History of the Socialist Workers Party (Britain)

History Of The Socialist Workers Party (Britain)

History of the Socialist Workers Party (Britain)

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The History of the Socialist Workers Party begins with the formation of the Socialist Review Group in 1950, followed by the creation of the International Socialists in 1962 and continues through to the present day with the formation of the Socialist Workers Party in 1977.


The SWP's origins lie in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which Tony Cliff joined on his arrival from the territory of Palestine where he had been the central leader of that region's small section of the Fourth International (FI). Given his international reputation, Cliff was co-opted onto the leadership body of the RCP although his impact was small at the time given his limited command of English. Indeed his idiosyncratic use of the English language was to be a subject of jest by both Cliff and his supporters in later years.

In the RCP, Cliff was a supporter of the majority tendency of that party around Jock Haston and Ted Grant. Therefore he supported the perspectives of the RCP at the end of the Second World War which placed the small party in opposition to the new leadership of the Fourth International around Ernest Mandel, then known as Germain, and Michel Raptis, better known as Pablo, which was backed by the American Socialist Workers' Party. In this capacity he wrote in which he discussed his view that, contrary to the opinion of the International Secretariat of the Fourth International,, there was not going to be a major slump.

Cliff also backed Haston when he disputed the growing...
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