Socialist Equality Party (United States)
The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (United States)

The Crisis in the Workers Revolutionary Party

Contrary to the expectations of the Workers Revolutionary Party, the return of the Labourites to power in England in March 1974 did not quickly lead to confrontations between the working class and the new government. The IMF-backed reflation provided maneuvering room for the Labour government. This new situation revealed the weaknesses in the political foundations of the WRP. Because the conversion of the Socialist Labour League into the WRP, and the “mass recruitment” campaigns that had accompanied it, had been based mainly on appeals to widespread and elementary anti-Tory sentiment in the working class, the new party and its membership were ill-equipped to deal with the more complex situation created by the return of the Labourites to power.

The WRP sought to counteract the difficulties it faced in the development of the working class by seeking a base of support elsewhere. The cultivation of relations, beginning in 1976, with various national liberation movements and bourgeois nationalist regimes in the Middle East expressed a high degree of political disorientation. As the WRP retreated from its earlier insistence on the centrality of the struggle against revisionism in the building of the Marxist movement, Healy and his closest associates, Cliff Slaughter and Michael Banda, drifted more and more openly toward the Pabloite conceptions they had fought in the 1950s and 1960s. Their capitulation to the Pabloite program was accompanied by the development of an idealist mystification of Marxism that grossly distorted the dialectical materialist method of analysis.