C L R James 1947

Trotskyism in the United States, 1940-1947

The Workers Party and the Johnson Forest Tendency

First Published: by Johnson-Forest Tendency, August 20, 1947;
Transcribed: by Damon Maxwell.



I. The Unprincipled split

II. Trotsky’s Role in the 1940 split

III. The Political Evolution of the Workers Party

a) W.P. and the American Question
b) W.P. and the International Question

IV. The Johnson-Forest Tendency

V. The Organizational Question

a) Opportunism in General
b) Opportunism in the American Movement
c) “All-Inclusive Party” and “Bureaucracy”

VI. Perspectives in the United States

a) S.W.P. and the W.P.
b) S.W.P. and the American Revolution

VII. Lessons of the American Experience for the International

Appendix: Conversations with Trotsky on the Transitional Program


The Johnson-Forest tendency present this balance sheet of Trotskyism in the United States for its co-thinkers at home and abroad who share the program and principles of the Fourth International by Trotsky in 1938. In 1942 the Trotskyists in the United States were compelled to disaffiliate themselves from the Fourth International by the reactionary laws of the American government. All references to the Fourth International in the United States, therefore, refer to the two parties, the Socialist Workers Party and the Workers Party, who stand on the principles of the Fourth International. Despite the disaffiliation the mutual influencing and interest in ideas continues and must continue. It is in this spirit that we present our balance sheet.