International Socialists (US)

From Academic Kids

The International Socialists were a Trotskyist group in the United States. They were founded as the International Socialist Club in 1964 in Berkeley by a group of former Independent Socialist League members around Hal Draper, who had opposed its dissolution into the Socialist Party of America in 1958.

The group worked within the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and grew slowly. Other Independent Socialist Clubs were founded in New York City by Kim Moody, and in Chicago by former left Shachtmanites. At this time their audience was to be found in the radicalizing Students for a Democratic Society, although they werea minor force within it in comparison to the various Maoist groups. None the less they grew and soon formed a national "Independent Socialist Committee", before becoming the Independent Socialists in 1969.

The IS developed links with the International Socialists in the UK, led by Tony Cliff. Some group members came to reject the theory of bureaucratic collectivism in favour of Cliff's state capitalism theory. One group of members left in 1973 to form the Revolutionary Socialist League around a series of disputed questions. By 1977 another grouping were growing disturbed that the IS was abandoning its rank and file strategy and looked to the British International Socialists for guidance. This led to the expulsion of this group and the formation of the International Socialist Organization.

In common with the British IS, the group called for the formation of a rank-and-file movement in labor unions and as a result ordered members to take jobs in industry, a tactic known as industrialisation. Some objected, and this was a key factor in the split which produced Workers Power. However, in 1986, the IS agreed a more pluralist organization was required and so merged with Workers Power and Socialist Unity to form Solidarity.

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