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Albert Goldman & Lydia Bennett

SWP Minority Statement on WP Unity

(May 1946)


From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 22, 3 June 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).


At the meeting of the full National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party, the Control Commission brought in a report finding Goldman, Morrow and other comrades of the Minority guilty of “disloyal acts.” Readers of Labor Action know that the Minority has been leading a fight for unity between the Socialist Workers Party and the Workers Party. The Majority of the SWP has opposed unity.

The statement below is one that was handed in as an answer to the charges of “disloyalty” made by the Control Commission.

*

Statement to the Plenum on the Report
of the Control Commission

The report of the National Control Commission on the “disloyalty” of Goldman, Morrow and other members of the Minority proves not the disloyalty of the Minority but the existence of a police psychology in the leaders of the Majority. What is essentially a political problem they treat as a problem of disloyalty.

It should be mentioned, although it is of secondary importance, that neither Goldman nor Morrow were presented with any formal charges and asked for any statements. The only comrade against whom formal charges were made and who was called upon for a statement is comrade L. Bennett. If a control commission “investigates” it should at least ask those who are being investigated for a statement.

We have never concealed the fact, indeed we are proud to admit it, that before we introduced the resolution on unity we discussed the question with comrade Shachtman and other comrades of the Workers Party, in order to convince them to favor unity. In a normal, healthy atmosphere such discussions would naturally be reported to the Political Committee but it should be remembered that the factional atmosphere had reached a point where friendly discussion of any problem was impossible.
 

Fraternization and Unity

One fact we want to make clear. We did not know what the reaction of the WP would be to the question of unity before we presented our resolution. We were in favor of unity regardless of the attitude of the Majority or of the WP. The difference is that we could discuss the question in a friendly manner with the WP comrades and we could not do that with the leading Majority comrades.

The bill of particulars listing the various acts of the Minority which are designated as “disloyal” is approximately correct. We have never concealed or tried to conceal that we were fraternizing with the WP comrades. We never concealed that the Chicago Minority held socials to which were invited the comrades of the Majority as well as the WP comrades. The same applies to classes held by the Minority.

We have previously explained our course of conduct and we repeat the explanation. After we were convinced that the WP comrades were sincerely in favor of unity and after the leaders of the Majority began their dishonest maneuvers against unity, the Minority decided on a course of political fraternization with the WP. Step by step this fraternization developed.
 

Considered WP Revolutionary

We considered the WP comrades as devoted revolutionists; after they indicated their desire to unite with our party we considered them a tendency in the Fourth International. Under all the prevailing circumstances political fraternization with the WP became a revolutionary duty for us and obedience to a policy of the Majority based on the idea that the comrades of the WP were renegades, would in dur opinion have constituted a crime against the revolution.

Our policy of independent action with the WP did not have as its purpose the provoking of expulsions. It is true that it was a policy which lent itself to such an interpretation; it is true that Goldman said to those comrades who wanted to leave immediately: wait, you will be expelled. The basis of the policy, however, was not the desire to provoke expulsions; it was openly to show that revolutionists must fraternize with other revolutionists, under the circumstances that existed, regardless of a majority motivated by dishonest factional considerations.

To the charge of disloyalty we answer: we have been loyal to the revolution and therefore disloyal to dishonest factionalists, opposed to unity for the most despicable of reasons.

Sincere and understanding Trotskyists, even though disagreeing with us, will not stoop to the degrading methods of prosecutors. They will either permit the Minority to fraternize politically with the WP or expel the Minority without any charges of disloyalty. We can expect the introduction of police methods to solve a political difference from Stalinists and other reactionaries but not from Trotskyists.

 

Signed
Albert Goldman
Lydia Bennett


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