[Marxism] http://johnriddell.wordpress.com: Defying the democrats: Marxists and the lost labor party of 1923

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 08:09:43 MDT 2014

Discussions on how to break working people from the hold of the Democratic
Party have acquired a new immediacy as a result of the recent electoral
victories of independent working-class candidates in Seattle, Washington,
and Lorraine, Ohio, as well as the campaign for Chicago union leader Karen
Lewis to run as an independent for mayor. Those interested in promoting
independent politics today may benefit from studying the rich experience of
the labor party movement of the early 1920s.

During the wave of radicalization following World War One and the October
Revolution of 1917, initiatives to build a Labor Party based on the trade
unions blossomed throughout the United States. These developments provoked
sharp debates over strategy among Marxists. Should revolutionary socialists
fight for the formation of a national Labor Party? Could such a project be
linked to the project of building a revolutionary party to overthrow
capitalism? And how should cross-class “Third Party” movements be

This article will chart the development of the movement for a Labor Party
from 1919 to 1924, discuss the strengths and weakness of the Communists’
orientation towards it, and conclude with an analysis of the dissolution of
the Labor Party movement into the “Progressive Party” presidential campaign
of Wisconsin Republican senator Robert La Follette.



More information about the Marxism mailing list