Whither the League for the Revolutionary Party? No, Seriously…

February 5, 2023 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized)

The League for the Revolutionary Party is a New York based Trotskyist group. The emerged as an independent group as a split from the Revolutionary Socialist League a couple of years into the RSL’s existence. Small and scrappy with their own theory of state-capitalism, the LRP were often wrongly labelled Shachtmanite. But…

Over the last few years, the group shifted its line on voting for the Democrats. Initially they argued that it was important to deny Republicans the Senate or the House, but in the 2020 election they again proposed this line, and eventually argued it was a tactical question based on the Marxist tradition. Then last week, their website disappeared (the notice says the licence “expired on January 27 and is pending renewal or deletion.”)

When I was in International Perspective, I managed the website. Not the original appallingly bad one, but the second one. (Actually when I joined I insisted on a new site, which in practice meant I ended up doing it) This was through Yahoo, and I paid the site fee monthly. Sure there were times when the site was down, but never more than a day. When IP created its third site on a different server, we left the old one up until the new one was up and running. Organizations don’t need a Tik Tok account. Instagram or Twitter, maybe. But with the disappearance of the party press, a website seems indispensable.

When the Socialist Equality Party / ICFI suspended the Bulletin in favour of the World Socialist Web Site, a lot of people were sceptical, but now I read it every day. In the lead up to Y2K, we used to joke about the De Leonist Society of Canada, then down to two individuals: The DSC wasn’t worried because they still typed their leaflets on a manual typewriter (as an afterword, during the second Iraq War, the sole remaining DSC member handed out the same typewritten leaflet from a decade earlier).

But I digress. This time tomorrow, the LRP site may be up and running, but it’s telling just how many of the old seemingly eternal organizations are having trouble even producing regular press.


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