Marty Glaberman

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 18 09:07:48 MST 2001

(received from Alex LoCascio)


I'm very saddened to announce the passing of a veteran of American radicalism.

Martin Glaberman, professor emeritus of Social Science at Wayne State
University in Detroit, passed away on Sunday.  An autoworker, shop steward,
and union comitteeman for twenty years, Marty was one of the greats of the
generation of radicals who had come to politics through the American
Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s.

A comrade of the West Indian Marxist C.L.R. James, Marty had left the
Socialist Workers Party twice with his political co-thinkers.  When they
broke with the Trotskyist movement definitively in the early 1950s, they
set about to reinvent Marxism in light of conditions in post-WWII America.
Inspired by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, they had an unflagging faith
in the revolutionary potential of the working class, and denounced the
bureaucratic societies of the Eastern Bloc as simply another form of

Author of an innovative study of the Wildcat strikes in the American auto
industry during WWII, Marty was legendary in Detroit radical circles.  The
black revolutionaries who would go on to found the Dodge Revolutionary
Union Movement and League of Revolutionary Black Workers had studied
Capital with Marty, and withour a doubt his ideas about the self-liberation
of the working class made its mark on the RUM projects.

Recently, some comrades and I in Detroit had befriended Marty, and like
those revolutionaries before us, were in the midst of a study of Marx's
Capital.  We remember with fondness our Sunday afternoon discussions about
class composition, the nature of Soviet society, and the race question.
Marty had an encyclopedic knowledge of Marx, Lenin, and his comrade James,
was delightfully adverse to bullshit and cant, and had a wonderful sense of
humor.  He will be sorely missed.

Louis Proyect
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