the SWP as well, because of what they regarded as a downplaying of the counter-revolutionary role of the Stalinism. All of these positions were spelled out in a document called "In Defense of a Revolutionary Perspective - A Statement of Basic Positions", drawn up be Tim Wohlforth and others and presented to the SWP national committee in March 1962.[1]

The tendency was concentrated among members who had been in the left wing of the Young Socialist League who had rejected merger into the Young People's Socialist League when Max Shachtman, leader of the parent Independent Socialist League had merged with the YPSLs parent group, the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation. This group had subsequently been recruited by the SWP and were instrumental in founding the SWPs new youth group, the Young Socialist Alliance in 1960.[2]

The initial membership of the tendency was quite small, about 35 in October 1961, with clusters in New York and Bay Area of about 15 each. Subsequently the tendency grew with cadres in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Haven, Connecticut. The RT initially controlled the National Committee of the YSA, but the SWP leadership was able to out them.[3]

On November 1, 1963 the Political Committee adopted a resolution suspending Harry Turner requested that the USFI allow it to present its case to its World Congress scheduled for that June. They were again rebuffed, claiming that since the SWP was not an official member of the USFI they had no jurisdiction in the matter.[4]

Reorganized Minority Tendency

In 1962 the RT itself splintered. A section split off that included Wohlforth, American Committee for the Fourth International.[5]

References

  1. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 pp.864-865
  2. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 pp.847-848, 864
  3. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 pp.865-866
  4. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 pp.917-918
  5. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 pp.923-924
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