From Karl Marx to the Fourth of July



I want to share an article today that seems particularly timely in this age of Trump and “Make America Great Again.” On this July 4th my thoughts turn to this piece I read many years ago, written by James P. Cannon who was National Secretary of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party (SWP) from 1938 until 1953. It was published in the July 16, 1951, issue of The Militant, a socialist newsweekly since 1928. I first read it in a compilation of Cannon’s writings, Notebook of an Agitator, available at Amazon or Pathfinder Books.

There’s not much I can add to what Cannon says here except to emphasize that he presents a timely perspective on the problems we face today — a different road forward to solve some of the very real problems that Trump claims to address.

This is a screenshot reprint from The Militant, July 16, 1951, page 2.

Title image of fireworks is by Roven Images on Unsplash.
The inset image of Karl Marx is in the Public Domain.

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5 thoughts on “From Karl Marx to the Fourth of July

  1. The article is quite timely indeed, and makes a lot of sense. However, making sense in the US is, unfortunately at this time, held in very low regard.

    1. Happily I think “making sense” is held in higher regard than we might realize from the mainstream news. I can’t speak much from personal experience because I’m not directly involved anymore, but reports I hear from friends, people connected with the SWP and the party’s press, working people are quite hungry for coherent and sensible analysis and solutions. The SWP visits striking workers on picket lines and sets up tables at protests around the country, even at a few Trump rallies I believe, where it finds people very interested in talking serious politics. The party finds this also as it runs candidates for public offices around the country. Most interesting is the reception the party receives as it prioritizes going door-to-door throughout working-class neighborhoods across the country. No other political party or movement, right or left, does this. On occasion these one-on-one conversations can stretch an hour or longer when people keep asking questions and want to talk further. Many single-issue papers, subscriptions and books get sold during these visits which continues the thinking, learning and talking.

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