James P Cannon

Pioneering work on Lenin and Bolshevism

Published on: Thu, 07/03/2019 - 10:36
Author

Paul Le Blanc

Paul Le Blanc reviews "In Defence of Bolshevism" by Max Shachtman. (Picture: Shachtman in later years.)

This is an important work on Lenin and the Bolshevik tradition. While many have been profoundly impressed by the valuable work of Lars Lih in Rediscovering Lenin (2006), Max Shachtman was articulating and documenting many of the same points in the late 1930s, through the 1940s and 1950s, and into the early 1960s. His defence of Bolshevism was articulated over and over, with facts and citations buttressed with brilliant turns of phrase, sometimes with entertaining (even hilarious) flourishes

James P Cannon

Published on: Fri, 24/08/2018 - 06:54
Author

Sean Matgamna

James P Cannon became the leader of the US Trotskyist movement in 1928 after attending the Sixth Congress of the (by then Stalinised) Communist International, getting a copy of one of Trotsky's major documents by chance, reading it,becoming convinced, and then returning to the USA to win supporters for Trotsky's ideas there.

Cannon had been a leader of the US Communist Party, and before that an activist in the Socialist Party USA and the Industrial Workers of the World.

He remained a day-to-day leader of the Trotskyist movement in the USA (after 1940, of what he himself called the "Orthodox

From Karl Marx to the fourth of July

Published on: Wed, 04/07/2018 - 14:54
Author

James P Cannon

From The Militant, July 16, 1951

I’m a Fourth of July man from away back, and a great believer in fire crackers, picnics and brass bands to go with it. You can stop me any time and get me to listen to the glorious story of the greatness of our country and how and when it all got started. The continent we inhabit has been here longer than anyone knows—but as a nation, as an independent people, the darlings of destiny favored above all others, we date from the Declaration of Independence and the Fourth of July.

The representatives in Congress assembled 175 years ago were the great initiators.

Guns, controls and the labour movement

Published on: Wed, 28/02/2018 - 10:53
Author

Gerry Bates

The US constitution famously states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”; historically, revolutionary democrats insisted on this right as a guarantee against arbitrary state power and the development of tyranny.

But the early United States was a society composed predominantly of independent small farmers, with only a small urban population. It is obvious that carrying a gun around your farm is different from carrying a gun in the hot house of a big city packed with people, full of social tension and with numerous potential flashpoints for violence.

Noneth

Trotskyism, Stalinism and the Second World War

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2017 - 10:42
Author

Barry Finger

Barry Finger reviews The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism: the Fate of the Russian Revolution volume two, edited by Sean Matgamna (Workers’ Liberty, 2015).


­Revolutionary socialism at its liveliest is always a vast theatre of ideological battlegrounds, a Permanent War of Questions, as Julius Jacobson — a one-time follower of Max Shachtman — so aptly put it.

For those, and there were precious few, who still valiantly retained the capacity, the sitzfleisch as well as the activists’ militant vigour, in the years leading up to and through the Second World War, to think through and refine

Embers of Light: review of "The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism"

Published on: Fri, 13/10/2017 - 21:03
Author

Barry Finger

Revolutionary socialism at its liveliest is always a vast theater of ideological battlegrounds, a Permanent War of Questions, as Julius Jacobson – a one-time follower of Max Shachtman – so aptly put it. For those, and there were precious few, who still valiantly retained the capacity, the sitzfleisch as well as the activists’ militant vigor, in the years leading up to and through the second world war, to think through and refine volumes of innumerable majority and minority reports, theses and resolutions, what was at stake was nothing short of a desperate race to outpace history. That period

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