The militancy of western Canadian workers during the first two decades of this century culminated in 1919 in secessions from the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada and the American Federation of Labor, the establishment of the One Big Union, and a wave of strikes. In part because of its innate drama, in part because it profoundly affected the course of socialist politics and trade union organization in the nation, the unprecedented outburst has attracted many students in the intervening years.
Welcome to this special edition of the Socialist Standard, a commemorative issue marking one hundred years in the political life of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. When our Party was formed on 12th June 1904, in a hall in a little alley off Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, London, the founder members would rightly have viewed the possibility of our existence a century later in something of a negative light.
Other than in our Socialist Party, way too much thought on revolutionary socialist organisation gets written advocating Lenin’s way as the one and only way and applying historic conditions under Russian feudalism to Western democracies today, and whose justification amounts to thinly veiled apologetics for ‘history is written by the victors’. The Socialist Party of America: A Complete History by Jack Ross, published last year, joins the comparatively smaller range of literature not from this vanguard perspective, and even opposed to it.
Give the human race a little credit. We can surely learn to live free, neither dominant nor submissive.