[Marxism] How they self-liquidated socialist groups back in the day

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 12:01:33 MST 2013


Since the issue of "Leninist" groups, sects, liquidation, regroupment
has become something of a real discussion point of late, I'd like to
use this space to announce the uploading onto the MIA the newspaper of
the old Independent Labor League of America, lead, initially, by
founding CP members Ben Gitlow and Jay Lovestone.

Their newspaper was originally called "Revolutionary Age" and ran from
the end of 1929 through the very beginning of 1932, when it changed
it's name to "Workers Age" running from 1932 to January of 1941...when
they dissolved their group.

Revolutionary Age:
http://www.marx.org/history/usa/pubs/revolutionary-age/index.htm
Workers Age: http://www.marx.org/history/usa/pubs/workers-age/index.htm

Each issue is digitized as a high-resolution PDF and are about 5megs
in size by the Riazanov Library Project with the help from the Holt
Labor Library.

The group was loosely affiliated with the supporters of N. Bukharin
known colloquially as "The Right Opposition" in the U.S.S.R., opposed
to policies of Stalinist government. In reality they became
supporters, mostly, of the 2 1/2 International which included bodies
like the POUM of Spain and the Independent Labour Party of the UK.

What's notable about this organization and the reason I'm posting this
announcement here is that is one of the few groups on far left in the
U.S. that voluntarily dissolved (demoralized by the evolution of the
Soviet state and Stalinism) and did NOT go on to form other
organizations, though perhaps some of it's members individually did
so. In this regard they most closely resembled the short lived
McCarthy-era American Socialist Union lead by notables Bert Cochran,
Harvey Braverman and Genora Dolinger:

http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/amersocialist/index.htm
(mostly digitized by list moderator Louis Proyect).

 Of course likely far more members of the ASU went on to participate
in a variety of struggles and organizations than did the former
members of the ILLA which was truly demoralized by the advent of the
coming war (they dissolved at the end of 1940, during the
Hitler-Stalin Pact).

Specifically I want to draw list members to to the very last
going-out-of-business issue of Workers Age with their statement of why
are dissolving and what they'd like to see occur in their
organizations absence. It is well worth the read and fascinating for
historical...and contemporary...reasons:

https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/workers-age/1940/v9n42-jan-25-1941-WA.pdf

David W.

PS...the coverage of the class struggle in the 1930s by Workers Age is
quite good and well worth a perusal by list members.




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