American Labor Party (1932)

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This article is about the De Leonist political party founded in 1932. For the broad left party established in 1935, see American Labor Party.

The American Labor Party was the final name of a De Leonist splinter group in the US in the early 1930. The ALP had split from the Industrial Union League, which in turn had split from the Socialist Labor Party in the late 1920s.

The leader of the organization was Joseph Brandon, who had been a founding member of the IUL. Brandon insisted that a socialist industrial union had to be created before a party could be established.[1] He was expelled from the IUL in April 1932. Brandon took a few sympathizers and formed the Industrial Union Alliance. When, by the summer of 1933, it became clear that the IUL would turn itself into a political party Brandon tried to reunify with them and changed his organizations name to the Industrial Union Party on June 11. The Industrial Union League changed its name to the Industrial Union Party on June 14, and filed an injunction against the Brandon faction from using the name. In the New York Supreme Court case Brandon v. Brandon the court sided with the majority group.[2] On October 5 the Brandon group filed a slate of candidates for the November 7 New York municipal election as the "Indus Union". Joseph Brandon was nominated for mayor, Julian Diamond for City Controller, and Harold Leby for president of the Board of Aldermen.[3] Later the name seemed to change to the Industrial Labor party.[4] However, Joseph V. McKee and his Recovery party brought a suit before the New York City Board of Elections and tried to get several minor parties off the ballot, including the Socialist Labor and regular Industrial Union tickets. Brandons ticket was the only one to be removed.[5]

By December 10 the group had apparently settled on the name American Labor Party and taken up headquarters at 149 East 42nd street.[6] On January 21 a "Daniel De Leon Forum" was held at the same location when Brandon debated Howard Y. Williams on the efficacy of a Farmer-Labor Party. Brandon debated Jay Bambrick at this same "forum" on February 18.[7] The relationship between this "forum" and the American Labor Party is unclear, but it had at least two events without Brandon: James Oneal give a talk on early American labor thinkers that Christmas Eve,[8] and heard a lecture on the NRA by James Greenhut on March 4, 1935.[9] On June 28, 1935 Brandon gave a talk on the "Policy of the American Labor Party" at the "Industrial Workers School" at 94 Fifth Avenue.[10]

The Industrial Union Party itself largely ignored Brandon thereafter, except ridiculing him for his numerous changes of position and line as "Zig-Zag" Brandon.[11]

The party published nine issues of a monthly periodical American Labor Bulletin until September 1934. This was changed to Labor Power in October 1934, but continued the same numbering. The last known issue was numbered Vol. II #6 June 1935.[12]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Industrial Unionist Vol. II #8 p.20
  2. ^ Industrial Unionist Vol. II #6 Nov. 1933 p.1
  3. ^ NOMINATIONS ARE FILED. New York Times (1923-Current file); Oct 5, 1933; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. 8
  4. ^ PETITION FOR M'KEE HAS 115,000 SIGNERS New York Times (1923-Current file); Oct 11, 1933; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. 6
  5. ^ DECISION DELAYED ON VOTE MACHINES New York Times (1923-Current file); Oct 20, 1933; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. 5
  6. ^ New York Times (1923-Current file); Dec 10, 1933; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. N8
  7. ^ WHAT IS GOING ON THIS WEEK New York Times (1923-Current file); Feb 18, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. 32
  8. ^ WHAT IS GOING ON THIS WEEK New York Times (1923-Current file); Dec 24, 1933; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. N4
  9. ^ WHAT IS GOING ON THIS WEEK New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 4, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. N2
  10. ^ WHAT IS GOING ON THIS WEEK New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 23, 1935; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006) pg. N4
  11. ^ Industrial Unionist Vol. II #8 p.20
  12. ^ Goldwater, Walter Radical periodicals in America 1890-1950 New Haven, Yale University Library 1964 pp.2, 20

Publications[edit]

  • Joseph Brandon Workers Party vs. Socialist Labor Party New York: Socialist Labor Party, 1925 Arm & hammer pamphlets #8
  • Joseph Brandon Ethics and principles of unionism Bronx, N.Y. : Industrial Union League, 1929
  • Joseph Brandon Technocracy or democracy; which shall govern our industries? Hollis, N.Y., C.A. Baker, 1933
  • Joseph Brandon Industrial union alliance: manifesto. New York : The Author, 1933
  • American Labor Party Labor and state capitalism New York: Labor Party, 1934
  • American Labor Party Socialism--the basis for happiness. New York, N.Y. 1934
  • American Labor Party Way out of the depression New York, N.Y. 1934