Jack Barnes

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Jack Whittier Barnes (born in 1940) is an American Communist and the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. Barnes was elected the party's national secretary in 1972, replacing the retiring Farrell Dobbs. He had joined the SWP in the early 1960s as a student at Carleton College in Minnesota and quickly became a leading member of the party's youth wing. Barnes was one of a group of members, many of whom also attended Carleton College or other universities, who joined the SWP shortly after the Cuban Revolution.

Barnes was a key advocate of the party's 'Turn to Industry' in the 1970s, its exit from the Fourth International in the 1980s and its orientation towards the Cuban Communist Party in the 1990s.

Turn to Industry

Barnes was one of the central organisers for the idea that the party should 'Turn to Industry'. In 1978 the party's National Committee approved a report by Barnes which argued that "we must subordinate everything else to immediately organizing to get a large majority of the membership of the SWP into industry and the industrial trade unions". Socialist Workers Party SWP members took up union jobs in basic industries such as meatpacking, steel, mining and textile industries.

Work within these industries became a condition of membership in the SWP, as the party attempts to penetrate into the portions of the working class that it feels will be most combative and open to communist ideas in the future: those unionized in basic industries. Party...
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