Breaking away to join Communist Party

The Emma Goldman Papers
Last updated
May 5, 2011, 9:02 p.m. (view history)

Trachtenberg was one of the people that signed the withdrawal statement form the Socialist Party. He was one of the group of officials to quit the Socialist Party in order to help establish a Soviet Republic in the United States. They have a tentative draft of a program upon which all such revolutionary people and elements can organize. They emphasize how the “Communist-conscious workers” should disregard the rights of the bourgeoisie and regard them as a minority. They aim to organize the workers and reorganize labor to counter the industrial force of capitalism. This movement seemed more militant and aggressive: “it must be aggressive in tactics and methods.” Morris Hillquit, the leader of the conservative or Right Wing Party of the Socialist Party, denounced this movement as not having any importance. “It will not affect the Socialist Party in any way. The so-called Committee for the Third International consists of a rather small group in the Socialist Party who as a matter of fact are not really Socialists but communists.” Hillquit even accused them of “utterly fail[ing]” to win over a large part of the Socialists to their views. “They now withdraw as they should have done some time ago and their effort to remodel the Socialist Party in the United States is doomed to failure. THe vast majority of the Socialists in the United States stand with the Socialist Party and with the Socialist movement of the world as distinct from the communist movement.” 

Left-wing officials separated from the Socialist PArty to create a new left-wing group during 1920-21. The new party was called the Workers Councils, “an Americanization of the Russian ‘Soviets.’” It favored to affiliate itself with the Communist International organization but felt that the international organization could not provide the theses and resolutions that could be applied to the United States. The leaders of this left wing were J.B.S. Hardman, Louis Engdahl, and Alexander Trachtenberg. They joined the Communist Party. Hardman was expelled in 1923. Endgahl became the joint editor of the Daily Worker with William F. Dunne, and Trachenberg became the director of International Publishers, the Communist Publishing House.