Third Camp Marxism

A political primer by an American coalminer (1941)

Q. What is Americanism?

A. To different people it means different things; to Congressman Dies,*
bankers, manufacturers, land-owners, merchants, all sorts of exploiters, layers, politicians and flim-flam artists it means prosperity, life of pleasure and high culture; to the labourer it means bleeding, sweating, and being killed on the job and always in need of the essentials of life at home, and when out of a Job it means going fhungry, naked, with no roof over his head and rotting alive without medical assistance.

Q What is Democracy? .

Atomic Energy: for Barbarism or Socialism? A Socialist Manifesto From the Dawn of the Nuclear Age

A comprehensive Trotskyist response to the new age which opened with the American atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. It was published in Labor Action, New York, at the end of 1945.

"The impact of the bomb was so terrific that practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death by the tremendous heat and pressure engendered by the blast." - From a Tokyo broadcast describing the result of the atomic bomb dropped by a Superfortress on Hiroshima.

What the Workers Party Stands For: Max Shachtman Testifies (1949)

Max Shachtman, national chairman of the Workers Party, before the Loyalty Board of the United States Department of Commerce, on January 14 1949.

MAX SHACHTMAN was called as a witness, was duly sworn, and testified as follows:


By Chairman Short:

Q. Will you state your full name to the reporter?

A. Max Shachtman.

By Mr. Migdal:

Q. Mr. Shachtman, will you identify yourself please, for the Board?

A. I am National Chairman of the Workers Party.

Q. Do you know T.?

A. I met him this morning

Matt Merrigan on Ireland in Labor Action, 1955-7

Matt Merrigan was a member of the small Irish Trotskyist group in the 1940s, and a socialist all his life. He eventually became president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and died in 2000. (Click here for a short biography.)

In the mid-50s, for a while, he wrote reports on Ireland for Labor Action, the paper of the Independent Socialist League of Max Shachtman, Hal Draper, and others in the USA.

Which class rules in the USSR? A debate on the character of the Soviet Union

Click here to download pdf.

Workers' states, systems where new ruling classes exploit the workers, or societies with no ruling class at all? At Workers' Liberty 1989, Martin Thomas (Socialist Organiser), Robert Brenner (Against the Current), Oliver Macdonald (Labour Focus on Eastern Europe and Socialist Outlook), Frank Furedi (author of 'The Soviet Union Demystified'), and Torab Saleh from the Iranian Marxist group 'Socialism and Revolution' debated the nature of the Eastern Bloc.

For or Against The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba 1961: Max Shachtman Debates Hal Draper

The dispute over attitudes to the "Bay of Pigs" invasion was the first sharp break on a big world-political issue which separated the ageing Max Shachtman from long-time co-thinkers such as Hal Draper and Julius Jacobson.

This pamphlet, published by Draper in May 1961, presents the dispute.

Click here to download pdf (which includes excerpts from the contemporary press not transcribed below, giving factual background on the invasion).

Contents and note

In Memory of Heroes: Warsaw's Three Insurrections During World War II

Warsaw belongs to those heroic and
martyrized cities like Stalingrad.
London, Budapest and Berlin that
marked turning points in the war.
But Warsaw is distinguished from
these other cities by this—that the
imperialist war passed through War-
saw at its beginning, at its climax,
and at its end, leaving in its wake
dead and barbarous ruins that have
not been seen since the remote times
of Attila and Genghis Khan.
When Hitler invaded Poland, it was
Warsaw which bore the whole weight

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