The Socialist Equality Party (United States)

Capitalism has failed in the United States and the entire world. The Socialist Equality Party is organizing the working class in the fight for socialism: the reorganization of all of economic life to serve social needs, not private profit.

Socialism means the abolition of all forms of inequality and exploitation. The fight for socialism is at the same time a fight against war, authoritarianism, environmental degradation and all the consequences of capitalist society.

Socialism must be fought for and won by the working class itself. It will be achieved only through a revolutionary movement that has as its aim the establishment of workers' power.

Socialism, moreover, cannot be realized in one country. All the great problems confronting mankind are global problems that require global solutions.

The fight for socialism, therefore, requires the unity and collaboration of workers in every country on the basis of a common program and perspective. The Socialist Equality Party works in political solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International, the World Party of Socialist Revolution founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938.

This page contains some of the key documents and statements on the history and program of the SEP.

Historical Foundations of the SEP

The program of the Socialist Equality Party is of a principled, not of a conjunctural and pragmatic character. It is based on an assimilation of the strategic revolutionary experiences of the working class and the international socialist movement.

The SEP traces its political ancestry to the fight for Trotskyism in the US that was initiated in 1928, when veteran revolutionary James P. Cannon, along with Canadian revolutionary Maurice Spector, declared their support for Trotsky's fight against the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union.

The international Trotskyist movement has a long history of principled struggle against Stalinism, reformism and bourgeois nationalism. In the United States, the fight for Trotskyism was carried forward by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), founded in 1938 under the leadership of Cannon, and then the Workers League, which was founded in 1966 after opposing the national opportunist degeneration of the SWP.

The Workers League, in political solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International, based its perspective on the revolutionary role of the American working class in opposition to all forms of nationalism and revisionism, as well as the pro-capitalist politics of the trade union bureaucracy. The Workers League played a significant role in many of the major battles of the working class in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Workers League was transformed into the SEP in 1995, which was followed by a similar transformation of all the sections of the ICFI.

Read the Historical and International Foundations
SEP Congress Resolutions and Reports

The Congress of the SEP is the highest body of the party. The SEP held its Founding Congress in 2008 and meets every two years to discuss and adopt resolutions on party policy and elect the party leadership. This section includes reports and resolutions from the SEP Congresses.

Statements of the Socialist Equality Party
Sylvia Ageloff and the assassination of Leon Trotsky

The meeting followed the publication of a four-part WSWS article series, exposing the role played by Sylvia Ageloff, a former member of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States, in the Stalinist assassination of Leon Trotsky. North and London discussed the significance of the latest revelations, in the context of the decades-long Security and the Fourth International investigation by the ICFI into Trotsky’s assassination.

Watch the Recording
Trump’s coup and the rise of fascism: Where is America going?

On January 17, the WSWS hosted an international online meeting on the extraordinary political crisis in the United States, following the January 6, 2021 fascist insurrection at the US Capitol instigated by Donald Trump. Leading members of the Socialist Equality Parties in the US, Germany and the UK spoke on the national and global significance of the rise of fascism in America, its social and political origins, and the necessary strategy for the working class to fight back.

Watch the Recording
For a socialist response to the coronavirus pandemic!

The unprecedented catastrophe of the coronavirus pandemic is fundamentally a social and political, not simply a medical, question. The technology and medical expertise exist to contain the virus and ensure the safety of the entire working class, but under capitalism everything is subordinated to the profit interests of the corporate and financial elite.

The video on the right is from the International Committee of the Fourth International's 2020 May Day Online Rally, which featured remarks on the pandemic from leaders of the ICFI throughout the world.

More on the coronavirus pandemic

Socialism and the Fight Against War

Fifteen years after the United States launched the “war on terror,” the entire world is being dragged into an ever-expanding maelstrom of imperialist violence.

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International

Oppose Trump’s criminal war against Iran!

Trump’s provocation of a war with Iran is an attempt to find a way out of the increasingly desperate crisis of American capitalism—international and domestic—through spectacular acts of violence.

The International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site

“Our society is sick:” The Lancet condemns American capitalism

The Lancet, one of the world’s premiere medical journals, argues that the dead from COVID-19 in the US should be added to the toll of “missing Americans” whose deaths were attributable to the rise of social inequality over the past four decades.

Andre Damon

Democrats’ impeachment cover-up leaves coup-plotter Trump emboldened

The Democrats deliberately protected Trump’s co-conspirators, including the Republican House and Senate members who sought to overturn the election and those forces within the state who worked with Trump to orchestrate a stand-down of federal forces.

Andre Damon

Chicago teachers take a stand to save lives over profits

The struggle unfolding in Chicago is of monumental significance and must become the spearhead of a broader movement of the entire working class in a nationwide political general strike, which would send shock waves throughout the world and provoke similar struggles globally.

Evan Blake

Stop the deadly reopening of Nashville schools!

Without teachers developing their own independent organizations to fight against school reopenings, the pressure from state officials and school boards will force them into unsafe and potentially deadly working conditions.

Tennessee Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee

The protests against police murder: The way forward

The fight against police violence must be connected to the struggles of the working class, in the United States and internationally, against inequality, war and the capitalist system.

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

Trump’s police-state attack in Portland, Oregon

The crackdown on demonstrators by Trump’s fascistic border agents is the latest move in his administration’s years-long assault on democratic rights in the United States.

Patrick Martin

Police violence and class rule

What is absent from all of the media commentary on police violence, let alone the statements from bourgeois politicians, is any examination of what the police are and their relationship to capitalist society.

Niles Niemuth, Joseph Kishore

Trump announces plan to halt all immigration to US

Trump’s “pause” on immigration is a desperate attempt by the crisis-riddled administration to distract from the criminality of the ruling class’s own response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eric London

Free Julian Assange!

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Socialist Equality Party Congress, held July 22–27.

Principles

Membership in the Socialist Equality Party is based on agreement with its Statement of Principles. The principles of the SEP incorporate the essential experiences of the revolutionary upheavals of the 20th century and the corresponding struggle waged by Marxists for the program of world socialist revolution.

Read the Statement of Principles
Leadership
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is the student and youth movement of the Socialist Equality Party. It fights to unite students and young people for peace, equality, the rights of the working class and socialism.

More about the IYSSE