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On the New Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Party (RT-SP)
by Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Part
Saturday Jan 7th, 2012 11:16 AM
As the current crisis of capitalism threatens the break-down all that is left that is civil in our society, the Democrats charge ahead with the Republicans in making sure it is the poor, the working class, and the planet, who pay for the crisis of capitalism, not capitalist profits. The alternative to socialist revolution becomes increasingly clear as capitalist society becomes less and less able to take care of its people; climate change caused by capitalist greed becomes an increasing threat to the future of human civilization; the capitalist state becomes increasingly repressive; and the leading capitalist countries plunge the world into war after war of imperialist domination and conquest. As the great German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg said in 1918, the alternatives are socialism or barbarism.

The following statement of purpose was approved by the now forming Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Party (RT-SP) Jan. 7, 2012.

The Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Party (RT-SP) is a group presently forming within the Socialist Party (SP-USA) that advocates a revolutionary socialist program with workers' democracy. As such it opposes the betrayals of the social democratic, Stalinist, and anarchist models of socialism. We do so without dismissing the usefulness people with such ideas have at times played in the class struggle, making important historic gains for social progress, and the importance of these people today. We work with people with those differing ideas in the Socialist Party as we work to make the SP a mass workers party.

As a tendency, our program and inspiration is not being invented out of the blue, it comes in large part from revolutionary leaders that include people like Karl Marx, Fredrich Engels, Lucy Parsons, V.I. Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebnecht, Eugene Debs, Dick Frasier, Hubert Harrison, Robert F. Harrison, and James P. Cannon. While highly inspired by these leaders, we do not accept the need for the Leninist model of party building that has been followed by Trotskyist parties. That model, while perhaps useful in times when the movement is driven underground, has instead today led to the fragmentation of the American left into many different socialist parties with rigid programs that are too refined to be attractive to experienced socialists who are likely to disagree with some important component of every party's program. On the other end of the extreme is the Socialist Party itself. Its general lack of programmatic clarity, and lack of any tendency to bring that needed program, was a major cause of its inability to produce any potential presidential candidates for the 2012 election capable of clearly representing the socialist program.

We draw inspiration from the Civil Rights and Black Liberation movements that abolished Jim Crow segregation, won the right of Blacks to vote, and opened new educational and employment opportunities for Blacks. The Democrats and Republicans were agreed on maintaining all of those injustices until they were forced to make changes by a movement that was causing them too many problems. Those victories show that real gains can sometimes be made by the people against the U.S. government through mass action, militant self-defense, and international outrage (at the country that was supposedly fighting for democracy in the world). While drawing inspiration from these movements, we recognize that problems of racism are far from resolved in the United States and we seek to apply our socialist program to achieve Black liberation through socialist revolution.

As a tendency serving as a tribune of the people we denounce the pro-imperialist history of our own party, the Socialist Party, under the leadership of Norman Thomas, when it took pro-imperialist positions like supporting the U.S. war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic.

We are instead inspired by socialists who played a central role in organizing the movement against the U.S. war in Vietnam. Primary amongst these were the Trotskyists of the Socialist Workers Party who played a consistent role in educating and organizing mass protest after mass protest that demanded an end to the U.S. war in Vietnam. Starting out small, with no idea that they would actually influence anything, it grew into a major movement that helped bring an end to the war and helped bring other important changes. We, however, recognize that the imperialist system that spawned the U.S. War in Vietnam is alive and well and we seek to end all U.S. imperialist wars through socialist revolution.

The movement against the U.S. War in Vietnam was also movements that educated a generation to stand-up against the injustices of the capitalist system creating spin-off movements for women’s liberation, Gay and Lesbian rights, and for the defense of the environment. Those movements have won major victories like the right to abortion, changes in social thinking and discrimination, protections against some important pollutants and the creation of the Endangered Species Act. But we still have a long ways to go and still need the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), protections against the chipping away of the right to abortion, the right to same sex marriage, and need to make rapid moves against climate change.

While the wealthy 1% are still doing well, the working class is taking a beating under the crisis of capitalism. Before 1934 the labor movement of the United States was in the same boat and unable to effectively fight back due to the conservative leadership of the labor unions. It was a situation very similar to today. In 1934 this all changed when socialists took the leadership of three important unions and, unlike the entrenched union bureaucrats, were able to lead successful strikes, the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike, the San Francisco Longshore Strike, and the Toledo Autolite Strike. We look to these strikes as good examples of how unions can fight back and win.

The RT-SP is being established to recruit all of the following people to participate in discussing and adopting a program:
1. Experienced socialists who have no party
2. Members of the Socialist Party who see the need for such a tendency
3. People who are just learning about socialism who want to get involved
4. Members of the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) (dual membership in both the SP and PFP is allowed, so you can join the SP to get involved with the RT-SP).

We will come together to build an organization that can more effectively channel our knowledge and creativity into group action. While membership in this Tendency is only open to members of the SP-USA, we will reach out and form alliances with revolutionary socialists and encourage them to join both the SP-USA as well as the RT-SP in order to build a larger revolutionary Left in the SP-USA.

The socialist movement is, in part, the historic memory of the working class. While the ruling class attempts to create amnesia regarding past victories of the working class, the socialist movement resurrects these lessons and applies them to the struggle for a better world. Marxism, through our eyes, is a revolutionary socialist program for the overthrow of our capitalist oppressors for the establishment of an egalitarian socialist society capable of providing everyone with a job, housing, free health care, free education, workers democracy (without the control of capitalists, corporations, or Stalinist bureaucrats), and a cleaner environment where we can save the planet by combating climate change.

As a party and tendency we must also serve as a tribune of the people championing the causes of all of the most oppressed including Blacks, women, immigrants, Native Americans, people in countries dominated by U.S. imperialism, and the BGLT community.

As opposed to the Green Party and some within our own party, we see that for a party to remain a tool of the working class in the long run such a party also needs to have a revolutionary anti-capitalist program for the building of socialism. Political parties without a clear anti-capitalist program, once in power, just become mere rulers over the inherent injustices of the capitalist system.

We call for an end to the dictatorial power of the wealthy through the expropriation of the 1% with the establishment of a planned economy run to meet human and environmental needs. This socialist society will only come about through the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist state, comprised at its heart of the existing police, armies, courts, and prisons.

The primary force in society capable of winning this program is the working class with the influence of a revolutionary socialist leadership. Labor has the potential to win a wide range of demands today by shutting down the profits of the capitalists. Yet the American working class is presently saddled with a conservative union bureaucracy that supports the Democratic Party. That bureaucracy also fears worker defiance of court injunctions, fears worker defiance of police orders, fears worker defiance of Taft Hartley, fears anything but porous picket lines, fears the concept of a general strike, fears the concept of political strikes, fears union democracy, but most of all fears defiance of their sell-out contracts and challenges from the membership that could remove the bureaucrats from their cushy jobs.

As members of the labor movement and militant supporters of collective bargaining we support any and all means of effective action and we speak up when what we see appears to be ineffective. Likewise, we seek to break the unions from support for our class enemies in the Democrat Party. Instead of financing Democrat Party campaigns it is our position that unions need to rely on our own collective power to shut down profits through shutting down transport and production. Likewise, money raised from union members would be better spent on strike funds and strike support. Without an independent fight-back of the working class, using the power of the strike for political demands, the situation will just continue to grow bleaker.

As the current crisis of capitalism threatens the break-down all that is left that is civil in our society, the Democrats charge ahead with the Republicans in making sure it is the poor, the working class, and the planet, who pay for the crisis of capitalism, not capitalist profits. The alternative to socialist revolution becomes increasingly clear as capitalist society becomes less and less able to take care of its people; climate change caused by capitalist greed becomes an increasing threat to the future of human civilization; the capitalist state becomes increasingly repressive; and the leading capitalist countries plunge the world into war after war of imperialist domination and conquest. As the great German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg said in 1918, the alternatives are socialism or barbarism.

The following is a partial list of what we are fighting to do:

*Establish a system of socialized medicine for the United States to provide everyone with free guaranteed health care,
*Establish full employment and housing guaranteed to all, easily achieved through the expropriation of foreclosed housing from the banks and a broader planned socialist economy,
*Establish free quality well funded education through the university level coupled with the cancellation of all student debt carried out in part through the nationalization of the banks,
*For the nationalization of the gas, oil, coal, and auto industries to carry out immediate emergency measures to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
*Bring an end to all U.S. military occupations of other countries both because we need to stop U.S. terror against the people of the world and the trillions of dollars squandered on war is needed for human and environmental needs,
*Bring an end to repressive and brutal police occupations of communities of color throughout the United States through the abolition of all current police forces and the building of new ones controlled by the people through the new workers democracy,
*Close Guantanamo and give it back to Cuba
*End indefinite detention without trial,
*End the mass incarceration of the poor and people of color through firing all current DA’s, judges, and cops and replacing them with representatives of the people through the workers’ democracy,
*Abolish US prisons in their current form and look to models where incarceration exists to rehabilitate not to punish and torture.
*End the war on drugs while providing quality drug and alcohol treatment free on demand with the mandatory availability of non-Christian and non-spiritual options,
*Freedom for all political prisoners including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Brianna (Bradley) Manning, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, and Lynne Stewart,
*Bring an end to brutal police repression of the Occupy movement and end all prosecutions of those who were arrested,
*Bring an end to U.S. military aid to murderous and repressive governments including Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Colombia, Yemen, Iraq, and Honduras just to name a few,
*Pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA),
*Establish free quality daycare and communal kitchens as steps to ameliorate daily drudgeries disproportionately put on the shoulders of women and create more opportunities for women outside the home,
*Defend reproductive rights including free abortion on demand and re-establishing clinics where terror has shut them down by providing, where needed, 24 hour armed defenses for providers and clinics,.
* For the right of any couple to marry no matter their gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation,
* Repeal of Taft Hartley, “right to work”, and all other anti-union laws.

This is a partial platform, the RT-SP plans to decide on a full platform and program in the near future.

Join the RT-SP!

We encourage people here who are interested in this program to join the Socialist Party so that you can join our tendency. Here is a link to a website where people can join the SP.
http://socialistparty-usa.org/joinus/

People interested in joining the RT-SP should contact us by e-mail at: revolution_updates [at] yahoo.com

For news regarding the RT-SP subscribe free to Liberation News (not affiliated with the PSL who stole the name)
https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Lawrence Rockwood
Wednesday Feb 1st, 2012 4:39 AM
On the New Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Party (RT-SP)
Change the word "anarchist" with black, or LGBT, or women and I do not think IndyBay would have published this hate filled crap. I do not mind those like Steve Argue who feel that in certain historical circumstances that it was justified to torture and murder anarchists. But when they expect anarchists to agree with them, that is what makes Stalinists.
Lawrence Rockwood is a former U.S. military counterintelligence officer that served in El Salvador during the U.S. backed death squad government in the 1980s. He is NOT an anarchist, but a Cold War era anti-communist that is all about attacking unity between social justice activists. His rhettoric at times can cloud his true intentions. Contact the RT folks directly instead of relying on his mean spirited posting.
by Steven Argue
Wednesday Feb 1st, 2012 8:40 PM
Once again Lawerence Rockwood takes aim at the RT-SP with another set of lies. Here are some facts:

1. The RT-SP is not Stalinist. We explicitly reject Stalinism.
2. The RT-SP does not advocate the torture and murder of anarchists nor is there any reason on Earth for Rockwood to make such an absurd charge other than the fact that he wants to slander the RT-SP.
3. The RT-SP has political differences with anarchism, but we view anarchists as part of the workers' movement and are perfectly happy working with those who count themselves as anarchists inside the Socialist Party.
4. Our attitude of tolerance for differences is not shared by Larry Rockwood who has physically threatened revolutionary Marxists in the Socialist Party.
by Lawrence Rockwood
Thursday Feb 2nd, 2012 4:55 PM
Take five seconds and Google my name and see who is being misrepresented. I have never threatened anyone including women and children. I ask for evidence from those who are slandering me.
by Lawrence Rockwood
Thursday Feb 2nd, 2012 8:19 PM
Question, when someone slanders someone and accuses them of criminal misconduct and uses the accused legal name, should the accuser also use their legal name or should they be allowed to hide behind a fictitious one. Google me, I am a open book. Too bad you can't do the same for my accuser.
by Steven Argue
Friday Feb 3rd, 2012 2:29 PM
I've talked with a member of the Socialist Party who was threatened by Lawrence Rockwood. When I asked Rockwood about it he refused to answer my questions. As a member of the Socialist Party, his behavior was not acceptable. Charges were being drawn up against him for that and for telling lies about other members, but rather than face those charges he resigned from the party today.
by Lawrence Rockwood
Friday Feb 3rd, 2012 7:22 PM
Please have someone who was physically threatened by me post here. Argue is too busy slandering those murdered by his heros to post evidence.
by Lawrence Rockwood
Friday Feb 3rd, 2012 7:26 PM
As a international recognized human rights activists, I have always argued for a categorical prohibition against torture. No exceptions, not even for Lenin and Trotsky between 1918 - 1923. The RT defends torture and political murder. Stand by, here comes their justifications/
by Lawrence Rockwood
Friday Feb 3rd, 2012 7:58 PM
This hate campaign you are witnessing is the result of my exoneration 8-2 by the NAC because heated challenging discourse is not a physical threat. . The higher NC received no complaint against me from the Staliniists and they responded by slander. There is no more documentation that I ever threatening any human being and there is for Steve Argue and Brandy Baker being child molesters (as far as I know). I left the NC because of its leadership inability to deal with those who attack our electoral candidates and members.

The wonderful thing about Stalinists is when were call them Stalinists, they prove it to you.
Unlike my detractors, my evidence is on this page. Read the second line of their manifesto above: anarchists betrayed socialism. THIS IS THEIR PREAMBLE.

As a anti-authoritarian socialist I do not like taking recourse to the law. But if my accusers have a case against me, please take it before the law. Our law is shit, but it is better than the law that will be imposed by these Stalinist when they get ANOTHER change. They will add millions to the millions they have already murdered.
by chegitz guevara
Monday Feb 6th, 2012 9:57 AM
Far from being an anarchist, Lawrence Rockwood is a fascist. His desire for freedom extends only to himself, and not to any others.

His politics is overtly right-wing. He has openly stated he celebrates Thermidor, the month of the counter-revolution in France, and the name to all conservativizing periods in revolutions since.

He has shoved his hands in one person's face. At a meeting with other people, he aggressively stood towards me waving his cane. Only the fact that there were others between us prevented him from swinging. At least two members of the SPNYC stopped attending meetings because they were physically afraid of him. He threatened murder suicide against one comrade, and used anti-woman hate speech against another.

The real crime is that the leadership of the SPUSA and his local allowed this to go on for over a year. While LR is very likely mentally ill, it is those around him who empowered him to behave like a petulant five year old that are the real problems.
by Brandy Baker
Monday Feb 6th, 2012 11:36 AM
One can only look at the depraved rantings of Mr Rockwood and see what the deal is. Rockwood makes the best case against Rockwood, better than anyone else possibly could.

I am still pretty new to the Party (5 months) and I didn't even really know this guy until he cc'd me and filled my inbox over a period of many days (on two separate occasions) with his nonsensical rantings. The NC should have handled this long before any of us newbies even signed up to join the SP.

Hopefully we can all move on from this and do things like organizing, running socialists for office, building a mass workers movement: you know, stuff we actually signed up to do. I didn't sign up to deal with disturbed people.
Open Letter to the NC of SPUSA and the Membership of the Socialist Party of New York State http://www.facebook.com/groups/244328405632663/
by Just Sayin
Wednesday Feb 15th, 2012 8:38 AM
Check this recent gem out from Lawrence Rockwood, A Man Obviously Off His Rocker.

The Socialist Case Against Love
by Lawrence Rockwood
http://socialistwebzine.blogspot.com/2011/03/socialist-case-against-love.html

It's really, really not worth reading.
by M.L.
Wednesday Feb 15th, 2012 2:37 PM
The Socialist supports the Anti-Sex League.

Yes, yes, Thermidor is insane. We all more or less agree. The real issue is the Editor and Editorial Board approving this for publication.
by Lawrence Rockwood
Monday Mar 12th, 2012 1:53 AM
I feel so sorry for those totalitarian / fundamentalist closed minds who cannot understand humor, irony, or subtlety. They deserve our pity until they day they are allowed to torture and execute us for our humor.
by Steven Argue
Thursday May 17th, 2012 2:02 PM
An anti-socialist extremist (Rockwood) who has written many lies about me and the RT is published in the SP's press saying, “While there are legitimate needs for secrecy in national security, our government has abused this privilege for so long and so severely it is simply no longer credible.” The U.S. government murdered more than a million people in Iraq. Nothing it ever does has anything to do with "security". Instead, the U.S. government pursues policies of imperialism which include war and mass murder for the sole purpose of plunder of the world’s resources and labor. Yet Rockwood instead makes the argument that abuses of secrecy for partisan purposes are the problem. Bullshit. Bipartisan U.S. imperialism is the problem.
by L Rockwood
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2013 2:05 AM
Thank God, these Stalinist thugs calling themselves the Revolutionary Tendency have left the Socialist Party USA.
by Get Real
Thursday Mar 7th, 2013 8:46 AM
They were some of the hardest working revolutionaries on the american left and they left partly because they were tired of the NC using Rockwood's outbursts for factional advantage. The NC comprise mostly of the right wing locals of new york city and northern new jersey. Instead of censuring him, they allowed him to attack others in the socialist party in order to, yes, chase them away.

His politics are right-wing, pro-USA, he is no socialist. He fills the dictionary definition of stalinist better than anyone that he slanders.
by Steven Argue
Thursday Jul 25th, 2013 7:55 AM
New documents are being produced because the Revolutionary Tendency is no longer part of the Socialist Party (SP). The Socialist Party is a useless liberal, reformist, pacifist organization with no internal democracy and no program for socialist revolution, Black liberation, or militant industrial action by the working class. The only good things that have come out of the Socialist Party since 1920 are the Communist Party (CP), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and the Revolutionary Tendency (RT). Both the CP and SWP have since degenerated as the SP did earlier, so it is for the Revolutionary Tendency to carry on their revolutionary traditions.