Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Workers World Party
Workers World Party (WWP) is a communist party in the United States founded in 1959 by Sam Marcy . The WWP formed as a split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1958 over a series of long-standing differences (among them, the support of Sam Marcy for Henry Wallace's Progressive Party in 1948, the positive view they held of the Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong, and their support for the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956).
At its website, the WWP describes itself as a party that has, since its founding, "supported the struggles of all oppressed peoples. It has recognized the right of nations to self-determination, including the nationally oppressed peoples inside the United States. It supports affirmative action as absolutely necessary in the fight for equality. It opposes all forms of racism and religious bigotry."
Initially the WWP was confined to the Buffalo area, where it had constituted the Buffalo and two other smaller branches of the SWP, but expanded in the 1960s. It had a well known youth movement called Youth Against War and Fascism which attracted much support with its campaigning against the Vietnam War.
Although in origin a Trotskyist group, the WWP describes itself as Marxist-Leninist. WWP continues to make available the writings of many Communists including Trotsky,Stalin, and Mao. This combination of influences is unusual among left-wing parties. Many Trotskyist organizations seek out international affiliations, but WWP has organized solely in the United States.
The WWP agrees with Trotsky's description of pre-1991 Russia as being a "degenerated workers' state" and extend that description to countries such as Cuba, North Korea and China. Far more often, members of the party use the term socialist to describe such states, and they often support these states more energetically than do the orthodox Communist parties. Similarly, they support countries which they see as victims of American imperialism such as Iraq or Libya, but do not describe these state as being socialist. For an article on such states, see this. For an article on the party's opinion on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, see this. The WWP has defended political leaders such as Slobodan Milošević and Saddam Hussein, holding the opinion that Serbia and Iraq enjoy a right to national self-determination, and that this right overrides perceived U.S. interests.
True to its fundamental principles, WW has always remained primarily action- oriented. Its pamphlets and books are scarcely theoretical, though they are steeped in historical analysis and idiom as a platform for agitation. The party is the most skillful practitioner of united front strategy -- not just tactics -- on the U.S. left, preferring to win influence and leadership through militancy rather than through ideological victories.
In the presidential elections of 1996 and 2000, their candidate was activist Monica Moorehead; in 2004 John Parker was chosen. Workers World opposed both Gulf Wars, and was influential in the anti-war group ANSWER. It has been an important ally of third world solidarity movements in the United States.
WWP is closely oriented with a youth organization, Fight Imperialism Stand Together, which formed in 2004. FIST, however, does not define itself as the WWP youth group and has its own independent political orientation.
In efforts to build a united front and since the collapse of the ANSWER coalition, WWP has joined efforts to build the OUT NOW coalition.
- 1980 - Deirdre Griswold
- 1984 - Larry Holmes
- 1988 - Larry Holmes
- 1992 - Gloria La Riva
- 1996 - Monica Moorehead
- 2000 - Monica Moorehead
- 2004 - John Parker
- Workers World Party home page
- Fight Imperialism Stand Together - socialist youth group
- Left Books - WWP bookstore and publishing house
- Roots of the Workers World Party by Ken Lawrence, Marxmail Discussion List. January 1999. Retrieved April 12, 2005.
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