My interest in Trotskyist politics dates from my membership in the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA) and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) from 1969 until about 1977. My politics have since changed. In 1976 I voted for the SWP presidential ticket (Peter Camejo & Willie Mae Reid). In 1980 I voted for Jesse Jackson, then running as a 3rd party candidate. And in 1984 I cast the best vote I ever cast--I voted for Ronald Reagan. And I've never looked back since.

Well, I guess I have looked back. I've always followed the SWP's newspaper, The Militant. and in the mid 90s I hosted a blog (then called an "e-zine") called The Anti-Militant. That was posted at the long since defunct site, Geocities, and was on-line for maybe a couple of years. Unfortunately, I don't believe I have an archive of those articles, some of which were actually pretty good. I briefly resurrected the Anti-Militantbut nothing really came of it. It wasn't strictly about Trotskyism.

So now comes the third try. While this blog will be exclusively about Trotskyism, my interest is now broader than just the SWP, whose paper has gotten rather boring. More interesting are split-offs from the SWP, Socialist ActionSocialist Viewpoint, and Solidarity. Many of the people in these latter organizations were my comrades back in the 70s. I will also try to cover the Worker's World group, arguably the most successful Trotskyist organization in the US. But they split from the SWP before I joined, so I have no personal contact with them.

Anyway, as much as I oppose Marxism, I enjoy Marxist polemics and conversation. That's really what this is all about. None of these organizations will have any impact on America's future, so this effort is all just for fun. Nothing important here. 

Here are some ground rules:
  • These people were my comrades and friends back in the 1970s. I like them. I wish them no personal ill and I don't want them mistreated. Thus ad hominem or insulting remarks are off-limits. On the other hand, vanguard party grouplets frequently descend into hilarious self-parody, so you'll have to excuse occasional ridicule.
  • Some words are not helpful and no longer mean anything. They cannot be used in this blog without very good reason. Such words include Hitler, Nazi, Fascism, KKK, lynchingracist, etc. Normally I'd include Communist on this list, but since comrades claim themselves to be communists, we have to use that term.
  • Most posts are 1200 words or less, and none will ever be longer than 2000 words. Brevity is clarity.

I hope to post something once every week or so. You can reach me at dan (at) dankingbooks {dot} com.


  1. Oh Fun! I look forward to reading your archives as well as new stuff. Just found your site via the link from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/04/new-book-finds-unlikely-traits-explain-success-various-groups comment. I was apolitical back in the day, but with the leftist assumptions normal in a university city. As my son grew up, he introduced me to logical discussions of how to solve social problems -- thus I am a conservative today (though very unhappy with the Republican establishment). Anyway, huzzah / I love NYC but live in the hinterlands. Making a living in affordable communities, after all.

    1. Thanks for the kind word. I hope you enjoy the blog.

  2. It's quite funny, you have all the same socialist group names in the US as we have here in the UK. Of course, being a Republican means something completely different over here, and the vast majority of us on the left would count ourselves as such. I'll give this blog a look when I'm not concentrating on exams. It seems an interesting premise.

  3. They may have the same names, but it all means something slightly different. To paraphrase Tweedledum: "When I say Socialist, I mean exactly what I mean by Socialist, and nothing more nor less!"

  4. Dan, lately Ralph Nader has been putting forth the idea of a Left-Right alliance. What's your thoughts on that? Also what do you think of Eric Cantor's defeat?

    1. I would have voted for Eric Cantor, though I'd vote for David Brat against any Democrat. I'm pro-immigration.

      I think there is a natural alliance between the extreme Left and extreme Right. Both Right & Left are for big government (dirigisme), Antisemitism, and anti-immigration. Fascism and Communism are nearly the same thing. See France's National Front, for example. Or Lyndon Larouche.

      Note that I'm a slightly libertarian-minded, mainstream Republican. I like Chris Christie (at least before he imploded).