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Defying the Democrats: Marxists and the lost labor party of 1923

September 10, 2014
1919 U.S. Labor Party convention, detail

1919 U.S. Labor Party convention, detail

By Eric Blanc (eblanc17 [at] gmail.com). Discussions on how to break working people from the hold of the Democratic Party have acquired a new immediacy as a result of the recent electoral victories of independent working-class candidates in Seattle, Washington, and Lorraine, Ohio, as well as the campaign for Chicago union leader Karen Lewis to run as an independent for mayor. Those interested in promoting independent politics today may benefit from studying the rich experience of the labor party movement of the early 1920s.

During the wave of radicalization following World War One and the October Revolution of 1917, initiatives to build a Labor Party based on the trade unions blossomed throughout the United States. These developments provoked sharp debates over strategy among Marxists. Should revolutionary socialists fight for the formation of a national Labor Party? Could such an approach be linked to the project of building a revolutionary party to overthrow capitalism? And how should cross-class “Third Party” movements be approached?

This article will chart the development of the movement for a Labor Party from 1919 to 1924, discuss the strengths and weakness of the Communists’ orientation towards it, and conclude with an analysis of the dissolution of the Labor Party movement into the “Progressive Party” presidential campaign of Wisconsin Republican senator Robert La Follette.

Marxists and the labor party question

The movement for a nationwide Labor Party grew out of the massive revolts that shook the United States and the world after the Russian Revolution. Strikes spread like wildfire — more work-hours were lost because of strikes in 1919 than in the next six years put together. Seattle longshoremen led a general strike in February that shut down the city for five days and, later in the year, refused to load arms shipments going towards the counter-revolutionary White Army in Russia. Both the coal miners’ union and the steel workers’ union — which, breaking with past practices, massively organized black workers — organized huge national strikes. Farmers across the country rose up against the “robber barons.” This was also a period marked by the independent mobilizations of Black people, as expressed notably in the “New Negro” movement in Harlem, the socialist African Blood Brotherhood, and Marcus Garvey’s nationalist Universal Negro Improvement Association.[1]

More and more workers and farmers came to conclusion that both the Democrats and Republicans were deaf to their pleas. Labor party movements based on the trade unions arose in Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio, and other states. These forces joined together in Chicago in November 1919 to launch a national Labor Party; the name was changed to the Farmer-Labor Party (FLP) in July 1920 to attract farmer support.[2]

U.S. Labor Party convention, Chicago, November 22, 1919

U.S. Labor Party convention, Chicago, November 22, 1919

The main leader of this movement was the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor, John Fitzpatrick, a radical unionist who supported the October Revolution of 1917 and criticized the reactionary leadership of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) based around Samuel Gompers.[3] The 1919 Chicago conference called for the nationalization of the basic industries, public utilities, natural resources, and banking systems, as well as workers’ participation in the running of industry. The chief theme of the FLP’s 1920 presidential campaign drive was the need for independent labor politics in opposition to the twin parties of the bosses. The FLP received more than 250,000 votes. The national AFL leadership was eager to maintain the status quo and denounced the FLP.

John Fitzpatrick

John Fitzpatrick

More surprisingly perhaps, the Communists were equally hostile toward this party. The first years of U.S. Communism were plagued by what Lenin called the “infantile disorder” of ultra-leftism. James P. Cannon — a founder of the Communist and, later, Trotskyist movements— recalled that, “the sectarianism of the Americans was expressed most glaringly in their attempt to construct revolutionary unions outside the existing labor movement; their refusal to fight for ‘immediate demands’ in the course of the class struggle for the socialist goal; and their strongly entrenched anti-parliamentarism.”[4]

When the government’s repressive 1919 Palmer Raids forced the Communists to go underground, they decided to stay there — on principle. Even after the arrests and witch-hunts of the first “red scare” ended in the summer of 1920, the Communists declared that it would be a betrayal of Marxist principles to return to doing open and legal work. In other words, the Communists’ hostility towards the labor party movement was just one expression of a deeper political problem.

As early as 1886, German Marxist Frederick Engels had declared that the formation of a Labor Party “with no matter how inadequate a provisional platform, provided it be a truly working-class platform — that is the next great step to be accomplished in America” and advised the Socialist Labor Party to advocate and work within a Labor Party.[5] Needless to say, the Marxists in the United States had abandoned this method by 1919. Later, Cannon lamented that, “Engels’ perspicacious letters on [the Labor Party question] were unknown to us.”[6]

The founding program of the Communist Party in September 1919 declared that the movement for a Labor Party was “a minor phase of proletarian unrest” organized by the unions “to conserve what they have secured as a privileged caste.” The program concluded that, “there can be no compromise either with Laborism or reactionary socialism.”[7] The Communist Labor Party refused to “associate” with anyone “not committed to the revolutionary class struggle.”[8] Deprived of political guidance from the Communists, the FLP soon retreated and politically backslid by merging with the liberal, middle-class “Committee of Forty Eight” and gravitating towards the cross-class Conference for Progressive Political Action (CPPA).

From 1919 to 1922, Lenin and Trotsky waged a political battle against the ultra-leftism within many sections the young Communist International (Comintern). In 1920, at the Second Congress of the Comintern, Lenin asked Louis Fraina, a leading U.S. Communist, whether it would be advisable for the Communists to advocate a Labor Party in the United States. Fraina argued against it, and Lenin dropped the question — for the time being.[9] Nevertheless, the Second Congress proved to be instrumental in helping the Communists begin to break free of ultra-leftism.

At the Second Congress, Lenin called on the British Communists to affiliate with the British Labor Party. The leaders of the British Communist Party originally balked at the idea and only after a long and heated debate did Lenin’s views prevail. Cannon wrote:

It is indisputable that Lenin’s proposal to the British communists that they should ‘urge the electors to vote for the labor candidate against the bourgeois candidate,’ in his pamphlet on Left-Wing Communism, and his later recommendation that the British Communist Party should seek affiliation to the British Labor Party, gave the first encouragement to the sponsors of a similar policy in this country, and marks the real origin of the policy.[10]

At the Comintern’s Third Congress in 1921, Lenin and Trotsky challenged the ultra-left tendency centered around the German leftists. Lenin even went so far as to declare himself a member of the right-wing of the Congress. The slogan of Third Congress was “To the Masses!” and its thesis “On Tactics” made it explicit that:

From the day of its foundation the Communist International has clearly and unambiguously stated that its task is not to establish small communist sects aiming to influence the working masses purely through agitation and propaganda, but to participate directly in the struggle of the working masses… It is not a question of appealing to proletariat to fight for the ultimate goal, but of developing the practical struggle which alone can lead the proletariat to the struggle for the ultimate goal.”[11]

During the Third Congress, Lenin met with the U.S. delegates and suggested that the advocacy of a Labor Party might advance the political project of Communism in the United States. Upon returning home, these delegates reported back to the party membership Lenin’s comments about the Labor Party, but no concrete steps towards changing the party’s policy were taken.[12]

James P. Cannon

James P. Cannon

At the Fourth Congress in 1922, the Comintern codified the strategy of the united front. The Congress’ “Thesis on Comintern Tactics” explained:

The Communist International requires that all Communist Parties and groups adhere strictly to the united front tactic, because in the present period it is the only way of guiding Communists in the right direction, towards winning the majority of workers. … The united front tactic is simply an initiative whereby the Communists propose to join with all workers belonging to other parties and groups and all unaligned workers in a common struggle to defend the immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.[13]

By 1922, Cannon was leading a fraction of Communists who, having absorbed the lessons in strategy of the Comintern, were determined to break out of their isolation. At the Fourth Congress, Cannon and two other delegates met with Trotsky and made the case for the legalization of the party — significant sectors of the U.S. party still objected to legalization — and for the advocacy of a Labor Party. Cannon recalled that, “Trotsky stated unambiguously that he would support us, and that he was sure Lenin and other Russian leaders would do the same.”[14] The Comintern subsequently announced its decision in favor of legalization and stated that the formation of a Labor Party in the United States would be “an event of world historical importance.”[15]

The struggle for a labor party: 1922 to 1923

In 1922 the newly united U.S. Communists — whose legal political expression was the Workers Party — adopted the united front method, the political application of which was deemed to be a Labor Party.[16] The party’s 1922 “Theses on the United Front of Labor” explained:

“The creation of a United Front of Labor on the political field in the United States is the problem of the development of independent political action of the working class. The working class of Europe has for a long time participated independently in political activities. Not so in the United States. Here the problem is not to unite existing political groups and organizations for common action but to awaken political class consciousness among the workers.[17]

The resolution continued:

“To oppose this tendency toward the formation of a labor party would be folly. The capitalists realize the potentialities of even a tame and not in the least revolutionary independent labor party for the development of class consciousness of the working class. Their tools in the labor movement have, therefore, consistently opposed its formation. … To promote the development of the political action of the working class into revolutionary action the communists must become factors in any labor party that may be formed. We can achieve this end only if we anticipate the formation of such a party and now adopt a policy through which we will become established as a force in the political struggle of the workers and thus an important factor in the labor party.”[18]

The text concluded by warning that independent political action could be derailed into an amorphous formation endorsing Democratic or Republican politicians:

Attempts to misuse the name of Labor Party in the formation of some sort of a league must be guarded against. Such a body would merely exploit the growing desire for independent working class political action to get endorsements for some misleaders of labor on capitalist party tickets, on the principle of Gompers’ ‘reward friends — punish enemies.’ It is the work of the Communists to guard also against the formation of such a labor party as is forecast in the work of the Conference for Progressive Political Action. This conference includes not only representatives of labor, but progressives and liberals of every shade.”[19]

The practical implementation of this orientation became the burning task of the day. In Chicago, on February 20 and 21, 1922, hundreds of delegates met at the “Conference for Progressive Political Action”, representing over fifty national and international unions, all the main farmer organizations, the FLP, the Socialist Party, the Non-Partisan league, as well as dozens of middle-class organizations. The conference, which was “the most significant gathering of representatives of American mass movements in decades,”[20] was organized on the initiative of the relatively conservative railroad brotherhoods.

Historian Stan Phipps outlined the contradictions of the CPPA as follows:

“As a result of the cross-class makeup of the invited delegates, the ‘call’ for the Conference explicitly stated that the CPPA was not an attempt to form a new political party. … As Mackay observes, they risked becoming yet another one of those ‘spineless creatures known as the American political party’ by opting to say nothing of substance in order to avoid alienating constituents of a rather amorphous political coalition.… Like the business parties, the CPPA attempted to be all things to all people.”[21]

In line with this approach, the Conference supported a “lesser evil” strategy of supporting liberal candidates of the business parties. Fitzpatrick and the FLP opposed this orientation and, at the second CPPA convention, they sponsored a resolution in favor of independent, class-based political action in opposition to the parties of capital. When this resolution was voted down, Fitzpatrick and the FLP walked out of the conference.[22]

Fitzpatrick soon issued an invitation to all labor organizations and activists to attend the July 3,1923, FLP conference in Chicago. Significantly, the Communists — who had not been allowed to participate in the CPPA — were invited. Fitzpatrick’s invitation was clearly a major opening. Draper writes, “Not for another dozen years… were the American Communists presented with so favorable an opportunity to become a major political force as this alliance offered them in the first six months of 1923.”[23]

William Z. Foster

William Z. Foster

The Communists, having discarded most of their ultra-left baggage by 1922, enthusiastically entered into an alliance with Fitzpatrick. Cannon and his ally William Z. Foster summarized the successes of this period:

“Our labor party policy, as we declared many times was simply the application of the united front policy of the Communist International. The policy was absolutely correct, and so long as we held to it we made great headway. Our campaign for a united front labor party met with a wide response. We drove the labor party movement forward and our party advanced along with it, gaining great prestige…. We were able to broaden the mass movement of the rank and file, strengthen the position of the Workers Party, and throw an ever increasing force against the Gompers machine.”[24]

But just as the Communists were gaining momentum and influence through their participation in the labor party movement, a leader of the Workers Party named Joseph Pogany, known publicly as John Pepper, plunged the Communists down a new course. Pepper had been assigned by the Comintern in 1922 to work in the United States with the Hungarian-American Communists. Due to his tremendous factional manipulation skills and his false claims to represent the Comintern, Pepper took control of the Workers Party soon after his arrival. Cannon later described him as “the most brilliant phony I ever knew.”[25]

Pepper saw the upcoming July 3 FLP conference primarily as an opportunity to recruit to the Workers Party. In the months preceding July, he began provoking a split with Fitzpatrick and the FLP. In a letter to the Workers Party leadership titled “Don’t Pack the July 3 Conference” Cannon warned:

“The greatest tact and caution is necessary by our party to avoid giving the enemies of the conference an opportunity to brand it as a Workers Party affair. This will have the effect of blowing it up entirely…. What is it we expect this conference to do? Do we look upon this conference as an opportunity for a big public forum for the advertisement of the Workers Party wherein we will have a hard struggle with the other elements in it? If that is the case, of course, we are working chiefly for party advantage and advertisement at the conference itself. Then we want to pack in as many delegates as we can possibly muster up. But that is not our view of the conference. We think the chief significance of this conference consists in the possibility of laying there the basis for the organized drive towards a labor party and our party cooperating in it as an integral unit from the start.” [26]

John Pepper (Jószef Pogány)

John Pepper (Jószef Pogány)

Pepper and the Workers Party leadership ignored Cannon’s advice and soon ordered the Chicago Communists to break off all discussions with the FLPers. Faced with Communist provocations as well as huge political pressure — the AFL leadership, the Socialist Party, and most of the trade unions were boycotting the conference — Fitzpatrick backtracked in the weeks proceeding the July 3 and began to argue for a later date to found a new party.

On July 3, 1923 approximately 600 delegates from four national unions, four state farmers’ organizations, and 247 local trade-union and farmer branches converged at the Chicago conference — as many as 600,000 people were represented. Even though the official Workers Party delegation was quite small, the Communists had managed to pack the conference by presenting themselves as delegates from groups such as the Workmen’s Gymnastic Association and the Lithuanian Workers’ Literature Society. One in three delegates to the conference, according to Pepper, were members of the Workers Party. Pepper and the Communists proceeded to split the conference by pushing through a motion calling for the immediate formation of a new party, the Federated Farmer-Labor Party (FFLP). Fitzpatrick and his forces bitterly walked out.

Superficially, it seemed that the Communists had won a big victory. A leading Communist proclaimed that the Workers Party “assumed the position of leadership and the first mass party of the American workers — the Federated Farmer-Labor Party — was formed.”[27]

In reality, the formation of a “mass party” under obvious Communist control only served to isolate the Marxists. After the Chicago conference, most of the non-Communist unions and activists quickly distanced themselves from the FFLP. A leading Communist later admitted that the FFLP consisted “of ourselves and our nearest relatives.”[28] Historian Nathan Fine concluded that the Communists succeeded in “capturing themselves.”[29] Fitzpatrick was livid. He proclaimed that Communists “have killed the possibility of uniting the forces of independent political action in America” and had so “broken the spirit of [the labor party movement] so that we will not be able to rally the forces for the next twenty years!”[30]

The Communists, having lost the protection provided to them by their alliance with the FLP, were subjected to widespread red-baiting and expulsions in the trade-union movement. In November 1923, Cannon and Foster attacked the “false policy which was a deciding factor in causing the split of July 3” and concluded that “we have departed from the principal of the united front and have gotten onto a sectarian basis…. As a consequence, our comrades are largely isolated, and face a united front of all other elements against them…. It is foolish for us to form a little labor party of our own in order to be the leaders of it.”[31]

The damage had been done. The labor party movement was dealt a mortal blow by the split, and the stereotype of Communists as “disrupters and wreckers” became pervasive in the labor movement. “For years,” Draper observes, “the leaders of American Communism were haunted by a great ´if´: What would have happened to the Farmer-Labor Movement, the Trade Union Education League, and the inner life of the Workers Party, if they had refrained from breaking with Fitzpatrick’s forces in July 1923?”[32]

Dissolution of the labor party movement

The July 3 split paved the way for the dissolution of the movement for a labor party into “Third Party” politics. Robert La Follette, a populist Republican Senator from Wisconsin, took advantage of the fact that hundreds of thousands of workers and poor farmers were still looking for an alternative to the two capitalist parties. By 1924, virtually every single organization that had supported the labor party movement jumped on the La Follette bandwagon — including the Communists. In reaction to the adventures of Pepper, and under pressure from the new Comintern leadership headed by Grigory Zinoviev, the Communists dropped their labor party orientation and gave their support to La Follette. Cannon recalled: “The cold fact is that the party … became, for period in 1924, the advocate of a ´third party´ of capitalism, and offered to support, under certain conditions, the presidential candidacy of the petty-bourgeois candidate La Follette .… The bewildered party disgraced itself in this affair.”[33]

Trotsky sharply criticized the U.S. party and the Comintern leadership, arguing that they were bending to La Follette and cross-class politics: “For a young and weak Communist Party, lacking in revolutionary temper, to play the role of solicitor and gatherer of ‘progressive voters’ for the Republican Senator Lafollette is to head toward the political dissolution of the party in the petty-bourgeoisie.… The inspirers of this monstrous opportunism … are thoroughly imbued with skepticism concerning the American proletariat.”[34]

Under pressure from Trotsky, the leadership of the Comintern and the U.S. Communists dropped their tacit support for La Follette. Other labor and farmer organizations did not follow suit. The July 4 CPPA Nomination Convention in Cleveland — which brought together 600 delegates, representing trade unions, farmer organizations, the Farmer-Labor Party, the Socialist Party, as well as middle-class formations like the Committee of Forty-Eight — supported La Follette’s presidential bid as well as the proposals to only run candidates for president and vice-president, postpone the formation of a Third Party and, in this way, support the “progressive” candidates of the Democrats and Republicans in the state and regional elections. The CPPA and the La Follette movement’s decision to not found an alternative party was, in the words of Phipps, “the primary failing of the 1924 Progressive Party campaign.”[35]

La Follette received 16.8 percent of votes in the 1924 presidential election — an impressive 4,826,371 total. For an independent working-class party, even a fraction of this number of votes would have been a great victory. The election campaign would have strengthened and developed working-class political structures based on and controlled by the main institutions of the workers — the trade unions — and may have provided sufficient steam for a labor party to take root in the United States.

Phipps argues that the La Follette movement’s cross-class orientation was its fatal flaw: “The ultimate collapse of the supra-class political movement may have been inevitable. Mackay shows real insight when he comments that, ‘Lafollette’s mixed army went in too many directions at once.’ The heterogeneous makeup of the Progressive Party made it difficult to agree on a program of action or even place much confidence in other members of the coalition.”[36] The La Follette movement fell apart immediately after the election. “Despite the vote … which Lafollette received,” writes Fine, “the army behind him melted away soon after the election and C.P.P.A went up in smoke.”[37] Unfortunately, the damage to the labor party movement had been done.

The La Follette candidacy tapped into the energy and resources of trade unions and farmer organizations but created no political structures through which these groups could fight for independent political action after the 1924 election. Following this electoral campaign, the AFL leadership of Gompers — which had endorsed La Follette in a bid to divert the labor party movement into safe channels — proclaimed that “the launching of third party movements has proved a wasted effort and injurious to the desire to elect candidates with favorable [voting] records.”[38] As Foster noted in late 1924, “The sweep of the Lafollette movement shriveled the tender plant of the farmer-labor party movement like a hot blast from the desert.”[39]

Conclusion

Today, as in 1919, the political structure of capitalist rule in the United States rests on the two-party system. To successful challenge the labor movement’s suicidal subordination to the parties of the bosses — and to prevent mass movements from continuing to succumb to the Democratic Party co-optation machine — requires that the working class form its own independent political party.

The creation of a fighting Labor Party — not just to run candidates, but to help lead mass struggles in workplaces and communities across the country — would radically alter the whole national political situation. Apathy often reigns among working people when no real alternatives are offered. The emergence of a Labor Party, starting with local labor-community candidates in cities across the country, would be a ray of hope and a point of leverage for united mobilizations around the demands of all the oppressed.

As was the case in the early 1920’s, by advocating and participating in this political awakening of the working class, a revolutionary organization could quickly grow in size and influence. The struggle for a Labor Party remains a principal vehicle for workers and their unions, in alliance with the organizations of all the oppressed, to break free of the stranglehold of the capitalist parties and move forwards on the road toward a workers’ government.

Also by Eric Blanc on this website:

Notes

[1]. To my knowledge, the crucial dynamic between the labor party movement and the Black struggle in this period has not yet been documented and remains a task for future study. The only reference I’ve found concerning the racial politics of the labor party movement was the 1920 founding congress of the Farmer Labor Party’s call for Black civil rights. See Mitchell Newton-Matza, Intelligent and honest radicals: The Chicago Federation of Labor and the Illinois Legal System 1919-1933 (PhD Thesis, Catholic University of America, 1999), 91.

In contrast, the early texts of the Communists on the labor party, cited below, are problematically silent on the fight against the oppression of Black people. On Black radicalism in this period, see Minkah Makalani, In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 (The University of North Carolina Press: 2011) and Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918, (Columbia University Press: 2008).

[2]. While a discussion of the political dynamics and challenges of the worker-farmer alliance in this period goes beyond the scope of this text, I should note that the central problem of the cross-class “Third Party” approach represented by the CPPA and La Follette was not that it attempted to unite workers and the mass of farmers, but rather that it sought an alliance with representatives of the capitalists and their parties.

[3]. On Fitzpatrick, see John Howard Keiser, ‘John Fitzpatrick and Progressive Unionism, 1915-1925’ (PhD thesis, Northwestern University, 1965).

[4]. James P. Cannon, “The Roots of American Communism”, International Socialist Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 1957. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/1957/rootscpusa.htm.

[5]. Frederick Engels, “The Labor Movement in America,” in The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1887. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1887/01/26.htm.

[6]. James P. Cannon, “Origin of the Policy on the Labor Party,” Fourth International, Vol. 16 No. 2, Spring 1955. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/letters/spr55.htm.

[7]. “The Communist Party Manifesto”, in New York (State) Legislature, Revolutionary and subversive movements abroad and at home, 1920, 782.

[8]. “Platform and Program of the Communist Labor Party of America,” The Ohio Socialist, September 17, 1919. Accessed at www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/cpusa/1919/09/0900-clp-platformprogram.pdf.

[9]. Theodore Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia (New York: Viking, 1960), 32. For the congress debates, see John Riddell, ed., Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples, Unite: Proceedings and Documents of the Second Congress, 1920 (New York: Pathfinder, 1991).

[10]. Cannon, “Origin of the Policy on the Labor Party.” Canadian Communists in this period similarly turned toward supporting the fight for a Labor Party; see Ian Angus, Canadian Bolsheviks: The Early Years of the Communist Party of Canada (Vanguard Publications: 1981).

[11]. Third Congress of the Communist International, “On Tactics,” July 12, 1921. Accessed at www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/3rd-congress/tactics.htm.

[12]. Draper, American Communism, 32.

[13]. Third Congress, “On Tactics.”

[14]. James P. Cannon, “The ‘American Question’ at the Fourth Congress,” Fourth International, Vol. 15 No. 3, Winter 1955. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/letters/win55.htm.

[15]. Cannon, “Origin of the Policy on the Labor Party.”

[16]. The U.S. Communists were split into two rival organizations from birth. Under pressure from the Comintern they united in May 1921 and named their new legal organization the Workers Party.

[17]. Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of America, “Theses on the United Front of Labor,” May 29, 1922. Accessed at www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/cpusa/1922/05/0529-cec-unitedfronttheses.pdf. See also the Workers Party pamphlet, “For a Labor Party: Recent Revolutionary Changes in American Politics,” 1922. Accessed at www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/cpusa/1922/10/1015-wpa-foralaborparty.pdf.

[18]. Ibid.

[19]. Ibid.

[20]. Stan Phipps, “The Labor Party Question in the U.S., 1828-1930: An Historical Perspective.” Accessed at www.socialistorganizer.org/labor-party-history-chapter-7/.

[21]. Ibid.

[22]. James P. Cannon, The First Ten Years of American Communism: Report of a Participant (New York: Lyle and Stuart, 1962), 62.

[23]. Draper, American Communism, 31.

[24]. Cannon, “Statement on Our Labor Party Policy.”

[25]. James P. Cannon, “The Year 1923 The Pepper Regime”, Fourth International, Vol. 16 No. 3, Summer 1955. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/letters/sum55b.htm.

[26]. James P. Cannon, “Don’t Pack the July 3 Conference,” May 25, 1923. Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/1923/dontpack.htm.

[27]. Draper, American Communism, 48.

[28]. Draper, American Communism, 75.

[29]. Nathan Fine, Labor and Farmer Parties in the United States, 1828-1928 (New York: Russell and Russell, 1961), 432.

[30]. Draper, American Communism, 46.

[31]. Cannon, “Statement on Our Labor Party Policy.”

[32]. Draper, American Communism, 95.

[33]. Prometheus Research Library, “Introduction to James P. Cannon and the Early Years of American Communism,” The Early Years of American Communism (New York: Spartacist Publishing Company, 1992). Accessed at www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/earlyyears/cannintro.htm.

[34]. Leon Trotsky, The First Five Years of the Communist International, 1924. Accessed at http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1924/ffyci-1/intro.htm

[35]. Phipps, “The Labor Party Question in the U.S.”

[36]. Ibid.

[37]. Fine, Labor and Farmer Parties, 414.

[38]. Phipps, “The Labor Party Question in the U.S.”

[39]. Draper, American Communism, 120.

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