Thomas Kerry (June 27, 1901 – January 8, 1983) was an American Communist and a lifelong member of the Socialist Workers Party.
Kerry was born in Boston, the son of Irish immigrants. Kerry was radicalized to the socialist movement during World War I and he joined the youth organization of the Socialist Party of America. Like many other young socialists, Kerry was inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917 and he became a Communist.
However, after the end of the war, Kerry drifted away from politics, but he was radicalized again during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Tom Kerry and his wife Karolyn joined the Trotskyist Movement led by James P. Cannon and became one of the early members of the Socialist Workers Party at its foundation in 1938. Kerry was elected to the party's National Committee, a position he held for many decades.
During World War II, when many of the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party, (including James P. Cannon, Farrell Dobbs and Carl Skoglund) were sent to prison by the Smith Act for opposing American intervention in the war, Kerry became one of the most important "free" leaders of the party.
In 1953 when James Cannon decided to retire from the post as National Secretary, he was succeeded by Farrell Dobbs and Kerry became Dobbs' closest collaborator. Kerry was made Organizational Secretary.
Kerry wrote a lot of political articles and some Marxist books. He retired from active party work in the mid 1970s, though when the Trotskyist opposition developing to the leadership of the SWP he took an active part in upholding the historic program of the Party. He remained in the Socialist Workers Party until he died in Los Angeles in 1983, aged 81.
Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch of Marxism developed by Ukrainian-Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and by some other members of the Left Opposition and Fourth International. Trotsky self-identified as an orthodox Marxist, a revolutionary Marxist, and Bolshevik–Leninist, a follower of Marx, Engels, and of 3L: Vladimir Lenin, Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg. He supported founding a vanguard party of the proletariat, proletarian internationalism, and a dictatorship of the proletariat based on working class self-emancipation and mass democracy. Trotskyists are critical of Stalinism as they oppose Joseph Stalin's theory of socialism in one country in favor of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists also criticize the bureaucracy and anti-democratic current that developed in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
The Fourth International (FI) is a revolutionary socialist international organization consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky, also known as Trotskyists, whose declared goal is the overthrowing of global capitalism and the establishment of world socialism via international revolution. The Fourth International was established in France in 1938, as Trotsky and his supporters, having been expelled from the Soviet Union, considered the Communist International as effectively puppets of Stalinism and thus incapable of leading the international working class to political power. Thus, Trotskyists founded their own competing Fourth International.
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Farrell Dobbs was an American Trotskyist, trade unionist, politician, and historian.
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Jack Oliver Barnes 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 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. From the 1990s to the present, Barnes has directed his party to support the governments of North Korea and Equatorial Guinea; has instructed the party to abstain from antiwar or anti-racist activism; and in January 2016 lent his support to the occupation of federal lands, in Oregon, by militia movement members. 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.
Carl Skoglund was a Swedish-American socialist, affectionately called Skogie by all his American friends and comrades. He was born in Dalsland and went to the United States in 1911, sailing in steerage first on board the Swedish ship Oslo, sailing from Gothenburg to Hull, England; and thence on the White Star Line ship Cymric, sailing from Liverpool to Boston; his destination was Minneapolis. After spending some time in the Industrial Workers of the World he became one of the founders of the American Communist Party and later became a Trotskyist and one of the co-founders of the Socialist Workers Party.
Charles Curtiss (1908–1993) was an American communist.
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Albert Goldman (1897–1960) was a Belorussian-born American political and civil rights lawyer, closely associated with the American communist movement. Goldman broke with the mainline Communist Party, USA in 1933, joining the Trotskyist opposition, in which he would be a leading participant for the better part of the next two decades. Goldman is best remembered as a defendant and lead defense attorney in the 1941 Smith Act prosecution of the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party.
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Albert Glotzer (1908–1999), also known as Albert Gates, was a professional stenographer and founder of the Trotskyist movement in the United States. He was best remembered as the court reporter for the 1937 John Dewey Commission that examined the Stalinist charges against Trotsky in Mexico City and as a memoirist and activist in the social democratic movement in his later years.
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Joseph Leroy Hansen was an American Trotskyist and leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party.
The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is a communist party in the United States. Originally a group in the Communist Party USA that supported Leon Trotsky against Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, it places a priority on "solidarity work" to aid strikes and is strongly supportive of Cuba. The SWP publishes The Militant, a weekly newspaper that dates back to 1928. It also maintains Pathfinder Press.
"TrotskyanaNet". Trotskyist biographical sketches. Retrieved December 5, 2005.