Balance SHeet of Trotskyism in the United States, 1940-1947 by C L R James 1947


In 1940 the present Workers Party split from the Socialist Workers Party. The comrades and organizations abroad who share our political ideas considered this an American phenomenon. Seven years have passed, years that have shaken bourgeois society and everything in it to their foundations. The International too has felt and is feeling the successive shocks. Now that the Extraordinary Party Conference approaches, with the rapidity which characterizes our epoch, all the basic phenomena which characterized the split of 1940 have appeared all over the International. The American experience, however, is coming to the close of one definitive stage. The 1940 split has been clarified in life. This clarification by today, 1947, has shown that the divisions in the United States were not at all isolated or national phenomena. It is the national peculiarities of the U.S. that disguised for a period the profoundly international significance of the events in the Trotskyist movement in the United States from 1940-1947. Because, among other reasons, the experience has been already clarified in the United States, the Extraordinary Party Conference will ,be deeply influenced politically and organizationally according to the degree to which it has absorbed the lessons of the American experience between 1940 and 1947. Not the least contribution to this task is that the struggle was participated in and illuminated with the greatest thoroughness by Trotsky and represented the climax of his great contributions to the international movement.