Workers World Party


Workers World Party

Infobox American_Political_Party
party_name = Workers World Party
party_articletitle = Communist Party USA
party_
party_chair =
senateleader = "N/A"
houseleader = "N/A"
foundation = 1959
ideology = Communism; Marxism-Leninism
fiscalpolicy = Far-left
socialpolicy = Far-left
international =
senseats = None
hrseats = None
colors = Red
headquarters = New York, New York
website = [http://www.workersworld.net/ Workers World Party]
footnotes =

Workers World Party (WWP) is a communist party in the United States founded in 1959 by a group led by Sam Marcy. [" [http://www.workers.org/marcy/cd/ Selected Works of Sam Marcy] " from "Workers World" (accessed 2 October 2008).] Marcy and his followers split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1958 over a series of long-standing differences, among them Marcy's group's support for Henry A. Wallace's Progressive Party in 1948, the positive view they held of the Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong, and their defense of the 1956 Soviet intervention in Hungary, all of which the SWP opposed.

The WWP describes itself as a party that has, since its founding, "supported the struggles of all oppressed peoples". It has recognized the right of nations to self-determination, including the nationally oppressed peoples inside the United States. It supports affirmative action as absolutely necessary in the fight for equality. As well, it opposes all forms of racism and religious bigotry." Initially the WWP was confined to the Buffalo, New York area, where it had constituted the Buffalo and other smaller branches of the SWP, like Youngstown, Ohio, but expanded in the 1960s. During the Civil Rights Movement the WWP had a youth movement, "Youth Against War and Fascism", which opposed the Vietnam War. Workers World and YAWF were noted for their consistent defense of the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground along with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Puerto Rican Independence movement.

Ideological background and platform

Ideologically, the WWP is Marxist-Leninist. The party's Trotskyist origins are reflected in much of Sam Marcy's literature, who remained firmly critical of Stalin. However, Marcy also continued to uphold the USSR as a socialist state until the very end. When the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party was formed, the WWP included a friendly headline directed to them, "Welcome, Comrades!" in "Workers World" newspaper. The Provisional Organizing Committee replied by telling them, "Trotskyism is Counter-Revolution and Nothing Else!". Following this, "virtually all mention of Trotsky vanished forever from its pages." [ [http://www.marxmail.org/archives/january99/wwp.htm Roots of the Workers World Party] (accessed 2 October 2008).] These things led some individuals and organizations to accuse both Marcy and the party of being "Stalinist," though Marcy was always critical of Stalin's leadership.

The party was also not simply a "pro-Soviet" organization (i.e. simply following the line of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). Marcy firmly criticized Khrushchev for starting the Sino-Soviet split and called for the unity of all of the socialist states at the time (i.e. the Warsaw Pact countries, China, Yugoslavia, Albania and the DPRK). [http://www.workers.org/marcy/books.html] This notion of supporting all of the socialist states and calling for a united socialist bloc, rather than simply following the line of one of the large, ruling Communist parties (e.g. Chinese or Soviet), was what made the WWP unique during the Cold War.

Activities and organizational structure

The WWP has organized, directed or participated in many coalition organizations for various causes, typically anti-imperialist in nature. The International Action Center, which counts many WWP members as leading activists, founded the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) coalition shortly after 9/11, and has run both the All People's Congress (APC) and the International Action Center (IAC) for many years. The APC and the IAC in particular share a large degree of overlap in their memberships with cadre in the WWP. In 2004, a youth group close to the WWP called Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) was founded.

The WWP lists regional offices in some major US cities. The party receives donations and contributions as the source of its funding, while volunteers/cadres run the day to day operations of the party. The party is led by an internally elected secretariat.

The WWP has participated in presidential election campaigns since the 1980 election, though its effectiveness in this area is limited as it has not been able to get on the ballots of many states. The party also has ran some campaigns for other offices. One of the most successful was in 1990, when Susan Farquhar got on the ballot as a US Senate candidate in Michigan and received 1.3% of the vote. However, the party's best result was in the 1992 Ohio US Senate election, when the WWP candidate received 6.7% of the vote. [" [http://www.ballot-access.org/2003/0101.html#9 2002 Vote for U.S. Senate] , "Ballot Access News", 1 January 2003 (accessed 22 September 2008).]

Presidential candidates

* 1980 - Deirdre Griswold and Gavrielle Holmes
* 1984 - Larry Holmes (or in some states Gavrielle Holmes) and Gloria LaRiva
* 1988 - Larry Holmes and Gloria LaRiva
* 1992 - Gloria LaRiva and Larry Holmes
* 1996 - Monica Moorehead and Gloria LaRiva
* 2000 - Monica Moorehead and Gloria LaRiva
* 2004 - John Parker and Teresa Gutierrez - also endorsed by Liberty Union Party of Vermont
* 2008 - The WWP endorsed Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's presidential candidate. [ [http://www.workers.org/2008/editorials/cynthia_mckinney_0724/ Why Workers World is endorsing Cynthia McKinney for president] at workers.org, accessed 17 July 2008]

Disagreement with other leftists

Not all groups, organizations and parties on the left agree with the WWP's political positions or tactics. This is seen in disagreements over analysis of whether or not a particular country is socialist (e.g. Cuba or the People's Republic of China) and also positions historically held by the party (e.g., support for Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia and Hungary). It is also seen in disagreements over WWP calls for solidarity with governments that it sees as being socialist, anti-imperialist, or any country facing the threat of being attacked by the United States.

The WWP also faces opposition from ideological groups that are critical of other Marxist-Leninist and Trotskyist parties. On the political left, this criticism comes from anarchists, social democrats and the liberal left. The political right is also often opposed to any communist party or socialist organization. When the WWP was playing a large role in organizing anti-war protests before the US attack on Iraq in 2003, various newspapers and TV shows attacked the WWP specifically. [“A Smart Peace Movement is MIA,” by Marc Cooper, Los Angeles Times of September 29, 2002; "Who Will Lead?" by Todd Gitlin (Mother Jones magazine, October 14, 2002); and "Behind the Placards: The odd and troubling origins of today’s antiwar movement," by David Corn (LA Weekly, November 1, 2002)]

West-coast split

In 2004, [ [http://www.pslweb.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6831&news_iv_ctrl=1028 Socialism and Liberation magazine is changing] at pslweb.org, accessed 7 June 2008] ] the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. branches of WWP left almost in their entirety to form the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The ANSWER coalition aligned itself with the PSL and the Workers World Party then founded the Troops Out Now Coalition.

To date, neither party has officially given any reason for the split.

References

External links

* [http://www.workers.org Workers World newspaper]
* [http://www.workersworld.net/ Workers World Party homepage]
* [http://www.fistyouth.wordpress.com Fight Imperialism - Stand Together, Youth group affiliated with Workers World Party]
* [http://www.troopsoutnow.org/ Troops Out Now Coalition]
* [http://www.leftbooks.com/ Left Books - WWP bookstore and publishing house]

Further reading

* [http://www.marxmail.org/archives/january99/wwp.htm Roots of the Workers World Party] by Ken Lawrence, Marxmail Discussion List. January 1999. Retrieved April 12, 2005.
* [http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm Politics 1 Guide to US Political parties] contains brief entry on WWP.


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