The League for Socialist Action was a group of supporters of the US SWP Tendency in the Fourth International (United Secretariat) which split from the British International Marxist Group in the mid-1970s.
It produced a paper- Socialist Action – and a number of pamphlets.
We have 20 issues of their newspaper here:
Socialist Action LSA newspaper
and a small number of their pamphlets LSA Pamphlets
LSA members were active in the Labour Party and later merged again with the IMG in 1982 when its members too joined the Labour Party.
Do let us know if you can add to our collections of LSA publications.
Not to be confused with either the 1940s Workers International League or the later 1980s group of the same name, the Workers Internationalist League was a small group deriving from the Workers Socialist League.
The Wikipedia entry gives a good summary of this short lived grouping and its confusing evolution. For more detail this article and issue 1 of Workers International Review are also useful.
The WIL published four issues of a newspaper which you can find here:
Workers International News
The WIL split in early 1984 with a group breaking away to found the Workers International Review Group.
Confusingly, it seems that the WIRG continued to use the Workers International News masthead on its leaflets- such as this one – whilst the continuity Workers Internationalist League was responsible for the publication of Workers International Review (see link above to issue 1)!
Shortly afterwards, supporters of both sides of the split came together to form a new British section of the Trotskyist International Liaison Committee (TILC) under the name Revolutionary Internationalist League.
If anyone has any further publications from either of these groups, or can shed light on some of the history, we would love to know.
The Socialist Democracy Group was formed in late 1998 by Phil Hearse and a small number of comrades who left Militant Labour. Shortly afterwards they were joined by another small group who had recently left the International Socialist Group / Socialist Outlook.
In 2002, it merged into the Socialist Solidarity Network which was itself derived from a split from the Socialist Party / Militant.
Socialist Democracy was an early proponent of the idea of building broad class-struggle parties of the left and it was a strong supporter of the Scottish Socialist Party and the Socialist Alliance.
Nine issues of the journal Socialist Democracy were published, all of which can be found here.
Socialist Democracy files
For a critical discussion of the Socialist Democracy Group, at its founding, see the article by Charli Langford in Workers Action no1
Over the next year or two or three we hope to put up posts, with scans of publications, for most of the following (in no particular order):
- Workers Internationalist League and Workers International Review Group
- Revolutionary Internationalist League
- International Communist Party/International Worker
- Socialist Democracy Group
- Fourth International Supporters Caucus (FISC)
- Workers Power
- Workers League
- International Socialist League
- IS Group
- Communist Forum (Banda)
- Marxist Party (Healy)
- WRP- Workers Press
- Communist League- Socialist Future
- Communist League- SWP US franchise
- Workers Fight- the British Lutte Ouvrier followers
- The Matgamna tendency- Workers Fight / International-Communist League / AWL
- Workers Socialist League – in both its Thornett and Matgamna incarnations
- Revolutionary Democratic Group (SWPs external faction) and its offshoots
- The Revolutionary Communist Party – the next step and the RCT
- The Chartist tendency
- Socialist Action
- The League For Socialist Action
- The Pabloites
You will note we do not intend to tackle some of the major tendencies- IS/SWP, The Militant group or the original WRP but we may well publish specific interesting publications from these- for example Womens Voice from the IS/SWP stable.
It is to be hoped that supporters of the SWP or the Socialist Party might embark on their own projects to put their historic publications online.
We will also be assisting the Marxist Internet Archive / ETOL project by scanning in some older publications from the 1940s and 50s- notably Socialist Outlook, published by The Club in the Labour Party.
Some other smaller groups, notably Red Action, the Spartacists and the Posadists already have all their historic publications online, which saves us a job!
If you can help with any of the above by providing loans of documents, or suggest groups we may have overlooked, please get in touch.
Yesterday we re-posted a short piece from RedMoleRising about the International Group founded in 1985 and we have also recently posted about the Socialist Group / Socialist Viewpoint which was formed by Alan Thornett, John Lister and others who had been in the Workers Socialist League.
After a period of working together, and an extended fusion process, the two groups came together to form the International Socialist Group and established the magazine Socialist Outlook.
Our collection of Socialist Outlook magazine, which ran for at least 30 issues in its first series, can be found here:
Socialist Outlook magazine files
Later in the year we will scan and post copies of the later Socialist Outlook in tabloid format.
This post first appeared on RedMoleRising and is re-published here together with a comment from Mike M.
The International Group was a significant split from the International Marxist Group / Socialist League in 1985.
Formerly the largest minority, Faction One, led by Phil Hearse, Dave Packer, Davy Jones, and Bob Pennington, they left after two smaller minorities formed what they regarded as an unprincipled alliance to block them from the leadership of the group.
They published nine issues of “International- A journal of Marxism in the Labour Party” before fusing with the Socialist Group (formerly Workers Socialist League) in 1987 to form the International Socialist Group which then published Socialist Outlook.
The IG / ISG considered itself to be a sympathising section of the Fourth International and became the official section at the 1995 World Congress.
International- A Journal Of Marxism In the Labour Party files can be found here
The International Group regarded itself as a public faction of the British Section of the Fourth International rather than a split.
The view was that the norms of democratic functioning had broken down inside the Socialist League, due to the fact that two diametrically opposed minorities had joined together in an unprincipled way to deny the largest group in the membership the right to lead the organisation. Therefore the SL had ceased to function as a revolutionary democratic organisation.
The subsequent evolution of the two minorities (who became what are now known as Socialist Action and the Communist League) away from revolutionary marxism and the Fourth International confirms that this was a correct interpretation of events.
The IG saw its role as reconstituting the British Section of the Fourth International on a democratic and revolutionary basis following a breakdown rather than a split. This was achieved by fusion with the forces of the Socialist Group and a number of other groups from the SL and beyond, and following further degeneration of the two minorities, agreement by the FI that the ISG as it became constituted was the only basis for a British Section of the Fourth International. A small group of the remnants of the SL constituted themselves as a “FI Supporters Caucus” and refused to rejoin the section, they too degenerated to being footsoldiers for the stalinoid Scargill leadership of the Socialist Labour Party and became extinct.
In our fourth and final look at the Workers International League of the 1980s / 90s we present two issues of a newspaper produced by the WIL minority.
As is noted in Workers Action no 3, this group at first used the names Workers Fight, WIL-Workers Fight and WIL minority. However, by the time WF number 2 was published, they appear to have adopted the name the Trotskyist Group.
The group remained sympathisers of the Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency.
Workers Fight number 1 incorporating The Trotskyist discussion journal of the WIL-WF
Workers Fight number 2 (double issue) incorporating The Trotskyist discussion journal of the Trotskyist Group
It is not clear to us whether Workers Fight published any further issues.